Happy Pride. It’s taking every ounce of effort not to make self-deprecating jokes to soften the fact that this is a mortifyingly sincere piece of fanart. Sometimes your deranged guild wars au is a vehicle for gay longing, folk monsters, and plants. Alright. ALRIGHT! I’m done.
I’ve been on a bender for The Decemberists’ “Rusalka, Rusalka” lately, and feeling some kind of way about sirens, kelpies, nymphs, and their relatives. These are funny stories to be feeling a kind of way about, because they aren’t made for me. I’m gay! I don’t have any interest in this rigidly-choreographed dance. I’m not the one who needs to be warned, because the warning is almost as incomprehensible to me as the Siren’s song—neither of them are for my ears.
So I’m not prey, I shouldn’t have anything to fear. But what if I’m beckoned into the reeds anyway? What if I decide to heed the call? Now we’ve gone off-script. Something is going to happen in the reeds that is stranger than death, and this is terrifying for very different reasons.
I’ve also been thinking about thorns and spines in plants. I recently had a “memorable” encounter with wild oats, which reminded me that sharp pointy things can be for deterrence, sure, but they can also be for grabbing and holding and sticking in your socks like little needles. Plants use spines for all sorts of things, like shade, sex, and seed dispersal—sometimes all at once. IMO plants are already some of the gayest little creatures on planet Earth, but I think this makes spined plants a particularly queer breed. They’re masters of using, ahem, unconventional tools to get the job done. I think this makes it even funnier when armed plants get used as shorthand for “nature but eeeeevil” in fantasy. Like yes, of course… you and me, king… defying the platonic ideal of what a plant should be.
Anyway. This is all very in the weeds, and I feel more unhinged than usual trying to put it on paper. Sometimes you’re a ridiculous little man with a bleeding heart and you have to run buck-naked into the thornscrub for a love that everyone tells you is forbidden and dangerous. And go a little bit insane.
… He’s going to be fine, I think.