The Pellegrine

Soul Lark

II. Memories – Chapter 3
Martin (part i)

© The author reserves all rights to this work.


This story is of an adult nature. It is not intended for minors nor for those whose law in their land forbids them to read this material.
This story is entirely fictional. Any resemblance to actual people is purely coincidental and unintentional.

NB: Words found between asterisks (*) refer to words exchanged in psychic or telepathic communication.

Date: 30 April 2661, Tuesday

Jorg was watching a rerun of the very first Star Trek series. He had started collecting copies of the television show when he had first heard of them from his grandfather. Jorg used to sit next to his grandfather and listen to some of the funny stories from this twentieth century science-fiction show. His grandfather used to tell him that it was downright comedy. When he got a little older, he had done some research and found that it was a cult show at the time. His curiosity piqued, he started collecting copies of the series as well as other science fiction and fantasy films. It was when he was an adult that he had the resources to get many of what made up his entertainment collection.

His personal communicator sounded. Jorg stretched out his hand and retrieved the communicator.

“Yes? Jorg here.”

“Jorg. This is Miriam.”

“Yes Miriam?”

“There has been a little problem with the case I’m handling. I hope that you could help me.”

“I’m at your service.”

“Could I send the information to you in our special way?”

“Is it very sensitive?”

“It’s rather complicated. If I sent it by the normal way, it might take a while to read and understand the situation,” Miriam explained. ”It concerns Erik Letkens.”

That name jolted Jorg. Erik Letkens was a great nephew: Per’s son. ”Yes, most certainly Miriam. We’ll terminate our communicators and I’ll be waiting almost immediately. Please take your time to send. A clear mind without stress makes it easier to receive and comprehend.”

“I understand. Bye for now.”


Jorg shut off his communicator. He turned to his display where he was watching the antique show and said into a small microphone situated there, ”Jemma, absolute privacy is needed.”

“Understood Jorg,” came the reply.

Jorg sat down and relaxed. He closed his eyes. After a few moments he opened his eyes again. This time there was a little more mental activity behind those blue eyes of his. He turned to the microphone again and said, ”Jemma, need for absolute privacy ceased.”

“Yes Jorg. No messages or calls during that time.”

Jorg nodded although Jemma was not able to interpret his gesture. He turned instinctively to his shelf of personal items on his right. He always did this when he was troubled. Per Letkens was one of the few grandnephews who still acknowledged him. Erik, Per’s son, was in trouble. Jorg sighed and his eyes landed on a small crystal case with a gold wedding band embedded in it. It was a reminder of his first love: Martin.

♠ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ♠

Date: 18 February 2078, Friday

Jorg was feeling empty. He had resigned from the Rescuers and was living with his maternal grandparents.

“Could you please help me?” a voice came out from behind him.

He turned around. Jorg saw a pleasant face. His eyes were drawn to the deep brown eyes that belonged to the face. He paused, losing himself in the eyes. Then he caught the man’s thoughts. God! He has such beautiful eyes!

That brought Jorg out of his semi-trance. “Uh … uh … I’m sorry. What can I do for you?” asked Jorg.

Jorg did not hear anything from the man at first. He caught his thoughts instead: He has such an attractive voice, not too high and not too much bass …

Jorg smiled and asked, “You must be new around these parts. Do you need some directions?”

“Yes. I need to know how to get to the Norag farm,” replied the man.

Jorg found his cheeks getting warm when he caught the man’s thoughts yet again. He has such a cute smile.

Jorg realised then that the man’s destination was not easy to locate and offered to bring the man there. However, the man insisted on helping Jorg to complete his errand first. Jorg learned the man’s name: Martin Rohm.

Jorg also learned that Martin was an interior decorator. The Norags were thinking of selling off their property and so wanted to do something to increase its value. Martin’s proposal was accepted and he ended up supervising the project for several months.

♥ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ♥

Date: 2 March 2078, Wednesday

“Why don’t you ask him out?” asked old Mr. Krueger.

“I don’t know,” Jorg replied. “He’s from the city and he isn’t a magus.”

Old Mr. Krueger laughed. “That’s the lamest excuse I’ve ever heard.”

“Now, dear,” said Mrs. Krueger, coming to Jorg’s defence. “He’s trying very hard to be objective. You aren’t helping him.”

“Jorg, you just have to go out with the guy,” said Mr. Krueger, trying to disregard his wife’s intervention. “I didn’t ask you to get down on one knee and propose. Go out and enjoy a night out. No strings attached … that kind of thing.”

“On this point, I agree with your grandfather, Jorg,” said Mrs. Krueger. “Go out as friends. You’re both friends, right?”

“That’s where the trouble lies. Being normal, he doesn’t know how not to project his thoughts. I get his thoughts so very quickly. I know he’s interested in me because I can catch his every thought!” said a distressed Jorg. “I am always on my guard so that I won’t say something I shouldn’t. How am I going to enjoy a night out with him?”

“That’s easily done, Jorg,” said his grandmother. “You do that all the time when you’re in a crowd: Filter out his thoughts.”

“But I need to be able to sense his reactions …” began Jorg.

“So you mean you want to know his thoughts but you also don’t want to know his thoughts at the same time,” chuckled his grandfather. “That makes perfect sense. You want everything perfect. You want to please him perfectly. Nothing should go wrong. So you need to know his reactions. Yet you are stressed out because you cannot slip and tell him what he wants before he makes his reaction known to you …&rdquo teased Mr. Krueger.

“Stop teasing him!” chided Mrs. Krueger. “I understand now,” she said to Jorg. “You really like him, don’t you?”

Jorg nodded.

“Jorg,” began Mrs. Krueger, “You’ve got to let go. Take the plunge into the unknown. Take the risk. If you aren’t going to let a little mystery into the relationship, it’ll be a very frustrating experience. There’ll be no surprises and no joy.”

“But what if I make a mistake and things turn out badly?” asked Jorg.

“Every relationship has its ups and downs, Jorg. If the both of you can’t click together at all, then the relationship wasn’t meant to be,” answered Mr. Krueger gently. “Fretting like you do now isn’t going to even start the relationship. If a relationship results, all your magi powers aren’t going to make it a smooth sailing one. Both of you will need to work at the relationship.”

“If anything,” continued Mrs. Krueger, “Using your magi powers is going to cause more harm to the relationship. You’ll need to talk and communicate on equal terms. Knowing what he’s going to say or do won’t help communication because youo’ll always be in control of the situation, leaving him feeling frustrated. Trust me, Jorg. filtering is best. Your grandfather and I have our own special psychic communication but we don’t invade each other’s thoughts. We don’t second guess each other. We communicate on equal terms.”

“You do know how to filter his thoughts, right?” asked Mr. Krueger.

“Of course I do!” laughed Jorg because he knew that mischievious look in his grandfather’s eyes. “I was in the Rescuer Corps Training School and I learnt how to filter thoughts.”

“Then get to it and call him!” said Mr. Krueger and his wife together, which prompted the three of them to laugh.

♥ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ♥

Date: 7 May 2078, Saturday

The dark clouds in the sky heralded the coming rain. Jorg would remember that day for the rest of his life. The days were getting longer and longer as the summer months approached. The weather had been getting less and less predictable due to the amount of pollution great industrial nations were pouring into the atmosphere. The crop of early spring melons were doing very well. Jorg and Mr. Krueger had agreed that all the crop needed was one more week and they could harvest. The dark clouds was an omnious sign. The melons were juicy and sweet. A sudden heavy downpour could ruin their quality. The fruits might become more juicy but less sweet.

Jorg cursed under his breath when he got up in the morning. He would have to harvest the melons earlier and allow them to ripen in the barn instead. This was not the ideal. He would have to inform his grandfather, of course, but his grandfather was asleep. Jorg hated to wake up his grandfather with just thirty minutes left before his normal waking time. Even though Mr. Krueger had left the management of the farm to Jorg, he appreciated the gesture that Jorg made in informing or consulting him before embarking on any major activity. Jorg was also aware of Mr. Krueger’s failing health. That was why he was of two minds whether to wake his grandfather.

Fortunately, the clouds seemed far away yet. It might not rain for a few more hours. The branches of the nearby trees were not swaying violently. The wind might not be picking up yet, but with the environment being so adversely affected by pollution, it was almost impossible to predict when the rains would come.

He did not have to make any decisions. He heard a loud knocking at the door.

“Jorg! Wake up!” It was his grandmother and her voice had signs of panic and dread.

Jorg leapt out of bed and put on his dressing gown. He opened the door. His grandmother was shaking.

“Jorg … your grandfather … he’s cold!” she said. Jorg could tell that she was having some trouble controlling herself.

Jorg moved quickly to his grandparents’ bedroom. His hand reached for his grandfather’s arm and his mind reached into his grandfather’s body. The arm felt cold and stiff, and he could not detect any heartbeat. Jorg’s own heart rate increased when he realised his grandfather was dead. Instinctively, his mind reached out for his mother in another part of the country.

* Mom, are you awake? *

* I am, now.* His mother’s mental voice entered his mind. She instantly detected Jorg’s emotional state. * What’s wrong? *

* It’s Grandpa. *

Gertrude Vengrom-Krueger appeared almost immediately. She was still in her night-gown. She did what Jorg had done a few moments ago. Then she turned to Jorg and said softly, “Look after Grandma. I’ll make the arrangements for him. Don’t worry.“ Then she left as silently as she came.

Jorg found his grandmother in the kitchen. Without exchanging a word, Jorg hugged her and they wept together.

♠ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ♠

Date: 10 May 2078, Tuesday

The funeral was held on Monday. Jorg met many of his relatives for the first time. Sven and Eva were also present. He was grateful for their presence. For the first time since the wedding, Jorg was not adversely affected when he saw Sven and Eva together. Perhaps it was the fact that he had finally accepted the possibility of being with Martin. It was a Magi funeral and so Martin was not present. Jorg had explained that his grandfather only wanted close relatives present. Although there were about a hundred people at the funeral, enough magi illusions were cast to make it look like only twenty-five. However, there was a memorial service in a small chapel the next day. Martin had promised Jorg to be there.

The memorial service was for the benefit of the normal human farming community. Although the Kruegers had to keep their magi identities as a secret, they did not isolate themselves from the farming community. Through clever magi manuoevring, the couple had lived on the farm through two human generations.

“Thank you for coming,” said Jorg to Martin at the end of the service. Martin had waited for most of the people to leave before approaching Jorg. Only the Vengroms and Mrs. Krueger were left in the small chapel.

“Hey,” said Martin, noticing that Jorg was trying very much to control his emotions. “Your grandfather was a very great guy. I’ve only known him for a few months but he made quite an impression on me. It’s only right that I pay my last respects.”

“He would’ve been very happy to hear that,” replied Jorg.

The two men were speaking quietly to each other without touching. Martin knew that Jorg’s father, Lars, was not aware of their relationship.

“I’ll see you later,” suggested Martin.

“Grandma wouldn’t mind some company tomorrow for supper. The house will seem strangely empty after tonight,” suggested Jorg.

“Tomorrow night, then,” replied Martin. Then he left the chapel.

“Who’s that guy?” asked Ivar when Martin had left.

“Martin,” replied Jorg. “He’s the architect whose renovating the Norags’ farm.”

Mrs. Krueger came up and asked Jorg, “Why don’t you ask Martin up for supper tomorrow?” Jorg felt a panic rising from within him. It quickly passed when his grandmother added, “I’d like to carry on with the proposed repairs that your grandfather wanted.”

“Really Grandma,” protested Ivar, “Do you think that’s wise? You can’t manage the farm on your own.”

“Your grandfather wanted Jorg to take over the farm. He’s been doing a great job so far.”

“Jorg, you know how Dad wants you to go back to the Corps?” countered Ivar.

Jorg paused. He wanted very much to please his father but he was utterly miserable after Sven’s marriage. He had to get out because he was very depressed. He’s managed to get over Sven, mostly due to Martin. If he went back to the Corps, it would mean that he would have to give up Martin. That thought horrified him.

“Ivar,” he said, “Grandma needs me right now. I can’t abandon her. I need to do this now, Ivar. I can still go back to the Corps later. This is more important for me now.”

Ivar mumbled something about wasting his talent and about being a faggot. Mrs. Krueger heard him and was about to admonish him but Jorg pulled her back

* Leave him be Grandma. He’s still young.* Then speaking aloud he said, “Come Grandma, I’d like to get back and check on the melons.”

They proceeded to where the family was. Jorg and his grandmother said their farewells to the Vengroms. Everyone responded except Lars and Ivar. Lars was still very sore over his son’s leaving the Rescuer Corps. Ivar was looking at Jorg in a very perculiar way. Marie was polite but the two younger siblings, Yanek and Sheila, hugged Jorg and asked that he come back to see them. Gertrude also gave her son and mother hugs and told Jorg to look after his grandmother.

* You’re too soft with him,* Gertrude communicated to Jorg when she hugged him. Evidently, she must have witnessed the whole event or Mrs. Krueger had told on Ivar.

* He’s my brother. I can’t scold him for believing in the truth, can I?* Jorg responded.

“O Jorg,” she said aloud with a sigh. “We do miss you so. After the harvest, let the land fallow for a week and come visit with Grandma.”

“All right,” answered Jorg with a smile. A return home would be nice provided his father and Ivar would give him some breathing space. He remembered the tough time he had before coming out to the Krueger farm.

♣ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ♣

Date: 21 April 2080, Sunday

It was in the early spring evening that Martin proposed to Jorg. This surprised Jorg greatly. Martin had gone back to Stockholm after the works at the Norags’ farm were finished. He came back on weekends to help renovate the Kruegers’ farm. Unlike the Norag project, Martin did all the work himself. Jorg helped him out, of course. Almost the whole of the summer and autumn was spent this way. Finally in September, the renovations were done.

Mrs. Krueger found Martin Rohm a pleasant fellow, a little on the excitable side but with a very kind and gentle heart. She found out that his parents and brother had died in an accident several years before. He had been very affected by their deaths but found his work therapeutic. He was exceptionally patient with elderly folk who needed his services. He had a married sister who lived in the German Republic and saw her only at Christmas. Mrs. Krueger could see that Martin was attracted to Jorg and that Jorg reciprocated.

She saw how Jorg had changed. When he first came to stay at the farm, he was often quiet and brooding. He worked very hard, trying to forget the heartache he experienced when Sven got married. When Martin came into his life, he worked with a certain zest that was not seen before. His already cheerful demeanour would become stronger as the weekend approached. Mrs. Krueger was especially thankful that Jorg did not forget about her even when Martin was around. She could see the devotion Jorg had for her and that he managed to get Martin to attend to her as well.

Mrs. Krueger found it very amusing to see how Martin tried to find excuses just to drop in when he had finished with the renovations. Even when he had run out of excuses, he would simply say that he was “in the neighbourhood.” He only stopped giving excuses when Mrs. Krueger told him, in as serious a tone she could, that he had no need to give a reason because he was expected to come every weekend. She had even endured the journey up to Stockholm several times, just so that Jorg could visit Martin when his work had too much demands of him.

Christmas had been a more dismal time. Martin had to make his obligatory trip to Wurzen, where his sister lived. Jorg brought Mrs. Krueger to his parents’ place. Lars was still brooding over Jorg’s failure. Gertrude had already said all she had to say and was unable to change her husband’s mind. Although she knew (through maternal instinct) that her son was gay, she kept it to herself. That was the last thing Lars needed to know. It seemed that even Marie, who was the brightest of the family, had taken her father’s side and was not speaking to Jorg. Mrs. Krueger could see that Jorg had a miserable time. When she had suggested going back after Boxing Day, Jorg disagreed, saying that Yanek and Sheila also had the right to enjoy his company. So, although he was personally affected by his father and his two younger siblings, he kept a strong front. Whenever he was with Yanek and Sheila, he ignored his own feelings. Mrs. Krueger and Jorg stayed on for ten days and only left after the new year.

Jorg had walked Martin to the train station and had just walked into the living room. Mrs. Krueger could see that something was bothering her grandson. She wished her husband were with her. He had been good with getting Jorg to open up. He had the tact and the charisma to put Jorg at ease. Mrs. Krueger also knew that she could not let Jorg fester in this double emotion for too long. He would definitely end up making the wrong decision.

“Jorg, is there something bothering you?” she asked.

Jorg gave her the expected answer, “No, Grandma.”

“You usually come back from the station looking contented. Today there’s a dark cloud hanging over your head. Please don’t try to bluff a woman who has lived many more years than you.”

Jorg almost never lied to his elders. Many years ago, he lied to his mother regarding Sven and he had remembered that breach of trust since then. His mother eventually told him that she knew and that she orchestrated the meeting between Sven and him. He neither wanted to burden his grandmother with his problems nor lie to her. So he kept silent.

“Hmmm … You had a cheerful look in your eye when you walked in. That meant that something good had happened. Then you walked in and your shoulders drooped, which meant that you noticed something to mar the joy you had. Let me see … You saw your family’s picture on the wall as you walked in. Normally that wouldn’t cause you any worry except the fact that your father doesn’t approve of gay people. I can take it that that was what caused you to be sad. If he had found out that you were gay, you would’ve been jumpy the moment you walked in. I can eliminate that as a reason for your moodiness. However, it must still be something to do with you being gay as you had just come back from the station with Martin. Therefore, it must have been something Martin said to you that gave you both joy and trouble. It can’t be that he loves you because that’s as plain as day. It must be something that will highlight the fact that you’re gay and make it more likely that your father will discover that fact. I can think of no other thing than that Martin had proposed to you.”

Jorg looked at his grandmother in amazement and then frowned. “You’ve been picking up his thoughts, haven’t you?”

Mrs. Krueger grinned a little. “I didn’t catch his thoughts. My magi powers are almost gone, but I did catch his nervousness just after dinner. I also caught him repeating to himself how to propose to you.” Then, with some seriousness, she continued, “I’m not so far gone that I can’t fathom why you’re so troubled. Your father will find out about your relationship with him and you fear the consequences.”

“I can take the silent treatment and all that,” replied Jorg. “I’m just worried. I don’t know how much his hatred will be. Will he do something to Martin? If he does, not only will I lose Martin, I’ll be the cause of my father’s disgrace. I know I can’t accept Martin’s proposal.”

“Jorg,” said Mrs. Krueger with a sigh. “Your father’s hatred is his problem, not yours. How can you carry everybody’s problems on your shoulders? You should also give your father more credit than that. He’s a dedicated Rescuer. He’ll never forsake his responsibility of protecting humanity.”

Just then Jorg felt his mother near him. He turned to see her placing her hand on his shoulder. “Grandma told me to come,” she explained. “I heard what you had said and it’s typical of you to think that way. You must’ve filtered his thoughts because all of us caught his thoughts during Grandpa’s service. Your father knows about his feelings towards you. He doesn’t know about you although I think he suspects. Why do you think that Ivar had mumbled what he did that night?”

“Then you agree with me that I shouldn’t accept his proposal?” asked Jorg.

“I didn’t say that, Jorg,” said Gertrude. “You’ve got to make a decision. On one hand, you’ve got Martin, in his mid-30s, who has found a marvellous person in you. You’ve responded to his love and he’s plucked up the courage to propose to you. In some way you’ve liberated him from his shell. You’re his first real relationship. If you turn him away, he might end up feeling broken and he won’t dare to start another relationship until he’s in his forties. On the other hand, you’ve your father who will never change his attitude towards gays. He’s already stopped speaking to you because you’d left the Rescuers. Keeping your secret from him isn’t going to change him. It’ll be a matter of time that he finds out. I know you love him very much, but I doubt that the love you have for him is going to change his attitude.”

Gertrude paused for some moments before continuing, “If you choose your father, you’ll have to forget Martin. You’ll have to cut him off entirely. You may need to enlist some help to find him another person to love, failing which, you’ll live with the knowledge that you could’ve made him very happy.”

“If you choose Martin, you’ll have to face your father. Tell him before speaking to Martin. You’ll live with the fact that your father will be disappointed in you because you didn’t fit his ideal. I must add that you’ve already disappointed him because he wants you to be the Rescuer that he wasn’t. I’m not particularly proud of that trait of his but being his wife, I still love him. Either way, Jorg, I’ll be hurt.” When Jorg opened his mouth to ask for further advice, Gertrude said, “Please don’t ask me what I think you should do. I can’t. I can’t tell you how to choose. I can only give you the choices and how you might act within the choices but it’s only you who can make that decision.”

Jorg only took one day to reach his decision.

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