The Quarterly is an eMagazine of LGBTQ fiction – of all kinds. This volume features four short stories: Facsimile by Mina MacLeod, Leash on Love by Beany Sparks, Man of the House by Brigid Collins, and Avalon by J. Scott Coatsworth. It also includes an Author Interview with Lexi Ander, talking about writing gay science fiction, and a Featured Artist section about the multitalented Catherine Dair. And our very own Angel Martinez offers an Op-Ed on “When is an Author not an Author?”
From Avalon, by J. Scott Coatsworth
Tony wheeled the chair down the long ramp to the beach, hoping it wasn’t too hot or too cold for Jake’s skin.
The day itself was wonderful, the clearest in weeks, and the Pacific Ocean waves pounded the beach in a steady, soothing rhythm that he hoped even Jake would hear.
Soon they were on level ground, negotiating the boardwalk that ran up and down this part of the beach. Jake had a sloppy smile on his face.
Tony smiled himself. There were so few pleasures he could give Jake anymore. The man deserved so much more than this.
He reached forward unconsciously to wipe the drool from the side of Jake’s cheek. “It’s a lovely day out, isn’t it, Jake?”
His lover didn’t respond, but only stared ahead, smiling.
There were still periods of lucidity, to be sure, but they were fewer and farther apart. Sometimes, Tony wished that Jake would finally succumb to the growth in his head and be at peace. But only sometimes.
More often, he treasured any time they still had together, and remembered the strong, vital man Jake had been when they first met.
For just a moment, the rest of the world faded away, and they were alone together on a quiet, wind-swept beach. Tony breathed in deeply, savoring the pure sweetness of the salty ocean air, the wash of clean colors that assaulted his vision.
He glanced up at the road above, only to find it was gone. There were no other people on the bluff, no buildings, nothing. They were alone, really alone, in this little corner of the world.
Tony shook his head to dispel the vision. It was the late nights, he thought, the lack of sleep that led to these strange imaginations.
A hand came down on his shoulder. Hard. And suddenly they were back among the bustle of a thousand other people.
“Hey there, sport,” Brett Wills said with a sneer. “How are my favorite queer boys?”
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