Stories by Cole Parker   
Stories by Cole Parker
The Tarheel Writer
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    I have been recommending works by Cole Parker since 2018 when I first recommended "One Summer in Georgia." Cole captured by heart and soul with his words. I have since then recommended many of Cole's works, in fact I recommend so many, I decided he needed his own page. All of Cole's works reside at AwesomeDude.org

    Please make note that AwesomeDude.com is now AwesomeDude.org



The Tarheel Writer - On the Web since 24 February 2003. Celebrating 21 Years on the Internet!
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Story recommendations are presented in alphabetical order.
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Short Stories
 A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I

 J   K   L   M  N   O   P   Q   R

 S   T   U   V   W   X   Y   Z   


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Novels
 A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I

 J   K   L   M  N   O   P   Q   R

 S   T   U   V   W   X   Y   Z   


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Collections, A Trilogy and Other Works

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Short Stories

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"A Blushing Summer"
Complete in 1 chapter (8,384 words)
A Blushing Summer by Cole Parker
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    When you’re 13, almost 14, you do not want to spend your summer inside, on the couch, broken. It’s especially cruel if you can hear your buds outside having fun just being boys, free to do as they like, and having a blast doing it.

A Campus Halloween
Complete in one chapter (11,393 words)
A Campus Halloween by Cole Parker
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    Take two shy bookish boys, who end up being college roommates and send them to a fraternity halloween party and you've good a great story.

A Modern Fantasy
Complete in one chapter (3,752 words)
A Modern Fantasy by Cole Parker
    “You do know, don’t you, that Crawley is the biggest criminal in school, he gets D’s in most everything, and that’s mostly because the teachers don’t want to deal with him repeating their classes if they fail him. He does no schoolwork at all—anything he turns in has been coerced from someone else—he bullies weaker kids all the time, he has a police record, he’s spent time in juvie for beating up kids and malicious mischief, and he’s only in school because he isn’t old enough to be out. So, why me? Why make me deal with him? What did I do to piss you off?”

A Peripatetic* Christmas
Complete in one chapter (6,824 words)
(*traveling from place to place)
A Peripatetic Christmas by Cole Parker
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    Looking back, my most memorable Christmas was in the ’90’s. I was 12, and Christmas was the next big event on the calendar. I’d had to put up with my unpleasant cousins when they came to visit us for Thanksgiving. What I gave thanks for was that they wouldn’t be joining us for Christmas. Never had; hoped they never would. They lived in Idaho; we lived in San Diego. They didn’t visit much, and with my mother in a wheelchair for the past three years because of a car accident, we never visited anyone at all now.

A Valentine for Ryan
Complete in one chapter (1,043 words)
A Valentine for Ryan by Cole Parker
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    Walking to school, Stevie saw Ryan up ahead, walking with Vincent. Stevie wasn’t glad to see Vincent. Even though the boy was Ryan’s friend, he wasn’t Stevie’s. Vincent was mean. Stevie’s dad had told Stevie many times that the world was filled with nice people and mean people, and it was best if he figured out how to get along with all of them. Stevie tried, but when you’re eight, it’s sometimes hard. Really hard.

Tricking and Treating
Sequel to A Valentine for Ryan
Complete in one chapter (1,639 words)
Tricking and Treating by Cole Parker
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    Steve saw his mom bring Carter back into the house, and immediately started worrying. Something had changed. Steven didn’t like change. He liked things to be like they were supposed to be. There were lots of things he didn’t understand, and often changes fell into that category. He didn’t know why, but so often, when something changed, it changed in a way that left him feeling sad. He didn’t want to feel sad today. Not today. He’d been so excited. Please, he thought, not today.

A Valentine's Day Story
Complete in one chapter (9,495 words)
A Valentine's Day Story by Cole Parker
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    Every day coming to school for the past two weeks, I’d had to read that sign. We’ve a modern school, and like many schools these days, ours has a marquee in front with “Rawlings Middle School, Home of the Rawlings Raiders” emblazoned on it and then an electronic bulletin board on the top where they scrolled messages and sometimes showed pictures. The message since the beginning of February had been, “Send your Valentine a Valentine’s Day message. $1 at the front office.”

An Unexpected Christmas
Complete in one chapter (4,368 words)
An Unexpected Christmas by Cole Parker
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    “What’s this?” He shook my notebook in my face, open to the drawing I’d just made. “It looks like a picture of Mr. Murdock. Is that what you were doing, drawing a picture of Mr. Murdock instead of paying attention to me? I work hard to prepare lessons for you, and you don’t pay attention? You draw a picture of a boy, instead? What, are you one of these perverts we read so much about these days? Huh? You one of those? I’ll bet you are. You look like you’re queer. You never say much in class, just sit back here and ogle the boys, huh? Queers are like that."

Another Boy, Another Train
Complete in one chapter (2,117 words)
Another Boy, Another Train by Cole Parker
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    So, this is about yesterday. I was on my way home. The way I do that is this: after school lets out, I walk to the bus stop. You’d think there’d be one in front of the school, but it’s a block away and around a corner and out of sight from people at the school. I can walk with my friends that far, but then they walk on, and I stop to wait for the bus. I might be the only kid at that school that rides a city bus. One comes every 15 minutes. I always hope there’s one there when I arrive. Just standing by myself alone isn’t my favorite thing.

Attendant to the Prince
Complete in one chapter (13,631 words)
Attendant to the Prince by Cole Parker
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    It doesn’t take much for me to be insulted. When you’re poor, you’re constantly on the lookout for put-downs. Just the expression in his eyes set me off. The tone of voice was just as bad. He might be a prince, but I was an American. To me, a prince was just some dumb title he’d inherited and hadn’t done a thing to earn. He might be handsome as all get out, and maybe was rich as the Queen of Sheba, but to me he was just a kid my age with an attitude. He was no better a person than I was. But I did have reason to thank him for something. Getting me mad had done away with my reason for embarrassment.


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Baby Steps
Complete in one chapter (5,188 words)
Baby Steps by Cole Parker
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    Then, only two months later when she found a crispy sock under his bed, she repeated her speech, telling him there was no need to hide evidence of what he was doing. It was private, sure, and she didn’t want to see it, but she’d seen porn, she knew what it looked like when a boy did that, and she had always known this was something he’d do. The only thing she hoped for was that he was getting enjoyment from it. And no guilt at all.

Betrayal
Complete in one chapter (5,701 words)
Betrayal by Cole Parker
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    “This one will be a little different. I usually give you a topic to write about. This time, you’re on your own. But I want you to blow me away. Write something that’ll tell me a little about you, even if it’s fiction. I want color and fireworks, amusement, drama, embarrassment, love, what being a teenager is all about. Write me an epic. No rules other than my skin should prickle when I read it. It should be that good. And anything goes!

The Big Splash
Complete in one chapter (14,366 words)
The Big Splash by Cole Parker
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    Jeffrey didn’t fit in at his prestigious private boarding school. He had always been one of the marginal kids there because he wasn’t athletic, he didn’t have an effervescent, engaging personality, and he was super smart. But this year, after an incident on the soccer field, his not fitting in had turned into something much worse. After one of the popular kids had turned against him, his marginal status had changed. Now, no one would have anything to do with him, a cruel isolation which he was forced to accept even while not understanding it, even as day by day it cut deeper into his very soul. In his mind, he was just like all the other boys at school: the same height, same weight, same build, even the same color hair, same interests, same tastes. The same worries and dreams. So why was he having to live with the treatment that he was facing every day?

Borton
Complete in one chapter (3,377 words)
Borton by Cole Parker
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    Borton didn’t really fit in. The place was fairly quiet, just the sounds of soft conversations, the clink of glasses and ice, of beer bottles and glasses being set on the bar, and maybe Elsie’s laugh. And, unfortunately, Borton’s voice. There was a TV set where he could see it. It was always on, although with the sound muted. But it was on an all-news channel, and Borton watched and then commented on most everything he saw. He was happy to see Blacks being arrested and handcuffed. He was happy to see bombs going off in the Mideast. He was happy to see things like the Puerto Rico tragedy caused by hurricane Maria. And he spoke glowingly about all these things.

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Boys in Shorts
A compendium of unrelated short stories
Boys in Shorts by Cole Parker

        Story One - The Carribbean
        Complete in one chapter (1,244 words)
        Story One - The Carribean by Cole Parker
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        We are vacationing in the Virgin Islands and the warm air and beauty of the place are making me feel so randy it’s hard to breathe. I need to get away from my folks and brother. I need to be alone.

        Story Two - Worried
        Complete in one chapter (1,694 words)
        Story Two - Worried by Cole Parker
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        Justin and Bing were at their favorite spot in the world. They’d discovered it while hiking in the woods during the summer they’d been together. It was a very private place by the river, hidden away by bushes and trees and four feet above the water.

        Story Three - Subway Ride
        Complete in one chapter (1,854 words)
        Story Three - Subway Ride by Cole Parker
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        We pulled in at the 145th street stop. A few people got off, a few on. I watched them come and go, and just before the doors closed, three teenage boys got on. They were wearing gray hoodies with the hoods up, concealing all but the front of their faces.

        Story Four - Inquisition
        Complete in one chapter (2,394 words)
        Story Four - Inquisition by Cole Parker
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        “We’re both males. My job is working with boys. I was a boy once. There isn’t much I don’t know about boy behavior. Anyway, you wanted to avoid being punished, claiming you were doing nothing wrong. I need to know what you were doing to see if it deserves punishment or not. So tell me.”

        Story Five - Recovery
        Complete in one chapter (1,559 words)
        Story Five - Recovery by Cole Parker
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        I felt sorry for Wes. I knew what he was going through. It’s hard when you’re young and your first love dumps you. It’s even harder if you’re gay because, while there are tons of fish in the sea for straight kids, there aren’t so many available for gay kids.


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Cantaloupe
Complete in one chapter (7,395 words)
Cantaloupe by Cole Parker
    “Hey, Cantaloupe!” I cringed. Then frowned. This could be bad. Really, really bad. Nicknames have a way of sticking, and you don’t want to get one that you don’t think will fit you at all. Cantaloupe would be a horrible name for a shy kid with orangish hair! It was really darker than that, but still orangish, and it embarrassed me in the way most anything that’s different from what’s normal embarrasses any 13-year-old boy. I had to stop that name—stop it really fast!

Cottonwood Creek Park
Complete in one chapter (17,535 words)
Cottonwood Creek Park by Cole Parker
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    “You’d think that would be easy, wouldn’t you? Hey, look at you guys. You’re asked to write essays, or themes, or papers, or whatever they call them here, and you sit down and write them, and no one pays you for them, or gives you awards, or mentions how great you are. So my job sounds like a pretty good deal, huh?” He stopped and looked around the room at his rapt audience of mostly 14-year-olds. “Nope, nothing to it. Except…” He drew out both the word and then his silence till everyone was uncomfortable, then grinned. “It’s not easy, coming up with something new and riveting to write about—three new things, three columns, every week. At first, you think it’ll be a piece of cake. Then reality sets in. It ain’t easy, kids. It ain’t easy.”

Courage
Complete in one chapter (11,423 words)
Courage by Cole Parker
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    I heard him before I saw him, saw him emerging from the shadows-enhanced darkness of the early evening. First I heard the faint slap slap slap slap of his shoes coming up the hill. I smiled, and waited. Then he came. Head, shoulders, chest, then the rest, rising over the top of the low hill, breaking out of the shadows, back-lit by the waning sun so I couldn’t make out any details of his face. I watched. He was still almost a hundred yards away, just cresting the rise, now on the flat land on top, coming towards my house, the first one he’d pass. I sat in the upstairs front window and watched. I thought he was magnificent. He’d run past my window every night about this time for the past month, and I always withdrew slightly as he neared so he wouldn’t see me.

Creative Writing
Complete in one chapter (4,162 words)
Creative Writing by Cole Parker
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    Kevin and I were friends who’d met at the community college we both attended. We signed up together for a creative writing class that met every Tuesday night. There were only three more classes before the course would be finished. Tonight, Mrs. Bloom had given us our final assignment. We were to write about the first time we’d had sex. I’d been raised by a very old-fashioned set of religious parents. Sex was never, ever spoken about in our house. It topped the list of taboo subjects. Neither of my parents had given me the talk. I often wondered how I’d come into being.


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The Dance
Complete in one chapter (12,062 words)
The Dance by Cole Parker
    Trip was always lovely. He had darkish-blond hair that was cut longer than the school permitted. Somehow he got away with it. I wondered how. One could become a favorite of Miss Cadburn if one wished, I’d heard. Rumors about the woman abounded. She was available for private conversations in her rooms. I’d heard the rumors—unbelievable ones, boyish ones—of what went on during these private tête-à-têtes to curry her favor. I’d heard of how she disciplined some boys and that she spanked the 13-year-olds on their bare bottoms when she felt it was warranted. I wanted no part of any of that or especially any time alone with her, if the talk was true. I didn’t know if Trip would ever do things like what I’d heard, even if doing so resulted in his ability to wear longer hair. I didn’t know because I’d never spoken to him.

DeMarcus Cullman and the Powers that Be
Complete in one chapter (9,852 words)
DeMarcus Cullman and the Powers that Be by Cole Parker>
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    “Thank you all for coming quickly on no notice at all. You know why we’re here today, I’m sure. We had a situation at the school this morning with a teacher being attacked and now have a missing child. We have to be prepared to answer questions. Before we do that, I have to know exactly what happened. In that regard, this is an official investigation. Other than students, the people in this room—you—were the ones involved, and you can fill me in. Folks, I need absolute honesty here. If someone lies, and I repeat those lies to the press, the repercussions, the backlash, will be more than any of us want.”

Dinner for One
Complete in one chapter (12,734 words)
Dinner for One by Cole Parker
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    After a pause, the maitre d’ slowly raised his eyes from his seating chart and stared at the old man. He took a long moment, and was surprised when his sharp black eyes were met and held by washed-out and somewhat watery gray ones. He hadn’t thought the man would have the fortitude to actually meet his eyes. Just as slowly, he looked back down to his chart. He’d registered the man’s appearance, the lightness in his tone of voice, a certain flamboyance in his hair style, a looseness in his body language, the way he held his hands together across his flat stomach, the three rings on his fingers, the diffidence evident in his manner. The fact he was by himself, a solitary diner.

Drawing Me Out
Complete in one chapter (4,886 words)
Drawing Me Out by Cole Parker
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    When I was 14, life was much harder than when I was still in elementary school. I was effeminate, and that can be pretty darn awful for a 14-year-old boy. I wasn’t treated well at school, and that increased my natural shyness a hundred-fold. I became reclusive, silent, as much of a nonentity at school as it was possible to be. At home, I was accepted for who I was and what I could do. I played the piano, I helped Mom cook, and of course I never stopped drawing.


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The Education and Evolution and Maxwell Grant
Complete in one chapter (11,456 words)
The Education and Evolution and Maxwell Grant by Cole Parker
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    Dad had a way of talking to me in a way where I had to actually converse with him. With Mom, it was mostly questions, and most questions I could answer with one or two words. She’d never caught on that that wasn’t the way to talk to me if she really wanted to know what was going on in my world. I rarely had a conversation with her, which was all for the best. She lived her life; I lived mine. With Dad, it was much more dangerous. I had to be careful with him; he had a way of actually learning things about me and who I was. I was a teenager. My life was none of his or her business! Sure, I loved him, but that didn’t mean I was about to break the teenager Oath of Silence before the enemy.

English 10
Complete in one chapter (15,891 words)
English 10 by Cole Parker
    “All right then, I’ll tell you what to write about. But you have to agree to do it. OK? You’ll do it and no quibbling. Whatever I come up with, you’ll do it. With none of your famous whines. Your Hall of Fame eyeball rolling. You’ll write what I tell you this time, and make it good, your best work. Which I almost never see, but which you’re as capable of as anyone in this class. That’s what I need to get for letting you off the hook here.” She stopped and raised her eyebrows. Letting me off the hook. Sure she was. Not!
    “All right, Mark. This is what I want you to write about. Think about your life, and think about when you’ve been really embarrassed about something. Then write about it. What happened to embarrass you, how you felt about it. Be really expressive. Let me feel your embarrassment vicariously. Make me feel what you felt.”

The Errand Boy
Complete in one chapter (20,660 words)
The Errand Boy by Cole Parker
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    People with street smarts have learned how to survive and maybe even prosper using their innate intelligence and making use of what they’ve learned about people just from paying attention when they’re out and about. They have a feeling for human nature. They’ve seen what works and what doesn’t and maybe not even been aware of the practical truths they’ve learned while doing so. But they were indeed learning, and if it occurred through osmosis, so what? They learned. And those who were smart figured out how to put what they learned to use. Of course, there are those who don’t care for book-learning but do have some smarts and have learned by watching and interacting, and on top of that, those with street smarts who’ve had a head start in life. I have to admit to being one of those.

Exposure
Complete in one chapter (5,111 words)
Exposure by Cole Parker
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    “My god, Billy! You’re blue! Get in the car. Quickly.” Billy tried to stand but stumbled. His joints didn’t seem to be functioning well at all. His head was muzzy, too, his thoughts slow to come and dull. He heard a car door slam, and then someone was there, grabbing him, helping him stand, helping him take the two steps needed to get to the passenger-side car door. Then, after a moment he felt a jacket being slipped around his shoulders before the car door was opened and he was manhandled onto the car seat. The door was slammed shut behind him. The warmth in the car felt like an oven to him. It made him shiver even worse, but soon his thinking seemed to find some semblance of focus. He looked up as the driver’s door opened, and he saw who it was entering the car.


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The Farm Boy
Complete in one chapter (32,485 words)
The Farm Boy by Cole Parker
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    I am 14, and she is my cousin. I live on my uncle’s farm; I live here through his good graces and have done so for most of a year now. I’ve learned part of the deal is putting up with Missy’s sneering and jibing, even when it hurts, which it had at first, me feeling a bit low then and all. The fact they let her get away with it unremarked rankles, but she saves her more vicious barbs, the ones meant to wound, for when we are alone. My uncle probably isn’t aware of how nasty she really is, and my aunt certainly isn’t. But as Uncle Peter has taken the trouble to point out to me, life isn’t meant to be a piece of cake; it will be what you make of it. Good or bad, it's up to you.

The Fight
Complete in one chapter (17,434 words)
The Fight by Cole Parker
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    Have you ever been in a group of teens, most of whom have been drinking beer all night, who suddenly sense a fight is about to begin? There’s a visceral feeling, a heightened anticipation, a sense of blood in the air. It’s as if there was one mind, one thought, a group consciousness, and the group is eager to witness a blood-letting. Once this mood grips them, it’s as though all discussion, all reason, all humanity falls to the side as they prepare to see carnage happen in front of them.

The Freak
Complete in one chapter (2,741 words)
The Freak by Cole ParkerThe Freak by Cole ParkerThe Freak by Cole ParkerThe Freak by Cole Parker
    "Hey, Chief! Look at this." Jason Campbell, Sgt., Cannonville PD, handed his boss a BOLO fresh off the telex. The chief took it and read it through. It wasn't long. It read: Be On The Lookout for John Moonman, aka Moon Freak, aka The Freak. 6"3", anglo, brown and brown, 340 pounds. Tat on the back of his left hand of a tiger's head with the mouth open and teeth bared. The kicker was his record. He was a violent pedophile. And he'd just escaped from the state prison. It was Halloween and The Freak was headed this way.


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Gift Exchange
Complete in one chapter (4,273 words)
Gift Exchange by Cole Parker
    “I think we should have a gift exchange,” Adam said. Adam was the logical one, somewhat more reserved than most of the group. He was also the cutest one there, including the girls. He wore his sandy hair long and messy, which simply improved he looks. “But I can’t afford to buy you each a gift. We should all put our names in a hat and draw one name to buy for. I can afford to get one gift.”

Grandfather's Conspiracy
Complete in one chapter (7,248 words)
Grandfather's Conspiracy by Cole Parker
    Derrick’s grandfather, also short of stature but without the boy’s shrinking presence, stood next to Derrick and watched. He saw Derrick becoming uncomfortable, but he said nothing. He’d been 14 and shy once, too. It had been a long time ago, but remembering what it was like to be in Derrick’s shoes in a situation like this was easy to do. Embarrassing Derrick was the last thing he’d want to do. It was Derrick’s place to attract Mr. Stevens’ attention, and for his grandfather to take charge of the situation instead would be another of many small slights Mike was sure that Derrick suffered daily.

Great Scott
Complete in one chapter (17,273 words)
Great Scott by Cole Parker
    So, I did what nerds do. I became interested in things I could do on my own, all by myself. There are lots of things like that. Models, electric trains, video games—although moms can get quite provoked if you spend too much time playing them—stamp collecting, stock-market research, slot cars . . . The list continues. I chose magic.


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Halloween Dance
Complete in one chapter (2,481 words)
Halloween Dance by Cole Parker
    There was another reason for such exceptionally high attendance. For many of the dances, only the kids brave enough to ask another kid to dance with them would come. The shyer kids, the ones who’d be devastated by being rejected, always had dentist appointments or music lessons or a younger sib to babysit or something else that they simply had to do on those days. These were middle schoolers: they wouldn’t have admitted they were shy to save their lives; telling other kids they had an appointment for an psychiatric examination would be a better that admitting they were bashful. But today, they all were there, even Billy Vincent, the shyest kid in school, because today they had costumes on. Franklin could ask Jennifer to dance, and if she said no, it was the horse with the purple mane who was being rejected, and the horse’s feelings weren’t on display to anyone else. Well, perhaps they were still felt by Franklin, but no one would really know or see, and Franklin could retain at least a semblance of dignity.

Halloween Deviltry
Complete in one chapter (1,907 words)
Halloween Deviltry by Cole Parker
    What Bobby didn’t know—what most kids don’t know—was that the devil is real. Oh, he isn’t a physical entity. Not at all. Instead, he works on a different plane. When he visits the temporal world it is by entering thoughts and feelings, dancing on wishes and desires. His dark magic is best worked in his favorite place of all—in dreams. There he can conduct his business in private with a one-on-one audience and without nettlesome interruptions. Bobby fell asleep during that afternoon’s catnap with thoughts of the devil racing around in his head. Such an invitation wasn’t missed by the Evil One, and the path to Bobby’s subconscious was like a broad highway without guardrails or speed limits. Old Beelzebub, the dire djinn, stepped in, looked around, smiled, and settled in for a visit.

Halloween Engagement
Complete in one chapter (5,304 words)
Halloween Engagement by Cole Parker
    He had to decide for himself which way to go. It was that decision, he knew, that need for a decision, that was causing him to feel so unsettled. He needed to decide the course of his life, and all he really had were questions. He’d seemingly been at these crossroads long enough. His restlessness came from knowing he had to make a choice, but not knowing what to choose.

The Halloween from Hell
Complete in one chapter (9,389 words)
The Halloween from Hell by Cole Parker
    The house they were in was in a neighborhood two steps below bad, and was more a rickety shack than a house. They’d taken it over after it had been standing vacant for a number of years. They’d ripped the large, red-lettered ‘Condemned, Keep Out’ sign from the front door, and when the men came with the wrecking ball, Granny had taken the superintendent inside. When he came out a half hour later, his fly was open and he was stuffing some bills in his pocket and carrying two jars of clear liquid; he told the crew they had the wrong house while zipping up. Now, four years later, the house was still standing. It was small and was constructed of faded boards that had long been bare of paint and were beginning to crack and loosen from their nails. The roof was tarpaper and leaked when it rained. The windows had all been boarded over so anyone brave or curious enough to step on the front porch to peek inside wouldn’t be able to see anything. The yard in front was weeds, but not overgrown—only because it hadn’t rained much that summer.

Halloween Vengence
Complete in one chapter (1,046 words)
Halloween Vengeance by Cole Parlker
    “Look. You have to be over it by now. That was a year ago. So what are you going to go as this year. I heard Chucky was going to go as Wonder Woman. Now that takes guts. I’m thinking we could go as Zack and Cody from The Suite Life. You know, on Nickelodian. I figure I could be Cody, the smart one. You can be Zack and pretend to be girl-crazy. It’s a stretch, but you might be able to pull it off. Just don’t stare at me too much.” John rolled over and looked at Tim. “You’re nuts” he said. “They’re identical twins. We don’t look alike at all. I’m handsome and you’re ugly.”

Happy Valentine's Day
Complete in one chapter (2,907 words)
Happy Valentine's Day by Cole Parker
    Okay, see, I’m sorta seeing two guys. Well look, I’m 15. Do you have any recollection at all of how horny you were at 15? Maybe you weren’t, maybe that’s why keeping two guys busy might seem extreme for you; but if you remember, then you get it. For me, horny is who I am so I’m seeing two guys. The problem is that I haven’t let on to either of them that they’re one of a pair. They both think they’re the cheese. The one. Numero uno. I’m pretty sure if they knew they weren’t the sole light of my life, they’d dump me before I could even think about coming up with an excuse.

The Harder They Fall
Complete in one chapter (11,356 words)
The Harder They Fall by Cole Parker
    Rigby was finally dancing with his date, who’d arrived late. He’d had two dances already, and this was the third. He had his jacket off and was sweating up a storm as was his date, Dennis. They weren’t the only gay couple on the floor. This being almost a quarter of the way through the twenty-first century, gay couples in high school were common and roundly accepted. Except by some of the practitioner’s parents, of course. Old attitudes had a way of persisting and fathers often reflected the views of their fathers and grandfathers and going on back for generations. When the music stopped, Rigby and Dennis walked off the floor together, hand in hand. They were met at the edge of the gym floor by Dennis’s father. He was the shop teacher at the school and one of the chaperones.

High School Dither
Complete in one chapter (4,379 words)
High School Dither by Cole Parker
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    “That’s the problem. It’s a he. And he’s not out, and neither am I. I think he’s gay. He feels gay to me. But he doesn’t really show it, just like I don’t think I do. Asking him to the Prom, though, that’s a whole big deal. If he’s straight and thinks I think he’s gay, he could be pissed off. Guys get punched doing things like that. Or, maybe worse, he might out me to the entire school. I don’t think he would. He doesn’t seem like that. He seems nicer than that. But if he did, I’d still have to be here for the rest of this year and all of next, living that down and dealing with homophobes.”

Ho Ho Ho
Complete in one chapter (4,853 words)
Ho Ho Ho by Cole Parker
    “Dennis,” I said, making him aware of the need to listen to me, “you can’t drop money in that pot now. I’ll explain why to you, and after that, I’ll give you the choice. The next time we’re here you can drop a coin in the pot, or not. But right now, I need to talk to you about it and I don’t want to do it standing in this wind with ho-ho-hos rattling against my eardrums.”

The House
Complete in one chapter (3,186 words)
The House by Cole Parker
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    I was going out trick-or-treating by myself this year. My friend Teddy had just come down with the mumps and all my other friends were already matched up. But, I wasn’t about to let anything get in the way of another great candy crusade. I was 11, and this was a peak year for trick-or-treating. Everyone always thought 11-year-olds were cute, even if they weren’t, and so tended to give them more candy than the older kids. Some kids my age I knew weren’t smart enough to understand this and wore masks. ‘Cute’ didn’t make much difference if you were wearing a mask. I was smarter than that. I let my cute good looks shine in my costume. I was going as Arnold. I’d padded my arms with towels so they bulged under my leather jacket, fluffed and slicked up my hair, and had a sign hanging around my neck that read, The Governator.


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~Inspiration~
Complete in one chapter (2,123 words)
Inspiration by Cole Parker
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    “I can’t tell them,” Mike said. “I just can’t.”
    “I understand. It’s scary. But you have to live your life, not theirs. How will you ever be happy if you can’t be who you are? Kids our age are coming out. They’re dating, too. You want to date. Boys. You don’t have to be out to do that, but it’s so much easier if you are. Then you don’t have to hide anything.”


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Jason's Notebook
Complete in one chapter (22,198 words)
Jason's Notebook by Cole Parker
    I’ve actually seen nice guys sometimes do mean things and mean guys, less often but occasionally, be nice. Absolutes don’t seem to work with people, but there is one thing that seems to be true: the good guys often get left standing umbrella-less in the rain in a foot deep puddle while the bad guys are riding past in a limo. That life wasn’t fair really bothered me. I thought about it a lot.


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The Kings Race
Complete in one chapter (6,437 words)
The King's Race by Cole Parker
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    What it was was a race for the boys in the towns. There was no national competition as travel around the country wasn’t practical in those days. No, it was just town by town, village by village. The king would visit each one every year, and three races would be run. The competitors would be boys, and every qualifying boy in town would be involved. There were three races because those qualifying were in one of three age groups: they were 10, 11 and 12 year old boys. The boys would run a race of 200 quibbles and do so in the nude. The three boys and their runners-up would be awarded national celebrity and be lauded the entire day for their prowess.


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Learning the Ropes
Complete in one chapter (2,863 words)
Learning the Ropes by Cole Parker
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    He was especially good on the ropes. He was the only one in the class who could climb them without using his feet. For the rest of us, it was grasp and pull with the hands, then lock our feet on the rope, reach higher with our hands, grasp again and pull. And repeat. And repeat. Not Troy. He’d grab the rope and just go up hand over hand to the top and back down like some kind of acrobatic monkey! No feet at all.

Like Father, Like Son
Complete in one chapter (6,166 words)
Like Father, Like Son by Cole Parker
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    Alex and his father were both musical prodgies. For fans for Chopan, Tchaikovsky, the clarinet, and especially the french horn and the oboe, step to the front of the line.
    Alex was 17 and the apple of my eye. I loved him to death. I’d never thought I’d have a son, a biological son, because I was and always had been as gay as it was possible to be. Yet circumstances and a fickle Greater Being with a wry sense of humor can combine to have their way with us worldly creatures. But none of that mattered; what was true was that I loved Alex, and he me, and that was that.


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Missing
Complete in one chapter (21,670 words)
Missing by Cole Parker
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    “Police reported today that Tyler Harris, a 12-year-old boy who attends Barnheart Elementary, was reported missing by his foster parents. No other details have been released at this time. Anyone knowing the whereabouts of this boy is encouraged to contact the local police department.”

Moody
Complete in one chapter (11,170 words)
Moody by Cole Parker
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    They were being chased. Moody noticed the two boys who’d bothered them at the pool following them on their own bikes. When their pursuers saw Moody look back and spot them, they stood up on their pedals and began pumping harder.
    “Don’t look back, Cody,” Moody said, now standing and pumping himself. Cody did the same, hearing the tension in Moody’s voice. “Those two assholes from the pool are behind us, and it looks like they’re trying to catch us.”
    Cody did look back. The two boys were closing fast.

More Boys on Trains
Complete in one chapter (1,742 words)
More Boys on Trains by Cole Parker
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    It would be about a half-hour trip for me, so I accepted my fate and thought how to spend the time. That took no thought at all: I’d do what I always did. I’d watch the people around me, watch their body language, see how they related and reacted to the folks nearby. How they acted at stops when people behind them needed to get off. How they glanced at the fortunate people who were seated; how they considered their chances of snaring a seat when it was eventually abandoned; saw them work out their various strategies and reposition themselves so they could up their odds of nabbing one.

My Diary
Complete in one chapter (6,374 words)
My Diary by Cole Parker
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    March 27 - Warm today, just like I like it. High humidity, but you get used to that. I hung around after breakfast, sort of waiting in the weeds as they say, for something exciting to happen. In the afternoon, Jeremy came in with his friend Scott. They both gave me a glance, and Jeremy even spoke to me, something he sometimes does and sometimes doesn’t, depending on his mood, I guess. After that moment of excitement, they promptly forgot about me. When I was younger, three or four I guess, it upset me that Jeremy didn’t spend more time with me, but I got used to it. It doesn’t bother me much now. At least he lets me hang out in his room. Not all brothers do that. Not that he’s really my brother, more like a step, or a step-step, but I think of him like a brother, and I think he thinks of me that way, too.

Mr Patterson and the Aide
Complete in one chapter (4,341 words)
Mr Patterson and the Aide by Cole Parker
    He’d always taken this path. It was peaceful, pleasant, and peaceful and pleasant were just about what he needed now. He’d done this once a day for the past 30 years. It was but a short walk through a city park, down a shady path with acres of lawns and trees, a restful sort of place. He’d come out of the park and the café would be just there, rather like it was waiting for him. He’d sit down, order a coffee, chat with the waitress, and eventually walk back home again. Thirty years! Hard to imagine.

My Incredible Summer
Complete in one chapter (26,244 words)
My Incredible Summer by Cole Parker
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    Later, when we were sitting on the edge of the pool, enjoying the warm intermittent breeze as it kissed our wet skin, I caught a glint from the window of the house behind us. This was the second time it had happened. The other time there’d been a full moon, and I’d thought that was what had caused it. Tonight, the moon wasn’t up yet; the night was pitch black. I didn’t say anything. I was quiet for a moment, immersed in the nighttime atmosphere, the peacefulness, the quietude. Then I got up and grabbed a towel. Joy did the same, aware of my mood; we got dressed without saying a word. She knew what I was going to do; she’d decided to do it with me.

My Mom is a Witch
Complete in one chapter (4,259 words)
My Mom is a Witch by Cole Parker
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    We were sitting in her, well, what should I call it? It was a room in the basement that was only hers. More a cave than a room, but who has a cave in their house? I was only rarely invited to enter it; each time was special, though a bit scary, too. It had dark purple walls and was dim and dank and chilly. I was sitting on what looked like a large toadstool. Maybe it was a toadstool. She was sitting sidesaddle on the pole part of a broom that was hovering in the air so her feet were slightly off the ground. How could she balance on that? Made me wonder if witches have better balance than regular people. But, too, wouldn’t that thin pole kinda hurt her bottom after a while? It looked terribly uncomfortable to me.

My Night Out
Complete in one chapter (2,873 words
My Night Out by Cole Parker
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    I wanted to walk, not stand still. I was too fired up, too edgy to stand still. I put my hand on the tree next to me to steady myself and reached down to pull my shoes off, then my jeans and underwear off one foot, then the other. I replaced my shoes, then picked up my clothes and held them in my hand. I was totally nude except for my sneakers and socks.


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Nature Calls
Complete in one chapter (4,578 words)
Nature Calls by Cole Parker
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    I headed to the nearest restroom before going to the Southwest gate. There was a long line of urinals and just as long a line of stalls with doors. The place wasn’t crowded like it would be when a plane has just landed. I had a shy bladder and found it hard to piss if anyone was around. Normally I went into a stall for privacy. Not much problem then. But here, with all the urinals and few people, I could stand well away from anyone else, so didn’t expect I’d have that problem.

Nickels and Dimes
Complete in one chapter (23,147 words)
Nickels and Dimes by Cole Parker
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    “Mr. Starling, here’s your tip back. You must need it more than I do.” As he spoke he was reaching out, and Mr. Starling’s hand came up rather automatically. Chip dropped two dimes and a nickel into it before turning and walking away. Mr. Starling snarled and threw the coins at Chip. They bounced off his back, and Mr. Starling stormed back to voice his complaints.

N o e l
Complete in one chapter (6,170 words)
N o e l by Cole Parker
    The woods were extensive, running from behind his house for several miles to the south. He’d been cautioned often by his father not to wander too far away because it was easy to get lost. Adam had always been careful in the past to follow his dad’s advice. But now, his mind was foggy, his thinking scattered, and he wasn’t being either observant or careful where he was going. He was simply walking.

Notes
Complete in one chapter (3,486 words)
Notes by Cole Parker
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    Jeremy made his way to his locker and got rid of his history and math books, replacing them in his backpack with English and Modern Life books. What he saw when he was about to close the door was a folded piece of paper sticking through the vents on the back side of the locker door. It had been pushed through, but not far enough to fall inside the locker.


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Oliver
Complete in one chapter (6,494 words)
Oliver by Cole Parker
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    Finally, after just about forever, I broke out into the light, out from under the thick canopy provided by the trees shading the path. I was also at the top of the rise I’d been steadily climbing. Lying in front of me was the bridge the leader had mentioned. What he hadn’t said was it was a hanging bridge over a deep ravine. I’d struggled all the way to the top, and now was met with a bridge crossing a span of forty or fifty yards. From where I stood, I could only see more trees and brush, but I had the feeling what lay below the middle of the bridge, masked by all the growth closer to me, was nothing, a sheer drop into an abyss. I’d just climbed for hours and hours. I knew how high I was. That meant I also knew how far down the bottom of the ravine could be.

On the High Plains of Wyoming
Complete in one chapter (35,151 words)
On the High Plains of Wyoming by Cole Parker
    I tightened my saddlebags on Jesse. She stood still with her natural patience, but she was eager to go. I sensed it. We knew each other pretty well. I could tell by the shivers in her withers, by the way she’d lift a back hoof and set it back down, by the way she bent her neck to watch me when I went to get a bedroll, saddle blanket or canteen.
    I finished packing her out. I was planning to be gone for four days and three nights. I had food for both of us for that time, although more for me than her. I wasn’t able to live off the prairie grasses like she could. I had the clothes I’d need, the first-aid kit Mom always made me take but which I’d never needed, a spare blanket, some miscellaneous things I’d learned made life easier, and of course my rifle. Those plains are big, lonely places. The rifle, besides being fun, made me feel safer. The plains can be beautiful, but they are also a lonely place. Very lonely. You and your horse can amble across the vastness of Wyoming for days without seeing another person.

On The Job Training
The Intern Stories
The stories of Ethan Hunter, Marcus Albright, Adrian Curlow and Tyler Morrow
Complete in one chapter (37,087 words)
On The Job Training by Cole Parker
    The student who rarely listened to this introductory speech was caught up in it. The principal was making it clear that he was looking out for those students who weren’t planning to extend their educations beyond the four years they’d be in high school. The student, Ethan Hunter, didn’t think there were many high school principals who were all that concerned about the non-academic types in their schools. He knew about the pressures of the day and the push for higher education. He knew schools were rated by the GPAs they generated, by the test scores they turned in. It was quite clear that Dr. Fellows was an anomaly, a principal who had as much concern for the non-academic student as the other sort. Ethan was the other sort. He’d be going on to college. Ethan wasn’t the only boy who was sitting up straighter, paying more attention to Dr. Fellows than they had in the past. Three others in particular were listening intently: Marcus Albright, Adrian Curlow and Tyler Morrow.
    These are their stories of On the Job Training.


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Perils of Youth
Complete in one chapter (3,858 words)
Perils of Youth by Cole Parker
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    See that picture? Look closely. What do you see? When I show the picture to boys rather than adults, I get different reactions. Many of the boys get excited. I can see it in their eyes. They’re thinking about what’s going to happen next. Did the Orange-Backpack-boy push the other boy over the cliff? Did the boy die? Did Orange-Backpack-boy get sent to some sort of prison for doing that? Other boys ask, why did Orange-Backpack-boy do that? What was the matter with him? Was he crazy?

Peter and Sam
Complete in one chapter (8,881 words)
Peter and Sam by Cole Parker
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    Peter took as deep a breath as he could. “My aunt discovered I’d watched porn on my computer. She’s kicking me out of the house when I get home. I’ll probably never be at this school again. I’ll be alone out on the streets. The best thing, the very best in the world for me, would be for us to be friends, but it won’t be possible. I—” He stopped and wondered what would it hurt to tell Sam. He’d never see him again. “I’ve . . . I . . . I like you. Being friends would just be a dream coming true. But I doubt I’ll ever see you again after today.”

Piggles
Complete in one chapter (13,137 words)
Piggles by Cole Parker
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    Summary coming soon!

Peter's Valentine
Complete in one chapter (4,358 words)
Peter's Valentine by Cole Parker
    Today he wanted to see if he could get home unscathed because maybe Mr. Laurenson had a job for him. If he could only make a few bucks, he could buy a chicken! He was a fair hand at making chicken soup. He’d need some carrots and onions, too, but knew a dumpster where he could usually find things, and if he got there at just the right time when the produce man disposed of today’s veggies so he’d have room for tomorrow’s, the ones he could gather would still be fresh.

Playing Santa
Complete in one chapter (4,527 words)
Playing Santa by Cole Parker
    A few minutes earlier I’d been eating my dinner by myself in the commissary. Now I was playing Santa to a store full of kids and smiling parents. I was unprepared. I’ve never been the most gregarious guy around. To tell the truth, though I don’t like to admit it, I was just a little bit of a nerd. Not a lot! Just a little. But this wasn’t a job I’d have picked had they offered it to me at double my salary. Being in the Stock Department was fine. I had minimal contact with people. This was maximum. Kids, parents, the photographer who was taking the pictures and getting rich, his assistant, all these people were talking to me all the time, and I was trying to make sense of it all.


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Richie's Outing
Complete in one chapter (8,943 words
Richie's Outing by Cole Parker
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    Richie didn’t waver. He always deferred to adults when he spoke to them, but his anger had been growing as he listened to the pastor pontificate, and it gave him courage. “But I also told you why she couldn’t know, why you couldn’t tell her. What did I say? Were you even listening, or had you already made up your mind you were going to out me to her? Were you already thinking that you’d look like a hero to the congregation for setting a gay boy on the path to his ‘salvation’?” His voice rose, his face flushed. “Tell me what I said. What did I say would happen if you told her?”

The Right to Remain Silent
Complete in one chapter (3,199 words)
The Right to Remain Silent by Cole Parker
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    Rod’s voice rose. “That’s bullshit, and you know it. You have to Mirandize suspects before you take them into custody, and even more importantly before you interrogate them. You’ve already screwed that up. You’re interrogating me, I’m in custody, and you have no right to do what your doing. You’re also not treating a minor as required by law; there must be a parent or guardian present before you begin any interrogation at all. You’ve totally messed up here. In any case, I’m exercising my right to remain silent, and you can go jump in the lake for all I care.”

Right of Passage
Complete in one chapter (12,350 words)
Rite of Passage by Cole Parker
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    Hatcher’s Woods was a huge, old growth woods off north about a mile up from town. The ground there was hilly, there were brambles and ground vines and the trees were large and grew densely together, close enough that the canopy above didn’t let much light in, even during the day. It always seemed cooler when you walked into the trees than when you were outside. There was a creepy feel to the place, at least to me. I admit, I do have an overactive imagination, but just looking into the place, you got this feeling. You’d be in bright sunlight, on the edge of the woods, and you’d be looking into the trees where it would be dark, then you’d walk a few feet in and the temperature would begin to drop, and for some reason there never seemed to be any birdsong or scampering squirrels or anything else in there. Just quiet and dark and cold.

Rusty
Complete in one chapter (12.051 words)
Rusty by Cole Parker
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    One of those times was when I was seven. I thought I was pretty hot stuff. You know how kids who are seven are. They can’t see past what they want, and are about as dumb as gooseberries when it comes to thinkin’ about danger. I sure was. I’d been ridin’ Rusty for a couple of years by then. He was mine. Pa gave him to me for my fifth birthday. ‘Course, I had to take care of him, but for a farm kid, that was nuthin’. I had my other chores to do as well, and taking care of Rusty was almost fun. I got to feed him, bathe and curry him and change his straw. Digging out his stall and all that weren’t much fun, but they weren’t that bad, neither, ‘cause all the time I’d be doing that, I’d be talkin’ to him. He’d stand there and listen up real good, too, and nicker at just the right times. I was pretty sure he understood human, a lot more than I understood horse. I told him a lot of things. More’n I’d ever tell anyone else. When you’re seven and most everythin’s new and confusin’ and you got all these doubts, you sure have a lot to talk about, and question, and some of that stuff you don’t want anyone to hear.


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The Sad Boy
Complete in one chapter (13,774 words)
The Sad Boy by Cole Parker
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    Fixing things was part of what I did. I didn’t have a traditional job. I wrote a little, edited some, ghosted for a couple of people whose names people knew and respected. I did a little of this and that. I could fix objects, too: computers and lawnmowers and grandfather clocks. Stuff like that. Making a lot of money was never important to me. Mostly what I did, what I cared about, was raising my son Caden. He was hurting and I was at a loss.

Scurvy Dog
Complete in one chapter (12,359 words)
Scurvy Dog by Cole Parker
    The fact that money was tight, and sometimes even more than tight, resulted in other things that eroded any self-confidence Steven had managed to regain after his father left. His haircuts were done in the kitchen by his mother, who unfortunately was decidedly not a skilled practitioner of the tonsorial arts. He patched his worn-out tennis shoes with duct tape to prolong their life. Most of Steven’s clothes came from Goodwill, church donations and thrift shops, and were worn past the point where they were in style or actually fit him. The way he dressed at school and his overall appearance practically insured that he’d be teased and become an object of ridicule. Bucky was one of the ones who made it a point to talk loudly about whatever Steven was wearing, calling unwanted attention to him, asking him what trash bin he’d found his shirt in, or why he was wearing the same pair of pants he’d had on the day before, and asking whether he had the same underwear on, too, saying he probably did because Steven smelled like dirty underwear. That was the sort of thing Steven faced every day.

The Secret
Complete in one chapter (2,869 words)
Completed 18 November 2023
The Secret by Cole Parker
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    “Class, we’ve spoken of sexual intercourse, but speaking of it doesn’t prepare you for the event. Just how does it work? For each person involved, what do you do? What emotions are you handling? How are you interacting with your partner? Talking about this won’t work nearly as well as a demonstration. Let it never be said that anyone from my class was unaware of the way of proper procreation. No, that doesn’t mean I’m going to show you porn. And we won’t actually demonstrate penetration. But I do think you’ll benefit from seeing just how things progress from the urge to copulate to the point of entry. Today we’ll show what will occur and how you should behave. Both you boys or girls should appear to be aware what you’re doing and comfortable when it’s time to perform.”

Semantics
Complete in one chapter (2,852 words)
Semantics by Cole Parker
    “We get things done, whatever needs to be done. We dirty our hands in the process. Those officers are the thinkers; we’re the doers, and the use of labels like ‘sir’ and ‘sarge’ points that out.”
    “I see,” I said, being agreeable. “And if you look at it that way, you’ll certainly agree that I need the same thing. I need to ‘point out’, to make it clear, that you belong in a group that gets my respect. So you get the title ‘sir’ and should wear it with the honor it deserves. I’m not addressing you as ‘sir’ to lump you in with officers, but to show my respect for someone who not only gets things done but does it exceedingly well.”

A new short story from Cole ParkerSeven Minutes
Complete in one chapter (8,342 words) released 24 February 2024
Seven Minutes by Cole Parker
    I thought it would be a good idea to make a record of my fifteenth birthday party for posterity because it was, uh, well, damn! My vocabulary is still a work in progress like with most teenagers. Even if I get an A in English, which I usually do, that doesn’t mean the right word jumps onto my tongue just when I need it. Or, in this case, onto my fingertips. But there is a word for that party, and, well, let me look it up. Our English teacher last year showed us a thesaurus. What a neat book! I’ll use it when writing this, I’m sure. Anyway, the word. Ah, got it. My birthday party was momentous.

The Sexual Preditor
Complete in one chapter (1,584 words)
The Sexual Preditor by Cole Parker
    Nothing. And then, she heard a muffled, “I’m in here, Mommy.” Mrs. Hart turned in the direction of the voice. She saw the door to the bathroom in the back of the classroom open slightly, and then could partially see her daughter in the doorway. “Beth! Where are your clothes?” Mrs. Hart, alarmed, started walking toward the door.

Sharing Christmas
Complete in one chapter (12,292 words)
Sharing Christmas by Cole Parker
    A house down near the end of the street where it met the cross street wasn’t lit up at all. No decorations and only a dim light showing somewhere inside. It was a smaller house, the smallest on the street. As all the lots were the same size on the two sides of the street, that meant this lonely dark house had a larger lawn on each side of the house. The yard looked a bit scruffy. This late in the year, most yards had gone dormant and so didn’t need mowing. This yard looked the same, except the lawn wasn’t as lush, and perhaps was even scruffier. The entire house looked a little sad, sitting dark and small among the glorious displays around it.

Snyder
Complete in one chapter (7,441 words)
Snyder by Cole Parker
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    It was early afternoon just inland from the French coast. To tell the truth, I wasn’t exactly sure where we were. We were moving inland, our whole Army was, but my small unit was a separate part of the whole. The air was still, and the sounds of war came from close by and afar, mostly the latter. Heavy booms. Staccato rifle and machine-gun fire. Men screaming. The pervasive smell of cordite. Then there were the closer smells, of frightened, unwashed men, of open-pit latrines that we didn’t have time to cover as we moved forward. Of corpses left in the sun.

Spring Break
Complete in one chapter (9,437 words)
Spring Break by Cole Parker
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    When I’d driven to the airport with Mom in NYC where I lived and where Dad used to live with us, it had been 42° outside. That temperature and colder were what I was accustomed to. When we stepped through the Miami airport door, I couldn’t believe it. I’d worn a heavy jacket to the airport and when flying here slipped it into the overhead compartment before takeoff. Then rather than carry it, I put it back on as I’d gotten off the plane. I was still wearing it. I felt like saying, ‘Whoa, we’re not in Kansas any longer, Toto’, when the hot, humid air of Miami hit me. I got it off fast and draped it over my suitcase.

Standing Up
Complete in one chapter (12,798 words)
Standing Up by Cole Parker
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    Actually, the stories the old man told did relate to Chase and the problems he confided to his granddad. Chase just hadn’t figured that out yet. Granddad made them about people and human reactions, but Chase tended to listen to the action involved and didn’t look for inner meanings or lessons to be taken. He never had realized how they were tuned to his life. He just wasn’t quite mature or perceptive enough yet to get that. However, the stories always had a purpose, and this one did, too. Granddad knew about Chase’s problems at school, knew he’d had more of the same yesterday; he had a large bruise on his side Granddad had happened to see to prove it.

The Summer I Was Thirteen
Complete in one chapter (35,181 words)
The Summer I Was Thirteen by Cole Parker
    “I’m on your side, Alex, and want to help, and the only way I know how to do that is to get you to open up. And so I will, even if you don’t want me to. Afterward, when you’ve got yourself back together again, then we’ll decide how to resolve whatever it is. Right now you’re what, maybe worried or maybe scared, maybe embarrassed and you don’t know what to do? I can’t say how that’s going to work because you’ve kept it all from me, but you can rest assured, we will work it out. Alex, it’s been you against the world too long already. I’m here, I’m your dad, and I want you past this. I want to get you back to being the happy kid you always have been.”

Summer Night at 14
Complete in one chapter (5,548 words)
Completed 15 November 2023
Summer Night at 14 by Cole Parker
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    The Emmett’s Bay Country Club has a posh golf course that has hosted several major golf championships where the top pros have performed. I know the course well as my dad is a long-time member. I spend a lot of time there in the summer. Dad has a pretty important job, Sales Manager of a division of a large corporation. A club membership is one of the perks of the job. He needs the membership to entertain potential and actual customers. It’s a family membership. I use the club as my summer headquarters.

Survival
Complete in one chapter (21,890 words)
Survival by Cole Parker
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    The boy stood just off the curb. It was summer, and warm as it usually was in Tulsa; the boy was wearing only a pair of shorts, a little too short, a little too tight, and a thin tee shirt. He was leaning into a car window. “Hi, mister,” he said winningly. The man was in his early forties, but to the boy, whose name was Nick, age didn’t mean anything. The man could have been anywhere from twenty to seventy. “You want a ride, kid?”


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Tackling
Complete in one chapter (2,476 words)
Tackling by Cole Parker
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    Some boys are soft. It’s just what is. It’s how nature works. Some boys are soft; some are hard. Rugged. The take-no-prisoners type. I guess you could say I was one of those. I was in lots of tussles growing up. I didn’t back down. If you’re a kid who doesn’t back down, you’d better learn to fight. I did.

Tennis, Anyone?
Complete in one chapter (6,383 words)
Tennis, Anyone? by Cole Parker
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    Billy arrived at the club about the same time Austin did, but he always came in the rear entrance. Employees were encouraged to enter that way. They parked their cars or bikes in the back where they were less noticeable. The Mercedes and Jaguars and Cadillacs were in front, along with the thousand-dollar bikes the rich kids rode. Billy put his bike in the rack the temp boys used, not bothering to lock it. His would probably be the last one anyone would be interested in stealing.
    Twiggy knew Billy was gay. Billy didn’t try to hide it. Twiggy had a soft spot for the kid. He was a hard worker and was nice to everyone. How could he not like him? And, Twiggy didn’t have much use for Austin. The kid acted like Twiggy was a nobody; he basically ignored him in the pro shop or when they bumped into each other outside. Even the club pro who gave Austin lessons hadn’t warmed up to him. Twiggy would have liked nothing better than to see Billy beat Austin, to knock him down a peg or two, but knew it was pretty unlikely. Still, he’d talked strategy with Billy. He now did so again, then added an opinion.

They Came With Guns
Complete in one chapter (10,028 words)
They Came With Guns by Cole Parker
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    They came with guns. Rand could see them coming. He was in the barn, sitting on the floor of the hayloft, looking out across the fields. They came out of the woods at the far end of the cornfield. There were four of them, walking in a line, each spaced about ten yards apart. They were far enough away that he couldn’t see what kind of guns they had, but he could tell they were either rifles or shotguns. There was something about them that was as frightening as the guns. They walked with a sort of tension in them. They looked around as they walked, looking for what he wasn’t sure. But they appeared to be on edge, carrying their weapons not casually like hunters did but at the ready so they could shoot quickly if they had to.

Tinker's Travail
Complete in one chapter (9,145 words)
Tinker's Travail by Cole Parker
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    This was a Midwestern town, Sycamore Falls, and many of the adults weren’t quite that open-minded. Kids for the most part didn’t follow many of the examples their parents set for them, especially when it came to this attitude. ‘For the most part’ meant just what it said; it meant a few were exempted. A few retained the old-fashioned ethos: gay was bad; gay was wrong; gay needed to be put in it’s place and expunged if possible. I was reminded of that driving home that day.

The Tourney
Complete in one chapter (25,233 words)
The Tourney by Cole Parker
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    I first came to Antillies Golf Club when I was 13. My best friend at the time was Lucas Hanover. His dad was the head chef at Antillies. Lucas was all personality and shenanigans, fun and adventure, the exact opposite of me. But he thought caddying would be fun; we had nothing going on that summer, and caddying would give us something to do every day, and maybe we’d make a little coin, too. I tagged along as usual. I didn’t know anything about golf when we started, but I was a fast learner, and something about the place, the outdoor setting on manicured grounds, the difficulty of the game itself, how structured it was, how I felt so free out on that beautiful layout, so problem-free—it all spoke to me. I don’t know exactly what it was, but within a few rounds of caddying for men and sometimes women, I started feeling really at home on the course, and the entirety of the setting, the game itself, the ambience, it all seemed to seep into my soul. It gave me a feeling of peace and of being in the place that was right for me like nothing else I’d ever experienced.
    Golf fans to the front of the line. There is enough technical golf explination to keep golfers happy and more than enough plot to keep Cole Parker fans happy.

Trial by Jury
Complete in one chapter (5,468 words)
Trial by Jury by Cole Parker
    The forensic evidence and witness testimony had been presented to the court and now the defendant was on the witness stand and had taken the oath. He had testified, answering questions from his attorney about each piece of evidence against him, showing how it was circumstantial. He’d excused the eyewitness testimony simply by stating the man was mistaken. His attorney had not asked if he had an alibi, and the defendant had not given one.

Trials and Tribulations of Being 13
Complete in one chapter (16,404 words)
Trials and Tribulations of Being 13 by Cole Parker
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    I dress like all the other boys. Jeans, sneakers, tee shirts. A few boys wear chinos and polo shirts. I think their mothers must buy their clothes for them. It’s best, if you’re a boy, to look like the other boys as much as you can. Boys who dress differently can get pushed into their lockers by bigger boys walking past in the hallways or can get singled out outside on the school grounds. For kids my age, school is all about learning survival techniques. What you wear is one of them. How you behave in class and on the playground is another. A good one would be asking a girl to a dance. That would make the other boys aware of you. Maybe not so much just the asking, but the going. Getting one to go with you. That’s the thing. That’d get you noticed but in a good way.

Tryouts
Complete in one chapter (22,225 words)
Tryouts by Cole Parker
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    I stood off to the side of the plate and looked out at the pitcher. He was about 6’ 5” and had hard eyes. He was wearing the school uniform, and I was in sweatpants and a tee shirt, so I felt a little intimidated right off the bat. I put on a batting helmet that almost fit and grabbed a bat that seemed OK and stepped into the batter’s box, and the first pitch came right at my head. I jerked out of the way, stumbled and ended up in the dirt. I was breathing fast. No one had ever thrown at me on purpose before. This was tryouts! What the hell was going on?


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A new short story from Cole ParkerValentine Memories
Complete in one chapter (1,670 words) released 14 February 2024

Valentine Memories by Cole Parker
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    Valentine's Day means nothing to me. I'm an old codger living in a 'retirement home.' That's a fancy, politically-acceptable name for a place old people can be stuck so they'll be out of the hair of the young whippersnappers who are running things now and find us inconvenient.
    I had some marvelous VD times back a few years. Well, more than a few now. Many. Back when VD had a whole different meaning. Back before penicillin and other 'wonder drugs' tidied things up a bit. That's what we called them, wonder drugs. Now they're called antibiotics and we don't hear much about VD.


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Walt's
Complete in one chapter (3,309 words)
Walt's by Cole Parker
    “Yeah. You know.” Mr. Vernon reached up and scratched his ear where some falling hair had tickled it, then replaced his hand under the sheet. “When I played, back in the day, we had a queer who went out for the team. Thought he was one of us, man enough to play football. Acted like a fairy like most of them do. Back then, we didn’t have so many as now. And the ones we did have knew enough to keep it secret.”

War and Peace - The Ben Hathaway Story
Complete in one chapter (14,171 words)
War and Peace - The Ben Hathaway Story by Cole Parker
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    Crew Carson. That was the boy’s name. Ben had a crush on Crew Carson that was larger than anything he’d felt before. It was almost more than he could handle. It was overpowering, all-consuming, and unless he forced himself not to think of him, Crew was in Ben’s mind most of the day and at night when he was trying to sleep. And in the morning when he woke up. Crew Carson.     He’d had crushes before, of course, on both boys and girls. They usually lasted a week or even two, then gradually faded away when a new person caught his eye and imagination. But this crush on Crew wasn’t like that. It had hit him with the force of a cannonball and had never lost its impact.

What I Did On My Summer Vacation
Complete in one chapter (11,788 words)
What I Did On My Summer Vacation by Cole Parker
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    The general turned to look at the bank of TV monitors, though it was just to give him time to gather his thoughts. Any movement on any of the monitors was accompanied by a beep to alert the viewer. He then turned back and looked Simon right in the eye. “Son,” he said, “this can’t leave this room. Top, top secret. What’s happened is, Fayed bin Hammad has been kidnapped, and his father has received demands that he cannot accede to. He’s turned to us. We have to rescue his son. If Fayed is killed, we’ll have failed one of our strongest allies in the middle-East. Additionally, it will make Hammad look weak, that he was unable to protect his own family. There will be rumblings by his opposition that if he can’t do that, how can he protect their country? We can’t allow this to blow up into a shitstorm. We have to rescue Fayed, but the people holding him know that killing him is almost as good as holding him to make his father do what they demand, so any rescue has to be covert.”

With a Little Help from Zeus
Complete in one chapter (2,403 words)
Completed 11 November 2023
With a Little Help from Zeus by Cole Parker
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    That summer I was often in my bedroom with Trent. We were both just 14, and we were best friends. In the summer, best friends can spend a lot of time together. Spending time outside was what we usually did, but when it got too hot, we’d decide to go in. Two 14-year-old boys, sweaty from the heat, alone together in a bedroom. And it was totally innocent. Damn!


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Novels



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A Summer Romance
Complete in six chapters (19,531 words)
A Summer Romance by Cole Parker
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    I climbed up on the lifeguard’s elevated chair and ate my breakfast. I could look out over the lake from here. It was beautiful. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a very calm lake on a very calm early morning, but the water can be still and flat as a mirror. Not a ripple in sight. It’s a wondrous sight and affects me every time I see it. I swiveled in my seat and looked back at the scenery behind the beach. I could only see a little bit of one or two cabins. Dad had built them thinking they’d be more attractive if they were private, and he had lots of woods to work with. When more had been built, only a few of those were set close to the water; I could see one window and a rooftop and a front step, but not more than that. We had twenty cabins, all told. From my chair I could see only a bit of three of them.

A Work of Art
Complete in 9 chapters (36,419 words)
A Work of Art by Cole Parker
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    “I think I might like to write,” I said, hoping he wouldn’t shoot me down. It didn’t take much to deflate me. My father lowered the paper farther this time, all the way down to the table. “That’s one of those jobs like teaching. There’re all kinds of writing. You’d have a wide scope, choosing writing, which is a very good thing. Have you thought about what you’d like to write? Short stories and/or novels, or being a reporter or columnist for a newspaper or magazine, writing against a deadline, or technical writing for a company, writing for financial appeals, writing patent applications, writing movie scripts or proposals, writing ads for an agency—as I say, there’re all kinds of writers. The field would be wide open for you. And with your intelligence, that’s something you could be good at.”

The Age of Innocence
Complete in 14 chapters (58,973 words)
The Age of Innocence by Cole Parker
    Things I hate. I mentioned one of the biggies. Being embarrassed. I mean, a kid my age wants to be cool. Some want to shine; some prefer the background. But all of us want to be cool. Being embarrassed isn’t being cool. It’s awkward and demeaning and shows us not to be in control of ourselves and hangs our insecurities out on display for everyone passing by. We hate being embarrassed, and so many things embarrass us. Irony. That’s sort of what Mrs. Meyers said what irony meant in class last year. It seemed sort of complicated to me. But the fact we hate being embarrassed and it takes so little to cause us embarrassment is ironic, isn’t it?
    Follow along with Scottie as he experiences his first teenage year. Great story!

An Accidental Romance
Complete in 16 chapters (58,631 words)
An Accidental Romance by Cole Parker
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    Plot summary coming soon.

Attitude Adjustment
Complete in 10 chapters (31,077 words)
Attitude Adjustment by Cole Parker
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    Plot summary coming soon.


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The Barn
Complete in 11 chapters (34,853 words)
The Barn by Cole Parker
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    I couldn’t have known it at that time, but walking up to that barn, climbing those stairs, was the beginning for me. The six of us played just about every day that summer. Occasionally two other guys would join us, but it was usually three-on-three basketball. Their sixth man, the one missing that day I joined the group, was named Paul, and he was there sometimes but not every day. The fact I was now part of the group meant he didn’t have to show up or feel guilty about not coming, and I figured out he liked that. When he came without bringing someone with him, we played three on four, or someone rotated out and rested for a game before someone else sat out. It was warm enough most days to make sitting out pleasant. But mostly it was just us six; I was the sixth man that day and for most of the summer. The deeper into summer it got, the less frequently Paul showed up.

Best Summer Ever
Complete in 11 chapters with a prologue and an epilogue (45,743 words)
Best Summer Ever by Cole Parker
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    Plot summary coming soon.

The Boy on the Plane
Complete in 19 chapters (75,936 words)
The Boy on the Plane by Cole Parker
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    Plot summary coming soon.

The Busboy
Complete in 14 chapters (69,316 words)
The Busboy by Cole Parker
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    Plot summary coming soon.


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Circumstances
Complete in 53 chapters (66,171 words)
Circumstances by Cole Parker
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    Plot summary coming soon.

The Courier
Complete in 10 chapters with a forward and an epilogue (37,229 words)
The Courier by Cole Parker
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    The man shook his head, and though it was his superior who was criticizing his decision, he didn’t hold back with his response. He wasn’t that sort of a man. “This was carefully conceived. Not foolproof, of course, because that’s impossible. No one can predict precisely what a person will do in changing and uncertain circumstances. But weighing many factors, this seems the prudent way to go. We need to know, and what better way to find out? This will work.”
    “But he’s had no training, no preparation for what he may encounter. Just basics, not even how to handle a pistol. He doesn’t know something simple, like how to disappear in a crowd, and that could make a world of difference, a lifesaving one. You’re basically throwing him to the wolves. A babe, naked in the woods.”


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Derick/Jake/Nick
Complete with a prologue and 12 chapters (51,801 words)
Derick/Jake/Nick by Cole Parker
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    Plot summary coming soon.

Distorted Percpectives
Complete in 18 chapters (117,032 words)
Distorted Percpectives by Cole Parker
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    From the author - I feel the need to extend a cautionary word for the many of you who have read my previous stories and are looking for this one to parallel those. While in some ways it will do that, this one is different enough that I think a word of warning is in order. This story is grittier, rougher, more disturbing, and you may not find it to be to your taste. Knowing that going in could be helpful to some, and adding this advisory in advance alleviates my conscience. That said, I enjoyed writing it and would hope the majority of readers would find some satisfaction and enjoyment in it as well.
    And now, an excerpt.
    Todd was fed up with the injustice he was feeling. Now he was being accused of lying, when he hadn’t done any such thing! He knew what he wanted to do. He wanted to stand up as straight as he could, look into Mr. McCluskey’s eyes, and as terrifying as that was, give his long–bottled–up anger some free rein. He could imagine saying it, imagine what it would feel like to say, ‘No, sir, I didn’t say I was all right. You assumed it. You told me to stop limping, I tried and ended up hurting myself again. Now you’re saying that’s my fault. It isn’t my fault. It’s your fault I hurt it again. You’re just a bully, just being mean to me and you don’t know me at all. You find me in the nurse’s office and act like I’m pretending. I’m not. You know I can’t defend myself against you, and it makes you feel big. You’re just another bully I have to deal with!’

Doing Something
Complete in 19 chapters (79,507 words)
Doing Something by Cole Parker
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    Plot summary coming soon.

Dominoes
Complete with a forward and 7 chapters (33.453 words)
Dominoes by Cole Parker
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    Plot summary coming soon.

Duck Duke Goose
Complete with a note, 36 chapters and an epilogue (191,472 words)
Duck Duck Goose by Cole Parker
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    Plot summary coming soon.

Dust
Complete with a forward and 31 chapters (95,902 words)
Dust by Cole Parker
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    Plot summary coming soon.


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Eighth Grade
Complete in 15 chapters (26,231 words)
Eighth Grade by Cole Parker
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    Danny has a problem with his math teacher and secretly lusts after the most popular boy in school.
    So I knew I shouldn’t do it. You get that feeling sometimes—you just know it’s a mistake to do something and then you go ahead and do it anyway, and of course you were right, and it was wrong, and it ends up just like it should, with you embarrassed or humiliated or in deep shit with someone or hurt or some such crap. And you don’t even feel that upset because you knew that was how it was going to end up when you did it. It just works that way. And it really isn’t that bad to be humiliated. Hell, I’m in middle school—humiliation is a daily deal-with-it way of life.


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First Year
Complete with a forward and 12 chapters (50,460 words)
First Year by Cole Parker
    Plot summary coming soon.


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Going for the Gold
Complete in 10 chapters (29,306 words)
Going for the Gold by Cole Parker
    Plot summary coming soon.

Going Home
Complete in 26 chapters (109,423 words)
Going Home by Cole Parker
    “Well, let’s see. You’re thirty-one years old, a little over six feet tall with gorgeous dark-brown hair, deep-set dark eyes—bedroom eyes, really—a slight Cary Grant dimple in your chin, so handsome the starlets all want to sleep with you and moan when you play the gay card. You began as an extra writer on the film of your book and ended up the main writer. The movie was a major hit, making you a name and an attractive quantity in the business. Also, you worked with the film’s director, so you have experience both in writing and directing a moneymaking film. You’ve written the third largest selling book of the year. You’ve got more money than God and rarely spend any of it. You live a simple, single life. You work out and run and weigh under 180 pounds; you’re fit and healthy. Yet, with all that going for you, you drive a six-year-old Hyundai, you dress like you shop at Target, and you aren’t out and about at all the clubs. You don’t date. You turn down TV talk shows and magazine interviews. To put it succinctly, the world’s your oyster, yet you just sit back and surround yourself with the shells.”

Growing Pains
Complete in 15 chapters (32,445 words)
Growing Pains by Cole Parker
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    Plot summary coming soon.


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High School Hero
Complete in 12 chapters (58,473 words)
High School Hero by Cole Parker
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    Plot summary coming soon.


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Josh, Evolving
Complete in 28 chapters (106,110 words)
Josh, Evolving by Cole Parker
    Plot summary coming soon.


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Lesson Plans
Complete in 4 parts and 14 chapters (25,430 words)
Lesson Plans by Cole Parker
    Plot summary coming soon.

Lightening in a Jar
Complete in 12 chapters (56,636 words)
Lightening in a Jar by Cole Parker
    Plot summary coming soon.


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Me 'n Riley
Complete in 14 chapters (44,494 words)
Me 'n Riley by Cole Parker
    Plot summary coming soon.

Middle School
Complete in 15 chapters (47,272 words)
Middle School by Cole Parker
    Plot summary coming soon.


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One Summer in Georgia
Complete in 14 chapters (51,428 words)
One Summer in Georgia by Cole Parker
    A boy burst out of the woods ahead of me on my right. There was a dog, a German Shepherd, trotting along with him. They moved to the side of the road in a flash, racing to get there just before I reached them. The boy was shirtless, his hair a mess, flying every which way as he ran in his denim cut-offs and flip-flops.
    I took all that in at a glance. The boy was standing right beside the road, turned so he was facing me, and he was waving both arms up above his head as I drove up. The expression on his face was frantic.

SEQUEL - Another Summer in Georgia
Complete with a forward and 10 chapters (43,284 words)
Another Summer in Georgia by Cole Parker
    As regular readers of my stories know, I don’t do sequels. I’m often asked to because, I’m told, people want to know what becomes of characters they have grown attached to as these guys have grown older.
    I don’t write sequels because then I’m stuck with characters whose lives I’ve already illuminated. I’ve said what I had to say about them. I’ve moved on so I can create new characters, which is a process of which I’m quite fond.
    But, in an effort to get you guys off my back… hold on. I didn’t mean that. In an effort to soothe the savage breast you guys generally keep so well hidden — yeah, that sounds better — I have taken pen in hand, or, to be more factual about it, keyboard on lap, and I’ve written a sequel.


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The Prom
Complete in 12 chapters (43,068 words)
The Prom by Cole Parker
    Plot summary coming soon.

Puppy Love
Complete in 11 chapters (33,740 words)
Puppy Love by Cole Parker
    Plot summary coming soon.


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Ren
Part One complete in 9 chapters (52,292 words)
Part Two complete in 9 chapters (44,798 words)

Ren by Cole Parker
    Plot summary coming soon.

Running
Complete in 11 chapters (34,516 words)
Running by Cole Parker
    Plot summary coming soon.


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Terrytown Tales
Complete in 14 chapters and an epilogue (42,477 words)
Terrytown Tales by Cole Parker
    Plot summary coming soon.

Tim
Complete in three parts with a forward and 28 chapters (100,894 words)
Tim Part One by Cole Parker
Tim Part Two by Cole Parker
Tim Part 3 by Cole Parker
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    I wrote Tim early in my writing career, if career is the right word for it. I began writing when I retired. I’d not written a word of fiction at that point and little non-fiction, either. Writing was to be an adventure for me. It became one, one that continues to this day.
    Tim was actually the third story I ever wrote, following Eighth Grade and Prom. When I wrote it I was quite proud of it, yet never really thought it a very well-written story. I always intended to return to it and see if I could make it a little better, but other stories kept interfering with that intention.
    Now, here's an excerpt from Tim Part One.
    I was uncomfortable around all those naked boys, and felt a little safer with my boxers on. I was just as likely to get hard with my boxers on as I was standing there naked, but I could hope no one would notice this way. And I really, really didn’t want anyone to notice that. But I was like a lot of the guys; many of them kept a towel around their waist as long as they could, then dried quickly and slipped into their boxers immediately. This meant I didn’t stand out in any way, getting my underwear on quickly. I always wondered about the guys that didn’t. Some of them stayed naked longer than they needed to, speaking to other guys without covering themselves, sometimes even walking around the steamy locker room that way for whatever reason. They seemed so comfortable doing that, seemed to think absolutely nothing of it. That was really weird to me because it was something I just wouldn’t do. It made me wonder about them. Did they really like other guys looking at their stuff? Did they want it to be seen?

A new Cole Parker story!Two-part Harmony
Complete in 11 chapters (48,594 words)
Two-part Harmony by Cole Parker Click on any picture for a larger version.
    Plot summary coming soon.


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When He Was Five
Complete in 9 chapters (12,245 words)
When He Was Five by Cole Parker
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    When he was 5 years old, he came into my life. When he was 16 he wanted to get his license and that scared the daylights out of me. When he was 25 he had a son, just like him and he named him after me.


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Collections, A Trilogy and Other Works
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Collections - Holidays

New Year's Eve
Complete in one chapter (4,008 words)
New Year's Eve by Cole Parker
    I was invited to a party on New Year’s Eve. It was going to be the first time I’d ever been to one of those. I’d been to other parties, of course, but not one on New Year’s Eve. At 14, I was surprised my parents were letting me go, but it was just down the street at my best friend Caleb’s house, and I was going to stay the night after the party, so I didn’t get much static from the old folks about going.

Valentine's Day
Complete in one chapter (9,667 words)
Valentine's Day by Cole Parker
    This is going to be the first time I’ve ever taken a girl out to dinner on Valentine’s Day. Someone told me that was the hardest day of the year to get dinner reservations, you had to do it way, way in advance, so when Marcie and I became a couple at the New Year’s Eve party we attended, and then became real close pretty soon afterwards, if you get my drift, I knew I’d be taking her out for dinner on February 14, and so in the middle of January I started calling restaurants.

April's Fool
Complete in one chapter (6,435 words)
April's Fool by Cole Parker
    He was one of the geeky kids, I guess. He didn’t say it quite that way, but I’ve seen pictures. Did you ever see that TV show they made several years ago? The Wonder Years? Reruns are on cable a lot, and it’s pretty good, but it’s got this geek in it. That Paul kid. The best friend. He’s sort of scrawny and too tall for his age and he’s all uncoordinated and wears too big glasses with dark rims and is sort of strange looking with hair that just doesn’t work. That’s Paul, and it was my dad.

Independence Day
Complete in one chapter (23,726 words)
Independence Day by Cole Parker
    The boy turned as he shut the door and looked into the car through the open side window. “Thanks again, mister. I sure appreciate it.” Though he still didn’t smile, he did give the man a short wave of his hand, shrugged the pack up onto his back and turned away from the car. The man hesitated a moment, watching as the boy began walking down the sidewalk, slowly, quite obviously without any real destination in mind. The man shook his head, pursed his lips into a frown, then pulled out of the parking space and drove on, past the boy.

Halloween
Complete in one chapter (3,841 words)
Halloween by Cole Parker
    So we’re coming up on Halloween, see, and my friends are talking about being pirates and vampires and football players and, oh my god, it’s the same every year. And I want to do something different. Something no one’s ever done. Something people will remember me for. I’m sort of nobody at school. I’m the same size as everyone else, wear my hair the same, dress the same, act the same, and there’s some safety in that, but something inside of me is looking to break out. I’d like to be recognized. And at the same time, that’s scary as hell, you know? I haven’t figured it out yet, whether I want to be safe as a ghost, or Darth Vader, or, or, well, something different, something special. Something that would be noticed.

Thanksgiving
Complete in one chapter (8,925 words)
Thanksgiving by Cole Parker
    I’m from a large Italian family, but that’s probably redundant; I don’t know any small Italian families. There might be some, but then, they’re probably not really Italian. Why are all our families large? It’s probably a combination of things. Sure, we’re all Catholics, but also, Italians seem to love kids, and Italian women seem to love babies. Perhaps it’s incidental, but Italian men seem to like to do what it takes to make babies, so it all fits together pretty nicely.
    What doesn’t fit as well is me. I’m gay, and Italians don’t think much of gays. Now that’s a pretty broad statement, and a stereotype, and I don’t like stereotypes much, nor most broad statements if you want to know the truth, so perhaps I shouldn’t say that, but it’s what I feel right now. I’m gay, I’m Italian, and while there may be worse things in the world, the only one I can think of at the moment is trying to figure out how to tell my family about me.

Something Special: A Christmas Story
Complete in one chapter (7,164 words)
Something Special: A Christmas Story by Cole Parker
    I’ve got a problem. I want to get my best friend something special for Christmas. I mean, really special. I can’t tell him how I feel about him, but want him to know. I think maybe a special present might give him a hint. I want so badly for him to know how I feel about him, but I’m scared to death, too. What if knowing how I feel turns him off? What if it creeps him out and he stops wanting to hang with me? I can hardly think about that. I just can’t.

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Collections - Rain
Six vignettes (8,874 words)
Collections - Rain by Cole Parker
    This is a series of vignettes. Each will involve rain. Other than rain, there is nothing wedding these stories to each other. They take place separately from each other, occurring at different times and locations.

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The Hammil Academy Stories
An eight part series
The Hammil Academy Stories by Cole Parker
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Hammil Academy - Foreward
Complete in one chapter (325 words)
    I have long been an admirer of the British public school stories I’ve read. They make me nostalgic for a place I’ve never been, if that’s possible, with their sense of community and tradition. The strong feelings I’ve enjoyed when reading these adventures have led me to want to write some of my own set against that particular background.
    Cole


The Outcasts - Part One
Complete in one chapter (10,227 words)
    Hammil Academy, Berkshire, England, 1970. Mr. Mellanby looked out over the multitude of 14-year-old boys sitting before him. There were a variety of expressions looking back at him. His gaze had covered the entire class before he espied Wim Tanner sitting in the third seat back closest to the window. Wim was a small boy, perhaps the smallest in his form. He had the impish look shared by many smaller boys. He might have been considered cute by some.

The Outcasts - Part Two
Complete in one chapter (7,495 words)
    Hammil Academy, Berkshire, England, 1970. It was in the library two nights later that Liam thought he might try again to learn why Wim had separated himself from everyone else. He knew he had to do it very non-threateningly.

The Outcasts - Part Three
Complete in one chapter (10,821 words)
    Hammil Academy, Berkshire, England, 1970. Wim was very nervous going to see the headmaster. Liam had been vague about why the man wanted to meet with him. Thinking about his nervousness, Wim found it strange that the last time he’d gone to see him, facing possible expulsion for fighting in the dining room, he hadn’t felt nearly this nervous.

The Bully - Part One
Complete in one chapter (4,545 words)
    Hammil Academy, Greater Marsten, Berkshire, England, 1970. Roger Haskins stood in my doorway, still dressed in his school uniform. He was one of the lads who looked like an unmade bed most of the time, one of those who stayed just barely on the side of acceptable. His shirt was pulled partially from his trousers, but only partially. His school tie was crooked. I looked at the whole of him a moment, wondering what sort of boy would come to see his Housemaster upon being summoned without just a little bit of primping. Whatever sort it was, it was apparent young Haskins was definitely one of them.

The Bully - Part Two
Complete in one chapter (5,828 words)
    Hammil Academy, Greater Marsten, Berkshire, England, 1970. It was an hour later when Foster tapped on my door, and I let him in. He had some books in his hand. Camouflage, I imagined.
    After having him sit, I asked, “Foster, you looked like you had something to say when we spoke earlier. What have you seen?”
    “It may be nothing, sir, but I like Sandervale and I heard he got knocked around in the changing room after everyone else had left. So I’ve been thinking, and what you asked? If I’d seen anyone hanging around him, or looking at him? Well, I have.

The Bully - Part Three
Complete in one chapter (4,605 words)
    Hammil Academy, Greater Marsten, Berkshire, England, 1970. “Haskins,” I said eventually, “something has come to my attention. Let me start by saying, it’ll go much easier on you if you tell me about it. I already know what you’ve done, but I want to hear it from you. I want to hear it in detail, to see if you can convince me that any sort of leniency is deserved. I doubt you’ll be successful with that, but fair’s fair and I think you should be afforded a chance at it. But before you begin, please, please don’t waste my time with all these namby-pamby, tired comments, like, ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about, sir,’ and ‘but I haven’t done anything, sir.’

Beginning
Complete in one chapter (3,655 words)
    Boarding school! I didn’t want to go to boarding school. I couldn’t, really. Yes, I was now 13. But I didn’t feel any different from when I was ten. I felt like a little boy. I still liked the same things I had then. I liked playing games with my mates. They didn’t seem older, either. I liked hide and seek and games like that. Many of the other boys more and more wanted kick a ball around on the grass, or play rougher games like rugger and I’d more watch than anything else, but afterwards we’d get ice cream and pop. We’d talk about boy stuff, just like before. A couple of the boys would start talking about girls, and the rest of us would jeer at them. Who wanted to talk about girls? Not me, that was for sure!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sebastian: A Trilogy
A trilogy of short stories
Sebastian by Cole Parker
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Woe Is I
Complete in one chapter (14,034 words)
Woe Is I by Cole Parker
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    Peter Darvin was what a teacher should be. He was bright and engaging, and he knew how to teach. He really, truly knew how to teach. He reached his students, even the ones no one else could. He lit a fire under them, made them eager to come to class and learn. He was creative and energetic and always pushing forward with passion and ideas and his own special flair. He connected with his students as no other teacher in the school did. His classes were noisy, raucous, full of fun and activity, but most of all full of learning. Rarely does a principal have such a man under him. Dr. Jacobs was doing all he could possibly do to keep Peter on his faculty and teaching. Not moving on to some administrative position that paid better and did little for the kids in the district. Keeping teachers like Peter Darvin teaching was of utmost importance.

Happiness
Complete in one chapter (20,327 words)
Happiness by Cole Parker
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    He glanced up at the clock again. Five ten. He hoped Fred would come home soon. He was hungry. They’d both told him, he didn’t know how many times, that if he was hungry he should get something to eat, that this was his home. It wasn’t, though, and he knew that. It was his foster home; he’d been there and done that and knew how these homes worked. Sometimes, people changed their minds about things, things like permitting him to get food when he wanted it. They’d give permission for something and then go crazy when whatever they’d agreed on happened, and getting something to eat when he wanted could be something like that. He’d learned it was safer to wait till they were here and gave the food to him. Even if he was hungry.

Friendship
Complete in one chapter (19,017 words)
Friendship by Cole Parker
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    While he watched, Peter saw one of the kids he’d helped find himself the previous year coming toward the school. Sebastian Collier was walking with Dylan Spenser and Cary Anders. Peter couldn’t help but smile. Dylan was laughing, which was the norm for him. He was a happy, outgoing boy who had more depth to him than was apparent from his behavior; he tended to light up any room he was in with his jovial and irreverent manner. Cary was quieter but had come out of his shell by the end of the school year three months earlier. He always seemed to be by Sebastian’s side, although today, Dylan, in the middle, was separating them. That caught Peter’s attention. Did this mean Cary was gaining enough self-assurance so as not to be so reliant on Sebastian’s support? Possibly. Hopefully.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Other Works
Ten story starts, listed here in the hopes they might get a writer’s imagination churning, arouse his muse from slumber and coax him to sit down at his keyboard and… (5,457 words)
Ten Stories by Cole Parker



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