For the Spooky Season: Rainbow Snippets Vs. Dracula (and Jeff Baker, October 1st, 2022.)

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Every week we post six lines from a work of ours, a work-in-progress or a work of someone else’s that has at least one LGBT character, posted on the Rainbow Snippets page, here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/963484217054974 My story “Mystery at Castle Dracula” was written as a three-part serial for my weekly flash fictions https://authorjeffbaker.com/2021/01/15/mystery-at-castle-dracula-part-two-by-jeff-baker-for-friday-flash-fics-january-15-2021/

and features Jessie Skedderis and Shawn Rodriguez who are more than boyfriends they are vampire hunters who have been invited to Castle Dracula. They bring with them the tools of their trade but will that be enough? Oh, in this first snippet they see a familiar image as they are being given a tour…

“Which is why he called us here, I guess,” I said from further down the stairs.

“You have gained some fame in some circles, and being who he is, the current Count Dracula of Castle Dracula felt he should meet you.” Wilhelm said.

When we came upon the upper floor, I stopped and stared at one of the framed portraits. A familiar figure, slick black hair, deep-set eyes, garbed in black and holding a wolf’s-head cane.

“Reproduction,” Wilhelm said. “I told you the Master had an interest. Ah, here is your room.”

Here’s snippet two.

He balanced Jessie’s overnight bag on his shoulder and opened the door. Of course, the door creaked.

I had expected a shabby room with bare wooden floors, a fireplace and a four poster bed with worn curtains. Instead, it looked like a modern hotel room.

“Bathroom is down the hall. Dinner is at six.” Wilhelm grinned and closed the door.

Jessie plopped down on the bed. It had been a long trip.

That’s it for this week. Watch out for stray vampires. Our vampire hunters are armed with a blessed anti-vampire talisman. You should bring along the regulation garlic. Until next week…

———jeff

Posted in Rainbow Snippets, Uncategorized, Vampires | 1 Comment

Davey, What the Hell Happened to You? Friday Flash Fics (a day late!) from Jeff Baker. October 1st, 2022.

Davey, What the Hell Happened to You?

By Jeff Baker

The afternoon sky was deep blue as the car raced down the highway.

“So that’s it,” Davey said sitting there in the passenger seat. “It isn’t all going to end some day, it isn’t real.”

“What isn’t real,” Chuck said keeping his eyes on the road.

Davey tapped the dashboard. “This. Everything. Us. Hindus believe everything is destroyed and reborn in a cycle and they aren’t even real.”

Davey had always been a little “out there,” even a year before when he and Chuck had actually dated, but he hadn’t been this far out.

“I mean, it’s all an illusion,” Davey said. “Look, you know that speed zone sign up here past the curve?”

Chuck knew it. His Dad had called it a speed trap sign.

“Always been there, right?” Davey said. “Well, not if I don’t want it to be.”

Davey stared off into space for a moment then said “Right here.”

“Yeah, I see the curve,” Chuck said slowing down. But he didn’t see the sign. It wasn’t there.

Chuck laughed. “Yeah, they took the sign down and you’re playing it like it’s The Twilight Zone or something.”

“No,” Davey said. “It’s the nature of reality! You can control it sometimes if you’re in tune. I can do it, because I’m in tune.”

Davey stared out the window again.

“Look up there,” he said pointing at the sky.

Chuck stole a quick dance. Blue sky, some patches of grey clouds. Then he stared.

Parts of the blue sky were fading into patches of grey, not grey clouds but the grey you see when you take a piece out of a completed jigsaw puzzle.

They passed a billboard which looked like it had grey chunks bitten out of it.

The grass and trees were turning into big grey blank spaces. The car suddenly froze like it was just a big color photograph, no a black-and-white photograph.

Then the world, the stars, everything blanked out into grey. Grey and Chuck’s last echoed cry:

“Oh, Davey, what the hell happened to you?”

—end—

Posted in Fantasy, Fiction, Friday Flash Fics, Friday Flash Fictions, Horror, LGBT, Science Fiction, Short-Stories | Leave a comment

“The Crooked Man” by Charles Beaumont. Rainbow Snippets for September 24, 2022, selected by Jeff Baker.

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Every week we post six lines from a work of ours, a work-in-progress or published, or a recommendation of someone else’s work with at least one LGBT character. Posted at Rainbow Snippets here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/permalink/7951897221546937

Snippets this week from one of my favorite stories (not mine!) Imagine this scene: A young man named Jessie has gone to a bar for a furtive, risky hookup as his own sexual orientation is forbidden. But there are a few twists…

For openers, in this future Earth, it is heterosexuality that is the aberration and is forbidden (except for procreation) and “homosexuality” is the norm. Jessie is living a very dangerous existence in this future world.

Also: this story “The Crooked Man” was first published in the hardly Gay-friendly year 1955. If it sounds reminiscent of a “Twilight Zone” episode, it was written by the excellent writer Charles Beaumont who penned some of TZ’s most memorable episodes, but died far too young. He had a fine hand when it came to writing about dystopian worlds.

Beaumont is one of my favorite writers and his short-stories are readily available, in collections like this: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/481465.The_Howling_Man

Here’s a snippet from “The Crooked Man.”

He didn’t look like a hetero. They said you could tell one just by watching him walk—Jessie walked correctly. He fooled them. He was lucky. And he was a criminal. He, Jess Four Martin, no different from the rest, tube-born and machine-nursed, raised in the character schools like everyone else—was terribly different from the rest.

Here’s another snippet.

It had happened—his awful suspicions had crystallized—on his first formal date. The man had been a Rocketeer, the best high quality, even out of the Hunter class. Mother had arranged it carefully. There was the dance. And then the ride in the spacesled. The big man had put an arm about Jessie and—Jess knew. He knew for certain and it had made him very angry and very sad.

And that’s it for this week. I wish you all a non-dystopian week and urge you to seek out anything you can by the master, Charles Beaumont. Here’s a recent collection https://www.amazon.com/Perchance-Dream-Selected-Charles-Beaumont/dp/0143107658/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3O9CLPJDWH7FL&keywords=charles+beaumont&qid=1664006172&s=books&sprefix=Charles+Beaumont%2Cstripbooks%2C126&sr=1-1 “Perchance to Dream.”

———-jeff

Posted in Charles Beaumont, Rainbow Snippets | 1 Comment

Through the Ancient Fields of Gravity. Friday Flash Fics by Jeff Baker for September 23, 2022.

Through the Ancient Fields of Gravity

by Jeff Baker

“Uncle Chris! Uncle Chris!” the three little girls shrilled running up as Chris stepped out of the cab of the truck.

“Yeah! Heyyyy! Who are you?” Chris said with a grin.

“Keeley!”

“Ruby!”

“Tina!”

“Oh, yeah! I remember now!” Christopher Four Sandhall said, picking all three of them up in his arms as they squealed and laughed. He could see his sister and brother-in-law sitting on the shaded porch of the house that dated back almost a hundred forty years, back to the 1960s. It had survived because Hugoton, Kansas was way out of the way.

“Hey, you guys want these?” Chris called out.

“Nope. You keep ‘em!” Chris’ sister said with a laugh. Her husband nodded his head and tended to the grill.

“Okay,” he said turning around and heading back to the truck to the delighted squeals of the girls. He plopped down in the yard and the four of them wrestled. Three pre-schoolers against a 24 year old. Chris was outclassed. After a few minutes they lay back on the grass and Chris caught his breath. He stared up at the sky. So blue. He loved it here.

“You get married Uncle Chris?” Ruby asked.

“Not yet,” he said. “They don’t assign marriages to inter-star truckers,” he said. Too long an explanation for a five-year-old? He smiled to himself. He could wait. He might petition to find a girl or guy himself. He was lucky enough to be versatile. He couldn’t possibly be as lucky as his sister, falling in love at first sight to the guy she’d been tentatively paired with during the assignment. But that could wait.

Tina jumped on his stomach.

“OOOF! Careful!” Chris said.

“Fly, Uncle Chris! Ruby said.

“Yes! Fly! Fly! Fly!” the girls chorused.

“What do you mean, fly?” Chris said, his face a half-shaved mask of innocence.

“The ancient fields of gravity,” Tina said.

Chris stared. His Electromagnetic Physics Professor had used that term; he’d quoted it when he was here before the youngest of the three girls was born. Tina was the oldest, but he couldn’t imagine her actually remembering.

“You know, you’re scary smart,” Chris said, flicking his finger on Tina’s nose. “Okay. We fly.”

The girls squealed. Chris walked over to the back of the truck and opened the back. He glanced in to the big box where the gravity field held his load, only now it was empty. Adjust the settings and the girls could play around safely in the field.

“Up you go,” he said helping them inside as they yelled with excitement. In another moment the girls were soaring excitedly around the inside, safe in the gravity field.

Chris glanced up at the sky. For now, this part of the Universe was calm. Hopefully it would stay that way and he’d only be hauling produce and supplies to colonies, not munitions. Not bodies.

Chris waved at his sister as the three kids swirled around in the field, happy in a world of their own. Soaring beyond time to see Peter Pan.

—end—

Posted in Fiction, Friday Flash Fics, Friday Flash Fictions, LGBT, Science Fiction, Short-Stories, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“Do You Hear What I Hear?” Rainbow Snippets, September 17, 2022.

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Every week we post six lines from a work of ours, a work-in-progress or published, or a recommendation of someone else’s work with at least one LGBT character. Posted at Rainbow Snippets here: .https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/permalink/7919899721413354

I have a serious liking for the happily-married husband-and-wife (or husband-and-husband) sleuths of fiction, such as Mr. and Mrs North and Nick and Nora Charles. I’ve written one or two series like that, but so far this is the only case for Josh and Adam (who probably aren’t married yet.) Here, they find danger at a client’s wedding. Oh, and here’s a link to the original story: https://authorjeffbaker.com/2017/11/06/monday-flash-fics-with-hors-d-oeuvres-by-jeff-baker/

The reception had been going on for about twenty minutes when Adam leaned over and nuzzled Josh’s ear.

“Don’t react and don’t look,” Adam said. “He just walked in.”

“Is he armed?” Josh asked.

“I can’t tell,” Adam said.

Josh and Adam had been hired by one of the grooms just in case the one’s ex showed up at the wedding to cause trouble. The ceremony had gone on without incident but now they were all seated at big picnic tables in the park next to the wedding venue.

Here’s another snippet:

The gist of it was that Chris’ ex-boyfriend Chaz had said he was going to break up the wedding. He hadn’t threatened violence but Walter had remembered Josh from school and that he and Josh had opened their own detective agency.

“Chaz can be mean,” Chris had said.

The grooms were paying Adam and Josh plus renting their tuxes. It was a formal wedding, plus, there were free hors d’ oeuvres. Then Chaz showed up.

Here’s one more snippet:

Chaz was six-foot-something and probably would have looked at home in any football uniform instead of the suit and tie he was wearing. For a moment he stared at the table loaded with food. With a yell, he tipped the table over. In the corner, the band stopped playing.

“Oh, yeah, he’s a lot sloshed,” Adam said as he and Josh jumped up from their table.

“Chaz no like buffet table, Chaz smash,” Josh said.

And that’s the snippets for this week. I’ll be back next week, and I promise Josh and Adam will be back with another case someday soon! ———jeff

Posted in Josh and Adam, LGBT, Mystery, Rainbow Snippets | 6 Comments

The Gobble-Uns Will Git You for Friday Flash Fics by Jeff Baker. September 16, 2022

The Gobble-Uns Will Git You If You Don’t Watch Out!

By Jeff Baker

“See! There they are! I told you!” Abner said.

Pinkle’s Grocery wasn’t officially open for the morning and the two men in aprons and ties stared at the display just inside the front door. In front of the tables stocked with potted plants for sale were a row of tall ceramic pots shaped like smiling ghosts and jack-o-lanterns. Two of each.

“Halloween decorations? So? They go up every year right after school starts.” Roy said.

“Not those! They were out on the floor last year and the year before that and the year before that and I looked it up and WE DON’T CARRY THEM!!! And we don’t have them in the storeroom, I’ve had all year to keep checking!” Abner said.

“So? Maybe someone brought them in? Maybe that lady at the pharmacy who…”

“No! It isn’t!” Abner said. “We’re two men down, Murchison’s out with the flu and I’ve been coming in for him the last few mornings. Those things weren’t here one night and they were here the next morning.”

“So, what are you suggesting?” Roy said. “That there’s something unnatural about this?”

“I…I’m not sure.” Abner said.

“You’ve got Halloween on the brain.” Roy said. “Too many commercials, horror movies and candy.”

“Well, maybe.” Abner said. “But I was sure…”

“What about the security video?” Roy asked.

“Not working. Well, not recording anyway.” Abner said. “The security guy monitors those when the store is open.”

“Okay.” Roy said. “And the security guy’s out this week.”

The two of them stared at the ceramic decorations, casting shadows in the early-morning light.

“We should be opening up soon,” Roy said.

“Yeah.” Abner said. “And you know it’s probably some employee bringing these in or it’s part of some display for candy but I don’t see any signs or even candy on this table.”

“Yeah.” Roy said. “Let’s see if I can get the coffee started.”

“That sounds good,” Abner said as the two of them walked towards the office.

Behind them the ghost’s eye winked and the Jack O’ Lantern smiled more broadly if only for an instant.

—end—

Posted in Fantasy, Fiction, Friday Flash Fics, Friday Flash Fictions, Halloween, Horror, Short-Stories | Leave a comment

Flash Fiction Draw Challenge for September 2022—The Results!!!!

Okay! Here’s the results for the September Flash Fiction Draw Challenge! This was started a few years ago by ‘Nathan Burgoine and carried on by Cait Gordon as a monthly writing challenge just for fun, no stress.

How it works is I draw three cards from three suits that correspond to a list of a genre, a setting and an object that must be in the story and anybody who wants to writes a story 1000 words or less, and puts it in the comments of my draw post and then I post them here a week later.

The September 2022 draws were:

A Comedy

Set at a County Fair

Involving a pile of books

E. H. Timms wrote “Dog, Dog, Goose.” https://thinkingthinking123.blogspot.com/2022/09/flash-fic-challenge-dog-dog-goose.html

And I wrote “Harm to my Wit.” https://authorjeffbaker.com/2022/09/12/comedy-under-a-pile-of-books-at-the-fair-september-2022-flash-fiction-draw-challenge-by-jeff-baker-9-12-22/

Thanks for participating!

Now, how about you? It’s never too late to submit!

———jeff baker

Posted in 'Nathan Burgoine, Cait Gordon, E. H. Timms, Fiction, Monthly Flash Fiction Draw Challenge, Short-Stories | Leave a comment

Comedy Under a Pile of Books at the Fair. September 2022 Flash Fiction Draw Challenge by Jeff Baker. (9/12/22.)

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AUTHOR’S NOTE: The draws for the September Flash Fiction Draw Challenge were: A Comedy, involving a Pile of Books, set at a County Fair. Enjoy! ——-jeff

Harm to My Wit

by Jeff Baker

“I am a great eater of beef, and I believe that does harm to my wit.” —–Shakespeare, Twelfth Night.

“Okay, nothing in there,’ Andy said. “Hey, you got a sandwich?”

Andy Freeloch was sitting in the cramped back room of the big tent his Dad and Uncle were using as the booth for Freeloch’s Sandwich Emporium at the Lebsack County Fair. There were books piled on the little table and a couple of couple of spiral notebooks and a canned soda.

“Sure,” John Rey Smith said pulling out a bag. “Roast beef, onions, hot off the grill. You making any progress?”

“Not really,” Andy said. “School reports were a lot easier. Work stuff, especially when this stuff probably isn’t on the internet.”

“Definitely not on the internet, if you can’t find it,” John said.

“Yeah,” Andy said, munching the sandwich. “You turn off the grill?”

“Yeah,” John said. “Cleaned it off and everything. Here, let me help you with that thing.”

John pulled one of the little chairs over and picked a stack of books off one side of the table.

“Hold it! HOLD IT!!!” Andy yelled. Too late. The table, now heavy with books on only one side, fell over, toppling the books. Andy grabbed his spiral notebook and pen and stood over the toppled table and piled books looking like a makeshift Statue of Liberty.

“Uh, ‘scuse me guys?”

John and Andy looked up. There was a guy standing there, not much older than they were. He had slicked back hair, glasses and was wearing jeans and a blue denim shirt.

“Uh, I’m Trevor, I’m on the prison road crew, the guys sent me over to ask. We saw your sign saying Smoked Meats. You got any cigarettes? Oh, you’re busy.”

They stared at him for a minute. Trevor shrugged and waked back outside.

“Okay,” John said. “Gonna be one of those days.”

—end—

Posted in Comedy, Fiction, Monthly Flash Fiction Draw Challenge, Short-Stories | Leave a comment

Rainbow Snippets Goes to the Beach; September 10th, 2022 from Jeff Baker.

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Every week we post six lines of our original fiction or a recommendation of a work by someone else that has at least one LGBT character on the Rainbow Snippets page here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/963484217054974 This is from one of my earlier weekly flash fiction stories “Serenade on the Beach,” from a picture prompt of two guys sitting naked on the beach (with discreetly-placed legs and guitar.) Here’s the link to the original story: https://authorjeffbaker.com/2016/09/04/serenade-on-the-beach/

Being a calendar model is so glamorous.

Right then, I was sitting on a beach getting sand up my butt, listening to Eddie play the guitar. He didn’t actually have to play, he just had to sit there and fake it, but since he could play he did. Unfortunately, the only song he knew was the theme from “Gilligan’s Island.”

Meanwhile, Gary the Director was telling us how to sit, how to smile, not to smile, how to flex and to act like it was summer. Yeah, in March.

Here’s snippet two:

People who don’t think it ever gets chilly on a California beach have never sat naked on one. At least Eddie had a guitar covering his front, I’d never done a nude shoot before.

“Yeah, that’s it,” Eddie said, between choruses stranding the Millionaire and the rest on the island. “They hire us to be in the buff and then they make us cover our junk.”

If this was a romance novel Eddie and I would fall for each other and run off in the middle of the shoot. But I couldn’t stand the guy.

Okay, that’s it for this week! Stay warm (or cool, as the case may be!)—-jeff

Posted in Rainbow Snippets | 4 Comments

New Story in an e-zine! “Toward the Marogas Hills” on RoM/Mantic Reads. Jeff Baker, September 9, 2022.

My story is the latest of several to be featured in this fine new e-zine! Check it out! And special thanks to Fiona Glass for all her work and for asking me for a story!

Here it is! Enjoy! https://rommanticreads.wordpress.com/2022/09/09/jeff-baker-toward-the-marogas-hills/

For the record, it is part of a serial and the next one will probably be up in a few months.

——jeff

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