Prism Book Alliance would like to thank M. LeAnne Phoenix for taking the time to talk with us today.
Title: World’s End
Author: M. LeAnne Phoenix
It is called Youth First ( http://www.myresourcecenter.org )
I chose it because it’s very relevant to me. I grew up in Texas, and when I was going through my own self-discovery, I couldn’t tell you what I can tell you now about being gay in Texas.
Krissie stirred as the small bed moved, and she rubbed her eyes, looking over at the young man she’d grown up with but befriended in college. He laid in the hospital bed, most of the time motionless, machines surrounding him, and sometimes, Krissie could tell he was dreaming because he would twitch. He was dreaming now, Krissie was sure of it, and she thought it must be a good one because Kiyoshi’s lips turned up at the left corner.
“The last time you smiled at me was last September, the twenty-second if I remember correctly, Ki-chan, and if I do remember correctly, it was the slightly larger crooked smile that you’re wearing right this very minute.” She took his hand, stopping at the feel of wetness on his fingers, and something cool and metal.
Blinking a little, Krissie lifted his hand to find it dripping wet, as though he’d just stuck it in water, and on his ring finger sat a shiny silver ring decorated with small swirls reminiscent of Da Vinci stars. She was positive that his hand had been bare (and dry) before she’d fallen asleep.
“What the hell…?” Krissie rasped, pushing her dark hair over her ears as she reached for a towel to dry his hand, but as she touched the band, his hand curled into a tight fist. Lifting her eyes to his face, she arched an eyebrow. “Where did you get this? You won’t let me see it, so tell me, Ki-chan… tell me where you got this!”
Krissie tried to get him to release his fist, but Kiyoshi didn’t budge, and frustrated, she pressed the nurse’s call button to ask if anyone had been seen entering or exiting the room while she’d slept. Security footage showed no-one entering or exiting, and the ring remained a complete mystery, though his dreaming intensified over the next week. Krissie regularly reported news to Jinichi, Kiyoshi’s older brother by three years, and exactly seven days later, a second ring appeared on his hand, this one plain but for three wavy lines that went all the way around the band. Again, his fist curled and he would not loosen it for anything or anyone.
Krissie sighed heavily, leaning her head in her hand as she watched Kiyoshi’s smile widen as he dreamt. “You look so happy, Kiyoshi… and I remember that smile, I remember you so bright and so vivid and so full of life and I have so many questions, but all you do is sleep, lazybones! When are you going to wake up, gorgeous? When are you going to tell me what it is you dream and who you dream of? When are you going to explain these pretty baubles?”
They pushed open the doors to the restaurant and Kiyoshi tugged the tie from his hair, shaking it out. “No joke, I’m supposed to have a conference call with them both tomorrow!”
“You lie! They want to appear in a documentary largely filmed by me? Emrys Marlowe and farking Rumi Salar? Are you for real?” Krissie shook her head, rolling lip gloss over her lips before offering it to Kiyoshi, who applied it thickly on his own lips, answering, “Have I ever lied to you? Why would I start now?”
“Uh… Rumi? Emrys? Those are A-list stars, Ki-chan! And they wanna be in a documentary about pirates!” She widened her eyes. “Not a movie, but a documentary about real pirates who lived and died hundreds of years ago. Usually the C-listers are the ones who make it into the documentaries is all I’m saying. How did you score those two?”
Kiyoshi stopped next to his car, grinning, “Oh, I don’t know… possibly a friend of a brother who knows a guy who dated this girl who lived across the street from the janitor at a vet’s office who takes care of the cat of the girl who works in the soup kitchens that are largely funded by the husband of an actress who is the daughter of a director who works a lot with Johnny Depp, and he liked the idea but said that his looks weren’t right for the role, but that his buddy Rumi had been following my work since the beginning and would love to accompany me to Isla de los Pinas.”
“You did that all in one breath. You amaze me. How the fark did JayJay set that up?” she asked as she leaned against the car, watching him unlock the doors and get into the back.
“I never know with him. My nii-san has a million connections, and I half-expected him to have Emrys Marlowe on speed dial, to be honest.” Kiyoshi dug into shopping bags in the backseat and finally emerged holding up a fluffy pink jacket and a tube of glittery pink lip gloss. “Is this not the coolest thing you’ve ever seen?”
“I dig that you like pink, Ki-chan, but that jacket is super-cute and would look way better on me.” Krissie grinned. “Especially for a pirate fanatic like yourself—”
“Pirates. Flamboyant. ’Nuff said. I would be—” He slipped into the jacket and put his hands on his hips, pulling one leg up to place the flat of his foot on his opposite knee. “—Flamingo the Cruel!”
They laughed hard for some time before he told her, “Seriously, I gotta have something to call my own until we can head back down to the shipwreck and resume cataloguing. I don’t know what the hold up is, but Shelly and Cameron are calling to me and I need to go back. Maybe there’s something there—”
Krissie took a deep breath as she recalled the screeching of tires and then she hit the ground hard, lifting up on her hands to see a cracked windshield and then Kiyoshi thrown to the pavement not ten feet from her as the large green 4×4 truck stopped suddenly, the driver stumbling out to puke before mumbling, “Sssorrry about that. Please—please don’ call the popo’s… my dad’ll kill me an’ take my truck away.”
Krissie brought his hand to her lips, pressing a kiss to his unresponsive fingers. “Because that’s what was important, right? Yeah… that’s it.” Tears that always seemed so close sparkled in her blue eyes as she murmured, “But at least that drunk jerk got what was coming to him. Dammit, Ki-chan… come back to us. Please!”
Kiyoshi awakes from a fever aware of two things. One, he is not in the home he can for some reason only vaguely recall. Two, he has fallen for Shelly, the man who cared for him through his fever. Shelly is as enigmatic as the island he has found himself on. With few answers about who he is,Shelly’s own identity, how he came to be there with Shelly, and just what this strange place is, Kiyoshi comes to accept just one thing. He and Shelly are meant to be no matter what befalls them. They are tied together by fate, all the way to what just may be the end of their world.
About the Author:
M. LeAnne Phoenix would tell you that the worst time of her life was the two years that she attempted to take off from writing. If you asked her to explain exactly why she did such a thing, you would most likely get the mad attempt to arch an eyebrow like her dad and then a shake of the head as she told you it was unlucky to speak of such things. Suffice it to say, it will never happen again!
Born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas in the mid-1970’s, Ms. Phoenix was young and wild (and even free!) during the crazy wondrous decade known as the 1980’s and the even crazier but now grungy decade of the 1990’s. Music is second only to the muses that live and breathe to fill her mind with beautiful men, and music always helps them to tell their stories. She is never without her iPod or her computer no matter where she goes, although, she does like to hike and take pictures of the sky and the moon, and even the occasional shot of the sun through the branches of a tree.
An avid cat lover, Ms. Phoenix has been owned by many throughout her life, though her current owner is one Lily-Rose, who really would like for her to step away from the keyboard and pay her some attention! After all, hasn’t she earned it?
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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