Today’s Flash Fiction Friday post uses the words left in last week’s post: queen – queer – queue
This is another “alternate universe” scene for Cultivating Love, and the action in this scene takes place prior to the published story. Note: The action in this scene is NOT consistent with the published story, and cannot be considered a true prequel. The action in this scene is also unrelated to that other “What if?” scene I posted about a month ago. Consider it to be yet another alternate universe.
Told from Fred’s 3rd-person POV:
Fred closed his eyes and fingered the envelope in his hands. It was his “Plan B” in the event Ed slammed the door in his face. Something he could wedge into the door jamb and hope Ed would read it later.
Or would that be considered stalking? Maybe he should just walk away if Ed refused to talk to him now. Or maybe he should mail the letter instead of showing up unexpectedly and uninvited. But what if his son threw it away without opening it? Surely it would be more difficult for Ed to reject him out-of-hand if he were confronted face-to-face rather than via an impersonal letter.
He opened his eyes and looked at the small house. Unless there was more than one Edward Michael Jamison in Omaha, this was it. This was where the boy—no, he was a man now—lived. Ed had been easy enough to find in online directories once Fred had steeled himself to look.
It had been eight years since Ed had written to Fred in reply to the letters Fred had sent regularly over the years. He’d never forget the words the sixteen-year-old had penned in that note, and how they’d mirrored the things Susan had said to him when they’d divorced. It had been littered with words like “faggot,” and had included words like “queen” and “queer,” which in another context wouldn’t have been pejorative, but as they’d been used in that unpleasant letter, he could pretty much picture the sneer that would have accompanied them in a verbal confrontation.
Fred had told himself ten years—he’d put it all out of his mind and wait that long to give Ed the chance to gain exposure to more diversity in the world than he’d likely had living under Susan’s rule. But, that had been an arbitrary number. Maybe he should listen to Bill and let Ed make the next move, but he was tired of waiting.
When he opened the car door, cheery voices—male voices—singing along to “Follow Your Arrow” by Kacey Musgraves drifted in the warm breeze. Fred looked at the houses on either side trying to determine where the sound originated. Unbelievably, it appeared to be coming from Ed’s house. Surely no one maintaining rigid prejudices would sing along to such a song.
He folded his envelope in two and smiled as he slipped it into his back pocket. Perhaps his internal debate regarding what he should do with it would be a moot point. He carefully stepped over a long queue of ants crossing the walkway leading to the entry. No point in messing with karma by stomping on them.
When he stood at the front door, the music emanating from within changed to Queen singing “I Want to Break Free,” and Fred’s smile broadened accordingly. If this was indeed his son’s house, surely homophobia wasn’t likely to be a concern. Either that, or he had no concept of song messaging or irony. But, if Ed had shed his prior bias, it begged the question—why hadn’t Ed contacted him? Was he now ashamed of the insults he’d hurled at Fred in that long-ago letter? Did he think Fred would hold a grudge?
Fred took a deep breath, straightened his shoulders, and knocked before he could talk himself out of it.
Yeah, that’s right…I’m ending it there, right before they meet (again). 😁 #SorryNotSorry
A man of few words, Joe is a hard-working farmhand who likes his simple, uncomplicated life. Ed is satisfied with his existence as an auto mechanic, but thrilled when an unexpected development in his life allows him to help Joe realize a dream.
It forces them, however, to reevaluate the casual, undefined nature of their relationship. They’re too macho to speak of love, and neither would acknowledge he doesn’t really mind when it’s his turn to bottom. When life throws them a curve ball, and the rules of their game get old, Ed tries to take every aspect of their relationship up a notch. Can Joe adapt to the open sentimentality Ed’s injecting into their relationship, let alone the new spice in their bedroom activities?
This is a previously published story that has been rewritten, expanded, and re-edited.
As with all my books at JMS Books, LLC, Cultivating Love is available for #FREE download with your #KindleUnlimited subscription (as well as available in other formats at all the usual distributors).