Six Smutty Stories: The Accompanist, 3/3

On Thursday, Vron arrived at the rehearsal a few minutes early and found Marcin stomping around in a snit.

“Is there some universal law that requires everyone in and associated with my choir to leave town in August?” he asked Vron, or maybe Heaven itself. He introduced Vron to Mike, another tenor conscript.

“I know a pianist who could come. He’s at the conservatory with me,” Mike offered. “Does it pay?” he asked shyly.

“Not as well as crime, but, yes, the pianist does get paid,” Marcin said through his clenched teeth and named a paltry sum.

Mike went to the pastor’s office to use the phone. While he was gone, Vron offered to play if no one could be found, and Marcin growled something about needing his tenor. He pulled himself together and introduced Vron to the other tenor, who was a regular member of the congregation and glad to have company in the tenor section.

“Okay, Harold can play for you,” Mike said upon his return. “And I found you another tenor. His name is Louis. They’re both on their way.”

“You’re an angel, Mike,” Marcin said, clapping him on the shoulder. “If only you were a better sight-reader.”

Vron retreated into the choir stalls to look over his music and get over being nervous. He hadn’t sung in a choir since he’d sung next to Marcin in their conservatory days. The other choir members ambled in and took their places around him. Marcin frowned at his watch and ran the choir through some warm up vocalise. This was soothing to Vron and reminded him of his youth.

Next to him, Mike waved at two scrawny, shaggy-haired young men rushing down the center aisle. Vron would have spotted them as Conservatory students my their lack of haircuts alone; the t-shirts and jeans on their underfed frames made it a certainty. The young men exchanged hasty greetings with Marcin. One of them sat down at the piano and the other joined the tenor section. Mike whispered, “Hi, Louis,” so Vron assumed the pianist must be Harold.

Ably accompanied by Harold and conducted by Marcin, the choir finished their warm-up and launched into the repertory. Louis and Mike were strong singers; Vron thought they’d probably end up in opera choirs or regional opera companies because there’s a glut of genius tenors in the world, too. With Vron and the member of the congregation, the four of them managed to represent their section tolerably well.

Harold seemed very in tune with Marcin’s direction, which indicated to Vron that he was well-trained and polite, even if he didn’t seem terribly interested in what he was playing. He did seem interested in watching Vron, repeatedly making eye contact. Vron found disconcerting, so he paid even closer attention to his tenor part. Musically, it was pretty straightforward stuff and Marcin was such a good choirmaster, he had most of it drilled into them and polished by 8:45. Marcin was smart, too; he recorded the last pass and let the choir hear how good they sounded. They sounded very good and everyone went home happy.

Vron was halfway out the door when Mike caught him and dragged him back to introduce him to Harold.

Harold said, “Hi.”

Vron said, “Hi.” And there was silence.

“I, um, like the way you sing,” Harold said at last.

“You can hear me over the whole choir?” Vron asked, not sure what to make of all this.

Six Smutty Stories: The Accompanist, 2/3

Level-headed, he also knew his looks were not god-like, but he wasn’t repulsive either. Due to his lank jet hair framing his long soulful face with full lips below mellow more-gray-than-blue-gray eyes, a lover had once compared him to a young Anthony Zerbe. Vron never saw the resemblance, but he took it as a compliment nevertheless. He was loyal, pleasant, reliable, and pretty good in bed, but none of that was getting any exercise because he couldn’t find anyone to exercise it on. Worse, upon discovering how much he enjoyed his own company, not to mention the company of his right hand, he was becoming a recluse.

And into his peaceful, if somewhat lonely existence, had bounded the brash, young Harold Wyse. They had met at Vron’s friend Marcin’s choir practice. Vron and Marcin had been at music school together and, because they’d never been lovers, they’d remained very good friends. Marcin was choir director for one of the larger Protestant congregations in town and although it was not the most exciting or creative job in the world, musically it suited Marcin down to the ground. In the privacy of his own home and in all the concerts he could find, Marcin listened to nothing but the atonal masterpieces of the mid-20th century and whatever was new and exciting in atonal music. This so wore him out that he could only stand the hymns and simple harmonies of accepted and very conservative church music in his professional career. He usually invaded Vron’s lair with deeply weird music arranged for two pianos and demanded Vron sight-read these horrors with him.

On one particular evening Marcin arrived without a portfolio of music under his arm, but with a look of grim determination. He accused Vron of being a tenor.

“Guilty as charged,” Vron said dourly. “What of it?”

“I need you!” Marcin clutched at Vron’s threadbare t-shirt.

“And I always need you, Marcin, but what’s being a tenor got to do with it?”

It turned out that Marcin’s choir was down to one tenor and that this was a desperate and intolerable situation for the choirmaster.

“I don’t see how two tenors are going to help you, Marcin; who’s going to hear us over your screeching soprano section?” Vron teased.

“You’re not the only one I’m recruiting,” Marcin said darkly. “And it would only be for a month until school starts and my usual tenor section is back from vacation. I can also kidnap a few young tenors from the conservatory then, may God help them.”

Vron said he was very flattered, but he was very busy, and-

“I can’t take no for an answer,” Marcin said. “I’ll play soft rock until you agree.” He sat at one of the grands and played “Don’t Go Changing” over and over, and with certain Webernian improvements, until Vron caved in like rotten fruit. “Excellent!” Marcin played a IV-I “Amen” cadence and leapt to his feet. “We rehearse on Thursday nights from seven to nine and perform on Sundays at eleven. I’ve got your music in the car. I’ll go get it.”

It took Vron the rest of the night and playing Satie’s “GymnopĂ©dies” over and over to get “Don’t Go Changing” out of his head.

Six Smutty Stories: The Accompanist, 1/3

The Accompanist

By Amy Throck*-Smythe

Early in the third year of his more-or-less voluntary celibacy, Vron Kaeli found himself being courted by a much younger man. As flattering as that was, Vron found himself somewhat at a loss as to how to respond.

Two years before, he’d finally broken off with his on-again/off-again married lover and decided a period of celibacy, housekeeping, and clean living was in order. After a year of such virtue, he’d looked around for someone new to devote himself to and been appalled by the available men near his age. They were either players or losers or both; it was most disheartening to a respectable middle-aged queer like Vron, so he retreated back into his workshop to reconsider his celibate state, which was looking better and better to him.

Vron’s workshop was a delightful place full of strange micro-tonal instruments in various stages of commission, the odd keyboard or percussion instrument for repair. A pair of concert grand pianos, long ago abandoned by their cash-strapped owners mid-restoration, still needed their cases refinished, but were otherwise flawlessly tuned and maintained, and acted as a screen for his meager parlor and kitchen. He’d begun a career as a simple piano tuner and repair man, but early on, his musical saw-playing boyfriend had asked him if he could microtune a set of eight saws and mount them in ascending order on a wooden frame. This was easily done and the ensuing, and rather bizarre, concert was a huge and outrageous success. Based on this success, his boyfriend accepted an offer to work in another town and Vron never saw him again. Not that Vron really noticed because he was flooded with orders for saws, percussion instruments, and strangely tuned lute-like instruments. Occasionally, he got orders from Star Trek fans to replicate a Vulcan lyre. And, of course, there were piano tuning and repair jobs, so even though Vron lost his boyfriend, he gained a career he loved.

Never lucky in love, Vron meandered from romance to romance until he discovered the lover to whom he’d finally surrendered his heart was committed to someone else. In addition to feeling devastated, he felt stupid. In a fit of pique one night, Vron wrote in the margin of Fugue No. 19: A Major from The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I, “Never trust a man who only lets you call him on his cell phone.”

He kept busy; there was his work and when there wasn’t work, there were brilliant compositions from the gigantic piano repertory to play on one or the other of his inherited grand pianos. He was working his way through Lutoslawski at the moment. Vron was not an inspired musician, but he was a thorough and diligent one. Early in his studies, he had realized this and, also realizing there was a glut of genius pianists competing for the same work, he decided not to add another mediocre one to the pyre. That didn’t keep him from playing and loving the instrument; it did, however, keep him sane, centered, and realistic about his role in music and perhaps in life.

Six Smutty Stories: Chiaroscuro, 3/3

Over the next few days, Arkin got better and better at the game, but so did his opponent. He was never sure if there were one or two because the game always said there were two players online. Occasionally he nearly made contact with his prey, which is how the promotional material wanted him to imagine his fellow players. The game was designed to be predator against predator. Arkin thought he was a poor choice for this game because he was more prey material than anything else. But he persevered and eventually knew the environment and his opponent well enough to lure him/her/it (he wondered) into a box canyon. It was Arkin’s first good look at what he was chasing and it was beautiful. Or was beautiful until the other player logged off.

Arkin made a screen shot of the cornered creature to study and admire. He printed it out and taped it to the wall where he could see it from his bed.

The next few times he played there were more players involved, but not the one he’d become obsessed with. Late one evening, when he was about to quit the game and go to bed, he was tackled from behind by his idol. Points were calculated and the screen went black.

But he had an Instant Message from someone named Darset.

Six Smutty Stories: Chiaroscuro, 2/3

His job as a software tester provided for both, and made it possible for him to never have to leave his apartment. That was all right. Since the war, the global pollution levels made going out in protective gear essential.

He sat at his desk and put the CD in his computer. Usually his boss sent him a download link for such things, but he’d been told that this was a special project. Based on his previous stellar work, Arkin had received a small promotion, a raise in pay, and better products to review. This was the first assignment of the new era and the packaging was certainly deluxe. He hoped the game would live up to his expectations.

His boss’s email had also said the game was going out to several other reviewers at different companies and that there would eventually be contact with the others as the game progressed. This made Arkin a little wary of playing; he preferred to play the game, not other gamers. But if it was part of his new job, then he’d at least try. He hit the “play” button and was ushered into “Chiaroscuro”, where he was informed where were two players online. He wondered if this meant him and someone else, or him and two other players.

It was a very black and white environment he lumbered around in, trying to adjust to the non-human game form. Arkin began to feel bored, but then caught a flash of movement to his left. He lost it, got lost, thought he saw it again.

“Always to my left,” he thought, veering to his right and doubling back. He caught a glimpse of his quarry, but not a good one. It seemed to be a game creature similar to his, but somehow different. On the other hand, any other game creatures online at the moment would have a great view of him, standing on a windswept plateau, thinking things over. He scowled at his monitor and ended the game. It might be better to spend his evening reading the promotional BS that came with the CD.

Six Smutty Stories: Chiaroscuro, 1/3


By Ginger Mayerson

It was the package delivery guy at the door again.

“We’re seeing a lot of you this week, Mr. Arkin.” He always said that after he took off his envirosuit hood. He handed over the envirosealed grocery order and a small package. He held up the optical scanner up for ID verification and delivery confirmation.

“Yeah, I guess,” Arkin mumbled, leaning forward for the scan. The luminous green grid before his eye expanded, contracted, and then went dark.

“Ah, still you,” the delivery guy said with a smile. He said this every time and it suited Arkin fine; it meant he didn’t have to hold up his end of the conversation.

Arkin opened the package. It was the new game his employer wanted him to test and review. “Chiaroscuro” was emblazoned on the CD case. Arkin had to look it up to know it meant either the arrangement of light and dark parts in a work of art, such as a drawing or painting, whether in monochrome or in color, or the art or practice of so arranging the light and dark parts as to produce a harmonious effect.

He tossed it on his wreck of a computer desk, which was not at all arranged to produce a harmonious effect, and took the groceries into the kitchen. There was a can of tofu stew in the latest grocery delivery; it was something he was slightly less than indifferent to.

The groceries were a neat service: for a few weeks he’d entered what he wanted into their online request form and after that, the database had, based on his previous purchases, sent him a ration of whatever was consistent with those requests. Arkin didn’t use the word desires because, beyond food and shelter, he didn’t have any.

eGhia on Kindle!

m/m erotica for all your needs

Karmen Ghia Presents Six Smutty Stories, edited by Karmen Ghia, ISBN: 978-0-9848325-3-8 Sample pages
Previously published M/M erotica for women (word count: 22,169)
Chiaroscuro – Two gamers find love in an alienated future, by Ginger Mayerson.
The Accompanist – May December romance between two musicians, by Amy Throck*-Smythe.
The Lawn Fags – Academia, gardening, objectification, love and commitment, more or less, by Turk Albany.
Bandmates – Rock-n-Roll love on tour, by Amy Throck*-Smythe. (Ahem, the unfortunate error on page 1 [thanks, Amy] has been corrected [ed, May Day 2012].)
The Tagger – Tough guy love on the down-low, by Ginger Mayerson.
You Know you Should be a Better Person (but You’re Not) – A second person narrative recounts a day in the life of a loser and a thug that ends in romance, by Karmen Ghia.
Chiaroscuro, The Accompanist, and The Lawn Fags originally appeared in “Chase and Other Stories” published by The Wapshott Press.
The Tagger and You Know you Should be a Better Person (but You’re Not) originally appeared in “The Tagger and Other Stories” published by The Wapshott Press.
Bandmates originally appeared in “Erotique,” Issue 1, published by The Wapshott Press.

The Dipsy Doodle Inn, by Karmen Ghia, ISBN: 978-0-9848325-5-2 Sample page
Previously published M/M erotica for women (word count: 18,265)
The Dipsy Doodle Inn – Adorable young Gilly finds himself at least twice in this wacky romp through art galleries, biker bars, and legal firms.
The Dipsy Doodle Inn originally appeared in “Chase and Other Stories” published by the Wapshott Press.

And also, just to be nice to her:

The Good Wife of Cellblock D, by Ginger Mayerson ISBN: 978-0-9848325-4-5 Sample page
Previously published M/M erotica for women (word count: 7,477)
The Good wife of Cellblock D – Prison politics, sex, survival, and even love.
The Good wife of Cellblock D previously originally appeared in “Love in a Lock-up” published by Star Press.