Short Story: Office Love

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Office Love

 

 

Milk Magazine was my baby.

Which was a good thing because I wasn’t good at much less outside of writing and publishing. I was proud of it. I was also power-crazed about it.

It was the most popular LGBTQ+ magazine in Nottingham. Or in my head it was anyways. From 9am to 5pm, myself and my dedicated team came together Monday to Saturday to come up with a monthly issue detailing the latest LGBTQ+ issues in Nottingham and well, the world. The latest Monday had just got underway and I was wiping sleep from my eyes as I sat at my desk trying to come up with an article about a homophobic Priest’s comments on same-sex marriages. Mike, my fashion editor and best friend bounced into the office (I say office, it’s really like a warehouse where we are all in one room. #Working-class problems). He is as per usual full of energy and I as ever am at a loss as to how he can be like this at this stage in the day.

“Alexander Wang’s menswear is just perfect!”, he exclaims.

“I’m really feeling it.”

“What? The actual fabric? Now that would be big for Milk!”, I laughed.

“Ah haha, most funny Mr. Intellectual! So do you actually know what you’re wearing today?”

“Clothes I hope … probably Adidas or something.”

He rolls his eyes.

“You could put a bit of effort in, you know honey. You ain’t half bad looking, bar the dark circles under the eyes, the terrible sense of fashion and the know-it-all attitude …”

“Jeez, you make me sound like a real catch.”, I smiled.

“But seriously honey, a bit of effort and you would have the men running after you.”

I don’t bother at this stage informing him (Once again!) that I’m pansexual. Because he’s gay he seems to believe everyone else is, like my mother who only says the girls because she’s straight and thinks everyone is straight. Lost? Yeah, so am I.

“What about him for example? Shy new lad in the blue polo neck? He looks like an intellectual sort. He wears polo necks after all.”

I looked over to see Max.

“He’s not a lad. He’s agender.”

“Then why are you saying he Stephen?”, Mike asks, like he’s finally caught me out and that I really secretly thought like him.

“Because he uses he pronouns.”

“How do you know all this?”

“Because I take an interest in the people that work for me.”

“I’m so confused by all this stuff to be honest honey. What’s wrong with good old-fashioned man and woman and gay and straight?”

“Mike, we are an LGBTQ+ magazine, not just a gay, lesbian and trans in a binary sense magazine. Just a gentle reminder mate … but you have one thing right, I do find him hot.”

“But how can you if you’re into guys and you’re claiming he ain’t a guy?”

“I’m pansexual. You know that.”

“Now I’m really confused honey! So what you working on anyways?”

“Father Brennan’s homophobic comments …”

“Oh, that arsehole.”

“I know, tell me about it. I can’t even say he’s homophobic in the article. Can be sued for having an opinion you know and I ain’t got that kind of money. Am reduced to he made homophobic comments.”

Mike rolls his eyes in unison with my own eye-rolling.

 

**********

 

 

It was late in the day on Wednesday. The issue for this month was starting to take shape. I was over with Max who was currently interning on the magazine and therefore was left with the stories no one else was bothered to do.

“What do you have for me Max?”, I ask, staring over his shoulder as he typed.

“Two male dogs got married. They had a ceremony and all …”

“The features will get more interesting as you go along.”, I assured him.

“Oh no, I don’t mind. I like dogs. They looked adorable in their tuxes. They actually had Best Men and all because the two of them live in the same houses as many other dogs.”

His enthusiasm reminds me of my own when I started the magazine just over eight years ago. With the workload, I’ve lost that a bit. But I miss it sometimes.

The second current intern comes in. Her name’s Tanya and I gave her a shot at the magazine because her girlfriend’s mother is a friend of my Mum’s. But she’s been doing a great job all the same.

“I think the magazine’s name is quite cool. Speaks a lot to Queer history.”, she says, swigging at her coffee.

“I’m glad you noticed that …”, I began.

“Yeah, to name the mag after a Rupaul queen was a genius idea.”

Well as often happens in Drag Race, the face crack of the century, that’s what I almost have.

“I’m glad you think so.”, I reply, not having the heart to tell her that the magazine was actually named in tribute to Harvey Milk.

I spot Max hold in a giggle out of the corner of my eye. As she goes over to check in with social media for the magazine at a computer, I grin to Max.

“You didn’t have the heart to tell her either?”

“It gave me a good laugh when she first told me I must admit.”, he smiled.

 

 

**********

 

 

By Friday afternoon, I am going over the recipes by our food editors and married couple Tina and Jenna who are doing a piece on exciting dishes with pancakes. Jenna, office mother one, changes the topic.

“You like Max, don’t you?”

For many months since my latest break-up, she has been encouraging me to put myself out there in the dating world again.

“And he likes you too.”, Tina, office mother two, adds.

Tina doesn’t quite push the whole ‘get back in the game’ line that Jenna does but she seems quite excited about me getting back in the game with Max nonetheless. Her comment makes my heart race a few beats faster.

“He said that?”

“Well not in so many words … but like it’s obvious! Haven’t you seen the way he looks at you?”

“Ah no, I think he looks at me like he does at everyone else …”

“Oh no baby, no.”, Jenna said.

“His eyes look at you like they want you.”

“How exactly?”

“Oh you know dreamlike. Long gazes.”

I wasn’t completely sold on the whole long gazes thing but before work ended, I though sure what the heck? I mean what was the worse that could happen, eh? Apart from awkward long days at work …

So I went over to him as he was clearing away his stuff into his rainbow bag.

“Say, um, you doing anything, well tonight?”

He looks up at me.

“Why? Is there something that needs finishing?”

“Um no … I was just wondering, well if you’d be free to go for maybe, a drink with me?”

There is a flicker of something in his eye. What it is, I’m not sure. Joy? Confusion? Horror?

“Like as in a date?”

“I guess so.”

“Well I’m free and I guess I’d be down for that.”

 

 

**********

 

 

“I didn’t ever think you’d ask me out.”, Max said as we sat by the window of a quiet bar.

“Why? Because I’m your boss?”

“Well there is that but like, I always thought you were gay.”

“Mike?”, I laughed.

“Well yeah …”

“Mike thinks I’m gay. Though I have told him many times I’m pan.”

“I’m glad you’re not … gay, I mean … not that there’s anything wrong with being gay …”

“I know what you mean. What’s your sexuality if you don’t mind me asking …”

“Of course not, we are on a date after all.”, he smiles.

“I don’t really have one. I mean I suppose I say pan if anyone really pushes me to say something because if you go by the idea that sexuality is an actual thing I suppose I would be but I don’t really think sexuality, gender, race, nationality or anything like that is real. But when you get into that with people they start guilt tripping you with ‘you are trying to take away my labels from me’ bullshit so I try to stay out of that lately. You can say I’m pan if it makes things easier …”

“I think it’s better to just say you’re you if that’s what you prefer.”

He seems to melt a bit before taking my hand in his and changing the subject.

“Do you know there used to be a theatre near here? It was burned down by some yobs coming on a few years back now …”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Short Story Countryside Reveal Appears In This Week’s Woman’s Way!

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My short story Countryside Reveal is in this week’s Woman’s Way. It is one of four stories to appear in the fiction special this week.

 

The story appears alongside Diana Coxhead’s Allie-Millie, Eva Burke’s Iris and Geraldine Boylan’s Pay It Forward. Each of our short stories is accompanied by wonderful photographs by four photographers. My story is accompanied by a beautifully romantic image of a couple by Scott Webb.  A big thank you to Scott. They perfectly captured what Ray and Ciara looked like in my head which was really cool. Allie-Millie’s photo is by Alaric Duan, Iris’ photo is by Eric Ward and Pay It Forward’s photo is by Abdiel Ibarra. Thank you as always to Aine Toner and the team at Woman’s Way for including my story. It was wonderful to be featured alongside such wonderful writers and photographers.

I really loved writing this story. I loved Ciara and Ray and the romance and beauty of their love. It’s my eighth story under my own name and my tenth in all so I’m very proud of that milestone. 🙂

 

If you want to check out my story and the entire fiction collection Woman’s Way is on sale here in Ireland up to Monday. Thank you in advance if you do check it out. 🙂

Short Story: Valentine’s Night

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! Here is my short story in homage of the day that’s in it called Valentine’s Night. Hope you all enjoy it. 🙂

 

 

Charles

Charles had always prided himself on been sophisticated and immaculate. It was the reason he couldn’t stand his two younger brothers Paul and Alan calling him “Charlie”. Charlie?! At 38?! Were they been serious?!, he’d think. Mind you when they realised it irritated him they had banteringly did it worse. Priding himself on conventionality, it was no surprise to find him having a romantic meal on Valentine’s night with his girlfriend Saskia. The two worked alongside each other as financial analysts. He had known that she was the one from the moment they first started talking but he’d never admit to such sentimentality. They began to eat their starter. Agreeing not to talk shop tonight, talk turned to classical music and an indepth discussion about how terrible the state of popular music was nowadays.

By their main courses, Saskia had began playing with the tiny love heart decorations on the table. She was clearly trying to set a mood but it was rather lost on Charles. She smiled. She loved everything about him from his unromantic tendencies to his sarcastic, dry wit to his passion for his work and his perfectly immaculate hair and suits. And that was why after desert, she got down on one knee and said,

“I have loved you since I met you. Or close to it. You have made my life complete in every way. You are my companion too and I want to continue that journey with you for the rest of our lives. Will you marry me Charles?”

He looked around the restaurant subconsciously and pulled her to her feet.

“Well yes but really, it should have been me who popped the question. What will people think of me as the man not stepping up to the plate?!”

“We can pretend you were the one who proposed!”, Saskia laughed while thinking, babe it really doesn’t matter nowadays!

 

Paul

Paul threw his docket across the floor of the bookies.

“That’s the last time I do that fucker Rob!”

Rob, full name Roberto, was Paul’s husband of a year but they’d been together since they were 20. They were now 35. The novelty of romance was most definitely not what it used to be which was why they were in a bookies on Valentine’s night. Just doing what they regularly done. What remained was a deep love and friendship.

“He held him at the back for too long.”, Rob added, of Paul’s bet on a horse at Kempton.

Couple of losing bets later, they smiled to each other in despair. The camaraderie of losing.

Paul and Rob had met when Paul had went for a drink with his three fellow plasterers one Friday after work at the bar where Rob worked as a barman. Instantly noticing his attraction to Rob, his fellow workers/mates had continued to bring him back to the bar after work on a Friday. Gradually he had begun to talk to Rob. They realised they had much in common. Both were into sport, a little bit of gambling and finding a nice quiet pub for a drink. Eventually Paul had plucked up the courage to ask Rob out,

“The three other lads who work with me are straight so I’ll have to do if you’re interested …”, Paul had said, grinning.

“Well that’s a pity! You’ll do, I guess.”, Rob had replied, grinning with his glitteringly happy eyes betraying his words.

“£2 each on 18 …”, Paul said, back in the present.

“Why?”

“Because I asked you out on the 18th of March!”

“Did you? It’s a long time ago babe. But ok.”

Paul went up and put the £4 bet on number 18 on the television roulette wheel. Soon they were fist pumping. £140 between them when the lovely 18 came up.

“Oh, let’s get home.”, Paul smiled.

“While we’re winning.”, Rob agreed.

 

Alan

Alan had been a surprise baby to his Mum and Dad. Coming along 17 years after Paul had been a surprise but a nice one for his parents. This June, he and his other half of six months Kian would be finishing secondary school. But tonight was Valentine’s night and all thoughts of exams and school were out of their minds. Not that it took much for that to happen. Currently he and Kian were in an abandoned warehouse building having a picnic and some tins of alcohol.

“You have so many labels I’ve lost count but I love you anyway.”, he said over to Kian as he sipped his alcohol.

“So do you! So do we all!”, Kian protested resting his head in Alan’s lap.

“Non-binary, asexual, my head’s spinning though. I’ve never used Google as much in my life!”, Alan laughed.

“Well you’re allosexual and cisgender so you have enough labels too.”

“Should we even have any labels?”

“Probably not. But it’s just the way it is … you know, with all this alcohol if I wasn’t asexual, this would be the point we’d be shagging at.”

“Not sure I like this whole asexual thing.”, Alan joked.

“Thought you might say that!”, Kian laughed.

As Alan stroked his fingers through Kian’s hair, he remembered how they had met in their first year of secondary school. He remembered how he had been struggling with who he was in so many ways and he had both envied and admired how Kian was so confident and open about who he was. And over the years Kian had helped him to figure out who he was and where he wanted to go in the world. He even encouraged his writing, something no one had done before. Turns out he did art and understood the creative spirit.

“Someday I’m going to marry you Kian.”

“Then you’ll have the label of husband. More labels!”, Kian giggled.

“Yeah, that’s true!”

“It’d be nice someday.”

“It’d be really nice.”, Alan replied,  bringing Kian up to him as he lay back and they kissed softly.

 

My Short Story Family Christmas Appears In Woman’s Way!

 

My short story Family Christmas appears in the latest issue of Woman’s Way here in Ireland. It is my 9th story to appear in the magazine but is my first seasonal story to appear. The illustrations as always that the magazine put with the story are wonderful and help bring the story to life on the page. It is one of two short stories to appear in the magazine this week. Winnie’s Burke’s wonderful short story Stranger Than Fiction is also in the issue and is a brilliant read.

I loved Lucy and Francis and their wonderful family with Holly and Cody. If you get a chance to read the story I hope you enjoy it. 🙂

Short Story: Discussions Over Coffee

 

 

My husband Josh and I ran an organisation that fought for the rights of LGBTQ+ people. We always managed to work well together but our ideas were often very different. Over coffee at our house these things usually come up. The thing where we mostly differ is how we feel about bigots or people who are brainwashed and therefore behave in a prejudiced way.

“Evan, you can’t just go straight in on them with anger. I grew up in a conservative area where people have these feelings about things like this. They wouldn’t respond to that. You need to speak to them from your heart.”, he said, sipping his coffee.

“But Josh, I am.”

“With anger?”

“Of course. I’m not a robot or a computer. If someone insults me I would have thought it would be natural to react with anger.”

“But aren’t you then just reacting to them in the same way as they are to you?”

“How would I be?”

“Well, with hostility.”

“Standing up for yourself or other people is suddenly hostility? No babe, the only time I’d say it was the same thing is if I said their sexuality was wrong.”

“You have said that.”

“In response to them, yeah of course.”

“Two wrongs don’t make a right …”

“In this case two wrongs make things equal. I can’t sit by smiling with false understanding when they have insulted me.”

Honestly, is that what he’d expect me to do?

“But you need to try to understand them. There’s reasons behind it. Maybe try to understand, try to see where they are coming from.”

“Baby them in other words?”

“No. No, that’s not what I mean. But there is reasons why someone thinks like that.”

“There’s two reasons why and I don’t even need to go all psychologist to know them. They are either prejudiced or brainwashed.”

“That’s too black and white Evan.”

Some things are Josh.

“And you’re perfect, are you Evan?”

“No but I’m not prejudiced. I have my brainwashed moments. I look at someone on the street and think I know their gender. Which is stupid and wrong because I know I can’t. I wish I could wash all that out of my head. But I’m an adult. I know I’m wrong. I know I have a problem in that way. I need to unbrainwash myself. I don’t look for excuses. When I’m wrong I admit I’m wrong and I apologise.”

“But it’s difficult for a lot of people Ev. You’ve got to keep the channels of communication open, see their perspective and where they are coming from. You know and be respectful of them.”

In other words treat them like children. They are adults with brains. I treat them as such. From very early on we all learn that with responsibility comes consequences. As an adult, if you do or say something wrong there is consequences. People won’t think it’s ok and they are perfectly right not to. If anything I have more respect for prejudiced people or people who are brainwashed to behave in a prejudice way because I treat them as adults with brains. Soft-soaping them and giving them passes is like giving a child a pass when they throw their toys out of the pram in the middle of a shopping centre. But the child wouldn’t know any better. The adult does and by not been soft with them I am treating them as an adult with an adult’s brain.

“My parents were very conservative Ev. But they came around to me being gay in the end.”

With family it’s messy to say too much. Really, I’d love to say “Josh, did you come around to your parents being straight in the end? Didn’t you always think it was ok that they were? With everyone of every sexuality being equal why are you making out it’s perfectly alright for them to have to come around to you being gay when you have always being alright with them being straight?”

“When you came out as pansexual to your father, you reacted all wrong.”

“I never had a problem with my Dad being straight.”

“Yeah but your Dad didn’t know any better.”

My Dad’s not 2 Josh.

“Look I love my Dad. We are very close. But I’m equal to him in every way. If I accepted him preferring me to be straight as a normal way of thinking about it I might as well be saying I don’t think I am equal. I had three choices. I could either be honest with him that I didn’t like his reaction, pretend that I was alright with his reaction or a bit of both. I went with the latter but the point was I still knew his reaction was wrong. I’ve never excused it because there is nothing wrong with me being pansexual in the same way there is nothing wrong with him being straight.”

“Maybe he’s worried about you though Ev …”

“In that case he should have been worried when he thought I was straight too.”

“But that doesn’t make sense.”

“Of course it makes sense. If you’re saying that he’d be worried about me not being straight because I would face prejudice then he’d be worried that being straight would mean there would be a bigger chance I would be prejudiced, be involved with prejudiced people or be thought to be prejudiced.”

“But it’s hard on your Dad. You should be gentler with him.”

Here we go with the soft-soaping again. It’s not a bed of roses for me either and I haven’t even done anything wrong bar be myself.

I adore Josh. At heart we have the same feelings about things. We value equality, love and kindness. But he’s like a friend to the prejudiced, I’m just polite to them. That’s where we differ. I get where he’s coming from. Building bridges with the brainwashed might yield results, with the actual prejudiced it never would. But pandering doesn’t bring equality. Pandering puts across a misleading message you are unequal. No one is less than me but no one is better than me. I don’t need anyone’s approval. If I have a problem with something someone says I am entitled to respond how I like.

“Look it’s great that you’re being the bigger person Josh …”

“It’s not about that. It’s the humane way to respond.”

Of course he’s being the bigger person. If you respect someone’s sexuality completely and they don’t respect your sexuality completely and you are ok with that then of course you are being the bigger person in the situation. But humane? I act humane but I have to stand up for myself. There’s being nice and there’s being too nice.

“They aren’t bad people Evan.”

The brainwashed aren’t. The prejudiced are.

“Josh, I’m not rude to people but I defend myself. Just like if I said them being straight was unnatural or wrong. I am pretty sure most of them wouldn’t sit back and try to understand where I was coming from and I wouldn’t expect them to. So why would I expect myself to?”

“If someone has a problem with these issues they are entitled to say it. It’s freedom of speech.”

“I never said they weren’t. I just don’t treat them like a 5-year-old who shouldn’t be said anything back to. Josh, you are forgetting one thing here.”

“Really? What’s that?”

“I have my freedom of speech too.”

“I never said you didn’t.”

“You kind of did. When you say they are entitled to their freedom of speech you are saying by me responding to them that I’m trying to take that away so you are saying that I shouldn’t respond.”

He takes a sip of his coffee.

“But you are verbally very aggressive.”

“In what way?”

“You say people who are like that are bigots …”

“Well they are Josh.”

“But people don’t like to hear that about themselves Evan.”

“Well I don’t particularly like hearing that I live ‘an unnatural life’ or there’s ‘something wrong’ with me either …”

“But people do think it and they are entitled to say it.”

“Of course. And I think they are bigots and I’m entitled to say it.”

“But you are name-calling. You say they are fuckers and everything. The tactics you employ are the same as theirs.”

“No they aren’t. I would much rather if someone called me a fucker than said I lived ‘an unnatural life’ provided they called everyone they didn’t like of any sexuality a fucker.”

“But this kind of attitude alienates people.”

“I don’t alienate people. I just don’t like them. I wouldn’t be pals with them. That would be a very unequal friendship for me. And in general I’m not that fond of negative people. They alienate themselves …”

“But Evan, that’s not a nice thing to say …”

“Well if I had a prejudice against straight people I’d be alienating myself. The thing is I would know that was my fault and not theirs.”

“But you think you’re right. There’s many ways of seeing things.”

“Oh on these things I know I’m right Josh. But you know what really gets to me about these things in terms of what’s right and what’s wrong: everyone goes on about there being different ways of looking at it when it’s non-heterosexual people. When do they ever say let’s look at whether it’s right or wrong to be heterosexual? When do we ever look at different perspectives on that?”

“We don’t. But that’s just how the world is.”

And much as I love you to bits Josh, if we went on your theory of pandering to build bridges it would always be what the world was like.

“It doesn’t have to be.”

He smiles and sips some coffee.

“What are you grinning to yourself about?”

“Jeez, you are passionate.”

“Of course. So are you. In your own way.”

“I like to think so.”

“Coffee refill?”

“Yeah, thanks. But during this coffee I think we should probably talk about Game of Thrones.”

I smile.

“Ok, deal.”

#FlashFiction Prompt for Hurricane Relief #Flash4Storms #LemonSharkCharity @SarahBrentyn: Write & Help Those Affected By Hurricanes Harvey, Irma & Maria

Sarah Brentyn blogs at  Lemon Shark and she has set a Flash Fiction Prompt to help everyone affected by the hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. Sarah is set to donate $1 to hurricane relief for every flash fiction story posted with a link to her blog. Writers, come on, let’s come together here and do something good. It won’t take much out of any of your times to help so come on, let’s get together and do it everyone! 🙂

Rules:

1. Write a piece of flash fiction in 50 words or less with the theme: Help

(This can be any sort of assistance, support, encouragement, or a story of someone or something that needs help. You do not need to use the prompt word. Be creative! It can be 50 words, 15 words…even a six-word story. Anything goes provided it is prose up to 50 words. It doesn’t have to be sunshine and rainbows but keep it PG and friendly.)

2. Add a new post on your blog with your flash fiction and the hashtag #Flash4Storms in the title

3. Link to Sarah’s original post

4. Leave a comment here with a link to your post so I know you’ve participated

5. Help spread the word on social media with the hashtags:

 

#Flash4Storms

 

#LemonSharkCharity

 

 

Ok, here’s my flash fiction story:

 

 

Till Death Do Us Part

I’d proposed here. Now he was going to die here from cancer. At the seafront. In my arms.

“I love you Paul.”, I said, kissing him.

“I love you too Keith. You helped me through everything. Now you need to help yourself.”

He died. I cried helplessly into his chest.

 

Fellow writers, please help by writing your own piece if you have time. Thank you.

A Short Story A Day For A Month: Short Story: A Stolen Heart

 

 

Today she’d tell him. She would pour out all her feelings. She was on the way to his house now to tell him that she had loved him for years, that she hadn’t seen him as a best friend alone all this time. Her mobile phone beeped. She opened the new message.

Be brave beautiful. See you on the other side Saanvi. Gary and Buster send you luck too. x

She smiled. The message was from her other best friend Mike, his boyfriend Gary and their dog Buster. She decided to thank them all later. Right now, her body was full of nerves as she approached his flat. The flat belonging to Sam, the man who stole her heart at 16 and had held it tightly ever since unaware to himself. Yes, she’d dated but the poor lads lacked one thing: they weren’t Sam. Images of what their wedding day would be like flooded her brain. Happiness danced with nerves.

She knocked at the door. Footsteps sounded. The door opened.

There stood Sam’s ex-girlfriend Gina in a night coat.

He’s back with her.

Sam came out in his night coat. He wrapped his arms around Gina, said they had got engaged last night. Gina smiled, said she’d definitely want her as a bridesmaid as she was such “a great friend of Sam’s.”

The friend zone. That was always where I was. That’s always where I’ll ever be. The bloody friend zone! 

She did all the necessary friend duties, congratulated them, said she’d love to a bridesmaid. And left. She went around the corner and burst into tears.

A Short Story A Day For A Month: Short Story: The Daisy

 

It was 1953. George sat in school. A daisy knotted between his fingers.

 

He looked over at the boy who had stolen his heart. His name was Michael. He was so intelligent and articulate. It was like he had a photographic memory. It was pretty impressive for a 13-year-old boy and as a fellow 13-year-old boy George didn’t know half the things he knew. He could recite brief biographies of Kings and Queens and American Presidents. He knew about English Literature and some Greek philosophy.

He’s so bright. So gorgeous. But I’m not supposed to be feeling this way. It’s what my dad and uncle call “abnormal”, “unnatural”. But it feels so normal, so natural, so amazing. If I tell Michael he’ll hate me. Probably punch me. I’ll probably be killed. But oh how I love him. I’m a bad person, a bad Catholic. Can you go to hell for feelings? I try to do what’s right. But I see me and Michael and our future … it doesn’t seem that bad. It must be what mum said, the devil has got into my head. That’s what she said about that young local man who committed suicide years ago after it was discovered he had been with a man. Gareth Mason, 18, “evil got into him”, George’s mum had said. The other man went into hiding after. Why does this feel so right if it’s supposed to be so wrong?

George crumbled the daisy in his fingers. Killed the daisy just like he would go through life trying to kill his feelings. It was too dangerous to give that daisy to Michael as a sign of his love and affection. It was too dangerous to be happy.

A Short Story A Day For A Month: Short Story: Kara & Amber

 

 

 

Kara

 

Kara sat in the canteen of her new job in insurance. She had her safety net of a book with her. Today’s was The Partner by John Grisham. She remembered how reading had helped her when she was a young introvert in school and she would read during the breaks. Contrary to what some might say she actually found it fun and didn’t understand why people would feel sorry for her when she would tell them that story. Still as she got older she had felt like she’d like to make friendships, meet the one. But while these things were higher now on her priority list her personality was still the same. She’d never want to change that. There was an equal share of pros and cons to every personality, she knew. And besides the right people take you for who you are. But communications could be difficult. And it all became more difficult every time she saw Amber who was the most sweetest, most beautiful woman. She had been always lovely and very welcoming to Kara since she had started here two weeks or so ago. Kara thought with sadness that at the very least they could be friends if she could talk more in her presence. Maybe more but …

She’s too beautiful and too interesting for me. And that has nothing to do with been introverted.

 

Amber

 

Amber walked into the canteen area. She started to make her coffee and took a glance over at Kara or “the most beautiful mystery there was” as she had told her friends. Amber got introvertness as she was an introvert too. She remembered been in school waiting for the library to open so she could get away from the hustle and bustle of the big crowds. There she would get lost in books and forget where she was. As she had got older she had learned to act out a slightly more outgoing manner in various jobs through acting classes. Kara didn’t act at all. And that was kind of attractive. She noticed she was onto a new book aptly titled The Partner, Amber thought as that was what she’d like to be to her. It had been Ruth Rendell’s Dark Corners last week. She imagined them having battle of the fastest reader competitions.

She finished making her coffee and made her way over to Kara.

“Is this seat free?”

“Yeah.”, Kara smiled.

 

 

The gesture of asking was this seat free? wasn’t to be a one-time thing. Amber did it regularly as time went on and slowly and very gradually ease formed in Kara and they became comfortable in each other’s company. They fell in love, married, became parents to two sons and two daughters, owned five dogs and a lovely, comfortable house. They travelled, read, lived all because Amber didn’t give up and Kara responded to that kindness and opened up.

 

 

 

A Short Story A Day For A Month: Short Story: Colosseum

 

Me and my boyfriend Ian were in the middle of the Colosseum. I was seeing images of been in Chariots of Fire while he was rattling off historical facts about the gaff.

“Eamon, it started to be constructed under Vespasian in 72 AD and was built by 12,000 Jewish captives but completion of the building was finished under his heir Titus in 80 AD and now it’s the biggest amphitheatre in the world.”

I’m far too thick to know what he’s going on about. I spent most of history classes in school (and most other classes to be fair) admiring how hot he was. Still when in Rome, you kind of have to see the place.

“50,000 – 80,000 could be held here in it’s day to watch the events and it had 110 drinking fountains and 2 restaurants.”, he continues.

He so should have been a history presenter for well some history TV company thing.

“They needed a lot of toilets so.”

“I’d imagine so.”, he smiled.

“You see them poles up there?”

“Yeah. What of them?”

“They were used for the retractable roof on warmer days and were raised up by sailors from the Roman navy.”

“Ah, right.”

The obvious history of this place is horrifying. Many animals and people died. It’s a bit like walking through an historical graveyard. Some men bring their boyfriends to a romantic restaurant, mine brings me to an historical graveyard. Still wouldn’t have him any other way. If anything it’s always interesting with Ian.

“They’ve been restoring it …”, he’s saying.

I’ve zoned out. I probably wouldn’t notice the difference between it restored and not restored. That isn’t the fault of the restorers. I’m sure they all did a grand job but I probably wouldn’t notice. I just see stone to be fair. I’m more interested in how much was spent on restoring it that could have went into more important things and I’m too scared to ask how much was. Billions possibly.

He interrupts my thinking by kissing me passionately.

“Obligatory Colosseum kiss.”, he smiles.

Well I certainly enjoyed that bit of today darling.

Now can we hit the shops babe?