Farewell from the Bookshelf!

Please note that GLBT Bookshelf -- the community wiki which was the parent to this fiction blog -- went offline on May 31, 2016, after seven years' service to members.

All Gay Romance will remain online till the end of 2016 in order to give contributors every opportunity to recover materials uploaded here.

Many thanks to all who contributed over the years, and good luck to everyone in your future works!


A Violin's Cry by Joseph Cox

This is 500 word excerpt of A Violin's Cry by Joseph Cox. You can read the short story in full at Lillibridge Press.

Julian Banner woke up, listening nervously to the dark room for what had caused his sleep to be interrupted. He paid close attention as the chilling sound again shattered the shadowy darkness. Could someone have broken in? Maybe it was a bad dream. If it was, he couldn’t recall what he had dreamt now. Not remembering his dreams had become normal. Still, nothing moved in the gloom, just like the other side of the bed where Max used to sleep. The frenzied reverberation pierced through him once again. And then it stopped, the house sat silent, nobody living breathed but him. He was sure.

Julian rolled over, stuffing his pillow beneath his head, his back to the left side of the room, as if giving Max the cold shoulder. And then, Julian heard something again, the same echoing cry pervading the darkness, the hushed scream of an anomalous instrument long since silenced. It did not waver as Julian pulled back the sheets; in fact, it seemed to become more frantic. The noise unnerved Julian as he deposited his feet into his cold slippers.

The bedroom door hinges creaked as Julian opened it. If there were something in the house it would have heard him coming, wouldn’t it? No doubt it had jumped out the window or slipped out the door. What could something be doing that would make such a horrible noise? Julian’s heart beat faster as he walked down the hallway past the bathroom. He came to the dining room, but he could see nothing. The tone had not changed pitch, one long note hanging between two. If Max were still alive he would be able to tell if it were flat or sharp, but as a banker Julian knew nothing about music, except what he had learned at the instrument restorer’s.

Julian stood in the dining room, unsure of what to do next. A part of him wanted to run, but a part of him felt invaded. He didn’t know self-defense. How could he protect himself? He glanced around the room. Was there something he could hit something on the head with? Maybe he should call the police or…or David. But Julian’s phone hid in the living room right inside his pant’s pocket, and once David was here it would be hard to get rid of him.

Julian straightened himself, standing taller and therefore more formidably. He was no weakling. He worked out! Maybe if he turned on the lights whatever it was would leave and take that damn sound with it. What was it anyway? Was there some new device that used noise, letting burglars see behind walls? Well, they wouldn’t find anything here. Max hadn’t wanted a safe.

The shrieking tone was beginning to wear on Julian’s nerves, as was the fact that someone had broken in. He decided to turn on the lights. The robbers would probably get scared and run out of the house. Then he could call the police.

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