I’m trying a new thing this year, though I’ve already strayed from it. My idea was to have other authors guest my blog on Fridays. We’ll do this, but there will be Fridays without guests, and guests will show up on other days too – tomorrow for example LOL
But today, we have Holly Day here! She’ll tell us about her story Hop Hop, Carrot Top, that was released a few days ago. Welcome, Holly.
Thank you for letting me drop by, Ofelia :D. A few days ago, on the 9th of January, my story Hop Hop, Carrot Top was released. It’s about a red-haired man who is back in his hometown after having been gone for twenty years. He swore never to come back, but his mother has passed away, and someone needs to clear out the house.
The reason I told you he has red-hair is that Hop Hop, Carrot Top is a story I wrote for Kiss A Ginger Day that was on the 12th of January. You know all those (inter)national X days don’t you think they all deserve a story? I think they do.
Anyway, we have Flynn, who had a hard time in school. He was being bullied because of his red hair and the way his hands seem to have a life of their own. Now, he’s learned to control his hands – mostly, at least.
Caspian always loved watching Flynn when they were kids, and he quickly realises that hasn’t changed despite twenty years having gone by.
When I started writing Hop Hop, Carrot Top, I wanted it to be a short, light-hearted story. But how do you turn bullying and grief into something light-hearted?
I wanted there to be bullying because Kiss A Ginger Day is an anti-bullying project. It’s about showing appreciation for all the gingers in the world, but it’s also to draw attention to the fact that many born with red hair are or have been bullied while growing up.
There is more than just grief and bullying in the story, though. There are animals, cars, and bridges.
It might not have been Flynn he’d seen.
There had been a car in the driveway, though. Caspian often walked past the house with the dogs, and he’d never seen a car there. It didn’t mean it was Flynn, though.
He dropped the wrench on the floor and cursed. The nuts on the old Ford were as rusty as the rest of the car. He wiped his hands on a rag he’d put in his back pocket and went toward the desk in the corner. He didn’t have an office, only a dirty old desk.
The phone rang, and he glanced at the clock. Twenty to seven in the morning. Who called at twenty to seven? No one was open for business at this hour. He grabbed the phone.
“Hartley’s car repair.”
“Eh… you’re open?”
Caspian rolled his eyes. He’d answered, hadn’t he? “No, not yet.”
“Oh. Should I call back later? I didn’t mean to interrupt… I figured if someone answered, then… eh…”
Caspian ran a hand through his hair, smiling as the man on the other end rambled on. “Yes, call back in twenty.”
Silence overtook the garage. “Okay… Sorry, I bothered—”
“Wait! I was joking, sorry.” Fuck, he shouldn’t joke with people on the phone before seven in the morning.
He shook his head. “How can I help you?”
“I have a car.”
Looking at the dogs, he shook his head again. “I’m glad to hear it.” A chuckle traveled through the phone, and it made Caspian grin.
“The problem is, I don’t know if it’s running or not.”
He glanced at Taco, who was chewing on a bone while lying on his dog bed against the wall. They each had a dog bed along the wall—Taco, Moose, and Chocolate. He didn’t have one for himself, though some days it was tempting to get one. “You haven’t tried to start it?”
“Erm, no. I need to get rid of it as fast as possible. Do you take in used cars to sell?”
“Great! Can you come get it?” The hope in his voice made Caspian want to say yes, but he was alone in the shop.
“You’re unable to drive it here?” What kind of car was it? How old? Did he own it, or had he stolen it since he was in such a hurry to get rid of it?
Silence stretched again. “Who’s working there?”
Caspian flattened his lips. “It’s only me. Why?”
“Erm… it used to be run by Harold Cook.”
Caspian was about to say it was his dad, but something in the man’s tone made him reword his sentence. “He’s retired.”
“Oh… okay, then.” The sigh following was one of relief; Caspian couldn’t be sure, but he believed it was a sigh of relief.
“Let me know if you can’t get the car to start.”
“Okay. Bye.” The line went dead and Caspian frowned. The man had never introduced himself. With a shrug, he went back to the Ford.
Flynn Thomas is back in Hartley. His plan is to be out of there before anyone notices he’s back. He left twenty years ago and promised himself he’d never have to face his childhood bullies or set foot in his bigoted hometown ever again. But it’s been six months since his mother passed away, and someone has to clear out the house.
Caspian Cook is out on a walk with his three dogs when he sees Flynn Thomas, at least he thinks it’s Flynn Thomas. He never forgot the red-haired boy his brother used to harass, and he never forgot how he used to wonder if there were freckles underneath his clothes as well as on his face.
Flynn mistakes Caspian for his childhood tormenter and flees. Caspian can guess why he’s in such a hurry to get away, but he hasn’t seen Flynn in twenty years, and if he allows him to run off, he fears he’ll never see him again. Will spending time with Flynn be enough for him to forget who Caspian’s brother is? Flynn needs help. He underestimated how much work it would be to move his mother’s things. Caspian offers to give him a hand, but can he trust someone who looks like his worst nightmare?
Contemporary M/M Romance / 19,129 words
According to Holly Day, no day should go by uncelebrated and all of them deserves a story. If she’ll have the time to write them remains to be seen. She lives in rural Sweden with a husband, four children, more pets than most, and wouldn’t last a day without coffee.
Holly gets up at the crack of dawn most days of the week to write gay romance stories. She believes in equality in fiction and in real life. Diversity matters. Representation matters. Visibility matters. We can change the world one story at the time.