Join Prism Book Alliance® as Freddy MacKay goes Outside the Margins today.
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 for a story called On the Divide. These are not professionally edited but I do try to catch my mistakes. I hope you enjoy.
On the Divide – Part 14 by Freddy MacKay
Cooper and Harlan had been here once before. A movie played where he couldn’t remember what it was. They sat on the futon together while Cooper struggled to figure out it all happened. He knew. Kind of. It was just hard to explain.
Somehow he got to the point Harlan leaving was worse than Harlan staying. Whether it had been because of the panic attacks, the guilt, or fear that he’d fuck over a decent person by being a douche, Cooper wasn’t sure.
Yeah, Cooper’s stomach had butterflies, but they weren’t overwhelming. Not yet. The difference between last time and this time was how Harlan kept just enough distance between them so Cooper didn’t feel crowded. Not only that, his hands stayed firmly to himself. No groping or touching. It honestly felt like two friends sitting together watching a movie.
If Cooper could actually pay attention to the movie.
“You don’t have to force yourself,” Harlan said, not looking away from the TV. “If you want me to leave, I’ll go. I know I pushed too hard too fast before. Now that I know what I know, we’ll just take it one day at a time.”
“Are you really okay with that?”
Harlan’s admission helped ease the tension in Cooper’s chest.
“Should I go?”
“No,” Cooper answered. “It’s okay. Sort of. I don’t want you to leave. Seems… rude.”
Harlan actually laughed and turned to Cooper. “That. That right there is why I like you.”
“Uuuhh.” Cooper had nothing.
“You’re a good guy, Coop,” Harlan relaxed against the futon. “Some day you may even believe it yourself.”
“You’re a very weird person.”
“And despite all the prickles and hard ass attitude, you’re a nice guy.” Harlan smiled. “I like nice guys.”
Well, okay then. Cooper wasn’t sure what to do with that information. He also thought he should be insulted—a little. It sounded a tiny bit insulting. It also sounded like a compliment. Should he take it as a compliment?
“Cooper, do you want to watch the movie or not?”
“I’m not sure what we’re even watching, but that’s okay. We can keep watching.” He sighed at the admonishing face Harlan made toward him. “It’s me, not you. Just let it play.”
“I hate to disagree, but I would gander it’s the situation more than anything else.” Harlan flashed Cooper another smile. “Maybe you’re not ready for other people around. I can leave. You won’t hurt my feelings.”
Cooper assumed Harlan meant for the offer to be reassuring. Maybe it was. The butterflies weren’t flapping up a windstorm inside him anymore.
“My experience with you has been with you has been one of the odder things in my life. You’re weird.”
“I have a winning personality,” Harlan replied. He pushed Cooper’s shoulder, but not hard, teasing like. “You just haven’t figured that out yet, sweet thang.”
“I’m almost positive you’re just weird,” Cooper reiterated. Some people were born wired wrong. Harlan had to be on the list.
“How about we agree to disagree?” Harlan asked before pointing back to the movie. “You want to finish watching the movie or not?”
After a minute of consideration, Cooper said, “We can finish.”
“Awesome.” Harlan turned back to the TV.
Cooper intended to, but his attention stayed firmly on Harlan. His profile said relaxed. One arm rested on the armrest while the other stayed in his lap. He was slouching a bit, one foot crossed in front of the other. All of it could be interrupted as Harlan watching the movie, but something inside Cooper didn’t think so.
Harlan was paying just as much attention to Cooper as he was to Harlan. He couldn’t say why he felt so sure, but he was. And it wasn’t for some sinister reason either. Cooper had a suspicion it was because Harlan genuinely wanted him to relax and enjoy the movie.
Another sigh came out. A contented one. Cooper sat back and focused on the TV. Maybe he could relax a little.
Title: Eternity in the Tides
Author: Freddy MacKay
Publisher: Mischief Corner Books
Publication Date: 02/24/2016
Cover Artist: Gus Li
Genre: Bisexual, Fantasy, Gay, Urban Fantasy
Autumn has always been Zak’s favorite season for hiking and camping. Not to mention breathing in all that crisp fall air and sitting around toasty bonfires. That all changed a year and a half ago when a rich prick high on prescription pills sideswiped Zak while he was out biking.
Now his days are filled with pain and limited mobility. No more camping. No more trails. Zak’s life as he knew it is gone forever.
Back at his beloved stomping grounds, Zak is ready to say hello and goodbye one last time. But when a cry from the frigid Lake Superior waters throws him into the role of a rescuer, more than just his life hangs in the balance. Little did Zak know how much one person giving a damn mattered to him.
Crimson, hot pink, burnt orange, and a dark purple lit the sky and splashed over the calm waters of Lake Superior. Dusk had fallen in all its beauty, gracing Zak with the perfect moment at his favorite stomping grounds. If he had to go, and well… yeah, he couldn’t ask for anything better than this. Tonight was the night. Had to be.
Water lapped at the boat, rocking it gently. A breeze wafted over Zak. He shivered, then hugged himself as he looked over the lake, back at Madeline Island. Like each night over the past few days, a pang of longing hit him. Zak had said his goodbyes, accepted the fate handed to him, knew better than to hold on to dreams he could never have. He should have been able to take the next step.
But he couldn’t.
Each night he rowed back to his rental cabin, Quiet Bequest, in defeat. What the hell he held on for, Zak didn’t have a clue. His heart thumped heavily, his palms slipped over the oars, and the hair on his arms stood up—goose bumps everywhere—as if something big were about to happen.
Well, yeah, something huge if Zak could get his head on straight. Well, maybe not straight—his plan was utter ridiculousness to the outside observer. Made sense to him, though. But then it would.
Anticipation rode Zak hard. He knew what he had to do. Planned it. Came determined. This trip, the two-week cabin retreat he could never afford, the rowboat—my accident—had been in the works for months. And now… now Zak cowered in his waterlogged rowboat.
Zak pulled the oars into the boat, gave his tackle and rod a sidelong glance, and turned. All he had to do was get out of the damn boat and into the water. Simple as that.
“Just, just do it, fucker.”
About Freddy MacKayI 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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