Title: The Lynch Pin
Author: Cody Richardson
Cover Artist: u/k
Length: 27 pages
Terry and Paul have always been close - their mothers are alcoholics and best friends, and they've lived together for most of their lives, falling in love when they were teenagers. Paul is happy as long as Terry is with him, but Terry is frustrated with their lifestyle of instability and ruin. Is their love strong enough to keep them together?
Warning, for those to whom it matters; this isn’t a romance. The main couple isn’t coming together for the first time. Instead, we have a nice literary story of a young man reexamining his life and his relationship.
Terry and Paul have always been part of each other’s lives, and starting from a young age, in each other’s beds. Both young men come from seriously dysfunctional families where they’ve had to be the adults, and now, on the cusp of what should be their adulthood, where do they go?
Terry, now twenty, is a student at a state college, so one hopes he’s on his way out of the dump he’s been living in, and he’s thinking deeply about what to leave behind, what or who to keep. He’s not at all comfortable with his sexual identity, nor with every reminder of his broken family. Paul, slightly younger, is firmer in his self image and in at least part of what he wants from life. They talk wistfully about wives and families, about stability, much as they might talk about life in a palace, beautiful, but for someone else, not them.
This story encompasses a lot of sex, which does drive the plot, but it’s not always very happy sex. These two aren’t joyful—Paul senses Terry’s restlessness, offering everything in his slender arsenal to keep him. Terry’s still thinking.
Cory Richardson has the seeds of an excellent storyteller, although the polish isn’t quite there yet. The story changes POV several times in 6600 words and retold a few key items that the reader should be trusted to catch the first time. The story could have used an experienced proofreader, which did detract from the reading experience. However, gems of thoughts are also there, such as this tiny passage that says so much about how Paul’s family has disintegrated:
He nuzzled his nose into Paul’s hair. “You smell like strawberries,” he said dreamily. “Cheap ones. What happened to that other stuff you use?”
Paul chuckled. “Yeah, my dad’s shampoo is gone now, so it’s this or nothing.”
And the ending broke my heart just a little. In a good way.
I think Cory Richardson will be an author to read more of; there’s a lot of emotion here; frustration, longing, resentment, and love. The technical skills can catch up. 3 marbles