GENRE: Gay Contemporary Young Adult
LENGTH: 17,102 words
There is more to this dysfunctional family than meets the eye. Boy meets boy; girl meets girl in transition, and Dad has been up to no good.
Why did Mom abandon them all those years ago? Where did the cat go, and why does Dad have handcuffs hidden in his room? Fear is a constant companion in the lives of these youngsters, and it’s bound to reach a breaking point.
Maybe a party would help. Sure -- it’s Father’s Day. Let’s invite another dysfunctional family of big egos to celebrate with Dad and plan a family cleansing accident.
Can love and happiness grow out of such a scenario, even when the kids are the object of intended murder? Sit around a table groaning with the weight of good food and watch this mystery play out.
I am the only one who maintains some pretense of dignity and political correctness, and believe me it’s a very fragile and contrived control. Like Mrs. G. said; fake it, and boy, did I fake it. The fact that I can hear muffled but hysterical screams of laughter from behind the closed bathroom door down the hall doesn’t help. The Spanish being screamed in the kitchen doesn’t help either. I don’t speak Spanish but I know Mrs. G. is cussing too. Then Cornelius the Hero Boy steps toward me. He lowers his head so his eyes are even with mine. I feel like I should be quaking, that I should be wearing glasses and a plaid bowtie, something dorky and insecure. “This is your fault; you and that other queer in the kitchen. You’re probably his boyfriend. Is he boning you, is that it? Are you jealous you can’t have me? You’re jealous of the real men? You’ll never ...” I can see his fists clenching, making the pea soup on his watch dribble onto his expensive-looking shoes.
I can’t help it. I find I’m not only nodding fatuously but twitching my lips and winking at him. Oh dear God, why did you give me a sense of humor? Please, no. He’s raising his arm. He’s going to punch me. He’s probably going to kill me. I make kissy noises with my lips.
A big black-sleeved arm is between us. “Cornelius, no, don’t make things worse than they are. You don’t want to lower yourself to his level.” Over his shoulder Uncle Mayor looks at the growling, white face of my father. “I’m so sorry, Jasper. I had no idea. I assure you ...”
“Go to your room,” my old man growls at me. He hates anyone to use his first name.
My mouth opens. Oh God no. Oh yes. I say pertly, “Can I take my boyfriend with me then?” I cock my head to one side and poke a finger in my nonexistent dimple. I figure if I’m doing to die, then why not enjoy it, right?
But oddly enough, my dad’s face creases and then he’s stern again. His eyes betray him. “Why not?” he laughs, a short bark leaking out of him before he can stop it. “Good one, son!”