I would love to be able to tell you that I am almost done with my next long work, which is called The Princess Awakening. Unfortunately, you can’t rush the creative process and while I would love to be breezing through it, I have to settle for taking consistent, measured paces toward completion. My hope is to have it ready for upload in early April, but that date is approaching quickly, and life has a funny habit of getting in the way.
Here’s what I can tell you: I am working regularly on this new work, and I am enjoying it. It will be 25-30K words long and available for one of the usual price points on Amazon and Smashwords. As usual, it contains themes of gender, the self, and identity among other things. I consider it a romance, and there may be some sexual or suggestive content. It continues my interest in exploring different sides of the subject matter and not trying to repeat myself, but I think people who have enjoyed works like Kristi’s Mom and I Changed Sexes With My Wife will enjoy it.
As a treat for those of you who follow this website and/or my Twitter, I’ve written this brief prologue teaser as a way of saying thanks and hoping you’ll be interested in reading it when it comes out.
I’d love to hear if anyone has thoughts on what they see here. You can get my previous works on Amazon and Smashwords, as well as free stories here. Don’t forget to leave a review wherever you get my works!
Outside the bedchamber, four figures waited: The Crown Prince, a hale and hearty man of 40, his wife, and his mother, along with another young noblewoman, a beautiful young lady with golden tresses of hair. All wore looks of concern and fear.
“It will be all right, my heart,” the Prince said in his native tongue. He took his wife in his arms and stroked her hair comfortingly as she buried her head in his chest. Tears streamed from her eyes, wetting his garments. With every sob, he held her closer.
“Oh Henrik, Henrik,” the Princess sniffed, “I just don’t know how I could go on without him!”
To the side, the older woman frowned. She had seen much in her time, and this disease, she knew well. It treated young and old alike – a man could be in the prime of his life, and still be struck down within days. She said nothing, out of fear of robbing her son and his wife of their only hope.
As the Princess’ sobs echoed through the halls of the granite castle, the bedchamber door opened and a Doctor emerged, in white coat and stethoscope.
“The young Prince would like to see you all,” he said in somber tone.
The four all went in. The old women and young lady stayed at the back of the room while the Prince and Princess knelt by their son’s bedside.
He was not the man he had been only a few weeks prior. This man of 19, ready to come of age, was a vibrant and handsome youth, full of life and a magnetic energy. Today his face had sunken and become sallow, his eyes grey and nearly lifeless. He lay on his back, his head angled toward the company. Wires connected him to machines monitoring his vital signs. His eyebrows shifted as he managed to wheeze in acknowledgment of his guests.
“Mother… father…” the Prince choked. “I’m sorry I have failed.”
The Princess erupted in tears again. “No, my son, no! You haven’t! You could never!”
“I was supposed to lead this country one day… I was supposed to be your… your legacy…” he managed to say. “I was supposed to… I wished I could have married…” he lifted his finger toward the young lady at the far side of the room, her hands clasped over the lower part of her face.
“Agata,” he said, slowly motioning as best he could. “Come to me.”
The young woman came and knelt by the bedside, next to the young Prince’s parents.
“I wish I could have been your husband,” he said feebly.
“Perhaps you still could!” Agata pled, “You are not gone yet!” She fought back tears that were forming in her eyes.
“They say my time is short,” the Prince repeated.
“You are strong!” young, beautiful Agata said, “You can get through this!”
“Perhaps,” he said. “We can speak more about it when I… when I wake up… now I must sleep…” he muttered. His eyes closed and his body seemed to rest.
The Princess’ face froze, twisted as she watched her son drift into a deep, deep sleep. He could feel her holding his hand tightly.
The Prince’s eyes fluttered open.
The room was dim, the sun just coming up through the window.
He pressed himself upright. How long had he slept? It must have been hours, maybe days. But he was alone now: no doctor, no monitors, nothing.
He shook his head. He did feel woozy, like there was some drag there, but he could tell he was awake. He breathed deep. His breath was heavy, as though there were a weight on his chest, but it was a clear, deep breath.
He looked around uncertainly.
He thought he was supposed to die, but he had lived.
It was a miracle.
He slipped his feet over the side of his bed and stood. He was a little unsteady on his legs – it seemed like he had been bedridden for months – but he gained his balance, even if his equilibrium, his centre of gravity, felt distinctly “off.” He had barely walked in days, if not longer.
He had to find his mother and father, his grandmother and Agata. They had to know that the Prince had returned. It sent a shock of delight down his spine to think of the reaction they would have seeing him up and about.
It would be breakfast. He was famished and excited to join the meal. He left the bedchamber and crept down the hallway, disappearing around a corner.
Long moments passed.
Then, heavy footsteps.
The Prince was dashing back toward his room as fast as he could.
He entered and quickly scrambled to place himself before the mirror.
He couldn’t believe it but the evidence was right before him.
This was not his face. His face was square-jawed, with piercing blue eyes and well-defined cheekbones. This one was rounded and soft-featured, with dark, searching teddy bear eyes. The hair from his head – long and dark — was not his short-cropped sandy-brown scruff.
His clothes – not his own, but a woman’s nightgown.
And heaving from his chest, a pair of breasts too large for his hands to even hold, as he cupped the sensitive flesh loosely.
He looked back toward the door as his visitor arrived. He looked at her with an open-mouthed expression of shock and confusion – What had happened to him?