QSFer Jonen Gleewell has a new queer contemporary fantasy book out:
Nate Noodascue’s life is pretty weird. For one, there is a dead sailor inside his brain who likes to comment on the young man’s every move and thought. Forget that. That’s not even the crazy part.
Now he’s getting dragged into a curious plot by a woman claiming to be his unborn ancestor. Just what he needed: more freaky stuff spoiling his chances of finding a boyfriend.
Still, things could be worse. Nate might be about to die under surprisingly bubbly circumstances and not even be aware of it. Oh well.
“Mine Looks Purple” is witty, quirky, with exciting twists and turns. Sort of like a tango dancer in a pair of clown shoes.
CHAPTER 1: TAKE HEED
“Is it really too much to ask,” Nate said as he stepped out of the shower, “to have a boyfriend who doesn’t get it on with the waiter while we’re out dining?”
~“Are we still on that topic?”~ a voice replied. It was a silent voice that no-one could hear but Nate Noodascue, a captivatingly handsome young man with green eyes, athletic body and twenty-two years on the meter.
“I am still on that topic, yes.”
~“You two broke up ages ago. And besides, your ex was rich. I feel you should have given him the benefit of the doubt.”~
“Benefit of the doubt? They were practically doing the nasty right there on top of the table. In front of my mom, I might add.”
~“Did I mention he was rich?”~
“Yes, well, I’m done with no-good boyfriends who cheat. Unless they discover a new breed of men, I plan on staying single forever.”
Nate toweled himself dry and wandered butt-naked into the kitchen. Because, he figured, Why not? He was alone at home… sort of.
“Now, where did I put that dip bowl? I’m in the mood for veggie burritos.”
~“But I want fish sticks”~ the unheard voice objected.
“Tough. Burritos it is.”
~“I never get to choose.”~
Nate opened the fridge. “This guacamole, has it gone off, you think?”
~“What do I care? You never listen to me. And see how far it has gotten you. Here you are again on a Saturday night, a young man described by your pals as a wet dream–”~
“The most memorable wet dream doused with a generous dose of cuteness were the actual words, I think.”
~“Aye, what I am getting at is this: You spend all your time at work, at the gym and at home. You should go out and meet people. Preferably at a seafood restaurant.”~
“I said no fish sticks!”
~“They also serve other food there.”~
“I’m telling you, I don’t feel like going out. The last five guys were only interested in getting straight into my boxers.”
~“You are far too fussy. All that romance stuff is for wusses. You want to reel in a big fish, you need to bait the hook, if you catch my drift.”~
“I can’t help it. I am more of a wine and dine kind of guy than a prey and lay one.”
~“You’ve got them all lining up for you. Take advantage. Stop pretending to be that one magnificent pearl surrounded by a sea of bottom-feeders.”~
“I’m not interested in hook-ups. Don’t I have more to offer than just my body?”
~“Be glad you have a body.”~
“Oops, sorry. I forgot, Jarrrvis. No offense.”
Jarrrvis the dead sailor monitored his host’s every move and thought all day, every day. It was in fact the only thing he could do.
~“Hey, how about some anchovies on that burrito, Cap’n?”~
“No anchovies! Why can’t you just be an imaginary friend I grew out of and leave? You’re like an unwanted houseguest who is hanging around for a ride to the afterlife party.”
~“Hah. That’s very funny. You know what would have been funnier? If I hadn’t heard you think up that line these last five minutes.”~
At Nate’s conception, when he was still scrambled egg, something very exceptional had happened. Somehow, by astonishing circumstance, Nate was born with Jarrrvis camping out in his cranium. How a colossal foul-up like this could even have happened, neither of them had a clue.
Jarrrvis claimed he had been a real person once, three hundred years earlier, but other than that he never talked about his past life. Nate did try to bring it up from time to time.
“So tell me. What color was your hair?”
~“Mind your own damn business.”~
“You mind your own mind first.”
The sailor had been a whale-hunter, to be specific. He had admitted that much. Hence his obsession with the sea and everything in it. Tragically, his lifetime had been cut short in his early thirties. Exactly how, he wouldn’t say. He wouldn’t even explain the triple R in his name. Was he imitating the stereotypical pirate way of talking, as in Arrr, matey? Or, more likely, had it been a dyslexic clerk who had entered a typo in the register of births? Only Jarrrvis knew the answer to that.
For eight thousand days and counting, the sailor has been voicing his opinions and demands. It had started as early as in the delivery room when Nate got slapped on the bottom and an outraged Jarrrvis instructed the baby to ~“Clock that sadist doctor in the teeth. Then get us a pitcher of rum to drink.”~
The young man had since tried to ignore the embarrassing anomaly in his brain. Easier said than done.
~“Don’t be stingy with the sauce, kid. You’ve got two mouths to feed, so to speak.”~
“No worries, I’ve got this covered… This is what the weekend is for, you know? I’m going to just relax and make snacks.”
Nate drenched a skinned avocado in corn oil and added a big squeeze of hot chili pepper paste before mixing it by hand. He paid attention that none of the spicy salsa could splash onto him.
Suddenly, a series of loud thumps and the sound of water splashing set off tremors throughout the apartment. Something large and flesh-colored came flying out of the bathroom door and crash-landed onto the kitchen tiles.
“Yikes!” Nate screamed. He nearly toppled over in shock. The slippery avocado in his hand squirted out, ricocheted off a portrait of his mom and smashed to bits against a designer cuckoo clock.
“Gobbling goose! I’m here at last.” She got up on her feet. Slowly. Very slowly.
The intruder was a ghastly-looking woman, eighty years of age or older, with flat, black-dyed hair. She, too, wasn’t wearing an inch of clothing.
Nate stood there, wide-eyed. He definitely was not ready to see what he saw.
Cuckoo-cuckoo! The mechanical bird cast one glance at the scene and decided not to come out of its clock again for the rest of the week.
“Who the hell are you?!”
~“And why is the toilet seat stuck around your waist?”~ Jarrrvis joined in.
“Yeah! And why is my toilet seat stuck around your waist?”
The crone started coughing and wheezing. “Deary me,” she finally managed, clearly dog-tired from exertion. “I flew in through the wrong window and landed in your john, didn’t I? My name is Sauvetyne. Remember me?… No?… By the way, your soulnub cluster is blurry for some reason. How peculiar.–”
Nate blinked twice.
“–So why is this old bag standing in your kitchen, eh? Well, I’ll tell you… Speaking of wrinkly bags, mind covering up?”
~“Look who’s talking!”~
Nate realized he’d been dangling his junk at her and quickly cupped his hands around it. Big mistake. The chili sauce immediately set it ablaze like hell on a spit, but now he was too embarrassed to take his hands away. Sweat started gushing from his temples.
Sauvetyne took a step closer. Her nakedness caused Nate to flinch involuntarily. “Why’s your face gone red?” she asked.
~“It’s going to leave a scar. A crater!”~
“Doesn’t matter,” she went on, raising her voice for dramatic effect. “I’ve come because I am YOUR UNBORN ANCESTOR.”
“Wha… What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Your unborn ancestor. Like you, I return to this earth time and again without truly being born. We are here, but unborn.”
Nate went cross-eyed. Somewhere a heating radiator gurgled.
~“I think I can taste the color blue. It burns so bad!”~
She whistled a bit through her dentures every time she spoke. “You are my unborn ancestor, too, brother.”
‘That’s insane. She can’t be related to me… can she?’ he asked Jarrrvis mentally.
~“She looks like my late cousin Herbert. Only he didn’t have a moustache”~ the sailor pointed out from behind Nate’s eyeballs. ~“But, hello? Can we focus on what is important here? Your crotch is developing blisters.”~
She further explained. “We are family. It’s a terrible curse that we are both under. We are wading through the murk between the Material and the Spiritual. I’ve been many people: Sauvetyne, of course, but also Giddy-Rose, Toila, Emily, Wyndell and… well, a nameless ladybug.”
On hearing this, Nate’s brain went supernova. All he had wanted was a quiet evening alone. Now he thought he may never have children and there was one hundred and twenty pounds of raving delirium dripping toilet water on his new rug.
“You need help, lady!” he said, averting his eyes from her chest and… all the rest.
Suddenly she lurched at him, and grabbed hold of his wrist. He tightened his grip too, and instantly regretted it.
“Voegant is tracking you down,” she said, “because he wants to use us to break free from the cycle of life and death. Take heed, brother! Take heed!”
~“Is she for real?”~
“That’s enough! I’m calling the police!”
~“And an ambulance.”~
She squeezed his wrist harder. “–It is all about the bubbles! Don’t you understand? Through the bubbles Voegant is going to seize control of your soulnub cluster. It is vital that you stand up against him or the results will be catastrophic. Pledge allegiance to the bunny and save your soul! The gap-toothed bunny, I say, the gap-toothed bunny!”
Nate had enough. He struggled himself free, plunged his unmentionables in a vase filled with water and flowers–“Man, that’s better!”–and started dialing.
She opened the palm of her hand and revealed an silver object shaped like an owl. A barn owl to be exact. “Look,” she said.
Nate disconnected the call. He was intrigued.
‘How does she know owls are my favorite birds?’
~“Forget owls. The King Prawn, now that is impressive”~ Jarrrvis responded to no-one in particular, ~“It feeds on plankton and manages to spawn seventy thousand larvae every few months.”~
‘Prawns? What does that have to do with anything!?’
~“Oh, so now all of a sudden you listen to me?… Hey. She’s watching you.”~
Sauvetyne smiled. “Promise me you will stand up against Voegant. Don’t be deceived by his slick tongue and smoother body. Then his reign of heebie-jeebies cannot exist. We will no longer need to exist either. We’ll be martyrs that time forgot.” She opened up the owl. It was in fact a locket. Wedged inside sat a portrait of a man. The paint was crackled.
“This heirloom belonged to you.” She pressed it into his free hand. (His other hand was still holding the vase in position.)
Nate looked at the portrait. The man was roughly ten years older than him. In no way could he even remotely pass for a family member. Nevertheless, the image triggered a heavy jolt in Nate’s brain… a purple-colored jolt messing up his vision for a moment. There was no denying that. He recognized the face from somewhere, the devious eyes, the lavish locks of hair, the thin lips.
‘Where have I seen him before? Why is my mind blank?’
Try as he might, he couldn’t place him. He took a closer look. The man was wearing a type of soldier’s uniform he’d never seen before. A bunch of letters and numbers were engraved underneath. Maybe a regiment identification number? There was a name: Pilchett, soldier 1st division. Engraved on the back of the locket were some curly words. It read Blood nor gore shall dismay.
“You understand now?” she asked. “You are him. You are Pilchett!”
The last trace of doubt evaporated from Nate’s mind. He knew he should have listened to the little voice that had been whispering in his ear the whole time.
~“Forget the police. Call the loony bin instead.”~
The sound of snoring filled the room. Nate looked over. ‘She has dozed off?!’
The eighty-something woman was leaning against the kitchen countertop, asleep.
~“That’s old folk for you… Get dressed and get calling.”~
‘Okay. Do I just leave her standing like this, without clothes on?’
~“Are you volunteering?”~
Half an hour later when the men in white coats came to take her away, she was stirred awake and was ready to inflict pain. “This is the end, Pilchett,” she yelled. “Listen to me, the whole of mankind is counting on you! I know it sounds CRAZYYY!” and she kicked a paramedic in the knee and knocked out one of his front teeth too. And that was after they forcibly injected her with tranquilizers. In the end, luckily, she tired out and they hogtied her into submission.
Doctor Leek Ph.D. (Head of the psychiatric ward) assured Nate that she would be taken good care of, but politely declined when Nate suggested him taking a look at the contents of his boxers. “I’m not that sort of doctor. Ahah. But slap some ointment on it, yes, and I suspect the grotesque swelling will go away. Eventually. Maybe try not to pee for a while.”
“Finally!” Nate exhaled after returning from a trip to the drugstore. He sprawled himself across the couch. The cooling gel was bringing welcome relief.
The purple headache, sadly, had no intention of subsiding.
“I’m seeing purple again.”
~“Aye. Me too.”~
No doctor so far had been able to diagnose why headaches turned his vision slightly purple.
“Oh well…” he said and ate his potato chips straight out of the bag. (Understandably he was no longer in the mood for spicy burritos.) Jarrrvis kept pining for fish sticks. Normality was restored in the home of Nate Noodascue, inhabitant of the coast town called Portweald.
Little did he know that soon he was going to die under mysterious and surprisingly bubbly circumstances.
In a parallel universe far, far too close for comfort… Jonen Gleewell can be found writing in his den, which contains a desk, a word-processing device and an undisclosed stash of dark chocolate.
He began his career writing musicals and comedy plays for teenagers (Straight Undercover, Robin Hood, Diamond Drift). Currently, he is working on his next novel “Flamboyfriend” with pertinacity and with a dictionary.
Leave a review at:
http://amzn.com/B01AQZ319A (the book on Amazon.com)
He loves to hear from you!