The Hobby Section (Miserable Tales)

The autumn cleaning continues! It’s quite interesting finding things I’d forgotten I’d written. As soon as I started reading The Hobby Section I remembered writing it one evening to my friend – the dashing Mr Fisher. I don’t really recall how it all came about but as so many other things I’ve written, it was a joke. I figured I might as well throw it in with the other stories in the Miserable Tales series so anyone who wants to can share in dear Walter’s dilemmas.


The Hobby Section

Walter inhaled the scent of old books and stale air. The days Subject five worked downstairs were his favourites. Libraries simply weren’t what they used to be—kids screaming, students lazing about, not to mention the computers littering the place. Libraries were made for books, but people had clearly forgotten that. The level below ground was all right, though. The archives to his right, a reading room to his left, and straight ahead was Subject five stacking and rearranging books on a bookshelf.

Subject five bent and reached for something on the bottom shelf showing off his pert arse. Walter groaned as his cock started to fatten. It was time to bring Subject five home.

He took a few steps farther into the hobby section, reaching down to rub himself through his tailored trousers with a trembling hand. Soon he would have Subject five struggling and whimpering underneath him.

Walter squeezed his eyes shut, forcing himself to remove his hand before he gave in to the urge of releasing himself from the shrinking cotton prison.

Subject five was making it harder than it should be. He was, of course, aware of Walter watching, the little tease. Why else would he fall to his knees and wiggle that fine arse in the air? His muttering and reaching for something behind the books on the bottom shelf was all for show. Walter knew Subject five was toying with him and yet he found himself panting like a mindless teenager.

There would be payback once they got home.

Subject five didn’t know it yet, but Walter had prepared a room for him. It was right next to Subject two’s. He had decorated Subject two’s room in bright colours, shelf after shelf of children’s books. It was perfect for him since he’d worked in the children’s section before Walter had the chance to fetch him. Subject five deserved something altogether different. The shelves in his room were filled with crafting books—the hobby section, that was where he’d first laid eyes on Subject five, that was where he belonged.

“Erm, excuse me.”

Walter whirled around and saw a young woman completely dressed in black with blood red hair and dramatic makeup. He scowled as she looked him up and down. How dare she interrupt?

Subject five got to his feet with a smile on his face. “Yes?”

“Did you know that old dude was watching your butt while stroking himself?”

Subject five gave him a horrified look, his eyes dropping to Walter’s tenting trousers before he took a hurried step away.

“Just thought I’d let you know.” The woman shrugged and reached for a book about knitting before turning to leave. “Check the surveillance tape; I’ve seen him here before.” She nodded towards a camera in the ceiling and slipped away. Walter started sweating, his erection dwindling at the sight of the camera. When had they installed cameras?

He needed to get out of there. A perfectly nice library ruined! Subject five would have to wait. He’d dreamt about collecting him from within the library, but he’d have to rethink his plan. Walter would simply have to wait for a day he could take him from the car park.

He hurried away, taking the stair two steps at a time until he reached ground level. There, he took a right turn as soon as he made it out the doors.

Subject six’s library didn’t have cameras.

Apart From You – A Horror Flash (Miserable Tales)

I was doing a bit of an early autumn cleaning on my laptop and found a flash. Apart From You was part of Queer Sci Fi’s Annual Flash Fiction Contest (ended up in a fifth place) 2015. And since it’s such a happy little tale I thought I’d throw it in among the other happy tales in the Miserable Tales Series.

It’s only 300 words long so I won’t bother putting it up on any retailers, but if you want to you can read it here.


Apart From You

Don felt light, free. He hit the button on the radio and danced along with the pop tunes. In the middle of a pirouette, he opened the fridge door but stopped short as he saw a bowl of minced meat. Not even meatloaf could ruin this fine day; it might even make it better. Travis loved meatloaf.

He took out the bowl before glancing at the clock. Where had this day gone? He couldn’t remember doing anything. His heart sped up. Apart from getting up this morning, he couldn’t recall any part of the day.

Don tried to shrug it off, but the lightness in his chest was gone. He forced himself to breathe and went to get the dried bread crumbs out of the pantry.

The handle was sticky in his hand. He pressed it down, ignoring the way the hairs on his neck stood on edge. The light flicked on, and he steeled himself.

His shelves were discoloured. A dark brownish red liquid was everywhere. The pantry resembled a butcher’s shop. Cuts of meat were hanging from the ceiling. The rusty smell made him wrinkle his nose. Don’s eyes fell on Travis wedding ring. It shone brightly in the light of the lamp, still attached to a hand—Travis’ hand.

The sharp taste of bile took over Don’s mouth; he had to swallow it down. What was Travis’ hand doing there?

He took a step back, closed the pantry door, and raised his hand to rub his forehead. His fingers were stained, his nails dirty. Sweat coated his skin. How could he have missed how soggy his clothes were? A splatter of dark red was all over him.

Then he started laughing. What had he been thinking? Meatloaf? There was already a steak in the oven.

 

Release Day Flight

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front-coverThe 2016 Queer Sci Fi Flash Fiction anthology, Flight, is here, and my story A Cup of Coffee and a Slice of Death is in it…in the horror section.

It’s a really cool concept:

A 300-word story should be easy, right? Many of our entrants say it’s the hardest thing they’ve ever written.

Queer Sci Fi’s Annual Flash Fiction Contest challenges authors to write a complete LGBTQ speculative fiction micro-story on a specific theme. “Flight” leaves much for the authors to interpret—winged creatures, flight and space vehicles, or fleeing from dire circumstances.

Some astonishing stories were submitted—from horrific, bloodcurdling pieces to sweet, contemplative ones—and all LGBTQ speculative fiction. The stories in this anthology include AI’s and angels, winged lions and wayward aliens. Smart, snappy slice of life pieces written for entertainment or for social commentary. Join us for brief and often surprising trips into 110 speculative fiction authors’ minds.

The book us available in eBook form (4.99), and will soon be available in paperback with b/w illustrations inside (12.99) and in a special collector’s edition with color illustrations (24.99).


Buy Links

Amazon eBook | Kobo | All Romance | Goodreads


Excerpt:

Smoke, by Zev de Valera

He rubbed his temples and squinted at the soft light of his surroundings through the fans of his thick eyelashes. The last drink had been a mistake.

Was that a shaker he’d felt, or the onset of a hangover?

He clutched a silken pillow and waited.

Suddenly, he felt his home tremble; a few pieces of glass

and ceramic ware teetered and then fell to their demise.

Shit. This is the real thing.

With an effort, he hauled himself from his bed.

How many years had it been since the last one?

Sixty? Seventy?

The shaking ceased, and he looked around his small dwelling.
A model unit when he’d purchased it. Now filled with the result of years of collecting: a gramophone, a first generation television set, a water clock. And much more. All of it all had sentimental value—as did the photos of the various men that sat atop or alongside the items in his collection. Some of these men had loved him. All of them had once owned him. Now he owned their memories. That was the bargain.

Another shake. Followed by several unnerving tilts. He willed his cherished possessions to remain in place and willed himself into sobriety and a more becoming appearance as he prepared himself for work.

What to wear?

He selected a red brocade tunic and pants. A classic look always worked best for the initial consultation.

A resounding thud.

He peered up into the small shaftway at the center of the ceiling.

A pop.

Then a small circle of light at the end of the shaft.

He sighed, folded his arms, and transformed into a cloud of red smoke.

Up and away to meet his new master.

 

Judge’s Choice — J. Scott Coatsworth 


Author Bio:

In the first year of the Queer Sci Fi Flash Fiction contest, we received about 15 entries for the theme “Endings”. In the second year, it was 115 for “Discovery”.

This year, we had more than 170 entries from people around the world, and from all parts of the LGBTIQA rainbow. “Flight” represents 110 of those people and their stories.

 

The authors:

Colton Aalto
Kiterie Aine
Odin Alexander
John Allenson
Tam Ames
R.R. Angell
Bran Lindy Ayres

Jeff Baker
Jessica Bansbach
J.P. Barnaby
Capri S. Bard
Jonah Bergen
Michael J. Bode
L.M. Brown
Marie Brown
Michelle Browne
‘Nathan Burgoine
Iona Burnfield
A.M. Burns

Katelyn Cameron
Hank T. Cannon
Foster Bridget Cassidy
Skylar M. Cates
H.J. Chacon
M.A. Church
Rebecca Cohen
S.A. Collins
J. Comer
Ross Common
Elliot Cooper
Gretchen Crane

Jase Daniels
Claire Davis and Al Stewart
Avery Dawes
Zev de Valera
Bey Deckard
Jana Denardo
Nicole Dennis
Kellie Doherty
Jude Dunn

Tray Ellis
Rhi Etzweiler
Thursday Euclid

K.C. Faelan
Christina Mary Francis
L.E. Franks
J.R. Frontera
Liz Fury

Elizabella Gold
Ofelia Gränd
S.E. Greer
M.D. Grimm

Jenna Hale
Kaje Harper
Qaida Harte
Saxon Hawke
Kelly Haworth
Cheryl Headford
Valentina Heart

Jaylee James
Jambrea Jo Jones
Michael M. Jones
Ryvr Jones
Ellery Jude

Jon Keys
K-lee Klein

Jennifer Lavoie
A.M. Leibowitz
Mario K. Lipinski
L.V. Lloyd
Clare London
Meraki P. Lyhne

Lloyd A. Meeker
Eloreen Moon
John Moralee
Christopher Hawthorne Moss
E.W. Murks

Rory Ni Coiliean
Jackie Nacht
Thea Nishimori
Bealevon Nolan
Alicia Nordwell

Mathew Ortiz

Nina Packebush

Donald Qualls
Kirby Quinlan

Mann Ramblings
Loren Rhoads

Jojo Saunders
Brent D. Seth
L.M. Somerton
Rin Sparrow
Andrea Speed
Paul Stevens
Ginger Streusel
Jerome Stueart

Julia Talbot
Jo Tannah

Natsuya Uesugi

Allen Walton
A.T. Weaver
Missy Welsh
Eric Alan Westfall
Brandon Witt
Alexis Woods
Christine Wright
P.T. Wyant

Victoria Zagar