Join us as Freddy MacKay goes Outside the Margins.
On the Divide Part 6
Hello, welcome to the Prism Book Alliance Blog today. Freddy MacKay here, one of the contributors to Outside the Margins. For my part, I am writing 500 – 1000 word flash fiction pieces. Please forgive me, as these aren’t professionally edited (I did try to catch my mistakes), but I hope you enjoy.
On the Divide – Part 6 by Freddy MacKay
Cooper dropped his head down on the counter. None of his shifts at The Jolt had ever felt so long. And he needed to take a piss. With Evelyn here, though, he hadn’t gotten out of Malik’s line a vision. He wanted someone to be able to back up him if push came to shove.
A hand thumped his back, making him tense momentarily before Malik spoke. “You okay, Coop?”
“Long coupla weeks.”
He turned his head, not taking it off the counter, looking up at Malik. His coworker just laughed and shook his head. Cooper snorted.
“I see I can count on your sympathy,” Cooper said dryly.
“Man, you look well done. You should go home and sleep.”
Yeah. That sounded nice. Cooper needed a break. Today had been filled with tension better left behind him. But first… Cooper stood and checked where they were at with the shift change.
“Evelyn clock out for her break?”
“Forty-five minutes ago,” Malik answered. “Hasn’t clocked back in.”
Great. Just great. One thing Cooper didn’t want was hunting down Evelyn to get back on shift. He growled and rolled his forehead against the counter again.
“Hey, man, that’s on her.” Malik leaned back against the counter. “Let her fuck up and get fired. You covered for her faults too long.”
“I-I, maybe…” She had used him as a reference after all—without actually asking—so he felt responsible. “Who’s coming in after us?”
“Alison and Nolan.”
“Nolan should be here in about fifteen. Alison should come in a half hour before Evelyn’s shift is up.”
“You mind if I take off as soon as he gets here?” Cooper needed a nap, and then maybe he could focus at rehearsal, not pass out on the couch like, well, since forever?
“Go ahead, Coop. You look like a hooker at a free pass convention. Well used and hard up.”
“I don’t think that’s a compliment.”
Malik chuckled and slapped his back again. “You work too hard.”
“Got to make ends meet somehow.”
“Oh, right, I, umm, sorry, Coop.”
“I forget you don’t live at home like the rest of us sometimes.” Malik’s beads jangled when he shook his head. “Sorry.”
“Don’t worry about it.”
The door chimed, both of the hollering a “Hello.” When Cooper saw it was Harlan. Malik elbowed him. Cooper tossed a scowl in his direction before smiling at the bartender.
“Harlan, nice to see you.”
That smile of Harlan’s came right out—all confidence and ease. He strolled up to the counter and leaned in. “You boys gossiping about something juicy?”
“Uh, no?” Cooper answered, darting his eyes over to Malik and back.
“Looked like it.”
“Nah, I’m just getting ready to head home, crawl in my bed. That’s all.”
“Aren’t you a bit young for early bedtimes?” Harlan checked his phone. “It’s only two.”
In the afternoon? “It feels like two a. m.”
A groan slipped from him. Malik’s lips twisted, his brows scrunched together, and he crossed his arms.
“What?” Cooped asked, rolling his neck.
“Evelyn is really getting to you, man.”
“Evelyn?” Harlan interjected, head going back and forth between Cooper and Malik. “That bitch from the other night?”
Cooper imagined his ears pricked, like a retriever. He laughed. “Yeah, her.”
“She still giving you trouble?”
Malik answered for him. “Yeah, trying to get him fired.”
Both of them scowled, their gazes locked, and nodded.
He eyed them speculatively. “What?”
Sometimes, just sometimes, it would be nice if people didn’t look at him like he was stupid. Cooper hated it, with a passion.
The door chimed. All of them yelled “hello” as Nolan walking through the door. He stopped when he saw them crowded around the counter.
“Did someone die?”
“Not yet,” Cooper answered. About time he got going then. “I’m taking off.”
Before anyone could say anything, he was already walking through the doorway to the back, undoing his apron. He grabbed his backpack. Cooper tossed his apron in it then shouldered the pack. After a quick check everything was in its rightful spot, Cooper headed out.
Harlan, Malik and Nolan huddled together by the cash register. When they saw him coming they shuffled apart, making Cooper frown. Certain shit he just did not need. Malik’s gossiping could get them all in trouble.
“See you guys tomorrow,” he said, waving but not slowing down.
The look in Nolan’s and Malik’s eyes said they both wanted to say something. Fat chance. Cooper was done. The idea of hashing out Evelyn, especially when she could walk through the door any moment, made his stomach turn and Cooper had no intention of being caught in another mess.
Stupid bitch made his life hell since she walked into it, even more so once he turned her the fuck down.
No. The last thing he needed was Harlan getting involved. The bartender had already gotten too wrapped up in the mess to start with. Cooper slammed the door open, palms stinging from the impact. Not one step lost.
“Cooper, wait!” Harlan called.
Already through the second set of doors Cooper had no intention of slowing down. Harlan yell was muffled this time. A quick right turn and Cooper was at the bike rack trying to get his lock off. Home and bed called.
He swung a leg over his bike, one foot on a pedal, ready to take off, when Harlan filled his vision, blocking Cooper.
“Boy you are in a snit.”
“I’ve had a long day, Harlan.”
“Okay, okay. I get that.” Harlan rocked on his feet, watching Cooper.
“I wanted to see if you some free time today.”
Was the whole bed conversation missed? Harlan had been there, yeah? Something in Cooper’s face must have shown his irritation.
“I wanted to hang out.”
The five most dangerous words a bartender from a gay club could every say.
“I did promise to teach you to herd.”
Title: Foolish Encounters
Publisher: Wilde City
Genre: Contemporary, M/M Romance, Science Fiction
By Amy Lane, Angel Martinez, Elin Gregory, Freddy MacKay, JC Wallace, Tali Spencer & Tinnean
An accident, a chance encounter, a thought blurted out, a boat blown off course, a change in direction that suddenly runs into the line of fire – the smallest misstep can change everything. These foolish encounters are the moments around which lives pivot and sometimes spin out of control. Join us for tales of imprudent choices and bad decisions that can lead just as easily to hilarity as they can to tragedy.
The Nut Job – Freddy MacKay
Why aren’t simple jobs ever as easy as they’re supposed to be? Drop off a new recruit to their OIL contact and gather a new supply of walnuts for the headquarters on the planet Mithuana for the yearly coming of age celebration. Simple.
Instead, the crew of the Nutcracker get caught unaware by a human hunter hell-bent on proving the Sasquatch’s existence and a hiker who saw more than he was supposed to, leading everyone down an unexpected rabbit hole.
The crew’s day went from cracked to being nuts deep in trouble.
~ Freddy MacKay
About Freddy MacKay
I grew up and went to college in the Midwest where I currently reside with my family. I spend most of my time playing sports and running around outside. And honestly, that much has not changed since I was little, except who is included my activities. I also have a healthy geocaching addiction. It’s so much fun! I enjoy spending my time traveling when I can, and I hold the view that a person should continually to learn about new things and people whenever possible.
My contemporary LGBTQ book, Incubation: Finding Peace 2, won 3rd Place – Best Gay Erotic Fiction in the 2012 Rainbow Awards. In 2013, Internment, won 3rd Place – Best Gay Fantasy in the Rainbow Awards. Feel Me (The Marduck Expanse) was a Gay SF Finalist and Honorable Mention in the 2014 Rainbow Awards.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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