This could also be titled: Having wayyyy too much fun with matchboxes. And you can see the story in the works. The next time someone asks me for a light, I'll be passing them Bent Over His Desk, Filthy Housewives (edited by Violet Blue), or Haunted by Sommer Marsden. Talk about an ice breaker....
Want your own? I just learned that you (or I) can send safety matches in the mail! I thought mailing matches was prohibited. Which means I can make up a slew of erotic indie matchboxes to send as prizes! (Watch this space.)
In other super-cool news, Sommer has a new book out called Chasing Shade, which is already nailing fab reviews!
And now for a bit of the work-in-progress that is devouring my days and keeping me up at night... I am, quite honestly, terrified of this book. It's not behaving in the way my novels normally function. (I'll post my character list soon so you can see what I mean.) At first, I was pushing back. Then I was floating on the words—not participating, but observing. Now I'm in. I get it. And I'm still fucking scared. Isn't that crazy after all these years?
“Write me a story,” he says. That’s how our interactions usually start. “Write me a story.” What comes next is different each time. “Write me a story about a magician.” A wand appears in his hand. He flourishes the stick and a spray of stars glitter from the tip. “He meets a girl who needs to believe in magic.”
Who doesn’t? I think as I look at the silver stars adorning the glossy white floor.
She didn’t want to go out with the gang. They were always pulling at her, telling her she could use a change of pace. “A night on the town.”
She never went. Nights out meant boys. And boys meant trouble. She was fine with her routine. Everything felt peaceful if she followed her own predictable schedule.
“We bought you a ticket.”
They had no idea. Her life at work was a facade. She could zip on a skin and be who they wanted her to be. Strawberry-blonde hair up in a twist. Tiny gold hoop earrings that her father gave her for her sixteenth birthday. A little hint of cherry lip gloss on her thin lips. At home, she unplugged, unwound, stood naked in her bedroom and let the cool breeze from an automatic fan flow over her.
She never went out with them.
Until tonight, because she had a curiosity where magic was concerned. Sometimes she moved things with her mind.
It was adult theatre. A dark-eyed magician who had to drizzle the cynics with wit and skill, so that even those disbelievers felt they got their money’s worth. She sat with the people from work—not friends, not by a long shot—and although she knew this man was no magician, she appreciated his nimble fingers and could imagine him touching her body.
For the finale, she helped him from the audience.
He was as astonished as the crowd by the trick he’d performed.
Sometimes he stops by to see how I’m doing. He’ll read over my shoulder and pepper me with questions. At first, I tried to hide my work. I didn’t want him to read what I’d written until I was finished, and I shielded the pages with my splayed fingers, but that never went well for me. Now I fidget as he reads, and I try to prepare answers to what I know he’ll ask.
“She can move things with her mind? How do you know that?”
I sit and bite my lip. I only know what the characters tell me.
“What can she move? What does she do with her power?” He leans in and kisses me, and I feel sparks inside my belly. “Why are boys trouble?”
I think he may have given me my title. I try not to let him see the glee I feel at grasping that missing link: No More Boys.
The first time was the worst. She was in her dorm room with her boyfriend. He wanted to touch her, to slip his hand up under her shirt, but he was nervous. She didn’t know what she wanted. At least, that’s what she told herself. But when he hesitated too long, she moved his hand for him. She grabbed him with her mind and put his hand on her breast. The jolt was fantastic, a beam of radiating energy she felt deep through her core.
It was lust that made the power glow. If she didn’t feel lit up inside, she could control herself. She needed cool. She needed ice. The boyfriend had fled, scared, and she’d gotten a reputation.
No more boys.
But the magician with his slicked blond hair and his rabbit-fast way of talking, he stirred something inside her. So she helped him. She went back the next night without her gaggle from work, and she assisted from the audience once more. It was easy, something she could do almost without planning. She simply saw the action in her mind and willed the objects to follow her command.
Flowers bloomed from his wand—tropical flowers that weren’t made of paper or silk. These were fresh blooms, a riot of fuchsia and glistening purple. Their lush, obscene fragrance danced in the air. When he held the flowers, he looked directly at her.
On the third night, he seemed to be waiting for it. This was the night she raised her hand when he asked for a volunteer. She was wearing a short dress shot through with gold thread. Warmth radiated through her.
She levitated for him.
“How do you see the people?” he asks. “How do you know their stories?”
I don’t have a response for this, although similar questions keep me up at night. But I try my best. Not answering is not an option. It’s like a crack in the wall. A fissure. I can watch them. I know what they’re thinking. They show me what they want me to see.
“You talk about them like they’re real.”
They are real. I simply write down what happens. However much they allow me. Whatever glimpse they give.
“You’re making that up,” he says. “You know what happens to liars.”
This is the strangest roller-coaster of a writing ride I've ever been on. We'll see what happens!