[In Other Words] Works In Progress

I was going to be more clever and perhaps come up with more content, but then I had a long night and a long day, so instead I will think back to my days on Livejournal, when there was a meme going around that was essentially post a snippet from all your works in progress.  Which seems like fun, so I thought I’d go back to it.

(The Darkest Secret, finished and edited, but given the subject matter, unlikely to see a wide distribution.)

Sometimes, after dinner, as the dishes were being cleared away, the Monsieur would say: “Alexis, please see me in my study.”

And Alexis, who had been animated and enthusiastic throughout the meal under the Monsieur’s indulgent smile, would go still and quiet.  He would blush and drop his eyes, fidgeting a little in his chair as a servant gathered up his dishes and the silverware he’d used during the meal.  Eventually, though, he would straighten up and meet the Monsieur’s eyes, and he would say, “Yes, Father.”

Julien watched all of this with his head bowed and his lashes lowered; he tucked his hands under himself and bit the inside of his cheek to keep from saying anything.  The Monsieur did not like to be addressed by Julien unless it was absolutely necessary, and always did so with a faint sneer of distaste, his lip curled in a delicate and dismissive way.  As the son of his mother’s first husband, his presence was only mildly tolerated at the best of times; it was only a stipulation in her will that he not be separated from his brother that allowed him to remain in the Monsieur’s house.

(The Hardest Place, finished and being edited, with a sequel in the works.)

Kastor lifted his head to watch 5663 return to its bed.  “Tell me your name, at least.”

5663 paused in the act of lying back down.  It turned its head to look at Kastor, its narrow blue eyes glittering.  “One has no name.  One’s designation is 5563.  One needs no other identity than that.”

“A number?”  Kastor’s disbelief welled up strong in his voice, coupled with another restless upheaval in his heart.  “What kind of treatment is that?  Everyone should have a name!”

“One has no need of a name.  One is one of many.  An identity is only troublesome.”

(The Scholar In The Tower, a short fairy tale, almost finished)

In a tower east of the sun and west of the moon there lives a man. He has a name, but it has not been spoken for thousands of thousands of years.  Those who live in the shadow of his tower call him The Scholar and leave it at that. He is eccentric in the ways of the academically-minded, they say, and there is no use in digging any deeper than that.  On nights when the moon is dark and the stars are out, sometimes he can be seen walking in silhouette. But he never comes down, and no one ever goes up.

If you were to ask him (though first you would have to get to him) what he is looking at, then he might point. If you look very hard, you might see a star that is dimmer than the others, small and sparking.

(Red And Mister Wolf, another fairy tale of sorts; in progress)

But it wasn’t that Mister Wolf was just some bogeyman Red’s father had devised to frighten him out of misbehaving, he knew.  There was a single photo, tucked at the back of the same yellow-paged album that had photos of his smiling mother in her wedding dress, of his father (years and years younger, not nearly as stern as Red knew him) with his arm around the shoulders of a tall lean man, sharp-eyed and shaggy-haired, with a smile as bright as a slice of the crescent moon.  It always surprised Red to find it again and see that it hadn’t yet been destroyed, but he wasn’t entirely certain his father knew it still existed.  It had no note or caption, but Red knew, deep in his gut, that the smiling man was his father’s Mister Wolf.

(A Winter Story, title subject to change, and story terribly, terribly in progress)

Their handshake was firm and easy, Frest exuding an easy confidence that was very nearly contagious.  Winter could feel his own spine relaxing, even as his shoulders straightened, and he resisted the urge to smile, foolishly and openly.

“Sir,” he said.  His voice was more strangled than he would have liked, and he felt his ears begin to heat at that.  Rather than meet Frest’s gaze right away, he stared at their joined hands until he forced himself into a deeper state of calm, then let his eyes trail up, along the length of Frest’s bent arm.

Winter looked up into blue, blue eyes, and fell in love.

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