Contact (Gothika #5)
by Kim Fielding , F.E. Feeley Jr. , Jamie Fessenden , B.G. Thomas
Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have F.E. Feeley, Jr. here today to talk about Contact (Gothika #5), an upcoming anthology from Dreamspinner Press. Welcome, F.E.
Hi! I’m F.E. Feeley, Jr., one of the authors in the upcoming anthology Gothika: Contact. This is the fifth installment in the Gothika series, which has featured androids, werewolves, voodoo curses, and ghosts! Contact is about encounters with extraterrestrials and alien abduction, and it includes four stories by me, Kim Fielding, Jamie Fessenden, and B.G. Thomas.
In my story, “My Final Blog,” I explored the idea of extraterrestrials establishing contact not by landing a spaceship in our backyard or making toy monkeys come to life (Why do we have those creepy things, anyway?), but by chatting with us online. We’ve already got a worldwide network where it’s possible—and expected—that people will communicate without revealing their identities. How easy would it be for an alien to establish contact with humans on social media, scope us out, and maybe even establish a form of relationship with us before revealing itself?
Here’s how I handled the idea of alien contact in “My Final Blog.”
George is an average guy who’s led an average sort of life. Always fading in the background, he never garnered much attention. People seemed to pass him by or not notice him. Except, of course, in high school where he was tormented by his sexuality. Finding solace online, George developed a blog early on that helped him maintain his sanity. It was an anonymous link to the outside world to vent his frustrations and express his creativity. And he gathered quite an audience of similar spirits and allies who stayed with him for over the years.
Especially one commenter, Universal47. In the spirit of anonymity, George never pushed him to expose who he really was. And over a period of years, began to have feelings for this faceless person. When George finds himself in a horrible one sided relationship with an abusive and neglectful partner, Universal steps in to help George break up with him. Devastated by the outcome of his failed relationship, George threatens to withdraw from Universal47 as well unless he tells him who he really is. The answer may be more than George can handle.
We were wandering into dangerously choppy waters. I was defensive over my relationship. I mean, there were good times. Christmases and birthdays were great. But there were times when I could dry up and disappear and Joseph, I don’t think would have cared. As a matter of fact, it was sort of ‘go away, come back’ messages that I received from him that confused me. Which, I must say looking back, was sort of pathetic. But you know what they say about hindsight. It was always fifty/ fifty. I ended up saying goodnight and went about my evening. But his words haunted me.
Yet, fast forward to the night he told me his name, I sat staring at my computer screen as his name flashed in front of me. Elijah. I liked the name. I, of course, understood the biblical reference. Elijah was a prophet that once called down fire from heaven to consume a sacrifice to God. Or, it was the name of a really blue eyed actor who played Frodo Baggins in The Lord of the Rings movies. I put those two things up for consideration in the chat box and was greeted with a great big LOL for my efforts.
Universal47: Neither. But that’s funny.
I tilted my head for a moment before typing: Will we ever meet?
Universal47: I believe so. Do you want to meet me?
Me: Of course.
Me: To put a face with a name?
Universal47: Is that all?
Me: Sure. Isn’t that enough.
Universal47: And what would we do if we met.
I rolled my eyes hard at that.
Me: Well, you’re not getting laid if that’s what you mean. I could go on GRNDR for that.
Universal47: HAHAHAHA! I’m sure you could. And no, that isn’t what I’m after either.
Me: so you are after something?
Universal47: Companionship? Is that weird?
Me: No. I don’t think so. You must get lonely, too.
Universal47: You have no idea.
Me: Well, if it’s any consolation to you. At night, when I fall asleep, you’re not far from my mind.
Universal47: That’s really the sweetest thing anyone’s ever said to me. But you don’t know what I look like.
Me: No. I guess not.
Universal47: What do you think about when think about me before you fall asleep.
Me: Honestly? You’ve had many faces. But your arms are always the same. Strong. There. Just like you’ve been all these years. There. That’s what matters to me, Elijah.
He was quiet for a long time after that and before he could reply, I felt my eyes grow heavy. It had been a long couple of days. And since it was Friday night, I had a whole weekend’s worth of work to do. I bid him goodnight and logged out. I hoped I hadn’t said too much. I hope I hadn’t freaked him out. But my ability to bullshit was completely depleted by that time that truth sort of rolled out of me in waves. That night, as I lay in bed listening to the wind howling over the prairies it was so mournful and so lonesome sounding that I cried myself to sleep.
Since ancient times, humankind has looked into the night sky and wondered: Are we alone? Are there other civilizations beyond the stars? Will we ever encounter these beings? Who are they, what are they like, and what might they want with us?
These questions are about to be answered, but those who discover the truth might wish they had never asked. On the other hand, some might find salvation in visitors from other planets. For while some aliens are hostile, others are benevolent. Some have little in common with humans, but for others, the need for love and acceptance is universal. Lives will intersect and otherworldly passions will ignite as four acclaimed authors of gay romance explore first contact—and where it can lead.