SLEEPING BEAUTY by Lee Kirkland "Watch this part, Uncle Joe," Rachel whispered, tugging at his arm. "The prince is going to kiss her." "I'm watching," Joe Maxwell whispered back, smiling. He didn't dare not watch; no telling the penalty if any of this three nieces suspected he was not precisely enthralled with the video of Sleeping Beauty. The prince kissed the princess, waking her. The rest of the palace woke, too, and a celebration began. At last the animated movie was over and the questions began. "A princess couldn't really sleep for a hundred years, could she, Uncle Joe?" asked Laura, the youngest. "She could if there was a spell on her," answered Julie, Joe's eldest niece, with authority. "No way," argued Rachel, the middle one. Joe suspected her statement wasn't so much a reflection of her true opinion as a desire to disagree with her sister. "I don't know if a princess could sleep for a hundred years or not," he said firmly, "but we can pretend she can. Come on, girls, it's bedtime." That started a fresh spate of argument as the older girls contended they should be allowed to stay up later than Laura. Joe, in a rare display of avuncular authority, overruled them and presently all three were tucked in snugly. Resuming his seat on the couch, he changed the channel to an all-sports network and settled back to enjoy it. His sister should be home soon, he reflected absently. He smiled, remembering her panic call earlier in the evening and her rushed story of theater tickets and a babysitter who'd cancelled at the last possible moment. Joe had good-naturedly agreed to fill in. Caring for these three little girls wasn't a hardship; on the contrary, Joe adored them and they returned the feeling. He knew he spoiled them, but after all, what were uncles for? Even their arguments could be endearing; sometimes, the hardest part was keeping a straight face. He was half-asleep when his sister came in; he stood to greet her, stretching lazily. "Were they good?" she asked. "Oh, yeah," he answered. "What did you do? He grinned. "We watched Sleeping Beauty. Twice." His sister smiled back. "That's the current favorite," she admitted, adding, "You spoil them, Joey." "Hey, what are uncles for?" he asked. "Listen, sis, I should go. I've got an early court date tomorrow." "Okay," she answered. "You'll probably run into Mike downstairs; he's parking the car. He'll give you a ride home if you want." She hugged him. "Thanks for coming, Joey." "Anytime, sis." As his sister had predicted, he ran into his brother-in-law in the lobby of the building and Mike offered a ride, but Joe preferred to walk; the evening was a mild one, though damp with earlier April showers, and it gave him an opportunity to think. Spending time with his nieces always made him wonder what it might be like to have a family of his own. "Need a mother for them first, Maxwell," he chided himself, and sighed. A scraping sound behind him made him suddenly alert, and he walked faster, trying to look back without being obtrusive. Was someone there? He couldn't be sure, but the bright lights of a major thoroughfare were just ahead and he thought he'd make it. Someone stepped out of a darkened doorway, blocking his path. Joe stopped and half-turned to see the danger behind. A pair of surly teenagers closed in on him. Knife blades glinted faintly in reflected light. "Money, man," one said, holding out a grimy hand. "Now!" "Okay, guys," Joe said placatingly, reaching slowly for his wallet. "I don't want trouble." "Yeah?" sneered the youth, flipping open the wallet. He pulled out the few bills Joe carried, stuffing them into his pocket, before dumping the rest of the wallet's contents onto the pavement at his feet. Joe made an involuntary movement of protest, but stopped when the other boy brandished his knife. "Look at this," the first boy said, kicking at the credit cards, business cards, and miscellany that littered the ground. "Anything good?" the second boy asked. "Naw," the first one began. "Wait a minute." Picking up a card, he tipped it toward the light that spilled from a nearby window. "The D.A.'s office." He looked at Joe, his eyes suddenly vicious. "My brother's in the penitentiary because of you," he snarled and came up fast, thrusting with the knife. Joe was able to deflect the first blow with his forearm, but now both knives were moving toward him and he couldn't hope to parry both. Unfulfilled dreams and unspoken regrets flashed through his mind. Amazingly, neither of the knives found a target. Instead, a roar like an angry lion's filled the air and, without Joe quite seeing how it happened, both boys were on the ground, dazed and bleeding. He stared, baffled by the abrupt turn of events, and after a moment the boys scrambled shakily to their feet and staggered away. It was only then that Joe became truly aware of another presence standing in the shadows. "Did you do that?" he asked. The figure nodded but did not speak. Something wet was seeping through the sleeve of his jacket; he was bleeding from the initial knife thrust, the one he'd parried. Hands pressed something white against the wound, curling his fingers around to hold it in place. "That'll help the bleeding until you can get to a doctor." The voice that spoke was softly melodious. "Thanks," Joe answered, looking up. His rescuer had already begun a retreat toward the shadows, but paused in a stray shaft of light. For a long, frozen moment, they simply stared at each other before his rescuer turned to go. "Wait," Joe called, feeling suddenly frantic. "Who are you? What's your name?" The figure paused. "Phaedra," she answered over her shoulder, and vanished, leaving Joe with a fleeting impression of raven hair and violet eyes, the most beautiful eyes he'd ever seen. Eight days later he wandered through Central Park, feeling restless and disconnected, as he had all week. He'd hoped the walk would help, but all it did was give him time to relive those few moments, over and over. He even began to wonder if he'd imagined it. Her. No sooner had the thought entered his mind than he heard a rustling, and suddenly she was there. "No, Joe," she said in that lovely voice. "I'm real." * * * * * "Don't go far, dear," Aunt Flora warned without looking up from the long, flounced purple skirt she was mending. "I won't," Phaedra answered automatically, stepping into the low, narrow passage separating the three rock-walled rooms where she lived with her three adoptive aunts from the tunnels beyond. She never went far in the tunnels; others lived down here, others she had never met, though she'd lived beneath the ground for most of her life. The aunts worried about her, and though they communicated sparingly with the Others, they kept Phaedra carefully secluded. "They wouldn't understand you, dear," Aunt Meri had explained once in her sweet, vague way. "It's best if we keep you a secret." Phaedra didn't understand then and she didn't understand now. For years, she'd had innumerable fantasies where she had "accidentally" met some of the Others, but it never happened. As she grew older, however, her discontent with the limits placed upon her by their protectiveness led her into subtle deceptions and, hesitantly, she began to venture into the City. At first, she had been content to haunt the edges, looking on, but gradually she grew bolder until at last, the bill of her lucky baseball cap pulled low on her forehead and hands deep in her pockets, she began to actually mingle with people on the sidewalk. She quickly learned that New Yorkers instinctively avoided eye contact, and that anyone who inadvertently glanced at her face immediately looked away again. No one ever cried out in horror or pointed accusing fingers and Phaedra almost dared to imagine that the life her aunts had always insisted was impossible might not be so fantastic after all. Still, she kept her excursions secret, fearing she would be forbidden to go to the City again, and Phaedra knew she couldn't give it up. For there, six months ago, among the tall buildings and glittering lights, she had met a man... and had fallen in love. * * * * * Catherine Chandler followed Joe Maxwell from the interior gloom of the Criminal Justice Building out into the waning light. "Tell me, Counselor," she said in an exaggeratedly deep voice, imitating the reporters who had surrounded Joe only moments earlier, "How does it feel to put someone like Ruth Barris away?" She pushed an imaginary microphone into his face. Joe grinned and entered into the game lightheartedly. "Miss Chandler," he said, trying to sound grave and succeeding only in sounding pompous, "This marks a major step in the war against drugs." Breaking out of his mock severity, he swept her into a bear hug right in the middle of the sidewalk and danced her around in a circle. "We did it, Radcliffe," he exulted. "We really did!" Both were feeling a little giddy, and with good reason. After months of painstaking preparation, they had actually managed to secure a conviction against a major drug supplier. Ruth Barris had been responsible for supplying at least half the elementary schools in Manhattan. The evidence against her was clear-cut, but Joe and Catherine had feared they'd be unable to overcome her meek, grandmotherly appearance. Thankfully, the jury had not been swayed; Ruth Barris would spend tonight and many nights to come behind bars. "Come on," Catherine offered when the sharp edge of Joe's exuberance had faded a bit. "Let's go to dinner to celebrate. My treat." He grinned. "Maybe another night," he said. He met her inquiring gaze and sighed. "I have plans." Her eyes widened. "You've met someone," she said in a sudden flash of intuition. "Joe, that's great! Who is she?" Joe shook his head, but his expression confirmed her guess. "Tell me about her," Catherine urged. "In fact, why don't you call and ask her to join us?" Something very like alarm showed in Joe's eyes. "No, I don't think so," he hedged. "Listen, Cath, I've got to go. I'll be late. See you!" He walked away quickly, leaving Catherine to ponder. Joe's behavior had changed over the past few months; ever since that time, last spring, when he'd nearly been mugged, she realized. According to the official report, Joe was unclear about what had happened, but something - or someone - had intervened. Since then, Joe had become secretive and evasive, and while Catherine would have liked to know what Joe was hiding, she had her own secrets to keep. Trusting Joe, she gave him the same consideration he'd always given her, and kept her questions to herself. * * * * * Phaedra felt as if she were dancing on air as she helped prepare the evening meal. Soon it would be time to go to him; she could scarcely contain her impatience. Idly, she wondered if the thought of seeing him would always make her feel like this, and turned her head to hide her smile. "Be careful, dear," Aunt Fauna warned. "You'll spill that broth, and it's hot." She smiled fondly. "It seems you're always singing or dancing about, these days." "I'm just happy, Auntie," Phaedra answered, and tried to curb her excitement. In truth, she couldn't help the bubbling effervescence that gripped her; it was as if she'd been asleep all her life prior to that fateful night, and the mere touch of his hand had awakened her. After dinner, she retired to her own small cubicle to brush her hair. Leaning forward to better see her reflection in the small mirror, she tried different ways of combing it. "You're primping, Phaedra," she scolded herself lightly, deciding that the unruly way it usually fell was what suited her best. She was trying to choose a blouse when a sudden, inner stirring made her freeze for a long second before she bolted from the room. * * * * * "My fault, Cathy," Joe whispered. "Don't waste your breath trying to pin blame," she whispered back. "Let's get out of this mess, first." Cautiously she peered over the stacked boxes they crouched behind, and quickly sank down again. "Almost here," she breathed in Joe's ear. "Be ready." Almost simultaneously, the boards covering windows on different sides of the abandoned warehouse exploded in showers of splinters and dust. Joe snatched at Catherine's arm, holding her down behind the boxes. Curiously, she seemed more concerned with clinging to him than with looking to see what was causing those terrible roars and cries. Suddenly, the stack of boxes toppled. Joe let go of Catherine to shield his head with his arms. He tried to shield her, as well, but somehow she had moved away from him in that instant, and he couldn't find her again in the clouds of dust. By some miracle, the fall of boxes left both Joe and Catherine unscathed, but the barrier between them and the rest of the warehouse was gone. Abruptly, so were the sounds. Joe ventured a discreet glance at the carnage; the four men who had been so assiduously stalking them only moments earlier lay motionless among the debris. Two figures still stood, and as Joe rose to his feet, the smaller one rushed to him. A few feet away, Catherine had eyes only for Vincent, and made her way, with alacrity, through the rubble. "I'm all right," she assured him. It was a moment before she thought to look for Joe; her anxious gaze found him quickly. Incredibly, he had a woman in his arms. Even more incredibly, he was kissing her passionately. Catherine gaped for a few seconds before propriety made her glance away. When she did, it was to find Vincent staring over her head at the ardent couple. "Vincent!" she hissed. He looked down, surprised. "What?" His glance flickered toward the couple again before he lowered his head to meet her eyes. "They're kissing," he said. "I can see that!" Inexorably, her gaze was drawn back in time to see Joe and his girlfriend break their kiss at last, suddenly remembering they were not alone. For a long, frozen moment, the two couples stared at each other in astonishment. "My God, Vincent," Catherine murmured when she could speak. "She's like..." "...me," he finished, awed. * * * * * It was Joe who finally broke the stunned silence. "Cathy?" he quavered, uncertainly. "Yes?" she answered automatically, still staring at Phaedra. Joe didn't know quite what to say, but finally settled for, "Are you all right?" Catherine looked at him at last. "I'm okay. Are you..." Her voice drifted away as her gaze moved back to Phaedra. "Yeah," Joe answered. He was beginning to recover from the shock and took Phaedra's hand to lead her forward. "Cathy Chandler, I'd like you to meet Phaedra." "How do you do," Catherine said politely, trying not to gawk. Phaedra murmured a half-hearted acknowledgement, but her attention was focused on Vincent. Joe cleared his throat noisily and Catherine started. "I'm sorry," she apologized swiftly, taking Vincent's arm. "Vincent, this is Joe." "And Phaedra," Joe added. "Or do you already know each other?" "No." Vincent spoke for the first time; his gaze was riveted on the face that was so similar, and yet so different from his. "I thought I was the only one." Phaedra nodded agreement. "So did I. After my parents died..." Vincent reacted visibly. "Your parents? You know who they were?" She nodded warily. "Of course." Catherine interrupted. "Look, this is fascinating, but we can't stay here. It isn't safe." The others nodded agreement, and after a brief discussion, Vincent led the way to a nearby Tunnel entrance. "I've never come this way before," Phaedra commented as they entered. "It's too close to the Others." "The Others?" Vincent questioned. She nodded. "Yes. You know. The people who live down here." He regarded her gravely. "Phaedra, I am one of those who lives down here." Her incredible violet eyes widened as she gazed at him. "Really? I always hoped to meet one of you, but never did. My aunts worried..." "Your aunts?" Vincent interrupted forcefully. She understood his incredulity and rushed to correct his assumption. "Not my real aunts. They adopted me. They're not like me... us." "Who are your aunts?" Vincent asked more gently. "Their names are Flora, Fauna, and Meriwether," Phaedra explained. "We live in the north part of the tunnels, near Columbia University." "I know their names," Vincent acknowledged. "Mary, who is one of us, goes often to see they have everything they need." He frowned. "She has never spoken of you." Phaedra shook her head. "No. The aunts keep me secret. In fact, the first person I ever truly met, besides the aunts, was Joe." The look she gave him spoke clearly of her adoration, and Joe returned it in kind. Catherine observed Vincent's obvious fascination with this undeniably beautiful creature and couldn't help a shameful twinge of envy. Of course he was enthralled; this was a chance to find out who he was, what he was. That Phaedra was like him, could share things with him that Catherine could not, shouldn't matter. But it did. Swallowing her feelings, she looked at Joe. "How did you find Phaedra?" He grinned, shaking his head ruefully. "I didn't. She found me. The night I was mugged..." "She saved you," Catherine guessed. He nodded. "Scared the socks right off me," he confessed. "It sounded like a lion. You've never heard anything..." He stopped, remembering, and glanced at Vincent. "Yes, I have," she said quietly. "Yeah," he agreed. "I guess you have." He grinned. "I suppose we know each other's secrets now, huh, Radcliffe?" She managed a faint smiled and nodded. "I believe we do." Meanwhile, Phaedra and Vincent were deep in their own conversation. "Tell me," Vincent said, still scarcely daring to believe in this young woman's existence. "Tell me of our world... your world." "Our world, Vincent," she assured him easily. "I am certain you and I are from the same world; in fact, I think I know who you are." "Who am I?" "I think you're my cousin. I don't know your name; that part of the message was lost..." "Wait... what message? I don't understand." Phaedra forced herself to slow her rapid-fire narration and stilled her hands, which had been weaving eloquent patterns in the air as she spoke. "I'm sorry, you must not know any of this...?" "No," Vincent admitted. "I was found, abandoned, as an infant. I have no knowledge at all of my forebears." "Well, then, I'll start at the beginning. There is a planet, in a distant solar system, called Yensid. As on Earth, there are many different types and species of lifeforms. You are one of those species. I am a hybrid. That is part of what caused us to be driven away." "Driven away? I don't understand. How did I, did you, come to be here? Where are the others?" "It's a long story, Vincent. I have the entire history written out, back in my room, and you can read it if you want. But briefly, we come from a matriarchal society; it is completely controlled by females. Up until a few years ago, my grandmother - and yours, if you are who I think you are - was ruler; I guess you'd call her a queen. My mother was her heir, like a crown princess, I guess. She had an older brother. "When my mother chose her lifemate, there was great concern because she did not choose within her own race; instead, she chose my father. He was different from my mother, more like a human, and it worried the people. The unrest became so great that my uncle and his mate undertook an exploratory mission to find a place where my family could flee should it become necessary. "At first, there were regular messages from their ship; one day news came that a suitable planet had been found and my uncle was going to try to make contact with some of its people. The next message seemed to have been sent in a hurry, and parts of it were lost in transmission. A crisis had occurred, my uncle was in danger, and his mate was going to the planet's surface to help him; she was taking their baby son with her." "...son...?" Vincent searched her face. "Yes. He must have been conceived and born during their trip, which took nearly two Earth years to complete. There were no more messages." "How did you come to be here?" "After my uncle and his mate left, things quieted. There was a small uprising when I was born, because as a daughter, I was next in line for the throne, but it blew over. I was four when my grandmother died, and it was then that the real trouble began. She had a much-younger sister, Millificent. No one knew it, but she had been feeding the unrest all along, making promises of wealth and power in exchange for support. She led a revolt, toppling my mother's rule. My mother, father, older brother, and I barely escaped with our lives. We managed to board a Royal spaceship. Because fuel and food were limited, and this was the only planet we knew of with the right atmosphere and lifeforms, my father plotted a course for Earth." "Your family? What happened?" Phaedra's voice dropped. "When we left, there was no time to check the stores on board the ship, no time to go back for anything. My brother was much older than I. We had been gone for almost a year when he began to experience puberty." She shivered and rubbed her arms. "I was five, and I can still see him." "What did you see?" She looked at him. "On our planet, adolescent males experience a terrible illness. It affects all of them, without fail. Without treatment, it is always fatal. There is a medication, derived from a plant indigenous to our planet, which controls the disease until it has run its course. We had none of this medication available." "What form does the illness take?" "It manifests itself as a series of terrible, uncontrollable rages, each followed by periods of lucidity. Gradually, the rages grow longer and the lucid periods shorter. Without treatment, the heart cannot stand the strain, and simply stops." Vincent looked at her. "I suffered such an illness when I was young, and again last year." "And you survived?" He nodded slowly. "Your brother died?" She nodded. "But not from the illness. My father was trying to feed him one day. We'd tied his hands, but somehow he got one free. Before my mother could even try to stop him, he'd killed my father. He was getting loose; he was coming after me... and my mother lasered him." "She killed her own son?" Vincent's voice was soft with disbelief. "She had to; he would have killed us." "Yes." That was something Vincent could understand. "My mother was never the same after that. She got us here safely and transported us down to the surface, but I could tell her heart wasn't in it. Somehow she found the aunts and gave me into their keeping... she died three days later." "I'm sorry, Phaedra." She shook her head. "I've had happiness, too, Vincent. No little girl was ever more loved than I was. The aunts taught me, played with me, protected me..." Just out of earshot, Joe glanced to where Vincent and Phaedra stood, heads almost touching as they spoke together. "They sure have a lot to say, don't they?" he asked Catherine. "Yes," she answered softly. "Only natural, I suppose," Joe commented. "Finding each other like this..." "Yes," Catherine echoed faintly. "Finding each other..." "Aw, hell, Chandler, why don't we admit it? We're both jealous as hell." "What?" She turned away from Phaedra and Vincent to stare at Joe. "Look at them!" he exhorted quietly. "The woman I love and the man you're obviously crazy for are standing over there, practically in each other's pockets. You know you're jealous." Reluctantly she nodded. "A little, I guess." She smiled. "What will you do about it, Joe?" "Me?" His dark eyes took on an anticipatory twinkle. "I guess I'll entice her back to my apartment and make sure the only guy she's thinking about is me!" To his astonishment, Catherine blushed and ducked her head. "Hey, come on, Radcliffe. You're a big girl. Why don't you take that big, furry oaf off into a dark corner and..." He stopped because she was shaking her head. She didn't look at him. "Good grief, Cathy, you've known him longer than I've known Phaedra. Can't you... don't you..." On the other side of the tunnel, the conversation had taken a similar turn. "You don't..." Phaedra let her voice fade away. "Why not?" Vincent glanced toward Catherine, and then met Phaedra's eyes reluctantly. "May I ask you something?" "Sure. What is it?" "You and Joe... are intimate?" "Are you asking if we sleep together?" Phaedra asked bluntly. "Sure." She couldn't be certain, but she thought Vincent might be blushing. When he spoke, his voice was strained. "Don't you fear that... with your superior strength... with your hands like mine... you might hurt him?" She gazed at him blankly. "No." He shook his head. "It is a fear I cannot push aside. If I ever hurt her..." "She's your lifemate," Phaedra said. "You're connected to her, right?" "Bonded. Yes." "Then you can't hurt her." Vincent gazed at her in hope. "Why not?" "Because you're connected. Haven't there been times when you could have hurt her?" Vincent remembered when Paracelsus had drugged him, and later, when he'd been in the grip of his illness. "Yes," he admitted softly. "Did you?" "No." "See? You can't. She's your lifemate and you can't hurt her." Vincent still looked doubtful and she sighed. "Look, I've read about it. On our planet, with our race, there are no formal marriages. There is something primitive that runs in all of us that makes us like the timber wolf, or the eagle. We mate for life, one mate only; if we lose that mate, we never mate again. My father was my mother's lifemate, so it didn't matter that he was of another race. She could never choose anybody else after that. Joe's my lifemate. Catherine's yours. We can't hurt them." As she spoke Joe's name, she looked at him, and he stepped closer instinctively. "Phaedra," he whispered... "Joe. Joe? Wake up." With a startled grunt, Joe snapped to befuddled awareness. "You were talking in your sleep." Blinking, it took him a moment to recognize his sister. "You're home already?" She smiled at him. "It's past midnight, and you've been sound asleep on the couch. Some babysitter you are!" "Huh?" Joe was still a little groggy. "I'm sorry, Sis. The girls were in bed before I laid down, honest!" He rubbed his head and yawned. "How was the play?" "Great. Mike liked it too, and we went for a late supper afterwards." She frowned as Joe staggered to his feet. "Are you sure you don't want to spend the night on the couch?" "No, thanks. I have an early court date. I'd better go home." "Okay." She helped him shrug into his jacket. "Thanks for babysitting, Joey." "You're welcome, Sis." Downstairs, the evening was a mild one, though damp with earlier April showers, and the dampness cleared his head as he turned toward home, seven blocks away. As he walked he tried to remember his dream. He hadn't gone far when a scraping sound behind him made him suddenly alert, and he walked faster, trying to look back without being obtrusive. Was someone there? He couldn't be sure, but the bright lights of a major thoroughfare were just ahead, and he thought he'd make it. Someone stepped out of a darkened doorway, blocking his path. Joe stopped and half-turned to see the danger behind. A pair of surly teenagers closed in on him. Knife blades glinted faintly in reflected light... THE END ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ About the Author Lee Kirkland is a pseudonym for Sue Hernandez and Becky Bain. Sue and Becky met at a SUPPORTERS OF BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (Denver-based group) meeting in December of 1988 and began writing together shortly after that. Altogether, Lee has written four B&B 'zines (WHERE THE RAINBOW ENDS, Vols. 1-4), three B&B/Quantum Leap crossovers (QUANTUM BEAST Vols. 1-3), and two short stories. Becky has also written her own 'zine (ETERNITY) and (ETERNITY 2), and some short stories. Lee's 'zines can be ordered as follows: WHERE THE RAINBOW ENDS 1 is out of print, but is available via Father's Online Library. WHERE THE RAINBOW ENDS 2 is out of print, but will be available via Father's Online Library in the near future. WHERE THE RAINBOW ENDS Vols. 3-4 are $18 book rate, $20.50 FC or CAN, $24 Europe. ******* SPECIAL!!!! WHERE THE RAINBOW ENDS Volume 3 is now available at bargain basement prices. $10 each until copies on hand are gone. Then they are out of print - so order NOW! QUANTUM BEAST Vols. 1-3 are $6 US & CAN, $7.50 Europe. Order from: Lee Kirkland, 19211 E. Scott Place, Denver CO 80249 Lee's short stories, The Catnip Caper and Sleeping Beauty, are available via Father's Online Library. Her story Absolution appeared in the TUNNELCON II con 'zine; Vincent, I Don't Think We're in Verona Anymore, appeared in MacWombat Press' OLD SOULS. Becky's individual work can be ordered as follows: ETERNITY and ETERNITY 2 are $18 USA, $20 FC or CAN, $24 Europe. Order from: Becky Bain, 16845 Hightree Drive, Elbert CO 80106 Becky's short stories have appeared in WITHIN THE CRYSTAL ROSE Vols. 5 (Star Light, Star Bright, under the pseudonym Anna Gerard), 6 (Riches, also under Anna Gerard), 7 (Little Boy Lost), and 8 (The Choice) all available from Mountain Rose Press, MacWombat Press' BEST MIRRORS (Not Ever), in the GREAT EXPECTATIONS con 'zine (Fairy Time) and the TUNNELCON III con 'zine (Green Eyed).