Storm Moon Press - Songs for Guitar and French Harp Untitled Page

Songs for Guitar and French Harp

Angelia Sparrow

Out of Print

Arthur works in the freak-show at a traveling carnival. Billed as the 'teddy bear boy', he gets no small amount of attention, but he's not the only one wowing audiences with his half-animal physique. Fellow animal construct, Gordon, is a dancing lion, and the two become quick friends behind the scenes of the circus. But when animal constructs are second-class citizens and the legal property of others, falling in love is the most dangerous act of all.

When Gordon's dance troupe doesn't show up to the carnival, Arthur fears the worst. It wouldn't be the first time Gordon has fallen prey to cruel humans who would rather use his body than simply watch it up on stage, and Arthur is determined to do whatever is necessary to find Gordon and save him. Only then will he be able to show Gordon what a life of love and freedom is truly like.

I was sixteen the first time I saw another construct. He was about my age, slim and graceful, his long cat-tail balancing him as he danced. Long black hair poured down his back, like a mane against his tawny skin.

Daddy Frank had sent me off on an errand down the midway of Consolidated Shows, the carnival we were with that year. It was a bad operation, with every joint rigged, paper hangers and dips all over the midway. But they had good, solid rides and a terrific freak-show. Mama had let me join that one this year. They billed me as "The Teddy Bear Boy." I made about six dollars a week, sitting in a chair, dancing a little to some Big Band, and selling pitch cards along with tiny teddy bears in pants.

I saw the construct and stopped there on the midway, not remembering my errand, not caring that we were ten minutes until opening. He danced on that stage like a wisp of golden flame. I wanted to watch him forever. I wanted to talk to him, to get ice cream with him, to watch him dance, to dance with him, although my great clumsy bear paws wouldn't match his grace. I wanted to kiss him.

The thought surprised me, and I dropped the bucket. I'd never wanted to kiss anyone except Mama and Daddy Frank. I sure didn't want to kiss this boy that way. I picked up the bucket and hurried off for the radiator water Daddy Frank had sent me for.

I thought about him all the way to the water pump, wondering how his hand would feel in my paw. Maybe all smooth and velvety like paws of the kitten the Siamese twins had. They were pretty girls and they had a little smoke-gray kitten that was part of the act.

He wasn't on the stage when I walked back. Only Cinnamon, the colored hoochie dancer was out there, her face bored as she went through her rehearsal. I dropped off the water and scooted to the freak tent just as the horn announcing the opening blared over the loudspeakers.

5 - Elisa Rolle
"Even if Arthur and Gordon are still teenagers, they will have to face hard times, separation, fear and abuses. I liked the feeling of innocence the author managed to preserve for young Arthur even if he was facing a world that resembles a hell. The terrible things Gordon has to face are very clear to the reader, but the author didn't feel necessary to put them in your face, and I approve of her choice. (Note: The rating given applies to the anthology as a whole.)"

5 - Cole at The Armchair Reader
"This story is superbly written, the narration is so effective, though I'd imagine that the taste varies widely reader to reader. And though I found it difficult to read, I'm very glad that I did. Definitely Recommended."

4.5 - Zee at Fire Pages
"I am a sucker for stories about forbidden love and that is just what this short is. ... [The main characters'] love is so innocent, and I was cheering for Arthur and Gordon's relationship the entire way. This short was definitely another favorite of mine in [the Wild Passions] collection. (Note: The rating given applies to the anthology as a whole.)"

4 - Darien at Three Dollar Bill Reviews
"The darkest themed story and my absolute favourite of [all the shorts included in the Wild Passions anthology]. This one tackles many issues in the form of half-human half-animal beings. The way humans can mistreat others deemed as different. The way stronger individuals take advantage of those that are weaker. This mini story dealt with rape, drugs, and a slew of social issues. ... I guarantee you will fall in love with this one. (Note: The rating given applies to the anthology as a whole.)"

4 - Cryselle at Dark Divas Reviews
"Songs for Guitar and French Harp has by far the darkest themes but is one of my favorites [from the Wild Passions] anthology. Arthur is both teen-aged boy and bear; his view of society is the outsider's view for both reasons, and he may be the only one in the world who can really be there for Gordon. Excellent characterization. (Note: The rating given applies to the anthology as a whole.)"

4 - Alex at Between the Covers
"I thoroughly enjoyed the look at carnival life and the struggles the main bear goes through to get his mate back. ... [T]his long story is an excellent tale of misfits banding together and protecting one another in the sweetest way they can. (Note: The rating given applies to the anthology as a whole.)"

4 - Jenre at Well Read
"The way that the affection that Arthur feels for Gordon is shown was so sweet as was his astonished delight in his new feelings and in nurturing them. In terms of setting this one, of an alternative universe early 1900's USA, was the most compelling and interesting out of all the stories as the author weaves in the vibrant world of the circus with the sinister dangers for the construct people. (Note: The rating given applies to the anthology as a whole.)"


Wild Passions


19,700 words
32 pages

Release Date

Book Type

Short Story





Cover Art

Nathie Block


M/M, alternate history, dieselpunk, rape