You’ve heard them.
You’ve told them.
You’ve thought twice about looking in a mirror or picking up the phone because of them.
Urban legends are told and retold around camp fires, during sleepovers, and all over the internet.
In preparation of the release of LEGENDARY, Pen and Kink Publishing is giving you a chance to get to know the contributors and a sneak peek at the stories.
We kick it off this week with Sara Dobie Bauer on her story “Not Again”.
Excerpt from “Not Again”
Rob fell sideways and landed gracefully in the passenger seat. He ran a hand through his dark, curly hair. “Look, I should probably tell you something.”
Colin put his hand on Rob’s thigh. “I’m good. Whatever it is.”
He smiled. “That bad break-up, it was a little more than that. It was kind of a stalker thing.”
Colin wound their fingers together. “Don’t take this the wrong way, but I can completely understand why you would have a stalker. Shit, I feel like I’ve been stalking you for the past year.”
“No, you were pining.”
“It didn’t end well, the last guy. I had to leave New York. My family, too. They’re in California now.”
“The guy, Alex, nobody knows where he is. Don’t get me wrong, I feel safe at Mord Hollow. I’ve just been keeping kind of a low profile.”
“Hard for someone as gorgeous and talented as you to keep a low profile.”
Rob chewed his bottom lip to hide what resembled a creeping grin.
Quietly, Colin asked, “Did he hurt you?” He had to know, because if some guy had hurt the beautiful creature sprawled across the front seat of his car, he would murder him.
“No. Alex hurt himself, actually.”
“I guess I’m just saying, I got some baggage. But not the kind that makes me averse to letting you fuck me until I forget my name.”
Colin swore a series of consonants. “You are literally perfect.” He swooped in and kissed Rob’s smile. Above them, tree branches tickled the roof of the car until a stiff sea breeze made them wallop and scrape.
Rob pulled back. “Did you hear that?”
“It’s just branches against the roof.”
“Right. Of course.” Rob accepted another kiss but jumped when it sounded like a tree limb actually fell from above, landing with a heavy thud. “Shit,” he hissed, scrambling up to sitting.
“You okay?” Colin asked.
“Yeah, um, why don’t we get out of here?”
“Thought you’d never ask.” Colin pulled his keys from his back pocket and turned the ignition as Rob tugged his discarded hoodie back on. The car wheezed, sputtered… and died. “What the hell?” He tried it again, but the car refused to start. “She’s an old girl. I guess it’s about her time to go.” He glanced at Rob with an apologetic smile, only to find him pale, his dark eyes staring out into the black night. Colin put his hand on Rob’s knee. “Hey, what’s wrong?”
Interview with Legendary contributor Sara Dobie Bauer
Tell us a bit about the urban legend you picked and why?
Guy with a hook for a hand attacks couple making out in a car—with a twist. It’s one of my favorite conservative Christian warning stories: Have sex before marriage, and you’re gonna be brutally butchered and hung from a tree.
Tell us a little about the characters in the story?
Poor gay Colin has had a crush on damn sexy dance major Rob Clooney since he arrived at Mord Hollow College but has never had the guts to actually talk to the guy. When Rob just happens to show up at a beach bonfire, Colin gets his chance—but Rob has a raging homicidal secret because, well, most hot guys do, right?
How long did it take you to write this story?
Two afternoons. When I get an idea, I obsess over it until the story is finished. I don’t shower, talk, or eat. Writing is the most successful diet I’ve ever tried, although I doubt my method of remaining a skinny bitch will end up on an infomercial anytime soon.
What other work do you have out there?
Most famously: my paranormal rom-com novel, Bite Somebody (the sequel comes out summer of 2017). Plenty of my quirky, ridiculous short stories are floating around, too. Links to those are on my website.
What do you do when you’re not writing?
Scream at the football games on my TV. Break up the occasional dogfight. (My fur children are quite mad.) Cuddle my gorgeous husband. Obsess over Benedict Cumberbatch on Tumblr. Drink ludicrously expensive beer and the occasional absinthe. Bemoan the state of my fingernails.
What’s the best part about writing?
Getting lost and escaping reality. Reality is kind of sucky sometimes, so it’s nice to have a magic door I can step through just to get away. Falling in love with my characters is a lot of fun, too.
What’s the hardest part about writing?
Rejection. Self-loathing. Self-doubt. Trying to develop an ego of steel and failing miserably because artists are born with frighteningly weak and sad little egos.
What inspires you?
Music. A song directly inspired almost everything I’ve ever written. When I hear that song, I think of that story. It’s probably annoying to my husband, but I have music playing at all times in our house—when I’m showering, cooking, or cleaning. The only time it’s silent is when I’m writing.
What are some of your favourite books/authors?
Christopher Moore and Douglas Adams inspire my comedic ventures. Neil Gaiman nudges me toward the dark side. Rainbow Rowell makes me laugh and cry. I read Fahrenheit 451 and The Book Thief once a year to keep my censorship antenna on alert because I think censorship is dumb. I read Fight Club occasionally to coddle my love of anarchy. And I read Perks of Being a Wallflower to remember who I once was.
SARA DOBIE BAUER
Sara Dobie Bauer is a writer, model, and mental health advocate with a creative writing degree from Ohio University. Her short story, “Don’t Ball the Boss,” was nominated for the Pushcart Prize, inspired by her shameless crush on Benedict Cumberbatch. She lives with her hottie husband and two precious pups in Northeast Ohio, although she’d really like to live in a Tim Burton film. She is a member of RWA and author of the paranormal rom-com Bite Somebody, among other ridiculously entertaining things.