Leave a comment on this post for a copy of Kaden's Colors. Giveaway ends Sunday midday EST.
Over to you, Ryan.
I first want to thank Sue for letting me step into her blog today. We've known each other for a few years, and it's a treat for me to be in her space.
I'm here today with my new release Kaden's Colors. In it, a group of teens come face to face with the truth behind stereotypes they've been told their entire lives when they meet an alien named Kaden. So I want to talk a little about bullying, specifically about why this is an issue for everyone to be active against. I'm going to focus on those people, like me, who were never bullied. Why should we speak up? Why should we reach out and offer help?
Well, compassion for one. Empathy. Heck, sympathy. (If you can't relate, sympethate! Sorry, I made up a word there.) Having been fortunate to grow up in an environment where bullying was rarely a problem for me, (apart from a few instances with one girl in junior high) I might not be a natural anti-bullying advocate. However, I can feel for those kids who are scared to go to school. I want to do something about it. I read a horrible comment last year posted in a response to an article about a young teen who had committed suicide. The poster invoked Darwinism (survival of the fittest) and claimed that bullying was humanity's method of killing off "the weak." I was sickened by this, as I'm sure many of you will be. The fact is, for all that humans can act like instinct-driven beasts, there is a reason human children remain with their parents for, generally, 18 years. It's so we, as adults, be it as a parent or teacher or mentor, can teach children how not to act like jackasses towards each other. Darwin's survival of the fittest doesn't work on a species like us, where we are predisposed to be fragile and unformed in mental maturity for the first two decades of our lives.
It's everyone's responsibility to care about what children and teenagers are experiencing. I recently heard about an interview with Aziz Ansari, one of the stars of Parks & Recreation, who is now an anti-bullying advocate. He said he's never been bullied, but he cared about people. I don't have the interview, but this article gives some indication of why he acted. This is an issue that anyone with an ounce of decency should take a stand in.
Genre: Gay YA/Sci-Fi
Release Date: June 6, 2012
Info: 168pp, $4.99
Dreamspinner Press: Buy Link.
The first alien immigrants arrived on Earth long before Henry Mekes was born. Now they’re policed by the government, forbidden from attending school, and assigned menial jobs to prevent them from becoming drains on human society. Twenty-two-year-old Kaden, for example, was assigned the job of sex worker.
When eighteen-year-old Henry and his friend Ellil meet Kaden in a grotty backroom to avail themselves of his services, alien rights are the furthest thing from their minds. It’s not until afterward, when Henry is trying to remind himself aliens can’t get enough of sex, that he questions his actions and the rules of the world he lives in.
Something about Kaden compels Henry to return again and again—but only as a friend. Soon he and his classmates hatch a plan to free Kaden, but even if they succeed, the world is still full of prejudice against aliens—and those who love them.
Madsen whistled a soft tune to the alien. It oriented its head toward him. Madsen wiped a cotton ball over its buttocks, which were red from the night’s hand slaps, and injected something into one cheek.
“What’s that for?” Henry said.
“Helps keep him calm when I untie him.”
Henry didn’t see how it could be any calmer, but right then its left ankle twitched as if putting up a mild fight before it stilled. There was something else that struck him as odd about Madsen’s statement, but it was so strange that it took a moment for him to put his finger on it. As he thought about it, Madsen undid all the bonds, taking care to inspect each bit of newly freed skin and rubbing ointment on any red spots. He moved around to Kaden’s ass, and Henry thought that now Madsen would take his turn, but instead of fucking it, he spread more ointment on his fingers and rubbed it inside.
“You called it ‘he’,” Henry said, realizing.
Madsen glanced at him, his expression a mirror of the pained one Professor Duffy used when someone missed an easy answer, and then returned his attention to Kaden. “You got a pet?”
“You call it ‘it’?” Madsen patted Kaden’s back as he continued stroking his fingers inside it.
“No.” Lucy was a part of the family. Henry had got the little dog when he was seven. Of course he didn’t think of her as “it”.
“Even though it’s an animal?”
“I guess….” He’d never thought about it like that.
“Well, Kaden is an alien, not an animal. He’s as bright as you and me when he isn’t drugged. So, if you can’t give him the same pronoun you give a pet….”
“But I always heard that aliens…” were lower than beasts, would die off if humans didn’t make sure they took care of themselves…. Henry could rattle off a hundred things he’d heard. There was a reason the government kept them under care and that was that aliens couldn’t care for themselves. If they could, they wouldn’t have turned their planets into barren wastelands. Granted, Earth wasn’t much better, but humankind had come to its senses and stopped the damage before it resulted in its destruction.
“You think I’d stick my fingers up a dog’s ass?” Madsen snapped.
“No, sir,” Henry said, falling into school protocol for behavior around a pissed-off adult.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if most of the men who come in here would—hell, they probably wouldn’t even notice if I switched Kaden out for one—but that’s a reflection on them, not on Kaden. You get it?”
Madsen grunted an acknowledgment and turned his attention back to Kaden.
With its bonds off, Kaden could wiggle a little, and he—Henry tried out the pronoun—got enough leverage to pull his chest off the table. For the first time, Henry could see the hard cock that had been trapped there all night. It looked as human as the rest of him. With the final question of Kaden’s appearance that might distinguish him from humans gone, Henry had no way of knowing what separated Kaden from himself, except that Kaden spent each night on the table and Henry spent each night on the floor beside it. Madsen reached beneath him and pulled him off in a few strokes, sending streams of ejaculate shooting across the table. He caught Kaden and pulled him backward before he could collapse in it. Thinking of Kaden as “he” instead of “it” was strange, but not as weird as Henry had expected. He could maybe get used to it, given time.
“That’s my good boy.” Madsen talked as if he had forgotten Henry was there, and Kaden acted like it too, his eyes drugged and hazy as he arched backward and stretched his arms up and behind himself to wrap around Madsen’s neck and hold on. Madsen stroked his stomach. Henry saw it for the first time. It was pale beneath the freckles and dusting of reddish-blond hair. Kaden’s nipples were red from rubbing the table all night long. Madsen dabbed ointment over them.
“You called him a boy?” Henry asked.
“What the hell else am I gonna call him?” Madsen’s mood tipped over to exasperation. “You go on back to your school now, before you really get on my nerves.” He picked Kaden up, put his feet on the floor, and guided him toward a door in the back that Henry had never seen opened. He’d assumed it was a supply closet. Standing, Kaden was a head taller than Henry. Madsen unlocked the door with a key from his pocket, and Henry caught a glimpse of a mattress inside and a jug of water beside it. Maybe that was where Madsen fucked Kaden. Henry couldn’t imagine that Madsen didn’t fuck Kaden, but Madsen laid him down and pulled a blanket over him. He turned back to the door and saw Henry still standing there.
“I told you to go on,” he said. There was a book in his hand now, something tattered, the binding broken so much that Henry couldn’t read the title on the spine. Henry opened his mouth to explain himself, but Madsen closed the door on him.
Henry took off. All the while words echoed in his head: “My good boy” and the ones that he now questioned if he’d heard: “Help me.”
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Thanks again to Sue Brown for hosting me. :)
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