Thursday, December 13, 2018

Don Travis: Dinky-Dos

Don Travis: Dinky-Dos: dontravis.com blog post #315 Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons A bit to total nonsense this week. Sorry, folks, that’s the way my ...

Dinky-Dos


dontravis.com blog post #315



Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
A bit to total nonsense this week. Sorry, folks, that’s the way my mind works.

*****
DINKY-DOS

          Kate trailed Ellie out of the public swimming pool locker room Saturday afternoon, her hair still damp, her pink pedal-pushers clinging to moisture on her legs. Ellie was always in a hurry. She caught up with her friend.
          “Did you see Will’s swimming suit?” Kate asked, slightly breathless from all the rushing.
          “Hard not to. It was psychedelic.”
          “No… I mean… Well, the way it fit so tight. You could almost see his dinky-do.”
          “His what?”
          “You know, his dinky-do.”
          “Geez, Kate, how old are you?”
          “Nine. Just like you.”
          “Then don’t talk like a baby. Who calls it a dinky-do?”
           “I do, for one. What do you call it?”
          “What everybody else does. A thing.”
          “Thing?” Kate thought that over for about a dozen steps. “Have… have you ever seen a thing?”
          “Course I have. I’ve got a brother. You?”
          Kate shrugged. “How could I? I don’t have a brother.”
          “You’ve got a father, don’t you? He has a thing.”
          Kate’s gut rolled. “He does? Well… I guess.”
          “Sure he does. How else did you get here?” Ellie asked.
          Kate swallowed hard to quell a rebellious stomach. “I-I don’t like to think about that.”
          Ellie tossed her head. “Oh, grow up. And believe me, when a boy gets as old as my brother, it's not so dinky anymore." She smirked. "Did you see Peter today? He’s going to turn out to be a hunk like his brother.”
          “Probably.”
          “They call them that, too, you know.”
          “Call what?”
          Ellie drew a breath like she was dealing with a dodo. “Dinky-dos.”
          “They call them Peters?”
          “Without the cap.”
          “What?”
          “You know, small p peters.”
          “Oh. How does Peter… uh, Pete hold his head up?”
          “Doesn’t think about it, I guess. Can you imagine going around saying “Hello, I’m Peter?”
          Ellie laughed, drawing Kate’s chuckle right along with her. They walked half a block without speaking. Ellie broke the silence.
           "If you think Peter ought to feel bad, so should Richard."
           " They're called richards?"
           "No, silly. Dicks."
           "Kate blushed and giggled. "I don't think I'll be able to face either one of them again."
           "Not without laughing, anyway. They call them something else, too,” Ellie went on.
          “I know. Penises.”
          “That’s a medical name or something. They call them the C word.”
          “C word?’
          “Come on. Like in cock-a-doodle-doo.”
          “They call them cock-a-doodle—”
          “Just the first word.
          Kate spoke without thinking. “Cock?”
          Ellie giggled. “Ahmmm, you said a dirty word.”
          “Didn’t either.”
          “Did too! You said cock-a-doodle-doo without the doodle-doo.”
          Kate snickered. “You know, I think I like dinky-do better.”
          “So do I. Did you see that tacky bathing suit Mavis had on? She must think she has boobs, wearing a two-piece like that."
          The two walked down the sidewalk laughing and chattering like… well, like two girls.

*****
Like I said, a piece of nonsense this week. Hope you enjoyed the by-play. Ladies, don’t beat up on me too much for trying to get into the head of two little girls. Haven’t had much practice, you know.

Please get a copy of my latest book, The Lovely Pines, and provide feedback on the novel. If you do read the book, please post a review on Amazon. Each one helps.

Abaddon’s Locusts is scheduled for release on January 22, 2019, and the first draft of The Voxlightner Scandal is finished!

Now my mantra: Keep on reading. Keep on writing. You have something to say… so say it.

My personal links:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/donald.travis.982
Twitter: @dontravis3

Buy links to the Lovely Pines:


See you next week.

Don

New Posts are published at 6:00 a.m. each Thursday.


Thursday, December 6, 2018

Don Travis: Withered on the Vine (An adaptation of an original...

Don Travis: Withered on the Vine (An adaptation of an original...: dontravis.com blog post #314     Courtesy of Wickipedia Brother Bucky got a pot load of hits last week, but not many “likes.” Woul...

Withered on the Vine (An adaptation of an original story by Mark Wildyr)


dontravis.com blog post #314
  
Courtesy of Wickipedia
Brother Bucky got a pot load of hits last week, but not many “likes.” Would appreciate a few from my readers.

For this week’s short, short, my friend Mark Wildyr allowed me to adapt a story he posted on his blog on April 1, 2014. He wrote the story in homage to a friend he lost to HIV/AIDS. A recent article I read on the global health crisis known as Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, prompted me to recall the two individuals I have known who succumbed to the horror more commonly known as AIDS. In the early days of the disease, it was almost always fatal. My friends depicted below were stricken in those days. More recently Antiretroviral Therapy (ART), has allowed many of the infection’s victims to live longer, less horrible lives. Let’s pray the affliction is soon wiped out.

At any rate, here’s my adaptation of Mark Wildyr’s April 2014 piece.

*****
WITHERED ON THE VINE

Shafts of sunlight piercing cloud-capped tempests. A slender oak sapling prematurely gnarled by drought. A plump young melon rotted from within… withered on the vine. We’ve seen them all.
A bright future never realized. A quick, mischievous mind laid waste. Wiry swimmer’s muscles emaciated and atrophied. Tanned, silken flesh suppurating and splotchy. An indomitable spirit piteously eroded. You’ve seen them all? Then you must have known my friends, one felled before his time and the other in his prime, by the poison whose name is whispered in fearful awe.
They were both as incandescent as that golden sunbeam, as tenacious as the fledgling oak, as sound as a prospering gourd. Joyful, flirtatious, puckish, engorged on sweet temper, sated by gentle good will, they shambled through life handsome and desirable, recognizing and reconciled to being different from their fellows. Too late, each put aside promiscuity born of lively curiosity and turned to steadfast fidelity. The hateful venom had been transmitted. Invaded from within, they began a long, horrid, inevitable diminuendo, complicated by tuberculosis and meningitis and bacterial infections that defied naming.
Struck down by God for abominable sin, the self-righteous proclaim. Nay, the libertines decry, there is no God. How could an Almighty permit the destruction of such humanity?
They are wrong… their certain knowledge as corrupted as my friends’ shriveled frames at the end time. They were not vexations upon the population; they were the most human of humans: a blend of perfection and fault, good and bad, noble and mean. No God of my acquaintance could be offended by their genial attendance. Challenged, perhaps. Unsettled, maybe. Enchanted…absolutely.
But if there is no God, then these terrible tragedies become meaningless, insufferable, interminable catastrophes. If He does not exist, then who will pluck those unique, harmonious souls from the wretched human detritus left behind?
Such horror must not be the end; cannot be the ultimate Omega.

*****
Such a tragedy.

Apparently, the virus was not originally carried by humans. It originated in champanzees, and somehow was transmitted to humans.

Please get a copy of my latest book, The Lovely Pines, and provide feedback on the novel. If you do read the book, please post a review on Amazon. Each one helps.

As previously noted, The Bisti Business was named as a finalist in the New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards in two categories: Best Mystery and Best Gay Book. Sadly, the book took no prize in either category.

Now my mantra: Keep on reading. Keep on writing. You have something to say… so say it.

My personal links:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/donald.travis.982
Twitter: @dontravis3

Buy links to the Lovely Pines:



Abaddon’s Locusts is scheduled for release on January 22, 2019, and the first draft of The Voxlightner Scandal is this close to being completed.

See you next week.

Don

New Posts are published at 6:00 a.m. each Thursday.


Thursday, November 29, 2018

Don Travis: Brother Bucky

Don Travis: Brother Bucky: dontravis.com blog post #313 Courtesy of FreePhotos Last week’s LOL must have struck a nerve in China. I had twice as many pagevie...

Brother Bucky


dontravis.com blog post #313

Courtesy of FreePhotos
Last week’s LOL must have struck a nerve in China. I had twice as many pageviews from there than I had in the US.

For this week’s short, short, I ask you to think back to your youth and let your imagination run away with you as we take a look at “Brother Bucky.”

*****
BROTHER BUCKY
Can life get much sweeter? Eighteen. College frosh. Cool. Handsome and sexy, at least according to my new girlfriend, Elizabeth Warfield. She’s the best girl I’ve ever had. Had. You know what I mean? The other girls let me do it; Elizabeth does it right back. Believe me that’s one hell of a lot better.
I stood outside the Student Union Building after last class and watched Elizabeth’s fraternal twin brother head my direction. Bucky Warfield is sorta a mystery to me. Downright strange sometimes. He’s a freshman like Elizabeth and me but doesn’t run with my crowd. He’s tennis and swimming; I’m football and soccer. Right now, from halfway across the quadrangle, he’s moving with this unusual grace; nothing girlish, but it’s...well, androgynous, I guess. Weird! Shit, what did he want? He waited until he was right in my face to speak.  His eyes were big and chocolate brown like Elizabeth’s. Her eyes were her best feature.
“Kilgore,” he opened. My name’s Ellis Egan Kilgore, but nobody ever calls me anything but Kilgore. “You’re diddling my sister, and I want you to stop.”
“That’s up to her,” I replied, meeting the moment with maximum casual.
“No!” Bucky said in a firm voice with a finger on my chest, his nose virtually touching mine, and those big brown orbs gazing straight into my eyes. “If you’re going to screw a Warfield, it’s gonna be me!”
“What?” I asked, my voice rising an octave. I had been braced for a sucker punch, but not that one. “You mainlining, smoking, or popping, man? You think I’m queer for you?”
“You want a Warfield, it’s gonna be me. Me or nobody.”
“Fuck you!” I sneered.
“Exactly,” he said with a gentle smile as he strode away. “We’ll talk about it later.”
Flabbergasted, I wondered if this was his squirrelly way of saying the romp with Elizabeth was over. Weird way of putting it, but like I said, old Bucky was passing strange.
Looking back, that seemed was the moment my life went all screwy.

*****
Oh wow! How did it go screwy? Did Bucky manage to mess thing us between Kilgore and Elizabeth? Or did he get between Kilgore and Elizabeth. You tell me what you think happened.

Please get a copy of my latest book, The Lovely Pines, and provide feedback on the novel. If you do read the book, please post a review on Amazon. Each one helps.

As previously noted, The Bisti Business was named as a finalist in the New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards in two categories: Best Mystery and Best Gay Book. Sadly, the book took no prize in either category.

Now my mantra: Keep on reading. Keep on writing. You have something to say… so say it.

My personal links:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/donald.travis.982
Twitter: @dontravis3

Buy links to the Lovely Pines:



Abaddon’s Locusts is scheduled for release on January 22, 2019, and the first draft of The Voxlightner Scandal is almost completed.

See you next week.

Don

New Posts are published at 6:00 a.m. each Thursday.


Thursday, November 22, 2018

LOL


dontravis.com blog post #312


Courtesy of Pinterest.com
Received a lot of hits on the finale to “Mountain Augury” last week. Several comments on Facebook and on my email. Guess you liked the story.

This week is less of a story than a semi-essay exploring a concept new to me. Let me know how you like it.
*****

LOL


          Lyle Oliver Lloyd carried the epithet of LOL with him to the campus of Winderham University. Only he knew it originally stood for Little Orphan Lyle. He’d lost both of his parents in a car accident when he was a youngster. His dark curls and big brown eyes, full pouty lips, and sweet nature made distant relatives vie to take care of him. Aunt Louise and Uncle Bud took him first and cared for him the longest. But he reached an age where the curls and the eyes and the lips remained devastating but were now accompanied by slim hips and broadening shoulders.
          When Cousin Bob, two years his senior and a flat-out mama’s boy, started hanging around him too much, LOL readily accepted what the older boy offered as a matter of routine.
          Although he wasn’t certain why, Lyle was quickly sent to Cousin Barbara and her husband, Bill. That arrangement lasted until their daughter, roughly his own age, began fluttering her eyes at him. He sampled her wares, finding them just as pleasant and fulfilling as what Bob had given him.
          After that, he was shuffled to one cousin after another until he arrived on campus determined to learn who he was. He knew he was a football star, that’s how he got to Winderham. He also understood he was a good student and handsome and bled when he was cut… but that’s not who he was. All he knew for certain was that he was different from most people he knew.
          For example, he didn’t classify people as guy friends or gal friends, just friends. Nor did he look on another student as a handsome guy or a pretty girl. They were just handsome or pretty, as the case may be.
          He felt tingly down the back when he was with Sara from Freshman English. He thought maybe it was the way her bust struggled against the tight pullovers she usually wore, but after thinking on it, that wasn’t it. He just liked Sara. And he went tingly down the front whenever he saw Chuck in the dorm shower room bent over a sink brushing his teeth, his trim butt swathed in a cotton towel. It took some hard thinking to come to the conclusion it wasn’t some part of either one’s anatomy that stirred him. It was Sara—the entity of Sara that attracted him. The same with Chuck. It was Chuck, not his manly posterior that called out to him. Friendly pheromones, perhaps?
          Then there was his roommate, Robin. It didn’t take long for word to reach LOL’s ears that Robin was the campus queer. The place where a guy went when his girl got him all hot and bothered but wouldn’t put out. Lyle got more than one veiled suggestion that he must be “well taken care of,” but the insinuations were flat-out untrue. He had no feeling for or reaction to Robin. It didn’t bother him that his roommate actively sought relationships with other guys. LOL analyzed Robin’s anatomy, something he was unaccustomed to doing, and decided the guy was attractive. But not to him, despite Robin’s obvious interest in him.
          By the end of the semester, he’d bedded Sarah and Chuck and a couple of other students. When he took the time to analyze his relationships, he realized he’d received an immense amount of pleasure from each coupling… except for one. Then he considered his confederates in the unions and was surprised. Chuck was pretty, beautiful really, Sara was handsome in a feminine way. One of the others was a pudgy guy with a pleasing air, and another was a butch girl with an aggressive way. He considered each, not only as a lover, but also as a friend.
          The one that hadn’t worked out? He'd allowed Robin to overcome his better judgment once. His roommate was handsome, capable, and very skilled, but once the assignation was over, Lyle asked for another roommate.
          But by then, he had his answer. He knew who he was… or at least what he was. He was sexually attracted to people, not gender, not looks, not personality… but sympathetic people who hit him as genuine individuals. Like he said. Pheromones calling to pheromones, not body parts calling to body parts.
          He was a pan.
*****

As I say above, the pansexual concept is something new to me. I know one individual who so identifies himself and know of a couple of others. The character study above is my attempt to express my understanding of  the idea. I’m sure readers will point out where I’m wrong.

Please get a copy of my latest book, The Lovely Pines, and provide feedback on the novel. If you do read the book, please post a review on Amazon. Each one helps.

As previously noted, The Bisti Business was named as a finalist in the New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards in two categories: Best Mystery and Best Gay Book. Sadly, the book took no prize in either category.

Now my mantra: Keep on reading. Keep on writing. You have something to say… so say it.

If you would like to drop me a line, my personal links follow:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/donald.travis.982
Twitter: @dontravis3

Here are some buy links to the Lovely Pines, which (as noted) was released on August 28:



Abaddon’s Locusts is scheduled for release on January 22, 2019, and the first draft of The Voxlightner Scandal is about 95 percent completed.

See you next week.

Don

New Posts are published at 6:00 a.m. each Thursday.



Thursday, November 15, 2018

Don Travis: Mountain Augury, Part 3 of 3 Parts

Don Travis: Mountain Augury, Part 3 of 3 Parts: dontravis.com blog post #311     Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons Ah, here comes the ending. All will be revealed. Time to pick up th...

Mountain Augury, Part 3 of 3 Parts


dontravis.com blog post #311
  
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Ah, here comes the ending. All will be revealed. Time to pick up the pace a little. You’ll remember that Teo Oxley, hired to restore two frescoes in a mountain mission, has been wrestling with a phantom in his dreams and observing mysterious shadows in the daylight. He’s lost a lot of his fear but is frustrated because he feels the specter is trying to deliver a message… a message he has not been able to decipher.
*****
MOUNTAIN AUGURY

AUGURY: (o’gye re) n. – The art or practice of divination from omens or signs (Random House Webster’s College Dictionary)

Rodrigo went to work moving the disassembled scaffolding from the nave into the narthex while I considered the second fresco. If anything, it was more dynamic, more dramatic than the larger painting. In the foreground, San Pedro, still exhibiting obvious Indian blood, suffered his martyrdom in the traditional manner. His cross was inverted; his agony, tangible. Priests and soldiers and Indian shamans and sheep and horses stood at a respectful distance to suffer with their Saint. Above them all, a distant, gentle Jesus looked sadly down upon the crucifixion of his Apostle.
A scrabbling in the corner heralded the puckering of my flesh and the tickling of my nose. The presence was back. He was always stronger in the narthex. Momentarily unable to confront him, I fled into the nave and helped Rodrigo carry the last of the scaffolding. By the time we returned to the narthex, the phantom had retired restlessly to the far corner. Warily, I helped my young assistant erect the gigantic tinker toy that would support us as we worked on the fresco.
That night, he appeared the moment I slipped over the edge of tortured sleep. The dark, amorphous presence from another dimension took on definition and light. Absent the cloak and cowl, a white cotton shirt glowed eerily, unnaturally. Rude cotton trousers. Huaraches, open-toed sandals. His being took on the color of the earth and then lightened with a tinge of rose. For the first time, the face clearly appeared in all its manly strength. I gasped as that strange scent without odor tickled my nostrils.
He hovered before one of my photos of the frescoes I’d pinned to the hut’s rude walls. A ghostly hand moved across the surface and hovered at the lower right corner of the photograph as a strange sigh filled the hut.
He gestured again toward the photo before vanishing as I slowly surfaced from the land of dreams, exposed and shivering in the cold. I lay awake the remainder of the night fretting over the meaning of my dream.
***
Given the lessons learned on the first fresco, work on the second progressed faster than I had hoped. Things were relatively quiet until the final phase of the work, the retouching. Even this was expedited because I had existing supplies of the paints created for the first fresco. As I carefully worked on an agonized St. Peter hanging upside down on his cross, I sensed a presence on the scaffold with me other than Rodrigo, who was carefully retouching the background. He was here, suffering with the Saint, experiencing the pain of the nails, the horror of approaching death. Could my shade be the Saint, himself?
A spasm seized my right hand, causing me to drop my brush and cry aloud. Rodrigo rushed to my side, concern written across his features.
“It’s okay,” I said, rubbing my hand vigorously. “Had a cramp, that’s all. Let’s call it a day.”
Rodrigo followed as I started for the ladder, assessing what remained to be done as I went. I paused to examine some minor figures and noticed a faint blur of color in the extreme right near the bottom. After adjusting one of the lights, I made out the form of a man. Not enough of the original paint remained to indicate who, or even what he might be. A soldier? A religious figure? One of the Indians proliferating the scene? I could not tell. I’d have to use my imagination on virtually the only part of the original fresco that could not be accurately interpreted... or paint it out of the fresco completely.
A stirring in the woods, the ominous atmosphere in my shack, and a hint of odor warned me of the presence. After bathing out of a basin and listlessly eating something tasteless, I studied sketches of the fresco for a few moments before turning off the light and going to bed.
“Why don’t you stop screwing around and just tell me what you want?” I said into the darkness. I immediately rued my words. What if it were the Saint, himself? Impossible! He had died half a world away.
As usual, it took time for him to find form and definition while I lay shivering with equal parts of fear and curiosity. Eventually, he moved to the same photo of the narthex fresco and turned to me, his shadow luminescent.
“I’ve looked at the photo,” I wailed. “I don’t understand!”.
A whirlwind shook the interior of the tiny building. The photo fluttered to the floor. If he sought to frighten me, he succeeded. My skin puckered from a sudden chill. Chastened, I crawled from the bed and picked up the fallen picture. On a whim, I snapped on a flashlight and turned it on the photograph. He shrank from the sudden light as I examined the lower right corner where the protoplasmic finger often rested.
“It’s that figure I can’t make out on the fresco,” I said aloud.
Ignoring the nighttime chill claiming the hut I rummaged around in my things until I found a magnifying glass. Using that, I made out several brush strokes in the form of a small, stylized man.
“I’ll take another look tomorrow.” I didn’t know if I spoke to myself or my phantom.
He knew. That skin-puckering sigh filled the room as he faded away.
***
I spent the next morning completing the retouch of the crucifixion of St. Peter, then suffered through an impatient lunch, earning strange looks from Rodrigo. My meal half-eaten, I rushed up the scaffold and grabbed a clean brush. I again surprised my young companion by ignoring other major figures and going directly to the faint outline in the extreme right corner. Rodrigo held his tongue but was clearly curious. I ignored him.
Cleaning dust from the faint impression of color, I took up my pigments and began to paint. I had to fight the impulse to do a two-dimensional portrait, but that would have been horribly out of character with the rest of the fresco. Instead, I followed the outline my augury had revealed to create a figure of substance out of what had been illusion. As I finished, Rodrigo put aside his brush and moved to my side. He gasped and froze. Holding my breath, I waited him out.
“It’s him!” he whispered.
“You’ve seen him?” I asked.
Rodrigo nodded. “You?”
“Daily. He wouldn’t leave me alone. I wasn’t certain you knew about him.”
“He scared me, at first. I almost quit and run away before I figured out he didn’t want to hurt me. You know who he is?” he asked.
“Not until this morning. He’s the artist who painted the frescoes. He’s the Indian who created all of this beauty.”
“He’s dead. Why does he hang around?”
“Haunt us, you mean? Because he wanted to be remembered for what he did. But I couldn’t understand. Last night, he found a way to let me know what he wanted.”
“What was that?”
“To be acknowledged. He didn’t want his image painted out of the fresco.”
Rodrigo gave a shaky laugh. “Will he vamoose now?”
“I believe we’ve seen the last of our artist friend.”
“I’m glad… sorta.”
Rodrigo expressed my feelings perfectly.


*****
Are we there yet? No, not quite. Teo is still frightened but not terrified. He seems to be coming to terms with his anxiety. At least he’s glad to have the placid Rodrigo working with him on the scaffold. Next week, we’ll finish the story. Then you can email me and tell me what you think.

Please get a copy of my latest book, The Lovely Pines, and provide feedback on the novel. If you do read the book, please post a review on Amazon. Each one helps.

As previously noted, The Bisti Business was named as a finalist in the New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards in two categories: Best Mystery and Best Gay Book. Winners will be named in November.

Now my mantra: Keep on reading. Keep on writing. You have something to say… so say it.

If you would like to drop me a line, my personal links follow:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/donald.travis.982
Twitter: @dontravis3

Here are some buy links to the Lovely Pines, which (as noted) was released on August 28:



Abaddon’s Locusts is scheduled for release on January 22, 2019, and the first draft of The Voxlightner Scandal is about 90 percent completed.

See you next week.

Don

New Posts are published at 6:00 a.m. each Thursday.


Thursday, November 8, 2018

Don Travis: Mountain Augury, Part 2 of 3 Parts

Don Travis: Mountain Augury, Part 2 of 3 Parts: dontravis.com blog post #310 Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons Time to pick up the pace a little. You’ll remember that Teo Oxley has b...

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