S.A. Garcia's Mutterings, Whimpers and Rants

S.A. Garcia's Mutterings, Whimpers and Rants. World Domination by 2020. Or 2025. Probably never.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Welcome to Oscar Wilde’s 159th Birthday Celebration!

Welcome to Oscar Wilde’s 159th Birthday Celebration!

Who doesn’t love Oscar Wilde? He’s like a fabulous mascot. I think it’s sad that his family— who doesn’t share his name due to shame— decided to place a glass wall around Oscar’s magnificent tomb in Paris’ Père Lachaise Cemetery. Yes, people were lipsticking the monument with great enthusiasm, and, far worse, defacing the statue with graffiti.

But think about it. Oscar Wilde lived his life with a barrier around him, one built from his homosexuality. When he broke free and took a stand, the haters punished him for daring to be smarter, more self-assured… just all-around braver about his life. People with narrow little minds wanted to rip Oscar down.

In the end, they succeeded. But wily Oscar had the last laugh. Now he’s celebrated as a gay icon. His witty bon-mots are legendary. His plays and books have stood the test of time and are still part of popular culture.

Which is why placing a glass wall around his tomb seems wrong on many emotional levels. They’re trying to box in Oscar again by placing a barrier around him. When I visited Oscar’s tomb, I didn’t kiss or deface, but I did hug a corner.

Oscar’s tomb barrier sparked my short story. Last night after sipping too much wine, I pounded out my words and cried a river. Tonight, I fixed the errors in spelling, logic, and overall tone. I cried all over again.

I’m starting the b-day celebration a little early.

In turn for reading and commenting, you’ll be entered into a drawing for one of my two my new novels: “Love in the Shadows” or “The Gospel According to Cher.” Keep in mind I can’t send out “The Gospel According to Cher” until October 28th.

When I pick the winner on Thursday, I’ll give them the choice.

I hope you enjoy my fantasy.

Oscar’s Army

A PG-13 M/M Fantasy by S.A. Garcia

Why had he done this to himself?

Alexander Fingal O’Flahertie Riodian shifted his numb ass against the cold, hard stone base. His romantic Irish Granna had really cursed him with one helluva long name. Afor— which everyone usually called him—gazed around the gloomy graveyard. He eyed the stone chin looming above him and scowled in annoyance.

Two days of freedom from uniform beckoned to him, yet here he sat tucked under an angel’s cold stone chest. He perched like an abandoned gnome, watching as people visited the tomb. They didn’t pay much attention to him. How odd.

He shifted again, but seeking comfort on stone was useless. Had he really promised his Granna he would visit Oscar Wilde’s tomb? Yes. He had sworn if he had the chance, he would go to Père Lachaise Cemetery and pay his respects to Oscar. After all, Afor owed Granna everything. His grandmother had raised him after his sainted mother had died during childbirth. Granna had raised Afor with unconditional love.

When she had taken in Birdie after his parents had died, she had given Afor a new best friend. As the years had passed, Afore and Birdie realized they were something more than best friends. They worked had Granna’s Bucks County farm together. Sometimes they worked in the hay wain to see whose tongue could make the other come first. They both liked that work far better than plowing.

Just after Afor’s eighteenth birthday, Granna had caught Afor and Birdie naked in Afor’s bed. She had come in to fetch Afor’s wash. Afor had wanted to become invisible, had wanted to deny everything. Instead of reacting, Granna had blinked, closed the door and never said a word. The two young men didn’t understand their luck. Birdie had convinced Afor not to ask Granna about her silence. Why tip the scales?

In 1918, Afor and Birdie had signed up for duty in France. They couldn’t wait to fight against the dastardly Germans.

On that day, Granna had sat Afor down for a good cuppa of strong Irish tea in the sun-washed kitchen. After she had stirred her usual five heaping teaspoons of sugar into the warm brew, she sipped. She stirred again and sipped before she regarded him over the teacup’s china rim. Her bright blue eyes had sparkled with joy. “Didja know I met Oscar Wilde when he visited Philadelphia in 1886?”

“Granna, who’s Oscar Wilde?”

Afor remembered Granna looking like she had wanted to smack him back into next year. He’d never forget her heated response. “Oscar Wilde is one of the greatest Irishmen ever to walk the earth. His wit and wisdom made the birds sing his name from the trees. He’s a genius or, bless his soul, was a genius. Those who refused to understand him killed the dear soul by imprisonin’ him.”

“For what?”

“For bein’ different! For darin’ to love above all else. We’re related to him, laddie, removed, yes, but his blood flows in yer veins.” Granna had sipped tea before she shook her head. A few strands of red and white hair had tumbled free from her bun. “I’m not surprised you cotton to Birdie. He’s a right decent fella, but you must be careful. Promise me.” She had gripped Afor’s forearm with surprising power. “Promise.”

He had promised.

Afor shivered and shook his head. Granna had always understood how he felt toward Birdie. Apparently, this poor Oscar fellow had ruined his life because he felt the same way. Afor wondered if Oscar had lain awake at night trying convince himself he could change. Too many sleepless nights fighting with himself had led Afor to one conclusion: he loved Birdie.

He wanted to spend his life with Birdie. After the war, they planned to return to Granna’s farm and continue making it blossom. They discussed branching out into raising racehorses. The future seemed wide open, limitless with options.

A few visitors drifted past Wilde’s tomb. Three smiled; four scowled. Afor hoped the scowlers didn’t report him to a cemetery official for sitting here. Afor spoke no French. He wished he had asked someone to write an explanation for him. “My dying Granna asked me to visit this place.”

He blinked, telling himself only the strong late evening sunshine caused his eyes to tear.

He knew better.

Granna had died before Afor had reached France. Her proud heart had given out while he and Birdie had sailed across the Atlantic.

A lump built in Afor’s throat. Birdie had died a month ago from a grievous gunshot to the head. The war was finally on the wane, but the last battle demanded final victims. Afor had tried everything to help his— lover, but Birdie had died writhing in the blood and mud flooding the filthy trench, his cornsilk hair filthy and matted with gore and filth. Afor had tried kissing Birdie back to life until another soldier had punched him in the head.

Now Afor slumped against cold stone, not caring, he only wanting to visit Paris and find something to kill his staggering pain. Yet here he slumped waiting for—something. The sun drifted toward the horizon. Afor shifted again. He thought some official would come to toss him off the structure. Around him, the shadows grew deeper. Eerie ground mist rose from the earth, floating up to obscure the other monuments.

No one came to bother him, not even when full night claimed the cemetery. Why hadn’t that last guard chased him away? Afor frowned and tried to remember coming to the cemetery. He couldn’t remember the journey. His last memory was of sitting in a bar after drinking too many beers and telling the soldier who had followed him to fuck off— yes, it had been the same soldier who had punched him for trying to kiss Birdie back to life.

A sharp pain blossomed against Afor’s right temple. For a second, redness veiled his vision. Both sensations vanished.

Afor sat straighter. What did he hear? Voices echoed from down the path. He leaned forward, cocking his head. The sound intensified, coming from all directions.

A man with a dark brown pageboy haircut walked toward him through the heavy fog. He wore a smart green velvet suit more suited to an earlier age. He gestured like a grand magician. “Dear boy, why are you all the way up there?”

Afor blinked in bewilderment. How had he gotten up there? Not only didn’t he remember coming here, but he didn’t remember climbing up on the tomb. “Sorry, sir, I don’t know.”

The man smiled with sly comedy. “Well come down already. We’ve been waiting for you.” The man waved toward his right.

Afor gasped in delight. “Granna! Birdie!” He easily propelled himself off the tomb to hug the two most important people in the world to him. He wrapped their loving warmth around his soul. He felt the approval of the others who gathered close to touch them. Birdie reached up to ruffle Afor’s hair. Granna’s lilac and love scent drifted into his nostrils.

They both looked happy and hale. How could this—

Another shadowy figure walked close to Afor, she growing clearer and brighter with every step. Afor stared in amazement. He recognized the sweet face from old photographs, but before now he had never viewed her wild green eyes or intense red hair. “Mama?”

The thin redhead nodded before she reached to touch his damp cheeks. “Son. My beautiful son.” Afor met his blessed mother for the first time ever. Everything became clear for him.

He understood what had happened to him last night. He understood.

He accepted his special position into Oscar’s Army.

Oscar gestured toward the east. “Time to move, my lovelies. A suffering soul needs release. We need to guide him gently into his new world.” He clapped his hand against Afor’s shoulder. “We look out for one another. Will you help me?”

Afor held out his hands to grip Oscar’s shoulders. “I’m honored. You—” Afor shivered and shook his head in helpless adoration.

“Are here for you.” Oscar patted Afor’s cheek before he turned. “I always like walking toward the East. It feels so adventerous.”

Birdie cuddled against Afor’s right side. This time Afor ruffled Birdie’s cornsilk hair. Birdie seemed recreated, he standing proud and tall, not burdened by the wretched sickness which had defeated him during the war. Granna and Mama held onto Afor’s left arm. Granna winked at Afor. He grinned and returned the wink.

Together they followed Oscar toward the next compassionate mission.



  1. Different and very interesting. =}

  2. Happy Birthday Oscar Wilde and thank you SA for a truly lovely homage to him.

    kalimar2010 @ gmail.com

  3. I didn't realise it was Oscar Wilde birthday, it's wonderful that you are remembering him. I loved the story it was beautiful and brought tears to my eyes.


  4. Reading this fantasy short was a great way to start the day... and shed a small tear. *sigh*

    Happy Birthday Oscar Wilde!!


  5. Happy Birthday Oscar Wilde!
    What an awesome read! I love it! Thank you so much for sharing it...*S*
    Thank you for the giveaway, and wishing you all the best!

    pomma @akwolf.com

  6. It's a real shame that Oscar wasn't able to live to a time where he was really appreciated. Personally, I never thought I'd live long enough to see gay men and lesbian women able to legally marry in the U.S. I wonder what Oscar would have said about that?? Oscar, we miss you. I think he would have loved this story as well, and invited you to tea....:)

    Jim Evans

  7. Thanks for the giveaway and for sharing. :)


  8. Loved the excerpt!

    gisu09 at gmail dot com

  9. A sad but beautiful story.

    midiamuniz at yahoo dot com

  10. It's so sad to think how they boxed him in like that. But yes~ As much as they tried to simply lock Oscar away, his memory lives on in a blazing glory through his books and as an Icon. heh... <3

    Thanks so much for the contest! \^o^/ please count me in~

    Judi P

  11. Thanks for all the lovely comments.

    The winner is....Jim Evans, lakeviewfella@yahoo.com

    I honestly closed my eyes and scrolled back and forth. I'm quite scientific. *snort*