Title: Just a Little Unwell
Author Name: Iyana Jenna
Publication Date & Length: January 4, 2015 – 23 pgs
Patrick Trafford is pleased with the simple life he has, spending his time tending a tiny garden accompanied by his best friend, Chad, a cockroach. Nevertheless, he can’t hide the excitement bubbling in him as a man suddenly appears in the garden.
Damien Abner politely welcomes, albeit somewhat at a loss, Patrick’s warm offer to spend time with him. To have a coffee, watch some movie, and dance along with the characters in it.
They begin to date and Patrick has never been happier, though he barely knows who Damien is—not that it matters to him. For him, being clueless does mean bliss.
I wish she would have, actually. I was left feeling uncertain about the direction the story took and why the characters behaved as they did. Unfortunately, I suspect some readers may be triggered by the same things that caught me by surprise. Although it could potentially ruin the twist, I do think a warning would be good given the subject matter.
I liked it, but there were enough things that made me uncomfortable that I was left uncertain how I felt about it.
Patrick floats through the following day. When Damien shows up, Patrick takes him immediately to near the TV, sets the video cassette into place, and clutches Damien’s hands as they dance. He offers coffee and cookies this time and finally brings his guitar out to the sitting room. Patrick feels a bit uneasy when Damien keeps looking at him instead of his guitar.
“Do you like it?”
Confusion flashes across Damien’s good-looking face for a second.
“Oh, absolutely.” His smile cracks. He shifts on the couch to make space for Patrick. Patrick plops down next to him and begins to sing. It’s “More Than Words,” one of his favorite songs. Damien listens carefully.
Damien is silent, even after Patrick has stopped singing. His eyes turn soft.
“So, what do you say? What do you think of my voice?” Patrick asks impatiently.
Damien’s still quiet. Then he closes his eyes and reaches out a hand. He touches the side of Patrick’s face.
Patrick holds his breath and closes his eyes too. He doesn’t dare to move. Damien’s hand feels so warm and good on his skin.
He lets out a heavy sigh when the hand is gone and opens his eyes.
“That’s the most beautiful voice I’ve ever heard,” Damien says.
Patrick doesn’t know what to do. He puts aside his guitar — grabs it back — lays it down on the table — takes it back again and holds it close to him. He rocks slowly on the couch.
“Thank you,” he murmurs — not sure whether he is expressing gratitude for the compliment or the touch.
Damien stands up.
“You’re leaving?” Patrick asks, disappointed.
“I have other things I need to do, Patrick.”
Patrick swallows deep. He turns away. “Okay. It’s almost dark anyway and I haven’t been to the garden.”
“Will you come again?”
“Do you want me to?”
“I’d love you to.”
“So I’ll come.”
Damien waves and walks away.
As if to remind Patrick he’s there, Chad crawls up Patrick’s shirt front. Patrick palms him up and puts him on the table.
“Do you like him, too?” Patrick asks.
Chad only chirps.
Iyana writes M/M short stories and novellas. Her works have been published by Evernight Publishing, JMS Books, Books to Go Now, Torquere Press, Bitten Press, Leap of Faith Publishing, Breathless Press, and Alfie Dog Fiction.
Iyana lives in Jakarta, a city famous for its traffic jams, a lot of cars and motorcycles, and people selling stuff on the roads. You can spend two hours on the road going to a place you can reach in half an hour in a normal situation. Thanks to the traffic jams, though, Iyana can come up with a lot of stories, mostly shorties, as she prefers to spend the time during her trips writing into her cell phone rather than sleeping.
Another thing Iyana loves is kitties. Right now she has three of them. Their names are Cil, Horus, and Betsy, and one kitten. When she doesn’t write, she plays with them, or they would play with her when she writes.