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Hooves Are a Horse’s Glue

(But You Still Need a Nail for the Shoe)

A short story by

Luke Hartwell


Copyright © 2018 by Luke Hartwell

Watersgreen House

All rights reserved.

6" x 9" (15.24 x 22.86 cm) 

Black and white on white paper
ISBN-13: 978-1724213976

ISBN-10: 1724213970

BISAC: Fiction / Literary

BISAC: Fiction / Coming of Age

Cover model: Brad Davis

No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without prior written permission of both the copyright holder and the publisher. The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book via the Internet or any other means without permission of the publisher is illegal and punishable by law. Purchase only authorized electronic editions.

Watersgreen House is an independent international book publisher with editorial staff in the UK and USA. One of our aims at Watersgreen House is to showcase same-sex affection in works by important gay and bisexual authors in ways which were not possible at the time the books were originally published. We also publish nonfiction, including textbooks, as well as contemporary fiction that is literary, unusual, and provocative.

Watersgreen House, Publishers.

Printed by arrangement with CreateSpace, Columbia, SC.

Printing locations:

UK: Marston Gate.

USA: Columbia, SC; Lexington, KY, and Middletown, DE.

India: Mumbai.

Poland: Wroclaw.

Typeset in Georgia and Cambria.

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Fiction by Luke Hartwell

Atom Heart John Beloved

Baby Self Hate

Blue South


Four Walls and a Passion

Hooves Are a Horse’s Glue

(But You Still Need a Nail for the Shoe)

Love Underneath

Memory and Madness


Nothing Strikes Back!


Who You Are and Where You Come From

Publisher’s Note

Luke Hartwell has spent the past two years rewriting all of his previously published books. As his publisher, Watersgreen House has debated how to handle the new editions, which we believe to be universally better than the old. Industry guidelines suggest that for minor changes in fiction titles, a new edition labeled “revised” will suffice, but for major changes, the work needs a new title. We have deemed that the majority of Luke’s books need new titles. Here, we will offer guidance to those customers who have read the majority of Luke’s previously published work.

To begin, two early Hartwell works that were published not only under different titles but under a different name have been rewritten, given new titles, and added to Hartwell’s catalogue. This includes the book that remains his masterpiece, Memory and Madness, as well as his semi-autobiographical work Who You Are and Where You Come From. We believe the newly revised Memory and Madness is a must read, even for readers who have read the earlier version, which was titled Clicking Beat on the Brink of Nada in Europe and Cody in the U.S.A.

Hartwell’s other best-selling title, Atom Heart John Beloved, has retained its title even though Hartwell made some nice changes to the book. We simply love the title and didn’t want to lose it. Hartwell’s short stories “Michael” and “Nothing Strikes Back!” have also retained their titles as the revisions to them are not extensive, although both stories have been improved.

The two new titles we believe Hartwell readers will want to read again (or listen to, as several of his titles are now available in audiobook format, with more to come) are Love Underneath and Space. Although the opening chapters of Love Underneath will sound familiar to those who read Hartwell’s Locomotives in Winter, Love Underneath is not the same book. Hartwell has used the opening chapters of Locomotives as a base, but the opening section has been expanded, with a new character added, and the second part of the book, while maintaining some similarity to Locomotives, contains an enormous amount of new material and a very different ending, one which we think readers will applaud.

Hartwell also completely rewrote his novel Nathan’s Story to make it a stand-alone work not connected with Atom Heart John Beloved. The new work is titled Space and is available both as a single volume bearing that name and also as part of Hartwell’s collection of shorter fiction, Four Walls and a Passion. As with Love Underneath, the new book is much better than the old and contains a very powerful ending. With Love Underneath and Space, we feel readers will be missing a lot if they don’t experience the beautiful changes Hartwell has made to these books.

Two of Hartwell’s short stories also have been revised and given new titles. “Jimmy” is now “Blue South” and “Toller” is now “Baby Self Hate.” The revisions are nice but do not affect the plots of either book. They remain two of Hartwell’s best stories.

While working on all these revisions, Hartwell did write one completely new story titled “Hooves Are a Horse’s Glue (But You Still Need a Nail for the Shoe).” It is classic Hartwell. It is available as its own book and is also included in Four Walls and a Passion. A second collection of Hartwell’s shorter fiction, to be titled Desire and to include new material, is in the works. We hope you enjoy.

- Michael Wilson, Publisher

Watersgreen House

Hooves Are a Horse’s Glue

(But You Still Need a Nail for the Shoe)

Chapter One

His name was Yusuf, but everyone at school except for me and a girl named Dawn called him Joseph, or just Joe. I don’t remember him ever saying he was okay with being called Joe, but that was the inevitable progression after he invited everyone to call him Joseph. He was an exchange student from Turkey: dark hair worn short, dark eyes, medium build, good cheek bones, perfect teeth, cute ears, handsome neck, flat shoulders. When first I saw him, I was taken aback by his masculine beauty.

I live in a small town. Nothing goes on without the whole town knowing. I had grown up with all the kids in the school, except for those who had transferred in at some point, but their numbers were small. Our town was losing population, not gaining, and as the population dwindled, it seemed to me that everyone knew everyone else too well. Our senior class numbered sixty-three, or so I had thought until I entered my senior English class the first day of school. Who was this guy, and how could he appear at my high school without me knowing a new family had moved into town? But there he was, sitting alone on one side of the room about halfway down the row of desks. I had come in a little early myself to say hello to Mr. Clement, my favorite teacher, and to ask what he had done during the summer. Mr. Clement lived in the city and drove an hour each day to teach in our town. Maybe that’s why I liked him best. He knew more of the world than anyone local, and I liked learning from him and studying his ways. As he was talking to Yusuf when I entered the room, I didn’t interrupt to greet him loudly and warmly the way I had planned. I walked in, saw that he was talking to someone, looked to see who had beat me into class, and there he was, a young Bithynion. I couldn’t believe my eyes.

As I stared at the new kid, Mr. Clement wrapped up whatever it was he had been saying to Yusuf and gave me the hearty greeting I had planned for him.

“Brody! Welcome! How was your summer?”

“I had a good time,” I answered. “Worked all summer but played a lot too. Spent a lot of time at the lake. How about you?”

“Went to England,” Mr. Clement replied. “I’ve always wanted to go. I finally went!”

No shi-, um, no kidding? Really?” I was impressed. “What was it like?”

“Too much to tell! Sit with me at lunch and I’ll tell you all about it.”

“Alright! I will!”

That was one of the great things about Mr. Clement. He rarely ate lunch at the teachers’ table. He preferred to sit with students and catch up on our lives, learn the things one can’t learn in front of a classroom. But he did it in a cool way, without intrusion. We knew he did it because he liked us, so we liked him. At least most of us did. There were some rumors that he was gay, and that was enough to keep some guys from being totally thrilled with him. Assholes. Most of us didn’t care if the rumors were true or not. We just liked the man.

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