Challenge Ficlets

Just a friendly warning - if you're reading this, then it's likely you have no problems with gay-themed stories. If you do or if you are under the legal age of consent in your country, please leave without reading on.

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The 2+2=2 Double Drabble Challenge!

I called for two names and two sentences and I would write a 200 word Double Drabble on each Challenge.
Seven people responded, and the results are below.

So here is Double Drabble #7

This is Tray's Challenge.

Her names are Ewan and Jack, and her sentences are in bold.

Ewan had spent the day in the park, working on his backside 360s off the rollers, and occasionally playing around grinding some sweet kinked rails. He was headed for the bar and a well deserved beer, when he noticed a familiar bright blue jacket, and was pretty sure he'd seen the guy lay down a 540 with a stalefish grab.

He knew the man--well, he knew his name, though they'd not been introduced. Jack Prentiss, one of the park's best riders. It wasn't only Jack's skill on the board that had caught Ewan's attention. It was his hawklike profile, long lean legs and taut ass. Jack had noticed him right back, and Ewan had hopes.

Suddenly Jack turned and strode quickly toward Ewan, looking over his shoulder. They collided in the doorway.

"Sorry," Jack said, grabbing Ewan's arms for support. His eyes widened and he smiled. "See that tall blonde girl at the bar? Ever since I told her she needs to ride a man's stick, she's been chasing me. Help me show her I'm not a good choice?"

"Sure," Ewan began. Then Jack kissed him. They needed to discuss this somewhere private, Ewan decided happily, like his room...

~ * ~

Double Drabble #6

This is Shirley's Challenge. Her names are Julian and Max, and her sentences are in bold.

Julian looked over his shoulder to the man and the life he was leaving behind, and took a breath. His voice cracked when he looked at Max and said, "Just say the word, Max, and I'll stay."
"I can't," Max answered quietly. Bonny leaned against his leg and sighed. She recognized the pain under Max's words as easily as Julian. "We both know you have to do this. If you stay, you'll always wonder, what if... and blame me."
"No!" Julian protested. But he knew Max was right. "Come with me," he added desperately. Even as he spoke, he realized his stupidity. No way could Max and Bonny cope out there. Earthquakes and political unrest meant Eritrea wasn't a haven of safety.
Max's smile spoke of love, of understanding and loss. It dazzled Julian, and his own grief stung his eyes.
"Don't be dumb," Max drawled. "Now go, or you'll miss your flight."
Julian wavered. One phone call, and he could stay...
"Go," Max ordered. "You're a Doctor Without a Border, remember."
Julian nodded, though he knew Max wouldn't see.
"I'll be back," he vowed, and walked away from Max and his guide dog, his own eyes blind with tears.

~ * ~

Double Drabble #5

This is Cindi's Challenge. Her sentences are in bold. [Sorry, Cindi, I couldn't find an appropriate pic in my library... *g*] 

They had already said their goodbyes, and Stephen was checking the posts on his Facebook account. Seemingly out of nowhere, Michael grabbed Stephen's face, brought their mouths together and kissed him with all of the pent up frustration that had been building all weekend. He wasn't going to let Stephen ignore the sexual charge that flowed between them any longer.
At their first meeting Friday afternoon, Michael had seen Stephen's tells: expanded pupils, slight flush, fine beads of sweat on his upper lip. But in their social hours since then, the convivial, easygoing man whose infectious laugh lifted Michael's heart, became virtually silent when Michael joined the group. He'd learned Stephen was single, knew they worked in the same city. But despite his giveaway signs, Stephen didn't respond to Michael's cautious overtures. Now he was done with caution.
Stephen flailed his arms, off-balance. For a fleeting second Michael thought he'd get a fist swung at him. Or a law suit for assault. But then Stephen turned into him, strong arms locking around his ribs.
"You've got more guts than me," Stephen whispered. "I've been wanting to do that since Friday."
"Dinner?" Michael asked. "Tomorrow?"
They were beginning something good.

~ * ~

Double Drabble ~4

This is Pender's Challenge. Her names were Louis and Beau, and her sentences are in bold.

The bedspread was a horrid shade of pink. The spider snoozing in the bathtub looked bigger than the complimentary bar of soap. And the mold --don't get me started on the thick black lines on the grouting. If any place could be described as a passion killer, this was it. The spider woke up and waved its front legs at me. That was more than flesh and blood could stand. I took a fast step back. Louis was right behind me and I cannoned into him.
"Whoa," he said, wrapping his arms around my waist. "What's up?" He rocked his hips against my ass, and I could feel what was up as far as he was concerned. Any upward tendencies my anatomy might have produced were deflated by that monster in the tub.
"Nothing," I assured him, my voice an unaccustomed falsetto. We'd been dating for a few weeks now, and this was the first time we'd be sharing a bed. But Shelob in the tub... I shuddered.
"Beau?" he queried. Then he must have seen the uninvited and unwanted. "Oh. Do you want me to kill it?"
"No! Just--get rid of it!"
So he did. My hero...

~ * ~

2+2=2 Challenge

Double Drabble #3

This is Sue's Challenge - her sentences are in bold, and the names she gave me were Mark and Jonathan.

All I had was the clothes on my back and a pocketful of loose change. Neither were much use in the cold downpour that washed bomb debris down the broken street. Not all the wreckage was down to me. The Taliban had already killed or driven out everyone. I took a deep breath, ignoring the aches in my ribs and back. I was alive, relatively undamaged, and my task was done. The hidden watching post and its state of the art surveillance equipment were destroyed.  Now I had to stay alive and get out of there.

To be honest, I hadn't expected to survive this, my last mission. Black ops personnel aren't exactly expendable, but our survival rate isn't high. That goes double for the Ghost Squad. And I was a ghost, the blackest of black ops operatives.

"Mark," Jon had said on our last night before I left, "for God's sake, stay alive." We'd clung together in the darkness, too aware of all that could go wrong, how much was at stake.

"I'll do my best," I promised. Then, "Jonathan Laybourn, will you marry me?"

"God, yes!"

Twenty hours later, Jon pulled me into the chopper at the rendezvous.

~ * ~

2+2=2 Challenge

Double Drabble #2

This is Margaret's Challenge - her sentences are in bold, and the names she gave me were Thomas and Ashley.

Alberta was bloody cold this time of year and his tour didn't end until the spring. Still, at least he had more than warm thoughts to keep him going. Lecturing on his archaeological dig in mainland Greece provided memories of sundrenched days, and nights of heat and passion. Thomas cleared his throat and pressed the cue button. On the huge screen behind him, the aerial shot of the dig was replaced by an image of a large excavation. An archaeologist worked on one small area.
A murmur rippled through the students. Most were responding to the truly beautiful mosaic in the foreground, but Thomas heard appreciative whispers of, "Tasty!" and, "Oh, he's hot!" 

Ashley had been caught in the act of reaching across to place a find in the collection tray. He was, in the jargon of the students Thomas was lecturing, drop dead gorgeous.

Thomas briefly touched his wedding band. That excavation, where they’d discovered the Greco-Roman villa outside Pella, had doubled as their honeymoon. He looked up to the top row of the lecture theater. Ashley was there, anonymous in the dark, but Thomas could feel the warmth of his gaze, and his smile.

Alberta had its perks.

~ * ~

2+2=2 Challenge

Double Drabble #1

Diane Challenged me, and her two sentences are in bold... 

Jax stared into the distance lost in thought. He had so much to do, but all he could think of was Leon and wonder what could have come of things if timing had been better. He gave himself a mental kick in the ass. Concentrate! Lives could depend on this, not least his own. Afterward, when he got back, he'd explain the situation and hope Leon would understand, give them a chance to explore their embryonic relationship. That steadied him as nothing else could, and allowed his years of training to kick in.
Forms were filled out, files signed off and handed on to his replacement. A final debrief, then he was being ferried to the rendezvous to join his new team. Once there it was a case of hurry up and wait. Jax spent some of the time on last minute checks of the communications equipment and weaponry. They'd already been passed by Tech Support, of course, but he never left such things entirely to others.
Jax wished he'd told Leon how very important he'd become. Too late now. The signal flashed and with his team following, he climbed the metal steps.

"Welcome aboard Air Force One, Commander Adams."

~ * ~

Diane wanted to know about poor Leon - so here's Leon's Double Drabble *g*

"--the President on his way to crisis talks with Germany's--" Leon hit standby on the remote, not interested in the fleeting image of his President's lean form striding up the steps of Air Force One, followed by his security detail. He had a crisis of his own that was far more important than international relations. Where the fuck was Jax? And why wasn't he answering any calls? Leon swore and threw the remote onto the couch.

He'd been sure that something special was happening between them over the last month. They had enough in common that their differences seemed like perfect synchronicities. And Jax was hot. Average height, average build--until he stripped off, then all that well-proportioned muscle made him anything but. His features, too, were pleasant rather than strikingly handsome, yet when he smiled Leon was mesmerized.

Abruptly Leon froze in his tracks. Something... he'd seen... He lunged for the couch and grabbed the remote, flicked through channels until he found another news station. Once more the President climbed the steps. So did his security, and there at their head was Jax.

Leon understood immediately. He'd be here when Leon returned. They could make this work.

~~~ * ~~~

This Challenge was for up to 100 words using kerosene, spaghetti, penguin

Thanks to the storm, the whole street had no electricity. Some homecoming for Mark - the fancy meal Nick had planned was out. So he raided the cellar for the old camping stove and lantern, and the kerosene to fuel them. By the time his lover fought the gale from taxi cab to the front door, Nick had spaghetti cooking on the small stove, pesto and grated cheese ready to stir into the pan.

"Sorry, lover," Mark said after hugs and kisses. "My luggage's in Detroit, but I got this in Heathrow..." A Penguin chocolate bar. "It's a UK favorite..."

~ * ~

This Challenge was for 150-250 words, using chipmunk, squash [noun or verb], clipboard.

I love Todd. I really do. He's my best friend, my lover, and we've been together for twelve years. This year we were going to drive across the border into Canada to get married. We changed those plans when New York State joined the Same Sex Marriage Club, and our parents took over. Well, our moms and sisters, mainly. So we got hitched in grand style in the grounds of our local five star hotel with all our families and friends with us. Our honeymoon is a road trip, which is how we ended up in this small town in the back of beyond, wandering around their old-fashioned county fair. I swear it's like being in a time slip.

Did I mention how much I love the man? He's a little shorter than me, a year older, and he has curly brown hair, laughing brown eyes and a kind of chubby face with an upturned nose. He loves me right back. He also loves pie. So of course he had to enter the pie-eating contest.

Me, I just thank God I had my camera. The sight of my new husband squashing pie into his face until he looks like a demented chipmunk, while a fat dude with a clipboard marked off every pie Todd managed to swallow, is something that'll stay with me for a long time.

It'll be years before he lives it down, and I have the photos to keep it alive.
He won, btw.

I love Todd.

~ * ~
This challenge was for 150 words, using oven-baked, poison ivy, attic fan, pumpkin[s]

"Pumpkin!" Lee cooed in a credible imitation of Aunt Corrie, and patted Hal's face adoringly, just as she had done.

"Fuck off," Hal snorted, batting him away, but he kept his voice to a whisper and he was smiling. "You want to change your mind and go tackle the poison ivy down by the woodpile? Believe me, looking for Uncle Tom's old phonograph is a better way to earn cookies and sandwiches. She has a secret recipe for oven-baked ham to die for."

Lee gazed around the attic, frowning. "Okay, but it must be about ninety degrees up here!"

"So take off your shirt," Hal suggested, his voice becoming a sultry drawl. He reached up and turned on the attic fan. "This'll cool you down when I get you all hot and sweaty."

"Yeah?" Lee's eyes lit up and he moved close, pressing their groins together. "Bring it on, lover."

~ * ~

This challenge was from friend and fellow author RJ Scott - 300 words using apple, shadow, wig

"Are you sure I can't tempt you?" the Serpent asked.

"I'm sure," said Adam's Seventh Son. He eyed the glossy fruit hanging from the Tree with disfavour. "After all, It's just an apple."

"You'd be surprised," the Serpent drawled, and looped a few more coils over the branch. His weight made the Apple sink a little lower, a little closer. "Why not try it, just once?" His voice was honey and velvet, the sun gleamed on his scales and transmuted them to gems of crimson, green and jetty black all set in gold. He was sleek, beyond beautiful - for a Serpent.

Adam's Son shook his head, his dark hair drifting over brown shoulders.

"I'm not hungry." He hadn't succumbed to his parents' latest fad of wearing leaves stuck to various body parts and was gloriously nude. The Serpent approved. But handsome and pleasing to the eye as the young man was, he showed a distinct lack of enthusiasm in his posture.

"You seem - sad."

"No. Not really." Adam's Son folded long legs and sat in the cool shadow beneath the branches.
"You can tell me," the Serpent purred, slithering with incomparable grace to rest his great wedge-shaped head on the young man's shoulder. "You can tell me anything..."

"It's just - I'm lonely."

"I can cure that." The Serpent slipped to the grass in a gleaming heap, then rose in the form of a naked maiden with breasts like ripe peaches and long, long hair of sunny gold. Adam's Son barely spared her a glance.

"That's a really bad wig," he muttered.

"Huh. Is this more to your liking?"

Now The Serpent was tall, wide shouldered and narrow hipped. His chestnut hair curled about his head and his green eyes promised many things.

"Yes!" laughed Adam's Seventh Son.

~ * ~

The challenge was 120-200 words using lead, trampoline, violet

This was a nightmare. Kyle couldn't remember how or why he was running through ancient woodland with only the winter moon giving him intermittent light. Someone was chasing him - a shotgun's blast echoed among massive gnarled trees, lead pellets ripped through the branches, and a rain of twigs and torn leaves cascaded over him. He tripped over a root, fell, and interlaced branches and dead leaves cushioned his landing like a makeshift trampoline. He half-bounced, half-scrabbled to his feet, staggered between two looming shapes that seemed more like enormous stones than trees - and stopped.

In the space of a stride he'd gone from winter to spring. Warm breezes drifted by, laden with the scent of young grass and the ephemeral perfume of wild violets. The full moon filled the clearing with clean white light, and someone stepped from behind another huge stone to face him. Dark hair trailed over pale bare shoulders, eyes of lambent gold were set in high cheekboned features, and he was the most beautiful, terrifyingly feral creature Kyle had ever seen. "Come." His smiling lips didn't move. "Come with me and be mine." And Kyle obeyed, walking spellbound into moonlight and shadows without end.

~ * ~

The challenge this time was 100 to 200 words, using Desmond, Brewster, spa, dictionary.

Gloomily Paul Brewster slopped the squeegee mop over the tiles. The smells of chlorine and cleaning fluid prickled in his nostrils. Still, it was a job, and he could use the Olympic-sized pool out of hours to keep up with his training. The area championships were getting closer and his goal was set on the 200 meters Freestyle podium. But in the meantime he had to work. He just wished it wasn't necessary.

Other contenders could train during the day - notably Jon Desmond. He, in Paul's opinion, was his main rival for the medal and there weren't enough words in the dictionary to describe Jon. He was drop dead gorgeous, with ebony skin, heavy-lidded slumberous eyes, cornrow braids, and he didn't know Paul existed.

Running footsteps came toward him and Jon burst through the swing doors.

"I left my towel in the locker room! Can you - "

"Don't run!" Paul interrupted urgently. "The tiles are slip - "

Too late. Jon went flying, Paul tried to catch him and they both fell sideways into the spa. Warm water bubbled around them and Paul had his arms full of laughing, sleek-muscled man.

"Hi," Jon purred. "Good to meet you."

~ * ~

The challenge was - 200 words using Godfather, Almond, Cane

The house had been his godfather's, left to Josh in the old man's will. Luckily there had been no blood-relatives to contest the legacy, which was just as well. Josh didn't like conflicts.

The walled garden had been his especial domain - still was. The formal flowerbeds were their usual blaze of spring colors. The almond trees were solid masses of pink, the laburnums swept butter-yellow chains over the pergola and the roses were about to bloom.

It had taken years of hard work. Josh hadn't done it all himself. Hal had slaved alongside him, their friendship deepening and changing. Summer days spent in the privacy of the garden, hidden from the world and the old man's fading eyes, gave Josh a whole new appreciation of the naked male body. But with the legacy came problems. Hal wanted a place in Josh's life he wasn't prepared to grant. They argued. Josh didn't like arguments.

Yesterday he'd gone to the garden center and bought the blue wisteria, the one whose flowers were the color of Hal's eyes. He planted it beside the west wall, drove the supporting cane deep until it hit the resistance of Hal's body.

Josh didn't like conflicts.

~ * ~

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