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The Secret Lemonade Drinker

By Guy Bellamy

It is Christmas time in a small, modern, utterly featureless town somewhere in the Home Counties, where Bobby Booth lives.

The main preoccupations of its inhabitants are drink – at the pub generally known as the Planet of the Apes because it is frequented by so many long-haired young men – and gossip, which at Bobby’s closest friend Roland’s Christmas party turns into violence…

Bobby manages a launderette for Roland, who is gross, periodically rich and a man without illusions. Previously Bobby was a schoolteacher whose class was interrupted one fateful day by slim, blonde journalist, Caroline. Despite Roland’s warning – he believes in sex, not marriage – Bobby marries her.

One evening an attractive brunette wanders into the launderette. It is her second visit, and in no time she has dragged Bobby into bed. Sometime before, Bobby has been pronounced sterile. Caroline wants a baby – a baby by a real man, even if it is a milkman. The temptation to yield irrevocably to the charms of the brunette grows powerfully in Bobby. But will he be able to resist?

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