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Cole Matthews

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Everything posted by Cole Matthews

  1. Went to a fantastic show last night; Fellow Travelers.  It's an opera set during the Lavender Scare era in the 1950s.  Hawkins Fuller sees Timothy Laughlin in a park, and from there it's an amazing love story.  There is a scene in a church where Timmy, or Skippy as Hawk calls him, sings an aria about his conflicted feelings.  In the end, he thanks God for giving him Hawk.  In the very end, I cried.  Based on a book.  

  2. Cole Matthews

    Story Review: The Lilydale Leopards

    Great review! This is an awesome series that will make you think, laugh, wonder, and relish the dynamic storytelling by Graeme. One of my favorite stories of all time.
  3. Cole Matthews

    Chapter 25 - What'll I do...

    Thanks for the kind words. It is very sad, but I wanted to capture the sense of that era for people who experienced AIDS. It wasn't just dying, but losing those around you as well. I appreciate your comment.
  4. Cole Matthews

    Chapter 25 - What'll I do...

    Thank you for the kind words. I'm glad it touched you.
  5. Cole Matthews

    Chapter 25 - What'll I do...

    I probably would have given a little dash of something sweet if it was longer. Unfortunately, it was a scene I saw too many times in the past. Thanks for the lovely comment.
  6. Cole Matthews

    Chapter 25 - What'll I do...

    Thanks Gary! We are fortunate they've figured out how to stop this plague. It was such a common occurrence to see in my twenties when I worked at a gay bar. I wanted a little remembrance of them.
  7. Cole Matthews

    Chapter 25 - What'll I do...

    Maybe, maybe not. The Dorcas I had in mind would be nervous about it, but she is compassionate as well. You could be right, because that happened quite a bit as well. Thanks for the comment!
  8. Cole Matthews

    Chapter 25 - What'll I do...

    It is, but I wanted to have a little peek into the past. Thanks for the comment.
  9. Cole Matthews

    Chapter 25 - What'll I do...

    I think she was a good distraction and a good way for him to get himself together. Thanks darling!
  10. Cole Matthews

    Elephant In the Room

    Oh!!! I love the use of the dream here. The elephants are his worries for his mother. It's a fascinating idea, and well done in just a few lines. Great job!!!!
  11. Cole Matthews

    Tigers and Elephants and... Oh My!

    Wow!!! A brain tumor. Jeez. I'm listening to a book and there are drug-induced hallucinations so of course that's my mind went there so it surprised me. Great job!!! I love he saw the actually image.
  12. Check out our  prompt stories from a photo!  Aditus, Valkyrie, and moi have interpretations of a business man holding and elephant on the tip of his finger.  Valkyrie will post the photo.  

  13. Cole Matthews

    Balancing Act

    Balancing Act Darren shifted in his seat, tugging on his cap, pulling the worn and threadbare bill down to cover his eyes. Hiding. He was pointedly not looking at the screen of the laptop facing him. The computer was gleaming gunmetal gray in the fluorescent light in the trailer’s kitchen. Happy pictures assaulted him. Christian didn’t avert his triumphantly angry smirk. Though he could only see the shadows below the hat, he knew the man’s face was as red as the back of his neck. A trickle of sweat dribbled down his neck chilling him and he shivered. Suddenly anxious, he swallowed and tried to think of what to say next. Darren stood up, his two hundred and eighty pounds packed into his five-foot-nine frame and his heft trembled. He hiked his greasy jeans up a little so they were cinched tight underneath his generous, though not actually fat, belly. “I better go,” he said. His voice was as gravelly as usual, the cigarette rasp was more prominent now though. There was a catch in the tone at the end, like a choke, only waterier. Christian shook his head wildly. “No, I don’t understand.” His arms were twined around his slender body, holding himself tightly. He shivered, then looked up at the man before him. Darren’s shirt sleeves were rolled up and there was a pack of smokes hidden in the folds. His arms were dark tan, almost brown, as was his face. Long tendrils of brown and white chest hair spilled from the vee of his heavy flannel shirt. The shirt was red. All the trucker’s shirts were red in some way whether as a primary or accent color. It was something Christian had wondered about his lover for the last few months, since their first ‘date’ after they connected on GayTruckers.com. Christian watched in agony as the large man continued to back away from him. Finally, the blond found his voice. He had to fix this. “Why didn’t you tell me?” Darren tugged the ratty lid of his cap down even more, leaving only the thick red lips and the grizzled gray and brown scruff on his chin showing. The lips parted and then closed. Opened again, fluttered, and then the trucker closed him mouth tightly. Christian leaned forward, reaching out toward him. “I figured I wasn’t the only one, but…I never would have guessed…this.” He waved at the elephant in the room; a Facebook page with Darren’s smiling face. And others. “I have kids,” Darren said, as if it explained everything. Christian shook his bleach blond locks once and then wiped his eyes. “I see that.” “What did you expect from a site that arranged hookups?” Darren added, his watery voice was trembling. “It’s for guys like me, and you. You tugged me.” “Sure, I guess,” Christian answered, realizing his arms were still reaching for the other man. “I expected a wife at home, three kids, a house in the middle of nowhere, but this—this is insane.” “I’m sorry,” Darren said. He’d stopped backing away, and now stood in front of the aluminum bracketed front door of Christian’s trailer and hung his head. Now even the lower part of his face was covered, hidden from view, like the whole other life he had. Christian breathed deeply and stood. He pulled his sweater around his thin chest. He shivered, again, though the spring day was warm. Once again, he brushed his hair from his forehead, feeling the slight stiffness from his cheap extensions. The hoops at his ears bounced against his neck. It made him feel sordid. It irked him. “I knew you had a whole other life out there, but why would you do this to them?” “I don’t know,” Darren answered quickly. His bulk seemed to have shrunk as he slouched and thrust his big, gnarled hands into his pockets. “I guess I needed something.” The words made the blond man pause. It sparked his annoyance and something flared in Christian. Was he an object? A plaything? Nothing? Fury raced through Christian, contorting his face and he exploded. “Something? You needed something, and so I’m the little piece of trailer trash you play with a couple times a month?” He took a rapid breath and added, “I’m a person, you fucking asshole.” Christian quickly wiped his eyes again and stared defiantly at the other man. “So, you decided I’d be your ‘walk on the wild side', is that it?” “It’s not like that. I was, I am, attracted to you, and…I should leave.” But, Darren didn’t move. He stayed there looking, waiting. “How long have you been together? How old are your kids? Did you adopt or use a surrogate?” Christian ended his string of questions with a gasp, like he was winded or worse. “Let’s not talk about those things. They don’t matter. You knew what you were getting into,” Darren said, his voice rising and becoming more sure and steady. “You signed up for, fuck—getting off, not a relationship. Who are you to start demanding things of me?” Christian saw the man was standing up straight and the bill of his cap was now pulled up, his eyes blazing from beneath it defiantly. He felt a surge of indignation. Goddamn him. He spoke and leveled his gaze at Darren. “Maybe I’ll friend him, your husband, the doctor. Perhaps I’ll send him a little message about how you visit me on your runs to Sioux City.” Christian paused, and then a wicked grin crept over his lips. “Should I send Dr. Ryan Owens a picture? Maybe I’ll send him the same nudie I sent you. We could have a threesome. Wouldn’t that be fun? You wouldn’t have to keep us apart, juggling your precious time with us both.” “I swear,” Darren said, his face changing in the kind of red it was emanating. The purple of fury replaced the red of shame. “I swear,” he repeated, “if you talk to him—” “If I talk to him, what?” Christian blazed, his voice now shrill. “What will you do?” “I’ll make you pay if you tell him.” Christian turned and talked back over to his little kitchen table pulling the laptop around. He plopped down and the light from the screen illuminated his smug face, his thin pale lips, pursed and concentrating. “Maybe I’ll send him a photo of you in my shower.” “You took a picture of me?” Darren yelled, stomping across the room. “Give me that,” he said, grabbing the laptop from the tabletop. “That’s my computer,” Christian barked, wrestling with the trucker. Darren’s arms bulged as he pulled it from the slim man’s grasp. It was an older model, and it was more bulky than newer ones. “Give it back!” he screamed. Darren, without a thought, brought the edge of the computer down on his lover’s head. He heard a crack, like the computer broke, and then he smashed it again. The sound of splintering plastic, crunching metal, and the impact sounded unreal. The trucker lifted the computer and looked at the man sitting before him. Darren realized his breathing was out of control. He held it, waiting for the blond to react. Christian sat there for a moment, still and quiet in the kitchen chair. Blood was gushing out from under the bleach-white hair, giving it a purple sheen in the trailer’s overhead lighting. Darren stepped back. He dropped the broken laptop which shattered on the cheap linoleum floor. Christian’s eyes flickered, like they were looking for someone or something. Then, his neck gave way, his head gaining momentum as it fell, pulling his slender body sideways. There was another crack as the side of Christian’s skull hit the floor. A splatter of blood sprinkled over Darren’s thick, heavy, leather boots and his shins, coloring the blue denim with speckles. Darren backed away, his mouth wide open in terror, and then fled out the door.
  14. Cole Matthews

    Dinner is Prompt-ly at Eight

    My responses to prompts that intrigue me...
  15. Cole Matthews

    Chapter 1

    Very heart wrenching. This is a love story. Not a positive one and probably not one that will end well, but it shows Fred and Cyril love one another. (Please note I'm not condoning or excusing it.) I think Fred doesn't know how to show love or vent his frustrations. I think Cyril has come to believe it's probably his fault in some way or that Fred will change. So this is a love story that shows how the dynamics of relationships are unique. There are patterns, as Stuart was witnessing, and that's what Stuart is. He was watching the love story continue to unfold or perhaps a better word would be 'on hold'. I have been thinking about this story and how true it is from things I've witnessed in my past. I feel a little like Stuart in an observer's role. Really great treatment of an awful subject, but one that exists in all it's ugliness.
  16. Cole Matthews

    Now or Never

    Really good job with the storytelling and the details. I like the characters, especially the dragon, and could clearly see the action. The self-exile of the main character was really quite fresh and defined him well. I thought the complexity of the situation was treated well, and not treated with a heavy hand. Thoroughly enjoyed a lovely tale I'm still thinking about. Thanks!
  17. Cole Matthews

    The Story

    There, but for the Grace of God, go I. Liam's character resonates with me because I grew up in an era when his path would have been far easier and more acceptable. I went through the process he did, but in the end, I realized I couldn't playact my way through life. I would have had a Kath and maybe having a Ryan would have been okay, but I think it would have turned out as harried and painful as this. Everyone is hurting from Liam's decision, which was to marry Kath and 'be straight'. Now that time has tolled and life gets in the way, there are few scattered joys to keep things going. I can't help but think poor Ryan is probably as scarred from the dysfunctional relationship as he is from his father finally coming out. In fact, things will probably get better with Liam being himself and discovering some sense of self-respect. Kath will heal if she realizes it wasn't her, it was the lie that hung over her that twisted their lives. Really great story and some very great characters that ring true and inspire thought. Great job!!!
  18. Cole Matthews


    This story is powerful, in a couple of ways. First of all, Brian is real and Eric is not, at the beginning. Then, when Eric confronts Brian, Eric is real and Brian is now not. Then, Brian starts figuring out his own actions, and the wages of his sins. Very compelling and driving. It took some seriously great writing to pull of doubly sympathetic and flawed characters that remain likeable. Great Job! The second way it's powerful is the unflinching way the story faces cheating. A few questions are posed that require our thoughts. Was Eric's affair unforgiveable? Did he even want forgiveness? What was Brian's role in the cheating? Is there a duty of a partner to attend to the other person's needs and did he breach that duty? It sounds like Eric fell in love with Jamie and Brian didn't even notice. It's fascinating because in general cheating isn't a good thing, but this story suggests it's more complex than a wandering eye and hot pants. Excellent!
  19. Cole Matthews


    Interesting subject matter. The character, Ace or Jason, was well laid out at the beginning and this carried through to the end, which I will not call the conclusion. I could feel his self-consciousness which almost bordered on self-loathing, but then he saw a glimmer of light. I think the story isn't really a story, but a kind of character sketch and exercise demanding more. Great job and very engaging!
  20. If you haven't checked out the anthology stories yet, take the time to do so.  There is some seriously sophisticated writing and storytelling going on.  I felt my heart go out to some very interesting, and hurting characters, warts and all.  

    You won't be sorry.  

  21. Thanks to all for the birthday wishes. We are having sushi tonight so I’m thrilled. Great day!

    1. Valkyrie


      Yum... sushi! :D  

  22. Cole Matthews

    GA's Newest Promising Author: Aceinthehole

    Congratulations 🎉
  23. Cole Matthews

    Featured Story: Button

    Thank you so much for such a lovely review of Button. I appreciate the kind words and hope people enjoy the story.
  24. Cole Matthews

    Berlin Last Summer

    That was sad too! I guess we both went there with this prompt. Yours had a happy ending though. Mine, not so much. Great job.
  25. Valkyrie and I posted our monthly prompts at Promptings from Valhalla and Dinner is Promptly at Eight.  Our prompts are the following - 

    Someone’s red journal

    A yellow bus

    Berlin last summer


    Check out what we came up with!!!


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