“Left Alone” from Trysts: A Triskaidecollection of Queer and Weird Stories by Steve Berman, (Lethe Press, 2001).

Since Jerrod’s death six years ago, Dave has all but died, too. He no longer lives but simply exists, biding his time between brief, annual reunions with his boyfriend’s ghost. He’s tried to find someone else who understands, but who can?

This sliver of a story feels like a fraction of a novel. I suspect it is some of the early material of what eventually developed into the author’s YA ghost tale Vintage. Regardless, these aren’t the same characters as in the novel. This isn’t the same story, and I want more. I want to know how Jerrod died. I want to be introduced to more characters like the goth girl Dave tells his and Jerrod’s story to in a bar. Mostly, I want to know what Dave’s future holds. My hope is that it’s new love, with a living man.