A Liminal Sky Short Story
A city plunged into darkness.
Fen Theora’son is a handsome journeyman in Thyre's Lamplighter's Guild. He's in love with Lewin, a Mason's Guild journeyman, but they have to keep their affair secret. If they're discovered, the cross-guild relationship could get them both thrown out.
When the spindle - Forever's main source of light - goes dark, the whole city looks to the lamplighters to bring light and hope. Fen must choose between loyalty to the Guild Masters and compassion, and risk putting himself, Lewin and his friends on the line.
Publisher: Other Worlds Ink
Heat Level: 1
Romantic Content: 2
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Gay
Protagonist 1 Age: 18-25
Protagonist 2 Age: 18-25
Tropes: Bad Breakup, Second Chances
Word Count: 7300
Setting: Generation Ship
Languages Available: English
Series Type: Same Universe / Various Characters
Panting heavily, back against a whitewashed wall, Fen prayed for the shaking to end. He mumbled one of the Guild Cantos:
We are keepers of light
In the river of night
when the black tides of darkness advance.
Then he ran as if Davien the Betrayer were after him. Behind him, walls that had stood since long before he was born crashed to dust, and the smell of char and the metallic tang of blood hung heavily in the morning air. Clouds of smoke and dust blotted out the spindle above, blocking its golden light, and Disembodied voices screamed around him. He needed something to light the way….READ MORE
Fen Theora’son woke with a start, sweat-drenched, alone. He looked around—his narrow bedroom was empty, with only the whispering of the wind through the open window. He ran his fingers through his black, sweat-drenched hair, unsettled. Just a dream.
Why not believe in the world-mind too, while I’m at it? Fen snorted. His mother had spun tales of the creature that made the winds blow and the light of the spindle shine and the rain fall inside this pebble of a world, but he'd always taken it for a fairy tale.
Another of her old stories sparked in his head. The one about liminals, who in his mother's telling were half human and half something else, people who did magical things, like talking mind to mind or communing with the world by touch. Who dreamed strange dreams that often came true.
I'm letting the quiet and the darkness get to me. He laid back and closed his eyes, pulling his blanket up over his lanky form, but the easy rhythms of sleep were lost to him. The hard straw pallet that was the journeyman lamplighter’s only bed for his first year was worn down and flat, but at least he had a bed frame now. And his own small room.
There’d been no new straw for weeks to stuff the mattress with. The scent of Lewin’s amber skin was gone too, worn out of the sheets like an old half-forgotten song. Anger creased red at the edges of his mind, but he thrust it away. I won’t let him do this to me. Slowly it receded.
Sleep eluded him, dream fragments and unwelcome memories and overheard rumors chasing one another in his head like a pack of street dogs. So many rumors, filling the city like worms in a rotten apple.COLLAPSE