Story Excerpt
Shake, Rattle, & Roll

flame div

Carter "Mickey" McKenzie stared at himself in the mirror. His normally flawless skin was marred by several scratches and one very large black and blue bruise around his eye. Even one corner of his rosy red lips was swollen and cut. He looked like shit.

This crap just wasn't worth it anymore. He always said he'd quit the business when he reached the ripe old age of twenty five but maybe it wouldn't be a bad idea to retire a couple of years early. His body sure would appreciate it.

Mickey was tired of being beat up, accosted, arrested, and just generally being used and abused. Granted, being a male prostitute didn't exactly come with job security but the marks on his face and body hadn't come from a customer. Each bruise had come from his boyfriend.

Scratch that, ex-boyfriend.

Mickey shook his head. No, he was done. He had enough money stashed away that he could start over somewhere new. He could live off of his savings for about six months before he had to look for work.

He didn't have a clue what he would do. Being able to suck cock and take it up the ass wasn't something normally listed as a job requirement. Mickey just knew he was tired of doing what he'd been doing since he started living on the streets eight years ago.

Mickey went to his closet and pulled out his backpack. He grabbed several items of clothing out of his dresser and a few personal items as well as a box of condoms and some lube. He never knew when he might need to make some extra money.

Once he had all he needed from his dresser, Mickey went to the bathroom where his stash was hidden. Kneeling on the floor beside the toilet, Mickey carefully pulled back the wooden slat in the floorboard and set it aside. He reached in and grabbed the quart sized plastic bag that held his rainy day fund. Mickey turned it over in his hand. It seemed to all be there.

He quickly shoved it into his backpack along with the other items in the small hiding space in the floor—a necklace that belonged to his mother, a couple of watches given to him by long term clients, and a set of cuff links that were supposed to belong to his father, whoever that was.

Mickey placed the wooden slat back into place then stood, stomping on the slat a couple of times. He didn't want anyone knowing he had a stash hidden away. He'd get mugged before he reached the next block.

He walked back into the main room of his studio apartment and looked around trying to ensure he hadn't forgotten anything important. He wouldn't be coming back. While his little room was better than most, he wouldn't miss it.

Well, not much anyway. It was the first place that was all his and he'd been here five years. Before that, Mickey had lived with friends, in alleys, and with whoever would take him in. He'd even done a stint in a pimp house. Having his own place was much better.

Not seeing anything else he wanted, Mickey pulled on his jacket, shoved his cell phone in his pocket, then grabbed his backpack. He didn't even look back as he walked out the door and shut it behind him. The landlord could have whatever was left.

Mickey bounced down the stairs and headed for the front steps of the brick building. As soon as he walked out the front door he turned to the left. Sure enough, Ms. Dixie, the woman that lived across the hall from him, was right where she always was sitting on the front porch with her small dog in her lap.

"Hey, Ms. Dixie," Mickey said as he walked over and sat down in the chair next to her.

"Mickey, honey, what happened to your face?"

"Donny happened."

Ms. Dixie frowned, the pale skin in her face wrinkling. "That boy never was any good, Mickey. You need to get rid of him and find yourself a sweet young man that will take better care of you."

"I'm working on it, Ms. Dixie." Mickey chuckled.

"Is that why you have your bag, son?"

Mickey glanced down at the backpack he held in his hands. "Yeah, I, uh, I've decided to leave town. I'm headed down now to see how far a bus ticket will get me."

"Have any place in mind?"

Mickey shrugged. "Not really, just anyplace that isn't here."

"Have you ever been to Idaho?"


"Well." Ms. Dixie chuckled. "The eastern edge of Idaho, really, where it borders Montana and the Rocky Mountains. It's beautiful country up there, lots of room to roam."

"You've been there?"

"I'm from there, dear boy, a small town way up in the hills called Castle Creek." Ms. Dixie chuckled again and reached over to pat Mickey's leg. "What? Did you think I lived my entire life in San Francisco?"

"I guess I never really thought about it. I try not to delve too deeply into other people's pasts. Mine isn't exactly stellar."

"You have nothing to be ashamed of, Mickey. We all do what we need to do to get by."

"Even you?"

"Mickey, do you really think I've reached the age of eighty four without doing a few shady things here and there?" The little satisfied smirk on Ms. Dixie's withered face made Mickey wonder if she was proud of the things she'd done, whatever they were. "Never be ashamed of things you do to take care of yourself, Mickey. Be proud of the fact that you've taken care of yourself."

Mickey tilted his head a little, confused. "Ms. Dixie, you do realize I sell my body for money, don't you?"