Gay of the Dead
Warnings: Will contain semi-graphic violence, death, hard language, slash (male on male situations), vicious stereotyping, and even incest.
The alarm clock read five thirty AM, and within a minute he slid from the comfort of his sheets like a gosling from the warmth of its mother. Feet flat on the floor as he pushed away his soft blanket and growled at the frosty conditioned air that rushed up on him like ocean waves down at the beach, below his window.
Rubbing the sleepiness from his eyes, he stood on shaky legs to cross the few feet of space between his bed and the bathroom door for his morning piss.
Five thirty meant that he would be opening the store, milling around for several hours without customers until the afternoon shift checked in and he could go walk the length of the boardwalk to watch the people. Five thirty meant he would go to bed early that night and coincidentally miss out on the pleasant alcohol buzz he liked to enjoy on Fridays such as this.
Five thirty also meant he would be up and out of his apartment before the sun broke across the sky and spilled liquid fire up into the clouds. It meant he could breathe the ocean mist and feel the cool sand between his toes as he gazed into the orange and aquamarine sky.
The beach would be dotted here and there with morning joggers, sunrise lovers, and locals who preferred the calm quiet to the haywire racket that carried on as the day grew older.
He knew the scents and sounds of early morning, and welcomed them as he grabbed his wallet on the way out, careful to lock his front door in case any wandering children or devious teenagers decided to venture up those steps. Curiosity had also gripped him as a child, to know what the lifestyles of those who lived above the boardwalk shops must be like.
Now, at twenty-six, more than nine years since he last came to the beach with his family, he knew what that lifestyle was like. It was loud and raucous, full of busy, bothersome, days when the air conditioner would break and the repairman couldn't make it out because it was the busy season and the streets were crowded with tourists. It was long, drawn out nights when the bars were packed full with teasing, sweaty, hard bodies that pressed against him in a silent body promise of satisfaction, but left him with that hollow longing. The most he would get was a sloppy, drunken kiss, a sloppy, drunken grope in the near dark and loud bar noises that floated like cigarette smoke in the air.
Sometimes the fast pace made him pause and lose his breath. It caught him off-guard when he saw a happy child wandering down the street, all giggles and bounce with mom and dad trailing behind. Everything was so bright and burning, dusted in glitter and glass and ethereal sparkles like phoenix feathers.
The sun poured liquid light into his ice blue irises and set them alight, melted that ice and made him wince and turn away. He slipped a pair of slick shades from his jeans pocket and put them on.
It was only six thirty AM, and his day was already shaping up to be long and eventful. It was one of those unsettling mornings where he could tell things would go at rapid speed.
With a sigh to the sun, he unlocked the door of the small candy store he was managing for the summer, slipping inside and turning the lights on with a prayer to whom ever would hear.
Please let it be something great.
Hours came and went, and by the time the afternoon shift came in, customers began to trickle in like tree sap. There was a small child eying the Jelly Belly jelly bean stand with utter awe and anticipation, her mother slumped to the side looking almost annoyed. Then at the chocolates display stood a handsome couple, probably in their late teens, the cherry-haired girl giggling and flipping her sparkling hair over her shoulder as her boyfriend poked her sides and teased her with a smile.
He was ready to leave then. Couples made him sick, especially after his last relationship failed miserably not even two weeks ago.
Although, he mused as he brushed passed tourist after tourist, it had been his own fault the relationship went up in flames. He was hardly after a partner, just a friend, someone who wouldn't mind if he went to someone else for sex instead of them for a night or two.
There must have been something special in the blue-green glint of Jeff's eyes that night in that bar, already with several drinks mixing in his stomach, and another waiting to be sloshed down in his hand. Jeff had casually put a hand on his arm, with some sort of aphrodisiac for a smile pasted on his lips.
It sent shivers down his intoxicated spine, and he melted a little like a gumdrop on the hot sidewalk.
Amidst the near-fond memory, his cell phone began to vibrate against his hip, and on the fourth vibration he'd whipped it out and held it to his ear. "Hello?"
"Hi, Weston, it's me." His throat tightened a bit at the familiar, smoky, voice, moving to sit at the nearest bench.
"Yeah, what's up?" He asked nonchalantly, although he knew something was wrong.
"Oh, nothing much. Josh is kicking me out, though." The voice laughed a frosty laugh on the other end, something Weston had acquired himself over the years. "I know this is short notice, and I know your apartment's small, but--"
"You wanna come stay with me for a bit, is that it?" He tried to chase the annoyance from his voice, but it rang through clearly anyway.
"I'm sorry if it'll be a problem, maybe I could call mom and see if she'll let me stay with her." A brief pause. "But, you know how she feels about Salem. Every time she looks at him I could swear she wants to cry."
"No, no, I understand what's going on. I have one question though: did Josh really kick you out, or are you finally leaving him?" The hint in his voice was playful like a puppy.
That bitter laughter sounded through again, and finally the voice said, "you know me too well, baby brother."
It made Weston smile a bit, however creepy his smile might've been. "I think that's an understatement, Jess." And to that, they shared a chortle. "So," Weston started after only a second, "when are you coming down?"
"Oh, probably in a week. I'll have to put my things in storage—oh, and Salem doesn't get out for the summer until Thursday, so I have to wait on him."
Weston gave a wince at that. "Salem's coming too? Can't he stay with friends? I mean, I don't think I have room for the both of you. It's a one bedroom apartment you know."
"Well, god, you have a couch, don't you? Besides, it'll just be until I can find a place of my own. It shouldn't be more than a week or two. You can live with that can't you? Or would you rather leave your big sis out on her ass, and with a kid even!"
He frowned deeply. She always put him through guilt trips when she didn't get her way, and even though he knew she was manipulating him he couldn't help but relent to her will. She was, of course, seven years his senior, with a bratty teenaged kid, and now she was homeless even. "All right, all right, we'll work it all out when you get here. Try not to bring too much of your shit, and tell your kid to behave himself. I'm not baby-sitting either. I don't know how to change diapers."
Her laugh was loud and honest this time, and Weston had to pull the phone away from his ear a bit. "God, you're an idiot sometimes, Weston. Salem's sixteen now. Kids do get older, you know."
Weston scowled. He'd been joking, but she took him seriously. "I know that," he snapped. "Anyway, I've gotta get going, I told someone I'd meet them in ten minutes."
"All right," she said with a giggle. "Have fun, and I'll come around on Thursday."
"Okay, don't forget to call me before you come." And without a good bye he hung up.