QSFer Lou Sylvre has a new light MM urban fantasy out: Charlie Chrysalis: Angel or Not?
If he succeeds, he gets angel wings. If he fails, he gets unspeakable pain. What if Charlie wants neither?
In another Los Angeles, two Nephilim take hell-horses into battle against Angels, risking everything in an effort to give Hell’s lowliest slaves a chance at freedom.
Eventually, every Nephilim must face Choosing Day, and for Charlie Chrysalis, the day has arrived. At Angel Headquarters in Los Angeles, the Angel Sidriel—Charlie’s guardian and also his worst enemy—asks the key question: “Spirit or Flesh?” If he chooses Spirit, Sid will certainly do everything he can to make sure Charlie fails, but he’s made up his mind. His test: solve Region Six Immigration Crimes Case D665. It looks like a piece of cake. But can Charlie bring down Sidriel’s brand of justice upon innocent, unfortunate souls, even if it means he must silence his heart and sacrifice the respect—and possibly love—of the one man he doesn’t want to disappoint?
Urban fantasy light short story with a touch of gay romance in a slightly noir short story with a very happy ending.
The reason Sidriel had sent me here, to this particular place on this particular mission, was striding toward me. Dressed in Big Smith overalls and a ribbed tank shirt stretched across his chest, he held a cat-o’-nine-tails in his left hand and a cattle prod in his right.
“Damn you, Sid,” I whispered, and didn’t even think about the consequences of blasphemy.
“Charlie Chrysalis! What the Hell brings you to Blossom Lane, dude?” Geuse’s big voice boomed and his grin puckered the long scar across his cheek into a row of tiny navels.
“Hey,” I said, and I had to laugh. That funny-looking cut on his face had always made me smile, no matter how glum the circumstance. Geuse was a Halfie like me. That alone would have united us in a world where not many of our kind could still walk the streets, unchosen, unchanged, and unfettered, but between him and me, history made a stronger link.
We’d been friends, growing up with little help from our earthly parents and mostly hindrance from the heavenly side. That time I skateboarded in the Lincoln Elementary School hallways? Geuse had cajoled the principal out of suspending me. We’d quizzed each other on spelling lists. We’d drooled together over yearbook pictures of our dream dates, and then gone to prom together, pretending we were going stag. We’d traded hands and kisses in the dark under the stadium bleachers. We’d got drunk together on Geuse’s twenty-first birthday and spent a boundary-shattering night together in the back of his van.
I helped him bury his dog. He helped me bury my mom—not literally of course.
When I pissed off one of Hell’s Angels who proved to truly own the name, it was Geuse who distracted him long enough for me to run away. And it was my hand that had twisted the meat fork from a thug’s grip the day Geuse’s temper had earned him that sometimes-funny scar.
History. Over and gone and every future possibility signed away just hours earlier in indelible ink.
But damn, it was good to see him.
He pulled me in for a hug a Sasquatch might aspire to, and then pushed me back to arm’s length. “Let me look at you, man. How ya been doin’ eh?”
I laughed and started to say the sort of thing a guy says to answer that question, but then I remembered the question he’d asked me first. I thought about what the Hell brought me to Blossom Lane. My face went hot with something a lot like shame.
Lou Sylvre loves to ponder what-ifs. Stars, seas, forest, deserts, histories and futures. Wild things and home things and gardens and lonely trees. And love, lots of love—and in her books love always wins. She thinks about the heart of the universe and the quest to find it through connection—words and music, arts and sciences, family and friends. She wishes she could live every life, know all the joys and beauty and even the bitter tang of loss and solitude that must accompany it. She can’t do that, of course, so she lets the whole of it infuse her imagination and writes it instead. Sometimes her stories are suspenseful or even terrifying, sometimes romantic and even sexy. Magical and light or sorcerous and dark. Or realistic—and that’s magic too. It’s a quantum world out there, and we still haven’t got to the point where we can always tell where physics ends and magic begins.
On a more straightforward note, she is a proudly bisexual woman, a mother, grandmother, lover of languages, and cat-herder. When writing, she works closely with lead cat and writing assistant, the (male) Queen of Budapest, Boudreau St. Clair. When he lets her have a break, she drinks strong coffee, plays guitar, grows flowers, walks a lot, and reads. Besides books and music, she loves friends and family, wild places, wild roses, sunshine, and dark chocolate. Not necessarily in that order. She lives and works in the rainy part of Washington State, and hearing from readers on Facebook or Twitter, or via e-mail (Lou dot Sylvre at gmail) always brightens a gray-sky day.