Content Warning: While these fics take place after the event, they will discuss a school shooting.
Copyright 2017 Thianna Durston
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Cory’s basement was packed. Levlin glanced around while Rafe picked his way amongst the crowd to join his friends over in the corner. Santi waved and Levlin smiled in return. He knew Santi and Finn would keep Rafe occupied so he turned to Ethan who stood next to the stairs, his phone in hand. “How’s Nick?” he asked quietly.
Ethan blew out a breath and shook his head. Red rimmed eyes and dark circles said much about his stress. “He’s okay. He’s upstairs in the guest room right now. He wanted to be here but couldn’t handle being around so many people.” He looked Levlin in the eye. “He still can’t adequately describe what happened. I wish you could have been the one to help him.”
“I know. But I’m too close. Sarah’s a good psychiatrist, especially for someone who went through what sounds like a violent flashback which sent him into shock.” He wrapped an arm around Ethan’s shoulders. “Should we find a seat in this melee?”
“I’m staying here. Nick has his phone. If he needs me, he’ll text.”
Levlin squeezed his shoulder, completely understanding the need. When he spotted Cory coming down the stairs, a look of intention on his face, Levlin’s heart sped up a bit. He’d seen Cory in this mode only once before. The man could move mountains when he was in this frame of mind. Not wanting to get in his way, Levlin slid through the crowd to Rafe’s side. He leaned against the wall and pulled his husband in front of him and into his arms. Rafe leaned back against him, relaxing slightly.
“Good evening,” Cory said as he stepped into the basement. “Those of you who are new have never been to one of our brainstorming sessions. So this might seem strange to you.” He walked over in front of the television and looked over the crowd, his green eyes intense. “Last week, a tragedy struck our city. Nine young men on the cusp of their lives were murdered. It’s affected us all. And it’s killing us all.
“My husband has worked tirelessly, just like the rest of us, to try and make this right. He’s upstairs ill because of it. None of us look well. Several have been to the hospital or the doctor’s office because of what happened. It’s affecting our health. It’s affecting our lives. And it’s time to end it.” His tone increased in power until it bounced off the walls.
“We should never forget what happened to those men. Ever. Nor the fact that it was a hate crime. But we cannot focus on that. If that is all we focus on—” He took a breath, seeming to calm himself before continuing. “If all we focus on is the pain and the fear and how impossible it seems to get our lives back on track, then nothing good will come of it. The fear will win. The animal that did this will win.”
Cory took another deep breath before he spoke again. “Many of you have heard me say it before. The best way to combat fear is to have something good to work for. If we battle fear, all we’ll get is more fear. If we combat hatred, all we’ll get is more hatred. If we fight against something, it will just give more attention to that which we fight against.
“We need to fight for something. We need to work for an idea that will mean something. It needs to mean something good. It needs to be so damned good that it overrides the fear and the stress and the worry. It needs to make us get up in the morning feeling refreshed even though we worked our asses off the day before. It needs, my wonderful family, to be so big and so powerful that the fear doesn’t have a chance to invade once it’s planted. And tonight, we’re going to figure out what that is.”
Santi and Finn who had been leaning against the wall, stood up and leaned forward, interest on their faces. Levlin could see the same fierce interest in everyone else’s expression. Rafe felt alert, without that energy that said he could snap at any moment, for the first time since the shooting.
“So this is a brainstorming meeting,” Cory continued. “Everyone brought food. I suggest you go upstairs, fill a plate, and come back down. Because once we start brainstorming ideas for what we’re going to work on, we won’t stop until we have something so amazing that nothing can stop it. And then we’re going to create it, whatever it is.”
If you have enjoyed this tiny window into Falcon Pointe, check out the first books in the Men of Falcon Pointe series.
Flash Fic #11 will be posted on Wednesday, Dec 13th.