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The Dancing Bear (Written by Robert Leo Cox)



Steven Adams, under the name Steven Barrie is the popular author of nineteen spy novels and is working on the rewrites of his twentieth, but is suffering from writer’s block. His first attempt at a love scene in one of his novels is going nowhere, understandable because Steven has no sexual experience. His assistant MJ thinks he needs a vacation, so does Steven’s publisher Alan Prescott, but Alan wants Steven to take time off after the book tour for his latest is over. Receiving the tax bill for the cabin he inherited from his estranged father five years earlier gives Steven an idea, that maybe he can get inspiration from a new location. Problem is that he’s never been there and doesn’t know what to expect. MJ tells him that there is an older caretaker named Oscar Williams that lives on the property, trading rent for upkeep on the cabin, and suggests that while he’s up there, he might go through his father’s things and relax a bit too.

MJ calls Oscar Williams, who is not only an artist, the son of Oscar Williams, in his early 30’s, but goes by the name of Oz. MJ tells him that Steven is coming up to the cabin for about 10 days and Oscar tells her that everything will be ready. Nico Margolis, a gallery owner and close friend, comes in on part of the conversation, and the two of them discuss the possibility of the cabin being sold. Oz tells him that he may buy it if it comes to that, since this is the only home he’s really known. Nico doesn’t think it’s a good idea for him to be alone so much, but is unable to dissuade him.

Oz receives his order of groceries from Hanna Cavallo, a bible thumping homophobe, certain that the cabin is a den of sin that should be destroyed and will not enter. Later, when Steven arrives, he is greeted by Oz, and there is instant chemistry between the two of them, but it is not until later that night when the two of them are swimming in the lake that Steven realizes that he is experiencing feelings he doesn’t understand and is terrified of. He races out of the lake, leaving a confused Oz and then treats Oz coldly the next day. Steven apologizes to Oz and things are better between them for awhile, but when Oz tells Steven that he’s gay after Steven asks him for input for the novel's love scene, Steven is terrified all over again and avoids Oz, but soon realizes that his feelings for Oz are real, and their passion gives Steven the feelings necessary to finally write the love scene.

But the cabin has too many secrets to hide for long and when Hanna tells Steven what happened there, it sets off a storm of anger and loss. A box of letters, a drawing of a dancing bear, a recorded lullaby, and a conversation with Nico, brings Steven reconciliation with his father's memory, the past and Oz as well.


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