By Alex Hogan
(All illustrations by Pierre & Gilles, photo-manipulated by Bob Bienpensant)
Nick asked if we should stay over at his house overnight. It was too late in the day and too far to go back to college in Bathurst, so we could stay for the night at his olds' place in the Blue Mountains, and head off again the next day. I shrugged. So we did.
His mother is strange, and doesn't like me.
"Don't let the old bag get to you, Jason."
I kept low; answering quietly and quickly, so I could say nothing wrong.
His dad is cool, and gave us a beer and played a game of euchre with us.
Night finally came.
"Jason can stay in Shane's room," she said, just as we were about to hit the hay. So that was what she worried about. How come she could tell when Nick couldn't?
"Well, I don't want to put anyone out," I said.
The mother smiled a tired smile: nice try, boy. I shrugged. She was wasting her time; there was no way Nick would let me creep into his bed. I got up and stumbled my way over to Shane's room.
Shane is Nick's older brother.
"He's not been home for ages," Nick explained. "He does sometimes, wanders by in between gigs, tosses down between four in the morning and four in the afternoon. Sleeps mostly. Then is gone again." I nodded.
"So - yeah, plenty of room in here," he continued, "doubt he'll be wandering in tonight," and he laughed and thumped me comradely on the back then left the room. See what I mean?
The room was lit by a low bulb surrounded by a paper Indian lamp shade, casting light blue shadows around. I was scared the shade would burn and quickly undressed. The bed was low, on a small pine bed frame. I pulled the quilt back, another Indian design, in thick velvet damask style, if I'm not getting mixed up too much. I pulled it down low on the bed. It was summer, but up here in the Blue Mountains it is always cool, so I'd need it during the night. The sheets were a pale mauve.
I slipped under the sheets. The light switch was within reach.
Shane. Shane played in a band. Shane had dark hair, long enough to tease his T-shirt collar. He had a long thin face, much like Nick's, and dark blue eyes that shone out with intelligence and deep concern for our world. He sang songs about the environment, and the aboriginals, and how the government needed changing. He was slender, with fine taut muscles that rippled down his arm when he played his guitar.
I looked out from the bed and saw the light blue shadows play upon the photos on the walls---press photos of his band.
Shane had a girlfriend. She sang in the band too. You could see them exchange glances and smiles on stage, sometimes for show.
I reached out and switched off the light, so the lampshade wouldn’t catch fire. Darkness flooded the room. It felt like I was dropping out of the physical world and floating in a no-man's land of uncertain spiritual meaning. I closed my eyes so the outside light wouldn’t ruin the effect.
I didn’t suppose Shane would turn up at 4 am.
Before we had got here, we had had a beer, and Nick’s dad, who is called Dick (no comment) had handed us two more. I had finished them quickly because of Nick’s mum. Then we had a glass of wine from the cask.
Now as I lay on Shane’s pillow, my eyes closed, my head began to roll, waltzing gently from side to side. I held a girl in my arms, and we began to dance. She wanted me to turn, I didn’t want to, I tried to resist, keep the movement slow and in one direction, but she began to pull at me. My body gave in, but then I was no longer holding her, someone else was holding me, taller than me, his big hand firmly on my back and his other arm clasping my hand. He pulled me fiercely around.
I groaned, and turned my body over, trying to stop the spinning in my head. I should open my eyes, that would probably help, but didn’t want to, so I kept them shut, and let the spinning take over and pull me under.
I heard a click of the door latch. I opened my eyes. It was still night.
Where was I?
Footsteps shuffled into the room. Was it Nick sneaking into the room? But they weren’t trying to be especially quiet. Then I remembered Nick’s mum, and her stare. I almost groaned again, but remembered just in time that someone was walking around in the room, and it wasn’t my room, or Nick’s; it was Shane’s.
I grabbed at the quilt, ready to cover my head in case the blue light would come on. But it didn’t. The figure walked about the room as if he/she was at home, so didn't need the light.
My head seemed to be drifting up on a pillow of air, while my body was still on the bed.
Perhaps I was dreaming. I smiled, yeah, that’s it. I relaxed, and peeped around to see who the intruder was.
A soft humming came from the figure. A gentle tune. Moonlight filtered through the curtains and I could make out the silhouette of the figure. Long hair and a thin body that was stooping to take off pants.
No breasts. And the humming was deep.
A male body. No doubt, once the underpants came off.
I’m dreaming, I’m dreaming, I kept chanting in my head. The hair was too long for Nick. Besides, it was Shane’s room. I glanced around for a clock, but could see none. I wasn’t game to reach out and check my own watch which lay on the floor beside the bed.
Dreaming. The figure reached around and grabbed a robe. I saw his penis swing out as he did so, just before the robe swept around and trapped it.
The humming continued. I didn’t know the song. A new one maybe? Was he composing it in his head as I lay listening?
He wrapped the robe tightly around himself. The cold of the early morning had drifted in.
A car drove along the street outside and the headlight swept up into the room and flashed over the figure, lighting up the face. I knew him. I’d seen him on stage. I had looked at his face on the photos on the wall just before I went to sleep. He was in profile, his chiselled nose, his lips, the long thin jaw. I pulled the quilt up quickly, frightened he might see me in the light.
The car moved on, but I was too scared to move the quilt.
Then I felt a thud on the end of the bed. It was just as if my dog had jumped up to join me early in the morning. My head was still woolly. If this was a dream maybe that is what it was. I peeped out. I saw a small red glow in the dark. I moved the quilt further. A sweet smoky smell filled the air. It scared me momentarily. Was it a fire? I pushed the quilt back. The figure, sitting on the end of the bed, turned its head toward me.
As he did so I remembered the smell. Shit! It was just dope. But now he knew I was here. Although his head was in darkness, I knew he was staring at me. Shane.
“Err ... hello.” I said.
His face seemed to blurr into view; his penetrating eyes under the dark unruly fringe, his lips, a light pink in colour, contrasting with the white of his skin. His arm was stretched out toward me. Was he reaching for me? I followed the line of his arm, the sinews, the muscles, clear now in the pale light, all the way to his hand, and the fingers, which were now on the light switch.
I flicked my eyes back to his, and coughed uncomfortably.
“Well, hello,” he said. “And who might you be, and how come you are here?”
In your bed? But he didn’t ask that.
“I’m err ... your mother-- that is, Nick’s mother-- I mean, yes, your mother ...”
He took another drag of his joint.
“Nick’s mother said I should sleep in here.”
“Did she just. And why did she say that?”
“Oh ... arr ... I, um ... I don’t know.”
“And what connection are you to Nick, or to Nick’s mum, or my mum for that matter?”
“They are the same person, aren’t they? I mean, your mum and Nick’s?”
He raised an eyebrow.
“I mean, oh god, I’m sorry.”
He gave a small laugh, showing his white teeth under the pink lips. “Yes, they are. But what I want to know is why you are here and what does it have to do with Nick.”
“Nick and I were coming back from Sydney---going back to college. But it’s just a bit too far. Well, we left too late.”
“So, we decided to stay over here, well, Nick did, I mean, he suggested it.”
“So you’re Nick’s friend?”
“And mum suggested you sleep in here.”
“Yes. Since . . . since you are hardly ever here . . . you see.”
“And she didn’t want you and Nick sleeping in the same room?”
“Um--.” I stared at him. How did he know? How did she know? Am I that obvious. I pulled the quilt up high, hiding my semi-hard state. Surely he hadn’t seen that? “Umm . . . yes, it seems so.”
Shane smiled, looked away to some spot in the air and shook his head. Then he turned back to me and held the joint out to me.
We sat in silence and shared the joint.
“I like your songs.” I finally managed to say. He smiled.
“I’ve seen you in some concerts, with Nick. And by myself too.”
He nodded and smiled again.
“And I like what you sing about.”
His eyes lit up. “Excellent, excellent, there’s hope for the country yet.”
The joint was finished, he stubbed it out, stood up and gave a long languid stretch. The loose sleeves of his robe hung down low, revealing his arms, and his robe swung out wide, revealing his whole body. I pulled the quilt closer to me.
“Well, shove over then, I want to get into bed.”
“Oh, ah, maybe I should go--”
“Nah, doesn’t matter, I’m not worried about you. There’s room enough for two.”
There wasn’t. It was just a single bed. But I wasn’t going to argue. I didn’t want to cause any trouble. If he wanted to get into bed with me, I would let him. We were both small, lightly built people, I guess we could just fit in together.
I moved over to the side, against the wall. He flung off his robe and got in - naked. I cupped my hand over my privates, as much as I could, given that my dick kept growing bigger. I was wearing only my T-shirt, having been taught since I was a kid not to wear my undies in bed, as my balls would cook and it might make me sterile. Lot of good that information was going to do for me.
The bed sunk under the weight of his body. He flicked the light switch off and the room plunged into darkness again. This time I left my eyes open and stared at the moonlight sneaking in between the gap in the curtains.
He lay out long and flat on his back; I turned to face the wall.
“You don’t need to squish yourself against the wall. Let’s not get into some adolescent homophobic paranoia here.”
He stretched again, pushing his muscles out to the limits of his body. His legs moved in the stretch and I felt them brush my own.
“Come on, relax,” he said.
I tried to, but the bed was too small for us both to lay on our backs, without touching, and I wasn’t going to turn around, not the state my dick was in. I loosened my body a little, and let my leg touch his. It felt smooth, and taut. I closed my eyes and allowed myself to enjoy the touch. It felt cool at first but slowly got warmer, the sensation swirling around my leg and crawling up toward my crotch.
“Besides,” he continued, “It’s not you mum’s worried about, it’s Nick,” and he rolled onto his side, his back to me. His leg moved away.
Shane’s back was facing me, centimetres away, long, smooth, naked. I could just reach out and stroke it, run my hand along his smooth contours, slip my fingers into the cup of his waist, and reach around to his own dick.
But that only happened in stories. Or dreams. But this might be a dream?
It was easy to believe this could be a dream, the cannibis in my head shaking hands with a burgeoning hangover.
I heard soft, regular breathing beside me. Shane wouldn’t snore.
I eased the quilt off and slipped down to the end of the bed. I got up and fumbled around for my own clothes, which were hidden now under Shane’s. I slipped my jeans on, not able to find my underpants, and my T-shirt. I slowly, painstakingly opened the door, trying to make no sound.
“I’d go by round the back way if I were you.”
I looked down at him. His eyes were still closed, his breathing steady.
I waited, an echoing, lonely owl sounded in the night.
I started tip-toeing out of the room, and pulled the door slowly behind me.
“--that way you miss mum’s room,” he said, just as the door closed.
I stood still. The hallway it was dark.
Which was the back way?
My head started to spin a little, I leant against the wall to stay up. As light started to filter into my eyes, I looked up and down the hallway. Shane’s room was at the front of the house. The hallway led down to the back of the house and around a corner. Next to Shane’s room was the parents’ room and Nick’s room was down around the corner.
I started heading shakily along the hallway toward the front of the house. This led into the lounge room. At the back of it was the dining area. I remembered Nick’s mum bringing food out of the kitchen into this room.
The cold started to seep in under my t-shirt. I wrapped my arms about myself and creeped through the lounge room over to the dining area. And yes, on the right wall was a door. I pushed it open, it swung like those kitchen doors in restaurants in American sitcoms, and led to the kitchen.
It was a tiny kitchen, and they had an old woodstove. It was still warm in there from the cooking. It was nice and I was tempted to stay.
There were three doors. One was the one I had just come through. Another I seemed to recall was for the bathroom and toilet. I went over to it, stopped outside to listen, in case anyone else was in there, then, pushed the door slowly open. It was the bathroom, and empty. I went to close it, then thought again. There’s something about opening a toilet door in the middle of the night, that makes you need to go. I pushed the door open and went in. If the mother heard my moving around the house, then hopefully she would think that all I wanted to do was use the toilet.
After I finished I returned to the kitchen. Time to find out where that third door led. I tiptoed over, and opened it a little. It creaked. The slower I opened the more it creaked. I took a deep breath, then took the risk and opened it swiftly, stepping into the room and shutting the door again quickly before I knew what room I was in.
In the gloom of the night I could see the room was full of stuff. It seemed this was the room that held everything that everyone had nowhere else to put - the “junk room”. Presumably it was once some sort of playroom for the kids when they were young. I picked my way around all the stuff, including the unused pool table, and made my way to the door on the far side.
I reached the door on the other side. I put my hand on the door knob, and held my breath. It opened quietly, I let out my breath and went through the door which I hoped led to the ‘back’ end of the hallway.
I started to tiptoe along the hall. My toes seemed to crack at each step.
Nick had showed me his room before we went down to dinner. He’d created a space on the floor for me already, since he thought I’d be sleeping there. We checked out his cassettes and laughed at old photos from his school days. Now I think about it, there were no photos of girls, but that could simply mean he’d had no luck with them.
His door was close. I slowly inched my way over to it, ears pricked for any sound from around the corner of the hall, where the mother’s room was. There was nothing.
I stood in front of his room.
I slowly squeezed the door handle open, the door was whisper quiet, no squeaks. I stepped in.
He’d heard me. I looked quickly back to the hallway, checking for a light seeping around the corner from the mother’s room. But saw none.
“What are you doing here?” he asked.
I closed the door.
“Well, you see, um . . . Shane came back.”
“Yeah. Isn’t that funny? It must be like, 4 am. Ha ha ha,”
“I hadn’t expected him back in town for a while yet.”
“Yeah, well, and he wanted to sleep in his bed.” I started to giggle.
“Well, I guess I don’t keep track of exactly where he’s playing these days. But I thought mum would have known.”
“Yeah, well, ha ha ha,” my giggling was getting out of control, “maybe she was too worried about us to remember.”
Nick stared up at me. “You’ve been smoking dope.”
“Yep, I guess so,” giggle, giggle, “Well, Shane was most hospitable,” giggle, giggle. Nick was sitting up in his bed, his chest bare. The room was gloomy, but I could make out the dark circles of his nipples.
“Shit. I’m bloody freezing,” I said. “These mountain nights, god they’re cold.” The grog and the dope and the cold and the opportunity were all nudging me to be bold. This was it, they whispered, your big chance, you gotta pounce now, or never. “So, shove over man, I’m bloody frozen.”
Nick continued to stare at me, I looked back at him, willing myself not to look away but to maintain eye contact, as much as I could in the dark.
His bed lay close to the door. He reached up to the door handle. OK, this was it; he was sending me out, back to his brother’s bed. But he didn’t, instead he pushed against the door, making sure it was closed tight. Then he shuffled his body to the far side of his bed, and pulled back the doona.
I went to get in, but then remembered I was dressed. I smiled in embarrassment. He smiled back. I pulled off my t-shirt, then my jeans. “I couldn’t find my underpants, in Shane’s room.” I blushed.
He smiled again.
I slipped in beside him. The sheets were warm where he’d been lying. He pulled the doona over me, his arm brushing my shoulder.
“Whew, that’s warmer.”
“Are you still cold?”
I could feel his warmth radiating from his side of the bed.
“Yeah, a bit.”
I felt his leg move and just touch mine. It was so warm, so silky, so ... so ... so Nick.
I couldn’t wait anymore. I wrapped my leg around his. He laid his other leg over mine, and reached out his arms.
“God, Jesus! Nick, I never knew.”
“No, I know; I hid it well.”
“But did you know, about me?”
“I’d always thought so.”
“So, why the fuck didn’t you say something, do something? God, I’ve been bloody agonising over you for weeks. You bastard.” I playfully pushed him away in mock anger. He laughed and wound his arms around me and pulled me close.
“Jason, I want you so fuckin’ much.” I could feel his breath on my cheek, then his lips on mine. He pulled me closer, so our chests touched, his flat hard chest against mine. He slipped his tongue into my mouth.
I felt myself beginning to float, my consciousness of the outside world drifting away, I was aware only of him.
He pulled away, and threaded his fingers through my hair, looking at me in a dreamy state as if he too couldn't believe it.
I ran my fingers over his body, resting my hand in the small of his back, luxuriating in the touch of his bare skin.
He smiled and whispered my name. He copied the movements of my hand with his, running his hand down my back, resting it on my waist. A shiver ran through me. My skin was alert to his touch, waiting for his hand to move again. I slipped my own hand further down, just resting on the edge of the curve of his buttock, my fingertips teasing the top of his crack, not game to go any further.
He leant in and kissed me quickly on the lips. I moved my head to follow the kiss, to get more. While he had me thus, seeking more, he slipped his hand around to my stomach, reached down and cupped my balls.
I caught my breath. He grinned, and then moved his hand up, slowly stroking my dick, which reacted to his touch.
I lent in and kissed him hard, pushing my tongue into his mouth, and my body hard into his hand and against his body.
I couldn't believe this was happening. Either I was asleep or fiercely day-dreaming, as so often before; it couldn't be real.
He shifted his hand and rolled us over, he lying on top of me.
"Shhh!" he hissed into my ear, as he rubbed his cock up against my own. I gritted my teeth to stop myself moaning loudly. Must remember the mother next door.
"We have to do this quietly."
I let out a strangled moan, "but how?"
He grinned wickedly. “Easy.” He pulled me further down the bed, so my head came off the pillow. He started kissing my chest, and worked his way downward. Just as he reached my crotch he sat up. My dick was also sitting up, awaiting his touch; my breathing was laboured, and noisy.
“Tut tut, you’re getting noisy again,” he said. “Seems we’re going to have to fill your mouth, so you can’t make any noise.” He shuffled his own body around, so we were laying head to toe. “Get the idea?” He asked. “No noise, no messy sheets.”
I got the idea. Just as he reached out to take me in his mouth, I did the same to him. Both our mouths full, there was no room to let any noisy moans escape. Momentarily I wondered if he was experienced in hiding these tell-tales signs from his mum, but at this moment I didn’t care.
In the deep dark night, we worked together in a natural rhythm, our bodies in harmony, the ecstasy flushing through us both, from head through body and into the balls. As the pressure built in each of us our rhythm mounted, he in me and me in him. The power finally thrust through our dicks and exploded into each of our mouths - me drinking the essence of my beloved Nick, and me giving my all to him.
When it was over and I had drunk my fill of his white liqueur, I moved away and he did the same. I felt my limp dick slip from his mouth just as I reluctantly relinquished his. He turned himself around and laid his head next to me. I placed my tired arm, almost as limp as my dick, over his chest, and began to tell him how fantastic that was, but he stopped my mouth with a kiss. “Shhhh.” He laid his head on my shoulder, and we drifted into sleep.
I woke the next morning, the eastern sun streaming in the window and onto the bed. Why the fuck wasn’t that curtain closed? For a nano-second I searched inside my fuzzy brain for where I was and what I had been doing last night. Then I felt an arm around my waist, and a chest against my back. I turned to look at it’s owner. Nick.
He was smiling at me.
“Man, my head is so fuzzy, ugh, and my tongue so thick.”
He nuzzled into my neck and kissed me, then held his finger up to my mouth. “Shhh. Listen Jase, You’d better get back to Shane’s room, before mum gets up.”
“But then she’ll just find me in his bed, I mean, room.”
But he started pushing me out. “She put you in there, that’d serve her right.”
I reluctantly got out of the bed.
“And don’t forget to dress.’
I dressed quickly, as the air was still cold.
“But, I can’t go into Shane’s room, I mean, he’ll still be in bed. What’ll I do?
“I’ll get up too, and we’ll meet down in the lounge room.”
“So, why can’t we just get up together? I mean, if we are going to go to the lounge room and pretend I spent the night in Shane’s room. I mean, why should I actually go back there?”
“Well, you need to get your underpants for one thing.”
He grinned, then turned his back to me, snuggling in the warmth of the bed.
I stared at his back. The hollow chirp of a single bird drifted into the room. I started heading for the door. “OK. Well . . . goodbye, and . . . thanks,” I said to his back.
He turned. “Thank you, Jason,” he said, his eyes twinkling. “Thank you. And I can’t wait till we get back to college.” He grinned wide.
I left the room, and started heading back the way I had come during the night.
As I made my way through the rooms, it all started to feel like a dream, but then I shook my head, despite the slow pounding that was starting up in there from the hang over, I became certain it hadn’t been a dream. I cupped my hands around my dick. Definitely no dream.
I slipped into Shane’s room, and tiptoed over to look for my underpants amongst Shane’s discarded clothes. But there were none, of his clothes I meant. The room was dim compared to Nick’s, as it wasn’t facing the sun. I peered about more carefully, but there were certainly no clothes. I looked up at the bed. He was not there. The covers of the bed were still pulled back in the place that I myself had got out.
I stared at them.
Sounds of movement in the front room drifted into the room. Nick had got up. Quickly I turned to where I thought the underpants should be, where I left them last night. And there they were, discarded on the floor behind the bed. I stuffed them into my pocket, ran my fingers through my hair and left the room, without looking back.
Nick was preparing breakfast in the kitchen. I sat at the table. My body shivered as I did so.
“The mountain air too cold for you mate?” he asked. I nodded, staring down at the empty plate. The kitchen was cold now morning had come. Nick came around the table, placed some toast on the plate, and put his arms around me. “You need warming.” He laid his head on my shoulder and held me tight. I could smell his hair, the same hair I lay beside all night. I relaxed a little. However it was that I ended up in his bed, it was a gift. I rubbed my face against his hair and whispered, “let’s get out of here and back to our own place.” He pecked me on the cheek and nodded.
He went back to preparing the cereal. “I can hear mum stirring, doesn’t take her much. I’ll tell her about Shane.”
“Well, how will you explain me, I mean, if I had stayed in Shane’s room . . . you know. Wouldn’t she go berserk?”
“No. She doesn’t worry about Shane,” he said, staring hard into the bowl.
“But, you don’t need to tell her.”
“It doesn’t matter, Jase, didn’t you hear me?”
“But . . . Shane isn’t there.”
“What?” He turned around quickly.
“He was, I swear. But, he must have left early.”
He stared at me. Was he angry that I had entered his room for no reason; no other reason then to be with him?
“He was there, I swear, but he’s gone now.”
“Shane never leaves this early. Never.”
I shook my head. “I dunno, Nick,” I mumbled, and hugged myself.
Nick’s mum burst in.
“What don’t you know, Jason?”
Why the fuck I came here, I felt like saying. But I just shook my head again. Let Nick make something up, it’s his problem.
“Jason doesn’t understand why it’s so cold, and yet it’s summer. He comes from the western plains, not used to the mountains at all,” and he gave a hearty laugh; a totally convincing cover up. I looked up at his mother. Looked like she bought it.
“Well, we have to get back to college soon, Nick,” I said, to add to the cover up, “I’ve got that assignment to hand in.” He didn’t miss a beat, nodded quickly and said, “Yep, that’s right mum, that’s why we’re up so early, have to get moving.”
He never mentioned Shane.
We left the kitchen. Nick went to his room to gather his things. I followed. Once in the room I closed the door, and went up to him.
“I swear, Nick, he was there, even though it doesn’t look like he was there. Shit, mate I don’t know, maybe I did dream him. Perhaps I did, yeah, I’m thinking I did. But Nick. Nick. I love you so fucking much.”
He continued staring at me. He looked toward the closed door, then around his own room, his boyhood room, filled with posters and stuff from his teenage years; not a picture of a girl in sight. I hung my head and started to back away, but he grabbed me. He wrapped his arms tightly around me, and buried his head into my neck. “So do I. I mean . . . love you, Jason,” he said, his voice muffled against my skin. We stood there hanging on tightly to each other. Outside I heard a bird answer the lonely call of the bird I had heard earlier.
Nick stirred himself. “As you said before, Jase, let’s get the fuck out of here.”
I smiled and punched him in the arm, then went back to Shane’s room to gather my wallet. I walked in half expecting Shane to be in the bed after all, but he wasn’t, the room was as I had left it this morning.
I looked about the room; the posters on the wall; the paper lampshade, remembering the evening before when I first came in. It seemed like a hundred years ago.
I pulled the doona back over the bed and smoothed it out, ready for when Shane really did come home.
I leant over to pick up my wallet next to the bed. There, next to it, slipped under the bed, I saw a small metal Indian designed ash tray, with the stub of a joint in it. I took it in my hands and sat on the bed with it in my lap. Gingerly I picked up the thin hand-rolled cigarette end and put it to my lips. As I did so a faint scent came to me. It was his scent; Shane’s, the individual scent of a person that you don’t notice at the time, but do later when it lingers behind. I smiled and replaced the ashtray with it’s prize under the bed. I looked about the room but there was no other evidence at all that he had been here.
Perhaps he had done this quite often, slipped in late and left early, and no one knew.
I stood and straightened the doona and left the room, joining Nick outside in the carport. He grinned at me and we jumped into the car and left.
Alex Hogan has been writing since she was a teen. She grew up with black rights, gay lib, women’s lib, and all the other liberation movements of the 60s and 70s, and still believes all you need is love. As a young teen she discovered David Bowie and Ziggy Stardust, and has been interested in gay issues ever since.Alex has worked with former online zines Forbidden Fruit and Wilde Oats, and is the manager of Gay Flash Fiction (which is open for submissions).
She lives with her family in a small town, just outside Melbourne, Australia.