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 15 by Freddy MacKay
The putting green looked deceptively easy. No windmills. No tunnel for the ball to go through. The absurdity of trying to get tiny balls into a little hole was maddening. Not that Cooper didn’t enjoy balls or holes, but miniature golf had been devised by sadists. He was pretty sure of it. No sane person thought ten to fifteen feet of turf with obstacles and hazards to stop the forward motion of said tiny balls into little holes sounded like fun.
But apparently Harlan loved it. He—the confusing, incredulous, peppy person he was—was having a field day.
Harlan smiled at Cooper. “Well, are you going to putt or what?”
“It looks too easy.”
“It’s a two par. It is easy.”
“Something is wrong, I just can’t see it.”
He squinted at the divot on the other end signifying the hole. It was a straight shot, but it couldn’t be. This whole “date that’s not a date” felt an awful lot like the green stretching out in front of him. Wibbly-wobbly.
He spread his feet apart, adjusted his grip on the putter, and tapped the ball. It rolled down the green. But not straight. It lolled to one side then the other and went wide and rolled back toward him.
Harlan laughed, the bastard.
“Yeah? Let’s see you do any better.”
Of course Harlan managed to get the shot in one.
“No, nice guy.” Harlan pointed to himself. “Taking you out doing normal friend things. Not getting a bar of twinks mad at you things.”
“Right.” Cooper rubbed his head fuzz. Actually it was longer than the normal close shave. He needed to get it cut.
“That’s called teasing, Coop.”
“I know that.” In his head he did.
Logically, affectionate teasing wasn’t a problem. The problem was how he felt. It was with him. The words stung, made his heart kick up a notch, and made him think he’d done something stupid.
Cooper hated feeling like that.
“Here, how about I help you?” Harlan got up behind Cooper and put his hands on the putter.
The touch shocked Cooper. He hadn’t noticed the movement so he jumped, the back of his head hitting Harlan’s face.
“Sorry!” Cooper turned, whacking the putter into Harlan’s shin.
“It’s all right,” Harlan said as he rubbed his leg. “No harm done.”
“You sure?” Shit. He’d stomped all over Harlan. Cooper reached for him but a hand quickly blocked his help.
“I’m good. I’m good. How about you try to nail the hole again?”
Cooper stared at Harlan for a minute. Right. Golf. They were playing mini-golf.
He had to wonder when Harlan would snap, though. Guys, in Cooper’s experience, tended to get sick of his “wussy” attitude quick. But Harlan kept coming back. Cooper didn’t know what to do with him, or how to feel about him. He wanted to like him.
The “why” wouldn’t go away. He couldn’t make sense of why one person would be so insistent the way Harlan was. That question rummaging around in his head made it hard to relax. To see past everything that had happened.
But the question never made it past his lips since the day of his panic attacks. Despite the squeeze in his chest, the way Harlan made his heart beat so hard—like it wanted to break out of him in a not so nice way.
The fight was inside Cooper, and he was fighting because of Tabitha. With himself, how he’d let her effect how he saw others, and to regain the part of himself he lost when with her. Cooper had to wonder, with Harlan standing there, putter in hand and a confused expression on his face, if he could really ever fix what was going on in his own head. Harlan deserved better than a fucked up idiot like himself.
How broken did a person have to be to worry about someone showing him how to putt?
The thought, the way Harlan was so damn careful, all of it, left a bitter taste in Cooper’s mouth. He wanted to be better. He didn’t want to question every one around him. Cooper just didn’t know how to anymore.
“Are you doing okay, Coop?”
“Sure.” He lied, burying the treacherous feelings deep inside. Cooper just had to fake it ’til he made it. Harlan didn’t deserve to have a shitty time because Cooper was wrong in the head.
“We can go if you want,” Harlan said. “We don’t have to stay. It’s not fun if we’re both not enjoying it.”
“No, I am, I swear,” Cooper answered immediately. “I’ll get it right this time.”
“You don’t have to get it right. You just need to have fun.”
Like that would ever happen.
Title: Marionettes on the Mist
Author: J. Scott Coatsworth, Toni Griffin, Angel Martinez, Freddy MacKay
Publisher: Mischief Corner Books
Publication Date: 03/03/2016
Cover Artist: Freddy MacKay
Genre: Action/Adventure, Alternate Universe/Alternate World, Gay, Urban Fantasy
This is a weekly Urban Fantasy serial written by participating MCB authors: Angel Martinez, Toni Griffin, J. Scott Coatsworth, and Freddy MacKay.
Posts will start March 2016.
A fugitive skinwalker, a down-on-his-luck phoenix, a goblin rock star, and a wild dragon ranger have nothing in common except the sudden violence that tears their separate worlds apart. With wildly different motivations, each sets off on his own journey to try to solve the puzzles left in the wake of murder and mayhem.
When these four meet, the hints and clues begin to point them to something bigger, and toward answers that might make them wish they’d all stayed home.
A lake of churning bodies gyrated to Rolly’s hypnotic bass thump while the band waited for Tibo’s cue. This, this was what Tibo lived for, these moments when the crowd gave him their souls, opened up to him and fed him their energy. Head down, long hair swinging forward to hide his face, Tibo took a moment to catch his breath and pull in his magic.
He was exhausted, elated, high as a fucking cloud, all screwed up inside, but this was the second encore. Time to go out big. The mental shift was easy, like opening a familiar puzzle box in his mind, and then he reached into the spaces between, reached for the dark energy thrumming alongside all the electrical bonds of the visible world. This was what he was born for, his one true talent, the strange electric thrill racing through him as he converted dark energy to emotional currents.
Stone steady now, he waited as Dave’s sticks counted them in, then as Eck’s Gibson played the soft, plaintive intro. Head still down, Tibo raised a hand slowly, pushing tendrils of sorrow into the audience as he sang the first melancholy lines,
Two dozen bracelets, all hand-made
A painted pony cavalcade
A tortoise comb, three strands of hair
One tiny bird of earthenware
As the litany of items grew, Tibo slowly raised his head, increasing the tight flow of sorrow as his voice and the band’s volume built slowly. A lover gone without explanation, leaving only random objects and heartbreak behind, and oh, the crowd ate this shit up. They knew he manipulated them. It wasn’t some trade secret. They knew and they craved it, reaching for him, crying out to him, floating on the fantasy that if only they could reach him, they could make it better.
At the guitar bridge before the first chorus, Rolly let out a long, mournful wail as only a banshee could. Not the killing kind, of course, Rolls would never do that, but the one that pierced the heart with a thousand needle shards. You heard that wail and couldn’t help the tears, even if you didn’t have a fucking clue why you wanted to cry. Tibo dropped to his knees, head flung back as he pulled the energy Rolly spun into his own magic, hurling it over the crowd as he belted out the chorus.
On this hollow earth, still see you dancing.
Beneath this hollow sky, still hear you sing.
On the gray horizon, there’s your shadow,
Walking on the edge away from me.
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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