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Random Ramblings,  Story Excerpts

A dilemma

Extinguishing Eternity is a short story I like a lot overall, except for one aspect of it that I’ve always harbored doubts about. It’s fantasy, and the setup is that there is going to be an exchange of information. A vampire is providing the information to a client. Typically, one piece of information is given and the payment is blood. This client is different – she offers an unusual amount of her blood, and she also offers sex for access to additional information.

I’ve never felt sure of the sex. On one hand, I am tired of how women are sexualized in our society, on the other hand, women should be empowered to do what they want with their lives and bodies. She enjoys the sex, which is more than can be said for the other part of her payment.

In recent years I’ve listened to Dan Savage’s sex and relationship advice podcast. Sex work and sex workers come up on the Savage Lovecast in a way that is free from judgment, and I’ve heard from and about people who are in this profession willingly and like it.  To be clear, my character is not a sex worker, it’s just something that comes to mind as I consider whether or not to keep the story as it is or replace that part of their transaction with something else.

I don’t have an answer for my dilemma yet. I’d be happy for any thoughts anyone has on it. In the meantime, I will share an excerpt from this story as it currently is. This is not a First Sentence – it comes a little less than halfway through.

“Faye, why do you want to die?” I catch myself off guard. It is unusual for me to be the inquisitive one.

She settles against me. I weave my hands into her hair. The feathers are silky to my touch. Looking closely I see they are not braided in – they grow directly from her scalp.

“I am old. I walked the earth when trees lacked sentience and grew from the ground, when wind was colorless but present throughout the Thirteen Planes. I witnessed the Changing of our world, saw and felt the magic evoked by the age’s most learned mages, watched the Uprooting that gave trees thought, wisdom, and a home in the sky.

“I have held countless professions, learned languages that are no longer spoken, and loved many men who grew old and died. My children have lived rich, full lives. Their children have done the same. They are scattered in graves across the land. My descendants dwell in every Kingdom of this world. Most do not know me. I have done everything I can think of, have experienced more than I can tell you, and I am ready to move on. There is a realm beyond this one and I want to see it.”

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