Today, in her first-lust story, "Rainbow's End," Emily L. Byrne affirms the role feminist/queer book stores played for us in the past, and hopes that coming generations can find places as welcoming and energizing as the ones we knew. Plus an excerpt both hot and sweet.
"Rainbow’s End” is my love song to feminist and queer bookstores as much as it is my latest erotic tale about hot women discovering each other. I’m a former feminist bookstore owner as well as a former collective member of two other bookstores, one feminist/lesbian, the other an anarchist collective, and I can still remember the first time I walked into The Women’s Eye Bookstore, circa 1985. I was a college student, on my way to discovering myself as bisexual and the store was alive with women’s energy, passion and rage. I fell in love, not necessarily with every woman and book there, but with the feel of the place.
I have visited many a queer and/or feminist bookstore since then and have loved almost all of them. I miss each one that closes and celebrate each new one that opens. They were once central to our communities, providing a space to find each other and to organize that wasn’t at a bar. I think we still need them and I’d like to hope that the coming generations build their own version of that queer-centered space, with an atmosphere that works for them.
But enough pontificating. My story in this edition of Year’s Best Lesbian Erotica Vol. 3, “Rainbow’s End,” is about two women who fall in lust after a carload of guys assaults them on their way to a reading at a queer bookstore. Adrenaline is high and it and rage and community and camaraderie and desire are a potent cocktail, enough to make most of us drunk with longing and lust, if not love. Maybe more. Here’s an excerpt of the story to whet your appetite for more.
Excerpt from “Rainbow’s End:”
Then Alyssa went up to the podium and started reading, passionate words rolling out of her mouth to fill the small store. Her voice caressed their ears, her words like tongues on Lizzie’s skin. Despite her fears and her anxiety, she couldn’t help but respond. The stories were angry, erotic, fierce and Alyssa read each short piece perfectly. The room erupted into cheers each time she paused to drink from her water bottle.
She paused to answer a question and in that moment, Lizzie was conscious of being pressed up against A.J., of Sam on the other side of her, of Alyssa’s words licking their way up her thighs and every inch of her exposed skin. A.J. gave her a crooked grin and a slow lookover that made Lizzie flush before she grinned back.
It was warm in the store, warmer on the crowded couch, and Lizzie wanted…wanted so much. Wanted A.J.’s long fingers between her legs, wanted Alyssa’s nipples in her mouth, wanted…all of them. Every last woman and genderqueer and nonbinary person in the store. All of them. Tits, pussies, asses, any erogenous zones they wanted to share. Lizzie shivered at the idea. She’d never felt like this before. Was it just her? She was afraid to look around, afraid to wonder.
But that fear didn’t last long. A.J. nudged her shoulder, making her look up from the floor. “You doing okay?”
Lizzie fell into A.J.’s blue eyes. “Umm…yeah. I think so. Alyssa is really, really good.” She hesitated for a minute, then added, “I’m so glad that I made it here tonight. Even with those assholes and their fucking beer bottle.”
“Us too.” Sam nudged her shoulder from the other side, grinned at both of them, then turned away and kissed their date.
Lizzie looked away, aroused and embarrassed. A.J. caught her mood, like she was reading her mind, or so it felt to Lizzie. “Hey, I could use some air, but I think I’d like to pass on going out front for the time being. Misha and Lou have a little yard out back. You want to step outside with me for a couple of minutes?” A.J.’s voice was a quiet purr against her ear and Lizzie could feel herself blush.
Emily L. Byrne’s stories have appeared in such venues as Forbidden Fruit, Best Lesbian Erotica 20th Anniversary Edition, Best Lesbian Erotica of the Year Vol. 2 and Vol. 3, Witches, Princesses and Women at Arms and Blood in the Rain 3. She is the author of Medusa’s Touch, Knife’s Edge: Kinky Lesbian Erotica and Desire: Sensual Lesbian Erotica. http://writeremilylbyrne.blogspot.com/.
Here’s our schedule of all the posts from contributors to the anthology, and potential links, which may change, so check back here. I’ll keep the list up-to-date.
The Night Shift
R. D. Miller
Sweet of My Heart
Emily L. Byrne
Yin and Yang
Where There’s Smoke
Fuck Me Like a Canadian