Carved In Flesh and "Faded Love" by M.A Church
A drive home in the wee hours in the morning after a modeling job... and then a moment’s distraction and a twist of Fate puts an end to one way of life for Ashley and opens the door to another.
Hey everyone! My name is M.A. Church, and I’m part of the Carved in Flesh anthology from Storm Moon Press. This anthology caught my eye because of the subject matter. In a society that worships beauty and is filled with everyday images of what’s ideal, I had to wonder what would happen to an internationally well-known model who ends up scarred.
Then, throw in his lover, Will, who is a sports model. To make matters even more interesting, Will just happens to have given Ashley an ultimatum before the car accident: he wants an exclusive relationship with Ashley. The mere thought of a commitment sends Ashley into a tailspin. And there you go, lol, a swirling brew of pain, anger, fear, regret, and one man’s determination not to give up on the man he loves. In other words, Will has a hot mess on his hands. Can he prove to Ashley that scars fade, but love doesn’t?
This anthology, in a lot of ways, strikes very close to home for me. Twelve years ago, I had back surgery, and I have a pretty big scar on my back. Granted, over the years it’s faded, but when I tan in the summer, it’s noticeable. In my late teens and early twenties, I also modeled regionally. *Laugh* It wasn’t anything to write home about, but modeling did teach me one thing. The old saying that models are nothing more than ‘coat hangers’ is so very true.
So imagine how a world-famous model would react to a scar on his face--the very face that made him a living, that he was known by. Yeah, Ashley’s emotions run the gamut from disbelief, anger, and self-loathing to fear--fear that without his looks, he’s worth nothing. Thank goodness for Will, and his stubborn nature. Not long after the accident, Ashley learns Will has been offered an opportunity that’s the chance of a lifetime... on the opposite coast. Ashley, my spoiled little diva, has a hard choice to make.
My favorite scene in the story is where Will and Ashley kiss on a beach near the end. The message that comes through by the end of the story is Scars fade, but love does not. There's so much truth to that. The harder times of life might stick with us, but the ache of them usually fades over time; true love doesn't fade away. I wholeheartedly believe that, and it's where the title of my short story came from, too.
And, oh my goodness, I ran across a picture on Google image that fit this story. I based the character of Ashley on that photo. The guy in the picture has a scar down his face just like Ashley, and he is still sexy as sin.
M.A. Church can be found at her blog, on Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads.
Excerpt from "Faded Love", part of the Carved in Flesh Anthology from Storm Moon Press:
One of Will’s strong hands managed to loosen itself from Ashley’s death grip and brushed Ashley’s hair back from his face. “You’re in the hospital. There was an accident, a bad accident. You were hit on the way home two days ago.”
“Fuck me! Two days ago?” Ashley bit his lip as pain spiked in his ribs. “How bad? Who hit me?”
“It was pretty bad. You have bruised ribs from the impact with the steering wheel, your arm is bruised—not broken—and more bruises over your body. I forgot the driver’s name. They hit you on the passenger side, slammed you into a street light. Two people in the other car died.”
“Died? Jesus.” Every time Ashley tried to lift his hand to his face, Will stopped him. “What’s wrong with my vision? Why can I only see out of one side?”
Gripping his hand, Will hesitated. “You were struck so hard your head hit the driver side window.”
Ashley gripped Will’s hand. There was more, he just knew it. What little he could make out of Will’s concerned face told him that. “And? Tell me, dammit!”
“The window busted. There was glass everywhere. Oh God, Ashley, I’m so sorry. You were cut. On your face… and—and… there’s going to be a scar.”
“A scar?” Ashley whispered, and then his voice gained in strength as horror stabbed at him. “A scar, on my face? My face? No! Oh my God, no! How bad, Will? How fucking bad?”
Tears soaked Will’s voice. “From the hair line to under your chin. Jesus, Ashley. I’m so sorry.”
The screams from Ashley’s room brought most of the nursing staff at a dead run.
Carved In Flesh- Now Available at Storm Moon Press for $6.99