5 Days To Go! Let’s Fund Crows on Heartstrings!

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WE’RE 85% FUNDED AND NEED ONE MORE PUSH TO GET FUNDED IN THE NEXT FIVE DAYS!

CLICK HERE TO PLEDGE!

We only have FIVE DAYS! We can do this with your help!

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Crows on Heartstrings is a fully illustrated anthology of short stories. We have a little something for everyone, no matter what your gender, sexuality, or color, we have something for you. We are proud to say that we are mostly created by, for and about lgbtqa+ folks. It’s nothing like you’ve ever seen before. We are also comprised of 23 women, and 3 men, so READ WOMEN!

The project is in its last FIVE DAYS on kickstarter and we need all of your support to bring our dream to life! please pledge if you can, and spread the word. thank you for everything, guys. we would not have made it this far without you!

 

Here are some of our contributors:

@aegisdea @aubreymeeksart @pannan-art @sonialiao @maxwickstrom @weatherfox @alisabishop @heavenlyeros @dodtt @spectre-draws @thevioletknight @shutterbones @artofpan

@theconstantvoice

What Crows on Heartstrings NEEDS:

We need FUNDING. We need your pledges to make this a reality. If you can pledge even just five dollars if you can, and tell five friends personally to pledge as well, we can do this! We want to give you the characters you want to read. Please help us make this inclusive book written and illustrated by 23 women, and 3 men, some or most of us LGBT+ writers and artists.  Come on! We can do it!

CLICK HERE TO PLEDGE!

We only have FIVE DAYS! We can do this with your help!

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Crows on Heartstrings TEASER! Roses Grow for Mammet Men by Aubrey Meeks

What is it about?!

Elves and Faeries walk among humans in this urban fantasy set in New York City. The young, Elven clan leader, Daði Manfredsson, and Fae Prince, Mercurie Nightray have bigger things to worry about than integrating into human society.

But politics and love don’t mix, and soon, the two boys are slinging curses to sacrifice their love for control of the Hudson river trade routes.

Do the boys know love at all?

Can they work through true love and balance duty and desire? Or is it really as doomed as Crows on Heartstrings promises?

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“So, on this clear summer day, the tourists caught tall Dathi the elf in their pictures of the New York City Skyline and the Statue. It was like they’d never seen an elf before. Then again, Dath reminded himself, most people on this side of the ferry, the wrong side of the ferry, came from places like, the midwest, or the south, where Elves were still a bit of a myth.

He took the photo anyway. He put on a nice face for her to show her friends at book club. He smoothed his cornsilk plaits and his Rolling Stones t-shirt so whoever saw the image on her Facebook page thought something like, hey, that guy looks alright. Instead of whatever prejudiced bullshit they might say otherwise.

If Mercurie were here now. Dath chuckled to himself. If his boyfriend, my man, were there, the tourists might’ve gone home with slightly pornographic pictures of my Fairy boy and an Elf boy making out–And then they’d both be arrested for being a public nuisance. New Yorkers are liberal, but they’re not that liberal. Elves and Fae were still sort of taboo.”

-Excerpt from Roses Grow for Mammet Men by Aubrey Meeks

If you’re interested in Crows on Heartstrings, check out our kickstarter by clicking here!

(art by Ashley Feemster)

Crows on Heartstrings Anti Valentine’s Day Cards!

 

Ready to read these gut-wrenching stories? Visit the Crows on Heartstrings website!

Crows on Heartstrings – Anti Valentine’s

Here’s another one by Ashley Feemster for our Artist, Writer, and Curator, my story, Roses Grow for Mammet Men.

This is the perfect time for me to talk to you about my short story!

Roses Grow for Mammet Men is an Urban Fantasy set in New York City. Elves and Fairies are living among humans and they have more important things to worry about than hatred from humans.

Roses Grow for Mammet Men has everything you could want, romance, magic, treachery, and heartache. Dathi and Mercurie struggle with identity, war, and keeping the love alive in this twisty tale.

Follow us for more on this story and all our others! 

When they met… Abomination Boy and Half a Prince Part 13

Lucien and Elijah #2

Realizing how all of it could turn downhill with just a few words, Elijah eased up, only to maneuver himself close to Lucien. He hated touching unfamiliar surfaces, but he set them aside and placed his palms on either side of Lucien’s head. Now he was on top of him, almost straddling his legs. “It was just a suggestion, but I’m not forcing you to forget what I did.” With a triumphant smile, he leaned down and pressed his lips to Lucien’s, a tentative brush, awaiting his response. Would he recoil and move away? Or would he accept this sensual act? Elijah would understand. He’d deserve anything he’d get.

Lucien squirmed under the warmth of Elijah’s body, pinning him to his own bed. This is different. I want this. Lucien argued with himself through clammy hands and a quickened pulse. Maybe if I just kiss him back. I’ll be ready for this. His brain surrendered to the bits confidence he possessed about this. He pulled Elijah down and crashed into his face, lips first. Elijah was more soft than Lucien thought he would ever admit.

Lucien slid trembling hands up to Elijah’s face and pushed at him lightly, resting his hands on Elijah’s neck, just to keep him far enough away for Lucien to catch his skittish breath.

Elijah’s right hand found its way on Lucien’s cheek, cupping his face steadily. As he deepened his kiss, he thought of how firm and not at all fragile Lucien felt. His fingers threaded through Lucien’s hair, his other hand roamed on the ridges of his ribs. Lucien’s touch on his neck made him arch his back. A low groan escaped from him.

It went all too quick. A lightning speed of feelings brought together and resulted into this. Elijah might have guessed it could be only out of curiosity, of a thirst for something different, but he had to admit that he didn’t find any trouble with this. His lips trekked down to Lucien’s smooth neck. A part of him remembered the open door, but let it be damned.

With his attempts for a break thwarted, Lucien craned his neck and pressed his his horns into the pillow to create just a bit of distance.

He didn’t want to tell him to stop, he didn’t want Elijah to stop, and he didn’t want to have to be the guy who couldn’t handle intimacy. But Elijah pushed him outside of his comfort zone and Lucien had no idea how to rectify it. Reverting to old habits is all too easy. So he let his murderer kiss him. He savored the kisses, each one planted racked up the total amount of kisses Lucien had ever gotten in his life. Three, Four, Five… Lucien counted until they reached his collarbones. He was torn between bringing Elijah’s face back to his and feeling Elijah’s soft skin under his blackened fingertips.

Lucien kissed him, devoured him, pulled at Elijah’s lips with his teeth. He spread his hands against Elijah’s chest and snaked them down until he found the place where the hem of his shirt met his trousers. Lucien tugged lightly at the fabric. He shuddered knowing he was sending Elijah the wrong signal. He only wanted to feel Elijah’s skin. Just a tease of it. Nothing more.

Elijah felt Lucien’s fingers at the edge of his shirt. He fumbled on the buttons of his shirt, his wavy hair a disturbance with his head hung low. Elijah barely showed himself half-naked to anyone. It wasn’t a sign of discomfort, but there had been no need for losing clothes. Yet, now he didn’t seem to mind losing some clothes, there could be a need for it anyway. He groped for the last button and slipped his shirt out, revealing his lean muscles and well-toned abs, few knife and gunshot scars.

Lucien drew in a sharp breath over a swear word or two. “Elijah, I…” He swallowed. No. You like this guy, just do it. It’s not the same, you’re just being weak. He thought.

Lucien ran his hands over the bumps of muscle and scar tissue in Elijah’s stomach. He couldn’t deny how nice it felt. Just keep going. You’re fine. He thought. Lucien’s hands rested on Elijah’s hips. But how far would this go? It would ultimately end the same wouldn’t it? Did he trust Elijah to be any more gentle with him than those who had assaulted him time and time again? He had killed Lucien, hadn’t he?

But Elijah was different now, he hadn’t known what he was doing. All these excuses made sense. They did. Elijah was a nice guy.

Lucien dug his fingernails into Elijah’s soft skin and quickly took his hands away before he hurt him. He buried them under his own shirt, clutching the bruises at his ribs instead. He caught the skin and muscle in his fists until he could feel the painful reminders of what had happened, what he was so afraid of happening again.

Freezing for a moment, Elijah glanced at Lucien beneath him. He cleared his throat and grabbed gently for Lucien’s hands. “I’m not going to harm you in any way.” He caressed Lucien’s hands with his thumbs stroking them mildly. “We can stop if that’s what you desire.” Lucien’s memories could be too sharp, too raw even until now for Elijah to cover them up in one night. He could understand that. He was a man full of undeniable respect, even if he’d killed demons and carried the same blood with a greater one. He wouldn’t force someone something they wouldn’t want to do. He could’ve laughed at himself if Lucien didn’t look serious. Respect and Force? He could only give it to a chosen few.

Strands of hair almost concealed his eyes as he gazed down at Lucien. “I may be too lost in the moment, but I won’t lose control. There’s nothing to fear.”

Lucien lay there, unmoving and shell-shocked, staring out with a stitched brow. He’s fingers held his sides, burying his fingertips into his skin, leaving small crescent shaped seams of blood where they lay.

“Hey,” Elijah’s voice was an utter whisper. He cupped Lucien’s face. “It’s okay.” He reached behind his waistband and plucked the gun and tossed it on the floor. He disposed the knives from his boots, dropping them with a clunk. “I’m unarmed now.” He should have rid of them earlier. “Tell me what you think. What is it on your mind?”

“You were armed?” He laughed. It was just like before. Exactly. He tried to pull himself from Elijah’s embrace but the black wispy coloring staining his fingers spread across his arms like a black rash, moving right before Elijah’s eyes.

Elijah sighed. He licked his lips and alerted himself, but dared not to move. “I wasn’t going to use them in bed, Lucien.”

That was wrong. He was wrong. That shouldn’t have happened, the weapons, missing that Lucien wasn’t with it. Admittedly, Lucien should have said something, but well, he was saying something now.

“Okay Elijah.” He said. He used one of his inky arms to push Elijah off him and escape the tension and anxiety clouding his thoughts.

“Please leave.” He said.

Elijah laughed, the tone lacking any humor. He eased up from the bed, ruffling his hair with his hand. “I admit, it was a mistake on my part.” He snatched his clothes and picked up his knives and gun, jaw tightening. He looked stupid enough to be doing this, being thrown out from someone’s room right after sharing an intimate moment. He swiftly put his clothes back on and glanced at Lucien as he buttoned his shirt. “I will leave if that will make you feel safe.” He strode across the room, stopping by the door, he glanced over his shoulder and said, “Don’t harm yourself. Your life is valuable. I apologize for trying to take it away.” He bowed like a gentleman before heading downstairs, planning on fetching Natalie from the kitchen.

“Goodbye Elijah.”


Previous


 

Welcome to the Lucien and Elijah serial by Aubrey Meeks and Julienne 

The accompanying illustration was done by Aegisdea and I couldn’t be happier!

That’s the end of the serial! I hope you enjoyed it!

Lucien and Abomination Boys characters and writing © Aubrey “Meeks” Brown 2015

Elijah and writing © Julienne 2015

 

When they met… Abomination Boy and Half a Prince Part 10

Lucien and Elijah Header“Though, since we are on the subject, I am well versed in both the kindness and unkindness of humans, I have Dahlia, and that boy you shot me for. He’s been trying to steal my horns to sell the bone off to one of his buddies. He thinks he can get a good price for them, I suppose.” Lucien’s eyes narrowed. “Were you looking to save that guy or just shoot any demon halfling that came along?”

Laugh burst out from Elijah. He craned his neck back and drank in Lucien’s inquiry. “I slay any demon that attacks me. I don’t have any intentions of saving a human. It’s a waste of sweat. I approached you because I had sensed something strange in you that I cannot decipher well. A lot of demons are after me, and I cannot let anyone be one step ahead of me in that matter.” He met Lucien’s eyes, and they fastened their stares just a breath too long, only Dahlia and Natalie’s voices from the kitchen cut them out. “Either way, I will keep my eye on you until I am certain you won’t be a threat to me.”

Lucien was sure that was some sort of threat, but when compared to the way Lilith kept her eyes on him, it was an empty one at best.

“Elijah. Honestly, how many people have I injured since you’ve met me?” He asked through fits of boisterous laughter. He hid his unnaturally white smile behind his hand and bit down on his knuckle to try and be a bit more respectful. Droplets of blood slipped through some sloppy wounds scattered across his chest.

That stopped him. Elijah widened his eyes a fraction. He opened his mouth to speak, but came away with nothing. “Well,” a shrug. “You’ve hurt insentient things, the mailbox, Dahlia’s van, the ground you fell upon. I may say, doesn’t have insurance.” A smile cursed his lips. He scrutinized Lucien – his tattered clothes, his horns, the dark eyes, and the scars that marked his body.

“Ah, I see. I didn’t know we were in a Disney movie. I can also paint with all the colors of the wind, and sing with all the voices of the mountains.” Lucien snorted. “I’ll try not to insult anymore mailboxes, lest they have feelings.” He became vaguely aware of Elijah’s gaze. His chest felt hot under the burn of Elijah’s eyes.

“What?” He crossed his arms over his chest and saved himself from squirming uncomfortably in his seat.

“You must lack sleep. The mountains don’t have voices,” Elijah’s brows creased. “The wind is colorless, and we are not in some movie.” He pressed his fingers on his temple, his head throbbing. “Do you even sleep, or eat? What are those scars? Are they from battle?”

“Elijah, I live in Hell, and even I’ve seen Pocahantas.” He dismissed Elijah’s ignorance toward human popular culture as more of a choice, since he held humans with such high regard.

Lucien’s eyes drifted to join Elijah’s line of sight. “Battles? Nah. I really did live in a cage. Most of these are experiments.” He shrugged. “These things are like the ones you saw before, with the cursed iron.” He traced lines over the flat plains of his pecs. “These are just from whippings because I sabotaged a mission.” He flicked his fingers dismissively over a thrashing group of scars over his abdomen.

“And these bruises, I got from being a whore. More or less.” He covered himself up, tugging his lips into a smirk when he didn’t want to. His hands raked his tousled hair, pulled it back, pushed it to the side… all nervous ticks. He looked up and folded his hands across his chest, suddenly feeling awkward and shy. “But don’t go spreading that last bit, I have a reputation to protect.” This smile was even more pathetic than the last. He picked at his fingers like he was bored, when his mind was moving a mile a minute, and not in a psychotic demon way.

“No need to agonize.” Elijah’s lips thinned. “I won’t be publicizing your biography.” Somehow, guilt had formed in his chest. Had he ignored his pleading before, Lucien shouldn’t have had to take a gunshot. Elijah should lack empathy, that was what he kept reminding himself. Empathy was for the weak. Feelings should be set aside, yet he couldn’t ignore how culpable feeling boiling in him. With a sigh, he said, “My apologies for the bullet in your head. Don’t think this will change anything. I just now happen to discern that you don’t earn death by my hands. Tolerating your suicidal behavior was a mistake I made.”

“Don’t pity me, Elijah.” Lucien said with a bit more arrogance than he had hoped would be injected into his voice. “Not for the scars, or the suicide, or the time I spent unable to decide who did what with my body.” He could pity himself enough on his own and pretend it wasn’t so.

Lucien stood on shaky legs. He tried to keep his t-shirt closed as he stomped towards the stairs.


 

PreviousNext


 

Welcome to the Lucien and Elijah serial by Aubrey Meeks and Julienne 

The accompanying illustration was done by Aegisdea and I couldn’t be happier!

Stay tuned for more of Elijah and Lucien tomorrow!

Lucien and Abomination Boys characters and writing © Aubrey “Meeks” Brown 2015

Elijah and writing © Julienne 2015

Abomination Boy and Half a Prince Part 6

Lucien and Elijah Header

Natalie paled at the sight of Dahlia’s fingers digging in Lucien’s flesh, but she pulled herself together. The last thing she wanted was to faint in the middle of this. A pang of sympathy coiled through her. Lucien looked helpless and fragile.

On the other hand, Elijah’s gaze over Lucien was steel. Natalie need not be reminded of why he was listless and at the same time sensitive about this. Blades and flesh and blood together would form a sick memory in his mind. Torture wasn’t new to him. Immense pain was a familiar ground.

“Do this as quick as possible. It is far better to endure a heightened pain in a short span of time,” Elijah suggested, shifting a little, brown eyes cast on Lucien’s current feeble figure. He already placed his knees on the ground, his dark wavy hair somewhat unkempt, white long-sleeved shirt clinging on his lean frame.

“Take out the rest now.”

The second scar was more jagged than the first, the crooked lines forced Natalie to sacrifice some good skin to get to the stinging metal underneath. Lucien, regaining a hazy consciousness, swallowed hard and grit his teeth.

Dahlia reached inside the pocket of flesh and accidentally sliced Lucien with hasty movements and the sharp corroded metal.

Lucien fiercely kicked out and howled a guttural scream. His hands found Elijah’s wrists firmly pressing his body to the pavement. He latched on to keep himself from thrashing, and found comfort in the steady pulse on the tender side of Elijah’s wrists.

Lucien calmed the moment the metal was removed. His head fell back against the cool cement of the alleyway. He smiled into the calm, and welcomed the clarity that came with the heat of Dahlia’s hands on his chest, filling him with heavenly fire to combat the shadows in his blood.

“Is he okay now?” Natalie asked, still holding the bloodstained knife in her hand.

They were lucky the street was deserted and the street lamps only emanated dim lights. Elijah thought if someone had seen them, they’d think they were robbing and assaulting him. He eased up from Lucien and studied his condition. “We should bring him somewhere safe. Where do you live?”

Lucien slowly started to breathe normally, and seemed to be doing better. He wasn’t running around like a maniac, so that was okay.

“I think he’ll be okay, I dunno I was just experimenting, taking a stab in the dark with that one.” Dahlia looked around for for her van parked on their empty street. “I live just around the corner. If you don’t mind helping me get him inside, I would greatly appreciate it.” Dahlia would more than appreciate it.  She had been babysitting Lucien all day, and only now was the stress of worrying catching up to her.

Natalie rose and nudged Elijah’s arm. “Carry him.”

Previous – Next


 

Welcome to the Lucien and Elijah serial by Aubrey Meeks and Julienne 

The accompanying illustration was done by Aegisdea and I couldn’t be happier!

Stay tuned for more of Elijah and Lucien tomorrow!

Are we ever going to really meet Lucien? Or maybe he’ll kick it before we can get anything out of him.

Lucien and Abomination Boys characters and writing © Aubrey “Meeks” Brown 2015

Elijah and writing © Julienne 2015

Abomination Boy and Half a Prince Part 3

Lucien and Elijah Header

Lucien bolted upright, tearing himself from Dahlia’s comforting hold, and paced an unsteady stream of steps.

“They’re coming. They’re coming, they’re coming. They’re coming for me, Dolly.” He pulled at his horns until his knuckles went white, and groaned, fully immersed in the insanity of his dual sides talking to him, mocking him, yelling in his ears. “Just make it stop.” He whimpered and scratched at his chest until blooms of blood painted his thin t-shirt.

“Are you happy now? You shot a crazy person.” Dahlia hissed through her teeth, just under her breath.

“I would be lying if I said I wasn’t happy,” Elijah said, grinning at the girl – Dahlia, as he heard from the demon he shot dead. He turned to the pacing demon. “Who’s coming?”

A shadow approached them. Elijah stiffened, cocking his gun again. He was too accustomed with the feel of the metal that using his own skills didn’t satisfy his craving for bloodshed. The shadow neared, somewhat tall with a feminine frame. He lowered the gun when he realized who it was.

“Why do you have your gun on display?” Natalie’s eyes were wide, her chin-length black hair barely ruffled by the wind as she held tightly on her bag of groceries. She looked back and forth on him and at Dahlia and Lucien. She plucked the gun from his fingers. “What happened here? Did he hurt you?” she asked Dahlia, tucking the gun in her grocery bag.

“Demons.” He said. “Demons.” He repeated. “Lilith, demons. Lilith and demons.” Lucien spoke quicker than Dahlia could keep up with. He ran his mouth, spewing warnings and expressing his fears. He jerked his sharp jaw and stared off behind Dahlia and Elijah. Dahlia’s heart sank to her stomach as Lucien’s mouth slashed open in a violent grin.

“Malachi. You’re here.” At first Dahlia didn’t see the boy, standing like a filthy version of Lucien, madness and all. “Malachi, I knew you would be here. Who’ve you brought with you? You’re messing with my frequencies. I’m all deranged.” Lucien smacked the side of his head one too many times and laughed, starting off and talking to his shadow.

“Malachi. I can’t think straight. I know you have someone. Malachi.” His voice boomed louder and louder at the figure who wouldn’t move.

“Uh….No, but he shot my friend, who is sick, by the way.” Dahlia said, slightly kinder to the new girl. “I’m Dahlia. That’s Lucien.” She said with a nod of her head in Lucien’s direction. She’d decided to let him spew nonsense to a person she wasn’t sure she could see. Perhaps it would calm him down.

Natalie gaped at Elijah in mortification. “How could you?”

Elijah ignored her and grabbed for his other gun tucked behind him on his waistband. “I sense a supernatural presence here.” He looked at Lucien and his unbalanced behavior, then he turned to Dahlia. “What is wrong with your friend?”

“I’m sorry about what he did.” Natalie didn’t even know how to make up for it. “I don’t even know if a sorry is enough, but…” she paused, snagging on Elijah’s shirt. “This is Elijah, and I’m Natalie. We’re really sorry.”

“It’s not really in my disposition to apologize after I slay someone. Would it be rather rude to apologize for doing something I really meant, don’t you think?” Elijah pried Natalie’s hand from his shirt and stepped toward Lucien, grasping his shoulders to stop him. “Who is Malachi?”



Previous Next


Welcome to the Lucien and Elijah serial by Aubrey Meeks and Julienne 

The accompanying illustration was done by Aegisdea and I couldn’t be happier!

Who indeed is Malachi? Who exactly is in danger here? What’s wrong with Lucien?

Stay turned for tomorrow’s instalment of Abomination Boy and Half a Prince to find out!

Lucien and Abomination Boys characters and writing © Aubrey “Meeks” Brown 2015

Elijah and writing © Julienne 2015