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Copyright 2003 by Nicholas. The author retains all rights to this story and requests that you do not alter or post this story in any form without his permission. The following is a work of fiction. The characters are purely fictional, as are the events. This story depicts acts of love and sex between consenting persons, youth and adult. If stories of this nature offend you, please leave now.

If you are under age then get your friend and have him read it to you. Sit on his lap and cuddle up, I hope you'll love the story as much as you love him.

Thanx to my friends for giving me the gifts of ideas for my grom. I love you guys, you are the very best!

Surfer Magazine, in their collectors edition of October 2001 had an article by Rod Cox defining a grom:

"You are definitely NOT a grom if ... A. the last time you paddled out you were clinging to your dad like a baby sea otter. B. when someone asks you if you think "Barney" is cool, you say, "Yeah, but those Teletubbies are kinda scary." C. you ride any board with a deck softer than its bottom. D. you've shaved anything other than your head, graduated from anything other than the eighth grade, ... or paid rent by any other means than cleaning your room, taking out the garbage and promising not to pee on the toilet seat.

You definitely ARE a grom if ... A. you can get to the beach by yourself – or in any automobile or public conveyance other than your parent's mini-van. B. you have been either punched, kicked, spit on, Dutch-rubbed, pantsed, pink-bellied, head-shaved, tampon-nosed or otherwise humiliated by older surfers, who obviously consider you enough of a pack member to perform initiation rites. C. you have more than two stickers on your board not laminated under the glass. D. you're between the ages of 11 and 18 and can actually surf."

Namaste, Nick

The Grommet – Chapter Five

One one-thousand, Two one-thousand, Three one-thousand, Four one-thousand, Five one-thousand, Six one-thousand, Seven...

Susurrating sibilance; the beach is never quiet, never still.

One Mississippi, Two Mississippi, Three Mississippi, Four Mississippi, Five Mississippi, Six Mississippi, Seven...

Raucous caterwauling; the crying of the gulls.

One Hippopotamus, Two Hippopotamus, Three Hippopotamus, Four Hippopotamus, Five Hippopotamus, Six Hippopotamus, Seven...

Faint murmurings of protest; wind whipping through the running vines of sea grapes.

One Helicopter, Two Helicopter, Three Helicopter, Four Helicopter, Five Helicopter, Six Helicopter, Seven...

Excoriating hissing; dry sand driven through the beach grass.

One Caterpillar, Two Caterpillar, Three Caterpillar, Four Caterpillar, Five Caterpillar, Six Caterpillar, Seven...

Insistent tiny poppings; bubbles breaking in the foam.

One Alligator, Two Alligator, Three Alligator, Four Alligator, Five Alligator, Six Alligator, Seven...

The omnipresent rumbling of the surf.

The heartbeat of the earth; a shattering of liquid crystals on themselves.

A seven second breath held trembling on the precipice of action.

The crashing waters collapsed into a heap of foaming oxygen and hydrogen just waiting to explode.

Bound together in the wave they only affront the ear.

The ear that always counts subliminally: the next wave due, the heartbeat held a moment in abeyance, the tension sprung as water meets with water.

The thing that can't exist: perpetual motion without machine.

The now and always of it.

One one-thousand, Two one-thousand, Three one-thousand, Four one-thousand, Five one-thousand, Six one-thousand, Seven...

My spirit screamed: I could not bear the silence.

No tender breath against my chest. No laughing giggles on the air. No whoops of joy. No foot fall on the floor. Not even wracking tears or sobbing shudders, night time sweats or moans and groans of fever.

The house was silent, stone silent like it had never been before. Almost three days had it held him and now it knew the depths of loss, the core of want, the ache of sudden silence.

Daisy felt it too, she couldn't sit, she couldn't lie, she couldn't find her place. The two of us were lost as sheep and I just foolish enough to think I was the shepherd; leading him from pain and fear with a gentle gift of sand.

I sighed to think how many times I'd count the waves, how many turns of seven filled the time between the start of school and the ending of its day. I groaned to think I didn't know even what time that was.

We'd scampered from our joyous find of soul-touched sand and walked him on the beach. He'd led us down and toward the town and turned and pranced and danced and twirled and spun 'round in a hundred hundred circles. Daisy had matched him weave for weave and feint for feint around my center station. He'd laughed and sang and raised his arms in boyful joy to sun and sky. He'd left me at the beach's verge, a launch, a hug within my arms, a kiss full on my lips. A hug to Daisy too and then he'd turned and skipped, then ran, away into his life.

This boy who'd claimed my bed, my dog, my heart, my very soul, now claimed the essence of my being. The seven seconds just gone by proved I would never be the same. The seven seconds flashing now held fear I would expire. The seven seconds still to come held all the beauty of the love to which I could aspire.

My spirit screamed: I could not bear the silence.

One Mississippi, Two Mississippi, Three Mississippi, Four Mississippi, Five Mississippi, Six Mississippi, Seven...

By ten a.m. I knew there'd been one hundred five expiring minutes. Nine hundred waves had broken, did grade school still have recess?

One Hippopotamus, Two Hippopotamus, Three Hippopotamus, Four Hippopotamus, Five Hippopotamus, Six Hippopotamus, Seven...

By noon I knew there'd been another one hundred twenty minutes. One thousand twenty eight and a half more waves and I had not thought to make him lunch or ask him if he needed money.

One Helicopter, Two Helicopter, Three Helicopter, Four Helicopter, Five Helicopter, Six Helicopter, Seven...

By two o'clock my head was screaming: another one hundred twenty minutes passed. A second thousand twenty eight and that trembling half of wave and I knew not when this water torture would ever end.

One Caterpillar, Two Caterpillar, Three Caterpillar, Four Caterpillar, Five Caterpillar, Six Caterpillar, Seven...

By three fifteen I was beyond ability to think, seventy five more minutes gone. Six hundred forty two and more than a half of waves, how did their mothers take it. No that was wrong, his mother hadn't cared, she hadn't waited breathless. In fact she probably didn't even know the act, the time that I longed for with such anticipation.

One Alligator, Two Alligator, Three Alligator, Four Alligator, Five Alligator, Six Alligator, Seven...

Three thousand five hundred and ninety nine - the next wave's tally broken by a gentle tapping at the door. "Nick? Can I come in?" my angel breathed across the threshold. Daisy looked at him so gently vulnerable standing there and looked at me with eyes that clearly said what I held in my heart.

"Sunshine!" I cried and opened wide my arms and he came flying in. He flew across with such a skill that Peter Pan himself would have crowed in awe. I caught him up, I hugged him tight, Daisy jumping up to poke her nose in too. I whispered as I smoothed his hair, cuddled him and cradled his head beneath my neck. "Sunshine, I missed you so. You never need to ask, this house is yours, it's always open to you."

"I was afraid," he sniffled at my chest. "I know you promised, but I was afraid you wouldn't let me in."

"Cam, there is no in or out, there's only HOME here for you." I thought he'd crush my ribs he clutched to me so very tight. What sweet pain to feel his smashing arms, to catch his catapulted body, to put to rest the endless counting of the waves. There might have been another five thousand or two as I filled my head with sounds of breath, sounds of gentle sniffles, sounds of heartbeats thudded chest to chest: his twice mine, together three for every second. Our hearts had beat a pattern against those falling waves; seventy five thousand six hundred times in this school day. How could I ever stand to let him leave my sight?

He wiggled round and kissed me full on my lips again. My sated mind could not respond fast enough. He was sliding down and hugging Daisy with a kiss for her. She was more prepared than I, he got a full and honest dog lick of love right across his face. He hugged her neck and beamed his pleasure at her gift.

Then ever boy and hale and hearty now, he bounced up and started shedding clothes. "Can I go surfing? Corey's coming down, maybe Jim and some others too."

"Of course you can, your gear's out on the deck. You don't need to ask."

A golden flashing smile, "I just feel good asking. Nobody ever cared before."

I thought my heart might break at the pathos in his words. To him they were simply true and asking was something awesomely new.

"Hey Grommet!" we heard from outside the house.

Cam shucked his clothes right to the skin, but picked them up and trotted them to the bed. He quickly folded them and streaked outside naked to the sun. The wet suit quickly on, I got a huge and wonderful grin as he waved and yelled, "Come on!"

I grabbed my camera, looked at my girl and as I nodded she was bounding after them.

The focus of the surfing come directly to my door. The boys had always hit the waves down the beach near the public access, today they went straight in: Cam and Corey, Jim and his unknown friend. Boards down upon the sand; four splashing, laughing, poking, running, feinting, boundless energies of tag. Then some hidden signal, game quickly at an end, leashes lashed, boards wetted and caressed removing sand, preparing for the waves. Daisy of course, had been in the middle of the action, now as if she knew this was not for her she rested, seated at my side.

A dozen photographs of play within the break and now I sat and watched the boy turn play into his sport. Jim and his friend with longer arms and stronger muscles were quickly in the surf. Cam and Corey paddling twice as much following on behind. It had been so refreshing to see the boyhood rituals return: play, splash, laugh, tease and paddle and then surf.

Jim caught the first wave and had a short lived ride. His friend was just getting up when Corey caught it too, a shout above the surf, he settled back and let the older boy go through. Then Cam was sitting up and calling Corey towards his side. A high five of shared excitement and then Corey slicing on the curl, and trembling toward the shore. I followed with my camera, there must have been a dozen dozen shots, I managed to shoot two rolls. Cam serious on his goofy foot, all smiles and laughter on his seat. The beach was theirs, we saw nobody else. The stretch of waves seemed private territory, no summer surfers dared invade.

One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven...

How fast the seconds flew away when now I longed for them to last. Four thousand eight hundred heartbeats in an hour; mine pounded to the surf. Five hundred fourteen and a quarter waves caressed and blessed my boy.

Then all too soon, not soon enough, his board laying just behind, Cam was breathless sitting just between us, one arm dropped across his girl, one across my thigh. I melted to the neoprene encasing all my joy. The smell of sea with just a hint of edelweiss demarking where he sat. I wish I had the strength of nerve to follow our girl's lead. Her head was firmly planted in his lap, her eyes closed tight in pleasure at his petting.

Corey, Jim and unknown friend were carrying up their boards when I tousled the shining platinum head beside me and called, "Come on! Let's all go sit up on the deck. The fridge is full of pop and I think Cam here overlooked some chips."

"Hey!" he cried, but scampered up and grabbing board, with Daisy at his side, he charged up towards the house.

The hose was sprayed, the sand was washed away, three boards stood against the rail, one climbed the stairs to rise above the rest. It stood against deck's junction with the house, a signal plain to see; this house was claimed by surfing groms and all should now take notice.

Cam shed his wet suit on the rail and the other's followed his lead. He was the only one of them naked underneath. Corey had a pair of orange camellia'd baggies. Jim and friend surprised me some with matching crimson racing suits. Cam or the others didn't seem to give his nakedness the slightest thought. He dashed into the house and calling Corey in they staggered out under armloads of cans of pop and bags of chips and tubs of party dips. Dumping more than setting everything upon the table, Cam pulled out his 7-Up, popped the top on a beer and handed it to me as he shoved me in the chair and crawled into my lap.

The other boys just grabbed their drinks and started on the chips and soon we were all laughing at Corey's running commentary on every wave they'd seen that day and every time his hero Jim had slammed face-first into the water. What a storyteller! I was laughing near to tears. I had seen it all from the shore's impartial, perfect panorama of perspective, yet I hadn't seen a thing. Jim was proud, then embarrassed, then proud again to hear each wave and ride described.

Then Corey turned his gaze at us and whistled loud and shook his head and turned back to his brother. "You will not believe what happened today at school! Cam got sent to the principal's office! Twice!!!!!!!!!!! Can you believe it!"

Jim and friend and Corey, Daisy and myself all turned our gaze from storied surf towards Cam to see him blushing and almost succeeding at hiding within my lap.

"No!" Jim said, "Not Cam! You maybe, dickhead!" He punched Corey's arm and then quickly turned to me. "Oops, sorry Mr. Nick."

I thought I'd burst out laughing, his apology so cute. I thought I'd burst with curiosity the story yet to hear. I thought I'd burst with fear, Cam had been in some kind of trouble.

"Yes! Cam!" Corey punched his brother back. "You wouldn't have believed him today. Cam who never talks, Cam who never gets in any trouble, Cam who'd be the teacher's pet if they knew he was in their class. Cam was a motor mouth. He talked and talked and talked all day! Right through math, right through reading, right through art and recess. Ole Pickle Lips finally had enough and sent him up in Social Studies and again during study period."

"Well, I had to tell him about Daisy!" my armful shyly said.

"And you Mr. Nick, and the nightmares, and the dreams, and the promise and the cool thing you showed him all about the sand!" Corey added more expansively and then turning towards his brother, the story of the sand against the matting sheet was retold pretty accurately from one who hadn't been there.

Cam wiggled in my lap and hugged my arms against his chest. I couldn't be sure if he was trying to hide, or enjoying the telling of the story. I was enjoying the warmth of him, the friendliness of his friends, the looks of adoration Daisy gave us both, the pounding underneath the tale of heart and heart and surf.

Jim's friend spoke the first words I'd heard him say. "Hey guys, I gotta go. Mom will be looking for me."

"Okay Bri, see you in the morning!" Jim answered and then really surprised me as they both stood up and hugged each other. I didn't think that boys that age would hug so much in public. I knew I never dared to hug my friend when I was their age.

"Thanks Mr. Nick, can I come back tomorrow?" Bri asked.

"Boys this is Cam's house and you are welcome as long as you are his friends."

I could feel Cam swell beneath my arms as if I had just pumped his slender body full of pride.

"Cool," said Corey. "Can we leave our boards here? I sure get tired hauling mine!"

"You! Dickhead! Hell, I always carry it half the way. Oops, uh, yeah, uh, Mr. Nick, can we leave them here? That would really be so cool."

"You have to ask Cam," I said. "He makes the rules about surfing, I just make the dinner."

Cam giggled in my arms and looked up at me through his lashes. "Really? I get to choose?"

I nodded in reply.

"Whoopee! Of course you can leave your boards. They'll be safe here, just like mine."

"All right!" the tenors and the altos sang with Corey's soaring soprano and my deck was full of dancing, celebrating boys. Suddenly the stairs were full as Cam led all of them down to check their boards left standing at the rail. Soon Bri was running out across the sand and yelling back, "See you guys tomorrow!"

My arms were stuffed again with flying boy and kisses splashed against my face. "I love you Nick!" my boy cooed inside my ear. "I've never had a friend over or sat around talking at my HOME! This felt so good, promise one more time!"

"I promise Cam, I will not disappear. Daisy will not leave you. You are home now Sunshine."

"Home! That sounds so cool! So if I make the rules and you just make the dinner, what are we going to eat and can Jim and Corey stay? I'm hungry!"

"Boys the phone's inside if you need to call your parents. I think there's hamburgers still waiting to be eaten."

Jim dashed inside and grabbed the phone, we heard him talking to their mother. He told her they had been invited to eat at Cam's and once again I felt him grow a foot. Then Jim was bringing me the phone and the voice was telling me how much she always had liked Cam and she was glad to finally talk to me and was I sure it was all right. With Cam breathing down my neck and tugging on my arm to listen in and hopping and nodding up and down, I barely managed to squeak out thanks and to tell her I was delighted. I told her the burgers would take about an hour and then the boys would head for home.

Jim grabbed the phone and pleaded for another hour too, they had no homework he solemnly promised and they wanted to walk Cam's new dog and play along the surf.

The whoop of hurray announced the deal was done and phone was back inside. Then Cam was tugging at my arm and standing near the grill. He looked at me with eyes bigger than Daisy's as a pup when I crossed my arms and said, "Well, go on. You know how to start it."

You would have thought it was a 747 and he the pilot in command. He went through his checklist at least twice in pantomime, when Corey groaned, "Cam! Hurry up! Just do it!"

Cam gave him a dirty look then smiled and this time followed through. He jumped when spark met hissing gas and the whole thing went ka-whoosh! He turned to see if I was mad, but my beaming smile undid him. He jumped up and grabbed my neck and laughing cried, "I did it!"

Jim rolled his eyes and moaned, "Geesh! Haven't you ever lit a grill before?"

"No," Cam told him from his perch.

Jim blushed a little and stammered, "Oh, sorry man, I forgot."

"'K," Cam magnanimously replied.

Then down again he was dragging me inside to the refrigerator. We soon were piling a platter high with burgers and all the fixings. The table and the grill were groaning now under more food than they had seen the whole of my winter on the beach.

I looked up to see Jim and Corey stumbling round the living room pointing and calling Cam to come see my gallery of all the boys out surfing on their waves.

Corey was describing the day, the weather, and the surf conditions for every pictured ride. He might have just been making it all up, but somehow I thought he wasn't. He had the gift of storytelling and that often comes with prodigious memory. Jim was blushing as the monster wave he caught one day unfolded now before his eyes. Cam giggled that I had caught him in big air; Corey was describing the uncaught splat!

The burgers hissing called Cam away before I even heard them. He had the timing perfect, the flipping took a little practice. He almost fed one burger to the lava rocks, but caught it just in time. He turned again to judge if I was mad, I think he cringed before me. I reached to comfort him and pat his back; he melted to the deck.

Daisy had dragged her blanket back outside and been watching all the commotion. When Cam collapsed she jumped to her feet and barked at me clearly saying 'Watch it! How could I make her laughing boy a crying puddle once again?'

I dropped beside him almost before she barked and grabbed him in my arms. I called to Jim to take the cooking duty and cradling my trembling boy I paced and paced the deck trying to relieve his fear and assure him that I loved him.

Daisy saw the solution before I did and soon she was shaking Cam's shorts at Corey. He laughed and took them and coming over held them to Cam's feet. We got him down and dressed and Corey led us on the beach. We didn't have to walk too far, just down to the breaking waves. Cam sniffled, then nuzzled to my check and softly whispered, "I'm sorry."

Corey laughed again and grabbed his arm and almost pulled him from me. "Hey goof, there's nothing to be sorry for. My Dad says one burger to the God of Fire is required! Now come on, I'll race you back up to the deck. Daisy! I'm going to beat you!"

They all were flying through the sand, I counted fifty flying strides before they hit the steps. The surf had crashed for seven rounds of perfect seven. My boy was whole and laughing still and waiting for me at home.

The burgers disappeared, I know not if they ate them or they simply evaporated. I was in a fog of guilt and fear and terror and hope and joy and love rolled all up in one ball. How could Cam have thought that I would hit him? How could I have reassured him without causing him such fright? How could he bear to be with one he feared? How many times, how deeply was he hurt? How could I ever live my life with out him? How could my love have been so wrapped up tight within my heart and now be pulled so violently and willingly out?

There were no answers at the table, no answers on the deck. Just smiles and laughs and pokes and prods, the friendship moves of boys. I counted my emotions and while head was caught in turmoil, heart was resting deep at peace. It told me to remember the words of Don Quixote when Cervantes has him say, "There is a time for some things, and a time for all things; a time for great things, and a time for small things."

Right now seemed a time for small things, the things of boyish joy: a meal, a beach, a friend or two, a wave, a board, a dog, a bed, a home. No, perhaps these were the great things after all.

The boys were done and suddenly the dishes did themselves. The kitchen clean, the grill all scraped I hadn't even stirred. Cam standing now beside me, tugging once more on my arm. The beach was waiting, the sun was setting, the waves and sand were calling all our names. We moved down the stairs arm in arm in silent contemplation, Cam under mine and Corey under Jim's. Daisy led to keep the crabs and demon's from our way.

The quiet stroll could hardly stand against combined energies of dog and boys. Daisy first laid down the theme then one by one the boys had entered in. The fugue was set, the dominant pitch was raised in Cam and Corey's higher range. Jim's laughs and bellows, Daisy's throaty barks all set the sub dominant tone. Suddenly around me on the sand the exposition was complete.

If yesterday I had thought that Wolfgang would have loved the trio boy and stick and dog, this night I thought for sure that Johann Sebastian wrote for boy and boy and boy and dog and stick held underneath.

I've heard it said that if J S Bach had not been a superb musician, he would have made a great mathematician. There is a book I've read by Hofstadter called Godel Escher Bach that weaves a Golden Braided Thread around the math of self. Dialogues between Achilles and the Tortoise set up each mathematical thought. What struck me then and strikes me now is how Johann was born and lived two hundreds years before the others. Achilles and the Tortoise might show the way ahead, but Johann rang the changes deep in the maths inside his fugues three centuries ago.

It was clear to me that in high summer on a European beach. The five surviving Bach boys had surely run and chased the stick; taught by their dog to play and laugh at fetch. Johann had drunk the music in and that, not math, informed his dazzling works.

Daisy set the theme, Jim's longer legs and deeper voice set augmentation somewhat broader. Cam and Corey's shorter strides and higher tones wove diminution on the top. Daisy with a flick of tail would tantalize creating a trembling false entry or two. Laughing loud she'd set inversion on and all would be upside down.

Then like the age old master, she brought us round and brought us right and brought us home again.

The hose was sprayed, the sand was set a little bit aside. Jim and Corey both hugged Cam and thanked me for the dinner. Corey manly sticking out his hand to shake, yet Jim just moving in and hugging me too. He whispered softly in my ear, I almost didn't hear it, "He's a good boy, he needs you now. Please love him too."

I clasped his shoulders as he broke the hug and looked straight into his eyes. "I do," I simply said and took his slight nod as proof of love contracted.

Daisy led us up the stairs and Cam went on inside. I saw to Daisy's water and food and set the coffee for in the morning. I walked out to the rail but turned as Cam came naked from the bath and held his arms out in the universal signal; this boy needed holding.

I picked him up. The sun was streaming colors off the waves and clouds. In perfect harmony of words I said, "I love you Cam," just as he said, "I love you Nick."

I held him for forever.

We both dripped seven seconds worth of tears of happiness down through the deck into our sand. I turned, we watched the surf; earth's throbbing heart joyously intertwined in his heartbeat now inextricably mixed with mine.

One one-million, Two one-million, Three one-million, Four one-million, Five one-million, Six one-million, Seven Billion more.

How could I ever think to count the measure of my love.

While he's not a grom, he's cute as can be at

Since the first Grom story was posted there have been over 18,000 hits to the Grom pages. I am humbled by your incredible response. Groms can be found at


My other stories can be found at

Namate, Nicholas