Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015


Share |
Me as Seishin from TETHERED ROMANCE

My novel TETHERED ROMANCE has been one that has been hugely anticipated. I've spoken about it before, but I'll just recap. I started writing it when I was in college, and it's been a wild on and off journey ever since. It's gone through some edits, and now it's coming to an end. It's getting ready to be presented to the world. You can read the in depth description of TETHERED ROMANCE in the Discussions section of my Superman Disposition Facebook page. Here is the thread. There are many discussion threads about the characters and themes of TETHERED ROMANCE on the page.

I wanted to post a sample scene of TR, but before I do that, I must remind you that my currently selling book is THE REALITY FILTER, available on or, search The Reality Filter. There is also a preview of it on Google Books.

P.S. Jevanael

I was alone. My redemption had been lost, and I knew, the purity inside me was another game I would be forced to win. The hand that marked my cheek with a stain of red was the hand of the God I prayed to. I'm not used to standing still, and I'm not used to feeling full, and I'm not used to being heard when I scream. You're making people up, and I don't know if I'm real anymore. I could speak to you, into the wind so it would carry it across the ocean, into every corner of the world and invade the dreams on the other side. I could, but it wouldn't matter because I was never the love you needed or the bliss I had been praying for. But why do I love you? Why do I need you so strongly when all the world to you was the floor I bled upon. I had misused you, and I had cried for you, and I had cherished you but I did it so you wouldn't leave. So I would still have a reason to soil myself, hurt, I did it so I would have a reason to keep crying, keep bleeding, because the real world loved me if I did. I did it so I would have you there, when I needed the hope. And all I had to do was look at you. All I had to do to steal your power was look at you, and you were mine, and you couldn't escape. That's what love is. That's why I hate you for making me love him.

There were bad things in the world. I was the worst monster of all the things to fear. I had the horns of a devil. I had the wings of an angel. I had the voice of a banshee. I had the breath of a snake. I would be tempted. I would steal. I would get angry. I would cast blame. But I was perfect. There was a word I whispered and my audience of one would pale. And through it all I had only one question. Had it been worth love?

The sliding doors thumped in the frames with a sharp echo, as the force of my arms pulled them apart. In the dead of the night, the sounds ran rampant like a flock of birds. My presence went unannounced. There was no one in my home to greet me now, the innocent side that I had locked away would remain in the shrine, and my nightly companions were no more than stains upon the floor. Solace greeted me. Silence greeted me. It was more than I required from that world I had long since abandoned.

I turned my gaze back over my shoulder into the night. The village was still, and I was restless. We didn’t match. But my adversity was nothing, because they judged me in fear. They punished me because they were afraid. I was a product of their hate, made to be feared because we didn’t see eye to eye, and that was reason to paint me red with disdain.

From the doorway, the tea pot caught my eye, catching a glint of the light filtering in from the window. A smirk came to my lips as my mind became a puzzle of thoughts, all with conclusions that would have me reaching the same end. They had to demonstrate their power over me.

I let my arms fall listlessly as I walked forward into the room. A white square of cloth was tucked away under the tatami, discarded from some unfortunate soul that had visited me and was never reclaimed, buried. I smoothed it out over the tatami, placing a mound of used tea leaves in the center.

“Teru Teru Bozo, ashita tenki ni shite kure.” My prayer doll, please make tomorrow a sunny day.

I began singing the tune, a superstitious poem from the fields outside of Edo. I held up each side of the white square, tying the cloth around the mound of tea in the center. As I hung the finished amulet in the doorway, I continued the song.

“Atashi no negai o kitta nara, amai osake o tanto nomasho.” If you make my wish come true, we’ll drink lots of sweet sake.

I returned to the tea pot, shaking the fire pot slightly.

“Teru Teru Bozu, sore demo kumotte naitetara…” Teru Teru Bozu, if it’s cloudy and I find you crying…

I struck the match and held it up to my eyes, where the flame was reflected with a hateful colour.

“…Sonata no kubi o chon to kiruzo.” …Then I shall snip your head off.

I dropped the match into the fire pot.

The night was strangely humid, and the air clung to me, thick with moisture, thick with the stench of rage. Hatred from both myself and the sleeping village lingered in the atmosphere, creating storm clouds, hanging low.

And I watched the fire spread. It took off where I dropped the fire pot from my hands clasped listlessly around it. It touched the ground with crawling fingers, searching. First one house, then another, the bridge over a tiny river, on and on it went. Black smoke billowed as if the earth was weeping demons. Shortly, I thought, shortly, they would wake to this. And they would instantly know that there was only one being in all of Edo with enough hate and injustice to commit the crime. They would know that by that time, I would be gone, cleansed and vanished with the smoke as it cleared by the wind.

“That place made you famous.” As I told my tale, Sugai leaned in from his spot before me on the floor. He was entranced, like he had always been, lost in the power of my voice, my bidding.

“That place also hated me.”

“It gave you fortune, power, beauty.”

“It gave me shame, jealousy, pain.”

He turned his head as if he had been insulted. What did he care? What had Edo been to him? I didn’t have to hide my disdain for where I had come from, or what it had made me. “So you burned it.”

“And everything in it.” I was proud.

“You’re a monster.”

“You made me a monster.” Short. That had been the point that I hated him, and everything else, was the point that I loved him. I thought he must have been right, that I was a monster, because I tortured myself with emotion when I should have cut him out of my heart. Instead, I had destroyed the place that born and bred me, and crossed the earth in search of him to beg for his love. What a fool I was. What a monster.

“Perhaps, my dear Seishin, all you wanted was forgiveness.”

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

Related item from our archives

P.S. Jevanael

P.S. Jevanael's latest book is The Reality Filter. You can find her online at and on Facebook.

Go to P.S. Jevanael’s Author Page