GENRE: Gay Romance
LENGTH: 4,815 words
Beware of Groom’thulu!
Ethan won’t let anything spoil his wedding to love-of-his-life Caleb -- not the complications of a Pagan wedding, not the snarky attitudes of his relatives. But when tragedy strikes Orlando mere weeks before the wedding day, Ethan is reminded how unkind the world can be.
Portland, Oregon, is a far more open-minded place than Florida, but there’s nothing to stop a crazed conservative maniac from hearing about the gayest Paganest wedding of the year and making that a target. Despite his fears, Ethan knows he must press on, because it’s Pride season, dammit, and no one is putting Groom’thulu back in the closet.
Note: This short story was originally published in the charity collection, Love Is Proud.
I wiped the tears from my face. “Maybe we shouldn’t have this wedding at all. We should get our marriage license, celebrate at home with a few friends, and call it a day.”
“What? After you’ve spent all this time planning and preparing?”
“Well, what’s the point if some bigot with an assault rifle and a homemade bomb can waltz in and destroy everything? What if Brent shows up with a shotgun and --”
“Whoa, wait, Brent? I thought you said he declined your invitation?”
I scowled. “Of course he did.” My cousin hadn’t invited me to his wedding, and even though he had landed me in the hospital I made an effort to be polite, mostly at my mom’s behest. “But that doesn’t stop impulsive murderers. That guy was such a violent homophobic powder-keg that when he saw two men kissing in public it snapped something inside him and he decided the best way to deal with it was to shoot over a hundred people. I’ve been planning the gayest Pagan-est wedding the West Coast has ever seen. If some whackjob NRA Christian decided that was too much, he could -- he could --” I wanted to barf. Caleb took me in his arms and rubbed my back soothingly. “I just want it to be over,” I whimpered. “I want this hate and violence to be fucking over.”
Caleb held me close. “I know, sweetheart. I know.”
It took me a few days to get back to my old self. By then I had new fuel for my fire. This would be the gayest Pagan-est wedding the West Coast had ever seen. I would put up both middle fingers and tell all those homophobes and psychopaths that there was no stopping us. I became Groom’thulu once more. Nothing would stop me from making this day perfect.