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Constellations Orion's Belt Orion's Bow Lovers Star-Crossed Romance Gay Fantasy

Spring 2024

a love story in stolen items

A short story of love from afar that will assuredly steal your heart by Ziggy Schutz

We first find each other on a full moon, a ceremony under the hill — a strange place to fall for a stranger, especially one who lies as easily as you. You offer a hand and we dance, trading jokes like we’ve known each other for far too long.

You steal my pocket watch, I unfasten your necklace and wear it for the next eight years.

The next meeting is sixteen months down our respective roads, at a ball neither of us were invited to. I have traded in my trousers for a dress, my beard for bangles. You are a vision in gold, and you recognize me instantly.

You’re here for the daughter, and the whispers she knows. I came because I’m following a ring that can control fire. But when you offer your hand, all of that falls away.

It’s always dancing, with you. I never do get my glove back, but since I stole a kiss, I suppose we can call it even.

Every time our paths cross, or one of us traces the other’s footsteps, I think about asking you to stay. In this business, where one sheds identities, names, outfits like the seasons, you are the only constant I know. So many faces, but always outlined in gold. I could find you in any crowd, in a forest where no creature has dared breathe for a decade. And you always let me — I know you can be as good as a ghost, when you want to be. I know that you letting me spot you is a choice you keep making, just like me approaching you and offering an (ungloved) hand is my own show of faith, of trust in a world where true trust hardly exists at all.

But asking you to stay? There’s no way to laugh and lie through that. I’m too afraid to be the first to admit I care in so many words, to give that ground. And I already know your answer. It is the same as mine, if you were to ask me.

All we both want is to be wild and free, and neither of us ever learned how to do that while holding hands.

(Neither of us were ever made to follow, and no dance can have two leads)

Ziggy Schutz (she/him/he/her) is a queer, disabled writer who is at all times looking for ways to make his favourite fairytales and horror stories reflect people who look a little more like her.

Copyright © 2024 by Ziggy Schutz
Published by Orion's Beau
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