How down low will he go?

Excerpt from “Uprising”

In my first novel Uprising, a famous but closeted black pop star plots to assassinate a homophobic US Senator while a straight white FBI agent goes undercover to stop him.

Raider Kincaide is the straight white FBI agent. A former college athlete, Raider is now a Harley ridin’, skirt-chasin’, rock-lovin’ father of a 10-year-old son. His assignment: go undercover as a gay man, bust the bad guys.

Early on, Raider almost blows his cover during a confrontation with a gay activist in a grocery store. The following excerpt follows Raider, after the confrontation:

The California sunshine was a welcomed sight. As the market’s doors closed behind him, Raider dumped the roast beef in a trash bin in front of the store and walked hurriedly to his car. Right now, the thought of eating anything handled by a gay guy….

He collapsed in his Jeep, out of breath as if he’d gone through more than the mental gymnastics it took shopping at Mayfair Market. With the six pack in his lap, he slumped over until his head was resting on the wheel. “Get the job done and get the hell out of here,” he ordered himself.

This was the hardest UC work he’d ever done. Pretending to be a dope dealer who got off peddling crack to junkie mothers was cake compared to pretending to be a fag.

He knew at any time he could call it quits, say adios to Othello and Boystown and return home to his Harleys, his son and Sally’s Bar and Grill. It was FBI policy. Yet that option never seriously entered his head.

“He was exploring territory he never thought he’d explore in twelve lifetimes.”

Why? he asked himself daily. Simply put, he could smell the glory. Each night, going to bed in that West Hollywood apartment, he envisioned the legendary status sure to be his amongst the boys in the bureau after Panty-Raider Kincaide ferreted out this whole bizarre plot against God and country by three world-famous, in-the-closet homos.

Why, he could retire on the book and movie rights alone, not to mention becoming a fabled agent whose name was invoked with reverence by and for all the rookies at Quantico, just like his boss and mentor Dockweiller.

But in the deepest recesses of his mind, Raider also knew there was more to his drive than mere fame and fortune. By becoming submerged in the gay world, he was exploring territory he never thought he’d explore in twelve lifetimes. Not that he ever, ever wanted to have sex with a guy, but now, at least while he was under for the count, he could let his mind roam a little freer and think about things he previously didn’t know how to think about, nor want to think about.

Over the last several weeks, certain memories would pop up out of the blue like ghosts, until now hidden in the shadows of his psyche. On the plane out to LA, he had told himself he never once thought about being with another guy. Now, he had to confess this was untrue, as unnerving as it was to admit.

“That’s when he knew for sure he’d never be a fag.”

When he was a kid–fifteen, maybe sixteen–he thought about homo-sex more than once, but more in the sense of wondering why one guy would want to be with another guy. To try to figure that one out, he would imagine putting his mouth on one of his buddy’s dicks or having that buddy’s lips around his own penis.

It seemed so weird, he remembered thinking every single time. He also imagined getting corn-holed, even stuck his finger up his butt once, when he was seventeen. But it hurt like hell and that’s when he knew for sure he’d never be a fag. What a relief, the teenage Raider thought.

There were also other memories that now demanded attention, like all the crazy questions he and his pals used to put to each other in high school. It was always a matter of: if you were forced to choose, which would you rather do?

Eat a ninety year-old woman’s pussy, or give a buddy a blow job? Have your right arm cut off, or only have sex with guys for the rest of your life? Take a dick in your ass, or in your mouth? Lick a filthy public toilet seat in the restrooms near the beach, or let Philip Larsen, the school fag, suck your dick?

“We can admit that to each other because we’re not fags.”

Posing these kinds of stupid questions was their favorite past time while hanging out at the shore, drinking beer. And now that Raider thought about it, the questions almost always had to do with homo-sex. If anyone ever sounded as though they would actually commit any of the gay acts, everyone else would laugh in disgust and called that person a fag for a couple of minutes. But the homo-sex option was almost always part of the game.

And then there was Lenny, his best friend at Dartmouth, the straightest guy Raider knew other than himself. Together, the two of them terrorized Hanover, New Hampshire, for four years, not missing one hot girl or killer party between them.

They hardly kept in touch these days–Lenny had snorted his life away–but back then Raider and Lenster must have screened every straight porno video on the market and they never failed to talk about the male star’s “hose-potential” and how they both loved to see the stud jizz in the movies.“We can admit that to each other because we’re not fags,” Lenny used to say.

And when he got drunk, which was often, Lenny also used to say,“Panty-Raider, man, before I die, I’m gonna fuck you in the ass, man, I swear.” To that, Raider would laugh, then they’d hit each other, hurl a derogatory name or two and start wrestling or boxing.

To think now that Lenster might have really meant it, that Not-So-Skinny Lenny might have had gay tendencies. For the first time in his life, Raider conceived it as possible. No way did Lenny Jerricho look like a fag, but neither did some of the guys Raider saw walking around West Hollywood. Some of them actually came off like guys he could have played sports with. Did Lenny turn out to be gay? What about the buddies of his youth who used to joke about it so much? Any of them ever try it? Ever want to?

Drudging up all these incidents from the past was unsettling at best, yet Raider couldn’t control the mechanism in his brain that rendered these memories insignificant until now. It was this job, he knew, and West Hollywood and Othello pursuing him. And Freedom and ACTNOW and Jasper Hollinquest and Deon Anthony—Deon Anthony for Christ’s sake; who wasn’t gay? Who didn’t think about it? One thing was for sure: Raider wanted to bust the case and get the hell out of Boystown before he had to deal with that $64,000 question.

Uprising: the Suspense Thriller
by Randy Boyd

A Double Lambda Literary Finalist
Best Men’s Mystery
Best Small Press Title

Available wherever books are sold
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