Monday, July 13, 2009

The Final Curtain excerpt by Victor J Banis in the anthology RED by various authors

The Final Curtain by Victor J Banis first appeared in the Winter 2007-2008 issue of the ezine Mysterical-E ( The story is an exercise in Grand Guignol and is included in the anthology RED. The narrator, a touring actor, has been invited to supper with a local arts patron and her preternaturally beautiful young son, Gaylord.

The anthology RED is by multiple authors including 2009 Lambda Award Finalists Victor J Banis, William Maltese and JP Bowie. A gloriously erotic m/m romance, of any genre, any era. Add just a few little items: red, a drink of ice cold water, a cricket, a pebble, the scent of blood oranges. The result? An anthology as versatile and intriguing as it's authors. Red. Who isn't attracted by the color of passion? Due Out soon.

MLR Press (TBA)


"We ate, not in the immense and over-furnished dining room, but in what she rather pretentiously called 'the supper room,' just the three of us at a table only large enough to accommodate us and the excess of china and crystal, and covered with a fringed cloth that draped to the floor. One of those hideous electric chandeliers cast a dirty yellow light over everything and a steam radiator cracked arthritic joints. The air was crowded with the smell of the overcooked pork and boiled cabbage we ate.

"That she and I ate, in any case. Gaylord sipped champagne and nibbled daintily at the fruit of a blood orange, his lips growing redder with each tiny bite. From time to time, a stained tongue flicked out to wipe his lips clean. He wore a silk robe of the same red. I seemed to see him through a veil of red, a haze cast by my lust enflamed senses.

"I could not have been more enchanted. I had passed the time since our brief meeting in my dressing room thinking of nothing but that ethereal young man who now sat next to me, saying little, smiling occasionally with fruited lips and glancing at me from under lashes that any demoiselle might envy.

"I had never known such desire for anyone. I can't explain it. I, so long content with near celibacy, was possessed, devoured by my passion. It was all that I could do to keep my emotions under control and engage in polite conversation with his mother. Gaylord said little, and answered whatever was spoken directly to him in faint monosyllables. I dared not drink the wine the flowed so freely. I drank glass after glass of ice cold water, hoping to chill the fever that had seized me—to no avail.

"All of a sudden, I felt something graze my knee under the concealing cloth, and a moment later a hand, the mere fingertips, really, slid lightly up the inside of my thigh.

"I gasped aloud and looked involuntarily in his direction, but he was looking at neither of us, his expression distant, as if instead of that vulgar room he gazed upon jeweled isles. He sank his teeth into the littlest segment of fruit, rolled it about on his tongue, and swallowed visibly.

"'Is something wrong?' she asked me.

"'No, no,' I said hastily. 'Forgive me, I just recalled something I forgot to do. Please, go on—you were saying?'

"I let my own hand drop under the cloth, but no sooner had my fingers touched his than the intruders were withdrawn. After that, I could scarcely concentrate on keeping the conversation alive, and I have no memory of whether I tasted the food at all.

"Only one thing penetrated this stupor into which I had fallen. As the table was being cleared and coffee served by a thick, sullen woman who was apparently cook and housekeeper, my hostess said to me, 'But, really, that hotel is such an embarrassment. Why don't you come stay here with us for the duration of your visit? We have far more room than we need, and I am sure Gaylord would be glad for the company, wouldn't you, my darling?'"

"'Yes,' he said, in little more than a sigh. That single word pierced my heart. I was in love, smitten beyond reason. I could no more have refused the invitation than flown to the moon.

"When the time came to drive me back to my hotel, she said, 'I'll just get my purse,' and left us alone, for the first time that evening.

"This was the moment for which I had waited, and I leapt to my feet, convinced that I would have those carmine tinted lips pressed to mine, but even as I came about the table, he moved away from it and into the foyer. He took an enormous red peony from a bowl of them at the foot of the stairs, and buried his face in its exuberant petals.

"I hesitated, waiting for some signal from him, but it did not come, and after all too few moments, I heard his mother's footsteps descending the stairs.

"He glanced at me then, fleetingly, and smiled an impish, blood red smile. It only made me love him more.

1 comment:

Jeanne said...

Oh, yummy!!
This is really Old School, Victor. I love it!