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.


Friday Reads | Line of Sight

This week I’ve picked up Line of Sight by Jenn Burke. It’s another story from the Goodreads M/M Romance Group’s Don’t Read in the Closet event, this time from 2015’s Love is an Open Road Anthology.

I haven’t read anything by Jenn Burke before but I liked this short little Sci-Fi tale. Cal has been stranded on Earth for a year, he’s in love with the man who took him in when he first arrived, but while he still was waiting to be rescued he doesn’t want to start anything. Ryan lost his husband in a car accident and is hesitant to start a relationship. But things happen, Cal’s past is coming back to disrupt Cal and Ryan’s lives, and they find themselves fighting for survival.

This is a quick-paced short story with a little of everything – love, action, aliens, you almost died!!!, and more. Be sure to check it out. You find it for free here.

Book Cover Line of Sight by Jenn BurkeBetrayed by his alien partner, it takes intergalactic cop Cailad kar Natoth a full year to accept that he’s stranded on Earth. Rescue just isn’t going to happen. He’s now Cal Smith, a bartender of all things— but the situation could be worse.
Out from under the pressure of regulations, he has a chance to explore the emotions he’s always kept tightly controlled. Ryan Cameron, the man who offered him shelter and a job when he needed it most, once held up the chance to be more than friends— and now that Cal’s sure he’s staying, it’s time to take him up on it. Maybe they can see if the lust and desire ricocheting between them is the start of something more.
But Ryan’s lingering grief over the death of his husband five years before— and an unexpected visitor— might steal their future before they have a chance to build it together.

Friday Reads | Just Like in the Movies

A last minute Friday Reads post! I’d decided to skip writing anything today, I’ve picked mushrooms for nine hours, and it’s been a crazy week so I hadn’t even started reading anything. But, I sank down on the sofa, had my youngest empty a flower pot over me so I got to vacuum a little, then I searched the Amazon short fiction lists.  I’m a bit crazy when it comes to lists, and on my to-do list it says Friday Reads post, leaving it there unchecked makes me break out in hives, so here we go…

Today I’ve read Just Like in the Movies by Clare London. It’s a short read, will only take you a few minutes, and it’s free so you have nothing to lose. Baily is a negotiator so sometimes situations can turn a bit tricky. He figures if he ever gets shot it’ll be just like in the movies…it isn’t, not quite.

I enjoyed this story, it has a few smiles in it, and it’s short and easy to read – perfect for when you’re exhausted. I was rather surprised, the cover made me think it’d be silly YA story and I’m never good at reading blurbs, but it was a pleasant surprise for me.

Book Cover Just Like in the Moviesby Clare LondonAll Bailey wants is to be a good negotiator, and to impress his boss and teacher, the legendary Drew Fletcher. He admires Fletcher for his skills in the field, but that doesn’t stop him admiring the man for other, more romantic reasons as well. In a tense hostage situation, it’s pretty unlikely Bailey’s usual, rash behaviour will cover him in glory, but in his dreams, it’s all going to happen just like in the movies.

When he finally acts to protect his boss, it doesn’t go the way he hopes — or does it? Will Bailey get to play the hero and get the guy of his dreams?