#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).

Blurb

Cultivating_Love_400

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.


Kindle Unlimited

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

eBooks

JMS Books | Amazon Kindle (Unlimited) Universal Link |iBookstore

Barnes and Noble/NookKobo | Google Play | BAM!—Books-a-Million

Print

JMS Books | Amazon Universal Link | Barnes and Noble

Flash Fiction Friday

#FlashFictionFriday – Cultivating Love – More Alt. Universe No. 1

Flash Fiction Friday

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

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

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 Fred’s 3rd-person POV:

“Unbelievable if that’s true,” Bill muttered. “That bitch is pure evil. Wicked witch of the west material.”

Fred didn’t take his eyes off the two young men approaching the diner, but waved a hand behind him to shush Bill. “She’s still Ed’s mother. She wasn’t that bad—at least not before. Don’t say that shit in front of him.”

When Ed and the other fella pushed through the door, Ed’s gaze immediately locked with Fred’s, and he smiled. Smiled. “Lady from the grocery store tip you off?”

“Wow,” the blond said. “You guys have got to be related.”

“Yeah,” Fred managed to squeeze the word around the lump in his throat. “We’re related.”

It’s more than a drabble, but still quite short. Sorry, but it’s past my bedtime, I’m behind in everything, and I waited until the last minute to do this. 😁 At least they’ve spoken. That deserves some nicer words for next week, doesn’t it?

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).

Cultivating_Love_400

Blurb

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.


Kindle Unlimited

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

eBooks

JMS Books | Amazon Kindle (Unlimited) Universal Link |iBookstore

Barnes and Noble/NookKobo | Google Play | BAM!—Books-a-Million

Print

JMS Books | Amazon Universal Link | Barnes and Noble

Flash Fiction Friday

#FlashFictionFriday Cultivating Love Alternate Universe Scene Cont.

Flash Fiction Friday

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

This is a continuation of the “ALTERNATE UNIVERSE #1” scene for Cultivating Love that I first posted back on June 2 (if you haven’t read it, consider clicking this link to do so before reading this week’s continuation of it).

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 Fred’s 3rd-person POV:

Fred’s phone vibrated on the diner’s tabletop, and he smirked at Bill after looking at the screen. “It’s Ruby.” She’d probably noticed his truck here and was going to tease him some more about his recent wardrobe malfunction.

He swiped and put the phone to his ear. “Don’t worry, I checked my jeans for awkwardly located holes before putting them on this morning.”

Bill shook his head and grunted. “Saw an unfamiliar truck pull in front of the store a few minutes ago.”

Ah, fresh gossip, then?

“I figured.” Ruby laughed. “No, I want to give you a head’s up. A couple out-of-towners are walking your way.”

“What’s wrong with them?” Fred picked up his water glass and shrugged when Bill quirked a brow.

“Nothin’. Though I suppose some would consider one of ’em being the spittin’ image of you to be a drawback.” Fred’s hand stilled with his glass halfway to his mouth. “Anyway, he’s a Jamison and was surprised to hear he potentially had a living relative in Mayfield.”

“He’s a Jamison?” Bill’s eyes widened at Fred’s words. “Got a first name?”

“Ed.”

Fred carefully placed the glass back on the table before his shaking hand dropped it. Why would Ed come to Mayfield? To taunt him? No, Ruby’d said something about him not realizing he had living relatives here. How could that be?

“Ed? He’s here? He’s coming to the diner?” Fred swiveled in his seat as Bill leaned for a better look out the window. A blond man and another who did indeed look a lot like Fred tossed a couple bags into the truck Bill must’ve been referring to earlier, then the blond smiled and placed a hand on the doppelganger’s shoulder before hitching his head toward the diner and saying something.

“Recognize the name do you?” She made a sound that Fred couldn’t quite interpret. Not quite derision, but possibly disappointment. Yeah, she’d feel let down about Fred keeping her in the dark about something like this. “He said his dad had been from Mayfield, but died before he was born. They figured you might be a cousin or something.”

Fred swayed in his seat as the blood drained from his face. Of all the ways he’d imagined meeting his son for the first time, a no-notice public confrontation had never entered his mind. Ed had told her his dad died before he was born. Did he actually believe that, or was it one of those “you’re dead to me” things?

The two men slowly ambled toward the diner. It was pure torture waiting…wondering. Why had he decided to seek Fred out now?

“Fred? You still there?” Ruby’s voice sounded distant. Probably because he’d unconsciously lowered the phone.

He brought it back up. “Yeah. Sorry. I’ll call you back, okay?”

“Lookin’ forward to it.” She clicked off without another word.

Fred placed the phone on the table and half stood before dropping back down. Bill patted his hand, which told him how panic-stricken he must appear, because he and Bill avoided anything even remotely resembling affectionate physical displays in public.

“Want me to head them off?” Bill sidled to the edge of his bench seat ready to act.

“No. They look…friendly. Not hostile anyway—like they’re here to stir up trouble.”

Bill’s head tilted to the side as he continued to stare at the approaching figures. “Maybe. Want me to make myself scarce?”

Fred shook his head. “Not if you can play nice.” Hell, he could use the moral support. But… “I know this is a sore subject for you.”

“Can’t think of any good reason for him to be here—not with his history.”

“I don’t know why they’re here right now—don’t even know who the other guy is. But from what Ruby said, that shit might’ve been all Susan’s doing. He might not even know I’m alive.”

“You kiddin’?”

“Nope.” The two young men were almost to the diner’s door. This was it. The moment he’d been anticipating for the last twenty-odd years. Good, bad, or ugly, it was about to go down. He took a deep breath, slid out of his seat, and stood to await his son’s long-anticipated arrival.

I know, I know…I’m doing it again. Ending it right before they meet (again). 😁 Guess I need some more words to drive this alternate universe story onward. #SorryNotSorry

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).

Cultivating_Love_400

Blurb

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.


Kindle Unlimited

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

eBooks

JMS Books | Amazon Kindle (Unlimited) Universal Link |iBookstore

Barnes and Noble/NookKobo | Google Play | BAM!—Books-a-Million

Print

JMS Books | Amazon Universal Link | Barnes and Noble

Flash Fiction Friday

#FlashFictionFriday – Cultivating Love “alternate universe” Bonus Scene – #FlashFic #amwriting

Flash Fiction Friday

This week I’m using the word left on last week’s Flash Fiction Friday post:

kiss

…and 14 additional words I got from https://www.randomlists.com/random-words (screenshot, below):

coolexchangedearknowingthrillcratebuildingheallivelyrabbitplanegeneralbewilderedscience

Screenshot 2017-05-30 17.11.10

This is a bonus scene for Cultivating Love. It’s not a continuation scene, or a “missing scene” that could fit somewhere in the middle. It’s a “WHAT IF?” scene. As in what if, in some alternate universe, Ed and Joe traveled to Mayfield in the spring before the action in Cultivating Love takes place? Before Ed’s father is tragically killed in a motorcycle accident? Note: The action in this scene is NOT consistent with the published story, and cannot be considered a true prequel.

Ed stared out the window at the white trail behind a plane crossing the sky. “Maybe we should’ve flown to Denver.”

“Nah,” Joe replied. “It’s just one day of driving each way—about eight hours plus stops. This way we’ll have my truck to get around in while we’re there.”

“Yeah, I know. Sorry, I’ll quit bellyaching.” Lengthy road trips sucked, but Ed didn’t need to make the long drive across Nebraska worse by bitching about it to Joe. Besides, he was looking forward to everything they had planned to do in the city. Everything from the thrill of seeing a ballgame at Coors Field to the diversion of the planetarium and exhibits at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, to the awesomeness of the vintage cars at the Forney Museum of Transportation. He needed to exchange his whiny attitude about being stuck in a car for a more upbeat one that reflected his excitement for the days ahead.

A lively rabbit hopped at the side of the road, drawing Ed’s attention to the road sign next to it. “That’s the Mayfield exit. My dad was from there.”

“You’ve never visited the town, right?” Joe flicked on the turn signal and slowed the truck. “It’s as good a place as any to pick up some road snacks. That way you can at least see the town where he lived.”

Cool. Yeah, that’d be great.”

Joe took the exit and they traveled a few miles down a secondary highway before reaching Mayfield. They found the town square without any trouble. It was like stepping back in time as they drove the circuit, passing by a bank, a diner, a hardware store, and a general store. The pharmacy had a cute sign with crisscrossed bandages above the words, “We heal you.” Ed pointed toward a brick building with a large sign simply stating “Groceries,” and Joe pulled into a parking spot in front of it.

A middle-aged woman’s eyebrows rose sharply when they entered the store. She stood near the cash register, restocking a shelf of impulse items all stores seemed to have next to their checkout lines. Ed nodded and smiled as he picked up a hand-held basket and followed Joe. The first aisle straight ahead of them had crackers and chips visible on display, so that’s where they went.

A bushel basket atop a crate held various single serve snack items, but Joe pulled full-sized boxes and bags off the shelves and tossed them in Ed’s basket. Just as well, since they’d want snacks in their motel room in Denver, too.

The woman from the front wasn’t particularly subtle as she kept an eye on them. Maybe they looked like potential shoplifters. More likely it was because they were strangers, and in a town this size, that stood out.

“Hey,” Joe whispered. “Let’s give her something to talk about.”

“What are you planning? I don’t want to get arrested by some backwoods sheriff.”

Joe snorted. “Nothing illegal.” He bounced his eyebrows a couple times and leveled a knowing look at Ed. “Think the old dear will piss herself if I kiss you?”

Ed choked on a laugh, and Joe didn’t wait for an answer—he leaned in, placed a hand on Ed’s jaw, and planted a big smooch right on Ed’s mouth. If Joe had been hoping for an outraged reaction from the woman, he’d be disappointed, because if the smirk that appeared on her face was any indication, she was amused.

Ed added a bag of cheese popcorn to their basket and they returned to the front to pay for their food. The woman looked them up and down again. “You boys in town visiting relatives?”

“No ma’am,” Joe replied. “Just passing through.”

“Huh.” She turned to Ed. “I would’ve sworn you were a Jamison.”

Ed’s heart skipped a beat and he grabbed Joe’s arm. “I am a Jamison. Ed Jamison.” Maybe his mom had been wrong, and he did have some family still alive. “I didn’t think I had any living relatives here. Are there some? My dad was from Mayfield, but he died before I was born.”

She looked bewildered with her brow scrunched and her mouth pinched. “Hmm. Not sure who your father was, but you look a lot like Fred Jamison. He has a farm on the south side of town. He can probably sort it out for you.”

“Fred?” That had been his father’s name. Ed turned toward Joe.

Joe shrugged. “Maybe a cousin? Want to check him out?”

Ed turned back to the woman. “I’m so glad you said something. Thank you. I didn’t think I had any relatives left at all. Do you know if his number is listed? Do you think he’d mind me questioning him about the family?”

“He’s listed. You won’t need it, though.” She inclined her head toward the square out the front window. “That’s his truck in front of the diner.”

Ed grinned. “Fantastic.” He turned back to Joe. “That okay with you? We’re not on a schedule, right?”

“Yeah, no problem.”

They paid for their groceries, thanked the woman again, and left. They tossed the bags in the truck and walked toward the diner. “I’m nervous,” Ed said. “I hope this guy isn’t peeved that we’re interrupting his lunch.”

“Nah, it’ll be fine. Quit worrying.”

Ed pasted a wide smile on his face as they opened the door and entered the diner.

I’m going to be a mean bitch and end it there. Leave a prompt word in the comments, below, and I’ll use it in next week’s Flash Fiction Friday post. One word per commenter, please, up to 15 total. 😁 If you want this scene continued, you might consider leaving something that’ll be useful for that.


The 1st edition of Cultivating Love is available at Loose ID through (probably) June 8 or 9.

The rewritten and expanded 2nd edition will be out at JMS Books in ebook formats on June 24, and in print on June 30. It’s available for preorder, now:

JMS Books, LLC | Amazon Kindle | Kobo

Cultivating Love - Cover - Addison Albright

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?

Note: This is a previously published story that has been rewritten, expanded, and re-edited.