“Rita Dolores” in ImageOutWrite v. 8

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As Max passed between the stanchions he extended his hand to Rita. She strained to elongate her fingers while rotating her wrist, willing her rough hand to appear delicate. She then placed her hand atop his, as if he were about to escort her into a ballroom.  

“Aren’t you a tall drink of water,” she said with theatrical, accented diction, then she drew close to his ear and mouthed an indecent sipping sound. Too embarrassed to reply, Max smiled awkwardly and entered the club.

Rita’s sharp allure on that night in 1986 would come back to Max decades later, opening more than a door. 

ImageOutWrite is the companion volume to the ImageOut LGBTQ+ film festival in Rochester, NY. Volume 8 includes my short story, “Rita Dolores” (p. 75). It’s a little mystery set in NYC featuring a gay crime reporter, a drag performer, and a lesbian coroner. The book is a dense collection of short stories and poems by diverse LGBTQ+ voices.

Condragulations to my fellow contributing authors:

Charlie Bondhus
Mark Boyd
Elaine Burnes
Steven Cordova
Dale Corvino
Kellie Doherty
Dr. Victor Evans
Jamin Favela
Jack Fritscher
Reilly Hirst
Walter Holland
Eddie House
Gregory Gerard
Craig Kirsch
David Lohrey
Laine Lubar
Raymond Luczak
Jennifer Maloney
Jon McDonald
Samantha Panepinto
Steve RE Pereira
Oliver Scialdone
Alan Slotkin
Christopher Stephen Soden
Rick Allen Wilson

I enjoyed how Bondhus’ poem “My Brother Asks…”, (p. 173) invokes “the whole hotbox universe…” in answer to a flip question, and how Elaine Burnes’ short story “Life Time” (p. 39) about a time-traveling butch, queers the conceit.