Loving Artemis

by Janet Mason

Genre: LGBTQ F/F Coming of Age

Artemis found the love of her life when she met Linda, but their passionate relationship fizzles when Artemis lands herself on the other side of the law. Pulling the pieces of her life together, Artemis rekindles her relationship with Linda, and together they raise a daughter.

Meanwhile, Grace, running from her past, starts a life with Thalia. At a pride parade, Grace spots someone who reminds her of Artemis, who she was briefly involved with in her youth. Old feelings are rekindled. A lifetime of rejection, abandonment, and fleeing rears its head. Now she must come to terms with her past, put her relationship with Artemis to rest–or risk losing everything.

Artemis and Grace embark on a journey of revolution, love, and marriage and discover that love finds us when we least expect it.

Art fell into the universe that she and Linda made together. There were shooting stars everywhere. The magnetic field between them gave birth to a new constellation. Supernovas illuminated black holes. Celestial spheres hummed.

Pressed together, their lips formed one mouth. Soft. Open. Their tongues probed lightly. Their lips separated as they moved away from each other. Linda pushed back her chair, stood up and walked over to her bed. She sat on the edge.

Art hesitated, looked at the door.

“It’s okay,” said Linda. “Everyone’s at my brother’s football game. They’ll be gone all afternoon, and they usually go out after the game. I told them I had a test to study for. I locked the bedroom door right after we came in.”

Art smiled, stood, and then sat down on the bed next to Linda.

Under them, the bedspread became a pink nebula.

Art felt the bike purring under her as she gunned along the highway. She looked down and saw the blur of asphalt. She looked straight ahead. It was mid-morning on Friday and the road was empty. The sun cast a long shadow in front of her.

The shadow looked like a black cartoon of a larger-than-life person on an even larger motorcycle. It looked like something she might have seen on Saturday morning television when she was a kid. She grinned and accelerated more until the pointer on the odometer reached forty-five. Billboards blurred into trees. The highway passed over a wide stream that she could see on her right as the highway turned into a flat bridge.

It was warm for early November. Wind tousled her hair; the sunglasses fit perfectly. Everything was darker and more vibrant. The trees on the side of the highway shed their leaves in a blur of red, orange, yellow. Golden light was everywhere. Art knew the chlorophyll in the leaves captured the sun’s rays in the summer, keeping the leaves green. She had learned that in the autumn when the days are bright, but the sun’s rays are further away, the leaves take their bright colors from another group of pigments called anthocyanins. This was a process of photosynthesis; science. But as the leaves passed her in a bright autumn blur, it felt like magic.

She was so close to the road that she felt like she was a part of it. Her bike was more powerful than Tommy’s. The engine roared. It felt like flying. As long as she kept her wits about her and didn’t wipe out, she could go anywhere.

Janet Mason is an award-winning creative writer, teacher, and occasional blogger for such places as The Huffington Post. Her book, Tea Leaves, a memoir of mothers and daughters, published by Bella Books in 2012, was chosen by the American Library Association for its 2013 Over the Rainbow List. Tea Leaves also received a Goldie Award. Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and her novel THEY, a biblical tale of secret genders (Adelaide Books – New York and Lisbon) was featured at the 2018 Frankfurt Book Fair. Adelaide Books also published her novel The Unicorn, The Mystery late in 2020.

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