Connected is a story about sexual awakenings and innocent love, of cruelty and desperation, of degradation and despair. It’s a gay love story and much more, a political thriller with a controversial message that addresses a number of topics some may find objectionable. The story takes place over a five year period in an America that never was, but an America that may seem all too familiar in many ways.

Connected takes place at a time of national turmoil in the United States. Overseas, American military forces are bogged down in a faraway Asian country struggling to suppress a low-level insurgency against a corrupt and brutal government. Back home, prejudice against homosexuals is rampant and the gay revolution in America is still in its relative infancy. Within this context, the lives of four young men unfold as each struggles to address the challenges he faces in life.

In Part I (Chapters 1 thru 13) you will meet two youths. Nolan is a sixteen year old from New York City about to enter his senior year at an exclusive private high school in the city. While resigned to being homosexual, he is determined to keep it hidden from his parents and classmates. Bookish, bright and cute, Nolan doesn’t have any real friends. Then his plans for the last month of summer vacation before his senior year are seemingly ruined when his parents force him to spend it with them on a farm in Vermont.

Josh is a popular seventeen year old athlete whose father is dead and whose mother runs a bed and breakfast at the small farm they live on in Vermont. Too poor to afford college, Josh is desperately hoping to win an athletic scholarship so he can escape the farm and life in a small rural community. The arrival of Nolan awakens long suppressed feelings that Josh struggles to understand and cope with.

Part II (Chapters 14 thru 23) continues the story begun in Part I as Nolan and Josh struggle to maintain their friendship during their senior year in high schools located hundreds of miles apart. It also introduces a third character, Tommy, a fourteen year old high school sophomore from a family that is poor, abusive and dysfunctional. As school reopens, Tommy becomes the subject of gossip and spends most of his sophomore year being taunted and abused.

Part III (Chapters 24 thru 31) continues Tommy’s story, a tale that leaves him emotionally damaged and distrustful of just about everyone five years on. It also introduces Andy, the final major character of the story.

Andy works on Capitol Hill where he is fighting to cut off funding for the Asian war America has become entangled in. He is a thirty year old living in fear of a youthful secret and trying to rebound from a brief but intense relationship with Jesse, an eighteen year old soldier troubled by an even darker memory. Alone, unhappy and frustrated sexually, Andy is struggling to find something of value to hold on to in his personal life.

In Parts IV (Chapters 32 thru 51) and V (Chapters 51 and 52) the lives of these four young men become increasingly connected as the story progresses over time and a showdown over funding for the war comes to a head in the U.S. House of Representatives.

In the end, Connected is a story about virtue and vice, public and private, a political tale that takes place in a time of national upheaval and a place where everything is changing and nothing can be taken for granted. To the extent the youthful characters come to grips with the challenges they face at different points in their lives, it may be in ways that prove surprising or troubling.

Warning: While sexual content is not its primary focus, this story is intended for mature audiences only since it includes scenes that depict sex and violence. If you do not wish to read such material or it is illegal for you to do so, please look elsewhere.

This story remains the property of the author and may not be reproduced in any form without written permission. It is protected by the copyright laws of the United States and other countries. You may download a single copy to read offline and to share with others as long as you credit me as the author, but you may not use this work for commercial purposes. You may not use any of the characters, bars or other fictional locations described in the story in your own work without my explicit permission. Nor may you use, alter, transform, or build upon this story in any way.

Notice: Any resemblance to any person living or dead is purely coincidental. Some events, locations and features in this story have been moved forward or back in time for dramatic and other purposes. Italics are typically used to indicate what a character is thinking or saying to himself.

Book Cover: Although I have no plans to e-publish the story at this time, I created the graphic above as a possible cover should there be any interest in having me do so. I have minimal talents, skills and abilities as a blogger and even less as a graphic artist. If you think you can come up with something better, feel free to e-mail me and let’s talk about it.

Please help me out: In an effort to keep this page focused solely on the synopsis itself rather than an extended discussion of the story, please do not post comments here. If you have a question about the synopsis or the story as a whole, feel free to e-mail me directly. If you have a question or a comment about an individual chapter (or that an individual chapter raises about the story as a whole), please comment following the appropriate chapter over at the Annex. If you have a question or comment about any of my postings on the main part of the blog, please post them immediately following the posting over there. Thanks.

Read Chapter 1 of Connected