Are you suffering from tension, stress, indigestion and heartburn? Do you feel on the verge of a panic attack, possibly even a nervous breakdown? Oh dear, you’ve probably had lunch at Hope House then. Never mind, it will get better. Lie down in a darkened room, take deep breaths and wait for the next chapter in the weekend from hell to unfold.
Hope House - A Serial
Featuring Gordon and Nat from ‘Out of Tune.’
Genre: M/M discipline fiction and general comedy drama.
Gordon Trapp and Nathaniel Andrews, as introduced in prequel ‘Out of Tune’ unconventionally run Hope House.
The years have flowed by since the events of ‘Out of Tune.’ Gordon and Nat have created a family of a kind. Like most families they have their problems.
This is a work of fiction set in a fantasy universe where anything can happen. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is completely intentional, no, really, I mean coincidental. Hope House does not pretend to reflect real life psychiatric practices, opinions or treatments. To reiterate: it is a work of fiction.
Group Therapy or Communal Madness?
New resident Chris meets his fellow HH housemates for the first time.
This chapter is a free read.
A Very Fishy Tale
Nat’s return home isn’t as carefree as he’d like it to be. He finds himself with some explaining to do.
The Hills Are Alive
Just another day at Hope House
Gordon’s suspicions are roused when an old tune on the radio seems to spark a downturn in Nat’s mood. Investigation follows. Gordon isn’t too pleased with what he discovers. Angels, musicals and masked figures also feature - it’s just another day at Hope House.
It never rains but it pours
Missing raisins, foreign toast, bad Hobbits, terrible weather and a mysterious stranger - and its still only breakfast time. It’s all par for the course at Hope House.
The Seer Returns
The day continues with storms of a non-weather variety. New boy Chris holes up in his room again; fearful he has been ‘followed’ to Hope House. Nigel unearths hidden treasure, unwittingly causing trouble for Paul. Both Anna and Nat seem intent on concealment and the mysterious stranger wakes up.
Concerning Lonely Goatherds
The weekend shows no sign of getting any better, certainly not for Nat when an ill-advised act of sneaky defiance prompts Gordon to flex his authoritarian muscles.
Part Seven _
One Man’s Trash
Concerning good friends and bad neighbours
Good friends are hard to come by, good neighbours even more so.
Nat’s heart sinks when a phone call solves the mystery of James’s disappearance. Seems like the Devil has gotten hold of his day and is determined to make it hell.
Part Eight -
Flying Fish and Frayed Tempers
Nigel’s eagerness to show off his pet goldfish to Caleb ends in calamity, and it seems that Nat isn’t the only one withholding information.
Part Nine -
Concerning secrets withheld
The story continues.
Caleb reads Nat’s mind and offers advice. Nigel has holed up under the stairs. James has a laundry crisis. Nat climbs a mountain, of sorts. Chris comes out of his room at last only to be told to go back in it.
Find all chapters on sale at All Romance Ebooks.
Excerpt from Part Nine
“I know the rules well, Nat, as do you.”
Excerpt from Part Nine
Gordon was on the cusp of opening the study door to resume the interrupted session with Mrs Fitzgerald when an image clicked up in his brain. Nat had been wearing different clothes to those he had on earlier, he was sure of it, different shirt and different jeans. Come to think of it, James was also wearing different clothes. He’d started the day in sweats and was now wearing chinos and a jumper. Why on earth had they both changed? Perhaps some kind of kitchen calamity had occurred? He gave a philosophical shrug. It wouldn’t be the first time. The Hope House kitchen had had its share of foodie fracas over the years, some accidental and some pure bad temper. He’d have to ask Nat later.
Pushing open the study door he gave his patient patient, Mrs F, a winning smile and made to close the door behind him, halting when the phone in the hall rang. No one rushed to answer it. Caleb had never liked telephones, disembodied voices unnerved him, and Nat was still engaged with Nigel. It was up to him. Excusing himself once again he hastened to answer the call. God help the caller if they tried to sell him double glazing or asked who his energy provider was.
A few moments later Gordon put the phone back down. The mystery of Nat and James’s change of attire was solved, thanks to Amy calling to enquire after them both. The knowledge did not soothe Gordon. His curiosity was satisfied, but the rest of him wasn’t. He was most put out. Filing his annoyance under ‘matters to be dealt with later’ he pasted another smile on his face and re-entered the study, reassuring Mrs Fitzgerald that all was well.
Caleb was drying the last of the washed pots when Nat came back into the kitchen, a weary slope to his shoulders.
“Nigel did not take the news about his pet very well.”
“You heard then. I expect the entire street heard. It’s a wonder we don’t have police cars roaring up to the gates with all the screams and shouts that come out of here. It must sound like folk are being murdered.” Nat flopped down onto a chair.
“He was upset. It’s understandable. He forms strong attachments.”
“He hates me. I am the very embodiment of evil in his eyes. I think it’s safe to say I’m off his Christmas card list this year. There’ll be no glitter encrusted masterpiece with my name on it.”
“Perhaps I can talk to him.”
“Thanks, but I’d leave it for a while, Caleb. Let him get his upset out of his system. He’s sulking in the cupboard under the stairs where he says he’s staying until I reunite him with Martin.”
“You didn’t tell him the fish is dead?”
“No. I couldn’t bear to. What purpose would it serve? He’s upset enough as it is. At least now he has the hope of seeing Martin again.”
“What will you do?”
“Take another trip to the pet shop I suppose, see if they’ve got one with armour plating instead of scales to protect it from Nigel. Supplying it with a taser might help too. He’d think twice about trying to handle it if it injected a few megahertz of electricity into his mitt every time he stuck it in the tank. I’ll try and slip out to the shop later. Maybe I should get him an electric eel instead. It would stand a better chance of survival.” He pushed his hair back from his forehead, glancing around the room. “Where is James by the way?”
“Upstairs. Don’t worry. Gordon instructed him to tidy his room. Would you like a cup of tea, Nat? I’ll make you one.”
“I’d prefer coffee.”
Caleb looked a little uncomfortable. “I think Gordon would prefer you to have tea, for your health.”
Nat’s eyebrows pushed an indignant path up towards his hairline. “Did he say so?”
Caleb hastened to reassure him. “No, no, not at all, of course not. He would never confide such a thing to me. I just feel it in my heart. He’s worrying about you. I can sense it. You have not been quite yourself of late.”
“How do you know the things you know, Caleb?”
He shrugged. “I don’t know. It’s the way I’ve always been, even before the tiger possessed me. My parents called it my strangeness. It made them dislike me, from fear I think. My father tried to beat it out of me while my mother tried to pray it away. Neither way worked. I am as I am. It was the first lesson Gordon taught me at the centre in India, and after that he taught me to manage who I am.”
“Come here.” Nat held out his hands.” Caleb obliged, sitting down opposite Nat, taking hold of the offered hands. “Wonderful is what you are, Caleb, don’t let anyone tell you any different. We love you very much. Now.” He squeezed and let go of Caleb’s hands. “Where’s poor old Martin? Is he still upsetting James’s Ma’s spooky digestive system? I sincerely hope so. It’s no more than the old bat deserves.”
A smile beamed across Caleb’s face. “I love coming home, to this safe madness.” The smile suddenly vanished and a shine of moisture came to his jewel bright eyes.
“Hey, what’s this? Tears? I thought I was the emo around here.”
Caleb managed a smile again.
“Are you all right, Caleb? I’m not the only one who doesn’t seem quite themselves.”
“Perhaps a little tired. Don’t worry about me, or Martin. I took the liberty of laying him to rest.”
“The storm drain outside. It seemed appropriate to give him a water grave.”
Well it was better than the bottom of a wardrobe, not that Nat said so. “Thank you. Are you sure you’re okay? No secrets at Hope House, Caleb, that’s the rule.”