The Anchorman--Part 1

By jawhite_miller
published August 2, 2015

A TV news anchor is forced to participate in an insane man’s attempts to convert the world.

The Anchorman–Part 1

[Author’s note: This is an idea that I’ve had kicking around in my head for a few days. I’m still fleshing it out, but I wanted to post the intro, to gauge reaction on interest in the story. It will focus a great deal on mental changes and has some darker elements. There are sex scenes, but they would occur in later parts. I hope you enjoy, and, as always, feedback is appreciated!]

Tom Ansbury, the leading news anchor in the tri-state area, took a nervous gulp as he finished the first round of the six o’clock news. He knew that in three minutes, as soon as the news came back from its commercial break, everything would begin. He also knew that he didn’t want it to. But what choice did he have?

As he glanced at the large red ticker, counting down the seconds until the commercial break–and the world as he knew it–was over, the memories of the past month flashed through his mind.

The repeated phone calls from his son’s number, which were always dead when he answered. The e-mail messages containing thinly veiled threats. His own frantic calls to the police. Their inability to discover anything.

And finally, last Friday, his son Jeff’s voice when the phone call finally went through. “Dad, I’m with some people, and they want to talk to you.”

After some shuffling noises and a loud thud, a harsher male voice came on the line. “Mr. Ansbury? I imagine you have some questions, but the most important thing you need to know now is that, yes, we have your son, and no, we don’t intend to harm him. At least, not if you go along with what we ask. In fact, I think you’ll find that if you cooperate, your son’s life will be markedly improved.”

Tom had met with the leader of the group that had abducted his son that same night, at a local coffee shop. “Wait–you want me to use my influence to make all the men in the world gay?” he had unexpectedly found himself asking.

The man across him nodded. “Yes, it’s as simple as that.”

Tom ran his hand through his sandy colored hair, instinctively checking it to make certain none had jumped ship. No bald men in the news, he reminded himself, as a way of steadying in nerves. “I would hardly call that simple. And what exactly does this have to do with Jeff?”

The man chuckled slightly. “Again, it’s quite simple, although I admit that it might not seem that way at first. You see, Mr. Ansbury, I’m a tech genius. I’m also a billionaire; I got in on the dot-com craze and sold out before the bubble burst. I also happen to be gay.” The focus of his eyes shifted into the distance. “I think most of my classmates in school knew before I did. They certainly treated me like it. I don’t really want to tell you about the awful experiences I went through at the hands of my peers.”

Tom shifted in his seat. “Look, I’m really sorry for all that–”

“Nor do I want your sympathy,” the man’s voice rose. I had enough of that from the few friends I had, and you know, it was never enough. Sympathy is nice and everything, but it doesn’t take away the pain. Or its cause. Let’s just say that I was smart and I was queer, and the mixture of the two didn’t work well for me. They often still don’t, despite all the progress that we’ve supposedly made.”

He paused to smile. “But that’s where you come in. Sympathy may not be able to help, but I can.”

“By making everyone gay?”

“Yes, exactly! If everyone were gay, then no one would have to be bullied. No one would have to suffer.”

“Except the people whose lives you’re changing and uprooting. Besides, I’m still not convinced that you can do this, and certainly not that I’m willing to help you.”

The man looked down at his coffee. “Those people deserve to be uprooted, with the pain that they’ve caused. Besides, they won’t know the difference. They’ll be happy in their new lives. As to how I’m planning to do it, trust me, I can. And you’ll go along with it.”

Tom scoffed. “Go along with the complete re-orientation of the entire human race?”

“Well, only the men. My system only works on men. It was initially one of the bugs in the system, the fact that it didn’t work on women, but well…” He grinned. “More gay men means more for me. More for everyone, in fact, once I’m done.”

“You still haven’t explained why I should go along with this. Or how my son fits into it. And especially why he’ll be happier afterward.” Tom took a drink of his coffee.

The man looked up at Tom and grinned again. “Oh, did you know? Jeff is gay.”

Tom slammed the coffee cup down on the table. “You’re kidding.”

The man raised his hands in a gesture of simultaneous triumph and exasperation. “This is exactly what I’m talking about.”

“Well, no, it’s not that. Er, well… OK, I had always hoped that Jeff would marry a nice girl and give me grandchildren. After his mother died a few years ago, he’s all that I have.”

The man grinned again. “Exactly.”

“Exactly… what?”

“He’s all you’ve got. And so you’ll accept him, eventually, just as he is. But how many other people will? If you do what I want, the answer to that question will be ‘everyone.’ Oh, and if you don’t go along with my plan, your son–the only person you have–will be dead.”

Tom started. “You’re insane! Threats about turning every man gay are one thing, but you’re actually talking about killing someone, my son, a total stranger to you!”

The man toyed with the handle of his coffee cup, seemingly oblivious to Tom’s outburst. “Oh, we’re not strangers. In fact, Jeff and I have been dating for the past year.”

“And you’d kill him? My son? You’d kill him. That makes you even sicker.”

“Look, let’s level. “We’re in a conservative state. Your son is queer. He’s effeminate. Someone’s probably going to kill him–or at least injure him–before long. Daddy’s influence only goes so far. I’m just speeding up the process.”

Tom glanced back at the ticker. Only thirty seconds to go.

He and the insane man had talked for several more hours. Eventually, when Jeff showed up–obviously drugged and under the control of two burly men–and the man had toyed with a knife at his son’s throat, Tom reluctantly agreed and began to receive his instructions.

The light on the camera facing him flashed red, and out of the corner of his eye, Tom could see the spiral pattern that the man had created take over the outgoing picture screen.

He began to speak: “Being gay is good. Being gay is natural. You are gay. You know this. You trust me, and I know that you are gay. Accept yourself as being gay, being good, being natural.”

He glanced at the camera crew, all men, to gauge their reactions to this seemingly insane speech, but he saw that they were all entranced, presumably by the tiny feed that they could see in their lenses.

He cleared his throat and continued. “Leather is hot. Leather is gay. Leather is good. You like leather. You find it hot.”

Yes, the man not only insisted that Tom turn everyone gay, but he wanted them all to be leathermen. “They’re the hottest out there,” he shrugged and replied when Tom asked him why. After an entire night spent listening to the man and pleading for his son’s life, Tom didn’t press for more reasons.

“Being gay is good,” he repeated. “Being gay is natural. You are gay. You know this. You trust me, and I know that you are gay. Accept yourself as being gay, being good, being natural. Leather is hot. Leather is gay. Leather is good. You like leather. You find it hot.”

Just as he finished repeating the phrases a third time, Tom noticed the spiral disappear from the outgoing feed. The cameramen shook their heads slightly, and Tom continued with the news. He tried to deny it to himself, but he noticed Burt, the lead cameramen, glance longingly at the guy running the back-up camera.

As he introduced the weather segment, Tom sighed. He knew that it had begun.

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