“Just More Chaos”: Chapter Six, Part One

I stood to one side of the hallway, waiting. Not because I wanted to, but because I had been asked to. Charr had stomped into my tiny room and said “He wants to see you,” and had marched out, with her hand attached to my collar. In other words, she hauled my sorry ass all the way into the medic ward, and left me here to wait. Now my neck hurt, and I felt clutzy. It wasn’t FoxFace (she wasn’t a he), but rather Conan who supposedly wanted to see me.

So I crossed my arms and waited. If I hadn’t almost killed the guy I wouldn’t still be here. But – I guess I owed it to him?

Anyways, I was there when Charr walked him out, half supporting him and half trying to murder me with her eyes.

“Hey,” I said, holding up a hand.

He managed to lift a hand, the other arm wrapped around his stomach, which was bandaged. He was wearing jeans, but no shirt. How did he still look good despite looking so sickish? I hated him more.

Charr planted him on the wall beside me, where he leaned on it with a grimace. Then she walked away with a scowl at me.

The minute the door to the stairs closed, Conan turned his attention to me. “So,” he said.

I raised my eyebrows. He continued “We’re doing this. Right here, right now. Why do you hate me?”

“I don’t,” I mumbled unconvincingly.

He shook his head. “There was five other vampires but you attacked me. Why? What have I done to you?”

I looked away, down the hall. Then I shook my head. “I don’t have to explain to you. First of all, there was three vampires, not five. Second, you were in the way. Happy? I’m done.” and I picked myself off the wall and began walkign away.

A hand on my shoulder – but I shrugged it off and kept going without looking back.

“Hey!” he called after me.

But that was it. I didn’t owe him anything else. Nope, no, his so-good-looking ass could manage fine without me.

I had a hand on the stairwell’s door when he grabbed me with his powers. It was like a giant vice over my entire body. Slowly, I began sliding backwards.

“You asshole!” I shouted, whirling around. He had one hand lifted and a smug look on his face. I stomped over to him, lifting a fist to his face. “Want me to try again?” I yelled.

He was nonplussed. As always. Where did he get that nerve from? Especially for someone who couldn’t fight! “You don’t like me,” he said. “But why?”

I shook my hands over his shoulders, resisting rattling him but that might hurt his stitches. “I don’t like you!” I said stupidly, but that was all I could manage that would make sense.

“Keep going,” he said too calmly. I wanted to punch him. Just to get a rise out of him.

“You’re so friggin’ irritating!” I snapped, shaking my hands in the air beside my shoulders, feeling ready to snap. “Just stay out of my face!”

That smug look turned smugger. “You like me,” he said nastily. I realized in a flash that he already knew it, and was just choosing now to wave it around.

So I punched him. So he fell. Big deal.

Uhm, well, I kind of felt guilty as he groaned on the floor. I stepped to his side and crouched down.

“You’re annoying,” I said half-heartedly.

He looked up at me, propped up on an elbow with the side of his face all red. “You’re such a jerk,” he said.

I snorted. “You’re the one who pulled me on, saying all ‘oh you like me’.” I quoted him in the most annoying pitch I could manage.

“You do,” he said sharply. “I can read it in you.”

I blanked. Oh, shit. “You can read minds?” It was my feeble attempt at changing topic.

“I control energy,” he said with a grimace as he sat up. “So I can read a few general signs. Like,” He brushed his hair from his face. “You like me. A lot.”

I looked away with a huff. “Alright. Now you’re just begging to be punched,” I said but there was no (hah!) punch to it.

His hand gripped my shoulder. “Help me up.”

I scowled at him. He looked back, unflinching. Rolling my eyes and cursing under my breath, I did actually help him up. He hissed, held his stomach, but got up.

“You know, you almost cut me in half,” he said.

“Still not sorry,” I said snarkily. “You talk too much.”

He laughed. His hand stayed on my shoulder. I looked at him. “You’ve got a girlfriend,” I said, not exactly un-jealous but certainly not, well, I was upset.

“We’re open,” he said in the way people do when they’re trying not to laugh at you. I gawked at him. He chuckled and patted me on the shoulder. Then he began making his way down the hallway, a hand on the wall.

I was rooted to the spot, brain trying to digest that. If he and her- did that mean -? I whirled around. “Hey!” I shouted at his retreating back. “What do want? I mean – what’s your point? Why did you?”

He stopped and glanced over his shoulder. “Don’t I talk too much?”

I cursed and stalked over to him. He smirked at me. I reached to rattle him, but stopped myself at the last moment. I pocketed my hands. “Why are you messing with me?” I snapped, putting on my best glare.

“I’m not,” he said. “But you’re the one throwing a tantrum.”

I rolled my eyes so hard it hurt. “Get over yourself,” I muttered.

“Or you could do that,” he said cheekily.

I flushed, angry and embarrassed all at the same time. “Okay, you – what do you want? You want to get me mad? Fine! I’m mad!”

“I actually didn’t want you mad; but that’s like, your default setting?”

I snorted and looked aside. Yeah, I was always upset these days. So what? Life wasn’t a cakewalk.

He patted me on the shoulder. I scowled at him. “Be less of a jerk,” he said sweetly. “And then maybe we can date. Okay?”

My jaw fell. He looked ready to laugh at me again. I fled, turning and darting away as fast as I could walk without running.

Ranger’s Story – Chapter Two Part One

Now in this part, we get to meet Ryo (I think it’s actually supposed to be pronounced with an ‘l’ instead of an ‘r’). No picture today because I’m tired and it’s late. But I will hopefully post a picture of him sooner or later! He’s an old character too. If we were to put everyone in sequence of age, Ranger and Mars would be oldest, followed by Ursula and Allegra then Ryo. Lenda is by far the youngest, being only a few years old, compared to Ranger being a character from my childhood (really! Parts of this story are that old!). As much as Ryo is important, I’m not sure what to say about him. He’s funky, in so many ways Allegra’s opposite, all while sharing the same core elements as her. He’s definitely nowhere on the ‘normal person’ spectrum, being way off on the horizon of weirdos that I love to write about. That being said, no spoilers! One day I would love to write the backstory of Allegra and Ryo, so I don’t want to say too much and give it all away. But ahhhh, I want to say it all!

I really hope you all enjoy this chapter! 🙂

///////

It was the middle of the night when Allegra and her team of cronies rolled down a dusty country road that, seemingly, led straight off a cliff. Not even a warning sign!

Now, really, the lack of a sign was a sign in itself. It showed that this road was not exactly touched by the government’s meddling hyper-organizing touch. It showed that that old picket there? Well if you slowed next to it like Allegra was doing and held your wrist out, a light flashed and it beeped. Then, with a rustle and groan, a slab slid out from the cliff’s edge. It functioned like a very risky elevator, what with there being no walls and all. It always gave Lenda the creeps, being perched above the gaping maw of this cliff with no walls to hold her in.

Without a ding the platform had reached its destination. It was a hole, a cavern in the rock wall that looked like little more than a nook. Ah but it was a hologram!

Very expensive, all this. One might wonder how it came to be? Well here’s the thing. It was a pre-Ursula secret training base for special forces soldiers. Ursula had taken it over for her special force (the ‘Bats) and they, well, gave it a makeover.

It did not appear like much in the hangar where they parked their motorcycles. There, it was merely a hangar. But when they slipped through a door on the side and entered the base de facto, ah, all that grease and iron tang was left behind.

Imagine, if you will, that your esoteric aunt had joined the militia. That was sort of the ‘vibe’ of the place.

For crystals were set in nooks in the wall as energy sources. Military vows lined the walls right next to them. There was an aura of energy and magic to the air that one could sense like a crackle in the veins, amplified by the steel structures.

And yet Allegra was not pleased. The energy was not what it could be, was not at its peak performance. There was dust on the crystals, garbage in the pails.

No one noticed her slight frown of displeasure. For the ‘Bats were largely out of shape intuitively and really, they thought Allegra would be happy at how they survived without her. When Allegra reached the mess hall where the rest of the other fifty some odd ‘Bats were waiting for her, there was nothing but open joy in the air. They didn’t notice that her smile seemed strained, that she seemed largely annoyed at the fuss they were throwing about her return. She kept casting her eyes around, searching for someone who she knew wasn’t there. She, with her heightened senses (more on this later) could smell that he wasn’t in the room.

After an obligatory hour and a half of presence, Allegra excused herself. She was tired and, clapping Alex on the shoulder, announced that tomorrow was going to be a big day! Those near her cheered, thinking that she would be so pleased to know all that they had done!

And so Allegra slipped away, heading in the direction of the rooms for officers. And yet when she was sure no one was following her, she took the elevator and pressed the button for the lowest level.

The lowest level was the safest in case of an invasion, being quietly tucked away. It also had the swiftest evacuation maneouvers to do, what with a flight of stairs leading straight out into a hidden network of caves. Because here, in the lowest and most secret level, was the laboratory. It was sealed off from the rest of the base by a set of protective doors. Again, Allegra showed her wrist, and she was allowed through.

Cubicles and computers were shunted to one side. Technology and motorcycle pieces to the other. Laboratory this and that in the middle with air chutes. And, tucked as far away as could be, with a small partition to shelter him from the day-to-day bustle of the laboratory, was Ryo.

He was slim, frail and lithe. His cheekbones jutted and his brown eyes glimmered with sickness. If he were to stand, he would be Allegra’s height. But he was sitting, loosely wrapped in deep green harem pants and a brown-orange prayer shawl. Prayer beads were on his wrist.

Allegra didn’t knock, merely leaning against the partition and crossing her arms. Ryo didn’t look up. He was sitting, a needle in his arm while medication dripped in through a saline solution. A scent of incense surrounded him but to Allegra, it wasn’t enough to cover the stench of medication and sickness.

“That’s more than you used to take,” she said in a low tone.

Ryo nodded, pressing his lips together. He looked up from the corner of his eye. “Anxiety,” was all he said.

Allegra shifted. One step closer, and she reached to stroke his hair. Her fingers caressed down the scar on his cheek, then turned his chin to face her. “I’m back,” she said firmly.

A smile ghosted over his lips. “Yeah,” he said softly. He leaned into her touch, relaxing visibly. She stepped closer, sliding her arms around his shoulders in an embrace.

They stayed like that, embracing for a moment. Allegra rubbed his shoulders and Ryo closed his eyes. “I wanted to ask you something,” he said softly, so quietly others might not have heard it.

A smile curved Allegra’s lips. “Hmm?” she hummed, still holding him close.

He drew back. Took her hands in his. His smile sparkled up at her, but there was fear in his eyes. “Will you marry me?” he asked in that same, quiet, tone.

Allegra’s eyebrows jumped off her forehead. Her dangerous eyes widened. She didn’t say anything.

Ryo flustered. “Please?” he offered.

Allegra was in no mood for ‘please’. “You wanted to become a monk,” she said dryly. “That was the plan.” That some day he would leave her for solitude, peace, and inner growth.

He bowed his head over their hands. She hadn’t let go yet. “I’ve been a monk for three years,” he murmured, caressing her hands in his. “And I’ve missed you so much.”

Allegra’s face softened. Ryo took a deep breath. “I want to marry you,” he insisted. “I’ve thought about it, I’ve meditated on it,”

Allegra’s eyebrows were now amused. When Ryo said he meditated on something, that meant it was serious.

“And I-I,” he faltered, looking up at her again. “Won’t you say something?”

Allegra turned wry. She was sorely tempted to give Ryo back one of his speeches on the virtues of monastic life and its importance in one’s life cycles. But she was better than that. “Yes,” she said pointedly. “I’ll marry you, my monk.”

Ryo’s face lit up. “Really?”

“Yes,” Allegra nodded sternly. “But no more talk about leaving me again.”

Ryo grinned, ducking his head. “Yes,” he said.

“Good,” Allegra tugged on his hands. “Get up. Someone’s going to be coming along.” She nodded at his arm. The medication had run its path. “Needle out first,” she ordered.

The needle came out. She helped him to his feet, looping one of his arms around her shoulder as if to half carry him.

But first, a kiss. A happy, passionate, kiss.

Then, Ryo wobbling and Allegra smiling, they made their way to her bedroom. There, they locked the world out. And we shall leave them there.

“My Name is Chaos 2”; Chapter Two, Part Two

“Okay, I know what we need to do.” Charr had retreated to the bedroom and was now reappearing fully dressed in a red flannel button-up shirt with black jeans. She picked up a pair of solid looking boots from near the door and began putting them on. “We need to go see the principals.”

“Who?” I asked.

“The principals? They used to run the Academy?”

I looked back blankly, holding out my hands. She shook her head. “There wasn’t an academy somewhere in your world?”

“We have schools, if that’s what you’re saying. A ton of them. That makes a ton of principals, by the way.”

She straightened, shaking her head. “The Academy was something different. Nevermind. We’ve got to go see them.”

Oh hey, wait a minute. I drew the sigil from my pocket. “I might be able to get back!” I exclaimed. “Hold on to me!”

With a frown she put her hand on my shoulder. I squeezed my eyes shut and visualized the sigil with all my might.

No nausea. No movement. No luck. I opened my eyes to see Charr looking grimly at me. We were still in her dinky apartment. She let go of my shoulder. “Seems like your bus pass doesn’t cover inter-dimensional travel,” she said with a hint of kindness. “Now come on.” She lifted a necklace from under her shirt, and at the end was a small black box. “We need to see the principals.”

Well her bus pass worked, so to speak. Within a blink, a burst of giddiness, and a whirl of darkness, we were on a beach. It was boiling hot, and that’s coming from someone who lived in hell.

“Oh hey!” there was two figures standing under a parasol, in suits. Suits? They looked like two government agents here to spy on what it means to have a good time. They had sunglasses, drinks, and one of them, the woman, had sequins and rhinestones on her suit. Her hair was chin-length, like almost every other woman in the universe seemed to have. The man had hair that swung down around his hips. Both were raven haired and atrociously pale. Vampires maybe?

The one with the sequins waved at us dramatically. “Darlings! I knew you’d be coming by!”

Charr didn’t even look around, she just marched towards them. I looked around. Where was this place? The sky – whoah. It was bright daylight down here, but up there – night sky. How? I looked around and yeah, there was ocean and beach and trees, no civilization in sight except for the drinks plopped in the sand in the shade.

“Where’s Kuryo?” Charr was asking her questions, but in my head I was all ‘where’s here’?

Deciding I wouldn’t figure out much on my own, I walked over to the trio. The woman in the sequins was laughing. “How should I know?” At my arrival, silence settled. The woman sucked in her breath. “Look,” she turned to Charr. “You can’t take something without leaving something else. A vaccuum gets created so -” she gestured to me “It’s kind of like a body swap.”

“We can send you,” said the man in a soothing tone to Charr. I got the feeling he was the nice, sympathetic one, while the woman was… the bozo?

“Oh, yeah,” said the woman emphatically. “we were telling you that there was work to be done in that dimension but no-o, who wanted to stay home and leave it all alone?”

“We’re not yours to send around! We have lives!” Charr snapped.

Both agents looked pitifully at Charr. The man held his silence pointedly, the woman did not. “Yeah, well you try and see how messy things get if no one does anything. So,” she combed her long bangs out of her face. “You want a ride or what?”

“Yes,” said Charr angrily. “And you help us get Kuryo back.”

“No we don’t interfere, you know that,” the woman said cheerfully. “It’s a law of the universe that the hearts remain detached-”

“Bullshit,” muttered Charr angrily.

The woman laughed. Charr bristled. I was uncomfortable. “Who are you all?” I asked pointedly. “Gods?” I tried to sound relaxed and detached, but everything in me was bristling. They didn’t feel like gods. They felt different somehow.

Again, the woman laughed. Charr ignored her with a scowl. “No they’re not,” she muttered angrily. “Look let’s just go? We can talk about this later.”

“Cheerio darlings!” said the woman, clapping a hand on each of our shoulders.

Just like that, the world lurched. I saw darkness, was gliding through silky darkness that curled around me like silky tendrils – then WHAM! I landed face-first in snow. Cold snow.

“Buh!” I floundered, trying to find my legs. My arms broke through a crust of hardened ice atop the snow and I felt like I was drowning. A world of blinding white was opened up before me with a crisp blue sky. I staggered to my legs. Where was my coat?

Charr was already on her feet, tense and looking around. Imitating her, I did the same, hoping to recognize the place. No such luck. We were in a non-descript valley dotted with pine trees around the edges. Farmhouses were visible on the horizon, where a mountain rose. “We’re uh, probably somewhere near the vampire territory.”

Charr gave me a dark look. “Is that near where Kuryo is?”

I nodded. “Someone will have sensed our arrival- either the military or Bella. We can just wait here and we’ll get picked up soon.”

“By whom? Which one do we need?”

I balked. Uh, I wasn’t sure? “Well I’d rather go see Bella, and you want to see your boyfriend so,” I shrugged. “We hope for vampires?”

Charr gave me a narrow look. “You don’t seem like you have a plan.”

I grinned nervously.

“Dreaming of Lights” ~ Introduction

“Dreaming of Lights” is a story that requires introduction, in my mind.  Just like “My Name is Chaos”, “Dreaming of Lights” is inspired by dreams, several of them, that I mashed together in a strange way. I tried to make sense of captivating confusion, if you will. That being said, there is some things to point out.

Kuryo, the main character, is a name that came to me in one of these dreams. I searched on the all-knowing internet, and it’s basically ‘Goryeo’ (that’s how it should be pronounced too), which is the old name for feudal Korea. If I’m wrong, someone fact-check me with sources, but that’s what I found. So yes, Kuryo is probably ethnically Korean in the story (which is in another world with unnamed continents because it doesn’t matter to the story). But for all of you who are like ‘wait, in the first chapter Kuryo refers to themselves as being ‘dirt colored” – but Koreans are pale?!

Uh, skin whitening creams are a big deal in that part of the world (and many other ‘Asian’ countries as well), and pop stars are really no reference. There are dark-skinned Asians, but you probably won’t be seeing them on TV due to internalized racism and ‘white-washing’.

Speaking of racism, I did try and keep racist slurs and junk like that out of this story, but I felt it was important for Kuryo to reflect a bit of internalized racism, as they would have been exposed to so much of it, and the class structure of the story is kind of important, at least to me.

You will also notice that I keep referring to Kuryo (one of the two main characters) as ‘they’. That’s because of the characters’ gender is … particular throughout the story and I find it simpler and spoiler-free to say ‘they’.

So what else do you need to know before reading about “Dreaming of Lights”? Well, it’s my little brain baby. It’s a story I whipped up within a year (all 100,00+ words of it!) and churned out with quite some intensity. It fascinated me. I love it, and sincerely hope you will too.

As I mentioned, I have my whole rough draft all written down. Now I need to edit it, which I will be doing slowly. As I edit I will post it here, and once it is completely finished I will publish it on Smashwords or Amazon and maybe even AO3.

So please, read along and do comment plenty! Let me know what you think, what you like and don’t like, and get involved! I love interacting and talking about my novels, so please drop a comment or two!

“Dreaming of Lights” Chapter One, Part One

Kuryo

Kuryo! Kuryo!”
I ducked and ran. No, that wasn’t me! Totally not my name!

I saw you!” the vendor shouted, who also happened to be my neighbor, so even if I got away now I wasn’t really getting away.

Late for school!” I shouted over my shoulder in guise of a terrible excuse.
Behind me, the dirty street was nearly empty. It was too early for the druggies to be out of bed and most of the drunks were home sleeping their hangover off. A thin, cold, mist hung over the earth, soaking through my pant legs and making my boots skid over the damp sidewalk.

Thief!” the horrid neighbor shouted after me, as loud as he could. I didn’t care. Everyone knew I was a thief. Everyone, even my mother. She hung her head and nodded whenever someone came and yelled to her about it. She’d order me to give back whatever I stole- but I’d usually already eaten it. She’d get a good talking to from whomever it was (usually our crappy neighbor) and then she’d apologetically close the door. After that, I would get the silent treatment for a day or so. Then, the cycle might just repeat itself right away.
It wasn’t that Mom hadn’t taught me well, as everyone told her. It was that I saw the struggle in her eyes when I reached for a second helping of food. Once, there was no food for lunch. Then, I realized that yeah, I couldn’t eat twice at one meal – but oh look! A vendor!
Now, I never ate twice and mom knew why. It was a tacit agreement that neither of us spoke about the dire finances of our household – and she would keep nodding at the intruders shaking their fists at me.
As I rounded the corner towards school, I slowed to a walk. I pulled the warm pizza pocket out of my mouth where I’d been holding it. I took a smaller bite than the whole thing. It was steaming in the cold air, delicious, and with just a hint of spices that didn’t wholly belong on the pizza. Hey, no one said the vendor paid for these in the first place. I’d caught him garbage diving too one day. We’d fought over a whole box of old bread – and yeah, I just ran away with them.
But now, I happily munched on my breakfast. Yep, life was good right then. I strolled slowly now, knowing full well that I was early to meet my friend, Aaliyah. But I couldn’t wait to meet her. These quiet walks in the morning were usually the highlight of my day. They were also the reason I held an extra pizza pocket in each hand. Another for me, and one for her. This one I would eat with her and we would happily walk together, enjoying our short walk to school before the day really began.
Ours was a quiet existence. I already knew that someday, our friendship would hopefully breach the lines of friendship and we, the pariahs already of our ‘slumbug’ existence, would break into a whole new level of pariah – that of two female bodies in love (even though it boggled me that I was female. It just never felt quite right).
Finishing my first pizza pocket I tried not to dwell on this. But of course I did. I tried to visualize how Aaliyah’s mother (another single mother, just like mine!) would accept this. Would she? I knew Madame Akizah as a generous and kind shop owner. But what did she think of women in love?
We could marry if we moved north, I told myself. There, there was job in factories for us ‘unbloomed’ ones. I would work hard to protect Aaliyah and provide for her! I would –

Already eating?” a laughing voice jerked me from my thoughts. And there she was. The highlight of my life. The shining ray in all this misery.
Aaliyah had shining black hair that she kept simply long and plain. Her smile was brilliant, her skin just a tad darker than mine, which left us both in the ‘dirty-looking’ category. She was shorter than me by half an inch (which I constantly rubbed in her face) and had the largest and sweetest eyes possible. Today, she was wearing her loose red sweatshirt and grey track pants with sneakers.
Still chewing my last mouthful I made sure not to speak so I wouldn’t spit all over. I’d done that before. She’d laughed at me so hard she’d turned redder than her sweatshirt.

Thanks,” she said as she accepted it. Then, pressing it between her two hands, she said “Ooh, it’s still warm.”
I nodded and smiled, then finished my mouthful with a gulp. Awkwardly, I tried to think of something to say. As usual in these strange silences that would so often fill the air between us, I wished to tell her how I felt.
If only I was big and strong, I thought. If only I was stunningly beautiful like she. If only, if only… and my thoughts would spiral down and down as we walked together. I hunched my shoulders like an unhappy bird and ate ravenously at my last pizza bit.
A fine drizzle began to descend. A car whipped past us, full of jeering idiots. Protectively, I slipped an arm around Aaliyah’s shoulders. She stepped closer to me. It was our protective mechanism. It worked well on strangers because they all assumed I was a guy – even Aaliyah’s mother sometimes called me ‘mister’ if she was scolding me (like the third time I’d tried to steal from her).
But right now it wasn’t wholly necessary. The car was gone, after all, and the walk to school was short. But… I jostled Aaliyah playfully just as an excuse to keep my arm around her. If it was a joke it didn’t matter, so I got to hold her a little longer. “You ready for today?” I asked cheerfully.
She looked up at me with those big doe-like eyes. She smiled, and it was filling me with sparkles. “I think so,” she said “I studied all night. I think I’m ready.”

Great,” I said wistfully, wondering what it would be like to kiss her – and then my brain registered what she’d said. “Wait- ready for what? Is there a test?”
She gave me ‘that look’. “Physics! Today! First period! Did you forget?”
I whimpered, drawing my arm from around her to play with my short and messy hair. It was black (just like Aaliyah’s!) but dull and boring. “Yes?” Oh crap! And I was trying to get good marks in that!
In a jerk she pulled her bag over her shoulder and whipped a light blue notebook out. First she smacked me on the shoulder with them. I yelped, then she handed them to me. “Cram!” she ordered.

Yes, ma’am,” I muttered as I took the notebook and flipped it open. In the back of my mind, I couldn’t help but think she’d be the perfect wife. Strict but caring, disciplined and studious – I could get a job for the two of us and she could keep studying…
Shaking my head I tried to focus upon the notes before me, even as small droplets began cascading down harder and harder.
We, and the notebook, were thoroughly soaked by the time we stood in the corridor before the classroom. Funnily enough, only about half the students were soaked. There were those who had the good sense to own a coat and who were only damp. Then, there was the rich kids.
Oh, it wasn’t hard to tell them apart. They were dazzling and beautiful no matter what happened, and they were just – whatever. I didn’t even look at them.
I just stood in a corner with Aaliyah and our three friends – the total of us being five. ‘The’ five that teachers always talked about. We were the ‘special education’ ones. The unbloomed.
I had this theory, I read about it online and in a magazine once, that not being able to bloom was due to a nutritional deficiency. I’d believe it, because all five of us were dirt poor except Magdalene. And Magdalene was, well, really special. She had a hard time talking. Her eyes were lined with black, her clothes were black, and spikes jutted from her at every possible corner. But she just couldn’t really talk. Or do math. Or really, sit still for that long. She liked shouting too.
But she was an unbloomed, so she was my friend. We, the useless ones, we stuck together.
Also, we waited our turn. As the teacher, Mister Murney, passed by to unlock the door the five of us drew back to get out of everyone else’s way. We knew our place in society. I gritted my teeth at it, but that was what it was. It just wasn’t safe to get in anyone else’s way. People who had bloomed just had so much power!

Studying still? It’s a bit late for that?” Professor joked as he held the door open. I realized he was talking to me. Sheepishly, I grinned and shrugged. Someone walked past me and slammed their backpack into my shoulder.

Sorry!” they said, obviously not at all. I returned to the page. The ink had bled a little from the rain. I tried to focus, to memorize all the formulas-

Come on,” Aaliyah patted me on the shoulder, steering me into the classroom. I protested but let her, enjoying the attention. In a last minute ditch attempt I flipped the page – and saw more formulas! CRAP!
Sniggers rose from the back of the class as Aaliyah steered me to my seat. We sat, all five of us, smack in the front. It was the safest spot to be and even the teachers encouraged it. They didn’t want us to get picked on.

Notebooks away,” Murney said, mainly to me. I pressed my lips together and handed Aaliyah back her notebook. More sniggers, about what I couldn’t guess but I wanted to punch someone for it. Rich kids.
Then, the test began. Mister Murney handed out the leaflets to each row and they were passed down. The instant I got mine I flipped it open and began skimming the questions. Yes, yes, yes, I knew most of these! Okay!
Thanking Aaliyah with all my might, I flipped to the back section – the ‘superior’ section. It was really only for the ‘superior’ students who showed promise and who had exceptional marks – a category Aaliyah and me had exceptionally managed to nose our way into. It was quite remarkable for us unbloomed ones to have managed to enter the category, a feat that amazed our principal and even earned us both an embarrassing article in the school’s newspaper once.
And YES! I knew how to do those too!
Furiously, I began scribbling away. Time seemed to slow as I focused upon one question then another, scribbling and calculating and jotting numbers here then there.
Halfway through, I lifted my head up. Professor Murney was pacing the rows, scolding students and reminding everyone to keep their eyes on their papers.
I, however, was suddenly unsure of what I was doing. Something was wrong. Something tingled at the back of my neck. Something that had happened when – I looked out the window and caught my breath. Beyond the preened soccer fields, the sacred trees were on fire. Strange figures ran about, shadowy and furtive.
I lifted my hand. “Professor.”

Don’t speak out of turn,” Murney said as he walked over.

But,” I protested.

What?” he asked as he walked to my side. I pointed to the window.

We’re being attacked,” I said, stating the obvious.

Oh,” he said.
There was the universal rustle of everyone looking. Of necks craning as everyone tried to see what I was pointing at. Which, for your information, was a sprite attack. It had happened once in my mother’s time at this school. It had already happened once in my time, and now I was unlucky enough to witness it again.
The alarm, a little late in my opinion, wailed out over the microphone. “Attention, students and staff,” our principal said primly. “We are enduring a sprite attack! Senior students are encouraged to use this as an opportunity to hone their fighting skills and gain hunting points – which I remind you are required for graduation!”
There was a cheer. Because, yeah, sprite attacks weren’t a catastrophe. In suburbs, where people were caught unawares watching their TV’s and where the populace wasn’t crawling with students yearning to ‘get out and FIIIIGHT!’, as some teachers were now shouting in the hallways, it could be dangerous. It was just especially dangerous if you were magically crippled, like, you know, us unbloomed were.
I was hunkering down in my chair, heart already hammering in my throat. Professor Murney was already at the front of the class, huge grin plastered on his face. “Alright students!” he called out like this was the best ball game of the world. “Get out there! Get some points!”
I slunk farther down in my chair, exchanging a horrified look with Aaliyah – who somehow didn’t look as terrified as I felt.
There was a roaring cheer of students jumping up, throwing pencils down and rushing for the windows. “Go, go, go!” Murney cheered, clapping his hands.
Students, the fastest first, began blooming right as they threw themselves at the windows. It was normally a sight I both loved to watch and hated to watch. I was jealous, I hated them for being able to do something so magnificent. To shed their human skin and bloom into fully spiritual form.
There was Zalf, the gryffon who passed through the glass just in the nick of time. Gertrude, the graceful swan. But I was waiting with bated breath for the one. The one.
She was filthy rich. She was long-legged, blonde, pale of skin and always impeccably dressed. Her hair was short and choppily pulled back, with two long tendrils hanging down beside her face. Confident as could be, she and her small cluster of elite friends waited until everyone else was on their way to being moving. Because they never needed to rush. They were dragons.
Ever seen a dragon? Me neither until last year when our classes merged. Since then, I waited with bated breath for the crystal ice white dragon to materialize – but most of all for the jade green one. Her.
She, leaping for the window, was graceful and lithe. Stunning and magnificent as her green scales shimmered to reality around her and her shocking blonde mane rippled out.
Then, just like that, she was gone. With an exhale I relaxed and looked back to the front of the class where Murney was. He was looking at me expectantly.
I pointed to the test. “Can I finish?”
Proffessor cringed. “You do know that you need hunting points to get into any high-ranked school, right?”
My jaw fell. But we were un-bloomed! We couldn’t hunt! It was too dangerous for us to even join organized hunting parties! Never mind throwing ourselves into a melee!

I mean,” Murney continued. “For the other schools, you can get in without it. But I know you two were hoping to get into McVaster so-“
Aaliyah scraped back her chair and jumped to her feet. Determination was scrawled all over her face. Holy – she really was going to do this!
I clutched at my chair. “Aaliyah! They’re sprites! We’re unbloomed-“

Get up!” she ordered. “We’re going!”

You can hit them over the head with sticks!” professor was cheering. Aaliyah grabbed me by the arm and yanked me to my feet.
I protested, but my wife-to-be was having none of it. With a yank and more determination than she needed, she rushed us out the door.
And that, really, was how it all began.

“My Name is Chaos”; Chapter Fifteen, Part One

I made it two steps out into the world between worlds before I thought I was an idiot. A goof. A slug who was throwing their life away.

The fact that, any moment now, I could just turn around and get help, it was a nagging ache. Worse, every second that I ignored the ache cemented that I was never going back. I had made my choice and, deep within, it was holding fast.

I liked to contemplate that I would change my mind. I kept telling myself that, at the next crossroads, or after the portal, or when I saw Bella’s body, I’d rethink things, all while knowing that I would do no such thing.

To get to earth, I needed a portal. Like many spirits, I had no means to make one myself, hardly being that powerful, and indeed, not having permission to do so myself. But, like anything, it could be found in hell for a price. You just had to know where to look. And I, being me, just so happened to know that the very best place to look was where it wasn’t supposed to be.

“Hey,” I said as I approached Lucifer’s throne. Because, yeah, the guy who was supposed to keep this place in line was also the one who sold everything to keep it out of line.

chaos lucifer.jpeg
Lucifer on his throne

Lucifer, at least this representation/part of him (who knew if it was just a part of himself while the rest of his soul went off doing something stupid?), was draped across his throne. In hues of black and silver, he shimmered like starlight, his silver hair hanging around him like curtains. His face was decorated with a veil-like array of fine chains that dangled from piercings. Bright blue eyes shone out, tokens of his once angel-hood.

He tutted at me. “Darling, I’ve heard you weren’t well. Come here and tell me all about it.” And he reached out a lanky arm. I knew better than to say no. Lucifer was huggy, if anything just to give people the creeps by touching them constantly. It was especially hard to navigate someone who wanted to hug you persistently.

So I sat beside his throne, the usual place a supplicant found themselves, and his arm draped around my shoulders. Instantly it was like a hissing cat roused within me.

“Mine,” I clearly heard within my head as an itching sort of anger swept over me.

“Uh,” I jumped up, swiping Lucifer’s arm from me as fast as I could.

“Oh?” Lucifer asked casually. I froze. Was there some sort of punishment for spiting Lucifer? There was a certain glimmer to his eyes – was he angry now?

“Aww, I see,” Lucifer crooned. With a stretch he took a grip on my shoulder and dragged me to stand before him. Distracted by his glittering eyes, I didn’t see his leg sweep out as he straightened. My feet were kicked out from beneath me and I landed on the stone floor on my knees.

Yeah, ouch.

“Well hello,” Lucifer said, propping a foot up on my shoulder. I winced as his heel dug in, but then he added the weight of his other leg to it.

“I’m sorry,” I croaked.

“You should be!” he said happily. “Lying to angels like that. Tut-tut, Chaos. You know they’re looking all over for your little girlfriend?”

Inside, I felt a strange coolness. Bella was furious, but calm. She knew how to play this game it would seem.

But me? I wanted to protect her. So I opened my mouth, about to spout something about not knowing what he was talking about.

“Oh no, spare me that,” said Lucifer, holding up a hand dramatically. “I don’t want to talk with you. Summon your mistress, little slave.”

My jaw clamped shut. Humiliation spread over me and I gritted my teeth angrily. How dared he talk to me like that? He wasn’t the boss of me! “You-”

But I was cut off from within. Suddenly I felt myself callously shunted aside, crashing into a corner of myself. My limbs were moving but I had no control over them.

My hands shoved Lucifer’s feet from my shoulder. “Good morning,” Bella’s voice said coldly.

“Oh hey, doll!” Lucifer grinned, crossing one leg over the other knee. “I hope you don’t mind, I was using your footstool.”

Footstool? I wanted to squawk in horror. Bella didn’t seem to care. She was on her (mine?) feet now and dusting herself off. “I need a portal,” she was saying through me. “My slave is going to fetch my body on earth.”

Lucifer tutted. “Darling, everyone’s been looking for you. You know, I could make a lot of money if I told them where you are.”

Bella snorted. “As if you will. Give me a portal.”

“You know, I want a personal slave too,” Lucifer whined. He held up a hand, pretending to investigate his manicured fingernails.

“Lucifer!” Bella barked. Then, as he raised his eyebrows, she checked herself. “Lucifer,” she said politely. “I really need a portal.”

Lucifer waved his fingers at himself, making his rings glimmer. Bella continued. “I can pay you,” she said sweetly. I could feel her smile on my face.

“Of course you’re going to pay me,” drawled Lucifer. “But in what?”

Bella hesitated. “I can bring you some souls?” she offered.

Lucifer dropped his hand into his lap. “I like it when payment benefits everyone. Darling, you want to rule the three realms? Isn’t that it?”

“I want Nirvana,” Bella said cautiously. “Only one of the realms.”

“Only the strongest,” drawled Lucifer with a drag Queen-esque flip of the hand. “Now listen to me, chickling. I’ll give you a portal, and you will go get your body back, but you have to challenge God to a duel afterwards. It’s time someone dethrones the old fart.”

Bella hesitated.

“A duel, that’s all,” said Lucifer. “and as the prize, you’ll wager the rulership of the sky realm. Don’t you think it’ll be a lot easier to get into Nirvana if you can wage war against it with the power of the hordes of angels and demons, instead of your little piddly vampire-army? Hmm, girl?”

Bella hesitated again. I knew why. Lucifer was one to give gifts – at a price. “What do you want in return?” she asked cautiously.

“Oh, you know, I really just want to see that old deity crushed under someone’s heel,” he said viciously, bringing his fingers to his lip. “But, ah, for payment – hmmm we shall see.”

“We shall see?” Bella asked sharply. “I don’t think so.”

Lucifer flipped out a hand. In his palm, a miniature portal hovered, glowing a dark purple. “You don’t want a portal, darling?”

Bella gulped. Lucifer’s fingers waved around the portal. “I’ll make sure the angels look away as your slave travels,” he cooed.

Don’t do it! I thought as loudly as I could.

Bella hesitated.

Lucifer pouted. “Of course, if you don’t want it, I’ll have to respect my agreements to the ruling heavens and bla bla bla, you know how divine paperwork is, and,” he shrugged “I’ll have to turn you and your slave in to the angels.”

Bella grimaced.

Lucifer tilted his head. “As a great leader once said,” and he paused for dramatic effect, making a pitiable face “’Sad’.”

Bella scowled. “Fine!” she reached forward. “Give me the portal!”

“Ecx-el-lent!” Lucifer cheered, dropping the portal into my palm. It was heavy but Bella’s strength allowed me to hold it. “There you go darling. Use it well!” Now grinning most viciously, he kicked his legs up onto his armrest and returned to draping across his throne.

Bella smiled nastily in return. I felt her sarcasm, but at the same time her glee. With Lucifer officially on her side, she was one step closer to Nirvana.

“My Name is Chaos”; Chapter Thirteen, Part Two

“If you can tell us what they believe, we may have a chance to stop her,” said the angel sternly. “We need either a tactical defeat, or a public one to prove she isn’t all that powerful.”

Yet, I added silently. Not that powerful yet. But I shook my head. I couldn’t tell them. “I wasn’t awakened, they said. So they didn’t tell me. But they were all very devoted to her.”

“We know that,” said the angel dryly. “Even you seemed quite taken by her.”

I nodded miserably. “She has a charm to her.”

“Must be quite the charm. She had a gun to your head and you didn’t seem to care.”

I didn’t answer, chewing my bottom lip. Well, bugger. Bella had quite the ambition, it would seem.

“Can you tell us anything about them? Any detail about what drove them to her?” father asked gently.

I shook my head. But I spoke. “They were all really nice. I didn’t think they were holding me hostage. They just asked me to visit around, then to walk with them to the portal where she pulled the gun out – I,” wow, it sounded stupid when I said it like that. “They were all really nice,” I repeated, defeated by those questioning glares.

“And the vampires?” asked the angel. “Did you encounter them at all?”

“It was them, they were super nice. Docile. You’d think they were tame or something.”

“Drugged, more likely,” declared the angel. “and the werewolves?”

“They were actually around the vampires. Co existing. It was – weird,” But only now that I thought back on it. How come I hadn’t noticed this as weird before? Oh yeah, I knew why. “Why hadn’t you told me that there were werewolves involved?” I hated those things!

The angel shook his head. “We had no clue that they were involved, or even missing. This has taken us quite by surprise too, you must know that.”

I hummed and nodded, pretending to care. Truth was, I didn’t. No, I felt that somewhere in my heart, we’d become divided. I just felt I couldn’t trust them, so did it matter whether they’d known about the werewolves or not? It should have, but it didn’t matter to me anymore.

The angels waited, seeming to want to prod me with something else. I raised my eyebrows at them, challenging them to spit it out.

“So, you are maybe mortal now,” said the angel testily.

Father stiffened. Mother’s expression grew dark. And you know it’s bad when the angel of life looks dark.

I guess I was supposed to squirm and look all miserable. Truth was, I couldn’t care less. I had bigger fish to fry on my plate. “Okay,” I said quietly, refusing to mention that I may have been given an antidote. Or maybe not. Who knew with Bella, really?

The angels tapped their fingers together, exchanging glances. Their leader seemed uncertain. “There is no antidote without knowing th eoriginal recipe, having the blood and intentions of the caster-”

“I know,” I said dryly. But there was a pang in me. “What about Al?”

“Definitely mortal,” said the angel without hesitation. “I’m sorry.”

I looked back down at my hands, and found that I didn’t care. I was just angry. Angry with the angels, angry with the humans – and confused. I wanted them gone. I wanted – Bella. I wanted to speak with her. To commune with her in that strange way again. To feel her presence and be comforted, truly.

But as all that went through my mind, there was no way to say it. So I just nodded and held my silence.

The angels seemed to have been waiting for something, again. I scowled at them. “Now what?”

They took it differently than I had intended. “Now, we have to find a way to stop this. You, it would seem, are our biggest ally. None of the vampires are telling us how they feel, or what it was that caused their strange behavior. They’re even coexisting near werewolves, as you say. We need to stop this-”

“Why?” I blurted. All heads turned to me. I shrugged, pretending nonchalance. “What’s so bad? So the vampires aren’t hating on their lunches. Big deal.”

Now the smallest of the angels spoke. “You idiot. Bella hasn’t been caught yet.”

There were shushes all around the table, and the sullen angel scowled around.

“Oh?” I asked, trying to sound casual and not to squirm guiltily. Like, I knew right where she was and they were all clueless.

“She vanished as she died,” said Father gently. “She didn’t come to me, and no one saw where she went.”

Probably because I was causing such a scene, and there was all the humans around to cloud the vision and make things muddy for spirits. Like finding a person in a crowded room. But hey, all she had to do was hop right into me. It probably was easy because of the bond we shared. A special bond, I liked to think.

I fidgeted. “So?”

The head angel sighed. “Chaos, I can’t tell you how dangerous she is. It is very difficult to unite the hellions. Lucifer is always struggling to keep his armies together. To disrupt this careful balance, to try and destroy the sky realms and earth realms to invade nirvana-”

“I don’t think she wanted to destroy anything,” I snapped coldly.

The angel continued. “You don’t know what she wanted. And anyone who can turn a god mortal, and goes around doing it for the sake of fun, is a problem. Is that clear?”

I pressed my lips together, knowing full well I’d just been given a black-and-white lecture. It should have been easy to understand that Bella was ‘evil’ and ‘dangerous’. But I just couldn’t. I kept thinking of her standing beside me in the snow, our shoulders nestled together as we overlooked the gentle snowy landscape.

“Chaos?”

I shook myself, looking around the table. Had I drifted off?

“I think you need to rest,” said Father gently. “Lots of rest, and to change your mind.”

“Yes,” said the angel chief promptly. He rose from his chair. “Lots of rest. For you, the adventure is over. Let us know if you feel any changes or sudden impulses. It could be invaluable information.”

“Sure,” I said lamely.

Another Transgender Character?! Why?

This post is a shameless excuse to just pour my mind out there, and especially to share a quick (only 2 hours lol) sketch I did of a character.unnamed character color.jpeg

I’m never going to say my art is amazing. I do it mainly because it’s fun and it helps me think and sort out a story. But another thing I do to sort out a story is to talk about it, and while talking last time to a dear person, I received a not-quite-eyeroll when I mentioned that this character, due to their identity in the dream, was transgender.

Excuse me? An eyeroll? At me?

Alright, you can eyeroll at some of my more ridiculous ideas. But that my characters are trans? Why? I mean, if someone was to do like Bridget Essex and launch themselves into lesbian novels, what’s the problem? Why can’t I do transgender novels? Aren’t we supposed to write about what we know best?

Here’s why not: transgender people are ‘too bizarre’ for the average person to be able to relate. They’re also such a minority that it’s ‘ridiculous’ to have them constantly be in your stories as main characters.

Well hmph to that idea. I’mma do what I want, but I resent the fact that this idea is out there. I resent that transgenders, because we are a minority, because we are disruptive of the gender norms, we are seen as ‘too much’ for the average person to be able to digest.  I don’t think any kind of person’s existence should be ‘too much’ to be highlighted. For crying out loud, we talk a whole lot about shark deaths, and aren’t transgender people more common?!

On a final note, isn’t it time we discuss transgender folk? We’ve always been here, accepted and given specific roles in so many cultures and places! When is it going to be ‘the right time’ to have a transgender character? When will we be ‘palatable enough’?

Grump.

The Great One- Character Reveal!

adelaide sketch.jpeg

I don’t want to get ahead of my story here, as I’m not sure if they’ve featured in what I’ve shared on this blog yet, but I finally drew a picture of them that I like! I’m so excited that  had to share it!

This character, also known as ‘The Great One’ is the baddest of all the badasses in Farfadel. They totally kick butt. And I don’t like them because of their power, but because of how they grow with their power. They learn to tear down their own blockages and move on, growing ever more.

Which is probably why I’ve made ‘The Great One’ a recurring character in many of my Farfadel novels. Considering that I’m sitting on a total of four unfinished Farfadel  novels, that’s a lot of echoing for one character. But hey- they deserve it!

Now I’m not telling you who they are… I’m going to let you stew on that mystery for a moment or two. But suffice to know that they’re an important character. If you can guess who the character is, you uh, get a virtual cookie? Let me know what you think!

 

 

Free Books! (Ish)

Who wants free books? YAYYYY!

Who wants LEGAL free books? OOOOOO!

Who wants all that without having to leave your home? EEEEEE!

Well then, come one, come all, and Join ME! Come and bask in the glory of my fiction writing in my very own reading group.

Yassss, join it. For there, little minion of doom, I will be sharing my writing, my art, and many things more. Join it! And verily, verily, great shafts of light will descend upon you and illuminate your being!

Or maybe not. But hey, it’s free, right?adelaide horse edited