Tag Archives: LGBTQ

Soul Mates

“Hey.”

“Hey.”  The other man smiled.  David’s own grew in response.

“How’s it going?” he asked.

The other man rolled his blue eyes, in a manner David found irresistible, the rainbow from the neon sign glinting in miniature. “Oh, you know. I just had to get out for a breather.”

David nodded at the club they were standing outside. Music pulsated through the walls that were all ready dripping with condensation.  “Yeah.  I know what you mean.”

“Yeah.”

“Yeah.”

A moment passed.  David ransacked his brain for something to say, to prolong the interaction.  The other man could disappear at any second, never to be seen again.  And he was too bloody gorgeous to let go just yet.

“Um…” David murmured.  Thanks, brain!  “Won’t your friends…”

The other man shook his head.  “They all copped off ages ago.  They won’t even notice I’ve gone.”

David nodded.  “I just popped in.  Force of habit really.  Every weekend.  It never gets any better, does it?  Same old judgmental faces.”

“Tell me about it,” the other man agreed.  “These places are all the same.”

“Yeah.”

“Yeah.”

Another moment.

David noticed the other man was shivering.

“Do you want to – would you like to…”

“What?”

“Go for a coffee?  Get something hot inside you.  The coffee, I mean!  Or tea!  Or whatever you want.  Oh, shut up, David, you’re babbling.”

“Is that your name?  David?”

“Yes.”

“Nice to meet you, David, and I’m –”

But David never heard the other man’s name.  A van careered around the corner, ploughing into them both, and crashing into the corner of the club. 

The building was never repaired and was demolished years ago. Every year, on the anniversary of the accident, two shades meet on the spot, all that remains of David and the other man, reliving their one and only conversation and grieving the loss of their potential love.

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Filed under Short story

Fish Out of Water

“Well, that’s it for another year,” Albert, his hands on his hips, surveyed the expanse of sand before them, although more litter was visible than actual beach at that moment.  “Another season over and those filthy townies have gone back where they belong.”

He stabbed at a discarded drinks carton with his litter-picker.

Beside him, his grandson Eric was thinking about telling him yet again that if it wasn’t for those filthy townies coming here to spend their money, the promenade would have been boarded up years ago.  Like it or not, Merville Bay depended on filthy townies to keep it afloat.

True, Eric pincered an empty crisp packet with his clawed stick, they could take their rubbish home with them.  Or use the receptacles provided.  But, on the whole, he was always sorry to see them go.  Merville Bay would be as good as dead for the next long, cold, wintery months, and Eric had no hope of coming across any handsome strangers for exciting, if short-lived, encounters in the dark under the pier.  Not for the first time, he considered moving to the city for the closed season at least, where there would be others like him, and improved odds of finding The One.  But there was Granddad.  He couldn’t cope with Grandma on his own.  Eric couldn’t abandon them just to go and get his jollies in a nightclub.  Or wherever one goes to get one’s jollies.  He wasn’t entirely sure.

Eric’s contemplations took him farther from his grandfather.  Lost in his thoughts, he almost tripped over a prone figure, face down in a rock pool.  With a gasp, Eric dropped his rubbish bag and stick and crouched at the person’s side. 

It was a young man, shirtless, his skin gleaming with a pearlescent sheen, faintly blue.

“Hello?” Eric called.  “Can you hear me?”

He reached a tentative hand.  The young man’s skin was cool to the touch.

Drowned! Eric groaned.  That’s why he’s a bit blue.

The young man stirred, coughing out strands of seaweed. He pushed himself up on his hands and turned to look at Eric, his eyes shining, the brightest aquamarine.

“Hello,” he smiled, his voice little more than a gurgle.

“H-heh-hello,” Eric blushed.  The stranger was the most handsome man he had ever seen.

“I knew you’d come,” the stranger grinned.  “If I waited long enough.”

“Me?” Eric glanced over his shoulder in case someone else had happened by.

“Yes!  Eric, isn’t it?  You’re feeling lost, aren’t you?  Like a fish out of water?”

“Well, um…”

“It’s all right,” the stranger placed a hand on Eric’s, sending a thrill running through his body.  “I’m here now.  I’m Orion.  Pleased to meet you.”

“Um, likewise.  Listen, do you need help?  I can phone for an ambulance.”

“Help?” Orion, even frowning, was gorgeous.

“What was it?  Beach party?  Few too many?  All your friends left you behind?”

“Nothing like that,” Orion waved dismissively.  “I am here on purpose.  And my purpose is you.  I’ve been watching you for some time.  You’re not like other men, are you?”

Eric bristled.  “What do you mean?”

“You’re—different.”

“No, I mean what do you mean watching me?”

“Relax!  All you have to do is take my hand and come with me.  You may have noticed I’m a little different too.”

Orion splashed in the pool and Eric noticed for the first time that instead of legs, Orion was equipped with an iridescent, muscular tail.

At lunchtime, Eric’s grandfather hobbled over to the rock pool with a thermos flask and a sandwich box.  Eric was nowhere to be seen.  There was no sign except his abandoned rubbish bag and pointed stick.  And a trail of footprints leading from the pool to the water’s edge, where they were lapped away by the encroaching tide.

Good for you, lad, the old man grinned, looking out to sea.  I always thought there was nothing around here for a boy like you.

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Killing Adam

Adam awoke to find the other side of the bed empty, with only a few wrinkles in the sheet to indicate that his date had ever been there.  He had met Verlaine at a club the night before.  Well, strictly speaking, their eyes had met in the queue to get in.  They had both had the same reaction to a raucous hen party who were bullying the bouncers into admitting them.

“Think I’ll go somewhere else,” Verlaine had said out loud, “if that lot’s going to be in there having ‘fun’.”

Adam had nodded.  A cock of Verlaine’s head was all the invitation he needed.

There followed a couple of drinks in a bistro and a feel-up in the Gents, then a taxi back to Adam’s and the shirt buttons were flying off in the hallway before Adam had time to close the front door.

It had been great, Adam reflected, and he had really liked Verlaine.  It wasn’t just about the sex, although Verlaine had a perfect physique: toned, tanned and tattooed; Adam had traced the design with a finger as they lay together in the aftermath of their lovemaking.  “What does it mean?” he had asked.  Verlaine had wrinkled his aquiline nose.  “Maybe I will tell you some time,” he had shrugged.

Some time… That indicated there would be another time, Adam was encouraged.  He ambled to the bathroom and twisted the shower tap.

As he washed the night away, rubbing shampoo into his scalp, Adam hummed to himself, but his good mood dropped when he realised he had neglected to get Verlaine’s number.  That was that, then.

With a towel cinched around his waist, Adam padded to the kitchen.  There was a fresh pot of coffee on the go, and a note was attached!  “Here’s my number, V x”.  Adam laughed, with relief more than anything.  It was all he could do to refrain from sending a text message right away.  He didn’t want to appear too keen.

He was pouring coffee when the front door was kicked in.  A young woman in a bridal veil and a necklace of L plates stood snarling in the hallway.  She was armed with a pistol fitted with a silencer.

She shot the mug from Adam’s hand.

“Where is he?” she screeched.  “Where is Verlaine?”

Adam frowned, baffled and breathless.  The woman pointed the gun at his face.

“I said…” she began, but then her eyes crossed and rolled upwards.  She toppled forward, landing face down on the kitchen tiles.  Standing over her was Verlaine, armed only with a frying pan.  He stooped to retrieve the gun.

“Sorry about this,” he smiled.  “Unfinished business from the club last night.”

“Who – who is she?” Adam braced himself against the kitchen counter, eyeing the fallen bride-to-be with confusion.   “Are you – are you straight?”

Verlaine chuckled.  “Oh, no!  Nothing like that!  My interest in this bitch is purely professional.  We were both after the same target, but now I’ve eliminated the competition, I can finish the job.”

He pointed the pistol at Adam.  “I’m guessing she didn’t recognise the target when she saw it.”

“I don’t understand,” Adam slowly raised his hands.  “Why didn’t you – finish the job last night?”

Verlaine looked Adam up and down one last time, admiring the torso and the bulge behind the towel.  It was tempting, he had to admit to himself.  Settling down, and Adam was the greatest guy he had met in a long time.  But for them there would be no peace.  There would always be someone coming, and Verlaine couldn’t afford to become a target himself.

“All work and no play…” he shrugged and pulled the trigger.

gun

 

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Adam and Steve

They had arranged to meet outside the post office but as Steven approached, he began to have second thoughts.  On the post office steps stood a large man with a ruddy complexion, his hair an unruly mass of ginger curls.  There was no one else around.  This man had to be Adam.

Not my type, Steven diagnosed in an instant.  I could just keep walking, stay on this side of the road until I’m out of sight and then double back through the precinct to the bus station, and no harm done.  I don’t like to stand anyone up.  I know what it’s like, I’ve been stood up a few times myself.  Which is one of the reasons I went on that dating app.

But the nerve of some people!  Why can’t they be honest on these things?  Why don’t they post real photos showing how they really are?

Probably because if they look like this chap, they’d never get any hits…

I’m being horrible, Steven realised.  It won’t hurt to go up, say hello, have a drink with the guy.  Bit of chat.  Adam’s profile said he was into sci-fi.  They could talk about that for a bit.  What did he think of the new Mr Spock?  That kind of thing.  Keep it safe, keep it impersonal, and then after one drink, I can get out of there.  After all, that was all I agreed to: meet up for a drink.  One drink.  Singular.

It’s more than he deserves.  Posting a fake picture!  If I was in the mood, I’d call him out on it.  It was dishonest.  It was probably fraud or false advertising or something.

But how shallow am I?  Going on looks alone!  I thought I was better than that.

Conflicted, arguing with himself, Steven crossed the road before he knew what he was doing.

“Excuse me?” the red-faced man offered a tentative smile.  “Are you Steven?”

“Um…”

“I’m Adam,” he held out a pudgy hand.  Steven ignored it.  “Sorry about the get-up; I’ve come straight from work.”

Steven took in the plaid shirt, the ill-fitting baggy jeans, the hi-tops.  What was his job?  Out-of-shape lumberjack?

“Drink?” he suggested.  “There’s a pub around the corner.”

“Oh, I don’t,” Adam winced apologetically.  “But you can.  I’ll just have lemonade or something.”

Great!  Steven thrust his hands into his pockets and led Adam around the corner.  Adam lumbered after him.

“I was just about to give up,” he said to Steven’s back.  “I thought you weren’t coming.  They don’t, all the time.  Sometimes they see me and they keep on walking.  I don’t know why.”

Steven closed his eyes and sighed inwardly.  Why do I always get the lame ducks?  Feeling terrible, he decided he’d try to be nice to the poor sod.  At least, there’d be a pint involved.

They found a table in a corner.  Steven didn’t want to be seen with the red-faced oaf.  He took a sip from his lager top.  Adam’s lemon-and-lime stood untouched on the table between them.

“So…” Adam thought it best if he led the conversation to keep it on neutral ground.  “What do you think of the new Mr Spock then?”

Adam shrugged, dismissing the topic.

“OK…” Steven changed tack.  “Last Jedi – for or against?”

“I know what you’re trying to do,” Adam’s eyes were suddenly cold and glaring.

Steven held up his hands, a plea of innocence.  “What – what am I trying to do?”

“You’re trying to let me down gently.  You’re trying to fill the time with chit-chat, trivial things, and then you’ll make your excuses and get out of here and I’ll never hear from you again.”

“What?” Steven faked indignation.  “No!”

“What, then?  What are you doing here, ‘Steven’?  If that’s your real name?”

“Ha!” Steven cried.  “That’s rich!  You’re the one with the fake profile picture!  You’re a – you’re a dogfish!”

Adam threw back his head and laughed.  “It’s catfish, you dickhead.  But that’s my real picture, all right.  That’s really me.”

“Yeah, right, about twenty years and ten stones ago.”

“No, just last week, actually.”

Adam reached to his rosy cheeks tore at them with his fingers.  Steven recoiled in horror but there was no blood, no gore, just chunks of latex dropping to the table as Adam’s true face was uncovered.

Steven gaped.  “You’re Adam Frost!  You’re the film star, Adam Frost!”

Adam smiled his million-dollar smile.  He got to his feet, shedding the fat suit and revealing his toned body beneath.

“And you’re a shallow loser who judges only by appearances.  I will give you credit though for bringing me in for a drink.  Most don’t go that far.”

“But – but why?  Why dress up when you could have any guy on the planet?”

“Because they only want me for my image.  For the stories they can tell afterwards.  I want someone to get to know me first, get to know the me behind my image.  I’m in town filming and my character goes undercover so I thought I would too.”

“And I failed the test!” Steven shook his head.  “I’m sorry.”

“That’s OK.  Don’t beat yourself up.  Now, go on, get another round in and let’s start again, shall we?  I think you might deserve a second chance.”

A little stunned, Steven went to the bar.

“Hey, Steve!” his date called after him.  “New Mr Spock would get it!”

lager

 

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