#FlashFictionFriday – Cultivating Love – Alt. Universe 1 Part 4

Flash Fiction Friday

Today’s Flash Fiction Friday scene uses the words left in last week’s post: bestwriterever. 😁

This is a continuation of Alternate Universe #1. You can find the first three installments here (1) and here (2) and here (3).

NOTE: The action in this scene takes place prior to the published story.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The action in this scene is NOT consistent with the published story, and CANNOT be considered a true prequel. If this scene had happened, the book would be entirely different. The action in this scene is also unrelated to that other “What if?” scene I posted on June 30 (alternate universe #2).

Told from Ed’s 3rd-person POV:

Ed stutter-stepped, but Joe grabbed his arm, stopping him from falling into a klutzy heap in the middle of the diner. That would hardly have been the best first impression. The wide-eyed look on Fred’s face—a face that made him feel as if he were looking into some magical funhouse mirror that could show him his future—was disconcerting. Not at all what he’d expected out of some distant (or maybe not so distant?) cousin.

It was unsettling because Fred looked almost overwhelmed by Ed’s presence, but not in any kind of negative way because he’d had his lunch interrupted. More like he’d been waiting his whole life to meet Ed. Weird.

Ed continued forward. “Hi. I’m Ed Jamison, and this is…” He gestured toward Joe. Should he risk losing his chance to gain some information about his dad’s family in case this guy was homophobic? He cleared his throat. Fuck it. The grocery store woman had obviously wasted no time calling Fred and had probably told him about that kiss anyway. “This is my boyfriend, Joe Durham.”

Fred’s jaw dropped, so maybe the woman hadn’t tipped him off after all. “Your…” That was all he said before his head spun to stare at the other man still seated at the table. If Merriam-Webster ever wanted a picture to put next to the expression “what the fuck?” in their dictionary, they could snap a photo of that fella’s face.

The guy at the table sat back and tilted his head to gaze at Ed as if trying to figure something out. He found his voice before Fred did. “You didn’t write that goddamned letter, did you?” The words were murmured as if he was absently speaking his thoughts rather than addressing Ed.

“What letter?” Ed turned back to Fred. His lookalike’s expression had morphed from stunned to…heartbroken? Ed shrugged. “I’m not much of a letter writer. The occasional text message, maybe.”

Oh, look. I’ve run out of prompt words. Darn.

Leave as many prompt words as you like in the comments, but I’ll only promise to use one from each contributor in next week’s post (although I’ll try to use them all).



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.

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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).

Buy Links


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Flash Fiction Friday

3 thoughts on “#FlashFictionFriday – Cultivating Love – Alt. Universe 1 Part 4

  1. I can’t believe you!! You’re going to give me a heart attack, an aneurysm, and whatever else that can occur due to repressed frustration!! 😀

    Here are some words for you: “I really like you but now, pretty please with sugar on top, write more. Longer. All the words”

    Well, would you look at that: 18 words. Should keep you going for a while, don’t you think?? 😀

    Love it! <3

    1. LOL. At least they’re all good words to use to continue this story. I might even be nice and do that rather than some unrelated flash. 😉 They’re even sitting in a diner, so “sugar” shouldn’t be too tricky to work in without a shoehorn. 😄

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