I have such news, folks! SUCH NEWS! News that I CANNOT TELL YOU ABOUT. But know now that it is wonderful news, involving STARDUST.
If you will recall, STARDUST, is the queer-in-every-sense project that I last spoke about in…January it turns out (being a Professional Creative Person is such a Long Game, innit?). I can’t talk about it because that’s how it goes when you’re working with a major publishing company. But! Know that it is wonderful news that brings the project ever closer to being a Real Thing That You Can Read, which is honestly the best thing a writer can hope for.
It’s still not a sure thing yet–there are so many possible bumps in the road that might derail this queer little buggy, you have no idea–but we did pop some champagne. You gotta take your celebrations where you can.
There’s been two Frankenstein’s Support Group For Misunderstood Monsters comics since the last newsletter. The first is an examination of modern monster-dating conventions and some personal history of FSG’s resident mummy, Imhotep. The second involves Emi helping Ginger spruce up her image.
I decided to do some microfictions on my Twitter yesterday, telling anyone who asked how they got their superpowers. I may do more of this in future, as it was very fun and people seemed to dig it. Here’s all of them, ’cause I wanted ’em all in one place:
They said it was a rock. A cold, dead rock from outer space.
But it couldn’t be. Not to you. Rocks don’t sing. And you had never heard a more inviting song in your entire life.
The sword had been your mother’s, your grandmother’s, all the way down the line to the one who stood by the lake & took it back after King Arthur showed how he was the one man in human history worthy enough to wield it, by returning it.
Now Excalibur is yours.
The aliens were sorry. They didn’t mean to hurt you, but human bodies are so fragile. They didn’t know.
They made it up to you, though. They remade you better. Though “better” to an alien doesn’t quite line up here on Earth…
The jacket was woven with silver thread, like strands of frost. It was cold to touch to everyone. Everyone but you. To you, it was warm as the breath of a old friend.
It was, naturally, a perfect fit.
A version of yourself from an alternate reality gave them to you, just as another had given them to him.
“It’s just the way it’s always done,” he said. “When you don’t need these anymore, you’ll pass them along to the next one.”
Everyone else said the experiment was disaster. A failure. Science ran amok.
But not you. Not when such an “accident” opened up such new and exciting possibilities.
It was shaped like a ring. It’s wasn’t–rings are jewelry, cold gems and gleaming metal. This was something else. Something that pulsed on your finger with an energy you couldn’t begin to comprehend.
It does so much. You can’t imagine taking it off.
A manifestation of the Infinite collapsed in your arms, dying. You held it close as it’s countless eyes darkened, one by one, singing it songs of endless love and boundless hope. It died reassured that some things still go on forever.
And now so do you.
Your long-forgotten imaginary friend returned, panicked and stricken, with key that unlocked the untold power in your heart.
They had hoped this day would never come.
It was, the scientists admitted later, a procedure they never expected you to survive. No one else had.
You were stronger than they gave you credit for. And now you’re stronger than they ever considered.
They said it was a lightning strike, but it couldn’t have been. After all, there was no storm. And it didn’t hurt when it hit you. Quite the opposite.
It was as if you finally felt alive for the first time.
The tattoo just appeared there one morning, after a night of drunken revelry. It was an odd, rune-esque design, but you always felt you could have ended up with worse…
…until the tattoo spoke.
A glowing ball of energy appeared one night when you were 5, hanging in the middle of your bedroom. It spoke to you in a voice full of static, something about how time travel was inexact…better to overshoot…too early…
Overwhelmed with curiosity, you reached out to touch it.
The gloves were metal, but moved like fabric when you put them on, their unyielding surface rippling like liquid over your fingers.
Sometimes you forget you have them on. Sometimes, when you don’t have them on, it feels like something is missing.
Technically, your dog has superpowers, but he lends them to you when danger arises, and you take him with you on adventures.
He’s a good dog.
Each universe chooses a particular place that suits its needs to be born. Some choose the churning, burning middle of a star, others, the freezing emptiness of a black hole.
This one found everything it needed in the middle of your heart.
Some discomfort is to be expected.
It was a book. Left on your doorstep, wrapped in paper that managed somehow be plain and brown while also being shiny and shimmery. Your name was written on the wrapper–misspelled, but definitely your name–and there was no return address.
Of course you read it. Of course.
Once, when you closed you eyes and focused, you could feel yourself reaching out, down, down, through the Earth, grabbing the molten center of the planet in a loving, powerful embrace.
You’ve not let go since.
The weapon was never supposed to be yours. A champion had been chosen, after all.
But when he cast it aside and ran in terror at the coming danger, well, it was just lying there.
SOMEONE had to pick it up and fight.
They say the dead tell no tales, but one did. When you leaned down to kiss your grandmother goodbye one last time in her coffin, she whispered to you secrets about the walls between this life and the next.
She told you how to bend those walls. And how to break them.
Demonic possession gone wrong. At least, that’s according to the cultists.
From your point of view, it turned out very right, indeed.
A lot of kids tied towels around their neck attempting to fly.
Yours just happened to work.
An older you appeared, having traveled back in time, and gave you the powers that they had received when they were your age.
When you ask them where the powers came from originally, they just smiled wryly and said “I didn’t get a satisfying answer to that, either.”
You’ve always had them. You just forgot.
Because sometimes forgetting is easier than remembering.
The strange woman who everyone said was your aunt gave you a wooden box carved to look like a sleeping bat when you were 6, as a thank you for drawing the whole family & making her the tallest.
You couldn’t get it open then. You just found it again yesterday & it opened right up
It was strange bug in the cornfield–something like a caterpillar but neon pink and yellow and covered in spines.
You didn’t want to touch it, but somehow, for some reason, you knew that IT wanted you to.
And when it crawled onto your hand, you understood.
It wasn’t really government property, no matter what your lousy supervisor said. You built it, it’s yours.
And damn if you aren’t going to be the first person to try it out.
It was always going to be you. There were countless prophecies, many foretoldings, and quite a few precognition. It was you. It was always going to be you.
Thing was, nobody bothered to tell you until the last minute.
They told you could do anything if you set your mind to it.
They just never realized how far a mind like yours could go.
Some of these are going have to be real stories at some point. But some of them I quite like just as they are.
Good luck with the dragon.