Coming Soon (i.e., as soon as I can get the cover art done)

Here’s a quick sneak peek at May’s short story, which is awaiting a photo shoot and design work for the cover…

The bell above the door jangled and Lindsey swiped the tears away and turned to look at the newcomer. The woman pulled a collapsible cart behind her and walked with a red-tipped white cane toward the machines. Lindsey watched her deftly maneuver the narrow aisle between the washers and dryers. She came to a stop not far away and Lindsey suddenly realized she was not a woman at all.

The legs visible between the black heels and the knee-length skirt were most certainly a man’s. Lindsey could see this even through the dark nylons. And the torso and shoulders and chest, they also belonged to a man. And if there were any doubt left in her mind those doubts were gone once Lindsey took a good look at the woman’s face. Though crowned with a feminine bob and flanked by dangling earrings, the shadow of stubble across a muscular jaw was most certainly a man’s.

“Excuse me,” the woman said to her in the voice of a man. “Is this machine taken?” A manicured fingernail tapped metallically on the hood of the washer.

“N-no,” Lindsey managed in a hoarse whisper.

“Great.” And with a gleaming smile, the man opened it up and began transferring things from the cart into its cavernous mouth.

Lindsey watched closely and saw that everything, down to undergarments, was women’s clothing. She pulled out her phone to text her friend Trish.

There’s a blind drag queen here. Seriously.

Trish’s response came quickly.

No there isn’t. No way.

Lindsey typed furiously.

Swear.

She waited for a response.

Pic or I don’t believe you.

Lindsey switched her phone over to camera mode and tilted it up surreptitiously, trying to get the newcomer in the frame. Then she realized it didn’t matter how obvious she was if her subject couldn’t see anyway. She held the phone out in front of her to get the drag queen and his cane in the frame, but hesitated before clicking the shutter.

She turned her phone off and dropped her hands to her sides, imagining what the coming months had in store for her.

And Speaking of Tornadoes…

We Shall Sometime Come to Somplace

Within a few minutes the first drops began to fall, sing-songy, on the roof of the car. The tempo and volume increased quickly and steadily as the sky overhead blackened. Inside the cab it got darker and darker until it was like twilight. Then Ted saw tiny white balls bouncing off the hood in front of him. He turned on his hazards and craned his sore neck to the southwest. And he knew that staying in the car was the wrong choice.

An angry cloud seemed to be stretching its fist toward the earth, slowly circling, grasping, clutching. Ted sat mesmerized a moment. Then a finger began to emerge from the fist and Ted searched frantically for the door handle. He burst from the car with no thought to the hail or the wind or his aching jaw and scanned the fields. Where was the bridge? The farm? So far away that in the black of the storm he could no longer make them out.

But there was the ditch.

Wondering what happens next? Click here.