Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Slave and The Exile

The idea: this story is a diversity piece.

There will be two antagonists, alluding to my brother and I.  One who is a runaway slave, the other a political exile.  I don't know if I will include racial issues for the first or homosexuality for the second.  Also, two major characters I want to include will be allusions to gender minorities (women) and rebels (apostates).  There will be others who are minorities or not and I'm not sure where the story is going yet... but it will be a social commentary.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Fairy Tale: story idea

A while back the title "Fairy Tale" came to me in a flash of inspiration.  I knew it had to be attached to some epically gay work!  Originally I was planning to use it as the title to a memoir piece I'm planning to do on my own coming out experience.  But a couple days ago, I was at a cafe with Erika and we started brainstorming a fantasy future where the gays and straight's positions in society were reversed.  The following is a rough sketch of the the world we created.  I believe this world could be the backdrop to a wonder fiction that would deserve the title mentioned above.  We shall see :)

The main premise is that homosexual orientation has become preferred over heterosexuality.  This is because in this future world (not quite a dystopia, nor is it utopia) the ruling authority has set controls on human reproduction.  Males are to donate their sperm regularly (yearly?) as with women and their eggs.  The government records and studies the genetic material presented by donors then employs a program of artificial selection to determine which pairs of gametes are combined and which are discarded.  Straights are discouraged because of the possibility of an accidental/unauthorized pregnancy (which will be aborted if caught within the first trimester).

When a couple desires a child, they simply apply for adoption.  A social worker is sent to the couple's home (it is plausible that a single or poly home might be cleared for a child, but rarely) and, if they are determined to be competent and able, the adoption will be set.  If it is a female couple, an embryo is sent and one of the women simply carries the child.  Child bearing for male couples is taken care of by professional surrogates.  A child's genetic heritage is restricted... most people never know who their biological parents were, just as parent do not know who the child's DNA came from.

In the past 500 years, since the revolution, genetic disease has all but been eliminated: heart disease, diabetes, obesity, vision problems, cancer, etc.  Ethnicity has mostly disappeared, as the strongest genetic match-ups came from merging the races.  The general look of an American is olive/bronze/milk-chocolate skin, brown/hazel/dark-blue eyes, 5'6" and 110 lbs. for females, 5'10" and 150 lbs. for males, and mousy-brown/dirty-blonde/black hair.  If you are discerning, you can still detect traces of racial diversity in the population (especially if African heritage is pronounced). Age has also been muted: people live to within 5 years of 120 and mostly keep the health of middle-age until a year or so before death.

From time to time, there are children born with significant mutations.  These mutations are rarely much more than having oddly colored eyes or having longer-than-normal fingers.  Generally, children are assessed for genetic viability around puberty (when they begin donations).  Those with mutations are put under additional tests to determine if that mutation may be dangerous or advantageous.  The same goes for children who are deemed "accidents" (a child born by natural means).  Note that additional tests and observations are done discreetly; most children will never know they have a "mutation" unless it is visibly apparent.

The current cultural setting for the story is that straights are sent to reservations where they are allowed to raise their families in the "old way".  At puberty, children on the reservations are examined.  If they are found to be gay then they are gently extracted (if they are bi, they are offered a choice to stay or leave).  Children who come out as straight in the new society often are pressured by their families to act gay.  But, the government's position is that those that are straight (most bisexuals choose to go gay, as it is easier) should proceed to come out but keep themselves celibate until they are ready to move onto a reservation.  Straights may choose to remain in the new society under the condition that they either remain single and celibate or they submit themselves to sterilization so as to avoid accidents.  There is currently a movement in the society to unite the old with the new, but many few this as a step towards anarchy and social destruction.

The religious-cultural view of this new society is that natural selection leads to flawed genetics in a civilized society and that heterosexuality is in direct opposition to the artificial selection that has "saved humanity."  Also, the new society believes that bearing one's own children tends to create divisions and undue ambition and favoritism towards one's own family.  By using the mix, every child is your child.  The new society avoids incest by assigning people middle names (it is taboo to fall in love with someone that shares your middle name).

There is more... but I will have to write it later.  The idea so far for the actual story is to follow two uni students.  One comes out to the other as straight and what ensues...

Monday, June 20, 2011

David and Jonathan

While he is developing his relationship with Gage, Zach also reaches out to the gay community for support as he prepares to come out to his mother and family.  Two friends he relies on are the couple David and Jonathan...

This duo is meant to be an allusion to the biblical slash love-story... though is does mix events: sharing in both Jonathan and Bathsheba's story arcs.   David was dating a girl when he saw Jon one day playing a piano and singing in a school practice room.  David stopped by and listened, then went in a spoke with Jon.  It was a true case of love at first sight.  Though neither of them was out, they began a clandestine romance that moved much faster than David's other relationship.  Eventually, she caught them snogging and a rather heated break-up ensued.  The girl was devastated.

Around the same time, Jon's parents start to suspect that this boy, David, is more than just their son's friend.  Jon's father tries to sabotage their relationship by being exceedingly rude and hostile towards David.  David and Jon persevere until one day Jon collapses (from an onset of diabetes) in front of his mother and David.  David's adept reaction to the collapse saves Jon's life.  Jon's father enters the ER and sees David standing over Jon, holding his hand.  His wife tells him that the doctors say David saved Jon and the father has a change of heart.

Jon recovers and is fitted for life with type-II diabetes.  David stays by his side and the two become practically married.  They face problems as the two come out together, openly to the school and friends.  But nothing comes between the two.  David's family is surprised at the news of their son and brother being gay... but they are supportive and happy for the pair.

Zach has in them role-models and friends.  They are first to spot that he's got a "troubled long-distance relationship" (they think he fell in love with an illegal who was deported) and help him to survive until Gage returns.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Zach: Intro

Grandpa died suddenly, but not unexpectedly.  Overnight, mom had no more reason to stick around Mesa.  Yet she never really found a good enough reason to leave.  The only real difference with her was that after the funeral she couldn’t blame wasting her life in Arizona on her father’s health.  She cried with me when we heard the news.  And she cried every time a friend or relative rang in to offer their condolences.  I had to comfort her.  I’ve had to fill that role ever since my father left.  Well, ever since she kicked him out.  I was surprised when she fought for custody.  I would have thought she’d  be glad to let me go with him.  Then she’d be free.  I’m sure that’s crossed her mind: with her dad out of the way she would have total freedom, if only I were gone.  She just couldn’t let my father win.

So I was stuck – seventeen years old, starting my senior year of high school in a week – holding this woman together.  Emotional preservation had never been so f***ed up.  She burst into tears doing the simplest things.  I got to finish the dishes every night.  There was just some connection between household chores and grandpa that kept my mom from doing anything but weep.  Of course she found respite in going on lunch dates with the girls and watching the news at night.  Running up charges on dad’s accounts seemed to be her only escape...  But I knew she was crying more about her own life than my grandpa’s death.  There was simply not enough heart in the woman to be bleeding over anything else.

I finished mowing the lawns about an hour before dusk.  I could have waited until twilight and go out when it was cool.  But I made it a point to be done with work before dark.  That wasn’t too hard this year; zeroscaping had really caught on in the neighborhood.  Still, I held sunset in reverence.  No one should be working while purple hues rim the mountaintops and rays of fire shoot into the wispy clouds.  No?  Well, I made a point every evening of watching the sun sink into the west.  How I wish I could follow it!  To California.  To the sea.  Anywhere, really... Even crossing town to stay with my cousins or my dad would be enough.  

I just stood on the cement steps of my family’s porch.  No... My mom’s porch.  I stood there with greasy hands, sweat-drenched clothes, and a general smell of body odor and gasoline.  My blonde-tipped mousy hair still dripped with moisture.  And the geyser above my forehead had only just ceased its torrent.  As the burning orb fell, leaving the sky a stratified color-wheel, I turned to go inside.  Stripping off my clothes as I marched up the stairs came naturally to me, as did everything else which took me from the world outside to my deep, claw-foot bathtub.  I threw my tee and jeans into the hamper in the upstairs hallway.  Laundry, quite happily, was one of the only chores mom could bring herself to do... in her grief.  I saved my boxers for the bathroom itself.  I couldn’t do the showers at school.  Nor could I walk free in my own house.  I always had that small part of myself that I felt I needed to hide.

Only after closing the bathroom door, locking it, and turning on the fan did I feel at ease with my naked skin.  I peeled off the last article... A glance in the mirror and I wasn’t impressed.  But I did giggle... Mostly at the farmer’s tan that covered my face, neck and arms.  The shaded darkness was composed mostly of filth, cemented on by a glue of dried perspiration.  It would wash off with some scrubbing and become uniform with the pale and flabby everything else.

I held up one arm and then the other.  There was some meat on the bone... but unless I flexed, it looked just as pathetic as my pectorals, abdominals and obliques.  I stuck my tongue out at my reflection.  I needed to get washed!  I could smell myself now that I was standing in an enclosed space.  Turning on the faucet for my beautifully spacious tub,  I dressed it with some aromatics and salt.  I had seven minutes to shower and scourge my body of soil and grime.  I would then soak until dinner... another effort my blessed mother so graciously maintained during her time of bitterness.

I watched black streams run down the shower drain.  Darkened cumulus followed as I lathered soap onto my sponge and raked it across my skin.  Finally the layers were stripped and I felt my linen-white pores scream in relief with religious fervor.  Closing the tap, I stepped out onto the rug.  Then I gripped the side of the tub and swung a leg over, into the near-scalding liquid therapy.  I lowered myself down, wincing as more sensitive areas were overcome by the tide of warmth.  Finally I was resting on the bottom of my porcelain savior.  I turned off the tap and sat, letting the salts and oils work away like a masseuse.  Sooner than I had wished, a sharp knock came at the door.

“Hun,” came the beckoning tone.  “I’ve got dinner going.  It’ll be ready in ten.”

“Thanks!” I replied.  Her tone sounded appealing through the door.  Maybe it was the serenity of the bath.  Maybe I was just tired.  But it was times like these when I almost forgave mom for the divorce, for staying where she wasn’t happy, for all of it.  I bent my knees and sank beneath the water.  My hair was just long enough that I could entertain myself by swishing it around under the water.  I ran my fingers through it, feeling it rise and fall in the heavy medium as though it were weightless, as though there were no gravity.  I wondered what it would be like if I could be so unburdened.  I came up for air and decided – for tonight – I would continue to carry my mother’s burden.  I would continue to shoulder my own.

Zach and Gage: the kiss

Zach closed the door.  Sunlight streams hung like strings from the windows.  The afternoon glow was radiant on the snow splotched ground and it made the interior of the shack almost cozy.  Every detail, every chair of polished oak, every loose bolt and glinting tool was made magic by the luminous rays.  Zach bent low and blew a film of dust from a lightly cluttered table.
He’ll be here soon, Zach thought.  Four months... It’s been that long?  Does he remember me?  Well, of course he remembers me.  But... I might have been imagining it.  Does he know I kissed him while he was sleeping?  Strings of thought flooded the labyrinth of Zach’s mind.  He didn’t hear any rustling leaves or snapping twigs.  But he heard the latch on the door flip open.
Zach didn’t start or jump.  He merely straightened his back and squared his shoulders.  Slowly, the boy turned; his head first inclining, then his shoulders, and finally a full rotation.  There was Gage in the doorway.  He stood with one hand on the door’s handle, the other braced the frame.  Zach forgot to breathe and sighed quickly to relieve his empty lungs.
“You’ve come back,” Gage said in a low tone.  Zach felt his blood surging, it pulsed in his fingers, up and down his arms, and in his chest.
“I was afraid that I might not.  Cait and I... we were stuck and neither of us were getting direction.  It was such a mess after Taylor disappeared,” Zach said.  His speech was flowing smoothly, like a rehearsed message.  It was full of fake confidence even though the words themselves were betraying fear.  Zach was trying to sound like a grown-up, like he hadn’t panicked or cried or cursed God.  He was still unsure of Gage’s feeling towards him.  Did he know how Zach liked him?  Did he know how often the boy had thought of him during the summer?  Zach did his best to mask these uncertainties and anxieties in his speech and face.  But his eyes betrayed his heart, and his feet betrayed his worry.  Gage caught the searching spark, the question in Zach.  He also saw how the remembered rage and anguish released in a gentle trembling now.
Gage stepped in and closed the door.  He was still wearing the faded bomber’s jacket Zach had liked.  It had a few more rips and stitches than a season ago, but the rugged fabric made the contrast all the more vibrant.  Gage’s face held the light of hope like never before.  It confused Zach and he was held by that tumult of thought so that he didn’t realize that he was staring at Gage even though the other had crossed the room and was standing two feet from him.
“Zach,” he spoke gently.  Gage’s willed his words to reach through the worry and unwarranted dismay.  The doubt was still written on Zach’s face.  Then, in a moment of understanding, Gage knew the genesis of Zach’s lingering pain.  In that instant, Gage knew he needed to step back and ask himself a thousand questions.  But he put away those thoughts and closed the gap between their two bodies.  Gage pulled his arms around Zach’s chest, also catching his arms in the embrace.  Instinctively, Zach wrapped his arms back around the other’s torso.
Zach felt a wave of relief.  But immediately there followed a tremor of confusion: What’s happening?  Oh, God... oh, God...  Zach’s breath sped, his heart quickened.  Zach loosened his  hold.  He couldn’t let himself get this close.  It would drive him mad for untold ages to come so near to something, someone he could not have.
Gage could feel it, almost hear Zach’s heart pounding.  Another moment, Gage knew he needed to say something... no, this was new: he needed to do something.  Gage took the slack afforded by Zach’s release and drew back a little to look into Zach’s face, “Why do you still doubt?”
Zach’s eyes flashed with fear.  Fear that this wasn’t real, another dream, urged him to disengage.  But as he brought his hands back from around Gage and prepared to push him away, Gage moved his hands too.  They shifted, gently gliding over the surface of his back, until they came to rest on Zach’s arms.  Gage and Zach stood in silence, the first holding the other.  Zach’s hands had frozen and rested at Gage’s sides.  Gage’s eyes burned with undeniable peace, like sapphire embers.  They suddenly fell two inches.  Zach knew Gage was looking at his lips.  He watched the black centers of the two blue gems trace the lining of his mouth.  A quivering sigh forced air back into Zach’s lungs.
Gage felt a peace that wasn’t common.  It was rare indeed for him to feel at ease with his best, most laboriously studied plans.  But this impulse brought calm... and Gage liked the easy warmth that was building in his mind.  The warmth built like a fire kindled.  In seconds he felt so right with the world.  And he wanted to give that solace to Zach.  The boy was trembling.  He was scared.  Gage knew he could settle the boy’s spirit, and he wanted to.  His eyes drifted softly back to Zach’s.  He smiled.
Zach saw the genuine feeling that had no name building in Gage.  It was evident in his face, in his smile, in the smile that reached the other’s eyes.  Zach could hear it.  Like the pounding of his heart, it was a noise he heard from somewhere deeper than the world around him.  Gage’s hands held strong on Zach’s arms.  They absorbed the shivers and seemed warmer than the Arizona sun.  Again, it was a deeper sensation than what comes in from the world around.  Zach closed his eyes.  The sensation of warmth intensified.  He could hear Gage’s breathing.  He could still feel the boy smiling.  In a second, Zach let go of his fear.  The jagged crystals of icy dread spattered and skipped before an energy greater even than death.  He opened his eyes and smiled, “I was afraid I wouldn’t see you again.”
“I wouldn’t have let that happen,” Gage said.  His voice was barely above a whisper and hummed at a low pitch in the magical afternoon sunlight.  His hands moved with seamless volition.  He brought them close to cradle Zach’s head just behind the ears.  With a gentle pull, he brought Zach’s head forward and placed his forehead against the other’s.  Their brows met as Gage rocked his head side to side, nuzzling with primitive, animal affection.  He wanted to touch Zach deeper than their physical forms would allow.
Zach was overcome with this new warmth and confidence.  He was ecstatic, he felt as though he were no longer Zach, or on Kesh, or anywhere but with Gage.  His fear was gone.  Zach nudged back, giving his soul reign and letting his mind with its logical concerns and sensible caution ellipse into darkness.  All was light here.  Zach closed his eyes again and grasped with his hands, pulling Gage’s body into his own.  He lifted his head and brushed his nose against Gages’ chin.  Gage’s head rested: so close, so there.  Zach breathed, Gage breathed.
Zach’s breath smelt sweet.  It had the feeling of a scent you craved to taste, but never had.  Gage lowered his hands to hang over the boy’s shoulders.  It was now that insight and wisdom and desire seemed to come back to a single pulsing light and life force.  Gage felt the warmth discharging from his skin, flowing through the cloth that separated the two bodies.  But there was a return.  Zach was still and calm.  And as Zach’s grasp worked to draw them more and more deeply into the same form.  Gage found that peace become solid like steel, warm like vapors from a spring, and more alive than a river.
Zach tilted his head.  His nose brushed Gage’s cheek.  In one moment there was distance, in the next none at all.  Power like a locomotive flooded Zach’s head.  It made his hearing dim, and his scalp tingle as all his being focused on this shared being.
Zach drew back.  The kiss had stirred Gage, the peace was suddenly gone.  There was no equilibrium.  No, I was too close.  Too close to him, to me.  I saw myself, I felt myself.  I was alive! Building up to it... in that moment, I was alive.  I felt Zach.  He was there!  But where did it go?  Where did he go?  Where am I?  Gage opened his eyes.  His first sight was a wholeness in Zach.  A new calm eneverated the tumult and the peace returned.  In that instant, Gage died and was reborn.  Feeling began to radiate from his core.  Union for a moment wasn’t enough.
Zach pulled back and at once felt good.  Not okay, he actually felt good, and right, and holy.  His living was valid.  His suffering had meaning.  If only he could share such a feeling with an other!  He looked into Gage’s eyes and, for a second, saw his own fear reflected.  Every insecurity and angst, every tear in his heart, all the pain was suddenly dancing across Gage’s face.  But then it was gone.  And a hand slid nimbly up his neck and pulled him in.  Gage indulged himself in Zach’s essence and being as the other pulled him ever tighter to his own body.  And, as the sun shone into the dusty house, Zach and Gage shared each other and each became whole.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Character Profile

[author’s name here]
[story title here]
Character Profile
Status Quo
– Occupation
– Residence
– Socioeconomic
– Associations
– Satisfaction
– Openness (inventive/curious vs. consistent/cautious)
– Conscientiousness (efficient/organized vs. easy-going/careless)
– Extraversion (outgoing/energetic vs. solitary/reserved)
– Agreeableness (friendly/compassionate vs. cold/unkind)
– Neuroticism (sensitive/nervous vs. secure/confident)
– w/ Main Characters
– w/ Side Characters
– Role in story
– Peripheral Arcs
– Development
– Face
– Body
– Style

Sociopath's Road to Redemption

|  addict                  slayer
|               warrior
|  nihilist                pacifist
|_____________________ +

(y = desire to kill, x = desire to live)

So, the sociopath starts out as a machine.  As he loses power, he drifts towards nihilism.  But then, as he is starting to love and desire life, his lover is threatened.  He returns to killing but later repents and becomes a pacifist.  Finally, he is needed to be a hero and returns to reluctant killing as a warrior.