by Rigby Taylor

Chapter 9

A Secret Room

Problems, real or imagined, brought out a stubborn streak in Sebastian. After the shock of Con's revelations about hidden cameras, photos in magazines and on the Internet, and Guapo's near capture, instead of retreating to the relative safety of more conventional behaviour so as not to attract attention, he went further out on a limb and cycled to school wearing nothing but his skimpy running shorts. The fresh air rushing over his loins was so invigorating he decided to take Reggie for a long naked ride in the country to share the sensual thrill.

A nervous premonition after his sleepless night had Reginald cycling the long route to school, past Sebastian's house. The place was empty so he sped up in the hope of overtaking him, which he did on a quiet, tree-lined street. Two scrawny louts of about Sebastian's age in boots and fake army camouflage had shoved Sebastian off his bicycle and were taunting him with what looked like baseball bats; feinting, prodding, tapping his head and shoulder, landing the occasional more solid blow on ribs while dancing around teasing him as they would a dog.

Sebastian looked unworried, but his attempts to get close enough to attack were stymied. If he approached one, the other would batter him from behind landing a light blow to his head, cheek or neck. Painful but not lethal.

'Fucking queer shit, riding round with ya balls hanging out! What are ya? Looking for trade? Wanna be fucked up the arse? Showing your privates to the whole world. Bloody sick pansy, you're a fucken disgrace.'

So engrossed were they in their fun they didn't see Reginald approach.

'Stop this ignorant violence and return to your institution,' Reginald said calmly, leaning his bike against a tree.

'Another fucking queer smart arse! Looking for a hiding?'

'Something like that,' Reginald said softly, bouncing on the balls of his feet.

'Here's your poncy Grammar School bum chum,' the other jeered to Sebastian. 'Also looking for trouble.'

He raised his bat in readiness to strike at Reginald, expecting him to back off. Instead, with a remarkable turn of speed Reginald's bony fist smashed into the side of his head. The lout dropped like a stone. Reginald turned to face the other attacker, not so bravely looking around for an exit strategy.

'Typical fucking queer, can't fight clean, had to take him by surprise.'

'Whereas it's a proud heterosexual tradition for two guys to beat up one, unarmed man.'

'Sure is, especially if he's a queer!' With that he lunged.

Reginald sidestepped, slammed the side of his hand down on his attacker's arm, and smiled peacefully at the scream of pain.

'You've fucking broken my arm. You bastard, I'll get you for that!'

'It would be better if you apologised to this guy for attacking him,' Reginald said, watching Sebastian pick up one of the dropped bats.

'Like fuck! You guys are dead meat!'

Sebastian's bat slammed into the oaf's back, causing him to fall onto his face on the grassy verge where he lay groaning and twitching.

'Now you've two people to 'get',' Sebastian said softly, landing a solid kick on what were almost certainly broken ribs.

'Fucking faggots!' hissed the first guy Reginald had floored. He was on his hands and knees attempting to stand.

'Do you apologise for attacking a defenceless man?' Reginald asked sweetly.

'I'll fucking kill you both first. Filthy brown-nosed crap eaters!'

Sebastian walked forward and stomped on the thug's hands. His feet were bare, but the soles were as hard as seasoned leather and Reginald heard the snap of several bones milliseconds before shrieks of agony tore along the quiet street.

'Attaboy, Seb,' Reginald said cheerfully as he picked up his bike. 'The first rule of defence. If you're forced into a corner and have to fight, make sure they never want to attack you again. The only people these sorts respect are those who can dish out more punishment than them.'

Sebastian was already astride his bike. 'Thanks, Reggie, I'd have been late for school if you hadn't given me a hand.'

'No worries. I hope you'll forgive me for butting in, but I've been looking for an excuse to practice my moves in a real situation and couldn't resist.'

'Nothing to forgive, Reggie. What's mine is yours.'

'Even the family jewels?' Reginald asked, indicating the fine set of genitalia dangling out of Sebastian's shorts.

'All yours.'

'Excellent. But why are you revealing them to passers by? Are they in need of airing?'

'Something like that,' Sebastian answered with a laugh. 'Turns out not to have been such a great idea. Apparently seeing balls is confronting to heterosexuals.'

'It's not only homophobic yobs who might feel intimidated by a genteel set of genitalia swaying in the breeze as you cycle through this elegant suburb. What must all those schoolgirls waiting for the bus back there have thought?'

'Can't imagine and I don't give a tinker's cuss what they or anyone else thinks. The whole world can go fuck itself. I'll leave them alone if they grant me the same respect. But don't fret, I've a speedo in my knapsack to put on at school so you can sit beside me in maths and not be embarrassed.'

'Nothing you do could ever embarrass me.'

'Great, then I won't bother with them.' Sebastian blew a kiss as they cycled through the gates, and Reginald's heart pounded with love for the brittle, sensitive young man whose brave exterior hid a deep and complex melancholy.

Instead of improving, Sebastian's day got worse. Reginald had gone to check on an experiment in the science labs before assembly and Sebastian was crossing the quadrangle when several not-so-bright scions of wealthy parents wolf-whistled and yelled, 'You touting for business Sebastian?'

Sebastian turned, frowning. 'What's that?'

'Are you peddling your arse, Sebastian?'

The quadrangle was crowded with students waiting for the assembly bell and a sudden silence descended. Sebastian looked around at faces grinning in expectation of a fight.

'What do you call a male prostitute?' someone yelled.

'He-haw,' someone brayed to loud applause.

Blood drained from Sebastian's face. A sudden chill enveloped him and he felt sick. Had someone seen the videos of him on the internet? Fuck! He scanned the faces for friends and found only predators ready to feed on the carcass of a victim.

'Sexy shorts, Sebastian,' yelled David Jacobs, the largest and ugliest senior student of all time in Mr. Noall's opinion. 'Bit rude though, exposing your butt cheeks.'

Relieved that it was only his shorts that had caused the comments, Sebastian laughed. 'I'm glad they turn you on, David.'

'Fuck off! I'm not your wrestling mate! Save your poncy clothes for the queers in the park. Flashing your arse here will only get you a boot up the ring; not what you're looking for.'

'Don't be a fuckwit!'

Ernie Goldberg, who'd always seemed friendly, wandered towards them. Sebastian turned in the hope of support and was too late to react when David wrapped his arms round him from behind and lifted him off the ground for Ernie to whip off his shorts. Loud cheers and jeers as they waved them in the air tempting Sebastian to try to get them.

Sebastian's principle survival trick at school had been to never appear ridiculous. He wasn't concerned about standing naked in the crowded quadrangle, dozens of the same kids had been naked with him in the swimming pool the previous lunchtime and he knew he looked good. Racing round trying to snatch his shorts off two fully dressed guys would make him look utterly stupid, so he took a textbook from his knapsack, leaned against a wall and read it quietly, to the amusement of his audience and irritation of his attackers, who were now the ones looking foolish. A few minutes later the bell rang and he joined everyone in the Assembly Hall, a magnificent structure of fake marble columns and Roman arches that supported a vaulted ceiling.

Since his first day at school Sebastian had carried a clean handkerchief in his knapsack, just in case. It had only ever been used to clean his hands after his bike chain came off, or to bind scratches and wipe off blood, because he never caught colds and so far hadn't had to wipe away tears. Placing the handkerchief on the seat, he sat on it. All around him guys were turning their heads, whispering, giggling and laughing.

'Silence, roared the Deputy Headmaster. The teachers processed up the aisle to their seats on the stage and it was business as usual until the end of Assembly, when the senior school was instructed to remain behind.

'Come to the front of the hall, lads,' Mr. Noall said quietly, waiting till they stood in a small half circle in front of him. 'Until today I was proud that there was no bullying, no harassment and no gang violence in this school. However, before assembly I watched a lad being verbally harassed, then set upon in an attempt to humiliate him. Defend yourself, Jacobs.'

'Sir, it was just a bit of fun.'

'I see.' The Principal turned to Reginald and said, 'You hold his arms, Reginald while James takes his trousers down and runs off with them.'

'Sir! No!'

'Just a bit of fun, David, and then we'll do it to young Goldberg.'

'Sir! Please!'

'So it is only fun when it's done to others? How many of you,' he asked the twenty young men standing before him, 'would like to live in a world where most people were like Jacobs and Goldberg? Don't answer; I want you to think about it today and tonight. Do you want to live in a world where the bullies force you to be like them? Or do you want to be free to live, dress, act and be interested in whatever you choose, as long as it doesn't affect the right of others to do the same?' He stared at Jacobs. "What prompted this disgusting display?'

'Sir! Some of us reckon Sebastian should wear more clothes.'


'Because it's… rude.'

'Mr Noall looked David Jacobs up and down and sighed. 'David, you're out of shape, your long baggy shorts make your legs look skinny and weak and your belly flabby. You look totally sexless and singularly unattractive, especially with those ridiculous black boots hanging off the end of hairy white legs! Do you really think Sebastian would look better if he dressed like you? What do the rest of you think? Who looks the best?'

Silence and embarrassed shuffling.

'Well, I would certainly prefer to look at a fit and healthy naked person than an overweight, flabby fellow in ridiculous baggy gear that he wears simply because it's fashionable. I also wonder about the state of mind of young men who take so much trouble to hide their legs and crotches. It bodes ill for the future of men. Where are Sebastian's shorts?'

'In my locker, Sir.'

'Well, we're late for first period, so as neither of you can afford to skip classes, bring them to my office at interval along with written apologies from each of you to Sebastian. You may go.'

'But Sir!' Reginald interrupted, 'What about Sebastian? He has nothing to wear.'

'Does that worry you, Sebastian?'

'No, Sir, but I'll have to explain to the teachers.'

'I've already told them what happened and the possible outcome.'

'Thank you, Sir.'

And so it happened. Not a question was asked and the giggles and stares and occasional secret smiles of complicity from other students in the corridor between classes were tinged with respect. One young junior sidled up to him, lightly touched his buttocks and whispered, 'I think you're the greatest' before racing away. Sebastian was quietly pleased, but had learned a valuable lesson. Popularity is not an occupation. It is an ephemeral and very temporary thing. Admirers easily become antagonists if led by a 'strong' critic. It had come as a nasty shock to realise that virtually every boy in the quadrangle that morning had been prepared to join in the harassment, to take pleasure in the hope of his humiliation and see him made a fool of by two louts.

His already wafer thin respect for the opinion of others had in that moment dissolved. Never again would he assume he had the support of anyone except Reggie, who never left his side for the rest of that morning, furious with himself for not having been in the quadrangle before assembly to protect his lover. Sebastian, on the other hand, was remarkably pleased with his morning, especially Mr Noall's reaction.

At the beginning of third period Mr. Achilles breezed into the senior Maths class, unable to hide a smile that seemed to have been stuck there since the previous evening.

'Why the big grin, Sir?' someone asked. 'Looks as if you've hit the jackpot.'

'I certainly have, Gerald,' Con Achilles replied, winking at Sebastian as he turned to the whiteboard.

'Are you going to share your winnings?'

'Winnings are not always of the pecuniary sort, Desmond.'

'You've set a wedding date? Can I come?'

'The opposite, young man. I have cancelled my wedding.'

'Good on you, Sir. As Oscar Wilde didn't say, the decision to marry is usually taken in haste and repented at leisure.'

'Yeah. My parents should never have married,' someone said softly.

'Mine neither. Mum's nagging Dad into an early grave.'

'My father expects me to hate my mother like he does. I wish they'd both drop dead.'

Mr. Achilles held up his hand for silence. 'It's never a good idea to broadcast family details you might regret sharing later.' He sat on the edge of his desk. 'But the topic is important because you are fast approaching marriageable age. All of you would be considered a 'good catch' by any woman, because you come from wealthy families. Therefore you need to be aware of the pitfalls.

'If you watch popular movies it won't surprise you to learn that the human female is an extraordinarily cunning sexual predator with a proven success rate in getting the man of her choice to father a child, and then support her until he drops. That's one of the reasons there are five or six thousand million more humans than the biosphere can sustain.'

'Right on, Sir!' Reginald said with feeling. 'Since the beginning of this lesson the planet's population has increased by more than two thousand; one species has become extinct; four hundred hectares of forest have been cut; two hundred hectares have become desert, and forty-one million dollars have been spent on warfare!'

Everyone cheered.

'Thanks Reginald for that dollop of doom and gloom. Where was I? Ah yes… The female mating instinct was probably the main reason humans didn't become extinct when half of all infants died before their first birthday, but despite that success – if you can call it that – they now have to share the blame for population stress, along with modern medicine.

'Both males and females have a powerful, primeval urge to breed, but the female instinct can be alarmingly irrational. Considerations such as; is there enough money to support the child? What will happen if the mother gets sick? Will she make a good mother? Would a child born to her be happy when it grows older? Are seldom considered.'

'Yeah! You're spot on, Sir. In this morning's paper there's a piece about a 75 year old Italian woman who's just given birth to twins after an assisted pregnancy. Yuk!'

'Thanks for that titbit, Arthur.'

Reginald looked at Sebastian who nodded thoughtfully, thinking of his own mother. She was one of the reasons that all his life he'd wished he hadn't been born, and perhaps accounted for his none too secret contempt for other humans.

'Men,' Mr. Achilles continued, 'usually only want to breed if the domestic situation is stable and financially secure enough to give the child the essentials for a good life. If the decision to have children were entirely left to men, there would be no overpopulation. Furthermore, arguments over whether to have children add to all the other strains on marriages.'

'You make marriage sound like a punishment.'

'Does anyone know of a truly happily married couple?'

Silence. Then...

'My sister divorced after fifteen months.'

'My cousin's being sued for maintenance by a slut he reckons he never even screwed.'

'My uncle gave his Mercedes away for a dollar so his wife wouldn't get it when they divorced.'

'Our next door neighbour went mad and shot himself because he loved his kids but his wife was given them and the house when they split, so he had to live in a dump to pay the maintenance.'

'I'm never getting married. It's cheaper to pay for sex when you need it, and there's no strings.'

Another silence, then...

'It looks as if you've done the wise thing, Sir. Got out in time.'

'Indeed I did, Gerald. Indeed I did!'

At interval, before going to see his father, Sebastian called in to the Principal's study to pick up his shorts and the apologies, then shake the unwilling hands of his attackers, who were then dismissed.

'Keep away from the main entrance and avoid school visitors,' warned the Principal, as Sebastian stuffed his shorts in his knapsack.

'Don't worry, I won't embarrass you.'

'I know.'

Outside, Jacobs and Goldberg were waiting.

'Aren't you going to put the bloody things on?'


'All that fuss and you fucking choose to stay bare arsed.'

'I didn't make a fuss, Mr. Noall did because you were trying to force me to conform to your ideas on how to dress by using violence and making me look ridiculous.'

'Aren't you embarrassed?'


'Walking around starkers.'

'No. Why should I be?'

'Fuck Sanspere, you're a true weirdo.'

'Perhaps, but don't try anything else or you'll regret it.'

'You threatening me?'

'Yes!' The look in Sebastian's eyes was cold and both Jacobs and Goldberg felt a flicker of fear.

They held out their hands. 'Peace?'

They shook hands again, this time warily.

'Actually, you don't look naked—you're more like a wild animal. I mean that as a compliment.'


'I can't imagine anyone else looking more relaxed naked than dressed. Somehow…it's…I don't know, it's strange; but why do you shave your pubes?'

'For the same reason you shave your chin. See you.' And he was off.

On arrival at the library he was surprised to see Reginald deep in conversation with Rex Trovert in his office. Rex looked up and waved him in.

'Reginald's worried about you, Sebastian. He thinks you might be in danger at home, is it true?'

'Probably, now Guapo's done a bunk and I've discovered they've been secretly photographing me and posting stuff on the internet.'

A shocked silence.

'Sebastian! Why haven't you told me this?' Reginald was almost angry.

'Didn't want to worry you, Reggie, but I've told you now.'

'That does it! I'm sleeping at your place from now on — you need a bodyguard.'

'Suits me,' Sebastian grinned.

'I want both of you to come to dinner tomorrow and you can fill us in on everything.'

'Us?' Reginald asked.

'Fee, my wife and me. She's much smarter than I am and far more useful in an emergency. Can you come?'

Reginald looked at Sebastian, who nodded. 'Looking forward to it, Sir.'

'Call me Rex, if you don't mind, Reginald. It's bad enough suddenly learning I have a seventeen year-old son without being addressed by his boyfriend as if I'm a stranger.'

Reginald blushed charmingly. 'You don't mind?'


'About Seb and me being…'

'Far from it! I'm relieved my son has such excellent taste. So, tomorrow straight after school you'll both cycle here.' He wrote the address on a scrap of paper and handed it to Sebastian. 'I'll get home as soon as I can, but Fee will be expecting you.'

'Sure thing, Rex, and I'll make sure Sebastian wears clothes.'

'Not for us, we're easy about that.'

'No, for the fuckwits who lie in wait to bash up handsome young men riding past on their bikes.'

'Has that happened to you?' he demanded of Sebastian.

'This morning, but they're wishing they hadn't,' Sebastian grinned. 'Reggie taught them a lesson they won't forget for a while — if they ever do.'

'You've got me worried.'

'No need. We're a good team.'

'I don't doubt it. Meanwhile, son and heir, remember to put your shorts on before leaving school.'

Sebastian grinned and slipped them on. 'Better?'

'No, but safer.'

'See ya Dad.'

The bell rang for lunch.

'How about you and me taking the afternoon off, Reggie?'


'Our mothers will be joining a hundred other lost souls welcoming gentile Jesus into their bosoms with loud singing and clapping, so my place is free and I thought we might do a reconnoitre to see where cameras are hidden, and anything else that springs to mind.'

'You're on!'

No evidence of their morning's battle remained as they rode swiftly past, and as predicted the Sanspere residence was devoid of life. After downing their cut lunches with a cup of tea, they held a whispered conference on the far side of the pool, facing away from the house.

'We don't know if the cameras are on, so I reckon we should find the control post and see if anything's being recorded, then if it's safe, go looking for them. I imagine they're only in my bedroom and out here, so it's safe to look around the rest of the place.'

'Okay, lead on Mac Stuff.'

Leaving no cupboard unopened, no drawer not investigated, no wall untapped and no picture or mirror unturned, they agreed that the guest bathroom, garage, kitchen, pantry, lounge, Sebastian's bathroom and dressing room were all innocent of guile. That left only Desolé's suite.

Sebastian hadn't been in there since he was ten. After he reached puberty his mother said it wasn't right for a son to visit his mother in her private room, and he had never questioned this, mainly because the less time he spent with her the better, and he had not the slightest desire to enter her lair and risk seeing her without clothes and several layers of makeup.

At first glance it was the mirror mage of Sebastian's space, until Reginald realised the dressing room and bathroom were narrower. No secret entrance to spaces between walls presented itself, despite assiduous probing, so they returned to the bedroom, a stale, overdressed but sombre place with curtains drawn and a heavy odour of age inadequately camouflaged with perfume.

'Aha!' Reginald sighed, gazing at a large mirror to the right of the door. I wonder what's behind this?'

Running his fingers round the edge of the gilt frame he triggered a catch and the mirror swung outwards to reveal a narrow room about two metres wide that ran the full length of both bathroom and dressing room. A light turned on automatically, illuminating a long bench on which were several pieces of electronic equipment including a computer tower, monitor and keyboard. On the wall at eye level, seven flat screens gazed blankly. As there was no activity, the cameras obviously weren't on and they probably hadn't been seen or heard.

Neatly shelved under the monitors were dozens of DVDs, labelled with date and name. Sebastian picked up one from the left and another from the right.

'Sebastian,' he read. 'It seems this was made when I was twelve. I wonder what's on it. Probably me wanking or dancing. Who on earth would want to watch a kid playing with himself?'

'Lots of poor perverts, apparently.'

'Do you want to watch it, Reggie?'

'Would it embarrass you?'

'Of course not. Why would it be more embarrassing than a video of me swimming or playing in the park? This other one is more interesting, it's labelled 'Sebastian and Reginald', and dated last Thursday when you stayed. So, you're already on candid camera. Would it embarrass you if we watched it?'

Reginald shrugged and blushed. 'Probably. I'm not as easy as you.'

'Don't worry. You said we shouldn't disturb things so we won't.'

'Good. Anyway, I can see the reality tonight.' He checked out the rest of the equipment on the bench. 'The modem and router are standard with wireless connections to both this computer and yours in your bedroom. What sort of internet connection?'

'Just a satellite dish, it'll be years before we get fibre-optics.'

'There's a good printer and fax and that's about all. Okay, lets go find the cameras that feed the images.'

'Hang on. Look at these.' Sebastian was rifling through a filing cabinet. 'There's a file on each of the guys who've stayed here. A sort of ledger. Names and dates on one side and amounts of money on the other. Fuck! She got ten thousand dollars up front for keeping Elbert here for a week last year, and another two thousand dollars for every video of us! According to this there were ten of them. He was rather sexy. All the guys were, now I come to think about it. You'd imagine at least one of the homeless boys saved by Farzdbuk would have been plain, if not downright ugly, wouldn't you?'

'Mmm, very odd. But we mustn't waste time, let's go.'

Checking that everything was the same as when they entered, they left Desolé's suite in search of the seven cameras that fed the seven monitors. Sebastian showed Reginald the one looking like a lawn sprinkler, and Reginald discovered another on the far side of the pool, pointing at the spot where Sebastian and his guests usually sunbathed.

Once they knew what they were looking for, the five in the bedroom were embarrassingly easy to see. Glittering eyes on gargoyles on the carved legs of the four-poster bed were tiny lenses. One on the left post at the head, another on the right at the foot of the bed, another in the centre of the foot board, and one in the canopy directly above the centre of the bed. The seventh was embedded in the ornate frame of a mirror screwed to the wall nearest the left side of the bed.

'Must be a bouncy picture when you're hard at it,' Reginald muttered.

'The posts aren't attached to the bed, they're bolted to the floor and the bed's on castors so it can be rolled out for cleaning,' Sebastian explained as he demonstrated.

Reginald got down on his hands and knees and inspected the floor. 'See here? The concrete floor under the bed's been chipped away and resurfaced in a line from the post to the wall to embed the wires. It's a neat job. Only someone looking for it would notice. I guess the wires go inside the wall up to the attic and back to the control room.'

'Knowing this, do you still want to sleep here tonight?'

'Why not?'

'You won't be embarrassed?'

'Too late for that. Your mother's probably already earned a couple of thousand bucks with that video of us smooching and jerking off.' He grinned at Sebastian, drew him into a hug and kissed him on the nose. 'It's sort of exciting knowing someone's turned on by me. I'm beginning to understand you. Makes me feel proud... in a way…' He stopped, embarrassed at revealing his thoughts.

Sebastian laughed. 'Tonight we'll give them a show to remember so they'll not have a clue we're on to them.'

'Sebastian! Are you home already?' came a high-pitched shout from the entrance.

'Fuck! That's Mum! Quick, get your clothes off or she'll be suspicious.'

They tossed their clothes onto the floor of the dressing room, rolled the bed back into position, and were lying on it reading a school text book when Desolé poked her head through the door leading to the lounge.

'Ah, there you are, darling. Hello, Reginald. You've left your bikes in front of the door, be a dear and put them in the garage, I'm expecting a delivery and don't want to pay the insurance if the fellow trips and breaks a leg.' Her laugh was more a rasp than a tinkle, but clearly she suspected nothing.

'Sure thing, Mum. Can Reggie stay the night?'

'Of course, dear. He's always welcome. We had such a lovely afternoon, your mother and I, Reginald. I feel so refreshed. You must join us one day, both of you. You'd enjoy yourselves. Many nice young people go.'

'Do I have to wear clothes?'

'Yes, dear. But it wouldn't hurt you.'

'Okay, I'll think about it.' He turned to Reginald. 'We'd better go and get your mother's permission.'

'Just telephone, Sebastian. You never use your mobile phone; it's always off when I call you. Like this afternoon.' Desolé sounded petulant.

'We have to switch them off during class and I forget to turn the thing on afterwards. I'll try to remember.'

'Good boy. I worry if I can't contact you.'

'Reggie has some school books we'll need for tomorrow, and we have to collect his homework.'

'And a change of underwear,' Reginald added.

'Oh, do you wear underpants?' Desolé said in a tone suggesting that wearing them was slightly perverted. 'Off you go then, and I'll make you both a delicious meal.'

'Lucky we heard her,' Sebastian laughed as they cycled away. 'Ha! Did you hear that? She worries about me. Worries I might do a bunk like Guapo and she'd have no more sexy videos, she means.'

Reginald just smiled, thinking about the night to come.

Desolé was telephoning her boss. 'Mr. Farzdbuk? Sebastian has been sniffing around in my room…I don't know if he found anything, but…Yes, the school holidays start this Friday…Three weeks…next Monday?…Fine, I'll make sure he's here.'

Talk about this story on our forum

Authors deserve your feedback. It's the only payment they get. If you go to the top of the page you will find the author's name. Click that and you can email the author easily.* Please take a few moments, if you liked the story, to say so.

[For those who use webmail, or whose regular email client opens when they want to use webmail instead: Please right click the author's name. A menu will open in which you can copy the email address (it goes directly to your clipboard without having the courtesy of mentioning that to you) to paste into your webmail system (Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo etc). Each browser is subtly different, each Webmail system is different, or we'd give fuller instructions here. We trust you to know how to use your own system. Note: If the email address pastes or arrives with %40 in the middle, replace that weird set of characters with an @ sign.]

* Some browsers may require a right click instead