“No cord nor cable can so forcibly draw, or hold so fast, as love can do with a twined thread.” (Robert Burton)
“Oh, my God, yes,” guffawed another of the aging quartet. “I damned near forgot all about that! Hell, it was the talk of the school and the whole town for weeks!”
Amidst all of the laughter and chatter of these four cronies, it was all I could do to get their attention and center them back on the story I was eager to hear. Actually, I didn’t, it was Lee when he asked,
“How about another beer?”
I went with Lee to the bar, nodded at the four of them sitting at the table chuckling at something, and said, “Bring the boys over there more of what they were drinking,” and paid the bill. Lee and I picked up a beer apiece and went back to join the party.
“Frank,” Lee said, scooching his chair back up to the table, “there’s no way you can remember that far back; you’re not that old!”
“The hell I’m not!” Frank said with some indignation he should be so questioned, yet with pride that he’d lived that long. “Jack,” he said pointing his finger at one of the group, “only saw the beginning of it all in physical education class. Me, I was in ‘Pinch Bottom’s’ office when all hell broke loose!”
“Yeah,” spoke up a third man, “but I was down town when the brawl started and by the gods, it was a dandy!”
“And where were you?” I asked the fourth man.
“Shi-i-i-i-i-t!” he drawled, drawing the word out and grinned, “I was bare assed naked fucking Nancy Quinn in her bedroom. I skipped school that day and so did she ‘cause her folks were gone!”
“Herman,” reminded Frank, “don’t forget the other two who skipped with you. I heard by the time the day was over and all three of you got done plowing her, the last one of you said it was like waving your dick around in a warm room!”
Frank’s last remark was met with a roar of laughter, a wiping of tears from eyes, and another good pull on a bottle of beer by each of them, draining the long-necks. These old boys did enjoy a story (and their beer), whether true or not, and in the telling of it! It was probably just as well I didn’t have my tape recorder with me since, as I listened and enjoyed their company, putting it on the table would have silenced the lot of them.
Lee waved at the bartender and he brought more beer.
“Well,” Jack began once the beer was on the table, “in those days we just didn’t talk about ‘boys liking boys’ although it happened and Billy and Danny were no exception. Shit, by the end of the summer most of us knew Danny was ass over applecart in love with that little guy. You could just see it the way he looked at him, stood near him to sort of protect him, and haul him all over hell and back. Billy was just as besotted! They were tied together stronger than any rope or barge cable could bind and it was just by love! We didn’t care if they were ‘homos’ or ‘queer;’ all we cared about was Danny was a good friend and now Billy was too.”
“For crap’s sake,” interjected Frank, “we didn’t give a good rat’s ass! If that’s what the two of them wanted, it was fine with us. There were some in the community who thought otherwise, but piss on them, I thought. As for me, well, Billy was a good lookin’ kid, but didn’t have the right kind of equipment for my tastes, thank you very much.”
“Besides,” Herman reminded the crowd, “Danny’s cousin, Gary, may he rest in peace, wasn’t all that secret in offering blow jobs to anyone that wanted one! Who was going to complain, especially if you were on the receiving end? I don’t think so!”
“What happened to Gary?” I asked innocently.
“He died while living in California,” Herman answered and that was the end of that part of the conversation.
“Anyway, if I can continue,” Jack said, “Billy was new to town and was sort of scared about going to school here. I guess he’d never been to a school where grades seven through twelve were all in one building. Anyway, Danny made certain everybody knew to keep their hands off of him or they’d have to answer for it!”
Evidently, according to Jack, everyone didn’t quite get the message or care. There was one particular bunch of kids from the Patch Creek area, maybe five or eight guys, who car-pooled and drove to the high school every day. They envisioned themselves as a nasty-assed crew of tough guys who thought of the others as less than equal; especially the Randal’s and Danny Fielding. Evidently, “that Fielding Boy” according to Frank, “thumped the shit out of one of them at Catfish Days a couple of years previously and they never forgot it.”
Billy’s first week of school went just fine; no one seemed to bother him. The second week, when physical education classes started and the boys were required to dress in tee-shirts, gym shorts, jock straps, and tennis shoes along with the required shower after class, proved a horse of a different color! Although apprehensive, Billy did as he was required; assured by Danny all would be well, even though the younger boys were mixed in with the older boys. When it came to changing in front of the big-dicked hairier older boys, he and some of the other younger ones felt they were a bit shy in the personal equipment area. It wasn’t that Billy hadn’t seen (or felt for that matter) more mature boys since Danny was certainly that in the least, it just was different than the Randal’s or Danny!
“One of the Patch Creek boys, George Nelson, I think,” Jack continued, “made a couple of smart-ass remarks about Billy’s little dick when they were in the shower room and how his queer boyfriend liked it. Billy didn’t say shit! Evidently that pissed George off ‘cause he pinned Billy up against the shower room wall and grabbed his pecker and gave it a twist. Billy squealed in pain and hauled off and kicked hell out of George. George didn’t take too kindly to that and gave Billy a punch in the gut.”
“Wrong thing to do,” mused Frank from the other side of the table.
Billy was saved from further damage when the P.E. teacher came into the locker room. Nothing happened to George and no one said a word about it, at least to the teacher! Billy was clearly hurt and embarrassed! All of his fears about going to a new school and what would happen around the older boys came true for him! When Danny heard about it, he was furious, but did his best to comfort his boyfriend telling him it never would happen again!
Two days later, when Billy had physical education again, the class was out on the ball diamond playing a game of softball. As usual, the coach was sitting on the bench “supervising” while planning for the varsity game on Friday. During the third inning, Billy was playing right field and George was the second baseman. George kept making remarks over his shoulder at Billy, telling him what was going to happen in the shower this time.
“I was playing first base,” Jack said, “and out of the corner of my eye, I saw Danny coming out from behind the backstop. He nodded his head to me as he marched past like Patton heading for battle; a tight smile on his face and determination in his stride. Hell, the coach never looked up, even when everything went dead-cemetery quiet!”
“George looked up and knew he was in deep shit!”
“Hey, asshole!” Danny shouted and before George could reply or even move, Danny was on him quicker than a fart in a whirlwind!
“You like to grab cocks?” Danny shouted, “then how about me grabbing yours?” and clamped a hand tight, right through George’s gym shorts, around his cock and balls and pulled up. George howled, the coach jumped up, and Danny, while keeping a firm grip on George’s balls, dusted him in the nose with his other fist.
Blood spattered all over and George went kind of weak in the knees, but couldn’t fall because Danny had a firm grip on his ball sack and held him upright. George whined, trying to decide whether to protect his balls or his nose. He reached for his balls!
“Wrong thing to do, again,” Frank allowed.
Danny saw the coach steamrolling toward him, gave George a disgusted look and said, “Ah, fuck it!” and punched him in the nose again, just for the hell of it.
The coach was furious, George was flopping around, bloody and in pain, and Billy just stood open-mouthed, but goddamned proud of Danny! The rest of the class just got out of the way! Danny was ordered to report to “Pinch Bottom’s” office.
“I was sitting there trying to explain to ‘Pinch Bottom’s’ secretary why I didn’t go to third hour English when Danny came marching in,” Frank said, taking over his part of the tale.
“Danny was grinning like a three-peckered goat and right behind him came the P.E. coach and a bloodied and bruised George Nelson. Old ‘Pinch Bottom’ came out of his office and rather than haul everyone back in there, demanded to know what happened. Hell, I didn’t think it took a genius to figure out one kid was bloody and the other one wasn’t to know what happened! Coach told him Danny hit George. Danny refused to say what started it. Well, Danny was given a choice of getting paddled or three days for fighting and ‘Pinch Bottom’ ordered him to apologize to George. Danny opted for the paddling!”
“Danny walked up to George, sitting in a chair holding his nose and balls, smiled, and said, ‘George, I’m sorry for hitting you and grabbing your cock. I should have done this instead,’ and by all the saints, Danny whipped out his cock and pissed all over George!”
The secretary screamed, George howled even louder, and “Pinch Bottom” ordered Danny suspended for three days and told to bring his Aunt and Uncle in with him when he returned. Danny walked over to the door to leave, turned, smiled at George, and said, “If you or any of your pack of cocksuckers ever touch Billy again, I’m going to stuff a hungry barn rat up your ass and laugh when he chews his way out!” and left.
Whether Danny ever got the swats with the paddle was unknown to the four old gentlemen.
Danny served his suspension, returned with his aunt and uncle to help sort out what ‘Pinch Bottom’ had to say concerning his future attendance; no more fighting on school grounds, keep your grades up, and that sort of stuff. Danny took it all in stride, acting the contrite boy he should!
“But he never lost sight of what the Patch Creek boys might be planning in revenge. There was no way in hell they were going to let that ‘Fielding Boy’ best one of their own,” remembered Frank. “Samuel and Ross were both in high school and took Billy under their protective wings when Danny wasn’t around, which was rare, but they all knew two Randal’s, one Fielding, and one Iverson were no match for seven or eight Patch Creek boys.”
‘Things were pretty quiet for a couple of weeks and then someone who overheard someone - you know how it goes-,” Jack said, “heard the Patch Creek bunch was going to waylay Danny after he’d walked Billy home from school on the next Friday. Well, someone dropped the word to Danny and he decided after he walked Billy home, he’d plan a little surprise of his own.”
Billy also heard about the impending fight and no way was he going to let Danny go alone. Danny tried explaining to him he wouldn’t be alone, he’d have Samuel and Ross and figured that’d be enough to keep the Patch Creek boys honest about it all. Billy insisted he would go along and that was that!
“Danny never could say no to that cute little shit,” Frank mused, “so he gave in.”
The third member of this quartet of octogenarians had remained silent throughout the sharing of stories at the table, nursing his beers, laughing when something funny came up, but otherwise pretty silent. It wasn’t until Frank made some mention about him being downtown when all hell broke loose, that Joe Wood, nicknamed “Hickory,” spoke up.
“I sort of hung around after school to keep my eye on Danny and Billy to see what was going to happen. Billy and Danny left by the front door and walked across the street where Gary had his pickup parked. Danny said something to Gary, looked in the bed of the pickup, and he and Billy walked on down the street. Gary drove off! I didn’t have a clue where they were going, so I decided to follow them, hoping for a front row seat. I knew Samuel and Ross were going to join them and bout two blocks away, they did.”
“Hold it right there!” growled Frank. “How the hell did you know that?”
Frank paused a minute and a sly smile crossed his face. “Well,” he finally said with conviction, “I’ll be goddamned; you’re the one who warned the boys, aren’t you Hickory?”
“You ornery old bastard,” snorted Jack, “all these years and you never said one word!”
“You never asked,” responded Hickory.
“How the hell did you find out?”
Now it was Hickory’s turn to smile slyly; “Be surprised what you’ll hear when you’re in the boys can taking a shit,” and laughed aloud.
“George and a couple of his buddies rushed in to take a leak and never saw me sitting in the stall.”
“How the hell not?” questioned Herman. “Didn’t they look under the partition to check for legs and pants?”
“Nope; besides I lifted my legs up and held them there. I really had to concentrate on not shitting with my ass pointed at a forty-five degree angle or it would have been disastrous for my shorts and shoes. I’d had beans, boiled baloney, and sauerkraut for supper the night before and I knew if I didn’t keep my asshole puckered up tight, that load would have shot out of me noisier and faster than one of those V-2 rockets the Germans used in the war!”
His explanation produced a round of raucous laughter and table-thumping hilarity from the rest of us. Just imagining Hickory sitting with his legs in the air and butt-cheeks pinched tight so he wouldn’t shit himself while straining to hear what George was saying was just about too much for any of us!
“George yapped away about what the plans were, when it was to happen, and what they were going to do to Danny first and then Billy. I guess he figured it was safe to talk about it in the shitter or just didn’t know any better. I figured it was just because he was just plain fucking dumb! George was so damned dumb if he had shit for brains, he couldn’t pop a turd an inch long!”
The boys roared in laughter again except the laughter seemed much louder for some reason! I looked up and saw another dozen or so patrons had pulled up chairs and stools and joined our group.
I looked at Lee and asked tentatively, “How long have we had the crowd?”
“Since you bought the second round of beers,” he replied with a grin.
“Who’s buying their beers?” I asked pointing at the crowd knowing full well what the answer was going to be.
“Bartender’s been putting it on your tab; figured you wouldn’t mind since you could mark it off to ‘research’ or ‘public relations’.”
I just groaned and hoped the story didn’t last until midnight!
“The four of them continued walking down town and ended up in the parking lot of this very tavern,” Hickory said. “Of course, Danny didn’t own it then; my Uncle Roy did. Gary’s pickup was parked over in one corner of the lot and Danny, Billy, Samuel, and Ross walked over to it.”
“The Patch Creek bunch rolled up in George’s old pickup and a 1936 Chevy four-door. When they all clambered out, there was eight of the big, burly, bastards and looking for a fight. I figured Danny and company had a hell of fight on their hands, outnumbered two to one, you know!”
“You know what happened next?” Hickory said as he paused and took another swig of his beer, just to whet his whistle so to to speak.
“WHAT?” growled the crowd, almost to a man!
Hickory grinned and took another long, slow swig of his beer. These old boys really enjoy telling story to an audience!
“I walked over to the doorway of the tavern, right over there in fact,” he said, pointing at the front door, “where my Uncle Roy stood, watching to see what was going to happen. Standing next to him was Mr. Sorenson, the Postmaster and Billy Iverson’s grandfather. Uncle Roy said it looked like the Gunfight at the O.K. Correl. When I asked him if he was there, he just smacked me alongside the head!”
“While we watched, Billy reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out a sock. It was about half full of something and tied off with a knot in the middle. The loose end acted like a handle and it was where Billy held it as he swung it back and forth, back and forth!”
“I’ll be damned,” my Uncle Roy said, “the kid’s got himself a sap!”
“Yep,” Mr. Sorenson replied, “half filled with wet river sand; should make one hell of an impression on someone if he nails him with it!”
Hickory paused again, perhaps gathering his thoughts or for dramatic effect, said, “Never, if I’d live a thousand years would I ever believe what happened next!”
People began shuffling their feet, waiting, growing impatient for Hickory to continue the story. Suddenly he stood up, started twirling an arm and hand over his head, “Billy started swinging that sap around and around over his head, like this, see?” and swung his arm even more, “and screamed in that high pitched voice of his HAUL ASS YOU SONS-A-BITCHES, I’M COMIN’ TO GET-CHA! and charged right at those big thugs! By god, they were so surprised they just stood there and watched him run at them. That all changed when Billy smacked George right square on the nose with that sap and dropped him! Poor bastard’s nose hadn’t even had a chance to heal properly since Danny biffed him a couple of weeks before and now Billy hammered him again!”
“That sure stirred up a hornet’s nest; the Patch Creek boys headed for Billy, Danny, Ross, and Samuel raced into the fray to protect Billy, who by the way, was doing a damned fine job with that sap!”
“Then,” continued Hickory to an audience sitting quietly, their attention centered on him, and the story, “all hell broke loose! Gary leaped out of the pick-up truck and shouted, ‘Kick ass boys!’ and from the back of the pickup, where they’d been hiding, roared a half dozen Fielding’s from across the river! That was the little surprise Danny had planned for the afternoon’s event.”
There was a collective, satisfied sigh from the assembled listeners. According to Hickory, the battle lasted about ten minutes before the Patch Creek boys, pretty well battered and bloodied gave it up and backed off. Danny, Ross, and Samuel didn’t escape unscathed, but Billy stayed right in the thick of it giving better than he got, but still suffered with a black eye, split lip, and some sore ribs.
“By god, that kid was so proud of his battle wounds,” Hickory concluded with a smile, “although I don’t think Danny was very happy with Billy’s charge! It kept Danny busy trying to fight, protect himself and Billy at the same time.”
Hickory’s Uncle Roy treated the boys to cold sodas and ice to lessen the pain on the sore spots. Mr. Sorenson crept out the back door, returning to work, before Billy ever got in the tavern for his treat.
“But, you know something else,” Hickory said, bringing his story to an end, “Danny just couldn’t let it go! About two weeks after the brawl, George went out to get in his pickup after school to go home and when he opened the driver’s door, a half dozen big, brown, barn rats scurried out. Danny just wanted to make certain George and the rest of his crew understood what would happen next time anyone laid a hand on Billy.”
One hundred eighteen dollars and thirty-eight cents later, Lee and I headed back to the campground.
Thank you for reading “Fielding Boy” – Chapter Thirteen- “No cord nor cable can so forcibly draw, or hold so fast, as love can do with a twined thread.” (Robert Burton)
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 or used in a fictional content.
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