The Blue Mask by Joel Lane

The Blue Mask

Joel Lane

Neil is a student who follows a stranger along a canal tow path. The stranger lures him away and then violently attacks him. His face is mutilated and he has to rebuild his life. A novel set against a background of rock music and the darker side of being young and gay. Will haunt you for quite a while!


He couldn't take his eyes off the young man at the juke-box. It was like watching someone in a 1940s film: the black clothes contrasting with the pale features. The left side of his face was quite badly scarred around the eye and jawline. Still, damaged goods had a certain weird appeal. Like a puzzle it might be exciting to solve. He edged closer to the juke-box, trying to see what records the lad was selecting. The CD collection was a mixture of new chart stuff and classic pop. The scarred boy flicked past Abba, the Supremes and Kylie Minogue without pausing. Evidently straight. He stepped back from the glossy juke-box and glanced sideways at Kevin. His eyes were very dark. Under the poorly-repaired skin, he had good bone structure .... They chatted for a few minutes. The boy's name was Jason. As the bar staff began the lengthy task of persuading the lonely to move on, he offered Jason a lift home. He was looking forward to a preliminary snog in the carpark but Jason seemed so ill at ease that he drove off straight away.

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