Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Prince Wore Pink Stilettos by Julie Lynn Hayes

I was eighteen and gay and working on prom night, a Cinderella without a prince, when a vision appeared in the coffee aisle: He was wearing a short, black skirt, a pale cream shirt that exposed his bare midriff, and upon his feet were a pair of very pink, very high stiletto heels. And he was my very own high school wet dream, Rob Marshall! Whodathunkit?

I love those times when I read the last page in a short story—in this case, page 32, it’s a short—and I take a deep, satisfied breath, fulfilled as though I’d just read enough beauty and poignancy to fill an epic novel.

Well, I just had that experience with Prince Wore Pink Stilettos by Julie Lynn Hayes.

I have to admit I was sidetracked by the title, sort of thinking it might be about the performer Prince. Then I read the blurb and I was hooked.

But the story! Oh, the story!

First of all, I’ll tell you a secret. It’s the kind of tale I’d love to be able to spin. It had all the elements to hook a reader and endear them to the characters.

There was Michael, the narrator. The story begins when his daughter emerges from their attic with a pair of pink high heels. The sight of them triggers Michael’s memories to his first meeting with these stilettos and the person wearing them.

Michael, during high school, is painfully insecure but as adorable as adorable can be. Our hero has an immediate crush on a newcomer to high school, gorgeous Rob Marshall.

Here is the snippet where he describes Rob: He was easily as tall as I was—and at that time I had almost attained my full height of six foot—at least from what I could tell from the distance I kept between us, his hair a beautiful auburn, thick and rich, which fell to his shoulders in unadulterated waves. His eyes were hazel, flecked with gold, and when I dared stare at him during class, they seemed to exude a dreaminess that enveloped him in a romantic aura that never failed to get to me. What did his voice sound like, you ask, this virtual god’s? I didn’t know, for I’d never gotten up the nerve to talk to him, simply worshipped him from afar, and wondered what it would be like to kiss those pretty pink lips, so soft looking, so sensual. They were full, and feminine, giving him the air of a perpetual pout—a look which kept me in perpetual heat. I quickly discovered the best places in the school for quick wanks when things got to be too bad—which seemed to be almost a daily occurrence, unfortunately. And I learned to carry a bit of cologne with me to disguise the scent of cum, which had a tendency to linger after said wanking sessions.

No plot reveal, of course. But our darling Michael—in the culmination of his wildest dream—meets beautiful Rob in the grocery store on prom night. And there is the object of his fantasies, dressed in a short, tight skirt, girly blouse and pink stilettos. Surprise, surprise.

Michael is hooked, he is helplessly in love-at-first-sight.

When Michael accompanies Rob to his house (Rob’s family is out of town), what follows is one of the—no, maybe THE most tender, intimate, sensual, hot, fabulous, believable—love scenes I’ve ever read.

Michael endears me even more with his unsure nerves, his first-time fear with Rob who has done this sort of thing before. The emotions and confusion our narrator feel are so close to how I suppose a young man’s first encounter with another man would indeed feel.

I’d love to tell you the ending. I’m still nursing a sweet ache over it. I didn’t see it coming, but it was perfection. I actually cried, smiled, cried, smiled. Ultimately smiled.

Where, I wanted to know, had this treasure of a short story been all my life? Doesn’t matter. I’ve read it now, and will read it again and again.

I highly recommend it.

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