IMHO, Nifty is a resource that is every bit as valuable as the free Gutenberg Project or the free Audio Librivox and they still need periodic support.
Please Don't let Nifty's 25th anniversary go unnoticed!
The author “Chance” is me, “Larkin” This is an effort to re-compose my old roster into a new roster comprised old and new works, re-written and done with more careful editing. (omitting junk) I hope you will understand.
Please send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org...And I will respond
The Playland Arcade
by Chance. all rights reserved
A few days later, the boy turned the key and let himself into the apartment where he lived with his Mother.
There was an unpacked bag of groceries sitting on the floor next to the refrigerator. Joey went over and began to distribute the items to where they should go. He pulled out a package containing a sticky sweet pastry and opening it, cut a piece for himself. Walking passed his daybed he opened the door to the only other room in the apartment, his Mother's bedroom.
He saw one bare foot sticking out from under the blanket. He was relieved that it was just her and not some strange man with her. Finding someone with her could be unsettling. Sometimes the guys she brought home were ok but most of the time they were strange, nervous and even threatening men that she saw once and then never again. Joey was grateful that she was alone. He stuffed the last of the sticky pastry into his mouth and then climbed onto the blanket covered lump that was his mother. She groaned and moaned. Finally she turned over and through squinty eyes, looked at her son.
"Oh, honey, let me sleep a few more hours. It was already getting light when I finally got home."
Joey was on top of her riding her as if she was a horse.
She mumbled from the pillow. "Did you get something to eat, I brought food home?"
The boy was softly bouncing up and down on her. Realizing that there was no getting him to stop, she turned over so she could look up at him and give her son at least a small amount of attention. She brushed pastry crumbs off of his dirty face.
"I'm sorry I was gone so long, were you okay?"
Joey looking unconcerned, shook his head yes.
"That's good. You might not believe it but I do worry about you."
The boy had heard it all before but he was glad that she was finally home. "Where did you go."
"Joey honey, get me my bag over there please."
Sitting up she began to organize her thinking. "Oh lord, I went somewhere out on Long Island with a friend. I'd rather not go into it if you don't mind. I'm actually relieved to be home."
Joey gave her the Moroccan bag. Rummaging through it she found her cigarettes and a lighter. Joey grabbed the pack and pulled one out for himself.
She lit his cigarette and said, "I really wish you wouldn't smoke. Eleven year old boys shouldn't smoke ya know."
He abruptly answered, "I'm twelve and anyway, how old were you when you started smoking?"
"Never mind about me, I am an all around bad example."
They both blew smoke into the small, cluttered and stale bedroom.
"I hope you know you can go to Tony or Peter if you need anything. What did you do while I was away?"
Joey studied her face when he said, "I stayed at Peter's"
The boy wondered if she might have any idea what her own son and Peter did together. If she did, there was no sign in her expression.
She said, offhandedly, "That's good."
Joey didn't like to think about the things that his Mother did with the men she had sex with and yet, he was doing the very same things. Did she or could she imagine her son doing some of those same things? She reached into her bag and pulled out a small purse and opened it. In it there was a wad of bills and she pulled out a twenty and gave it to her son. He looked at it and without saying a word, he put it in his pocket.
It was an arcade on Times Square. All the old pinball machines had been carted off and replaced by new colorful and noisy video machines. This was the attraction for boys of all ages. Boys of all ages was the attraction for men. Men that traveled to New York City on business. Men with wives and kids and a house in the suburbs. Men that had voted Republican and were sure they were completely hetero until they saw a poorly dressed boy playing on the machine. Boys in groups, laughing, running and fighting. Boys by themselves looking mournful, sullen or happy playing the machines or just waiting. A boy smoking a cigarette is a boy who is already making his own decisions. Boys like this give the simple act of loitering real meaning and purpose.
Large brown eyes looking up at him, "Mister, do you have a quarter?"
Slowly a revelation dawned on this man or that man and everything they had relied and lived by suddenly turns to ashes in the face of a pleading boy.
Joey had money. His mother had just given him a twenty. The man behind him watched and when the video game ran out, he reached over Joey and put more quarters into the machine. Joey turned and looked up at the strange man. They were both expressionless realizing that there was more to this than just a few quarters. The boy said nothing and started a new game. He exercised uncommon skill. He wanted to impress the man who was watching him play and he was succeeding. All boys like an audience even if it is a stranger from out of town and even if the game was a complete mystery to the stranger. It didn't matter...More quarters.
After a while, the man said, "Would you like to go get something to eat?"
Joey instinctual knew that this was a proposition but he had never put it to words to give it a past or a future. It was only of the moment. He knew that this was going to be more than just a meal but he didn't really think about it.
The Liberty Motel:
Joey sat on the edge of the bed looking around the small room, at the faded furnishings and peeling paint on the wall. Screwed securely to the door was a laminated sign that stated rules and regulations to be followed during your stay at the “Liberty Inn”.
The large man was nervous. He paced back and forth pretending to be involved with his pocket change and personal items. Finally he sat on the bed next to Joey. The boy didn't seemed bothered but he didn't look directly at the man either. Instead he looked out the window at another building across the way. When the man rested his hand on Joey's leg and then brushed against his small and almost undetectable crotch, Joey lay back and closed his eyes. This was license for the man to continue. Slowly and carefully he opened the boy's pants. Joey was already erect. He looked up at the ceiling that was also a landscape of peeling paint. He could feel the man's body next to his and he could feel that the man was trembling. The man pulled Joey's pants more out of the way exposing a penis and the small round scrotum. He masturbated him and eventually began sucking on his small but stiff penis. It was pleasurable to Joey but both he and the man were completely detached. To the man, Joey was an overwhelming and incomprehensible object. The man may have been intensely erect but Joey never saw it or even imagined it. They were both concentrating on Joey's own fresh, erected penis with its rude foreskin delicately peeled down. It seemed as if nothing more was needed. Neither one had any idea how long this went on but suddenly the man stood up and began to gather his things to go.
"I have to catch a train."
He took out two twenties and gave them to Joey and quickly headed out the door. After the man was gone, Joey sat up, pulled out a crumpled wad of bills and counted up. Soon he was back out on the pavement walking cross-town towards ninth avenue.
Peter assumed that Joey's mother had finally gotten back because the boy hadn't shown up. The slender man was dressing to go out. It was late but in the city that never mattered. He pulled on a clean black tee shirt and threaded a belt through his pants and was out the door. He took the A train down to the Village. It was a small dark intimate bar. The man told Peter his name but he instantly forgot it. They walked along Greenwich avenue. The man was cheerful and glad to have company.
Before they had left the bar, he whispered in Peter's ear. "You don't have to reciprocate. I really don't mind."
Peter didn't look directly at him and nodded silently. He hadn't intended to reciprocate anyway. The man was shorter, in his fifties and balding. He wore an over sized sweater that hid his paunch and wore shoes with small gold plated buckles on them. It was a small apartment on the second floor of a nice building. Peter climbed the stairs and was let in through a double locked door. The interior was a dark mini palace full garish antiques and oriental rugs. A dim multi-colored lantern hung from the ceiling giving the room an eerie and mystical light.
A voice from the kitchenette, "What can I get you to drink?"
Peter said, nothing. He didn't plan to stay long.
The man had lowered himself in front of Peter and stroked his thigh between his legs. There was a pause that went on too long for Peter's comfort. He looked down at the man. Peter's face lacked all emotion.
In a soft but firm voice, he said, "It's ok, do what you want to do, I won't think any less of you."
Peter didn't think much of the man to begin with. It was understood that he was getting a blow-job for money and that was the sum total of it. Being emotionally detached made it all the more lurid. He took out his half erected cock and shook it in front of the man's face. The man looked up at him and passively opened his mouth. Peter rudely stuck it in. This sort of encounter brought out the worst in him. He had contempt for the man beneath him and it stiffened his cock completely. He held the man's head with both hands as if it was some nameless object and fucked it hard. He roughly pushed the man away and then gestured him back on his cock for more. The man behaved as if he was being abused and humiliated against his will but they both knew that was exactly what he wanted and it was what Peter was getting paid for. Peter could feel his cum welling up inside of him and his cock stiffened even more. In and out of the man's mouth it went and he was getting close.
Peter said, "You want it?"
The man still had his mouth open. He didn't move while Peter masturbated into his mouth and let the syrupy cum fall in his mouth and crossed his face. Peter had full filled his task and was glad to be done with it. He was shaking his cock out in the man's face when the man suddenly clutched his chest and looking up at Peter, gasped and fell forward on to the floor. A strange gurgling sound came from him and then he was completely still.
"Oh shit! The motherfucker's dead. He must have had a heart attack."
Peter had no idea what to do. He stood there for many minutes. After more time had passed he finally knelt down next to the man and turned him over. He was blue. There was a contorted expression on his face as if he had been in awful pain and his eyes were open. The effect was unsettling. Peter guessed that he was dead.
He thought, "Motherfucker! I still gotta get paid."
He went through the man's pockets and found a fold of bills.
He counted out the two that was owed him and then counted the rest.."Three, four, five hundred..."
He thought about it for a minute then put all the money in his pocket and got ready to leave.
He thought to himself, "He's not going to need the money, but I know I will."
He stopped just before he was going to open the door to leave. He turned around and surveyed the small apartment. "I better see if there's anything worthwhile before I go.
Peter found a shopping bag and started picking up some of the knick knacks made of glass and different color enamels that were all around the apartment. There were crystal birds and carved animals. He had no idea what they were or how much they were worth but he could find out later. He searched drawers and the closets. He was just putting a brightly colored egg into his bag when he saw the man sitting up.
"Just what do you think you are doing!"
Peter stopped, stunned to see the man alive again.
The man's voice was shrill, "I treat you like a friend and bring you to my home and now you are robbing me."
Peter looked confused, "I thought you was dead."
"I'm not dead. Now give me my things before I call the police."
Peter gave the man the shopping bag filled with his treasures. "You would have walked out of here with all my beautiful things. I am sorry I ever met you. We could have been great friends and now I can never trust you again."
He struggled to his feet and Peter came over brushed off his clothes and tried to organize the man's collar.
Up close to the man Peter spoke in a calming and friendly voice. "We can still be friends and anyway, If you was dead, what difference would it have made? Wouldn't you rather see me get something than someone else?"
The man gave him a vague, slightly mischievous glance.
Peter said, "If you're alright, I better go, ok?"
The man walked Peter to the door. Before leaving, they embraced. Peter promised the man that he would come to visit again..
He never did.
Joey wore them on a string around his neck. There was the key to the apartment where he lived with his Mother and a key to Peter's. Peter's key looked different because it was a Fox lock. What made it different was that the key opened a lock that was squarely in the center of the door. When the key was turned, it moved a steel pole aside that prevented anyone or anything from breaking the door down.
It was already afternoon when he let himself into Peter's apartment. The boy climbed up on the bed and made himself comfortable next to the still sleeping Peter. It was Joey's gentle humming that finally woke Peter.
Covering his eyes with his fore arm, Peter said, "What's that song yer singin?"
"Gilligan's Island." Joey started it over again.
Peter lay quietly and listened to the boy's music.
After a bit he sat up in bed and made an effort to focus on the world. "You want to go downstairs and get me a Coke and a Hershey bar?"
Joey sat up and got ready to go. As if to stress his independence he said, "I got money."
Peter called after him, "Get the one with nuts!"
When Joey returned, Peter had been up and around and wearing only a tee shirt, was returning to bed. Peter's large cock and balls had always been a source of silent fascination to the boy. His own penis seemed trivial next to Peter's. Peter sat up in bed leaving himself carelessly exposed. Joey crawled up next to him and distributed the items from the store. They both had a can of soda and assorted candy bars. After they had finished, Joey slipped himself under Peter's arm so that he could be closer. He had grown to like Peter's strong scent. He rested his cheek against Peter's chest as if he had found the safest place on earth. From that place, he was able to look down at Peter's cock without Peter returning a challenging gaze. He never minded but sometimes it was just the curiosity of a fatherless boy. Peter lightly handled his cock careful not the rush the unique and unlikely thing that was just beginning to unfold.
"Oh, I got something for you!"
He reached down to the floor next to the bed to get his pants. Going through his pockets Peter pulled out the money he had gotten from the man that almost died. Out of it he took a $100 bill and gave it to Joey. Joey's eyes widen and then his face broke into a beautiful smile. He took the bill and held it up to look at the face of Ben Franklin. The boy's thrilled excitement made Peter's cock rise knowing that he had made Joey happy.
Peter was smiling. "Put that away and don't fuckin lose it."
The boy stuffed it into his pocket and cuddled up closer to Peter. He reached down and gently touched Peter's cock. It lay across his stomach and it rose up to meet his finger tips. Joey slid down and put his mouth on Peter's cock and opened wider letting Peter slide it in.
This was another world from the night before. Peter's feelings for the man he had picked up in the bar were so different. They were feelings that were empty and without emotion. It was sex as an act of contempt. The older portly man that could have been the father he never had and here he was on his knees before him. Just for that he hated his guts.
He hoped that Joey would never regard him that way. Without stopping Joey from what he was doing, he began to undress him. His worn out shoes gave way to the same dirty socks. The scent erected him completely. He pressed the sole of the boy's foot to his face. Joey was ticklish and he twitched and jerked. He held the boy's foot tight and closed his eyes.
Peter, who was once neglected and discarded, Peter, who was never loved by anyone and got along on his own, realized something for the first time. He realized that he loved Joey the way someone should have loved him.
Carefully he slid the boys lose pants and underwear down. It was almost heart-breaking how small and thin the boy was. He lifted the boy up so that he could pull off his tee shirt. When he did, the boy and the man embraced as if, in each other, they had found everything they ever needed.
A Turn of Events:
In the late afternoon, they were both roused by the sputtering and malfunctioning buzzer. It was the front door downstairs.
"It's me, Jeanie, let me in!"
Still naked, Peter and Joey quickly dressed and tried to make their pretense of innocence look plausible. Jeanie entered the apartment in an excited flurry.
Joey's mother glided into the cramped apartment in a nervous flurry.
Pete said "All's I got to drink is some Coke but it's sort of flat."
She was breathless, "Oh God no, I'm alright."
Jeanie sat on the edge of the bed trying to organize herself. She was out of breath from climbing the stairs.
"Oh shit, I don't know where to start! Joey, how would you like to live in Las Vegas?"
Her son gave her a puzzled look.
Looking at Peter, she said, "I met this guy that owns a club and I'm pretty sure I got a job."
She quickly looked at her son, "Joey, I know you're gonna like him."
Peter's voice lacked enthusiasm. "That's great Jeanie."
She could barely contain herself. "Oh shit, I'm so excited!"
As quickly as a light switch, Jeanie turned serious. "Peter, I got a problem.. do you, .. I mean it's a lot to ask, ...but do you think Joey can stay with you until I get organized out there?"
Peter acted cagey. "I don't know, for how long?"
"Just as soon as I get a few pay checks and get a place, I promise. Peter, I don't have much money but I can send some more when I can."
She pushed several twenties into his reluctant hand.
He looked down at the money in his hand and then up at Jeanie.
"Yeah, he can stay here, Joey's no trouble."
Jeanie jumped up and hugged Peter in an excited and emotional flourish.
"Oh thank you, thank you!"
Joey silently watched the two people in his life trade on his future. His Mother barely noticed whether Joey approved or disapproved in matters that concerned his own destiny.
"Peter, here is a number that I can be reached at and if anything comes up I'll leave a message on my machine in the apartment."
He looked at the business card that Jeanie had given him. It was a glossy red card with fiery black lettering that said, "The inferno". There was an address and a phone number and under that, it said, Just 2 blocks off the strip.
Jeanie hugged and kissed Joey and was out the door and gone. The two sat silently on the bed together and just stared at the door to the apartment where Jeanie had just exited. The whole event hadn't had time to sink in.
Finally Joey said, "I've lived with some of my Mother's boyfriends before, I rather stay here with you."
Peter looked at Joey and was relieved.
Then with half a laugh he said, "What the fuck am I gonna do with you?"
To be continued