Scouting for Reluctant Beginners

Louisa Vidal

$ 3.99 USD

Previously published in our debut anthology Shackin’ Up

Hayden’s cousin is getting married, right in the middle of an old scouting camp. And that means controlled chaos, all-night dancing, and lots of gossip. What Hayden didn’t foresee was the appearance of Alec, the bully who tormented him back when Hayden was an awkward queer teen, on the guest list. There’s no way Hayden is going to let Alec ruin this party or make his weekend in the forest feel like a fight in the jungle. But there’s just one cabin for them to stay in, and Alec’s a lot more humble and a lot less straight that Hayden remembers.

A former bully meets a defiant artist in this short MLM story of camping without a how-to guide.

So, Alec. How are you?”

“Alright, yeah, God—” Alec’s words rushed out of him like a stream. “It’s brilliant to see you. Hayden. So good. All this, it’s major. I was proper made up when George asked me to help out.” George was Jeannie and Hayden’s older cousin, the one who had come home one day from school with his new pal Alec back when they were both insufferable teenagers.

“I heard that you asked George if you could come.” Jeannie’s tone was sharp enough to slice a veggie burger. Alec faltered for a millisecond, then resumed his spiel. “Love a wedding, me, and Delilah is such a— you know, she’s great.Rik seems solid, too — he better be, right? Ha ha? What are you up to? Do you need a hand?”

Hayden shoved the veggies towards Jeannie and started to warily back away before Alec tried to hug him or give him a laddish punch on the shoulder. “‘S fine.

from “Scouting for Reluctant Beginners”