Victor Nikiforov, Chechnya, and Protecting This World

So well-spoken. SPASIBO!!! I’m reblogging this and I’m sharing on FB and Twitter, too. You are completely right and it’s all I’ve been thinking of since finding YOI and first hearing about Chechnya. My only thought was Viktor would be one of the ones held and tormented; I HAVE to do something!

SPASIBO for writing this!!! I will help you get this word out!!! ❤

Maggie Felisberto's Blog

Stop what you’re doing, because we need to talk about this man:

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Who is that beautiful, blushing, winking platinum-haired specimen of an animated man? That, my friends, is Victor Nikiforov (aka Viktor Nikiforov aka Victor Niliforv aka Vitya aka Ice Daddy). Victor Nikiforov is a Figure Skating Legend™, Extra as Fuck, Probably Depressed and Hella Gay. These are the foundational aspects of his character in the groundbreaking (heartbreaking) 2016 anime series Yuri!!! On Ice. Feast your eyes:

pull-it-out-of-you S.1 Ep.2 Yuri’s Crush vs. Vitya’s Crush

maxresdefault S.1 Ep.5 Actual Quote: “Seduce me with all you have.”

Viktor_and_Yuuri S.1 Ep. 7, First on-screen kiss

VN_YK_ring_ep_10 S.1 Ep.10, Proposal

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Victor Nikiforov is one half of one of the most important gay couples to ever grace my laptop screen, and probably yours too. You’re welcome. Ever since I saw the first episode of Yuri!!! On Ice, I immediately related to Victor’s other half, Katsuki Yuri…

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Born to Make History: Yuri!!! On Ice Episode 10 recap, @kubo_3260 is a genius & I want retire to be her handmaiden and make her katsudon & cake

Every. Single. Word. ❤

The Amazon Iowan

I would like to warn our affiliates that we will be running long. Also I have so many feels and this post will be ridiculously effusive. If it were me delivering this as a speech in a bar, I would be drunk, weeping, and there would be rendering of garments. Probably at some point I would begin erecting a shrine to Mitsurō Kubo out of whatever material was at hand, and then it would just get weird, weirder than that was already. Probably sticking to written words is best.

Let me begin with these words: with two episodes yet remaining, and with the caveat that I understand this is anime, not a novel, I am elevating Mitsurō Kubo into my top five authors, and at this point it’s simply a cool-off period (and the remaining two episodes) to see whether she dethrones Henry Fielding as #3 behind Sir Terry Pratchett…

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THROUGH HER SUNKEN DREAM: Part IV

2.1 Through Her Sunken Dream E-Book Cover

 

– IV –

 

A hand slid over her shoulder, dragging her up from the warm depths of slumber. The unexpected delight of her younger brother’s goofy grin sent a smile spreading wide across her lips and she laughed, pushing her face into the soft pillow. “Tris, how are you here? Mom said you were working in Vancouver!”

“Came home especially for my big sister.” He leaned down and pressed a kiss to her hair. “I’ve a gift for you.”

Rolling over onto her side, she caught sight of Mina dozing in the rocking chair behind him. Tara furrowed her brow. “What’s the gift?”

Tristan, ten years her junior, sat back on his ass, tugging his phone from his pocket and pressing a button before he put the device to his ear. Tara watched him curiously, and when his crooked smile touched the edges of his full lips and he greeted the person on the other end, she furrowed her brow, realizing she’d not caught the identity of the person she knew with which she was about to converse. Tristan laughed at her frustration, and did nothing to ease it as he said into the phone, “Yeah, lemme just hand you to her.”

Tara rolled her eyes and sat up, holding her hand out for the mobile phone. “Tell me who—”

“Sam.”

The name threw her for a loop, and she frowned. “I’m sorry?”

Tristan arched an amused eyebrow as he stood. “He don’t have much time, so get your ass on the phone. You need to speak to him.”

“I need to speak to Sam.” Her words spoken deliberately, Tara blanched. “Wait… Sam?

“That one.” He grinned, jiggling the phone a bit. “Go on.”

Half an hour later, Tara mused as she hung up her brother’s phone. She knew she would never forget the experience, one only Tristan could have finagled. She rarely thought about where he worked or what he did, but his truck-driving job had put him in touch with some of the most amazing people over the years. Lately, he’d been driving for a production company in Vancouver… where he’d apparently met him.

Sam Winchester. Tristan had become friends with Jared Padalecki, and at some point, they had a conversation where Tris convinced him to talk to me, in character, when he called and put me on the phone. Tris understood I needed to speak to someone who could make the distinction between light and dark. Because I’d given in to the dark too easily in the past, because he wasn’t ready to live without his sister, and because nothing else they’d tried had worked; Sam Winchester was the only option Tris felt he had left. Sam was the ace up his sleeve, and he knew Sam could get through to me.

The breeze blew her hair into her face, and she looked at the Call Log once again, seeing JarPad Home 15:38, confirming the call’s existence. She’d left the bedroom during their conversation and gone outside to sit on the deck steps. She pushed the flames of her hair back over her ears, smiling softly to herself.

“How’s my girl?”

Tara lifted a merry gaze to the beloved countenance of the woman she called home. “I’m okay, pretty lady. Still reeling.”

“What was it like?” Mina asked, sitting down one step above her and looping her arms loosely around Tara’s shoulders. “You know… talking to a freakin’ Winchester?”

“Surreal. I don’t imagine many people have done that before.” Tara took a deep breath. “Unscripted, that is. Can’t believe Tris arranged this… it blows my mind!”

“What’d the Moose tell you?” Her girlfriend ran her lithe fingers through Tara’s hair and began to plait the blue-streaked red waves into a loose French braid.

“He told me death was more permanent than he or Dean like to imagine. He told me the process of dying isn’t painless, that it always hurts like hell, but the kind of pain I’d feel wouldn’t begin to touch the pain I’d put my brother through.” Tara leaned back in Mina’s embrace, her hands catching on the woman’s arms when they wrapped around her again. “He told me I was the world to a certain little brother… like his big brother was to him.”

Mina pressed a kiss to her shoulder. “I’m glad you were able to speak to him.”

Tara shifted to lift her eyes to her girlfriend’s gaze. “Me, too.”

“So… we’re going to be here for a few weeks while you heal,” Mina began, her smile warm and inviting. “What would you like to do while we are here?”

Tara leaned her temple to Mina’s shoulder. “You know I’m broken, don’t you? I-I-I mean, you know this is always going to be my fight, yeah?”

“Baby, I know this is your fight. I know you fight you on a daily basis. I know you aren’t—” Mina sniffled as tears slipped down her cheeks. “I know you aren’t going to win every battle. I know why you got the semi-colon and the AKF art—it’s your armor to wear into battle—” Mina slipped down to sit in Tara’s lap. “—but you have to remember, babe, I’m always gonna stand next to you, fight your monsters with you. You have to remember, my pretty Major Tom, you’re a goddamn hero in this story. You’re my hero.” She laughed quietly. “I’ll bet Sam said the same thing to you.”

Tara leaned in to press a kiss to Mina’s mouth, whispering, “I don’t know what to say.”

“Say your story isn’t over yet, that it really does go on and on and on and on—” Mina brought Tara’s left arm up to kiss the phoenix-winged butterfly. “—and you’re always going to live on the breath of a hope.” She lifted the right arm up to kiss the spaceman. “Promise me you’ll always keep fighting.”

Tara’s face creased with the force of the emotion swelling within her. Taking another salty kiss from Mina’s lips, she vowed, “I swear it. I swear it to you, Mina, I swear it!”

 

 

NOT THE END

THROUGH HER SUNKEN DREAM: Part III

2.1 Through Her Sunken Dream E-Book Cover

– III –

 

Tara pushed closer to Mina’s warm body, snuggling as close as she could, hoping she could find peace in sleep the way Mina did. Tara ran her fingers through Mina’s russet curls, watching as they wrapped around her fingertips. The silkiness of her hair, so warm and touchable, drew a gasp from her lips.

She deserves better than me. She’s so happy and perfect and me, I’m just—I’m broken. I’m damaged goods. I’m—

A loud bang jolted her eyes open and she lifted up on all fours, her right hand sliding in something slick that sent her face first into the cold tile of the bathroom floor. Pain exploded in her cheek, and Tara yelped as the banging continued. She shivered at the chill crawling across her skin, slowly rising up once more, feeling a warmth spilling down her chin. Sitting back on her feet, she rubbed her arms to warm them, succeeding only in making herself colder.

The banging grew louder… Tara heard Mina’s cries mixing in with it as she begged and pleaded.

What is she begging for? Who is she pleading with? What is going on?

“Open the door! Please, baby, open the door and let me in!” Mina shouted, confusing Tara.

She’s begging me? Where’m I, that she needs to ask me to let her in?

Her vision blurred a bit, scaring her since the room was already dark. She shuffled over to a line of light broken by a moving shadow Tara figured must be her girlfriend. Her hands searched for the doorknob, slipping on the metal handle two or three times before managing to unlock the door. As it opened slowly, Mina careful of her proximity, Tara whispered, “We were snuggling… weren’t we?”

“You said you needed to pee,” Mina answered calmly, but her facial expression told Tara of the terror filling her. “I’m going to turn the light on, babe, because I need to see you.”

“I’m cold,” Tara whispered. “Can I have a blanket?”

The lights came on and Mina gasped. “Jesus… baby… we need to get you to a hospital.”

“No!” Tara forced herself to her feet. “They’ll tell me the same things they always do!”

“Tara, do you remember doing this?” Mina gently took hold of Tara’s right arm, her fingers like fire on Tara’s skin. “Do you?”

Tara shook her head. “I was snuggling with you. Your hair was warm on my fingers.”

Mina grabbed the hand towel, wrapping it tightly around Tara’s wrist. “If you’re not going to consciously seek help, I’m going to make you do it, Tara. I will not lose the woman I love. Do you understand, babe?”

Time blurred on by until Tara found herself curled up in the smallest ball possible at the head of her hospital bed. Her mother dozed in one chair, her father in another. Mina snuggled behind her, one hand splayed over Tara’s belly. Tara threaded her fingers through Mina’s, shifting to lay partially on her back. “Mina,” she murmured.

Mina nuzzled Tara’s cheek, ghosting a kiss over Tara’s lips. “’M here.”

“They have me on meds, don’t they?” Tara sought another kiss, and Mina deepened it briefly before she nodded, answering, “A mild sedative, due to the pain from the staples and to calm you.”

“I’m so sorry—”

“Don’t apologize, baby. Just promise me you’ll talk to me… or to someone. I can’t handle the idea of living life without you. Hell, it’s selfish of me to say, but I love you so much… and waking up beside you every morning is a dream I never want to wake from!” Mina sniffled, wrapping around Tara. “God, I swore I wouldn’t make it all about me!”

“I feel like I’m failing you, Mina. I feel like something in me broke when I killed that man—”

“But you didn’t. It didn’t. For the first time in your life, you made a decision about living and dying. You decided you weren’t ready to let go. In that moment, baby, you took the choice away from your attacker. Your reaction personified the Voltaire quote you like so much from The Crow—”

It isn’t death if you refuse it.” Tara nodded. “I don’t want to die. I want to stop feeling broken.”

“Are you ready?”

Tara lifted her gaze to the door, where her mother stood in a pretty blue dress sprinkled with a pink and lavender floral pattern. Her airy white sweater matched the handbag in her left hand. Tara nodded, pushing her blue-streaked red hair over her shoulders, whispering, “Mom?”

Rebecca Webster crossed the room, reaching one hand out to cup Tara’s chin, her words quiet, “You are beautiful. You are a wonderful woman, you are my daughter, and I am so proud of you. Nothing will ever change that, Tara Diane; your dad and I couldn’t be prouder of you.”

“He found out in a way I didn’t—”

Rebecca smiled softly, shaking her head. “We already knew. You and Mina live in a one-bedroom apartment. You share a bed. I suspect you have since the first night she moved in. You do everything together. It wasn’t hard to figure out.”

“Is she ready?”

Tara blinked as Lee Webster strode over to her, his face pale and drawn as he bent to press a tender kiss to her tousled mane. “There you are, Tara-Tara.” His big hands carefully smoothed her hair, fingertips curling in the ends as he let out a ragged sigh. “I am so proud of you, dearheart.”

“Daddy—” She bowed her head, squeezing her eyes shut against the tears.

“Your Mina is one smart lady.” His hands framed her face, his thumbs drying her cheeks as he lifted her glistening cocoa gaze to his matching one. “She loves you.”

“I love her!” Tara cried, burrowing against her father’s chest as he sat on the edge of her bed. “You really still love me?”

Lee chuckled, enfolding her in a tight embrace. “Bunches and gobs, dearheart. Bunches and gobs.”

The long ride back to her parents’ rural home lulled Tara into an impromptu nap, one she woke from when their car finally ground to a stop on the gravel drive behind her father’s truck inside the Webster garage. Mina helped Tara out of the vehicle and into the house. As they laid down on the soft bed in the guest room, Tara told her lady, “Daddy likes you.”

Mina smiled widely. “I like him.”

On to Part IV

THROUGH HER SUNKEN DREAM: Part II

2.1 Through Her Sunken Dream E-Book Cover

– II –

“You got a light?”

Yanking her from the safety of her own world, Tara stumbled a bit in haste as she attempted to put space between herself and the owner of the voice, who stood close behind her… too close. Tara shook her head, tugging one earbud from her ear in effort to keep David with her and her voice calm. “I-I’m sorry. I don’t—I don’t smoke.”

The man laughed, the sound thick with menace. “I scare ya?” He loomed over her, intentionally stepping forward, into her personal space.

Tara retreated a second time, but this time her back hit a chest and hands fell to her hips, clamping tight, holding her fast. She struggled, lashing out with her fists, receiving a slap across the face for her efforts. The sting startled her into momentary stillness and she tried to determine what her next move should be. Bare seconds passed, but it only took seconds for the men to force her into the alleyway beside the tattoo parlor, and cold steel touched her throat.

Is this really happening? Am I really—

Fabric ripping alerted her to the sudden reality rapidly becoming her own. Her eyes darted up to the man pinning her body against the rough brick wall. His knife created a shallow cut down her chest, the blade breaking the front clasp of her bra. The loss of her clothing snapped her into a terrifying awareness.

Always.

Setting her jaw, Tara inhaled sharply and slid one hand over the outside of the arm barring her escape, fingers catching the inside of his elbow. Without a second thought, Tara took her other hand to the man’s jaw. Yanking his arm inward and rotating his head sent his back hard to the wall… and the knife skittering across the alley floor.

Keep.

HEY!” The man’s partner—he’d stayed close to the alley’s mouth to keep watch—ran at her and Tara tried to sidestep him, but he managed to get a hold of her arm. A frightened shriek tore from her lips as she allowed herself to be whirled around and, fear fueling her, she made a fist and yanked her arm up towards her chest. Stronger than her, the man laughed at her and squeezed, heightening her anxiety, and when Tara brought her free hand down to shove his wrist and free herself, the force of the blow she dealt broke something beneath the skin.

Fighting.

Howling, the man went down, curling around his arm, but movement at the wall spurred her into motion once more. Her eyes caught the gleam of metal in the dim light of the alley, and she ran towards it. Tara dove for it, but a heavy body landed on top of her, knocking the air from her. She closed her fingers around the handle as she rolled, swinging the blade in a desperate arc to slam it hard into the man’s neck. Hot blood spurted across her face and she shouted, pushing him off of her and scooting backwards on her ass until her back hit the side of the green metal dumpster.

TARA!

Mina’s voice shocked Tara out of fight or flight mode. Tara curled up into a ball, wrapping her arms around her knees as she began to shake. Lifting her gaze to Mina’s horrified countenance, Tara stammered, “He-He was going to—He h-h-hurt me!”

“I know, baby, I know—”

Tara felt tears slipping down her cheeks and she turned away. Unintentionally, Tara found herself faced with the sudden end of her attack: a man laid face down in a pool of his own blood, his eyes open and sightless. Her lower lip trembled and she turned back to Mina. “I killed him.”

“Baby, you—“ Mina broke off to answer a call Tara didn’t realized she’d initiated. “I need help. My girlfriend was attacked outside of Tigger’s Body Art. We need an ambulance, her attacker had a knife.”

“He hurt me!” Tara shouted. “I didn’t do anything wrong!”

“I know, baby. I know—yes, she’s hurt. Yes, she stopped him… with his own knife. Please, send someone!”

Tara heard sirens and her wild eyes watched the mouth of the alley. “I didn’t do anything wrong!”

Mina wrapped her arms around Tara’s form. “I know. I know. Baby, I know.” Her lips pressed a kiss to Tara’s hair. “It’s going to be okay, baby. You’re going to be okay. God, I don’t know what I’d do without you—yes, we’ll stay on the line until they get here.”

Tara stared off into the distance; she didn’t listen to the doctor speaking with Mina. Apparently, the cut spanning her neck and upper chest had been deeper than she’d realized and the doctor had stapled it closed. After investigating the crime scene and surrounding area, the police had not charged her. The man who’d attacked her had died, and the police had found the lookout. His confession confirmed her story.

Mina slid a hand over her cheek. “Hey beautiful, the doctor says we can take you home if you feel up to it.”

“I want to go home.” Tara exhaled a shaky breath. “I don’t want to be here. I remember here and I hate it. I hate it. I just want to go home. Mina, please—”

Mina smiled at her, her eyes shining with tears as she nodded. “We’ll go home.”

Tara jolted awake, bolting from the bed to stumble down the hall to the bathroom. Her heart pounded hard in her chest as she slammed the door closed and locked it. Sliding down the door, she tried hard to regulate her breathing in the cool darkness of the small room.

Please don’t please don’t please don’t please don’t—

A quiet knock came on the other side of the thin wood. “It’s me, baby. Tara, it’s me. It’s Mina. Let me in.”

She’s not real. She’s not real. Mina’s not real. They probably—

Another knock, this one a tiny bit louder and with enough force to be felt through the door. Tara shifted to press her cheek to the cool surface of the wall, scooting on her bottom away from the door. Tugging her knees to her chest, she reached up and worked the lock on the doorknob. Her eyes widened as she watched the door swing inwards to reveal Mina’s patient countenance. Tears slipped down both their cheeks as Tara whispered, “Are you real?”

Mina edged closer… closer… reaching a hand out to push Tara’s tousled hair over the shell of her right ear. “I’m real, sweetie. I promise.”

“If you were a delusion, do you think you’d promise me you were real?”

“I suppose I would, because I want you to see me as hope.” Mina’s full lips spread in a tender smile and she twirled the blue ends of Tara’s hair around her fingertips. “I’m really here, though, babe. I promise.”

Tara considered Mina’s answer for a long moment before asking, “Did you get a hold of my parents?”

“I did, yes.” Mina cupped Tara’s cheek, and Tara realized she’d been relocated to her girlfriend’s lap. “They’re already here, remember? They’re in the office, asleep on the daybed.”

“I didn’t—I must’ve—”

Mina pressed a gentle kiss to Tara’s mouth. “You were pretty out of it. Your mother is talking to your doctor about the scrips.”

“My pills?”

Mina nodded. “I know how you feel about them, but both your mom and your doctor think they’ll help to calm you, maybe even keep the nightmares away until your mind can process—”

“What do you think? You’re my filter—you know me better than—” Tara felt her throat tighten and her face screwed up as she turned it away, leaning her forehead to Mina’s shoulder. “I don’t know—I—Mina, I—Mina—”

“No, sweetie. No. I will not let you do this to yourself. You lived. You lived.” Mina brought both her hands up to frame Tara’s face. “You did that on your own. You didn’t let them take you. You fought back and I—” Her smile stretched wide across her lips. “Baby, I am so proud of you.”

“But I killed—”

Mina shook her head. “No, Tara. No, you acted out of self-preservation. That is entirely different. Self-defense is not murder.” Mina kissed her mouth a second time. “You wanted to live, so you did!”

On to Part III

THROUGH HER SUNKEN DREAM: Part I

2.1 Through Her Sunken Dream E-Book Cover

– I –

The new ink made her forearm throb. Looking down at the finished product, Tara smiled. “It’s perfect,” she told the tattoo artist. “Absolutely stunning.”

An astronaut with a semi-colon jetpack floated in the galaxy-filled lightning bolt taken from the cover of David Bowie’s Aladdin Sane album. Written along the top of the bolt was a lyric from 1974’s Diamond Dogs—“Living on the breath of a hope”—while along the bottom was a lyric off his 1969 self-titled album—“I think my spaceship knows which way to go”. It matched the semi-colon phoenix-winged butterfly on her left forearm. The slightly modified words belonged to a band she listened to frequently now, Thirty Seconds to Mars, and echoed pain she had experienced as a youth—“And my story goes on and on and on and on…” Three capital letters blazed brightly behind the exquisite creature—AKF, always keep fighting. This new tattoo spoke of the pain she lived in presently. Spun from Bowie’s genius, the astronaut and 1969 quote expressed her loneliness now, while the line about hope represented the ecstasy she’d barely begun to experience with Wilhemina Bennington.

They’d met by chance in a Starbucks the day she—

Tara looked up as the door to the famous coffee shop swung open and a tall, curvy brunette rushed inside, dropping her dripping, makeshift newspaper umbrella into the black trashcan by the door. Sighing heavily, she sat down in the chair nearest Tara’s table and finger-combed her hair, commenting, “It’s supposed to be sunny and dry today, right?”

“According to Channel 8,” Tara answered without thinking.

The woman faced her, an easy smile on her full lips, her brilliant blue-green eyes dancing as they lifted to meet Tara’s honey-brown gaze. “Well, I think the weatherman’s got some explaining to do.”

Tara smirked, nodding. “To lots of people, I’m sure.” She eyed the woman, eyes lighting on the roller-bag docked next to her. “Tell me you’ve got somewhere to stay and get dry!”

She shook her head. “Actually, I don’t. When I got here, my room had been double-booked. Since I arrived second, the hotel booted me with an apology, but they had no vacancies.”

Tara frowned, leaning forward. “Anyone you know here? I mean, anyone at all?”

She shook her head again. “Not a soul.” She sighed heavily. “I was supposed to meet with a client, but his flight was cancelled due to weather. Any last minute hotel recommendations for a girl?”

“Well, yeah… maybe?” Tara’s lips turned up at the corners. “You look about my size, so I could lend you something dry and put your wet clothes in to wash. If you like my home, you’re more than welcome to stay.”

“Because I would turn down the hospitality of a beautiful woman?” She chuckled, holding out a wet hand to Tara. “Mina Bennington, and you are?”

Blushing, Tara shook the proffered slender hand and shook, a trembling smile on her lips. “Tara. Tara Webster.”

A few hours later, Tara and Mina sat on the couch in Tara’s tiny apartment, eating drunken noodles from a nearby Thai place, and watching Elena Undone on Tara’s television. A knock came at the door and Tara set her plate down on the coffee table, murmuring, “I’ll be right back.”

Crossing to the door, she picked up a box and unlocked the deadbolt. Turning the handle, she gave a tiny polite smile to the woman on the other side of the portal before pushing the box into her arms. Five minutes later, she hugged her arms and suffered through a diatribe of accusations. Tara wondered if it would ever end as arms wrapped around her from behind and a warm cheek pressed against hers, a steely voice growling, “Leave. Her. Be. I will be caring for Tara from now on. If I see you near her again, you will regret it.”

The door shut firmly in the other woman’s surprised face, Tara turned in Mina’s arms to bury her face in the taller woman’s chest, whispering, “Why did you—”

“Because she’s a bitch who doesn’t care about anyone but herself. That’s why.” Mina pressed a kiss to Tara’s red hair. “Don’t think about her. Come finish dinner with me.”

Tara nodded. “I just need to wash my face first.” She didn’t wait for a reply, but hurried over to the bathroom and shut herself away from the world. Leaning against the door, she took a couple of deep breaths before taking the two steps to the sink. Lifting the metal handle to run the cold water, she used both hands to splash water on her face two or three times. Raising her gaze to her reflection in the mirror, she took a shaky breath, whispering, “Not alone. Keep… keep fighting. She’s—” hiccup “she’s gone. She’s—” hiccup “she’s wrong. She’s mean.”

Opening her mirrored medicine cabinet, she gave a slight smile, reaching in for the partial box of razor blades. Ready to feel the comforting bite, she slid it open, fingertips reaching in practiced movements to find the right weapon to mar the smooth skin of her forearm. Before she could take the steel from its cardboard home, her mind screamed at her to focus on the ink on her forearm.

AKF—Always Keep Fighting. My story goes on and on and on and on…

Tara tried to shake off learned guilt, but her reflection caught her attention: dark eyes, wide and red-rimmed.

A light knock jerked her out of introspection.

Tara focused on the girl in the mirror, her face crumpling as she gasped, “I don’t think my spaceship knows which way to go!”

“Tara, baby, let me in!”

Whirling on her heel in a split second, she opened the door, pushing the blades into Mina’s hands. “Mina, I’m broken! My spaceship doesn’t know which way to go anymore!”

Tears slipped down Mina’s cheeks even as her lips spread in a shaky smile. “It’s okay, my pretty Major Tom. I’ll help you pilot it. Promise.” Stepping in to wrap her arms around Tara, Mina whispered, “Thank you for trusting me with you, baby. We’ll get through this, and we’ll do it together.”

 

Tara realized for the thousandth time, she could have easily ended it then, after Allie had ripped her to pieces by telling her she wished she’d been successful in her attempt to end it all. Glancing down at her spaceman, she smiled, grabbing her phone to take a picture of the new ink as the artist rang up her total. Sending it to Mina, she pocketed the phone and opened her wallet to pay the artist. Shouldering her satchel seconds later, she pushed earbuds into her ears, setting her iPod to repeat David Bowie’s “Life on Mars?” before tugging a grey slouch beanie onto her head as she left. Her phone vibrated, and Tara felt her heart lift a little. Digging the phone out to run her finger across the screen, Mina’s words were the sun breaking through the clouds—On my way, babe. Can’t wait to see it in the flesh! XOXO

On to Part II

THROUGH HER SUNKEN DREAM: Proem

2.1 Through Her Sunken Dream E-Book Cover

– Proem –

Tara pressed the Play button on her blue iPod before tugging the AKF sweatshirt over her blue-streaked hair. Tears fell from her eyes as she shoved the long sleeves up her arms, her gaze catching on her left forearm as she ignored her phone when it began to vibrate; she knew the caller was almost certainly her boss, just as she also knew his call would be to beg her to change her vacation dates. The loss of another manager weighed heavily on the franchise and they needed her there because he needed to be elsewhere.

Guilt still compelled her to do as they asked, to push her personal life aside and be there for them, but she couldn’t force herself to do it… not again. Not this time. She had to take care of her own house first. Shoving the thoughts aside, she tugged the shirt down over her belly.

It buzzed again, but the trilled purr of the gorgeous feline who shared her bedroom offered a pleasant and momentary distraction from her thoughts. She whirled and bent to lift the calico into her arms, nuzzling her wet face into the cat’s side, and as if her furry companion knew she needed comforting, the purr grew louder.

“Almost time, babe.”

She looked up at the door, finding the comforting visage of her girlfriend leaning against the jamb. Nuzzling the cat’s soft fur, Tara gently set the animal on the bed, giving her a good scratch. She nodded. “I know.”

“You’re worried.”

She nodded again. “Mina, I am. I’m worried… really worried.”

“You shouldn’t be, sweetie. Your mother knows you both so well, and she says to talk to him.” Mina crossed the room. “Tara—” She lifted her hands to push a lock of Tara’s fiery hair over her ears. “She definitely wouldn’t steer you wrong. Not after everything you’ve been through. She thinks he’s ready.”

Tara bowed her head, leaning her cheek into Mina’s touch. “She asked if I had a girlfriend.”

“Right?” Mina smiled, her lips turning up at the corners. “She loves you and she wants you to be happy, baby.”

Tara took a deep breath, reaching back to grab her satchel. Tossing the strap over her head, she murmured, “I can do this, right? I can do this.”

Wrapping her up in strong arms, Mina pressed a kiss to the crook of Tara’s neck. “You can do this.” Another kiss to Tara’s temple. “I promise.”

On to Part I

About: THROUGH HER SUNKEN DREAM

2.1 Through Her Sunken Dream E-Book CoverI’ve always been depressed. In fact, I think I’ve suffered from depression probably as long as I’ve been a writer. If not, it’s a pretty close contest.

I didn’t have an easy time of it in grade school or junior high. I’ve been overweight most of my life. To be fair, I’m not as overweight as some people. I fit in one airplane seat. I can wear most of the things I want to wear and do most of the things I want to do. The only restrictions I bear are my own, and when I look in the mirror, I don’t cringe… most of the time.

Some days are harder than others.

Those words are often the mantra a depressed person tells themselves. Those words are, sometimes, the only words to get them through the day.

Kids are mean.

Those words ring true, too. Kids are meaner than hell, and I took the brunt for whatever they could find. I have a club thumb and the days they didn’t feel like calling me “fatso,” they zinged me for that. I was a bookworm, a nerd, a fat kid, too quiet, and my parents raised me somewhat sheltered, so I didn’t know any of the popular music or television shows until I was about fourteen. You can only imagine what growing up like this did for me in the 1980’s. My parents didn’t do it to be mean, but it happened. I was bullied and the words… well, they hurt. They did massive damage I still deal with today, and in my younger years, this was killer.

I was fortunate enough, as life dealt a succession of trials and tribulations this past year, to have added cushioning when I fell. That cushioning came in the form of a man I truly admire, Jared Padalecki, and the birth of AKF, or Always Keep Fighting. I didn’t realize a man who always smiled could be just like me, who had to really think about it to see the glass as half-full. As AKF went into full swing, I would save money to get a permanent reminder to do just that on my left forearm. On good days, it reminds me I am strong. On bad days, it pisses me off just enough that I realize the reminder is doing its job: I am good enough. I am worth it. I am strong. My story… it goes on and on. We aren’t done yet and my stories are not all told.

BLURB:

Tara Webster and her girlfriend, Mina Bennington, travel to visit Tara’s parents in Texas, where Tara plans to finally come out to her father. On their first day there, Tara is attacked outside a tattoo parlor in Deep Ellum, and in self defense, she kills her attacker. A life-long sufferer of severe depression, the trauma sends her spiraling into a web of guilt, pain, and despair. Will she be able to muster the courage it takes to always keep fighting, or will she no longer refuse death?

On to the PROEM

Rainbow Snippets #13

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My snippet today is from Bescreen’d in Night again. 🙂 This time, it’s from the beginning. It’s sweet, and it gives hope… and a sentence-ish over the six.

“Tonight, we tied ourselves together in the oldest way possible.” David’s hands fell to Jonathan’s chest, he leaning in to hold Jonathan’s gaze captive, amber to blue, as he pressed a kiss to Jonathan’s lips. “Tonight, in my mind—”

“I became your husband and you became mine?” Jonathan finished, quirking an amused eyebrow.

Tears of joy sparkled in David’s eyes, his smile shining like a sun as he answered, “Yes!”

“Babe…” I love you so much. “I’m going to marry you someday, I promise you. One day, I will give you Shea.”