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Awry With Dandelions

by J.S. Fields

Awry With Dandelions 0 J.S. Fields
Editions:Paperback - First Edition: $ 9.95
ISBN: 9781735076850
Size: 8.00 x 5.00 in
Pages: 99
ePub - First Edition: $ 2.99
ISBN: 9781735076850
Pages: 104

When do dreams become reality?
Orin sells dandelion latex at a no-name market, barely scraping by.

Mette is a princess. Maybe. What Orin does know is that for thirty seconds every night, Mette visits Orin in xir dreams. Orin has long since written the fancy ghost woman off as a recurring nightmare, but when Mette insists upon meeting in real life, Orin's inner world turns out to be more substantive than imaginary.

Along with best friend Blathnaid, Orin embarks on a journey to discover the truth behind xir otherworldly connection--determined to free xir mind and finally get a good night's sleep. But it's an ancient, planetary magic that binds Orin to Mette, and Orin's dandelions may be their only chance to survive the separation.

If you want a fun, queer romp through a sci-fi planet with magic and dragons (of a sort), download Awry with Dandelions today!

Note: this book uses xie/xir pronouns for Orin.

Genres: Space Opera / Science Fiction / Romance / LGBT Lesbian Non Binary

Market: Adult and New Adult

Published:
Publisher: Space Wizard Science Fantasy
Editors:
Illustrators:
Cover Artists:
Genres:
Tags:
Tropes: Book of Spells, Dying World, Found Family, Galactic Civilization, Inaccessible Magic, Mad Scientist, Magic Talisman, Magical Disaster, Post-Apocalyptic, Psionic Powers, Secret Royalty
Word Count: 21,400
Setting: Other Planet
Languages Available: English
Tropes: Book of Spells, Dying World, Found Family, Galactic Civilization, Inaccessible Magic, Mad Scientist, Magic Talisman, Magical Disaster, Post-Apocalyptic, Psionic Powers, Secret Royalty
Word Count: 21,400
Setting: Other Planet
Languages Available: English
Excerpt:

Chapter 1

Orin stared at the wispy phantom, the edges of her bleeding into the dark corners of the dream. Not a ghost—not really—but a woman who existed, in theory, on Orin’s planet. On Orin’s continent, even. Not that Orin had ever met her in the flesh. For twenty damn years they’d visited each other every night as ghostly apparitions, and sporadically during the day. Sometimes Orin to Mette, sometimes the other way around, but the duration was always the same. Thirty seconds. No more, no less. They had collected the start of a thousand conversations but had never managed anything of real substance. The first few seconds were always disorienting. Then came the nausea. Then came the attempt at talking. Then it was over.

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“Orin? Did you hear me?” Mette asked. “I said I think I’ve finally figured out how to separate our minds. We could sleep, Orin. Really sleep. We could be whole people, not genetically unrelated, mentally conjoined twins—don’t make that face—however you want to describe us. Are you listening to me?”

Orin was listening, as much as xie could in a dream. Already xir feet wobbled on the increasingly unstable surface of xir bedroom floor—a memory’s rendition and nothing more. Xie was still in bed. The room around Orin tilted. The sounds of morning, of the market, clinked along the false edges of their make-believe room. Even Mette canted, like her form had inserted into Orin’s mind at a thirteen-degree tilt.

“I don’t feel well,” Orin said. Neither of them ever felt well. Not in the dreamscape, not when they were awake. Theirs was a chronic wasting sickness with no clear scientific, medical cause. Science came from Earth, with the colonists. But scientific principles from one planet didn’t necessarily translate to another. Physics was guided by assumptions about reality, and reality didn’t mean the same thing, planet to planet. Like how on Earth, you could make water from two hydrogens and an oxygen, and on Orin’s planet you could also make it from saying seventeen nonsense words in the right order. On Earth horses lived just fine, and on this planet, Orin and Mette’s planet, horses just died right out of the spaceship because no one had yet sorted how Orin’s planet—and its magic—actually worked.

What did live well on Orin’s planet? Komodo dragons. Obviously.

The phantom woman pulled at the corners of her embroidered nightgown. Orin saw little lutes on the fabric, or maybe lamps. The details were always best closest to Mette’s face, where Orin could make out each solitary freckle on white skin, her dark brown eyes, and light brown hair. Orin’s eyes were the same color but xir hair was far shorter and darker, xir skin tawny. Orin also refused to wear nightgowns. Nude was the only way to sleep, especially when you tended to wake up nauseous.

“You don’t have to ignore me.” Mette stomped to the edge of Orin’s bed, nightdress dripping shades of rose in the moonlight.

Xie swallowed bile and tried to think of something to say. The sharp edges of Mette’s cheekbones and jaw blurred. The dream slipped, fractionally at first, then in exponential segments, into drips of color. Not completely dissolving, but slipping away in desperate inches.

Orin’s stomach knotted, and not from the intensity of their mental connection. This sounded too much like a real conversation—something they’d decided years ago was a lost cause. Thinking each other anything more than dreams caused too many problems. Orin had a good life. A semi-stable income. Xie’d learned to live with the inconvenience that was Mette, and fractured sleep, and persistently upset digestion. They’d tried to separate when they were younger—a mixture of near-death situations, magical potions that were probably just horrible herbal blends because Orin sure couldn’t afford real magic, fright, and distance. Nothing had worked then, and nothing would work now. Orin wasn’t willing, anymore, to court drowning or flinging xirself off a hillside to bounce Mette from xir brain, and xie couldn’t imagine Mette wanted to keep pouring her family’s seemingly endless money into herbalists and county fair witches. Not that they’d ever discussed money. But women in embroidered nightgowns generally had more cash than Orin saw in a year, and Mette had tried a new potion a week for almost six months before Orin had begged her to stop. The woman had the audacity of Methalimus royalty.

“No more, Mette. Can’t we just give up? We’re so tired, the both of us.”

Mette put her hands on her hips and cocked her head, a pose she’d had since childhood. “I need you to come to me. In real life. Not this”—she gestured in a circle above her head—“whatever it is we get trapped in every night. I’m serious. I have the answer. It took twenty years, but I have the answer!

“Come to you? Ridiculous. You won’t give me specifics on where you live beyond ‘north of the Starbond Sea.’ I don’t even know your last name.” I don’t even know if you’re real. What separates a hallucination from insanity from…this?

Colors continued to run. The dream continued to blur. Mette became a watercolor of memory.

“We have to stop this. I don’t think I can do it alone.”

“Do what alone?”

“The party.”

“What?” Her words made no sense. The dream dissolved to fragmented pigment. The smell of fried eggs and tomatoes saturated xir nose. Orin blanched and leaned back, determined to focus on the seeping wisp of Mette. From the range of silk and embroidered cotton nightgowns xie had seen Mette wear over the years, Orin had a good idea what kind of party she would attend. There would be silver cups and silver spoons, all imported from Earth. There would be big dresses, and jewels, and court apparel, because the only reason to take off a thick, embroidered nightgown was because you had something even more delicious to put on after. There might even be tiaras. Who knew how far up the social ladder Mette was? Regardless, Mette’s parties would definitely not be the kind Orin could get into, even riding a dragon. Even riding a dragon with lasers on its head.

That was assuming Mette was even real.

Mette rushed her final, disembodied words, though the dream had faded to faint audio and Orin saw only darkness. “Three days from now. The Kingdom of Methalimus, past the Starbond Sea. South of the solar farm. It’s a three-hour boat ride from End. Give any city wall guard you see your name and they’ll let you through. Promise me, Orin, that you’ll come. Promise me.

“There is no way—”

The dream broke apart.

Orin crashed back into xir body. Xir eyes flew open.

COLLAPSE

About the Author

J.S. Fields is a scientist who has perhaps spent too much time around organic solvents. They enjoy roller derby, woodturning, making chainmail by hand, and cultivating fungi in the backs of minivans.