Flash Fiction Holiday Blog Hop – Strange Bedfellows

ffhbh_badge4-200Welcome to the Flash Fiction Holiday Blog Hop that was organized by Thorny Sterling. There are over 40 people writing short holiday stories based on the picture below. The only parameters were 1) LGBT 2) holiday theme 3) a “bad boy” 4) a gift of some kind 5) less than 3000 words. So here is my contribution and I can’t wait to see how everyone interpreted the picture. It will be fun to see in which ways they are similar and in which they are different. Enjoy and visit all the blogs by clicking on the button on the right. Stories will be posted between Dec. 1 – 7. at-the-shop Strange Bedfellows – Tam Ames

“I don’t want to be here. This is ridiculous. I’m leaving.”

“Come on, baby. Don’t be like that.” Mik put his arms around Keron’s waist and hugged him from behind. “It’s not that bad is it?” Mik looked around at the myriad of lights, ornaments and sundry decorations in the local Christmas store.

Keron tugged his hat further down on his head and scowled up at Mik. “You know this is wrong. I’m a bad-ass demon. With horns under this hat, you know.” He hissed out the last part glancing around to see if anyone was paying them any mind. “And you remember what’s under my coat?”

Mik smirked and with a quick look around as well, reached down and gave Keron’s crotch a squeeze. “Oh, I remember. It was only…” He paused to look at his watch. “Forty seven minutes ago.”

“If you don’t let me out of here right now, I am going to pluck every feather off your wings, one by one and make a pillow out of them.” He was trying to look pissed off, but the hand under his jacket was distracting him.

“Ha!” Mik let out a bark of laughter. A little old lady looked their way, and frowned when she saw Mik practically hanging on Keron.  Mik smiled and pulled back, trying to be a tad less obvious. “Look. We need to get a Christmas present for Mom. I want you to help pick it out. Otherwise it’s not from us.” Mik made air quotes around the word.

“They’re going to kill me.”

“Who will?” Mik’s brow was furrowed.

“The guys at work. They’re going to find out, they are going to make my life a living hell, well, more of one I guess, and I’ll never live this down. It’s a fucking Christmas store!” He practically shouted the last sentence.

Mik just patted him on the arm. “Of course it is, dear.”

“She’s not even your real mom.”

His eyes wide, Mik stared at him, mouth hanging open. “Excuse me?”

A flush traveled up Keron’s face. “I’m sorry,” he mumbled.

With his arms crossed, Mik stared at him. “I didn’t hear you, asshole.”

Keron closed his eyes and took a deep breath. He had crossed the line with the comment. He knew that, but when he felt like he was cornered he played dirty. It was what demons did. He wasn’t an angel, a literal one, like Mikail. “I’m sorry. I know she’s been like a mother to you.”

Mik interrupted. “And to you too.”

“And to me too, and I’m sorry, I’m just in a pissy mood because I hate it here, and if Bing Crosby doesn’t shut the hell up I’ll make sure he never sees another white Christmas in his lousy afterlife!” Once again his volume had risen as the rant progressed.

“Well!” The woman huffed, gave him the evil eye and high-tailed it for the far end of the store.

“Look, I thought we could get her ornaments to put on that big-ass tree she gets every year. One for me and one for you.”

“Oh sure. Take the easy way out.” He waved his hand around the store. “There’s a gazillion angels in here, and I’m pretty sure there are no demon Christmas ornaments.”

“Well. That’s true.” Mik looked around. “But it doesn’t have to represent you-you. It can be something you like.”

“Hellfire? Brimstone? You think they got any of that strung up on a pretty red ribbon?”

“Keron!” Mik’s voice snapped and Keron looked down shamefaced.

“Fine. Whatever. Let’s just do this and I can get out of here before I’m busted.”

m31JObql3srO1qF056wKL3QMik heaved a sigh and led them over to the wall with themed ornaments. Keron tugged his hat further on his head and followed.

“What about this?” Mik held up a Christmas themed dog ornament. “Hellhound?”

“It’s wearing a fucking elf suit.”

“It’s Christmas.”

“And it’s a chihuahua!” Keron glared at Mik. “No.”

“Fine.” They rummaged around in the ornaments, and each time Mik held something up, Keron shook his head or made a face that looked like he’d just inhaled Chanel No 5 rather than the sulfur fumes he preferred.snow

“How about this?” Keron handed Mik an ornament, a sly smile on his face.

“What the-?” Mik turned it around. “Oh my God! It’s a naked woman giving a snowman a blow job. What the hell?”

“A snowman would never last in hell. It’s too hot.” Keron blinked at him innocently.

“No. Absolutely not. It’s my mom!”

His scandalized voice left Keron snickering as he shoved the ornament to the back of the shelf. 17665.4859.zoom“Rudolf fucking Blitzen?” He held up an ornament of two reindeer doing just that.

“No!” Mik snatched the ornament out of his hand, grabbed his arm and moved him further down the aisle.

Keron was starting to feel better about the whole expedition now. Maybe it wasn’t so bad, if he ignored the angel-messiah bullshit that was all around him. Not that he didn’t love Mik. He did. The angel part notwithstanding, but it was just so damn syrupy sweet in the store. images (4)

“How about this? Spikey, prickley, bound to hurt if you touch it.” Mik held up what appeared to be a glitter covered sea urchin.

“Seriously? Glitter? Do I look like a glitter kind of guy? No.” toe

A few minutes later Keron held up something greenish. “What about this?”

“Is that a severed toe?” Mik wrinkled his nose in disgust.

“It’s a zombie toe. But for Christmas. See? It’s got holly on top.”

Mik cocked his head and raised an eyebrow.

“Fine. You wanted something that represented me.”

“You’re not a zombie.” bacon-ornament_medium

Keron shrugged. After some more wandering he held another one up. “This?”

“Bacon? Eh. It’s so last year.”

Keron tossed it back on the shelf and kept moving. “How about?” Before he could get more out, Mik grabbed it out of his hand?

“What is it?”

images (1)“It’s a fat woman doing ballet.”

“Why?”

“Beats me.” He reached for the ornament hanging beside it and Mik’s hand closed around his wrist.

“No, you are not getting my mother shit on ribbon.”

“It’s not shit. It’s poo. Poo is popular.”poo

“Not in my mother’s house it’s not.”

Keron rolled his eyes. Several feet down the aisle, Keron meekly held up another one.

There was a pause as Mik looked at it. He tilted his head and took it from Keron. “Hmm. A blown glass sugar skull.” He tapped his foot and looked at Keron, lips pursed. “This might just be weird enough to be you, but cute enough to suit my mother, even if it is more of a Halloween decoration than a Christmas one.” He smiled at Keron. “We’ll take it.”GORAD1015959-PROD

Keron’s back straightened. “Can we go then?” He looked longingly at the door.

“We haven’t picked mine yet.”

“Oh come on, there are a million angels, just grab one.”

Mik’s lips drew down at the corners. “Is that what you did? Grabbed any old angel close enough to fuck? I was the lucky one within the vicinity?”

“Oh, honey. No.” Keron grabbed Mik’s shoulders and pulled him closer. Mik was stiff in his arms. “You are the first and only angel I’ve been with, the only one I’ve ever wanted and will ever want. Swear on a stack of porn DVDs.”

Mik snorted. “Okay, but help me pick one.”

Keron kissed him on the temple. “Fine. Let’s find the one.”

It didn’t take long before Keron turned to Mik. “This. This is it. It’s perfect.”west-elm-feather

The sceptical look on Mik’s face made it clear he thought Keron was simply trying to get it over with, but Keron was holding a beautiful clear crystal tear drop with two snow white feathers inside. “See? It’s not cheesy like an angel, but when I saw those feathers, I thought ‘That’s my Mikail, pure and bright.’ I think it’s perfect.”

Mik stood blinking at him. Keron stepped closer. “Are you okay? Are you crying? If you don’t like it we can get something else.”

“No, I love it.” Mik sniffled. “You really are a gigantic demonic sap you know.”

Keron bumped him with his shoulder. “If you tell the guys at work about this, I’ll have to kill you.”

“Uh huh. Love you too.”

“Yeah. Love you.” He glanced around. “Um. Can I go wait in the car?”

Mik shook his head fondly. “Yes, go. I’ll pay.” He watched Keron make a beeline for the door and was pretty sure he saw a little farewell wave from a tail hidden under the coat.

An angel and a demon made strange bedfellows, but you couldn’t really dispute that life was never dull. new Thanks so much to Thorny and Kris who did all the work on this one. It was a terrific idea. Happy Holidays, whichever you celebrate, everyone.

7 things about Kuwait

So I’ve been here a little over two weeks and have noticed a few things and thought I’d point out seven that stood out for me. (In no particular order)

1. Their bread is big. At least that which I’ve run across so far. Their bagels are huge and their Ethiopian bread even bigger.

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2. Everyone has a very clean bottom… I presume. Every bathroom I’ve been in so far has one of these hoses next to the toilet. I believe it’s like a hand-use bidet.

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3. Hospitality is a well-known trait of Middle Eastern cultures, and here they take it very seriously. I have not seen so much food at events in … ever. And restaurant meals are HUGE with appetizers and complimentary bread and hummus. So far dessert doesn’t seem to be a big part. While it may be tacky Western, I’ve been bringing home a doggie bag because I can’t deal with just tossing away another meal’s worth of food. It’s all delicious too. It’s certainly cutting down on my food bills. :-)

This is not one of my meals, but is indicative of a medium sized meal. Some I've received are bigger. *keels over dead*

This is not one of my meals, but is indicative of a medium-sized meal. Some I’ve received are bigger. *keels over dead*

4. Mocktails/juice. Kuwait is a dry country. Yes, as diplomats we have access to a certain amount of alcohol for use on our premises but while out at restaurants no alcohol is available. However, they have all kinds of interesting juice combinations in place of the usual long cocktail or wine list. I have had some really tasty combinations and it’s fun to explore. They are also far less expensive that a traditional cocktail back home. I’ve also discovered strawberry juice which is very popular here. It’s delicious and when you mix it with lemonade, even better.

14177736-tequila-sunrise-blue-lagoon-rum-runner-et-bahama-mama-cocktails-sur-fond-noir-sur-la-surface-de-reflThe strawberry juice is thicker (hence it’s nice with lemonade if you aren’t used to the texture). It’s not strained and clear like cranberry juice, it’s more like tossing strawberries directly in the blender with some sugar and then straining out the seeds. I love it.

strawberry-juice

5. Camels. Or lack-thereof. Unsurprisingly, I have not seen any camels in the city. I did read in some statistics that there are over 10,000 camels in Kuwait (domestic if you will) and I’m trying to find out what they do with them exactly. Everyone kind of shrugs. Maybe meat, maybe milk. They’re not sure, but there are some who can sell for over a million dollars because they are “an ideal camel”. I was promised that most diplomats are invited to a ranch out in the desert in February and that I will get a chance to see a camel up close and personal.

CAMEL

6 Space. While Kuwait is a relatively small country and Kuwait City looks small on the map, it’s much bigger than you suspect. In part because nearly all the population lives in the city or the extended city, and because there is so much space, there is often a lot of open space between buildings or complexes. Sure my residential neighborhood is pretty tight, but out on the highways, there is a lot of open space and not many tall buildings except in the core. So sometimes on the map it doesn’t look that far, but then when I check it will be 20km. It can be deceiving until you get used to it I suppose. I’m not sure how old this picture is below, but you still see large open areas/lots like that when you are driving.

20061121kuwait2

7. The heat. Yes, Kuwait is hot. Every day the weather has been pretty much exactly the same, sunny and 42C (107F). However the humidity has been usually around 10% or lower. The definition of a dry heat.  I missed the August humidity and I have to say, while I’m not going out for a walk in the heat or standing in the sun, sometimes it’s not bad and it’s all relative. The other morning I went out to the cab to go to work around 7:30 and I was “It’s a beautiful morning today. Nice and cool.” His response was “Yes, ma’am. It’s very nice, 36 degrees.” I can tell you, if it was 36C (96F) in Ottawa, I’d be whining and bitching. :-) We’ll see what I have to say when it hits 50C (122F)in July. But I have to say, I thought it would be worse and I really think it IS the humidity which is the bitch.

2013-07-03-Santa-Clarita-News-Z1-1-1-Its-a-Dry-Heat1

There you have it. My first impressions of Kuwait. So far, so good. I can certainly get anything here I could get in Europe or North America, probably more. :-) The people have all been super friendly and patient when I’ve completely forgotten who they are after meeting them in a crowd. The last of my things arrives tomorrow or Wed. so I’ll be able to put up pictures and decorate some. Right now it’s bare-wall-beige chic. It will feel more like home and less like I’m just squatting.

I will keep an eye out for camels. I was told the caught a lion out on the 7th Ring Road (I live between 3rd & 4th – but remember the distance) as apparently wild animals as pets, (that you can no longer look after so get away) are common here, especially cheetahs. Go figure.

If things keep going the way they are, I’m really going to enjoy it here. Although I’m sure once I start driving I’ll be able to do a whole post on idiot drivers. :-)

New York 2014

New York

No, I’m not dead, just dropped off the face of the blogging world. I have about 3.5 weeks before I leave the country. Ack! Panic, panic, panic. But I did take the time to head to New York City with my daughter to visit some friends. After some last-minute panic when the apartment I rented fell through, I found another one and the guys came to join me and we had a blast. Although I think we all still have recovering feet. New York is a walking city. Saturday night there was 14 of us at the apartment for dinner. It was so much fun and I loved seeing everyone again.

We also took the ferry to Staten Island, went to see Avenue Q, did some shopping and after the guys left my daughter and I went out to Coney Island. Busy, busy. We happened to show up on Pride Weekend so Sunday we attended the parade. It was looooong. 5 hours. Too long really and some parts were good, but it wasn’t as amazing as I’d hoped. Or maybe I’m just suffering from heat exhaustion and sun burned head.

So I formed a slide show of some pics from the parade. I really have to get motivated this weekend and get some more stuff packed up for charity and start my daughter on culling her room, although she has her wisdom teeth out on Monday so that will set her back. Take care everyone and hopefully after my move and getting settled in I will be able to get back to some regular bloggin.

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The Anchor Tattoo and Pistachio Dreams by Paula Coots

Way back in March (I’ve not been here forever), I announced that someone was writing a story based on my prompt at the m/m GR group’s Love’s Landscapes event. Well, it’s up! I’m putting my prompt up again so you can see what it was all about. Click on the pic to get to the story (you have to be a member of the group to read it right now, it will be posted for download later). She did a great job on the character’s obsession with tattoos.

Dear Author,

I go to the gym 3-4 times a week. Not because I’m about getting fit and buff, but because I have a bit of an ice-cream addiction. Spending some time on the elliptical means I can eat as much as I want, almost guilt-free. He started coming into the gym about 6 months ago. I’d never seen him before and I’d been going here for about 2 years. He looked like he could bench press a small car and I would have been happy to have him bench press me. The best part? The tattoos. A couple of times I’d found myself getting ever closer and had to scramble to avoid an awkward weird-stalker kind of situation.

The thing was, my mom taught me growing up that guys with tattoos were scary. We’d actually run out of gas one time after she refused to get gas when she saw the attendant had tattoos. She’d never tell me why, but she’d cross the road to avoid them and was always telling me to stay away. But like most kids, the more your parents tell you to avoid something, the more it fascinates you. I hadn’t yet worked up the nerve, I wasn’t sure I ever would, to get one of my own, but men with tats? Oh god, I wanted to lay down and purr and rub myself all over them. I’d had the pleasure of doing so a few times in my short 24 years, but this guy, damn, he was all my fantasies come to life.

I’d love to take the first step, but if he’s straight, and offended, I’m toast. But he’s so yummy. Like triple chocolate with caramel swirls and sprinkles on top. What to do, what to do?

Sincerely,

Tattoo obsessed guy

Conversations with my kid #4

Baked goods
I haven’t chatted with my kid on-line for awhile, of course it quickly turned into our usual twisted conversation.


 This bakery near by is hiring!
Shifts are from 2-7am


 Tam Ames  Right up your alley.
If you don’t have class until 4:00 you can sleep from 8-2
Free buns
You need someone hiring in Sept. not May.


  i know I just want to know what people do out here on the west coast for work


Tam Ames  Same things they do in the rest of the country I presume.


  so many more hotel jobs out here than in ottawa


Tam AmesI suppose. More tourist oriented things year around.


 FOOD TOUR GUIDE JOB ugh that’d be great
 25 an hour PLUS TIPS
 AND FOOD


Tam Ames  LOL That’s a deal.


 “Star of the show mentality” is one of the qualifications
 “advanced story telling skills”
 “theatre experience”


Tam Ames  There you go.
Wear a boa to the interview.
The feather thing, not the snake.


 YOU HAVE TO WRITE A “WITTY EXPLANATION” OF WHY THEY SHOULD PICK YOU. why aren’t i here this summer


Tam Ames  Sorry.


 i could’ve been somebody. I COULD’VE BEEN A CONTENDER.


Tam Ames LOL A contender for the food tour guide job.


 YOU GOT PRIORITY IF YOU UPLOADED A CREATIVE VIDEO TO THEIR FACEBOOK PAGE AS YOUR APPLICATION
  Tiffany and Co. is hiring


Tam Ames  Ohhhh. Employee discount?


  Moxie’s is hiring as well, too bad I’m not 5’9, blonde and size 2


Tam AmesTo be a sales clerk? Sheesh. Hoity toity.
LOL
I say if you want to be a waiter you need to get in the Keg. Because the bills are high you get big tips.


 OMG OMG I JUST REALIZED
 SECOND TERM OF NEXT YEAR I’ll BE ELIGIBLE TO BE A TV EXTRA


Tam AmesYay!!!!! Then I can say I know someone famous.
Um. Why?


 So there is a huge company here who organizes extras, but you have to have at least a full 24 hour day in your schedule FREE that’s not a weekend. in order to be considered




So keep an eye out for my kid next year as someone sitting in a diner on Supernatural or something equally inspiring.


Sunday she leaves for Japan for two weeks vacation on her own. Let’s hope she’s not kidnapped by white slavers or something. :-)


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What are authors reading these days?

So I’ve been a super-bad blogger, and not in a hip way. So I thought I would ask some well-known authors in the m/m community what they are reading these days. (Not counting their own work as they edit.) This is the first five, more to follow.

Just click on any of the book covers to get to the publishers site if you want to pick it up.

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jp

JP Barnaby

JP’s recent read was:

Of Being Yours by Anna Martin

Dreamspinner Press

JP’s latest release is:

Spencer

Dreamspinner Press

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Blaine D. Arden

Blaine D. Arden

Blaine’s last read was:

If It Drives by Aleksandr Voinov & LA Witt

Riptide Publishing

Blaine’s latest release is:

Forester

Storm Moon Press

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K.Z. Snow

K.Z. Snow

KZ doesn’t have a profile pic so this is from her last blog post. :-P

MV5BMjA2NjAwNjc1NF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwNTY3NDI5._V1_SY317_CR4,0,214,317_

 And to be difficult (just kidding) she has been in a movie watching groove so this is one of the last movies she watched. Wow, Meryl is young there.

KZ has a new release coming this summer (no cover/link yet), called Resurrection Man. (I’m totally going straight to hell now for posting this picture. I’ll save you all a spot at the swim up lava bar.)

Sexy Jesus

Sexy Jesus

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Jordan Castillo Price

Jordan Castillo Price

Jordan’s latest read was:

Dreamspinner Press

Dreamspinner Press

Jordan’s latest release was:

JCP Books

JCP Books

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And we end today with a little boy/girl love. :-) Treva also doesn’t have a proper avatar on GR so I’m using this. :-P

Treva Harte

Treva Harte

The last book Treva read:

Avon Books

Avon Books

Treva’s next book isn’t out until summer and she has no link/cover yet, but it will be called The Superstar’s Nanny. In my world, this is what he looks like, or maybe this is the superstar. Either way, freaking adorable.

Ben Cohen

Ben Cohen

So come back next week and find out what some more authors are reading and their new/coming releases.

Have a great weekend.