Blue Crow Rising; Chapter 1 part 3

In a catastrophic rush we ran through the building. She didn’t need to pull me anymore but she had a firm grip on me. But I wasn’t going to run away. I was by her side and was going to protect her from the sprites! Somehow, in the chaotic rush of the moment, I thought that I was going to prove that I could take care of her by… whacking sprites over the head? Yeah. Brilliant.

We crashed out the double front doors into the yard. It was full chaos. There was students in all shapes, everywhere, grabbing at sprites and battling them in the most (to my unmagical lens) epic of ways. Sparks were flying! Magic simmered through the air like ribbons!

Aaliyah let go of me, running towards the debris around the trees. “Grab a stick!” she called to me, doing so herself. Then, seeing as I wasn’t getting there fast enough she threw a stick at me, snapped one off a branch for herself, and whirled around to face…everything.

Because the grounds were huge. The grounds sprawled in all directions with preened green slopes, a little stream gurgling down among them, and trimmed trees here and there dotting the landscape. But the battle was all concentrated here, where the sprites were trying to destroy our sacred trees. We were smack in the thick of it.

“Get as many as you can!” ordered Aaliyah before sprinting into the chaos. I wanted to yell at her to wait for me- but that would have sounded wimpy. I was brave! Rawwwr!

So I stood there and tried not to quiver with my stupid stick in hand. Damnit! Why?!

As they say, spirits and the bloomed ones that are so inclined can smell fear. Within seconds a sprite was flashing towards me, elements in hand and teeth gnashing.

If you’ve never seen a sprite up close, their sparkling cloud doesn’t hide their shape very well. Beneath it, they sort of look like floating ghosts with evil hands and onion-shaped heads. This one had green lights sparkling around its hands and the nastiest pointy teeth I’d ever seen.

“Snack- snack,” it seemed to say, clacking its teeth together as it floated before me.

I gripped my stick with both hands. Think of Aaliyah, I told myself. Think of school. You’re never going anywhere unless you bash this thing’s brains in-

Aaaand, just as I was thinking that, it zoomed in on me. I swung the stick with a yell, a sound that was mercifully drowned away by all the sounds of a battlefield around us. My stick whizzed above the sprite’s head and I lost my balance. The sprite leaped forward. Its fangs buried into my right forearm, its elemental spell sending electric shocks into me.

Okay, now I yelled.

And then something happened.

I felt a change come over me. Something rushed through my system like hot soda bubbling in my veins. I thrashed, the electric sparks suddenly seeming faint.

I’m fucking dying, I remember thinking. Good lords, this was stupid!

As the rush continued I found myself moving – and suddenly came to with my hand closed over the sprite. Both hands.

Beneath my skin I felt the sprite pulsing. I felt the three parts of its soul throbbing with life. I heard it hissing and scrawling in a language I suddenly understood.

“Let me go!” it shrieked in that tiny, hissing, voice. “You’re not one of them! Let me go! What are you? Let me go!”

Shocked, I moved my hands. Tentatively, I pulled on what I felt and the three soul parts began coming apart. The sprite shrieked – and burst one of its own parts. It killed itself.

I gaped as the body went limp in my hands. The two other parts throbbed with life still – and it smelt. It smelt delicious, a strange aroma of death and untimely consumption and decay that called to me like a corrupt song. Suddenly I knew what an addiction must feel like. What it must be like to crave the casinos, the drugs, the things you knew you shouldn’t do.

Because I knew I shouldn’t eat the sprite.

I mean, yes, everyone eats sprites. But I wanted the soul.

Hesitant, I looked around. Maybe I was searching for a reality check. But the world felt woozy. It didn’t seem real. And somehow I just knew that no one was paying me a shred of attention, too busy searching out their own glory strikes.

So I gave in. I was lifting the sprite’s remaining two souls to my lips. Somewhere within me my rational self was wondering what was happening. I mean, can stomachs even digest souls?

But it never reached my lips. Instead, the two sprite souls sort of infused up my arms, dissolving into me, merging up through my skin.

I gasped, dropping the now thoroughly dead body. I wanted to scream as I realized that the souls were now in me. Did I digest them through my hands? Was the sprite now part of me? Did I now have five soul-parts? What was going on?

Completely freaking I fell backwards onto my ass. With a scramble I tried to get away from the inanimate body. Impulsively I wanted to flee.

That must have been the trick because suddenly I was scrambling, launching myself up, up, and flapping into the sky. It was when I was about five to six feet up, pumping my wing/arms like mad that I realized – wait a minute.

I looked down at the chaotic battlefield. I looked downer and saw my legs- now two stubby black bird legs. With a hoarse shriek I realized that I wasn’t me any longer.

With a jolt I realized I’d bloomed. Somehow. With another jolt I realized I was about to fall straight down if I didn’t do something about it.

I cawed for help. I shrieked. I flapped and flapped and wiggled my butt in the hopes of getting those feathers to do their job. Ingloriously, it made me think of pilates. Clench the buttcheeks! Wave the arms! Automatically, my legs paddled the air as well, and I must have looked like an idiot trying to run through the air.

Careening through the air, climbing up with no hopes of getting down, I found myself looping towards a tower.

Now, I want to take a minute to say that this tower wasn’t painted in brilliant orange with ‘forbidden fucking tower’ scrawled over it. It just – no one went there is all.

It also just so happened to have a gridded balcony, sort of like a safety ramp, all around the top. I aimed for that, figuring I could sit up here until I got help.

With a zoom I careened towards the tower. A side draft of wind nearly bashed me into the tower, and I didn’t so much land as I flew to the floor and stuck my legs out and began to walk and folded my arms. Skittering to a stop, I slammed sideways against the tower’s wall.

Okay, I told myself. Okay. Fuck.

Authortube? Why not?

In the vain hopes of becoming a YouTube star, haha, I’ve now stuck myself up on YouTube in video format!

There, I will be… doing pretty much what I do on this blog, but in video format. That is, ranting. About things. Like my books, writing, and books.

I really hope to get better at making videos, so I’d love some feedback! Also ask me questions about me (keep it classy) or my writing (bonus points if it’s about Kyrie’s story aka the one I’m posting online for freeee) and I’d be so happy to answer them!

And yeah, if I look tired… I am! But hmmm maybe I’ll do some nice makeup for the next one? Who knows!

Anyways, I wish you all the very best ❤ Take care!

On Being Trans and Pagan

First of all, what with recent events being what they are, I encourage you all to go and support those protesting in the states. Give to help bail out those who have been arrested, and please get into letter-writing mode if you can’t protest.

That being said, I wanted to talk about something that struck me while working on a children’s drawing. This one in particular.

Now, for those of you who are visually impaired or who haven’t been following me for a while, this is an image of my very trans birdie beating a drum and singing while wearing a cloak and antlers. He is surrounded by a salt circle within which are placed a goblet, tiny cauldron with smoke coming out of it, a crystal, and a candle. Essentially, the little trans birdie is doing a ritual with the four elements and singing while incarnating the Horned God or some other horned deity.

Now, while drawing this out, it struck me that it could be seen as ‘hard’ to have the trans birdie invoking a masculine deity, as in it would be hard for a trans man to incarnate such an epidemy of masculinity. But then I thought that isn’t it overly hard for anyone to do?

Here’s my first point: the epidemy of masculinity, the Horned God, is equally far from everyone, trans or not, because they’re a deity and we’re mere mortals. No matter your view on deity, they’re that, impossibly far away, and we’re us. So, trans or not, we’re all impossibly far from this ideal personified, just as we are all embodiments of it. It’s a paradox, if you will, one that is solved only when a devotee offers up their body for possession during an invocation. Then, only then, does one truly reach peak ‘masculinity’.

But can only a cis man do the invocation properly? I don’t think so. I really think that, cis or trans or enby, or probably even a woman, one can invoke the Horned one (or any other male deity) in order to experience what it feels like to possess that energy, because, in the grand scheme of things, it is still a deity descending into a mortal body. To argue that it must be only ‘this type’ or ‘that type’ of body, in my opinion, is to argue over a millimeters’ difference when the deity has to cross aeons to reach us. The deity is already transcending so much in order to get into the body, is it really a big deal whether it’s male or female, so long as its receptive? I don’t think so. So long story short, my trans birdie (and all other trans men and enbies or even women) can do the ‘male’ invocations.

Second, while thinking on this, a thought came to me on the validity of trans masculinity. It came to me that, in paganism, one can be a mortal person and suddenly invoke a god, and be recognized as this god. During this invocation, the deity is recognized as such and treated with reverence required. So why don’t we apply this to transgender identities? This notion of being a female body hosting male energy that was invoked into it by birth is absolutely not so different from our deity invocations. Yet it brings to mind my interactions with pagans who kept saying to me that I was ‘so feminine’ and that I had ‘female’ energy (which was very upsetting for me). Why is it that, for deities, we can see the spirit but not for trans people?

I think that, as pagans, we tend to view the energy as being created by the body, rather than being summoned into it. We view them as interdependent and co-creating. But if we begin viewing the spirit as not entirely dependent on the body (at least in a gendered way), but rather as hosted by it, then we can see the difference.

Furthermore, for trans and/or enby people, I want to suggest invocations as a way to test out your gender. Are you considering becoming a man? Invoke the Horned God, or any other male deity you are comfortable with, and see how the ‘energy’ feels to you.

Why? Not only will it give you a ‘feel’ of masculinity, but often with invocations, the human/invoker will feel as if they have the deities’ body and accoutrements. In the case of the Horned God, one might feel as if they are bearing horns and a large phallus.

So try it out, and see if you like those feelings. You could even consider summoning the opposite and comparing and contrasting your emotions and sensations.

If this generates interest (or even if it doesn’t), I will make a full post about how to do a private ritual summoning deities for gender consideration. Hey, maybe even a ritual divination on discerning your gender/insight into your gender could be fun too.

So anyways, I want to wish you all a safe and happy day. Take care y’all ❤

Chaos & Kuryo (novel 3) Chapter 14 part 1

photo of brown concrete buildings
Photo by Min An on

Kuryo POV

Suzy was crying. Again. My head was pounding from ‘why not’ essence. Because why wouldn’t I still have a headache?

“Suzy, suzy, it’s okay,” I murmured to myself, only half-asleep. I’d slept, brainstormed and slept and now had just given up on some brainstorming. Because, really, how could I stop an invasion into the gods’ realm? I mean, yes, I had certain powers. But let’s face the reality → my wings were cut. I was stuck here. Really, really, stuck.

Was that an excuse to not do anything? Really, maybe, probably? I wanted to go home now. I just wanted to grow my wings back, zap home, and flake on the couch with Aaliyah and Jade. Charr would talk endlessly about her homework. Chaos would brew coffee.

That’s it, I thought as I tucked my beak under my wing. Maybe I should just stop poking my nose everywhere. Maybe I should just go home.

Suzy wailed loudly in the back of my mind. She wouldn’t admit why she was terrified, just that she was. And frankly, I wasn’t ready to go poking about inside her mind to try and figure it out.

“But we’re supposed to go back to the Academy!” she cried out, shaking me within myself.

I closed my eyes and tried to shut her out. I want to go home, to my home, I thought as loudly as I could.

Apparently, Suzy could scream louder than I could, mentally.

My head split with pain as she screamed “But the Academy! It needs us!”

Oh, good gods. Jesus on a stick, as Chaos would say. Please, Suzy. I’m trying to rest here.

Then, just as I wanted to mope and curl up miserably in myself, I felt a shift in the aether, in the weaving of this world.

My head popped up on its own and I eyeballed around me. And right there in the living room, wobbling on unsteady legs, was me, version two point oh.

Oh, hello jerk, I thought angrily. I sat up – but this wasn’t the dude who had sold me to the Academy. This was the one who had previously tried to kill me, a few years ago. Or at least I was guessing by the fact that there was shorter hair and something shifty to his eyes. I remembered those eyes.

Squawk! I sat up, beating my wings at the cage before me. Just to say hi, in an angry sort of way. Or maybe a ‘fuck off’. I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to be rescued or to tackle him down.

He walked over, looked me up and down with a pause, then picked up the whole cage, me included. I squawked, pecking at him. It had zero result. He picked up the cage and put it under his arm, holding a strange black object in his hand.

He was looking at this object when the being came out of the other room and running over, hair flying about and surprisingly not naked. What? He always seemed naked these days.

Me two point oh jammed at the device, and frowned. The being/my other captor exclaimed something. Me two point oh answered and I squawked, beating my wings at the cage door. Let me out! Let me the fuck out, I’ve had it!

“Kuryo! Kuryo!” a voice shouted.

I spun this way and that – and then Aaliyah was there, crouchign down before the cage. “Kuryo! It’s me! Can you see me?”

“Aaliyah!” What was she doing here? I threw myself, my soul, forward and out of the cage to hug her. We embraced, soul to soul and happy.

Soul to soul? I looked her over. This was her, in soul. No body. “What are you doing here?” I asked, leaning back to look at her.

“I’m dead I,” she pointed to the other version of me. “He killed us. Me and Jade, and Chaos is missing -”


She shook me. “You need to run! He’s going to hand you over to the these people – I stalled his machine but you’ve got to run!”

As she said that I felt a flicker. The machine was nearly working again.

“Move!” Aaliyah shouted.

I jumped back into my body, shunting Suzy out of control. In a flash I seized the energy, the matter of this cage, and I wrenched it apart. As I fell I switched forms, landing on my human feet.

There was a shriek from the being, and a yell from the other me. I bolted for the door, knowing that if he caught me I didn’t stand a chance.

“This way!” Aaliyah was running beside me, switching into her dragon form. We darted around the apartment, yanked the door open, and were out in the hall.

I was so happy I’d followed the being out the other day. Now I knew the way out of this building, into an elevator-esque thing that sent you several flights down at a time, like a portal.

Nothing seemed to be working fast enough. The portals felt interminable as I heard the footsteps of other me just a flight above us, just one button click away.

Finally we burst out into the lobby. There there was a yelp from a surprised attendant, we raced the several feet across the carpeting, and we banged out through the steel doors.

The crowd stalled me for a moment. Where to run? There was peasants everywhere and I stood out like a clown at a funeral.

“Hey!” a hand clapped down on my shoulder. I squirmed, spinning and coming face to face with this other me. I grabbed his soul and twisted. His eyes rolled back in his head and he collapsed, soul and body out of sync and disorganized.

I spun and bolted. No aim, no direction. I just went left.

Today was a Crap Day (mild spoilers)

Ugh. I have no good excuse/reason to feel so bad. It sucks. Yes, I had visit yesterday that was very excited, but that’s not enough to make me feel so bad usually. Today I had to call in said person again to help me with the dishes.

I was so excited to wake up today and do makeup. I had my glue sticks on the ready and was going to do a full drag face for the heck of it. And then boom. Bleh.

And I wasn’t even depressed. I was just so emotionally drained and exhausted mentally that I kept just wanting to curl up on the floor and not move. So, reinforcements making hot bread, I curled up before the TV and watched nature shows. Bleh. I don’t mind nature shows, but I really don’t enjoy not doing anything and watching TV. I like doing stuff.

So, tonight, after several episodes of ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ (I switched from nature shows), I dragged myself  up to my computer. Today’s episode of the story is courtesy of another day’s writing. All I did today was draw, and actually, the result isn’t too bad. I’m actually pretty pleased with it.

It has a lot of ‘bleh’-ness in it, is a sort of depressed piece. I think it fits the story (in the future) because, omg how is Kuryo going to cope with finding out that TWO of his girlfriends died while he was away? I mean, right now Chaos isn’t reacting very well. I don’t expect Kuryo to do too much better. I mean, he might not completely break down, but then again, he might just be the kind of high-functioning suffering person. This, I have to say, gets me a bit down. The story is taking such sad turns! I usually really like writing happy stuff and now the two main characters are going to end the story grieving and the third main character is just – Missing in Action? Will Charr survive mentally or is she gone into the Academy forever? Agh! I actually feel that I miss Charr so much when writing Kuryo. I keep thinking how she’d kick him into gear, organize him, and it makes me think that they really are quite a pair that depends upon each other for a bunch of their functioning. So yeah, it makes me down a bit because they’re missing and needing each other and whyyyyy are they apart. And then that makes me think again of how Kuryo is going to miss Aaliyah and Jade and bleh. 😦

It also makes me seriously wonder how this story is going to end. I’ve just had one idea, but that would be super sad. Another idea is also super sad. And how in the blazing hells am I going to get there? Augh! Frustration! I feel like the story is going to have some epic clash/struggle and I’m sort of dreading writing it. I mean, I’m just not seeing how I’ll weave all this in together.

Anyways, I guess that’s enough of a rant. I hope y’all will be taking lots of care and staying at home (alone!). I’ll try and keep writing and drawing, and hope y’all will enjoy! Take care 🙂

crow kuryo.jpeg

Free Book (If you want it!) & Update

So I had tried to write a post last night, but like my writing it flopped. I just wasn’t able to write anything! So here I am, giving y’all an update.

I’ve been silent lately. I had a shit weekend and spent all of Monday in bed. Yuck. I kind of felt like Chaos, bedridden and miserable and moping (though much less upset/devastated). But all that’s over now. It’s been two days of happy feel-good energy! I’ve been writing, and the stories are coming together (ish) in a cohesive way. Things are good, life is good.

Covid – 19 hasn’t reached my area yet. A relative of mine works in the hospital and they apparently haven’t had any cases of it yet, so fingers crossed. Yes, I am self distancing, but that’s not a huge difference for me, honestly. I LOVE staying at home, you have to understand. When my knitting club and other obligations were cancelled, I was so happy. Now I literally just get to stay home and write. What more could I want?

Now, I’m not saying that quarantine is a cakewalk.  I know that, for many, this is a very upsetting, nevermind maybe disastrous situation. So! Like so many other authors and caring people are doing, let’s try and make the world a little happier in whatever way we can! For me, that means I’ll really try and upkeep Chaos and Kuryo’s story here for all to read. Maybe I’ll also be able to post some fun pictures and line art for coloring!

But, what I especially want to point out is that Kuryo’s first book (the original book behind all this long series) is up for pre-order on Amazon (I can’t remember if I’ve posted it here before). Now, I know that probably most of you are facing financial insecurity because of the virus. Due to this, if you CAN’T PAY FOR THE BOOK, email me at and I will send if to you for FREE.

It’s not a new policy for me, I’ve been saying this for some time. I really want people to read my books and if money is what stands between them and it, then I’ll gladly give the pdf away. Of course I’d love some fanart or a review or something fun in exchange, but I know that not everyone can do that. So really, if you want to read the book but can’t afford it, please tell me. I’d be glad to send it to you.

On the upside, what can you expect to learn from this book? Why should you read it? Well! This book was started two years ago by yours truly, and was also based off several dreams. It features Kuryo, Aaliyah, and Jade, and tells how they know each other and how, really, Kuryo is about to get their powers.

It’s basically the beginning of this saga, to put it bluntly. But, to put it poetically, it is the unwinding of a world and the breaking down of the limits of a mind in order for Kuryo’s power to bloom. I’m really super fond of this story, and really hope y’all will LOVE it.

One tiny (big) note: if (when!) you do read this novel, you’ll realize really fast (like, on page one) that Kuryo is referred to as ‘she’. OMG! What does this mean? Well, for those of you who haven’t been following along closely, Kuryo is transgendered. This novel happens pre-transition, pre-self revelation, and therefore pre-any male pronouns. In this novel, Kuryo self identifies as woman. However, since y’all KNOW that they become a ‘he’ and transition later, I’d love it if y’all could stick to male pronouns for Kuryo, or at least ‘they/them’, out of respect for all peoples who transition.

So, really, I’m SO looking forward to hear what y’all think about this book! It was supposed to come out later but I’ve changed the release date to be for this weekend (hopefully it works). Please please don’t be shy if you can’t afford it and email me at

Please also keep me updated on how y’all are doing! I really hope you’re all doing well and that you will have a great equinox tomorrow. Much love, y’all 🙂


Chaos & Kuryo (Novel 3) Chapter 5 Part 1

Kuryo’s POV

“So?” the silver being that was the Academy was still before me, tentacles wrapped about my waist and elbow propped painfully on my shoulder. I didn’t notice the pain too much though. I was more worried about how well I was getting along with this Academy.

“What are you thinking?” It whined, cocking its head to the side to peer at me.

I grinned half-heartedly. “Can’t you tell?” I wasn’t sure what I was thinking, myself. It was a confused jumble of emotions.

“I want a friend,” announced the Academy petulantly. “I’ve never had one. Will you be my friend?” But there was a flutter in the matter above us. It didn’t just like me, it ‘liked’ me. It had a crush on me.

Uhhhh – that revelation was weird. The Academy? Me? Wha-at?

“Well?” the academy insisted.

I avoided the question by stating the obvious. “You like me.”

A ridiculous blush came over the translucent skin, burning bright red over it. In answer, the Academy jumped off of me and up, crawling up the umbilical chord and swinging away into the darkness.

It was so fast that I just hung there and gaped. “Did I – say something?” I asked out into the darkness as I began to collect my wits. But there was no answer. Wow. Geez. Talk about childish.

“I am not childish!” shrieked down a pitched voice. I cringed, expecting it to throw something. But nothing. Nothing moved, nothing spoke.

“Sorry?” I ventured. But this time there was no answer. So I waited. I waited so long that my thoughts drifted to other things. Then my thoughts drifted, drifted, until I was thinking in the mind of the Academy, watching myself from above. Thinking of how cute I was. How strange and powerful – but caught now! There to play with-

I jolted back into myself, realizing where I had been.

“Oups,” chuckled the voice above me. I looked up, and that pale face was grinning down at me.

“How did I get up there?” I asked. But I knew, if I stopped to think about it. We were merging. Slowly, like molasses in cold water, but eventually the result would be homogenous –

“You just came on up,” said the Academy cheerfully. “Maybe you missed me.”

Was that their version of flirting? An idea struck me – but I refused to actually think it. I let the idea pass away so that it wouldn’t be loud in my mind.

“Am I going to die?” I asked, trying to keep my voice cheerful.

The Academy tilted their head to the side. Long strands of their hair tickled my face. “You’re going to become part of me. We’re going to be the same.”

“Then you’ll be all alone again,” I said, not even sure myself where I was going with this. My thought had been so brief that it wasn’t a wholly formed idea yet.

The face froze, crumbled, then vanished up into the darkness. Through the umbilical chord, I could feel that it was crying. I felt it because part of me was up inside there and crying too. The merging had begun.

I ducked my head and tried to be cheerful. “You know,” I said. “i think you’re cute too.” And with all my nerve, I summoned the feelings I felt for Chaos. They were cute to me. Clumsy, adorable, warm in my heart – I directed those emotions to the being up above me.

The crying stopped. It was probing my feelings. The face reappeared from the darkness, poking down at me. “You like me!” it crowed, holding out a fistful of silver strands at me.

Nausea rose in me. Were those my emotions there? I – okay? I forced down my panic at having my emotions held out before me. My literal heartstrings in someone else’s grip. In the Academy’s grip.

The being swung down, sliding down the chord to flip down so it was again perched on me. The tentacles hugged my stomach just a bit too tightly and the face was just a bit too close to mine – but I pushed the discomfort away, pretending I hadn’t felt it. I loved this being, I told myself, forcing myself to feel that emotion rising up within my chest.

Because the Academy was probing in me, grinning but checking me out from the inside.

“You do like me!” it squealed, bouncing up and down. “You do!”

“Yes,” I said it so truthfully it felt real. “I do.”

We kissed. There really wasn’t much I could do about it. The Academy was hugging me, squishing my head in its tiny little hands. I punched down revulsion and drew up happiness at the blink of an eye, made myself feel warm and loving –

“No one’s ever kissed me before!”

I chuckled, saying the first kind thing that came to mind. “You are very alone.”

The Academy pouted. “She never lets me meet anyone.”

Ah. “Who is she?” and then, the real question “And, who are you?” I kept my mind curious, playful, and warm towards the being before me.

It propped its’ elbows on my shoulders, pouting with its bottom lip out. “She’s the one who goes around and tells me to shut up all the time! She’s – well you saw her. She takes the bodies. She came here to laugh at you.” Tears suddenly welled in the beings’ eyes. “Do you think she’s going to forbid us?” The bottom lip wobbled dangerously.

“Maybe,” I said, feeling my plan tickle the back of my mind. I ignored it, following my instinct instead. “She doesn’t seem very nice.”

A large tear rolled down the Academy’s cheek. They sniffled loudly. “She tells me to shut up.”

I drew up on pity- and instantly saw the smile as my feelings were grasped at from somewhere within me. “You understand me,” the being crowed.

I nodded. “I think I do. There’s two of you?”

“But we’re one,” she moaned, flopping her head to the side. “When she sleeps, we, sort of.” and that was where they left it, word-wise. But in their mind, I felt something. The meshing of two minds, the respite of sleep –

“You’re the subconscious,” I said, realization snapping into place in my mind. “And she’s the conscious.”

“Mmmh, yeah,” she mumbled.

“So she’s logical, and you’re the suppressed emotions,” I said softly, again willing myself to feel pity for this creature. It nodded, teary eyes staring starrily at me. Again, I felt it was collecting – or maybe feasting – off of my feelings. It was drawing such satisfaction from being pitied.

I bit my lower lip. Something hung in the balance but I couldn’t let myself think about it. I just plunged ahead, thoughtless and on instinct so that I was unreadable.

“I feel myself in you,” I blurted. “We’re alike, you know.”

The Subconscious grinned at that. I forged on, licking my lips hesitantly. “I don’t want to die. And I don’t think you want me to die either. You’ll be all alone again!”

“You won’t die, you’ll just,” it left its words trail away.

“Losing who you are is a kind of death,” I whispered.

“But she wants you to be digested. She’ll be much stronger with you, we both will be. The world will crumble and they – they won’t be able to resist us any longer.”

I didn’t wonder who ‘they’ were. I assumed it was the Rebellion. Why they’d be causing the Academy a headache was beyond me. They’d never been that good at much.

“But I love you,” I whispered. I drew a sharp breath, watching the stars burst happily, feeling the joy in the subconscious before me. I echoed that feeling in myself as best I could. “And we haven’t had any time together. It’s not fair.”

The subconscious hung her head, lip wobbling dangerously. I leaned forward to press my cheek against theirs. “Let’s run away together,” I whispered.

“What?” the subconscious gasped. But I didn’t draw back, keeping our faces together. They liked that.

“Not for long,” I said. “Let’s just have a honeymoon. A few months- lets say three. That’s a nice time. We can travel, we can-” I faltered. I felt dismay, hurt, and pain straight through my heart. It was the pain of the being before me. We were so close that we were feeling each other as if we were already one.

I wasn’t sure who was the confused one and who was the sad one anymore. But, somehow, I knew we both wanted out. “Let’s just go,” I pleaded. “We can come back after. We’ll be one then, and we can reintegrate with the Academy then.”

“You promise?” it pleaded, looping its arms around my neck and holding tight. “You’re not trying to manipulate me?”

“I promise,” I whispered. “We’ll be good. We’ll come back.”

The subconscious gulped, then nodded. “Okay,” they whispered tearily. Then, in a fit of giggles they added. “I’ve never traveled before.”

“You’ll be in me,” I murmured. “You’ll be safe.”

“Okay,” it whispered, voice trembling. It was unsure, frail in this new path. “How do we do this?”

“You set me free,” I murmured, looking into those clear blue eyes that seemed white. “Then we run.”

They giggled nervously. “Okay.”

“Okay?” I said.

“Okay!” They nodded. They scrambled up me, up the chord, and into the darkness. With no warning the umbilical chord suddenly snapped loose. I tumbled down, shifting into crow shape instinctively. I floated down, fluttering into the darkness to feel a cool floor tile.

With a graceless thud the subconscious landed beside me on its side. They blinked and rattled themselves, then looked at me with a huge grin. “Let’s go!” It squealed.

And for a second, I hesitated. I could have just flown off and left them. But I didn’t so much think that as I echoed the thought from them.

Their face crushed as they saw my hesitation, feeling the thought take full form in their mind. Had I tricked them?

I shifted back into human form, crouching beside the form. They were really tiny. Fragile. Like a child. I took their shoulder gently, feeling the throbbing pain within them. A wordless pain sat between us.

If it wasn’t for that, the pain of betrayal, I would have left. But I had given my word. So things went differently.

“Climb onto my shoulders,” I said gently. “Let’s go. Together.”

Chaos & Kuryo (Novel 3) Chapter 3, Part 2

Chaos’s POV

“Kuryo can NOT be transgender,” I blurted. “I’ve seen him naked!” Among other things! Hey, I was even in that body and I didn’t realize it wasn’t 900% male by birth.

“Yeah, so have we,” said Aaliyah flatly. “He’s had surgery. That’s all. Don’t make such a big deal of it.”

“Yeah,” muttered Jade as if I was a kid throwing a tantrum. And maybe I was. I mean, in the scale of things this was pretty small, but –

“Why didn’t he tell me?” I fairly yelled. “I mean-” my hands waved around. I caught myself guppy-fishing with my mouth. “He never told me!” My hands dropped down into my lap. I felt miserable. Hurt. Abandoned!

“Just,” muttered V2. “Maybe he didn’t want you to know.”

Ow. Ouch. That hurt. I pressed a palm over my heart, where it was bleeding on the inside. I took a deep breath – and realized everyone was staring at me grumpily.

“This is really not the biggest problem we have,” said Aaliyah flatly.

“Yeah but,” hello? Need time to process?

“Lookit,” V2 held up the black box. “I have the black box. I’m going to go back and try and save Charr, my Charr. If you want, I can keep an eye out for your Kuryo too.” He said that with all the enthusiasm of someone who wanted to go deep sea diving with starving sharks.

“And we’re supposed to do what?” Aaliyah jiggled the bottle of whiskey. “Just sit around and drink? We’re coming with you.”

V2 pressed his lips together tightly and gave her a leveled, mature, look of disapproval. “The rebellion doesn’t take well to strangers. At best you’ll be seen as spies. You should stay here -”

I snatched the black box from him. “Who’s coming with me?” I asked, jumping up.

“Hey!” V2 jumped up, but I flicked a sword out between us. Nuh-uh, buddy.

V2 gave me another look that was, I don’t know, supposed to remind me to be mature? I put the black box around my neck all while keeping him at bay with the tip of my sword. “I’m going to find Kuryo,” I said loudly. “And I’m going to see what can be done about the Academy, whatever that problem is.” Because guess what?! No one ever explained what that was to me either! No one told me anything!

Like hell I was going to let myself be ‘temporary’. Or disposable. I was going to figure everything out and wring an apology from Kuryo for not having told me, ME!, that he was trans.

“You haven’t the slightest idea what you’re doing!” said V2, just a teensy bit furious, as I tugged the black box down around my neck. “Do you even know how that thing works?”

“Uh, yeah?” I fibbed as I looked around at the very nonplussed Aaliyah and Jade. They hadn’t even gotten up. They just looked on, expecting me to sit down and be proven wrong. I’d show them! Hadn’t I been in Kuryo’s body when something something, travel something? I was quite sure we’d traveled together once.

Let me see. I looked down at the box, remembering what it had felt like to travel within Kuryo, to feel the –

The room disappeared as the smooth feeling of travel overcame me. Of feeling the world pass you by, slip away, and the stars whirling around you.

Oh, shit, I thought dimly. I don’t even have shoes on.


Kuryo’s POV

I didn’t so much wake up as I gradually grew more and more conscious. I felt a low throbbing hum around me, a pulse if you will. Light glowed, not quite blinding but not quite comfortable either. It was a strange light. Synthetic. I couldn’t feel it like I usually felt the aether. This was lifeless light.

That thought jogged me from my stupor. Lifeless light? Light, energy, was supposed to be alive. It was life – but here it wasn’t.

I was suspended in what felt like a straight jacket, arms wrapped around myself and feet dangling straight down, suspended by a chord that seemed to be reaching up out of my spine at the base of my neck. All around me, at first glance, was a mist full of firefly-like lights. They sparkled, glimmered, and shifted slowly from here to there. But at second glance, there was more of us. To my left and right and all around, there were other shapes dangling in the mist, still and inert. I could not see the chords that they hung suspended from, but I had to look up.

My chord, if I arched my head back far enough, looked eerily like an umbilical chord. It was thick and fleshy, pulsating with life – life? I squinted, trying to see farther, but there were no lights above me, only ones beside and beneath. Okay. But there was a life and that I could work with. I closed my eyes, letting my feelings shift, letting my soul reach out. I ran my senses through myself, where I sensed the umbilical chord having attached itself to my spine, into me. It was like a soul that was piggy-backed onto me, if piggy backing merged you together like veins twisting into you.

Okay, that was gross. But I kept looking, sensing this frail soul, this fraction of a being that was just a thin tendril reaching up and up, connected to something beyond. Something that felt – broken. Shattered. In a million fragile pieces. Familiar. Far too familiar, like looking in a mirror when you’re not expecting it.

It took me a moment to recognize the academy’s soulprint. Once I did, it sensed me, in a sort of strange reflection of my sensing it.

For a moment, we looked at each other. Not with our eyes, but with our senses, probing at each other. For me, it was like looking at a tumor you had cast off. It was gross, disheveled, and broken and bleeding. Yet it was connected to me and I sensed it sensing me – like looking into a mirror reflecting a mirror. It was dizzying.

“You’re awake,” said another voice. Familiar too – but not bad.

Charr? I looked down, finding myself incapable of speech. My voice just wouldn’t work.

But there, beneath me, a ray of light beamed in as if from a door, except I knew there was no door. There was just a sliver of self-importance that shone down upon this being.

It was Charr, but there was blue gleams to her hair. Her eyes too, gleamed blue. The academy had chosen her, then, to carry it.

“Hello,” it said in Charr’s coldest voice. “How are you?”

It felt like my jaw was unhinged on command. I was ordered to speak. Irritated, I didn’t want to. But really, I wanted to. So I did.

“What the fuck?” I asked. “Seriously?”

Charr chuckled. “Seriously?” she echoed. She put fingers to her chin as if meditating deeply on my words. “Seriously,” she repeated. “I think we are very serious. Wouldn’t you say so?”

I rolled my eyes and kicked at the air. Nothing really moved. I felt bonds going down my legs, even on my ankles so my feet couldn’t flex. It was ridiculous. Okay, think. I had the Academy here (in Charr!), I had to get into its head.

“Ah- ah-ah,” Charr lifted a finger. “I heard that thought.”

I cursed under my breath. Charr chuckled eerily, crossing her arms across her chest with a satisfied grin. “I like this,” she announced, and I could feel the satisfied smugness through the presence above me. It was all connected, all throbbing with the same fragile life. But somewhere, if I focused really hard – there had to be a piece of Charr.

“Oh no, no, no, don’t think she’s going to rescue you,” the Academy sneered, lifting its chin arrogantly. “She’s been taken care of.”

“What?” I yelped. “What do you mean?”

Charr’s head tilted with that grin. “She was too much trouble. You know, you I like to gloat to. Her, well, she’s just a failed shield. I don’t want her sticking around. She helped you escape last time, you know. You’re pretty useless without her.”

“What did you do to her?” I yelled, jerking against my bonds. “You-” but I stopped, the laughter suddenly coming from so many different angles that it hurt my ears. It felt like the whole world was laughing at me.

The laughter dimmed into cackles from above. Charr wiped a tear from her eye and giggled. “Ah, this is fun. I’m glad I’ve kept you alive. Just for this.”

“To gloat? That’s all I’m here for? To stroke your ego?”

Charr shrugged. “Gotta get our strokes somehow.” and then she giggled at her own joke. I was nonplussed. My heart was hammering in my chest and my ears were ringing. Charr. I couldn’t sense her within the body. Had she been put safely aside for later use? Or was she… recycled?

Okay, time to think – but she was in my head so- no time to think?

“I want you here for your power,” sighed Charr. “You should know that already. You remember how souls can be like batteries? Well you’re a powerful one and I’m also taking you apart to use you to rebuild myself. So take that!”

Uh, kay. That made sense but … my mind drew a blank. I didn’t know what to ask, or how to weasel my way out of this.

“Because you can’t!” sang Charr, twirling on herself and doing a little dance step. “You’re stuck! Welcome to limbo, asshole!”

I would ask ‘what did I ever do to you’, but I knew all too well. Time to try another avenue. “Isn’t there some way we can work together?” I asked hopefully. “I’m in a bind here, you see?”

The dumb joke landed, and it made the Academy laugh. Wow.

“Nice try!” said Charr. “But I’m not an idiot! You stay here and rot!”

The light around her blinked out. Her presence vanished. I was alone again. Well. Alone.

I looked up again, at the throbbing presence above me. I should have been worrying about Charr, life, and hunger, but all I could wonder was ‘where are we?’.

Chaos & Kuryo (Novel 3) Chapter 3, Part 1

Chaos’s POV

“Okay, but we’ve got to do something,” was the most constructive I could get.

Aaliyah and Jade had tried summoning the principals. I’d even tried praying to the great beyond. No such luck. No magic was manifesting. We were just – here. Stuck.

But we were running out of steam. It was now early afternoon. I should be finishing my work shift. Kuryo should be coming home from school. Charr- should be telling us all that we were lazy.

I wanted to bawl. My little family was in tatters around me. If there was something, anything, that I could do, I’d do it without a blink. But there was nothing to do.

“For fuck’s sake,” groaned Jade, who never swore. We were all around the coffee table, heads in our hands. Aaliyah had just given up on pacing. I was still holding off on the whole crying thing, but why I don’t know. There was nothing else to do!

“We should pick up the blood,” said Jade. “It’s not like the cops are going to come looking.”

Aaliyah frowned. “If they do, we really do need to pick up the blood.”

None of us moved.

Then, behold! Ask and ye shall receive!

Wham! There was a crackle in the universe! Pow! A ripple just moved through the air and I nearly barfed, it just felt so weird inside of my skin.

Someone appeared, landing on the edge of the coffee table between it and the wall. Someone with blue hair and a blue jacket and –

“Kuryo?!” we all yelled, jumping up to our feet collectively.

The figure straightened woozily. My heart pounded. Same haircut, different clothes but – the face was older by a few years. And plus, you know, he had a giant pair of crow wings he was stabilizing himself with as he staggered.

Jade and Aaliyah slumped. “Oh,” Jade said as we all realized at about the same time that this wasn’t our Kuryo.

“Uh?” he asked as he looked around at us. There was an anger, a tightness to his face. He was frowning like it had been cut into him to be that way.

“Who the fuck are you?” I practically, well, okay, did, yell at the top of my lungs. Everyone startled and got my point.

“Isn’t he-” Aaliyah asked.

“No he’s not! It was another one!” I hissed. This one didn’t look like he’d hit a gym for six years straight. This guy had shorter hair like our Kuryo and his clothes were… looking like a mix of high fashion meets space station. Yeah, and he had gloves on. Not that that meant anything but – “So who the fuck are you?” I demanded, furious. I’d had it! Someone was giving me answers!

This new kuryo – let’s call him V2 for the sake of simplicity – lifted a hand at me with the assurance of someone who was used to being listened to. “Calm down,” he ordered.

“Oh yeah?” I yelled, flicking my wrists so my swords flicked out.

V2 yelled wordlessly, jumping back. His giant wings flashed out and he was now in a crouch, ready to vanish.

“Chaos!” Aaliyah yelled. Then, in a blurr of gold there was this giant dragon before me, between me and V2. Or more like, there was this dragon with one foot in the coffee table, a wing nearly bashing out the lightbulb, and V2 was crushed up against the wall, emitting a small “Fuck!”

Jade’s voice floated over “Alrihgt, everyone just calm down.”

Aaliyah swung her giant head from me to V2, snorting. I nodded and sheathed my swords.”Okay, okay,” I muttered, holding up my hands now.

V2 muttered curses under his breath as Aaliyah returned to her normal harmless looking self. He stepped off the wall and shook his wings out.

“Okay, now you.” Aaliyah pointed to V2, then to the sofa. “Sit down.”

V2 did just that. Aaliyah looked at me and pointed to the other side of the smashed coffee table. “You sit too.”

I dropped down so hard it hurt. Crossed my arms and legs in a huff. There! Now what?

Like a coach scolding us, Aaliyah looked me and V2 over. Jade was like an aggravated parent, there for backup but not sure either what was going on.

“Alright,” Aaliyah said sharply. “you,” to V2. “Who are you and why are you here?”

V2 looked her up and down. With a sharp exhale he said “I’m Kay. Senior member of the Rebellion, shooter squad, and husband to Charr, the senate leader. I was just killed.”

“You’re obviously alive!” I yelled out.

“Chaos!” Aaliyah hissed. “Let him finish!”

V2’s eyes were growing wide. “Charr! They’re after her!” V2 was jumping back up to his feet. “I’ve got to get back! I’ve got to- there’s got to be a way to save her,” and he turned to us. “Send me back!”

We all looked at each other. You could have heard a penny drop.

“We didn’t summon you,” said Aaliyah.

V2 flapped his arms. “I don’t have the power to dimension travel! Someone sent me here! Whoever it is- send me back!”

“Hey,” Aaliyah said. “Our Kuryo just went missing yesterday, along with Charr. Maybe you were brought here for a reason.”

V2 glared at her, his voice rising a notch. “I don’t give a shit! I’ve got to get back to my wife and baby!”

I frowned and tightened my arms across my chest, hugging myself. Both Charrs were pregnant. There was another Kuryo who wasn’t Kuryo. Where the fuck was this going?

“Hey,” Aaliyah held up a hand. “You’re Kay? The version who tried to kill our Kuryo a few years ago? Through the rebellion?”

“Yeah, that’s me?” snapped V2.

“Then who was here yesterday? Who’s the third Kuryo?” Aaliyah asked. “I thought Kuryo had only met one version of himself before.”

“Don’t know, don’t care, send me back!” V2 nearly yelled, flapping his arms again.

Aaliyah gave him a dead serious look. “Check yourself for a black box.”

“Why would I have the black box on me?” snapped V2, but he began patting himself down. His face dropped as he patted one of his jacket pockets. Out he drew a black box on a black leather strap that looked suspiciously like the ones Charr and Kuryo used to have.

“Oh, shit,” moaned Jade as V2 paled.

“What?” I wailed. “What does that mean?” Because, obviously, I was the only one who didn’t understand.


“When the principals send out people to do their bidding, to fix screw-ups in this dimension, they give them black boxes to time and dimension travel,” said Aaliyah.

We were now all sitting around the shattered coffee table, passing around a bottle of whiskey. Jade took two strong gulps before passing it around. V2 sniffed it then handed it over to me with a repulsed look. I gulped it, swallowed the burn, then handed it to Aaliyah.

“So?” I croaked.

“So,” she took a swig of whiskey. “Our Charr and Kuryo were the ‘fixers’. Now they’re not, which tells us that they’re in trouble or dead for good. Also – there’s a new fixer, which means something is wrong. He was sent here, which means we’ve got something to do with it.”

I blinked and tried not to absorb the bad while still getting the point. That meant I pretty much ignored the whole thing. “So?” I repeated like an unhappy parrot.

“Kuryo and Charr are in serious trouble and someone actually needs to go rescue them,” Jade snapped. “That’s what.”

I smacked a palm onto the table. “Then let’s do this!”

V2 looked at me like I was a dumb, dumb, plum. “The Academy is coming back to life,” he said deadpan. “It’s probably got them by now.”

Jade snorted whiskey up her nose. “What?” said Aaliyah.

“It sent something to attack us.” V2 paused. “I’m not sure what they are. But,” and he fiddled with a chipped piece of the table. “They bargained for Charr. They offered a peace treaty in exchange for her.”

“Charr?” I barked.

V2 nodded miserably. “Just her.”

“And what did you do?” I asked.

V2 glared at me. “We declared war. And I’m quite sure we’re losing. I was just hoping Charr would be able to give birth before we were captured.”

There was a heavy pause in the air. Aaliyah looked down into the whiskey bottle as if it was a source of wisdom. “So – you think the Kuryo who was here yesterday, brought our Kuryo to the academy?”

“Pretty sure, yeah,” V2 nodded.

“What’s up with the pregnancy though?” I asked. “The other Charr was pregnant too. What’s that got to do with anything?”

V2 looked around. “I don’t know,” he admitted. “The baby was kind of a surprise for us. We’d stopped taking sperm sponsors a while ago-”

“Sperm sponsors?” I asked loudly. Maybe the whiskey was hitting a bit.

V2 made a face at me. “Well yeah!” he snapped, bristling. “I can’t really father the child, now can I?”

I just sat there, deadpan confused. “Why not?” Testicles blown off?

“Because I’m, transgender?” said V2 testily. “Like your Kuryo?”

My jaw hit the floor. “Kuryo is what?” I shrieked.

Chaos & Kuryo (Novel 3) Chapter Two, Part One

Kuryo’s POV

I walked into the apartment with a clear mind. A calm soul.

Alright, part of me wanted to freak but – I was me. I had defeated the Academy. I could take this.

Then I saw my other self.

Kay looked older. His hair had grown out and he had gained muscle mass. But there was still that resting bitch face. He was standing with his arms crossed, planted between Charr and – a very pregnant Charr in a black dress.

I figured that was a good place to start. Considering that a) she was actually still alive in this reality and b) the baby and her had both made it.

“You’re pregnant!” I cheered, dropping my bag to the ground and stepping forward. “Congratulations!”

“Thanks,” that Charr and Kay said, deadpan and without cheer. My Charr gave me a warning look, but I wasn’t sure what it meant. So I walked into the living room and leaned on the counter that split it from the kitchen. “So?” I asked.

“I’m pregnant,” said Charr, stating the obvious.

“Congrats,” I said, gesturing at her with a fake grin. Something was wrong. Her and Kay had been wanting a baby, last dimension ago. Hadn’t they?

A look of meaning was passed between that Charr, Kay, my Charr, and then to me and then – to Chaos. Who was standing beside me with a bright smile, completely missing out on the gravity of the situation.

Charr form this dimension cleared her throat. “Chaos, maybe you could go to AJ’s?”

You know things are bad when she used that dumb acronym. Chaos’s cheery face fell into dismay. I nodded. “Why don’t you?”

Trust Chaos to take a hint like a sledgehammer of drama. “But I’m part of the situation too!” They wailed. “I’m not just -”

“Just go,” snapped Kay.

“Please,” I whispered.

Chaos stormed out, slamming the door shut behind him. I sensed that I’d get an earful of this later. But that was another battle. For now, I looked around expectantly. All eyes landed on Charr, the pregnant one.

“I’m pregnant,” she announced.

“Con-grats?” I offered for what, the third time?

Kay and her speared me with their eyes. “I’m not the dad,” Kay announced angrily. “I can’t be.”

“Well, yeah,” I muttered awkwardly. I was trans, Kay was trans, it seemed to be a cross-dimensional thing. But uh? So?

The pregnant Charr gave me a nasty look. “I don’t know who else it could be,” she said savagely.

Well this uh, “Okay?” I managed, glancing at my Charr. Help? This sounded like a couple’s fight about to break out?

“They don’t know who the baby came from,” said my Charr calmly. “And someone’s trying to kill it.”

“It’s not a normal baby!” the pregnant Charr hissed. “I can hear it thinking!”

“Wait, wait, someone’s trying to kill it?” I asked.

“The baby is special!” Charr-from-another-dimension began crowing, in an anxious and wound up kind of way. Her arms wrapped around her belly. “It’s got powers!”

“Uh-” I said.

“I think it’s evil,” said Kay flatly. “And we think it might be from the Academy.”

The pregnant Charr burst into tears.

“Uh,” I said, awkward as could be.

“If you could-” Charr was trying to catch her breath as she sobbed. Tissues were passed along and she took one. Then two. “If you could feel the baby! You can tell us who it is?”

I just stood there. That Charr pointed at herself. “Come into my body! Feel it! Tell me who it is!”

I glanced at my Charr, who made a non-committal face. “Okay?” I said gingerly. “I uh,”

Kay, now perched beside Charr, glared at me like I had better hop to it and do it, and do it well. Or he’d butcher me.

So I did. I stepped gingerly to Charr’s side and sat on the armrest of the couch. I put a hand on her shoulder. “I’m just gonna,” I said softly.

“Do it!” she fairly yelled at me.

I stretched a part of myself into her. The presence that radiated from within her was nearly overwhelming. How I hadn’t felt it before- it was dormant was why. It wasn’t fully awakened. But it was there, powerful and present.

It didn’t take a genius’s head to recognize it. I drew back as quickly as I could, slipping wholly back into my body.

“It’s not the Academy,” I said with relief.

For a second, I swore I saw Kay smile. Charr exhaled, a hand resting on her stomach.

“Then who is it?” asked the other Charr from the kitchen.

I grinned at her. Chaos was going to be so happy. “It’s God.”