The Barter System (dig) - Shayne McClendonCarlo Larrosa had worked in the building since he was eighteen years old.  Originally hired by the new owner, his plan at the time had been to help his mother and get a different sort of work experience than he was used to before considering college.

Less than a year after taking the job, his mother slipped on wet marble and fell at her job.  She’d been the long-time housekeeper for a wealthy family who lived less than two blocks from where he currently stood.  They made sure she was well cared for until she could return to work.  The blood clot that formed from a bump on her head – thought to be nothing – killed her a few days later.

His boss offered to pay for a full funeral but he declined with gratitude.  Instead, he held a memorial service in their fourth-floor walk-up in Brooklyn and people from all over the neighborhood came to pay their respects to a woman who had been kind and hard working all her life.  Her only child had her cremated as she’d requested in a document he found in her desk.

Though he had never met his father, Araceli had filled his life with strength and love from his first memories.  An orphan who traveled from Uruguay with an elderly uncle as a child, she soon became the only surviving member of her family.  She was a beautiful woman who made friends easily but rejected the attention of men and never married.

Hence, when she died, he was alone.

A week later, he returned to work.  There was no wisdom in sitting in the home they’d shared and allowing his grief to overtake him.  Besides, he enjoyed his job and the people who had become a sort of extended family for him.  As he’d known they would, his co-workers welcomed him back with open arms and kind words.

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Don’t forget to pay a little kindness forward. Just a bit.

Paying the toll for the car behind you. Leaving a busy server an extra couple of dollars. Smiling at an elderly person…maybe stopping to chat. Winking at a haggard older woman in the grocery store and helping her see herself as a woman instead of just a “mom”…even just for a moment.

An instant of your kindness, which costs you nothing, might be that little something that keeps a person going, keeps them hoping, and maybe makes them pay it forward as well.

Helping a neighbor. A friend. A co-worker. A stranger. A stray. Just because you can.

Much love,
Shayne ♥

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He knew the moment he walked in the door that she was gone. The place felt like a tomb. Before anything else, he had to wash off the dust from a day of spraying stucco.

He was tired, bone tired, and he just couldn’t find it in himself to give a fuck.

She’d been threatening for months to leave. She hadn’t let him so much as kiss her. She refused to cook and made him pick up fast food every night. He should have known she took off when she didn’t call him with her nightly order.

The blame was constant and heavy.  As if he’d asked for his company to close its doors without so much as a day’s warning. As if he’d planned on the finance department of said company investing their pension fund in high-risk ventures.

Had there been a chance of knowing…any of it…ahead of time, he’d have pulled the chute and gotten them to safety.

Day and night she’d complained. Her fancy leased car had been gone the week after his. They sold their house but nothing was left after paying all their debt. He’d dared to move her into an apartment.

There is the sound of footsteps in the hallway and he wonders if she came back to go through his wallet.

The voice on the other side of the door is the last one he expects to hear.  “Roger? You okay?” A short pause…far too short for him to have formed a response. “My sister is an asshole. How dare she quit on you! I’ve already taken a strip out of her and mom was warming up when I left. I’ll make you dinner. I bet you’re starving. Where’s Coco?”  Another tiny pause, then, “Did that bitch take your dog? I will fucking kill her. Those fake tits are leaking into her brain.”

A palm slaps the door and she heads back down the hall, mumbling the entire way about stringing her vicious sister up by her fingernails.

The water in the tub is cloudy from the white stucco he’d used at a house like the one he used to live in. He’d scrub it off and shower…then go let Rita make him dinner. She was a great cook, much better than her sister. Good to their mother. Nice to strays and kids in the park. Curvier. Neater. Always made him laugh – even during displays of her temper.

He gave a little smile and started scrubbing his body. Dinner with Rita. Her philosophy came to him in a rush. “Everything happens for a reason.”

NOW…he gave a fuck. Time to hustle.

© Shayne McClendon 2014

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Emperor Shah Jahan built the Taj Mahal as tribute to his deceased wife. He described the Taj in these words:

Should guilty seek asylum here,
Like one pardoned, he becomes free from sin.
Should a sinner make his way to this mansion,
All his past sins are to be washed away.
The sight of this mansion creates sorrowing sighs;
And the sun and the moon shed tears from their eyes.
In this world this edifice has been made;
To display thereby the creator’s glory.

Every time I see photos of the Taj Mahal, it makes me smile at the depth of love a man felt for a woman during a time (1600′s) when they were little more than property. It makes me love him a little. ♥

This photo is the Taj Mahal as photographed by Samuel Bourne in 1865. Beautiful, isn’t it?

What happened to love that inspired the building of monuments? The writing of sonnets? The painting of a masterpiece?

Where are the grand gestures, damn it?

I want an ear! Why did women in times of no medical care to speak of and lacking so much as a sterile gauze pad warrant an ear? You know what I get as a “grand gesture” – not of love but of wanting to get in my pants – I get cock shots. All ages, sizes, locations, and activities. Trimmed ones, bushy ones, some have big balls, some have little ones…all are happy to know they are being sent to entertain me and primp for the occasion.

I’ve gotten some from “the bathroom at my office” and others from “my wife’s sister’s house” a strange number taken in garages and still far more taken in cars.

That’s what I get? Really? Not a whole lot of thought goes into:

Pull pants down, wank like a lunatic until hard (quietly lest someone catch me), snap grainy pic with cell phone or laptop, save (because I’ll have to send these new ones to all the people who hold their breath waiting for them), wank until the job is done (mess…shit…tissues, bugger!) as I imagine the erotica author’s overwhelming delight and state of excitement when she receives my photo. How she will stop wrangling house, teenagers, pets, and put dinner on warm so she may release the sexual tension the picture of my penis will inspire! Oh yes, yes, yes!

Uh, no. Actually, I chuckle as I save it to a special folder on my computer. I then forward the picture to my two best friends (without a name) so we can take turns dissecting the “ambiance” of the shot. The ones that bore us get deleted. The ones that inspire a story based on what was said, where it was taken, or exactly what is happening IN the photo – I save.

Sad, sad news flash: I have never masturbated to them. Nope, not once. I’m sorry.

So – my version of the Taj Mahal is the receipt of random penises.

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To make myself feel better, I’ve composed my own Ode to the Cock Shot.

When the nasty seeks distraction and release,
One exposed yet in hiding, he caresses his skin.
The sinner causes his penis to stand to attention,
The “take” photo button pressed just in time,
The sight of this straining member will bring sensual sighs;
And the receiver of my photo will be unable to hold back.
Her sexual fulfillment, by my photo has been made;
All hail my display of the twig and berry’s glory.

Anywho. Don’t do that. It’s gross and pointless since most penises look the same to women in a photo. Also, we’re much harder to stimulate than that. Bo-ring.

Word to the wise: when you start to pull your clothing away and take out your penis for a little “you and him” time…if there is an inner voice that whispers, “you should totally take a pic of your johnson” – ignore that voice. In fact, step away from your home and go outside. You’ve obviously been spending too much time A) alone and B) scrolling Tumblr.

If you take it and send it to me…I’m going to laugh at you. Even if you’re hung like a horse. Even if you’re the “Michelangelo’s David” of penises, the “Romeo & Juliet” of penises, the “Beethoven’s 9th” of penises, the “you just won an all-inclusive trip to the Superbowl” of penises. Even then…

I am still going to laugh at you.

Please note…the author does not really want an ear. Please, in the name of all that is holy, do not start whacking off body parts willy-nilly! I am not, however, averse to a dirty limerick or two (sans cock shots…I have as many of those as any woman needs in a lifetime). *wink*

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stay strongThere were times I thought they would kill me.  I did not die…and some days, I promise you, that was harder.

I hid the bruises, pretended I wasn’t in agony simply bending over to tie my shoes, and became a habitual liar to excuse the hell that leaves marks on my body like a road map through hell.

I wanted something bad to happen to my abusers and yet felt guilty about the hoping because I was a good person in a horrible situation that was out of my control.  I took the hits, the screaming, the insults…but I did not cry because then it would have been worse.

I made it out alive and work hard to live the rest of my life free – but sometimes the dark makes me remember, loud noises startle me because I have a mild form of un-diagnosed PTSD, and sometimes – despite all my efforts to never be like them - I have slips of rage.

I worked for years to control my temper, to slow my breathing, control my heart rate, and stop the red from invading my vision.

I know I could kill the woman in the mall parking lot punching her kid in the backseat of her pretty car. I could do it. I want to do it. She outweighs me by 50 pounds but I know how to make her hurt – how to bring her down into a weak and whimpering mass of pain.  It’s been done to me.  I remember well.  I confront her verbally instead. I shame her and humiliate her and take down her license plate.

Then I go there every night for a week at sixteen years old with a 110 camera and a tape recorder.  I wait.  I know she will beat that child again.  If she will hit that kid in public – she tortures him in private.

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Penance by Shayne McClendon

July 20, 2014 Erotica
SM - PENANCE (ms graphic)

Fair warning, this is an M/M story. That means, in plain English, sexual activity between two men. If that is a turn-off for you, skip this one (and definitely don’t freak out on me…I love writing stories about men). For all you women out there who secretly love stories like this…enjoy. Troy stood in the […]

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Have a Happy 4th of July!

July 4, 2014 Erotica
Have a Happy 4th of July

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Job Well Done by Shayne McClendon

June 30, 2014 BDSM
SM - Job Well Done (ms graphic)

There are times throughout the day when I think about you, when I wonder what you’re doing, and wish you were close enough to touch me. Then there are times when you surprise me by coming home early or calling out sick and as I’m sitting in the quiet house working, I suddenly feel your […]

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Night Terror by Shayne McClendon | Free Story

June 13, 2014 Micro Stories
Night Terror by Shayne McClendon

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Quotes from “Yes to Everything”

June 11, 2014 Books
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