Wilde Oats is an online literary magazine. It celebrates gay and bisexual fiction. It embraces the joys and agonies of life for gay and bisexual men, from hard gritty realism to wild flights of romantic fantasy.

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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Frenchman

A dark but finely written story from a frequent contributor to Wilde Oats, Anel Viz, set in 1830s frontier America.

Fur Trapper's Log Cabin, Canada.  From Corbis Images

I asked Corniaud about the name he’d given the Frenchman. He said it meant hairy body, a good description, I thought, not that I ever saw more of him than his head: the shaggy, dark shoulder-length mane, bushy eyebrows and thick beard. His hairy hands, too. Only Corniaud knew what he looked like under his buckskins. They were lovers, after all. He didn’t keep Corniaud with him just to talk. If other people suspected, they kept it to themselves, as did I, who knew it for a fact. It neither embarrassed nor disgusted me that they slept together. Who’s to say I wouldn’t have done the same if I were in his place? Even a loner like the Frenchman can’t live without sex.
I don’t think it was by choice he lived with a boy instead of a woman. The Frenchman was not the kind of person who actively seeks companionship. No white woman would have had him even if he lived in town, and I couldn’t imagine he’d have thought it worth the trouble to haggle for a squaw. Corniaud fell into his lap by chance, and the arrangement suited him.

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