Which one is best?

Can you read all three of these first chapters and please tell me which one is best? If you can, leave feedback on which one you liked best and why?

Summertime Sorrow


Their hopes and dreams were shattered, just like the window in the chapel.

Cal and Eladio Cruz had done it this time.

Despite having planned a trip to Paris, they’d ruined their hopes of making it there when Padre Dave had found out about their little prank to replace the window with a stained glass frame of their own faces on a water-filled background.

Which would still be there. If that darn Nun hadn’t made a joke about it. Just like their plane tickets and hotel reservations. It only had to last two more Sundays. And three weekdays. But their hopes went, along with Padre Dave’s temper:

“That windowpane was boring anyway, there was nothing to sea there. It was literally a pane of water.” She said, chuckling to herself, not noticing his glaring dark eyes and crop of greying auburn hair as he swooped inside beside her.

“What windowpane?”

The nun insisted that nothing was there, but a week later, Dave figured it out on his own and he sent the nun to another covenant in Coconut Heights; he swiftly told Jesse that his two sons had vandalized church property, and the rest was history.

Instead of reporting them to the cops, they’d decided that it was best for them to be shipped across the state for the summer, and send the money back from Uncle Johnny’s auto repair store in Desert Springs, where they’d be helping out on his ranch for the next few months:

“Come on, this place doesn’t even have air conditioning in it?” Eladio scoffed as he set his bag down on the shiny, tiled floor.

Johnny shook his head and smirked back. “You won’t be needing it, Kid. We’ll be up and out of here by seven max.

Eladio looked around the room. “Well, at least I have an en-suite.”

“That’s out of order.”

Eladio glared. “What the hell, Dude?”

Johnny laughed. “I’m kidding. But make sure that you don’t turn the shower dial past halfway. It becomes too hot then.”

“I can handle it. I’m already hot.”

Johnny nodded. “Breakfast is served at 6, if you want more toilet roll, shout, and the good shows are over at one so I know you’re gonna get at least five hours of sleep, right?”

“Aight,” Eladio said as he lay across the outside of the bed and made himself comfortable.

“I’m gonna go and check on your brother,” Johnny added as he poked his head out through the door and walked along the hallway. He noticed that the door was locked “Cal, you in there?”

“Wait a moment, I’m looking for my briefs—ah found them—no these are my shorts. Yeah, okay these will do—you can come in now. I’m not naked anymore.”

Johnny raised his eyebrow as he made his way inside the room. There was a pile of books on the bedside table, and boxes of half-sorted clothes. “You good?”

Cal nodded. “Great, I’m just making this feel like home, you know?”

“Great. You know the drill, keep the shower halfway, breakfast is at 6, and the TV shows–”

“–Are awful past 1, yeah. I got it.” Cal smiled back. “I’m going to relax now, thanks for checking up on me, Uncle Johnny.”

“Yeah, sure no problem,” Johnny said as he made his way out of the room, and lit a cigarette. He stood outside on the porch of the ranch and watched as the palm trees sway in the wind at the end of his yard.

After a few moments, he sighed and sat down on the step as he stared into the shine of the stars before him, coating the void of darkness beneath, wondering to himself why he’d decided to take on the task of minding the two nephews that he hadn’t seen since their elementary school graduation day.

Although the scenery was amazing, he still missed Coconut Heights, which was a world away from the Desert Springs, the place he called home. Desert Springs was on the outskirts of Yuma, and somewhere between the Mexican border and Winterhaven.

Having good access to everywhere he ever needed to go.

He could drive for miles around the desert, without a care in the world, searching for something to conquer in the midnight sky. Being unmarried was great too. No dogs either, just concentration on his business, and the fruits that it brought.

Up until now.

The responsibility of his nephews was ready to test him through a fiery trial.



Many moons ago in Calexico, Diego decided that he was done with life.

Done with working the nine to five grind in the local coffee shop.

He was ready to live again and accomplish his dream. Of freedom and carefree living, rounding up horses ‘til his heart was content; riding in rodeos, chasing those wolves away from his prized cattle, and touring with his Indie band, Disillusioned Youth without the drawbacks of modern society.

He was a man of the land, not a concrete worrier.

Being a victim of the rat race was a death sentence to him. A slow and painful demise at the ruthless hands who controlled the cogs of society and who missed the days when he could just run around his Tio Fernando’s ranch like a manic and play with the horses. Throw a lasso at the cows. Have a nutritious lunch cooked by Tia Antonia without a care in the world.

Those long, hot summers were the best days of his life.

The golden years were ripe before he was shipped off to Calexico and forced to attend Imperial Valley College, instead of San Diego State.

Stuck in a dead-end job on an online course, working the daily grind in a noisy, busy hellhole coffee joint on the Main Street. Going around in circles. The customer complaints were worse than the stench in the staff bathrooms.

He swore that he overheard someone say that they were gonna go down to Mexicali for their coffee from now on. And that every joint in Calexico was subpar, and that he didn’t care how many border patrol checkpoints he had to cross to do so.

That same prick demanded a refund in both English and Spanish until Diego eventually decided that enough was enough and he fought with the customer.

Eventually, the man got a refund and Diego got a warning. Since it was his first offense, they decided to let him stay on, much to his chagrin.

The months passed and the workload got chaotic. Although he managed to graduate from his course in Imperial Valley, he couldn’t get the job in Computer Security that he wanted, so he was back at Hell Incorporated, looking for every excuse he could to sabotage his career:

“Why are you being a dick?” Henry asked him.

“What do you mean, ‘a dick’? I’ve always been like this.” Diego retorted as he finished cleaning the dregs out of the coffee machine.

“Well, why are you being a bigger dick than usual?”

“I want outta this place.”

“Then quit?”

Diego turned around to face Henry. “I can’t. I’ll have no way to pay the rent.”

Henry nodded. “Sure, but I know a guy who can help you out. His name’s Francisco, and–”

“–And what?” Diego added as he tied up the bag.

“You might be able to get an investment from him that could change your life.”

Diego nodded. “Guess I have nothing to lose.”

Henry smiled. “If you’re interested, come see me after work.

“I’ll think about it.”

After some gentle persuasion and the promise of free drinks, Henry brought Diego to a house on Rodney Avenue that belonged to a well-endowed man in his early 30s, who was adorned in chains, fine linen shirts, Ralph Lauren jeans, and fancy Italian leather shoes.

The music was thumping as the man greeted them, and led them into the living room, before disappearing into the open plan kitchen. Diego, dressed in a grey, short-sleeved shirt, and jeans looked at Henry and asked:

“Who is this guy?”

Henry laughed. “Francisco. This is his house, and we’re at his party.”

Diego nodded back as he went over to the table and poured himself some punch. “Okay, so why’s he being so nice if he’s a gangster?”

“He’s not a gangster,” another man added with a laugh as Diego looked up at him. He was tall, muscular, and wearing a white shirt tucked into his jeans, “just a businessman.”

“And how do you know this?”

The man stood beside Diego, and looked down at him drinking from a red cup. “I know many things.”

Diego glared. “I know that but how do you know many things? For all I know, this could be a bullshit ruse to make you seem more important than you are—”

“—Listen, Kid. I work around here, and I know what’s up. I know everything and everyone.”

“Oh? What about me?”

The man smirked. “You’re Diego Caballero. You work in that coffee shop that everyone hates. JC’s. You want to make more money, and you wanna tour with a band.”

Diego shook his head and stared at a smiling Henry. “You told him all this, didn’t you?”

Henry shook his head. “I promise I didn’t. I’ve never seen this guy before. I just know about Francisco.”

“Sure.” Diego folded his arms. “I don’t believe you.”

“I promise.”

The man just laughed. “I told you that I knew everything.”

“Whatever.” Diego finished his cup and set it down on the table again. “How do you actually know all this?”

“I told you. I know everything. I know you also wanna make more money. You don’t wanna be stuck in your dead-end job anymore.”

“Yeah, no shit.”

“And that your shoe size is six. Seven if they’re tight. You also scream your vocals. And it’s not bad.” The man winked. “Oh, and you still sleep talk.”

Diego just looked at him. “And so? I know how you can make more money.”

“Alright, how?” The man asked him. Diego pointed to Henry. “He knows?”

Diego smirked. “I thought you knew everything.”

The man glared back. “I know everything about people, not things. Not schemes, or plans.”

“Fair enough.” Diego nodded. “So, Henry are you gonna show us how to make money, or are we gonna stand around all night like misfit idiots?”

Henry pointed to his watch. “Wait, lemme finish this drink up first.”

It was an obnoxiously neon pink color. The kind that you wouldn’t even give your children on their best behavior. The bright yellow straw made it more annoying to look at in the light of the room.

Diego let out a groan. “Can’t you leave your drink here?”

Henry shook his head. “And let some dick spike it? No way.”

“Dude you have a straw and you’re still sipping through the straw. Come on.” Diego threw another straw into the drink. “Just chug it.”

They watched as Henry slurped the drink into him.

Diego sighed in relief as Henry set the cup down. He grabbed Henry by the arm and dragged him out of the room. The other man followed them.

Henry glared at Diego. “The hell did you do that for?”

“So you wouldn’t get distracted again.”

“Are you that impatient?” Henry chuckled. Diego shook his head.

“You hate the party that much?” The other man asked him.

Diego growled. “This is what I came for. Nothing else.”

Henry led them out to a dimly lit backroom. There was a leather chair, a table and a man sitting in the chair, smoking a cigar.

He wasn’t Francisco. His face was well defined and his skin was dark. He had a neon pink buzzcut and he was smirking at them.

He turned his chair right around and asked:

“Are you fools ready to make money?”

The Letdown

Marvin H. Rios

“Mr Rios, we’re ready to have you,” the receptionist said with a smile.

Marvin nodded back at her as he straightened the collar of his shirt and made sure that his jacket was comfortable. Staring down at his credit card, he let out a guffaw:

Marvin H Rios.

The H stood for Hasan, but that didn’t really matter–but neither did the Rios part, as far as he was concerned. It was just a name. Something to show his place in the world; a label, and nothing more or less.

Despite being well-educated, and well off, he’d never been to Ludhiana, or Guyana City, nor did he care to go there much to discover grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, or distant relatives. He enjoyed roaming around Angel Falls and the surrounding areas untamed, and without constraints. It was his homeland, after all.

His story began there, and it was likely to end there too.

For the past thirty-two years, the Southern Californian lifestyle had been good to him. The mountains and forests surrounding Angel Falls were his sanctuary. A hidden gem he could escape to during the weekends alone, and trek for hours on end without a care in the world, eating a picnic and reading interesting books.

Being able to live freely, without relationship constraints for the first time in nine years was having a positive impact on his mental health.

Waking up every morning made him smile; throwing on his white robe and having a coffee out on the balcony overlooking Angel Falls was a great way to start the day.

Basking in the silence and glory of the moment made him feel an inner peace that was contradictory to the chaos of his work.

Papers, cases, phone calls, meetings, meetings, paperwork and more cases.

It was a never-ending cycle that led to his social life becoming futile. He couldn’t remember the last time that he’d actually gone out on a date, went to surf on the beach, go shopping with Tati or just be able to have fun with someone else.

Although he was a loner by nature, the best moments in his life included his friends and family…

… and he could do with someone right now.

“Mr Rios, you’re looking to take out a 50-thousand-dollar loan?” Henry, the banker asked as Marvin nodded, “your records aren’t so great—”

“—You’re looking at the business account, aren’t you? Most of that was caused by my ex-partner, Adrian. I want to take out a personal loan.”

Henry nodded back, “Oh okay. I’m just gonna check your credit score—oh my you have a perfect score.”

“That’s ‘cause I never let Adrian near that account,” Marvin admitted with a nervous laugh.

“Was he really that bad?”

Marvin rolled his eyes, “Please, don’t even start me on that. We’ll be sleeping over here tonight.”

Henry smiled, and slipped a note across the desk, “Oh? Maybe we can arrange a drink later and chat about it.”

Marvin smiled and slipped the note into his pocket, “After we sort out this loan?”

“Oh yeah, so you’re going to pay back this loan over a year. And we just need to sign a couple of forms, Mr. Rios.”

“Ah, alright. Is that why you called me in here today?”

Henry nodded. “The OSS isn’t working. Hasn’t been working this week. I think we sent that in the email?”

Marvin nodded as Henry passed him the papers. “Thank you for confirming the details. Everything should be finalised, and the money put in your account by Friday.”

Marvin smiled. “I can’t wait.”

“I’m sure you can’t.”

Marvin finished signing the papers and went off on his merry way for the rest of the day doing various chores, organising his accounts, cooking food and rejoicing at the fact he was finally able to catch up on Grey’s Anatomy.

Slipping into his t-shirt and shorts, he flopped onto the sofa with a bag of chips and a beer. It was a long day, but he was glad to finally be able to relax and zone out for a while.

In the evenings, he loved nothing more than enjoying the silence alone, and letting his mind wander as he enjoyed the show.

Halfway through the second episode, his phone began to vibrate. Sighing, he checked his messages. One from Tati, notifying him that there was a party downtown at Raya tonight. It was a Freaky Friday one, and Andy Flow was going to be there alongside Felix Paku for a rap battle.

As enticing as that sounded, Marvin was sure that he’d decline. Before he’d hit send on his ‘no thank you…’ message, Tati sent another one, saying that the drinks were free.

She’s that desperate to get me out of the house? He thought to himself, as he deleted the message and wrote ‘Will Adrian be there?’:

Tati responded with a no.

Marvin: I might go if the drinks are free all night.

Tati: You might go? I was going to bring Josiah along too.

Marvin: Maybe.

Tati: … Come on, please? :confused:

Marvin: Okay, if Henry can go too.

Tati: Henry? :wink: Is he your body pillow?

Marvin: No. He’s some guy I met at the bank.

Tati: Sure. Just come around 8.

Eventually, they made their way to the bar. Picking up Henry in the middle of a traffic jam wasn’t the most ideal solution, but it was on the fastest route to Raya , and he wanted to get there before it was packed.

They’d managed to actually meet Andy Flow at the bar and get an autograph and selfie with him. Felix Paku wasn’t there (of course, he was bound to show up fashionably late).

Tati was sitting at a table near the front of the room, adorned in her finest jewellery coating her designer jacket, jeans and t-shirt. Beside her sat Pissy, dressed in his usual attire of a leather jacket, ripped jeans and a black t-shirt that he never seemed to take off.

Pissy stared at Henry and looked up at Marvin, asking: “Could you not have broken up with Adrian sooner? You look normal.”

Marvin glared back at him. “I can’t say the same about you. You still look like an undertaker.”

“I’m surprised you haven’t been one of my clients, Bitch. You’re a dead man walking.”

Marvin sighed as they sat down. “This is Christian, but we call him Pissy cause that’s what he is. The lovely lady’s Tati. I think they’re still a couple, no idea. They both have bad taste, clearly if they’re still together.”

“Says the man who got dressed in the dark.” Pissy added as he examined Marvin’s garishly bright yellow shirt, lined with a psychedelic purple pattern; he was also wearing purple denim shorts and greyish yellow sneakers. “Are you missing Adrian that much you’ve started wearing his clothes?”

“Shut up.” Marvin added through gritted teeth as he smiled at Henry. “Henry, what are you having to drink?”

Henry looked over at the menu glowing from the wall. “I’ll have the Daiquiri Supreme then.”

Marvin nodded. “What are you having, Pissy? Tati’s paying, remember?”

Tati glared. “Don’t get the most expensive one.”

“Alright, fine. I’ll get the Volcano Surprise. That’s the second most expensive.” Pissy smirked. “I want it on the rocks too.”

“Okay. And you, Marvin?”

“I’d like the strongest thing on the menu so that I can cope with this night.” Marvin smiled at her. Tati glared. “What? I need to forget about Adrian, and it’s hard to.”

“Okay, alright. Fine.” Tati sighed. “I’m so glad that I work as a marketer and not a therapist.”

“Me too.” Marvin mumbled as she got up. Pissy raised an eyebrow. “What? She burns food, and she drowns chicks by accident. She’s not exactly what I’d called motherly.”

Pissy nodded. “Fair enough. So, how’s life been since you’ve broken up? You actually smiled. It’s weird.”

“Yeah, it’s kinda relieving. I don’t have to wake up in the morning to a punch of unicorn energy.”

“Unicorn energy?” Henry looked at him and laughed. “Is he one of those guys?”

Marvin nodded. “Once I woke up at it was six am. Adrian was already up, and he’d made four batches of pink cupcakes. He was playing the cheesiest pop music, it was chaotic.”

“He made cupcakes for breakfast?”

“Yeah, and he ate his with hot sauce and then he made me try it too. It was actually kinda nice—and then this other time he got excited when we were buying art—and he tackled this guy who tried to take the art piece he wanted and the guy at the store gave him discount for his gusto.”

Henry burst out laughing. “For real?”

“For real. But he got so annoying toward the end of our relationship. He started playing with our finances and he blew the money, so he had this idea of starting a Fight Club, and that got him fired from the bar.”

“He was a lawyer too?” Henry asked.


“Wait, you’re them?”

“Were them, but yes. We were them up until Adrian screwed us over with his Fight Club Money Making scam. And he fucked up enough to let me know that he didn’t love me anymore and he couldn’t be trusted.”

“… Was I really that bad?” Adrian hissed as he stood beside Marvin with Rico. “At least I was trying to help the damn business.”

Which one is best?

  • Summertime Sorrow
  • The Many Moons Of Mexicali
  • The Letdown

0 voters


@SayWatt @FOLuke @J.L.O @NotARussianBot

And everyone else!!

Mostly because it shares it name with a radiohead song

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Oh? Haha did you not read it and compare them! :wink:

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I read them all. Letdown I liked most.

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Thanks. I’m glad you partook.

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Anyone. Else?

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hold on, read the last one. going up.

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The guy that knows everything about people seems interesting lmao. And it has a cool title I like.

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@sunlets Be our tiebreaker!





She will choose wisely. I have no doubt.

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What if they choose Summertime Sorrow? Lmao


I have more friends to call!




More opinions never hurt lol


I am gonna keep this open for 3 more hours.

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@48lexR Calling a friend!

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You have friends? :flushed:


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It’s closing at 3:00am. That’s 1h 22 mins for me.

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