A Handful of Dust
|Title:||A Handful of Dust|
|Fandom:||Star Trek: The Original Series|
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It was published in the print zine Daring Attempt #3.
Reactions and Reviews
After the pon farr incident on Vulcan, Kirk fears Spock. A fascinating look inside Kirk's head; really well done. However, I think maybe Kirk allowing his fear the upper hand to such an extent is unlikely. He holds onto it so unrelentingly. Then again, I can see it, because how can Kirk truly trust anymore the man who killed him with his bare hands? If his captaincy - his highest and best, his life — is going to work, he must have absolute trust in his first officer, which he no longer has. And in estranging himself from Spock, he has lost "his right arm and half his mind." I could really feel all this with Kirk.
At the same time. Kirk gets off on the frightening unknown, doesn't he? "The unknown, that proverbial lure with its gilt-edged lining of fear."
McCoy is a lovely character here, doing what he does best. Perceptive and caring.
This is a good point of distinction regarding pon farr: The cause of the aggression is plak tow brought on by challenge, not pon farr in itself.
A very powerful scene: Spock trying to force himself (gently) on Kirk. He absolutely must get through to Kirk, and'a meld is the only way, to share the truth and get rid of the fear. He ends up having to nerve-pinch Kirk to do it.Beautiful, beautiful moments, the sharing, the fears receding, accepting their future together, acknowledging physical attraction, kissing, touching. Quite a satisfying story. 
Some time ago I came into some of the older zines such as this one that I’d never read. Last night I pulled this off the shelf and turned to Dovya Blacque because I’ve always enjoyed her Kirk and Spock. This time Kirk has a dilemma somewhat different than normal. The story takes place after “Amok Time” and Kirk has developed an unreasonable fear of Spock! I suppose in today’s terminology we would say he has PTSD—Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. At first I thought the premise a bit of a stretch, but in considering it, maybe not. Spock is the man he’s trusted above all and suddenly he became someone Kirk didn’t know at all. And that stranger quite plainly attempted to kill him. Yes, Bones came to the rescue, but if he had not?? Spock takes the initiative here, rather than shrinking away from Kirk’s unusual behavior, and that makes the story something of a role reversal. It completely held my interest and I enjoyed it a lot. 
A HANDFUL OF DUST... is an interesting alternate ending to "Amok Time". The author presents a Kirk who is, not very comfortable with the side of Spock he saw on Vulcan, in fact, he's scared to death of his first officer. The results of this fear and how Kirk and Spock come to terms with their new views of one another, and of themselves, is the meat of this very well written story. 
Some things bothered me about this story but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, but after reading it again, it hit me. Spock forces a mind meld on Kirk. In fact he is raping his mind and though he does it to help him and Kirk to trust him, it’s still rape. And then, curiouser and curiouser, they’re bonded because of that meld. And just like that Kirk accepts what has happened without much ado.