Thursday, December 28, 2023

Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, a Repost blog post #634

 Images Courtesy of


Well, our nameless hero got his petty revenge on Graciela last week. Didn’t accomplish much except bring some satisfaction into his dim life, and that was worth something, right?

 Swore I wasn’t going to do this again, but the week got away from me—life intruding, you know—and I’m going to repost a story again. This one was originally published on May 8, 2018, and it’s one I forgot about and rediscovered. I like it. I hope you do too.




I left the chapel following Charles Farrelson’s memorial service somewhat spiritually fractured. Chuck, thirty years my senior, had been both father figure and lover for the past five years. For at least 250 of the last 260 Wednesdays, he’d filled my afternoons with good food, sharp wit, and loving caresses. Yet the sorrow tugging at my heartstrings felt selfish. It seemed more centered on what was taken from me, rather than his life being snatched from him.

Feeling the need for nourishment, sustenance… something. I walked past the cars in the parking lot and struck out for the Famous Four Flavors ice cream shop across the street. A tall hunky guy I’d noticed at the service entered before me. I’d picked up on him not only because he was so handsome but also because he was Chuck’s son Drake.

Restraining the impulse to introduce myself, I fell in line behind him wondering how he’d feel about meeting his father’s gay lover. Once he collected his chocolate shake, I ordered a strawberry. Keeping my eyes straight ahead, I walked toward a nearby table until a deep baritone brought me to a halt.

“I noticed you at the service.” Drake indicated a chair. “Join me?”

When I was settled, he offered a handshake. “Hi, I’m Drake Barstow.”

I grasped his hand and frowned. “N-not Drake Farrelson?”

His eyebrows reached for his dark hairline. “No. Why would you think that?”

“I’ve seen you before. Last December, I saw you and Chuck leaving Dillards. I asked him later, and he said you were his son.”

His astonished look morphed into glee. “That old dog! Now let me guess. You’re not Carl, Chuck’s nephew. You see, I saw you with him once, too, at the University bookstore.

“I’m Carl, all right. But I’m not his nephew. I was… uh, a friend.”

“Yeah, a friend. What was your day?”

“My day?”

“When did you meet him? Was it on a special day of the week?”

“Well… yes. We got together for lunch or something every Wednesday.”

“Yeah, or something. I was Friday. That’s the day we got together for… something.”

“You… you mean you and Chuck…?”

“That’s exactly what I mean.”

“For how long?”

“Ten years. I was eighteen when I met him. Got together with him every Friday after that except when one of us was out of town. And that wasn’t often, I can tell you.” He arched an eyebrow at me. “How long for you?”

“Five years. I was eighteen, too.”

“Apparently, that’s the age when we first grab his attention. But he was loyal, in his own way, I guess you could say. Outside of Chuck, what do you do?”

I felt my cheeks burn. “No one. It was just—”

“Sorry, that’s not what I meant. What do you do to keep a roof over your head?”

“I’m a commercial artist. You?”

“Photographer. And I’ll bet you’ve got as many intimate drawings as I have photographs.”

My cheeks really flamed then. “Uh, a few.”

“Yeah, I’ve got some scorchers, too.” His attention strayed from me to the front door of the shop. “Hang on, I think we’re about to meet Monday.”

I looked where his gaze was centered and saw the other individual who’d caught my attention at the memorial service. Impossibly young and blond, the kid was really cute.

“What makes you think—”

“Well, he’s not Chuck’s son or nephew, and probably not even a cousin. But he was at the service. What are the odds?”

We both watched the kid’s coltish, self-conscious carriage as he ordered a coke and then turned to glance uncertainly over the room. His eyes stopped on us before moving on.

“Have a chair,” Drake said.

With only a moment’s hesitation, the kid sat.

We identified ourselves and watched the newcomer’s reaction. His blue eyes skittered back and forth between us as he sank into a chair at the table.

“Confused?” Drake asked.


“Well, I’m not Chuck’s son, and Carl’s not his nephew. Now let me make a couple of guesses about you. You’re what? About twenty or twenty-one?”


“Your name’s Jake and you met Carl about two years ago.

The kid seemed flustered. “That’s right. How did you know?”

“I saw you with Carl once at the Kimo. He told me your name later.”

“You saw us?”

 “Bound to happen sooner or later,” I said. “Albuquerque’s not that big of a town.”

Jake looked as if he was about to bolt.

“It’s okay,” Drake said. You’re among brethren.”

“What do you mean?”

“What I mean is I’m Friday, Carl’s Wednesday, and I’ll bet you’re Monday.”

“I don’t know what you—”

“Come on, don’t play coy. You met Chuck for lunch and playtime every Monday, right?”

“I met him, yes, but—”

“Butt being the operative word. You got it on with him. We all did.

Now it was Jake’s turn to send his eyebrows northward. “You mean…?”

“Yep. That’s exactly what I mean. Old Chuck got his jollies every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday with us. Who knows, we might be why his heart failed. Hell, he wasn’t even fifty-five yet.”

That comment sat on the table for a moment while we all digested it. Then Drake took charge again.

“Now what we have to do is figure out the situation. You know” he turned pedantic. “Let not what Chuck sowed be put asunder!”

Jake and I blinked back at him for a moment before smiling.

“How do you know we’re compatible?” I asked.

Drake winked. “I’d bet on it.”

After raising a silent toast to our dear, departed Chuck, we put our heads together and started working out our Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.


That story didn’t come out of any experience of mine. Reading it makes me wonder how my mind works, but I’ll not delve into that too deeply. At the turn of the year, I’ll try to do something original… although I am taking on a new project that’s going to demand a lot of my time. Hopefully, it’s productive in the end.

Until next week, stay safe and strong.

Now my mantra. keep on reading and keep on writing. You have something to say... so say it!

Please check out my seven BJ Vinson murder mystery books published by Dreamspinner Press.

My personal links:



X: @dontravis3

See you next Thursday.


New Posts every Thursday morning at 6:00 a.m., US Mountain time.

Thursday, December 21, 2023

Sometimes Things Turn Out All Right, a Repost blog post #633

 Images Courtesy of


Hope you enjoyed last week’s story about Chuck the Rock and Perry the Brick. Today, I’ll wish everyone a Merry Christmas and happy Holiday Season and wimp out with a repost. I’ll blame it on the busy season, although I don’t know what my buddy Mark Wildyr will say because he told me he’s doing the same thing.


I first ran the following story on Thursday, August 14, 2014. I’ve not edited it a bit, so you can tell he how much my story-telling style has evolved. Enjoy.




I thought I’d die when she walked up to me. Guys aren’t supposed to admit things like that, but, man, that’s the way I felt. Part of it was surprise, and part of it was pure excitement.

Graciela (I never called her Gracie like everyone else) and I had a history that stretched back to grade school. We’d started out yanking hair and kicking shins, but that switched to lipping off to one another as we got older. But I went virtually mute the first time I noticed she had breasts. One day she was built pretty much like me and the next, these knobby little things popped out on her chest. Kinda hard holding a casual conversation while sneaking glances at those awkward protrusions.

The real transformation took place our freshman year in high school. Those knobs became balloons. Her rounded hips made my throat go dry. Imp-face became Pixie-face. Right about then, Graciela discovered boys. Not this boy. Not the schmuck next door, but guys older than me. Guys with shoulders and biceps and pecs and Adam’s apples.

I used to hang around hoping she’d notice me. I’d head for school at the same time she did. I went to school dances … which I loathed … just to see her dressed up like a movie star. And in the privacy of my bedroom at night, I did my best to render myself blind while holding onto a mental image of her. And felt unclean afterward.

My senior year I used some of my hard-earned savings and bought an old Ford, a jalopy like you saw in the Archie cartoons but without the rumble seat. Guys that hadn’t given me the time of day got to be buddies, but Graciela didn’t give me a second glance.

One warm, pleasant Saturday afternoon about one-thirty, I breezed through the front door heading for my car in the driveway. As I reached for the door handle, Graciela materialized beside me. Surprised me. Scared the crap out of me, actually.

“Johnny,” she cooed. Only person I knew who could speak and coo at the same time.

“Uh … oh, hi. Didn’t see you there.”

“I need a favor. Please.”

She had the prettiest “pleases” of anyone in town. “What’s that?”

“I need a ride to the mall.”

Our only mall, The Eastside Mall, was – guess what – on the east side of town. I’d intended to head in the opposite direction to meet a couple of the guys at the municipal swimming pool. But screw the guys.

As she settled in the front seat beside me, my mind’s eye saw us holding hands and exchanging glances as I drove down Henderson Drive. Me, a man in control of his powerful automobile, and she, the woman at my side. My starter ground, shattering the image. Nonetheless, I got the old jalopy started and backed out of the drive, almost clipping the mailman as I did so. Anxious for something to say in the face of near disaster, I cleared my throat as I followed her directions and parked as close to Dillard’s as possible.

“I can hang around and bring you back home, if you want.”

“That’s sweet. But I don’t know how long I’ll be,” she said.

“I don’t mind. I can just … you know, hang.”

“I’m meeting someone.”

“Who? Marcy?” She and Marcy were as different as night and day, but they were tight. “I wouldn’t mind having a pretty woman hanging off each arm.” Did I really say that out loud? My cheeks felt like they were on fire. They actually burned. I didn’t dare glance at her.

“Not Marcy. Well, thanks loads.” She tossed the words at me as she flounced out of the car and slammed the door.

By the time I got my voice-box to working she was walking down the sidewalk toward a dork named Freddy Fleisher. Last year’s fullback … this year’s freshman at the community college. All shoulders, biceps, thighs, and a real Adam’s apple. With hair on his legs, to boot.

When they hugged, I felt like something tore loose inside me. He planted a kiss on her lips before opening the car door for her.

I’d driven her to her date? Why didn’t he pick her up? My blood pressure dropped twenty points. I felt used. Like a taxi driver who got stiffed for the fare. I sat there like dog doo on the bottom of a shoe, my eyes watching the two-year-old Olds convertible fire up. Freddie revved the engine before throwing the transmission into Reverse.

Movement caught my eye. A vehicle motoring down the lane was invisible to the couple in the Olds because of an SUV parked on their right. Mr. Flannery, the same postman I’d almost nailed, was headed to the mall’s substation. I could probably have honked a warning, but I didn’t.

I expected a big crash when Freddie came roaring backwards out of the parking space but it was more of a thud and a crunch. Freddie must have been flustered – decidedly uncool – because he slammed the Olds in Drive and shot forward, smashing his front end into the Chevy parked on his left.

Graciela and Freddie piled out of the car, both talking a blue streak. What I got out of the rush of words was that Freddie was wrapped up in the wreck of his dad’s wheels, while she was bitching about being late for an appointment.

I took a deep breath, eased my jalopy in gear and rolled past the scene of the accident. As Gracie tried frantically to wave me to a stop, I gave her a casual salute and went on by. A swim with a couple of buddies – boring though they might be – seemed like a good idea right about then.


We all get petty now and then, don’t we. Can’t say I blamed him.

Until next week, stay safe and stay strong.

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

Please check out my BJ Vinson murder mystery series starting with The Zozobra Incident and ending with The Cutie-Pie Murders. I may be biased, but I still think they’d make great Christmas gifts for the right person.

My personal links:



Twitter: @dontravis3

See you next Thursday.



New Posts every Thursday morning at 6:00 a.m. US Mountain time. 

Thursday, December 14, 2023

The Rock and the Brick blog post #632

 Images Courtesy of IconScout and PNGkey:


After completing “Boy for Sale,” we have an inkling what private investigators go through in resolving their cases. Wonder if that’s really true? Do any of you know a PI who’d do something like that out of a sense of duty?

Today, we’ll have a piece of flash fiction. Hope you enjoy it.



My buddy spelled his name C-H-U-C-K while his wife penned hers as J-U-D-I. Misspelled it is more like it. I know for a fact she was plain Judy back when she was in pigtails. And so far as I was concerned, that said everything about their union there was to say. Charles, known to one and all as Chuck, was biscuits and gravy with eggs-over-easy, while Judi was more Swiss rösti with smoked salmon. That pegged the two of them perfectly in the mental envelope of my mind. I’d predicted domestic problems from the beginning, but they defied my logic and seemed the perfect pair of love birds.

For three years.

The first apparent crack appeared six months ago when Chuck let his mouth get away from him when four of us were having our weekly boy’s night out at Steve’s Neighborhood Bar.

Chuck, Billy, Steve, and I had gone to high school together, split up to attend different colleges, and returned home to pursue careers. I’m Perry, by the way, but years ago high school sportscasters dubbed me Brick—for that fabled brick outhouse—and Brick I remain today. Chuck and I ended up in the same architectural firm, me as an architect, and him as a draftsman and surveyor. Billy operated a first-rate auto repair shop in town, and Steve owned the bar where we go to water once a week.

Anyway, this one night, Chuck bellyached about a dress Judi’d bought for an upcoming shindig at the office. A way-too-expensive, filmy thing he didn’t even think was appropriate. Of course, we needled him about being king of his own household, which didn’t improve his mood any.

Over the next week, he showed up at work late once, unshaven once, and grumpy the rest of the time. The office shindig at the country club proved to be a big success, and while Judi looked like a million dollars in a filmy, pink chiffon thing, I had to admit it was a bit over-the-top for one of our affairs.

The second clue came when Chuck showed up at my house one night and asked if he could spend the night on my couch. I told him I had a perfectly good second—or even—third bedroom, and he could have his choice of either. He hadn’t arrive until late, so neither of us felt like talking much. I offered sympathy because I’d gone through all this a year or so ago when my wife and I called it quits. I kept my house; she took my money and moved out of state. You’d think that would be an open invitation to glory in my new-found freedom and paint the town, but I chose to remain monastic and concentrate on restoring my financial solvency. My Ex was capable of earning as much as I was, so she took her pieces of my flesh in the form of cash. I wasn’t saddled with alimony, thank goodness.

The next morning, Chuck and I elected to have breakfast at a little diner we both favored. To make a point—we both had biscuits and gravy with eggs-over-easy. He wasn’t very forthcoming, tending to nurse his coffee afterward and husband his words. I did draw him out enough to understand his brother-in-law had showed up, stayed the weekend, and cajoled Judi out of five hundred dollars.

He kept his own counsel at work, so I did likewise and didn’t mention the incident. But Friday night at the bar, he let it all out to his three buddies. Seems like five hundred bucks wasn’t all of it. Chuck’s wife had given her brother her car and was now agitating for another. She’d never liked the Chevy she’d driven for the last three years. Wanted something fancier, of course. Perhaps earlier I should have used the simile, Chuck was Chevy while Judi was Cadillac to explain them. Except, she was demanding something foreign. A Jaguar, I think. Who knew? I’d never have pegged her for someone wanting anything to do with the jungle.

The upshot was that I now had a houseguest at least once a week. Chuck’s golf game went to pot so badly he had to quit betting with us… couldn’t afford the club membership and the losses. Before the summer was out, it was clear to me his marriage was heading the same direction mine had gone. To oblivion.

Chuck didn’t have my hindsight and continued to insist they were just going through a rough spot. Mighty big briar patch… better part of six months now. He’d forgiven the five hundred lost to his brother-in-law, found a used Jaguar for Judi, and expected things to settle down. Didn’t, of course, she’d wanted a new Jag. Since he was absolutely sure she wasn’t running around on him in her new, used car, he considered everything had worked out okay.

Yeah, right.

Football season had started before my doorbell rang at night again. I opened the door, waved him in and hurried back into the den and the television set. Nothing was said until one team called timeout.

“So what’s up, Chuck? You in the doghouse again, or did you come over to watch the game?”

He almost broke up, which made me regret my flip remark. “She’s leaving me, Brick. Told me so tonight.”

“She doesn’t mean it.”

Yeah, she does. Already leased a place. Showed me the contract.”

“Oh.” I swallowed all my “you’ll be better off” remarks and took a good look at my friend. And he was my friend. My best… my closest buddy in the world. When we were teenagers, I’d had a crush on him. I would’ve been his slave, done anything he’d wanted, if he’d simply arched an eyebrow. From fifteen to seventeen, that is. I was seventeen when I met my future wife, and that changed everything.

The rest of the ballgame was lost, my time taken up commiserating with my buddy in his time of trouble. Didn’t offer advice. Knew from my own experience that advice wasn’t what he needed at the moment. Time for that later. He just needed sympathy. Empathy. Someone to be there for him.

Then he lost control. I’d seen Chuck grit his teeth at a broken ankle, take a brutal kidney punch in a teenage brawl, and let someone put a dislocated shoulder back in place, all without so much as anything beyond a groan. Never seen the guy shed a tear over anything.

Until tonight.

When the dam burst, I instinctively scooted over on the couch beside him and draped my arm around his shoulders. For fifteen minutes, I sat—semi-holding my best friend—while he hemorrhaged tears and words. Half the words so slurred I don’t know what they were. Eventually, the words ran out, but the tears didn’t. He turned into me and buried his head in my neck. I held him, not daring to move, for a long time. Well, probably wasn’t over a minute, but seemed like half an hour.

When he finally spoke again, the words were muffled.

“Thanks, guy… you know, for being a friend. D-didn’t mean to fall apart on you.”

“Don’t worry about it,” I said, patting his back fondly.

“Must seem like a pussy,” he snuffled, his lips tickling my neck.

“Nah. Seem like the same old Rock of Gibraltar to me.”

That had been what the announcer called him when he was a lineman on our high school football team. We’d been the Rock and the Brick.

“Quivering puddle of jelly’s more like it.”

Chuck, you’re more man than anyone I know,” I said.

“R-really? Hope for me yet?”

“You got lots of good times ahead of you. Better ones than with Judi,” I quipped, stressing the y that belonged on the end of her name. “You’ve got adventures you’ve thought about for years to explore, experiences you’ve only dreamed about—”

I lost the ability to speak when his lips suddenly covered mine. Surprised, shocked, I started to push him away, but relented.

Oh, what the hell! Might as well see what I missed back when I was sixteen.



It isn’t often we get to relive our sixteenth year, is it? Wonder how Brick enjoyed it.

Until next week, stay safe and stay strong. 

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

In case you haven't done so lately, please take a look at my BJ Vinson murder mystery series starting with The Zozobra Incident and ending with The Cutie Pie Murders. Perhaps one of the seven books might make a good Christmas present for someone you know.  There are also three standalone books.

My personal links: 



X: @dontravis3

See you next Thursday.



New Posts every Thursday at 6:00 a.m. US Mountain Time. 


Thursday, December 7, 2023

Boy For Sale (Part 2 of 2 Parts) blog post #631

 Image Courtesy of Way Up Gifts:


So last week, we saw Colin Ragner, who obviously dislikes gays, arranging to buy a boy from a young, blond, obviously gay man called Kevin Tolliver. What’s up with that?


Let’s find out.





Colin was a patient man, but Kevin Tolliver wore it to a frazzle by dawdling over dinner, and dessert, and an after-dinner drink. What was that kid Barton doing while they were wasting time here. He wanted to pay for the goods and then depart with the “package,” nothing more or nothing less.

He mentally shook himself. Settle down. Barton will be just as good later as he is now. So play this weirdo’s game.

And a game it was, with frequent intimate touches on the arm, leaning forward and laughing intimately, and occasionally dropping the voice to a whisper. Lots of raucous laughter that brought eyes of everyone in the joint to their table.

Abruptly, Tolliver swept to his feet—he apparently didn’t get up and sit down like everyone else, he did it dramatically. “Ready? Let’s go to your place,” the blond said loudly enough for most of the room to hear.

Colin stood, placed his napkin on the table, snatched the bill, and headed for the cashier, muttering his hotel room number to his tormentor. Buying a boy from some creep shouldn’t be so involved. Hand over the money, get the boy and go, that’s how it should be. And that’s all it would be from now on. The games were over.

Colin turned over his car for valet parking and strode into the lobby of the Manchester Hotel feeling as if he looked like the fool he felt. He’d lost control of the situation, something he should never have allowed to happen. As he entered the elevation, he muttered the words he should have said in the first place, “Pony up, buster, or I’m gone.” He took his irritation out on the button calling for the fourth floor.

He'd barely shed his coat before the expected knock came. He admitted Tolliver, turning his back on him insolently and striding into the room.

Kevin Tolliver glanced around. “Nice. Make a nice love nest.”

“I wouldn’t know. Let’s get down to business.”

“My, my, impatient, aren’t we? You’re not even going to offer me a libation?”

“You’ve libated on all of my time you’re going to.” Colin reached under a table and brought out a thick envelope. “Fifty thousand, like we agreed.”

Tolliver accepted the package. “You won’t mind if I count it, will you.”

“Count it, and then let’s get going.”

“You’re really hot for this kid, aren’t you?” the blond said.

“Stop the sleaze talk and start counting.”

“You’re beginning to sound like you don’t enjoy my company. Oh, well, let’s complete our business.”

The room was silent for the next few minutes as Tolliver counted the money… twice. Finally he looked up. “Looks like it’s all here.”

“Great. Where’s the kid?”

“I’ve decided to up the ante,” Tolliver said. “I want something else.”

“A deal’s a deal. The James family isn’t all that wealthy. You should have kidnapped a bigger fish if you wanted more money.”

“Oh, the money’s quite adequate. It meets my needs quite adequately. But you’ve been so insolently charming, I want something else.”

“If not money, what?”


Colin’s eyebrows shot up. Revulsion crawled up his spine. “Me? No way, you slime ball. You’re not putting your hands on me.”

“Oh, it’s not my hands I want to put on you, sweetie. Look at it this way, you can just lie back and enjoy it, and the James family gets their darling boy back no worse for the wear. Or we can go to war and somebody gets hurt.”

“Meaning you.”

“Possibly, but what about poor Barton. He might not come out of this so well, either. Why make it hard? Just give me what I want. After all, it is your fault, you know.”

“Mine? How in the hell is it my fault.”

Tolliver smiled, dimpling his left cheek. “Well, first… you’re much hunkier than I expected. Downright sexy. And second, you’ve been sort of rude to me. Not overtly, but still quite dissing. So I want payback. And I can’t imagine any payback more distasteful to you.”

“You’re a real bastard, you know that, don’t you,” Colins said between clenched teeth. “How do I even know you’ve got the kid.”

“Oh, I’m prepared for that. Proof of life, isn’t that what they call it?” Tolliver took out his phone and poked some buttons. A moment later, he spoke into the mouthpiece. “Hi, doll. Yeah, took longer than I thought. He insisted we have dinner first. Oh, yeah, he’s dishy. You’d eat him up. Remember, we’re on face time. I’m going to hand the phone to him, you point it at dear Barton. Don’t say anything, and don’t show your face. Might want to have Barton move so our private investigator knows he’s alive. Then terminate the call. Understood?”

A moment later, he handed the little instrument to Colin. After some dizzying movement, a youth lying naked on a bed came into focus Anxiety was evident in the features, but they were handsome, nonetheless. Good definition of the body. No gag, but the eyes had a vacant look. Drugged, most likely.

“Barton, are you okay?” Colin demanded.

The boy started, then nodded and muttered something that sounded like “Kay.”

Tolliver snatched the phone back and killed the call. “Satisfied?”


“Now, let’s satisfy me.”

Colin gritted his teeth. Why the hell not? He’d done some screwy things while ransoming kidnap victims before, but none as screwy as this.

With a sigh, he tore off his shirt.


Aha, so Colin’s a private investigator paid to ransom the Jones family’s kidnapped son and heir, Barton. Wonder how the kid got himself in that kind of jam? Some sort of a gay threesome with the wrong people? Who knows… but we can imagine all sorts of scenarios, can’t we?

 Until next week, stay safe and stay strong.

Now my mantra: Keep on reading and keep on writing. You have something to say… so say it! And for those of you who also read Mark Wildyr’s blog, don’t forget it was my mantra first!

Please check out my BJ Vinson murder mystery series starting with The Zozobra Incident and ending with The Cutie-Pie Murders. I may be biased, but I think they’d make great Christmas gifts for the right person.

My personal links:



Twitter: @dontravis3

See you next Thursday.



 New Posts every Thursday morning at 6:00 a.m. US Mountain time. 


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