All Stories, General Fiction, Humour, Short Fiction, Writing

Never Being Confused By Hugh Cron. Warning – Strong Language.

balloons bunch

100

So, Hugh now joins the teeny tiny group – well I say group – there’s only one other, of writers with 100 posts on the site. CONGRATULATIONS.  It is fair to say that it has probably been harder for Hugh. As editors I think we are tougher on ourselves than we are on other authors. We are so keen not to be seen to be showing any sort of positive bias that we are brutal with each other. However, Hugh always accepts rejections and edit suggestions with good humour, humility and professionalism.

He is the backbone of Literally Stories, he has kept on going through his own personal traumas, never letting what is happening in his life get in the way of his work on the site. He has been an incredible rock when the rest of us have had our own dramas, kind, sympathetic and stoic (hahahahaha – his hate word – ha) and he makes the work, which at times can feel overwhelming, worthwhile and rewarding. As well as the reading and emails, Hugh comments on the stories and together with other of us give feedback to authors who have requested such or who we feel deserve an explanation as to our decisions or a suggested edit. He writes almost all the Saturday roundup posts and let’s be honest they are hilarious and a brilliant end to the week, even though the times when he says ‘That’s it there, Diane. Sorry’ I do quake in my boots.

I have never actually met Hugh, or Nik in person, or Adam or Tobias for that matter, but I count them among dear friends, but Hugh, and Nik are the blokes I want to have a drink with, the blokes I can count on to unload to when life throws cabbages at me and I just want to say thanks and, Hugh, my life is richer for knowing you. You are a fearless, uncompromising writer and I admire that more than I can say and many, many Congratulations on reaching this outstanding milestone.

Xx dd.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

 

Never Being Confused

It was a typical day in the life of Jim and Debbie, the parents of SeptemberThe28th.

They were on The High Street championing their offspring’s cause as usual. They wore their ‘Asexual Is Not Fluid UCUNT!’ Tshirts, The back of which said ‘LGBTQI+Forever!!‘ And underneath that was ‘I am not a label!’

This was the twenty seventh slogan, but the last ‘Asexual Is Not Fluid Unless It Is’ didn’t get any response from anyone and they weren’t happy with that, so they had to add ‘Ucunt‘ to be edgy. Unfortunately, most folks didn’t realise that it was an abbreviation and they ended up in a debate about spelling, spacing and phonetics.

Jim and Debbie had been told that this was typical. Society didn’t want to face the bigger issues.

They did a leaflet drop all over their neighbourhood and returned home. They fixed SeptemberThe28th’ s vegan afternoon breakfast and even though they hated the cardboard and synthetic water, they understood their child’s principles. Even rain had to pass by flying birds and that therefore could not be touched.

Debbie explained that she would give SeptemberThe28th an afternoon breakfast hug if they allowed their personal space to be encroached. The offer was refused so she asked, “What are you up to today?”

SeptemberThe28th looked stressed, “I’ve not decided. I need to give myself ten or twelve hours to feel how I’m feeling. Once I do, I’ll get dressed appropriately.”

Their mum looked at them, “That’s fine dear, I’ll give that onesie a wash for you once you’re changed.”

September The28th paced.

“Parents, we need to talk. I simply must get some therapy.”

Their father looked concerned, “Has anything else happened?”

“Well parent, I can’t stop dreaming about specifics. I have dreamt about genitals. That is bad enough but they were on specific people and you know what that means.”

Both parents were comfortable showing their horror when it was allowed.

Debbie took up the prompt, “Oh good God, September The28th, you’re having nightmares about assigned sexual identity! Is that our fault? Have we not supported you enough? What have we done or said? Was it that time that I referred to your parent as your dad, I apologised for that.”

They took a hanky from their sleeve, “I hope not parent, but I can’t rule it out. I can’t live with any labels, you know that. At the LGBTQI+ we discuss this at length.

…Oh parents, you’ll need to get different T-shirts printed.”

… “Wh…why?”

“Because our oppressed minorities are feeling left out. For now we need to incorporate all our black their and their. So we are thinking on calling the group, ‘The LGBTQI++BLBGBBBTBQBI+’ but that may have to change because we’re not sure if there needs to be a + at the end. I’ll let you know. We’ll use a question mark for now.”

They both knew what to say and they did so in unison,“Whatever you want, you know that as your parents, we will support you.”

“I know that and I do love you. But I have something else I need to bring up.”

“What’s that my darling?”

“We at the ‘The LGBTQI++BLBGBBBTBQBI?’ are considering changing the word parent. You see to be a parent, biologically, I don’t mean the pure way, you need genitals and they have specific roles. We feel that this is how the Nazis started and we want to stamp it out before it becomes too oppressive.”

Both their parents looked at each other.

“So what is the group considering? Calling us by our names?”

SeptemberThe28th shrugged, “Only if you were willing to change them.”

“To what?”

“To the same as their child. When we thought on it, we are not that happy about the phrase, ‘child’ either but that’s for another day.”

Jim and Debbie frowned and immediately apologised for their negativity.

“So we would all be called today’s date?”

“Yes. That way you would be recognising my wishes. I change every day so you should respect this.”

“Don’t you think that tomorrow it’ll be a bit confusing if me, your parent and you are all called September The29th ?”

September The28th got up and stormed out. Their parents held each other and felt disgusted with themselves.

A few minutes later they returned with a notepad.

“I’m sorry ParentsForNow, but that’ll need to go on the list for my therapist. When are you going to realise that you still label me? You can’t question my outlook. I’m the one in this house that is trying to achieve linear living.”

“Linear living?”

September The28th sighed, “I don’t expect you to understand. It’s all about tolerance. I’ll dictate it to you later.”

“You want us to write this down?”

“…What? Yeah, sure. My God, the oppression from your ignorance is unbelievable. …We  simply need to find me a therapist, one that I will always approve of.”

Their’s parents held each other tighter.

“You know that we love you unconditionally. We’re happy to be told about linear living but please don’t be angry with us.”

September The28th leaned forward and touched them both on their shoulders, “I’m not angry, just disappointed.”

The two of them felt the fear. Their parent plucked up some courage, “Would you be comfortable telling us what other issues you have on your list?”

September The28th thought for a second.

“Of course. I’m transparent. It’s the rest of the world that hides behind it’s bigotry and narrow-mindedness.”

They’s parents felt a bit of relief.

“I think my biggest issue is sex noises from the heterosexual sex.”

“But we don’t…”

“Oh, not you. I would cut your throats if I thought you were doing that, it’s so unnatural. I’m talking about them next door. I need to talk to my therapist to see how this is going to effect me. I will need medication for the PTSD that I’m suffering from hearing them humping and once I am a bit calmer, I will enlighten them. We may need to print them a specific T-Shirt.”

“But what about when your friends stay? I’ve heard them in the spare room.”

“Binary Fission, me! That’s completely different. Any of the The LGBTQI++BLBGBBBTBQBI? being physical is natural. And do you know why it is natural?”

Jim knew the answer, he was very pleased, “Acceptance.”

“Correct ParentForNow, acceptance of their own specific identity on that specific moment! Only when you accept other’s ways can you be physical with each other. And no matter what anyone says, we know that there are people out there who don’t accept us. Being tolerant is what we strive for so if even one person in the world isn’t tolerant of us, then the whole man in woman thing – God I feel sick – Can fuck off. And yes, I mean that word! We treat the rest of humankind as that one person treats us.

Fucking tolerance! That’s what it’s all about.

We’ve known from an early age that we didn’t know and we are specific about that. The confusion of those kids that feel an attraction for their opposite, well my heart bleeds for them.”

Jim knew he shouldn’t ask but sometimes, just sometimes he felt like rebelling, “But what about the gays and lesbians feeling that attraction?”

SeptemberThe28th jumped up and stared into their parent’s face, “How dare you tar them with the same brush!! Look what you’ve done, you’ve made me breech my own personal space!”

Debbie knew it was time to re-direct, “About that therapist, any thoughts?”

SeptemberThe28th sat back down but still glowered at Jim.

“I’ll leave that up to you. I’m saying nothing. You are the parents.

…But I’ll expect to be disappointed.”

 

September The29th‘s parents were still trying to research a therapist. In between that they were sewing the new slogans onto more T-Shirts.

September The29th had got up with the bird that liked to chirp at three O’ Clock and went into town to meet with some unidentified friends.

Jim and Debbie had toyed with the idea of a shag but it was too risky. If SeptemberThe29th had any suspicion they would have been back on the Prozac.

The door burst open at around five.

“Mum, dad, I’ve met the most wonderful person in the world.

Me and Sam just know that we’ll be soul mates forever.”

Jim wasn’t sure if he should ask, “Is Sam a…”

September The29th cut him off, “No, they’re the opposite of what I was today. But that’s all good as I thought that they were the same.”

Debbie wasn’t sure how she felt. She knew that she would be told later, “Are your friends at the The LGBTQI++BLBGBBBTBQBI? pleased for you and Sam?”

“Fuck them. I’ve no time for all that drama, I’ve a wedding to plan.”

September The29th‘s parents held each other and wondered if they should smile.

“Now get a notebook, we’ve a lot to get through. The first order of business is me forming a support group for those who want to merge their surnames.”

Debbie was puzzled,“But that’s already been done.”

“Not with the choice to change whose name goes first each and every day…”

 

Hugh Cron

Image – Google Images

NB – I never ask opinion or show my work to anyone other than the other editors and Gwen before it is published but I decided that I wanted a different perspective on this one. I need to thank a few folks for giving me their thoughts and opinions.

Jayne and Laura.

Lynsey and Jackie.

Thank you all for your kindness, time and interesting feedback. It was very much appreciated!

***

15 thoughts on “Never Being Confused By Hugh Cron. Warning – Strong Language.”

  1. Hi Diane,
    Thanks so much for such a lovely (I don’t use that word much unless I’m talking about food or drink!) introduction. It is much appreciated.
    I can’t thank you enough for keeping me sane(ish) over the past few years.
    It is an absolute pleasure being part of this and those that I have ‘met’ because of the site have made my life that wee bit worthwhile!!
    I will toast a few Jacks to Literally Stories and all those I know their names throughout the day!!
    I may be sleeping by noon!!!!
    Hugh

    Like

      1. Thanks again my lovely friend!
        By the way, I don’t know if you realise but you sharing your life makes me feel that bit more human.
        And your input of my work makes me challenge myself, consider other opinions that I respect and feel that wee bit special as someone who is a writer thinks my work is worth working on!!
        Hugh
        (I’d toast you but I’ve drunk all the Jack – What the hell I’m now on Gwen’s Greenalls blood orange and fig gin. It’s delicious but she is hating me right now!!)

        Like

  2. An absolutely remarkable achievement Hugh and a brilliant way to bring up the century. A lot of the LS regulars already know the time and effort you put in to the various tasks that Diane listed, but what they might not know (save for the likes of James McEwan) is that LS is just the latest place where you’ve posted encouraging, thoughtful and insightful comments on every story published. Back in the good old days of Shortbread Stories I tried my best to keep pace with not only your volume of comments but with the quality of them and it didn’t take me long to lag behind. Even to take the time to write “Great story, well done” on every published work takes commitment but you take it to a whole different level. Like Mrs D, I’m looking forward to a drink (ha – just one!) some day. On a personal level your comments and advice made me a much better writer, and your email timings just to check in and say hello and see how things are going are always perfect. Here’s to the next 100 Hugh – thanks for all that you’ve shared with us and please never stop writing.

    Like

    1. Hi Nik,
      A lot of my responding to Diane applies to you.
      Thanks so much.
      You need to keep going. You can’t stop. ‘The Adamant Carbonisation Of Henry Spiller’ is as good a piece of writing as I’ve ever read. (A hint for anyone reading this post!)
      If you don’t get anywhere, that is just one of those things where life kicks you in the balls. But for you, you need to keep trying. Expand Henry, or do whatever, come up with something else, get a novel out there and try. At least that way you will have given it a go. If it works, and you make a fortune…Remember your Scottish friend!! If you try and nothing happens, you will be angry, hateful, resentful and bitter but you won’t ever have the thought of ‘I didn’t try hard enough’. And you”d have more in common with your Scottish friend!!!
      I hate to say hate but I hate to say ‘what if’ even more!!!!
      I know that life has thrown you some bastard of curve balls but you have too much talent not to keep trying!!!!!
      All the very best my friend.
      Hugh

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha! Can’t argue with that kind of sage advice Hugh 🙂 You make a very fine point about the “what if” factor – no need to end up like the Welsh dreamer (Dai Wondering). Appreciate the kind words about Henry S!

        Like

  3. Brilliant satirical piece to mark 100. I know a satire is good when the characters in it piss me off. Why must we label? Ain’t being human trouble enough? Your stuff shows plenty of energy, and I’m certain that 100 is just the beginning.
    The header image made me think that it is awfully early in the day for a hallucination.
    Congratulations,
    LA

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Leila,
      It is folks like yourself that keep me going!
      Actually probably you on your own would keep me going!!
      I’m not sure how much further I can go – Fifty was as much as I thought, but when I got to seventy I thought a hundred was possible but I have to admit, trying to write the last thirty was rather challenging. I’ve two more coming up and one that I’m working on so it’s good to think that I didn’t stop at one hundred.
      I’m not sure if I would class the story as satire, it’s more of the ridiculousness of all that is today…Wait a minute, I suppose that is satire!!
      I would love to do a story like this with every bit of fanging that I could muster but that would be all about me spilling into the story. That is why that I did it this way. I wanted the madness of this situation to speak for itself.
      My inspiration came from an interview with Tom Robinson – He knew when he saw his (now) partner that was who he was meant to be with. He stated ‘You can’t help who you fall in love with.’
      That bombs all this fluidity shite out the window – These preaching fuckers need to realise this. A sexuality is specific – It’s specific to who you want to spend all your time with.
      You are one of the reasons that this is is all worth while!!!
      Hugh

      Like

    1. Hi Stefan,
      In the name of fuck!!!
      You’ve made me think ‘The Krankies’ version of ‘Star Man’ – That’s not good!!
      And now I’m thinking on Jeanette wearing her ‘work clothes’ in bed!
      Holly shit – I’m know in the realm of Keith Harris getting a blow-job from Orville – Or Emu going down on Rod Hull…
      ….Make it stop!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      Hugh

      Thanks so much my friend!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Dave,
    Thanks so much. It is such a pleasure to be on this site. The likes of you, (Your imagination is astounding and I am in awe of that! – ‘My Powdered Friend’ is beyond brilliant!!) Tom, Leila, L’Erin, Ashlie, Adam, Harison, Doug, James etc have pushed me on due to them all being there. I am honestly humbled at sharing a site with all of you.
    Thanks again for being here and commenting – I can’t tell you how much it means!!!
    Hugh

    Liked by 1 person

  5. With identity being so fluid these days, there’s likelihood of a flood. The peer discussion Sept. 28th mentions is funny because it’s very reflective of activist truth, I belonged to earnest political groups in the past that discussed absurdities not unlike those mentioned. In one group of thirteen we were supposed to talk for two minutes about ourselves. I was the 13th to speak. It took two hours to go round the circle, no one wanted to interrupt the tales of “Lived experience.” I was so exhausted from listening I just gave my name and where I lived and snuck out. The advantage – lots of material to write about later.
    As the rock group “King Crimson” mentioned in their song “Epitaph.” from their epic seventies album 21st Century Schizoid Man:

    Confusion will be my epitaph.
    As I crawl a cracked and broken path
    If we make it we can all sit back and laugh.
    But I fear tomorrow I’ll be crying,
    Yes I fear tomorrow I’ll be crying.

    Congratulations Hugh on Story #100! I too appreciate those Saturday roundup posts. That was very interesting to read that the editors have never met in person.

    Like

    1. Hi Harrison,
      Thanks so much for the kind words!
      They mean more to me than I can say.
      Love the first line of your comment! I wish I had thought of that.
      Regarding your group discussion, I reckon that those who we should listen to say nothing and those we have no choice but to listen to, never shut up.
      Cracking verse of the song.!
      Thanks again my friend.
      Hugh

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.