Life for Rose is a game. A deadly game. She lives in the squalor of Subterran Prime: a sprawling underground world where mad gods sleep around the fools who serve them; where the savage Justicars seek out criminals and undesirables for swift justice at the end of their bronze beaks; where hapless slaves are branded with the mark of the cypher and fed to the starving masses or the gluttenous ruling class.
In this world Rose has two things: her intersex ('hermaphrodite') lover, Flid, and her imagination. Geared with both, she hurtles through dreamworlds and virtual realities, until she discovers the ultimate gift: a drug, the Haze, that makes her dreams reality.
But in order to get the Haze she must put herself in the way of the Justicars and face their terrible thirst for punishment. Can Rose and Flid play the game and reach the next level in their quest for escape, or will they lose everything?
This is a self-contained novelette that serves as a taster of my current work-in-progress, the full-length novel Troglodyte Rose. This is loosely adapted from a novella published in 2009 by Cadaverine Publications, which was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award. The interactive website that accompanies this story is available at troglodyterose.com. Artwork by Kurt Huggins and Zelda Devon. Interactive website designed by Michael Bryant.