Touching Yesterday

by A. T. Weaver

Touching Yesterday - A.T. Weaver
Editions:Kindle - First: $ 4.99
ISBN: ASIN: B06XCTLP8B
Size: 6.00 x 9.00 in
Pages: 189
Paperback: $ 14.99
ISBN: 978-1-945632-14-3
Size: 6.00 x 9.00 in
Pages: 176

Jeff Wilde is waking up from the best and worst five weeks of his life. He remembers his boyfriend breaking up with him. He remembers going camping. He even recalls hitting his head and waking up in 1927, decades before he was born, but now he’s woken up in the 21st century again. His boyfriend claims they never broke up and that Jeff has been in a coma for five weeks. As Jeff eases back into the 21st century life he thought he’d lost, he needs answers. Did he really travel to 1927 or was it all a dream? Did he really save a little girl’s life in 1927? Could that little girl have been his grandmother? Did he change history, and, if he did, was it for the better?

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Excerpt:

A hard object hit Jeff in the leg.

“Wake up!” The voice was male and held a nasal drawl. “I know yer alive. I see ya breathing.”

His head felt like the top was coming off. Jeff moaned and opened his eyes. The barrel of an antique bolt-action rifle was pointed at his head. He frowned. “Hey. Think you could point that thing in some other direction. I’m not armed.” Patting his pockets revealed no weapon except a pocket knife. “At least I don’t have a gun.” He held up the pocket knife.

“Don’t move.” The gun didn’t waver as the man grabbed the knife. “Who are ya, and whatcha doing on my land?”

Jeff tried to answer, but no name came to his mind. He blinked and searched his mind. “I don’t know.” He hesitated and looked up at the man with a frown. “I can’t seem to remember who or where I am. Who are you?”

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The man wore a pair of tan trousers held up by a pair of suspenders. An off-white shirt with puffy sleeves and a pair of brown boots completed his wardrobe. He looked to be about the same age as Jeff’s thirty-five years. His sun-bleached hair, topped by a straw hat, touched his shoulders. Hard brown eyes squinted out from under bushy eyebrows, and a stubble of light brown covered his face like he’s forgotten to shave that morning. He moved the rifle away from Jeff’s face. “I’m Cletus Strader, and yer on my land.”

Jeff held his hands out to show they were empty. “Can I sit up, please?”

Cletus moved the gun to hover over Jeff’s chest. “Move real slow like.”

He pulled himself up to sitting position and rubbed the back of his head. “I seem to have hit my head on something. I have a knot there, and it’s painful.” He pulled his hand down and looked at it. Rusty-colored, dried blood was flaked on his fingers. “Maybe that’s why I can’t remember anything.” As he stood, a twinge of pain shot through his ankle, and he nearly fell. “I appear to have twisted my ankle also.”

Cletus rested his gun in the crook of his elbow, grabbed Jeff, and helped him stand by putting his other arm around his waist.

Jeff discovered he was about three inches shorter than Cletus. He liked the feel of his arm around him. Whoa! This was a stranger. Not safe to reveal his feelings. The man could be anti-gay. That was strange thought. What did it mean?

“Ya sure are dressed funny. I’d a thought ya was too old for short pants. And what’s that writing on your shirt? It says ‘Chiefs’ and has an arrowhead on it. It ain’t got no buttons. Kind of looks like it should be underwear, but I ain’t never seed no red underwear.”

Jeff tested his weight on the ankle and looked down at his clothing. “I don’t know. I’m not dressed like you, that’s for sure. You said I’m on your land; where’s that?”

“Outside of Zebra, Missouri.”

“Never heard of Zebra, Missouri. At least I don’t think I have.” His heart was racing. Who was he? Where was he? Who was this man? His head ached from trying to remember.

“Ya sure ya ain’t one of them Govermit men that’s trying to take our land?

“Why is the Government trying to take your land?” The confusion was worsening.

“They want to dam up the Osage River and make a big lake here. Say it’s gonna supply electricity for half the state. Don’t know what we need electricity fer. We gets along jest fine without it.”

“Osage River? That kind of rings a bell.” Jeff looked beyond Cletus and saw a half-plowed field and a mule hitched to a plow at the edge of the woods. He again patted his sides. Now that he was standing, he could feel things better. He pulled a wallet, cellphone, and car keys out of his pockets. “Maybe these will tell us something.”

“Gimme that.” Cletus grabbed the wallet.

Jeff limped over to a fallen tree and sat on it.

Cletus opened the wallet and pulled out money, some credit cards, and Jeff’s driver’s license. “This here money don’t look like nothin’ I’ve ever seed before. It says ‘In God We Trust’. Looks counterfeit to me. The colors look a little funny.” He looked from the license to Jeff. “This here’s yer picture. It says it’s a driver’s license for the state of Missouri. Don’t know many people drive automobiles.” His eyes grew wide and his mouth dropped open. “This says ya was borned in 1981, and this here license was issued in 2015.” He shook his head. “That can’t be. This here is only 1927.”

“Does it say who I am?”

“Says your name is Jeffery Wilde.” Cletus tilted his head to one side. “Does that sound familiar?”

Jeff shook his head and pursed his lips. “No. Can’t say it does.” Anxiety was churning in his stomach. This seemed like a bad dream. His stomach heaved, and he turned and vomited. He wiped his mouth with the tail of his shirt. His mouth tasted of stale beer. That was something at least. He knew what beer tasted like, even the second time around.

COLLAPSE

About the Author

My real name is Julia Flowers. I am a 70+ year-old great-grandmother and live with my two cats, Cleopatra (who is 15 years old) and Kiyah the devil cat (who is not quite 2), in downtown Kansas City, MO. I either tell people I live next door to the church with the gold dome, or I live at the northwest corner of Bartle Hall. I have four children, nine blood grandkids, two extra, and one great-grandson.

Two questions I am often asked are:

1. Why a pen name and where did it come from?

When I began writing at the age of 60, I didn’t want my kids to be embarrassed by their friends knowing their mother wrote gay fiction, so I decided to make up a pen name. When I got my first computer and set up an email account I had a hard time finding a username that wasn’t already taken. I’d been a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism for several years, and my SCA name is Alisaundre Muir, and I dye, spin, and weave wool. Alix is a nickname for Alisaundre and I came up with alixtheweaver. Thinking about a pen name, I thought, ‘Weaver is a good last name’, and so I became A(for Alix) T(for the) Weaver.

2. Why would a straight great-grandmother write gay fiction?

When I was growing up, the word gay meant happy and carefree and homosexuals were called queer or ‘one-of-those’. However, I never heard those terms or knew what they meant until I was married and a mother. When two men moved in down the street from us in St. Charles, MO, I didn’t think anything about it until my then husband told me they were ‘queers’. I didn’t know what he meant.
Later on, after moving back to Kansas City in the late 1960s, two men moved across the street from us. Again, I thought nothing about it. One was an actor, and we went to several of his plays. I was later to learn that one of them was the driving force behind the gay movement in Kansas City. Of course, at the time I knew nothing at all about the LGBT Community.

In 2003, there was a TV show on Bravo called Boy Meets Boy. Having watched The Bachelor and Bachelorette and being totally disgusted, I decided it couldn’t be any worse and watched. In the middle of the show, one of the ‘contestants’ set up a Yahoo group for fans and I joined. I have to admit, my record with guessing who was gay and who was straight wasn’t all that good.

At the peak, there were over 3,000 members of the group. After the show as over, several of us continued to ‘talk’ daily. These men educated me as to the inequalities suffered by the LGBT community, and started me reading gay literature and watching movies. On a trip to see my mother in Turlock, CA, I visited one of the men in San Francisco who lived just up the street from the Castro. As he showed me around, we stopped in front of what was once Harvey Milk’s camera store. My question, “Who was Harvey Milk?” started my education into Gay history. When I mentioned I’d like to try writing. His response was, “I’d like to read a book where the boy gets the boy and they ride off into the sunset together.” I said, “I can do that.” This was in 2003 – before Brokeback Mountain, and before the advent of gay erotica.

I was unable to find a publisher who would even read my story and paid $500 to have it published. Since then, I use self-publishing. My first few books were mildly erotic, but since, I have chosen to put the sex behind the bedroom door.

I’ll never make even a little money, but if I can move you in some way, whether you laugh or cry, love it or hate it, I’ve accomplished what I aim for.

Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self. Cyril Connolly (1903 - 1974)


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