Sol’s Solstice By Leona Windwalker
Sol is used to flying under his family’s radar, unless focusing unwanted attention away from his more outgoing, older twin. The day comes when pays a steep price for attempting to shield his brother. Running for his life, he is nearly run over by a car driven by Seth. Can Seth help Sol find his way back from the darkness?
With each sale of Sol’s Solstice, Leona Windwalker will donate her royalty to GALA (Gay and Lesbian Memory in Action). GALA is a centre for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) culture and education in Africa. Their mission is, first and foremost, to act as a catalyst for the production, preservation and dissemination of knowledge on the history, culture and contemporary experiences of LGBTI people.
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Sol shifted in his bunk. He could hear the regular breathing of his twin through the stillness. The crickets had long ceased their chirping, and the only other sound that could be heard was the gentle rustling of the curtain as the occasional breeze made its way through the open screened window along with glimmers from the streetlight outside. The bed creaked as Ben shifted slightly in the top bunk. The bed was nearly as old as his father, and truth be told, some nights Sol feared he would awake with bits of lumber, a mattress, and Ben burying him. But this was not why Sol felt uneasy tonight. Something else had woken him, and he concentrated on the dark stillness to try to decipher what that something could have been.
There–what was that? He strained to hear, body gone tense, willing himself to discover the origin of the slight sound without opening his eyes or turning to look. He wanted to know, but he was very afraid that he already knew what it was. Wanting confirmation that his suspicions were correct, but not wanting to provoke that which was making the sound. A low chuckle, then a voice giving the dreaded confirmation, “I know you’re awake, boy. No sense tryin’ to fool me none. Now, Ben, he’s asleep. But you’re awake, and I can see that just fine, even in the dark.”
Sol stiffened, then forced himself to relax. No sense letting him see he’s gotten to me. Creepy bastard, standing there watching us sleep. Best answer him, and maybe he’ll go away.
“What is it, Shane?” he asked softly, turning his head towards the man who stood just inside the closed doorway.
“That’s Uncle Shane, to you, boy. I might only be a bit older’n you, but I am your elder and you’ll show me respect. As fer what it is, is I wanted to see if y’all were sleepin’ like you should. Or if you were doin’ bad boy things. Dreamin’ what you shouldn’t, or mebee touchin’ yerself. I know what teenaged boys is like. So, tell me, what was you dreamin’ about? And did you say yer prayers all proper like your mama and daddy and granny woulda wanted?”
Shit. Shane was on one of his kicks. From the way he was acting, he must’ve had more than just the one beer and a toke. Sol tried to calm his racing heart. With Shane in a mood like this, things could go one of two ways. He’d either be easily placated and go back to his couch and smoke some more weed and drink a few more beers until he went to sleep, hopefully without causing a fire, or he’d get aggressive. Sadly, there was no way to know which way things would turn out, as Shane was very unpredictable once he got this way. Sol inwardly cursed his parents for leaving him and Ben with this asshole in their absence.
“Yeah, we said our prayers, Uncle Shane, and I don’t recall if I was dreaming anything. Maybe I haven’t had my dream yet. How about you? Trouble sleeping? Want me to cook a pizza and watch some TV with ya ’til you’re ready for bed?”
“Yes, Uncle Shane, I said my prayers,” mimicked Shane, sarcasm adding a dark edge to his voice that left a chill in Sol’s bones as Shane’s shadow fell across him. “Don’t you go mocking me, boy!” The punch was half expected, but it still hurt like hell when it landed. Sol let out an involuntary cry of pain.
“What? Sol?” Ben startled awake,
“Back to sleep, boy.” Sol heard the crack of a backhanded slap as Shane let loose his rage.
The last thing he remembered was shouting, “That’s enough!” as he tackled Shane’s legs, then a sharp pain in his skull, then nothing.