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March's Classic Author Feature: In the Fishbowl by Dom Luka
Cia posted a blog entry in Gay Authors NewsThis month's feature is a little different. With the upgrade, we didn't feature any reviews on Monday, but I've also changed up the format for the typical Signature Feature, since this month we're featuring a Classic Author. The fun part is that I had a site member nominate a classic author and story that they really wanted to share with others. Read on to find out why Valkyrie picked In the Fishbowl by Dom Luka, and how she decided on the excerpt to share! Valkyrie says: DomLuka is easily my favorite author on this site. He has the ability to bring characters to life in a way that draws me into the story immediately, and his stories stick with me long after I've finished reading them. It's very difficult to pick a favorite, but I think he did his best writing with In the Fishbowl, the sequel to the very-popular Long Way. In the Fishbowl takes the reader on a roller coaster ride of emotions, but the ending is well worth it, in my opinion. It's one of my favorite stories on this site, and the ending--especially the final line--has stuck with me ever since I read it years ago. The following excerpt is when Travis meets Dennis for the first time. I picked it because it shows Travis' incorrigible nature and is an important part of the story. Excerpt: Beads of sweat felt frozen against Travis’s forehead, and he didn’t really know how they’d developed in the first place. It was damn cold behind the alley of a florist shop and the pet groomer’s, even colder since he’d removed his coat to manage more movement in his shoulders. There was some laughter around him, the scent of puke and heavy liquor in the cold air, and he couldn’t seem to stop staring at the chattering teeth of the redheaded jock in a letter jacket standing red-faced in front of him. At least, until the redhead pulled back his fist and Travis braced himself. He felt a small crack of pain as a tight fist hit his frozen left cheek, but it was hardly enough of a blow to cause his head to snap back, and the satisfied look on the redhead’s face was almost enough to make Travis laugh; in fact, he must have because the halfwit in front of him suddenly looked furious with him as he raised his fist for another blow. This one, however, never made it to Travis’s face as his hand shot out and he openhandedly shoved the younger boy square in the chest, not quite hard enough to hurt him, but hard enough to make him tumble backwards into the snow, causing the small crowd to bust into laughter. “What the fuck?” the boy demanded, but had the sense not to object when Travis reached down to pick the three twenty dollar bills from his pocket. “You only get three,” Travis reminded him as he counted the money and shoved it into his pocket. “Bring another forty and I’ll show you how to make it hurt.” He let the boy’s friends pick him up as he turned his attention to collecting a few more debts from others in the group, all the while watching a burly enough guy around his age with a blond crewcut, who was watching him just as evenly. “Something I can do for you, Phil?” Travis finally asked. He hoped so. Phil was always a good customer, sending high-school boys who wanted to be tough his way, and on occasion, introducing him to someone who was interested in getting hit back. There was a small profit to be made in back-street fights, and there was always more of it when Travis could bet on himself, which, he always did regardless of what he thought the outcome might be. Tonight, however, had been too slow for his liking, and if something didn’t happen soon he’d end up going home to sleep. He probably needed it, too, but first he’d exercise all his options. “That depends,” Phil replied. “You feel like taking a ride?” Travis frowned, not liking the idea already. He stuck to places he knew, and the prospect of tagging along with the king of the rich kids, who acted like he was still in high school, just didn’t pique his interest. But still, he shrugged. “I dunno. What did you have in mind?” Phil grinned. “An old friend of mine is stuck delivering pizzas tonight. Throught we could track him down and pay a visit.” “Will he fight?” Travis asked. He wouldn’t mind a few rounds, and if the guy was delivering pizzas this late at night he was likely the tubby older man he’d encountered before while ordering one from the only 24-hour delivery service in town. “He will if he has a reason to,” Phil insisted, and Travis was quick to shake his head. “I don’t start ‘em, Phil. I just play along.” Even Travis refused to stoop so low as to pick a fight with an unsuspecting individual. “Even if he gives you a run for your money?” Phil asked. It was enough to get Travis’s attention. “Really? So why not call him up?” Phil laughed. “Because he’d hang up on me. Come on, I’ll make it worth your while.” “How so?” “Three hundred, win or lose,” and to emphasize his point, Phil held up enough money to cover nearly half of Travis’s next month’s rent. “Win or lose?” Travis repeated, wondering if it wasn’t worth it to just go throw the fight he’d likely end up starting just to collect the cash. “Win or lose,” Phil repeated. “On the condition that you get at least one good hit in before you do anything stupid. Three hundred’s worth that.” “Not really a friend of yours then?” Travis remarked as he weighed temptation against his own set of rules. Phil grinned. “Are you coming or not?” And Travis took the money. *** It was uncomfortable enough being in a truck full of highschoolers that obviously worshiped the ground Phil Clayton walked on, and staking out a late-night pizzeria only added to the insult of the entire situation, which Travis was about ready to regret. They’d been waiting for thirty minutes, and he’d had enough to try passing Phil his money back. But, Phil shrugged it away and pointed out the fogging front window. “Keep it. There he is.” Travis took a look, and almost rid himself of the inevitable guilt when he found that he wasn’t about to ambush some poor defenseless kid that had managed to get on the wrong side of these guys. True, Travis still had about ten pounds on him, but they were similar in height, and the forceful walk of the shadowed figure making his way into the parking lot was overconfident enough to tell that he wasn’t the type to turn tail and run, meaning that even if he didn’t like what was about to happen, there wasn’t much of a chance that blue and red flashing lights would show up anytime soon. “Alright. Let me out,” Travis ordered. “But don’t expect anything spectacular. I’m making this quick.” “Sure thing,” Phil replied, and Travis left the warmth of the vehicle to make his observations from the street corner before he crossed into the parking lot. His target was steadily making his way towards an outdated sportscar that didn’t look like it had any business being out in the weather, and he made sure to take a path that would purposely cross his. The guy wasn’t carrying any pizzas, so Travis could only assume that his shift had ended, which was probably for the best, anyway. He couldn’t imagine anyone wanting to go back to work after this. Moving closer still, he saw a little more of the guy as he moved briefly beneath a streetlamp. He looked cold beneath his red jacket that was nothing more than a uniform, and there was a flicker of short, brown hair beneath the baseball cap that matched the jacket. His pace slowed when he realized that Travis was coming towards him, a sure sign that he was using caution, and finally, as Travis reached him with a sloppy grin on his face that was fit for a drunken imbecile, he took note of the name tag neatly hooked to the guy’s jacket, and then loudly hollered, when there was absolutely no need for it: “Dennis! Hey, never thought I’d run into you here!” Dennis stopped walking, and beneath the brim of his hat it was apparent that he was confused, and rightfully so. “Who the hell are you?” Travis blinked. Obviously this wasn’t the sort of guy that was into common niceties, but, he smiled, anyway. “Well, since you’re asking, I am currently... scum. And, in case you’re wondering why that is, here’s the thing... I’m about to hit you for three hundred bucks. But hey, I score some points for telling you first, right?” Because otherwise, it would have been just plain unsportsman-like to Travis’s way of thinking. Of course, that’s all the warning he allowed Dennis the pizza guy as he walked steadily forward and swung as accurately as he always did. So, it was really a surprise to Travis when it didn’t turn out to be accurately enough, or maybe fast enough. Actually, he had no idea how he managed to miss Dennis’s face completely, or how Dennis’s fist ended pressed so far into his gut that he actually doubled over. Instinctively, and still too shocked to comprehend, Travis grabbed the other guy’s shoulder, ready to either fend off more of an attack or to release one of his own, and then cursed when he found himself on the ground instead, flailing in the snow much like the redhead from earlier, except, now there was a lot more pain involved. “Fuckin’ hell!” he cursed, having a lack of better words. But, the sudden voices calling out to Dennis was enough to get his attention, and he came to his senses just in time to hear the engine of Phil’s truck roaring down the street. Asshole, Travis thought. He should have known something like this would happen, and there was no way he wasn’t getting even with Phil for ditching him, either. That is, if he wasn’t spending the next few nights in jail. But, he heard Dennis calling back that he was right, and when Travis looked back up, he was being regarded with a certain amount of annoyance as Dennis shook his head, seeming expectant. “Well?” Dennis finally demanded. “Well what?” Travis forced out in words that didn’t quite have enough air behind them. “Was it worth it?” “Totally.” Dennis snorted in disgust, looked down the street and glared as if he wished the truck would come back just to give him some more. Travis watched him with morbid curiosity, and when Dennis stepped over his feet to reach his car, Travis found his way up before Dennis even got the door open. “Hey,” Travis called, and when Dennis looked over his shoulder suspiciously, Travis grinned another open smile. “Can I get a ride?” Read More Here The banner ad will be flashing on the site all month to feature Dom's story, but if you'd like to share it via your personal signature too, just copy the signature graphic below.
[DomLuka] Desert Droppings
totallyy posted a topic in Promoted Author Discussion ForumHi guys, So basically, I've just finished Desert Dropping this second time round and I first read it back a couple years ago and never got to partake in any of the discussions. So hopefully I'm not too late. Besides, after a couple years, it was like reading it for the first time again. Anyways, can I just ask if anyone felt as frustrated as I was with Rory in the first few chapters. I basically had to walk away from my laptop before I did anything stupid. I was just waiting for him to get his heartbroken by Aaron and I was just annoyed with him up till then. I really expected Luke and Rory to get together too. I feel so sorry for Luke throughout though I really liked Seth's character and his relationship with Rory. Just my 2 cents worth.