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It's a Wonderful Afterlife

It's a Wonderful Afterlife
By John Amory

ISBN: 9781634860000

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GENRE: Gay Romance
LENGTH: 8,491 words
RATING: flame rating 1

Workaholic Logan rests only one day of the year: Christmas Day, and then only because when he tried to open his coffee shop on that day once no one showed up. Ever since his parents died on Christmas Eve over ten years ago, Logan keeps busy to keep his feelings at bay and people at a distance, even going so far as to ignore his younger brother's invitation to spend the holiday together.

But a car accident and a Christmas Eve encounter with a mysterious stranger named Michael, which may or may not be a dream, will change the way Logan sees his past, his present, and his future.

EXCERPT:

    When Logan opened his eyes, he saw the familiar sight of his own living room. The gas fireplace blazed across from the sofa he was lying on. He could hear the faint melody of a Mannheim Steamroller song drifting from the CD player, and he smelled something warm and spicy, maybe cinnamon: a candle flickered on the end table near his feet. Logan glanced down and realized he was dressed in footie pajamas, the kind he and his family wore every Christmas Eve when he was a child. The kind he hadn’t owned in over twenty years. I don’t have any candles, either.

    He stood and felt blood rush to his head, causing a moment of further disorientation. This looked like his house, the modest single-level he did little more than sleep in since he acquired it many years ago from his parents. But something felt off. It wasn’t just the candle he didn’t remember buying or lighting, or the strange sleepwear he never saw in his closet. The air felt charged, electric, like the sky before a lightning storm. Logan looked outside. His last memory was of snowfall, but the ground outside the living room window was covered only in frost. The lawn glittered in the moonlight as if it were blanketed in stars. He moved closer to the pane and saw a bunch of carrots laid out next to the walkway, and a memory suddenly flooded back to him of a Christmas Eve two decades earlier. Dave left the carrots out for the reindeer. Mom always burned a cinnamon candle to cover up the smell of the cookies Dave and I burned every year.

    His eyes roamed further until they landed on the car parked in the driveway. It was not his silver Versa occupying its usual spot, but rather a burgundy station wagon with a big red bow affixed to the grill on the front. Mom’s car ...

    “Pleasant, isn’t it?”

    Logan nearly jumped out of those ridiculous pajamas at the sound of the strange voice behind him. He gasped loudly, reeling around with his arms thrown up in a defensive position, anticipating an attack. “Take whatever you want, just don’t hurt me!” he yelled. “I didn’t see your face, so there won’t be any trouble!”

    There was only silence. After a few seconds, his heart threatening to beat out of his chest, Logan opened his eyes and turned them toward the intruder’s voice. The man standing in his kitchen wasn’t dressed like a burglar. He wore a white tuxedo and top hat, perfectly fitted to his body. His shoulders bounced, and Logan realized the stranger was laughing at him.

    “You think I’m here to rob you? Dressed like this?” The man smiled and swept his right hand down his body. “Not exactly inconspicuous.”

    Logan supposed not. He squinted and took measure of the situation. The guy certainly didn’t seem to be incognito. And even though Logan knew there was no such thing as a “typical” look, he never would have taken the guy for a thief (except that he was standing, uninvited, in Logan’s kitchen). He had wavy brown locks combed back and trimmed just to his neck, and bright, friendly blue eyes that seemed to glow in the soft light of the fire. He continued to smile, white teeth highlighting just how perfectly tanned his skin was. In any other situation, one where he wasn’t scared out of his mind, Logan would be drooling over such a perfect specimen of manhood. The man waited patiently for Logan to finish his assessment before speaking again. “This all feels a little bit familiar, doesn’t it?”

    He didn’t know why, but Logan did not feel fear for the stranger who had broken into his house in the middle of the night. The beautiful being before him was right, confirming what Logan had felt earlier: that his home was familiar, but somehow not actually his. The muscles in his shoulders and back relaxed from their defensive contraction.

    “If you’re not here to rob me, what do you want? Who are you?”

    The man smiled wider and raised an eyebrow. “My name is Michael. But are you sure those are the questions you want to be asking? There has to be something else, something deeper, you’re wondering.” Logan’s breathing hitched. “Perhaps where you are? How you got here?”

    “Fine, I’ll take the bait, mind reader. Where am I?”

    “Home,” Michael answered.


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This book was published on December 05, 2015.



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