X is for Xenophobia

 Welcome to a tour of my blogs written for the A-Z challenge.

Today is April 27th   and the Xcellent    letter X

Photo taken May 17 2009 by the author

This story came out of my flash fiction writing class. Assignment: write in present tense. I also posted it for the Hop Against Homophobia last year.


Sammy chooses an isolated chair and sits.

As the speaker enters the room so do a few others; one of the fellows settles in the seat next to him. Sammy averts his eyes.

She introduces herself as Cass. She seems at home in her skin, smiles a lot and gives  the impression people can talk to her.

“Since this is the first meeting for this group, we’re going to do some exercises and games to help everyone get to know one another. We’re all here not to judge but to help, however we can.”

That sounds good. I like that. She looks like she means it too.  As the staffer discusses the problems gay youth face, he relaxes. When he had entered the room his palms had been  sweaty and his legs had trembled. He knew he had been nervous about this meeting, his first, a group called Open Closet, sponsored by the local GLBT organization. He had always believed he was alone in his feelings and desires toward men. He had always felt he was different. At a few points in the presentation he exchanges glances with the guy next to him and it  doesn’t seem awkward.

After the break, he takes a good look at his neighbour. Wow is he ever cute and he smells good too like a … cinnamon candy bar.  He doesn’t appear gay.  He’s muscular with wavy, brown hair. I bet he could pass for straight.  Yet here he is.

During one of the exercises, Cass asks, “Who has a girl friend or boy friend?” A couple of the guys  raise their hand and one of the women.  Sammy hears a “whew” from his neighbour and chuckles. Bet he’s relieved he’s not the only one with a girl friend. Two years ago I had a girl friend too.  Then Cass asks, “How does that make you feel?” One of the girls admits,  “Like a phony.”  The cute guy next to him  nods his head in agreement. After that Sammy notices the fellow take some deep breaths and his posture becomes less rigid.

The afternoon consists of a bunch of exercises, skits and games. As Sammy becomes more comfortable within the group,  the bundle in his mind finally loosens.

At the end of the session, as the two young men  prepare to leave, “cutie” turns to Sammy, “You did good there with those exercises.”

Sammy jerks like a puppet on a string, “Uh, thanks. Will you be here for the next meeting on Wednesday?”

The other fellow  struggles to get his backpack on; his hair  falls onto his forehead but he doesn’t push it back even though it hides his eyes. “Yes I will and I hope you are too.”

“I will be here for sure—see you then!”

Sammy flies down the stairs and out the door to catch his bus. He knows his face has broken out into  a huge smile.


The subject matter is similar to my S and Q posts

I promise not to use xerography on your posts

This entry was posted in A-to-Z Challenge 2013, Fiction, Hop against homophobia, Writing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to X is for Xenophobia

  1. Nice story and a great writing style.
    Hopping by on the A-Z. 🙂
    Short Story Ideas & Just Ermie

  2. Happy to see Sammy back! This is a great little piece of flash fiction, it can stand alone or have follow-on stories.

  3. VR Barkowski says:

    Excellent word! I can’t bear xenophobia. We should be embracing our dissimilarities. If we focus our lives only on those who are exactly like us, how can we ever come to appreciate and respect the beauty of our differences? How can we learn?

    Lovely piece of fiction that left me smiling right along with Sammy. 🙂

    VR Barkowski

  4. I love this flash, Sue. I think it would make an excellent longer piece exploring the tension and discomfort of Sammy’s world. 🙂

  5. Well done! I was looking for your WEWRIWA post and found this instead. I like that Sammy left with a smile.

  6. Elin says:

    This is a very sweet story. I love Sammy’s optimism and uncertainty.

  7. This seems to have been a popular concept for A – Z. I also wrote on it and a few other writers too. It’s interesting to see how we all brought a different perspective to it.

    One more day to go; I’ll miss the camaraderie of A – Z. Please stop by MROP anytime you wish.

  8. Sherrey Meyer says:

    Xenophobia ran rampant through the A to Z! Great story. Your writing style is tight and strong. 🙂

  9. Everyone loves it when people get together annd syare opinions.
    Great blog, continue the good work!

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