The fourth Mara and Esher Hill instalment. Those With More begins many decades before the Hill siblings’ birth in Abrasive, while the concluding eponymous story ends shortly after What Makes Us Human.
Suki Lewis has always known what she wants–or, more correctly, what she doesn’t want. She also knows that a good woman of Freehome, deserving of her mother’s uncritical love, wants something she can’t fathom or mimic: a stable, lasting romantic relationship.
She can’t safely stay, but leaving means surviving the challenges of priesthood, her mother’s abuse and the belated finding of a name for her differences: allosexual aromanticism.
Those With More collects four stories showing Suki’s lifetime navigation of her belief, family, community and identity.
Contains: The adventures of a sharp-tongued trans, aromantic protagonist navigating other people in exploring allosexual aromanticism, her priesthood and the pressures of amatonormativity, love, emotional abuse and family.
Length: 17, 205 words / 61 PDF pages.
Spending Midsummer night with a pretty man shouldn’t be a problem for Suki … except for everybody else’s romantic expectations.
Length: 999 words / 4 PDF pages.
When Mama Lewis continues to browbeat Suki into becoming the kind of girl who doesn’t tick off unwanted romantic suitors, she knows the best thing to do is leave. The port city of Malvade offers work enough to pay for her own room, but Suki’s freedom comes with long hours, a leaking roof, outhouse mould and a yearning for a world that offers her more than bare subsistence and continued disregard.
A red-robed priest of the Sojourner may hold answer and opportunity … if only she can endure a conversation with someone preaching a truth anathema to everything a proud woman of Freehome should believe.
Length: 3, 580 words / 11 PDF pages.
An unexpected letter sees Suki of Sirenne, a red-robed priest of the Sojourner, doing the unimaginable: returning home to farewell a dying Mama Polly. After ten years of studying the ways of Spoken Service, she’s built a life that serves her nature … even if she’s still inclined to a sharp turn of phrase. Can’t she now explain her feelings and choices in ways easier for Mama Lewis to accept? Shouldn’t her mothers now be easier to manage?
Yet one conversation leaves Suki feeling that she’ll never stop being the brittle, abrasive young woman who left Freehome … and presents her a problem only solvable by remembering priesthood’s first lesson.
Length: 3, 526 words / 11 PDF pages.
When Mara Hill’s magic results in her brother’s impossible, wondrous transition, of course Suki wants to know how she did it! What if Sirenne’s magic workers can help others find euphoria? What if this magic can heal Suki’s hands—or at least lessen her pain? But Mara, distrustful of priests after their failure in protecting Esher, won’t share her power.
A senior priest must bear responsibility, but Suki suspects her problems lie deeper than lack of oversight, and her reluctance to discuss her aromanticism with a woman who needs support only proves it. Would she have preserved Mara’s faith and Esher’s health if she hadn’t first avoided revealing herself to her aromantic kin? If she’d faced their expectations that she shoulder their pain and grief as well as her own?
Suki has lived her life by the Sojourner’s second precept, but how does she serve when she doesn’t have more to give—and never will?
Length: 9, 100 words / 27 PDF pages.