Title: Queer Cheer
The Bay Area Queer Writers Association presents queer cheer in a collection of tales and poems to delight readers this holiday season. Authors K.S. Trenten, Pat Henshaw, R.L. Merrill, Liz Faraim, Richard May, Vincent Traughber Meis, M.D. Neu, Kelliane Parker, Allison Fradkin, Wayne Goodman, Alexandra Caluen, Andrew Beierle and Sarah White have written short stories or poetry with a queer twist to reflect various holidays or celebrations throughout the year. All proceeds from this collection will be donated to the Rainbow Community Center in Concord, California.
Queer Cheer anthology includes:
Queer Cheer, a poem by K. S. Trenton
Miles to Millicent, a Valentine’s Day short story by Pat Henshaw
Let Me Stand Next to Your Fire, a short story by R. L. Merrill
Cassidy’s Return, a Fourth of July short story by Liz Faraim
Dia de los Muertos, a short story by Vincent Traughber Meis
Thanksgiving Pie, a short story by M. D. Neu
Selected Poetry by Kelliane Parker
Challah If You Queer Me, a short story by Allison Fradkin
Krampusnacht, a short story by Wayne Goodman
View from the Bridge, a short story by Alexandra Caluen
Home Alone, a short story by Andrew Beierle
Selected Poetry by Sarah White
From Miles to Millicent by Pat Henshaw:
“Look, I’ve been shopping for the perfect gift for months. I need help.”
My best friend Fisk leaned out of his front door and gave me a “no shit, Sherlock” squint. He wasn’t above trying to make me squirm.
“Let’s see. This would be for Miles, right?” He had a teasing gleam in his eyes. “For Valentine’s Day? Yes?”
I nodded and opened my mouth to speak. Fisk ignored my attempt at discussion.
“This would be a gift for the same Miles you’ve been living with for three years and dating for an extra two before he moved in, Zack?”
“Yes, but you don’t—”
He cut me off before I could finish my sentence. He had a point, but as usual, whatever the point was, it missed me by a mile. He held both hands up, palms out.
“If you, who know him much better than I, can’t think of the perfect gift, why ask me to pull your ass out of the hopper?”READ MORE
“No. Stop. Wait. You don’t understand.” I quickly jumped in, interrupting him.
Everyone knew I was an uninspired gift-giver. I mostly relied on ties, shirts, and sometimes socks.
“I know what I want to give him. I just don’t know where to get it. The places I’ve tried haven’t been very helpful. I’m running out of time.” I hated to admit it, especially to Fisk.
“You need my shopping prowess and my unerring mojo.” He was all but rubbing his hands together as he purred in satisfaction. “Well, why didn’t you say? Or at least grovel?”
I bowed slightly, a grin on my lips. “I kneel at your feet, O Fairy of Dreams Come True.”
He pulled me inside his condo, brushed aside the hanging beads, and tugged me into his kitchen where he’d built what his husband Grady called a Shrine to Coffee. The coffee-shop-worthy monster gleamed its silver smile at me.
“Sit, sit.” Fisk told me with a push toward a chair and turned to fiddle with the machine. “Now tell me all.”
“First, before I give you my shopping list, you have to promise not to tell Grady or Miles. You can’t even hint at it to Miles. And if you tell Grady right now…” I was bent over the table glaring at Fisk.
“If I tell Grady, the love of my life and the spark who keeps me going … well,” he sighed. “Well, Grady will inadvertently tell one of his jabber-mouthed friends who will spread it far and wide.” He sighed again.
With a dainty pinch of his pointer finger and thumb, he mimed zipping his lips together.
“Consider me silenced.”
“Don’t worry. I’ll tell him at the last minute, well, the last couple hours. I’ll need his help too.”
The monster belched, providing us with two perfect coffee drinks.
“Now tell me all.”COLLAPSE