THE PASSION STROLL...
a blog by author Ashavan Doyon
I was struck today by how much I feel like I’m living in a short story I read as a child. The Children’s Story, by James Clavell.
Written in response to his daughter coming home from school as a child so proud to have learned the Pledge of Allegiance, but without any understanding of what the words meant, the story illustrates with devastating clarity how quickly cherished ideals can be broken down.
It takes place in what seems to be an elementary school classroom. America has been taken over. The teacher is replaced by someone who is to instruct the youth, and in the course of about twenty-five minutes, this new teacher manages to deconstruct the students’ beliefs to an extent that they end the story cutting the American flag into pieces, because it belongs to all of them, so they should be able to share it.
This story cut me to my core as a child, because the words and tools used by the teacher to change the minds and hearts of the children would work. I see them working. I feel like America is that classroom, and we’re being taught that America means something else.
And just like those children, many of us are believing it. Enough to cut the flag into pieces. Enough to slice up our country into a mockery of what I was taught it was supposed to mean.
In many ways The Children’s Story shook me more than the dystopias of my college days: Brave New World, The Handmaids Tale, We, 1984. More troubling because all of those seemed unlikely and far away. Too implausible. The Children’s Story shook me because I felt like it could happen.
Right now, I’m forced to wonder—is it already?
Lots of exciting news coming, but it's not quite ready yet! In the meantime, our intrepid duo has entered Garuth. Safe from pursuit from Zaharoth, at least for the moment, the pair never-the-less must face another reality. They swore an oath in the Realm, and they are bound to it. Thommas and Nem must marry. Can Thommas match Nem's joy at their impending nuptials? Can he admit the feelings that mean setting aside any chance at a future with a love he felt destined for?
Find out in Chapter 16 of The One That Feels! Missed out on the early chapters? Check it out from the beginning: Chapter 1.
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Nem looked at the clothes the goblin had laid out for him with an arched eyebrow, his long, thin fingers delicately prodding the last item—a slim bit of silk.
“You want me to wear this?” Nem asked.
“Under the other clothes,” I said, stepping up to him and rubbing my beard into his cheek.
I kissed a spot underneath his ear and whispered, very softly, “Because it’s sexy. You’ll look so hot in them. Don’t feel you have to. Brian never would, so it’s not like….”
Nem reached up, though he did not turn, simply leaned back against me as his hand cupped my cheek. “It’s important to you?”
“For you to want to be sexy for me. Yeah,” I said, kissing him on the cheek. “I’ll know, all through the ceremony. I’ll know that you’re just waiting for it to be over so I can take those clothes off and you’ll be wearing that. And I”—my breath was heavy—“I’ll be on fire for you.”
Writer of the mysterious, fantastic, and the romantic. Sometimes sappy. Often angsty. Always searching for the sexy. Stories about men who love men.