– I am participating in the 2013 Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia. It started May 17th and runs every single day until May 27th. My stop on the hop is here.
Every commenter at my stop will receive a copy of my new story “Slipping Through the Cracks” that I have been specifically writing for this hop. It stars Franz Caulder, who has woken up in a mental hospital with no idea how he got there. The last thing he remembers is going to sleep in his bed. Now he’s locked up and trying to figure out how he got there.
It’s an mm (slash) romance. It’s a bit twisty, I will admit that. Nothing is what it seems and for some reason Franz has decided to be a real action head. Like everything he does has like 20-pages of thought behind it. He kind of goes his own way too, which I’ve been trying to curtail, except it’s part of his character.
Anyways, drop a comment, get a copy at the end of the hop. Maybe take a trip around the world following the rest of the hop and check out some posts and put in to win great prizes. It’s an awesome cause, helping to spread the word of equality for everyone.
Title: Slipping Through the Cracks
Author: Harper Kingsley
Character: Franz Caulder/Ryan Wilder, Dr. Pamela Werth, Nicole Carson
Summary: Kid Nitro went to sleep in his own bed, and woke up on another Earth in the body of an alternate Franz Caulder. It’s a world without metabilities, which is jarring enough, but it’s also a world where Other-Franz is a mental patient grappling with some serious problems.
Making sure the door was tightly closed, he pulled the napkin wrapped bundle of pills he’d hidden in his underwear out and took them directly to the bathroom. He was glad they trusted him enough to allow him his own toilet and sink; he knew there were some facilities where the patient was only allowed a bare mattress and could expect invasive body searches on a regular basis.
He flushed the pills down the toilet and felt a little better.
Most of what he knew about mental hospitals was stuff he’d learned from TV and movies. He’d been worried all day that he was going to get caught with the pills and evil doctors would end up giving him shock therapy or a lobotomy. It was terrifying.
Franz stood in front of the sink and examined himself in the mirror. It wasn’t made out of glass, just polished metal, which left his reflection slightly wavery and out of focus. He was able to see himself, but for a long moment he didn’t recognize the man standing there.
This was the first time he’d seen himself since he’d woken up. He hadn’t realized he would look different from what he was used to. It sent a jolt of fear through him.
This all might be real.
The man in the mirror was in his early-twenties with the light brown skin he was used to. His black eyes were almond-shaped and there was something Asian about the cast of his features, but he mostly looked black. His mother had been half-white and half-Japanese while his father had been black. They’d died when he was too young to have many memories of them, though he remembered how British they sounded.
The fact that he knew they spoke with Estuary English accents had been something he’d learned from Nigel. Before that he’d watched old home movies of them and thought they sounded like something off the BBC. It had also been Nigel that had told him all the stories he’d missed about who his parents were.
His mother had been Sophia, his father was Terence. They had been Butterfly Woman and Mothman, and Dr. Scourge had torn his family apart.
Dr. Scourge had killed Terence, and Sophia had killed the supervillain. Then she’d taken her grief, bottled it up tight, and burnt herself out fighting crime for another year as a solo act. One day she’d gotten careless and she’d died, leaving him an orphan with more questions than answers. Some part of him had never forgiven her.
He’d lived in foster care until he was ten, never understanding what had happened to his parents. Until Nigel had come and taken him away, an old friend of his parents that only wanted the best for him. And Nigel had turned out to be Lightspeed. He lived with a superhero and he’d grown up to be a superhero himself.
He was Franz Caulder. He was Kid Nitro. He had battled supervillains and helped to protect the world from destruction.
But the guy in the mirror… He didn’t know what to think of that guy.
There were strange shadows and a jagged series of scars across the left side of his face. When he turned his head sideways, it looked like the letters FA or FR had been carved from his jaw up toward his ear; the writer had been interrupted given the ragged upsweep that almost bisected the corner of his eye. The skin was puckered and burned looking, though the blade must have been as sharp as it was hot.
He stared at himself and it looked bad. That scar looked old, several years at least, something that had to have happened when he was a teenager. It was ugly, no doubt about that, and hadn’t received any kind of aftercare. One look told him the wound had healed naturally with no doctors.
Franz would have immediately gone to a plastic surgeon. If one of his bad guys had carved up his face like that, Franz would have used his League of Superheroes medical card at the nearest hospital. He would never have a scar like that, not with the miracles of modern medicine.
There was something very bad wrong here and he was beginning to suspect that it was him. He hadn’t been in his bed last night, or at least this body hadn’t. This body had been here, locked up nice and cozy with Other-Franz in his cell where he belonged.
Just like in the old Chrestomanci books. He’d been body snatched. It was the only explanation.
Like the gears in some great machine his Essence, or soul, had been shifted one universe over. And somewhere out there someone was walking around in his body living his life. While he was here in this alien/familiar/terrifying body with this giant, horrible scar across his face.
Franz reached up to touch the scar, but stopped. His finger hovered, then he dropped his arm.
Get in it to win it!
– Movie rec: “Penelope,” starring Christina Ricci and James McAvoy. I’ve got it on DVD and every once and awhile it’s great to break it out for a watch.
– What is with video shows lately? (This is just my rant about video shows. Seriously, I was so aggravated.)
I hate how mean spirited a lot of the “funny video shows” have gotten. You can’t let a kid watch any of that.
I remember when I was a kid the whole family would get together for TV and we’d catch episodes of America’s Funniest Home Videos here and there. Most all of the videos were in good fun and the announcer guy wasn’t so vitrolic as the new guys. I mean, these new guys, announcing the stuff and making jokes in between clips, they’re guys I would want to stay away from. Just creepy and unpleasant.
It just seems like all the new shows have to be super negative all the time. Do we really need that? I go to TV and books to be entertained, not screamed at by some guy making inappropriate comments and thinking he’s hysterically funny. Especially when he’s making awful jokes while showing videos of people getting seriously hurt.
I want to tell those video clip show guys to get their butts back to the Internet. Because that’s what’s happening: The Internet is crawling out to fill our TVs.
The TVs that our children watch and are shaped by.
I know, I know, you don’t let your kid watch anything like that, you wrap him up in bubble wrap, you guys are going full-on organic, I get it. But TV is always on, if not in your house, but in the house of the kid that’s going to talk your kid into riding a shopping cart down a hill without any kind of head or body protection. Because he saw it on TV and that was totally awesome and the douchey host was laughing really hard so it must be funny.
Or maybe you don’t have kids so you don’t really care. Those shows are stupid and you don’t watch them, so who cares that they’re playing during prime time. It’s not your problem that some kid with bad parental supervision is getting her head warped by what she’s watching on TV. Then it’s some big OMG moment when four years later you see some girl in Wal-Mart with some guy that looks remarkably similar to douchey announcer guy and she lets him treat her like crap.
Because people falling down the stairs and landing on their head is not something to laugh at. And if that becomes someone’s first response when they see that happen to someone in real life, then society is having a problem.
We are having a serious problem.