All Hail the Fire Lady!


She’s the occasional kidnapper, occasional heroine, but more than often always fiery – It’s the Fire Lady of Farfadel!

Why yes, her magnificence has now graced the page in … watercolor? What an odd medium for her!

All joking aside, I’m super pleased with how this painting came out. The Fire Lady is one of my most beloved characters in Farfadel (I would get messages from reader friends like “IT’S THE FIRE LADY!” when they finally met her in the pages), and I feel like I managed to capture her changeling personality in this piece. It may not be perfect, there are certainly technical errors in it, but I am allowing myself to be pleased!

But who is the Fire Lady? As I said, occasional kidnapper, occasional heroine. A friend of mine suggested ‘chaotic neutral’ and I find that suits her perfectly!

In a more technical sense, the Fire Lady is the youngest of the Great Ladies at the time of the ‘Tale of Two Queens’ and the ‘Tale of Adelaide and Shadow’. She was an apprentice to the Great Lady of the Mountains, but caused sufficient havoc to become her own Ladyship. How exactly she gained that title is still disputed, and has yet to be written.

So that means there is much mystery to her still! How did she romance her beloved Oracle? Why is she always fighting with the Fairy chief? And why oh why does she not hand out magical goats any more?

So much mystery! So much left to discover! And I am SO pleased to say that I am working on a trilogy of Farfadelian shenanigans with her -> her eminence the Fire Lady <- at the center of it. She isn’t the main character, but her character arc fuels the plotline like a gasoline trail. But maybe one day I shall write a tale with her as the main character! That would certainly be fun. Maybe a whirlwind romance, a tale that is tugging at my mind lately…

Anyways, I will return to painting portraits of my characters. I wish you all the best! Fellow writers: do you have any chaotic characters? Do your readers like them? Do you?

Quick Hello Again!

Hi everyone! I’ve missed you all ❤

I can’t say I’ve missed this blog though. I feel it became a toxic ranting space for me, and I don’t want to contribute to that kind of atmosphere. So! I’m thinking of rehashing this space. I think I want a nice space for my writing dilemmas and ideas, with the occasional mental health update. I guess I want to still give you all a glimpse at what it’s like ‘behind the scenes’ as well as somewhere to talk with people about my writerly life.

So, on that note, how have things been going with me?

Things have been going well, darlings. As some of you may have noticed, I’ve been very active with my birdies and getting a grip on managing them and their many projects. That was, for a while, my most engrossing project. But lately, I’ve been finding my feet with Farfadel and other novels as well. My mental health has been very up and down, but in a general upwards streak.

Lately, as in the past month or so, building up until the past week, I’ve been having Kuryo and Chaos’ story stuck in my head. So! I decided this week to bite the bullet and start re-editing that messy blurb.

In my head, it was an impossible task! How could stories inspired by dreams be anything but a chaotic mess?

But, after re-reading the first three books, those in Kuryo’s series, I’m shocked. They’re not that bad, for real! They’re pretty cohesive, and the last one is the one that is the most messy, but it’s not unfixable. It’s hardly as bad as I thought it was!

One major thing I want to rework is an ending for one of the villains of part 1: Kay.

Now I’m not going to tell you who he is (that would be spoilers!) but I am going to say I’m thinking of having him team up with Bella later on in the series. That would be such a pain in the ass for Kuryo and Chaos! He also is the absolute opposite of Bella, so they would make quite a team. Whereas Bella is more of a hysterical squirrel with rabies, I think of Kay as more calculated and professional. Like an angry ice cube!

On another note, I got my quasi-ancient scanner to pick up on my watercolor paintings, so here is a painting I did yesterday of Kay. You can maybe guess who he is by the picture 😛

Finally, I’m going to blow some time rehashing this blog. I want to redesign it and make it all pretty and writing-focused. So hopefully that means lots more artworks, and writing-focused sections! Let me know who you think Kay is in the comments! And do tell me how you’ve been doing!

I wish you all the best ❤

Yeah! So Excited!

Wow! I’m so excited for Lage’s Game! Y’all, I had no idea that the little bit of story I had in my mind would take so long to lay out, but here we are. I’m immensely pleased with the tone of the story and how it ‘feels’, at least when I read it. I like the suspense, the way it’s laying itself out.

Circlet School is somewhat stumping me right now. I feel a little uninspired for it, and am not sure why. I just feel like I have nothing to write about it, like I’m in a lull or ’empty spot’ in the story. Which is ridiculous, as the students are about to arrive and we all know that’s going to mean more shenanigans.

Also, Ramadan is over. Which makes me sad. I felt ‘ultra-spiritual’ and got in tune with the great cosmic being (god or whatever you want to call it) so much thanks to an online queer masjid I joined and doing the daily prayers with them. And now… it feels strangely empty. I don’t know… it’s weird.

Also, shoutout to my awesome mom for helping me get organized in my writing stuff. She phoned me for over an hour, talking me through all my various projects and helping me make a 40 hour work week, complete with social media time and when to write and when to record my audiobooks! Yeah! So if I suddenly seem to be posting and doing stuff more regularly, you know why, haha.

Anyways, I hope y’all have a lovely week and really enjoy today’s installation in Lage’s Game! I really enjoyed writing it!

Much love, y’all.

Lage’s Game ~ Chapter Three, Part Two

That night, I slept in uncle’s living room, curled around my unicorn on the couch. They said it would just be for a few days, but I heard them saying to the cousins that they might have to bunk in the same room soon. But how long was ‘soon’? How long would it take before mom was officially ‘gone’?

I could not sleep. Thoughts of mother kept me awake, but not as much as they should have. I was selfish, worried not about her because she was already gone in my mind. She would be safe now, happily with father. No, I was waiting for when ‘they’ would come for me.

I would be ready. I had the card under my pillow now, and with it, my vengeance. I would destroy exactly what they wanted. What they were willing to commit murder for. I’d burn it before them.

It was only halfway through the night that it occurred to me that I didn’t have a lighter on hand. That bothered me. Would I rip the card then? Tear it into four pieces? Somehow that was less validating. Could the card be repaired? Could it still be sold, even in pieces? I wanted it to be utterly ruined. I wanted it burned, gone beyond repair.

The moonlight was drifting in through the living room’s curtains. It illuminated the coffee table, the TV on the wall ( a large one, way too expensive. They might take it with them when they came for me.).

It was my last sight before I drifted into sleep. An empty living room. It ought to have made me feel safe, but it didn’t.

When I dreamed, I dreamed of a presence so surely, so closely, that I knew it was there. I knew it was a man. I knew he was white. I caught sight of blond hair. An outstretched hand. A voice, whispering.

When I woke, the sunlight was streaming in and the air smelled of milk and cereal, the sound of bowls rattlign could be heard. The uncles and cousins were speaking in hushed tones in the kitchen.

I rose. Still in my pajamas, I walked into the kitchen with my unicorn. They all smiled at me, pitying. I sat down in the empty chair, set my unicorn on the table beside me, and ate.

I wanted to ask them who had been there during the night, but words escaped me. On one hand I ‘knew’ that no one should have been there, but on the other hand, I was certain I had felt someone. So I was not sure what to say, or how to say it. Then, it occurred to me that they might not know about the board game. That they too, like the police, might not know or believe that ‘they’ were coming for me.

The thought struck me cold. Here I was, bringing trouble to another family. Also, I had forgotten the card in the living room. How stupid of me. What if they came in now? They would find it and take it. And probably, uncle would try and defend me and get killed as well. Maybe the cousins too.

I stared at my half-finished bowl of cereal, feeling sick. I scrubbed at the tears rolling down my face, angry. I would have to leave. I would have to find them. Bring the card to them.

But no. That was my vigilante side speaking again. How would I realistically find them? I didn’t know where to search. I only knew that they struck at night, and that their maybe leader might be in the hospital right now. Or maybe dead? No. As much as I liked to think that mother had dealt a killing blow, it was highly unlikely.

So what now? I looked up from my bowl, and uncle was discreetly walking out of the kitchen. The cousins had vanished. Their mother was sitting beside me, rubbing my back. I wiped the tears from my face. I picked up my unicorn and hugged it, angry. So angry.

I did not go to school that day, instead lying on the couch, alone. Wanda, uncle’s wife, had insisted on staying home with me, but I’d glared at her and said “No. Go.”. And so she left, frowning, off to her job.

I waited for them to come for me. The card lay before me, face down on the coffee table. I was dressed in my almost-best, jeans and a button up shirt and a vest, waiting for them. I had searched for matches or a lighter, but hadn’t found any. The closest I could think of was turning on an oven element to burn it, but that wasn’t practical. They wouldn’t let me get that far.

So I sat and waited, my unicorn in my lap. It didn’t occur to me that they wouldn’t. It was only when Uncle came home from work that I realized the day had passed, and I had spent it staring at a card. It had only felt like an hour.

“Your aunt will be here this evening,” he said, trying to sound cheerful.

I didn’t like my aunt, but I supposed she was alright. She was just so – mayonnaise salad impersonated. Bland. Strange. A little fruity, if you were lucky.

The cousins arrived, loud at first then quiet when they saw me. I stared at them, realizing that somehow, their lives hadn’t changed. They were still happy, yet I was devastated. Their lives were intact, yet both my parents were gone.

I had nowhere to run to to hide and cry. No room with a door to slam. So I held my unicorn and decided not to cry.

My aunt arrived just after supper, looking wrung out and exhausted. She was wearing a tank top and jeans, her hair a curly blonde frizz. “Oh, dear!” she cried out as she saw me. She flung out her arms and crouched. I sat very still, not wanting a hug at all. I even put my unicorn on my lap.

She hesitated. Wanda cleared her throat and patted auntie on the shoulder. “It’s alright, she’s just, processing.”

Auntie looked doubly devastated. “Okay,” she said, straightening. To Wanda, she said “How is everything? I mean – I just, what happened? I can’t-”

“Here,” Wanda guided auntie (I think her name was Kayla) to the kitchen. As if on cue, probably on cue actually, Fred left his homework in the kitchen and came to turn on the TV for me.

So I sat there while the Lion King played, drowning out the sound of Kayla’s crying and Wanda’s telling her how it all happened.

I was starting to hate the Lion King too. In between dramatic music and character quips, I could hear Kayla saying “Another break-in? But why? What did they want?”

What they did want lay before me on the table, face down and inert. So stupid. So small.

Then, it occurred to me that if I hadn’t left the card out of the box, if I hadn’t taken the box to my room that night, none of this would have happened. They’d have come, taken the box, and maybe we wouldn’t have even known they were there. Maybe they’d have not even waken mom. Murder was against their usual tactics.

I had killed mom. My actions were the root of the chain of actions that had murdered her.

I sat there, very calm and cool as I thought this through. True, I could not have known. But as any lawyer knows, idiocy and ignorance is no excuse for a crime. I was at the root of it all. I had caused my mother’s death.

Had I caused Father’s too, I wondered. Had I left a door unlocked, said something about his collection to a friend too many, or done something small and seemingly insignificant that had tipped the robbers off?

No. I was not going to randomly punish myself. I was not going to wallow in self-flagellation in order to throw a pity party. I had murdered my mother, but I had not murdered Father. I had to be realistic, keep a grip on reality.

I propped my feet up beside the card, staring at that stupid printed diamond on its backing. Obviously, I was not legally to be held responsible. The law did not see the moral beginnings of things. A critical flaw, if you asked me. No, I was not afraid of people finding out, or of going to jail for this. I was morally responsible, but not legally. No one would think of blaming me, but I knew that I was to blame.

I came out of my thoughts when the TV was paused. Wanda and Kayla were standing there, eyeing me nervously.

I stared at them, waiting.

“Hey,” said Kayla. “I’m going to go see your mom. Would you like to come, sweetie?”

I shook my head.

“Are you sure?”

I nodded, wrapping my arms around my unicorn and staring back at the TV.

“Okay,” Kayla said quietly. Then she left. Wanda came to sit beside me. I wished she wouldn’t, but wishes aren’t fulfilled.

“Kayla was saying that you were going to a new school?” Wanda said gently.

I nodded, still staring at the TV screen. It was frozen, the characters mid-position. Just like I had been. Frozen.

“Do you?” Wanda was asking.

I startled, staring at her. She smiled feebly. “You’d still like to go to that new school?”

Oh. I nodded, knowing it was what mother had wanted. But I would not live that long. They were coming for me. But I might as well do the motions. It would make mom happy, wherever she was.

Wanda talked some more about how she and Kayla were going to be taking care of Mom’s affairs, but that it was mainly Kayla who was going to be doing it.

“If your mom doesn’t wake up, you could go live with her, until she does,” she offered.

My lip trembled. I gritted my jaw to stop it. I was not moving away. Mom had wanted me to go to that school, so I would. Shaking my head, I hugged my unicorn to my chest angrily. Besides, this was all until they arrived. Then, it was all over. They would kill me – probably. They murdered mom for not knowing where the card was. They would certainly kill me for destroying it before their eyes.

Wanda was asking me what I wanted to do when I noticed the darkness outside the window. It was time. They usually struck around now.

I rose to my feet, discreetly picking up the card and pocketing it. “I’m going for a walk,” I announced.

“Want some company?” Wanda asked with a smile.

“No,” I said sharply, taking my unicorn to the entry way where I put my shoes on. Then, with Wanda watching me with a frown from the couch, I left out the door.

Uncle and Wanda’s house was in a small roundabout of cozy looking houses with a green patch in the middle of it all where dogs probably peed to their hearts content. There was three benches. I took one, placing my unicorn beside me.

I knew Wanda was watching from her window, but my back was to her. Let her watch. Then there would be a witness to what they did, this time.

The moon was clear and bright, nearly round in its brightness. They would be here soon. I could feel it.

So I drew the card from my pocket, ready and waiting. I glared at the card, flipping it over so I saw the simili- ancient sculpture. Lage. Well Lage, it’s down to you and me.

I didn’t hear a car, but from the corner of my eye, I saw a man approach. Tall. Green in color.

I froze. They were here.

With a sigh, the man sat beside me. He was wrapped all in a green shape with long blond hair that swept his shoulders. And he just sat there.

I couldn’t move my eyes to see him. I was leaning forward on the bench, he was leanign back, just a fuzzy shape in the corner of my vision.

“Hey.”

I jumped, screaming.

“Whoah!” Uncle was standing before me, hands raised. “It’s just me!”

I spun to face the man, horrified that Uncle was here to get caught in it all – but there was no one on the bench beside me. Nothing.

Heart pounding in my throat, I turned to uncle. He was saying something about too late and time to go to bed. I looked again at the empty bench. Uncle took me and walked me back to the house. I kept staring back at the bench that was so empty.

It was when the door shut behind me and I was in their house that I realized my unicorn was missing. The man had taken it.

Inspiration and Drama

Now I know a lot of times, I write passionately about my dreams and how they are such sources of inspiration for me. But, when it comes to Circlet school, I’m afraid to say that no, I don’t need any extra weirdness to fuel the story. Maybe plot-wise, I will ask for inspiration some day, but that has yet to come.

As some of you know, I led a small coven/group for about exactly a year. It blew apart fantastically due to interpersonal conflict, but hey, it was experience. During this one year, I had a tutor, I tutored, and I tried to organize all sorts of local pagan activities. Which leads me to say -> we’ve got some real characters/scam artists in our ranks, peoples.

I know, I know. Not everyone’s cup of tea suits everyone else. And yet – I would just like it if paganism was a bit more organized, a bit more introspective, and a bit less party-focused. I would like it if a person who basically runs a scam shop of poorly researched courses wouldn’t be able to make a thriving living.

Now. I am not basing the characters in my novel off of anyone, let’s be clear here. But there are certain stereotypes that, unfortunately, run through the movement that I am indeed basing my characters off of. I have met and read about several people who suit these stereotypes, and wish they really would educate themselves and, I don’t know… get a deeper understanding of spirituality?

All that to say, that yes, most of the shenanigans in ‘Welcome to Circlet School’ are all very ‘realistic’. If you think someone can’t possibly say/do that… think again! There are just so many shades of ignorance out there that… gah!

Anyways, I’m going to not get all wound up about it. There are many fabulous things in paganism and Wicca, and I hope that I can bring that through in the story/series as well. Because yes, I’d love to make Circlet School into a fun series (I always do series, don’t I?). But first, let’s get through the first book!

 

Welcome to Circlet School ~ Chapter Four Part Two

“Next,” Sapphire nodded to the security guard, who was at my other side.

“Well,” he said, leaning back and puffing himself up. “I did say that a fire extinguisher should have been nearby, and I’m going to repeat that. And I think it’s a downright bad sign for an altar to go up in flames-”

And I just tuned it out after that. He wheedled on and on, saying how safety should always come first and not actually sounding sad or thoughtful at all. After five minutes, he finished with “yeah, safety.” And then he smiled as if he’d actually said something.

Next was the phys ed teacher, Maria. “You know, I’ve got native ancestry,” she said boldly. “Not sure from which tribe, but definitely in there somewhere, way back where.”

Always a good start to anything. Claim ancestry to back up your claim.

“I think it was the shell that did it,” Maria continued. “You’re not supposed to burn it in a shell. It’s offensive. I think there’s a connection there between burning offensively and your shrine catching on fire.”

“But it was white sage!” Amethyst declared, as offended as could be. “It would have purified-”

“Not your turn to talk,” muttered Sapphire, still writing.

“It can’t be that!” finished Amethyst, crossing her arms over her heaving bosom.

Maria held up her hands. “Just taking a native’s perspective on it.”

“This was a residential school,” said Sapphire cautiously. “Perhaps we need to be extra cautious to be respectful of native traditions. There has been enough harm to them committed on this land.”

Maria nodded righteously, but Amethyst burst up. “But it was not disrespectful!”

“Sit down. Next,” demanded Sapphire.

Amethyst thumped down, face crinkling with restrained tears.

Bjorn was next. He mumbled that it was ‘quite the fire’ and that he ‘wasn’t sure what to make of it’, which was all lies. Except for it being a big fire. That it had been. But not having an opinion? Despite his big beaming smile at the end, the guy was obviously just not wanting to tread on toes.

After Bjorn was Crystal, who went on a similarly cautious walk-around of the issue. Then there was – MoonRaven, our nurse.

“I think it shows a deep disturbance in the psyche of this place,” she said with a nod. “Definitely wouldn’t be surprised if there’s some native burial grounds here or something.”

“Children were sometimes buried on the residential school lands,” said Sapphire with a nod, scribbling away.

Great! So now it was official-ish! We were on a native burial ground. Just perfect.

I barely heard the thoughts of Ivy, Sapphire’s secretary, but Paulette drew herself up with gumption. “I think we didn’t exercise perfect caution, and it bit us in the butt,” she said defiantly.

Amethyst looked away angrily.

“We are all to blame in some part,” she went on to say. “But good ritual is like math. I know math, and so ritual,” she paused “I think I second what Thunder said. It didn’t quite go right. We ought to look inside instead of just outside. What did we do that made them, the spirits, want to set our stuff on fire?”

Not just ‘our’ stuff, but Amethysts’ stuff specifically, I noted silently to myself.

Then, it was Amethyst.

Sapphire designated her with a hand, and the entire table held its breath. Probably, even the wood of this table literally stopped being porous for a minute. That’s how the energy was in the air right then.

Amethyst stood up, clearing her throat. Pen still scribbling, Sapphire said “You can sit down,” in a very flat voice.

Amethyst sat down with a face. Sapphire completely ignored it, still jotting down stuff. Then she looked up, just to see the whole table holding its breath and amethyst staring angrily at Sapphire.

Sapphire straightened, shaking out her hand. “It’s your turn to talk. So talk.” Let us have it, she seemed to say. I braced myself mentally, deciding that I would keep in mind that Amethyst was a … fully fledged adult who ought to be in control of her emotions? Eh, oh well. Good luck to us all.

Amethyst sucked in a breath, then said with a broken voice damp with tears “I can’t believe you all have been attacking me!”

Sapphire kept a very neutral face, but she wasn’t writing this down.

“I, held that ritual,” Amethyst was breathing in heaves and starts. “Out of the goodness of my heart!”

“We weren’t questioning that,” started Paulette, only to be interrupted by Sapphire.

“Not your turn,” Sapphire said flatly, still not writing anythign down.

“I, do NOT see the point of all these ad hominem attacks!” Amethyst wailed, tears beginning to stream down her face.

“They were not ad hominem attacks,” said Sapphire matter of factly, clasping her hands over her notepad.

Amethyst wasn’t listening, gulping and sobbing. “I did my best! And you,” here she looked directly at me “Attacked me! After my shrine burned! And you!” she glared at Sapphire. “you brought us all to this evil infested place!”

Sapphire raised just one eyebrow in a very unimpressed way. It was sexy as hell. But now was not the moment to dissolve into a pile of goo at her feet.

“I can’t imagine the sorts of trauma that the children who come here will have to endure!” she wailed. “This place is dangerous! Haunted! And you,” she looked around the table “Will blame them for their own problems!”

Amethyst rose up to her feet, glaring Sapphire down. “I can’t believe this place! I can’t believe you!” she shrieked at Sapphire. “I am a high priestess! I know how to do ritual! And you are all doubting me-”

“Actually, it is because you are a high priestess that we are holding you responsible for the results of your ritual,” said Sapphire tartly. “You led a ritual that, according to some of us, may have been poorly done. Surely if you weren’t powerful your mistakes wouldn’t have had such a catastrophic result.”

Was she- trying to compliment Amethyst? Was she? Was it working? Amethyst was standing there, mouth ajar.

Sapphire looked down at her paper, tapping her notes with her pen. “Your ritual’s result was dangerous, and seems to have greatly upset you. However, it is not an attack against your personality or powers or will. I think everyone here will agree that you did it out of goodness and concern. We all appreciate your presence, I am also sure. I think that, what I have mainly heard around this table, is that your ritual’s disaster was caused both by your own accident as well as the spirits of this land. The spirit’s actions are not your fault.”

Amethyst sniffled. Sapphire pressed on. “No one here wants to attack you.”

With a sob, Amethyst plunked back down onto the bench. It squeaked loudly, or was that her?

“We are all worried,” Sapphire insisted. “The way the ritual ended was a powerful sign. I think what we need is to work together to solve this issue, instead of letting it divide us.”

Amethyst nodded with another squeak. She held out her arms for a hug from Sapphire. Sapphire cleared her throat. “I uh, not the hugging type but uh?”

“Group hug!” declared Crystal, lurching up from her spot.

Oh, good Goddess. Cries of ‘Group hug!’ went up, and the table mobilized itself. Like a swarm with Amethyst as the wounded bee, everyone rushed to coagulate around her.

I sat there, me and Sapphire exchanging a look while everyone else patted Amethyst and exchanged body warmth. I shrugged. “Not a hugger,” I said. Sapphire nodded, smiling awkwardly at this display.

After a few moments of hugging and patting and laughing through tears (in Amethyst’s case) everyone took their places again.

“Alright, we have one more person to hear from, then we brainstorm solutions,” said Sapphire before handing ‘the floor’ to the woman sitting at her right.

The woman, who I recognized as the detention teacher, merely shrugged. “I think it’s all been said,” she said warm-heartedly. “I really hope we can find a working solution, and make sure that this place will have good luck and protection going on.”

Everyone nodded and hummed appreciatively at that.

“Alright, good,” Sapphire said with determination. Flipping through her notebook, she drew a packet of cue cards from the back and set them before herself. “We are now going to try and find solutions.”

Everyone leaned forward eagerly.

Once again, the air was full of suspense. Possibilities! Endless opportunities!

“So,” Sapphire flipped through her notes. “It seems like we need to fix whatever it was that caused the upset. Maybe a ‘we’re sorry’ sort of ritual, to pacify the spirits?”

There were hums and haws around the table. I nodded vigorously. Sapphire wrote in large ‘we’re sorry’ on a cue card and set that before herself. Then she took another and, while talking, wrote ‘banish’ on it. “We could banish all negativity-”

And that, that’s where it went screwy, if you ask me.

“That’s what we need!” declared Amethyst, gasping in awe at her own revelation. “A banisher!”

“M-hmm,” said Sapphire, “we can-”

“No, we bring in a real expert!” exclaimed Amethyst.

Sapphire just looked at her, shoulders heaving in a sigh.

Amethyst waved her hands as if ushering us all to lean in and share this secret. Except she was now talking super loud and fast. “I know a lady! A real witch! And I mean- she teaches!”

Uh, okay? You’re saying that to a room full of teachers, but okay?

“M-hmm?” Sapphire set down her pen, face completely nonplussed.

“We can have her come and – we don’t even need to tell her what we think! She will just,” Amethyst swept her arm sideways as if clearing the table to spite the floor. “Everything! Clean it all! She’s intuitive!

“Oh, that could be nice!” chirped in Crystal.

Aurora nodded.

“A real expert!” claimed Amethyst. “And she’s cheap! Only a hundred an hour!”

“A hundred an hour?” asked Sapphire tartly.

“Oh yes!” said Amethyst. “That’s cheap!”

I … wasn’t so sure. Neither were several others. And yet – Amethyst was passionately ranting on, declaring this woman a ‘friend in the Goddess’ and a ‘good, strong soul’ and a ‘really skilled banisher’!

“It won’t hurt to try,” suggested Bjorn.

Sapphire raised her eyebrows.

“I will message her!” Amethyst began rifling in her bosom and pockets. “If she’s available, we must have her come before the children get here-”

“If we decide to call upon her,” said Sapphire tartly.

“I think it’s worth a shot,” said Paulette slowly.

Aurora nodded. “Sometimes a blank slate, without judgment, is the best thing.”

Sapphire nodded slowly while Amethyst typed away at her phone. “This is an emer-gen-cy,” said Amethyst, probably narrating what she was typing. “We need this woman straight aways!”

Sapphire raised an eyebrow. “And, what accreditations does she have?”

“Oh!” Amethyst raised her hands. “She does it all! Fairy reiki, dragon summonings, elf shamanism, elder channeling, you name it!”

Sapphire, to her credit, kept on a very composed face. “Elf shamanism?”

“Yes!”

Uh.

Sapphire stared off into the void as if somehow broken. “Hmm,” was all she said.

I tried to rescue this situation. “Well, I’m sure that if we were to put our heads to it, we could do another ritual that would fix things.”

“I’m not leading another ritual,” said Amethyst tartly.

Sapphire looked to Aurora. “You could, if you’d like. Or I could.”

Amethyst looked pointedly at Aurora. “How experienced are you at banishing? It can get gritty sometimes!”

Aurora kept her cool. “I haven’t led many rituals.”

Amethyst, eyes bulging, pointed to her phone. “This lady has seen it all! Demon summonings, oh!” the phone buzzed and Amethyst grinned. “She says she can be here today!”

“Alright, all in favor of this raise your hand,” said Sapphire grimly, as if she already knew the outcome.

Most of the table raised their hands, to my surprise.

“Hmm,” said Sapphire grimly. To Amethyst, she said “So where was this lady trained?”

“Oh, she’s intuitive,” said Amethyst. “Do I tell her to come?”

Sapphire smiled grimly, like she was telling someone to nail her inside a coffin. “Yes. Do it.”

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Grieving the Deaths in Nova Scotia as a Pagan

I feel mentally bulldozed in a strange way. For those who haven’t heard the news, us Canadians have just had a major shooting. The last one of this magnitude was a shooting aimed just against women at the Polytechnique school.

It’s one thing to hear of atrocities happening all over the world, and its always stranger when it’s closer to home. Furthermore, I’d like to point out to any American reader that shootings barely ever happen in Canada. When they do, they’re a big fucking deal. We mourn them seriously.

Anyways, this news leaves me feeling strangely – distant? Dissociated? Upset without really knowing why? Part of me has a knee-jerk reaction of ‘Oh, just another shooting in the world’, while the rest of me is very shocked and upset that this happened in my country. That innocent people were killed.

I’m majorly left wondering what to do with myself. Is it appropriate to sit down and write and just ignore the fact that we’ve had a mass murder? Is it appropriate to let this take over my life, when there are so many other deaths in the world?

Balance is key, I suppose, but I am no expert. I’ve heard there is going  to be a national vigil online sometime this Friday (I think). But, again, what would be appropriate to do? What is sensible, in a way caring for yourself without letting the grief take over, as well as honoring the dead of these senseless acts?

I would like to suggest, as a pagan and a polytheist, some ideas for self care and to care for the dead of this massacre.

  • Write a letter to your favorite deity, or a deity who specializes in helping the dead pass on (a psychopomp such as Anubis or Saint Michael), asking them to care for the dead and help them find peace after such horrific ends. Burn the letter to transmit it to your deity/spirit of choice.
  • Pray to an appropriate deity (Sekhmet? Bast? Ma’at? I’m not quite sure who would be in charge of purifying a soul. Perhaps a Buddhist tradition would have more specific deities for such a purpose.) for the spirit of the attacker to be purified so as to cause no further trouble as a spirit. You can see this as fire burning away the evil in their heart or the anger that may have caused them to commit such actions.
  • Light a candle with the intent of it lighting a way/ opening a channel for the dead to find their way. Again, you may consult or ask the aid of a psychopomp for aid in this.
  • Write a letter to the deceased in this tragedy and burn it for it to reach them. Offer them your help (within your own limits) and maybe even invite them to a small ritual with candles and a dumb supper. This could be a nice chance to let them talk to you, pour their grief out, and basically process their own death with you.

Remember to take care of yourself! Cleanse and purify your space with incense that gives off a solemn vibe (but nothing too cheerful). Acknowledge your grief, but set the intent that you will carry on in honor of them, not despite them.

If you do have any specific mourning practices in your tradition that you will be performing  to honor these deceased, I’d love to hear them!

 

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Chaos & Kuryo (novel 3) Chapter 14 part 2

Chaos POV

I couldn’t sleep. My drunk ass just lay there, staring at the ceiling. Time passed, and eventually I wasn’t drunk anymore, just very thirsty. I refused to get up any more though, deciding that I would just get into more trouble.

My mind drifted in nothingness and I didn’t so much sleep as I dozed. Then, for real, I fell asleep.

I knew the moment I was asleep because I felt someone breathing next to me. Someone who’s presence I knew now.

“Sephira?” I turned, looking around on myself (in the dream). I was in a nowhere zone that slowly took the shape of a cathedral-esque setting. There were glorious statues, pews, but no lights save for lamps.

The heavy breathing drew closer. I turned around again – and there was Sephira!

“Sephira!” I lurched and grabbed her by the shoulders. Her eyes were still blindfolded, her walking sticktapping along the ground, and se was in a white robe full of bloody hand prints at the hem, but she smiled.

“Hey you,” she said happily, prying my fingers from her shoulders. “You’re not who I was expecting to see.”

Ouch. I was even screwing up on an astral level. Wow, Chaos. Good job.

Sephira patted me on the shoulder. “Go home, Chaos,”

Wham! I sat up in bed. The bed, Lucifer’s bed. The bed that Lucifer lent me.

I looked around. My throat was parched. The sheets were rumpled around me and I was drenched in sweat.

Go home, Chaos. The words rang in my ears. I wasn’t needed there. I wasn’t needed anywhere.

Furious, I stormed out of the bed and marched into the shower. I wasn’t needed. That’s how bad of a screw up I was. The deity that I was supposed to help was all ‘nope, I’d rather not, thanks’

Go home!

I showered like I was covered in demon juice, scraping myself raw with an exfoliator and scrubbing so intensely I just about ran out of soap.

Finally, I stepped out of the shower and dressed in some of the clothes that Lucifer had provided (plain, black, blah). When I stepped out of the bathroom, I was face to face with a very grumpy fallen angel.

“Lucifer wants to meet with you,” they said, checkign their watch. “Fifteen minutes ago.”

I rolled my eyes. Great! I couldn’t even shower without screwing something up. Watch – I’ll have clogged the drain or something like that by the time I turn around.

I stormed downstairs, determined to glare and glower at Lucifer the whole time he gave me a talking to. But somehow, the more I walked, the less stomp I had. Pretty soon, by the time I was escorted into a sort of dining room, I felt sheepish. I had forced my way into Lucifer’s bedroom – but he had let me! And…

I found my mind crowded with all sorts of feelings as I looked at Lucifer. He was sitting at the table (all carved with ugly faces in it and leaves and stuff like that), and wearing a silky black robe that cinched at the waist and flared out into a massive skirt. Half his chest was showing (as usual?) and his headdress sparkled with fine chains and studs around his horns.

As I just stood there, thinking but not really managing to sort through my thoughts, he crooked a finger at me. “Come here,” he ordered silkily.

I took two steps forward, then stopped. The door shut behind me pointedly. I crossed my arms and scowled impatiently, like I had something better to do.

Lucifer’s lips curled into a half-sneer. “Chaos, you’ve grown up a lot since you left. You’re an adult now, am I right?”

I shrugged. “I’m nineteen.” In human years, that was. In actual years, I was much older, but you could say my age was nineteen, mentally.

Lucifer’s eyebrows rose then descended in a sour expression. “Did I use an expression that’s too old for you?” He drummed his fingers on a white box beneath his hands, on the table. It was wide and flat and – what was in it?

Curiosity piqued, I tried not to fixate. So I dragged my gaze back to Lucifer – and found him waiting. He’d said something. Oh crap.

I shrugged, hoping that was a proper answer. After all, you never heard of someone selling their soul with a shrug, right? You had to actually sign something.

Lucifer closed his eyes. Sighed. Opened his eyes and gestured to a seat across the table from him. “Sit down.”

I walked to the chair, pulled it out, and thunked down. Lucifer glimmered across from me, piercing eyes latched on me. But the box – something about it was drawing my attention. Probably because it was something I hadn’t screwed up yet.

With a sigh I looked at Lucifer and told myself to focus. He was either about to throw me out or – ask me for something. Which (spoiler!) I’d probably screw up.

I found myself slouching down miserably.

Lucifer drummed his long nails once, then made a face. “Do you know what it usually means when someone – especially not a relative – says things like ‘oh how you’ve grown’? Especially when it’s about you being an adult now?”

Oh gawd. A history lesson? Really? I shook my head.

Lucifer leaned across the table, hands perched like dangerous vipers on the box. “It means they want to get into your pants now.”

Oh- OH. I blinked, then stared at Lucifer. But he’d said that. Why did he say that?

“I have a proposal,” he said, leaning back. With both hands, he pushed the box towards me in a slide.

My heart jumped. The white box called to me from the middle of the table. O-kay. It couldn’t hurt to just… take a look?

Gingerly, I drew the box to myself. It was a fancy thing, with a fabric lining to it, like those engagement ring boxes have.

I lifted the lid.

The inside was all white plush, and the thing was deep black, glinting with silver chains. A collar. A beautiful, ornate, collar.

A collar.

I looked up at Lucifer, jaw agape. The guy liked me.

He glared at me, but there was a hint of a blush on those pale cheeks. “If you don’t like it, you can give it back,” he said harshly. “And we can both forget about it.”

I looked down at it. It was such a pretty collar. There was a star in the middle, with chains draping out to the sides and small studs sparkling here and there.

I liked it. Greedily, I wanted it.

But – I looked up at Lucifer. Was he really offering – ? My throat went dry as I remembered everything that had happened with Bella. Oh, how much worse it could be with a god on the scale of Lucifer. The god who had already played games with me.

Such a bad idea. Such a, such such such a bad idea.

I looked up at Lucifer. Our eyes met, and his lips quirked into a satisfied smirk. He knew.

Serpent-like, he reached across the table and drew the box back to himself. Settled back in his chair, he was as smug as could be. My face was burning. “Let’s discuss the terms then, shall we?” he said silkily.

Chaos & Kuryo (novel 3) Chapter 9 part 2

Kuryo Pov

Things were now moving in the ship. We were breaching an atmosphere, launching into a magnetic field – I could hear all this through the spirits of the beings that strolled around with purpose now. We were about to touch down onto their home planet. There, something was to be done with us. I caught glimpses of a platform, of wages and wares – we were to be sold.

Hah. I may not be Charr, I may not be the world’s greatest planner, but I could wing up an idea here and there. Slowly, I’d attached myself to strings within the souls of these beings. Like a web, I’d spread my connections and control. Now, like a spider at the center of my web, I’d spread my lies and was partly in control. Not too much so as to create a problem that they would notice. No, just enough to have my way.

I’d fed them the idea that my pod was special. I was already sold. My tube was to be set aside and not unloaded with the others.

I wondered how far I could push this idea. Could I have them release me outright? I wasn’t sure. I’d decided it safer to play, well, safe. I would be unboarded differently. Not sent to the slave market.

This planet was shaped suspiciously like earth, a largely blue blob in the center of a galaxy. I sensed a mirroring, a sort of discord caused by two things that were so alike yet essentially different in my mind.

I saw the planet through the eyes of the pilots, watched and experienced their anticipation as we circled lower and lower to the cities.

Here, the cities peaked in large spires. Something about them was strange to me. Aside from these peaks, there was very little tall buildings. Very little growth. The cities were small still, the forests large.

It was when they reached the crude docking bay that I sensed it. The discord wasn’t just within me, it was in here too.

As the pilots left the ship, happily stretching their legs out into the fresh air of this world, I saw through their eyes humans gawking at them. Humans who rushed out of their way. Peasants, the aliens thought. Lowly creatures. So stupid, another thought.

They strolled away, and I let them slip from my grip. I needed the captain’s focus. She was supervising the moving of their bounty, of all the tubes containing the future slaves and pets. She had mine taken from the ship and set aside beside the ship. The others were loaded onto hover carts that whizzed them away.

It was all a strange contrast. Here were the humans dressed in medieval attire with huts for houses lining the streets, and there were the aliens with their great ship. The difference in them could be felt in their pride and superiority.

I Let the captain forget about me. She strolled away, off to visit a brothel. The other tubes were all gone. I was left unsupervised.

“Suzy,” I whispered to her soul, shaking her gently. “We need to enter my body again. Come with me.”

Suzy woke with a start, looking around with big eyes. She moaned. “We’re here! They’re going to sell us!”

“No they won’t. Come with me.” and I slipped down into my body, waking it with a start.

My limbs ached from not having moved enough. My head swam with low blood pressure, or so I guessed. Suzy slid into me, taking the back seat so to speak. She was like an extra subconscious, an extra battery in my mind.

Looking around, I latched onto my next victim. A human with a weak mind but a curious nature.

Come closer, I urged him.

Almost immediately, he did. Like he was just waiting for my invitation.

Just press that button, I thought sweetly in his mind. Let’s see what it does.

He did. It almost seemed too easy. But at that instant the glass around me (or whatever material it was) opened and the water burst out, releasing me.

The man yelled and jumped back, my hold on him broken in his surprise. I didn’t wait around. Shifting form, I donned my wings and flew up into the air. Wings pumping, the wind whistled past me as I flew off.

“We did it! We’re free!” Suzy squealed, celebrating loudly in my mind.

I didn’t really listen. I focused on flying higher, higher, so high that the air grew thin and I found myself at the top of one of the spires. I landed there on a balcony, thinking that I should be safe enough here.

But what is it with me and balconies? Every time I pick one, it seems like trouble breaks loose.

Author’s Rant! (SPOILERS)

Wait, WTF did I just write? Bella is back? WHAT is that bitch doing free? I thought I was done with her! I was so sure her book was closed! But then poof! A rogue Bella appears.

If I was the reader, I’d be pissed. What the hell? I’d be all ‘can’t you let a character be gone’, ‘can’t you move the story along without her’?

Well, you see, here’s the thing. I was planning on there being a Bella in this story. A Bella from another dimension, so it’d be another version of herself. A different Bella. And maybe that Bella will still make an appearance. But I had never intended the Bella to make a re-appearance. Never, never, nope. I had that book all nicely and neatly closed.

And you know what? Now this throws me into a conundrum! Oh, woe, will Chaos go out with Bella again? Yay? Or Nay? Personally I still kind of ship them, but for them to be a healthy relationship Bella would still have to grow a Lot. So hmmm… where does this take us? Also, now the fuck what? Will Lucifer allow Bella back into the reins of hell? I doubt it, but this really complicates the story! I wasn’t expecting there to be this dimension to it! I thought it was all going to be in another world, all about these aliens and Kuryo. But nooo, Chaos had to go and make it all about themselves haha. Oh well, what the fuck.

I hope y’all have a nice day, with plenty of happy times! Thank you so much to everyone who’s been following along with my story, I really appreciate it!