Welcome to the Wednesday Briefers flash group. The short stories have a maximum of a 1000 word count plus links at the bottom to the other flashers. The prompts for this week are:
Dear Baby New Year, …
Toast, kiss, hangover
Night, chance, fireworks
A sparkly hat worn at a jaunty angle
A piece of paper with a single sentence on it
~I’m using a piece of paper with a single sentence on it.
All That He Desires
Jules sat behind the counter, rereading the same damn paragraph. It was eleven forty-five on December 31st. That’s right—New Year Eve’s. Was he out, snuggling with a guy, while counting down to the New Year? Maybe holding a glass of Champagne while streamers fell around him, singing “Auld Lang Syne?”
He, poor sap that he was, was working at a gas station out in the middle of nowhere. What a way to ring in the New Year. But he couldn’t complain, he’d asked to work tonight. He needed the money.
He had one semester left and he’d graduate… which was all well and good, except he was paying for it on his own. His parents found out he was gay his sophomore year and cut him off. His dad, in particular, had reacted badly, ranting ‘no son of his was gay.’ He’d honestly thought his dad was going to hit him. The things they’d said to him still made him cringe, even after all this time. He just didn’t get it.
He liked men, so what?
As far as his parents were concerned, he’d committed the ultimate atrocity and was dead to them. Trying to work two jobs and carry a full schedule just might make their wish come true—these hours were killing him. But if he could get through the next few months, graduate, and get a job, he might make it.
“Bastards,” he mumbled and viciously bit into a chip. He was gay, not a mass murderer.
Jules stared out at the night. It was late, cold, and not a soul around. He wasn’t overly worried about being robbed; this was the good part of town and the cops were always about. Even as he watched, a patrol car cruised by. Officer Mitchell would stop by for coffee before his shift was done. He always did. They’d gotten to be friends; Officer Mitchell had a gay teen and he couldn’t understand Jules’s parent’s reaction, either.
A trash bag blew by the door—looked like the wind was picking up. Jules sighed. God, he hoped it didn’t storm. That was the last thing he needed. The night was dreary enough, that would just top it.
“Right, and my mood has nothing to do with it.” He sipped his drink. He’d show his parents. He didn’t need them and, when he had a good job, he’d know he’d done it on his own.
His own… God, he was tired of being on his own.
Jules wadded up the chip bag and threw it in the trash. Maybe one day he’d come across someone whom he could call his own… but until then, all he had was work, work, and more work. And school.
The glare of headlights caught his attention. Jules sat on his stool, eyes locked on the expensive car that pulled up. “What a beauty.”
Someone certainly had good taste. A tall man with shoulder length dark hair stepped out of the vehicle, and Jules swallowed. A long black leather coat hugged a nice frame, giving him an air of… mystery. The breeze teased the long locks, whipping them around the stranger’s head as he approached the store. A vibrant green scarf wrapped around the man’s throat. Even from here, Jules could see the guy was well over six feet.
“Welcome to Stop-N-Go,” Jules said as the man entered the store.
“Hello.” The stranger stopped and brushed his hair back from his face. “Damn, it’s cold out there. Looks to be a bad night, huh?”
Not so much now. Jules glanced outside and shrugged. The wind was really whipping now. He looked back at the man and noticed the scarf matched the green of the man’s eyes. “I’ve seen worse.”
The stranger smiled, white teeth gleaming against dark skin. “Haven’t we all? I’m just going to use the restroom and get a drink.”
“Through there.” Jules pointed to the back of the store.
When the customer was no longer in sight, Jules allowed a small sigh to escape. Now that was what he was talking about. Why couldn’t he find a guy like that? Jesus, his mouth was watering. Frankly he didn’t give a rat’s ass if the dude was gay or not, he’d make for some good jerk-off material later.
Besides, a hunky man like that wouldn’t look twice at a small guy like him, even if he was gay. On a good day, he might top five nine. While he had a toned build, there wasn’t a spare ounce of fat on him. No, he had to work to keep weight on his frame.
A moment later his customer walked out of the restroom and helped himself to a bottle of water. When he got to the register, Jules took a deep breath. Whatever aftershave the man wore smelled really good. Jules rung him up, plus a scratch lotto ticket the man asked for.
“What do you know, it’s midnight,” the guy remarked, glancing at his watch. “Happy New Year. May this year be all you could desire.”
“Same to you.” Jules grinned.
“Oh, I think it just might.”
Jules waited until the man left before fanning himself. “Yeah, primo jerk-off material. Shit, I’m hard.”
* * * *
Two hours later, Jules walked out to his old beat up car. At lease the damn wind had stopped blowing.
“What the hell?”
Under his windshield wiper was an envelope. Quickly, he opened it… and inside was a scratch lotto ticket—a winning lotto ticket. A fifty thousand dollar winning lotto ticket. Jules staggered against his car, staring at the damn thing. “Oh my…! Oh my fucking God!”
A piece of paper fell out of the envelope and drifted to the ground. He picked it up, hand trembling, and read the one sentence—
Maybe this will help your year be all you desire.