On the Divide – Part 7 ~ Outside the Margins with Freddy MacKay

Join Prism Book Alliance® as Freddy MacKay goes Outside the Margins today.

Freddy MacKay OtM

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 7 by Freddy MacKay

Oh, how Cooper wished he could take back his conversation at the bike rack. The “I’m too tired to do anything how about a movie at my place?” tactic only backfired. What was he thinking? The move would probably haunt Cooper to his dying days. He knew it.

Why Harlan had to sit so close, or have his arm on the back of the futon, Cooper hadn’t figured that out either. Buddies weren’t what Cooper would describe them as. Yes, they’d talked since Stubby’s, for sure since Harlan backed up Cooper’s version of events, but Cooper had assumed it was friendly banter that would trickle off into nothingness—not invasion of his personal space.

The movie—what were they watching again?—seemed long as hell. Not Cooper’s best choice, he focused on the TV, Battle Royale. Right. Apparently, subtitles didn’t scare people like Cooper thought they did, or not Harlan at least. Something shorter would’ve been better. Good movie, bad choice for getting rid of company.

Company that had no personal space.

Was it hot? The thermostat had to be set too high or something. Cooper leaned away from Harlan, but a heavy weight on his shoulder stopped him from really getting anywhere. Cooper tensed, frowning slightly. He chanced a glance down, and yup, there was Harlan’s hand, kneading his shoulder.

A sigh escaped Cooper. Really? That’s what this was all that bluster before was all about.

Right now all Cooper could do was work two jobs, and pay for his crappy apartment and one class a semester at the local community college. He had no time for … well, Cooper struggled for the right word for the situation. Well, for shit like a relationship. He didn’t even have the energy for a quick down and dirty fuck either, and if that’s what Harlan thought he was getting the ass would find himself getting tossed on said backside.

Another quick attempt to scoot away from Harlan resulted in the same, another not so subtle shoulder squeeze. Fuck. No, just no. Cooper didn’t need this shit.

“Would you lay off?” he said, rolling his shoulder and jerking away from Harlan.

“What?” Harlan began, his hands sliding against Cooper but he was standing already.

“I got enough from harassment from Evelyn, I don’t need it from you too.” Cooper crossed to the door, unbolting it. “If you think I’m going to bend over for you—”

“Whoa! Whoa!” Harlan said from behind him, closer than Cooper expected really.

He turned, crossing his arms. Nerves all jumbled in bad ways, Cooper pressed against the door while Harlan took a couple steps back, his hands up.

“I’m sorry, Cooper. Touchy thang, aren’t you?” Harlan smiled, but it faded as Cooper glowered.

The bartender no longer on the “he’s a decent dude list.” And honestly, it sucked. He had seemed like a decent sort, maybe someone Cooper wanted to friend, if he still had time for those.

“Look, Coop—”

“You can leav—”

“It’s not like that.” Harlan took a tiny step forward, his hands now his pockets.

“Like what?” Because really, Cooper was pretty sure it was. And honestly, he did think Harlan knew enough about to know hookups weren’t his thing.

Harlan watched Cooper for a minute before huffing and going back to the futon.

“Weren’t you on your way out?” Cooper asked.

“I hope not,” Harlan answered. He patted the futon. “My friends always told me my touchy-feely ways were going to catch up with me.”

“Uh-huh.” Cooper called bullshit.

“Would I like something to happen? Yes.”

See? Cooper smiled triumphantly.

“Does it have to? No.”

Now that didn’t make sense.

“Sit down. Let’s talk.”

Two of the suckiest phrases ever. “I prefer to stand.”

Harlan gazed at Cooper, not flinching once during their stare-off. Instead he frowned, clasped his hands together, and said something that caught Cooper off guard.

“Who hurt you so badly?”

It felt like a sucker punch to the gut. Cooper rubbed his head, his hair standing up every which way. He really needed to get it shaved again.

“Were you…” Harlan stopped, making a face, like he was trying to choose words carefully. “Were you raped?”

Not the question Cooper expected. “No.”

“Physically abused?”

Cooper shook his head, whether to say no or clear it he wasn’t sure.

“You sure some guy hasn’t hurt you?”

“No, but my ex-girlfriend did a bang up job,” Cooper replied, breathing in hard, pressing against the door.

There was a pause in Harlan’s litany of questions, but only a pause. Harlan sat forward. “You’re straight?”


“In the closet?”

And fuck it all, yes, Harlan sounded judgemental as fuck. Cooper straightened and said, “No.”

“So you’re gay?”


Harlan stood, frowning, squinting at Cooper. “Your one word answers aren’t helping me here, Cooper.”

“Fine. I’m bisexual. Happy?”

Oh, the look on Harlan’s face. Absolutely priceless.

The End

~Freddy MacKay


Title: The MCB Quarterly
Author: Mischief Corner Books, LLC
Publisher: Mischief Corner Books
Publication Date: 04/30/2015
Cover Artist: Freddy MacKay
Genre: Contemporary, Gay Fiction, Lesbian


The Quarterly is an eMagazine of LGBTQ fiction – of all kinds. This volume features four short stories: Facsimile by Mina MacLeod, Leash on Love by Beany Sparks, Man of the House by Brigid Collins, and Avalon by J. Scott Coatsworth. It also includes an Author Interview with Lexi Ander taking about writing gay science fiction, and a Featured Artist section about the multitalented Catherine Dair. And our very own Angel Martinez offers and Op-Ed on “When is an Author not an Author?”


The MCB Quarterly on Goodreads
Mischief Corner Books
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA
All Romance eBooks

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.

Email: freddy.m.mackay@gmail.com
Website: http://freddysstereograph.weebly.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/FreddyMacKay
Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/FreddyMacKay

Farewell Giveaway
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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Prism Book Alliance® assumes no liability for the ownership of photos or content used in guest posts and interviews.  The post author assumes all responsibility and liability for this content.

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