QSFer Pelaam has a new paranormal book out:
Radley Middleton’s a down to earth kind of guy. His love life, though, is non-existent and lately, the dreams he’s had for years no longer seem to be just dreams.
The day he found “the” mirror was the day that everything started to change; in it, he’s catching glimpses of other men from different eras. And his dreams are becoming stronger.
Curious about all that’s going on, Rad investigates and learns of a terrible tragedy; a tragedy in which he learns he may play a part.
But if Rad does manage to change the course of history and prevent the century-old tragedy, will he destroy his own chance at happiness?
This is an extensively re-edited and expanded re-release title.
Wanting to be certain of his welcome, Rad hid the bottle of Gentleman Jack bourbon behind his back and rang the doorbell. Del was a sympathetic friend; if he saw the bottle he’d invite Rad regardless of his own plans for the evening. I have no idea whether Del’s even in, but I need of a friendly ear who will let me whine about my seemingly endless train wreck of a love life.
The door opened. To Rad’s relief Del wore an old T-shirt and yoga pants, a good sign that Del was unlikely to be going out or entertaining.
“Rad, hey. Just passing through, or visiting a while?” Although the older man smiled, he was doubtless putting two and two together.
“Fancy a drink or three?” Rad held up the bottle. “I can get a cab home later.”
“Not another disaster? Come on in. Did you park under a light? The neighbourhood’s safe enough but it pays not to take chances.”
Del’s warm, comforting voice soothed Rad as he shuffled through to the lounge. Setting the bottle down on the immaculate, glass-topped coffee table, Rad flopped into the La-Z-Boy chair, leaving the settee for Del.
Bustling over to a sideboard, Del opened it wide. Shelves of crystal glasses perched regally above expensively filled wine racks. Rad relaxed a little to see evidence of Del’s usual fastidiousness. It was further proof he wasn’t in a hurry to get anywhere or do anything.
Del glanced over his shoulder at Rad. “Mixers, or straight?”
“Straight for me.”
“Fine.” Del brought a couple of whiskey tumblers and coasters over and set them on the table. “Shall I pour?”
“Please.” Rad waited while Del poured a couple of fingers into each glass and passed one to Rad. He held it up in a toast. “Here’s to disastrous dates.”
Del tapped his glass on Rad’s. “And surviving them and moving on.” He flopped into his settee, keeping his glass resting on his chest as he activated the footrest. “So tell me, what happened this time?”
“On our first romantic date?”
“Well, I know you both got along well enough to ask him on a romantic date.” Del took another sip of his drink.
“He accepted. And then, on the night, just about everything that could go wrong, did.” Rad took a healthy mouthful of bourbon, gasping at the burn. He wasn’t a heavy drinker, quite a lightweight in fact. A couple of glasses of this stuff and he’d be snoring in the chair. But maybe that was a good thing tonight.
“I was nervous, so I indulged in a pre-date glass of wine at home. I don’t know how, but my arm actually jerked–as if deliberately nudged–while I was drinking, and the wine went all over my shirt. So I had to get changed, which delayed me more than I liked. Then, when I called for a cab there was so much static on the landline I gave up. I know I’d charged my mobile but it was completely flat, so I couldn’t even call my date to say I was running late.”
“Ouch.” Del shook his head. “Then what?”
“I arrived nearly forty-five minutes late wearing a rumpled shirt, which didn’t go down well with someone who prided themselves on being spotless and punctual as much as he does. He was justifiably furious, and not in a romantic mood. In a way I wish I’d been five more minutes late.”
“He would have walked out by then. As it was, the meal was a disaster. We ate dinner together but it felt like an Arctic frost chilled the air the whole time. He never said more than a few words at a time, no matter what I said. I hated every minute, and barely tasted the food–it wasn’t a cheap meal either. When we finished eating, nothing was mentioned of another date, he just stomped off.”
Del rose from his comfortable niche to pour another glass of bourbon for Rad, topping his own up as well. “If he’s that much of a prick, you’re probably better off without him.”
“Despite everything, I rang to see if I could soothe the troubled waters–I wasn’t surprised when my offer of another date was blown off. You know, if I’m honest, although I’m not that upset over the disaster I still feel decidedly despondent about my inability to find someone to love.”
“Never mind. I’m sure you’ll meet the one meant for you in good time. You just have to be patient.”
All Rad could manage was a snort of derision. Most of his friends were either happily settled or enthusiastically single like Del, but Rad had an itch he couldn’t scratch. A feeling of time running out. His odd dreams had also become more frequent. During his twenties he hadn’t really remembered much about them. If he’d been worried or anxious they’d soothed him, but that was it. Nowadays he remembered his dreams, and they were always of an age gone by and–he shivered slightly–sometimes he woke with a start, panting, his legs aching as if he’d sprinted upstairs or something.
“You okay, Rad?” Del’s question disrupted his morose thoughts.
“Yeah, fine.” Rad certainly wasn’t going to share the dreams with Del, even if they had become good friends since Del had arrived in Rad’s little town. Rad didn’t share his dreams with anyone. They felt too special. “Just thinking how frigid the atmosphere was during the date.”
There was a speculative gleam in Del’s eyes but he didn’t say any more. Instead he picked up a magazine, checked it, and flicked on his TV. “There’s a match coming on. Why don’t we just watch it and chill out?”
Relieved Del wasn’t going to push him further, Rad nodded. “Sounds good to me. Something I don’t have to think about is just what I need.”
“Just muscular guys running around in tight shorts, getting rucked.”
Rad almost spat out his drink, swallowed hastily, and laughed alongside Del. Although straight, Del was very easy going. Just what Rad needed right now.
“Here’s to rugby and a good rucking.” Rad raised his glass in a toast and Del copied him. Rad settled back into the La-Z-Boy with a sigh. He felt better already.
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Born in the UK I now live in New Zealand. I grew up watching Dr Who, Star Trek, and re-runs of the Original Night Stalker. I love reading and writing paranormal, fantasy sci fi and gay male romance. I’m an Art Historian, a wine buff and a foodie.