Today we fly to Houston and begin our vacation. There's nothing like the sense of escape that comes with a vacation, even though we're not really escaping anything horrible (though it sure is nice not to work for a week!) Through the magic of livejournal and scheduled postings, I've got Short Stories 365 ready to go ahead of time for the duration of vacation and most of the week after, while I'm at manager meetings.
This next week is going to be awesome. Friends, food, Houston, dogs, New Orleans, more friends, more food, perhaps a little bit of drinking, and creativity and art and a recharging of my inspiration battery pack. I'm so stoked. I get to do a reading on Thursday night, and I'm taking a master class with Jess Wells (who is freaking phenomenal). I can't wait.
And, in a couple of hours, I won't have to wait. I'll be on my way.
"Backfire," by David Matthew Barnes
Escaping for a vacation is one thing, but escaping for life is another. The two young men in David Matthew Barnes's tale are trying to do the latter - they're in a town where being gay is a big problem, and now that they've found each other - and, just maybe, been found out - and it's time to go. But there's a lot of courage in leaving, and maybe some danger, too.
I liked the overall sense of hope to this tale more than anything else. I've been the guy biding his time and waiting to find somewhere (anywhere!) else to be where I could be myself. There's a reality to these two characters that cut to the bone. This story was a finalist in the Saints and Sinners: New Fiction from The Festival 2011 short fiction contest.