In my search to discover just on whose Tumblr stream I found this photo request for a cuddle buddy that inspired this story, I discovered several thousand requests for the very same thing. Young people sending a note out into the world for someone to come along and cuddle them up for a while. It was rather heartbreaking to see so many teens and twenty-somethings looking for someone to curl up with them just to watch a movie. Closeness and not being alone was all they wanted.
This bittersweetness prompted me to write my new short story Come Cuddle Me.
In my head, this is Tucker. He’s living on his own for the first time after his parents kicked him out and he has two friends to whom he sends this photo and a request that they come cuddle him. Never does he even contemplate that they might reblog his photo and because he didn’t think of that he didn’t hesitate to let his friends know his new address in the message. The one other thing Tucker has is a neighbor named Bill who’s going to make it his mission to save Tucker from his dumbass self once strangers start showing up at Tucker’s door.
Even Bill has a reason for responding to Tucker’s innocent request, though. I mean, I had to get Tucker his cuddle, right? And a whole lot more besides.
Sometimes angst-free is a good thing. There are times when I’m all for those stories that make me read fast because I just absolutely have to know what’s next. Will they make it out? Does he live? There are those other times, though, when I’d much rather know that the outside world isn’t out to destroy them. I like the stories without a lot of emotional ups and downs or the potential for someone to end up in the hospital.
Sometimes happy is what I need to see. This goes along with angst-free above, but it’s more than a lack of drama (of the CNN or Bravo variety). Sure, there are times when crying is welcome, but I like smiling more. Happy tears? Bring it. I’m all for the reward of joy at the end of bittersweet or sorrow. This doesn’t mean I want constant, sugar-coated, Care Bear cheering, though. I still require well-written and meaningful with the happy. Sighing with a smile on my face when I reach the end of a story means it’s a favorite, a keeper.
Sometimes a little humor with the sexy makes it real. Farts happen. Stubbed toes, falling out of bed, “Ow, you’re on my hair!” and the occasional bad breath moment are the reality of relationships. Every now and then, it seems like you have no control over your own limbs and then there’s a whole other set belonging to someone else that you have to navigate. I like to laugh at the mishaps or the dumb things and, when someone else’s humor aligns with mine, I’m smitten.
Sometimes short fits the bill. Everyone has to wait. Certain places have entire rooms just for waiting. I don’t enjoy staring at the latest in cheap wall prints and no way am I contracting the newest virus from some old magazine, so I like to bring a book along. A story I can read during that 20-minute wait is perfect to me. Bus rides, holiday check-out lines, salons, that time I didn’t trust the washing machine to stay put and had to sit with it… I read short stories while I’m waiting. This doesn’t mean that a short story is a moment in time for some characters who I learn absolutely nothing about. It might be short, but it’s still complete, well-written and researched.
Now, aside from declaring what I sometimes like to read here, I’m also stating that these stories are what I like to write. The majority of the time, anything coming from Missy Welsh will be mostly angst-free, on the happy side of life, including a few moments I hope are worthy of a laugh, under 40,000 words, and complete in themselves. I aim for feel-good stories that leave you smiling.
Missy Welsh writes gay, bi, and trans erotic m/m romance short stories, novellas, and novels.