by Peter Richardson
"Adam!" the sharp voice of an elderly sounding woman said from the door way. "Are you going to lie in bed all day dear, or are you going to get up and make yourself useful while you are here?"
My eyes snapped open and for a moment I wasn’t even sure where I was. My bedroom walls aren’t this colour. This room is so damn bright. And this bed is way too soft.
"Well, young man?" the voice said again. "Are you going to answer me?"
What I wanted to do was say that I already was up . . . and standing to attention! I mean, what fifteen year-old doesn’t wake up every morning with a raging hard-on? But I reckoned that somehow something would get lost in the translation there, so I left it alone.
Slowly, I raised my head and looked toward the door, where I found my grand-mother standing, looking down at me and with her arms folded in front of her.
‘Welcome to hell!’ I thought.
"Good morning Nan," I eventually said to her, as I let my head slump back down onto the pillow, while trying to remember why it was that I was actually here, in her house, three hundred miles from my home.
"Breakfast will be ready in a jiffy dear, so why don’t you hurry on and get up and get dressed, then come out to the kitchen?"
As I listened to her receding footsteps, the fog in my brain started to clear, ever so slowly.
It was school holiday time. That much I could remember at least. And I was dumped here by my parents at some ungodly hour last night. I could remember that too!
And as for why? Well, that was so that they could take a holiday by themselves. Something to do with a second honeymoon to celebrate their twentieth wedding anniversary!
Pffftttt! That was a joke!
I’m stuck here for two weeks, with the grand-mother from hell, while they’re off gallivanting around the islands.
Nice! Real nice!
I threw back the blankets and sat up, swinging my legs over the side of the bed and planting my feet on the floor, then ran my fingers back through my dirty blonde hair and stretched and yawned.
‘Old Percy’ was behaving himself once more, having gone into full retreat at the sound of my grand-mothers voice, so it was safe for me to stand up then head into the bathroom, wearing only my favourite black boxers: the ones with the red kisses all over them.
I quickly sloshed some water over my face and ran my fingers through my rather long and unruly brown hair, gave the guy in a mirror a wink and told him how good looking he was, then returned to the bedroom and pulled on yesterdays t-shirt.
Nan can just like it or lump it, I reckon. Take me as I am, babeeeeeeee!
The aroma of eggs and bacon led me to the kitchen and I soon found myself standing at the doorway looking in at my grand-mother standing over the stove in her pale pink dressing-gown, the egg lifter in one hand and the handle of the frying pan in the other.
She was everything that her daughter (my mother), wasn’t. She was a plump woman, a little shorter than my mother is, and perpetually cheery. Almost to the point of irritation.
I walked over to her and gave her a hug and a kiss on the cheek and said, "Good morning Nan," then set about pouring myself a cup of coffee.
"Did you sleep well dear?" she asked, while turning some bacon over.
"Not bad thanks," I replied. "Although it would have been nice to have been able to stay there for just a little while longer."
"Oh, no dear. You would miss the best part of the day if you did that!"
I looked around the room and that was when I noticed the digital clock radio sitting on top of the refrigerator for the first time. It was something new from when I was here last, but it was what it was saying that got my attention.
Six. Fifty. Five.
‘You’ve got to be fucking joking!’ I thought.
"Nan. Is your clock slow, by any chance?" I asked her, as calmly as I could.
She turned and looked at it, looked at her own wrist watch, then smiled.
"Oh no dear, its right on time. As usual. Never misses a beat that one."
"But . . . but it’s not even seven o’clock yet!" I exclaimed.
"Don’t you know dear, it’s the early bird that catches the worm!"
‘Fuckin’ hell,’ I thought. ‘I could have stayed in bed after all . . . I’d already caught the worm!’
"But . . . but it’s Saturday," I protested.
"That’s no excuse for spending all day lolling about young man. Saturday is a good day for doing the shopping, and getting jobs done around the house, and doing all sorts of things . . . like getting a hair cut!"
Holy shit! Two weeks of this? I think I might have to run away!
"That’s nice Nan. But you’re not touching the hair!"
I slumped down at the table and drank a mouthful of coffee, trying not to look too disappointed, but knowing that I wouldn’t be succeeding on that front.
"Don’t worry yourself dear," my grand-mother said as she sat a plate of bacon and eggs and fried tomato and toast in front of me. "I’m not going to have you working around here all the time. We’re off to a meeting today, and I need you to help me set up the hall this morning, then you can go and do whatever you want to do this afternoon, while we have our little get together."
"What sort of meeting Nan?" I ventured to ask.
"We’re having our regional C.W.A. meeting here in town today. We have people coming from all over the district."
"Errrrr . . . C.W.A.? What’s that?"
"Haven’t you heard of us dear? It’s the Country Women’s Association. Surely your mother would have mentioned it at some stage?"
"Errrrr . . . yeah, I think she may have," I replied.
Shit I was becoming a good liar!
"Well, you’d best eat up then Adam. You’re going to need all your energy while you are here young man."
"I will?" I asked, while still not quite sure that I wanted to hear the answer to this one.
"Oh yes dear. I’ve had things all planned for you for ages. There are lots of little jobs I want you to help me with while you are on your school holidays. That’s why you’ve come here to visit me, instead of going to your other grand-parents with your sister. Didn’t your parents tell you that?"
"Errrrr . . . no they didn’t," I replied.
Why was it that I suddenly I felt as if I’d been set-up, big-time?
As I ate my breakfast, under the watchful eye of my grand-mother, I started thinking about what I could remember about the place I now found myself in. I didn’t really see any of it when I arrived last night, except for the street and the front door, before my parents did a runner, so I was having some difficulty trying to put everything in it’s place in my own mind.
Nan lived in the same house that she had lived in since the day that she had married my grand-father, more than forty years ago, and had steadfastly refused to leave it even after Pop had died a few years back, the result of a long fight with the dreaded Big C.
It was an old house, built back in the nineteen thirties I think, in one of the more quiet streets of their small town. It wasn’t far from the main shopping centre, so Nan could at least walk to the shops and back, but it was far enough away so that there wasn’t much traffic. Out front there was a huge old Jacaranda tree that got covered in lilac flowers every year, plus a few bottle brushes and camellias and roses, and it had a big front verandah, with another one at the back, where Nan likes to hang out the laundry on wet days - not that there has been a wet day in weeks, being the middle of a stinking hot summer.
The best part though is that it’s only a short walk to the beach!
Oh, yeah. And the back yard! It is huge! It’s got some fruit trees and a big vegie patch, that the kikuyu grass is forever trying to reclaim. There are also some grape vines and another Jacaranda tree, and the double garage of course, half of which had always been for the Subaru station wagon that they had had for as long as I could remember, while the other half was Pop’s workshop.
I remember coming here when I was a little kid and helping Pop with the garden. I had spent hours helping him dig up soil, or weed flower beds, or prune rose bushes, and listening to his advice on when things should be done in the garden. It wasn’t what I would have called a lot of fun, but it was good to do stuff with Pop, after which he would often take me fishing or something.
The one thing I do remember was that he loved his grape vine, which grew nearly the full length of the side fence in the back yard. I also remember thinking that I was being really clever one day by waiting until he was inside and then trying to sneak over and pinch some grapes for myself. They were those big black grapes, the beautiful sweet ones, and just as I was about to get my hand on a particularly tempting bunch of them he yelled out from the kitchen window and said, "Get away from them grapes, you thieving little shit!"
He could be a cranky old bastard at times. But I do miss him.
After breakfast I was taken out into the back yard, and that was when the true enormity of my predicament struck me.
It was a jungle! The lawn looked as if it hadn’t been mown in years. Pop’s fruit trees hadn’t been pruned in years. And one of the garage doors looked as if it were about to fall off its hinges.
It was nothing like I remembered it to be!
"Ummm . . . it’s a bit of a mess Nan," I ventured.
"Well, what do you expect young man?" she snapped. "I’m not a young woman any more . . . and now that your grand-father is gone . . ."
I looked up at her and could see her frowning. Not at me, I didn’t think, but then again . . .
"We’ll start with the lawn dear. I often get that young Brown boy from down the street to do the lawns, but he never does it properly you know. He only does half a job. So I don’t see why I should be paying him, when I have you here at the moment to help your dear old grand-mother out. And I just know that you’ll do everything just right."
I thought about that for a moment, then realised just what she meant! It was her way of saying things. Getting a point across without actually coming out and saying what it was she was meaning!
Naturally, there was no mention of paying me the money instead. I know that Dad had made sure that I had enough money to last me while I was here, but still 'n all fair is fair you know!
"Now, when you’ve finished the lawn Adam, you make sure that you trim the edges of the path and the garden beds properly. I don’t want that blasted kikuyu taking over everything you know . . ."
I looked out at the garden and my heart sank.
‘Jesus, I’ll be lucky to even find the path and the garden beds amongst that lot!’
"Then later on I’ll get you to prune the fruit trees too," Nan continued. "But you might not have time for that this morning."
"But Nan, isn't it the wrong time of year to be doing that?" I asked, recalling my earlier lessons with my grand-father.
Hey, I don't know but it was worth a shot, to get out of hauling ladders and hacksaws and crap about in the heat.
Pop had been proud of his fruit trees and was in this serious competition for years with a couple of other old blokes at the local shows. I'd hate to be the one to mess them up; I'm sure he'd be back from the grave to get me!
"Early spring is best of course, but no-one," and she glared at me like it was my fault, "was here to do them for me, so now will just have to do. Off you go then. Everything is in the shed."
After I went and pulled on my jeans and my favourite cap, I headed for the garage, petrified at just what I might find in there.
I managed to open the door without it falling off its hinges . . .
‘I guess that’s ANOTHER thing on my list?’
. . . and found the old Subaru Station Wagon was still there, looking a little older and a little shabbier than I could recall. It could probably do with a wash and a polish, I thought.
This was the first time that I had been inside this garage in quite a few years. I think that the last time was about a year before Pop had died. I looked all around me, at all my grand-fathers belongings, and at the years of dust that had settled upon everything, and all of a sudden it hit me.
Things will never be as they once were. Never again will I help him repair a chair, or sand back a dolls house for my sister, ready for painting.
Slowly I walked across to the work bench, which was along the back wall, brushing a spiders web out of the way as I did so. Remarkably, all of his tools were still there, just where they had been the last time I had been in here.
I picked up an old saw from the bench, and brushed the dust off it, turning it over in my hands and with a smile, remembering the last time I had used it.
There was a spot marked on the wall where it was supposed to hang, so I put it back there, then started looking around at what else was out of place, finding spanners and screwdrivers and all sorts of things lying about where they shouldn’t be.
The more I looked, the angrier I was becoming.
"Jesus, doesn’t anyone care about Pop’s stuff anymore?" I muttered, not realising that I was thinking out aloud.
"Well, I really don’t think anything has been touched since he died," I heard my grand-mother say from behind me.
I spun around to find her standing at the doorway, her arms folded in front of her and just looking around.
"Errrr . . . I’m sorry Nan. I didn’t mean . . ."
"That’s alright dear. I understand."
I looked around me, at the clutter and the dust and the junk, and decided that maybe this would be a good place to start "the big clean up".
"Nan, before I start the lawn, I think I might give this a clean out first. Is that alright with you?"
"That would be nice dear. But would you at least mow the front yard this morning. It looks so . . ."
"Sad?" I offered.
"Well, I suppose that’s one way of describing it dear," she said with a soft chuckle.
After she had left me once more, and I had given the workshop a quick tidy up, I decided that I would attack the lawn first, at least the front lawn anyway. It would at least tidy the front of the house up a little and make it look a little more presentable.
I figured that I still had two weeks to do something about the back yard, not that I was particularly excited about that prospect.
Nan had said that the lawn mower was in the garage, and I had no reason to doubt her. It certainly took some finding though, as someone had thrown an old tarpaulin over it, and then some carpet over the tarpaulin, and then . . .
Well, I think you get the picture!
By the look of it, when I finally uncovered it, it looked as if it hadn’t been used in quite a while either. I reckoned that I would be lucky to even get it started. The simplest thing, I thought, would be to get it outside and try and get it started, then take it from there, so that was what I set about doing.
If there’s one thing that could have always be said about my grand-father it was that he always looked after things, so I was hoping that even though it had been a few years since he had touched this machine himself, maybe it was still in good order.
I got the mower out into the sunlight, then found a rag and dusted it off, then checked the oil and fuel, locating a little manual fuel pump on the side that I remembered Pop showing me once and giving that a few pumps. Much to my relief fuel started coming out of it after just a few squirts. Everything seemed OK, I thought, so I opened up the throttle then grabbed hold of the starting cord and gave it a pull.
For a few short seconds things whirred around and it made a few noises, but nothing happened.
I yanked the cord once more.
Once again. Nothing.
"Maybe it’ll be third time lucky then," I said aloud, and gave the cord another yank.
This time there was a little chug, and a puff of blue smoke came out of the machine, which gave me some hope at least, but that was it.
"O.K. then. How about fourth time lucky!"
I yanked the cord again.
Same result. Only this time the chug lasted just a little bit longer and the smoke was a just a little bit thicker.
On the fifth pull, things finally happened. The old motor roared into life, sending a thick cloud of blue smoke billowing into the air around me and sending me into a coughing fit.
"You little ripper!" I eventually managed to say, to anyone who cared to be listening, then started pushing the mower down the path toward the front yard, while a dog in the next yard ran up and down the fence barking at me. It was a Beagle, I think. Nice looking dog.
Thankfully the front garden wasn’t all that large, so once I got a start on it, it didn’t take long to cut the lawn down to size. The worst thing though, was that the grass was so long, seeing as it hadn’t been mowed at all since winter, so in the end I decided to mow it twice, once with the mower set way up high, then once again with it set quite low.
About an hour and a half later, when I just about had it finished and the sweat was pouring off me, Nan came out onto the front verandah with a glass of cold fruit juice, which was just about the best thing that could have happened, I reckoned. She motioned for me to come over, but as I’d almost finished I really wanted to get the last little bit done, before I stopped. Leaving the motor running I went over to her and said that I just wanted to finish the last few rows before I pulled up.
"Well then, I’ll just leave this here on the table for you then, shall I?"
"That would be great Nan. Thanks!" I replied, then went back to my work.
For a few minutes she stood on the front verandah, looking approvingly at what I had achieved, as I continued to walk back and forth, but when I glanced back a few moments later she was gone.
It was also while I was doing those last few rows of lawn that I looked up at the street and saw a boy ride slowly by on a bicycle. He was staring at me as he did so, which only served to unnerve me, firing up a strange, though wonderful, feeling that I’ve been getting in my stomach lately, that has been driving me to distraction. I can’t really explain it. It’s just . . . it’s just there.
Up until a few months ago I had never really taken much notice of any other guys, to tell you the truth, but lately I have to admit that I’ve been growing more and more curious about them, despite the fact that such feelings scare the hell out of me. My head has been a blur of thoughts and emotions and feelings and desires that I just can’t explain, and I have found myself asking myself all sorts of questions that I haven’t been able to answer.
I’ve been as confused as hell, I haven’t known which way to turn, and to be honest, I don’t really have anyone to turn to.
I looked back at bike-boy, and guessed that he was about my age, or maybe slightly older, with a solid build and blonde hair. He was wearing shorts and a basketball top, which showed off his well-tanned skin, and moved with a casual ease that struck me. I watched him for a few seconds, then I had to turn a corner on the lawn, and when I looked back he was gone.
I think he was actually the first living soul I had seen since arriving here, besides my grand-mother and the neighbours dog. At least I now knew that there were some interesting looking people in the town that were my age.
And male ones too!
One of the reasons why I had agreed to spend my holiday with my grand-mother (not knowing at the time that it was to be a working holiday), was because I had hoped that spending some time up here with her might have taken my mind off a few things that had been troubling me.
Besides the fact that my head was a confoozled mess, I had hoped to get away from something else for a just little while, to try and put it out of my head.
Well, I should say someone else, actually. His name is Martin. He was in my class at school. And he was driving me to distraction.
I looked at my watch. It was five minutes past ten.
After bike-boy had disappeared, I finished cutting the last few rows of lawn, which left the front yard looking decidedly cleaner and tidier than it had been beforehand, then headed toward the verandah, feeling totally exhausted, to where a cold, sweet drink awaited. I still had a fair bit to do to finish the garden off of course, like trim the edges of the path and weed the flower garden, but I was happy with what I had so far achieved.
By the time I had finished my drink, I was still feeling exhausted, so I just sat there for a few minutes taking in deep breaths and watching the world go by . . . not that there was a lot to see. A couple of cars and an old guy walking his dog were all I had to show for it.
A few moments later I heard Nan call out and ask if I could give her a hand with something, so I brushed the dirt and grass off my clothes before I ventured inside, slightly wary of what she may want done.
"Ahhh . . . there you are. Be a dear and help me with this will you? Time I did a little Spring cleaning," she said, when I eventually found her in the lounge room, pointing to the heavy Queen Anne lounge, with a faded chintz cover.
The vacuum cleaner was standing by, ready to eat up all the dust from behind it. I just hoped she didn’t want me to be the one who did the floors as well.
"You know, I really miss having your grandfather to help me do this," Nan said, puffing a bit as we pushed the lounge a little further away from the wall so that she could vacuum behind it.
"Yeah Nan, I reckon you would," I replied.
She straightened up and gazed out through the window for a moment, then said: "It was the only time I could ever get him to help with the housework you know, and he would always take me to the Chinese restaurant for a nice dinner afterwards. Up until the time you were at school we'd dress up and it would be a real treat, but in the last few years things being what they are, it didn't seem quite so special. Still it was a nice change."
I looked up at her and thought for a moment that she looked just a bit teary.
Then she sniffed a bit and blinked her eyes, saying: "Oh, it hardly takes anything at all to stir the dust up, does it?"
Then we were back into it. Moving all the heavy stuff before I died of exhaustion or did my back in.
I collapsed onto the old lounge about half an hour later, after Nan had vacuumed the room and we had moved the furniture back into place.
"Well young man," she said to me. "I think you deserve a treat for helping with that."
"I do?" I said, trying to sound excited.
"Oh yes. You just come out into the kitchen with me."
Oh boy. This will be good!
"Just follow me into the kitchen," she said to me. So I obligingly followed.
Apparently Nan had had a busy morning too, as when I got to the kitchen all I could see were home made cakes and sandwiches and biscuits covering every available space.
"Wow," I said to her. "You have been busy then."
"Yes . . . well, when there are things to be done one does have to make an effort you know!"
"I guess one does," I replied, somewhat cheekily, to which I received a wicked grin in reply. I liked the fact that my grandmother had a sense of humour and didn’t take everything too seriously, although I still wasn’t too sure just how far I could push her, and reckoned that I probably shouldn’t try and test her out either.
"Well Adam, you just help yourself dear, while I go and get myself ready. Then you had best have a shower and get dressed, as I’ll be needing you to give us a hand in setting up the hall before we start this afternoon."
"Us?" I enquired.
"What’s that? Oh yes, Gladys Dawson and I have to set the hall up before everyone else arrives . . . and I’m afraid we have quite a bit too do."
"Alright then Nan. I’ll just get myself another drink and have a couple of these tarts," I replied, while reaching for a custard tart.
She looked at me in a kindly sort of way, and for a moment I thought I saw her eyes grow watery.
"Is something wrong?" I asked her.
"Oh no dear," she replied. "It’s just that they were your grand-fathers favourite as well."
It was after eleven o’clock by the time we had showered and dressed and packed the back of the old Subaru with all the goodies, and it was with a chuckle that I realised that the little old ladies from the C.W.A. wouldn’t be worrying about their diets or waistlines today.
"Come on then Adam," Nan said to me. "We’d best get a move on."
She climbed into the drivers seat while I sat in the passenger seat and then she started the car up and backed out of the garage.
"So, where are we going then?" I asked her as she turned onto the street.
"To the Racecourse dear," she replied. "We hold all our meetings and functions in one of their halls, underneath one of the grandstands."
I simply nodded, knowing where the Racecourse was in town, having passed it often, but never having actually been there. It was back across town, over the river and then a left turn at the War Memorial in the middle of town, taking us westward.
At least there wasn’t much traffic about this morning, and it only took us five minutes to get there, turning in through the Racecourse gates and then turning and going through another set of gates, before driving straight to the massive grandstand, where we found old Gladys Dawson standing beside her car, her arms crossed and tapping her foot impatiently.
"She doesn’t look very happy Nan."
"That’s just like her," Nan said as we pulled up. "She’s always in a hurry to do things."
‘Yeah right,’ I thought. ‘And you don’t?’
"She must be keen then?" I ventured.
Nan laughed heartily.
"Oh, she’s more than that dear! She’s the devil that one!"
I laughed out loud, which earned me a reproachful look, for just a moment, before my grand mother chuckled to herself as well.
As we pulled up beside the other car, I saw the passenger side door open and someone else start to get out. What I wasn’t expecting however was for that someone else to be someone I’d already seen.
It was bike-boy. In all his glory. Only now, close-up like this, he was even more distracting.
"Hello Mrs. Sadler," he said to Nan as he straightened up, then to me he said, "Hi. You get your lawn finished?"
"Errrr . . . not quite," I replied, quite surprised that he would remember me.
"What’s this? Do you boys actually know each other?" Nan asked, sounding quite surprised.
"No Nan," I answered. "We just happened to notice each other this morning, when he rode by on his bike while I was doing the lawn."
"Oh, I see."
She looked from me to bike-boy, who she found was nodding in agreement.
"Well then, I suppose you should be introduced officially then. Adam, this is Mrs. Dawson, and her grandson Dale," she said, then for their benefit added, "And this is my grandson Adam, who is staying with me over the school holidays."
I said hello to Mrs. Dawson, then reached out and shook Dale’s offered hand. His grip was firm and I found his touch exciting, and when our hands lingered together for just a moment too long and our eyes locked for the briefest of moments, I sensed that there was more to young Dale than meets the eye.
"Well you three, we can’t dilly-daddle around here all day now," Mrs. Dawson finally said. "There’s work to be done you know."
"Yes, of course there is Gladys," my grand-mother replied, with a mischievous glint in her eye. "We have a lot to do before the rest of the ladies arrive."
Dale and I received our instructions and so the pair of us set about putting up some tressle tables along the back of the hall and covering them with plastic table cloths, working side by side for quite a while, under the watchful eye Dale’s grand-mother.
Our next job then was to put out row upon row of plastic chairs, all in neat lines and facing the stage area at the front of the hall.
"So, do you get to help out like this very often?" he asked me as we went back for another row of chairs.
"Nah, I don’t actually live here," I replied. "I’m hoping this’ll be a once only!"
"Don’t hold your breath hoping for that one mate."
"How about you then?" I asked.
"Oh man, she drags me along all the time. I hate these things."
"Can’t you get out of it?"
"Not a chance dude. See, I live with her. So whatever Grannie says, goes! C.W.A. . . . Church fetes . . . I get to see them all!"
"So, how many people do you reckon they’ll get here?" I asked Dale after we had put out the latest stack and then done a quick count. One hundred and fifteen chairs so far.
"Beats the crap out of me," he answered, sounding about as bored as I was feeling. "The old biddies must be coming from everywhere."
"Yeah. That’s what my Nan said," I commented. "And I don’t really want to be here when they all arrive either!"
"That makes two of us mate!"
A few minutes later, after we had put out another three rows of chairs, Nan came over to me and said: "Well done boys. I think that should be nearly enough for us all."
‘Nearly enough? Jesus!’
Dale and I just looked at each other. I caught him rolling his eyes skyward and found myself having to smother a laugh.
"Why don’t you two boys grab some sandwhiches and then run along some place and play? I’m sure that you won’t want to hang around here all afternoon with all us old folks!"
"Play?" we said in unison.
"Well, you know what I mean . . ." she said, while starting to sound flustered. "Go off and do whatever it is that boys your age, well, go off and do!"
As my grand-mother turned and walked away from us, having spotted some old dear that she knew coming in through the doors carrying yet another basket of goodies, I glanced at Dale and noticed his grin widen.
"You got anything in mind?" I asked him.
"Not really," he answered. "But I’m sure that we could find something to keep ourselves amused."
There was something about his expression when he said that which kind of got my attention . . . and my pulse racing, if the truth must be known.
"Well, you’re the one who knows the town," I answered, "so I guess you had better lead the way!"
We grabbed a plate full of sandwiches each and a drink, then headed outside into the afternoon sun. It had turned into a scorching summer afternoon, and it wasn’t long before we started looking for some shade.
"How about up there?" I said to him, pointing toward the grandstand above us. There were thousands of vacant seats to chose from, and they were all high up and in the shade, which gave us a great view of not only everyone arriving for the meeting, but also looked out across the race track and beyond that to the town as well.
"Cool," he replied, and led the way across the manicured lawn and up the steps and into the grandstand, where we both sat down and ate our lunch, about half way up the rows of empty seats.
By the time we had finished eating we both started hearing the familiar sounds of cars coming and going, and car doors being opened and closed.
"Want to check out all the old dears?" Dale asked, getting up from his seat and climbing further up into the grandstand, until he had reached the very last row and stood peering over the edge.
I got up and climbed the stairs also, watching him carefully as I took each step, taking note of the tanned and muscular legs showing below his denim shorts (which had to be jeans that had been cut down, I thought), his solid build, and his blonde hair.
He was a guy that someone could easily fall for, I reckoned, but I had no idea if he would be interested in me or not. And what made it worse, was that I had absolutely no idea about how to go about finding out if he could even be interested.
"Well, it looks like we timed our lunch break well!" I said to Dale, while looking down on the throng below us.
He glanced up at me for a moment, but then, when I glanced at him and our eyes met, he quickly looked away and returned his attention to the scene below us.
"Bloody hell," he said, after a few moments. "We did get out of there just in time, didn’t we?"
"Too bad we don’t have any water bombs with us!"
I chuckled softly and said, "We could always go get some?"
"Oh, shit no!" he replied. "My grand mother would have my guts for garters."
"Mine too, I reckon."
We watched in silence for a few minutes as more and more car loads of people arrived, and I couldn’t help but feel relieved that we were able to escape from there in time.
"So, who are all these people? Do you know them all?" I asked him.
"Nah. Not all of them. A lot of ‘em are out of towners I think."
"See that green car over there? The one that three women just got out of?"
"Yeah," I answered, seeing the pale green Holden Commodore he was referring to.
"They’re all sisters, them three. Iris, Gladys and Olwyn. Iris has only just moved back here. It seems her marriage just broke up. Serves her right too, I reckon."
Dale flashed a wicked smile and said, "Well, she ran off with the local priest, didn’t she? About twenty years ago now, or so they say. Father O’Leary it was!"
"Oh, the scandal," I gushed.
"Ha! That ain’t the half of it!"
"Yeah? What else?"
"Well, it’s why the marriage broke up you see. It seems the good Father went and got himself arrested. Something about an altar boy, a long time ago, or so my gran said."
He gave me a wink, but said nothing more.
"Geez, you are a regular little gossip columnist! Ever thought about getting a job with a newspaper?"
"Not a chance mate. I’m going to be a pro-surfer!"
We watched them for a few minutes more, then Dale looked up at me once more and said, "What say we blow this joint before someone comes looking for us to give us another job or something?"
"Sure. What do you want to do?"
Without saying a word he plunged his hand down the front of his shorts (which, I don’t mind telling you almost gave me a heart attack and set my mind racing once more), but then, just as quickly as he had put his hand in there, he pulled it out again, and I found him holding a pack of cigarettes.
"That’s better. They were starting to get a bit uncomfortable down there," he said, then when he looked up at me he stopped and grinned at me. "What’s wrong with you? Were you getting your hopes up there for a minute or something?"
Unable to think of anything to say I quickly turned away, preferring to look down upon the scene below us than look directly at him and give myself away totally. I don’t know what he would have thought of my silence, but most likely he would have assumed he was right and wouldn’t want anything more to do with me.
"So, you feel like a fag?" he eventually asked.
"W-what?" I stammered, jerking my head back in his direction.
"A cigarette? I was asking if you felt like a cigarette. They do call them that where you’re from, don’t they?"
"Yeah," I eventually answered. "They do."
He shook his head.
"Nah, if granny knew I had these I’d be dead. I reckon we should go down to the creek," he answered, pointing to the line of willows on the far side of the racecourse.
"She sounds like one tough old bird," I ventured.
"Shit mate, you don’t know the half of it!" he replied. "Come on, let’s get out of here!"
When we reached the bottom of the stairs we could hear the sounds of a hundred little old ladies coming from the cavernous belly of the grand stand. We glanced at each other, and without saying a word, we both decided that it was one place we wouldn’t be heading toward.
Dale jerked his head in the direction of the creek, and quickly headed in that general direction, with me following him.
"There’s a good swimming hole down here," he said, as we jumped the fence and found ourselves on the actual race track, where horses pounded their way along the turf several times a year.
"What about the ocean?" I asked him. "I mean it’s so close, don’t sharks or anything come up here?"
He shook his head and explained that we were only going down onto a creek, which ran into the river that then flowed into the ocean. He also said that there was a weir in the river, between here and the sea, so nothing like that ever came up into the river, or this creek.
That was certainly a relief to me.
We followed the race track around until we were almost opposite the grand stands, then Dale jumped the fence, so I followed, heading across a paddock through long grass, picking our way past some blackberry bushes, toward the trees which were now looming large in front of us.
"You come here often?" I asked.
"When I can. It’s a good place to just hang out . . . or hide out."
"Yeah, I can imagine."
We ducked under some low branches of a Willow tree, and followed a narrow path down the bank to the creek, coming to a stop on a grassy flat by the edge of the creek, with Willow trees drooping lazily all around us and out over the still waters as well.
"Jesus, this is the spot!" I said to my new friend. "Right by the water. Trees all around. No one can see in or anything!"
"Yeah. Ain’t it the grouse? What did I tell ya? The perfect place to get away from Grannie for a while."
He sat down on the ground and leant back against a log, then flipped open his packet of cigarettes, pulling one out for himself and then offering me one as well. I took it, and sat down beside him.
Reaching into his pocket he pulled out a lighter, flicked it once and a flame appeared. I leant over and he lit my cigarette, then lit his own.
"Man, it’s nice here," I said, leaning back against the log and blowing lazy clouds of smoke into the air above us.
"Yeah. I like this spot," he replied, blowing a perfect smoke ring which floated effortlessly upwards, until disappearing amongst the branches. "It’s great, you can go skinny dipping right here, and nobody sees you. Or you can come here and . . ."
He stopped and looked away for a moment.
"And what?" I asked.
"Oh, nothing really," he said.
I didn’t push him on it, but I felt that he was holding something back. Whatever it was, it was his business I suppose. But I couldn’t help but wonder, could I?
I leant my head back against the log and blew a smoke ring of my own, watching it drift upwards, passing through a single shaft of sunlight that managed to make its way through the thick foliage above us.
"Nice one," I heard Dale say to which I could only agree.
It was while I was watching my handy-work float skyward however, that something happened. It was something surprising, and something which I was totally unprepared for.
I suddenly felt Dales hand. First touching my leg. Then coming to rest on my lap, right over my manhood.
For the second time in a week I was paralysed with fear. It was just for that split second. That was all it took. But in that same split second however, I could feel myself responding to his touch. For the second time in a week.
I looked directly at him, seeing in his eyes the question he couldn’t ask with his lips, and despite my own desires, it was confusion that reigned, and all at once it became too much for me and I pushed his hand away and jumped sideways.
"Jesus Dale, where the fuck did that come from?" I yelled, while scrambling to my feet and backing away from him.
"Oh, fuck. I’m so sorry Adam," he answered, while standing up himself. "I didn’t mean . . . I mean I thought you . . ."
"Well, you thought wrong," I snapped at him.
He just stood there looking at me, almost looking as if he were about to burst into tears, but in spite of what had happened, I wasn’t angry with him. I guess it was more the shock than anything else.
"Look mate. I’m not mad at you or anything. It’s just that it was . . . a bit of a shock, I guess."
"I’m . . . I’m so sorry," he said. "I was sure that . . ."
"Sure that what?"
"Oh, never mind," he replied, shaking his head.
We looked at each other for what seemed like an eternity, both of us with a million thoughts swirling around in our minds, yet neither able to say or do anything.
"So, I guess that you’re . . .," I started to say, but stopped myself, unable to complete the sentence.
"That I’m what?" he prompted.
I simply shook my head. I just couldn’t say the G word.
Not just yet.
"Yeah well, we are who we are, right?" he finally said.
"And do you make a habit of hitting on guys the day you meet them?" I asked, trying to make light of a heavy situation.
He managed a brief smile, but no sooner had it come to his lips than it was gone again.
"Listen Dale. It’s no biggie. Really! I’m from the city, remember? Do you know how many guys there are down there that are . . . well, like you?"
"More than just a few I’ll bet?"
"Yeah mate. Quite a lot more than just a few."
He was quiet for a moment, then asked: "So you’re not going to go running off and tell your grand-mother then? Or mine?"
"Shit no! What do you take me for?" I replied, which left him looking rather puzzled.
"Well, for one thing, I kind of like you. And for another, you’re the only person in town that I know, besides Nan, so it would hardly be a good idea to ditch you now would it? And besides, who else am I going to be able to cadge a cigarette from?"
Finally a smile came to his lips, and this time it stayed there.
"Thanks," he finally said.
"Hey. No problem," I answered.
He sat back down on the log and after a few moments hesitation, which I don’t think he noticed, I sat down beside him.
We both took a deep drawback on our cigarettes, then let the smoke out and watched it drift aimlessly away.
My head was still spinning at a million miles per hour, and there was so much that I wanted to ask him, and talk to him about, but I just didn’t know where to start.
"Can I ask you something?" I eventually said to him after I had finished my cigarette a few minutes later.
"Sure," he replied, with a shrug of the shoulders.
I had thought of what I wanted to ask, and was on the verge of asking it, but at the last second I chickened out. Instead I went with the easy option.
"Errr . . . how come you live with your grannie?"
I sensed his whole body start when I asked him, and I immediately knew that I had hit a nerve, which only caused me to feel guilty then.
"Shit . . . I’m sorry mate, I shouldn’t have asked that," I immediately said.
"Don’t be. It’s not your fault," he replied.
I watched him for a few seconds, as he flicked the butt of his cigarette into the still waters beside us, then dropped his face into his hands briefly, before straightening back up and running his hands back through his short blonde hair.
"I . . . I didn’t have anywhere else to go," he finally said.
I didn’t push it. I figured that if he wanted to tell me, he would.
"I’ve been living with her for about six months," he continued. "You see, I got kicked out by my folks. Well, by my dad really. The asshole!"
"You did?" I exclaimed. "How come?"
He looked at me for a long while, his face an ashen colour that was filled with hurt. I was sorry that I had even asked him the question now.
With a sigh, he finally continued.
"He came home early from work one afternoon," he said. "And one of my mates had come home with me that afternoon. We thought that we had plenty of time, so we were watching a video that he’d gotten off someone . . ."
"And?" I urged.
"Well, it was . . ."
"Yeah well . . . we weren’t really watching the movie any more. We were pretty well into it, if you can catch my drift . . ."
I nodded, feeling my throat go dry and my cheeks burn at the same time.
" . . . and that’s when he walked in. I had my cock up . . . well, you don’t want to hear the details. He just told us to get dressed. Trent just bolted, he wasn’t going to hang around, and I got thrown out that night. Just like that."
"Oh fuck! I’m so sorry. I had no idea!"
"You don’t have to be," he answered. "I’m better off where I am now. Gran knows all about it . . . but she hasn’t said anything really. She just said that it was my life and I could lead it however I wanted, provided I was sensible and played it safe, and didn’t bring anyone home to her place, that was all."
"What do you mean by ‘play it safe’?" I asked.
"I mean like, use condoms and stuff. Can you believe it? My own grand-mother gave me a lecture about using rubbers!"
"Yeah well, she can be a crabby old piece sometimes, but she’s been good to me. So that’s why I can’t complain too much when I have to help her out with these things."
"What about your folks, do they live here too?"
"Oh, shit no. They live in Brisbane."
"And do they still talk to your Gran?"
"Only when they have to," he answered with a wry smile.
We stayed there for the rest of the afternoon, just talking about our lives, telling the occasional joke, and smoking cigarettes. I can’t remember when I’ve had so much fun with someone else when we’ve just done basically nothing.
After a couple of hours of this Dale got to his feet and stretched, then said, "Geez man, I need a piss."
He then wandered over to the edge of the water.
"That’s actually not a bad idea," I said.
Getting to my feet I soon joined him and moments later there were two streams arching out into another stream. When we were both almost done, I just happened to glance down at what my companion was holding onto, and without even realising it I let out an audible gasp, which surprised even me.
He looked across at me sharply.
"What the fuck are you looking at?" he asked, with a grin etched on his handsome features.
I couldn’t answer him. My tongue and throat suddenly felt so dry that I couldn’t have said a word even if I’d wanted to.
"Well?" he asked again.
"I think that you and I are probably more alike than you would think," I finally managed to say to him.
"What do you mean by that?"
Without saying a word, and while holding his gaze with mine, I slowly reached across and took hold of him. I had secretly been hoping for this moment from the time that I had first laid eyes on him this morning, but little did I realise then that it would happen so swiftly.
A knowing smile slowly spread across his lips and a sparkle came to his eyes.
"What are you grinning at?" I asked him, as I started slowly stroking the enormous uncut cock that I now held in my hand.
"Seems I was right the first time then, huh?"
"Yeah, it seems so," I answered.
He reached across and took a hold of my rapidly growing member, which seemed to jump all of its own accord once touched by a hand other than my own. Within seconds it had grown to it’s full size, which was about six inches (I had measured it only last week), and while I knew that it still paled in comparison to the other cock I now held in my hands, I was still quite pleased with what it had developed into.
I had never gone this far with anyone before. Even the touch of Martin last week, as hurried and brief as it was, had still only been through my school pants, so this was all still new to me, while Dale was obviously an old hand at this game.
"That feels so nice," I whispered to him as his experienced hands worked their way back and forth along the length of my now rigid shaft.
"Have you ever done anything like this before?"
I just shook my head.
"Well, hold on mate. You ain’t seen nothing yet," he answered softly, before letting go of me and hooking his thumbs into the elastic of my shorts and jocks, then dropping to his knees in front of me and pulling them down around my ankles and then finally off my feet.
I was now standing there, totally naked, except for my shoes, with my hard cock now pointing to the skies. That wasn’t for long though, as Dale quickly took hold of me once more, before gently teasing the end of my shaft with the tip of his tongue, sending a wave of excitement through me, the likes of which I had never before felt.
"Oh god," I cried out.
"Sssshhhhhh! Not too loud," he whispered.
"Oh man, that just feels so good. Do that again will you?"
I looked down at him and noticed him grinning at me, then without saying anything more he did just that, before then opening his mouth and swallowing the head of my cock, his lips sliding down the length of my shaft, enveloping my hardness with a warmth that was comforting, yet at the same time was totally exciting.
"I can’t believe just how good that feels," I whispered to him, while trying to retain my balance by holding onto his shoulders.
He let my meat slip from his mouth and whispered back, "Just wait. It’ll get even better."
"Really?" I replied. "When?"
"One thing at a time mate. Just sit tight and enjoy the ride."
He was stroking me with his hand now, while his tongue was licking at my balls, and every now and then he would take them in his mouth and suck on them, which only served to send wave upon wave of tingles through my entire body.
Slowly then, he started working his way upwards. His lips. His tongue. His cheeks. All caressing my body, reaching my navel, then the shallow hollow between my pecs, then working to one nipple, then the other. Sucking . Licking. Teasing.
I had no idea that anything like this could feel so good.
By the time that he reached the base of my neck I was feeling like I was going to explode with excitement, then moments later, when his lips brushed against mine for the first time, and our cocks came together between our gyrating loins, I actually thought that I would.
"Are you enjoying this?" Dale whispered to me.
"Oh yeah," I replied.
With nimble hands he then took hold of the bottom of my t-shirt and quickly pulled it over my head, before tossing it on the ground a few feet away. I pulled his t-shirt from his body also, revealing a beautifully developed body, tanned, and with just the slightest hint of a trail of blonde hair running upwards to his navel.
"You’re beautiful," I whispered.
"You ain’t too bad yourself," he replied, before planting his lips once more on mine, thrusting his tongue deep into my mouth.
I had only ever dreamed about anything like this happening to me, and now, here I was having my every desire fulfilled.
Letting my hands roam over his smooth body, I eventually let them settle on the waist of his shorts, which were still fastened. Only his cock protruded from them, so after finding the button that fastened them at his waist I fumbled with it for just a moment, before finally managing to undo it, allowing his shorts to fall around his ankles by themselves.
This left only his jocks, so after hooking my thumbs into either side of the waistband I started sliding them down his legs, squatting down as I did so and ending up on my knees in front of him, with his huge cock, nestled into a bush of dark blonde pubic hair, waving before me as he stepped out of his clothes.
I placed one hand around his shaft, with the tips of my fingers not even meeting the tip of my thumb, while with the other hand I held his balls, full and large.
"You think you’ll be able to swallow that?" I heard him ask.
"I doubt it," I chuckled softly. "But I’ll have fun trying won’t I?"
He moved his hand and placed one at the back of my head, applying just a little pressure, urging me to open my mouth and take his cock inside.
It was right there in front of me, and on the end of it I could see a shiny drop of pre-cum. I couldn’t resist it. I just had to taste him. I just had to lick it off.
So I did.
It is hard to describe that first taste of cum. Even if it was just the smallest of amounts.
The strangest mixture of tastes. The saltiness. The sweetness. The tartness. I had never tasted anything like that before, but I knew instantly that I wanted to taste it again. And soon!
I opened my mouth and Dale pushed his hips forward, the head of his cock resting on my lips for a brief moment, before he thrust again, forcing me to open wider. My mouth was soon filled with his throbbing manhood, so as best as I could I wrapped my lips around him and started to suck
It felt totally incredible having something like this in my mouth. It felt totally incredible being here, naked, with this beautiful boy.
"Man, I love your mouth," Dale moaned as I sucked on him.
We were working together as one, our motions in synch with each other. He was thrusting his cock forward for me, as I was rocking forward to meet him. His cock was filling my mouth, hitting the back of my throat, the place where my tonsils once were, causing me to gag, but I didn’t care about that. All I cared about right now was keeping that cock in my mouth until he shot a load of the hot creamy liquid that I was yearning for.
"Do you want me to cum in your mouth?" he whispered.
I tried to nod, but I don’t think I managed it. Somehow he got the message though, as he looked down at me with a lascivious grin on his face.
"I’m . . . I’m getting close," he groaned.
I wanted to say that I hoped so, but my mother always told me not to talk with my mouth full.
At that comment, we started to pick up the tempo. He was thrusting faster and faster, while AI was sucking harder and harder.
My god I was enjoying this.
Then, just a few moments later, I felt his body tense. He really was getting close now.
I sucked on him, and sucked on him, and sucked on him, while his moans and groans were growing louder and louder.
Then it happened. His body froze up and he was as stiff as a board. Then, while I continued my ministrations, I felt his cock enlarge that little bit extra, just like mine always does just before I cum, his body give an almighty shudder, and then a wad of his cum hit the back of my throat, trickling down my oesophagus even before I’d had a chance to taste it.
It didn’t matter though, because my mouth was soon filled with his hot boy juice, as his cock slipped out to where just the head was being held in place by my lips, and continued to pump the precious liquid into me.
"Holy shit Adam," he muttered. "Are you sure that you’ve never done this before?"
"Only in my dreams dude," I answered, between slurps.
When he had nothing more left to give Dale gently placed a hand under my chin and guided me upwards, back to my feet and to where our faces were just inches away from each other. For a long while we were just standing there, gazing into each others eyes, and with our hands stroking the cheeks of the other.
"I want you to know that that was the most sensational head job that I’ve ever had," he whispered, then leant forward and kissed me.
"Anytime mate," I replied, before kissing him back.
"It must be my turn now then," he said. "I want to taste that creamy juice of yours."
He led me over to the log that we had earlier been leaning against, and turned me around so that my back was to the log, then placed his hands on my shoulders and pushed down, making me sit, before then squatting down in front of me.
Ever so gently he spread my legs apart, then made me stretch my legs out, while he sat between them, looking up at me with that rather nasty grin on his face that I was already beginning to love.
My cock was still as hard as it had ever been and was now pointing directly at him. I knew that in my current state it would hardly take anything at all to send me over the edge and blow my load.
Looking down at my own cock I noticed that there was a huge glob of pre-cum sitting on it’s tip. Dale obviously noticed it at about the same time, and quickly scooped it up onto his finger, holding it up in front of me for a moment, then quickly placing his finger all the way into his mouth, before slowly pulling it back out again, with his lips wrapped firmly around it.
"Mmmmmm . . .," he said to me. "That tastes sweet."
"You’d best go get the rest of it then," I urged, so without saying another word, that was what he did, going down on me and wrapping his lips around my shaft, bobbing his head up and down, while I leant back and closed my eyes, moaning softly and enjoying the moment.
I knew that I was close. I could feel it coming. But when his hand slipped down below me, with his fingers gently probing for my butt hole, I felt a shudder go through my entire body.
That was nothing however, compared to what I felt when his eager fingers found their mark, and he forced his index finger inside me. The exquisite agony of it all was just too much, and within seconds I was pumping my load into Dale’s mouth, with him sucking for all it was worth to try and drain that last drop from me.
When he finally came up for air I could see him grinning, with a stream of my juice running down his chin, but with his mouth remaining closed.
He looked just so sexy like that and I couldn’t resist him any more, so placing a hand at the base of his neck I pulled him toward me. He was still grinning as I licked the cum from his chin, but when we kissed and our mouths opened, allowing some of my own juice to trickle back into mine, the grin was soon on my face.
When we were done, and we were both really done, Dale lit us both a cigarette and we sat back against our log once more, watching the world drift by.
We were still naked, only this time we had our arms around each other, neither wanting to let go of the other after the afternoon we had shared. I don’t quite know how to explain it, but it was almost as if we were afraid we would lose each other.
"You feel like a swim?" Dale asked me when he had finished his cigarette and flicked its butt out into the water.
"Yeah, why not?" I replied.
He got to his feet and held out a hand for me, which I took and was soon dragged upright.
Together we walked to the waters edge and waded out into the stream.
"So, just how long are you going to be staying here for?" Dale asked me as we embraced in the cool water, our arms around each others necks, our faces just inches away from each other.
"Only two weeks," I answered.
"And I bet you thought they were going to be the worst two weeks of your life? You know, spending them with your grand-mother?"
"Uh huh," I said, as I leant forward and kissed him.
"And what do you think now?"
"Oh, I don’t know. I think I might end up enjoying these holidays after all!"
~ The End ~
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