Today is the second occurance of the weekly 'Tis More Blessed Christmas give-away. I'll be giving an eCopy of my short story collection to one randomly selected commenter every week, and posting excerpts from the seasonal story 'Charmed by Prince Charming'. So, here's the second excerpt:
This new thing, the crush, or the obsession on Colin's part, had started to be bothersome over the summer, when they were performing Twelfth Night on what passed for a tour. Mostly church halls and Labour Clubs, with the occasional proper—if slightly decrepit—theatre thrown in for variety. Jen and Ash had been Viola and Sebastian, of course. They were both blonde and around the same height and build. Vic had been Orsinio, and Colin had been Feste. Halfway through the second act of the full dress rehearsal, it had struck Colin that while Jen was most obviously a girl pretending to be a boy, Ash was something else altogether. He didn't know why he hadn't noticed before. Ash was just Ash. One half of Ash-and-Jen off stage, and perfectly suited to the role of Sebastian on stage.
Colin couldn't pinpoint what the difference was. Ash as Sebastian moved, spoke, and stood in a classically masculine way, while Jen as Viola as Caesario was an exaggerated caricature of her stage brother. But it wasn't just that. Ash appealed to Colin on a baser level. One that went straight to his gut, like a punch, and then lower, like a caress. Ash on stage was a man. Off-stage, though, Ash was Jen's girlfriend, and they moved together just like any other pair of women who'd been a couple for more than a few months. Even if Ash and Jen weren't exclusive, whatever that meant, Ash was attracted to women. Even if Ash was attracted to men as well, Colin was attracted to men. Ash was a woman. Except...
Colin knocked hesitantly on the door to Ash and Jen's changing room.
"Only me." Colin pushed the door open.
Ash sat at the mirror, tucking errant strands of ash-blonde hair under a peaked black leather cap. Her stage makeup was scrubbed off, Prince Charming's -- formerly Romeo's -- britches and jacket replaced by black jeans and a white T-shirt.
"What's up?" She stood, turned, and pulled on her black leather jacket. Colin could never have moved as smoothly. He'd probably have tripped over, or put the wrong arm in the wrong sleeve. "Vic said to come and talk to you."
"Vic did, did Vic?" Ash seemed to loom over Colin, even though they were almost the same height. Then again -- Colin looked down -- Ash was wearing boots with Cuban heels like those that were part of Prince Charming's costume, though shiny black now, rather than brown suede. Colin was wearing cheap, chain-store trainers that had seen better years; no one ever gave Colin a second glance, much less his footwear, so what was the point of buying expensive ones?
To be entered in the draw, just tell me about your pre-holiday plans. Make sure you include your contact details. Winner to be drawn on Tuesday.
Full list of today's participating authors is here, and a list of all authors due to participate during the month can be found here.
All about A SERIES OF ORDINARY ADVENTURES:
A wander down a country pathway, a cruise vacation in the Mediterranean, a school reunion, a sandwich eaten in the park – in the stories of Stevie Carroll, the mundane becomes tantalizingly magical. A footballer’s mistress gets more than just an apartment when her lover tries to keep her in style; a rock-and-roll bass player finds out that second chances aren’t all they’re cracked up to be; something sinister lurks beneath the trappings of a travelling carnival.
Candlemark and Gleam: http://www.candlemarkandgleam.com/shop/a-series-of-ordinary-adventures/