The Match Boy and the Inventor (eBook) - A Once Upon a Future Story

111 pages | eBook | 6x9"
Date of publication: 04/25/2016
  • ISBN: 978-1-943528-43-1
  • Model: 20918 words

Fireborn Publishing Main Page

Heat Rating: 2 Flame


A familiar tale, with a twist. Vern is a penniless matchboy, rescued by Oren, an inventor. Can Vern win Oren's heart with a specially crafted gift?

A familiar tale with a twist. Vern's life as a poor matchboy is hard and cruel. Starving and freezing, he loses consciousness, and when he awakens, thinks he must have died and gone to heaven.

Instead, he finds he's been rescued by Oren, a doctor and inventor, who lives with his sister and brother-in-law.

Each man is attracted to the other, but both fear to speak of the attraction thinking it would be misinterpreted--especially when a friend of Oren's seeks to keep the couple apart.

But Vern has a plan. He crafts a gift for Oren, intended to reveal his heart in a way he's unable to put into words.

Will the matchboy's gift win the heart of the inventor?

CONTENT ADVISORY: This is an extensively re-edited and expanded re-release title.




"Like many fairy tales, the original version of this story, 'The Little Girl with the Matchsticks' by Danish poet and author Hans Christian Andersen, is a very sad affair. It was first published in 1845, and that is roughly when this newer version takes place as well. However, 'The Match Boy and the Inventor' is set in an alternative, Steampunk-ish universe and has a far, far happier outcome. It is written with the period and its "mechanical wonders" in mind, but left me feeling as though I'd read a true fairy tale.

"If you like sweet fairy tales whose happy ending makes up for the initial angst, if you enjoy reading about men who are an unlikely match at first glance, yet fit together perfectly once they focus on what's important to them, and if you're looking for a sweet read with the slightly otherworldly feel of a Steampunk story, then you will probably like this novella."

Serena Yates for Rainbow Book Reviews




From where he huddled in the doorway, Vern looked up as snow fell, swirling before him until his eyes ached. His lips were numb from the cold and felt frozen into the smile he kept forced in place. No one would buy from him if he looked as sad as he felt in his heart.

I've sold just two boxes of matches all day, which means I'll go hungry--again.

When the snow flurry eased, Vern moved on in hopes of finding more customers. He steadfastly ignored the increasing rumbles from his stomach and turned his face away from shops displaying their many foods.

The aroma of fried fish, hot eels, and roasted chestnuts from the street vendors he passed swirled around him like the snow and he couldn't stop himself from inhaling deeply. How long has it been since I last ate anything of substance. I can barely remember the taste of meat. He'd managed to pick up some vegetables from a kindly barrow man and had made them into a broth. But the last of that had been a day--or maybe it was two--ago.

His stomach growled as if answering him and Vern grimaced. Hunger wasn't his only adversary. His clothing was thin, and his old coat and scarf were little protection against the long hours he spent in the cold.

A figure materialised out of the snow before him. The man was thick-set and heavily bundled up against the snow and wind.

"Please, sir. Will you buy some matches?" Vern knew he made a pitiful sight as he meekly asked the passerby if he would care to buy his wares.

"Here, take this." The man shoved a copper coin at Vern, not even taking the matches.

"Thank you, sir. May God bless you, sir." It's as if he'd rather pay to keep me away from him. Am I truly so repulsive?

Although he made a couple more sales, it was truly too little for him to pay rent, afford kindling to have heat, and buy food. Finally, heartsick that the day and evening had proven so unsuccessful, he made his way back to his favourite doorway.

Unable to remain on his feet from a mix of exhaustion, cold, and dizziness, Vern slid slowly to the ground. Despair gripped him tightly and tears fell unchecked. Leaning his head against his knees, Vern sobbed, oblivious to the falling snow.

This was his first Christmas without his beloved mother. Vern considered himself blessed that, despite her fragile health, he'd had her at his side, his rock, until after his twentieth birthday. But now he had no friends, no family, no one to love him in a world filled with coldness and hardship. The tiny attic he rented was barely warmer than living out on the streets. He huddled into the niche in the wall, raised his head, and looked around.

Lights blazed in windows, but he could only afford the cheapest candles. Children walked with parents, their faces alight with joy, but he was alone, with no one to love--or to love him. The aroma of hearty, festive fare, or that of the street vendors tortured his nostrils, but he had nothing, not even a crust or two of stale bread.

So cold he could barely move, Vern lit one of his precious matches. For a few seconds there was warmth and light in his life. Unable to bear to return to the cold and dark, he lit another. For a moment, he thought he saw a tree, dressed in festive red, green, and gold. Then the illusion was gone.

His hand shook as he lit a third match, and Vern wished his life was different. A life of warmth and love. For just one person to love him. "I'm so lost without you, Mother. There's nothing and no one here who cares if I live or die. I want to be with you. Be with someone who loves me." Vernon lit another match and his mother appeared, smiling her kind, loving smile, and reaching for him.

As his match burned out, Vernon reached for the last person who had shown him love, before darkness descended.

About the series: A re-telling of a favourite fairy tale--with a twist


Other books by Monti Shalosky- EDITOR:

About Pelaam:
Fireborn Publishing Main Page

Living in clean, green New Zealand, Pelaam is a multi-published author of gay romance and erotic books. When not busy writing she can be found indulging in her other passions of cookery and wine appreciation.

Pelaam's book "Breath of the Feathered Serpent" is a finalist for the 2014 Rainbow Awards in Gay futuristic/sci-fi. "Bedazzled" and "Firebird" were a combined finalist for the Rainbow Awards in Gay futuristic/sci-fi 2013.

She can be found on Facebook, an author page a full list of her published works are on Lazy Beagle Entertainment. Readers can email her at

Please Choose:

Download File Types











This book was added to our catalog on Sunday 25 October, 2015.

Your IP Address is:
Copyright © 2018 Zen Cart. Powered by Zen Cart