Join Prism Book Alliance® as Andrew Q Gordon goes Outside the Margins today.
Brandilyn’s birthday is this month so the Outside the Margins Guest Authors have declared August, ‘Brandilyn Carpenter Month.’ In lieu of gifts, she gave us picture prompts and asked that we write her a Flash story based on the pictures.
So, here is my ‘gift’ to Brandilyn. May she have many more in the years to come.
Leave? Stay? Go? Stick? Run? Sit?
I’ve asked myself these questions a hundred times. A thousand. I make a choice, and then change my mind. Inertia has proven more powerful than I had expected.
The world is more than this little town. More than my small circle of family and friends. It calls to me with its siren’s song. Beckons to me with the promise of untold opportunities. Tempts me with the freedom to be who I want, not what I was born into.
It’s so easy. Just reach out and embrace it. Get on the road and take it until it ends. Stop often, enjoy the sights, meet new people. Be free. So easy. Right.
They don’t understand. To them this is my home, our home. It has been for generations. We’re born here, we live here and we die here. It’s ingrained in my family, my parents, siblings and cousins. No one understands why I want—need—more.
I know they love me, accept me, but I don’t belong here anymore. I used to think I’ve outgrown here, but that’s not it. You never outgrow home. It’s something else.
He’s out there. I’ve not met him, but I know he’s not here. I have to go to him because he won’t come to me. East bumble fuck South Dakota isn’t a destination of choice. We don’t attract people, gay or straight. People leave, they don’t show up.
Being honest—and I owe my family that much—even if my ‘he’ was here, I doubt I’d stay. I want more, I am more. Unlike the prior generations, I can see what else is out there. I know there is more than farms and small town.
Everyone tells me I’m wrong. That like Dorothy said, “there’s no place like home.” But what if this isn’t my home? What if it’s out there with him? Doesn’t that mean I should go?
Something calls to me. I can’t name it, don’t know what ‘it’ is, but I hear it. I feel it. And it’s not here.
“Come find me,” it says. “Come find yourself.”
A horn sounds and I look up. Dad got what he needed and it’s time to go home. In my mind I shake my head, tell him to go with out me. That I’m leaving. Dad will get that blank look that tells me he’s trying to make sense of it. He knows who I am, what I am. It changed nothing. And ironically, because of that acceptance, nothing changes.
I sigh and go to the car. I’m a coward. I won’t go until I tell him goodbye and I never tell him because I don’t want to hurt him.
“Here.” Dad hands me an envelope, but won’t look at me.
My chest seizes with a fear I’ve never felt. “What’s this?”
“Open it.” The quiver in his voice scares me even more. Dad has always been solid. Never unsure.
My hand shakes as I peel back the flap and read the print. A one way ticket to New York and money.
He has tears in his eyes when he looks over. He tries to smile. To let me know it’s okay. But he can’t. Because for him it won’t be fine. When he can’t speak, he pulls me closer and hugs me. He’s crying now and so am I. Finally he stops long enough to whisper a word. One he knows will finally change everything.
~Andrew Q Gordon
About Andrew Q Gordon
Andrew Q. Gordon wrote his first story back when yellow legal pads, ball point pens were common and a Smith Corona correctable typewriter was considered high tech. Adapting with technology, he now takes his MacBook somewhere quiet when he wants to write.
He currently lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his partner of eighteen years, their young daughter and dog. In addition to dodging some very self-important D.C. ‘insiders’, Andrew uses his commute to catch up on his reading. When not working or writing, he enjoys soccer, high fantasy, baseball and seeing how much coffee he can drink in a day.
The Last Grand Master: (Champion of the Gods – Book 1);
Ashes of Life:
A Closed Door:
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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