Halleloo…Hangover#2 has just been released by MLR Press. I’m chuffed t’bits 💙🤗💙
Here’s a bit of an excerpt should you wish to read it…
Hangover and Out
The most godawful racket accosted Callum’s eardrums, snatching him from a sodden slumber. Fuck. Reluctantly prising his lids apart, he groaned when a shaft of sunlight promptly scorched his eyeballs. The assault on his senses did, at least, seem to be coming from outside his head, rather than in it, which was always a plus–but showed no signs of abating any time soon–which was not. Daniel was blissfully oblivious, lost to his world of dreams, a beatific smile playing upon his cherub pout.
RAT-A-TAT-TAT. F’fucksakes…With a grunt of disgust, Cal tossed back the duvet and half-fell off the bed in his unadvisable bid to scramble out of it. Visitors, before three morning cuppas, and their accompanying smokes, were about as welcome a prospect as piles. Callum was, quite possibly, wearing what Dan called ‘the scary glare’ when he scooped his bathrobe off the floor and shrugged it on while staggering down the spiral stairs. The bloody knocking grew ever more insistent, so Cal was more than a mite miffy by the time he’d descended the second set and stomped to the front door to yank it open.
“Good morning. I have a delivery for Messrs Carter and Flynn,” breezed the far too cheery for-this-time-of-the-morning florist. Talk about stating the bloomin’ obvious. The owner of those dulcet tones was hidden behind the biggest embarrassment of a bouquet Callum had ever seen in his goddamn life. “I have some more in the van for you, if you’ll just sign for these,” she trilled.
More…? Cal hadn’t even begun to get his head around that, when it belatedly dawned on him that the florist was not alone on the doorstep. The assault of flora and fauna had blotted out the sunlight, let alone the press pack jostling for position behind it.
“CALLUM!! Caal! How d’you feel this morning?”
Oh Christ…Pissed off.
“How’s it feel to be back home? Are you enjoying life as a married man?”
Bloody Irritating. I had temporarily forgotten; awoken as I was by your fucking racket and a rainforest on my doorstep. Cal didn’t actually say any of that aloud. He did think it very loudly though.
“Where’s Daniel? Was he okay after you socked him one? How’s he finding married life?”
“In bed. Yeah, he’s fine…” Cal sighed. Stone the soddin’ crows…and all the journalists. At least, there were only about half a dozen today. The poor florist, however, appeared to be wilting beneath suffocation by cellophane and the onslaught of cretinous questions, so Callum attempted a somewhat creaky smile of gratitude and relieved her of the flowers. “There’s more?” he asked incredulously. She nodded, teeth glinting in a scary ‘isn’t it delightful, dear’ smile. No, it really wasn’t. Not before a morning cuppa and a smoke.
“Gents, please make yourselves useful and help the lady with the flowers…while I attempt to muster up a few marbles with which to answer your questions.” Two crows with one stone. Not bad for stupid o’clock, on the whole.
The next few minutes might have been highly entertaining, had Cal been in the mood to watch the Carry-On floristry chain-gang rustle up the Attack of the Triffids on the doorstep. He was not. Oddly ’nuff. He did wish Daniel hadn’t missed out though, because his deadly beloved would have been tickled pink by the parade of press that began to trundle up the path, laden with bouquets and bobbing balloons emblazoned with Just Married.
Oh hell. Cal rolled his eyes upwards. Daniel’s face was grinning out of the studio window, waving merrily (his face wasn’t waving, the hand wafting cigarette smoke Cal’s way was).
“Dan! Toss the packet down, for chrissakes!”
“‘Kay!” His tufty head vanished for a few seconds, then reappeared alongside the cigarettes that came sailing out of the window…to land not far from Cal’s feet. Dan was a damn good shot. Callum bent to retrieve the packet, just as the lighter bounced off his head. Of course. This was the day that just kept giving…Cal a bloody headache. “Ooops! Sorry!”
“Daniel! How are you this morning? How’s your lip? How’s married life?” Hollered a hack.
“Bloody brilliant, I’m very well, thank you. ‘Twas my own fault, for sticking my face in front of a flying fist. ‘Tis never the most circumspect of decisions, oddly ’nuff.” Daniel breezed, a wide grin stretching his scabby lip to splitting point. Worse still, there was a huge fucking love bite decorating his neck. Virulent violet. With flashing fairy lights around it…and a ‘look at me’ signpost.
The bouquet bearer of bad tidings chose this moment to thrust a clipboard Cal’s way, so he grimly signed for the flowers while she thanked the ‘gentlemen’ of the press for their assistance. You really couldn’t make this up. His life was ludicrous. Callum shoved a cigarette in his mouth and lit it before inhaling deeply. Aah…thank fuck for small mercies.
“Cal! So how’s married life? It sure looks all right from where I’m standing.” The journalist glanced pointedly at Daniel, still grinning out of the window, resplendently splotched and scabby. He resembled one of his own self-portraits.
“It is bloody brilliant actually,” Cal found himself confessing as he turned back to his inquisitors.
“What do your bandmates think of it all? Did they know you were together?” The hack asked, with leering emphasis on the last word.
“They are fine. Yes, they knew,” Cal ground out through gritted teeth.
“Had you already come out to your family, Callum? Was your record company aware you’re gay? Your manager?”
Grrrrrr. Cal clamped his lids shut and dragged in a jagged breath. He could still see their huge-ass birdbath, emblazoned upon the back of his eyelids. It would look so much better imprinted on the back of the bastard’s head.
“Yes. They all knew we were together,” Cal informed him, before incomprehensibly spewing a shit-for-brains word salad he had no recollection whatsoever of deciding to unleash. “Why the hell are you so obsessed with slapping labels on everyone? I fell in love with Daniel. It wouldn’t have mattered if he was a man, woman or Martian, okay? I am so done…I have some flowers to shove in a bucket. Is that gayenough for you?”
“Callum, you know they’ll look delightful in the pink Waterford crystal, dahling.“
Oh…for crying out loud…Cal snapped his head around to spear his husband with a death stare.
“Daniel. I am going to kill you when I get up there, you demon.”
“Oooooh…” he purred. “I’m off to sharpen your blade.”
Callum gaped, agog. What the fuck!? Daniel just winked. Much to his chagrin, Cal spluttered out a snort of laughter. Dan beamed and blew Cal a kiss before his soot-brush head vanished. Rolling his eyes in rueful resignation, Callum turned to face the firing squad. Or…not. They all looked more likely to start taking bets and sporting team colours as they cackled away, cameras whirring furiously.
“I never had a hope in hell,” Cal muttered. “Right, you lot, I’m off… I have a husband to stab to death.” He smirked. Evilly. If you can’t beat ’em…The world was teeming with bloody nutters…