A Reprieve in Reverse-Friday Flash Fics-Friday, November 9th, 2018.

After an unintentional hiatus (and a magnificent ‘reset’ during a brief vacation) it’s time for more flash fics!

Every week the administrator posts a picture for the participants who must utilize it to craft their Flash Fiction piece, which is generally around a thousand words. So thankful the “700 word limit” isn’t strictly enforced! 45361438_10158004443851110_741707570317623296_n

 

REPRIEVE IN REVERSE 

It was two days later, after all the fire and rescue and police had left that I was allowed to walk through the barn. Everything perished, including my own mother who tried to fight the flames, and lost.

Shortly after I was carted away and charged with her homicide. After five years in juvie and now, seventeen years later, I am determined to end the night terrors that have taunted me.

 

“What do you remember about that night?”, Dr. Reynolds asked.

I felt better with Jamison by my side, knowing he was only a foot away on a chair in her office.

This part of my past that plagued my nights, visiting me with guilt and shame that never quite felt right.

 

“You’re a lousy, good for nothing son! You make your mother do everything around here! You never finished mowing the lawn around the barn! You’re a dumb pipe-dreamer just like your father!

PACK YOUR BAGS AND GET OUT OF HERE!”

 

“Shaun, who is that? Who is saying that?” Dr. Reynolds asked.

“Him. Tom. The man she married after my dad died.”

The man she married less than a year after my dad died.

 

“Shaun, what do you see now?”

 

I tried to stay with the images, fighting off my hatred of him. The sting of his spittle as it soared past his lit cigar and into my face. Yelling. He was always yelling and I was always looking to my mother, searching for any kind of support. Anything!v She knew it was a sore spot for all of us; mostly she just turned her head.

Tom was a nefarious breeder of animals, employing all the wrong methodologies for the wrong reasons, destroying bloodlines for money. I never trusted him, but he saved the farm from the brink of bankruptcy that my father’s bleeding heart led it to. I got back to the images behind my eyes, finally.

 

“I see myself, I’m young, like eight or ten, and he’s yelling at me. I pack my clothes into a suitcase and start down the path for the main road. I’m crying and I don’t know why I am being kicked off the farm.”

 

“What else?” Dr. Reynolds pushed more, ever so gently.  In a fast-forward whirl I am carted away and blamed for it all. How did I get through court and my plea bargain- wait, my lawyer’s plea bargain. I don’t remember any of the court dates or the day I agreed to plea guilty to a crime I didn’t commit. 

“And that’s it! Then the next thing I remember it’s days later, and they’ve picked me up at the bus station in town. Tom told them all that I set fire to the barn when I left!”

 

“Did you?”

“I DON’T REMEMBER!” Tears stream down my face.

“Look maybe this is too much right now.” Jamison’s hand was on the back of my neck, calming my nerves. I kept my

eyes closed, determined.

“No! I am here, I need to figure this out!”

He removed his hand, kissed me on the back of my head as Dr. Reynolds changed her approach.

“Go back to the path, to the point when you supposedly set the fire. What do you feel? Can you smell anything?”

 

I drew a deep breath in.

“He just got done yelling at me. I feel disgusted as I brush his spit off my face. I smell his cigar smoke. It’s cold,

dusk has almost settled and I was worried my sweater wouldn’t keep me warm enough.”

 

My senses took over, and I stopped talking. I found myself suddenly back there, on that path. Cold. Shivering, but it was daytime.

Things didn’t make sense…  I never remembered turning around before, but that smell… and the sound-

 

Woosh!  

 

The fire that engulfed the barn radiated against my back. Things were being recalled in reverse. The fire reduced in volume, as I felt myself inching back up the path. I hear him snicker, and was filled with a terrible sense of dread.

I turned around in time to see Tom, toss his cigar into the barn against a wafting smell of kerosene.

 

Woosh!

 

When I came to, Jamison was holding me.

 

“Are you alright? Shaun! This is Dr. Reynolds… you’ll be back here in three, two, one!”

 

“You alright, Shaunie?” Jamison said, holding me close.

“I got my reprieve,”  I muttered, but with more hope than I ever felt before.

I wanted to tell Jamison that these were happy tears, and I can understand

The confusion, looking as I did. All that came out were seven little words:   

“I never killed my mom. He did.”

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Meet You (in the)Middle/Death of the Auto-Pilot -Friday Flash Fics-Friday, September 22nd, 2018.

Gosh, wow… I’m really bucking for the Late-Late award again. For Friday Flash Fics I had this all fleshed out in my mind, and then my work life took over. I really liked this for so many reasons and it motivated me to explore this using Deaf characters and then it all came into line.
    if you are not familiar with this, the administrator posts a weekly pic and we have a week to come up with a Flash Fiction piece motivated and including the posted image.
Over this week there was a curious post by my friend Phillip Kimball that I mostly agreed with but picked apart a few grand assumptions on love. This leaked over into how I wanted to show this relationship of two men who are still in love without the “auto pilot”. Enjoy!
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Meet You (in the) Middle/Death of the Auto-Pilot

Bruce was on set when it came this year, the usual unique flower bundle with the mysterious card. He checked his watch, it was nearly 3:30pm and this was day four of shooting for a local health insurance company. He signed to his light tech.

“TODAY? FINISH! OFF-ON, PLEASE.”

After the main lights were toggled off and on to get the attention of his mostly Deaf-cast, he let them know most of what they shot yesterday was the tough stuff, today’s shots were just extra to cover their ass.

“YOU? SKILLED ACTORS – CHA! YOU ALL WORK, WORK, WORK- CONTINUE ALL-DAY-INTO NIGHT, YESTERDAY. TODAY?  FINISH EARLY ! “

Cheers and whistles were heard with the visual flutter of Deaf applause, and then it arrived. Actually, Bruce smelled it before he saw it, a huge bouquet of aqua-marine colored Freesias; their sickly sweet scent quickly filled the back stage set.

“Thank You!,” he signed and spoke to the delivery person before putting the flowers down and opening the card.

 

 

•  •  •

 

“YOU-and-I .. TOGETHER ALL THIS TIME? FOURTEEN YEARS!?” Johnny stared into Bruce’s deep brown eyes over their anniversary dinner. Bruce nodded.

“KNOW! KNOW! NEVER THOUGHT I’D FIND SOUL MATE, DEAF- SAME!” Bruce beamed, grabbing his lover’s hand.

They met on the set while filming a few episodes of a new dramatic series that takes place in Los Angeles. They were both immediately smitten, but held off for a five months, as they knew Johnny’s character was going to be murdered in a straight love triangle on the show. Johnny followed Bruce back east during a break from work and they’ve been together ever since.

“WHAT?” Bruce asked as Johnny tried to hide the glint in his eye, shaking his head back and forth.

“TELL ME, NOW!” Bruce laughed, making Johnny’s devilish grin worse.

“TWO THINGS; FIRST- REMEMBER BEFORE YOU-AND-I DISCUSS FALL-IN-LOVE KEEP ALIVE, HOW? NO MORE AUTOMATIC-PLANE! ROLL-UP SLEEVES – WORK! REMEMBER?”

Bruce recalled how they became like gay automatons, afraid to open the relationship, and neither really sharing each others fears about it lasting. The lack of open communication nearly ended it at the ninth year. Then they agreed never to that again, and vowed to always speak their minds.

Bruce shook his head and signed “YES. I REMEMBER”

“ME SUGGEST ROMANTIC fs) S-C-A-V-E-N-G-E-R    H-U-N-T.  NEXT YEAR WE CAN DO. I LEAVE (FS) C-L-U-E-S.  YOU FIND ME – WE MAKE LOVE.  AGREE?”

Bruce shook his head back and forth in pleasant disbelief. He Wiggled his fingers on an anchored thumb at his chest to sign how cool he thought the idea was.

“AGREE!” Bruce signed. “AND… SECOND- WHAT?” Bruce prodded for more.

“AND SECOND…. YOU-AND-I  FEW YEARS AGO CHAT.  MAYBE MIND OPEN, (fs) P-O-L-Y.  PEOPLE-JOIN YOU-AND-I? ” Johnny asked.

Bruce nodded quickly. “YES! MIND OPEN, STILL! BUT MUST KNOW SIGN – DON’T CARE HEARING-DEAF  DON’T MATTER. BUT- ME NOT TEACHING ADULT CHILD SIGN.  AGREE?

Johnny leaned in and agreed with a kiss that drew more attention than they knew at dinner that night.

•  •  •

“HAPPY EIGHTEEN ANNY, MY LOVE!

THIS YEAR HUNT ?

YOU CAN FIND ME

ON THE STAGE OF THE RUNT.

NO MATTER WHAT YOU THINK

IT SMELLS LIKE THE KEY TO FIND ME.

IF YOU MAKE ME WAIT ALL NIGHT,

I’LL BE HERE, BLUE> BOUND TO FIND ME

BEHIND THE CURTAIN OF UTOPIA.

THERE YOU FIND ME

AND THE THRILL OF CHASE.

Big Love, Johnny “

 

Bruce found a tiny pack of sweet tart candies in the bottom of the envelope after he read the card. He sat down for a moment as he got another nostril full of that sickeningly sweet odor. Why he send me awful flowers? Bruce pondered.  He know Freesia, I hate! Smell too sweet… smells like Sweet tart candy he know  I hate… Too sweet! Bruce knew there was a reason why, and if he was going to find his anniversary present he was going to have to put the pieces together. Something about the sweetness, and that deep blue color. THATS IT !

Bruce started sneezing. His hearing assistant signed to him as he started for the door.

“FLOWERS, DO-DO?”

“THROW OUT!” Bruce said, laughing, grimacing, and saying out loud. “SWEET LIKE CANDY!” He pinched his nose shut and yelped again.  “SHWEET LIKE CANDY!”

•  •  •

The last night of summer was threatening to end within the hour. A golden orange beam of light cast itself low across the dirt yard and onto the front of the tiny auto parts store in North Philadelphia. The one that was transformed last year for the Fringe Festival in which Bruce directed a show called “Sweet Like Candy .” The space was kept dilapidated on the outside while the inside was transformed into a small theater. The stage of the runt. Bruce noticed how the low light cast a sharp shadow from the remaining letters “Utopia” down towards the entrance. Ha-ha!  My God he’s so creative.

As Bruce approached the front of the theater, he saw the aqua-marine blue vestibule curtain whipping in the wind that matched the color of the Freesias. He also thought he felt a vibration coming from inside. He left his hearing aids in the car, and he placed a hand on the interior wall as he passed the threshold, locking the door behind him.

He felt a deep thumping bass, and tried to place the music. Johnny was, culturally and profoundly Deaf, while Bruce could pick up some music with his hearing aids and did enjoy some music from time to time. Johnny hated the idea since he had zero access to it and it almost became a bone of contention. Almost.

As Bruce walked down the center aisle, the ultramarine blue curtains hiding the stage suddenly parted. A large gold mirror angled down from upstage revealed a tanned, blue eyed Johnny, bound on a bed center stage with dark blue ropes and a dark blue blindfold. Flanking either side were two wrought iron half ovals of lit church pillar candles, though the overhead stage lights took care of lighting everything well enough. Johnny had his favorite Andrew Christian “Almost nothing” cornflower blue underwear on.

As he appraoched, Johnny started writhing, biting his lips. He winked at Bruce through his blindfold. Happy Anniversary! Johnny mouthed before Bruce planted a delicate kiss. You like? Johnny mouthed again as Bruce pulled the blindfold up a smidge as he ran the back of his hand lightly over a plume of hair on Johnny’s chest.

“I DO LIKE!” Bruce started taking off his shirt, savoring the contact of his lover’s skin. Ready to tug at Johnny’s underwear with his teeth, Bruce signs.

“BUT ! ONE THING- STRANGE! UP-TILL-NOW  MUSIC-NONE! MUSIC? FOR-FOR?

For the thrill of chase!  Johnny mouthed and laughed, licking his lips in a begging way for more attention. Bruce obliged, licking and kissing and teasing as he knew Johnny loved.

He signed, “SILLY JOHNNY-BOY! ME ARRIVE? FINISH! CHASE DONE!

Really? Johnny mouthed. Chase done?  Then with his voice he shouted- “ARE YOU DONE?”

The overhead lights faded to black, the orange glow of the candles illuminating them both.

“WHO’S THERE?” Bruce yelled over his left shoulder, shocked. Suddenly he felt breath on his neck, and the warmth of a naked body pressing up against him out of the darkness, and then felt a hand on his right shoulder.

“HELLO,” the man signed, mouth shut to show he is adept at pure ASL.

 “ME?  NAME (fs) C-H-A-S-E. “

Bruce’ eyes traveled down Chase’s naked body, past his half erection back up to his eyes.

 

“YOU HEARING?” Bruce asked, running a hand up Chase’s calf. Chase nodded yes, their eye gaze never losing contact.

“ME… YOU LIKE?” Chase asked. Bruce nodded yes. Chase walked by Johnny’s bound body and lowered the blindfold, completely covering Johnny’s eyes. Bruce and Chase had their eyes still locked on each other, as Chase takes a swipe with his tongue along Johnny’s armpit. He walks down to Johnny’s feet, caressing his feet and thighs and calves.

“YOU OK? THREE-OF-US? NOW?” Chase signed.

Bruce nodded yes before licking Johnny’s other armpit.                                                       Chase winked and signed,

“MEET YOU MIDDLE!”

High and Dry-Friday Flash Fics-Friday, September 14th, 2018.

After a week ( or two) away, I felt inspired by this awesome pic. ( Who wouldn’t, really?)

Admittedly this is a spinoff of a previous piece that starts quite similarly, and it wasn’t

until I was all done did I notice it. So, heh heh…  sorry bout that, but the ending is

different, so… Two really cool things about this: 1)  I think this is the earliest I have ever

submitted a piece, instead of , you know, a week late. And 2)  coming in under750 words

I am happy to call this one a TRUE Flash Fiction piece, as opposed to the thousand five-

hundred thingie-ma-bob’s I’ve been coming up with recently.

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High and Dry

 

“Hey, thanks for talking to me offline. It’s weird, but most guys just ignore it when I ask.” Louis bit his lip while waiting for ParTyboiONE to respond.

“Then it is good I am not like most guys! I am a special man.”

Mmmm, Louis thought to himself.  With that adorable Eastern European accent? You sure are. His legs felt weak and his groin tingled.

“Does this special man have a name? I’m Louis.”

“Ah, Lou-ees. I like it!  Do you want me to call you Louis, or Lou or..”

“No! Don’t call me Lou.”

“You don’t like that short name for you?”

“No.”

“Why not? I am just curious.”

“It’s pronounced the same as a WC in England.”

“What is a WC?”

“A toilet.”

“Ah! I have had sex in the toilet! I am Miroslav, you can call me Miro.”

“Miro it is!”

“Mmmm,” Miro growled into the phone. ” I like your voice, Louis.”

“I like yours, too.”

“So- we like each other. And your photos look very good to me.”

“Mmm-hmm.” Louis growled back.

“So,” Miro said, smiling into the phone. “When are you coming over here?”

 

• • •

Louis walked down the river trail of the Delaware, down past the ferris-wheel.It reminded him of a frozen dinosaur, encased in it’s plastic covering for the winter.    Louis looked at his half of the photo booth picture of he and Miro, the wind whipping nearly seized it from his cold, frozen fingers.

This was taken on their first official date that summer.  Hooking up and high after cruising each other in a Scruff chat-room hardly counted as a date, at least not for Louis.  That was over two years ago.

God, Louis thought, I remember how scared I was to ask for a sober date!  He thought for sure Miro would have brushed him off,  but he didn’t and this was where Miro took Louis on their first date, Their last date. Their only date.

 

• • •

“Have you been here yet?” Miro pointed to the Ferris-wheel in the distance, all lit up and full of screaming and laughing passengers.  The entire port along the Delaware was transformed into floating barges, bars, and even a floating beach and miniature golf course for the summer.

“Wow, this is awesome! I feel like a kid again!”

“Mmm-hmm. Same for me. With one difference.”

Miro leaned over and kissed Louis gently, tenderly, like it was the first kiss he had ever given. A far cry from their sweaty sex mashup a week ago, which was very hot and satisfying in that rough and animalistic way. This kiss now was steeped in a tenderness Miro hadn’t shown at first.

“You like?”  Miro asked, slurping down funnel fake and powdered sugar. Do I like? Do I like? Something in Louis wished that all the oxygen in the world he was ever to get             had to pass over those lips, locked on his, forever.

“Yeah, I do! I do like. And uh… in fact Miro, I really mostly – prefer it this way.”

“What do you mean? Outside?” Miro flicked his tongue along the nape of Louis’ neck,              giving him shivers.

“No. I mean…not high.”

Watching the smile fade from Miro’s face was like watching a balloon deflate.

“Oh. I see.”

“See, Miro, I can’t..” Miro cut Louis off in mid-sentence.

“You can’t? I can’t ….can’t believe they have this!!”

Miro’s child-like smile re-emerged as he ran over to the photo booth, fed it a few dollars, and pulled Louis inside and on his lap just as the camera started up. Louis looked at Miro and lapped up a white wisp of powdered sugar from Miro’s cheek. They walked home the full twenty blocks and then collapsed into each other in Louis’ backyard. The electricity of the summer’s night air and the partially starry sky was a romantic backdrop while they made love on an oversized chaise cushion.

The next day, Miro was gone by the time Louis woke up.

 Louis never went online again for sex and after leaving three messages asking for a second sober date, he gave up and realized it was a one time thing for Miro.

“You alright, babe?” Nate, his boyfriend for the last year a half asked. “Still thinking about him, huh?”

“Yeah, sorry. Every time I’m down here I think about him- and not in that way, thank you very much.”

“Nah, I get it.” Nate, also a former addict, really did. Nate nuzzled Louis’s neck, and snuck a quick kiss before re-covering his own face with the scarf Louis knitted during the Fall retreat that they met each other on.

Louis and Nate walked home in the snow, hand in hand, bathed in the surreal blue lights from the Ben Franklin Bridge.

Ollie Ollie Oxen Free!-Friday Flash Fics-Friday, August 17th, 2018.

Hallo! For this week’s Friday Flash Fics  I knew exactly what I was going to write about when I saw these two fellas in the ocean at night, I just had no idea how to get there. So, please forgive me as I WAAAY geek-out here, also for the length. If anyone knows a thing or two about biological synapses and I have something that feels “off”, by all means let me know! Also, I do insert a brief cameo from an organization that I came up with last Friday and if you would like to read that before or after it might lend some small shred of an “aha!” Or not.  Ahem. Anyhoo, last Friday’s Flash Fic is here: A Tall Order-Friday Flash Fics- Friday August 10th, 2018.

Please post any questions or reactions and I promise to get back to you quickly!

 

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Ollie Ollie Oxen Free!

It has been said, in the yogic tradition, that the world we exist in is an illusion. Their term for this is Maya. You know that corny look of sheer happiness that is plastered across the faces of the masters and ancient sages? The yogis who have spent most of their waking hours in meditation or asana? Yeah. That’s them, looking around at the physical world and seeing that this is in fact, an illusion. When you are able to realize that all of the strife and ills of the here and now simply aren’t real, it lends a soothing, constant state of peace to one’s soul.

The masters got it right; well, most of it. They just couldn’t see beyond this known universe. That would be bestowed-subconsciously- onto a young man, as he enters a week-long fast with his lover and protector keeping watch.

At a secluded private home along the West Coast of California, with his lover by his side, Asav’s meditation and chanted mantra continues without interruption. Before he began, the words of his master- one of  the last ancient sages from the Himalayan Mountain Range – rang true:

“To understand all that you see and all that there is, requires one thing:  removal of ‘time’.”

****************Outer Level Entity (O.L.E.) Biological****************

Initial inter-dimensional evolutionary synapse: 

1263.9434.00 status: INACTIVE

1263.9434.01 status: INACTIVE 

1263.9434.02 status: INACTIVE 

1263.9434.03 status: MID-TRANSITION * * *

***************MID-TRANSITION STATUS ALERT !!!  ******************

~voltage excursion (post synaptic): = NIL

~voltage of action potential/presynaptic neuron= FULL

~voltage in presynaptic neuron: recursive     

~***awaiting active node for voltage transmission!!!            

***************MID-TRANSITION STATUS ALERT !!!  ******************

Inetrior to Exterior Connection Protocols:  RUN. 

RESUME. 

10395948-88010293  error node query:

           prior runs: 3,302,000.

prior run status: 3,302,000- FAIL. 

run limit: 3,304,000.

current run: 3,303,000.

current run status: pending.

Inactive Node: Mid-transition.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Run Query:  Node Interior- FINAL Malfunction Location

Inactive Node Location: 345E-22.9Q

Interior FINAL Malfunction Location: Virgo Cluster. Planetoid- “Earth”. 

long: 179   56′ 39.4 “

lat:    +0 2′ 46.2 “                                                                                                                 

measured from center of Virgo Cluster , distance 7,900 +/- 420 parsecs ( 25,900 +/- 1,400  light years)            

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~                                                                                     

CURRENT PROGRAM QUERY PING FROM ACTION POTENTIAL:

STATUS CHANGE?   Y.

current run: Mid-transition. 

INACTIVE NODE LOCATION ( interior): EARTH

‘Interior to Exterior’ Synaptic Connection Sequence:  Start

—ping support a) program [ Amita Basu-United States- Big Sur, CA  ] : wake.

—ping support b) program [ Amar Burman-Big Sur, CA ] : wake.

—ping single volt. generator [ Asav Madan- United States- Big Sur, CA  ]: run. 

WAKE: support programs a) and b)

LOCATION: blank construct.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“Woah!”, Amar whispered, holding his hands out for balance.

“Ain’t post-wake reloads a bitch?” Amita declared. “At least some auto-function process  had the decency to wake us up in-construct this run! Last time we did this my lover freaked out; she said I looked like I was having a seizure in the middle of the night next to her, what with all the damned updates and information permissions. “

Amar took a few deep, and stabilizing breaths until the vertigo passed.                            “Uh-huh. Yeah I noticed that after the one and a half millionth pass for energetic balance deep in this node- the auto-generated sequencer took us offline for longer each time.”

“All the sub-systems started conserving energy once we got down to the wire.”Amita shook her head. “Talk about cutting it close! Sheesh! Right down to the last pass-run attempts before program deletion! Only a thousand years till countdown runs out to auto-deletion. Damn! This ‘malfunction’ didn’t want to give it up, regardless of the mess it made. Dark matter leakage is a bitch!”

“True,” Amar nodded. “The dark matter did  do harm within this universe…but if that voltage relay between universal nodes never became sentient and broke out, this experiment of  ‘holding an entire universe in reboot-stasis to wait out an evolutionary function’ would never have happened! And, consequently, the voluntary metamorphosis of it into multi-phasic energy, would never have occurred! Ergo, no inter-dimensional travel for the Outer Level biological entity!  Makes you wonder if ALL evolutionary processes are this convoluted?”

Amita closes her eyes as another wave of information is loaded.

“At least in the last few hundred passes our queries pinged back some useful intel that they let us retain! I guess ‘it’ doesn’t feel like rebuilding the entire evolutionary synapse again!” Amita fishes in her pocket for a lighter, pulling a cigarette from behind her ear.

Amar’s eyes shut, fluttering for a few moments for his own update.                                “Uh… yeah! And for good reason: this specific synapse is thee initial trigger for the inter-dimensional evolutionary cascade function. Like, to all other operational cells and systems in the biological entity. There is no rebuilding! IF this synapse doesn’t fire, the outer level entity would have to wait until it died, passing on it’s D.N.A. to the next generation in the hopes that they would then continue the evolutionary process. If there even is a next generation.”

Amita scowls as she lights up.                                                                                                            “Good thing we exist out of time; wrapping one’s head around millions of years to wait for a synapse to fire inside the brain of a creature in some other outer, outer, outer space!? And can we please just call it Ollie? ‘Outer Level Entity’ is sooo grossly technical, especially for a biological entity, macro or micro be damned!”

Amar joins Amita in a chuckle before they are both pinged a warning message.

Support programs a) and b),  PREPARE for program insertion.

“Who’d he get this time?”Amita asked.

“Me! That must’ve been what all the vertigo was about, catching me up on what he and I have been doing all this time. Oh wait, they just finished loading the blending program. Tons of parsing structure, wow! I won’t feel a single nanosecond of congruent delay.”

“You mean, you’ll never know you hit you!” Amita joked. She remembered the psychologically disjointed feeling of having a copy of her own ‘self’ join within her earthbound self. In order to preserve the natural course of events leading up to the fundamental change in the static universe experiment, no supporting programs were to be utilized until the final last moments before the tides started to turn. Once the energetic balance of this universe-or Ollie’s Synaptic Node- became stabilized, the universe/node would be re-inserted into the synapse- thus allowing the entire structure- to fire.

“The kid’s already started subconscious preparations. Awwww! And apparently we’re both head over heels in love!” Amar says, his eyes closed.

“Lucky fucker! You get to be with the spark of a whole new system, changing the entire structure of a universe which then cascades throughout all the other cells in the entire system!” Amar grinned. “Well, the universe’s structure changed when the heavy dark matter leaked in, so we’re just turning it back to what it was.”

“And then some!” Amita piped in. “Hey, what’s his name anyway? Can we call him ‘Sparky’?”

“No we cannot ! His whole name is Asav Madan, which means ‘light of love’.”

Aww c’mon! ‘Spark’ of love works! “

“No!  Oh wow.” More eye flutters. “I just got wind of our intimacy together. Holy shit. Uh, apparently there hasn’t been one yet. “

“One what?”

“Spark. Pop. Ejaculation.”

“Huh?” Amita furrowed her brow. Five seconds passed before she cleared her throat, loudly.

“Oh… huh! Sorry more dribbles of info. Apparaently we’ve been engaging in tantric sexual activities for the last three months.”

Amita starts laughing. “So-pop doesn’t go for the weasel?”

Amar gives her a long, scornful stare.

“I’m kidding for God’s sakes! I get it, I get it! Brilliant design, actually. I wonder how all of those Bible thumpers would take it if they knew that the birthplace of heaven on Earth is basically the cum-lination of three months worth of tantric sex between two homos who never popped!”

Amita’s and Amar’s eyes flutter shut as they receive the same message.

Program Insertion in

10                                                                             

9

8

“Any hints for how to proceed?” Amita asked.

7

6

“Yes! His focus is just in the transformation. Your energy is boundless, so find a way to act like a buoy for what he puts out, without focusing on it.  We don’t want to pull on his awareness, just -“

5

4

“I’ll be the wind beneath his wings!”, Amita croons, then laughs. “C’mon all you guys love Bette!”

3

Amar gives her a faux-stern look, with his hands on his hips. He knows that she is bringing levity. It’s her gift, and not the first time they’ve been here, doing this, to varying degrees.

2

1

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The heat this summer in California was the worst on record. The winds that would normally be cooling their skin at the midnight hour, were silent. Amar felt his skin slick with sweat, welcoming the spray of the Pacific Ocean as it swirled beneath Asav and he.

adya yAvat bhavati niz                                                                                                                       tu niz bhavati ahan.

12:01am. Amar heard Asav chanting a few feet in front of him, though he kept his eyes closed after his higher self seamlessly blended with his earthbound body. Amar felt the spray of the Pacific all around them. He knew they were the only two allowed on this platform. It’s hydraulic base was cemented directly into the beach, specially designed to raise them above the ocean when the tide rolled in.

12:02am. Present, watching from the beach, were the members of the Benevolent Order- those who existed through the many pass-run attempts to assist many planets in balancing the energy enough for the voluntary evolution of dark matter into- something else.

Amar sensed the essence of Amita’s infinite vibration, and around them he envisioned a thin border of his own love, so strong that nothing could penetrate or alter their core.      12:03am.

“Aauumm” Asav chanted aloud.

“Aaauum”, the others chanted in response.

A beat later:

‘Aauummmmm’, is heard from a spot in the darkened sky behind them.

All of the members on the shore and a few of those placed in the water next to the platform for security, turn around in time to see a shimmering light erupt into the night sky, slowly growing larger before their eyes.

Whispers and smiles and tears erupt forth from all of the members, as one of the security members in the water whispers to his mentor.

“What was it that he chanted? I do not recognize that mantra.”

His elder mentor looked up at the shimmering sky, pointing.

“Until the day is night,

and night turns into day.”

A Tall Order-Friday Flash Fics- Friday August 10th, 2018.

Hello ladies and germs! Time again for another fun-filled Friday Flash Fics where writer-folks get an image from the administrator and have a week to write a flash fiction piece and  submit it! This group has really been amazing and I can say just in the short year since I’ve joined my own writing has definitely improved- from reading other folks’ approaches as well as engaging in the practice myself.

About the format: being a former photographer, images have such weight and power for me. They trigger so much within my own imagination, and also I want to see what is outside the framed area as each photographer makes their own choices about what to include or leave out. So, when I viewed this I immediately felt the lights dim lower, and I felt rain in the mix somehow. I knew these two men, for me, were insanely attracted to each other, but also each was arm wrestling for some opposing themes. The result, I hope you enjoy.

 

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A TALL ORDER

“Awww! Not again!” A fellow bar patron yelled in defeat as Bryan pounded his first over on the table.

The bigger patron was stunned in disbelief.

“That’s another fifty! That makes your total contribution a hundred and fifty bucks. Thank you, Paulie-B! And more importantly the kids thank you!” Bryan said loudly for the other patrons to hear. He coaches swimming for the Special Olympics and had donation cans setup on his bar for two weeks with close to no results. He knew his regulars wouldn’t be able to resist a physical challenge like arm wrestling. The local schools that sponsored the kids for the special Olympics ran out of cash so it was time to get creative.

Xander smiled on this scene from his usual seat for happy hour. He stumbled upon the Irish Bar on the edge of Philly’s Gayborhood a month ago to get in out of the downpour and was immediately smitten with Bryan, though not just because of his devilish grin and Irish charm.

∗∗∗∗

 

Bryan’s bar that day was less than half-full as Xander plopped down at the bar, trying to dry himself off with beverage napkins. Bryan brought over a clean bar towel.

“Here you go! You might get further along with this than those napkins.”

“Ah! Brilliant. Thanks a lot.”

Bryan smiled and winked as Xander wiped off his face and hair.

Mmmm… I’d sure like to lick the rest of him dry!

Xander paused, pulling the towel from his face slowly, not sure of what he just heard from Bryan.

“Uh, sorry. Beg your pardon?”

Bryan, busy with filling a beer at the taps, feigned ignorance.

“Eh? No, I didn’t say anything. Must be the wind out there!” He nodded to the

stained glass window. “Blowin’ awfully hard!”

“Oh. Sure. Must’ve been.” Xander looked Bryan square in the eyes, those adorably cute,

light Chestnut colored eyes.

Oh and I would definitely blow you hard until you became soft! Anywhere… anytime, lad!

Xander’s mind was instantly flooded with images of he and Bryan in various places and sexual poses. Since these images bombarding him were not of his own mind, Xander’s face flashed red, part from excitement, part from embarrassment. At least his suspicion was now confirmed: Bryan is a telepath, and either is really new at it or has become accustomed to broadcasting his every whim.

Xander on the other hand, was fortunate he had a grandmother who was telepathic, and learned early on not to do what Bryan does so haphazardly.

” One never knows who out there is cut from the same cloth,” his grandmother would warn. In Bryan’s case he is able to not only broadcast his thoughts, but his own visceral images related to those thoughts as well; full of sensory information- enough information to have the recipient feel the image with nearly all of their senses.

Ha, Xander thought privately to himself. I’ll bet he hasn’t even met another telepath! At the age of thirty-seven Xander had long since learned how to keep his thoughts under wraps; this also meant that other telepaths would not be alerted to his abilities. Well, not right away at least.

∗ ∗ ∗ ∗

Over the course of the last month Xander sat at Bryan’s bar three or four days a week. Mostly he pretended to be reading the paper, all the while doing a sort of telepathic eavesdropping. It’s not like he makes it difficult to do, Xander told himself. Any telepath in the vicinity could easily do the same. Like, maybe the fellow who was seated at the opposite end of the bar, reading the paper nearly everyday this week? The one who got up and left twenty or so minutes after Xander arrived? Oh, crap. This bartender has been using his abilities to win bets and gain arm wrestling donations. Even if the Special Olympics angle was legit, the ends wouldn’t justify the means to the Benevolent Order, an incredibly powerful agency that existed somewhere between politics and the judicial system to help keep tabs on unscrupulous telepaths who may be wreaking havoc.

“Alright now! Step right up! Who wants to be next?”

Xander sighed, sensing Bryan being high on his own bravado. He might not let this go so easily.  Xander hopped off his bar seat before anyone could get their hands in the air. Admittedly he was excited just at thought of touching this man’s skin. Sure, it was just holding his hand, but that was all Xander needed to know whether or not Bryan’s energy would click with his own. Well, that and a kiss would generally be enough. How long had it been since he was this interested in anyone? Xander counted nearly six months, and right when he decided to give it up and stop searching is when he found his way here. The whole dating a telepath didn’t go down so well with the last guy, and it’s almost always been an issue in all of Xander’s relationships.

Yeah, so if Bryan didn’t earn enough points by looking hotter than Collin Farrell, the fact that he too had telepathic abilities was more than enough motivation for Xander to sit there for  2-3 hours a day, three or four days a week, pretending not to see the images and thoughts of Bryan’s attraction for him.

“Ahhh… mister tall quiet and handsome wants to get into the game, eh?” Bryan said with a wink, wiggling his fingers in a flat open palm.

Xander shot him his own devilish grin back, and allowed himself to be hoisted up onto the half stage, the background interwoven with gay and Irish flags. Bryan pulls Xander up swift enough that Xander nearly falls over in the other direction and Bryan grabs hold and pulls Xander in close to his chest.

“I’m always sweepin’ the men off their feet, you know!” More images of them, naked and entwined in a bed, fly up into Xander’s mental peripheral field; he was practiced in how to hold the images at bay. Xander wanted nothing more than to send some of his own images of them back, but he resisted. He had to go through with the arm wrestling first to see what was going on if he ever hoped to defend his new friend to the Order.

“Are we gonna arm wrestle, or are you going to hug me all day long? Make up your mind hot stuff. My beer’s getting warm.” Xander added a wink to hammer it home.

That was just enough to deflect any more sexual images from Bryan and hook him back into competitive mode. They sat down and just as the referee was about to count down, Xander was flooded with a strong stream of images: of him losing, of their arms going to Xander’s right, of a muscle losing it’s strength, of sweat slipping through fingers.

Xander didn’t allow these images in, and instead tried to peel back the top layers to see what the motivation was, behind the images. He had used his month sitting at the bar well. He had discovered his ability to energetically hone in on how Bryan’s thought images were generated; from a place of caring or greed or lust or whatever. He was quite surprised to learn that Bryan hadn’t flirted or conjured up sexual images of any of the other patrons. Just himself. Oh yeah. Smitten doesn’t even begin to describe how Xander felt. Elated. Special. Sexy. Desired.

As Xander peeled back these images of his own defeat, he saw faces of children swimming, of stopwatches and planes and hotel rooms, and kids smiling and hugging Bryan. He felt his eyes threaten to well up and he felt his grip start slipping.  Xander drew a long breath in, and sent Bryan a mental message, clearing the field between them, for the moment.

Ok now, sexpot. I get the sense that your motivations for the arm wrestling are genuine enough. However…

Xander drew now upon his darker sexual fantasy side, casting images of Bryan hog tied, of him suspended and naked, hanging from the rafters of a dungeon. Images of him all horned up and unable to move, begging for release.                                                          Bryan’s grip immediately softened as the front of his jeans started to swell. Xander flipped all of the images over that he sent out, exposing his motivations to Bryan- how wrong it is to do what he did, what the Order would do with him if he continued-while simultaneously slamming their fists to the left for the win.

The entire bar applauded at the defeat. Bryan’s ego was deflated. His face brewed red, fierce with revenge.

That was really unfair of you, lad!                   

Xander felt what was coming next and headed it off at the pass.

Bryan… stop.

Instead of forcing images into Bryan, Xander floated them by his awareness like clouds. Images of he and Bryan kissing and holding each other, naked in a sleeping bag under the stars. He and Bryan laughing and having friends over for brunch. He and Bryan holding hands at an outdoor concert. He and Bryan staring into each other’s eyes after a kiss.

Bryan reached out and pulled these images into his consciousness, feeling the caring vibe behind each one.

Feel the difference? Having images forced into you as opposed to you allowing them in? I know you are a new telepath, but you can’t keep doing this. It’s wrong and I know your intentions weren’t bad but the Order won’t let you keep-

Bryan, touched by the gentle emotions in the images, spoke aloud.

“I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean anything by it. I just… ” Bryan  closed his eyes, searching through the memory of the images Xander sent, and the motivations behind them.

“Alright, I get it now. I do. I’ll stop, I promise, okay? Let’s you and I get out of here when my shift is done in an hour so we can talk. Besides I need to know all about this Heavenly Order I’m supposed to be so afraid of.”

“Not Heavenly, Benevolent. And yes, we will meet up later. But first, this.”

Xander caresses the back of his hand down Bryan’s stubbly cheek, feels his chin and delivers the most delicate of a kiss.                                                                                          Bryan starts to moan.

Well Xander? Do I pass or not?

Xander shot back in the best faux-brogue his mind could muster.

Shhhsht, you evil-baddy! Shhsht -and just kiss me.

Mischief in Limbo-Friday Flash Fics- Friday, July 13th, 2018.

Ha- yah, I know this is a tad late for LAST WEEK’S Friday Flash Fics ,  I guess I’m really pushing the late-envelope. (better late than never?)  Who knows. Would you believe I  was stuck in the Tardis for the first time, and hit a  version of a PAUSE button, where everything halts, (except for work)? That was my week, very weird.  I almost didn’t write something for this, horror not being my forte at all… but I like it and will enjoy fleshing it out some more for a short fiction piece.

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Mischief in Limbo

“Ok, Drew… so once this house is done at the end of the summer it’ll be our thirteenth job together!” Tam thumb drummed the wheel to Sir Duke, trumpets blaring from the speakers, enjoying the slow drive to Haytonsville through the scenic Poconos Mountains. Andrew looked out the window and patted Mischief’s belly. The grey Siamese-tabby’s ears fell flat, his tail wiggling wildly.

“Woah! That is totally wacked! Ouch!” Mischief nibbled playfully on Andrew’s thumb.

“I think it’s right here- 99 Eidolon Way.  Well it’s not that wacked, Drew. Half of the jobs were only partials, so-”  Andrew pointed another 500 feet up the road.

“Not us,  silly. That!”

Tam paused the car and caught a glimpse of a broken down school bus covered in vines.

“What do you think that’s all about?” Andrew stuck his head further out the window to get a better look. Mischief hissed in that direction and bolted into the far back of the SUV.

“What do I think?” Tam threw the SUV into gear and turned up the radio, trying to shake the icy chill that shot up his neck.

“I think that’s about all I want to see of that 80’s relic and no way are we checking it out!”

Mischief yowled from the back as Tam sped down the winding driveway.

“See that, even our cat has better sense. Yes, Miss-Chief! Your daddies promise we won’t go over there!”

* * * *

“You must be the Reynolds Restoration fellas!”

A man in his late 60’s sprung down from the porch and thumbed at their white scrolled logo over the driver’s door. He looked and sounded like he just walked off the set of a country lemonade commercial.

“That’s us, alright!” Tam smiled, glancing at Andrew sideways and with a grin that only his husband could read as purposefully saccharin.

“And you must be Mr. Greagor! I’m Tam Reynolds.”  Tam shook hands with Mr. Gregor through the car window.

“That’s GREYgor. Emphasis is at the front!” Tam tried to pull his hand out of the old man’s iron grip. He held Tam’s hand until Tam made eye contact and nodded.

“Got it! Sorry!”

“C’mon I’ll show you around! ” Mr. Gregor opened the SUV door for Tam and Mischief ran out, itching to stretch his legs and hunt.

“That’s our cat, Mischief, or Mis-” Andrew started, catching himself after catching a glare from Tam.

“Mister-Chief, as we sometimes call him! I’m Andrew Reynolds. Nice to meet you.” Andrew walked over to shake hands. The old man peered at Andrew, glanced over at Tam, then back to Andrew.

“Uhhh-huh.”

Tam and Drew got the feeling Haytonsville didn’t have many homosexuals. Andrew changed the subject.

“So what’s up with that old school bus up the road?”

“No! No-no,” Mr. Gregor shook his head, kicking at gravel. “That uh, that used to be the only school bus that ran in town. Until the driver went nuts right there on the side of the road!  Former student.  Didn’t make the college football team.”  He stopped kicking the stones underfoot, and looked at them square in the eyes.

“Now listen here: nobody ever goes near that bus and the road dead-ends into the forest! Tow truck folks won’t touch it; school just let it sit there and rot.”

Mischief sniffed the toes of Mr. Gregor’s loafers and rubbed against his blue and white pinstriped seersucker suit.

“And unless you’ve got yourself nine lives like Mr. Cat here, don’t even go near it.”

Tam shot Andrew the look as Mr. Gregor started toward the back of the house.

“Owner forgot to mention she’d like the garage back here fixed and painted to match the main house; she figured you could just add it in and adjust the cost accordingly. If you need anything to eat, nearest store is a few miles back the  way you came, only 24 hour Wawa in the county. If you need anything else gimme a ring, though I’ll be out of town for the next four days but you can just leave a message at the real estate office and my assistant will do what she can…”

* * * *

All of the seniors at Haytonsville High left the bonfire for the wild keg party held in honor of Shane Wyeth, the quarterback that led the Haytonsville Herons to the championship. Last time the Herons won the championship was three years prior in 1979.

“Drink to Shane! Drink to Shane!” the party crowd chanted.

“Now wait a minute, we gotta drink to the guy who catches all my sloppy throws! A quarter is only as good as his receiver, right Ben?” Shane lifted his drink and winked at Ben from across the room. Ben winked back, and no one knew that this was anything but two teammates congratulating each other. Ben stole away after taking in a few toasts from his friends, eager to make his way to their secret meeting place by the lake. He always got the fire started ahead of Shane who always had a tougher time getting away, mister popularity. They had been friends since middle school but didn’t start fooling around until sophomore year.

“How’s my Benny? Did it feel alright?” Shane kissed Ben’s neck and chest after his body stopped shaking. Shane thought he might have hurt him, this was their long awaited first time. Ben kissed him back, pulling the large sleeping bag over Shane’s shoulders, whispering,

“It was better than I dreamed!”

As a young man, Ben never dared share his deep desire to kiss and hold another man. Ever since their first drunken kiss Freshman year during a Truth-or-Dare session Ben would dream about it. Ever since he felt the first pangs of male attraction, he knew he had to keep his desires in the dreamworld, only. He knew better than to expect to find another like himself in Haytonsville. He knew he’d have to wait until he got out of this small town. We’ll get out together, Shane and I. Their chemistry on the field was the kind of anticipatory magic that coaches wish they understood so they could bottle it. They never had to talk about the plays, it all just flowed back and forth between them. Effortless. They also rarely talked about what they felt for each other, but Ben knew it. It was undeniable. He also knew their first time would confirm his feelings and squelch any fears; he and Shane would go to college and finally be able to be openly involved, no more sneaking around.

The chilly night air kicked up sparks in the fire, and Ben pulled the sleeping bag tighter around them both to preserve their warmth. Shane nuzzled in Ben’s arm nook and somewhere in Ben’s mind he recorded every detail of this moment as to never ever forget any of it. Ben had dreamed about this night for years, the night they would make love. The night Shane Wyeth would become his boyfriend. Forever.

* * * *

Three weeks into the job, and 99 Eidolon Way was fighting Tam and Andrew everyday. Supply orders were late by a day and a half, sometimes two days. All of the parts and fixtures were special order from two towns away. Tam’s finger was nearly fractured by a heavy antique stained glass window when the chain broke in the window casement.On top of it all the pain meds the local M.D. prescribed started giving Tam nightmares.There is one recurring nightmare where Tam is seated in  a long, dark, dirty room withthin pull-out windows -like at a Catholic School- except they are all sealed shut except for one.Cigarette smoke pours in from it and someone outside is crying and shrieking  in a high-pitched raspy voice, reverberating off the walls like they were made of tin:

ME! You were supposed to love-  ME!

****

Andrew woke up drenched in sweat, the dream still echoing in his mind. He looked over at Tam -sound asleep. He eased out of the bed and tip-toed to the bathroom, stopping at the closet for gym shorts and a T-shirt.  It was ninety-two degrees today, why am I freezing? 

Andrew splashed water on his face, trying to pull out a thread of recall of his dreams and then he caught a whiff of it, wafting over his shoulders, tickling the tips of his nose, flooding his now ex-smoker’s mind with a cascade of triggers. He spun around and the smell was gone.

Just like my dreams. 

Andrew could sense the content of his dreams but as soon as his conscious mind started to get a clear picture, the images would slip away, stealthily. Like they were being shown to him and then stripped away, like a game of cat and mouse.

Mischief! 

Andrew ran into the bedroom- Mischief was gone and this was bad. Mischief always slept at Tam’s feet, regardless of where they slept. Always. 

Tam! Wake up. Wake up! Mischief is gone! TAM!” 

Tam smiled a deeper smile, pulling the covers tighter around himself, smiling into the space above his own body.

“TAM!!!”  No amount of shaking and throttling would rouse him.

Andrew ran down the steps for his sneakers, calling out to Mischief even though he knew the cat wasn’t in the house but he knew where he cat had gone. He bolted out the front door so quickly he didn’t notice the tickling plume of cigarette smoke that he ran through, it’s tendrils wrapping around his mind.  He won’t stop to notice until he sees Mischief is safe. Andrew runs down the dark driveway, all the way to the abandoned bus.

Sowing Seeds- Friday Flash Fiction-Friday, July 29th, 2018.

Time again for   Friday Flash Fics  This week I was inspired to re-visit a previous Flash Fiction piece from December of 2017, Waiting On A Friend. In it, Elliot, an ancient and alien creature, was bestowed upon Stanford’s great, great, grandfather and grandmother, Albert and Bergjlot Heasley, from his wife’s magical Norwegian family. Elliot was gifted at their wedding as a protector to Asgard Manor, their estate in upstate NY that Stanford inherited. Elliot could take any shape his masters wished, and for the last few generations that shape was in the form of a silver-grey Siamese/Tabby-point housecat. Though Elliot could never die, he did grow old and in the first story lost not only his mind, but his ability to remain in the shape of the housecat. The creatures Elliot morphed into were sometimes dangerous, and though Stanford and his lover Jeffery were both powerful warlocks, they were out of their league to find a solution. I pick up the story at the arrival of Valia, Berglijot’s great grand-daughter from Iceland who alone had the skill, magic and ancient herbs to help Elliot regain his control.

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By the time Stanford contacted Valia, she was already fully prepared. Several months

before Elliot’s condition started declining, she started getting visions.

Having  no siblings, she was the sole magical benefactor for her generation, and had

been  a powerful vÖlva- a female shamen, with the ability to see many possible future

paths, as well as other gifts.

Also strong was her own connection to Elliot, an ancient magical creature; he was

also her mentor who helped raise her at Asgard Manor before she moved abroad.

 

Even across such a great distance, Valia felt Elliot’s concern, prompting her to travel to

Honningsvag, the northernmost village in Norway and the only place where the

magical herb grew in stubs protruding out from the base of certain trees.

The powerful herb could even be found in the middle of Winter,

if one knew where to look.

Valia knew exactly where to look and wasted no time, for she felt Elliot’s mind start to

slip long before his first uncontrolled shape shift.

 

* * *

Stanford made his way around the perimeter of Asgard Manor, for the third

time that afternoon.

“Stanford, please tell me you aren’t worrying.” Jeffery whispered after the first time

Stanford returned from his security check. The Heasley lineage used their

magic only for good and were generally regarded by other magical elder families as

healers and philanthropists. While Stanford wanted to firmly believe no one would

attempt to take advantage of their protector’s weakened state, he couldn’t say for sure

that no one wouldn’t be tempted.

“Jeff, no I’m not! Honest.”

Stanford nodded in Elliot’s direction. Jeffery, remembering Elliot’s frenzied dreamscape,

hugged an apology into Stanford who relaxed slightly into Jeffery’s solid frame. Warmth

shot out of Jeffery’s hands and spread up Stanford’s spine, radiating across his tense

shoulders.

My God, even his hugs are healing.  

 

* * *

“Is everything prepared, grandson?”

Standford smiled. Hearing Valia’s voice be so calm was the exact comfort he needed.

The last time he saw her was right after his parents both died in a plane crash. That was

over five years ago. Having her teach him so many of their magical ways sometimes

overwrote his image in his mind of her as a grandmother, powerful as she was. Her voice

now soothed him in a way only a grandmother’s could.

“Yes, everything you’ve requested is setup in the alter room downstairs. Valia… Elliot, I

can’t hear him anymore!” Stanford choked on worry and held back his tears.

“Shh, I know! Nor can I, dear one! Still, I promise you he’s going to be just fine, do you

hear me? Now I’ll see you both tomorrow night. It’ll be so good to see you again!”

 

He could hear her smile at him through the phone. More comfort. Stanford sighed,

trusting and believing that his grandmother was right and that Elliot would be, in her

words, just fine.

 

***

After Elliot came home morphed as a mountain lion that morning, covered in blood, they

both bathed Elliot and then all three slept while Jeffery administered

reiki -to help Elliot keep his housecat shape intact. During their nap, Elliot used the

energetic bond through Jeffery’s reiki to share his fears with them both of what attacks

could befall Asgard Manor without the full focus of it’s protector. Normally, Elliot and

Stanford communicated directly to each other, telepathically. Since Elliot’s morphing

began, Stanford hadn’t been able to hear his friend and magical mentor at

all.

 

The visions Elliot shared in dreamscape were paranoid. As he desperately clung

to his role as protector, his mind was flooded with snippits of battles

from other lands and other times-some images were of entirely different worlds

altogether. Still, mixed in were some sensations- energetic attacks

from unseen foes; foes that were quite modern and felt real in the here and now to

Jeffery and Stanford. No amount of caution could be too great.

 

***

 Valia’s instructions were very clear, and Stanford and Jeffrey followed them to the letter.

Stanford’s driver was not to bring her up to the main house. She didn’t want her

psychic presence so close to trigger a random shift since Stanford and Jeffery had Elliot

calmed down.  She would rest for a few hours in the guest house, shielding her presence

as best she could until the ritual could be performed. She would then walk the perimeter

once beforehand, magically securing it as to ensure no invisible creatures had followed

her onto the property.

 

Jeffery was to remain with Elliot upstairs until signaled to bring him to the alter in the

basement just after 3am. There were no windows in the basement, no exterior access

doors, except for the secret passageways that responded to the Masters and former

Masters of Asgard Manor. When Stanford was a young warlock he asked his

grandmother why the alter room was so secluded, and why any electric light source

was forbidden from being used in there.

“Oh Dear one, try not to think of this place as a room in a basement of a house! Instead,

visualize the endless flow of the magical realm of creation itself! Like the center of a

seed, this place must always remain secure in the darkness. Though we need light to see

our way to do rituals, it is in the darkness that the magic takes root and is

given room to flourish.”

 

Valia met with Stanford in the guesthouse to explain the meaning behind

what she was going to do, so there would be no confusion during the performance of the

ritual. At 1am, Stanford helped his grandmother set everything up. Hot water filled

the ritual pool in the shape of a diamond in front of the alter. Valia added oils and herbs

and spoke words in tongues no other human had ever heard- and Stanford was expected

to recall and imbue his memory with these accents of his ancestors.

 

All of the Heasley’s magical foundation was bonded in the element of water. Stanford

watched as Valia painted her left hand in a brown salve-a color and texture that

resembled moist, dark earth. She drew a circle around her elbow with the same salve,

reading from a book of spells and speaking more of their magnificent ancient words

aloud. At 2:45am Valia lowered herself in her magical gowns into the pool in front of the

alter.

As she settled in, the crystals around her neck and the water started glowing a deep

amber. More ancient words conjured a grounding spell,

and soon her hand was glowering. Valia was careful to keep her painted elbow

in constant contact with the top of the herb infused pool to control the flames that

slowly erupted from between her fingers.

Stanford knew the salve Valia put on kept her skin from burning, and now-

it was time.

Jeffery swift and calm, placed Elliot off center on the alter in front of the pool. With

her other dry hand, Valia placed a pile of dried herbs into her flaming palm- acting as

a human, magically charged piece of charcoal. She spoke the ancient words, connecting

all elements; through earth, and water, from fire and air. Valia then, with the force of

her own breath, blew the smoke over Elliot. As he breathed the magical vapors into his

lungs- Elliot’s eyes blazed with electric-orange and silver-blue tiny balls of fire,

expanding slightly before directing the blue flames inside, rendering his skin and fur

momentarily white and translucent.

Valia caught her breath and then exhaled, as both Elliot’s expanding blue flames and her

burning fist extinguished themselves, simultaneously.

 

Stanford and Jeffery were amazed they smelled no charred fur or flesh- just the lingering

scent of the magical herb that registered more like a blue lavender form of sage.

Blue flames suspended in mid-air lit themselves up all around the alter instantly, as Elliot

purred and flicked his tail back and forth playfully. A sense of calm befell the

entire room. Jeffery, Stanford and Valia now heard Elliot clearly in all their minds:

My family, my master, and my friend! Through your powers and your gifts of light and 

love, my strength and soul can be recharged and restored! Our magic is forever bonded. I

am in your debt and appreciate all your love. 

 

Valia sensed Stanford’s desire to run and throw his arms around Elliot. He was warned

against such action. They had merely relit a spark; the real magic that needed to

continue would do so inside Elliot, in the dark. She cleared her

throat, beckoning for his assistance out of the pool. As Jeffery and Stanford helped Valia

into the anti-chamber to get changed, the blue flames surrounding Elliot vanished. The

echo of Elliot’s purring was all the comfort Stanford needed, as he quietly closed the door

and let Elliot steep in his own magical self.

 

 

 

 

 

Sam and The Hectic Sour Milk Sea- Friday Flash Fics-Friday, June 21st, 2018.

Time again for Friday Flash Fics ! Last week I couldn’t pull myself out of my blankness, but this week as soon I saw this black and white image I couldn’t stop thinking of Freddie Mercury (born Farrokh Bulsara). The stache, and the eyes showing a cocky confident facade, but also a hint at something really vulnerable. The bird helped the rest fall into place. This is kind of quick and rough (just how he liked it? ) so apologies for typos and what not.

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Sam and the Hectic Sour Milk Sea

Dear Farrokh,

It’s opening night and though you and  I have never met, I feel like in some crazy way,

your energy has chosen me to channel all the things in you that went undone before

your abrupt departure.  Even as a sit here in my dressing room with a single candle lit,

observing myself- I feel you. We were born of the same land,  For me it is called

Tanzania. For you, it was Zanzibar. We both love men, and we both have a fire inside

that comes out in song.

•••

Sebastian was watching me from across Broad Street in Philadelphia; he was stunned

when he saw me. I had tended to a young bird who had fallen from it’s nest high above

 five years prior. I called the bird Sam, and everyone told me I was a fool to try and

nurse her back to health, but I did.  When Sam flew away from me a few years later,

she always came back to see me. Sam knew where I worked because I sang to her your

songs when I nursed her. When I kissed her head and stroked her beak. When I fed her.

When she curled up under my  toes and pecked food from my wrist- she heard you,

through me.

What had shocked Sebastian that day was that he saw me walking through the high

arched gateways of City Hall, calling to my friend by belting out your songs that Sam knew by heart:

Oooh you make me live! 

Oooh  you make me live now, honey! 

Only I knew that Sam would come to me after these two lyrics, I suppose to Sebastian it

seemed a part of you really was in Sam since she was singing ( in her own way) with me

for these next lines:

Whenever this world is cruel to me 

I got you to help me forgive-

Ooh- you’re my best friend!

Sebastian watched me walk down Sansom Street to Chris’ Jazz Cafe, singing the lyrics

to your songs with my dear friend Sam on my shoulder until the last moment before I

started my bar shift. After Sam flew away, Sebastian approached me at the bar like he’d

seen a ghost or something.

•••

 

I knew that you died of some pneumonia type illness and that you were told you were

diagnosed with AIDS only a day before you died. That’s all I really knew. Since then I

learned that Jim Hutton was the  love of your life, which is why you left him all of your

songs and stories that no one has ever heard.

Sebastian was a theater producer and was Jim’s younger lover for the last ten years until

Jim died in 2010. He told me that Jim spoke so much about you that Sebastian felt he

knew parts of you no one else knew. At least, no one that was still alive.

Your lover Jim knew how much you  had left to do,  the early years of your life untold-

that is until Sebastian wrote your untold story for the stage. He knew better than to rush

it, to try and quickly find someone just to make a buck. No, he promised Jim he’d keep

searching until he felt it, until he felt you.  And because of Sam, somehow,  he heard a

part of you- in me.

•••

I have to tell you this before I go on tonight that even though I am as gay as you are,

my favorite part of you to channel on stage isn’t at all gay. It’s the love song you wrote to

your best friend and wife, Mary. The story of her meeting you through Brian when

you and he were in the band The Sour Milk Sea fills my heart, as I’ve longed for a

friendship that deep. Well, ok. A human friendship that deep. And the secret crush you

had on the bass player in The Hectics and how he broke your heart… I could go on, but

soon it’s my time to go on! Oh Sam! I am looking now at a photo of Sam and I, taken by a

friend during the first run of this show at the Wilma Theater in Philadelphia. I miss my

friend so much; I owe her and you- a debt of gratitude which is what I suppose I am

doing here and now.

 

Farrokh, I have always dreamed of being on Broadway as a boy. The stage and acting

allows my true self to come through. When I’ve channeled you onstage, my true fire

comes forth- and not the shy Saddir who was afraid to tell his best friend he was in love

with him. Through you, I am finding my way to me- and for that I thank you from the

deepest part of my heart and soul. I must now go, it’s time to begin. One last thing:

please, sing your songs to Sam, whenever you both are out there, zipping through the

silvery gold blue.

Rummaging for Love- Friday Flash Fics-Friday, June 8th, 2018.

In this weeks Friday Flash Fics I decided to stretch myself a  little outside my own comfort zone. Anyone who knows me knows I’m not the child-rearing type, but this was kinda sweet and fun to explore. Hope you like it.

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Rummaging for Love

Tad Strohm was at his wit’s end, trying to figure out how to keep his bookstore-“BibloPhilaYa” – from tanking. Burning the candle at both ends, Tad barely had enough time to himself, splitting his life between freelance software consulting and the bookstore. Oh yeah, and then there was dating. Tad sighed, wishing things could be like they were when he and Jeffery first opened the bookstore. That was ten years ago. 

He and Jeffrey had met two years after Tad’s wife Loraine walked out on Tad and Randall, their son. Well, his son now. Jeffrey was awesome with Randall, right up until the end.

Tad came back from his afternoon break at the bookstore and noticed the tall man with the broad shoulders and double earring immediately. A handsome guy like that was hard to miss! His maroon suspenders pulled his shirt tightly against his chest, just enough to see his squared-off pecs. Actually this was the fourth time in six weeks Tad saw the same guy, rummaging through the clearance bins, always with a few books in hand and more in his bag- some of which were now in danger of spilling out on to the floor.

“Mind if I give you a hand with those?” Tad said, smiling as part store manager, part curious gay bookworm.
“Uh…sure! Thanks!” When Tad reached out to grab the books from his hand,
he noticed the slight hint of a tattoo on the man’s forearm but Tad couldn’t
make it out.
 “Oh, you’re wondering about this? I’m surprised you even noticed it, it’s so faded.
It’s a geometric version of an Aster, which represents-“
“Wisdom and devotion,” Tad chimed in.
“Wow, you’re good!”
“I’m Tad. Walking encyclopedia of random bits of everything.”
“I’m Matthias. Nice to meet you.”
Mmm. Nice firm handshake, Tad thought to himself. Continuous eye contact with a smile,
even. No wedding ring. Ok. Onward we go.
“So Matthias,” Tad said, hoisting some of his books over to the register. “Either you’re opening you’re own library or you are the fastest reader I’ve ever met! And Lovecraft?”
Tad shot him a thumbs-up.
“Yeah, this one’s a re-read for myself, the rest are for my kids.”
Tad eyeballed the amount of books and tried to hide his reaction. How many kids?
Mathias laughed. ” It’s not what you think- I’m a middle school teacher and
I’m setting up an after school book share program.  A lot of our kids are
struggling to stay out of trouble after school until their families get home
from work.”
“Ah, that clears it up, then!”  Tad continued stacking Matthias’ books next to the register.
He knew oh so well what Matthias was talking about. The Tacony section of
Philadelphia wasn’t what it once was, and as Northern Liberties and
Fishtown became gentrified it pushed all the drug dealers north.
“I can’t believe all of these treasures are on clearance!” Matthias’ love for
books made him all the more adorable.
“Yes indeed, and good for you, bad for Randall. I think you’re wiping us out
of nearly every Lovecraft book!”
“Randall?”
“My son,” Tad nodded towards the lanky teenager slumped over a book next
to the register.
“The thirteen year-old horror aficionado.Takes after his dad, I guess.”
Matthias looked over at Randall who didn’t raise his eyes off of the book he
was consuming. Matthias noted his ‘Steal This Book’ t-shirt and couldn’t help
but let loose a chuckle, trying to cover it with a cough.
“Well I have to say, Matthias; I’m impressed with the program you’re putting
together.
You’re right, we sure do need it around here! I, as a single parent, salute you!”
Tad was hoping Matthias had picked up on the not so subtle wink, but
Matthias was already scanning the spines of more books in the clearance bin
to complete his program’s sparse horror section.
“Mmm… I can’t imagine raising a child nowadays.. ” Matthias’ voice sounded
like he was talking in a dream, like a part of him was being pulled into the
titles he scanned.
“I always wanted to adopt children; my ex was set against it. Hence, ‘ex’.”
“You’ve got plenty of time left for that!” Tad chimed.
“You think so?”
“I do.”  Tad smiled. An uncomfortable silence fell over the both of them;
suddenly they ran out of small talk. Tad bit his lip and went around to the
register and started ringing up the books, while Matthias excused himself to
the bathroom.
“Dad, don’t be such a dork; ask him out already!” Randall was smiling over
the top of his dabook, in Tad’s direction.
“How do I know if he’s even interested?” Tad’s insecurities started to get a
footing.
“Oh he’s interested, all right! How do I know? Because I recognize his voice! He called
here this afternoon and asked if, ‘that knowledgable owner was working
today?’  You guys obviously like each other, so..”
“So- what?” Tad asked.
“So, ask him to have pizza with us when we close in twenty minutes! If you
don’t, I will!”
“You wouldn’t!” Tad smiled, liking the suggestion.
“He wouldn’t what?” Matthias asked, joining them at the front register.
“He, well, he wouldn’t um,” Tad stammered, looking down at the register,
trying to find
the right words. Just then Randall jumped in.
“I wouldn’t be able to eat a whole pizza with mushrooms by myself, and Dad
hates mushrooms, so- why don’t you join us and help me out?”
The sweetest smile spread across Matthias’ face.
“It just so happens I love mushrooms!” Matthias said.
“I absolutely adore them.”

Light of Day- Friday Flash Fics-Friday, May 25th, 2018.

For this week’s Friday Flash Fics  I was shocked at where this picture took me, and while I struggled at first to find a reason why said man would be carrying other said man in such a way I was “happy” with the outcome. Why the quotes around “happy”?  WEll- though the end of this story ( and I’ll apologize now for the length) is sweet, it’s a bit of a road to get there, so Kleenex and “evil crazy parental figure” spoliers are- I think – called for.  <gulp>  Enjoy?

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Light of Day

“Homos go to hell!” The Church of the Righteous Way spat their venomous words towards the courthouse, trying to propel their hatred past the volunteer protectors towards Rory.

Rory kept his head down, focusing his mind on the chants of the Yogis of the Light, successfully blocking out any curses from the church and their minions, as he made his way into the courthouse to give his testimony. He caught a glimpse of himself in the reflection of a nearby car. Gone was the youthful, fresh exuberance that he had just a few years ago when he first started working for the minister Richard Dansorum at The Church of the Righteous Way.

Now, he felt the same as he did when he aged out of the Righteous Way’s Conversion Therapy program at the age of 18. Broken. Sad. Alone.

That is until the conversion program director recommended Rory for an internship in the church’s organization.

His spark finally returned, mostly due to the attention Richard gave him. Rory was the most efficient administrative assistant they’d ever had, Richard said. So efficient that Rory became Richard’s personal assistant within two months of being hired, lasting nearly two years.

Of course Rory knew better; still, he didn’t care. After nearly a year at the church’s horrifying gay conversion camp he was quietly proud and relieved that he managed to hold onto some shred of his old self now. The irony was lost on him that the man of his affection was the same one responsible for founding the conversion camp in the first place. There was something about working for Richard and the church that -somehow in his mind-made it ok. Rory and Richard had two years of private courtship, all the while they both maintained their denouncement of homosexuality. Everyone believed them, including Richard’s own wife and family.

“This is our private love,” Richard said. ” A love that is so special and above all other loves, that no one is to know of it.”

Covert dinners. Supposed religious conventions that were secret romantic vacations for the two of them. Their lives were of secret lovers, living together in Richard’s private condo in Pittsburgh when he could get away from his wife and family. Rory was so deeply in love he’d overlooked it all. He had even partially forgiven his parents for sending him there;  for if he never were sent to conversion therapy, he may never have gotten this close to his lover. And close, they were. That is, until Richard ran for office. And then there were days spent feverishly campaigning. Won’t Rory  please stay at the church to keep things running while Richard was on the road? These trips happened more and more, and then the day came when Rory walked in on the future Senator in bed with his campaign manager. And then, everything changed.

* * * *

“Hah! Heh! Hee! HAH!”

Landon launched another flat hand towards his sensei, Garrett. He missed, slicing the air behind Garrett’s ear. His sensei was 6′ 4″, and about three a feet wide at the shoulders- not a hard target to hit by any means. Landon’s 5’10’ agile body was aptly muscled, if only he could adapt. Anticipate, alter course, then strike.

Landon grinned at Garrett. During his first four months of Jiu Jitsu he was spinning his wheels. All the lessons about using the force of the opponent and not your own were lost on him, at first. He took the classes as a way to vent his unyielding issues with anger. Abandoned by his biological family for being gay, his anger grew into the places familial love used to live.That and from spending his later teenage years on the streets of Philadelphia, just trying to scrape by.

“You have great energy and power,” Garrett said in those first few weeks of class, during the first of many future one on one sessions.

“But no focus, no control! ! You have such incredible gifts! ​But your hatred and anger blinds you to your other senses; hot like an atomic bomb.” It was during their third one on one session Garrett had caught on that Landon was attracted to him.

Unwavering in his attack, Landon now collected himself, looking his sensei square in the eyes and moved – this time- without making a sound. As he felt his sensei move to avoid his blow, Landon changed course, striking the back of Garrett’s head. 

“Ahh! See? Focus and balance of emotions helps you predict your opponent!” Garrett said this faux-mockingly, as Landon had already made striking contact weeks ago. Garrett was grinning wildly at him now, continuing to circle Landon before deciding his counterstrike.

“Uh-huh, yeah. Well, I have to say: I’m really in touch with my emotions right about now.” Garrett’s eyes followed Landon’s gaze down to the front of his own shorts.

Landon smiled, biting his own tongue through his teeth, sweat pouring off of him. God damn this was the best foreplay ever!

Landon circled back in the opposite direction, running smack dab into Garrett. On purpose.

Garrett scooped him up in his arms, licking the sweat off the back of Landon’s neck, pulling him in closer as Landon locked his legs around his lover’s waist.

Garrett felt Landon swell against his own belly.

“Mmm! I can see you’re in touch!”

Landon growled, pulling Garrett’s mouth onto his own, checking over Garrett’s shoulder to be certain that the door to the studio was really locked, this time.

****

“Today, witness testimony resumes as newly elected Senator Richard Dansorum defends himself against a deluge of witness’ who have come forward with allegations of physical, emotional and sexual abuse. The victims, all male,

allege the incidents- including two alleged deaths the senator was aquitted from- occurred at The Church of the Righteous Way’s controversial Conversion Therapy Camp, founded by then head minister, Richard Dansorum.”

Landon snapped the television off as Garrett made his way into the kitchen for coffee, still half asleep.

“You ok for your shift today?”

“Mmm-hmm.”

“Did you prepare? You slept in late today! All the way till 7am, my God!”

Landon shot him ‘the look’. He hadn’t missed a single day of his hour-long morning yoga and meditation routine in years.

Never thought I’d meet a guy with a dryer humor than my own.

“Watching it on the news is part of the preparation, mister! All the white light visualization in the world can still be shaken, especially if you’re not prepared for the reality of it, there.” Landon nodded toward the television screen. “You know how easily I’ve been triggered by other people’s anger.”

“In the past,” Garrett reminded him.

“In the past,” Landon repeated, half-heartedly.

“Uh.. no.” Garrett put his coffee cup down on the counter gently, unconvinced.

“Huh?”

Garrett stood tall, waving his index finger towards himself.

“Come here.”

Landon smiled, lighting up his own resolve. He walked over and stood a good two feet away from Garrett. On purpose.

“What are you, soldier?”

” I am light, I am love.

I love me, sending you love.”

Garrett knew better than to reach out for Landon now, though all he wanted to do was kiss and hug him and never let him go.

Fuck all, Garrett told himself. If my man is strong enough to repel that bunch of evil bastards- eye to eye- with a loving smile and a pure heart, I can wait until his shift is done.

****

Landon’s morning volunteer shift started well enough for the three witness’ making their way into the courthouse that day. His position was in the outer border, four feet in front of the police barricade with 45 other yogis (alternately facing in and out of the half circle) hand in hand, chanting “Om.”

As soon as the trial date was set, Y.O.L. petitioned for a permit to create a buffer zone in front of the protected barricades reserved for organizations seeking permits to picket. The police commissioner always welcomed the yogis, as their permit included promises to never respond, taunt, or otherwise incite anyone exercising their first amendment rights to protest behind police barricades.

While the trial was in session, there was a lull, giving the yogis time to eat and rest. Just before 3:30pm they re-grouped- this time Landon was positioned on the interior border, set in a half circle just outside the courthouse in the same alternating fashion as the outer border.

Their chant was the same Love-Light chant Garrett elicited from Landon in the kitchen that morning. Several of the church’s members were already arrested that morning for spitting in the faces of the yogis (which carries a charge of assault). None of the yogis even flinched; their line was never broken.

At 3:45pm the crowd of hateful onlookers stepped up their vile frenzy; though he was facing the crowd Landon knew what this meant. The court had just recessed for the day and the witness’ were making their way outside. Three feet behind him he could feel the witness’ start to pass by. Just then, he noticed an older couple with their signs, suddenly perk up.

“You were never any good! I gave birth to a devil faggot of a son! HOW DARE YOU LIE ABOUT HIM!” They were Rory’s parents. The woman’s face contorted and twisted into shapes sharper than the words that spittled out of her mouth.

Landon could feel someone behind him pause. Out of his periphery he could see it was Rory Anderson.

“You should have stayed at the camp until you died!” Rory’s Father barked.

Landon’s face heated up as he felt his own emotions bubble and boil just under the surface, pressure increasing.

Hot like an atomic bomb.

He dropped hands with his fellow yogis, clenching his fists. He didn’t stop chanting.

“I am light.”

Landon caught eyes with Rory’s parents, his eyes now ablaze with fury. With vengeance.

In a flash, Landon saw his own parents standing in front of him.

“I am love.”

He closed his eyes, his meditation training kicking in as he inhaled a deep diaphragmatic breath.

Somehow all of the years of bitterness and self-deprecation and ‘piss and vinegar’ that lived in his heart for his family…dissipated once and for all.

He opened his eyes and turned on his heels to block Rory’s parents. He smiled into his own resolve and approached Rory.

“I love me”.

Tears were already streaming down Rory’s face. Landon stepped forward and took Rory’s hands in his own.

“Sending you love.”

Rory curled into Landon’s arms, sobbing. Landon held him there, taking in the combined sounds of the alternate chants of “Om” and the Y.O.L.’s Love-Light chant before joining in, choosing to fill his abdominal cavity with the sound made at the dawn of time.

Several minutes passed. Rory collected himself, muttering ‘thank you so much’ while fumbling in his pocket for a hankie, before getting into a car to whisk him away from the crowd’s cacophony.

Glass bottles and soda cans started to be hurled at the car, and the yogis broke formation to let the police riot control through.

Landon, now separated from his people, gave up and started to take the back streets to the river path and then, home.

He turned and ran right into Garrett who was teary eyed and tried to play it off.

“I saw you out there. Good job soldier.”

Physically, spiritually and emotionally exhausted, Landon pitched forward and let Garrett pick him up, holding on like an oversized Koala Bear, for their six block walk home.

“Baby,” Landon whispered into his ear, “Are you… are you going to make really, sweet love to me when we get home?”

Garrett stopped for a moment, hoisting his lover further into his hold before increasing his stride.

“You’re God-damned right I am!”