A Canterbury Tale
By Free Thinker
Disclaimer: This story contains scenes of sexual activity between males. If you find this offensive and/or distasteful, if it is illegal for you to read such material in your jurisdiction, or if you feel the reading of this may induce you to commit illegal acts, the author urges you not to read it. The author in now way condones the violation of any laws. Also, this story is fiction and the events described never occurred.
The author invites you to comment at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you so much for reading my story.
The Acolyte's Tale
The sound of someone clearing their throat echoed through the church and both Anthony and I turned guiltily toward the sacristy to find the church secretary, Mrs. Runnymede, glaring with frigid disapproval at us, her arms crossed and her right foot tapping impatiently on the tile floor.
"Young men should be in the rectory with their families."
Quite frankly, I saw no reason why young men couldn't sit in church if they wanted to, but six months at St. Andrew's had taught me that the church may have had a rector, but Mrs. Runnymede ran the operation; and, she did so with an iron fist that tolerated no dissent! The look of defiance about to burst forth on his face made me realize that it might be entertaining to see the clash of wills when Mrs. Runnymede ran up against Anthony! However, that was something for another day.
"We'd better go," I whispered to Anthony as I stood.
"Why?" he asked matter-of-factly.
"Because you don't want to make Mrs. Runnymede mad! Trust me."
Anthony continued to sit. I looked up at the secretary and saw her eyes growing larger and redder. Any moment now, the Runnymede death rays would shoot out and Anthony and I would explode.
"Come on!" I whispered vehemently.
Anthony snorted. "This time. But, next time..."
Anthony followed, but as we passed the Runnymede, Anthony muttered under his breath, "Tory."
"I'll brook no insolence from you, young man! I've seen rectors come and go in this parish for more than thirty years."
Anthony simply raised an eyebrow and stared her down, then turned and followed me down the hall.
"You'll pay for that," I said as we entered the rectory.
"I've seen her type before," Anthony replied serenely. We approached my grandparents, who were apparently trying to disengage themselves from my grandfather's stockbroker.
"This recession won't last long at all! You have nothing to worry about. Come by my office tomorrow, Henry, and we'll set you up with some real growth stocks!"
"Fred, I'm a banker," my grandfather replied impatiently, "not a gambler. Now, if you'll excuse me, we need to get my grandson here home and fed."
Before Fred the stockbroker could reply, we were hurriedly rushed toward the new Rector and his wife.
"Well, how are the young fellows doing," Father Mac asked as we approached. Anthony's mother gave me a long stare.
"We met Mrs. Runnymede," Anthony replied with a hint of, what? insolence, rebellion, sarcasm? I wasn't certain, but I was getting the impression that he could be quite independent-minded when he wanted to be, a trait, I began to wonder, that he might have inherited from his mother.
"Ah, yes," replied Father Mac, in a tone indicated that he, too, had enjoyed that singular pleasure. "Do be nice to Mrs. Runnymede, please Anthony. She will be of great assistance to me as I undertake my new duties."
"Of course, Dad." But, I saw the hint of a smile at the edges of Anthony's lips and it made me start to smile as well.
"Well," my grandmother asked as we walked the two blocks back to their house. "Are you and Anthony going to be friends?"
God! Not again!
"Anthony's OK," I replied. "I don't know if we're gunna be friends."
"Don't say 'gunna.' Say 'going to.' You're not in Texas anymore."
"You can say that again."
I knew I was pushing my luck with that last little barb and I wasn't really one to backtalk adults, but I just wanted everyone to leave me alone! Why couldn't they just let me be myself and deal with everything in my own way?
After Sunday dinner, I spent the afternoon on the porch swing reading The War of the Worlds and watching the world pass by on our quiet street. But, I was becoming increasingly irritable. I couldn't stop thinking about that redheaded guy at church and why he made me feel so funny. But, even more disconcerting, I couldn't stop thinking about Anthony and the funny way he made me feel. I saw, once again, that beautiful glow around his head, those deep blue eyes, the way his hair hung down over his ears, the way he stood up to Mrs. Runnymede, firmly but not obnoxiously. He was, well, cute! And, definitely cool. I could guess why people didn't like him in Tennessee. His accent was really English and he seemed so sure of himself. Yet, there was something else about him that made me think he was terribly lonely. Maybe, I could be his friend. But, not if he made me feel so funny. Yet, I kinda liked feeling funny, at least the funny way he made me feel.
That night, as I lay in bed, looking out the window at the stars, I thought about Anthony again, about the weird feelings, about the way my thing would get stiff and swell up when I looked at guys. In the blue glow from the street light in the alley, I pulled my sheet off and then pulled down the pajama shorts I was wearing, to reveal my penis. It was once again hard and sticking out. I examined it. It was bigger than it used to be, as were my balls. I put my index finger on the tip and pushed it down. Then I let it go and watched as it snapped back up and bounced. It kinda felt good to so that.
With a sigh, I pulled my pajamas back up and lay on top of the sheet. I began to wonder if Anthony's penis did the same thing, if he got stiff and big when he looked at guys.
I awoke in the middle of the night. I had been dreaming of Anthony and, though I couldn't remember any details, I knew that Anthony and I had been looking at each other's penises and they were both hard and stiff. As I lay there, the feelings I had experienced seemed ten times, a hundred times stronger. What were they? What could I do about it? I lay there on my bed, my penis so hard I thought it would break off, panting, my heart racing, a strange feeling deep within me, not quite in my butt, not quite in my penis, but somewhere in between that felt as if it would burst out like a balloon!
Monday morning, I sat on my grandparents' screened in back porch and ate a couple of pieces of toast and peanut butter, listening to the squawking of the starlings and blue jays and the rumble of traffic on Main Street a block away. I wanted to talk to someone about what was happening to me, but my grandfather had already left for the office. My grandmother was certainly NOT an option. Father Enfield was so old he would probably have no idea what I would be talking about!
Wait! Father Mac! He seemed cool. He might understand and not even think I was a freak! That would be perfect!
However, my heart sank when I realized that this was happening to me when I looked at his son. He might not be quite so understanding in that case. With a sigh, I realized there was no one I could talk to.
I started to tear up again. I could have asked Daddy about it. He'd have understood. He would have explained it to me. He wouldn't have thought I was a freak or anything. But, Daddy was gone and I was alone. Alone.
It was early in the afternoon. I had gone down to the basement apartment my grandparents sometimes rented out to students at Canterbury College. On a bookshelf outside the door to the apartment and across from my grandfather's tool bench was a collection of National Geographic magazines, some from as far back as the twenties and thirties. One of my favorite things to do was to sit in the basement for hours, enjoying the damp, mildewy odor and the cool of the concrete floor against my legs and become lost in the world of the National Geographic. I loved the articles, the pictures, the maps. That's what I wanted to do when I grew up, travel the world and write articles for the National Geographic!
I was deeply engrossed in an article about Kenya when I heard the basement door open and my grandmother call out, "Jon? You have a guest!"
Oh, no. Oh, yes! Oh, NO! OH, YES!
Anthony had come to see me? I was thrilled. I was furious. I wanted to be left alone so I could read my magazines and escape. Yet, I really wanted to be around him again. Yet, I didn't want to feel that feeling again. Yet, I really wanted to feel that feeling again!
I could hear steps as he descended into the basement. With each step, I could feel my breath becoming shallower, my chest becoming tighter, my thing becoming harder. My God, he wasn't even in the room and my thing was already getting hard.
Anthony peered around the corner tentatively and gave a shy smile.
I was almost speechless. Anthony was SO cute! He was wearing a white alligator shirt buttoned up all the way, navy blue shorts, white socks, and black sandals. His hair was perfectly combed, parted just off the middle, so shiny and silky, flowing down the sides of his head. His arms seemed so slender, almost like a girl's. His face was so... so pretty.
It was not until Anthony's face took on a look of slight concern and he asked, "May I come in?" that I realized I had been staring.
I was just wearing a pair of Bermuda shorts and a t-shirt. Anthony came over slowly, and then sat down on the floor next to me.
"National Geographic," he said. "That's my favorite magazine."
"You got the National Geographic in England?"
"Of course! Its brilliant."
For the next hour, we sat going through different issues, commenting on various pictures, fantasizing about visiting different places. His shyness had dissolved and he became the same confident character who had stood his ground with Mrs. Runnymede. Then, quite by accident, I pulled out the issue with the article about Kenya again. When I opened it, a picture of a naked woman was looking up at us.
I froze, as did Anthony. We both looked at her, at her naked breasts hanging down, at her oversized belly, at the boy standing next to her naked, at the boy standing next to her naked, at the boy standing next to her NAKED.
I have no idea how long we both sat there, silent, looking at the picture of the woman and her bare breasts and the naked boy, his penis quite obvious. But, I soon realized I was hard again and I was scared Anthony would be able to see it and would think I was a sick freak or something. I tried to move my arm over to cover myself. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see Anthony watching my arm move. I wanted to die until I saw his arm move slowly as well. Anthony was covering up his zipper. Was Anthony hard, too? Was it possible? I wasn't the only boy whose thing got stiff?
This was a revelation. And, then, it occurred to me that maybe I could ask Anthony! Maybe, if it happened to him, too, he might know what was going on and tell me!
I was about to ask when, all of a sudden, Anthony grabbed another National Geographic, seemingly at random, and placed it over his lap. On the cover was a photograph of an English soldier in a ceremonial helmet of some kind. The article was one from the sixties about London. Anthony opened the magazine to the article.
"I used to live in London," he said softly, a strange, husky quality to his voice. "Lambeth, actually."
"Was you Dad a rector there?" I asked, noticing I had the same husky quality in my own voice.
"They call them vicars, there. No. He had a job with the Church of England, a liaison of some kind.
"Ah. What's a liaison?"
Anthony shrugged. "A sort of go-between between the Episcopal Church and the Church of England."
"But, it's the same church."
Anthony sniffed. "Not really."
I didn't know if this sounded snobby or not, (though it did sound an awful lot like his mother), so I decided not to pursue it any further. After a moment, as he turned the page several times, gazing at the pictures of London, I asked, "Do you miss it?"
Anthony said nothing for a bit, then, with a definitely shaky voice, he said, "Yes."
"I know what you mean," I said softly. "I miss Dallas."
"Its not the same," Anthony said with a touch of bitterness. "London's special. You just can't imagine."
I loved the way Anthony spoke, the way he said "kawnt" instead of "caant," the strange inflections in his sentences, the way his voice would rise at places where an American's wouldn't. But, I was a bit hurt at his apparent put-down of my Dallas. I sat silently.
Anthony looked at me with red eyes.
"That was rude of me. You've never been to London and I've never been to Dallas." Then, he reached over and took my hand.
"Besides, its worse for you because you lost your family."
I didn't know what to say. He was right. No matter how special and wonderful London was, it was worse for me. I had lost my family. And, then, the sensation of Anthony's smooth, soft hand holding mine, the strange feelings coursing through my body, the emotions of the moment, the thought of being alone, the realization that maybe, just maybe, I really wasn't alone, all of it hit me and, once again, I burst into tears.
This time, however, I wasn't embarrassed to cry as Anthony started crying, too. He reached over and put his arms around me as I did the same to him. We sat on the cold concrete floor of my grandparents' musty and mildewy basement, clinging to each other and crying. He rested his head on my shoulder, I rested my head on his, smelling the wonderful freshness of his hair, feeling the warmth of his slim body next to mine. I was in agony at that moment over my parents and my brother. I was in ecstasy as I held Anthony. So many strange things were happening to me, so many conflicting and opposite emotions hitting me all at the same time. For months, I had felt I was losing my mind. Perhaps, I was.
Eventually, we both seemed to relax and the tears ended; but, we both continued to hold each other. I felt wonderful and thought I could sit there for the rest of the day with Anthony in my arms. I knew boys weren't supposed to hug like this, but I didn't care. It felt too wonderful.
I realized, also, that I was hard again. I looked down at Anthony's lap. The magazine had slipped to the floor and I was amazed. There, right in the middle of his lap, was a definite something pushing out. Anthony was as hard as I was!
We remained silent until Anthony pulled back a bit and raised his face. Lightly, he kissed me on the cheek. I looked into his deep blue eyes and....
"Boys! Would you like some ice cream?"
We seemed frozen for a moment, our eyes locked, until I broke free and looked up at the stairs and shouted, "Yeah! That'd be great!"
I turned back to Anthony, who was looking down at my lap, his face blushing fiercely.
"You want some ice cream?" I asked, my voice taking on an artificial cheerfulness as I tried to regain some composure.
"Yes, thank you," he whispered.
My grandmother, thrilled that I was "starting to come out of my shell," as she put it, fussed over us to the point that even Anthony looked like he wanted to scream. But, I knew it was just because she loved me. Eventually, we took our ice cream out front and sat on the porch. The intimacy we had shared earlier was gone, but not completely. We smiled at each other occasionally and giggled at nothing. It was nice.
That evening, as I sat on the swing alone, holding my copy of War of the Worlds closed in my lap, watching the evening glow of the setting sun through the leaves of the oak trees in the front yard, smelling the roses at the edge of the porch, listening to the hum of the air conditioner, watching Professor Goldstein struggle with the push mower in his front yard, (why didn't he just get a gasoline mower? It would have been a lot easier!), I thought about that moment in the basement, I thought of Anthony, I thought of holding him, of him holding me, how wonderful it had felt even as I mourned for my family. I thought of his milky white complexion, the little scattering of freckles across his nose, the thin dark eyebrows, those mysterious blue eyes as our gaze locked for that one moment. I became flushed. I felt as if I were running a fever. My heart was racing, my breathing became shallow. It was happening again. I wanted to be near Anthony. I wanted to look at Anthony. I wanted to hug Anthony. I wanted to... Oh my God! I wanted to kiss Anthony.
This was not right. There was something wrong with me. I was sick. I was a freak. I was not right. I had to talk to someone about this! I had to say something to someone or I thought I might go out of my mind!
Tuesday, I couldn't get out of bed. I lay there, alternating between sobs and groans of anger and disgust with myself. My grandmother was concerned and hovered over me. She brought a bowl of chicken soup and a bologna sandwich at lunch, but I couldn't eat. Anthony came by in the afternoon, but I told my grandmother I couldn't see him. And, all day long, my penis remained stiff and hard and the image of Anthony's face remained in my mind.
Wednesday, I seemed to be getting over my fit. I crawled out of bed late in the morning and, once again clad in my shorts and t-shirt, sat on the front porch, finishing War of the Worlds. Around eleven, Anthony rode up into the driveway on a dark red bicycle. It was a beautiful bike, a bit different looking from my old Schwinn Stingray.
"Are you feeling better today?" Anthony asked as he came up to the porch. Today, he was wearing khaki shorts and a green alligator shirt. His hair was a bit mussed from the breeze of the ride, but he looked so CUTE! I couldn't help but smile.
"Yeah, I feel a lot better today. I guess I had some kinda bug yesterday, but I'm a lot better today."
"Brilliant. You want to go riding, then?" The way his voice rose during the first syllable of 'riding' and dropped during the second, instead of the opposite, the way an American would say it, was so... OK, it was CUTE! I started getting the feeling again, but this time I decided to head it off at the pass.
"Sure! That'd be great!"
I told my grandmother and she gratefully gave me some money.
"Why don't you two go to Mancinelli's and have lunch when your ready?"
I kissed her on the cheek and grinned.
"Nice bike," I called to Anthony as we pedaled up the street toward the church and the campus. "Did you get that in England?"
"Yes," he replied proudly. "It's a Raleigh."
I grinned. "I'll bet mine's faster!"
"I'll bet it isn't!"
And we were off.
Pedaling as fast as I could in third gear, I moved ahead of Anthony. We raced around the corner of First and Canterbury and I laughed as Mrs. Runnymede scowled at us from the porch of St. Andrew's. Racing up Canterbury Avenue in front of the college, Anthony began to catch up. I was confused, he didn't seem to be pedaling nearly as hard as I was and, yet, he was... NO! He was passing me!
Anthony stopped across the street from the freshman dorms and grinned as I rode up panting.
"Sorry, old man. I hope you don't think I cheated."
"Naw," I panted. "You won fair and square!"
For the next hour, we quietly rode around town, Anthony asking what the American Legion was and why the owned a baseball diamond, I pointing out the Amtrak station and explaining why he should never go on the east side of the tracks or he might not come out alive.
"You know," he said as we rode closer to downtown, "people get snobby about the East End in London, too. But, Eastenders are probably the nicest people you'd ever want to meet. I'll bet the Eastenders in Canterbury are the same!"
"Yeah," I replied, sarcasm dripping from my voice as I came to a stop at Main Street. "If you like a bloody nose and two black eyes!"
As we parked our bikes in front of Mancinelli's, Anthony asked what kind of place it was.
"This place is cool. It has these really neat things called calzones. They're sorta like pizzas turned into sandwiches. And they have GREAT subs. And really cool pizza."
We walked in and the incredible smell of garlic and oregano and sausage and all sorts of other things overwhelmed us. My mouth was watering as we walked past the usual lunchtime crowd of downtown businessmen and academics from the college.
"Hey, Texas! How ya doin'?"
Nicky Mancinelli, the owner's son was at the counter as we walked up.
"Hey, Nicky. What's up?" I said with a smile.
"Who's the ghost?"
I grinned and Anthony's face shifted from white to pink as he blushed. God, he was.... CUTE!
"This is Anthony. He just moved here. I'm showin' around and since y'all have the best pizza in town, I had to bring him here."
Mr. Mancinelli was standing next to an oven and called out, "Eh! You got that right!" He then turned to his left and spoke toward the back of the kitchen.
"Hey, Pizza Hut! You hear that? We got the best pizza in town!"
I looked to the back and froze. There, wearing a t-shirt and jeans covered with flour and tomato, was the red-headed teenager from church. He seemed to have a somewhat distracted look on his face until he turned. His eyes met mine and he froze for a moment, as well. Then, he quickly turned back to the counter and picked up the rolling pin.
"So, what are you havin'?" Nicky asked, getting my attention again.
"Um, I'll have a couple of slices of cheese."
"Anchovies?" Nicky asked with a grin.
"Yuck! No way!" I replied, returning to normal.
"Come on, Texas! Ya gotta try 'em sometime. Ya never know. You might like' 'em!"
I stuck my tongue out like I was going to throw up. Nicky grinned.
"And, what about Tony Baloney, here?"
"I'll have the same, please."
"Ooooh," said Nicky with am impressed tone to his voice. "I'll have the same, please," he repeated in an exaggerated English accent, (as he winked at Anthony).
"Four slices!" Nicky called out.
"Four slices!" Mr. Mancinelli replied.
"Four slices," the redhead repeated, a little softer than the others.
As we walked to a table in the front with our pizza and a couple of Dr. Peppers, ("you'll love this; it's a LOT better than Coke; they invented it in Texas, in Waco, just south of Dallas"), we passed Professor Goldstein and some of his hippy friends. We sat next to some businessmen whom I recognized as friends of my grandfather's. After saying hello to them, we sat down and began to devour the pizza. Anthony seemed to really enjoy his. But, I kept looking back at the kitchen at the redheaded guy. He seemed so sad. Every once in awhile, as I would look at him, he would be looking at me and then glance away quickly. And, sometimes, he would see me looking at him and I would glance away.
Anthony caught me looking at him once and smiled when he looked back at him, too. I couldn't figure out why he was smiling. It almost irritated me.
"So," I said, deciding I had to make some conversation to cover up my uncomfortable feeling, "what are you doing on Friday?"
Anthony looked a little perplexed. "The Fourth?"
"The Fourth of July! You know, Independence Day."
But, as soon as I said it, I suddenly felt like a jerk.
"Oh! I'm sorry! I forgot your English!"
"I think we've gotten over it," he replied with a giggle. "Besides, I'm half American."
As soon as he said that, his face took on a strange look, and a slight smile came over his lips.
"You know, that's the first time I've ever said that."
"That I'm half American."
I smiled. "You sound surprised."
Anthony looked down at his remaining slice of pizza and blushed. "I've just never thought about it much and Mum has always hated America so much that I just never really remembered that Dad was American. I mean I knew he was American, but I never thought of him in that way. You know what I mean?"
I nodded. "Does everyone in England hate America?"
"Oh, no! Just a few artists and writers and people like that who hate money and corporations and things such as that. Most people actually like Americans.
I felt a little better and finished my pizza.
After leaving Mancinelli's, (and after sneaking a glance at the redhead, who was sneaking a glance at me), we parked our bikes in front of the Ben Franklin and went in. We sat at the lunch counter and ordered a couple of chocolate shakes.
"So, you never told me what you were doing on the Fourth," I ventured. "Since you're Dad's American, did y'all ever shoot-off fireworks on the Fourth in England?"
"No, we never celebrated it. I don't believe we're doing anything."
"Well, why don't y'all over to my place. My grandparents are having a cookout and a lot of their friends are coming over. It'll be cool to have someone to talk to. And, then, we can go over to Lake Canterbury and watch the fireworks!"
Anthony gave the biggest smile I had seen on his face since we met. My grandmother gave a big smile, too, when I suggested it at home.
Later, that afternoon, as we sat in the basement perusing the National Geographics again, Anthony picked up an issue from 1968 and sat looking at the cover. I had seen that issue before, In fact, I had seen it several times. It had given me the feeling on several occasions. The picture on the cover was of a teenager with dark blond hair wearing shorts on a sailboat. The article told of his journey sailing around the world all by himself! It was quite impressive. So was he.
After a moment, Anthony moved the magazine over to his lap and then opened it to the article. As we gazed at pictures of the boy with his shirt off, in his shorts, working on the boat or standing on the shore of some Pacific island, I was definitely starting to get the feeling again. The fact that Anthony was holding the magazine over his lap made me wonder if maybe he was getting the feeling as well.
I felt myself getting hard again and moved my arm over to cover the rising bulge in my shorts. Anthony looked over at me. He seemed about to ask something and, then, looked away. He seemed embarrassed about something.
"So what do you usually do to celebrate the Fourth of July?' he asked softly. It seemed strange to me that, under the circumstances, he would ask such a question. He wasn't looking at me, but gazing down at the picture of the sailing teenager.
"Well," I began after a pause, "when my family was alive, we usually went to Lake Texoma and went sailing and had a cookout. And then, at night, Daddy would shoot off all sorts of really cool fireworks, like skyrockets and fountains and M-80's and cherry bombs and Dougie and I would light sparklers and shoot off bottle rockets and it was... it was... it was so cool and..."
My voice trailed off and I started to get teary again. But, this time, I stopped myself. Strange thing, though. As soon as I started to feel funny, Anthony had his arms around me. I didn't say anything, but it felt so wonderful. I put my arms around him and we sat there silently holding each other. I got the feeling big time as we hugged and I could tell that Anthony had it, too, because he let the magazine fall from his lap to reveal a really big poking in his lap.
"This feels really nice," I whispered after awhile. Anthony said nothing, but I could hear him breathing a bit heavier than he had been.
Finally, I heard a soft, "Yeah. Its brilliant."
"I like it when we hug," I ventured, afraid of what he might think, but feeling I had to say something.
"Yes," he replied. "I like it, too."
We sat longer, still holding each other, my blond hair falling over my forehead, Anthony's dark hair covering his, as well. The feeling was building in me and I thought I might go crazy. It was as bad as it had been the other night when I awoke from that dream. I had to say something, but just as I was about to open my mouth, Anthony beat me to it.
"Jon?" he breathed.
"Yes?" I replied, my voice shaking.
"Can I ask you a question?"
The feeling in me almost exploded as I heard him say 'osk'
Anthony paused, his breathing ragged.
"Is your willy hard?"
Anthony said nothing. I thought I knew what he meant; I had just never heard it referred to that way.
"You know, your... your penis. Is it hard?"
His voice did that cute, strange, up and down thing on 'hard" instead of down and up. And, he pronounced it sort of in between 'hahd' and 'hard.' This was driving me crazy.
"Yes," I whispered. "Is yours?"
A pause. "Yes."
Another pause. I asked, "Why does it do that?"
Yet another pause.
"It means," his whisper shaking, "it means you're feeling sexual."
OK, kids. I don't normally use cliffhangers, but this time it is appropriate. I hope you are enjoying the story. If you have any comments, I ask that you email me at email@example.com. Thank you so much!