QSFer Grace R. Duncan has a new sci fi short in the Dreamspinner “Love Wins” charity anthology, and she’s written a great guest post for us today:
With time comes healing, but Orlando and the LGBT community are still recovering from last June’s tragedy. To show our ongoing support for those affected by the Orlando shooting, our authors, editors, artists, and staff have volunteered their talents to create this second benefit anthology. All proceeds will be donated to LGBT organizations in central Florida. Join us as we reaffirm that no matter the obstacle, love always wins.
Overcoming Fear by Grace R. Duncan
In the year since a global pandemic ravaged their world, Duncan has done everything he can to ease Mark’s fears of losing him. When a minister and his wife seek out Mark for help, Duncan sees an opportunity to show Mark another level of commitment—if Mark will dare to take it.
Excerpt – Overcoming Fear
Duncan and Mark had chosen the cabin they had for two reasons: its proximity to the lake and the relatively short distance to a somewhat small, mostly unlooted town. It looked a lot like a resort town, aimed at serving the lake visitors. Duncan suspected the cabin they’d taken had been a rental for the vacationers. There’d been no personal touches—no personal pictures or knickknacks, nothing that said anyone lived there permanently.
Duncan had actually been grateful for that fact. He still felt weird taking over someone’s house. They’d had to more than once. After his ankle had healed, they’d moved on from the first family home they’d taken near the pharmacy they’d met at. But he hadn’t been able to go far for long. Before they’d made it a full five miles, he’d stepped funny and hurt his ankle again.
With a lack of prescription-strength painkiller, Mark had immediately ordered Duncan off his feet. They’d found a house nearby that didn’t have steps—so Duncan couldn’t fall—and settled in again.
He knew the original occupants weren’t coming back. Most likely they’d made a one-way trip to the hospital or possibly didn’t even make it all the way to help. Still, walking into what had once belonged to another person and helping himself had always felt odd to him.
But the location was the bigger advantage for them. Mark had learned how to fish, and Duncan had learned to clean and cook what he caught, allowing them to eat at least some fresh food. And the town still had plenty of other supplies. Moreover, Mark had discovered a bike-rental place and relieved it of two of the mountain bikes so they could even go farther, if they needed to, to look for more.
Bryan and Duncan left early the next morning on the bikes. Mark and Duncan had given the loft to Bryan and Laura for the night. They figured they could decide on permanent arrangements after they got the test results.
Duncan had a list in his pocket of things to look for, and Bryan’s target was the pregnancy test. They would also pick up any small packages of food they found while looking for the stuff on the list, though they still needed to keep it light since they only had their backpacks for their loot.
There was one more thing Duncan wanted to look for that wasn’t on the list. Something Mark had no idea about.
They made it into the town fairly quickly. The drugstore had the vitamins Mark wanted for Laura, the antinausea medication he’d left behind before, and some bandages and latex gloves they hadn’t picked up yet. Bryan found the test they’d been hoping for and scooped up all they had on the shelf. Mark had considered requesting they take just one, but he’d decided he’d rather have all of them. He was also afraid they might not work, so it was best to have more to try.
Duncan left Bryan to continue going through the drugstore and stepped out onto the street. Shopfronts stretched either direction for a good three blocks. They had quaint awnings overhead and plant pots on the sidewalk in front, some with dead flowers, others with overgrown perennials. Each window had painted lettering declaring what the vacationer could find inside.
Duncan turned left and started walking. He passed an art gallery, a shop full of tchotchkes, and a clothing store of “locally made” dresses and scarves. A pottery place and a garish souvenir shop took up the corners on the next block. Across the street, a chalkboard in one window declared the coffee of the day as “Summer Blend.” Duncan looked up the side street, grateful when he saw a promising sign.
Grace Duncan grew up with a wild imagination. She told stories from an early age – many of which got her into trouble. Eventually, she learned to channel that imagination into less troublesome areas, including fanfiction, which is what has led her to writing male/male erotica.
A gypsy in her own right, Grace has lived all over the United States. She has currently set up camp in East Texas with her husband and children – both the human and furry kind.
As one of those rare creatures who loves research, Grace can get lost for hours on the internet, reading up on any number of strange and different topics. She can also be found writing fanfiction, reading fantasy, crime, suspense, romance and other erotica or even dabbling in art.
Find Grace here:
Here’s the full author list – you’ll see a few QSFers in there!
Lucie Archer, Kris T. Bethke, Deja Black, M.A. Church, David C. Dawson, Jana Denardo, Nicole Dennis, Ravon Silvius, L.A. Merrill, Grace R. Duncan, Xenia Melzer, Jude Dunn, Julie Lynn Hayes, Tray Ellis, Troy Storm, Alicia Nordwell, Renee Stevens