April Foolishness: Stephen Osbourne


Today's bit of foolishness comes from author Stephen Osbourne whose new novel, Rat Bastard, promises good fun in the gay romance department.  You can find it at Dreamspinner Press.  Here's an excerpt.
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By five o’clock, I was putting the last key into the last guest’s hand, and Jake sauntered up. “How are we doing?”
“We,” I said, “are doing pretty good, both yours truly and the inn. Every guest has paid and been scooted into their room, and as soon as your uncle gets down here to relieve me, I’m off to have one heck of a night. All in all, a really good Friday.”
“It’s Saturday, you doofus.”
“No, it isn’t.”
“It is.”
There was a calendar on the desk, which I consulted. I didn’t like what it told me. “It’s Saturday.”
“Kind of what I was trying to say.”
The heart became leaden. “I’m supposed to go out with the dreaded Cicely tonight.”
“Condolences.”
“I don’t want to go.” Especially as I’d just made a date with Tony. Choice: go out with a semi-insane, clingy female who you don’t even like and frankly terrifies you, or a gorgeous guy who you have high hopes for a meaningful relationship with. Not much of a choice.
“Don’t go,” Jake suggested.
Good advice. My hand started for the telephone. “I’ll call and cancel.”
“I would.”
My hand hovered over the device. If I broke the date, it would get back to my stepfather. And he would go ballistic. And he’d withhold that moolah of mine. My fingers twitched, wondering what all the hovering was about. I still hesitated. Did I have any options?
Could I possibly do both?
“You’re not phoning,” Jake noted.
“I’m thinking.”
“Don’t strain yourself.”
Was it possible to do a short date with Cicely and then have a long, enjoyable one with Tony? Maybe a short dinner with Cicely, and during said dinner come up with an excuse to cut the night short and then go see Tony. Oh, I’d make it possible. “I’d need a really good excuse,” I said aloud.
“Dead grandmother? That’s always a good one.”
“She would tell Dollings, and he’d do a quick count of the grandparents and find that they’re all alive and accounted for.”
“Tell her you’ve fallen down the stairs. You do that a lot.”
I shook my head. “She’d want to come and nurse me, kissing the bruises. No, what this excuse needs is a heavy dose of reality. The best excuses are rooted in the truth.”
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Stephen Osborne lives in rural Illinois with Jadzia the Wonder Dog. In addition to writing, seeing musicals in Chicago, and losing at Monopoly, Stephen sometimes spends cold, shivery nights in haunted locations, just because he likes to.




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