“With thee all toils are sweet; each clime hath charms; earth-sea alike- our world within our arms.”
The morning was soon gone as all three of us worked on the electrical wiring. Stony declared in another day, it’d be done. I fixed us an early and light lunch since we had to get the two porkers to Hennessey’s for the locker plant truck to pick for slaughter. Stony and Carter were perplexed how we were going to accomplish this feat, other than chasing the pigs to the water and making them swim.
“Simple,” I explained, “we load the two of them in the small trailer I hook behind the tractor; hog-tie them so they can’t thrash around or jump out, drive down the trail to the other landing, lift them into the big flat boat that Stony is going to take over there, and motor across Johnson Slough to the landing.”
It sounds easier than done, as I well know. A hog can be a recalcitrant creature to say the least, especially if you’re trying to make it do something it doesn’t want to. It’ll do what it wants, when it wants, and biting anyone or anything in its path!
After Stony delivered the flat boat to the landing, he walked back down the trail to help us with the loading and tying. I backed the tractor and trailer up to the pen gate and, using two four foot by three foot pieces of plywood, forced and guided one pig up the short ramp into the trailer, and squeezed it up against a side so we could reach through the slatted trailer side and tie its legs together. Laid flat on the floor, legs secured, all it could do was squeal and flop a bit. We repeated the process with the second pig, and then hauled the trailer down the trail, hogs squealing all the way. Jesus, they do get upset! A pole inserted between the legs from front to back, a lift, a short carry, and each hog was loaded into the boat and delivered to the waiting truck across the slough.
Satisfied all was well with the porkers, the three of us loaded up in Carter’s car and drove up to Mom’s (now Carter’s) house, gathered the mail, gave him a key, and the grand tour. As soon as Mom and Jim moved her things out, Carter could move in, which if I understood her correctly when I called her at school, would be the next weekend. Returning to the Island, we relaxed before supper and enjoyed the evening. Carter reviewed the information on Stony’s laptop and asked him to transfer it to a flash drive so he could transport it and transfer it to his own at home.
Stony and I awakened this morning as we did many mornings, secured tightly to each other, enjoying a new dawn and morning with each other, only this morning, instead of me spooning behind Stony, he was spooned up behind me, snugged up tight against me with my butt cheeks resting on his crotch, the hairs of his pubes tickling me as his embedded prick rocked back and forth, stopping only with a grunt and a hard push forward, as he unloaded into me in a deliciously, delightful, ass-pumping, bowel-flooding, prostate palpating, morning fuck! Each time he pulsed, I could feel more warm liquid squirt into me. He did cum a lot, I’ll grant you that! Cleaned up and out at the table, drinking our coffee, we had time, before Carter woke, to prepare our list of needed supplies in preparation for winter descending on us. In the next few weeks or less, depending on the weather, we had to lay in enough LP tanks, gasoline, oil, fuel oil, feed for the chickens, food for us, and lumber and woodworking supplies for Stony before we were iced in.
I suggested, once we delivered Carter to the mainland, we take the time to visit my Grandfather Gifford. Stony had yet to meet him, although we’d been together since summer. Grandfather Gifford, after the death of my grandmother, busied himself by traveling; not driving or flying, but by train. He’d concluded a Trans-Canada trip during Mom’s wedding and would soon be leaving for his winter trip to who knows where. He enjoyed Florida, Georgia, California, but really loved Louisiana. I was betting he’d go back there this year.
Carter finally meandered out from his bedroom; clad only in obscenely tented boxer shorts, concealing, yet revealing his massive instrument of pleasure, tucked mostly away inside. He filled a cup with coffee, scratched a set of large balls hanging loosely to one side of the lifted boxers, and joined us. Sitting down, sipping his coffee, he voiced his sincere pleasure and thanks for the hospitality we showed him and for letting him visit.
Sighing, he said, “I’ve never felt quite as relaxed and free as I have these past few days. I hope I’m welcome to visit when I have time in the future.”
We assured him he was always welcome, alone or with company (hint, hint), but he didn’t seem to pick up on the hints.
“I hope you’re ready for Cage,” he continued. “His dad seems to think he can be a handful. Cage marches to a different drum than the rest of his siblings, according to Bill, but I don’t think that’s all bad,”
My ears perked up when “handful” was mentioned and I wondered who the hell was “Cage”, so I casually asked, “Who is ‘Cage’ and in what way is he a handful?” hoping we were not asking for trouble inviting him to join us for opening day of duck season.
“I’m sorry,” Carter responded, “Cage is short for ‘Kenneth James’ or ‘K.J.’ hence the nickname Cage. The family refers to him as such at home and so do most of the kids he associates with at school, very few at that I might add. Cage tends to think ‘outside the box’ and sees things differently than others; comes up with some strange conclusions others don’t seem spot. He is an artist, drawing, painting, sculpting, really enjoys the fine arts, and is so different from the rest of the family. Cage is a very bright boy and his parents sometimes find him difficult to understand since he is so esoteric and views some things in the abstract. Prone to ask the most difficult of questions, he sometimes embarrasses his parents, as you well know from the reception. However, lest I sound entirely negative, I really like the lad; he has an uncanny ability to see through people and either trusts them or becomes extremely wary and avoids them.”
Neither Stony nor I heard anything which would change our minds concerning Cage Anderson. Yes, his questions were personal and perhaps provocative to some, but to me they were a sign of natural inquisitiveness. The manner in which he asked was more than just curiosity- seeking an answer I thought, in an attempt to find himself, explore his own thoughts, bring relevance or closure to whatever was galloping through his mind at that moment. He might be a “handful” to some, but I thought he’d be fun for Stony and me to have around.
“Oh, I think we’ll be just fine,” I responded, “won’t we Stony?” His smile and nod of his head was all the answer I needed for reassurance.
Carter gathered up his gear after breakfast, loaded them in our large flat boat, and we motored out of the lake through the cut and around the Island to the mainland. The three of us journeyed to the house in his car, picked up our mail, and Stony and I left in my truck for Grandfather Gifford’s house.
Granddad’s house, where he and Grandma raised their family, was on the west side of town, a couple of miles from the river, and on higher ground which never flooded, unlike some of the low areas south of the railroad tracks. He continued living there after Grandma passed away. He lost his brother, my Uncle John, first and shortly thereafter his wife. After her death, in order to keep himself occupied, he traveled. I thought his pension from the factory where he worked all those years must be pretty damned good to afford the traveling he did.
We walked up the sidewalk to the story and a half four bedroom home and on to the porch. It extended about half-way across the front of the house and was a favorite place for him to sit when home and the weather was decent. Rapping on the door, we were greeted by his jovial “come in,” so we did. Granddad stepped into the living room from the kitchen and I was struck, as I had been many times before, how much he looked and sounded like his older brother, Uncle John. My heart ached; I missed my mentor so much, but he still lived with us in spirit on the Island and that gave me great solace!
Granddad hugged me warmly, careful of my left arm, looked around me at Stony standing hesitantly behind me, uncertain of his welcome.
“So,” he began, “I was wondering when you’d bring your young man around to meet me! The family is just all abuzz with chatter about how handsome he is and how smitten you are with him,” and dropping his embrace, stepped behind me, and wrapped Stony in his arms murmuring, “Keep my grandson happy and safe, he’s suffered long enough.”
I heard Stony reply, “I will, Sir, for as long as he’ll have me and beyond.”
My heart melted anew for Stony, so deeply in love with me and me with him. It was those little things, those actions of endearment that held us so close.
Granddad invited to sit and asked, “How’s your mother and her new husband?”
By his tone and questions, I could detect no hard feelings or animosity in him for not being invited to the wedding. He understood it was her signal to others it was time for her to move on with her life. Mom’s contact had been limited with the rest of the Gifford family because of her association with Uncle John, but Granddad understood and accepted that. He was happy for her and had invited her and Jim to dinner the next Saturday night at an excellent supper club in town.
Under his persistent but gently probing questions, he soon had Stony pouring out the story of his life and the real reason why he ended up here in the first place. Granddad thought a moment, mulling over what Stony told him, rubbed his chin, nodded his head as if coming to some conclusion, and with furrowed forehead, advised, “You might be right Stony, but I wouldn’t say much around town to anyone, just in case. If however, you’re wrong or can’t find any evidence, what’ll you do?”
Stony, looking him straight on, said quickly, “Always remember my brother, but live my life out here with J.T.”
“Good; that’s what I told John years ago when his boyfriend was killed. The rest of the family was very critical of his life style and after Alan died, he and I spent many hours sorting through his memories and life. He resigned himself to be content with his memories and his life alone on the Island. Then, when your daddy died, J.T. and you were born, he came back to life; doting on you and your mother, expending his energy and love on you. Others clucked their tongues to think your mother would associate with a homosexual, but I just told him to carry on. His death hit me almost as hard as my beloved, Rachael, both leaving me with memories. But, my brother left me more than just memories, he also left me well-off financially, so I’ve been able to travel everywhere Rachael and I always wanted to go, but could never afford.”
I found out then who Uncle John’s lover and partner was, an “Alan somebody” and where Granddad received his travel money. Uncle John left more than just memories to both of us.
“So, what big plans do you two have while I’m down south for the winter, other than enjoy each other?” Granddad asked with a sly smile on his face.
We described the improvements we’re making to the house and outbuildings on the Island and Stony’s desire to begin “Island Woodcrafters.” Granddad was just as excited as we were concerning our plans, asking, after he returned and spring high waters receded, if he could come over for a visit. He knew the answer before he even asked it, but was pleased when we both replied with a resounding, “Yes!”
Leaving Granddad’s house, we made a side trip to the cemetery where Cameron was buried. I had yet to take Stony there, uncertain how he would react to a visit where my former lover was interred. I led him through the stone sentinels of life beginning and ending until we stood before the head stone bearing Cameron’s name.
I dusted away some of the leaves and other relics of nature’s debris from the stone and said softly, “Cameron, this is Stony; Earl Henry Jackson. He and I are partners and lovers now. I think you know it was time for me to move on. I love him as I loved you and have been so fortunate to have experienced the love of two very beautiful young men in my life. I didn’t deserve you and I don’t deserve him, but you were, he is, and I am. Cam, you’d really like Stony; he’s so much fun and loves me as you did. We’ll stop back in the spring when the ice is out,” and gently touched the top of the headstone.
Tears streamed down my face from the sadness of my loss and the joy and security of having Stony’s arms around me, steadying me as we walked back to the truck, we left to continue our shopping trip in town. A stop at a big box store provided Stony with more insulated winter wear and boots, a printer for his laptop, paper and ink cartridges, and another inverter to power it from D.C. to A.C.
L.P. tanks were acquired, along with gasoline and oil for our generator, tractor and other gasoline powered equipment, and fuel oil for back up heat at a farm supply store. An assortment of red and white oak and maple boards, along with plywood of various thicknesses were purchased at a lumber supply company. The flat boat was riding low in the water as we traversed our way back to the Island and home.
The next trip, the next day, would load us with feed for the chickens, more lumber and spare parts for the chain saw and small tools. We still hadn’t filled our list of paper products, flour, canned fruits and vegetables, juices, sugar, salt, coffee, tea, canned milk, dry milk, beans, yeast, and an assortment of other items such as condiments.It was a very busy week; our final trip finished off the odds and ends we needed. Our final trip that day was to pick up our weekend guests and the rest of the items on our list. Cage, standing next to his uncle, was at the ready on Hennessey’s landing Friday evening when we arrived, eyes glowing with excitement, but with an apprehensive look on his face
Thank you for reading “Gif’s Island – Chapter Thirteen -–“With thee all toils are sweet; each clime hath charms; earth-sea alike- our world within our arms.”- (Byron)
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or locales is entirely coincidental.
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