Friday, May 25, 2012

Cinders Post #10

Notes: OMG, that was a hell of a week.  Don't get me wrong, I'm happy to do promo for my novel, I want it to be a success.  But daaaaamn.  Stressful.  And I totally owed you guys this part and it took forever to buckle down and do it, but here it is, so forgive me and enjoy.  This ended up being a pretty fast chapter, honestly.  Lots of fun dialogue:)  We're getting so close, guys!  Maybe two more parts?

PS--if you read either of my new releases, please let me know what you thought of it/them!

Title: Cinders

Part Ten: Prep Me


Asher sits up.  That’s harder than it looks, after being knocked onto the ground by some magical goddamn force field that won’t let him leave the mansion grounds, but he manages it.  He can’t take his eyes off of his…his… “What the fuck are you?”

The absurdly colorful man rolls his eyes again.  “Honestly?  I mean, you have read this story, right?  Seen the movie?  The Disney movie, I’m guessing, because that’s the only time I come off looking so freaking ridiculous.  I way prefer it when I get this gig as a disembodied voice, but I’m guessing that you’re not incredibly religious, and so the God loudspeaker didn’t even occur to you.”  He looks down at himself with a grimace.  “Seriously, has the only person who’s ever been nice to you been a total flaming queen?  Because that’s what you’re projecting here, Prince Charming.”

“I’m not Charming,” Asher retorts automatically.

“No shit, Sherlock.  But your handsome prince is, and right now he’s getting an eyeful of a bunch of gaudy, bitchy little peacocks who want nothing more than to snap him up like it’s last call and he’s the only drink for miles.  C’mon.”  He holds a hand out to Asher, who notices that the…whoever it is’…nails are covered in rainbow polish.  Asher takes the hand, though, and a second later he’s on his feet.  This little dude is stronger than he looks.

“Really,” Asher says as he shakes some feeling back into his hand.  “What are you?”

“Your fairy godmother, of course.”  The little dude doesn’t look very happy to be that, either.  “And would it have killed you to have given me pants?  This dress does nothing for my ass.”

“Hey, none of this was my idea,” Asher protests.

His fairy godmother looks at him with an expression of exasperated condescension.  “It’s all your idea, Ash.  Everything you see is shaped by your own experiences.  I’m guessing you watched a lot of those A&E Jane Austen adaptations as a kid or something, because you’ve done a way more realistic job on the farm parts of this than I would have given you credit for.  Work, now that you understand.  But the people?”  He spread his hands out to indicate himself.  “I mean, seriously!  Look at this!  Where did you even get this?  Why do you have to make people who are trying to help you into objects of ridicule?”

“I don’t do that,” Asher says, stung.

“You so do, honey.  Just like you make the women in this reality as unapproachable as possible, because you don’t want to be reminded of the things you used to have.  Just like you make the men nonexistent, here one moment and gone the next, nothing you care to think about.  Like your daddy.  Like your johns.”

“You can shut the fuck up at any time, thanks,” Asher snipes.  It isn’t true, it can’t be.  Because that would mean… “Are you saying that I could have gotten out of here at any time, just by imagining people being nicer to me?”

His fairy godmother grimaces slightly.  “Okay, so it’s not all you.  I mean, yeah, setting, characterization, a lot of that comes down to you—nice job on the birds by the way, you lazy bugger—but the basic plot…well, that’s been around for a long, long time.  Not much you can do about that except try to live through it.  Try to finish the story.”

“I don’t want to finish the fucking story, I want to go home!” Asher shouts, losing the little bit of control he’s barely regained.  “I want out of these stupid clothes and away from this stupid place and I want to be back with Ty, damn it!  He probably thinks I left him or I’m dead, or—” He couldn’t go on.  The number of ways Ty could take an absence like this are plentiful, and none of them are good.  The only thing Asher knows for certain is that Ty cares.  Ty cares, he’s the only one who cares, and he’s the only thing that Asher wants.

“Then I guess you’d better get to him, huh,” his fairy godmother says quietly, now looking so compassionate that Asher can hardly bear to meet his eyes.  “The story isn’t just gonna let you go, Ash.  It doesn’t work like that.  There’s a narrative imperative to satisfy.  Once that’s done, well, you’ll get your light at the end of the tunnel.”

“Are you telling me Ty is actually here, trapped in this story with me?”  Asher pulls out the ribbon and looks down at the wax seal.  Ty…  “Is he really the prince?”

“I don’t know,” his fairy godmother admits.  “The story is a little different every time.  Generally it’s just one character who gets drawn in, but there have been multiples in the past.  It’s not frequent, but it does happen.  But you won’t know,” he continues more loudly, “if you don’t get your ass to that ball.”

“I can’t leave,” Asher mumbles.  “She said I can’t leave without an invitation.”

“Honey, I’m your invitation this time,” his fairy godmother assures him with a saucy grin.  “But you can’t go looking like that.  You wouldn’t get within a hundred feet of the palace door.”

“Oh, Jesus.  Not a makeover.”

“Ash, you smell like pig shit and you look like you got flung into a pile of gravel at twenty miles an hour.  A makeover is the least of what you need.  I’d give you the time to enjoy a real bath, but,” he glances down at his wrist, which is oddly delicate and bare, “time’s a-wastin’.”  He snaps his fingers.

All of a sudden Asher is…fresh.  Not just clean, but really fresh, fresh like he just stepped out of a shower before getting ready to bang Ty fresh, fresh like he hasn’t felt since before he got trapped in this damn fairy tale.  He reaches a hand down automatically and cups himself.  Which is easy ‘cause he’s stark naked right now.  “How exactly did you clean me up?” he asks suspiciously.

His fairy godmother arches one ridiculous yellow eyebrow.  “Wouldn’t you like to know?”

“Yeah, I would, you perv.  And how about some clothes?”  Asher isn’t ashamed of his own nudity, but it’s kind of chilly tonight and he can feel his balls start to get shy.

“I’m just trying to decide if you’re more of a winter of an autumn.”  His fairy godmother taps one finger on the point of his chin and purses his pouty lips.  Asher growls, literally growls, then suddenly panics when he remembers something.

“Shit!  Where did you put my clothes?”  He scans the ground frantically. 

“Why?  They were barely more than rags—”

“I had a mouse in there, asshole!  What, did you vaporize him or something?”

His fairy godmother laughs.  “I knew about your little friend.  He’s at your feet, genius.”

Sure enough, Asher looks straight down and there’s the mouse, staring up at him and twitching his ears.  “Thank fuck,” he mutters, crouching down and looking the little guy over.  He seems fine.  Totally mousey, nothing special beyond the fact that he’s not running away.  “Hey, buddy.”

“You’re such a softie.”

“Screw you,” Asher says.  He trembles, a little shiver that rustles the gravel at his feet.  “And clothes, dude.  Anytime.”

“Fine.”  His fairy godmother waves his hands.  An instant later Asher’s nakedness is covered with silk, tight and clinging in some places, loose in others.  Asher looks down at himself and groans. 

“You have got to be kidding me.”

“It’s the fashion!” his godmother exclaims.  “Tight through the calves and poofy around the thighs is the fashion!”  And that’s what this outfit is, all in black, the doublet edged with silver along his throat and wrists.  He’s got silver shoes on, too, soft little slippers that feel so odd against feet inured to hardness and pain by this point.  And they sparkle.

“I look like a moron!”

“You look expensive,” his fairy godmother assures Asher, “you look attractive.  Your prince won’t be able to resist you when he sees you.”

“Really?”  Asher swallows hard.  Because that’s the crux of it, isn’t it.  That’s the heart of it.  He wants Ty.  Seeing Ty with other people drives him crazy, makes him insane, and he can’t take it.  He just can’t.  He has to have Ty, be with Ty, be for Ty.  That’s what Asher wants, more than anything, more than his hazy dreams and silly jealousies.  Just Ty.

“You should probably tell him that,” his fairy godmother says quietly.  Asher swallows back his instant denial and just looks at the other man, his heart in his eyes.  He’s almost panting with the need to go, to be there, to be with Ty.  Much more and he thinks it might kill him, might stop his heart, and then he’ll never get home and he’ll leave Ty wondering forever.  Spots crawl across his vision and Asher closes his eyes and swallows, hard.

“Please,” he whispers.  “Please…I have to…”

“You have to go, honey.  I know.”  His fairy godmother rubs his hands together briskly.  “And you need a way to get there!  Fortunately, this is one part of that damn animation that I can actually do.”  He makes a shooing motion with his hands.  “You might want to step back.”

Asher frowns but moves a couple feet.  “What are you going to—”

It happens that fast, one minute there’s nothing but a twitchy mouse and the next it’s a twitchy goddamn stallion, wearing a saddle and bridle and looking confused as hell about that.  Asher recoils instinctively.  “Fuck!”

“Let’s not, hmm?” his godmother says as he comes around the horse and takes the reins.  “There, there…hush,” he says gently, patting its nose, and the horse calms.  “I know it’s a little disconcerting, love.  So high, so big.  You’ll get used to it.  There, there.”  When the horse has relaxed, he turns back to Asher.  “Ready to go?”

“I don’t know how to ride,” Asher mumbles, staring at the horse.  The big, tall, capable-of-crushing-him horse.

“It’s a breeze, honey.  He won’t buck you, this little fella likes you.  Just hold on and don’t squeeze too hard with your heels, and for god’s sake, don’t saw at his poor mouth with the reins.”

“I don’t know where to go.”

“He does.”

“I…”  Asher turns wide eyes on his fairy godmother.  “How do I even get in, once I’m there?  What do I do?”

“You’re a smart boy.  You’ll figure it out,” his godmother assures him.  “Come on now, time waits for no man.”  He motions Asher over to the side of the horse.  “Hold onto the front of the saddle and put your left foot in the stirrup.”  Asher does so, gingerly, stretching more than is comfortable to reach the thin strip of metal that’s supposed to hold his foot.  Two pert hands cup his bottom and suddenly he’s airborne, and comes down on the leather saddle with a whump a second later.

He scowls down at his fairy godmother, who smiles innocently.  “What!  You needed some help!”  He reached up and pats Asher’s hand.  “Go get your man, honey.  Go end this story the way you need it to.”

“Thank you,” Asher says, more than a little uncertain but eager too.  He looks at the gravel road.  “Is it safe now?  Can I get through?”

His fairy godmother walks a ways out in front of him, then turns and grins.  “Asher Davis McKellan, I invite you through.”  The horse takes a few steps forward of its own volition, and Asher stays on.  A few more and he’s still on.  He grins at the sudden heady rush of freedom that rushes through his body.  It leaves him energized, almost high.  He laughs, for the first time in what feels like forever.

“Go on now,” his godmother encourages, and it’s enough to get him racing down the path, so fast the wind brings tears to his eyes, so fast he can hardly breathe from the thrill.  He’s going to find Ty.

He’s going.

He’s finally going.


  1. Its all starting to make sense now... I can't wait to read how it all ends! Hopefully, with "...and they lived happily ever after." But then, how else would you end a fairy tale?

  2. Well...I mean, you could end it in blood and tears for at least half of the cast, like the original version, but I'm not gonna go there:)