Stories from the Hope House universe, serialised and updated 2016.
ONE - Group Therapy or Communal Madness?
A new resident at Hope House meets his housemates for the first time.
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To quote the words of a song by the late Kirsty MacColl: “there’s a guy works down the chip shop swears he’s Elvis.’ That being the case, then chances are he’s on day release from Hope House, a last stop refuge for some of the misfits of this world – those who the psychiatric profession have washed their hands of and the rest of the world would rather forget.
Some come and some go, some stay and some don’t know when or if they want to leave Hope House. A refuge can be permanent or temporary, depending on need and who’s to judge what the need should be for each individual?
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 co-incidental. ;-)
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.
One - Group Therapy or Communal Madness?
New resident Chris meets his fellow housemates for the first time
“Come on, Chris, don’t hang back now.” Gordon smiled encouragingly at the dark haired young man, who had finally been persuaded to leave his room for the first time since arriving at Hope House the day before. “Let’s get this over with. You have to meet your housemates sooner or later. You might as well do it while everyone is in one place.”
“Why?” Chris Emett scowled at the door, which had a sign reading ‘meeting in progress’ hanging on it. He thrust his hands deep in the pockets of his shabby jeans. “I’d rather go back to my cell.”
“Room, Chris, not a cell, this isn’t a prison.”
“Can I leave any time I want to, like right now?”
“You know the answer to that question, but I’ll give it again, just so you’re clear. When you’ve proven you’re ready and willing to resume control of your life in a responsible and acceptable way, then you can leave.”
“In other words I’m a prisoner here until YOU say I can leave.” Pulling his hands from his pockets Chris turned away from the door and strode back up the generous hall, aiming for the stairs, only Gordon got there before him, as if practiced in overtaking reluctant house guests.
“Enough. You have to get to know us sometime and this is as good a time as any. We always have an informal meeting at this time of day, so we can talk about anything that might have upset or worried us during the course of the day.”
“I don’t need group therapy.”
“It isn’t group therapy as such. It’s a chance for you to get to know people.”
“I don’t want to get to know people. I hate people.”
“I know this is daunting for you, Christopher, all new experiences are, but the sooner you embrace them the easier they become.”
“I don’t want to embrace anything in this dump.”
“Hope House isn’t a dump.”
“Well it isn’t exactly a luxury hotel.”
“Neither is prison, Chris. You made the choice to come here.”
“I can change my mind.”
“Too late.” Gordon examined the boy, not without sympathy. “The decision was made and you will abide by it. We can help you here, if you let us.”
“Maybe I don’t want help.”
“Tough.” Gordon lost patience. Taking a firm hold of Chris’s arm, and ignoring his protests, he steered the boy back down the hall towards the meeting room. Thrusting the door open he pushed Chris inside and closed the door behind them. “Take a seat. Make yourself at home.”
Chris considered trying to shove the big man aside, but catching a look from his ice blue eyes, decided against it. There was something forbidding about Gordon Trapp. He dropped his gaze and turned away from the door, facing into the room, which was furnished with an eclectic range of chairs. Christ. He flinched, as four pairs of eyes inspected him with interest.
RAINBOW READS - GAY FICTION