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Friday, 17 October 2014

Twelve-Thirty by A.J. Llewellyn

Australian-born Montago Melon, “Tago” to all those who know him, has lived in a fantasy world since he was a kid. His heart is in Hollywood, and his family constantly accuse him of “California Dreamin’.” When his grandma dies and leaves him money, and his long-last aunt reaches out to him from California to offer him a job, he jumps at the chance of a new life, swimming pools, and movie stars. He soon learns, however, that some dreams come with a nasty aftertaste.

Byrne McCallum is California born and bred. Working for the dynamic Ondine Bartholomew in a hot new Hollywood set-salvaging company, he becomes immediately intrigued by Ondine’s latest employee, her naïve but super-smart nephew Tago.

Bad things happen to Tago the moment he lands at LAX, but Byrne plans to change the guy’s run of luck. He hasn’t felt this way about a man in a long time. Can they make a go of things? And better still, can they have a happy Hollywood ending?

Genres: Gay/Contemporary/Romantic Comedy
Heat Level: 3
Length: Novella (25k words) 

Read a short excerpt...

...The kind, friendly female GPS voice guided me out of the airport. For about twenty seconds, we got along fine, but then she wanted me to get on the freeway, and I wasn’t ready for that. I pulled over and pressed buttons for surface street directions.

“Recalculating,” the voice said. She sounded pissed. I seemed to have this effect on people lately. “Turn left on La Cienega Boulevard.”

I waited in line at the lights, which took forever, and practiced pronouncing the street name. We say everything wrong in Australia. I got blasted by several car horns, and squinted. A car was coming right at me. Holy shit! I was driving on the wrong side of the street! I veered back over to the curb, shaking like crazy. Focus, idiot.

A car horn sounded and I jumped once more. Man, I was a bundle of nerves.

“Recalculating,” the electronic voice seemed to scream. As the animated map on the GPS screen whirled around, I glanced up and saw a huge billboard poster for Arnold Schwarzenegger in some big action movie. Man, he looked all old and wrinkled. The drought had gotten to him, too. I was surprised some movie magic person hadn’t Photoshopped his saggy skin.

“Drive straight, one hundred yards, turn left on Century Boulevard,” the navigation voice instructed. I took my foot off the accelerator.

All of a sudden, two men in black jackets, pants, and balaclavas appeared out of nowhere, brandishing guns. I braked hard.

“Get out of the car!” the one closest to me bawled. The other guy seemed to be circling the vehicle. Terror gripped my heart as the guy beside me approached my window. Damn! Why had I lowered the damned thing? What was so great about fresh air, anyway? He had a massive shotgun aimed at my face.

It wasn’t supposed to be like this. What the hell went wrong? It all started out so easy and smooth. Then it went to hell faster than I could say “G’day.”

And here I was staring at a gun pointing straight at my head.

I gulped, distracted momentarily as I caught a glimpse of the car parked in front of me, and the bumper sticker I should have noticed earlier.

And heeded.

Welcome to California. Now Go Home.

The man with the gun cocked it, glared at me, and snarled, “Get out of the car. I won’t say it again. Leave everything in there. Put your wallet and cell phone on the seat beside you.”

Leave him all my things? Everything? Was he high?


When I stared at him, too frightened to move, he shrieked, “Now, tell me why I shouldn’t shoot you.”

Alarm flooded my system. I had no good reason why he shouldn’t. Well, actually, I did. Fifty-thousand of them, as in the dollars stored in my bank account and due to be transferred to the brand new American account I planned to open. I also had the two checks for Barbie. Absurdly, as the gunman glared at me, and swore and called me all kinds of things, I couldn’t take it in. I didn’t hear him. His red lips moved from behind the mask, but all I could think was, I didn’t bring any gifts for Ruby...

1 comment:

  1. Hmm that was strange I just posted a comment and it vanished! Well just in case it has been lost forever, I just said that I really want to read more and that poor Tago has a bad case of Murphy's law...

    Thank you for a chance to win this title :)