Saturday, September 5, 2009
Let Me 'Flash' You
Okay, so the heading for this post was a bit sensationalized. I'm not gonna post nekkid pictures of myself or have some animation of me opening a trenchcoat to show off my twig and berries.
No, this post is about an anthology I'm in: Chilling Tales of Terror and the Supernatural. Now, wait, before you run away screaming in terror and/or boredom, you have to know that this anthology of terrifying tales is really something different. All of the tales within its cover are gay-related and are all examples of "flash fiction" which means each story is 1,000 words or fewer (roughly two pages). It's the perfect offering for today's nervous and short-attention-span society.
The book carries a warning from the editor, Patty G. Henderson: "The reading and enjoyment of this anthology will greatly increase your chances of terrifying nightmares, lack of sleep, and fear of your own shadow."
With that in mind, here's one of my five flash stories contained in the book. Let me know what you think:
©2008 Rick R. Reed
911 Dispatcher: What is your emergency?
Caller: It's my husband. He's…oh, God…He's… (voice becomes unintelligible, panting).
911: Ma'am, try to calm down so I can help you. Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths.
Caller: Okay, I just came home and found (gasp)…found my husband in the shower.
911: Okay, Ma'am, is he injured?
Caller: Yes! Yes! There's so much blood! (Voice dissolves into sobs).
911: Ma'am, can you give me your location?
Caller: ________________ Cornelia Ave., just off Halsted, in the city.
911: Okay, Ma'am, I am dispatching an ambulance, can you stay on the line with me?
Caller: I, I don't know. I don't know what he did to himself!
911: Is he breathing?
Caller: Yes, yes, he's breathing…and oh God, he's just staring at me. These eyes staring up through the blood. All the blood! It looks like he's ripped his skin away (silence). Oh, Jesus, I think I see the problem.
Caller: There's a wire brush lying near him. It has skin on it. (Silence). God, why would he do this?
911: Hang in there, Ma'am. They're on their way.
Man: Hey, what's up? You wanna come over and party?
Other Man: Dunno. I'm pretty wiped, think I might just crash.
Man: Come on, it's Saturday night.
Other Man: Sunday morning, technically.
Man: Stickler. C'mon, man, Tina's here.
Other Man: I don't know, dude. I just got in from the baths.
Man: How was it?
Other Man: Slow.
Man: You meet anybody?
Other Man: Yeah, of course. When don't I? Bad sex is better than none at all, right?
Man: You know it. What was he like? Cute?
Other Man: Oh yeah, great body, great face, nice dick. But here's the thing: totally a closet case.
Man: Uh oh? So it didn't work out? No worries. Come on over here, I'm talking to, like, four different guys right now on line.
Other Man: Dunno. I'm kinda shook up.
Man: From the closet case?
Other Man: Yeah.
Man: Did he do something? Hit you?
Other Man: No, no, nothin' like that. He just, like, totally freaked.
Man: Did you get any warning?
Other Man: No, none. That's the thing. He was really into it. Really wanted me to fuck him and totally hot for me.
Man: And then?
Other Man: And then, soon as he comes, he starts getting all weird. I ask him what's wrong.
Other Man: And he starts asking me all kinds of shit, like how many guys have I been with, how many times tonight, did I ever do groups. But he wasn't asking like it turned him on, but like he was scared shitless of my answers.
Man: So, was he cool?
Other Man: Hell no. His final question was, was I was poz. I told him the truth. That's when he really freaked out and ran out the door, almost crying.
Man: Were you safe?
Other Man: Oh yeah, I pulled out when I came and just shot on his chest.
Man: Then, what was the fuckin' problem? You comin' over or not?
Other Man: Just let me hop in the shower.
Real Men. True Love. Rick R. Reed draws inspiration from the lives of gay men to craft stories that quicken the heartbeat, engage emotions, and keep the pages turning. Although he dabbles in horror, dark suspense, and comedy, his attention always returns to the power of love. He’s the award-winning and bestselling author of more than fifty works of published fiction and is forever at work on yet another book. Lambda Literary has called him: “A writer that doesn’t disappoint…” You can find him at www.rickrreed.com or www.rickrreedreality.blogspot.com. Rick lives in Palm Springs, CA with his beloved husband and their fierce Chihuahua/Shiba Inu mix.