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 write 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 29 by Freddy MacKay
Cooper’s body hummed with anticipation. He had a date with Harlan later that night after he was finished working in the library. Filing away books and helping find references was nothing when Cooper had another evening to look forward to.
Not only were classes going well (for once), but Cooper’s nights with Harlan helped his nerves settle down. A lot of things were changing, almost too many, but Cooper’s anxiety attacks weren’t as bad as they had been getting.
Yes, he had one here or there, especially when by himself at work, either Band Rescue or here at the library, but his paranoia about someone watching him was all in his head. Cooper had to remind himself that Tabitha was still in jail, she wouldn’t be allowed near him when she got out because he had a permanent restraining order against her, and that Jesse had scared off Evelyn. And Harlan wasn’t the creeper Cooper took him for. That helped a lot.
Harlan. Just the thought of him sent Cooper’s heart racing in a good way. Shit. Even cleaning up after all the jerky people making a mess of the library couldn’t damper Cooper’s mood when he thought about Harlan.
It had been a long time since he felt this kind of excitement. Genuine. Anticipatory. Fun. Happy. Happy was all kinds of warm and nice. Cooper wanted to hang onto it and wrap the feeling in his heart forever.
Whenever the paranoia about being watched crept in, Cooper sat back and thought of the excitement of a new relationship with Harlan. It helped push the darkness away.
“Earth to Cooper. Hey, you going to drool all over the books?”
“What?” Cooper jumped, turning around.
“Shit you scared me!” Cooper said, short of breath. So not the fun kind of a racing heart.
“Sorry, you were spaced out. I called you like five times.” Jo didn’t look one bit repentive. The mirthful smile gave her away. “Since I haven’t seen you in a while, does this mean things are going well with you and Harlan?”
“Yeah,” Cooper answered, surprising himself. “They are.”
“How well is well?” Jo asked, wriggling her eyebrows.
“More well than I thought we would.”
“Really?” Her teasing expression dropped into a more serious one. “So you’ve been getting to know him then?”
“A little,” Cooper said. “We have another date tonight, and I feel excited about it.”
Jo smiled broadly. “That’s really nice news. I’m happy for you Coop.” She then stepped in and carefully put her arms around Cooper for a hug. “I mean it, I’m thrilled you’ve been able to take this step.”
“Me too.” And he meant it. The truth rung inside Cooper, warming him, wrapping itself around his heart. He may have his issues, but he’d also been able to move past them, kinda, and share an intimacy he hadn’t in a long time.
Talk about big steps.
Was Cooper worried that he wouldn’t be able to put himself out there again? Yes. Or make a fool of himself again? Of course. Or even not be able to have that kind of intimacy with Harlan again? Shitballs yes. But the fact they’d managed to actually to it in the first placed was huge. Cooper hadn’t been sure he’d ever get there again.
“Now—” Cooper released Jo and met her gaze. “Are you saying hi or are you looking for something?”
“Both,” she answered with grin and handed him a piece of paper. “It was a lucky accident I saw you working.”
“Yeah it was.”
“You must be honored to be in my presence.”
“Always.” Cooper looked down at the title Jo was after. “Oh, these should be over in the research wing. Buried in the journals. Come on, I’ll help you find them.”
Cooper grabbed Jo’s hand and dragged her off to the wing of the library housing the scientific research journals like Biology. They split up to recover the materials she wanted. Cooper hoped she had her ID on her because none of these were leaving the library with Jo, and any article she needed would have to be copied. Cooper did a quick check of his pockets. Well, if Jo didn’t have hers, Cooper had his.
An older journal didn’t seem to be where it should, but as Cooper went through the materials on the metal shelving he found many were just put back in the wrong spot.
“IF you don’t know where you got it, why bother trying to put it back?” he grumbled. “It makes more work for us?”
Cooper sighed, and squatted, picking through the reference materials. A thump made him look up, and when he did, Cooper’s breath caught.
Red filled his vision. Red hair to be precise.
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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