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Fool's Bells

Fool's Bells

edition:eBook
also available: Paperback
tagged : contemporary
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Excerpt

Here there is infinite space, space forever. But to have had the will to survive a winter, that is something else. Monochromes must have come in spring. Stayed the summer and then winter must have hit them like a shovel. Once the water froze, there would have been no way out for them. Even so, they would not have expected it to last and last the way it does. Many would have died before first thaw, of disease, starvation, or hypothermia, or they might have been buried by the snow, their breathless mouths full of it, with no discovery until the spring.

When sun lays thick and flat along the horizon she stops, spreads out her sleeping bag, and sits on it to remove her boots. Wind collects against her skin reminding her of Imp. Off in the sunset Drummer thumps a melancholy riff while Fool flops down just up ahead, bells tinkling mournfully.
If there was a track she could run. It's been too long because the riverbank is not clear enough for running. Wild running with wind beating through her hair and oxygen filling up her lungs. Much more satisfying than this repetitious plodding, one foot and then the other all the way. Branches crackle and she pivots quickly. Nothing moves, nothing speaks.

"Creature!" she calls out sharply.

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RagTimeBone
Excerpt

Rita starts to follow her right after she breaks up with Pearce. Every time Sage turns around, there she is. Rita knows she is no Pearce Winthrop; she can't climb trees and she hates heights. She's scared to climb, but she adores Sage.

Sage doesn't give a shit about how she looks. Doesn't wear the standard cool-girl jeans with baby-coloured angora sweaters. She wears a boy's denim jacket with its sleeves rolled up. Faded jeans, not pre-torn in a factory, and unlaced burgundy Doc Martens. She listens to weird music, jazz that sounds like dogs barking. Rolls her own cigarettes and smokes where anyone can see her. Sage has no sullen father to embarrass her with his naked mistress in a drawer. Has a mother who is, everybody knows, as good as any man.

Rita sticks close to her for a while before Sage deigns to talk to her. "What do you want from me?" she barks. “You're like some dog in heat or something, the way you wander around behind me."

"I like you," Rita says bravely. "I want to be your friend."

Sage stomps her boot hard against the pavement, and shakes her fist in Rita's moonstruck face. "Get lost!” she yells.

But Rita just stays there, does not shrink back, does not falter. "I'm going to be your best friend," she says. “Your very best friend, whether you like it or not."

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Sing Me No More
Excerpt

For a case of beer she sold her wedding band. That was what it had been worth. They melt them down for their metal. The ring would vanish, it would disappear. It would no longer exist. It would no longer match anything.

It had not been her rock bottom, melting the band for beer, not hers. Rock bottom had been all around her, round like the face of a clock, before the marriage and after. After the separation and after the meltdown.

Rock hits bottom. This is her rock bottom. This now.

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Vixen

Vixen

edition:eBook
also available: Paperback
tagged : lesbian
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Excerpt

I keep Ruby's silver pistol beside me in my bed. Because something has escaped. Something lumbering and hirsute, with enormous paws, menacing and unpredictable. With bristling fur. Minor God spits and hisses into corners, puffed up to make herself ferocious.

Escape is always foremost in my mind. We walk the path with hollow hands, beneath ripe cypress to the misty waterfront, the driftwood benches, to the solitary loon who stands erect like an endangered photograph and never, never cries. These ocean waves the sound of matter slurped up by a vacuum, discarded bits of this and that, flotsam and shattered crab shell. If only we could cup our hands and take our fill instead of flailing with our empty fists. Instead of curving inwards, toying with despair as we oblige ourselves to do.

I can tell you any story. I can spin it any way I choose, and not one of you can challenge or correct me. I can tell you how she sang her arias for me; how she stayed with me long after I outlived my purpose.

I have made these memories. I have created them from nothing. I have plucked them out of the thin air and they belong to me now. You can only do so much with what you have left over after they are through with you. My story is my own, whatever you decide to make of it.

This then is my story.

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