I had just gotten off of a five-hour phone conversation with one of my favorite people in the world, and then my inbox dinged and I found I had two
Yuletide stories waiting for me! Needless to say, I clicked those links as fast as my little thumbs could click.Changes on the Cusp
[Angels in America] picks up a decade back, at the waning edge of 1999. Anonymous #1 has a quietly amazing touch with the tone of the original, and gives us Belize, Harper, and Prior in a way that made my eyes sting and my throat tighten with fondness. There are some lines in there that are breathtakingly Kushnerian, including one of Harper's about happiness that you will know when you get to it. They all keep their honesty, and their clear sight, and as I told Anonymous #1, I love that the story does not attempt to fix the world any more than the original work does. It lets both the hard things and the good things be what they are. all your heart-melodies
[Lilo & Stitch] (titled after "The Dream Keeper" by Langston Hughes) is a perfect vision of Lilo's life after the movie, if we accept that Lilo's world is our world and so the things that are true for us are also true for her. Anonymous #2 provides a deft set of snapshots of Lilo as she grows up, and they showed me all the things I assume that term has to mean; I had to stop halfway through and reread the first half, because I suddenly noticed what I'd taken at face value before. This is a Lilo who grows older, who is changed but who never stops dreaming, or loving, or caring. The world through her eyes is vivid and swirling, and Nani never wavers through all of it, and Stitch feels more real than I would have thought anyone could have made him. When I was a girl, I wanted to do everything, and maybe Anonymous #2 was the same, because she somehow wrote a love letter to who I was when I was six.
This was my first year participating in Yuletide, and I don't think my experience could have possibly made me happier. Thanks again to both (both!) my mystery authors, and to my recipient, and especially to the Yuletide mods and anyone else who helped bring this challenge forward.