Picture Perfect 116 

Picture Perfect 116

Peter followed Dan into the cabin “Who was that?” He asked as Dan opened the door.

“Someone who nows knows the power of the harness. That was hilarious.” Dan flopped on the bed with his hands behind his head.

Peter found a spot on the desk for the flowers.

“For the sweetest kiss.” Peter read the note. “Kiss?”

“Yes – in the parking garage.” Dan laughed as he explained it. “A lingering one mind you but that was all. I only enjoy public sex if there’s a hidden camera somewhere. Or if it had been you, we might have buckled a car hood or two.””

“Thank you, sir.” Peter knelt and removed Dan’s shoes. He undid Dan’s pants and pulled them off. “May I, Sir?” he asked.


Peter buried his face in Dan’s crotch. Pulling and biting at Dan’s underwear. “Someone didn’t have time for a shower this morning.”

“You should know.”

“Sweaty but clean.” Peter pushed the head of Dan’s cock to just above the underwear waistband and began to lick and suck it. “Mmm.”

“Fuck, that feels so good.” Dan thrust his hips so that his cock was deep in Peter’s throat. 

Peter gagged on the sudden thrust.

“Choke on it.” Dan held Peter so he couldn’t pull away. “You like to choke on me, don’t you?” He loosened his grip on Peter’s head.

“Uh huh, Sir. I was dreaming about that the whole flight.”

“That’s not a harness. It’s a dream catcher.” Dan stood and kissed Peter.

His cell buzzed. It was Jeremy.

Peter unpacked his clothes and dangled things in front of Dan.

“I’m busy at the moment.” Dan attempted to grab the jockstrap Peter held up. “Yes the flowers arrived … I haven’t been avoiding you, just your fan base. I have to go. Yes I’ll be at the the premier this afternoon. Bye.”

He ended the call.

“Mr. Moxham I presume.” Peter said.

“Who else. He has his image to think of. I get that.  Hiding isn’t my style.”

“Aren’t you hiding me from him. My house sitter. My house mate. My coffee delivery boy.”

“I’m just trying to be tactful. Do you mind?”

“It depends on what you mean by mind. No. In fact I kind of find it a bit of a turn on to be your secret mistress. Especially when you’re keeping me a secret from a dashing millionaire playboy who is in turn keeping his own secrets. It’s like being in a soap opera written Escher.”

“At least I won’t panic with you beside me in a harness as my date. I can’t show up anywhere beside Jeremy as his date. Now where we?” Dan pulled Peter to him.

“About to hit the showers after my long exhausting cross country travels.” Peter said. “I can wash your back.”

“I hope they have enough hot water.” Dan dropped his shirt on the bed.

“I hope they have enough towels.” Peter followed Dan into the bathroom.

“If not I can use your jock straps to dry off with.”


Quintex’s special showing of the 100 Years of Chamberlain was at the Cineplex on Trinity Drive. Invitation only. 

When Dan & Peter arrived the lobby was crowded with QTel executives. Baxter introduced him to the crew from the 100 Years. They were given bags of pop corn.

Jeremy as the executive producer of 100 Years said a few words about the production, about how much everyone enjoyed working on it, and how delighted he was to learn something new about the history of Canada. There was applause at the right moments.

He introduced John Kilpatrick who said pretty much the same things about how working with QTel was a great cognation of his history hosting Cold Canada. Then Winston Chamberlain said how was thrilled he was to share the magic the Chamberlains had created for the public over the last one hundred years.

The lights dimmed and the program started. After first few minutes Dan tuned out what he was seeing. If the calliope soundtrack volume was a little lower he might have fallen asleep. He sorted through his memories of the interviews, the pictures he had seen, the reports about death that summer, transient populations that summer, his family’s moves that summer. There had to be some connection he was missing. That everyone were missing. Or was there yet another piece to this puzzle.

His attention was pulled back to the show as the narrator said, “It was during the 80’s that the Carnival went though difficult times.”

He recognized the voice as Winston Chamberlain.

“Thanks to the popularity of video games, video movies, even video arcades – yes one could say Video tried to kill the carnival – attendance dropped off. We tried different themes each year. Some worked, some were unsuccessful but all were creatively satisfying.

‘In the summer of 1984 we toured the Tut-Mania side show.”

As Winston spoke there were home movie images of belly dancers, snakes, and the fake Tut exhibits. A sarcophagus with several mummies arranged around it, artifacts. “We dressed our tour guides as Cleopatra’s handmaidens.”

“That’s her!” Dan exclaimed aloud, then covered his mouth. It was the woman wielding the whip in his Dad’s photos. She was on screen for less than thirty seconds and never appeared again. 

The documentary came an end. It was more or less an advertisement for the Museum. The closing credits were so fast and cluttered he couldn’t see who at Quintex was the main researcher. He’d have to ask Stephanie is she knew.

“What did you think?” Cameron asked him as they left the theatre.

“Archival footage is always fascinating.” Dan said. “I always want more of that.”

“Makes them sound like one big happy family of saints determined to bring entertainment to the deprived people of the Maritimes.” Cameron said.

“What did you expect?” Stephanie asked. “It’s not an expose. We don’t do that sort of thing, anyway.”

“Unless there are children involved.” Dan said.

“Cold Canada is a different thing.” she said. “It digs for facts not conclusions.”

“Then the editors shape the facts to suggest conclusions.” Peter said. 

“At least they like to spread the blame around.” Stephanie said. “Legal won’t let us point directly at one person anyway.”

“Or Winston Chamberlain probably wouldn’t have been so eager to have this profile of the 100 years.” Dan said. “There was no mention of the hand-job maidens.”

“Was it you who said ‘that’s her?’.” Cameron asked. “Sounded like you.”

“Yes. I’m not sure but one of the pictures looks like a woman in one of the family photos I examined for the show. I can’t say for sure it was only on for a few seconds.”

“She’s significant in some why?” Stephanie asked.

“Perhaps.” Dan said. He hadn’t told anyone connected with the show about his Dad’s racy pictures.

“Our research department will have the original footage, so you can check with them for a better and perhaps more extensive look. The shows only use about twenty percent of the materials collected.”

“I’ll do that when we get back to Toronto. Let’s check out the exhibits at the museum.”

“We can check out the hand-job maidens.” Cameron said. 

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Picture Perfect 70

Picture Perfect 70

“Pizzas here!” Peter called. “or is that pizzae?”

“You plan on feeding an army?” Dan looked at the stack of pizza boxes on the dining room table. “One each for each of us! I’m lucky to finish two slices in a large. These have to be extra large.”

“Be grateful I didn’t order the Super Bowl party size.” Jeremy said.

Ashley spread the boxes over the table, flipped open the top of each. “Pepperoni classic with extra cheese where are you. Nope this one is – what is it?”

“Looks like shrimp and lobster to me.” Peter said handing Jeremy a plate and a carving knife. “No enough pizza cutters to go around.”

“This one has sausages and bacon.” Ashley said.

“Meat Lovers.” Jeremy explained. “there should be ground beef and salami under the extra cheese.”

“Daddy did you order one for me?” she opened another boxx. “Oh here it is. Give me that pizza slicer. Got bigger plates?”

‘“Nope.” Dan said. “We only have plates for people with normal sized appetites. And this one is,” he opened the last box. “Spinach, egg plant and I’m not sure.”

“Avocado and sun dried tomatoes. That one also has feta for those of us who get tired of mozzarella or cheddar. Crust is gluten free, too.” Jeremey explained. “The vegan deluxe. You’ll never miss the meat.”

“Oh yummy,” Peter said, “There’s nothing more tempting than cardboard with hot spinach.”

“Try it, you’ll like it.” Jeremey said before he pushed the tip of the sea food pizza in his mouth.

They each managed to try, of not fully eat, a slice from each of the pizzas. 

“I hope everyone is stuffed.” Peter said. “If they are thank the man who paid the chef. Those of us about to explode with goods salute you Mr. Moxham.”

“My pleasure.”

“I’m sleepy.” Ashley announced.

“It is getting late.” Jeremey checked his watch. “We’ll head home in half an hour, princess. Need time for the dough to settle.”

“You can nap in my room.” Peter said.

“Your room?” she said. “You don’t live here! Dan does.”

“True. But unlike you I am a guest who stayed for longer than dinner.”

He went upstairs with her.

“So he is really house sitting?” Jeremy said. “I thought that was was a euphemism for sleeping together.”

“No, it isn’t a euphemism. But yes we are sleeping together.” Dan collected the dirty plates.


“You mean you’ve been celibate all these years?”

“No but …”

“The lobster pizza was pretty good.” Dan began to combine remains of pizzas into two boxes. “I wasn’t sure about it at first. The idea of putting seafood on a pizza struck me as being more inventive than tasty.”

“Like the idea of gay men courting?” Jeremy asked.

“You mean inventive or tasty? Sorry, I didn’t mean that to sound as sarcastic as it did.”

“I’m a little confused.” Jeremy said. “You know I find you attractive.”

Just then Peter came back into the room. “Did I miss something, sir?”

Dan massaged his forehead with the palm of his hand. “I came home to deal with business business not emotional business. I’m not looking to be courted. I’m not looking for a replacement for Sanjay. Not yet anyway. I don’t know where you got it into your head I was I husband hunting.” He went down to his study and shut the door.

His head throbbed. His study smelled of Jeremy’s cologne. All he wanted was to be free of emotional encumbrances for a while. Yet, everywhere he turned there was another opportunity, another someone trying to attach themselves to him. It wasn’t as if what that great looking or even had a big fat thick dick. Ordinary. He was ordinary.

There was knock on his door. “Ice cream?” Peter said.

“I’ll be right out.”

On his way up to the FairVista store in the morning Dan wished he had exercised more restraint when it got to the ice cream and brioche. Neither of which did anything to dispel the awkwardness of acting normal with Ashley in their midst. Once Jeremy left with her Dan went directly to bed. Peter had enough sense to let him sleep alone.

In the morning he was glad he had turned the message alert off before going to bed as there was three texts from Linda. The first sent at midnight, said “wlcm hm thnx 4 pics.” The second sent two hours later said “pics r exclnt.” The third was sent an hour ago said. “Must talk asap.”

As she hadn’t sent Hamid to pick him up he didn’t he didn’t think her asap was that urgent. Peter had already left for work when he got up with an ice cream hangover. His stomach felt bloated from the excess of glutenated products they had eaten. Cold sea food pizza made for a good breakfast though. 

The FairVista hadn’t changed. There were some discreet Halloween decorations here and there but this wasn’t where anyone shopped for costumes, monster makeup or candy to give away. Christmas was the serious season. He could smell the coffee when the doorman opened the mall door for him.

“Lovely morning Mr. James.”

“Yes, it is.”

Linda was at one of the Cuppa tables with a coffee and biscotti in front of her.

“Smell it when you came in?” she asked.

“Couldn’t miss it.” 

“I read how movie theatre would pump the smell of popcorn to the street so people would get the craving for it when they passed. Bakeries do with the fresh bread too. Have one?”

“Water for me.” He took a bottle of water out of his shoulder bag. “I’m here. By the way I had supper last night with Jeremy Moxham.”

“Then you already know what I wanted to talk to you about. Saves me the trouble of having to explain it to you.”

“No explaining to do. It’s your business now.”

“I want your guarantee that you won’t pull Lifend out of here.”

“Why would I do that Linda.”

“You know why.”

“Oh that! Lifend has their own system of checks and balances. You can’t accidentally add their name to anything.”

“I’ve gone over the store’s contractural agreement with them.”


“How flexible will they be on some of those stipulations.”

“Not at all. No discounts. No trade-ins. They own the stock until it is sold.”

“FairVista wants me to capitalize even more of their name though.”

“You can use the logo on site as much as you want to & when you advertise my product demonstrations & workshops. They aren’t concerned with getting their name out there beyond that.”

“It makes it hard to sell them. People expect discounts at some point.”

“That’s what exclusivity means.” Dan said. “They sell what they want, at the price they want. There are not seconds, discontinued lines or even knock-offs. They are paying enough for the square footage they are using here. Plus they pay for the amount of window display they get. Those you can expand, at no cost to them, but cannot reduce it, to make room for another Cuppa’s coffee table.”

“FairVista …”

“Fuck FairVista, Linda. They know their contractual obligations to Lifend. Lifend doesn’t want its own store. They want a single North American site where people can buy period. They sell to people who can afford to fly to Toronto to make face-to-face purchases.”

“I get that.”

“Then why bringing Jeremy Moxham into this?”

“I was hoping to bring him in as a business partner. Without the Depot …”

“Partner? Really! Are you serious?”

“It makes sense to me. We need someone with a name value to the public & to FairVista. Something that can do more for us than this rinky-dink cable crime show of yours.”

“Teresa sends her regards.”

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Picture Perfect 23

As Dan approached his house he saw the guest bedroom light was on. Maybe Sanjay had changed his mind? No, their home security system made sure lights would go on and off if there was no one home. He’d set the system for random times. No one would turn the same lights on and off at exactly the same times.

He was locking his bike in the garage when Sanjay pulled the car in.

“They let you out of the pie factory early?” He gave Sanjay a quick kiss.

“Time off for bad behaviour.” He pulled Dan close for a deeper kiss. He moved Dan so he was balanced on the hood of the car and continued to kiss him.

Dan tried to glance over his shoulder. “You aren’t going to shut the garage door?”

“Why bother? I thought you might like it like this.”

“There’s kids around here.” Dan squirmed off the car.

“I see, it is okay for you to start something but not for me?” Sanjay said and walked into the house.

Dan closed and locked the garage door.

Sanjay was preparing supper when he went into the kitchen. Dan hugged him from behind. Sanjay pried his hands away. “Not while I’m holding a knife.”

“The Unsolved people were by the Depot today. Camera crew and all that.”

“I’ve booked my tickets to Mumbai.” Sanjay said as he washed carrots. “I did not book anything for you, yet.”

“When do you leave.” 

“June 1.”

“When are you coming back?”

“It’s an open end return ticket.”

“Oh? You not planning to come back or something?”

“It is unclear as to how long I’ll be needed there. You know my father isn’t doing well. It could be my last chance to spend time with him.”

“I see. Don’t forget we have Kevin McLeod’s wedding announcement party this week-end. It’ll be a blast.”

“If I don’t have to work.”

“Don’t you know that now? It’s going to be fund raiser for the 519 Church Street Community Centre.”

“Yes. Sylvan has donated some food and of course pastries to the event.” Sanjay turned and leaned on the counter. “Look Dan, I might as well just say this now.”

“Say what?”
“I may not be coming back from India.”

“What! Because of last week?”

“No! I want to build a life for myself.”

“I thought that’s what we were doing here. Us. Isn’t that a life.”

“We’re more like fuck buddies than lovers. We share space not lives.”

“What do you mean? Fuck buddies! Sanjay, fuck buddies don’t meet one another’s families, travel together, own cars together. We might as well be a married couple for how together we are.”

“Exactly but we aren’t, are we.” Sanjay went to the fridge.

“Aren’t what?”
“Married. Dan. Married.”

“So that’s it – marry you or you’ll leave me. Where’s the love in that gun.” Dan watched as Sanjay chopped lettuce.

“Gun?” Sanja asked.

“Yeah, holding the gun of marriage to my head like that. I don’t get it. You were happy enough with the way things were when we couldn’t make it legal.

“Besides aren’t you the one who said there’d be Gay Divorce Court soon. Marriage doesn’t make anything more stable.” Dan lowered his voice. “I thought you cared for me, for us. But what you really wanted was security not a relationship. Right?”

“I do care for you but I just want …”

“What? To move to India?”

“That might be part of it. I hate the winters here. I can’t stand the way people treat me without realizing they are doing it. That I’m just some immigrant. Even though I was born here.”

“I didn’t know you felt that way. Have I ever treated you like that?”
“Not directly. But …” Sanjay paused.


“It was with great pride I introduced you to my family. I wanted them to meet my lover. A man of property and substance. To show them that as a gay man I had a real future. But they never acknowledged us. If we were married they might.”

“I’m not going to do that just so you can please your parents.”

“I know that but kept hoping you might change.”

“Perhaps you are the one who needs to change. To stop needing your parents acceptance to be happy with who you are.”

“I was never sure …. you wouldn’t find someone else.”

“I wasn’t looking. What would make you think that?”

“Oh! What about the V-Files? You left your lap top on one night. I noticed and went to turn it off and it was still on that page. You are very popular there, it seems.”

Dan had been looking there the past few nights before going to bed to give a little surge for jacking off.

“That site isn’t for pickups. Or at least I’ve never used it for that.” How could he explain this in a way that made it seem like it wasn’t a threat.

“Then what about TTBurning. He has messaged you many times it seems, to film him again.”

“I’ve never met anyone on that site. That’s not the point of it. It’s for posting …. found footage …. TT thinks he was in some of the found footage that I posted a few months ago.”

“Found? Where do you find it.”

“Mine is from the security cameras around the Depot. The back alley. It often catches more than drunk pissers stumbling around. Sometimes it’s people making out. Hookers with tricks, that sort of thing.”

“People get off on watching that sort of thing?” Sanjay wiped his hands on a tea towel.

“Some do.”
“Depends on how much dick I can see.” Dan wanted to stop, but this was the first time he’d hinted to anyone about his fascination with the lane way activities. His cellphone rang.

“Aren’t you going to answer it?” Sanjay snapped. “It might be TTBurning calling for his close up.”

“I told you I’ve never …”

The cell continued to ring.

“Answer it.”

“It can go to voice mail.”

“Answer it.”

“So you’ll know whose calling? Okay.”  He walked into the living room. “Hello? One second.” He took the phone from his ear. “It’s the guy from the TV show.” He put the phone back to his ear. “No I can’t talk now. Yes I’m sure it’s important but call me during business hours.”

Sanjay followed him into the room and sat on the couch. “The other night? Is that that what you wanted? To get us on the security camera so you could post it on the internet for the world to see. Is that what was on your mind?”

“No! I wanted to be spontaneous.” He knew couldn’t tell  Sanjay he was mostly right about wanting to get them on camera. But only for his own personal pleasure. Better no truth than half-truth.

Sanjay’s eyes widened as he looked around. “I suppose there are cameras hidden here too. A couch cam. We’ve made out here often enough for you know the best angle for all the action. In our bedroom?”


“What about the one in garage? Is that why you didn’t want to make out there. You thought the angle was wrong?”

“We have a security camera out there, one on the patio, one at the front door. That’s it.”

“The patio?”

“That’s how you knew about the racoons. You pointed them out to me on the monitor. You thought they were so cute till they got into the roof somehow.”

“Too bad you didn’t catch them fucking.” 

“Whatever.” Dan went to the stairs. 

“What about dinner?” Sanjay asked.

“Later. I’m going to take a shower. If you care to join me. There’s no shower cam.”

In the shower he turned the water on full blast, flipped it between hot and cold to see if it would stop his racing mind. Sanjay couldn’t be serious. They’d been so comfortable with each other for so long. He guessed that comfortable wasn’t enough for Sanjay. Was it enough for him? Either way he wasn’t going to be argued into something to save a relationship. If you have to save a relationship then it’s probably not worth saving.

He went to the bedroom, sprawled naked on top of the bed to cool off from the shower. His skin tingled. He could hear Sanjay in the guest room. Drawers opening and closing. He wasn’t packing to leave that night was he? 

He pulled boxers and clean t-shirt on and went down to the kitchen. The unfinished salad was on the counter where Sanjay had left. Dan pushed it into a container and put it in the fridge. He had no appetite.

Upstairs he went to the guest room door. Sanjay was in bed, covers pulled over him. His back to the door.

“Sanj?” he said softly.

“I don’t want to talk anymore.”

“Okay.” Dan went back to his room. From a drawer in the side table he took out a box Sleep Ease and popped two of the pale blue pills out of the blister pack. What was the poem with ‘ends with a whimper’? Well, he wasn’t the one who’d be whimpering, just the one who slept well.

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Picture Perfect 19

His cell phone rang. Sanjay on picture call display.

“Hey babe.” Dan said. “What’s the story?”

“Its getting to be repetitious. I’m stuck here at Zephyr for the night prep shift. I may not get home till breakfast. There’s a major fund raiser here Sunday night and you know is overseeing all the dessert preparations.”

“Poor boy.”

“Worse part is that some of them have to be gluten and nut free and cooked in a place not contaminated by either of those two nasty substances.”

“How do they get plated?”

“Oh, there’ll be separate rooms for everything and I suppose guests in one room will be forbidden to mingle with guests from the others.” Sanjay laughed. “Assault by walnut air kiss. I wonder if that is a criminal offence.”

“You love a challenge.”

“Quite true. Not seeing you is enough of a challenge for me. How was your day.”

He went through the trade-in business, the Cuppa’s take over of the nail salon, even the drop by visit from Warszawa.

“That him I hear in the background?” Sanjay teased.

“That’s just me beating off to the sound of your voice.”

“A pretty picture indeed. I better go they are calling for me. There are two cleaning crews here now and I have yet to find a space that is guaranteed gluten and nut free. Oh my head. Kisses.”


When he woke in the morning Sanjay was not in the guest bedroom. The times when he was caught in an all-nighter he would sleep at the restaurant so Dan wasn’t too worried.

He checked his email. Nothing of note. He couldn’t resist checking the V-Files. His post was now viral on the site, endless comments saying pretty much the same thing. Enough in his tip jar to pay for access to the site for a year. Some private comments had been posted to his mailbox there. A couple were invites by women to get in touch, one from a guy who claimed to be the man in the picture.

The way the site worked, to maintain anonymity as much a possible, was that locations were not cited on the actual clips or comments, but if someone posted you privately you would see where their post came from. Even if that information was unsure Dan knew how to reply posts via an off-island server. You never knew if anyone really was on line.

He deleted all the posts in his box there. He never replied to them. He wasn’t there to meet up only to share.

Dan arrived at the shop to find Ushio was already busily going through the pile of trade-ins. The day after the sale the shop was closed for inventory taking. Japanese Kpop blared from the store’s sound system.

“You’re here early.” Dan said loudly as he slipped off his shoulder bag. 

“Much work to do.”

“So I see.”

The bin for Goodwill was already half-full. 

“I forget to give you this yesterday. We were so busy.” Ushio handed Dan a dvd. “It is the movie you gave me to translate …. I mean transfer.”

“Thanks. I’ll look at it later.”

He went over the array of cameras that had been traded-in. The more complete they were – complete meant cables and rechargers – the better the trade in. Some were still in their original boxes. Too bad they weren’t top of the line.

He took several of the incomplete cameras up to the third floor worship where they kept a supply of various cables, batteries and chargers. At least once a day someone would into the store looking to replace cables that been lost, eaten by the dog, dropped in the washing machine. Their complaint was invariably why wasn’t there a universal plug like the usb that could be used on any device. But each company had its own connector and even those weren’t consistent for all devices made by the same company.

He could tell at a glance what cable was needed. Occasionally they’d get some freakish foreign model that had no North American equivalent and no adapter would fit it.

He glanced at the first camera got the correct cable and plugged it into the computer. The memory card was blank and the battery began to recharge automatically when he plugged it in.

The next was an Olympus that had no battery or memory card. Sandy probably took one look at the brand name and accepted it. He put it to one side to deal with later. 

It took him about thirty minutes to go through the ones he had brought up to test. He tagged each one with a post-it note as to what cables, batteries, memory cards they needed. With some he did a test shot to make sure the circuits were working. One memory card had several wedding pictures left on it which he cleared off. If they traded in the camera they probably traded in the bride or groom too.

Once that was done he played the dvd that Ushio had transferred for him.

At first he wasn’t sure what he was looking at. It was blur of out of focus coloured lights. The camera pulled back. It had been pushed into a Christmas tree. The lights and ornaments became clearer. He had shot this himself. His father had kidded him about trying to be too arty.

There were closeup of reflections in shiny Christmas balls. His mother drinking a cup of tea he’d shot though the needles of the tree, weird angles on gift wrap, some clearly shot with him lying on the floor. There was his sister looking down at him then pretending to stomp on him with her foot. The last of it was him rolling in the snow with someone. Timmy!

Right. Timmy had arrived that year on Boxing Day. He had a black eye from a snowball fight before he came to visit. No wait that wasn’t a visit. From what Warszawa found out that was Timmy running away from something. Surely his parents must have known that all along.

That was when Timmy would sneak into his bed and snuggle up to him. That was the first time he played with Timmy’s cock while Timmy played with his.

The reel came to an end. He reversed it to see what he had missed in the surge of memories.

Once the bulk of the trade-ins had been sorted and tested and were ready to be tossed, kept or okay to be donated, Dan let Ushio out the back way.

Dan started to push the store’s garbage bins to the nook. He recalled the first time he became aware of the activity that happened back there. 

The family was living on the third floor of the building. His bedroom was the corner room and had two windows – one on each wall. One window overlooked the lane way. He was coming on fifteen and aware he was gay.

In those years there was a bar on the corner where the office complex now stood. Rafters Bar and Grill. He could never figure out why it was called Rafters. Loud with rock on weekends his mother called the police more than once after midnight about the noise.

The laneway behind the photo shop was used by men and sometimes women late at night who needed to take a leak after a night of drinking. He would sometimes hear them knocking over the garbage cans, swearing, even fighting with one another.

More than once he spied on couples making out down there thinking they were safe. Or did they hope to be detected. If they were too noisy in their making out his mother would open a window and shout down at them that she had called the cops.

If he was restless at night he’d sit at the middle window on the second floor that gave an ideal view of the nook. He’d hope for someone to wander in to relive themselves. If he was lucky he’d have a ring side seat for a make out session.

To see a man’s cock appear out his pants got him hard. So hard he’d off ejaculate without having to touch himself.

His mother was so disgusted with the ‘abuse’ the lane way got she wanted it properly fenced and gated to stop people from using it, but as it was a shared lane she’d need to get all the other buildings on either side of it to agree. All she managed to do was to get that nook boarded over.

Dan wasn’t sure what the old factory warehouse next to his building was being used for these days. It had gone through many hands over the years. For a time it was used for raves. Several years it was a performance space, sometimes artist lofts would appear then go, a gallery. Last he heard it was to be converted to condos but that hadn’t happened yet.

After this sister married and his Dad moved them to real house, the renovations of their shop space began in earnest. One thing Dan saw to was getting the laneway fenced and had the hoarding his mother had put up to cover the nook removed.

He said the space was the perfect spot for garbage bins, which is was. He also made sure was kept clear of bins except on nights when garbage was to be collected. 

His cell rang. It was a text from Sanjay. “Out front. Want a lift home?”

Dan texted back. “Round back.”

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Chapter LXI – Birk at the Courthouse

Coal Dusters: Book 1 is now available as as PDF – this covers the first 35 chapters – 65540 words – send $1.99 to  paypal.me/TOpoet

Coal Dusters – Chapter LXI


at the


“What are they accusing us of?” Birk asked though the bars between their cells.

Before Clancy could answer one of the officers came and and took Clancy out of his cell. 

“Chief Constable does wan’t you two fancy boys too close to each other.” The constable sniggered as he took Clancy away. “We’re putting you in the infirmary lock up. No one there for you to bother.”

Birk paced his cell. He was as alone as he had ever been. The holding cells stank of urine. There was a bucket with a board over it in one corner for doing that sort of business. The bed was the only thing to sit on in the room. It was barely wide enough for him to lay on, with a hard thin straw mattress that didn’t soften the boards on the bed. No pillow and a thin grey sheet. At least sheet smelled clean.

He took his shoes off and lay on the bed. The wall was covered with various scratching and writing. Dates and names. 

“Willie Campbell – lost a hand for his country now jailed in reward.” One of them said.

The ceiling overhead was mottled with mold and cobwebs in the corners. Some of plaster had cracked and fallen in one corner.

The one narrow window was high on the wall and let some light through. This is what he had come to.

The respect he had gotten the days after he crawled up out of the mine wasn’t going to keep him warm tonight. He wondered how it was he’d been so happy one day and now was here in a cell and not even understand why.

Buggery? He’d heard the men say that often enough in the pits. Calling someone an “old fart” “useless bugger” when you wanted to say something worse. But no one ever explained what bugger meant. He’d always thought it had to do with the rats as they were most often called “useless buggers.” When you said that about someone else you were calling them rat.

But the way that priest, Father Patrick, had said it it had to mean more than saying he and Clancy were mine rats. Then the copper calling them “fancy boys” because they weren’t as well dressed as he was. The only way he’d ever heard that before was to make fun of a miner getting too dressed up or not bothering to get dressed up for something. He was never one to put on airs, though Clancy did get a bit too cleaned up at times.

All that washing up at the tubs at Mrs. Franklin’s always seemed to him he was trying to be someone he wasn’t. They certainly weren’t acting like someone they weren’t now. Even at Blue Lake they were doing what they usual did. Horsing around. Expect for that moment when they touched each other’s privates. The moment when Lillian spied them.

Was that what she was going on about? Was that the pleasuring that got her so distraught. Not as if it was the sort of thing any man would think to let a lady do, to touch his little guy. Having her see it was bad enough, but to touch it. That wasn’t right. There had to be something in the scriptures about that. Yet she did see them naked. That she had caused him shame. That was an affront, he knew that even though he hadn’t done it to offend anyone. If he had known she was near he wouldn’t have let that happen. 

He signed deeply accepting this was a consequence for his being so thoughtless. He drifted off wondering if he knew Willie Campbell.


In the morning a guard brought him a tray with a mug of tea and some toast and an apple.

“Here.” he pushed the tray though an opening at the bottom of the cell door.

“Thanks. More’n I usually get in the morning.” He sat with the tray on the bed. “What’s going to happen to me next?”
“You and your mate’ll be taken to Sydney, where Magistrate Doucet will see you this afternoon. Usually they don’t take cases that fast but that Miss McTavish got some pull I guess. She sure wants to see you and your mate get what for.”

“I wish I knew what got her so wound up.” Birk ate his toast.

“If’n you ask me she got too much time on her hands and not enough children to keep her occupied. That’s the trouble with some people not enough business of their own so they gets into the business of peoples that they have no business bothering with in the first place. Children is woman’s business.”

“Could be.” Birk finished his breakfast and slid the tray back.

“How’re your hands?” The officer asked as he picked the tray up.

Birk flexed his fingers and look at them.

“Getting better.”

“How you damage them so much.”

“Climbing up out of the mine that time.”

“Oh! That was you! I was going to offer to piss on em fer ya.” The officer laughed as he left the holding cells.

He returned some time later and unlocked the cell door.

“Time to transport you to Sydney.” He took Birk firmly by the arm and out to a truck in back of the police station. Clancy was already in the back of the enclosed back cab. There was wooden bench across each side of the cab.

“You here!” The officer pushed Birk sitting opposite Clancy.

“Feed you well?” Clancy asked.

“Good enough. You.”

“Yeah. Tea a bit weak but the milk sure was sweet.”

“At’s enough out of you two.” a couple of officers clamber in the back with them.

Birk and Clancy sat in silence as the truck drove to Sydney. The two officers talked non-stop about their families and about how the station had been swamped with out-of-work miners looking for work.

The truck bumped up and down on the road. The road underneath gradually smoothed.

“Comin’ into Sydney lads.” One of the officers said. “The streets may not be paved with gold but they sure are smooth.”

The truck came to a stop and the back door opened. They were lead directly into the back of a large building and up a flight of stairs to the second floor.

The officer opened a door with a frosted glass transom. “Clancy Sinclair, you’ll wait in here” Clancy went into the room. The officer locked it.

“You Birk Nelson, you’ll wait here.” He indicated a bench further along the wall.


Birk sat and had to plant his feet firmly to keep from sliding off the slippery bench. He lost track of time till a near by church rang for noon.

The door opened and Clancy stepped out and was taken away by an officer before Birk could make eye contact with him.

“Birk Nelson, You can go in now.” The other officer nodded to Birk.

There was no one in the room. There was desk with a chair, then a window behind it. The barred window overlooked the area behind the building. The only chair in the room was behind the desk.

There were some book shelves along one wall and pictures of Queen Victoria and another of George V. A door between the bookshelf and the window opened into another room. Birk wasn’t sure where to sit.

“Sorry to keep you waiting.” Magistrate Doucet came in from the side door. “You are young Mr. Nelson. Mac’s son?”
“Yes.” Birk stood holding his hands behind his back.

“I know your father. He worked with my uncle for many years. Jean Doucet.”

“T’Jean?” Birk smiled. “Yes. He’d play fiddle whenever we needed one.”

“Yes, that’s him. I understand you are the young man who did the dangerous climb out of the pits.”

“Yes.” Birk blushed. “I only did what anyone would have if he had to.”

“Modesty. A nice trait in a man.”

“Modesty?” Birk asked.

“Not one to brag.”

“I see. I suppose that’s me alright.”

“But we were none too modest yesterday. Letting your naked self in the air for all to see.”

Birk was trying to make the connection between not bragging and being seen naked.

“You don’t deny that do you?”
“No. No. We had been fishing at Blue Lake.”

“Yes. Yes. I have the story pretty clear in my head Birk. You strike me as being a good lad.”

“Thank you sir. I try.” 

“How much schoolin’ have you had.”

“Some. I left at twelve to work the mines. So not much since then. Though Miss Lillian did help us some.”

“Miss Lillian? Then you knew here before the trouble at Blue Lake?”
“Yes sir. She had come to the Mudside to help teach those that had no school to go to. She’d visited my sister and I’d sit in too to make my writing and reading better.”

“Interesting. I didn’t know this. Did you have affections for her?”

“She was pleasant enough, Sir.”

“You weren’t interested in her? As a wife perhaps”

“Never. Not a bit of it. She was a proper Catholic gal with a priest uncle. My mother would never allow that sort of thing. No, I wasn’t keen on it. Never was.”

“Was she interested in you? Beyond teaching you?”
“Can’t say as I know. She did ask what hopes I had of getting married some day but I don’t see any sense it it.”

“Birk in my business I hav etc be a good judge of character and strike me as being a good sort of young man.” The magistrate leaned back in his chair.

“Thank you, sir.” He shifted from foot to foot.

“One way to do that is to keep your pants on when you’re out and about.” The magistrate laughed. “You never know when some gal with get the wrong idea about you.”

“Yes, sir.”

“You can go.” The magistrate stood and went to open the door to the hall.

“Sir, can I ask you a question?”


“Father Patrick said something about buggery? I heard that used around in the mines, but what does it mean?”

“Birk, my boy,” The magistrate patted Birk on the shoulder. “That is something you don’t need to know. I’ll say that it is a vile degrading business that no decent folks, let alone a man of the cloth, should know anything about. Don’t concern yourself with it. I have met those that have indulged in that sordid filth and you aren’t of their ilk. Not a bit.”

He walked Birk down to the street.

“You can get yourself home I trust?” The magistrate shook Birk’s hand.

“This the end of it?” Birk asked.

“Oh, yes.” The Magistrate said. “The young lady clearly is a touch hysterical after the death of her husband.”

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Good Sex With Andrew Gurza


(Trigger warning: explicit man on man sex)

On a recent Disability After Dark Andrew Gurza  describes in explicit & visceral detail good M2M sex he has had. Refreshing & bold he takes us into a bedroom, holding nothing back (except the name of his sex partner). There is nothing ‘show off’ about his descriptions just a sense of his pleasure & joy in sex. He talks about rimming without shame – actually names it. It is neither pornographic nor clinical – matter of fact & honest. 

Like me he prefers more than just the dropping of pants that reduces sex to body parts. Good sex for me starts with texting – one guy I see will send a text asking what my weekend plans are – I know that means ‘let’s play.’ If I’m free, which I usually am, he follows up with a least one selfie of his stunning smile then another of his equally fine cock. I do the same.

Good sex involves dinner here. One guy sometimes sends a day before pic showing his eagerness. Day of dinner texts are confirmation of time, a mention of the food menu. Sometimes there is an exchange of shower/bath pics too. I always like to know when a guy is on his way from the subway or parking his car so I can wait on my front steps for him & can watch as he comes up the walk. 

This walk is so sweet because this is the only time we really see each other from a distance. Weather & time permitting we chat a bit outside about the weather, the week & go inside to sup. There is often chat over supper with my partner (who doesn’t play). Table cleared. 

Up to my study after supper. Quick wash up, brushing teeth (one of my guys has his own toothbrush here). Then on to the play portion of the evening – alway starts with hugging kissing rubbing of clothed junk, hands into pants for fondling until pants are ready to explode off. The first touch of naked belly to belly can give me chills – maybe we will rotate around each other for belly to back, erections caressing between ass cheeks. 

Onto the bed for lots more kissing, hugging, cock sucking, tit teasing, ball sucking, ass eating, penetration, ejaculating (too clinical? fucking & coming). More snuggles, chit-chat, washing up, sometimes more sucking & fucking. Occasionally down to watch some TV. Sad parting as I watch them walk to the subway or find their car. Occasionally a text five minutes later to say ‘great time.’

I Still Dream of Wee Willie

Wee Willie stomped the ground 

in his pen

agitated bellowing

I dashed to see what was going on


my mother reached to hold me back

I eluded her easily

Wee Willie reared on his hind legs

that was all the glimpse I got

before my mother’s shawl 

covered my head

but in that gimpse 

I saw all she was afraid I’d see


the rose pattern shawl 

was the one she used

to cover her crystal ball

the future was to be veiled at all times

so she told her customers

only the hand of spirit 

and $10 could move it


what it hid from me was not my future

but Wee Willie pawing the air

with lumbering legs

as he teetered toward Daisy Blue


I pulled the shawl away

I had to see if they were fighting

then I saw for the first time

Wee Willie erect

his elephant cock in gory glory

it was huge enormous

bigger even than that of Herculo

the muscle man


Wee Willie clambered 

onto the back of Daisy Blue

she was docile 

her big ears flickered 

as she moved her head side to side

his humungous cock got bigger harder

his weight upon her back


I fainted

I came to in our trailer

my shoulders ached 

under the weight of my dreams

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Coal Dusters Chapter II

Chapter II

Birk Nelson Gets A New Rake Man

The sun was rising over the steaming mounds of slag coal. The mound never got any smaller no matter how much was carted away to the wash plant. Coal was already being loaded into a rail car to be transported to the dock.

They went into the change room and lowered their work clothes from the overhead hangers. 

“Birk Nelson!” Red Mac, the shift foreman, called to him.

“Yeah.” Birk grabbed for his brass counter. 

“Birk,” the foreman nodded for him to come over to the small office. “This is Clancy Sinclair. He’ll be your rake man.”

“Manny was doing okay.” Birk squinted at Clancy.

Clancy looked to be a head taller than him, a lot wider in the shoulders with blond almost brown hair. 

“Not my say so,” Red Mac shrugged. “Orders from above. Manny’s moving on to the scuttle yard.”

“Fuk,” Birk spat. He had hoped to get that position. Scuttle yard was where the coal was loaded into the rail cars. It was as hard work as being under in the mines but it was above ground. All the miners longed to work above ground.
“I know you wanted it but yer too good. Yer a lucky chap Clancy. Birk Nelson is one the best we got.”

“Yeah sure. Sticking me with this skinny rat. He must disappear down there.”

“Whose yer father?” Birk asked.

“Scott Sinclair.”

“The Bras D’Or Sinclair’s?” Birk said.

“Nah, Stellarton.”

“Main lander?” Birk said.

“What of it?” Clancy replied.

Birk grabbed Clancy’s left hand. Clancy pulled it away.

“What you up to?”

“Checking to see how tough your hands is. Skin’s too soft this job.”

“Least we’ll know when my hair ‘s clean. You black as coal already.” he sniffed the air. “You sure you washed ‘for you came here?”

“Mac, you stick me with puddin’ boy here and I won’t make enough to pay for a pint let alone our tic at the pluck me.”

“Soft! Least I’m full size.” Clancy stood as tall as he could. “Not some half-sized hairy mine monkey.”

“Who you callin’ a monkey, you soft arse.” Birk launched himself at Clancy and landed two solid punches in quick succession. One to the side of Clancy’s head and the other to his stomach.

Clancy staggered back and was ready to punch back when Red Mac pushed stepped between them.

“Nuf of this. You want beat the dust out of each other do it out of my yard.”

“Then stick this soft arse with someone else ‘cause only one of us is coming back up and you know it’s me.”

“Both of you will come back. Listen and listen good Birk Nelson. You have sisters who need what you put on the table. Next time to want to take a swing at someone keep that in mind, ‘cause the next time you take a swing at me you’re out of here. You understand that.”

Birk snatched his lunch pail and rammed it under his arm.

“And you Clancy. You’re new here. You gotta learn to mind your tongue. This isn’ a place to run off at the mouth with guys you don’t know. Some here wouldn’t be as gentle wid ya as Birk here was.”

“No one calls me soft.”

“Who is to say.” Red Mac pulled himself up to his full height – a head taller than Clancy, two heads taller than Birk. “Only a soft arse would let himself get riled up this easy. And that goes for the two of you. Birk you take him down to the face with you. I’ll be down soon enough to make sure you’re acting the way men should and not school kids. Understand.”

“Yes sir.” Birk glared at Clancy. “Follow me.”

“I’m not taking orders from him. You’re not paying enough for that.”

“You want to work or not. I git plenty looking for work here me son. Plenty. You can go back to …”

“Christ! I’ll give it a try.” Clancy cut Red Mac off.

“Come along then,” Birk grunted and added under his breath, “soft arse.”

“What you say?” Clancy snapped back.

“I said come along we got a long way to go. Level Ten.”

They got into the cage with a dozen other miners. Adjusted their head lamps as it rattled down the shaft. The shift car pushed the men back and forth. Each time Clancy was forced up against Birk, Birk roughly shoved him away. 

The smell of earth got stronger as the cage descended. Earth and coal. The dampness increased. As the cage passed some levels Birk could hear water dripping, or blasts as new seams were opened. The levels spread out from the elevator shaft. Some for a few hundred yards, others went for miles. Some, such as the one on Level 10 went under the ocean. Birk still expected his pick would punch right through to the sea bed above.

Total blackness quickly enveloped the men but not all of them turned on their lamps. It was better to let the eyes adapt to the dark as quickly as possible. Birk could find his way to the face he was working on without light. 

“Stick close now or yer arse is going get hard fastern than you want it.” Birk said when they got off the cage. He took a deep breath. “Better take a breath while you can. That’s the last of the fresh air you’ll get till we’re ready to head up.”
“Get moving.” Clancy give Birk a slight shove.

Knowing his way Birk moved quickly over the uneven surface to the crease where he was working. He could hear Clancy stumbling behind him. That’d teach the big mouth who was the big man.

“Watch yer head here.” He muttered as they came to the final turn. He ducked down and then up avoiding the staving joist that was holding the ceiling.


“Y’d think y’d never been in the dark before.” Birk chuckled as he heard Clancy bump the rafter.

“Never down this deep.” Clancy was trying to catch his breath.

“Better get used to it quick, as yer going t’be spending most yer awake time in the dark, same as in your sleep time. Day light’ll not be your pal again.” He stored his lunch can behind the upright paling that helped to support the weight of the ceiling.

“Thanks.” Clancy gasped.

Birk stopped and Clancy stumbled into him.

“Watch it.” Birk pushed him back. “Tight nuf in here ya know. Here’s yer rake. You know how to handle one.”
“Christ yeh. I rake, pile and when pile is big nuf we shovel it in into the cart, when the cart is full we get it to the line to dump it into the shuttle.”

“Trick is to keep up wid me boy.”

Birk tied his face rag around his mouth and nose, tuned his headlamp on and starting hammering with his pick axe at his crease. As the shards and chunks of coal loosened he pushed them behind him for Clancy to rake away. 

After a few minutes his shoulder muscles loosened and his mind stopped thinking about anything except what he was doing, how fast he was doing it. Steadily he deepened the vein as he followed it along. He could feel the change in vibration in his pick as hit different types of rock, sulphur, granite, different strata of the vein, even different hardnesses of the coal itself. He had no sense of time but of quantity. Once he had dislodged enough coal to fill the hopper he wriggled out to help Clancy push the cart to the main line. Before they dumped into the shuttle he relived himself on the coal.

Clancy was about to do the same. Birk took Clancy’s free hand and peered at in the light of his headlamp. The skin on the hand was rubbed raw, bleeding along the thumb.

“Just as I thought soft. Piss on it.”
“What?” Clancy tired to pull away.

“Yeh it’ll help toughen the skin faster. Took me a week before m’hands could take it.” He watched as Clancy rubbed his hands in his own urine.

“Christ feels okay.”

“Don’ think I forget what ye called me up there but don’t want you to slow me down any either. You un’stand.”


“Do ya think ya can keep up wid me by?” Birk muttered.

“Nothing to it.” Clancy wheezed.

“You gotta learn to breath down here.” Birk said. “You breathin’ too deep.”

All they could make out of each other in the dim light of their head lamps was their eyes. Their face coverings were coated with black dust.

“I’ve been keepin’ a bit slow. Two more of these and we take a wee break for eatin.” He began to shove the cart back to where they were working. 

“Oof.” Clancy bump hard into the low rafter.

“Listen an learn. Not goin to warn you every time m’boy.”

“I’m not yer b’y.” Clancy snarled. “Keep goin’ ya damned monkey.”

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Lazarus Kiss.61

Sis amplexibus Amor alios mututa memini et amoris in mutationes memini.

May you be embraced by a love beyond recall that alters others

and a love within recall that alters you.

Lazarus Kiss.61

*57* Sunday

John McNeil’s first statement to the press was in the paper the next day.

“Mr Harris Stevens lured me into his apartment. Once I was in there he accosted me with a sex apparatus. To defend myself I used the taser. I would not have used it if I had not been forced to when forced into this sexually compromising situation. I am not, nor have I ever been, The Stalker.”

The article went on.

“The sex apparatus Mr. McNeil is referring to is a prototype for “Santa-faction” sexbot distributed by Santa’s Sex Toy Shoppe, an online retailer for a large variety of sexual devices. The “Santa-faction” sexbot is a life-like sex doll with movable, usable and functional body parts. It appears that Mr. Stevens had this in his home as part of his job designing  Santa’s Sex Toy Shoppe’s online retail services.”

“How functional?” His mother teased.

“Very. Best part is that has a built in video unit that recorded the entire assault. There is no way anyone seeing it will believe he was lured into my condo.”

“Sounds like they’re preparing for a mentally unfit plea to me.” His Dad said.

The next day he felt recovered enough to go the police station where gave his statement and signed it.

“You should have my signature on a rubber stamp.” he laughed.

“Let’s hope this is the last time you’ll have to be here.” Detective Alverez replied. “Repeat offenders are one thing but you are something else. It’s as if you became magnet for trouble.”

“Right, I’m pretty sure my Magneto days are done with now.”

“If McNeil keeps making these wild accusations he’ll only see his kids through bars from now on. Sad. For the kids I mean.” Detective Chiba said.

“What’s the latest? That is, if you can tell me?” Harris asked.

“You mean beside you trying to push him of the balcony? There’s you meeting him accidentally on the street and offering him money to come to your condo for a fake rape scene. Plus there’s the invasion of his privacy by allowing your sex apparatus to record him without telling him he was being recorded. Then there …”

“Enough.” Harris held up his hand.

“The legal aide people want to put a muzzle on him. But he keeps releasing new statements to the press.” Detective Alverez smirked.

“The Crown Attorney assures me there is no way they’ll disallow the recorded evidence. Our tech people are very impressed with how that equipment works.” Chiba gave a little laugh. “Then again, porn has always been cutting edge. If it weren’t for porn the Internet would never have taken off so fast.”

“So I’ve been told.” Harris agreed. “Same goes for places like paypal. Porn wants your money and you want them to get it safely. Thanks to Santa’s Sex Toy Shoppe people can shop for certain special things in the privacy of their own homes.”

“How’s your back?” Chiba asked. “We dropped the ball letting McNeil slip by like that. If it weren’t for your device we might never have gotten there in time.”

“Can we please stop calling it a device. Even the papers are calling it a sexbot.” Detective Alverez said.

“Who cares. Andy saved my life.”

“Oh yeah, one of McNeil’s statement is that when you told the dev … I mean, Andy the sexbot to fuck him in the ass he was in a blind rage and he had no other option but to act in selfdefence.”

“And throw me off the balcony!”

They all laughed.

“I guess my work here is done.”


Harris pressed the doorbell to Alex’s apartment for the second time. He couldn’t hear if it had rang at all. Now that he had passed the curse on, he had to make sure they were both rid of it. This was the last piece of unfinished business he figured he had to deal with. Subway Stalker was behind bars, for now.

When Alex showed up when he was leaving the hospital Harris was surprised at Alex’s concern. But that concern wasn’t genuine it was something forced on him, on them both, by the conditions of the curse.

“Harris, you should have called?” Alex opened the door to let Harris. “I would have washed up first. Or at least dressed better.” He gave a little laugh as he pulled his t-shirt on. “These is my sleepers.” He pulled at the waist of his sweat shorts.

“No problem.” Harris stepped past him and went up the narrow stairs. “I just left the police and thought I might as well drop by while I feeling up to it.”

“Glad you did.”

Harris sat on the couch and watched Alex as he went to the kitchen to get a cup of coffee. He felt nothing. He didn’t get the sexual flash he had all other times with Alex.  When Alex sat next to him he reached over and touched Alex on the forearm. Nothing came to him. None of the images of Alex sucking him off. Nothing.

“We’re free of it.” He sipped his coffee.

“Free?” Alex said.

“The curse. When I touched you what did you feel.”

“Your hand on me.”

“Nothing more. You didn’t feel turned on at all, did you?”


“Great. Now we can get back to our normal lives. Not that meeting you wasn’t … well … it wasn’t something I had ever planned.”

“Same here. You make it sound like something you wish hadn’t happened.”

“You’re right there. I wish it hadn’t. All the time I was with you I was wishing it hadn’t happened. The idea of sex with a man was so far from what I wanted but I couldn’t stop it. It’s over now.”

“You say that as if you think I liked it!” Alex got up. “Men were never on my list either you know. There was times when I wanted to beat the crap out of you, out of myself to see that would get rid of this itch. It wasn’t my fault, you know.”

“If you are expecting some sort of apology from me, it’s not going to happen. You think I’d picked you to get drawn to me by this curse. I’m sure you’re thinking ‘Why not. It’s not such a big thing for guys to mess around with each other.’ Maybe it isn’t to them but sure isn’t to me.”

“Look I didn’t sign up for this either ya know. Ya think I’m thrilled to have this … need to touch ya. To have this feeling for a guy. Well, I don’. Ya know that. It doesn’t help when all ya do is act as if it’s some sort of fuck up and that this shit is my fault.”

“I get that Alex. When I refused you, you know what happened. That pain here.” He tapped his chest. “I thought I was having a heart attack.”

“Yeah, so did I.”

“But I didn’t. You see what I mean? I said yes to stop the pain not because I wanted to have anything to do with you.”

“That’s why you said we could meet?”

“Right. I came to your place to clean your monitor only to see if that would satisfy the curse.”

“You kissed me easy enough. You wanted something then. I could tell.”

“I’ll say it again, it’s not going to happen. Not ever. Not the way this curse wants it to happen. We got naked that once that’s it.” He took two steps back from Alex. There was no pain caused by his refusal. “Try it. Take a step away. Say it’s not going to happen.”

“No! I’m not going back down like that. I …”

“Look, get it through your thick skull I didn’t pick you. I don’t pick any of the women. The curse puts people in my path. If I had a choic,e it certainly would never be another guy especially one …” Harris stopped before he could say ‘a guy as dumb as a bag of hammers’ …. “One who could beat the crap out of me.”

“Then why you try to have it both ways. Ya can just say fuck off ya know.”

“I … we tried that, remember. I just told you I thought I was having a heart attack.”

“Right, so did I. Then what are gonna do?”

“I know what we aren’t going to do – we’re going to keep our pants on for starters. Got that.”

“Yeah. I never get this feeling for any other guy. I see lots of good-looking ones all around but only you make me feel this way.”

“It’s not me. It’s sure not my looks. It’s not you. It’s this curse I tell you. I’m only talking to you now because of it. You think I’d, say, strike up a conversation with you at Story. What would we talk about?”

“I dunno. I thought you were starting to like me, a little. Must be something we have in common.”

“Nothing beyond ‘what can I get you.’ ”

“That all you see me as.”

“Alex if it weren’t for this curse I wouldn’t be seeing you as anything at all. You’d be like part of the decor.”

“Fuck you. I’m not … not … wallpaper. Just because I don’t know about fucking comic book idiots you think I’m stupid. right?”

“Now that you mention it. Yeah. Just like you think I should be flattered because buff bozo like you would want to touch a fat slob like me. Right.”

“Sure.” Alex pulled off his shirt. “What’s not to like?”

“I’m not turned on. Not one little bit. Can’t you get that much through your little skull.”

“What are you afraid of? Liking it or not liking it?”

“Look I don’t owe you any explanation. Because I didn’t ask for this to happen between us, doesn’t mean I have to go along with it or even like that its happened. Get it.”

Alex grabbed Harris by the head and shoved him to his knees. Held him there while he dropped his sweat pants. He pushed his cock at Harris’s mouth.

“Suck it! That’s the only way we’ll know it’s really over.”

Harris struggled and feel to his back. Sprawled out, he undid his pants and tugged them so his cock was free, “No! Big boy. Why don’t you chow down of this instead? That’s what’ll break this curse.” He shook his cock and balls. “Appetizing? Afraid you might like it?”

Alex yanked his sweat pants up.

“That’s not going to happen, is it.” Harris got to his feet and did his pants up. “Not so keen after all. Now you know how I feel.”

“Yeah. You said all you came to say?”

“Yes. You don’t seem too happy about it though?”

“I’m not sure how I feel about any of this.”

He went down the stairs with Harris.

“Take care.” Harris reached out to shake Alex’s hand.

“Fuck you.” Alex let the screen door slam shut.

Harris breathed a sigh of relief and headed for the subway. Thank God that is all over and behind him now.



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Lazarus Kiss.59

Sis amplexibus Amor alios mututa memini et amoris in mutationes memini.

May you be embraced by a love beyond recall that alters others

and a love within recall that alters you.

Lazarus Kiss.59

“I apologize for disturbing you.” The woman’s voice became a whisper as she collapsed into his apartment.

“My God. Are you alright?” He’d never seen anyone faint before. He shut the door. “I’ll … get you a glass of water.” He started towards the kitchen. “Or should I call for help. Security will know what to do.” He reached for his phone.

“Don’t bother asshole.”

A sharp blow to his shoulder sent Harris tumbling over his couch. One of his arms whacked his coffee table as he landed.

“What the fuck?” He looked up at the cloaked figure standing over him.

The figure lifted the hem and placed one booted foot under Harris’s chin, not quite on his throat. The woman quickly pulled off the veiled hood of the chador.

“Listen you fat fuck I’m not here to play games with you.” The face was covered by a tight black ski mask the mouth bulged out awkwardly. Only the eyes showed and they were outlined in a mottled black and green.

The voice was female.

“Becky?” Harris couldn’t imagine anyone wanting to do this.

“Shut the fuck up.” The woman pulled off the rest of the chador. She wore a dark blue jumpsuit. From a pocket she pulled a length of thin rope.

“Sit up.” She took her foot off his chest.

He reached to rub where she had been grinding into his collar bone.

“Don’t bother. You aren’t pretty enough to worry.” she gabbed his hands and began to tie them behind his back. “Your pictures in the paper make you look a lot handsomer than you are.”

“Miss …”

“Oh don’t you Miss me.”

The face leaned into his. “I’m sorry to disappoint you.” As she spoke the voice changed, deepened before it became distorted. “I’m all man. You got that fat ass Harris.” He looped the rope around Harris left wrist and pulled that arm behind Harris’s back.

Harris lurched forward, stood up and knocked the guy off balance. The man was not much bigger than Andy. Before he could move he felt a searing shock on his right thigh. He fell back to the couch dazed.

“Hurts doesn’t it.” The man reached under his mask and extracted the speaker of the voice distorter. “Amazing what science can do.”

The man waved a cellphone in Harris face. “Looks like a cellphone but hurts like hell.” He touched Harris lightly on the shoulder.

The jolt wasn’t as strong as the first one.

“Don’t worry this is non-lethal unless you have a pacemaker but packs enough to punch to keep you pacified. People drop like flies. I sneak up behind them. A little touch and down they go.”

“You’re the Stalker?”

“Clever man.” he grabbed Harris by the chin and give his head a sharp twist. “Now what did the bitch Detective tell you about me?”


“Lets dial this up just a bit.” he tapped a key and shocked Harris again.

This time the shock singed his tee-shirt.

“Nothing.” He rubbed his shoulder where had been shocked. “She played that recording of you. That’s all and told me to be careful.”

“Ooo to be afraid of little me. Let’s get this out of the way.” He yanked Harris’s tee shirt off, pulled the rope from under him and this time tied his hands behind his back.


“Did she tell you anything about the case. About me.”

“No. Just that the guy I … who I stopped at the park … wasn’t you.”

“True. He didn’t have one of these, did he?”

He took a battery pack out of his back pocket.

“On its own it just jolts.” He plugged the battery pack into the taser. “With a power boost it will do more. Even kill. You have been the nearest connection to me the police have.”

“Connection?” He pulled at the ropes. “You took the risk to get those pictures of me. Great way to stay out of the way of the police.”

“Pictures of you and your famous movie star friends. You a Nobody, getting noticed.”

“Right, I am a nobody. I didn’t ask to ….”

“I know. No one asks. Like those poor assholes on their way home from work, from school. So innocent and bam I get them. They’ll never forget me. Even if they never know I am.”

“Play time.” Harris called to Andy.

“This’ll be fun.” Andy replied.

“What the fuck!” the man was stunned. “Who is that?” He looked around the apartment and noticed Andy for the first time. “Get over here.”

Andy remained silent.

Harris racked his brain for what order to give next. If only Andy could walk? If only Andy could make phone calls he could get a message to Rick.

“I said get over here. You little friend seems scared or something. You want me to hurt you?”

“Yeah I’d like that?” Andy giggled.

The man walked over to Andy and smacked him.

“Is that the best you can do. I can take it a lot harder than that.”

“What the fuck.” he punched Andy in the stomach.

“You like to play rough do you.”

Those had to be the pre-programmed phrases for s and m play he’d seen listed in the manual.

“Fuck it’s a goddamn doll.” The man gave Andy a dismissive shove.

The shove unbalanced Andy and the elf topped forward knocking the man over and landing on top of him

Harris stood while tugging at the rope around his wrists.

The man struggled under Andy. Turning over but not able to get Andy off him.

“Harder Andy.” Andy’s face was at the man’s chin. His hands began to open and close to pinch the man under him.

“You like that don’t you.” Andy said.

“Time to bite.” Harris’s wrists were getting looser. “Squeeze me.”

The doll’s mouth opened and closed on the man’s chin. The man twisted his head away. His mask was pulled off. ‘Squeeze me’ brought Andy’s arms closer together. The man’s face was covered with camouflage make up.

“Let’s jack.” This command jerked Andy’s forearms up and down rapidly about an inch.

“Optimus Prime.” Harris said. Those were the words he’d programmed for Andy to get an erection.

“Fuck me.” The man struggled trying to push the doll off him. Andy’s hips began to thrust.

With a grunt the man heaved Andy off him, and rammed the doll against the wall. He held the doll with one hand and tasered it it repeated with the other till Andy’s arms stopped moving. His fingers continued to twitch.

While he was occupied Harris dashed to the door. He had it partially opened before the guy grabbed him. Harris hit at his face with his elbow. Connected with a punch to the face. The man’s head was slippery with the camouflage paint.

The guy swung him back into the room and on to his stomach, shocking him on the back each time he tried to get up. Harris could smell his flesh burning.

He grabbed Harris by the hair.

“You like to play it rough. Well, I’m no wind up doll.”

Out of breath Harris sagged to the floor.

“That’s more like it. Get up.”

He pulled Harris to his feet.

“Let’s get out a breath of fresh air.” He pushed him the balcony. “That’s a fair drop I’d say.”

Harris nodded. If he appeared dazed by the taser he might lull the guy into a careless move.

The guy kicked the lounge to the balcony wall.

“Up you go.”

Harris stood on the chaise. He glanced over the edge.

His apartment door flew open. It was Detective Alverez and Agent Devros followed by apartment security.

“Hold it right there.” The man barked. “Or he’ll go over.”

“That’s what you think.” Harris leaned against the retaining wall and the chaise slid, knocking the man over. Harris clambered over him and into the living room.

“You’ll never get me.” The man shouted.

Harris turned around and the man was balanced on the balcony railing. Harris lurched forward and caught him by the calf as the man launched himself into the air.

They fell back. Harris hit his head. He lay still while his heart slowed and he caught his breath. An officer helped him to lie on the couch.

“Where is he?” He shook his head to clear it.

“Sir, it’s all under control. Please keep still.” A medic shone a light into his eyes. “You’ll be fine. Let me help you sit up. You’ve got bad electrical burns on your back.”

The police had his attacker handcuffed nearby. He was glaring at Harris as they started to take him to the door.

“Can you get me paper to write on and pen.” Harris asked Detective Alverez.

She took a pad out of her purse, tore off a page and handed it to Harris with her pen.

Harris wrote down the words of the curse as best as he could remember them. He trusted that intent was more important than accuracy. He rubbed blood from his head wound on it when.

“Can I talk to him?” He called to the policemen with his assailant.

They brought the man closer to him.

“Sis amplexibus Amor alios mututa memini et amoris in mutationes memini.” Harris said as he tucked the curse into the man’s pocket. As he spoke he began to tremble. Pain shot across his chest. A strong cinnamon scent made him gasp for air.

“What the fuck.” The guy looked around. “The faggot is giving me his phone number.” His face paled and he grabbed his stomach. “I think I’m going to throw up.”

“I hope the number does you good where you’re going.” Harris’s trembling increased. The pain in his chest was worse as he gasped for breath.

“He’s going into shock.” One of the medic shouted. He fit an oxygen mask over Harris face. “Relax. Take deep breaths. That’s better. Now rest on your side while we tend these burns.”

Harris nodded yes. He let himself be laid on his side. His body relaxed as he breathed in the oxygen.

The police took his assailant out. He felt safe.

“You’re a lucky man Mr. Stevens.” Detective Alverez stood where he could see her. “How did you get that signal into the building’s security system?”

“Signal?” Harris took the oxygen mask away.

“I was keeping my eye on the feed from your floor Mr. Stevens.” The building security explained. “I noticed that Muslim lady get on the elevator. She was alone. I thought that was mighty odd to begin with. They’re always in two or threes. She didn’t get off her at floor either but yours. When you asked her in I thought that’s odd but …. anyway a little while later the system burped and all the monitors were showing this fight scene. I thought maybe cable system had broken into our feed because the images was a lot clearer than ours. Anyway I recognized you and called the police.”



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Lazarus Kiss.58

Sis amplexibus Amor alios mututa memini et amoris in mutationes memini.

May you be embraced by a love beyond recall that alters others

and a love within recall that alters you.


*54* Friday

Harris was both amused and discomforted by the two dark blue chador clad women who cowered in the elevator. Their musky jasmin perfume took up more space than they did. The grille in their head pieces meant he couldn’t tell if they were looking at him or if their eyes were modestly cast down to look at the floor. When they got the main floor he stepped aside to let them scurry away ahead of him. They barely nodded to the concierge as they exited the building.

Harris still wondered who might be keeping an eye on him. Was it the pan handler. No this was the guy he’d seen on and off since he moved into the neighborhood. Was there an agent in a parked car watching him through shaded windows? That guy reading the Metro?

The day at dE.tail was typical. More seasonal promotional materials to work on. Send flowers anywhere in the world with an app tap of your cell phone. The same rose in different colors. All that changed from rose to rose were dew drops that had to catch the prescise precious glint of light.

This was another day where he worked right though lunch. A few of Jodis’s Oatex cereal bars kept him going. They tasted a lot better than the SportSpot Quknrg bars and had a nicer mouth feel. More crunch and less sticky smoothness. Even without a dark chocolate coating they unusually satisfying for a snack that was also supposedly healthy.

At first he didn’t feel compelled to stop at any of his favorite fast-food joints either. When was the last time he’d had a mango peanut buster smoothie and a pulled pork sandwich from Bazoon’s Deli. He’d skipped lunch and this would be the perfect reward. One that would save him having to cook anything when he got home.

Rather than take it home he sat at the window counter of Bazoon’s to people watched while he ate. The pulled pork was as spicy but larger than he remembered it. He got a plastic fork and picked at the meat to keep from eating all the bun. The spice made his feet sweat.

“Looks good.” A woman sat on the stool beside him. She wore a dark pink skirt and matching tailored jacket.

“Excellent.” he slurred while chewing.

“It’s hard to find good pulled pork.” She bit into her sandwich without smearing her lipstick.

Their eyes met. Harris recognized the glint. It was the curse. Could he control how far it went now that he was this aware?

She turned to face him. Her knees touching his outer thigh. He became aroused. He focused on the pulled pork. “You should try the one of the smoothies too.”

“You’re the type of smoothie I’d like to try.” she shifted slightly, her skirt hitched up a bit higher.

Did she expect he’d do her right here in the window of Bazoon’s? A good promo for the sandwiches. Meat so good you gotta have more. Get all your pork pulling needs meet at Bazoon’s. Every sandwich a happy ending. He put his hand on her leg and let in move up under her skirt. Who cares if passers-by saw them.

She put her purse over his hand to block it from view. As he pushed a finger under her panties the purse fell.

“Sorry.” he pulled his hand out. “I’ll get that for you.”

He got off his stool to pick up the purse. He wanted to put back on her lap, to continue what they had started. He handed it to her hoping that’s what she would do. She did. She spread her legs wider. Was there a way to slip that his face would end up between them. Face first jammed into her box. How would pulled pork pussy taste. Get pulled pork pussy on the menu and business would boom.

This wasn’t him. This wasn’t her.  He wanted to step away but couldn’t. His head throbbed. There was a sharp pain across his collar bone. He took a deep breath. He’d felt this pang when he’d resisted Alex. It wouldn’t kill him.

It took all his will power to sit back at the counter with a stool between them. He pulled his sandwich closer to him

“Not much seating room here is there?” He pushed  a fork full of pork into his mouth.

“No.” The woman had another bite of her sandwich.

The confused look in her face tempted Harris to explain, to apologized but he knew he had to resist. He had to resist knowingly if he was to live with the curse. His breathing became easier. The pain in his chest subsided. The lust rush was over for him. He glanced at her.

As she chewed she was staring at her sandwich. Her chewing slowed, stopped. She put the sandwich down. She looked at him.

“What the … What came over me.” She got off the stool looking around Bazoon’s. “Did you … see me eat that. Was I eating that?”

Alarmed she pointed at her sandwich.

Harris nodded yes. He felt sorry for her and at the same time wanted to laugh at her. It was only a sandwich. She might have ended up eating a lot more than that if he had himself go.

“I’ve been a vegan for the last ten years. Meat is murder. What would possess me to come in here.”

She hurried out. Harris knew she wouldn’t remember this after ten minutes. Then let her figure out how she got the taste of pulled pork in her mouth.

He wiped his mouth off and headed home.

There was a different concierge sitting behind the entrance desk.

“Rick how you keeping.”

“Very good Mr Harris. ” Rick was one of the original security staff. “We’ve all been briefed by the Agent Darvos. I never would have taken you for a man to lead such a life.”

“Us superheros have two identites.”

“I’ll do everything to keep both of them safe from harm.”

As always Harris was happy to be back in the safety of his apartment. He dropped his shoulder bag on the floor in front of the bureau.

“I’m home honey.”

“Hard day at the pixel mine Harris.” Andy said.

“You can say that again.”

“Hard day at the pixel mine Harris.”

Harris shook his head in amusement. Andy was such a literalist. But the new welcome home greeting kept him in a good mood. Resisting the curse had taken more out of him than he expected but he was encourged that he could resist it. May be he could deal with Alex more firmly too.

He undressed in his room for a change. Slipped into clean boxers and a Superman tee. The ‘s’ logo had lost most of the red but he preferred this old school logo to the newer one.

Harris’s phone rang. “Hello Agent Davros. Come right up.”

Moments later there was knock on his door and he let the policeman in. There was a woman with him. Sort of plain, wearing a nondescript pale pink skirt with matching blazer.

“Harris you shouldn’t give our officers the slip.”
“The slip? I don’t follow you.”

“Agent Carson here had you under surveillance till you went to a deli.”

“That’s the place.” Carson said. “I had taken over from agent Williams. He had pointed you, I mean Mr Stevens, out to me as he left his office, to make sure I knew who I was to keep an eye on. I followed Mr. Stevens for approximately three blocks till he went into Bazoon’s. He ordered food and sat in the window. Which made surveillance much easier. Then you were gone.”

“I ate my sandwich and came home.”

“The concierge let us know you had returned. Agent Carson did not observe you leaving Bazoon’s.”

“When I saw you weren’t where I had seen you I went to investigate. There The only other exit was through the prep area in back. The prep cook said no one had gone through there.”

“Possibly you missed me when I left. I don’t recall seeing you.” Harris said to Agent Carson.

“You weren’t supposed to see me.”

“That is for your protection.”

“Honestly, I did not try to evade surveillance. By that time I had forgotten all about it, just like you said I would. I didn’t speak to anyone till I got home. I said hello to Rick downstairs and Andy when I got in.”


“I’m home, Honey.” Harris said in Andy’s direction.

“I sure missed you.” Andy replied.

The two agents looked in amazement at Andy.

“A gift from a very grateful friend.” Harris explained. Yes, it was time get Andy dressed in something besides that ill fitting Robin tee-shirt.


Harris unpacked the wireless computer to TV kit he had bought during his lunch break. He’d always found it wise to limit the time he had in any electronics store or he’d leave with much more than he had intended to buy. There was a bin in his basement storage unit to testify to the appeal of electronic crap he used once or twice and was too bored to want play air guitar or dance along to music he couldn’t stand hear more than those one or two times.

He opened the balcony door for fresh air. He laid out each of the kit’s parts on his coffee table. Read through the quick start guide, saddened that the full manual was available on line for further questions. The set up took less than five minutes. He first tested his lap top and the picture image and sound were good.

“Play time.” He called to Andy.

“This’ll be fun.” Andy replied in Alex’s voice.

Harris clicked through the menu on his TV screen and there was the back of his head as seen by Andy.


Not that he wanted to watch the back of his head but it was cool that this worked exactly as he had expected it to. The wireless transmitter’s splitter could pick signals from both his lap top and the software that was Andy’s brain.

He tuned off the TV. He felt quite accomplished, satisfied with another productive day. His meeting with Tavi to book vacation time, electronics that worked as easily as promised. He’d spent the day without once relfecting on the curse, or on Alex either.

There was a gentle knock at his door. The peek screen revealed a chador clad woman. He knew there were a couple of Muslim families on the floor above his.

“Can I help you?” he opened the door a few inches. Had the curse hit one of them in the foyer when they passed.

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Coming April 03 – 2018

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