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Masked Identities

Masked Identities

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Masked Identities

100 pages
1 hour
Feb 25, 2019


Brooke thought she had read every book in Grandad's collection of fiction until she stumbles upon an unfamiliar title. Curious, she delves into the book, realizing her relationship with her boyfriend of four years parallels the story she is reading of Ezra and Christian. Can a Victorian tale of forbidden love between two men provide the answers to salvage her floundering relationship?

This unusual story is a period tale wrapped inside of a contemporary storyline. The interior tale follows the relationship of two men in 1890 Victorian London, the outer story follows Brooke and Chase in upstate New York in the present day setting. The manuscript crosses genre specific lines; gay/hetero and period/contemporary. Definitely not a traditional run-of-the-mill read, but a journey into alternative fiction.

Feb 25, 2019

About the author

Dale Thele's life has been a lengthy series of compulsions strung together by atrocious acts of stupidity due to boredom. After raising heck in a sleepy oil town in north-central Oklahoma for 18 years, he then ventured to Oklahoma City University on a quest for higher education. He quickly learned “higher” education meant to “elevate” one's mind with the aid of either a reefer or a bong, and ample amounts of alcohol. Destiny dragged Dale to Austin, Texas, where he lives vicariously through the fictional characters he congers up, and the far-fetched adventures he writes.Dale began writing in 2008, influenced by authors like Timothy James Beck, Mark Kendrick, Michael Thomas Ford, and Bryan Healey. Dale pens works of fiction which often includes an LGBT character or two.

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Masked Identities - Dale Thele


Dale Thele


Smashwords Edition

Published by Dale Thele

ISBN 9780463294338

Copyright © 2019 Dale Thele

This novella is a fictionalized story. All incidents, dialogue, and characters except for events and locations are products of the author’s imagination and are not to be construed as real. Where real-life locations, businesses, and events appear, the situations, incidents, and dialogues are entirely fictional and are not intended to depict actual events or to change the entirely fictional nature of the work. In all other respects, any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

All Rights Reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.

Revised on February 28, 2021 to include the short story entitled: Masked Identities – The Reveal, an added short story which completes the Ezra & Christian interior story from Masked Identities.

Information about Dale Thele may be found

on the author’s official website:

❖ ❖ ❖


This fictional work incorporates a period tale bundled within a contemporary story. The interior narrative takes place from April 11-12, 1890; including actual events, locations, and institutions from 1889 to 1890 Victorian London. The author attempted to portray historical details as accurately as possible. However, recorded data collected from archived documents contained inconsistencies and incompleteness. The exterior story takes place in present time.

Included at the end of this manuscript is a Glossary of Victorian Terms used in the interior narrative along with documented facts which provide brief historical backstory.

❖ ❖ ❖

In Memory of

Edward Alvin Hall, Jr.

aka J R Edwards

June 5, 1965 ~ June 8, 2003

❖ ❖ ❖


Writing a book is much harder than it may appear, yet more rewarding than I could have ever imagined. None of this would have been possible without my best gal-pal and number one fan, Gwen Kingery. She has been by my side through way too many struggles and good times as well. That is true friendship.

I’m eternally grateful to Rena Cochran Fuhr, who not only Beta Read an earlier version but also edited this manuscript. I am so very grateful to you for turning my mess of jumbled words into something somewhat readable.

To T. Lynne who put up with me in high school drama club. I put her through hell, but we won at the State Competition. Thank you, Lynne, for Beta Reading and being in my life.

A very special thanks to Coleen Klatt who bakes scrumptious homemade cookies and also served as another set of eyes during the Beta Read process.

To a very special friend, who, unfortunately is no longer with us, Edward Alvin Hall, Jr. Thank you for teaching me that nothing is impossible if you only believe in yourself.

Also, a mega-huge shout out to the Royal Historical Society, London, England for validating the historical details of the interior story. Thank you!!!

Finally, to all those who have been a part of this journey, the list could go on and on. The saying really is true: No man is an Island. I’m so grateful for each one of you.

Lastly, but the most important acknowledgment goes out to YOU, the person reading this book. Without YOU, there would not be a Masked Identities. I don’t care if you hate it or love it, what matters most to me is that you voluntarily invested your precious personal time to read my words. Thank you.

❖ ❖ ❖

"To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day,

thou canst not then be false to any man."

William Shakespeare

She vaults into the car, then reels back to him. Go to hell, she spits like projectile vomit, slamming the driver’s side door shut.

Banging his fists against the roof of the rain-slick automobile, Brooke, talk to me.

Tires squeal as the engine races into reverse. Jumping out of the path of the flying vehicle, he punches at the car. Dammit, Brooke.

Spraying rain in its wake, the Lexus fishtails through and out of the parking lot.

His silhouette grows smaller in the reflection of the rear-view mirror. Blinking back heated tears, a rage-storm brews inside her.

* * *

Haunted by the previous evening’s events, she could not shake the feeling she had pushed him away, possibly, forever. He had always been sweet and kind to her, but at times he could infuriate her to no end, like last evening. She needed to get away, take time to cool off, to figure out what she truly wanted.

White knuckles grasp the steering wheel as she navigates the ribbon of two-lane asphalt. The cerulean blue Lexus speeds past stately homes with sprawling manicured lawns while meandering through rich autumn foliage. Brooke, a freshman attending Bard College, put miles between her world of academia and her troubles. Or so she thinks as she approaches her destination.

Tires screech as she makes an abrupt turn into a circular drive and parks in front of a Tudor-style mansion. This is not her home, but it is as comforting as if she belongs. Switching off the ignition, Brooke pokes through a designer purse to retrieve a cell phone. She checks for missed calls and text messages, there are none. This is the first morning she had not received a text from him since they had begun dating. Every morning, like clockwork, he texted her. Not till this moment did she realize how she had taken the texts for granted. She missed getting those three words on her phone: I Love You. She wipes moist eyes then drops the phone into the bag.

Climbing from the car, she steps into the crisp autumn air smelling of cedar and chrysanthemums. A dull overcast sky does not promise rain only a subdued late morning light lacking the brilliance to cast shadows. A canopy of tree boughs of burnt-orange and amber hover overhead. Dried leaves crunch beneath her tennis shoes against the distressed brick path edged with crimson and white mums.

A sense of calm falls over her, knowing this place is the ideal escape after last nights ordeal with her high school sweetheart, Chase. She punches the doorbell shifting from one foot to another a cold shudder slithers up her spine. How will she explain to her grandparents the unannounced visit without revealing the fight she had had with Chase?

There is no answer.

Relieved, she retrieves the hidden key tucked in the mailbox, undoes the latch, then goes inside.

The familiarity of her grandparent’s home wraps her like a warm, cozy blanket on a chilly night. Cinnamon and apple potpourri waft in the air. Thick silence heightens the mechanical tick...tock... of the grandfather clock in the entry. The interior has scarcely changed over the years. Rubber-soled shoes squeak against a gleaming parquet floor as she moves through the lavish Victorian decorated parlor. There

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