Boosting the Signal

Boosting the Signal: Black Angel, by Kyell Gold

As I posted earlier this week, I got severely behind on doing Boosting the Signal posts. I will be putting them on a more or less official “soft” hiatus for a while (meaning, I’m not actively recruiting posts but I’ll post ’em if anybody sends me some). But before I do that, I wanted to clear my queue of the posts I did have already! This is the first of these, featuring the recently released Black Angel, by fellow Outer Alliance member Kyell Gold. If you like stories involving anthropomorphized animals, particularly with queer content, Kyell’s got a character named Meg you’ll want to meet!


Black Angel

Black Angel

Hi, I’m Meg. I’m an otter, and I’m nineteen years old, and I’m trying to get a handle on what’s real in my life. I mean that literally as well as—well, I’ll just lay it out.

I’m an artist and I recently got some time to myself and decided to draw this comic story I came up with years ago, about a muskrat who wants to be a voodoo priestess. As I was drawing it, I felt like I went into a light trance, and then the main character of this story talked to me. Or I imagined that, anyway. And now the frustrating thing is that I can’t draw anything else, even the commissions I make a living off of.

To make things worse, I started having even weirder dreams, about some weird Christian cult where girls are forced to marry at sixteen, where I was following this otter who’s attracted to her female best friend, which is of course verboten in this cult.

Those dreams felt really real, but I know they’re not. And I’d like to talk to someone about them, but—well, here’s what’s going on with my friends.

My best friend is probably this grey fox named Athos. We met online while I was in high school, and yeah, he’s older, but not that much older. And no, he didn’t try to put moves on me or anything. We were just good friends. Except the last time he was down here, we were arguing and he grabbed my arms and I just flipped out. I knew he wanted to be more than friends, but I didn’t ever see it as an immediate thing. You know? But him touching me like that freaked me out.

And what we were arguing about—well, I’ve got these two other friends, great guys. Sol is a wolf and Alexei is a fox from Siberia. They both had some experiences the last few months, or thought they did. Sol said a ghost saved him from his abusive boyfriend and stopped him killing himself. Now, I’m all in favor of people not killing themselves, but don’t put it down to a ghost. Alexei then thought he saw a ghost, and Athos thought he saw it too, and that’s what we were arguing about.

Because there’s this thing that happened to me a while ago, put me in therapy for four years and on antidepressants. If there was just one thing I learned from that whole stupid chapter of my life, it’s that ghosts aren’t real.

So you see where my problem is. If these are just hallucinations, I could go back on some kind of pill, but that screwed with my art as well, so I don’t know that I want to do that. Rent’s due at the end of the month and I have to make money somehow. And if it is real—then that other thing from long ago is real, too, and I really don’t want that to be true.

Meanwhile there’s this pressure to decide if I want to date Athos or not (he apologized for touching me without asking, you should know). And the problem is that I can’t even tell if I’m attracted to boys or girls. So I should probably figure that out first, right?

Sheesh. It’s gonna be a weird summer. Hope I make it through.


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