Thursday, July 19, 2018

When Fiction Becomes Nonfiction: I’m a Triathlete (A Repost from Ben A. Brock)

dontravis.comblog post #294

 The following post on B. A. Brock Books (www.babrockbooks.com) dated July 9 and reposted on Facebook hit me right between the eyes! I knew that I wanted to share this powerful story with my readers and asked if I could repost. Ben graciously gave me permission. I am proud to pass on his story:

*****

 

WHEN FICTION BECOMES NONFICTION: I’M A TRIATHLETE


Jul 09, 2018 by B. A. Brock in Blog Post

I didn't drown






!




ALTHOUGH I’M a voracious reader, it may come as a slight surprise that my adventures into triathlons started with a fiction novel. Two years ago, after two of my operations, I read a Mystery/Thriller by Don Travis, called The Zozobra Incident. It attracted me because it promised to be a hard-boiled mystery with an openly gay protagonist, something I hadn’t read before but is very much in my wheelhouse. The book delivered everything it promised, and more, but I wasn’t anticipating the lasting effect it would have on me and my life.


Ominously, the course
started with a hill












BJ Vinson, our protagonist, is a law enforcement officer who was heroically injured in the line of duty, now retired from the force and working as a confidential investigator. He’s nearly middle age, lost his parents in a tragic accident, has a strong work ethic, is daring and intelligent, and is gay. Until I read The Zozobra Incident, I’d never met a protagonist of BJ’s ilk. I especially hadn’t realized how much I’d been pining for a role model, someone I could relate to and look up to on this level. I gobbled up the next BJ Vinson mystery, and the next, and am currently not-so-patiently awaiting the fourth (The Lovely Pines, which comes out at the end of August).

OMG, It's Hot!

There are many differences between BJ’s life and mine, but I felt a closeness to him–which should wholeheartedly be ascribed to Travis’s skill as a writer–and I wanted to feel closer. Because BJ was injured in the leg, he regularly swims for exercise. I reasoned it’s fairly normal for runners to have a secondary aerobic exercise they use as a cross training tool, plus it was something simple I could do in order to feel closer to my hero, so after I recovered from my surgeries I enrolled in a swim class. That swim class led to me swimming three days per week, and because I got acclimated to running and swimming in the same workout schedule, I figured if I wanted to do a triathlon all I had to add
was the cycling piece. Which led me to signing up for my first race.

I trained for a year, vigorously for four months. Every day I spent hours either lifting, swimming, cycling, running, or doing a combination of all four. In my state of exhaustion, I admittedly didn’t spend much time thinking of BJ, of what he might think of all this. I also didn’t see much of my husband. But finally, this last Saturday, at Henry Hagg Lake in scenic (and hilly) Forest Grove, I finished my first Olympic distance triathlon. I am now a marathoner and a triathlete.

Ben the Marathoner and
Triathlete












And I have Don Travis and his character to thank for that.

Thank you, Don and BJ. Without you, none of this would have been possible. To those authors who inspire countless of others, thank you and keep writing. Not everyone may thank you in a blog post, but know your words have changed people’s lives–you make the world a better place.
Love,
Ben

Here’s my Review of The Zozobra Incident by Don Travis. (At the bottom should be suggestion links to other books in the series.) Also, anyone notice that awesome medal and matching T shirt? Totally rad.

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About the author B. A. Brock

B. A. Brock has lived most of his life in the Pacific Northwest. He graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in 2007 at Portland State University--which he mostly uses to contemplate how we can achieve a civilization more closely aligned with Star Trek. When not writing, Brock spends his time reading/reviewing novels, training for marathons, and bemoaning the fact that the world has yet to make a decent gluten free donut.

*****

Thank you, Ben. What else can I say. Just… thank you. Awesome. Rad. Read him at www.babrockbooks.com


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

Facebook: Don Travis
Twitter: @dontravis3

Here are some buy links to City of Rocks, my most recent book.


The next book in the BJ Vinson Mystery Series, The Lovely Pines is scheduled for release on August 28 of this year. It appears on DSP Publication’s upcoming releases page:  http://www.dsppublications.com/books/upcoming-releases-c

Abaddon’s Locusts follows on January 22, 2019. AND I have recently signed a contract for the sixth book in the series called THE VOXLIGHTNER SCANDAL. Publication date as yet undetermined.

See you next week.

Don

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


Thursday, July 12, 2018

I’m My Own Man (Part 2 of 2 Parts) – A Guest Blog

dontravis.com blog post #293

You will remember that last week, Mark Wildyr guest posted the first part of his short story, “I’m My Own Man.” This week we finish up the story.

*****
          I slept fitfully in my car that night and woke the next morning feeling dirty and heavy-lidded and not thinking too straight. I crawled out of the car to stretch out the kinks and wash up in the men’s room at the town park. Thus far, I’d spent half my energy throwing mental darts at my father; at his insensitivity, at his physicality, his crudeness. The other half, I invested in feeling sorry for myself. Now in the clear glare of sunlight, I needed to decide what to do next. No way was I going back home… not right away.
          I bought a breakfast burrito and cup of coffee from the McDonald’s down the street and took them back to the park to escape people. I imagined everyone was staring at the town queer. Didn’t take long to achieve that distinction. Kiss a guy once… well, twice… and that’s all it took. As soon as the bank opened, I went inside and tapped my funds for enough money to take care of me for a week.
          Without thought or plan, I got in the Chevy and drove out of Wadlow. Before long, I found myself in Silverdale, the county seat not a dozen miles down the road. I hit their McD for lunch. While I didn’t know very many people in this town, I imagined they were all staring at the county queer. Damn, I’d been promoted in less than a day.
           Finishing my burger in their park—it was bigger than ours—I wondered what to do next. Drive on until I was somewhere nobody knew me? Sit and stew? Go back home and do the crawfishing papa would demand before he quit looking at me like I was an alien. Or just sit here and molt.
          “Joshua, is that you I see?” The heavy voice startled me into thinking papa had already tracked me down.
          I looked up into the florid features of James Rondell. Mr. Rondell owned the grocery store in Silverdale. He knew my dad from business and civic organizations they both belonged to. Friendly competitors was how my mom put it.
          I stood and accepted his hand. “Mr. Rondell. Nice to see you.”
          “You are not working today?”
          “N-no, sir. I’m taking some time off.”
          “Well, if you want to make some extra money for school, I can use a hand. I’m short a clerk. The wiener schnitzel went and got himself married.”
          My heart took a leap. “Really? Guess I could help out… if it’s needed.”
          “A lifesaver, my boy. That’s what you’ll be. For a week, maybe?”
          “I… uh, I guess so. Have to find someplace to stay.
          “Not a problem. My wife and I have a spare room. Outside entrance and everything. You’ll be welcome.”
          Mrs. Rondell was my mom plus ten years and ten pounds. She welcomed me into her home and made me feel comfortable. I’d found a soft landing… at least for the next week or so.
          The culture at Rondell’s Foods—the way they did business—fit like a glove. Except for wearing a blue apron instead of a green, everything was almost the same. Mr. Rondell and I went to the store at six each morning after a hearty breakfast to open and get things ready for the day. The butcher and another clerk—a middle-aged lady—completed the staff. At the end of a week, no one said anything about me moving out or not coming to work, so I continued as I was.
          At the end of the second week, Mr. Rondell wanted to stop for a cup of coffee before going home. As we settled into a corner booth at the restaurant, I understood he wanted to talk.
          “Joshua, you’re a good worker, and I want you to understand you have a job here for as long as you like. But I know you sometimes get lonely for your own home.”
          “S-sometimes. But I’m okay. If you still need me, that is.”
          “You work at the store. You see my need. But still—”
          “It’s not comfortable for me at home right now,” I blurted.
          “Yes, I know.”
          And I saw that he did. He knew all about it. My cheeks burned.
          “Let me tell you a little story,” Mr. Rondell continued. “There was this man who knew how the world should work and insisted his family live by its rules. But he had a son who saw things differently. A son who insisted on being his own man by falling in love with another man. His dad thrashed him good and told him to be normal, a good Christian.”
          Mr. Rondell took off his glasses and wiped his eyes. “Then the son left his home and never came back. He and his friend moved out of town. A year later, word came to the family the son had been killed in an automobile accident. That papa never saw someone he loved dearly again.”
          “That… that was your son?” I stammered.
          He nodded. “My sweet Steven. He was a good boy even though I was too stupid to understand that.” He touched my shoulder. “I don’t want that future for you, Joshua. You are welcome here, but when you are ready to stand up to your father, Hilda and I will understand.”


          Two days later, my knees nearly gave way when Toby Wolfson came through the door and walked up to me. “I need two bales of hay,” he announced with a lilt in his voice and merriment dancing in his eyes.”
          I had to clasp my thighs to keep from throwing my arms around him. “How… how did you know where I was?”
          “I live about halfway between here and Wadlow. Sometimes I shop here, and sometimes there. I heard you were working at Rondells. So here I am.”
          “Let’s go get that hay.”
          After we loaded the bales, Toby backed me into a corner and took liberties that had me panting so bad I could hardly stand it. Apparently, he couldn’t either because he backed off and asked when I got off work.”
          “Not till seven.”
          “I’ll meet you outside at seven. Then we can go somewhere where we’ll be alone.”
          “Okay, but I have something to do first. Can you hold off an hour or so?”
          “Yeah, if I don’t burn up between now and then.”
          “You better not. I’ll see you at the Wadlow city park at eight, okay?”


          My mom was overjoyed when I walked through the door to our house; papa, more like flustered. But he recovered fast. “So, you just stroll in here after walking out. How you know you’re welcome?”
          “Be quiet, Louis,” mom snapped. “Of course, he’s welcome.”
          “If he can behave himself. If he can be a man.”
          I walked over to where he sat and took the newspaper out of his hand. “That’s why I’m here. I want to explain something to you.”
          “You explain to me?”
          “Yes. Apparently, you haven’t learned much from life. In too narrow a rut, I guess.”
          “Joshua, don’t speak to your father like that.”
          “Sorry, Mom. But this is between him and me. Papa, there’s more to being a man than just loving a woman. I take care of myself, make my own way. I’m responsible and reliable.”
          “Yes, but—”
          “Let me finish. So in my eyes, that makes me a man. But I’m not you, papa. I’m my own man. And if you can accept that, maybe I’ll come back home. But until you do, I won’t enter this house again.”
          I crawled into the Chevy a tormented man. It felt good to stand up to my father and express myself, but I hadn’t been raised to go against his wishes. Had I irreparably separated myself from my family?
          Unsettled and uncertain, I was steadied by the sight of Toby waiting for me at the park. Without a word, we piled into his pickup and drove out of town. An hour later, all of my doubts were swept away. I was truly my own man… with a man of my own.
                                                                                                                                      
*****
Looks as though Mark brought it home okay. I don’t know about you, but it stirred some shadowy memories in the past part of my brain.

Now my mantra: Keep on reading. Keep on writing. And keep on submitting your work to publishers and agents. You have something to say… so say it.

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

Facebook: Don Travis
Twitter: @dontravis3

Here are some buy links to City of Rocks, my most recent book.


The next book in the BJ Vinson Mystery Series, The Lovely Pines is scheduled for release on August 28 of this year. It appears on DSP Publication’s upcoming releases page:  http://www.dsppublications.com/books/upcoming-releases-c

Abaddon’s Locusts follows on January 22, 2019. AND I have recently signed a contract for the sixth book in the series called THE VOXLIGHTNER SCANDAL. Publication date as yet undetermined.

See you next week.

Don

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

Thursday, July 5, 2018

I’m my Own Man (Part 1 of 2 Parts) -- A Guest Blog

dontravis.com, Post #292
  
Courtesy of Free Images


Back to fiction this week.  Mark Wildyr asked to guest post on my website, and today is the day he gives us the first of a two-part story about being gay in a small town in the Oklahoma Bible Belt. I suspect many of us have lived the story in one form or the other in our past.

Hope you enjoy it.

*****
I’M MY OWN MAN

By Mark Wildyr

          My name is Joshua Scrivener. I’m eighteen, and I clerk full time every summer in my father’s grocery store.
          To some people that was all there was to me. Those three things constituted me. My papa probably looked upon me more as a grocery clerk than as a son. But I was more. Lot’s more. I was human with human feelings and I had thoughts about things besides lettuce and ham and olives and… Well, you get the idea
          My problem—my emancipation you could say—started the day Toby Wolfson strode into Scrivener’s Groceries. He took my breath away and sparked thoughts about things you never give voice to in this little bible belt town of Wadlow, Oklahoma. I tried not to gawk, but there was no way to avoid noticing his broad shoulders and heavy chest struggling to break through the thin shirt that covered them. Or the way he tapered to a narrow waist. But it was the face that made me blush and stumble over my words. Dark and hawkish, it proudly proclaimed his Choctaw blood. I instantly lusted to see him—Lord forgive me—naked. Stark naked.
          The bemused smile on his broad mouth let me know he knew he flustered me. Did he understand why? I blushed at the thought. Toby paid for a couple of bales of hay, and said his pickup was already at the storeroom delivery dock. He accompanied me back and helped pile the two heavy bundles into the bed of his truck.
          He thanked me before introducing himself and offering to shake. He held my sweaty hand in his for a long moment after we exchanged names. His onyx eyes locked onto mine.
          “How about a beer sometime?”
          I swallowed so hard that I gulped. “I-I don’t drink.”
          “That’s okay. Don’t think we need alcohol for what’s between us. I drink strawberry. Bet you drink Coke.”
           “D-Dr. Pepper.”
           He grinned, making me weaker in the knees. “Same thing. See you soon.”
          With that, he dropped into the back of the pickup and vaulted over the side with such manly grace that I almost gasped aloud. Moments later, he drove down the alley and turned left onto Main Street.
          I closed my eyes to capture the imprint of his handsome, laughing face on the back of my lids. What did he mean what was between us?
          My dad’s heavy voice startled me. “Joshua, what you doing standing around back here. The canned bean section needs restocking.”
          “Yes, papa. I just helped—”
          “Yeah, yeah. I saw. Come on, get moving.”
          As I rushed to grab a case of lima beans, I wondered if I’d ever see Toby again? Oh, Lord? Did I say that aloud?
          In fact, I saw him that very night down at the Arrow Theater a couple of blocks from our store. Me’n my next-door neighbor Charlie were seated on the aisle near the back of the auditorium when Toby and a pretty, dark-haired girl took seats a few rows ahead of us. So Toby dated girls, did he? Course, he did. Just like the rest of the male world. My stomach fell away when she settled against his shoulder. That coulda been me. The lights dimmed, and the film started, but my eyes were glued to two dark heads nestled against one another. I ached by the time the lights came up. Literally ached.


          A week later, my idol walked through the doors to Scrivener’s Grocery. Fighting a case of Toby-induced vertigo, I managed to understand he needed hay again. I took his money, and we walked back to the storeroom where he helped me load his bales. Then he transfixed me with those startling eyes.
          “How’d you enjoy the movie the other night?” he asked.
          “Okay. Saw you… and your girl. She’s pretty.”
          “Thanks. She’s okay, but we’re not that tight. Let’s just say she likes me more’n I like her.” His slow grin made me back against the wall of the stockroom in order to remain upright. “He moved in front of me, invading my space, but I didn’t mind even though it made my mouth go dry. “You and the dude you were with are bud-buds?”
          “I-I don’t know what that is.”
          Toby laid a hand on my shoulder. “I can show you, if you want me to.”
          “I don’t know. Maybe.”
          He leaned into me and put his lips to mine. I think I groaned. He opened his mouth and invaded mine with his tongue. I about slid to the floor. He pulled his head away, still pinning me with his body.
          “Does that help you make up your mind?”
          “I-I—”
          He cut me off with another kiss. I closed my eyes and felt my soul stirring. Birds twittered, or maybe it was a ringing in my ears. I know I moaned this time.
          He reeled backward, his eyes wide. It took a moment to realize papa had him by the neck with one hand and by the belt with the other. In a second, Toby flew through the open dock door into the back of his pickup.
          I got to the door in time to see him scramble to his feet and start for the dock.
          “Toby!” I shouted. “Don’t. Please.”
          His smoldering look softened as his gaze shifted to me. Unclenching his fists, he hopped out of the pickup bed and jerked open the door.
          “And don’t come back,” my father yelled at the retreating truck before turning on me. “You… you’re disgusting. What was you letting that fellow do to you? What comes next? He screw you on the hay bales? Pervert!”
          He turned and stomped back into the store. My face burning, my innards strangely hollowed out, I tore off the green apron I always wore and stalked out the door.
          The moment I bailed out of my old Chevy in our driveway and entered the house, I knew Papa had called and ratted me out. Mama stood in the kitchen, baking flour dusting her hands as she looked at me through haunted eyes. “Oh, son,” was all she said. It was enough. I packed my bag, hugged her, and drove away without saying a word.

*****
Can you imagine how crushed and untethered Joshua must feel right at this moment?  Life must be pretty bleak. Wonder what the next segment will bring?

Please take a look at Mark's novels, Cut Hand and Johnny Two-Guns. Amazon permits you to read a short passage from the books..

Mark's contact information is provided below in case anyone wants to drop him a line:
Website and blog: markwildyr.com
Email: markwildyr@aol.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/mark.wildyr
Twitter: @markwildyr

Because he posted the blog, we'll give the links for his books.

The following are some buy links for CUT HAND:


And now my mantra: Keep on reading, keep on writing, and keep on submitting. You have something to say, so say it!

Until next time. And thanks, Mark.

Don


New posts at 6:00 a.m. on the first and third Thursdays of each month.

Friday, June 29, 2018

The Janus Effect

dontravis.com blog post #291
  
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Sometimes it feels good to just indulge in writing exercises, and that’s what I’ve chosen to do this week. Let me know what you think.

*****
THE JANUS EFFECT

          In Roman mythology, Janus was the god of gates and doorways who gazed simultaneously in two directions, signifying a look at the beginning and the end… or a view of opposites. This writing exercise attempts to do just that.
        
  From Robert’s viewpoint:

          I slurped the last of my strawberry milkshake as Samantha exploded through the door and steamed across the black and white checkered tile floor directly to my table, bringing with her storm clouds and the scent of gale-lashed roses.
          “Hi, Sammy. Have a seat.” My voice sounded loud in the quiet atmosphere of the malt shop.
          “Don’t start with me, Robert. You know I hate being called that. And just what do you think you’re doing?”
          I could almost see flames from her flaring nostrils, although she looked nothing like a dragon. Not even a cute one. “That’s a dynamite hat. Looks great on you. You should wear it more often.”
          That threw her for a loop. Her blue eyes widened momentarily before returning to mere slits. “Answer my question. Just what did you say to Hank?”
          “Let me get you something. What would you like? No, wait. I know just the thing.” I got up and walked to the counter, feeling her eyes flay my back like a laser.
          A couple of minutes later, I returned to the table with her favorite… an old-fashioned cherry phosphate. She couldn’t hide a momentary look of pleasure. Some of the color faded from her cheeks. Guess I knew how to cool her down.
          After one dainty draw on her straw, Sammy stared directly into my eyes. “Answer my question? What did you say to Hank?”
          “Did you know he was two-timing you?”
          Aha, caught her off guard. Her eyes were ping pong balls for about a tenth of a second. And now, they weren't so squinty.
          “Don’t go spreading that nasty rumor,” she said, struggling to maintain her attitude, “And if you don’t answer my question right this minute, I’ll never speak to you again.”
          Time to bring this to a close. I rose, gazed down on her, and dropped my voice. “I told him that if he hurt you, he’d have to deal with me.”
          With that, I turned and walked away before I confessed something I ought not. Not right now, at any rate.

 From Samantha’s viewpoint:

I stormed through the ice cream shop door and spotted him at a table across the checkered tile floor, slurping the dregs of a strawberry milkshake through a straw striped like a barber’s pole. His greeting did nothing to improve my mood.
“Hi, Sammy. Have a seat.”
I saw red as I dropped into the white painted, iron curlicue chair opposite him. He knew that nickname infuriated me. “Don’t start with me, Robert. You know I hate being called that. And just what do you think you’re doing?”
He regarded me through dark chocolate irises. “That’s a dynamite hat. Looks great on you. You should wear it more often.”
Oh, no. That wasn’t going to work, although I was momentarily pleased he’d noticed my black Dutch boy with a brown brim. “Answer my question. Just what did you say to Hank?”
The idiot ignored me. “Let me get you something. What would you like? No, wait. I know just the thing.”
He bailed out of his chair and fled to the counter, most likely to escape my anger. I couldn’t help but notice how his broad shoulders tapered to a trim waist.
He was back a minute later with my favorite. A cherry phosphate. Damn, he would pick the one place in town that served the things. Well, he’s not going to coddle me out of my snit. Still, no sense wasting the drink. I took a deep tug on the straw, swallowed, and faced him again.
“Answer my question? What did you say to Hank?”
His face turned bland. Crap, he was good looking even while bland. “Did you know he was two-timing you?”
The dirty creep. That was a low blow. Play it cool, girl. “Don’t go spreading that nasty rumor. And if you don’t answer my question right this minute, I’ll never speak to you again.”
Something happened to his face. It closed up. He surprised me by standing and staring straight into my eyes. He smelled of the milkshake he’d just imbibed. “I told him that if he hurt you, he’d have me to deal with.” Then he walked away.
Audacious bastard! Who does he think he is? He’s not my knight in shining armor. I don’t need—
Still, it was sorta sweet of him.

*****
There it is… this week’s offering. Don’t know about you, but I thought the exercise was interesting.

Now my mantra: Keep on reading. Keep on writing. And keep on submitting your work to publishers and agents. You have something to say… so say it.

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

Facebook: Don Travis
Twitter: @dontravis3

Here are some buy links to City of Rocks, my most recent book.


The next book in the BJ Vinson Mystery Series, The Lovely Pines is scheduled for release on August 28 of this year. It appears on DSP Publication’s upcoming releases page:  http://www.dsppublications.com/books/upcoming-releases-c

Abaddon’s Locusts follows on January 22, 2019. AND I have recently signed a contract for the sixth book in the series called THE VOXLIGHTNER SCANDAL. Publication date as yet undetermined.

See you next week.

Don

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


Thursday, June 28, 2018

Don Travis: What's in a Name?

Don Travis: What's in a Name?: dontravis.com blog post #290 Courtesy of Wikimedia common Enough of the school teaching thing. This week, let’s get back to som...

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Don Travis: What's in a Name?

Don Travis: What's in a Name?: dontravis.com blog post #290 Courtesy of Wikimedia common Enough of the school teaching thing. This week, let’s get back to som...

What's in a Name?

dontravis.com blog post #290

Courtesy of Wikimedia common


Enough of the school teaching thing. This week, let’s get back to some hot flash fiction. Don’t know where the following story came from, but it sort of wrote itself, so I suspect it's from some suppressed recollections from my past. Does it remind you of anything in yours?

*****
WHAT’S IN A NAME?

          Mirrian-Webster defines corker as something exceptional. If so, Aaiden Corker was aptly named. That described him right down to his toenails, and believe me, I’d seen him right down to those bare toenails. Not like I would have preferred to see him, you understand, but in the locker room at the pool or in the showers after a game of golf. To me, he was walking perfection. Handsome. Built. Bold. Smart. Considerate. And—unfortunately—totally heterosexual. I was so consumed by living on his fringes that I’d even looked up the meaning of his first name. Aaiden. English meaning a fiery young man. Nailed it!
          I had an unusual Christian name, too, although my family name of Smith was about as common as you can get. My first name was kinda symbolic, as well. Eban was likewise English and meant stone. And that’s the way I got around Aaiden… rock hard. My mind went sort of flinty, too. My tongue might as well have been stone because it didn’t function very well in his presence. If you get the idea I was awed by Aaiden, you’d be right.
          The summer after we graduated Rainsville High—me as valedictorian and Aaiden as salutatorian—I attended a scout camp in the mountains in the northern part of the state. To my delight—and terror—Aaiden was there, as well. I almost packed up and went home when I found he shared a bungalow with me and four other guys. But he made it easy, taking the time to talk to me like I was a regular guy, not a tongue-tied idiot. Before long, I could say “good morning” and “good afternoon” without stuttering.
          Halfway through the camp, the scoutmasters sent us on field trips, one of which was overnight. I enjoyed the walk among the fragrant pines and spruce and along ridges that opened to vast vistas across broad canyons. Jays and other birds flitted among the branches and chirped at us as we passed. I fed a chipmunk scraps from my mess kit before scouring the stainless-steel vessel with sand.
          Twilight found us on a flat piece of ground near the peak of a mountain at about 11,000 feet. It had been a glorious day, and I’d not given thought to sleeping arrangements. So I was surprised to find myself helping set up a two-man tent and horrifically thrilled that Aaiden was pounding pegs into the stony earth right beside me. We would share the tent. Wow!
          He was so casual about it that I soon put aside my apprehension and enjoyed his company. He really was a great guy… in addition to being handsome and sexy and totally desirable. Later, when we turned in, I watched out of the corners of my eyes as my tentmate stripped to his skivvies—black Haines briefs—and slipped into his sleeping bag. He did it in a hurry, not because he was shy, but because at this altitude, the nights were cold even in the summer. I wondered if he eyed my plain white jockeys as I crawled into my own bag.
          “Brrr,” Aaiden said. “Shoulda brought PJs.”
          “Yeah, they should have warned us.” I bit down on my tongue after that pedestrian reply.
          To my delight, we spent a few minutes talking about the day’s hike and a couple of the counselors before he doused the flashlight and settled down for the night. It took me a long time to go to sleep. I kept fighting the urge to reach across the couple of feet that separated us to make sure he was really there. If nothing else, I could always say I spent the night with Aiden Corker. Let them make of that what they will.


          I wasn’t really asleep. It was too cold for that, but I was in a stupor when a hand shook my shoulder.
          “D-damn, Eban, I’m freezing. How about you?”
          “Cold. Uncomfortable. But not freezing.”
          “Your fart bag must be better than mine. Can I crawl in with you? I’ll put my bag over the top of us.”
          My mouth went dry as I nodded my head before realizing he couldn’t see me. “Y-yeah. Sure.”
          Then Aaiden Corker, my idol, my wet dream, unzipped my bag, told me to turn on my side, and crawled into bed with me. I barely noticed how cold his flesh was, all I knew was that Aaiden’s chest pressed flush against my back and Aaiden’s basket was shoved against my butt.
          “Better,” he pronounced after a moment. “You all right?”
          I wasn’t. A vital part of me was mimicking the English meaning of my first name, and my sphincter was twitching like crazy. But I swallowed hard and mumbled, “Yeah.”
         “Kinda close quarters, isn’t it?” he remarked as he settled himself more comfortably, which involved pressing his package against me. Was it my imagination, or was something taking place down there? Whoops. Not my imagination.
          “You know,” he said, putting his arm around me and pulling me closer. “I’ve wondered what this would be like since we were both sophomores.”
          I didn’t have to do a thing while Aaiden lived up to his name. A fiery young man!

*****
Does this leave you casting around in your memory for something similar? I certainly hope so.

Now my mantra: Keep on reading. Keep on writing. And keep on submitting your work to publishers and agents. You have something to say… so say it.

By the way, I understand fellow author Mark Wildyr has decided to purloin the mantra for his website, as well. That’s okay. I encourage anyone and everyone to adopt it. It’s so true!

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

Facebook: Don Travis
Twitter: @dontravis3

Here are some buy links to City of Rocks, my most recent book.


The next book in the BJ Vinson Mystery Series, The Lovely Pines is scheduled for release on August 28 of this year. Abaddon’s Locusts follows on January 22, 2019. AND I have recently signed a contract for the sixth book in the series called THE VOXLIGHTNER SCANDAL. Publication date as yet undetermined.

See you next week.

Don

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


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