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Gentle Fame

Gentle Fame

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4.33

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Published by Robbie (etc)
One of my older pieces
One of my older pieces

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Published by: Robbie (etc) on Aug 24, 2008
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved

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10/15/2011

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11. A Journey...............................................................................................................12. Lucian Gets Up.......................................................................................................53. Into the Heartland.................................................................................................94. Things Get Serious................................................................................................195. A Demonstration of Enhancement.....................................................................266. Preparations and an Interruption.......................................................................317. Things Get even More Serious............................................................................358. Shaudgel.................................................................................................................429. A Journey Backward.............................................................................................51
 
1
Gentle Fame
‘… remember that our battle is to be accepted in the fullness of our difference and not because wepro
mise to be like everybody else’
Joan Nestle, from
A Restricted country
 , (Ithaca, N.Y.: Firebrand Books, c1987), p118-119.
1. A Journey
The corner of a room slanted in an oval mirror.In the dustless oval of the slanting mirror, a fold of sheet moved. Webs inthe window gleamed. A face, girlish and young, turned into the pillow.A quill of sun in the corner of the room tickled Lucian’s lashes. He opened asmudged eyelid.A scrambling on the shingles. Bloody birds.By afternoon he’d be in another city. He clasped his narrow shoulders andyawned. The far side of the bed was empty. He rolled toward his slanting image, brushing together recently waxed calves. The linen sheets were cold too, wherehe hadn’t been lying.How many were turning over in bed like this, still chilled by wintry breath,lonely yet full of dreams on a summer morning?But he had hundreds of friends, or at least acquaintances, now. Why did hestill feel that familiar worthlessness? The slapped child feeling. He’d hardly ever been slapped as a child.He studied his reflection. A self-portrait might be an idea. The turned-upnose, the babyish green eyes …He drew well. He now had a bit of a reputation for it: he’d even begun to believe he was good. Last month, Rion Lingel, famed enhancer andrevolutionary, had invited him to exhibit his work in Hazzenton, in return forsome unspecified reward (he’d asked what but she’d grown cagey and in his
 
2diffidence he hadn’t pressed the matter). In particular she liked the embroideredworks he’d done in the revolutionary style — for instance, the famous funeral of Tidiring Naduyn the anarchist with its masses of purple and red Illan flags andthe brown bunting of mourning.The next day, she’d even had him to dinner, at her house in the innersuburb of Raxelbrann, and given him a special bangle as a present. His career asan artist was really looking up.He touched a cold spot and recoiled. Life still went on with its normaldreariness, out there.Normality had never become Lucian, if it meant the conformism, indeedredneckery, of his Midlands birthplace in the Miol Hills. He, at least when half-asleep, could show them freedom from the domination of the Midlands clansand their counter-revolutionary White Standard Club. He was sure freedomwould come through fame.The clock ticked, to itself, through every permutation of rhythmic accent.The pillow below his head was warm as the crook of an arm.
… tick tick tick … tick tick tick …
while the kitchen tap dripped just out of time.Fuck this, time to get up. He felt whiskers on his face. He wished he had awoman’s face. Save a heap in razor blades. Well, maybe.His room drew in the sun, like a nest on a bough. The air was fresh andearly. Fledglings scratched dust into it, in the eaves. He didn’t want to stir.Through the half-open balcony curtain he had a good view. Its frayedyellow corner (the curtain’s, of course, but he had to blink) wafted tantalisingly.Winter’s remnant, the mist, clung to the landscape, rising at the river mouth toreveal the red-roofed town.

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