A PG-13 Rainbow Snippet, from “Tatts” by Jeff Baker. May 7th, 2022.

Photo by Ben Mack on Pexels.com

Every week we post six lines from a work of ours, a work-in-progress or a work of somebody else’s that has at least one LGBT character at Rainbow Snippets here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/963484217054974

This week, something PG-13 that I’ve been working on off-and-on for a few years. A BDSM Sci-Fi book called “Tatts.” Set in a post-cataclysmic world where slavery (usually for criminal offenses) is legal. Our main characters are two thirty-somethings: Kyle who bought Andrew (renamed “The Kid”) to work in his construction business but they start becoming friends and more than that. But freeing a slave is complicated and expensive and Kyle has had some financial reversals and may get in trouble himself. The bands of servitude tattooed on The Kid’s right biceps will cause him intense pain if he disobeys or tries to escape.

In this snippet, Kyle and the Kid take in a local Faire and meet two acquaintances: Gil and Shane who are happily showing off their new acquisition…

Their acquisition stood between them; he was six-foot-one, about an inch taller than Gil, well-defined muscles, reddish-brown hair cut short and a reddish goatee, wearing jeans and a sleeveless gray shirt with a bill of sale fixed to the front. The Kid looked the man in the eyes and nodded slightly. He had been in a few of those shirts in the last eight years. Gil and Shane had their arms draped around him, Shane holding happily to their acquisition’s arm right where the bands of servitude were.

The man looked to be about Gil and Shane’s age, about thirty and had a resigned expression on his face, but with a half-smile.

Not your first go-round in servitude the Kid thought, self consciously rubbing the chain tattooed around his biceps.

Here’s one more snippet.

Gil grinned broader and slipped his hand under their acquisition’s shirt.

“Does he have a name…yet?” Kyle asked.

“Uh, my name is Steve,” the slave said. “Unless they decide different.”

“Well, I’m Kyle and this is The Kid.” Kyle said. “He came with the name.”

Hope your week is going better than Steve and The Kid’s in the story. There is always room for optimism. ———–jeff baker

Posted in Rainbow Snippets, Tatts | 4 Comments

Word on May Flash Fiction Draw Challenge, from Jeff Baker (May 6, 2022.)

Photo by Nick Rtr on Pexels.com

The May Flash Fiction Draw Challenge will be held next week. Things have been a little haywire for me lately, and I just forgot! Nonetheless, the cards will be drawn and the stories written because we all need this distraction!

Thanks!

——-jeff

Posted in Monthly Flash Fiction Draw Challenge | Leave a comment

Hear “The Rubaiyat of Joseph Zachary Barstow” for Friday Flash Fics. By Jeff Baker, May 6, 2022.

The Rubaiyat of Joseph-Zachary Barstow

(A Bryce Going Story)

by Jeff Baker

I first kissed a guy in public the day of the Bicentennial, July Fourth, Nineteen Seventy-Six. We thought we were alone.

I had a job working at a concession stand at a boat rental at Lake Manakopa that summer. It was up near the Canadian border. It wasn’t an Indian name, my Boss’s family owned it and it was a version of their original Russian name. I didn’t mind. It fit since “Bryce Going” wasn’t my real name anyway.

It was a pretty easy job, and that was where I met Jozac. Joseph-Zachary Barstow was sixteen, I was about the same age but pretending to be older. He was a little shorter than I was but we were both tanned and muscular (he more than me) and had a big grin that could melt butter.

I was falling for him. He was my first big summer crush. And nobody knew. At least, I thought nobody did.

Usually, I manned the stand while Jozac (as he insisted on being called!) helped with the boats and other stuff, like sweeping the small wooden boardwalk. When things were slow, Jozac and I had time to talk and he would ramble on about everything. He said he was going to write his ramblings down and maybe call it “The Rubaiyat of Joseph-Zachary Barstow.” I laughed and told him I’d read the poem a while back.

He stared at me for a moment and said he’d never met a guy who liked poetry. He said he was serious about doing the book, all about his misadventures which included running away when he was thirteen and hiding in an abandoned building for a week before the police caught him and took him home.

A few days later, I caught him in a mirror very definitely giving me the once-over. Checking me out. It wasn’t the first time someone had done that since I’d been out on my own.

Being a teenage runaway, especially a closeted one I was pretty careful around other guys, especially older ones. But Jozac was actually the same age I was. And I started checking him out when he wasn’t looking. I think he knew. He started wearing tight t-shirts to work, saying it was to “entice the girls to rent boats.” But when he said that, he gave me this look.

It was early one afternoon in June when he and I were both in the concession stand, unpacking boxes of canned soda when I blurted it out. The first part anyway.

“Uhhh…” I managed. “I’m doing the same thing you did when you were thirteen.” I said. “But I’ve been doing it for about a year. Since my folks bailed on me. My name isn’t Bryce Going. Not really…”

I had my hand on the last unopened box of sodas. Jozac put his hand on mine and we looked at each other for a moment. Then, Jozac looked around, saw nobody and kissed me. Really fast.

Then we went back to unpacking boxes and stocking soda.

That wasn’t when we kissed in public. We made out a few times, catching moments when we could. Jozac was still living with his folks in town and I was sleeping in the back storeroom. I think our boss suspected I wasn’t who I said I was but I don’t think he knew Jozac and I were gay, even though we really were spending a lot of time together, even when we weren’t working.

Jozac and I were sitting pretty close at the beach party some of the employees threw the last week in June, but nobody noticed. It was a little cool after dark and a bunch of us were huddled together around a fire actually toasting hot dogs.

“Naw, man, hey these hot dogs are good.” That was Bryan, one of the guys we worked with who I thought really looked good in a Hawaiian shirt halfway unbuttoned. It was cold, but he liked to show off his abs. The girl on his arm thought so too.

“Yeah,” the girl said. “That way we won’t have to throw them out into the lake, like my Grandmother used to….”

“Throw them out? What for?” Jozac said.

“To appease the Gods of the Lake,” she said. “The Natives who lived here told her that the lake was one of the original Great Lakes and its bottom stretches to infinity.” She laughed. “My Grandmother believed things like that.”

“Well, I’m from New Jersey and I don’t,” Bryan said.

“I heard some of that stuff growing up in Kenosha, when I was a kid,” one of the others said. “Old legends.”

I was about to say I’d run into a few odd things since leaving Philly, but the less said about me, the better.

We sat, ate, talked, laughed and watched sparks from the fire drift up to the stars.

The days were busy leading up to Sunday, July 4th. On the day, Jozac and I were working the booth. We had a little black and white TV in the booth and got to see some of the specials with the tall ships in New York Harbor. When things slowed down a bit, the boss told us to take an hour off and enjoy ourselves a bit.

“This is only going to come around once,” he said.

I think he probably knew but wasn’t saying anything.

Anyway, Jozac and I walked a ways down the shore watching the people swimming, throwing beach balls and boating. We were up near the rocky part of the beach when we heard some fireworks popping. Small ones at first and then a huge BOOM!

We about jumped out of our skins. And then we heard a splash and we looked out at the lake in time to see a huge, no other way to describe it, sea monster jump halfway out of the water. Blue-green skin, long neck, sleek body, serpent like. It splashed back into the water and was gone.

Jozac and I gawked at the lake then at each other. And that was when I pulled him over and kissed him full on the lips. After a moment, we pulled apart and he smiled and said “Happy Fourth.”

We glanced around. Most of the people were further down the shore and everyone was distracted by the fireworks but I could see a couple of people pointing to where the sea monster had been.

“Yeah, happy Fourth,” I said.

Then we started walking back to our booth, holding hands for another moment.

We stayed open until later in August when school started up. That was when I decided to take the first bus out of town. I’d noticed a couple of cops lurking around and a runaway didn’t need the attention. I said goodbye to Jozac and left, wishing him luck.

He smiled and said he’d put me in his book. I told him to wait about four years until I actually was twenty. The only time I’d told him anything about my real life.

I had other reasons to leave.

I kept having dreams about that lake monster one night slithering ashore…

—end—

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

Angel Martinez reads an Unsettling “Arrangement” by Jeff Baker. April 29, 2022.

Angel Martinez does a weekly Friday reading on her webpage. Here, she again reads one of my stories: “Arrangement In Black and Gray.”

My serious thanks to Angel for her fine reading of this story!

Here it is. Better turn up the lights for this one…https://angelmartinezauthor.weebly.com/from-angels-cave/friday-reading-day-arrangement-in-black-and-grey?fbclid=IwAR1BIEPKQi0ohYg6KbE3F1jqdfwKnvNsRqJCfPynkKutC6juiL2wexIl-JY

Posted in Angel Martinez, Fantasy, Fiction, Horror, LGBT, Short-Stories | Leave a comment

Rainbow Snippets, April 30th, 2022. “Will You Still Respect Me…” by Jeff Baker

Rainbow Snippets April 30, 2022

Every week we post six lines of a work of ours, or a recommendation of a work of someone else’s on “Rainbow Snippets,” here:https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/?multi_permalinks=7268901533179846&notif_id=1651353382055545&notif_t=group_activity&ref=notif

This week, another of my weekly flash fictions from a picture prompt (which I posted above.) In “Will You Still Respect Me in the Morning?” https://authorjeffbaker.com/2018/01/05/a-swap-meet-for-friday-flash-fics-by-jeff-baker-january-5-2018/ best buddies Johnny and Luke are checking out each other from a different vantage point; they’ve spent a few bucks to have themselves temporarily transferred into each others bodies.

In the 23rd Century, you can do that!

Here’s snippet one:

Luke stood in the doorway running a hand through the short hair. He looked down and flexed the right bicep, staring at the tattoos.

“I don’t remember this one, the one of the face,” Luke said.

“You should,” Johnny said, from in front of the mirror.

Luke flexed the biceps again. “Seriously, you really took care of yourself. This body looks good.”

Here’s snippet two:

“Thanks,” Johnny said with a grin. “Yours does too.” He grinned into the mirror. The face that grinned back was tanned and dark haired. The body was lean, not as muscular as the figure standing in the doorway but with some good definition.

“Be careful with that body, I get it back tomorrow afternoon,” Luke said grinning with Johnny’s teeth.

Okay, a little more:

Johnny’s body (which Luke was occupying) was muscular, tattooed with reddish brown hair. “This is crazy, you know.” Luke said.

“Yeah,” Johnny said. “But it should be worth it.” Luke grinned again; he was getting used to seeing his own face and hearing his own voice coming from over there.

Well, that’s our snippets for this week! Take care and I’ll see you in May! —–jeff

Posted in Fantasy, Fiction, LGBT, Rainbow Snippets, Science Fiction | 4 Comments

“Something Up in Barracuda Flats, Part Two.” Friday Flash Fics by Jeff Baker, April 30, 2022,

FFF Something Up in Barracuda Flats Part Two

by Jeff Baker

AUTHOR’S NOTE: In part one of this serial,https://authorjeffbaker.com/2021/07/02/something-is-up-in-barracuda-flats-for-friday-flash-fics-july-2-2021-by-jeff-baker/ Murdoch has been called out to Barracuda Flats to investigate strange doings at a ranch. Very strange for the post-Civil War era. Hiding in the brush, he sees a strange device with a mysterious glow at one end in the yard of the ranch.

I stared. The glittering swirling light was hypnotizing. I stayed hidden benind the brush and watched as a weatherbeaten older man, followed by a younger man with a stern expression, wearing a battered sombrero. The younger man grabbed the two handles at the one end of the long rod just under the glowing end and at the older man’s direction swung the device so it was pointing away from the ranch building.

A weapon.

In another minute, my suspicions were confirmed as the glow at the base of the device shown brighter. In another instant, a bright light, like a sunbeam, shot from the device and struck an old, gnarled tree which burst into fiery shards.

I hoped Griggs wasn’t standing behind the tree.

I stared from the device to the smoldering tree and back again. I remembered during the Siege of Petersberg a few years earlier when General grant had wheeled out one of the new Gatling Guns and after seeing that horror in action I wondered if anyone would dare ever make a weapon of war again. Now, looking at what was left of the tree, wrought by the machine and watching the matter-of-fact way the two men seemed to analyze what they had done I wondered what man might unleash upon himself in the years to come.

But what were these men planning to do with the device they had made?

ADDENDA: So ends part two of this ongoing serial. Hopefully I’ll add more another week.

——jsb

Posted in Barracuda Flats, Fiction, Friday Flash Fics, Friday Flash Fictions, Science Fiction, Short-Stories, Western | Leave a comment

Rainbow Snippet for April 23, 2022: “Ticklish Days,” by Skip Hanford.

Photo by Ben Mack on Pexels.com

Every week we post six lines of a work of ours, or a recommendation of a work of someone else’s on “Rainbow Snippets,” here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/?multi_permalinks=7233704850032848&notif_id=1650674708101991&notif_t=group_activity&ref=notif

Something a little different, definitely PG-13 this week. From my (as “Skip Hanford”) science fiction/BDSM story “Ticklish Days” that was published in “Rule 34, Volume Two” from Sin Cyr Publishing. https://sincyrpublishing.com/2020/04/01/rule-34-volume-2-release-day/

In this dystopian world, 20-something Bobby Sanchez, like other guys his age who qualify, must turn himself in for two weeks of state-sponsored tickling for paying customers who can also stream the videos. A tough spot to be in, but fortunately, Bobby finds a friend and maybe more.

Here’s snippet one:

Bobby was exhausted when the tickling stopped at least an hour later. He tried to catch his breath as he heard the kid strapped down next to him on the upright leaned platforms laugh and scream and swear. Then Bobby heard the voice from somewhere behind him.

“Hey, new guy, you okay?”

“Yeah.” Bobby’s voice was hoarse from laughing and yelling.

“I’m Carlos. How you holding up?”

Here’s snippet two:

“I’m Bobby Sanchez. Doing okay, except for being strapped down here.”

“Doesn’t get a lot better, ‘bro,” Carlos said. “We just have to tough it out.”

“Got two weeks, not sure how I’m going to get through it,” Bobby said.

“Tough it out, Roberto,” Carlos said. “I got into a fight my first day here, so they got me here for a couple of months ‘till they decide what to do with me.”

This stretched a bit over six lines, but I couldn’t resist!

Hope your week, dear reader, does not put you in any ticklish situations!

—–jeff

Posted in Fiction, LGBT, Rainbow Snippets, Science Fiction, Short-Stories | 2 Comments

Friday Flash Fics. “Up There” by Jeff Baker, April 23, 2022 (Yes, Saturday!)

Up There

by Jeff Baker

It seemed the two of them were high enough at the top of the small hill to touch the emerging stars or to see them wobble in the wind which blew their grey hair.

“I think that’s it!” Willie said.

“Where?” Ellen said, staring at the sky.

“Right there. There.” Willie said pointing upward. There was a bright dot hanging over the western horizon in the blue dusk.

“That’s Venus,” Ellen said.

“I know Venus, that’s not Venus.” Willie said. “I’ve been watching the skies for oh, sixty years now and…”

“It’s not moving. That’s Venus.” Ellen said.

Willie squinted. “All right, maybe it’s Venus.”

“Look up there!” Ellen said excitedly.

“Where?” Willie said.

“Straight up!” Ellen said, pointing.

“Oh, there it is!” Willie said. “Look at it move!”

The dot of light moved toward the Western horizon, growing brighter as it moved into the sunlight far above the Earth.

“Oh, here comes another one!” Ellen said as a second dot emerged from the shadowy blue, following the first.

“Looks like they’re busy tonight,” Willie said.

“I’m just glad you don’t work on that damned loading dock anymore” Ellen said.

“You’d think being only a sixth of Earth’s gravity would help,” Willie said. “But not when you’re loading a thousand boxes a day. Or night. It never felt like night to me with the Earth up there in the sky.” He smiled and drew her close.

“You know what they used to say when they saw what they used to call a shooting star?” Willie said, eyes twinkling.

“What?” Ellen said smiling.

“Make a wish!” Willie said.

The two of them stood there and kissed as the sky darkened and the stars smiled down.

—end—

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

Rainbow Snippet: “The Well-Lit Room” by Jeff Baker, April 15, 2022.

Photo by Matt Hardy on Pexels.com

Every week we post six lines of a work of ours, or a recommendation of a work of someone else’s on “Rainbow Snippets,” here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/963484217054974

This week, from something I just wrote and posted as my weekly story on “Friday Flash Fics,” another adventure for my Bi private eye, Andrew Navarro. Check the Author’s Note at the end of the full story and you’ll see it took me a while to finish this story: https://authorjeffbaker.com/2022/04/15/the-well-lit-room-a-much-delayed-friday-flash-fics-by-jeff-baker-april-15-2022/

Most of the time I don’t spend my time peeping through keyholes. Mainly because most people who hire a private eye in the 21st Century like me, Andrew Navarro, don’t have doors with keyholes. In fact the last few clients I’ve had you needed a keycard not a key to open a door.

And most of my cases don’t involve ghosts.

My latest client named (so help me) Eggbert Walton, had offices in a renovated Victorian house, that had originally been built for a wealthy family and I guess had been pretty ritzy and modern in its day. Now it looked like the Addams Family lived there.

That’s it for this week! Wishing you all the best for Passover, Easter and the rest of the days ahead. —–jeff

Posted in Andrew Navarro, Fiction, LGBT, Mystery, Rainbow Snippets, Short-Stories | 2 Comments

The Well-Lit Room: A Much-Delayed Friday Flash Fics by Jeff Baker (April 15, 2022)

The Well-Lit Room

By Jeff Baker

Most of the time I don’t spend my time peeping through keyholes. Mainly because most people who hire a private eye in the 21st Century like me, Andrew Navarro, don’t have doors with keyholes. In fact the last few clients I’ve had you needed a keycard not a key to open a door.

And most of my cases don’t involve ghosts.

My latest client named (so help me) Eggbert Walton, had offices in a renovated Victorian house, that had originally been built for a wealthy family and I guess had been pretty ritzy and modern in its day. Now it looked like the Addams Family lived there. The client had been getting odd calls from friends who’d been driving by late at night when the office was closed and had seen a light on in the top floor. He gave me the grand tour during the day and I made sure that there was no awning covering a porch that someone could have used to climb into the office window on the second floor.

Mr. Walton gave me the key so I could enter the building after dark. It wasn’t the first time I’d had to take a long nap during the day to prepare for surveillance at night, but something about this one made me uneasy. He rented the room at the end of top floor and so I sat cross-legged on the carpeted floor outside the room in the hallway. The doors were old and solid, all painted a dull gray. The doors all had old-fashioned knobs above an old keyhole you could peep through, but each door had a modern deadbolt as well. In the dim light of summer dusk I could make out the name on the door: E. G. Walton.

From where I was sitting, I could see the big old staircase leading downstairs at the end of the hallway. Trying not to doze, feeling the floorboards beneath the carpet.

I could hear the bells from the old clock tower at the nearby University, a building that must have been built when this old house was new. I sat there and counted the strikes of the clock from nine o’clock on.

Against all my plans, I dozed.

I woke, just in time to hear the tower bell chime what Dickens called “a deep, dull, melancholy ONE.” But that wasn’t what had awakened me.

There was a light streaming through the old keyhole. A ghostly blue light.

I was wide awake. I crept over to the door and, for the first time in my professional career I peered through the keyhole.

I could see a good slice of the room. The window, half of the old-fashioned wooden desk, and a round shape silhouetted in an eerie blue glow.

The shape moved slightly from side to side.

I wasn’t breathing.

I stood up, very carefully and quietly in the deathly still dark hallway.

I could get a better angle through the keyhole. There was a skinny young black kid, huge Afro (the kind I’d seen on kids in my older brother’s High School yearbook) sitting on the floor, tapping quietly on a laptop. I reached in my pocket for the key to the office door and very carefully, very carefully, very slowly inserted the key into the lock over the old doorknob and keyhole and carefully turned it. It felt like twenty minutes before the key turned and the lock opened as silently as possible.

I realized I had no choice but to open the door fast. The ancient knob was going to make noise.

In the instant that I banged the door I realized this kid might have a gun. He looked up shocked. He was working on a small laptop plugged into a strip beside the desk.

The rest of the story is quickly told. The kid’s name was Keenan, he lived down the street, he’d bought a secondhand laptop for school but he couldn’t get internet at his house “Since the new radio station opened up next door,” so he found this place.

I asked him why he didn’t just use it outside, he said because “outside doesn’t have a plug.”

I asked him how he got in the office, nobody could climb in and he laughed.

“Just a matter of shimmying up the drainpipe on the other side of the corner and stepping over to the window ledge.”

A very thin ledge.

“And the window pulls open form the outside.” Keenan said.

Mr. Walton had assured me that the building was secure. He’d be interested in knowing that it wasn’t.

I wasn’t a cop, but I searched Keenan. No sign that he’d taken anything. He showed me the pictures of himself on the laptop. It was his. I’d done a bunch of crazy things when I was a kid.

I sighed. I told Keenan I’d talk to Mr. Walton. I did have Keenan’s address and he would be more than grateful to learn about the window. It’d be up to him on whether to press charges or not.

As I watched Keenan walk down the street, I thought of the instant before I peeped through the ghostly glow of the keyhole, not knowing what I’d see, when more words from Dickens ran through my head:

“He knew that nothing short of a baby or a rhinoceros would surprise him.”

—end—

AUTHOR’S NOTE: I started this story from the picture prompt which first appeared on the old Monday Flash Fics site in January 2018. A man looking through a lit keyhole in a darkened room. I didn’t finish it, possibly because I didn’t have a handle on the character. (Or the plot!) And possibly because I was doing a couple of other stories that week. So I dug it (and the pic) out of mothballs and decided to give it a go. Oh, and the lines from Dickens are from “A Christmas Carol.”

Happy Passover and Easter, Everybody! ——jeff & darryl

Posted in Andrew Navarro, Fiction, Friday Flash Fics, Friday Flash Fictions, LGBT, Mystery | Leave a comment