-Soon Seeking Representation-
- LGBTQ Horror Anthology
- 60,000+ words
- Six separate stories, including:
The Strangers on the Hill
After the death of his best friend, a teenager decides to break the Faustian pact linking his bucolic hometown to the entity on the hillside.
A pedophilic youth minister picks up a teen prostitute from a seedy bar, only to discover that the boy is a member of a violent cult.
An ex-con discovers that his uncle, and parole sponsor, has imprisoned a man in the well underneath their farm house.
Twins (Working Title)
Conjoined twins clash over the prospect of surgical separation.
After the war of 1812, an army doctor studies the digestive system, all thanks to the open wound that he left in a patient years prior.
Limelight (Working Title)
In the Gilded Age, competition between two rival managers over a young violinist turns deadly.
Sneak Peak: Sal(i)vation
He was younger than John would have liked, with a rat’s nest of dark auburn hair and the biggest blue eyes that John had ever seen. The crystalline color reminded him of his mother’s prized vase collection. The same ones that she had once boxed his ears over, just for thinking of playing ball around. It was only after her death that John had discovered her secret. That every single vase was nothing more than flea market glass. Utterly worthless. He hadn’t thought of his mother in years.
He wondered if the boy sidling up next to him at the bar even had a mother, or if he had been birthed by the streets themselves. He certainly looked that way: a patched and faded jacket from the Korean war hung from the kid’s narrow frame, and his left sneaker was held together chiefly by duct tape. John watched as the young man beckoned the bartender over with a flick of his narrow wrist. He had rolled up the sleeves of his ill-fitting army jacket to keep it from swallowing up his hands. His fingernails were bitten down to the quick.
The bartender eyed him warily and then rubbed his fingers together, holding out a meaty palm for identification. The boy gave him a sheepish grin and produced a battered wallet from his back pocket. The bartender squinted down at the plastic, even ran his thumbnail over the picture before handing it back. He grunted something about him needing a new ID. The red-haired youth laughed and then asked for a beer. John had to strain his ears to hear them over the din of the football game.
He doesn’t belong here, John thought to himself. The roadhouse was a grimy pitstop off the highway, frequented only by truck drivers and lot lizards. John had driven for over an hour just to find the place and Thank God Almighty it was exactly as he had remembered it. His feet squelched against tile that stuck to his shoes like gum, while the counter was consistently damp from bar rags and spilled liquor. Better yet, the ever-present haze of cigarette smoke promised complete anonymity. The boy didn’t belong there, but John certainly did.
Not that he would ever admit it.
John took a generous swig of beer. It was stale, but at least it was cold enough. Sweat dripped down the glass onto his fingers. He wiped it off on his trousers. The alcohol did little to help the oily feeling deep down in the pit of his stomach. He glanced over his shoulder and saw no one but other middle-aged men. Most sat by themselves nursing bottles of beer or tumblers of cheap whiskey. John turned his head just in time to catch sight of a weathered blonde in a mini skirt emerge from the men’s bathroom. She was reapplying her lipstick. Another reminder that this was no place for a kid.
“You wanna see my ID too?” the boy asked, his mouth curling into a crooked grin.
John chuckled, an anxious cough of a laugh that snagged in his chest. Somehow it made him feel unclean. Guilty. He cleared his throat. “No, I trust you.”
“That’s your first mistake,” the young man said.
He winked and then proceeded to gulp his beer. Once he was finished, he glanced up towards the nearest television, apparently distracted by the ten o’clock news. John’s gaze was on the boy’s mouth, watching the way that his narrow pink tongue darted across his chapped lips. The sourness in John’s stomach intensified.
He swallowed thickly, and despite the cold beer he was sweating more than the bottle. John could feel it pooling beneath his armpits, dripping down his back. His jeans were too tight. He shifted in his seat and felt his underwear snag on his erection. He swallowed again and had to turn away from the teen.
Meanwhile, the lot lizard with the coral pink lipstick had sauntered up to the bar. John stared at her instead. It was too late to return home unsullied, but that didn’t mean that he had to fall completely off the wagon. There were some sins that could be forgiven. If anything, given his past history, some sins were to be encouraged. John tried to catch her eye.
The prostitute leaned against counter on the opposite end of the bar, digging change out of her purse for the pay phone. She finally noticed John’s interest and broke into a smile. Despite her garish makeup, he thought that she had a gorgeous smile. Inviting, warm even, with all her teeth straight and intact. John shook his head at the last moment and averted his eyes. He couldn’t do it.
“Not your type?” The kid asked dryly. He inched closer and John felt his breath hot against his ear. It smelled of nicotine and sugar sweet candy. The youth retrieved a pack of cigarettes from his pocket and toyed with a silver Zippo lighter, flicking the cap back and forth with a rhythmic click.
His hands were dainty like a girl’s, and there was a quarter-sized burn scar on the back of his left one. The wound seemed old, already purpled with dusky scar tissue. Embarrassed to be caught staring at the imperfection, John turned his gaze upwards, back to the teenager’s face. His pupils were blown; a sea of black almost wide enough to sail across.
An addict, John assumed. Should anything happen, the chances were good that the youth wouldn’t remember a thing by morning. By then, John would be long gone; home, safely in bed with his wife and an alibi. Besides, John reasoned, no one would take an addict’s word over his. He was a good person, after all. A pillar of the community, with an adoring wife and a family so pristine and perfect that they might have been plucked straight from a Cold War breakfast ad.
Some of the sourness in John’s stomach dissipated. He shifted in his seat and rested an arm against the bar, leaning forward. A photographer had once suggested the pose while they were designing the cover of John’s third book. Everyone had agreed that the shoot had made him look ruggedly handsome. That had been ten years and twenty pounds earlier, but John never remembered that.
“Yeah, she’s not really my type,” John agreed.