I don’t know about you, but the world seems to be getting pretty (insert your favorite colorful word here) intense. While I like to stay informed, I also like to laugh to deal with stress. And, I need some chuckles these days.
Today, the wonderful Tagan Shepard is here to help us laugh with an embarrassing story. Also, Tagan is giving away 1 ecopy of Queen of Humboldt. Below the guest post, you’ll find more details about the giveaway.
Take it away, Tagan.
The Mouse and the Butch Lesbian
I’ve never been that type of butch who thrives when wrapped in a blanket of machismo. Like many masculine of center gals, however, I pride myself on being useful around the house. I’m generally pretty handy, I own an impressive array of power tools, and I exceed expectations at opening pickle jars. Hidden under all these layers of androgyny, however, lingers a dark secret that I managed to keep hidden from my wife for exactly eight years.
When my mother passed away, my wife and I moved into the family home while my stepdad finished a project out of state. We are city (or at least suburb) people and the house is definitely rural. It was a big adjustment for us, but I got to be the hero for a while with renovating a couple bathrooms and installing a new oven. Everything was going so well, I should’ve known the worst was coming.
One night in early autumn I was sitting in my arm chair, watching a hockey game. My wife was upstairs, working diligently on homework for a Chemistry class. Suddenly there came a loud thump and scrabbling sound from over my shoulder. I turned to see my sixteen pound gray and white cat crouched on the kitchen floor, a mouse wriggling and screeching in his jaws.
Now, I suppose, is a good time to tell my secret. Despite my bona fides as a butch lesbian, I am afraid of mice. It’s not that I don’t like them. It’s that they terrify me. Those beady little eyes and smug, murderous whiskers. They make me want to jump on a counter and scream for my very femmey wife to come save me. But now I’m getting ahead of myself.
So my kitty, Franco, sat his massive haunches on the tile and I sat my rodent-hating haunches on my armchair and we locked eyes. I could see, from the slight twitch of his whiskers and the growing panic in his expanding pupils, that he was just now realizing this particular mouse was not one of his catnip stuffed toys. He lowered his face toward the floor. I tensed. His jaws opened. I leaped out of my chair. The mouse wrestled itself free. It’s paws had barely hit the ground when he made a break for it… directly toward me.
What happened next is something of a blur. I know that Franco wandered off to lick his face in my recently vacated but still warm armchair. I know the mouse made very little progress across the floor before succumbing to his injuries. I know that my wife came running downstairs, responding to, as she later put it, my “screaming like a little girl”. I know I ended up standing on top of the kitchen counter though I was not, as my wife again described, “shaking and twitching in fear”. How this all came to pass, I don’t know. I was somewhat indisposed.
In the end, my wife took the poor mouse outside and gave it a proper burial. Meanwhile I clambered down from the counter and gave my dignity a proper burial. To my surprise, she doesn’t tease me much about my very ladylike fear of mice. Every now and then, however, when I’ve done something particularly impressive like grab the heavy saucepan off the top shelf and feel the need to crow about it, she gives the countertop a pointed look and raises an eyebrow, leaving me properly chastened.
But honestly, mice are scary and I bet they’re really vicious, too.
by Tagan Shepard
Marisol Soltero’s life is built on big scores and fast women. From her nightclub she rules over the Humboldt Park neighborhood of Chicago with ruthless calculation. Though everyone knows her as the Queen of Humboldt, Marisol lives part of her life in the shadows. When she hears of an impending assassination attempt against the Governor of Illinois, those shadows threaten to ruin everything she’s built.
Governor Sabrina Sloane has spent her life cleaning up the streets, first as State’s Attorney in Chicago and then as Governor of Illinois. Every criminal to cross her path has ended up behind bars―except one. When that criminal saves her life, she’s forced to shine new light on everything she thought she knew.
As a mutual enemy forces them together, Marisol and Sloane must work as a team in a fight for their lives. Can they overcome their differences and their growing attraction to find their way to freedom? And can Governor Sloane ever bring herself to trust the Queen of Humboldt?
MEET THE AUTHOR
Tagan Shepard has always spent quiet moments weaving stories in her head. It didn’t occur to her until recently to take the time to write them down. Now that she’s started, she can’t seem to stop. When not writing, she makes her living in a hospital laboratory.
She is a cardio junkie, history buff, and unrepentant nerd, happily wasting countless hours of her life on video games and science fiction/fantasy of every stripe. She lives in Richmond, Virginia with her very patient wife and two rather surly cats.
CONNECT WITH TAGAN SHEPARD
Thanks so much for stopping by today.