I needed to take a piss, and doing so before getting on the plane was the thing to do. With flights being so uncertain these days due to all sorts of reasons, I could board and then be told we had a one-hour hold before taking off and to remain seated for the duration. No, taking a piss now, even though it was a short flight, was the smart thing to do.
Flying from LAX to Las Vegas McCarran Airport was so popular a trip that six airlines had regular daily flights. (I know, I know, it’s Harry Reid now, but I've flown into and out of it so often when that wasn’t its name that it’ll probably always be McCarran to me.) We’d be in the air only about 40 minutes. Much nicer than being in a car and driving through mostly flat, dry, arid desert only accompanied by a long line of cars both behind and ahead of us. Of course, at 14, I didn’t have a driver’s license, and as I made these trips by myself, flying was the best option.
I preferred Southwest as the cabin attendants were much friendlier than those on the other airlines, and open seating meant I could pick who I sat next to. This was important for me and perhaps for any boy my age who was easily intimidated. I’d much rather sit next to another kid or a woman than some of the men I’d seen flying, the ones with a four-day growth on their cheeks and chins and wearing wifebeaters with arms like tree trunks and sporting barbed-wire tattoos and a glower or leer in their eyes. The ones who stared at my crotch when I had to sit next to them.
I was at that uncomfortable age where the mysteries of sex were still mysteries, where I didn’t know who I was or what I wanted but was easily discombobulated when with strangers who seemed to be judging me and had sex on their minds.
I was small for my age and not a bit forward.
I lived in Las Vegas. It was one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S. until COVID made its ugly appearance and crowds of strangers became a memory of how things had been. But times would change again, and people loved to gamble, so it was pretty certain there’d be continual growth in Vegas. Which was good for my family as my dad was a middle-level supervisor in a construction company that helped build the thousands of new homes that were always being built there. My mom was a lawyer, so we were very comfortable, and that was why they had no problem paying for my regular flights to and from L.A. to visit my grands.
I love them, the grands I mean. My parents as well, but they were always busy and had little time for me. My L.A. grands were my mother’s people. They had more time for me than either of my parents, they doted on me, which I liked, and I liked L.A. much better than Vegas, a town where everything has a sleazy taint to it. Vegas seemed to have been built on money and sex and money. Both my parents were anti-gambling, and as I’d grown up with them, it was simply natural that I’d adopted the same feelings. And sex? As I said, I wasn’t ready to step into that jungle yet.
So, pissing. I headed to the nearest restroom before going to the Southwest gate. There was a long line of urinals and just as long a line of stalls with doors. The place wasn’t crowded like it would be when a plane has just landed. I had a shy bladder and found it hard to piss if anyone was around. Normally I went into a stall for privacy. Not much problem then. But here, with all the urinals and few people, I could stand well away from anyone else, so didn’t expect I’d have that problem.
And then I did. A man in a business suit came in behind me. He was tall, probably late 30s, early 40s, clean-shaven, hair combed—maybe a salesman or young executive, I guessed. But then, he walked down the row of urinals till he was next to me and stopped there.
I was already out and waiting for the flow to start. He quickly was the same, but he was standing with his hips slightly opened toward me, and I could see his business out the corner of my eyes. It was large, circumcised and seemed very exposed. Then he started stroking it. It hardened.
I couldn’t piss. I seemed frozen in place. My breathing became shallow. Turned as he was, his stroking couldn’t be seen by anyone else as there were only three other guys and they were way down at the other end of the row of urinals. I realized this guy wanted me to see it, see what he was doing. He kept looking down at it, then over at me.
It was totally hard now. Huge mushroom head. Long, thick shaft—nothing like mine. He was thrusting his hips out just a bit, making it look even bigger. Then his stroking became slower, more like fondling. He was taking his time, enjoying me watching.
Yeah, I was watching. Couldn’t help myself. I wasn’t into this at all, though! His member was right there, and I couldn’t look away. I’d never seen another person’s boner before in person. Not a kid’s, not an adult’s. Against my most fervent wish, I felt myself start to bone up. He saw and grinned. The grin wasn’t a nice one. I saw hunger in his eyes. That was even more frightening than how he was displaying his hard-on to me.
I had to get out of there. Not fully hard yet, I managed to stuff myself back in my pants, turned away from the urinal, zipped up as I did and walked swiftly, almost running, out of the restroom. I didn’t worry too much about his coming after me. He couldn’t leave immediately. He had to put that monstrosity back in his pants, and that would take a little time. I could get lost in the crowd by the time he emerged. For maybe the first time in my life, I was thankful I was short.
The restroom I’d been in was close to the large room where all the Southwest gates were located, and people were already assembling in the line with numbered spaces that matched the numbers on their boarding passes. My number was A-16, so I’d be in the first group for general boarding.
Eventually I was walking down the jetway and then the center aisle of the plane. I could sit anywhere, but I liked to be as far forward as possible so I didn’t have to wait so long to deplane. I always chose an aisle seat. The scenery out the window wouldn’t be much, mostly flat desert, and I’d seen it too often to need to see it again. For this flight, the aisle seat would make visiting the plane’s john that much easier. I still needed to go. Not yet urgently but moving in that direction.
The plane quickly filled up, and as always happened, no one took a middle seat in the rows of three seats till they had to. The plane was just about full with only a few more people boarding, and the middle seat next to me was still open when I saw the man from the restroom at the head of the aisle. He was scanning down the plane, his eyes quickly fell on mine, and a kinky smile followed.
Shit! He walked down the aisle, stopped next to me, and said, “I’ll take that seat.”
I had to stand up to let him in. All sorts of thoughts—fears really—assailed me. He moved past me, his trailing hand brushing the front of my pants briefly as he did. He sat down, and I fled.
A steward was about to close the plane door, and I yelled, “Wait!” and rushed past him. Out the plane’s door, down the jetway, out through the closed door at its end and back into the terminal. I took a quick glance back and didn’t see the guy following me, so I slowed down.
I still needed a restroom and headed for one, took another glance at the door into the jetway, and there he was, coming through, his eyes already searching for me.
The space between me and the restroom was momentarily unoccupied. If I kept heading that way, I’d be in the open and he could spot me. I abruptly changed course, stayed among other people and entered a food court. Rather than stand idly or sit by myself, I approached the only open space at the counter. It was attended by a pretty girl selling drinks, and I bought a large Coke in a plastic cup. I glanced around, trying to keep my face hidden as much as possible, and there he was, now looking in the other direction.
I had to risk it. When nature calls, best answer quickly. I walked to the restroom, staying as much as possible behind other people walking in that direction. Just as I reached the door into the men’s room, I took a quick look back.
He’d seen me and was quickly heading my way.
I was trapped! Only the fact some other men were in the room with me would help, but maybe they’d simply leave, and we’d be alone. Or maybe they wouldn’t leave but want to remain uninvolved if I started calling for help. Maybe he’d claim to be my dad. I thought about that, about how I might save myself, not thinking clearly, just crazy thoughts.
I went into a stall and locked the door. By now, I really needed to go, and even while being afraid of what might be ahead, I had no problem emptying my bladder and flushing. Then, even before the gurgle of water refilling the bowl subsided, there was a knock on the stall door. “Hey, come on out. I know you’re in there. We’re all alone. If I have to bust this door, I’ll be upset and take it out on you. Open up.”
He was right: I hated to think what he’d do if he was mad. So, I did it. I opened the door.
The look on his face! Hopeful, lustful, eager and now about to get his way. He started to step forward, wanting to push me back into the stall and then do whatever it was he’d do.
Rather than allowing that, I did what I’d planned. I’d flushed my drink down the toilet and filled the cup with my piss. I threw it in his face. He jumped back, wiping his eyes and making a guttural noise in his throat, and I pushed past him.
Running was one of the few things I was good at. I loved how it felt, being free, totally in control of myself. Running now gave me a sense of security I needed. I was sure he’d come after me. But he had to clean himself up first, dry his shirt, rinse off his face. All that would take time. Not much, but I didn’t need much.
He’d seen me in the line for the Southwest flight to Las Vegas. That was all he knew, not my name, not my age, only my destination.
So I ran.
I ran out of the Southwest terminal—my flight had already left and the door to the jetway was closed—outside onto the sidewalk and the short distance to the Delta terminal, two down the line of terminals between American and United. Delta had a flight to Las Vegas leaving in forty-five minutes. I was able to switch my flight from Southwest to Delta with an additional fee and got a ticket on the flight. Delta has assigned seating, and I asked for a middle seat between two adults as near the front as I could. Most likely I didn’t need to be this cautious—there was no way that man would be able to find me—but I was still scared.
Only quick thinking had saved me, and I was still full of adrenaline. But, on the almost-nonexistent chance he could find me and get on this flight, there wouldn’t be much he could do if I was sitting between two adults, and he’d almost surely have a seat well behind me, meaning I’d be off the plane and out of sight before he could deplane.
I could imagine a scenario where, if he had hold of me and there weren’t many people around, he could take me anywhere simply by claiming I was his son and nothing I was saying was true. People will believe an adult and not wish to get involved if he’s chastising his son. But I didn’t think he’d try to start something on a crowded plane, even if it were still on the ground. I’d make too much of a ruckus, and a flight attendant would have to intervene.
Feeling pretty safe, but not sure sure, I loitered in the gift shop till the row on the plane I was on was called to board; I did so quickly. A middle-aged woman was sitting in the window seat, and soon the aisle seat was taken by an elderly but fit-looking, no-nonsense sort of man wearing a tie and carrying a briefcase. He looked pleased to see me in the middle. A slight boy sitting next to him beat a 300-pound, wide-bottomed woman any day.
The plane filled, the door was being closed, and the man who was looking for me came in at the very last. He scanned the first few rows, didn’t see me because I was far enough back and had lowered my head below the seat in front of me, then started down the aisle. He came to me, stopped a moment, locked his eyes on me, and then continued past to his seat, four rows behind me. This time he hadn’t grinned. Maybe he hadn’t liked having to clean my urine off his face and clothes.
I could see a faint yellowish stain on his white shirt, and there were darker spots on his navy suit jacket where he’d blotted it, probably with water and a paper towel. I looked away. After seeing where he was sitting, I never looked at him again for the remainder of the flight. He was in a middle seat like I was. I doubted on landing he’d be able to fight his way forward before I could get to the cabin door. People are very protective of their rightful places in line when exiting an airplane. They’d do their best to see that people behind them in line remained behind them.
I figured I was safe and could relax. Tell that to my body! It was still tense, even though I kept trying to convince my mind to let go of my fear. I’d be out of the plane in McCarran and away before he could reach me, and while my parents couldn’t meet me at the gate, I could run there to meet them at the pickup point quickly enough. My dad didn’t work construction now, but he had just a few years earlier and was still a hard, tough man. I always felt safe when I was with him.
Sitting on the plane, trying to relax, I had time to try to figure out what the man wanted to do with me. Or to me. I really didn’t know, but I knew it involved sex. I hadn’t had sex with anyone, and I certainly didn’t want my first experience to be with a strange man forcing me to do who knew what. I really hadn’t thought much about a first experience. That was simply something that would happen in the future. Not today! Not with a man I didn’t know! Hopefully never with a man older than I was!
We took off and flew out over the ocean before making our one-eighty turn back east. Ask most people, they’ll say Las Vegas is well north of L.A. It’s basically as much east as it is north, and the initial part of the trip is over the mountains that are north of the city. They’re tallest just north of the airport. Flying east before turning north is a normal flight path to Vegas.
I’d flown this leg of my trips back and forth so often that I knew what to expect. So, when we made an early turn, another one-eighty, I knew something wasn’t quite right. Then the captain came on the public address system.
“Your attention, please. We’ve been asked to return to LAX and have turned and started our descent. There is an incident at our destination airport still being resolved, and all arriving traffic is being diverted. You will be notified when we can resume our flight, which we’re being told should be soon. We are asking that you deplane when we land. Carry-on luggage can be left on the plane. We apologize for the inconvenience, and will get you back in the air as soon as we can.
“We should be touching down at LAX in about six minutes. Cabin attendants, please prepare the cabin for landing.”
Shit squared! Now what could I do? Already we were back over L.A. and dropping lower and lower. I watched as we crossed a freeway and then were settling down with a soft bump and the roar of reversed engines.
Everyone stood up immediately when the plane came to a stop and the jetway was being extended. I didn’t look back to see how far away the man was. No matter how far back it was, I’d be moving as fast as I could, and why scare myself if he was pushing his way forward? I doubted he was. I’d have heard a commotion if he was attempting that.
The steward opened the door and the line ahead of me began moving. I moved with it, almost touching the man who’d been sitting next to me as he inched forward. I gave a quick thought to asking the steward for help, but I was too scared to speak clearly, and then the man would be here, and—
No, running was best. I was ahead of him and would stay that way. When we got into the jetway, which was wider than the aisle in the plane, I was able to work around people and force my way forward faster than many of them were walking. I reached the door into the terminal and risked a glance back.
He was right there! He’d made up time in the jetway, too. He was probably fifty feet behind me.
I quickly saw my target and headed straight there. Ran up and stopped, standing in front of a policeman. He looked to be middle-aged, was black, had a full mustache and more importantly, a sidearm. I knew I only had moments to speak, and did, undoubtedly sounding as frantic as I felt.
“There’s a man who’s been chasing me, coming up now. He exposed himself to me and then tried to attack me in a restroom stall.”
That’s all I could say before the man was there. “Good,” he said, speaking to the cop. “You got him. I’m Frank Bellows, TSA.” He flashed his ID wallet at him, open so his picture and ID could be seen.
TSA! No wonder he could find what plane I was on! All he’d had to do was call in, ask his tech-support people look at the Southwest fight’s passenger manifest and the ages of the passenger and he’d have my name. It would only take moments for them to find that name on a plane scheduled for Las Vegas. The TSA can do and did that sort of thing. They located me ticketed on the Delta flight, and he’d managed to get on it, too.
Damn, what could I do now? The local cop would just turn me over. I looked at the guy, my eyes pleading with him, and received a shock. He was drawing his weapon.
“Do not move,” he said, and aimed his gun at Frank Bellows. “Undercover TSA agents are allowed to carry their service weapons on planes, so you’re probably armed. If you move your hands to your clothing, I’ll shoot you.”
“What the hell? What are you doing. I’m TSA. I showed you my ID!”
“Shut up. Here’s what’s going down. First, I’ll handcuff you, then I’ll take your weapon. But as of this moment, you’re under arrest.”
“For what? I’m taking this kid into custody. He’s part of a drug bust, the TSA working in cooperation with the FBI. He was trying to escape, flying away. I just barely got him. Now stop this foolishness and let me get on with the government’s business.”
“You stand just as you are. Do not move your hands. I will shoot you.” Then the cop shifted his eyes to me for a half second. “What’s your name?” he asked, his eyes back on Bellows before he finished asking.
“Ryan. Ryan Samperson.”
“Well, Ryan, I could use a hand here. I have handcuffs in a leather pouch on my belt behind my back. If you’re the brave sort, what I’d like is for you to get them out, and then, standing as far from this guy’s side as possible so if he tries to grab you I’ll have a clean shot at his stomach, click one cuff on his left wrist. Then move away and I’ll have him put his hands behind his back, and you can snap the other one on. If he thinks that’s the time to try anything, I’ll have to take a head shot, so stay low.”
Wow! He wanted my help. I could see why. The guy, Bellows, was probably trained to get his gun out quickly, and the cop didn’t want to take his eyes off him while fumbling for his cuffs. I wasn’t anything like a brave boy, but I could do this. I wanted to do this. The guy had been going to molest me. Now I was handcuffing him. Splashing piss on him and then handcuffing him. A TSA agent! Something to remember for my memoirs!
I did as the cop had directed, being very aware of my distance from him. By now, we’d drawn a crowd, and the cop had had Frank shuffle around a bit so a cement-block wall was behind him and no one would be hit with if he had to fire. I think this made Bellows very aware the cop fully intended to shoot if he felt he had to. Bellows never did anything while I was handcuffing him to cause that to happen.
He did speak while I was doing this, though. To the cop. “You’re in major trouble,” Bellows said to the cop while this was happening. “I’m an active TSA agent in pursuit of a wanted suspect, and you have no reason at all to arrest me. You’ll lose your job over this, possibly, probably do time for obstruction.”
The cop smiled, then told Frank to sit down against the wall till backup arrived to take him away. I couldn’t believe this was happening. When the cop thanked me for my help, I had to ask him.
“You must have believed everything I told you to arrest him like that. But he’s TSA! I’d think you’d have taken his word over mine. I would have in your position. Why didn’t you?”
The cop laughed. “You believe in coincidences, Ryan?”
“Sure, sometimes. Why?”
“Because that’s what this was, a wonderful coincidence. See, we get rotated to airport duty every couple of weeks for a day because it’s much less stressful here than on the streets. My regular beat is vice. And the case I’ve been working concerns kids who’ve reported that a man has exposed himself to them. Kids your age and younger. They told their parents, and the parents brought them in to file reports. They all had vague descriptions of the man. Just a couple of days ago, I got the idea to get six of these kids to work together to do an Identi-Kit picture so we‘d know what the guy looked like and could pass the picture around to other beat cops. The kids all agreed the picture they’d helped us create was perfect. Here, I have a copy with me.”
He took a folded piece of paper from his back pocket and opened it. I was looking at an exact likeness of Frank Bellows.
“So here you come, running up to me, obviously upset, and right behind you, here comes just the man I’ve been looking for. And what do you say to me? That the guy chasing you exposed himself to you! Does that sound like a reason I should arrest him to you? I sure as heck thought so. Yeah, he’s TSA, but that doesn’t mean he’s not also a creep. Guys that do that, that want people to see their Wee Willie Winkie, they often start to want more. I think in that stall, he was going to go after that ‘more’. You were lucky. How’d you get away from him?”
I smiled, a little embarrassed. “I peed in my cup and threw that on him when he tried to push me back into the stall. He stepped back just a bit, and I was able to shove past him.”
“Hey! Great thinking. And it’ll be evidence against him as we’ll find residue on his clothes when we take him in. Hard to explain why he had piss all over him, and now we’ll know why.”
I heard the PA over the crowd chatter, and I had to ask. “Can I go? I still need to catch my plane to Las Vegas, and it’s boarding.”
He gave me his card. “Send me your name and address. We have six other kids to testify, but if the prosecutor needs you to come to court, can you do that?”
“Sure. Happy to. Happy to help get him put away. But now, I can go?”
He grinned at me. “Go ahead.”
Just then the PA said, “Last call for re-boarding Delta flight 209 to Las Vegas. All passengers should be aboard at this time.”
My hearty thank you to my editors.
And of course to Mike who runs this all by himself and could use what financial help is available. There's many of you and only one of him. Please help keep this site healthy.
Glad to have those of you aboard that are still reading my stories. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. As I get little mail, I have this sinking feeling there aren't that many of you left. Stay healthy! Can't afford to lose you!
Okay, enough whining. Get on with it, Cole. Bad, bad, bad.
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