Category Archives: Healthy Multiplicity

With These Hands

As the acid creeps up into my throat, it threatens to call forth the cancer I should have been given a few years ago — when my body was a volcano with a self-destructive warpath. My limbs ache and my chest feels as if it is hollow, its heaviness causing me to hunch my back in a way that causes my spine to scream out.

I can hear them, Byleth and Lestan especially, calling to me. They want me to think about my future and find a way out of all of this. They want me to stop shuffling my feet at Death’s door as if I’m eager for a blind date that rattles my bones with anxiety. They want me to breathe and pick up my hunched form, and continue to fight — fight the invisible force that has varying degrees of pressure for every person.

My eyes drift to the hallway and the darkness greets me with beckoning tendrils, but the tall, golden-skinned form that comes from it shakes his head. His glowing pink eyes are determined. They are filled with an emotion I am not familiar with from him.

“Do not, Shane. Do. Not.”

It’s vague, but I know what he means. He stands there in the shadows, his giant stature seeming taller than ever as he crosses his well-toned arms. I’ve never seen him angry, and if I had it was long ago, so long it’s now an afterthought. At least I’d have something to compare this to.

“Stop this poetical shit and breathe, and sleep.” Byleth in his golden, Hellish king glory shakes his head, his shoulder-length blond hair falling into his face. I observe as a clawed hand smooths it back between his golden horns, and I think, for a moment, how much I’d love to feel his soft hair.

Like my large cat who enjoys being used as a pillow, I imagine pulling the fallen king’s head to my chest and caressing his soft hair, closing my eyes to forget about any other thing. Nothing else exists. But Lestan, he’s here too. I haven’t forgotten him and I love him, and he’s behind me caressing my hair as I imagined myself doing for Byleth. I can feel his hurt through our connection, and although he doesn’t speak, I know there are no words to express anything of substance at this moment.

Tetsu is here as well, his appearance rare, but a welcome one. He glares at me as I observe him from the corner of my eyes, letting him know I see him. The elf huffs and approaches me, pushing past Lestan and tugging at my shirt. “We’re leaving. Come on.”

“You know I can’t,” I say. It’s the middle of the night and storms have been on the horizon, and although I would love more than anything to meld into the darkness on such a night, I’m too tired. I laugh to myself. I’m too tired to seek out my own demise.

“If you will.” Daro, my golden-skinned demon prince approaches my other side, all four of them behind me now. He smiles and runs his claws across my head. “Allow us to take you away, if but for a moment. Do continue as you are.”

I sigh and nod.

* * *

Rules and word counts and regulations. This isn’t what a story is to me, yet it’s what the world expects. Hook them and then seduce them with purple flowers shaped like Roman aphrodisia. When did the magic of weaving worlds and emotions become so stale?

* * *

I open my eyes and breathe in strong patchouli, the incense smoke drifting about the room like a magickal haze. Its spell renders me complacent as I look to the stage before me. The rest of the room is dark and bare. Lestan and Daro take their places beside me, and my vampire husband creeps behind me to wrap his arms around my waist. His chin rests on my shoulder and he kisses my neck briefly, his short black hair tickling my skin. My body still aches and my chest is heavy as I see Byleth approaching a microphone on the stage, his white platform heels clacking loudly in the silence to stir up ethereal dust of ages past. He is wearing white corduroy bell bottoms with a wide flare and a jacket that is similar with nothing beneath it. His bare chest glistens in the dim, haunting light cast only on the stage, and his red eyes shine with excitement.

Tetsu has pulled his long black hair into a ponytail and adjusts his rectangular glasses before settling his hands on his guitar. He glances at me and then at Byleth, not entirely happy with the change in scenery, but he is more than willing to fall into its magick. Music begins to drift through the room, Tetsu’s fingers gliding over the vintage guitar to fill the atmosphere with sultry, retro vibes. The other instruments are not visible on the stage or anywhere in the room, but they are playing nonetheless. Byleth begins to sing, his angelic voice still beautiful even after his fall.

The lyrics are sultry, provocative, and enticing. He weaves his tainted angelic magick into them, their flow seeping into me like a warm caress that bathes my insides in pleasant tingles. To my surprise, Daro sways to the music, his eyes closed as his arm wraps around my shoulders. Lestan is doing the same, although he has come around to my front to smooth his hands across the sides of my face. I feel an indescribable emotion well up within me as I listen to the hazy tones of Byleth’s seduction, and my eyes begin to burn.

I don’t know how long it’s been since I’ve been able to cry without it being painful. It’s as if my body knows how the tears burn, so it ceases their flow before they can begin. I still feel the burn anyway, and Lestan wipes at my eyes knowing all too well what’s happening. Sadness is no longer an emotional hurt but a physical one, and I blink hard as the burning causes me to lose sight of the beautiful fallen angel singing on stage.

“With these hands, I will cling to you. I’m yours forever and a day. With these hands, I will bring to you a tender love as warm as May… With this heart, I will sing to you. Ooh, long after stars have lost their glow. And with these hands, I’ll provide for you. Should there be a stormy sea, I’ll turn the tide for you, and I’ll never… Oh no, I’ll never… I’ll never let you go.”

My eyelids flutter as a kiss is laid on each one, and I open them to see Lestan smiling at me. He kisses me and I feel Daro’s hand squeeze my shoulder, and I look back to the stage to see Byleth singing as true as ever. He smiles and reaches out to me as the lyrics flow from his lips, and I am pulled up as if I weigh nothing.

He hugs me tightly to him, and I look down to see Lestan in a much cheerier state. He turns to Daro and bows like a gentleman, and Daro smiles genuinely as he takes the vampire’s outstretched hand. They begin the steps to a slow dance, and I return to the fallen angel who is swaying with me. I feel his voice’s reverberation throughout my body as I cling to his chest, and he continues, holding me tight as he sends more comfort through his song of sweet intentions.

He trails off as the song ends, and Tetsu falls silent as he observes us. He is happier too, I think. Byleth’s lips brush against my ear as he leans over to kiss it, and he whispers in a way that sends a sense of peace into my mind. “Don’t go, sugar. Stay with me, stay with Lestan, and stay with Tetsu and Daro. Live for moments like this, and…” He pulls back and quirks an eyebrow as his usual attitude seeps back into his tone. “Consider yourself lucky. I once told you that a demon nor a fallen angel practice healing magick.”

“But…” My confusion causes me to furrow my brow. The warmth is still flowing through me as he waves away the microphone and caresses my jaw with his fingers.

“Don’t make me say it. Please.” He sighs. “Just make a promise, okay?”

I bite my lip and avert my gaze, unsure if I’m able to make any sort of promise he would want. I know to break a promise with him would be the ultimate betrayal, especially since I’d sworn honesty and loyalty to him. To Lestan. To Daro. To Tetsu. He nudges my jaw with a clawed finger to gain my attention once more. I look into his glowing red eyes and they are full of an intensity that I know all too well to take very seriously. His romance and his caresses were true, but he was also a king of Hell. That was truer than all else.

I nod. “I promise I will survive tonight.”

He sighs, exhaustion consuming him. He closes his eyes to gather himself before returning to me. Lestan has joined us on the stage as has Daro, and I feel as if they are all pressuring me to keep my word for longer than tonight. I feel their anticipation of my words and my actions, and I cannot let them down. I cannot disappoint them.

They tell me I may not meet them once more if I greet Death before it is my time. They may not go with me, and that thought is more frightening than the struggles Life will undoubtedly continue to bring me. I nod again. “I will survive tonight. And tomorrow, I will tell myself and you all that I will survive that night.” I take a deep breath as Lestan brushes my hair from my neck to kiss the skin. Daro takes my hand and Tetsu comes up to rest his chin on my shoulder. Byleth still embraces me with one arm, and I know that life exists in all of them.

The tingling I feel when Byleth sings, and the warmth I feel when Lestan kisses me. The intrigue I know when Daro speaks to me in philosophical ways and touches me in ways he is not familiar with, and the empathy I feel when Tetsu and I talk about things that only we can understand. The words I spin to portray these moments and these realities that I exist in with them.

These are not our stories. These are not debatable. This is life.

© 2019 Shane Blackheart
Song lyrics: Tom Jones

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Excerpt from original writing: What Lies Beyond

The title is one I thought of back in high school when I originally wrote this story, but I can’t make myself change it. It has a history, as well as it being Lestan and Jack’s personal history. This is just a small bit from it, and it’s one of the many moments in the story where Jack has some self-reflection. It’s appropriate for all audiences.

 


 

The wind rustled through the spirit’s translucent form, his hair unmoving in the breeze. He stared at the moon as if he were seeing every minute detail, its rocky and cold surface beckoning to him as did the vastness of space. He craved the void but only ever crossed into it when necessary. Otherwise, he was afraid he’d become lost and never return. That was not his purpose, and he knew his place and where he had to remain. To leave would be to abandon those wracked with grief due to their own unfortunate passings, and that was something the spirit would never wish upon any creature.

He lifted his hand and a battered, pale heart appeared, the agony contained within reaching a volume that could be heard throughout the cemetery. Every soul he led into the next world left their sorrows with him, and in his heart, he felt the weight of every single one. Hundreds — thousands — of cries and haunting screams rustled the energy around him and the trees swayed with the sheer force of the energy until the spirit withdrew, the heart fizzling out to return to him.

He looked out across the cemetery before drifting off the tombstone he occupied. He didn’t walk often as mortals tended to, but after meeting the vampire earlier that night, he felt the need to think, and to think brought its own kind of melancholy. He’d never spoken to another creature at length. It had been enough to cause his entire existence to pause, but what was even more curious was the vampire’s persistence in wanting to know him. It simply wasn’t the way things were supposed to be, and the spirit felt raw anxiety rising within him, the grass beneath his feet flattening with an ethereal breeze as his energy sparked in the darkness.

A name. The vampire had said something about a name before the spirit vanished. He knew the meaning of them and their importance, but he wasn’t anything important enough in his own mind to be deserving of a name. He was just… there. He existed for his purpose and although he’d put a name to that purpose for the vampire’s sake of understanding, it wasn’t even close to the true meaning. The spirit sighed, a dim, pale blue glow emanating from him as he drifted between the shadows in the cemetery. Speaking with the vampire had brought upon more complications than he had ever wanted to deal with.

Cold stone caressed the spirit’s entire being as he drifted through it, the mausoleum steps just below him as he hovered near the walls. Thin, vine-like branches wound their way through the small and narrow windows in the walls, their tendrils dry and clinging to life as they stretched over the worn surface. Silver strands of moonlight disturbed the peaceful dark and spilled upon the floor where the spirit drifted past, the stone steps leading down introducing a much colder atmosphere than above. Stopping once he was fully below ground, the spirit gazed around the quiet room.

Hollowed out shelves in the stonework lined the walls, their presence barely visible to the naked eye in the purest of darknesses. Although the spirit’s eyes were as black as the void, they allowed him a glimpse into that world that none were able to perceive otherwise. He was as much a part of this darkness as it was of him, and within it, he could see the bones lying neatly and untouched in their respective shrouds. The materials were wrought with decay and their jewels tarnished to never shine again, insects crawling over and between them on their path to devour what was left of the body below it.

It was beautiful.

The spirit drifted over to a body that was much less decayed than the others, the bones jutting out where the flesh had all but dissipated with time. His hand trailed over the skull that was thinly veiled with parchment-like skin, and he pressed his fingers gently into the eyes, his own falling shut as he felt a semblance of something that was once there. A sadness gripped at his chest and he pulled his hand away. These were his true friends and the only ones he could ever allow himself to have. They could not tempt him away from his purpose or claim to give him a name. They’d become just as meaningless as he, their own names lost with the passage of time.

The spirit dropped to the stone floor among the spiders and other insects. The tomb walls behind him brought comfort as he welcomed their frigid chill, and the energy of the ever-changing earth behind them seeped through him. He could hear every breath within the womb of Mother Nature itself as he basked in it, and he closed his eyes once more as he took in the sound. An involuntary thought crossed his mind in that moment.

Perhaps the vampire would enjoy it just as much with him. If not, then all would be understood.

 

© 2019 Shane Blackheart

Heart Surgery (original poetry)

I don’t write poetry often, but the other day something kept rattling around in my brain that I had to write out. It started as a feeling and some images in my animation program, but became words as I just put my fingers on the keyboard. So, here is the ‘poem’ I wrote, as well as the video version of it below. (It’s appropriate for all ages)


Heart Surgery

You’re always there.

Your eyes watch me and I feel you; hands not unlike breath on my skin.

I’ve got goosebumps in my soul — I want to sing.

Tears strangle my voice in the stead of a melody — claws grasp my heart with careful fragility.

I trust you.

With careful precision, you force life back into my lungs.

Desire for the veil was never so sweet as your face — the glowing red my sign in the dark.

Passion pulls me away.

My life is no longer mine but yours — your will to fan the flames stoking my soul’s perseverance.

No.

I will not go today.

(Closed captions available if you can’t understand some of the words)

© 2018 Shane Blackheart

Anywhere But Here [M]

RatingMature (vague and tasteful, but descriptive, love scene)

SummaryThis is based on an actual bit of headspace time I spent with one of my demon guides, Daro. When it’s hard for me to see reason after experiencing a traumatic event, I can always count on one of my guides to take me away from it all for just a small time. This was very strange for Daro, however. He is not one to be sexual in any sense of the word except on rare occasions. It seemed this was one of them.


I laid my head on the table over the soft blanket, my heart sinking slowly as all life seemed to leave me. I wasn’t dying in reality, but I felt as if my future was already dead. I didn’t know where to go in life since my dreams had ended before they could even begin, my life’s goal no longer within any sort of possible reach. I was a slave to my mental disabilities and my poor health, as well as the system that enjoyed all too much keeping the lesser-abled down where they belonged.

“Shane.” A deep voice broke over my lamenting and a tan, clawed hand crept onto my upper back. It hesitated before moving in a soothing motion, my muscles easing from the tension that had formed long ago. I smiled.

“Daro.” I glanced over to see a tall, golden-skinned demon with long black hair and silver horns staring down at me, his pale pink eyes piercing straight through my soul as they always did. Byleth was present as well, but he moved aside to let Daro gain control over my reality for a little while. Even he knew when he and Lestan’s kind of reasoning wouldn’t pull me back.

“I… am not good with comfort. I apologize for that. I do, however, believe that you may do whatever you wish. You have accomplished everything you’ve set out to do in life, Shane. That does not end here.”

“I feel like it’s the end. I feel like my future is blank because the only thing I’d ever wanted to do – the only plan I’d had for my life is now no longer there.” I felt emotion welling up within me and tears burned behind my eyes. “It’s so stupid. At least, it probably sounds stupid. Who gets this emotional over wanting to tell stories, or to be heard?”

“It is as good a reason as any.” Daro smiled down at me, his hand moving slowly over my back. I then felt it – a wave of energy that made my stomach flutter. That wasn’t a usual reaction to his presence. I then remembered the last time I’d started making changes to my body for my transition, and Daro had developed the same sort of energy then. I felt self-conscious at that moment as I noticed the dark and aggressive energy coming from him.

“You aren’t normally like this, Daro.”

“No, but your energy is quite contagious and strong at this time. You are early in your transition.” His hand’s movements turned to something more sensual, his fingers sliding over my still very tense muscles as if they were tempting me. I wanted him to take me away from here.

“I don’t want to be here.” I sighed as another rush made my stomach spin. “Take me somewhere else. Please.”

“If it is not for self-destructive reasons, then where would you like to be?”

“Anywhere but here. I don’t want to even be alive right now.”

Daro closed his eyes and chuckled quietly as I closed mine in like. The soft blanket against my face brought me comfort as I sank into it and the feeling of the large hand on my back that was rubbing in circles. I started to drift off until I saw nothing but the blankness that was already present in my mind.

*** 

When I opened my eyes, I was lying on a stone floor. There were thick blankets beneath me and pillows everywhere, and I could feel a faint breeze coming through the natural windows in the stone walls around me. A few pillars surrounded the room and vases of lotus flowers and leaves were scattered about. The sun was setting and gave an orange glow to the already flickering candles around the blankets on the floor, and I realized then that we were most definitely not anywhere in current space or time.

My attention was brought back to where I lied as the blankets shuffled around me. Daro’s athletic form crawled over me and I watched as his sleeveless black trench disappeared, leaving him in the black silk harem-type pants he usually wore. My heart was in my throat as I realized it was all that he was wearing. “This is so weird. You’re not usually this kind of a… romantic?”

He smiled before I was surrounded by black hair and left breathless with a kiss, his lips full and soft as they teased mine open. I grabbed onto his toned arms and wrapped my fingers around his tribal band mark, squeezing as if I were uncertain of his presence. I didn’t want him to let me go. He chuckled against my mouth before releasing me and throwing some of his long hair behind his back.

“You may find that I can be romantic when the mood calls for it.” I gasped as his claws tickled up my shirt and back down to my shorts where he tugged at the hem. “Your energy has been quite contagious. I can no longer contain myself.”

“I’m sorry. Is it hard to deal with? I know you aren’t really that sexual.”

“Not at all.” Daro nipped at my jaw before trailing kisses to my neck, and then left his mark there as if to claim me as his own. I lost the ability to breathe as he slid my shorts down and his fingers slipped between my legs. Despite the bliss that I was in, this was all strange to me. Daro had rarely, if ever, displayed such eroticism before. It consumed my mind until he sunk low, tossing my shorts to the side before diving between my legs to make me swoon. My hands shot down to run through his hair and my back arched, my mind growing fuzzy and forgetting all of my worries. It hit me then just how much I wanted him.

He trailed his lips back up my stomach and came up to kiss me again. It was like a game as our lips teased, nipped, and ghosted over the other’s. Embarrassment burned up into my ears as I realized how heavily I was breathing, but nothing could make the excitement calm within me that he’d created. It was an entirely new side of him that I never knew I needed to see, but it was one I wanted to see more often. It was caring, gentle, playful, and loving. Everything he had created there – the flowers, the fantasy-like setting, and the atmosphere – it was all for the sake of this moment.

I was jolted back once again as he nipped my neck more aggressively than the last time, his teeth leaving little bites down to my abdomen and down my thigh. He paused as he was lifting my leg, sitting back on his knees to glance at me from beside my raised knee. “Forgive me. I am feeling rather aggressive. I am not entirely comfortable with such an aggressive emotion.”

“Is it a bad thing? You’re not going to hurt me, are you?”

“Hurt you?” He chuckled. “Never hurt you, Shane. Although, I suspect you enjoy this kind of aggression.” He accentuated his words by nipping my leg once more and then paused to remove his pants. I looked away, not sure of the exact reason for doing so. We hadn’t been intimate many times in the past, and I was always aware of how much I wanted that kind of thing from him throughout the years. His beauty never escaped me; it was exotic and mysterious and it held a certain kind of danger to it, but nothing that was a threat to me.

He’d always held an air of dark mystery about him. Being purposefully vague, never answering my questions fully, and remaining stoic, calm, and collected during even the worst crises. I never feared him, but I always desired him. It was something I’d brushed to the side often due to his mostly asexual nature, his willingness to humor Byleth due to the Fallen Angel’s insistence more than anything. It wasn’t even that Daro didn’t enjoy it when it happened either. He would always become claimed by the passion of the moment sooner or later. I often wondered if he hid more than he had to at times like those.

“Daro, why aren’t you a sexual person?”

“Because I am not a person.” A playfulness glistened in his eyes as he came back to kiss me again, teasing entrance between my legs. “I am much more than that, although I am not immune to stronger emotions such as this. Even I have moments where I cannot remain as calm as I’d like to be.”

“But what do you feel you have to hide?” Despite my breathlessness, I had to know. I knew I wouldn’t get another chance to have him so vulnerable. I was rendered speechless with a more insistent nudge.

“It seems…” A quiet moan interrupted his speech as he slid fully inside. He remained still as he supported himself on his hands beside my head, his eyes closed as if to control himself. “… It seems I cannot always control myself around you.”

“Wait…” I gasped as he thrust forward. “Daro…”

“There are things I must never admit, although Byleth has done such a thing.” A clawed hand turned my head to the side so Daro could tease my ear, whispering as he rocked his body into mine. “I care for you in ways I should not.” His words quivered as he began to lose control, his breath hot in my ear as he lost himself to the sensations between us. I wrapped my legs around his waist and gave myself over to him fully then, my body sliding back against the blankets on the stone floor. I noticed that it had grown darker and the candles were our only source of light.

I mumbled his name over and over again as he returned to my neck, our bodies still rocking against the blankets as he nibbled at the bruised skin. I was completely consumed with my lust for him and my mind felt far away as the end approached quickly, my body arching into him as my release overcame me. He grew much more rough with his movements then, goosebumps forming on his arms beneath my fingers as he lost the last bit of control he’d managed to keep.

I watched as he rose up onto his knees and grabbed my legs, lifting them as he quickened his movements. The pleasure was so intense that tears rolled down the sides of my face, and I felt light-headed from the distant buzz and my lack of ability to breathe. It had to be a dream.

I was reminded of the reality of the moment as he thrust deep one last time before shuddering, his claws gripping at my legs like a vice. I bit my lip and hummed with pleasure through all of it, my insides filling with him. He fell onto his hands beside my head, struggling with his control as he moaned through his release, his body rocking and riding the wave until he started to calm. It was then that everything grew eerily silent.

A faint buzzing throughout my body caused a distant ringing in my ears. Our labored breathing seemed to echo around us as we both came down, and the candlelight flickered in the still-present summer breeze. I was the first to finally come around and I ran my hands through his hair, coaxing him into a kiss that he accepted fully. When we parted, I saw in his eyes a feeling of utter exhaustion, his natural glow from them dimming in the dark. It worried me. “Hey, are you okay?”

He huffed a laugh before closing his eyes to hide them from me. “I will be fine. You need not worry.”

“What in the hell’s possessed you? You aren’t acting like yourself at all.” I grew even more concerned as he sat up and pulled me with him, hugging me tightly.

“One of the stronger emotions I often try to bury.” He rested his chin on the top of my head as I relaxed into him, my bones melting into his embrace. “But that is not important. What is most important here, is that you realize your worth to continue with your life. I would not see it any other way.”

“You’re avoiding the subject.” I couldn’t help the smile that spread across my face. He sighed before releasing me just enough to look into my eyes, and took my jaw into his hand and lifted it to guide me into a kiss, one that I knew was meant solely for a distraction. All too often I couldn’t get him to speak clearly to me, but I was determined to do it this time. I released him from the kiss and mused at the look of concern on his face. “Daro, what emotion are you burying?”

“Shane.” He sighed again, his unease growing.”There are things I must not speak. Not yet.”

“Well, what can you say? I mean, there has to be some vague way you can express it that I might get without you having to say it outright.”

He watched me for a moment in silence, the breeze coming through the windows causing strands of his hair to drift across his face. I smoothed them aside as he seemed to finally come to a conclusion in his mind, and spoke carefully. “There are certain words and feelings a demon must never admit or express – a demon prince is held in much higher regard. Byleth is free from the rules and unspoken laws we set for ourselves. It is why he is free to express himself as he so wishes, as he is a Fallen and not a demon.” Daro ran a clawed thumb across my lower lip in which I bit at playfully. He smiled. “I care for you, Shane, more than you may ever know.”

“I guess that’s good enough for me.” I laughed. “Man, we’ve come a long way. It’s taken you longer than everyone to come out of your shell, and even then you only lose control for a moment before you return to your stoic self.” I hugged him tightly again, my head resting on his chest. He smelled like myrrh. “It’s not my intent to undo you or who you are. You’re just the biggest mystery life has brought me and I want to figure it out. Not only that…” I looked up at him again, trying not to blush. “You’re hot as hell.”

Daro leaned back on his hand while the other still rested around my waist, a genuine laugh consuming him that was quite rare. I’d never seen him laugh like that for as long as I’d known him.

***

I opened my eyes and I was once again lying face down on the rainbow blanket, Byleth and Lestan’s presence returning. There was no longer a breeze and the dim lighting of my apartment came back into focus, and Daro was kneeling beside me on one knee. He opened his eyes to search me, making sure I was alright before standing and returning to his usual self. Despite everything that had happened just then, there was no sign of him losing his composure. I knew the truth though, and I’d seen a side of him that I suspected none ever had. It was all I could do to keep from grabbing him by the waist and hugging him from where I sat, to which I gave into easily. Byleth’s hum of amusement reached my ears as I clung to Daro tightly.

“Thank you.”

~ ©2018 Shane Blackheart

10/7/2018 9:06PM: Tonight’s Adventures (A conversation)

Sometimes I write out conversations between me and my alters/guides. It’s an interesting way to keep a journal, anyway. I definitely want to post more of these, but they are usually riddled with foul language because Byleth doesn’t really care about what he says. With that warning, this is what we were up to tonight. This was between me, Byleth, and Lestan.

***

“Sugar, you’re drinking and you shouldn’t be.” Byleth paced around my desk and computer chair, keeping an eye on me as my leg kept up with its nervous jitter, bouncing as if I were ready to run a marathon. I scoffed.

“I’m not drunk though. I’m still able to type.” Despite that, I did feel rather woozy.

“Rather woozy?” Byleth rolled his eyes. “You’re supposed to be picking up a pizza in fifteen minutes and you’re,” he lifted his claws in quotation, “‘woozy’.”

“Hey, it burned going down so it’s going to get me a bit messed up. Well, not messed up entirely, but numb enough to not care that my dreams are basically going to be flushed down the toilet.”

“Stop it.” Byleth latched his claws onto the back of my chair that was still vibrating with my leg’s nervous jitter. It seemed my excess energy was on a… roll? Is that even a thing? “No,” he interrupted. “It isn’t a thing. Lestan and I are walking with you when you leave. You shouldn’t have even drunk straight from the bottle.”

“He’ll be okay.” Lestan crossed his ankle over his knee and leaned back on the couch. He seemed bothered, his expression darker than what his voice suggested. “The bottle will be gone soon enough and then we won’t have to worry…”

“Soon enough?! Are you expecting – and enabling – him to drink it until it’s gone to get rid of it faster? What the fuck, Lestan?”

“That’s not what I was getting at and you know it.” Lestan grew slightly irritated. “I just mean that Shane won’t buy anymore after this one, right, love?”

“Right. That’s my plan anyway.” I was beginning to feel warm. The liquor had definitely kicked in. I also realized that it wasn’t such a good idea to drink directly from the bottle. It really did burn like hell going down.

“Because you’re not used to it.” Byleth left my chair and fell into the wooden one at the L part of my desk. He crossed his arms and watched me, his expression mostly blank, although I could see some sort of sympathy behind his red eyes. He snorted a laugh.

“Look at you getting all flowery with your words and assuming you can ‘see what’s behind my eyes’ or some shit.” He closed his eyes and looked to the side, but soon after returned his gaze to me from the corner of his eye. “Yeah, I do care about you, you know. If I haven’t made that fucking clear enough already.” I stopped to rub my forehead, but was brought back to the page. “Hey, don’t you stop writing. It’s been a while since we’ve talked and I won’t let you lose your mind and forget about this conversation too.”

“Wait.” I sighed. “We talk all the time. I just don’t always write it down.”

We write it down, sugar. You should’ve caught onto that by now.”

“Well, yes?” I guess I’d missed that part somewhere along the way when the small bouts of dissociation would happen. Lestan chuckled from where he sat on the futon sofa.

“Baby, it’s okay. It took you years to come to terms with who we are to you. I can understand a bit of confusion here.” He stood and came to stand behind me, ruffling my hair lovingly. Byleth lifted an eyebrow and sighed.

Cornyyyy.”

“Hey, Shane’s allowed to be silly when he’s drunk and forget a few things.”

“I’m not drunk!” I flashed a stubborn expression before I focused on the screen again. Or… was it really me focusing? I felt slightly spaced, but my phone’s alarm brought me back to reality. Byleth stood and Lestan backed away to approach the door. Byleth was the first to speak.

“It’s time to grab that pizza, sweetie. Let’s hope the guys at the counter don’t catch on to your slight inebriation.”

***

As we walked back through the front door, I set the pizza aside and pulled off my binder, threw on my shirt I’d been wearing before, and took another quick swig from the bottle of Malibu banana rum. Byleth was less than pleased, but started chuckling as he set eyes on the computer screen. I’d started to type but backtracked. “Shane, you should have kept it as a ‘tit corset’.”

“Nah. It was too ridiculous.”

“It is a tit corset. One you won’t have to worry about much longer if everything goes right.”

“Yeah… I hope.” I turned on Byleth’s playlist on the big screen through the PlayStation and settled in to eat some pizza. Like I needed to clog my arteries any more than they already were. He reclaimed his chair at the L in my desk and leaned his head in his hand. He seemed perturbed.

“Which I am,” he confirmed. I knew he was because I’d taken another swig from the bottle like he encouraged me to do the exact opposite of, and I was feeling pretty good to not really care. That brought a scowl forth from the Fallen Angel and he sighed.

“I’m just going to focus on my music and singing, and pretend like you’re not disobeying everything that I’ve asked of you tonight.”

“Hey, we had mind-blowing sex earlier, so don’t give me a hard time.” I flashed him a comical judgemental look, to which he lightened up and returned to a more positive mood.

“Oh, we did. [Redacted].” I shrugged in response, stuffing my face with pizza. Attractive.

“You’re a Fallen Angel. You have magic spit. We’ve been over this.” He broke into laughter at the ‘magic spit’ bit.

“Let’s just hope your body is done being difficult with sex.” He smirked. “[Redacted].”

“Like I said. Fallen Angel. Magic spit.” Lestan chuckled from where he sat on the futon sofa, his expression calm and at ease as he watched the images on the TV. ‘Me and Mrs. Jones’ by Billy Paul was currently flowing from the speakers, Byleth’s corny but groovy taste in music flooding the apartment.

“Hey. Corny? Bullshit. It’s classic seducing music, sugar. At one time in history, this was the sexiest song on the radio.”

“One of them, maybe. There’s a sweet romantic vibe to it now.” I smiled, a warm and fuzzy feeling consuming me. “Awww, Byleth, you’re such a romantic!” He laughed humorlessly and seemed to clam up with embarrassment.

“No, fuck the embarrassment part of that line.” He jabbed his claw in my direction. There was definitely a slight blush in his cheeks. “No, no there isn’t! Stop. I like the classics because they make me want to fuck something, okay? No romance involved there.”

“But,” I teased, “you are a romantic whether you admit it or not. You call me sweetie.”

“That is true,” Lestan chimed in from the futon. He slipped out of his leather jacket that he’d still been wearing. “Byleth, you aren’t fooling anyone. You’re very romantic. I saw the way you kissed Shane earlier.” He flashed Byleth a teasingly flirtatious expression. The Fallen Angel was becoming flustered.

“Seriously, if you both don’t quit I’m just going to take my music in the other room and say fuck all of you.” No irritation was in his voice, however. A small smile was playing on his lips and there was a glint in his red eyes. His mood had improved despite the teasing banter and he relaxed into his chair, falling into the lyrics of the next song that had started to play; ‘Little Wing’ by Jimi Hendrix.

A silence fell then, I eating my pizza and Lestan relaxing in the background, watching Byleth as he sang to the song that it was switched to – ‘You Don’t Own Me’ covered by Masquer. The song was appropriate for a brat king such as Byleth.

“Damn right it is, sugar. Don’t tell me what to do…. Don’t tell me what to say…” Despite Byleth being a Fallen, he definitely still had the voice of an angel. “I was an angel. The beauty of my voice or my devilishly good looks didn’t disappear because I fell.”

“Mr. Vain King.” Lestan stood from the futon and approached Byleth, who turned in his seat to welcome the vampire. Lestan straddled his thighs while standing over him, teasing the Fallen Angel’s golden horns. Byleth bit his lip.

“Would you have me any other way? And you keep talking like that, mister. Call me King a few more times and I’ll make sure you won’t be able to speak… In the best way, of course.”

“Reduce me to a mumbling mess, my King?” Lestan chuckled as Byleth hummed, the vampire’s hands sliding through the Fallen’s jaw-length blonde hair. Hands crept back up onto Byleth’s horns and he huffed a laugh.

“What are you trying to do? Get me so worked up I can’t sing? Make a distraction for Shane over there?”

“Maybe.” Lestan grinned and caressed one of Byleth’s horns before the Fallen wrapped an arm around the vampire’s torso and pulled him into his lap.

“Alright, vampire. You’ve got a deal.”

“We didn’t make a bet.”

“As long as Shane doesn’t drink any more rum tonight, I’ll do whatever you want.” Byleth trailed a claw down Lestan’s front, causing the vampire to sigh. “Anything, sugar.”

“Wait, why is this on me?” I pouted, still buzzed, although I suspected more than that. “Do what you want.”

“Oh no, sweetie. That’s the breaks.” I sighed in response to Byleth’s ridiculous stipulations. He cocked an eyebrow at that line. “Stop drinking and you get to see wonderful things.”

“Sorry, baby. I have to go with Byleth on this one.” Lestan ghosted his lips over the Fallen’s as he turned Byleth to face him once more. “I’m not passing up the opportunity to have control over the brat king.”

“Whatever.” I sighed hopelessly and chuckled. “I won’t drink anymore, but don’t go overboard. I want to be able to eat my pizza.” Byleth hummed his approval and gave his full attention to Lestan then, their lips meeting in a deep and much-needed kiss. I returned to my pizza, finally deciding to let the alcohol wear off.

(For the record, Byleth’s taste in music IS corny, but amazing.)

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What If…?

Although I am not feeling so great today, I still wanted to post something a bit more positive since a lot of my entries have been dark. So, to mix up the monotony, I wanted to share a video I made solely in Plotagon itself without any outside editing. I am a beta tester for the program, and I was able to get my hands on a version that is still under heavy testing, but I’ve produced some amazing things with it! Hopefully, these new features will be available to all, but not until the bugs are worked out properly.

I made this video during a particularly bad night, as they have been lately. I was in a lot of pain from a medication that my body just didn’t like, but I wouldn’t let it stop me from creating this bit of comedy that I’m still pretty proud of. So without further commentary, here is the video, voiced by myself, Byleth, and Lestan:

***

Grab Plotagon here: http://plotagon.com
Join the community and upload your own animations, and meet some awesome people! You can find me here: http://plotagon.com/ShaneLestan

Ramblings to a Dead Tree

This bit of writing is from an entry I made in my newest journal. I tend to have a bad habit of buying new journals even though I haven’t filled the last, but I also do the same things with books – I haven’t finished half of the ones I own but I MUST have that new book I just found! An antique book? Rare or out of print? Hard to find? Give them all to me. I just add them to the stack of things ‘to do’ that I never get around to. Such is the life of a bibliophile. Being obsessed with antiques makes it worse.

So, I made a commitment to this journal that I have yet to stick to. I haven’t written in it again, but at least I made an effort to start. The cover reads ‘Fucking Brilliant’ anyway, so I figured it would be best for things I thought were… well… fucking brilliant. As is expected of something like that, what I wrote at first did not live up to this goal. It’s an entry from a few weeks ago, but I wanted to share it here regardless, mostly because I managed to weave senseless rambling with flowery words.

***

From May 17, 2018

I got this notebook to jot down genius ideas or stories – to dedicate one notebook to a single subject – yet here I am sitting outside my counselor’s office waiting for my appointment. The sun is out, the weather is hot, and the breeze feels nice in contrast to the sun’s warm rays. I’ve had a rough couple of days so it is welcome. I lost a friend, but I think it was a long time coming. ‘Exes for a reason’ comes to mind. I think I’m just done with people using me for money – using me in general. But that’s not what I wanted to write about. No. I’d intended to draw.

While on the bus, I felt inspired emotionally by a few things that I can’t put words to. I know, how can you be inspired by something that escapes you? Maybe I’m manic or maybe I’m going insane from being perpetually broke the moment my SSI check goes into my account. Maybe I just grip my pencil too god damned hard when I write and the pain distracts me. No matter the reason, here I am, writing drabbles of senseless mind-clusterings. (Is that a word? My word processor didn’t mark it as an error, so a word it is!) Such is the consequence of being a manic erratic creator. I bet this all sounds cringey and stereotypically embarrassing too.

But at least I am writing. Not in pen, but in pencil. Mistakes are my forte’ after all, as is senseless rambling, but I’m becoming self-deprecating. I’m good at that too. And again. Is there even a point to this rambling or is it a way to communicate with a faceless listener due to my loneliness? Although I do have Lestan, Byleth, Daro, and the others – my alters, others, or whatever you’d like to call them – I am physically lonely. All I’ve ever wanted is a physical companion; that hopeless romantic notion of a soul mate for true love. As a transman, I feel that’s impossible, so I converse through graphite with a dead tree.

But I am lonely. I can’t drive and I’m stuck in life with very little – at least I have that little, though. Unfortunately, being a transman who doesn’t look like a lovechild of the Hulk and Chris Evans, along with mental illness and being on disability, as well as having no car, is the recipe for loneliness. No one is interested in who you are anymore. Everyone just wants an easy ticket to romance with no effort and no baggage without realizing that everyone has baggage. Some are just better at hiding it than others.

But it’s time to see my counselor now. Hopefully, good news for top surgery is to follow within the next month or two, and progress with my projects.

[End of entry]

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I’m never really alone to be truthful. I do have my alters or others (I haven’t yet found a good enough word for them that feels ‘right’, although the medical term would be ‘alters’) to keep me company and provide me with companionship. They even give me a nudge and ask to take over when things get to be too much, and usually, I let them. But the physical companionship of another person is often lost with me. I’ve been single for quite a few years now and am still trying to find a date despite my looming failure of it. Life gets lonely no matter how many friends you have and no matter how big your support system is. It’s no replacement for that special kind of relationship that only is shared with one special person – your person (or persons if you are polyamorous).

All of my attempts to confess to people I’ve liked has ended in me never hearing from them again, or them disappearing shortly after. It has made me feel pretty undesirable and unloveable, and I know that it’s popular to say: ‘If you can’t love yourself, how the hell you gonna love somebody else?!’ (thank you, RuPaul), but I don’t think that’s necessarily true. Sometimes a special person is all you need to learn to love yourself, especially when you’ve had a life of others convincing you of how worthless of a person you are and believing it.

I’d like to think I am capable of being loved in that way. I’d like to believe I am desirable and that someone is out there for me, but I’ve given up again. I’m overweight, my teeth are a bit messed up because I broke my jaw when I was thirteen, I’m dysphoric on the best of days and don’t pass as a cisgender man yet, I have mental illness, and I’m on a fixed income due to disability and unable to safely operate a car even though I do have my license.

But I take care of myself. I live on my own and have two awesome cats. I pay my own bills and do my own grocery shopping. I get by. I make art in several different mediums by either sketching or drawing digitally. I have a Youtube channel and I make animations and voice act them, as well as organize everything and write the scripts. I am a writer above all of that and have aspirations of being published one day to be able to have accomplished my dream I’ve had since I was a child.

I love video games, anime, and long conversations about deeper subjects. I have an entire family who also comes along for the ride, although I can only show you them through drawings and voice recordings they’ve come to the forefront to do and not physically. While it seems overwhelming, they’re an awesome bunch who just want to see me live and strive to be the best I can be and to, of course, find what makes me happy. 

I’ve repeated a few times now in this blog that there is so much more to me than my illnesses and my financial situation, as well as the shortcomings in general. But no one wants to get far enough romantically to see any of it. No one sees that as any value compared to the small things that are out of my control. I just wish I could get lucky someday and meet someone and we can have a mutual interest in each other, and the shortcomings will seem so much smaller than the greater things that make us who we really are.