Flea Market Sausage

Chapter 22

Bastian, Atreyu, and their family found seats for the Billy Gilman performance with Grandfather on Bastian's left side and Atreyu on his right.  The teens' parents were on the row just in front of them.  They all cheered when the young man came on stage just like everyone around them.  The singer talked for a moment about how happy he was to have been invited to participate in the Pride Festival and then began his first song.

Bastian and Atreyu's hands found each other as they leaned toward one another, resting their heads against the other as they listened to the first verse.  They saw their parents holding hands as the song continued as well.  It was the chorus of the song that really touched them both, however.

If you can tell me how
I could love you more than I do now
I will
And I know without a doubt
I will give you all I have to give
As long as I live
I will

"He's singing the words right from my heart, Bastian," Atreyu whispered in his lover's ear.

"Mine too, my brave," Bastian agreed.

They cuddled more as the second verse was performed.   They kissed as they heard the chorus again and then Bastian listened as the next words seemed to really fit his thoughts and feelings even more.

I can't imagine how
I would be now
Without you here with me

The two of them looked each other in the eye and whispered along with the last line of the song.

I will give you all I have to give
For as long as I live
I will

© 2006, Ron Ernest and Steve Hornbeak.  Billy Gilman

Everyone cheered and clapped around them, with only Grandfather having noticed their little display of affection.  He was probably the only person around them that had not really shown any emotion during the first song.  Both teens were amazed by his stoicism, but wrote it off as old people not feeling love as strongly as younger ones.  The next song proved them wrong, however.

If you ever forget to remember
This night and all that is meant
If you ever can't see
What you meant to me
Let me remind you again

There was a soft gasp from Grandfather and the boys looked over to see his hands shaking on his lap and a single tear in his eye.

If you ever look and can't find me
Your heart will know where I've been
If your memory slips
And you can't feel this kiss
Let me remind you again

Tears were now rolling down the old man's cheeks.  "Grandfather, what's wrong?" Atreyu asked him worriedly.

"Today would have been my fiftieth anniversary with your grandmother," Grandfather replied.  "He sings her words to me on this day."  With a little tugging and pushing, Bastian and Atreyu had Grandfather between them and were hugging from each side as the song played out.

And when we're old and gray
And memories fade
I'll still be loving you then
And I will remind you again
Let me remind you again

© 2006, Sandy Linzer and David Wolfert.  Billy Gilman

The boys were still hugging and cuddling Grandfather when the next song started.  They had missed the cheering and applause being distracted by their devotion to the old man they both loved so much.  The next song seemed to speak to Grandfather as well, though.

Listen to the wind
If you listen carefully
You will hear soft notes
Listen with your mind
Listen with your heart
You will hear a Heartsong
A soft relaxing song
That reminds.... you of

Peace and Harmony
Harmony and Love
Peace and Harmony and Love

If you hear this song
Always remember it
For if you do
You can teach it
To other people too
And they will forever
Forever they'll remember
Their Heartsongs

© 2003, Richard Leigh and Mattie J. T. Stepanik.  Music Through Heartsongs

Kissing Bastian on top of his head, Grandfather smiled and said, "I know your tribal name now, sunshine."  He stayed for the rest of that song and then quietly slipped out of the crowd and went home.  He had things to do before the Pow Wow at the end of the summer, and the first thing he had to do was speak to a certain young lady he had just met.

After Billy Gilman's early performance ended, the boys followed their parents to the gay history booth being manned by their friends.  When they arrived, they were given strict instructions to turn right back around and go back to the amphitheater for the drag show.  Their questions went unanswered, but the directive was repeated.  "You have to go.  Your gay education isn't complete without seeing your first drag show.  Uncle Kevin will be so disappointed if you don't go."

"You weren't supposed to tell them that, Toby," Chris hissed.  He looked up at the family in front of the booth, though and made a shooing gesture.  "Well, he let the cat out of the bag a bit, but you should go.  You really do want to be there for this."

When the family returned to the performance area for the drag show, they were surprised to find a man standing near the entrance to the seating for the audience holding a sign with the names Bastian and Atreyu on it.  When the boys identified themselves, they were escorted to the front row of the amphitheater seats.  "Miss Daisy wants to make sure you get the best view of the stage," they were told.

"Who is Miss Daisy?" Atreyu asked.  The man looked at them as if they had just spoken blasphemy inside the Vatican.

"I'm going to overlook that since you're too young to be fans just yet, but everyone knows Miss Daisy, and she says she knows you, and wants you here for this show, so this is where you sit.  Miss Daisy has spoken."  The man snapped his fingers in an exaggerated Z gesture and walked away.

"Ok that was just weird," Bastian said as he sat down.

"If you're a homophobe you should just leave."  Bastian turned to see a very angry little boy glaring at him.  "My big brother is in this show and he is fabulous, so you better not mess it up for him."

"Chill, little brother," Bastian smiled.  "I'm sorry that you misunderstood what I said.  I just meant that it's weird that I have no idea who this Miss Daisy is, and she not only knows who I am but wants me to have a front-row seat for the show."

"Miss Daisy is AWESOME!" the boy squealed.  "She's my big brother's drag grandmother, and she makes the most awesome peanut butter cookies.  OOO the show's starting you have to be quiet now."

Bastian chuckled at the child who was just squealing loud enough for the whole audience to hear telling him to be quiet, but turned his attention to the stage just in time to see someone walk out onto the stage to enormous cheers from the audience.  Bastian and Atreyu had expected glittery gowns and gorgeous wigs and outrageous makeup.  This performer just looked like someone's grandmother going to church in a very floral print dress and sensible shoes.

"Hello my blossoms!" the performer said with a wave.  "Yes, Miss Daisy is back for the festival again this year.  You can't have the Capital Pride Festival without Miss Daisy, and I can't live without all of you, my blossoms.  We have a fabulous show lined up for you this year.  My dear friend Miss Traila Trash is here and my drag daughters Consuela de Pinga, Barbierella, and Juanna Bendover."  There was applause at each name but the little boy next to Bastian had only clapped for Miss Daisy and for Juanna Bendover.  "Now this year, my blossoms, Miss Daisy has a few special treats for all of you.  First, there is a brand-new performer sharing the stage with us and she is the sweetest little blossom that I have the privilege to call my drag granddaughter.  That's right, my precious Juanna has a drag daughter of her own now and you will get to meet her in just a little bit, my little princess Miss Kitty."  At this name, the boy next to Bastian jumped up into his seat and screamed waving his arms in the air over his head.  "My goodness, Miss Kitty has her own little fan club president with her today.  Hello, Harold, dear, Grammy Daisy will have some peanut butter cookies for you after the show, sweetheart.  Harold is Miss Kitty's younger brother and I can't tell you all how happy I am to see him here to watch Miss Kitty's first festival performance.  Harold, dear, come up here and give Grammy Daisy a hug you little gummy bear you."

The boy raced up the steps at the edge of the stage and wrapped his arms tightly around Miss Daisy's waist.  "Hi Grammy Daisy," he greeted, and then turned to the audience and waved.  "Hi blossoms," he called out.

"Oh you little scamp, you," Miss Daisy scolded with a big smile.  "First you steal Grammy Daisy's heart and now you steal my stage."  The audience laughed as the little boy hammed it up by taking a deep bow.  "This will be the first time you get to see Miss Kitty perform won't it, sweetie?" Miss Daisy asked the boy.

"Not if you count all the years of singing in the shower and dancing in front of the mirror in the bedroom," the boy announced shamelessly.  "It's the first time in front of an audience bigger than me, though.  I'm too young to get into the clubs where she's performed with Mama Juanna and with you.  I always get babysat like I'm a little kid or something."  That brought a lot of snickers from the audience.  "I know it's going to be super great though.  Miss Kitty is going to be the best drag queen ever!"  He blushed then and looked up at Miss Daisy quickly, and added, "Oh except for you and Mama Juanna, Grammy Daisy."

"Nice save, kiddo," Miss Daisy told him and swatted the boy playfully on the rump.  "Get off my stage, you little rascal.  We've got a show to do.  Now Miss Daisy knows why W. C. Fields said to never work with animals or children.  They steal the show.  You can all google Mr. Fields later, blossoms."  As the performer watched the little boy return to his seat, eyes fell on Bastian and Atreyu.  "OH, my goodness, you're really here.  Oh, my drag stars and garter belts I haven't been this excited since men applause.  That was a joke for any straight people in the audience.  Women get menopause; drag queens get men applause, especially when we're... oh that's right this is a family show.  Well, when you perform as fantastically as we do... on stage, you naughty blossoms get your minds out of the gutter.  Miss Daisy says shame on you for thinking such horrible things in broad daylight.  Now, where was I?  Oh yes, my other treats for you, my blossoms.  Just in time for the festival this year I've gotten to meet some incredibly special young people, and I just had to do something to honor the three special people who are my heroes.  You see everyone thinks that as you grow up and grow older that you don't need heroes any more.  Miss Daisy is here to tell all my blossoms that this is not true.  Sometimes I think us old folks need heroes even more than you young ones.  We get bogged down with how tired we feel and how much there is to do every day and we forget that there are others out there who are going through so much more than we are or have gone through.  They are going through horrible things and coming out the other side while coming out."

The performer walked up to the edge of the stage and held her arms out to Bastian and Atreyu.  "Bastian, Atreyu, will you please join me on stage?"  Turning to look backstage, Miss Daisy then called out, "Miss Kitty, come on out here my little darling."  A young looking performer came out on stage wearing a sequined black gown.  There were matching long black gloves on her arms and she had a red rose corsage.  Looking out at the audience, Miss Daisy blotted tears away from her eyes with a lacy white handkerchief she had pulled from a pocket of her floral house dress as she said, "Blossoms, these are my heroes.  Miss Kitty's parents were not exactly supportive of their incredibly talented and very special offspring.  When she learned of their plans to put a certain adorable youngster through reparative therapy for possibly following in her dainty high-heeled footsteps,  she took them to court and got custody of that little angel boy, even though it meant dropping out of school for a semester and losing all the scholarships she had.  She is now back in college full time, working full time, raising her little brother, and still finding time to be Miss Kitty for us.  That, my blossoms, is a hero in Miss Daisy's book." 

By this time Bastian and Atreyu were on stage as well.  Miss Daisy grabbed the two of them, kissing each on the forehead, leaving vivid lipstick smears.  "These two are actual battle heroes, though, my blossoms.  You've all seen on the news of the arrest of the serial killers at a county fairground not that long ago.  Well, you are looking at the boys who brought them down.  This sweet little blond badass was the bait that got the bad guys caught, and his handsome and brave warrior here rescued him and together they gave a lot of grieving people the closure they would never have had otherwise.  Now I want you three to sit right here on stage while I do something I have never done in public before.  Miss Daisy is going to sing, blossoms.  That's right, blossoms, if these three angelic warriors can fight their battles at their young age, Miss Daisy can at least get out of her comfort zone a bit."  Music started up as Bastian, Atreyu, and the young performer called Miss Kitty sat in folding metal chairs that were quickly added to the stage as Miss Daisy continued to speak.  Miss Kitty sat beside them and cried, unable to speak.  When little Harold saw what was happening, he rushed back on stage to sit in Miss Kitty's lap and hug her.

"There is a new age dawning for the LGBT community, and these are our future leaders, blossoms.  They are not just going to do like my generation and say to the world, 'I am me.'  No, these heroes are telling the whole world that they are who they are and they are just as awesome, just as wonderful, just as heroic and dependable as anyone else, and THEY... ARE... COMING... OUT!"  The last four words were yelled as the intro music faded and the song began.

They're coming out
They're coming
They're coming ...   out

They're coming out
They want the world to know
Gonna let it show

They're coming out
They want the world to know
They got to let it show

"Well, the whole world knows now," Atreyu whispered as he and Bastian squirmed and blushed at all the attention they were getting being on stage like this.

There's a new love coming out
And they just had to live
And they want to give
I'm completely positive

I think this time around
They are gonna do it
Like you never do it
Like you never knew it
Oh, they will get right to it

"I didn't think we'd be doing it on stage in front of the whole pride festival," Atreyu whispered back.  Both boys then blushed even harder than they already were due to that unintentional double entendre.

The time has come for them
To break out of the shell
And they have to shout
That they are coming out

They're coming out
They want the world to know
Gonna let it show
They're coming out
They want the world to know
They got to let it show

They're coming out
They want the world to know
Gonna to let it show
They're coming out
They want the world to know
They got to let it show

They've already shown the world
All that they want to be
And all them 'billities
There's so much more to see

"Maybe next year, you can have a booth here, selling your art," Bastian whispered.  "Then the world can see more of your abilities."

"That means they'll be seeing more of you as well, since you're my favorite model," Atreyu whispered back.

Somehow, I have to make them
Just understand
They've got it well in hand
And, oh, how God has planned

The way they're spreadin' love
There's no need to fear
And I just feel so glad
Every time I hear

They're coming out
They want the world to know
Gonna to let it show

They're coming out
They want the world to know
They got to let it show

Inspired by: "I'm Coming Out" Made famous by Diana Ross

Songwriters: Nile Rodgers / Bernard Edwards Altered lyrics by TrueFan

I'm Coming Out lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

The crowd went crazy giving Miss Daisy a standing ovation.  Miss Kitty stood Harold beside her chair and then grabbed Bastian and Atreyu giving them both hugs and kisses.  She was still crying, but was able to mumble thank you's to each of the other two teens over and over.  Miss Daisy turned off her microphone and walked over to the little group on stage.

"Kitty, darling, are you going to be able to go on?  I am so sorry if my little surprise upset you, sweetheart."

"It wasn't you, Miss Daisy," Kitty finally choked out.  "It's these guys here."

"I don't know what we did to make you cry but I am really sorry," Atreyu said as he held Kitty's hand in one of his and Bastian's in the other.

"You knew someone, didn't you?" Bastian gasped suddenly.  "I am so so sorry for your loss."  He hugged Kitty tightly.  "I lay awake at nights wishing we could have or someone could have put a stop to those guys so much sooner."

"Miss Daisy, I think I'm ready for my first number now, if that's all right," Kitty said, wiping some of the tears from her face.

"Let me check with the others right quick," Miss Daisy replied but before she could take a step, four drag queens in various stages of makeup surrounded them all in a group hug.

"Rock on, little sister, this just gives Miss Traila Trash a little extra time to get trashy," one of them said.

"My little princess, are you sure you're ready?" a second one asked as she put her hands on Kitty's cheeks and looked deep into her eyes.

"This is something I have to get out of me, Mama Juanna," Kitty replied.  "I need to move on now that I know what really happened."

"You purge this pain, guerrera," the third queen said firmly with a heavy Hispanic accent.  "We support you."

"I'm not putting on the rest of my makeup until you swear to me that the waterworks are over, little sister, because you know Barbierella has a firm rule that no one cries alone in my presence," the last one said wiping tears from the smeared makeup already on her face.  "I'm also claiming your little cuddly bear to snuggle with until my emotions are all settled again.  Come here, Harry, Auntie Barbie needs huggles."

The four performers returned backstage and took little Harry with them.  Miss Kitty hurried backstage to freshen her makeup again after the crying she had done.  Bastian and Atreyu went back to their seats in the front row, although they had a small swarm of people wanting to shake their hands before Miss Daisy turned her mic back on and got the crowd's attention again. 

"Now my blossoms, Miss Daisy is very sorry for that interruption, but it seems there's been a little drama, and what would a drag show be without a bit of that.  We think it's all settled now and we're going to have Miss Kitty perform her first song for us here in just a moment.  That's a little jumble of the program so I get to distract you all while the technical side of things gets rearranged appropriately.  Oh, thank goodness, I'm getting the signal from our FABULOUS crew here at the festival that everything is set, so here again, is my precious Miss Kitty."

Kitty walked on stage and looked out at the audience.  "I apologize for the mix up in the program, but you see, I had no idea that our two heroes would be here today," she said as she gestured to Bastian and Atreyu.  "I got a little overly emotional at getting to meet them because as one of them just guessed a moment ago, I knew one of the victims of those sadistic, evil monsters.  I knew him very, very well.  He was my first love when I was still a freshman in high school.  He was from a rival school, but we had met at a chess match and connected over a few games.  We were supposed to meet at the county fair for a date the night after we made love for the very first time.  I waited for hours, but I never saw him again.  For six years, I thought that he had dumped me.  This past week when a list of the identified and confirmed victims of the serial killers was released, I found his name.  He hadn't dumped me, he was taken that night, and I never knew what happened.  This song is for him.  I will always love and miss you, Michael."

An ache
So deep
That I
Can hardly breathe
This pain
Can't be imagined
Will it ever heal?
Ooh... ooh...

Your hand
So small
Held a strand of my hair
So strong
All I could do
Was keep believing
Was that enough?

People all around the amphitheater were already starting to sniffle and cry by this point.  Bastian was as well.  Atreyu took his lover's hand and squeezed it tightly, supportively.

I wanna scream
Is this a dream?
How could this happen,
Happen to me?
This isn't fair
This nightmare
This kind of torture
I just can't bear
I want you here
I want you here
Ooh... ooh...

I waited so long
For you to come
Then you were here
And now you're gone
I was not prepared
For you to leave me
Oh this is misery

The majority of the audience was in tears.  Bastian was sobbing on the shoulder of Atreyu and Atreyu was wiping away his own tears.  Miss Kitty managed to keep on singing though even though it was obvious from where Bastian and Atreyu were sitting that she was crying again as well.

I wanna scream
Is this a dream?
How could this happen,
Happen to me?
This isn't fair
This nightmare
This kind of torture
I just can't bear
I want you here
I want you here

Song: I Want You Here Album: Need You Now Artist: Plumb  Songwriters: Matt Bronleewe and Tiffany Lee Copyright: 2013

There was more to the song, but Bastian and Atreyu were too emotional to really listen to it.  It seemed that most of the audience had the same problem, yet when Miss Kitty finally finished the song there was a standing ovation from the whole crowd.  The next performer to come on stage was Miss Traila Trash, followed by Consuela de Pinga and they managed to get the mood lifted very well.  After the show had ended, Bastian and Atreyu headed back to the history booth to meet back up with their parents.  Just as they got there, they heard a young voice yell out.

"There they are, I see them."  Bastian turned just in time to get tackle hugged by little Harry.  A really great-looking guy walked up hugged Atreyu.

"I wanted to thank you one more time for what you did," the gorgeous guy said as he grabbed Bastian for a hug and Harry hugged Atreyu. 

"Harry, does Miss Kitty know where you are?" Bastian asked, which caused Harry and the guy to both laugh.

"Yeah, I'm pretty sure he does since he's standing right here," Harry snorted and poked the guy in the stomach.  "This is my big brother Keith."

"Thanks for coming to the show as well," Keith told them.  "I was so nervous about this little guy sitting in the audience, but when I found out that you two were beside him, it helped me calm down a lot.  I mean if he's not safe with two heroes like you...."

"Keeeeeith, I'm ten years old now," Harry whined.  "It's not like I need a babysitter."

"Well, it's a good thing you didn't have babysitters beside you, then," Atreyu told him with a smile.  "We're just friends."

"I still don't know how Miss Daisy knew who we were and what we did," Bastian thought out loud.

"I know my makeup is good, but I didn't think it was that good," Kevin the hotel owner laughed as he walked up to the group.

"That was you?" Bastion gasped.

"The one and only, blossoms," the older man replied with a big smile and a theatrical pose.

"I totally never would have guessed," Atreyu blurted.

"Well thank you, dear," Kevin held out his arms and Bastian and Atreyu quickly hugged him.  "Thank you so much for going along with the show.  I meant what I said on that stage.  You three are my heroes."

"Are you going to take me to find crunchy, greasy food now Grandpa?" Harry asked Kevin eagerly.

"I did promise you, didn't I?"  The boy nodded enthusiastically.  "Well, let's get going then."

"You're going to spoil his dinner," Keith called out.

"That's a grandpa's job, sweetie," Kevin laughed and disappeared into the crowd with little Harry.

"I would complain more about that if they weren’t so cute together," Keith said as he stepped around behind the table and sat down in one of the lawn chairs beside Tobi.

"You also know it won't do any good," Tobi laughed.  "Kevin will just spoil him some other way."

"It's ok, Harry needs a little spoiling sometimes," Keith said seriously.  "I can't do it because I'm for all intents and purposes his parent now instead of his brother.  He needs Mr. Kevin to sneak him the fun stuff."

"Well, I think you should also know that Uncle Kevin needs Harry just as much," Chris said thoughtfully.  "He is a man with such a big heart with so much love to share and he didn't know what to do with it all before you and Harry came along."

"Kevin is certainly a generous soul," Bastian's father said with a smile. 

"Dad, do you think it would be all right to invite Mr. Kevin, Chris, Tobi, Keith, and Harry to the Pow Wow and our ceremony later this summer?" Atreyu asked.

"The Pow Wow is open to all, son," Jack said with a smile.  "Who you invite to your ceremony is up to you as it will not be a public part of the Pow Wow.  It will be held separately the night before the official public stuff starts."

"Your ceremony?" Keith asked in confusion.

"In our tribe, Bastian and I are now a married couple," Atreyu explained.  "There will be a ceremonial presentation of our marriage to the tribal council the night before the Pow Wow starts."

"Oh, but you guys just met me and Harry, why would you want us intruding on something...."

"If we thought you would be an intrusion, we wouldn't ask you to be there," Bastian smiled.  "Besides, I need somebody to be my bridesmaid."

"So you admit you are the bride now?" Atreyu teased.

"I did not," Bastian denied.  "I just ummm.... Well, I didn't say I was a bride, and you'd better not say it again, either unless you want a repeat of what happened last time you called me your squaw."

"Oh, no dear one, you are most definitely not the bride," Atreyu said quickly.  "I beg your forgiveness, oh sunshine of my heart."

"Ok, that must be some story," Keith blurted with a laugh.

"I'll be happy to tell you," Lindsay said with a grin.  Soon everyone was laughing about the squaw incident as it was being called, including Atreyu.