K. Leigh has a new queer sci-fi anime book out (bi/trans mtf): Colour Theory.
Some people believe in reincarnation. Others believe humans will eventually become robots. Why not both?
That’s how Alex wakes up—aboard CONSTELIS VOSS, humanity’s very own planet-sized ship. He soon realizes that he’s a bit of an anomaly; he’s the only android who’s ever remembered a past life. Now he needs to know why he’s remembering bits and pieces of the 1990s and how he became an android in the first place.
Familiar faces aboard CONSTELIS VOSS help him color in the blanks. Memories start to form patterns—patterns that reveal a corrupt dystopian civilization. An evil mastermind is pulling the strings, and Alex is somehow at the center of it all. Just who is he supposed to be?
The lives of his friends, his own, and the future of the human race depend on him understanding these patterns. But can you save a world without losing the people you care about? Or does the world really matter in the end?
After all, the road to Hell is paved with good intentions.
For fans of the Anime series Evangelion and Ghost in the Shell comes a Sci-Fi Trilogy jam-packed with action, adventure, and plenty of savvy queer literary nods.
God, it must be lovely being a pretty, wine-mouthed little thing, if only for the hell of it.
I remember when even that was tied to a primary job function; armor in metal bangles, in velvets, in reds, in indigo, only to be made into nothing, and then to unmake someone else.
The paint was my favorite part, but it was always removed in the gnashing of teeth. A smear like the blood on my hands after the job was done.
The lipstick was always red because it’s a trick for men.
I’d rather have worn black, but dark colors send the wrong signals. Pretty wine-mouthed little things always paint their roses red, and so too, did I.
These traits are certainly boorish stereotypes, and yet, they are stereotypes certain men seek. Certain men who were certain marks, that certainly sought me, that I certainly killed.
It’s easier to pull off than you may think, biology notwithstanding.
Especially if you’re curiously beautiful, shorter than some, and know how to move like prey animal.
But I was not, and will never be a prey animal.
I am a predator in specific geometry, just like before, just like the rose painted lips, and the smear, and the blood on my hands.
The space between the trick and the repeat job function, too, will be the same.
An evaporation in black waters because time never moves forward. The play is never truly different. We all come together at different acts, but it’s always the same because I wrote the script that way.
I wrote it that way because I lived it. And because I lived it, this is my fault.
I’m still the villain with my mouth full of blood, smiling crimson at the mess I established by merit of existing and solved, in black this time. It will be black.
Before that, it will be faux indigo.
We always start with an absence of light, and therefore, color. Then, there’s yellow, and at some point, the gold rushes in—not so subtly—until we stretch from hue to hue, get stuck repeatedly on pink, and maybe…
Maybe this time, true indigo will stick instead of black. I haven’t decided.
I haven’t decided the order in which we all die. Or if we die at all.
It may not even be up to me.
Even if the play is the same, the actors might forget their lines and torch the script with actual fire.
Truth be told, I’m counting on them to do just that. Because all their fucking lives depend on it.
1 / BLINDING WHITE
THE PLAY’S credits performed in reverse. Laughter woven in spliced tongues. Sobs were shots of vodka mimed backward in still-frame memories. Today was the day he was born.
At first, there was a void of nothing. Then, the man was alive. He was alive, standing in a space that smelled like antiseptic. The room was large enough for a swept arm to feel no chairs, no walls, no people, and he was blind.
The tremor of a frenetic pulse in his ears was the beat of a song he knew too well; fight or flight, do or die, the time is now.
Then, the sound became a sizzle.
Naturally stumbling, the man placed his hand on a flat surface and followed it up with searching fingers.
He was a slip of a shape, crawling like a bottom-feeder until he reached a notch. He pushed his hand up between the space he felt and grasped what he imagined was silver.
That white-knuckled hand meant he was alive.
He used the handhold to follow the wall and found a seam. He felt the seam with his fingers and plastered his face to a slick surface, his mouth fogging the space in front of him. It was wet on the skin of his cheek.
Finally, after what felt like hours, words found shape in his mouth. If he could speak, it surely meant that he was alive.
“W-where the fuck am I?!” he spat against the slick surface near his mouth.
“We had a problem booting you,” spoke a muddy voice. “…booting?” the man replied, voice foreign in his ears. “We’re sanitizing you. We’re unsure if contaminants infil-
trated your system, so we are making sure there’s nothing…wrong. Ok?”
“….no. Not ok. Why the fuck can’t I see?” the man asked as the panel shifted away from him with a soft hiss. He fell, fawn-legged, into someone taller than he.
They were a girl, he assumed perhaps foolishly, as his head had connected with their chest. He could smell soft perfume and hear a click, not unlike hooves. He remem- bered that sound.
“You’re talking about me like I’m—I don’t fucking know…some kind of Star Trek bullshit…” he blurted out, pushing away from the woman he was braced against.
She caught him and held him to her body. She was breathing, she had a heartbeat, and she smelled like lavender.
“…I had to pull an emergency protocol,” she replied as she held him as if he might shatter in her arms.
“Fucking pardon?” he blurted out.
“…you’re the last one there is. I had to remove something —a block,” the woman said in nothing-words, “I also had to add something in,” she admitted with more nothing-words, “though I’m not sure how much it will grow.”
“What the fuck does that mean?”
She sat the man down on a lifeless stool after much cajol- ing. His skin told him that it should be cold, but he felt vaguely anesthetized. He shivered anyways.
“You aren’t supposed to be able to shiver…” she said. “Am I supposed to be able to see, too?” he snapped. “Sorry about that.”
Her heels clicked as she pressed something into the back
of his neck. The pressure pulsed up through his jaw into his teeth. His senses screamed into being, birthed in violent indigo.
“Better?” she asked as he heard her step back, the telltale clicking sound grounding him in the here and now.
The man’s eyes adjusted, pupils dilating and shrinking in time. The cold white room was bright enough to burn his retinas if he stared long enough.
“Yes,” he said, popping his jaw to release the pent-up pressure. It sizzled.
He looked around the blurry room. The metal he had clung to wasn’t silver but an unassuming white. Clear glass tables and matching displays filled the room.
All was painted in pales and glass, except for a little green plant in a geometric gold pot—a familiar shape—situ- ated on a far desk. Something lived in a place that seemed so sterile it thwarted all biology.
He looked at the girl before him, as tall as he was but with heels — far taller. A searing blue gaze swept her face; flaccid blond hair, crepe-paper pale skin, with an expression just as brittle. Her lab coat was, however, noticeably tinted.
It was so faint the human eye would ignore the detail. It was hard for him not to notice.
At the far end of the room, a swath of lab coats hung like
bodies on a line. All the color had been bled from the fabric. Her shoes, however, were the color of riches.
“Gold,” he said, his mouth impossibly dry. “Yes. Gold,” the woman replied.
“…the plant’s yours too, then?” he asked. “Yes.”
The woman looked down at him with large, deep-set brown eyes. The painting of her skin had been covered in makeup, yet the spies of imperfections remained.
She grasped a clear clipboard at her high waist and was fiddling with what looked to be a pen.
“You…don’t seem to fit in here. With…all this,” the man muttered, accompanied by a vague gesture, “what a weird fucking dream…”
“A120-P, I need you to work with me here,” she huffed. Her long fingers tapped on the clipboard.
“…that’s not my name,” he replied bluntly.
“Then, tell me, smart-ass…what is your name?”
Leigh is a 33-year-old once-painter, sometimes-freelancer, forever-artist living in Providence, RI. They write hopeful-tragic stories full of funny, horrible characters, in various genres.