It was just a coincidence that I got a postcard in the mail for my 20th high school reunion the same week that Torquere Press asked me if I'd like to recontract a book that had fallen off the catalogue. I wrote The Sound of Cicadas over a year ago in anticipation of this very event. (The reunion, not the contract ending.) In any case, it's now once again available for purchase and I'm pretty excited about that!
The story of Jackson and Kenny isn't a long one, but I really enjoyed writing it and trying to capture that feeling of seeing someone again after many years. Have they changed? Have you? And if the answer is yes, is it for better or worse? Here's a little snip from Jackson's point of view...
The bar miraculously appeared in front of him and Jack leaned both elbows on it while he waited for the bartender to look his way. He was glad it was busy, he needed the few minutes to compose himself and wonder why he was so surprised. It wasn’t that he hadn’t expected to see Kenny, it was just that… he hadn’t expected to see Kenny. Jack shook his head and stared at the polished wood grain in front of him. Damn.
It had been several quick rendezvous under the bleachers for a couple of months. Jack had stupidly assumed no one had known they were there, but then came that night when Tyler had admitted to seeing them and Jack had grown paranoid. They took to meeting in the woods near Kenny’s dad’s trailer, finding a secluded spot where the trees and brush hid any sexual activity they chose to engage in.
And there had been plenty of sexual activity, up to but not including actual intercourse. Hand jobs, blowjobs, heavy petting, rubbing off over each others’ clothes, Jack could recall with perfect clarity how creative they’d gotten without actually fucking each other. He’d sort of assumed he and Kenny would get there eventually, but then the thing with Kenny’s father had happened and… well, there was no fucking. No more anything, since Kenny had moved away halfway through senior year.
Jackson realized he was getting bogged down with unexpected memories and looked up to see how close the bartender was. He was about to do the obnoxious thing and snap his fingers because damn, he really needed that drink, when a strong arm in an expensive dinner jacket leaned against his own.
He kept his eyes on the bartender. “Hey, Ken.”
Mmm, tension. I love that. Anyway, just tooting my own horn, here at Slash and Burn, because I really like this little story and it's only $2.25. If you've ever been to a reunion or run into a lost love, give this one a try.
The Sound of Cicadas available here.