All or Nothing: Writing Wednesday

I’ve necessarily slowed in my posting to tend to personal matters, but I’m still writing, I promise you that!

Welcome to Writing Wednesday. My Wednesday shares have become shorter and serialized, and they’re coming from my current WIP (work in progress), Striking Balance. You’ll be able to find all the ones that pertain to Striking Balance under the Categories drop down to your right.

Striking Balance is a Queer Historical Paranormal Fantasy story set within my Appalachian Elementals series. It’s a freestanding tale, so you don’t need to have read the other stories within the series to delve into this one.

Striking Balance has exited the beta reader stage. Yay! I’m now working on a new WIP so you’ll be reading a new Writing Wednesday as soon as I finish sharing this chapter.

This is installment fifty-two, “All or Nothing,” and it immediately follows where last week’s installment, “A Game for Two,” ended. The main character in Striking Balance is Benjamin (Nub) Schnell, the possessor of secrets twice his size and seeming age. He’s been working for nearly a decade on the same small farm as his friend, Conall Baldwin, who acts as the farm’s manager. This story begins during the American Revolutionary War years, 1779 to be precise, in the Nolichucky river basin of Northeast Tennessee.

Master Gow has asked Conall about the card game, and we’re beginning with Conall’s reply from last week, which is in orange.

     “Yessir.” Conall grimaces when my ten outdoes his four. “And Ben’s winnin’.”

     “He’s a clever man, our Benjamin.” Master Gow winks at me and turns back to his discussion with Alexandria. Those words are for my comfort, I know, his way of reminding me I am safe.

     I managed to sit in a chair long enough today to knead some dough and half-churn some butter, but Alexandra sent me to bed as soon as my head began aching.

     I am no longer accustomed to such care, and I miss having… Jesus, Lord. I have come to realize I miss having someone feminine nearby.

     While I appreciate Master Gow, Alexandria, and Ceardach keeping my secret, I feel more trapped than ever. I have to be one way or the other in this world. I cannot stride lines, take on traits of both the masculine and feminine, choose to mix how it suits me. ‘Tis one or the other, all or nothing, and this causes me deep pain, making me equally cross and mournful.

     “You win.” I push my cards away.

     “Is it your head?” Conall lifts one brow to demonstrate his concern.

     “Yes, I should rest.” I close my eyes and pull my blanket to my chin.

     “I’ll leave you to it then.” Conall gathers the cards and snuffs the candle, hesitating in the doorway. “G’night.”

     “Goodnight.” I lay quietly in the dark, listening to the voices, the laughter until I fall asleep and then I dream of Mutti, of her comfort.

Note: Once again, before anyone tries to educate, correct, or otherwise say anything concerning Ben’s unique status – I am recounting Ben’s experience alone and no one else’s. I need no education or guidance on any matter discussed in this series of posts so don’t waste your time and energy on something that won’t make it past moderation anyway.

For the rest of you – have a great week. Oh, and until then…

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