Nobody understands the real me, the me I keep deep inside underneath the rip roaring abs you could break a wood plank off of. No, what they don’t see is that I keep the poetry from spilling out whenever I see something as simple as a single white rose. I bury that as far as it will go and make sure that any girl who looks my way gets a hard glare and a sneer from underneath my unusually long and tawny hair, side-swept to hide the thin scar just under my left eye.
It’s there because my sapphire eyes will shed no tears, and I need it to feel alive.
I’m standing on the edge of the cliff over the ocean, facing the dark clouds that roll towards me that hearken the impending storm. The dragon is coming, and the ancient curse my double-crossing uncle put on me demands that I stand here and protect the village. I am not one for fate: to hell with it, and with the village. I’m doing it for her, for Leanna Rosita Spooner, a girl whose beauty comes from not knowing she is beautiful. She is behind me clutching her elbows in terror as her eyes comprehend the gravity of the forthcoming battle.
I raise my sword above my head, my red cape flying behind me.
“Come beast!” I cry, “Come and prepare to die!”
I hear the voice of the fair Leanna behind me, a voice of protest as she cries with longing for me to desist.
“No, brave Xylon do not die for me!”
“I must,” I reply huskily, the wind whipping through my hair as I turn to face her. “For love of you, my dearest, loveliest Leanna: I will die.”
She lunges at me and I stay her, like taming a wild mare. She calms and looks at me longingly, and I cup her face with my hands, sword sheathed while my manhood becomes unsheathed.
“Your hands, so soft and free of callouses,” she says, “and so bereaved of sweat. Do you not fear this? This horrible thing you face?”
“I fear nothing,” I say, pushing her aside.
The dragon is here, and a cloud of fire engulfs me.I fall to the ground, my breath leaving my body and the skin flying away from my face as it turns to ash. One more look upon Leanna, just one more look.
“Screw this,” says the dragon. “I was just playing anyway.”
He flies way, and we are suddenly left to actually see each other in another context.
“Prom is next week,” she says shyly. “Want to go?”
“Maybe,” I answer. “I’ll see if someone else asks me.”
My horrible flesh scars become very exotic looking tattoos on the side of my face. Living with a curse is rough.
Too snarky? I’m trying to read more SF&F and took a detour into SF&F YA books to see what’s selling since I’m writing a book for a YA audience. Oh man, guys: we need to do better. Insecure girls? Or worse, girls who are like amazons normal girls can’t relate to? Abusive boys whose faults are tossed aside because they’re hot? Teenage morality is mired in a hotbed of issues that literature can and should explore, but I’m having trouble finding good SF&F written for this age group. Taking reading suggestions!