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Talo Segura

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  1. Well I took a look at the reviews and there were three negative reviews, but they were not "horrible," the comments were legitimate and the reviewers made suggestions, even praised certain aspects and the great potential. Then I took a look at your story for myself, but the thing is, it is incomplete, marked 'in process.' Therefore, my question is, do we have to buy your book on Amazon or are you going to continue to post it here, eventually? It's probably a mute point, because from what I did read, I somewhat agree with those reviews, great potential for an interesting story, but the style (if you can call it that) leaves an awful lot to desire, to the point where I would probably never get very far into it. One last observation I would make, is that if you can only differentiate the "complicated dialogue, a mix of verbal, telepathic, and electronic by resorting to visual format, then like identifying who is speaking by naming them in the fashion of a script, indicates to me that you have some way to go in achieving a book that not only tells a good story, but makes it pleasurable to read.
  2. Max woke early, it was cold in the apartment, it was always cold, and he hated that. A bit of sunshine and warmth would be welcome, but it just looked like another grey day. Despite getting up at what he considered the crack of dawn, although it was nearer eight, Max decided against crawling back under the covers. Walking into the kitchen he stopped, surprised that someone was sitting there, at the table, in the gloom. Disturbed by the footsteps, Nate looked up, thinking it was Aeriol who had followed him downstairs. He too was surprised to see a guy in sweat shirt and underpants, who looked to be about his own age, from what he could make out. “Ah, hi,” Nate offered a greeting. “Morning,” Max moved into the kitchen and switched the light on. “You always sit in the dark?” Nathan blushed, caught out by the question. “I...” Before he could attempt any explanation, Max interrupted. “You want a coffee or something?” Max moved across to the kettle. At the same time taking in the newcomer. A pretty cute and very young boy, he thought. “How old are you?” He just had to know, because it would be a first if Aeriol was picking up schoolboys now. He must have come back with Aeriol. “Why does everyone ask that?” “How old you are? Because you look...,” Max turned to face the boy. “You look young.” “I’m seventeen,” Nate replied, a little annoyed. Max didn’t miss the frown. “Yeah, well. You want coffee?” He turned back to fill the kettle. “Yes, thanks.” “Take it as a compliment,” Max took two mugs and moved to the fridge. “What?” “That people think you look young. Shit, it’s an asset, specially when looks count for so much.” “If you say so, but it pisses me off.” “Okay, sorry. Excuse me.” Max thought the day was starting out shitty. He really didn’t need some arsehole kid giving him hassle this early, even if he wasn’t bad looking. The kettle boiled and Max filled the two mugs. “Milk, sugar?” He asked curtly. The tone didn’t escape Nathan. “Nothing, thanks. And... sorry.” He watched Max walk over to the table, his glance taking in the nice shape, and resting on the bulge halfway down. Max sat down, handing the boy his coffee. “You gay?” Nothing much escaped him, and he cut straight to the chase. Although he wondered how the boy would react. “I’m Nathan, Nate,” he extended his hand making a fist. Max bumped fists. Smiling he replied, “Max.” He blew on his mug, looking across at Nate. “You know Aeriol then?” Nate didn’t reply immediately, but seemed to be intensely focused on his mug of hot coffee. Max thought it was very alluring the way this boy appeared so innocent. Perhaps not innocent as such, but maybe shy. In any event he blushed easily and was kind of coy. “We met yesterday,” he looked up, trying to gauge Max’s reaction. “At the Whole Earth Cafe,” he added, like that explained everything. Max laughed. “Hey, I’m not making fun,” he told him, trying to regain his composure. “But what you mean is...” He looked Nate in the eyes. “He picked you up.” Nate nodded. “So I was right. You are gay?” Nathan looked at him. “I never said I wasn't.” “Me too. I never said I wasn't either.” That made Nathan smile. Max watched him as they drank their coffee in silence. “You’ve met Nate!” Aeriol announced as he entered the kitchen. “Okay, Nate?” He glanced across as he went to the cupboard. “You snuck out of bed real early.” “Yeah. I woke up, and... Often I don’t sleep well in a strange bed.” Aeriol flicked the kettle on and stood leaning back against the sink. “So Nate, what you doing today?” Max asked, although he reminded himself he needed to contact Davy and he also needed to see with Aeriol about getting a job in the warehouse. Even temporary, but he needed some work, he’d given his notice for the present job. “I need to go home, shower, change. Nothing much.” Nathan wondered if he shouldn’t excuse himself and leave now. “You wanna hang out with me?” Max asked, but not sure why. Except he kind of disliked the idea that Aeriol would probably dump the boy. He had work anyway, but Max was off. “You boys do whatever. I’ve got to go to work.” Aeriol announced. “Is there any hot water?” He looked at Max. “Yeah, should be. I put it on when I got up. But leave some for me.” “Nate,” Max had a weird thought in his head. “Will you come back tonight?” Nathan wasn’t quite sure what to make of either Max or the request. He’d only just met Aeriol who hadn’t said anything, just gone to take a shower. Max he didn’t even know at all, yet there was something, hard to nail exactly what, just something. If he thought about this for too long he would either end up walking out and probably that was the end, or he could simply say yes, and see what happened. It raised loads of issues for him, all those questions he had no answers to, but what was he doing? He had no idea, nothing, nothing at all. “I can see the cogs clicking in your brain. Come on, what you got to lose?” “Nothing, nothing at all,” Nate stared at Max. “I don’t understand why you want me to come back?” Max didn’t understand himself, or more truthfully he didn’t want to look and admit what he knew. It was all very clear, it was lying there waiting for him to uncover. Not even to uncover, only to pull back the cover and look. Recognise it. Jealousy? He couldn’t deal with Aeriol, he loved him, but he could never own him, it hurt. He couldn’t keep him for himself. So what did he do? No, shit, he didn’t want to go there. “I want to get to know you.” What a lame thing to say, he thought. He was smarter than that. Yet, sometimes. Yeah, sometimes you meet people and you connect. Not like Aeriol. Aeriol is about sex. He didn’t think Aeriol could commit to anyone, but that’s a different story. For now, Max needed someone and that someone was the guy sitting at the kitchen table. And he couldn’t or wouldn’t explain it. Nathan stood up and crossed to the sink, turning on the tap, he rinsed his mug and left it on the draining board. Max followed him with his eyes, turning in his chair. He knew it would hurt him for one reason or another if Nate said no. “Max,” Nate smiled, turning to look at him. “That’s pretty lame. You want to get to know me. Really?” “Why not?” Max felt he was clutching at straws trying to convince a boy he’d just met five minutes ago. “Get to know me, means what exactly?” Nate gave him a hard stare. “No man, I’m not Aeriol, it’s not a pick up line. Oh shit, yeah. I can see how all this sounds. Honestly, Nate, I don’t know. I guess I like you. I promise not to sleep with you. Is that okay?” “You mean,” Nate grinned. “You like me, you want to get to know me, but you wouldn’t want to go to bed with me?” “You’re teasing. You know what I’m saying.” Max stood up. “I’ve got to go. Thanks for the coffee.” Nathan went to leave, then turned back. “I’ll see you tonight then. Tell Aeriol, bye.” Nathan left Max standing in the kitchen, wondering if he would come back or he’d scared him off. He didn’t even know where Nate lived and he was sure Aeriol didn’t either. ***** Max had all day and nothing to do, except Aeriol told him as he was leaving to drop by the warehouse after lunch, about two. The boss would be there and he could see about getting a job. Although it was only working in a warehouse, he decided he should make an effort and at least arrive there looking clean and smart. Which meant his morning was taken care of because he needed to go to the launderette, and he didn’t want to spend the money on a service wash, so he would sit there watching the machine spinning and talking to Esmeralda. “Well I’ll be, if it isn’t my favourite young man,” Esmeralda had that playful glint in her sparkling eyes. Max returned the smile, “How are you Esma?” He had always shortened her name, from the very first day they met. Max had been surprised that they still had someone there who did a service wash for customers who preferred to dump their dirty clothes and pick them up in the evening, all clean and ironed. “Much better for seeing you,” she replied. “Now I’ve got someone to keep me company. Unless that is, you’ve come to ask old Esmeralda to do your laundry?” She phrased it as a question, but she knew full well that Max was not one of her better off customers who always paid for her service. Nope, he was usually without funds, or at least not flush enough to squander his pennies. “Oh Esma, if only. But this poor boy don’t have no sugar daddy.” That made Esmeralda chuckle. Max looked on, watching that huge bosom heave up and down as she continued folding someone’s clothes. Esmeralda was a heavily built lady, with huge arms and an always smiling round face. She wore colourful dresses that flowed around her rather full figure and brought a touch of the Caribbean to a rather dull North London. “So what is Maximillian doing here today? Is it your day off?” She turned away from him to check the drying machines. Max began filling one of the empty washing machines. “All days are my day off now, Esma.” “Oh I see, you dun got yourself the sack?” She was half looking towards Max whilst digging her hand into the deep pocket of her pinny to remove some coins for the machine. “I quit,” Max announced with a certain satisfaction. When he saw Esmeralda giving him her deep stare, he added, “I never really liked it there. It was like still being at school. Besides, I only ever got given crap jobs.” “Ah ha!” she exclaimed in a tone that said she didn’t quite believe that. But Esmeralda never judged others, commented sometimes, or offered support, but never judged. She'd once told Max some of the story of her arrival in England as one of the many immigrants from the West Indies. Although her stories were always funny and comical, if you paid attention and read between the lines, you would see the hardship, and the prejudice. They both had to be faced and overcome. Perhaps that was why Max liked her so much, in a way he too sometimes felt he had to face and overcome people's preconceptions and bigotry. But unlike Esmeralda he could hide, even if it hurt to do so, she could not disguise the colour of her skin or her accent. “Well anyway, I’m going to see about a new job this afternoon.” “So that’s why your doing your dirty laundry,” she laughed her booming deep throated guffaw. “You got it. Thought I should at least make an effort.” “That you should Maximillian, that you should.” ***** The warehouse was in Kentish Town, a large building in a street of ordinary terraced houses. The type of houses emblematic of the sprawling capital, or should that be the inner boroughs of the metropolis. Because the outer suburbs tended towards tree lined avenues and semi-detached residences. It might somehow be the dividing line between the middle classes and the working class. Further emphasised by the proximity of the railway and even the canal. But then again, you can’t really draw up rules. It simply all changes as run down areas get gentrified and what was once a canal basin for working boats becomes a market and music venue. It was another trait of Max’s, his mind would run off at tangents, continuously reflecting on the state of things and there inevitable change. He’d lived here all his life. Not in Kentish Town, but in a similar inner London borough. Before his parents moved out to leafy suburbia. He viewed his living environment much like a reflection of himself. Diverse, multi-faceted, and not without a contradictory inner turmoil. Something yet to be resolved. His whole life was like this. Right up to this point in time, and it didn’t look like it would change any time soon. “You made it,” Aeriol had spotted Max as he walked into the large open warehouse. “Yep,” Max greeted him trying hard to hide his feeling of nervousness. “You... look smart,” Aeriol observed. He almost said anxious, but decided he didn’t need to make Max more worried than he obviously already was. “I did the laundry.” Aeriol ignored that last remark and put an arm around Max. He led him across the floor towards the only partitioned space, other than the shelves where goods were stacked in rows. “Alan is a great guy, don’t sweat it.” Max took a deep breath as they entered what was presumably the office. There were two table desks, papers, trays, telephone, a large planner and calendar on the rear wall. A man of about thirty, as a good guess, looked up from what he was doing. His eyes met Max’s. “This is my mate, Max. The one I was telling you about, who is looking for work.” Max got a completely new picture of Aeriol as he introduced him. It was like another side of the guy he thought he knew. “Hello, Max,” Alan extended his arm and Max shook hands. He couldn’t help wondering if his handshake was right, or too soft, too gentle. But his vision fixed on the guy before him. Long hair tied in a pony tail, scraggy goatee beard, jeans and plaid shirt. He caught the tattoo on his lower right arm, but couldn't make out what it was. “Hi,” Max smiled. “So, why would you like to come and work for us? Tell me what motivates you.” Alan sat down in the desk chair. Max looked like a rabbit lit up in the headlights of a car. It wasn’t what he was expecting. Was this really an interview? Alan chuckled, “Don’t look so worried. I’m just joking with you. When can you start?” Wow, shit, did he just say, “When can I start?” He repeated. “Yeah, man. You got the job, we need someone. Sooner the better.” Aeriol was grinning from ear to ear, he slapped Max on the back. “He can start straightaway.” “Yeah, that’s right. Shit, this was your wind up,” he turned to look at Aeriol. “Okay, Max. Think of it as your initiation, a baptism into life at Nature's Foods.” Max smiled, “Thanks, I think.” “Aeriol can show you around and you can start tomorrow. Come and see me when you get here and I’ll sort out your hours. Okay?” “Yeah, great,” Max returned his attention to Alan. “Oh, and bring your P60.” Aeriol led him back out into the main part of the warehouse. “You bastard. You set me up.” Aeriol just smiled and nodded. Then gave Max a short guided tour and introduced the two other guys who were working today, Joel and Jacob. Despite Aeriol's practical joke, Max left feeling pleased. Getting the job outweighed being led up the garden path. Perhaps because it was a relief to know he’d be earning again. Maybe he’d figure a way to get Aeriol back for this, although he did get him the job. ◇◇◇
  3. I guess I was inspired to reply to this question. First up, I wouldn't have sex with someone I didn't have feelings for. Love grows, so you risk falling in love. If he doesn't feel the same way, you've made a mistake, it happens, or things change. If you fall for someone else, then YES, you immediately stop having your involvement with your friend. You'd be a pretty shifty person to play two relationships together? Bitter feelings left over? YES, no matter how a relationship ends and your friends with benefits is a relationship, there are bitter feelings. There IS jealousy, of course there is jealousy when someone else comes along. Temporary - that's kind of a strange concept. I'll just have sex with you whilst I'm waiting to find the guy I'll fall in love with. OMG, just think about what you're saying! Will your friendship suffer from being sexually involved? YES, you bet it will. Finally, can you have sex, because that's what you mean by a mutually beneficial relationship with someone you're not madly in love with? Well yeah, if you're like fifteen, but not when you're an adult, sex with someone just to get off. People do it, but I wouldn't. Well, you asked. Friends with benefits = love and health warning!
  4. Okay, well I guess @Marty you deserve some answers here. Nathan is more than a casual pick up, I think he's definitely sticking around. "I'm not sure exactly when this story is supposed to be taking place." I've been avoiding giving the date and too much precise information, although in the next chapter you learn where it's taking place. But you did bring this up before regarding sniffer dogs, so here goes: it's 1975, the Whole Earth Cafe was more or less as described, located on the Archway Road in North London. The houses had been or were in the process of being compulsory purchased to widen the main trunk road into central London. It never happened, perhaps the guys occupying the house that was home to the cafe/restaurant and whole food store above were forerunners of today's protesters, in any event they legally had a short lease from the DOT (Department of Transport) whilst the future road expansion was endlessly debated. This is an extract from the history of the Jackson Lane Community Arts Centre on the same road: At this time [1975], there were plans to widen the Archway Road, and so to knock down the buildings that line it, including Jacksons Lane. The campaign to save the Archway Road - and Jacksons Lane - from the bulldozer continued with this building at the heart of the activity. The campaign was ultimately successful, Jacksons Lane received a Grade II listing and Archway Road was made a preservation area. In 1975 (in answer to your previous point commented on another chapter) the police did have drug sniffer dogs, at least in London. The price of the meal, a mistake, it was as you rightly stated post decimalisation, Britain had joined the EU (but as we know that's a whole other story). I've amended the price for the three meals to £3.60, seems more reasonable and I'm sure it was something like that (I took a look at a price comparator I found online 2018 prices in 1975 money). I love that you're into the detail and I did do some research but... I probably got some things wrong.
  5. “Jules babe you're still here,” Max smiled as he entered the living room. The smell of stale smoke hung in the air. It was still not at all warm in there. Jules looked like he’d never even moved from the bean bag, it was almost as if it had become a part of him, kind of like a tortoise and its shell. “Where are the others?” Jules stirred, looking up, regarding him with half closed eyes. The needle on the turntable was aimlessly scratching at the end of the disc, it too unable to pick itself up. “Ah, Max...” a silent pause seemed to come with the effort to speak. “They went out.” Max thought it not worth pursuing the conversation with the obvious question of where to, he just let it drop. Only now he was wondering why he hadn't gone back to Alex's. He carefully lifted the arm from the record and switched it off. “I’m going to bed then,” he announced, uncertain why he bothered to say anything. “Some guy called for you,” Jules somehow managed to come up for air, like a diver breaking surface but about to plunge back down. “Davy, he said.” Max looked down at Jules, trying to decide whether he was awake or asleep. “Thanks,” he didn’t bother to ask if he’d left a message. He’d missed the call. Shame, because he needed to talk to Davy, although he wasn't sure why. It was something that kept nagging at the back of his mind. Something about Rueben and the boy, or was it curiosity, or what? He didn't know. Turning he checked the notepad next to the phone. At least his number was written, but it was too late to call now. He probably lived at home and a stranger calling at... He looked at the clock on the mantelpiece, at just before midnight, that would not be good. ÷÷÷÷÷÷ The Whole Earth cafe was a large dilapidated Edwardian house, set back off the main road by a big front garden. At least sometime in the past it was a garden, today it was just two large trees surrounded by dirt, split by a broken and cracked paved path to the stone steps and entrance door. Actually, the cafe was accessed at the other side, down small steps to a semi-basement. Aeriol and the girls sat themselves at one of the large wooden tables. It was dark enough to have the lights on, but there were half-windows at the front where they had come in, so it wasn’t a cellar. A long glass display held the food on offer, keeping it warm, allowing you to guess what the dish was. “This is nice,” Nads expressed nice as if it was exactly the opposite. The establishment definitely did not meet her standards. It wasn't busy, it hardly ever was. Except in the evenings when there was something going on, live music usually, on the little stage in one corner. This evening there was nothing happening and they were virtually alone. “Let’s eat,” Aeriol announced, standing up. “I can choose, or you can come with me.” “I’ll have whatever you’re having,” Nads looked up as Mayaan stood. She bent back over the table towards Nads and spoke softly, “That’ll be Aeriol then!” She turned and laughed, going to join him at the counter. “It’s late, not too much choice, but that,” Aeriol nodded at a tray which looked like it contained a mixture of vegetables and beans, “it looks good.” “If you say so,” Mayaan was almost as sarcastic in her appraisal of the food as Nadia was with her impression of the cafe. “What were you conspiring over? I noticed.” Aeriol ordered the veggie dish from the young man who arrived. “Hi, can we have three of those.” He smiled, taking in the guy on the other side of the counter. It was the short hair and tiny earring that got his attention. The guy looked about fourteen, but had to be older than that. “Thanks,” Mayaan nudged Aeriol. “I‘m SO happy I have such a decisive boyfriend!” The young man glanced at her and continued serving, placing the first plate on the glass shelf, he grinned at Aeriol. Aeriol turned to May, “You never said what you were conspiring between the two of you?” Waiting for an answer, if one would be forthcoming, he returned his attention to the server, smiling broadly as the second plate joined the first. “Can you take these please, May. I’ll pay.” “Thank you darling,” she announced in an animated fashion. Picking up the two plates and heading back to their table. “She’s not my girlfriend,” Aeriol looked straight at the young guy as he served the last plate. Moving to the end of the counter he asked, “How much is all that?” “Three-sixty, please,” the youngster avoided looking at Aeriol and concentrated on the till, ringing up the sale. Aeriol reached out and touched the boy’s hand as he gave back his change. “I’m Aeriol.” Now the server looked up into Aeriol’s eyes. “Nathan.” Was that a smile, he was sure it was, and he was sure Nathan was watching him as he collected some cutlery and his plate. But when he joined the girls at the table and looked back the serving counter was deserted. “So... what is this?” Mayaan studied her plate, Nads smiled, playing with a fork. “It’s vegetarian, okay. Eat, and shut up.” Sometimes these girls were just too finicky and Aeriol was beginning to get fed up with them. “Umm, delicious,” Nads picked at the food with her fork. “You liked him,” Mayaan changed the topic, she didn’t want to crash the evening entirely. “Who, the little kid at the counter?” Nads was still picking, at her food and at Aeriol. “After,” May ventured, “you can come back to my place.” Aeriol thought about it, for like five seconds. An hour ago it was appealing, Nads and May and him. But things had changed. He couldn’t support their bitching. Before he could reply Nathan came strolling over. “Everything good?” he looked from May to Nads, then rested his eyes on Aeriol. Nads batted her eyelids and grinned at May. “Great,” Aeriol ate up the boy with his eyes, looking him all over. Slim, very boyish, how old is he? “We’ll be closing up soon. Don’t want to hurry you folks, but...” “But we need to go,” Nads interrupted. Nathan looked embarrassed. He’s cute when he blushes, Aeriol thought. “You’ll be finishing work then?” Straight to the point. Aeriol wanted a nice night tonight, maybe Nathan could be the spice in the sandwich. The more he fantasised, the more he wanted that spice. The girls were garnish. Garnish or garish? “Yeah, pretty much.” Nate's voice jumped into Aeriol's revelry. “And you doing anything?” “Going to get some sleep I guess. It’s been a long day.” Nads and May were whispering to each other, but Aeriol was totally focused on Nathan. “Alone?” Nathan blushed and smiled at the same time. So very cute. “How old are you?” That, Aeriol regretted asking, but he didn’t want to get off with a fourteen year old, way too many problems. “Never mind. You maybe wanna hang with us?” His face turned even redder, Nathan was certainly not that experienced else he wouldn’t be so easily embarrassed. “Seventeen and yes. You will have to give me ten minutes to lock up.” “It’s a deal.” Aeriol now turned his attention to the girls. “Finish up ladies, we're all going back to May's. Nathan collected the plates from May and Nad's, and Aeriol followed him with his own. “Come through,” Nathan invited Aeriol behind the counter into the kitchen area at the rear. “Just put it there,” he indicated the counter next to the sink. Aeriol left his plate next to the other two and moved up close to Nate. “I like you,” he smiled broadly and let his hand stroke through Nate’s short hair. He rested his hand lightly on the back of the boy’s head. There eyes locked on each other and Aeriol gently held Nate’s head as their lips touched. ÷÷÷÷÷÷ “Nice flat,” Nate stepped into the living room behind Aeriol. “You boys make yourselves at home,” May had a glint in her eye as she glanced at Aeriol. “We’re just going to freshen up,” she flipped her shoulder and swirled around. Nads followed her towards the back of the apartment. Aeriol grabbed Nates and they tumbled down together onto the sofa giggling. “So Nate, I guess you're into boys?” Aeriol held the boy at arms length, looking at him. Nate blushed. “Fuck, you’re so cute when you get all embarrassed!” That just made the kid turn a deeper shade of red and look away. “Oh, hey,” Aeriol pulled him in and kissed him full on the lips. “I’m just teasing.” Nate had been horny all day, from when he arrived at the cafe lunchtime until this evening. There’d been a couple of nice guys through the door, but basically the place had been empty. Only when Aeriol arrived had things picked up, although he never expected to get picked up. Being kind of shy he was trying hard to ignore the girls and wondering if he and Aeriol could share a bed for tonight. The more he thought about that and the more Aeriol touched and kissed him, the hotter he was getting. ‘This could be really good,’ Aeriol contemplated as the girls came back into the room and adorned one of the armchairs. Nads positioned herself on the broad arm, legs crossed, observing the boys whilst touching May’s hair. May, herself, was almost a mirror image, but sitting in the armchair, studying the boy Aeriol had picked up. Standing Aeriol moved across the room, glanced and grinned at May, before examining the record collection on the shelves. He wasn’t that interested in choosing any particular L.P., so picked the one sticking out at the end, pulled it from the sleeve and set it to play on the turntable. “It ain't no use to sit and wonder why, babe If you don't know by now It ain't no use to sit and wonder why,...” He returned, sitting back down close to Nate and putting an arm around the boy. Smiling because he loved the cosmic play that allowed the lyrics to echo the mood. “...But don't think twice, it's all right. It ain't no use in turnin' on your light, babe It's a light I never knowed It ain't no use in turnin' on your light, babe I'm on the dark side of the road...” “I never knew you were into folk,” Aeriol looked across at May, who grinned. Nads shifted on the arm of the chair, but still played with Mayaan's hair. “Well Nate tell us about yourself,” she smiled her fake smile. Nate wasn’t sure what was going on here. “What you wanna know?” “Whatever you want to share,” she replied. Nate glanced at Aeriol who squeezed his leg reassuringly, but Nate didn’t feel very comfortable and was beginning to think he made a mistake coming here. “There’s nothing much to say,” he told her. Aeriol looked at Nate and made up his mind that they needed to leave. “Okay ladies, I think we’re out of here,” Aeriol stood up, offering a hand to Nate. “Ooh, spoil sport,” May teased, but she didn’t really care, she was more into Nads and Aeriol could go do whatever he wanted. “See ya then,” Nads called after them as they left. “What now?” Nates asked once outside. “Home.” Nates turned to leave, but Aeriol grabbed a hold of him. “No stupid,” he laughed. “You’re coming home with me.” A broad smile lit up Nathan's face. ....
  6. Thanks @Marty for your encouraging comments. We might well be getting to the trippy bit of the story (if that's allowed, haha!). In the meantime the next chapter is getting uploaded today. Enjoy.
  7. The ending was fine, I would have liked more at the beginning. Who was the person being resuscitated?
  8. Talo Segura

    The Bench (Short)

    It really is about things unsaid, as @Geron Kees touched upon, kind of ephemeral conversations where something is talked around, which in this case was the feelings Brian had for Mick. Those feelings were echoed by the relationship between Tom and Mary, but Mick, gave the impression that he was not gay and so it would be unrequited love. They were happy, yet sad, Mick was wrapped up in himself and Brian was there, doting. There was actually an awful lot in a short chapter.
  9. The story so far... Max shares an apartment and a relationship with Aeriol. Max's confidant Geoffrey is no longer around, he's gone overseas, to Brazil. Jules also shares their apartment in a kind of unofficial fashion, he's always there, but he rests a mystery. Alex turns out to be the brother of Nads (Nadia). Having slept with Aeriol, he confides in him that he fancies Max. They end up in bed together, Alex and Max, but nothing happened. Nadia has a relationship with May (Mayaan), who also has a thing for Aeriol, which I guess makes Aeriol bi, and May too. Outside of these complex relationships there is Reuben, but he's also planning to move overseas, leaving behind Davy. But who exactly is Davy and why does this boy seem to fascinate Max? Our hero, is that really Max, or Aeriol, or even Jules? They've all been getting high, smoking dope, chanting in an ashram, getting off, and almost getting busted in an early morning raid. There are others too, Chester and his son Michael, whose apparently a dream, but then there's the reality of all that. Which just about brings us up to date and to this next chapter aptly titled Magic Mushrooms. Now read on... Chapter Six - Magic Mushrooms. “Are you going to see Aeriol?” Nadia was wondering just how much Mayaan liked him. She was also curious about what happened at the apartment when the police came round. Alex had come home, but hadn’t said much, despite her trying to wheedle information out of him. “I think I might.” Mayaan glanced at Nadia, batting her eyelids coquettishly. “If you two are going over there you can send Max here.” Alex looked from his sister to Mayaan. “Tell him I don’t fancy hanging out at his place with all the drugs.” “What d’you mean? All the drugs?” Nadia looked cross. “I told you all that already, Nads.” “Uh, no. I think you forget the bit about ‘all the drugs.” “Yeah, well, it doesn’t make any difference they've nearly always got stuff there.” “Nads, let’s go and see. We can get the whole story. Leave your prissy brother here.” “Okay, but if you start coming on to Aeriol, then I’m not hanging around. I might just have to come back with Max.” “It's better if you didn't,” Alex grinned at his sister. “Sure it is,” Nadia left the room to get her coat. Mayaan followed, smiling to herself about all the intertwined relations going on. Alex was left by himself. He chose that, the girls wouldn't have objected, Mayaan wondered why the drugs were suddenly such a big thing. ÷÷÷÷÷÷ “Reuben, hello. It’s Max.” “What can I do for you Max?” “It’s a bit long to explain everything, but I wanted to get in contact with Davy.” “But...” “I know what you’re gonna say,” Max interrupted. “That I hardly know him.” “Well yeah. That, and if he didn’t give you his phone and address, then...” “I forgot to ask.” “Alright, but I’m not giving you his number. Maybe he doesn’t want to see you. Why would he?” “Don’t be a spoil sport. What’s it to you anyway?” Reuben had a lot of things to be getting on with and he didn’t feel like debating all this over the phone. “I’ll give Davy your number. Then if he wants to, he can call you.” “Thanks a lot,” Max replied a little sarcastically. He hung up, then went to join Aeriol and Jules in the front room. “You’ve practically moved in,” he smiled at Jules. “It’s a home form home.” Jules passed a big fat reefer to Max. It sputtered and crackled as he drew on it. “It's not bad for home grown,” Jules winked. “It's fucking ace,” Aeriol took the joint from Max. Max thought any dope would be ace for Aeriol. His weed consumption knew no bounds, and the drying plants in the attic filled a void in supplies that he was quick to take advantage of. You might say it was business as usual, despite the fact that they’d been raided. “I’m not sure about ace, but it’s okay.” Max looked at Jules. “Anyhow it’s all there is.” Aeriol added. “Nobody's got any stuff since the raid and Gavin’s arrest.” “What’s happening with Gavin?” Max asked just as the doorbell sounded. “Stash the weed! Stash the weed!” Jules laughed. “You're stoned. Idiot. Max can you go answer that?” Max made his way downstairs. It was obvious Aeriol and Jules were not about to move. He opened the door and greeted Nadia and Mayaan. “They're in the lounge. Jules and Aeriol.” He followed the girls upstairs. “Nads, has Alex said anything to you?” Nadia turned and waited for Max, Mayaan went straight into the front room. “He told me to tell you to come over.” Nadia smiled, then turned. “I might just come back with you if May starts doing her number on Aeriol.” “Not much chance there, I think. He’s pretty stoned.” It was a large front room with huge bay windows, an old but perfectly good sofa and matching armchair, but the lack of heat output from the fire left everyone on the floor in front of it. The furniture was in the cold wasteland of the empty side of the room. Dark red velvet curtains, a little faded, adorned the huge windows. The thickness and colour of the drapes gave only a semblance of cosiness and did nothing very much to keep the room warm. Max found himself drifting, wondering if he could make the effort to go round to Nad's and see Alex. Did he even want to see him? Aeriol would have told him he did, and he was probably right. It occurred to him that it might actually be warm there, if he pushed himself up and made the effort. So he did. “Later guys!” He said to no one in particular, and nobody responded, other than Jules, who managed a nod. “What happened with the PO...leece?” Mayaan’s exaggerated tone sounded like a silky voiced prostitute. Or was Aeriol simply having depraved thoughts? Nadia definitely got the hump, but didn't after all, follow Max home. Jules was flopped out on his favourite bean bag with an imbecilic grin plastered across his face. ÷÷÷÷÷÷ Alex hadn’t expected that Max would show up, but was more than pleasantly surprised that he did. Opening the front door he grabbed the boy around the waist and pulled him inside. “Oh wow, I see someone's pleased to see me,” Max returned the smile. “Nad's gave you my message then?” “Of course. I’m here aren’t I?” “You stoned?” “Maybe, just a little.” They were in Alex’s room, and looking around it was so much better than the flat. Warm too. Alex sat down on the bed and shuffled up to lean against the headboard. Max looked at him a moment, then joined him. They were laying side by side. “I like your room,” Max took in the nicely decorated walls, window blinds, desk, large TV. Everything reminded him of living at home in his parents house. He missed the home comforts. “Yeah, it’s a nice place. That’s because our aunt owns the house and she gave us the ground floor apartment. “Gave you?” “I know, it sounds too good and all that, but she did. Nad’s and me pay the bills of course.” “Of course!” Max exclaimed like it was only to be expected. “Yeah, yeah. Okay, don’t get all jealous. We’re lucky, so what. It happens.” Alex leaned half over and stared straight into Max’s eyes. “How does Aeriol put up with you?” “Oh yeah, good one,” Max pushed him off. “How does he put up with me? You got that the wrong way round.” Alex settled back on his side of the bed. “What is it between you and him?” There was a silence before Max replied. Like he was thinking about how to provide an answer, or maybe trying to decide if he knew. “It’s all a long story. Probably boring.” “You mean you don’t want to say,” Alex looked sideways at Max, who was lying stretched out with his hands behind his head. It looked like he was staring at some ill defined spot somewhere on the ceiling. “I’d like to know.” Max let out a sigh. “Okay, I’ll try to make it short. Stop me if you get bored.” Alex simply smiled, but said nothing. “We go back some way, like we were in high school together.” Max shifted himself to look at Alex. He was trying to see whether this story was truly interesting or just a pass time. It was always a major problem for Max, a question of trust, could he be confident in Alex? “You want a beer maybe? Or something else?” Alex sat up, ready to go and get whatever they had in the kitchen. They definitely had some beer, and fruit juice, maybe even a bottle of vodka, if May hadn’t drunk it all. “I know how it is,” Alex stood up. “Like with me and Nad's, you just kind of fall into things. So I’m guessing that’s what happened with you guys?” “You got anything other than beer?” “Maybe some vodka. Is that good?” “Great. With some juice?” Alex went in search of the vodka and Max shifted up the bed, sitting up and taking everything in. There was a bookcase with some large volumes on the bottom shelf and a row of various sized paperbacks on the top. He wondered what great literary works Alex might read, but he felt too comfortable to get up and look. “Vodka and orange,” Alex announced, handing a glass to Max, then closing the door and sitting back down next to him. Aeriol studied the glass, looking at Alex, and deciding to continue the story. Or, at least a part of it. “Aeriol lived at home with an older brother. Actually, that’s a bit wrong. He shared a bedroom with his older brother. He’s got three brothers, two younger, and a sister.” Max took a long sip of the vodka orange. Almost immediately he felt better. The burn of the alcohol seemed to relax him. “I went round his house a couple of times. I was blown away by their bedroom. I don’t mean it was big or anything, just that, well. They’d painted this wardrobe in bright primary colours and covering both doors was a huge psychedelic mushroom. Straight out of Alice in Wonderland. A red top with white spots. I mean, you know right, that Alice in Wonderland is not some fairy tale story?” He glanced across at Alex, sipped the vodka, and continued. “It’s all about drugs. You know, it’s a trip. Magic mushrooms, potions, getting small, shrinking, the Mad Hatter. Yeah, it’s one wild trip. Well, that’s got nothing to do with what I was telling you.” Alex smiled and spoke for the first time in ages, “Except for the mushroom.” “Yeah, the fucking mushroom.” He finished his vodka and turned away to rest the empty glass on the bedside table. “I couldn’t believe his parents would let them paint that on the cupboard. But Jake, that’s Aeriol’s brother, said they could do what they liked with their room and their parents never came in there. Jeez, I could never have done that in my house. They used to get stoned in there too. With the window open.” “Hold on a minute, I’m just...” Max interrupted him. “It's getting boring?” He asked. “No way. I’m just gonna fetch the vodka and orange.” “Okay,” Max smiled at that. Alex didn’t take long to come back with the bottle and refill their glasses. “Aeriol’s dad is Polish. This is another little... deviation,” Max chuckled to himself. “But it has a bearing on what happened. I wouldn't be stupid enough to say all Polish dads are like Aeriol's, but I had another friend, Keith, who lived with his brother and they were Polish. And, well, Keith’s dad was pretty fucking similar to Aeriol’s. What that means is when Aeriol was young, not just him, all the brothers, their dad whacked them. Just exactly the same as Keith, they both told me all this.” “It’s not so unusual,” Alex looked over the top of his glass of vodka orange. “I could tell you a story too. But finish yours first.” Alex flicked a switch turning on one of the bedside lights. It was getting dark. “Maybe, I don’t know. My parents never hit me. Back to what happened. A big argument that’s what. About drugs, mainly. Something happened, I’m not sure exactly, but Aeriol’s old man was not so well, Aeriol was much bigger now, and getting a beating wasn’t on the cards. I suppose that was why they kicked him out.” “Wait...” Alex had a serious frown on his forehead. “You’re telling me Aeriol got kicked out of home?” “Yeah.” “And this was when? He was how old?” “A couple of years back. He was sixteen I guess. Still at school. We were in the same year, but he’s almost a year younger than me.” “So what happened?” “He found a squat to live in. Not on his own. Aeriol can’t ever be on his own. No, he had Billy with him, they shared a large room on the first floor of this old deserted building that people were squatting. At the beginning, they had gas and water. It was an unbelievable old place, there were actually gas lights either side of the entrance hall. At least until someone ripped them down, probably sold them as antiques.” “You hung out there?” “It’s a bit sad to admit Alex, but I never had any friends. Yes I hung out with Aeriol and Billy.” “You said you had this friend called Keith.” “Um, yeah. I meant I never had any friends at school. The only kids I knew were through Aeriol. Keith I knew through my best friend from when I was young. You see, everybody I knew was through other people. Or at least anyone I spent time hanging out with.” “And your best friend from when you were young?” “He’s dead.” Suddenly the room took on the reflection of the night outside the window. Alex thought he might have asked one too many questions. Looking at Max, it appeared like he’d become unwound and at the same time deflated. He got up off the bed and walked over to the window, closing the blinds. “How about we get something to eat?” That seemed to lighten the atmosphere. Max was hungry. = = = = = =
  10. It was a week later when nearly everyone got woken by banging and hammering on the front door. “Jesus Christ, what’s going on!” Max rolled over to get up. “You better go see,” Alex was half awake beside him. As he arrived at the top of the stairs he heard Aeriol coming down from upstairs. “Hold on! Hold on! I’m coming,” he called down the stairs. Adrenaline was starting to pump through his body as he moved quickly down the stairs. “Police! Open the door!” He had no time to think and did as instructed. Two uniformed policemen pushed past him and rushed up stairs, a third blocked the front door. “After you kid,” the officer nodded towards the stairs. “What the fuck?” Aeriol was standing in the hall as the first policeman entered the apartment. Soon Aeriol, Max, and three police officers were crowded in the hallway. The officer who'd followed Max up the stairs produced a white sheet of paper and held it up. “We have a warrant to search the premises. How many people are living here?” “There’s me, Aeriol,” Max nodded towards Aeriol, “and Alex, he’s in the bedroom.” “That’s all? Three of you?” “No, Jules stayed over. He took the couch in the lounge,” Aeriol added. “Right let’s all go into the kitchen and sit down. You,” he pointed at Max, “fetch Alex.” Which is what Max did, coming back into the kitchen with a rather shaky Alex. It was at that moment Max started to come down from his adrenaline high. He began to feel the early morning cold. There wasn't any heating in their place, only an old gas fire in the lounge. He wrapped his arms around himself, realising he only had his boxers on. “We have reason to believe,” the guy who appeared to be a senior officer was saying, “that there maybe Class II drugs on these premises and this warrant gives us the right to search.” Nobody said anything. “Look, let’s make this easy for everyone. If you have any drugs here, then tell us now.” Max looked at the officer, he was trying not to shake. “We don’t do drugs. Honestly.” Now that statement could easily be taken as total horseshit. They did do drugs. However, as things turned out, they had gotten very stoned last weekend and they’d exhausted their supply. Luckily for them they had not been able to replenish that from their usual sources. The officer looked hard at Max. “Who sleeps where?” Max choked on his response. “Alex and me are in the back bedroom. Aeriol is upstairs. And I guess Jules is in the lounge.” “You and him,” the officer looked at Alex, “sleep together?” “It’s not against the law,” Max replied feebly. “Okay, you,” the officer indicated Max, “go with this officer and watch while he searches your bedroom. You, Aeriol, that’s your real name?” “Yeah, my parents had a sense of humour.” Aeriol grinned. But the police officer didn’t look like he shared the joke. “You go up to your bedroom with this officer. Then we’ll deal with the guy in the lounge.” Alex watched as the other two boys left. At the same time the shortwave radio the senior officer held crackled alive. He moved away from Alex who all the same heard him confirm they were at the address and the search was in progress. Max stood shivering as he watched the officer go through his things. “Mind if I put on a sweatshirt, it’s freezing?” The officer looked up at him. Max thought for a minute he was going to say no. “Okay, but don’t touch anything else. You sure you don’t have any drugs in here? If I find something, it won’t be good for you if you don’t say. It will go down as conspiracy.” Max wondered what the fuck he was talking about. “There’s nothing. Really, we don’t do drugs. We’re into health foods and stuff.” “And stuff... I can see that,” he replied looking at the bed. Max shivered involuntarily, but remained silent. Finally, the search seemed over and the officer accompanied him back to the kitchen. Then Aeriol came in with the other policeman. “Clean,” the first officer announced. “Nothing upstairs,” the second officer added. The radio came alive again. All three of them heard the conversation this time, or at least one side of it. “No, we won’t need the dog. Nothing here. Just finishing up.” The senior officer pressed a button to silence the radio. “This address was listed, along with other addresses, in a note book found when we raided the Whole Food Corner Shop. That’s why we’re here. Gavin Jameson, the owner of the shop has been arrested on drugs charges and he said when being interviewed that he knew you.” The officer looked at each of them. “Yeah he does,” Max spoke up. “I mean we sometimes cook some food for the shop to sell. You know, like biscuits, cakes, veggie pasties.” “Why do you think your address was in that book?” “Because like I said...” The officer interrupted Max. “Alright, let’s wake up you friend in the lounge.” Max accompanied by the senior officer headed to the lounge. He knocked on the door, but got no reply. When he went to open the door, it was locked. “He's locked the door.” Max explained apologetically. The officer leant around and tried the door handle. Then banged loudly on the door. “Open the door, this is the police.” It took a minute or so and more banging on the door before Jules unlocked it and let them in. The other two officers were called to help. Jules was asked his name, if he had any drugs, if he lived here. The room was quickly searched along with Jules bag. Seemingly satisfied the officers left. The senior police officer handed Max a card before going. “If you learn of anything, or think there is something we should know, something that might be important, then telephone this number.” And with that they left. “What was that all about?” Jules asked. Max explained what had happened, the book with their address, the arrest of Gavin. Then he excused himself saying he was going to go get dressed. What he needed was a long hot bath. Jules went back to bed, it was still only half past eight in the morning. Max joined Alex and Aeriol in the kitchen. Aeriol smiled at Max, “You know the guy searching upstairs opened the attic door, took one look at all the junk in there and shut the door.” “So what?” Max asked. “Well actually all those cannabis plants are in there drying. The ones we harvested from the dump. The ones you, me and Jules planted.” Max was speechless. Alex looked just as shocked. “You mean there’s drugs in your attic?” “Yes Alex, exactly.” “I’m getting my stuff and going home.” Max looked at him, “I’ll see you again?” Alex didn’t reply to that. He went to the bedroom collected his gear and left. “You can never count on anyone Max,” Aeriol stood up and went over to fill the kettle. “Want a coffee?” “Yeah,” Max said rather despondently. “Not including me Max. You can always count on me.” “Maybe that’s true. Despite your ego and terrible driving.” “Hey that’s not fair!” Aeriol came over and wrapped both arms around Max’s shoulders, ruffled his hair, then leant over and kissed him on the lips. Max smiled and the kettle whistled. ÷÷÷÷÷÷ “Max!... Max!” He heard Aeriol shouting but didn't want to answer. He preferred to ignore him and stay lying on his bed. “Wait a minute. He’s here, I’ll get him.” Aeriol put the phone aside and marched down the hall to Max’s bedroom. “Stop playing with yourself, Reuben's on the phone, he wants to talk to you.” Reluctantly Max swung his legs off the bed and got up. “Reuben, hi.” “Max I wanted to ask you if you’d come over.” “I don’t know. I’m kinda busy.” “Really? Aeriol said you were just moping around in your bedroom.” “He should mind his own business.” “Come over. I’m going to America very soon. Everything’s arranged. It might be the last time I get to see you.” “Yeah, I guess.” “That’s a yes then?” “Yeah, alright.” “You wanna get here for about six?” “I don’t know. What’s the time now?” “It’s quarter past three.” “Mmm, okay then. Six.” “See you later.” Max hung up the phone and brushed a hand across his face, rubbing his eyes. He poked his head into the front room. Jules and Aeriol were talking. Woodstock was playing on the stereo: “And I feel myself a cog in somethin' turning, and maybe it's the time of year, yes and maybe it's the time of man, and I don't know who I am, but life is for learning...” “I’m going round to see Reuben in awhile. I’ll see you later if you’re still here.” They both turned and nodded. “Okay, later” Aeriol turned back to Jules. He heard them talking as he closed the door. ÷÷÷÷÷÷ Max rang the doorbell. It was just after half past five, he was early. Reuben answered. “You’re early,” he smiled. “Come in.” Max stepped inside and waited for Reuben to close the front door. Then he followed him along the hall. “We’re in my bedroom.” Max had never been in Reuben's bedroom, and who were the we he was referring to? Reuben walked over and sat down on his bed next to a skinny young guy in t-shirt and jeans. “This is Davy,” Reuben nodded towards the boy. “Davy... Hi,” Max looked around for somewhere to sit. Davy looked at him briefly, then quickly looked away. “I guess I got here too early,” Max was still standing, walking around the room, looking at things. “Let’s go into the lounge, there's more room,” Reuben got up. Max followed the two of them to the lounge, he felt like he’d interrupted something, but at the same time he was pleased to finally meet this Davy kid. Even if it was at the moment Reuben was about to leave for America and he’d probably never see him again. Taking a seat in the lounge, he smiled at Davy. “So what do you do?” An innocent enough question, but to which he got a brusque reply. “I’m at school.” He thought Davy was being rather defensive. Davy turned to Reuben, “I think I better go.” “Really?” Reuben seemed a little sad. “Can’t you stay a bit longer?” “No, sorry.” Davy stood up and glanced at Max. “Nice to have met you.” That was probably one of the most insincere remarks that Max had received in quite awhile. Yet there was something in Davy's eyes, a kind of sadness, the same emotion that hovered over Reuben like a cloud. “I’ll see you out.” Reuben accompanied him to the door. Max didn’t hear their conversation, only the front door closing. He felt invaded by unhappiness, a gloomy despair. It had started with Alex leaving after the raid and continued here with Reuben's imminent departure and the look in Davy's eyes. Reuben came back and sat down next to Max. “I’ll miss him,” Reuben announced. Max didn't know what to say. He could easily relate to Reuben's emotions, he felt the same. He felt empty, to the point that he too would miss a boy he’d never get to know, he'd miss Reuben, a guy he had become close to even without any sex. A relationship that hadn’t really started. Alex was gone too. Max felt so depressed he could feel his eyes watering up. He buried his head in his hands, any minute he would burst into floods of tears. Reuben put an arm around his shoulder and pulled him close. They stayed like that for ages. “You want some tea?” Reuben asked, and Max actually smiled. “Sure, that'll be nice.” Reuben went into the kitchen to put the kettle on. Max sat there, thinking. When he came back in, Reuben handed one mug to Max and sat back down next to him. “No sugar right?” Max managed a weak smile and nodded, “Right.” Silence engulfed them, neither one seemed capable of speech, they sat, drinking the tea. “Can I ask you something!” Max looked up from staring at his mug of tea. “You can ask. What?” “You and Davy. What exactly did the two of you do together?” Maybe that was too personal to ask, he hadn’t known Reuben very long, they weren't lovers, but he had to know. It somehow irked to not know. Reuben looked like he was contemplating the question. “Well I already told you what I’m not into. I don’t think I want to give you all the detail. But we were loving in a special way. We embraced, I would run my fingers over his skin, lightly, delicately touching him.” Reuben fell silent. Max sipped his tea. He didn’t want to ask anymore. He had an image of the boy naked or mostly naked, being touched and aroused. It only served to make him feel more depressed, it didn’t even make him hard, just sad. It was only half past six, but Max felt he had to leave, he needed to get out, to feel the cold outside air on his face. “I’m sorry,” Reuben told him as he stood up to leave. “About what?” “That I couldn't give you what you wanted.” Max studied him, “it’s how it is, not your fault.” Reuben watched Max walk away down the road. It was almost dark. Max didn’t look back, he couldn’t, tears wet his face, hidden only by the fading light. 《《《 》》》
  11. I want to say thank you for such a fantastic welcome, a special thanks to @Marty for taking time to read and comment. I really am overwhelmed after having either been ignored or gotten negative comments (I don't mind that not everyone likes what I write and I know it's far from perfect, but if you get told to go away and come back when you've learnt how to write, that's very discouraging) that here on this site you have all welcomed me with open arms. What more could anyone want, thank you, all of you.
  12. It's great that you relate to the story and it sparks memories, because that means it comes across, at least in part, as real, and it is meant to be, fiction grounded in reality (from the last century... lol!).
  13. Thank you, thank you, so much. That was exactly what I was hoping to achieve, I'm so pleased it worked for you (obviously I liked the dialogue intro myself, but I have to confess having been told by others, not on this site, to go away and come back when I'd learnt how to write, your comment gives me real encouragement).
  14. Hello fellow members and aficionados of gay fiction, I am a new author (would be writer perhaps, as I'm not published and don't have much of a following) who joined the site to post my own effort at a story (and get some comments/feedback). I am also a reader and have read a lot on this site and lots of other sites. I probably read more than I write, but I do like writing. I have one difficulty (handicap perhaps, vis a vis being a member) which is I do not get online and onto this site very frequently, but when I am here I do my best to be apart of it and reply to people (I can always be contacted by email). Best, Tal. talo.segura.x@gmail.com
  15. I am nine chapters in and thought it time to mention that this story is UNIQUE. Tell me if you've ever read a book from a baby's point of view, from the womb to birth and his early years. It is wonderfully described, whilst remaining a fictional story which includes reincarnation and telepathy. Somehow it keeps you gripped, maybe because, in part, it actually reminds you of everything you have forgotten about your very earliest view on the world.
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