Monday, 30 May 2016

Monday Flash Fics: The Audition

The Audition

“Okay,” Scott the director said. “If you two are ready we’ll start the read through now.”

I stared at the pages in my hand. This was the first time I’d auditioned with this company and clearly they did things differently from others I’d worked with. “What is this play?” I asked. “There’s no title, no author.” I skimmed down the lines before adding “and these pages don’t give me any idea what the play is about.”

“It’s something new,” Scott replied. “First time author and a recently finished play. I would have been shocked if you’d recognised it.”

I’d only met Scott ten minutes earlier, when I walked into the rehearsal room. Two minutes later I’d been introduced to Peter, the man sitting next to me, although I couldn’t help feeling I’d seen him before somewhere. It wasn’t just the play confusing me either. Why had I been told to take my shoes off when Peter was still wearing his?

I glanced at the phone on the floor in front of me, silently cursing the impossible timing of this impromptu rehearsal. I couldn’t miss the message. Over the past eight weeks I’d been receiving mysterious but alluring texts from an unknown number. When the first one arrived, my initial instinct had been to delete it and block the sender.In the end I’d saved it without replying. I just didn’t have it in me to delete a text saying: *I’ve been watching you. One day we’ll share a kiss…and more.*

My silence hadn’t deterred whomever the sender was. The texts had kept on coming, each subsequent one more alluring than those I’d seen before, as if the person behind them knew how lonely I was, how much I craved attention.

*Two o’clock, Market Hall auditions. The veil will be lifted.*The words of that last texthad sent excitement coursing through my veins. My mysterious sender had coxed all my secret dreams and desires out of me over time, rewarding me with words describing how he—I assumed it was a ‘he’—would make those wishes come true.

“Very good so far,” Scott interrupted us once we’d gone through the first page of what appeared to be a budding romance between two men, except there was a dark edge to everything we’d read so far. “I like the fear in your voice, Josh,” he said to me. “Even without knowing the full story, you’re getting the tone just right.” His words made me glow inside.

“It was easy,” Peter read. “He was so desperate for attention I didn’t even have to try.”

I stared at the page, expecting to see my character’s name in front of the next line but finding a different one instead.

“Desperation will do that,” Scott’s voice speaking the next line took me by surprise.

My phone vibrated on the floor next to my feet and I reached forward to glance at the screen and read the message, only half-listening to Scott continuing his lines, barely aware of him slowly walking towards me and circling my chair.

“It just takes finding the right subject. There’s so many lonely people out there who’ll do just about anything to end their isolation.” Too busy fiddling with my phone, I noticed but ignored the tone of his voice changing from engaging to threatening.

*Got you* I read on my screen moments before something was pulled over my head and my world went dark.

“That’s how you get them.” Scott’s voice was the last thing I heard before a needle broke my skin and I lost consciousness.


594 words

Yes, I moved over to the dark side again. Considering the book I finished reading today that is hardly surprising though.

As always other—and possibly happier—stories based on the same picture can be found in the Monday Flash Fics Facebook group. Please join us there. The more the merrier.

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Hop for Visibility, Awareness and Equality

Today is International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia and I am proud and delighted to take part in the Hop for Visibility, Awareness and Equality. I hope you’ll enjoy my post on the aftermath of the marriage equality referendum in Ireland and that you’ll enter my give-away at the bottom of this post.

If you want to know more about the Blog Hop and the numerous blogs participating in this fabulous initiative, please click on the link below this image: 


As you may (or may not) know I live in Ireland. Today it is almost a year to the day since this little country I call home said yes to marriage equality in a referendum. With that in mind I decided this blog hop might be a good occasion to take a look at what happened after the result was announced.

I thought about it for a while and realised I couldn’t remember anything relating to the referendum result hitting the headlines since then. Yes, I’m fairly sure there was a report on the first same sex couple to tie the knot, but other than that, nothing sprang to mind.

While I do try to stay in touch with current affairs I’m the first to admit that I don’t catch everything, so I took to Google and entered ‘Ireland after the marriage equality referendum’ and found no stories other than those relating to the day the result was announced. Just to be sure I also tried ‘Ireland, marriage equality referendum aftermath’, but the search result was the same.

As far as I can tell nothing changed. I mean, of course things changed for those in same sex relationships. They now have an option they never had before; they have reached a level of equality that is still a dream for too many people around the world. But there hasn’t been a backlash, there have been no cases of civil servants refusing a couple their marriage certificate because they happened to be the same sex, the priests stopped talking about the subject, and there has been no stalling on the part of politicians. The referendum was passed, the law was changed and gay and lesbian couples could and did get married.

And that is because equality really isn’t that complicated. All it means is that those who are human all have the same rights and the same obligations. Equality doesn’t take anything away from those who were privileged before; it ‘only’ gives to those who were disadvantaged. I will never understand what drives people to deny others the rights they themselves take for granted. A world in which all are equal is a world with less strife and conflict and therefore a better place for all. It really is that simple.



I’ll be gifting an e-copy of either ‘Strangers in the Night’ or ‘Scenes from Adelaide Road’ to one of those who comment below. This hop runs from May 17th to May 24th so to give anybody who wants to enter the opportunity to do so, I’ll randomly pick a winner on May 26th. Good luck J

Monday, 16 May 2016

Monday Flash Fics: What You See....

What You See…

I ran up the stairs as fast as my slippers allowed. I heard them following me, their booted feet making them sound like a herd of elephants. So far so good.

When I reached the metal door I pushed through it, onto the roof and glanced around before jumping on the ledge and assuming my position. On pointe and with my hands on my waist, I hoped I managed to pull off a convincing combination of attitude and vulnerability.

Less than a minute later they burst through the door too—the six skinheads who’d tried to corner me downstairs. The two men in front stopped running so abruptly the other four crashed into their backs, making them stumble and for a moment I thought they’d crash into me and end this stand-off in quite a different manner than the one I had in mind.

“What the fuck is that fairy doing?”

I almost smiled. I’d no idea why they thought calling me a fairy would hurt me. But I kept the expression on my face stern as I stared down at them.

These men had been tormenting the LGBTQ community for several months now. They’d beaten people up, even killed some. Their reign of terror was so severe and so effective nobody had the nerve to stand up to them or report them to the authorities. That’s where I came in.

“He must be tired of living,” one of the scumbags muttered, before laughing out loud. “He’s making this easy for us. I’m almost sorry it will only take a small push. It’s so much more fun when they put up a fight.”

“Let’s get this done and over with,” the man I’d identified as their leader said. They lined up and formed a half circle before slowly moving towards me.

I allowed the grin to spread across my face then; they couldn’t have made this easier for me if they’d tried. I waited until they were about two metres away from me before jumping down, landing on my toes again.

Not paying their collective gasp any heed, I pushed off with one foot into a pirouette, spinning fast on my toes. I lifted my other leg and aimed and kicked as I passed each of those bastards. The first two had no idea what hit them when my foot punched their noses and they fell back, their heads bouncing against the concrete. The sixth man had more time and tried to prepare for the onslaught he expected, lifting his hands to catch my foot and protect his face, so I kicked lower, straight into his crotch.

As soon as that last man was down, I jumped over their bodies, grabbed the camera I had hidden earlier, and walked through the metal door, making sure to lock it behind me. I retrieved my holdall and changed out of the tutu and slippers into my uniform. Cowards that they were, they would never have attacked me if they’d seen me in my usual gear. Turning on the camera I checked the recording before pulling my phone from the bag and making a call.

“It’s done. I have what we need. They’re all yours now.” A few floors below me a door opened.

Life as an undercover policeman sure had its interesting moments.


551 words.

This week’s picture was suggested by Lila Leigh Hunter. For stories by her and others please check out the Monday Flash Fics Group on Facebook.

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Outhouse Book Drive Continued

Outhouse Book Drive Continued

Yesterday I at last had the opportunity to travel to Dublin and donate the thirty-odd books I’d been given for this purpose in London almost six weeks ago. It also meant I got to meet the newly appointed librarian.

Aoife (pronunciation ‘Eva’) Fitzgerald turned out to be a charming lady who is obviously very enthusiastic about reorganising and upgrading the book selection in Outhouse’s wonderful library, and she accepted the books I brought gratefully. Since I’m really only the delivery-person, I pass that gratitude on to those who donated the books. Without your generosity I wouldn’t have been able to do any of this. This project has proven once and for all, that despite the controversies we occasionally find ourselves in the middle of, the MM community is and always has been, loving, loyal and supportive.

In case you’re curious about the titles we’ve donated over the past few months you can find them all in this spreadsheet I created and also shared with Aoife: Outhouse Book Drive.

Aoife told me she is in the process of expanding the reference section of the library, and that made me think ‘we’ might be able to offer some assistance once again.

No, I’m not asking you to donate more books (although they are of course always welcome). What I’m looking for this time is titles and authors of reference books you feel should be available in any self-respecting LGBTQ orientated library. If you have any suggestions please let me know in the comments below, and I’ll make sure they make their way to Aoife.

I have no idea when I’ll be posting about the Outhouse library again, but I have no doubt I’ll be paying it a visit on most if not all of my future visits to Dublin. If I have anything else to share, I will of course post here again. Right now, what I really want to say to all the authors and readers who donated and to Dreamspinner Press for all the support it has given me, is the following:

Related posts:

Monday, 2 May 2016

Monday Flash Fics: Feet First

Feet First

“What do you think?” Jake looks down at me, uncertainty writ across his handsome features. “Is this how you remember it? Are you sure you want to be here?”

I smile up at him. “I think the place is even more overgrown than it was back then. Just as well the path’s still here and clear, or we wouldn’t have made it.” Jake’s brow smoothes out, the frown all but disappearing, but the concern doesn’t fully leave his face. “Yes, I’m sure. It was time. It’s been ten years after all.”

I don’t know how long both of us stare at the lake in silence, and I have no idea exactly what Jake’s thoughts are, while my mind conjures up clear and vivid images of that fateful day.

We’d been a couple for nine months when we went on our first holiday together. Our old, fifth hand car took us to wherever our whim decided we wanted to go. We were so very young and carefree back then.

“D’ you remember, Cian?” He asks and I laugh before giving my customary answer.

“Will I ever forget?”

Back then, when we stumbled across this hidden spot we thought we’d found our own private piece of paradise. We took a walk around the large pond and returned to where we’d started from, hot and sweaty, our hair and clothes sticky and wet.

“Let’s take a swim,” I’d suggested and Jake had been all for it. Oh the foolishness of the young.

Taking a running leap had seemed like such a wonderful idea—to move from overheated to cool and clean in one quick moment was so tempting both of us kept most of our clothes on. Jake, a far better swimmer than me, gracefully dove for the water, closely followed by clumsy me jumping up high.

I glance at the wedding band around my finger. It’s been five years since we said ‘I do’; today being the anniversary of both our wedding and the day we first came here—the day everything changed.

Jake’s hand squeezes my shoulder, as if he can read my mind, as I close my eyes and experience it all again. Jumping up high, seeing Jake hit the water before instantly turning around and opening his mouth to shout something I would never hear.

I hit the water hard and fast before my world went black. When I came around again my surroundings were white, my body hooked up to machines and I couldn’t feel or use my legs.

“That’s why I didn’t want to come back here,” Jake says. “You won’t ever be able to forget, why make it worse by reinforcing the memories?”

“Why would I want to forget,” I ask as Jake grips the handlebars on my wheelchair and turns me around. “That day I learned how deep your love truly runs.”


476 words.

Thank God for showers. I didn’t know what to do with this image. I adore it, but no matter how much time I spent staring at it —no hardship, mind you—I couldn’t come up with a story for these boys. Not for the first time, taking a shower gave me the inspiration I needed. Considering my current struggle with my WIP, I may be squeaky clean for the next few weeks J

‘D’you remember, will I ever forget’ are words I stole from an Irish poem which you can listen to here: D’you remember, Jem.

This wonderful picture was suggested by Kelly Jensen. Other flashes based on this same image should appear on the Monday Flash Fics Facebook page. Enjoy.