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I'm back, bitches!

It feels like it's been forever. After NaNo and Christmas/Yule and then stage managing a show for three months and THEN trying to do Script Frenzy and only hitting 47 or so pages, I'm finally launching myself back into the short story / flash fiction racket. On Saturday I hit a low point and was all "wah wah wah, I never finish anything, I suck" and then I remembered that if I kept on not doing things it was just going to make me feel like a sucker until the END OF TIME.

So. Here I am. With a piece of flash fiction. Enjoy! (I'm hopping back on the [livejournal.com profile] tamingthemuse bandwagon later this week.)

Written for word 136 over at [livejournal.com profile] 15_minute_fic.

Never a Doubt (flash, 469 words)

Jim heard the words and immediately accepted them as truth. There was no doubt - which he'd expected to sense in himself, or in Matthew. Matthew usually spoke that way, hesitantly, asking a question with every gesture he made. He would push his glasses up on his nose and rub the back of his neck and laugh inappropriately, all of the signs that Jim had read on a website once for telling if someone was lying. But it wasn't lies, unless Matthew was afraid of betraying some kind of external, eternal truth. Unless he was, himself, living a lie. And setting anything down in stone, making any statement in a clear and confident way was untruthful.

He was genuine, though, and Jim was sure of that. It was another host of signs, little movements layered under the more obvious uncomfortable ones that were all that most people saw in Matthew. In the movements he wasn't aware of, in the things about himself that he didn't see and so couldn't suspect some kind of inherent subterfuge, Matthew was utterly genuine.

Jim wouldn't say that this was what he loved about him - loved, there's the word, and from me this time - was only the deeper stuff, the genuine stuff. And it wasn't just a helpless fawning over his obvious insecurities that had drawn him in either. It was both, and it was neither. It was the way Matthew sometimes forgot himself and would laugh a big, hearty laugh from his belly. It was his fastidiousness. It was the way he said "orange," because he'd been born in Florida and the word had a flatness to it that, out of all of the words that Matthew said, somehow stood out. It was the one fingernail on his left hand, his guitar chording hand, that was nipped in at the middle where the string braced across it no matter how short he tried to cut it. It was the way he left Jim alone. It was the way Jim knew he could convince Matthew to do things that he found uncomfortable - going out and meeting strangers, though they were always strange to Matthew and never to Jim. They were opposites and compliments and nothing about it was perfect, and yet there were good things. Good things that he knew.

He had to say something now. He knew what it would be - there wasn't any doubt.

Matthew cleared his throat. "I'm - look, I'm sorry, Jimmy, I probably shouldn't have said that."

Ah, there it is. He tried to hide a smile, but not too well - not so well that Matthew would really be fooled. "Why not?"

"Well, you... I mean."

"You believe it."

It was a second, but the doubt went away. "Yeah, I do."

"So do I."


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March 2011

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