J.M. Blackman’s Picture Choice: Both
Title: Heart & Soul/ Rock & Roll
She’d watched him since she was five--the lean strength in his fingers, the thousand-league stare that saw nothing and everything, the quirk of his mouth when he was creating. He was god, little “g,” rock royalty in the making, idol-ready. No, a sex symbol in training, Zeus-lite, ready to dribble his magical gold across any Danae that was worth it. And he was her step-brother.
He’d tolerated her all her life, since their parents had married. But she’d always been on the fringes, trying to sneak past the penumbra of his glow, to let it cast upon her just once. She was always looked past.
She thought it would change as she got older, as she gained talent. She could sing. She could sing even better than he could, but the flutter of her wings was too light, a sweet breeze versus the blast of his thunderstorms and lightning bolts. So, she sank further into herself, further into the walls in their house: her paisley dresses an exact match for their wallpaper. She continued her Shadowcat act into her room, into the couch in the den. She loved it there the most, where the sunlight streamed through the big windows and cast her in the spotlight the way she could never could achieve, in the way he would never allow. She never knew if it was on purpose, or just a rhinestoned leftover that couldn’t help but peel off from the denim of their dynamic.
But either way he was the rock and roll, the heart and soul of their family and she was...a lovely wallflower.
J.M. Blackman is a Language Arts teacher, author rep'd by Gina Panettieri and a feminist. She endeavors to review nearly everything she reads and is a happy wife. She's a SFF enthusiast, loves dark humor, and has an unhealthy need to protect the image of Batman.