Welcome to She Wears the Midnight Crown and He Bears the Cape of Stars, two brand-new anthologies that share a common theme – masquerades – but tell different types of stories – wlw in She Wears the Midnight Crown and mlm in He Bears the Cape of Stars. These collections are the latest titles from Duck Prints Press, the indie publisher founded by fans to publish original works by fan creators, and they’re crowdfunding NOW, only on Seed & Spark!
Curious about the collections? Well, here’s a sneak peek of the works of two of our creators!
She Wears the Midnight Crown Contributor Spotlight: Rascal Hartley
Biography: Rascal Hartley is from the southern United States, and when they aren’t busy hiking or collecting various bones, you can find them curled up in their favorite chair, writing. Their favorite author is a tie Jack Kerouac and Kurt Vonnegut, but the book they re-read every year is The Last Unicorn.
Story Title: Among the Stars
“Can I buy you a drink?”
Her voice is as rich and deep as the simulated rain falling around her, evaporating before it dares touch her skin. Lightning cracks, but not in the sky. It cracks somewhere between Ellix’s ribs as she stares at the woman before her.
“Sure,” Ellix replies, and the thunder sits beside her.
“Vodka,” the woman says, and Ellix holds up two fingers at the bartender. The woman smirks. “I thought vampires could only drink blood?”
“It’s more of a personal preference,” Ellix admits, propping her chin on her hand. “I’m guessing it’s the same with you.”
She turns her face so Ellix only catches the tail ends of her smile, and oh, she’s hooked. “Astrid,” the woman finally says, holding out a hand. “It’s nice to meet you…?”
“Ellix.” Astrid takes her hand and brings it to her lips, like something out of an ancient movie. “Tell me, Ellix, what is drawing you to Earth?”
“The humans,” Ellix deadpans, earning her reward as Astrid laughs. It is as ocean-vast as the rest of her, and Ellix finds herself leaning closer to the sound.
“Fair enough, keep your secrets.” Astrid’s eyes twinkle as she speaks, and Ellix silently thinks that her last sunrise had been millennia prior, but it looked a hell of a lot like this. “I’m just passing through.”
He Bears the Cape of Stars Contributor Spotlight: J. S. Lenore
Biography: From an early age, J.S. Lenore has always been passionate about books and storytelling, but it wasn’t until high school that she started writing her own stories. Starting with fanfiction, she shifted to original stories in 2013. She recently completed her first published series of books in early 2022. When she isn’t writing, J. S. spends her time making art, knitting, reading, and hanging out with her husband and two kids.
Story Title: Rings Around You
Staring out the windows on the promenade deck, the new person he’d become shrank into nothingness. Jupiter was a massive wall of twisting color, oranges and golds and the deep, terrifying bloody swirl of the Great Red Spot. It filled the window, blocking out every speck of space behind it, and Aki was more insignificant and anonymous in that moment than at any other in his life.
“It’s beautiful, isn’t it?”
Aki startled at the voice, and then, as he turned to face it, his mind stopped. There wasn’t any lurching halt, no sudden stillness that caught him off guard. His every thought, every feeling, ceased as Aki looked at the man standing next to him. He stared out at the great wall of Jupiter before them, the colors reflecting on his face, the luminous glow of orange and red playing across the man’s skin so it gleamed like burnished gold. His eyes, a deep gray that sparkled like starlight, were wrinkled at the corners as he smiled. When he turned to Aki, his expression was warm with repressed laughter.
“It’s also a bit much, the first time.” His smile was like the sun flashing through the Kuiper Belt, a quick brightness that left Aki yearning for more. “But still beautiful.”
“Yeah.” Aki’s tongue was too big for his mouth. “Beautiful.”
Intrigued? You should be! But, if you want to read the rest of these stories you’ll need to back our campaign, running now through July 14th, 2022!