Eric Shay Howard

Bad blogger. Complicated. Gay.

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Beards – Short Story

Beards - Short Story Artwork

It’s the end of the day, but technically it’s still Friday, so here’s Friday’s short story, “Beards”. It’s not that good. I tried, though. Typo hunters, welcome.


Some men have beards. Some people say every man should have a beard. This is obviously not true because some people don’t have beards. However, maybe most men should have a beard. Jeremy Clover thinks so. He’s trying not to shave his beard in the bathroom right now. He’s looking at it in the mirror with an electric trimmer in his left hand, puckering his lips side-to-side, trying to psyche himself out of running it without the guard over his entire chin, neck, lips, and cheeks. He hates beards, but his friend Matt tells him he needs it. He likes Matt. He trusts him. He has no real good reason to believe that Matt would sabotage his face just to win the heart of Natalie Paymer, their newer mutual friend they both met at the bar on third street a few months ago. Still, he wonders if Matt would ever do something like that.  

One time, Matt called in to work so that he and Jeremy could go to Chicago for the weekend. They bar hopped, checked out the Art Institute, bought sweaters for their girlfriends, got drunk in Boys Town, road the rail lines next to a guy with his underwear hanging out, got a deep dish from one of the places they didn’t think they’d ever been, and fell asleep in the hotel with it on the nightstand between their beds.

Jeremy wonders if Matt would ever lie to him. He’s sure he has. Jeremey has lied Matt to get out of going kayaking or to the strip club a few times. Friends lie to friends sometimes. But, do friends lie to friends about their facial hair? Maybe, if sex is involved. So, assuming the worst and that Matt is love with Natalie and thinks Jeremy is, too, and also assuming Natalie is somehow infatuated with both of them as well and is specifically looking to the quality of their facial hair when choosing between them, Jeremy supposes it makes sense that Matt would tell Jeremy that he should keep his facial hair exactly the way it is, even if his face would look amplitudes better without it, or without part of it. So, Jeremy takes his beard in from the jawline a little. Jeremy wonders if Matt will notice. Jeremy gets dressed and goes to work. 




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Bluegrass Writers Studio MFA Summer Residency, 2022. Photo by Ben Keeling.

I’m Eric Shay Howard and I’m a bad blogger. I’m also an author. I live in Louisville, Kentucky and work at a law firm.

I’m currently a graduate student in a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program. Lately, I’ve been blogging about that. I also have a Master of Business Administration and have completed a few certificate programs in Human Resource related studies. Occasionally I blog about business and other MBA-related things. Blogging about my day, bad dates, or package delivery issues are also not out of the question.

I wrote a fiction collection called Crushes and self-published it because sometimes I just like to push buttons and see what happens. I think this book is pretty alright, I suppose. Buying a copy helps me out. Feel free to leave a review on Amazon as well.

crushes by eric shay howard fiction collection book cover

I’m an Amazon Affiliate and occasionally post affiliate links to products in my blog posts and throughout my website. I always disclose these links, just so there’s no confusion. There’s more information about this on my page about my privacy policies and disclosures.

If there’s ever any confusion about this feel free to drop me a comment below the post in question, or you can email me or reach out to me through my social media. Other contact methods are here.

Eric’s bookshelf: currently-reading

The Silkworm
tagged: currently-reading
Words of Radiance
tagged: currently-reading
The Cloven Viscount
tagged: currently-reading
Dark Rise
tagged: currently-reading
The Gunslinger
tagged: currently-reading
tagged: currently-reading
Mistborn: The Final Empire
tagged: currently-reading

Blogs and People I Like

Here are some other blogs and people that I like to read or keep up with. The order is arbitrary because I started out going for alphabetical order but then got busy with classes or something so now sometimes I just rearrange them for no reason.

Equipment Test! Podcast Artwork

I made a really bad podcast over the summer called Equipment Test! because I bought a microphone. But if you like really bad podcasts, you can listen to it here, or find it on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and other places.

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