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“The Life and Death of August Corcoran” by Ari Yena (part 2 of 2)

Lance never thought it possible to care too much– before he found the note that changed everything he thought he knew about August Corcoran.

Today’s story is the second and final part of “The Life and Death of August Corcoran” by Ari Yena, who is making their debut on The Voice of Dog. You can find more of their work on their Patreon, or follow them on Twitter for more updates.

Last time, Lance Dyer searched for answers in the apartment of August Corcoran, learning what he could about what the ermine might have been like in his life. An old letter may just be the most promising clue so far…

Read for you by Khaki, your faithful fireside companion.

If you or someone you love is struggling, please, please reach out. You are not alone. Help is available.

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Transcript
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. Khaki QOD: You're listening

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I'm cocky.

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You're faithful, fireside companion.

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And today's story is the second and final part of the life and

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death of August Corcoran by Ariana.

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Who's making their debut on the voice of dog.

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You can find more of their work on their Patriot.

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Or follow them on Twitter for more updates.

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Last time.

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Lance dire search for answers in the apartment of August Corcoran, learning

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what he could about what the Irvine might have been like in his life.

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An old letter may just be the most promising clue so far.

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Please enjoy.

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The life and death of August Corcoran by Ariana part two of two.

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My dear August.

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My apologies for reaching out to you.

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On my way to work every day as a bartender, if you can believe I passed

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this adorable little queer bookstore and it can't help, but think of you.

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I've had to keep myself from walking in though, because I knew this would

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happen if I did, but you can probably tell I couldn't help myself this time.

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I found this in the new releases section.

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And the lady working there.

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I don't remind, I think, which absolutely did not help in the moment.

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Saw me looking and began to describe it to me.

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I know you're usually about the novels, but it sounded very interesting.

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And I thought I'd try one last time to get you to branch out into my zone.

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A little.

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I'm realizing now that sending this little stupid, but if this makes it to you.

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I also decided that I care more about getting in touch with you again.

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Then feeling like an idiot.

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The book can be your birthday gift.

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Uh, to give this solid excuse.

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You can throw the book away or donate it or whatever.

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But I also bought a copy.

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And if you decide to read it in the side, you want to talk about it.

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Emailing me is faster than sending letters.

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So my email.

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Is N T Leon at surf Miller.

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I'd love to talk to you about Auburn sometime.

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All the best.

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Nathaniel.

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PS.

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Drafts one through three were in fact even more awkward than this one.

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I decided that it probably wasn't going to get it much better.

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The script was rigid.

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Certainly as stiff as the postscript implied the writer

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might've been upon his writing.

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But it was unmistakably the very same writer as whom Lance had

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dubbed the first in the other book underneath that nervous twinge.

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Lance thumb through the book for any other signs.

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But learn that apart from that, it had been read over and over.

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There was nothing extra to learn about August or even about this.

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Nathaniel within his pages.

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He folded the page again, tweeting it as though it could break apart with

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just the slightest tog in the wrong way.

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And tucked it safely back where he had found it.

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He had his first lead.

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And Daniel, presumably Leone.

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Who'd lived in Auburn.

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That lead gave him a task to, if he had emailed Nathaniel back August

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Corcoran, must've been hiding a computer with which to do so somewhere.

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Bland Stier expert, that he was knew just where to look and was rewarded right away.

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When the draw to the bedside table revealed a small brick of a laptop

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and the charger to go with it.

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Unfortunately, trying to turn on the device, left him feeling far less

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accomplished than he'd felt moments before, because everything he had

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learned about August Corcoran so far should have told Lance that the Irvine

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was not the sort to need to ensure his laptop was ready at a moment's notice.

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Even plugging it in and trying to turn it on proved fruitless

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as the ancient blocky thing only got as far as a screen with red.

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Empty battery flashing across it before shutting back off again.

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The light on the side indicated to him that it was in fact

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trying to charge though.

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So lands, set it down in the hopes that he might be able to return to it later.

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As he was ready to walk away, something appeared to Lance

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out of the corner of his eye.

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Picking out from under the piles, blankets at an angle he'd never have seen before.

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When he moved the soft, heavy fabric.

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He discovered not one.

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But two treasures.

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If the laptop didn't work out, he thought, at least he

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discovered something important.

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Uh, cell phone and an E reader, the latter far more up-to-date than the former.

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And both, certainly more so than the laptop.

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And to last a surprise, both came to life with no outside aid.

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He tried the cell phone first.

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If you could guess a person's pin, the most important information you

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could gather in Lance's line of work.

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The most contacted persons of the deceased and the best avenue to contact them.

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I was right in your grasp.

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Yet.

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It requires such an intimate understanding of them, of what was important to them.

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Because in Lance's experience, it was incredibly rare for someone to choose

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a number that meant very little.

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And again, Lance realized that he should've thought about August Corcoran.

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Just a little more . Because before you could even decide what to input

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first, the phone unlocked for him.

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What would a man who hardly ever left his home need in the way of prophecy?

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And what would a man who hardly ever left his home neither in the way of privacy

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when he had less than 10 contacts.

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A quick scan through the meal.

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Did none of the usual suspects one might find in a contact list.

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Don't contact labeled mom or dad?

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No aunts, no uncles, nothing that could even as far as Lance could

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tell, be a sibling or a cousin.

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Seven of the contacts were labeled doctor and one a bank.

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One to Lance's relief.

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Was labeled Nathaniel and the last emergency.

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That he assumed was an old man archaic way of giving himself a speed dial

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for the emergency service if needed.

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But that wasn't it at all.

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It was a real phone number.

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And thought he knew much of area codes, particularly local ones,

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but this phone number rang Nobels and indeed upon looking it up.

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Lancefield no surprise at all in learning that it belonged to a suburb of Auburn.

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Lance had had to search the internet for phone numbers, many times.

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And learned all the terrible and private things you might be able

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to find with just that little.

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Uh, name.

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And address employment, history, whatever you'd like.

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It restored Lance Dyer's faith in the world when he found nothing.

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And yet in this particular instance, it arose a deep frustration.

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He suspected what the number might be, and the only way to receive any sort of

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confirmation would be to call it himself.

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He made a policy of not doing such a thing before leaving a house, though.

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Returning with anything less than the full picture would be an

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insult to August Corcoran's memory.

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And Lance Dyer held the same deep seated hope that someone

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else wanted that memory so badly.

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Yet.

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He knew that sometimes he walked away from a scene.

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The only one who cared.

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But he always cared.

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Uh, returned to August.

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Corcoran's his phone.

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Showed that he was not a texter as Lance would have predicted his inbox was

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incredibly similar to the physical one, held outside the living room notifications

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of bills, advertisements, or spam, and the like with no personal messages at all.

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The call history told a different story though.

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August, Corkran almost never answered a single phone call.

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At least not for the past few years.

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And he made them even more rarely.

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Scrolling back that far took very little effort to, as

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communication was fairly rare.

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Doctors he'd occasionally call and pick up their calls though.

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Again, more rarely in recent years.

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And he never once answered a call from a number, not already in his contacts.

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But every week.

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Without fail.

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There will be a call from the Thaniel.

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And every week without fail, August Corcoran would pick up.

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The earliest call on the phone was one such in 2013.

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Uh, broccoli though, the pattern changed in early 2020.

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One week.

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There was no call from Nathaniel and instead August Corcoran had

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made the phone call once, twice.

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Three times with no answer.

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Then one call to emergency.

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Emergency called back the next day.

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And there was no more communication after that, between emergency and

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August Corcoran, nor was there between August Corcoran and Nathaniel, Leon.

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For over a year.

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Until his death.

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August Corcoran did not answer a single phone call.

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A complete picture was beginning to take place in land Stiers mind.

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Though it wasn't one.

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He was very happy with.

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So we quickly replaced the phone and his paws with the reader.

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August Corcoran liked stories of all sorts.

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It seemed there wasn't a story.

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He would not try.

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The worn downsides of the device.

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Where August might've kept it close in his paws and the small

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dense where he would tap his claws.

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Turn a page, allowed Lance to easily.

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Imagine the Irvine.

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I laid comfortably and the very bad he stood aside as wrapped as he could be.

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And in the world of his own.

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August Corcoran had a favorite genre too.

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At least as far as lunch diet, I could see by the numbers alone.

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It was romance that kept him and not just any.

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. It was the sort that brought Lance as close as possible to confirmation of what

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he had been suspecting about the Oman.

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Assumptions were part of his job, of course, but it didn't want to make such

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a leap knowing that his own experience might've been clouding his judgment.

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But lo and behold, it seemed August.

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Corcoran had just finished one such romance story.

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One between a young writer, Fox, and a musician Wolf, and the beautiful

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thing they found in being able to help and inspire each other.

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At least that's what Lance could gather from the synopsis that,

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and that had foreshadowed a rather unhappy ending for the two men.

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For the searching revealed to Lance that his interests within the wider genre were

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about as varied as those outside of it.

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Historical science fiction, fantasy coming of age.

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Even those shameless stories that were nearly pure smut each and every

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one indicated as 100% complete.

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Lance found himself drawn to the period of time in which August Corcoran

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had been absorbed into biographies.

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Finishing one after another, those on Freddie mercury Liberace,

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Harvey milk and Michelle Fuko.

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Uh, Lance found himself smiling in spite of himself.

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Seeing those names together on the page in front of him.

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He felt the respect that August Corcoran had for those who paved the way.

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And he knew that the, our mind had lived through much of that time himself.

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Before finding himself inevitably absorbed in one of those books though.

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Lance moved on once more, finding the final piece of the puzzle.

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The bathroom.

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It was a rather simple room.

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Small with a bathtub on one end shower curtains drawn, open, and a

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toilet and sink sitting across from each other, just in front of it.

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. It couldn't have been much of a massive August.

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Corcoran had tried, but he certainly might have, that is to say it was

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clear that its cleanliness was not the Irvine's top priority.

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But it was certainly a little hazard of any sort.

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Just as much as the rest of his house was lived in.

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Yeah, just one task in mind in the room and a quick look around

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gave Lance Dyer, no new ideas.

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And so he sat right to the mirror and about the sync.

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Prying it open revealed the medicine cabinets just as expected.

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This he thought was always his least favorite part of any investigation.

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Everything he was doing felt personal, perhaps too invasive.

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However in knowing just how many doctors, August Corcoran had contact with.

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. And in understanding that they were some of the very few he had ever spoken with.

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Lamps knew that this was one of the most important steps.

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A bright yellow paper taped to the inside of the door.

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Cortlandt as eyes first.

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On it, the handwriting of the second writer from August,

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the threat to our lives.

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Copy the ink, ran bold due to the slow deliberate stroke, writing

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out doses and medicine names.

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Yeah, there were notes scrolled.

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So hastily about that.

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Even Lance practice.

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Now in reading August Corcoran's handwriting, couldn't read.

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Lance didn't recognize any of the names of the medicine they're in.

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There seemed to be a common thread among those who he was needed for.

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So Lance grew to recognize the names of depression and dieting

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and even ADHD medication.

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But those small orange bottles were entirely foreign to him.

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The labels nonsense just like his first time ever entering.

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One of those medicine cabinets.

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He didn't want to diagnose a debt, man.

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He had never met.

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But Lance certainly believed some of those meds that he was familiar with might

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have done August Corcoran, some good.

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But Lance learned that it might not have changed the thing.

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The end dates of each prescription at long since pass.

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And these bottle was far from empty.

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Yet the paper on the mirror had been taped up, taped over, torn off many, many times.

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Lance.

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Wanting to think through it all had closed the mirror and as it happens,

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Was met with his own muzzle, surprising himself, just a little without

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thinking what it was in front of him.

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He saw himself as other people saw him for the first time.

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How he might've seen himself.

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If this were his own apartment, he was rummaging around.

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10 for.

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Ear Tufts.

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Dark eyes and all.

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Large, perhaps too large rounded glasses, teeth sole, nearly perfect

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whitened, straight all button, one sharp looking tooth on his bottom row.

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Just poking up above the top row.

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Asymmetrical.

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Well, non-important enough to get fixed.

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Collared shirt, button straight, neat and tight.

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It was boring, drab white.

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For a moment.

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That's all.

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He was an amalgamation of the features that made up the man

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that was named Lance Dyer.

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Soon though.

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He was more.

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He was the teasing from his older siblings.

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He was the mystery novels.

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He read alone in his room when he was meant to be doing homework.

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He was the first time he branched out from that hole where he found

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the one person who he could trust.

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He was the first kiss that they shared.

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And the last.

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He was at work and the love and care he put into it and what

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everyone else told him to do.

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Well, these things weren't in his apartment, his own medication.

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What he decided he might need after seeing the aftermath of

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others going off theirs was.

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And he didn't have much room for a library of his own.

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But he still had textbooks stashed away somewhere from his short

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stint in thinking he wanted to be involved in criminal justice.

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And he still had pictures.

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Hidden away in a box.

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Probably right next to those textbooks.

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From the photo booth, he visited on his first real date.

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That same first kiss documented.

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And the surprise in his eyes when it came.

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And he had his files.

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Almost every surface in his home.

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Because he brought his work home with him.

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One last long contemplate of look at himself.

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Told Lance that he was almost done.

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He needed to be done even he'd never had an experience so jarring as

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to see his whole life before him.

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Yet.

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Even more, he needed to finish his work.

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Because that story for August Corcoran existed somewhere

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and he needed to know it.

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Perhaps it was because he could see himself in the Armand.

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If only because of his sexuality or perhaps it was because he'd

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at one point also had a tendency to self isolate or perhaps.

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It was just because Lance had been trying harder to get into

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August mind than anyone before.

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Because he still had unanswered questions.

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And still only had a vague idea as to what and who had shaped the Armand.

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And about who might want to, or needs to know of his passing.

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There was only one more place for him to look.

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And so Lance left the bathroom as determined as he ever

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had been to find the truth.

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Lance thought he knew the end and while he didn't know it all.

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He thought he understand enough of the beginning to.

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But August Corcoran.

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Was not defined by his destination.

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The same fate, which we all hold.

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And the beginning was just that.

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And soul lands was compelled.

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Dragged in front of that computer by his own two legs.

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And he sat down.

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Brain to whatever entity might listen.

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And even August quarter and himself.

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That it might come to life.

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It did.

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It was slow and the key stuck and the screen was scratched and smudged in

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every way imaginable, but it turned on.

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. No password justice.

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His phone had been.

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August Corcoran had no programs on his desktop no folders or files.

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All he had was the generic pre-installed internet browser,

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which brought him right to his email.

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The very same service Nathaniel had used.

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One Lance hadn't been sure was still in service.

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And a quick look told the chemical that August Corcoran had only ever

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used a laptop going back years and years to access that email.

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The mailbox was full.

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Going months back of once again, the same sort of messages August Corcoran

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had been receiving in the mail.

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And abruptly.

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Nothing.

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As the August, Corcoran only created the email a year ago.

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Knowing that that certainly couldn't be true.

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Mom's found several years worth of much the same quickly and

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easily in the junk folder.

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August might not have known that.

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Sending them to the trash rather than junk, permanently deleted

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the emails after some time.

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And surely cut down on the time it took to load.

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Or maybe.

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August Corcoran.

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Wasn't particularly concerned about time.

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. Seeing that junk folder though.

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Gave Lance Dyer, the answer he'd been looking for.

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Uh, folder underneath it just labeled important.

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Every meshes inside.

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It was from the same center.

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Going well over a decade back.

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The first and I'm sure the earliest message in the inbox at all our response.

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Lance wanted to read every word they sent, but settled for starting in the outbox.

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And the message that started at all.

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No subject.

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Nathaniel.

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Thank you for the letter.

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It is good to hear from you again.

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I've already finished the book.

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The moment, the bookstore has very good taste.

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. Graphic novels might not be so bad after all.

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You'll always chose to read the bad ones.

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I'd love to talk about the story in more depth, but I won't see anything

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yet until I've heard back from you and know you finished it too.

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I won't make the same mistake Brandon made without one superhero movie.

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, I don't remember anything that happened in the movie.

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And I don't even remember the name, but I could probably still remember your

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part of the argument word for word.

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To call it an argument feels wrong, but many other words feel too cruel

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for something I remember very fondly.

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Congratulations on the job.

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I can't believe you'd be good at it.

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You've always been great with people.

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I'd love to hear about Auburn sometime.

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I hope Angelina and Rebecca are well.

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August.

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And the response.

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Re no subject.

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Glad to hear you like the book.

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I shouldn't be surprised he finished it so quickly, but you

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were right to assume I haven't.

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It's very difficult to find the time with family and work.

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But I've been slowly making a dent in it.

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The father reminds me of Brandon actually.

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So it's nice to hear you mention him, even if the context isn't flattering for me.

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Though.

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If he's as gay as he seems, maybe the father is more like me than Brandon.

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I hope you don't think very hard about that.

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If you reheat.

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The job is wonderful.

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And they get to hear all sorts of stories.

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Every night, someone comes in wanting a drink I've never heard of.

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So I get to learn how to make something new.

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It's far from Haven.

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But I'm not sure Angie would have liked me working there very much.

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I have gotten out there a few times though.

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. And this is interesting as they say.

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. I know.

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I was winded to visit, but we divided the destroyed the place where ourselves,

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and we came here on our twenties.

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I guess we did just find it destroying ourselves though.

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Didn't we.

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We're both still here though.

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I was really, really relieved to hear from you after all this time.

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With bar's passing a few years ago.

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I guess we're the last ones left.

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But I always had a feeling.

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You'd be all right.

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You're the strongest person.

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I know.

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I'm glad I decided to get back in touch with you August.

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I'll send you some pictures of Auburn soon.

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If you promise to learn how to send me some of back home.

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Lance wanted to give every word the same attention, the same respect

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that he had given their first three pieces of correspondence.

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But he knew that it would take far, far more time than he had.

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But he couldn't stop himself from clicking and skimming the next email in the chain.

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And the next and the next.

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Lance Dyer saw pictures of a family home in Auburn.

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Of a young auto girl of the very apartment he was in and the town.

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And the town as he remembered it in his youth.

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He read about books.

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He never read about times long before he lived and the people.

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All gone, even then who had lived in them.

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Sometimes it took a few days from one of them to reply.

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But they will always return.

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Sometimes it was with news of something great or terrible.

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Or perhaps just interesting that it happened.

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And sometimes one had read a book the other had recommended

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or remembered a time long past that they could reminisce on.

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They exchanged phone numbers and shed jewel, a weekly phone call at a

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time when Angie was always at work.

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August got a new job.

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Rebecca started high school and then college with pictures to match an

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August was proud as if she were his own, even though he had never met her.

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Any rigidity in those first few letters melted away slowly but

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surely to reveal the comfort and familiarity of those who have spent

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so much of their youth together.

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Lance has reading.

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Just got faster as he approached the end.

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As August Corcoran grew into just the man, Lance had profiled him to be in his aging.

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And as the end grew nearer.

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He needed to know what happened.

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But where he wanted expected, needed a bang.

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That came only a whimper.

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The final message exchanged between the two came abruptly.

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And it was far from the usual exchange of hundreds of words at a time.

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If I'm strong.

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It's only because of the strength you give me.

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Lance Dyer had never felt so powerful.

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A whimper.

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And I've never felt the world around him crashed down.

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So suddenly with this realization, He had forgotten where he was, what he was doing.

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August Corcoran was dead.

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And that was that.

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No amount of caring for him or understanding his

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story would bring him back.

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Lance.

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Didn't regret it for a moment though.

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Hours had passed since he'd entered the apartment.

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But Lance felt that he lived a whole new life.

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August Corcoran and Daniel, Leon had a way of transporting you into

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their world and anyone who could have experienced it would have been grateful.

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Y being a tear from his eye.

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The clerical carefully closed the laptop.

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Respectful of all had represented.

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And left the bedroom.

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That brought him face-to-face with August quarter.

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And again, Or mind.

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62.

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Died alone in his apartment.

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No living relatives or known associates.

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Proud gay man.

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Lover of books.

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Incredibly strong-willed.

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Might've been a medicine, his younger days.

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Lance Dyer was experiencing a loss of Elon at that moment.

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He had seen the world through August Corcoran's his eyes.

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And it almost forgotten that the Armand was gone.

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Now.

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Face-to-face with the reality.

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The tears.

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He had wiped away moments before returned.

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He wished he could have gotten to know the real August corporate, always in the small

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apartment, just on the other side of town.

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He'd have had so many wonderful stories and Lance thought.

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Maybe he could have used a friend over the past few years.

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Maybe it's still be here.

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Lance Dyer took a moment to compose himself.

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Dipped his head and respect for the Oman.

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And walked out of the home.

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He ignored a text from Russo and his reading, but didn't feel

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the need to bother checking.

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Instead, he pulled out his phone and made the call.

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He needed to make.

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Still with some glimmer of hope inside of him.

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A simple dial tone and a notification to the number had been disconnected,

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dashed, some of that hope, but Lance had anticipated that.

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He quickly tapped away at his phone, the number of a small family

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home out in the suburbs of Auburn.

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After the right amount of rings.

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He was sent to voicemail, this, he thought still feeling that slight

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glimmer and the warmth that came with it.

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Could very well qualify as an emergency.

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Hello.

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A woman's voice said, I need to check what her voices, like, sorry for

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everyone who is brought by the smell.

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Resigned a bit stressed.

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Hello.

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A woman's voice said you've reached the residence of Angelina Leon.

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I'm not in right now.

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So.

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Lance hung up.

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Walk the steadily at his go to his car and drove off.

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He didn't have much report to Russell.

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So the later he was the worst, it would be for him.

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He knew.

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He would tell the squirrel that August Corcoran was just who they thought he

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was in the clinical way that they wanted.

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Single, no living relatives or known associates.

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And then it could be laid to rest in whatever way they solve it.

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There were things.

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That would never meant to be understood.

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Lance knew when and where August Corcoran had died.

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And he knew what it killed him.

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What he never understood.

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Was why we are all doomed to the same fate.

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Lance Dyer knew that not every story was happy in the end, but he knew

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that this one must once have been.

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It must once have been beautiful.

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It must once have been.

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He thought, because he could see it right in front of him.

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Some of those visions, as clear as his own memories.

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August Corcoran had a story of love.

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Our pure love spending decades and half a continent.

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I love spending years of lost time.

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That is how August Corcoran would be remembered.

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That is how August Corcoran would be defined if nobody else

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would or could remember him.

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Lance style would.

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August Corcoran was a beautiful story.

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He lived in spite of his flaws and in spite of the story, he's unhappy ending.

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When his work was done, Rousseau notified and August Corcoran

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buried all the paperwork filed.

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Lance decided that he wouldn't be taking any cases for awhile.

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He knew that if Russo knew how he felt.

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He'd have been ordered time off anyway.

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It's getting attached, making things personal.

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It was never good in lots of profession.

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But he also had a new appreciation for the life he was living.

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And he wanted to go out and live it.

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Perhaps he take a vacation.

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It heard Orban was beautiful this time of year.

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This was the second and final part of the life and death of August Corcoran.

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But Arianna read for you by cocky.

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You're faithful, fireside companion.

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As always, you can find more stories on the web@thevoice.dog, or find the

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show wherever you get your podcasts.

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And if you have a story that you think is a good fit, I'd love to hear from you.

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Please get in touch with me, um, at khaki doggy on Twitter and telegram

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Today's story featured a character who may or may not have died by suicide.

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If you or someone you love is struggling, please reach out.

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You are not alone and help is available.

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For the us that's suicide prevention, lifeline.org.

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1 802 7 3 8 2 5 5 and international.

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Find a helpline.com.

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. Thank you.

About the Podcast

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The Voice of Dog
Furry stories to warm the ol' cockles, read for you by Khaki, your faithful fireside companion. If you have a story that would suit the show, you can get in touch with @khakidoggy on Twitter and Telegram, and khakidoggy@me.com by e-mail.

About your host

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Khaki