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Fire Thief

Fire Thief

Fire Thief by Jordan Castillo Price

Series: Standalone
Length: Short Story - 3,600 words - 12 page PDF
Cover artist: Jordan Castillo Price - see larger cover
ISBN: 978-1-935540-41-0

 

$.99
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NOTE: An earlier version of this story appeared in the charity anthology Firestorm.

 

Shorts in a Bunch

Shorts in a BunchGet four shorts for only three bucks! Fire Thief, Verdant, The Voice, and Betweentimes. $3.00

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Summary

Is seeing really believing? Hank would never dream of coming on to the most striking guy at the bar—but it’s his lucky night since Thomas, the burgundy-haired vision in black lipstick and mirrored shades, takes it upon himself to make the first move.

While the encounter itself is mind-blowing, the hot-and-heavy grapple in the janitor’s closet isn’t the only way in which Thomas blows Hank’s mind.

Excerpt

“It’s not the telephone that’s the greatest invention of the twentieth century, though you would think that, Daryl, since you’d starve to death if you couldn’t order a pizza. And it’s not the Internet, which is basically a hyped up version of the telegraph. The thing that literally extended our lives by adding hours of productivity and usable time to every day—the thing that allowed us to do something more than tend the farm morning ’til night, that gave birth to the rise of leisure culture,” I paused, more to catch my breath than for effect, “is the electric light bulb.”

Jeanne swirled the dregs in the bottom of her bottle. “No, it’s the Internet.”

Some people just don’t know how to have a discussion.

“Whatever, Hank, fine,” Daryl turned toward the bar, where Scottie the bartender was looking bleary, and seemed eager to pack it in for the night. “It’s last call. I’ll grab us one more round.”

The room dipped a little when I stood up to relieve myself of the previous round, or maybe the round before that. The toilets were a couple of closet-sized rooms at the end of a narrow, twisty, turny hallway about half a mile long. They had the typical ambience you’d expect from a dive bar, and that’s what I liked about them. There was something creepy and unusually sterile about the big, gleaming bathrooms in chain restaurants with theme songs and highly-hyped happy hours, a quality that made me feel like a sellout when I spotted myself in their big, spotless mirrors. Though tonight I wouldn’t have minded a little more space. I seemed to be all elbows when I zipped up, and I couldn’t find anything to wipe my wet hands on after I washed them.

We’d polished off a lot of rounds.

I fumbled with the door wet-handed, and found a guy from the table behind us, a scarily hot guy in purple, leaning against the wall, waiting. Awkward—because I’d been noticing him all night without trying to seem like I was staring. Should I make a passing attempt at conversation? Say something about the lack of paper towels? Hell, I didn’t know if I should make eye contact or not. Plus, he had mirrored shades on, so I couldn’t even tell where he was looking.

Not that he’d be interested in an regular guy like me. He belonged on a stage somewhere, or in the spread of an ubercool indie label music magazine. Besides, he had a boyfriend.

Just as I passed by him, continuing to try my best not to stare, he said, “So you really think Edison’s ten-thousandth incandescent filament was the be-all, end-all? Or does he just win the award for Most Persistent?”

“You heard that?” From next table…over the jukebox? Fuck. I guess I got pretty loud after the seventh or eighth round.

“I did. And I’m intrigued.” He trailed his fingers over the wall—chipped green-sparkle nail polish—then gave the doorknob on the “Employees Only” door a twist. “How about we continue the conversation in private?”

 

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