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Funny LGBTQ+ Fiction

It was gone. All of it. Everything except…


The letter.


The envelope was small, easy to overlook, but unmarred by the destruction around it.


She walked through the embers of her life and lifted it from the beaten and battered music box that had preserved it.


Dear Minnie,


She rolled her eyes, even here, now, she could feel it… exasperation. Of course, at the end of all things, he would still know how to reach her, how to navigate the smoke and flames, the traitorous landscape that was her new normal, and know how to utterly annoy her.


“It’s Amelia,” she told the letter. Her eyes narrowed, but her lips quirked. The feeling was familiar, something from her old self she recognized, so she held it close.


I know we’ve had our differences.


She scoffed. He always had a talent for understatement.


I know there’s little to no chance you’ll say yes.


Water began gathering in her eyes making it hard to read. She remembered this. She remembered…


Here it goes anyway. Would you be willing to meet? I’d like to talk. I’d like to apologize in person if you’ll let me.


Circle your answer:


Yes


No


She’d thought it was a joke, another way to trap her, to make fun of her ratty t-shirts and crooked teeth, probably in front of a group of his friends.


She’d thrown it away.


… But the letters kept coming. 


They were the same every time, a small white envelope sitting at her desk, the same message, the same sentiment. Every time she would hold her pencil over the word ‘no’ ready to draw a circle. Every time she would throw it away blank instead.


Because… what if it was real? What if he was asking for… what? Forgiveness?


Eventually, she’d let her better angels talk her into drawing a circle. If she squinted, she could barely make it out on the paper in her hand. One word to change… everything.


Yes.


“So that’s it, huh?”


Minnie, er, Amelia jumped. She spun trying to find the owner of the unexpected voice. She found her. A woman with bubblegum colored hair and a raised eyebrow stared at the paper in her hand.


“That’s the moment you chose to define you.”


“What?” Amelia asked.


“When you die, your soul kind of… drifts? Yeah, that works. It drifts out of your body, and if there isn’t a tether, something to remind it of what it is, the soul… forgets. And trust me you do NOT want to run into one of those. Nasty little spirits,” she grumbled the last under her breath.


“I’m dead?”


“Seriously, horrible situation if you don’t have a tether.”


“How am I dead?”


“Hm?” The woman looked up. “Oh, well, let me see.” She pulled a scroll from thin air and snapped it open. “Looks like… drowning. Yikes. That couldn’t have been fun.”


“Drowning? How would I—The trip! We went on a trip and… Jake! Is he okay? Where is he? I need to make sure—“


“Oh, look,” the woman said pointing toward a particularly puffy cloud of smoke, “something’s happening around your body.”


The smoke morphed, flames coloring the shapes it made, a stone standing solemn over a plot of freshly turned dirt, a man leaning on it for support as he planted a clutch of flowers. Tears, tinged a deeper red than the rest, bled down his face.


“Jake,” Amelia whispered, unable to stop his name from falling from her lips even if she'd wanted to.


Myosotis sylvatica,” the woman said getting a closer look at the flowers. “Smart man. I approve.”


“I don’t understand,” Amelia said watching a smoke version of the man she loved plant flowers on her grave.


Myosotis sylvatica, also known as Forget-Me-Nots. It’s a surprisingly thoughtful choice. I didn’t think he had it in him.”


“What? No, I mean, how am I dead?” Amelia asked staring at her very real hand as she flexed it. She looked up at the woman with bubblegum colored hair. It had to be a mistake. Someone had it wrong because, “I feel alive.”


“Well, of course you do, love. As long as you have those flowers,” she said reaching up and putting a hand on Amelia’s shoulder as they watched Jake plant another row, “you are.”


~*~*~


He ran his hand over the smooth stone. Two words were etched across the surface.


Amelia Smith


“Hey, Minnie,” he said.


It was a Thursday. It had been months since the her death, and he’d been there every day that week. Things must not have been going well.


“Hey, Jake,” she said, knowing he couldn’t hear her. It didn’t stop her from getting as close to his flame colored form as she could. She’d give anything to give him a hug, but the first time she’d tried, the smoke just slid through her arms.


“It’s been…” he paused, taking a breath. It was wet and and choked. “Hard.”


“I know, sweetie. I know,” she said reaching up to touch his cheek. The smoke slipped through her fingers, but she kept the contact anyway.


“Nothing’s the same. Nothing… nothing matters.” He closed his eyes. “Not without you.” He took another breath and let his head fall. “How could you leave me?”


“I didn’t. Oh, Jake, I promise, I didn’t leave you.” She tilted her head forward letting their foreheads touch, neither of them able to feel it. “I’m right here.”


“Oof, seems like I’m interrupting,” the woman with bubblegum colored hair said, her voice popping out of nowhere much like the woman herself. She had a tendency to appear whenever and wherever she wanted, with no discernible schedule.


Amelia turned her head, the smoke from Jake’s form filling her eyes and making them burn.


“Is this Hell?” she asked the woman.


“Hell?” The woman looked around, taking in the flames and embers littering the ground, the smoke filling the air. “The decor makes so much more sense, now,” she muttered in detached fascination. “I just thought you had horrible interior decorating skills.” Shaking herself, she turned back to Amelia. 


“This,” she said, motioning to the space around them. “All of this, it’s whatever you make it, love.” She walked forward until she was standing at Amelia’s side. “If it’s Hell, it’s Hell.” She shrugged before putting a hand on Amelia’s shoulder. “Wherever you are, I’ll be right by your side any time you need me.”


~*~*~


“Hey Minnie,” Jake said, putting hand on her gravestone. “I met someone.”


“What!?!” Amelia glared at his smoke-filled form.


“What? What did I miss?” The woman with bubblegum colored hair popped into existence turning toward Jake and Amelia’s grave.


“He said he met someone!” Amelia said. She wondered if steam could literally pour from her ears in the afterlife, because it felt like a definite possibility.


The woman took in her obvious distress and reacted accordingly. “What a jerk! It’s been…” she paused. “How long has it been?”


“Two years!”


“Yeah, two years! What was he thinki—wait a second, two years? What, were you expecting him to be a celibate for the rest of his life? He’s a good looking man! I’m surprised it took this long.”


“What? I thought you were supposed to be on my side!”


“Who told you that?”


“You said you would be by my side…”


“Yeah, and here I am.”


“…in Hell.” Amelia turned to the woman with bubblegum colored hair. “You’re a demon!”


“I beg your pardon?”


“You’re a demon sent here to torture me by saying it’s okay for Jake to move on.”


They stared at each other. The woman with bubblegum colored haired raised an eyebrow. Amelia pursed her lips.


“His name is Drake,” Jake said breaking the silence.

They both turned to stare at his smoke filled form.


“Huh,” Amelia said with a thoughtful look. “Well, that’s better.”


The woman with bubblegum colored hair turned to her with an incredulous look. “How is that better? You just called me a demon for suggesting it was all right for him to move on.”


Amelia shrugged, turning her focus back to Jake and his visit. “Dunno, just is.” 


They watched as he tended to the Forget-Me-Nots on her grave telling a story about his and Drake’s first date. 


“Popcorn?” Amelia asked, holding out a jumbo tub from her favorite movie theater. The woman looked from the tub to the cloud of smoke depicting Jake’s visit and back before shrugging.


“Sure,” she said, grabbing a handful and dropping down onto the couch that had suddenly popped into existence.


~*~*~


“Hey Minnie,” Jake said as he approached her gravestone. “This is it. I brought him today so…” He ran a hand over the smooth surface. “… best behavior,” he muttered.


Minnie scoffed, soft and sweet. “Never,” she muttered back.


Another man approached seconds later. Tall, dark, handsome, dreamy, steamy, the adjective didn’t matter. They all applied.


Jake turned to him with a nervous smile. “Drake, this was Amelia. Amelia, this is Drake.”


“Wooooow. Jake upgraded.” The woman with bubblegum colored hair popped out of nowhere.


“Hey!” Amelia said both surprised and offended.


“What? I’m just saying… hubba hubba.”


“You’re the worst.”


“You love me.”


They fell back on the couch as it popped into existence. The smoke that had once hung thick in the air had long ago completed a lengthy and complicated transition into clouds. The embers and flames scattered across the ground had shrunk into something less menacing and more comforting.


“Nice to meet you, Amelia,” Drake said to the gravestone.


“… He does have pretty amazing eyes.”


“Right?” The woman said motioning toward his cloud-filled form. With the clouds came color, actual, real, not reflected-flame color. Amelia was loving her new digs.


“And this,” he said grabbing and lifting a giggling toddler as she ran by, “is Molly.”


The woman with bubblegum colored hair let out an excited gasp. “And he has a daughter!” She turned to Amelia and grabbed her arm. “Can we keep her?”


The visit was pleasant. Drake seemed like a great person, and after some cajoling and incessant poking, Amelia grudgingly admitted he and Jake were perfect for each other, which inevitably led to the woman with bubblegum colored hair coming up with a corny love song about them because, “Come on. Their names rhyme. How can I not when it’s just sitting so perfectly right,” she said lifting a hand to point at their cloud formed bodies, “there!”


Amelia laughed. 


They watched some more as Molly began to play in the flowers covering her grave.


“You know,” Amelia said. “I never did ask you who you are.”


The woman with bubblegum colored hair smiled. It was small and nostalgic. “Let’s just say I’m those better angels you were always thanking.”


Amelia stared at the side of her head with an incredulous grin. “You know that still wasn’t a name, right?”


“Oh, look!” the woman said pointing back to Amelia’s grave. 


Molly had picked one of the flowers and put it in her hair. She was tugging on Jake’s hand to show him. He looked down and smiled.


“How beautiful! Aunt Minnie would have been proud,” he said.


“Min-nie,” Molly repeated turning to the gravestone and pointing at the flower in her hair.


The woman with bubblegum colored hair turned to Amelia with a knowing smile.


“It looks like it’s your turn, now.” 


March 29, 2023 02:10

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4 comments

Delbert Griffith
08:06 Apr 02, 2023

I really enjoyed this story, and your title was both intriguing and apropos. The better angel was a hoot! Great character. The story moved along well and the resolution was good. All in all, a creative tale and nicely written. Cheers!

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K Lark
16:56 Apr 02, 2023

I'm so happy you enjoyed it! Thank you for taking the time to read it and leave such a nice note. It's definitely provided some motivation for the next prompt!

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Aran Saguri
09:10 Apr 07, 2023

I really like your story! It was both moving and funny, which in my opinion is hard to convey. I would have liked a bit more description of the place Amelia is in, it was a bit hard for me to picture it, but maybe you made it a bit vague on purpose. But overall I enjoyed reading it and I hope you upload more in the future, I like your writing style :)

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K Lark
00:00 Apr 09, 2023

Thank you so much, and thank you for the feedback! I love hearing about things that can improve. You're absolutely right, it was vague on purpose, but I have a tendency to lean a bit too much into it. It's really nice to hear how it landed with you! I'm so happy you like my writing style! Thanks for taking the time to read it and leave a comment! :)

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