Issue 08 of Jonathan: A Journal of Queer Male Fiction features stories by David M. Lydon, Brad Windhauser, Kevin Shaw, Whittier Strong, Scott David, Jonathan Mack, Alex-Quan Pham, J. Scott Coatsworth, Charles McCrory, Peter Dubé, and Arthur Durkee, and cover art by Heyd Fontenot. Edited by Raymond Luczak and proudly published by Sibling Rivalry Press.
My story, Tight:
A modern day fantasy/magical realism piece about a man who lost his partner in a freak airline accident, and now is terrified to fly, but finds he has to go to San Francisco by plane for a conference. he screws up his courage and gets on the plane, only to find fate has some unfinished business.
The wind rushed past his face, cool drops of moisture hitting his cheeks as the ground flew past below him - past the buried machinery of Gas Works Park, over the rippling waters of Lake Union, the crumpled form of Gehry's EMP next to the Space Needle, so close he could almost touch them. His hand entwined with another's. He'd always known he could fly...
Bzzzz, bzzzz, bzzzz...
Awakening with a groan, Christopher sat up groggily, rubbing his fingers gently across his aching temples, his head pounding from too many Redhook ales last night. Why do I always do this to myself?
Forcing his tired eyes open, he hit the snooze button on his iPad's clock app, and groped for the little red and white bottle of Tylenol that rested precariously on the edge of the night-stand beside his bed.READ MORE
The morning light stung his eyes, and he fumbled with the lid for some time before finally prying it open and spilling the capsules onto his waiting palm. Child-proof caps, he thought without humor, should be called hung-over adult-proof caps.
With less than his usual dexterity, he jotted down what he remembered of his dreams in the notebook he kept by his bedside. The sensation of flight. The other man's piercing golden eyes, so much like Eric's, and the elfin features that had haunted Christopher's nights for weeks.
A gust of wind whistled in through the open window, sending Eric's picture flying off the windowsill to the ground with a loud crash that made him jump.
"Damn it," he hissed, climbing out of bed to pick up the precious portrait. It was one of the few things he had left of his partner, more than a year after he'd last seen Eric. Some things were harder to let go of than others.
He slammed the window shut with one hand and set the picture frame down gingerly on his nightstand with the other, and set to cleaning up the shattered pieces of glass that littered his hardwood floors.
As the Tylenol took effect, his head began to slowly clear.
A reminder popped up on his iPad. "San Francisco, 1:00."
"Shit," he said, glaring at the screen. He was supposed to give his "Map of the Unconscious Mind" speech at the American Dreamers conference this afternoon down in California. His first flight since he'd lost Eric.COLLAPSE
Author’s note: Originally titled “Fly”, this is a little short I wrote years ago, and then pulled out and updated last year. It found a home at Jonathan, “a journal of queer male fiction”, from Sibling Rivalry Press, and I’m thrilled.