Let The World Go By
This is a story that involves sex between males. If such a story is offensive, or illegal for you to read where you live, then do not continue, go and surf elsewhere.
This is a work of fiction and in no way draws on the lives of any specific person or persons. If there is any similarity to any real persons or events it is entirely coincidental.
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Thank you for waiting while I recovered. I want to thank all of you who have sent me comments about the story. I know that I have not answered all of the e-mails please forgive me. Also notice the change in address (due to a virus).
The Years In Between
When the finals were over, James was certain that he had failed. He had no reason to go on, and nothing that he could do could bring him out of his depression. It was worse than it had been after Monroe had died. He had lost interest in everything.
When his grades arrived, he found that he hadn't failed, but nearly and was on probation, meaning he had to do much better the next semester or he would be out. He lightened his load when he registered for the next semester hoping that it would help
By the end of February it was clear that he wouldn't make it. He did what he had to do to save as much of his money as he could, he withdrew from classes.
Two days before he was due to be out of his room, he went to the Air Force recruiter's office and signed up. There were the usual tests and papers to fill out. But when all was finished, he had been accepted. All he had to do now was wait until they sent him notice of when to report.
He called his mother and told her that he was coming home, and why. On the phone she sounded cheerful enough, but he knew her, she was terrified.
He felt like a lost soul during those days between the time he arrived at his parents home, a place to visit, but no longer his home, and when he got his orders to report to Lackland Air Force Base near San Antonio, Texas. But finally the orders finally arrived. He was to go to the Cities to be sworn in, and to travel with the others going to Lackland by train. He took the train to the Cities, leaving his car with his brother, to begin a new life.
Although the weather in Chesterville had been balmy for April, James was not prepared for what he encountered when they stepped off the train in San Antonio, Texas. It was definitely shirt sleeve weather. At eight o'clock in the morning it was seventy-five degrees. After gathering their belongings, they boarded a large Air Force bus for the drive to the base nearby.
The excitement and anticipation of what for James was to be a new experience, caused his pulse to race, and a strange feeling raced up his spine. He and forty or so other new recruits rode the bus into the bright sunlight of a new day in April of 1952 at Lackland Air Force Base outside of San Antonio, Texas.
Nearly as soon as the bus stopped moving, a young man dressed in khaki came from one of the long, pale beige colored barracks buildings and stood in the doorway of the bus shouting instructions to them, the man was their drill instructor.
Once cleared of their possessions, the bus pulled away.
"My name is Hobart Parkinson," he began again in a loud and clear voice. "My rank is Airman First Class, however, when you address me, you will refer to me as Sergeant Parkinson.
"I will be your drill instructor," he continued. "I will be your father and mother, your brother and sister, your wife and girlfriend, your priest, rabbi, minister, your doctor." At this there were a few giggles from the group.
"I don't believe that I gave you girls permission to giggle!" He shouted to them, which ended the giggles. He continued his carefully prepared opening lecture. James stood at what he knew from his ROTC training, to be the proper attitude of attention. His eyes never moved from straight ahead, although his mind followed the airman as he strode back and forth in front of the roughly lined up new servicemen. To James, he appeared to be a lion pacing inside his cage, and as Parkinson passed directly in from him, James realized for the first time that Parkinson was Black, and he thought to himself, a Black Lion. James must have revealed something of his amusement at the thought, for Parkinson stopped in front of James as he continued his lecture.
James' expression was strictly frozen, and his eyes never moved, not even blinking for long periods of time. Parkinson continued talking, but he never took his eyes off from James.
James concentrated even more on maintaining his military pose, trying to blink even less often. Parkinson's voice boomed on and then without warning he put his finger on James' chest and said, "You, don't move!" then to the others, "The rest of you people turn and look at this man! He is the only one of you who understands at this moment what is meant to be standing at attention."
He went on to point out the correctness of James' pose as the others looked on, some of them were more amused than impressed. When he finished pointing out James' good points, he asked, "What is your name, Airman?"
"Arneson, James Charles, Sergeant!" James replied in his loudest and clearest voice. Even he was surprised at his own response.
"Did you hear that?" Parkinson asked looking up and down the group. There was silence. "He even knows how to speak. And I'm certain that the rest of you will learn in short order." He went on with his speech.
At the end he said, "Now you will fall out and get into the barracks and take your things with you." He paused, and as people began to move about, he shouted, "Not until I tell you!" Everyone stopped! Then he shouted, "Fall out!" Most people were frozen, but James had begun to move at once.
"Airman Arneson, you wait." Parkinson called out. James returned to his former position and stood at attention. The rest of the group continued moving into the building. When everyone had gone inside, Parkinson moved to stand in front of him, and then spoke directly to James in a calm relaxed voice.
"At ease, Airman. I hope you don't mind my using you as an example."
"No, Sergeant" James responded in a more subdued voice.
"I'm going to tell you something which you may not like, and it may not sound fair to you, but I will explain it to you."
James relaxed as he stood at the formal position of at ease. Their eyes met for the first time. There was something intangible yet real, that both men sensed as they looked at each other.
As quickly as it came, it was gone from Parkinson's eyes as he spoke. "You obviously have had some military training and a good background, so what you will go through here will be nothing new to you training-wise.
"Perhaps you may think that it should give you some advantage in the way of advancement during basic training. In some other groups it does.
But in my group during training, I strive to give advancement to those who learn the fastest from where they begin. To give you a position of visible and immediate leadership would be to deny others of a chance at it. You will have no trouble in gaining all the advancement you desire and deserve, once you're out of basic. But for now, you will be passed over while you're in my group."
James listened and understood what was being said, and at once understood the wisdom of it, although he was somewhat disappointed in a natural way.
"I understand, Sergeant," he said.
"You will be expected to be a leader within the ranks, giving your leadership by example to all of the others who though they are as qualified to lead as those who do, are also not called upon. By your example you can show that not everyone can lead, but all can, and are expected to obey.
"You will receive your recognition in a special letter of recommendation, if you do your part in the course of the training. There will be other special but subtle treatment when the others will not be aware of it." Parkinson's eyes almost twinkled as that look returned momentarily. James wasn't sure what was meant, but he was certain that he was interested.
"All right, Airman, you can tell the others that I wanted to know where you learned to stand and talk, when you are asked about it inside." Then he smiled, and asked, "By the way, where did you learn it?"
"I took Air Force ROTC last year in college, Sergeant. Also I have two uncles on active duty with the Air Force," he answered.
"Very well, get along inside with the others. Dismissed!" James came to attention and then went inside.
Hobart smiled as he watched the young man hurry into the barracks.
James could not help but wonder what Parkinson had meant. Once inside he quickly forgot about it as he walked through the barracks. He walked down the aisle and looked for a place to sleep. Every bunk on the main floor was taken, so he walked up the stairs to the second floor. At the top of the stairs there were two closed rooms near the stairway and on either side of the center aisle before the open bay began. There was a nameplate on each door. One of the names was Parkinson and the other was Stans. Just beyond the rooms was an empty bunk on the side of the building where Parkinson's nameplate was located. Without hesitating, James took that bunk for his own.
Others were standing around talking in quiet tones. He watched as some of them looked at him cautiously, as if uncertain how to treat him.
He decided that it was up to him to break the ice, so he walked over to the group.
"I guess that you all have me at a disadvantage. That is, you know my name, and I don't know any of yours."
"My name's Lane Jefferson," a blonde-haired, slender boy said extending his hand to James. They shook hands and thus the introductions began. When they were all complete, James explained what Parkinson wanted to talk about, and he told them too about his experience with the ROTC. He kept to himself, the remarks about his not being given the responsibility of leadership during basic.
And thus began the slightly more than eight weeks of sometimes intense, and sometime frivolous training. James and the others, although they would not become great friends, but they would become as one in action, if not in mind. They marched together, ate together, studied together, and slept together.
At the end of the third week of training. they were allowed to go where ever they wanted to go within the bounds of the base. It was a warm evening, that Saturday, and after the regular hours of training they were free until ten o'clock. And then on Sunday they were free from eight o'clock in the morning until ten o'clock in the evening.
James, Jefferson, and Mac, as Jim MacDuggle was known, went to a movie at the base theater. The three of them had become good friends. Jefferson, although he was the oldest of the three, looked youngest. James and Jefferson looked remarkably alike; both were tall and blonde-haired with blue eyes.
Mac was shorter than the other two, and often walked between them. The movie was a romance, and afterward they stopped at the snack bar located not too far from their barracks. Sitting outside in the patio at a table, they talked about home.
"I miss not being able to go riding the most," said Jefferson who was from Montana.
"I've never been riding," said Mac. He sipped on his soft drink thoughtfully. His eyes became glazed and he blinked quickly.
James noticed the tears in Mac's eyes, but said nothing and quickly drew Jefferson's attention away from Mac by saying, "I had a pony once, but never got to ride him more than a few times because he was so mean."
"Mean?" Jefferson laughed. "What you mean, he was mean?"
"Well," James explained. "Whenever anyone would try to ride him, he would take off for the barn and on the way he would brush up against anything nearby and try to knock you off."
They all laughed, even Mac.
"Now that's what I call, mean!" Jefferson laughed again. They finished their drinks and got up. They made their way back to their barracks home. It was nearly ten o'clock when they arrived, and the lights were still on. Most of the men had returned and were sitting around in small groups talking in hushed tone. Some were laughing and joking, but most were just relaxed and talking quietly.
The three of them stood outside on the steps talking until the outside lights went off, which was the signal that the time had come for everyone to get to bed. In five minutes the lights would have to be out throughout the building. Then the outside lights would come on again to act as firelights. They hurried up the stairs to their respective beds. They undressed hurriedly and climbed between the sheets. Jefferson slept in the third bunk, James at the end in the first bunk, with Mac between them. Quietly they said their good nights, and lay back.
The lights went off and all began to become quiet. James lay breathing slowly. His thoughts too returned to home. He thought of Monroe and Roy. He longed to hold them again; he hoped that they were together, wherever they were.
His reverie was interrupted by the soft but unmistakable sounds of sobbing. He turned toward Mac's bed. He was lying face down, with his face buried in his pillow trying to cover the sounds that he was powerless to control. James crawled out of his bed and crossed over to where Mac lay and sat down. He looked beyond to where Jefferson lay already asleep. James frowned, and looked down at Mac. He reached out his hand and laid it gently on Mac's shoulder. There was a slight shiver. Gradually the sobs stopped, then Mac took a deep breath and lifted his face from the pillow.
From the faint light coming in the window, James could see the tears in his eyes, but there was a slight smile on his face.
"Thanks, James," he whispered. James put his finger to his lips to indicate silence. Slowly he began to massage Mac's neck and back. Mac relaxed under the ministrations of James' talented fingers and hands. His massage worked it's way down further on Mac's body. He knew that Mac was becoming aroused. He also knew that he should stop before it was too late. But there was something exciting about it, and he knew that he wouldn't stop.
Mac rolled over and indicated to James to continue. James did so, beginning on the chest and arms. Mac's breathing became strained. James hesitated, stopping only for a second. Mac reached up and pulled James' hand down to his crotch.
"Please." Mac pleaded. James shivered as he felt Mac's erection move under his fingers. Mac's hand reached out and touched James' lap. He too had become aroused. James began to move his hand on Mac's body as had been indicated. Slowly at first and then with more vigor and speed. Mac's breath was now fast and he began to experience the pleasure of sex. His hand also moved more rapidly on James' manhood.
As the moment of eruption became immediate for Mac, James leaned over and took the throbbing hot muscle into his mouth.
Mac's breathing stopped as he felt the warm mouth and lips close on him. He immediately climaxed sending spurts of silvery liquid into James' mouth, and he bit his lips to keep from crying out. James quietly and carefully took it all completely into his throat. At the same time his own body reacted and Mac's hand was soon covered with James' hot fluid. James finished cleaning Mac with his mouth and lips, and leaned over covering Mac's body with his own chest. For a moment, but only for a moment they lay together.
James then reached down to the end of his own bed and pulled the washcloth from where it hung. It was still damp from earlier in the evening when he shaved. He quickly cleaned Mac's hand and his own body. When he finished, he leaned over once again and kissed Mac full on the mouth. Mac did not respond, but neither did he pull away. James knew that in the morning Mac and he would not be as close friends as they once had been, but he also knew that he had not lost a friend, and no one would ever know about it from Mac. He quietly returned to his own bed, and fell immediately to sleep, joining the rest of the men in a peaceful rest.
It was barely gray in the eastern sky when the lights came on in the barracks building and the shrill whistle of the CQ echoed through the building. James felt as though he had just closed his eyes; although once he become accustomed to the light, he realized that he had really rested while he had been asleep, perhaps better than he had for a long time.
Mac sat up in his bed and rubbed his eyes. For a moment he sat there trying to recall the strange dream he'd had. He couldn't believe what he recalled. He'd never let anyone do for him what he recalled what in his dream James had done. He looked over at James, and saw by the look in his eyes that it had not been a dream. It had really happened. He hesitated a moment more hoping in vain that he and James would not have to talk right now. But as he got out of bed and headed for the latrine, James did the same. He knew he'd have to speak if James did.
"Morning, Mac," James said realizing that any other comment would force an unwilling response from Mac.
"Good morning," Mac returned and smiled faintly to James, thanking him in that way for the implied forgetting of the incident. James responded by smiling back and saying nothing more.
Jefferson who followed the pair into the latrine, smiled to himself as he heard the exchange. He had also heard Mac's soft sobbing, and had listened as he realized that some exchange was taking place between James and Mac. Carefully, not moving, he had opened his eyes. He watched in the half-light as James had comforted Mac. He had sensed that preference or tendency about James. But he had no idea he would ever see what it meant. He had never experienced what Mac had last night, but he often heard about such things, and wished that he could at least once have the same experience, if not more. Now, at least, there was hope. He would say nothing and wait for the right moment.
Someday, he said to himself, someday! He turned the cold water on high in the shower to shock himself into relaxing, as he was beginning to betray his thoughts. He couldn't allow that as there were a dozen others in the shower laughing and splashing in the steamy cloud that filled the stark white room. Someone accidentally walked in the path of his cold spray and cursed softly in surprise, glaring at him in wonderment.
By the time they had finished their breakfast, the sun was bright in the sky and its warmth was already made itself felt to those still waited in line outside the mess hall. Flight 098, the group to which James, Mac, and Lane Jefferson belonged marched back from breakfast. The established routine was that the youngest group in training was the earliest to rise, to eat, and to bed. The nearly finished groups were allowed to sleep for nearly an hour longer in the morning.
James waited until he and Mac were nearly alone near their bunks before he said quietly, "Relax, Mac, no one will ever know, not from me."
Mac looked surprised, "I hope not!" It had never crossed his mind that anyone would. But now he was worried, what if someone had seen them last night? What if they told someone? What would happen, then?
That thought was to follow him for the next several weeks, in whatever he did, wherever he went. Whenever he noticed someone looking at him, he wondered. But for the remainder of the time that they were together at Lackland, nothing more was said between them regarding the incident, and nothing more happened.
It was a blazing midday sun under which Flight 098 toiled carrying the 50-pound sacks of sugar from the steaming rail car to the cool warehouse. Back and forth, from car to warehouse for four hours they trudged before the car was empty. Then it was off to the air-cooled mess hall for lunch. Afterward they had classes for two hours, then it was back to the hot sun for an hour of marching drill. After the drill came the long march out to the rifle range for target practice, and the return march by a different route taking nearly twice as long as getting there. Barely a five-minute rest stop at the barracks was allowed giving them time to clean up for dinner and they marched off to the mess hall, and the sun was still hot.
Some of the men just picked at their food, feeling fatigued after the long hours in the sun. James was one of those who barely touch his food. Back in the barracks, he lay down on his bunk and closed his eyes. Immediately he drifted off to sleep.
Someone shaking him gently awakened him. It was Sgt. Parkinson. He sat up surprised.
"Are you okay?"
"Oh," he gathered himself together. "I guess so." And he started to get up. Parkinson put his hand on his shoulder indicating that he should stay where he was.
"Jones is sick. He was to stand guard duty tonight."
"Okay," James knew that he was being picked to replace him.
"Okay," James knew that he was being picked to replace him. "What time?"
"One A.M. to three." Parkinson said.
"I'll be ready," James replied.
"Good." Parkinson smiled. "As usual, the CQ will be in to wake you about 12:30." Momentarily he put his hand on James' shoulder and said, "Get some more sleep, you'll need it." Before Parkinson was back in his room, James lay back down and was asleep.
Although he slept for more than four hours more, when the CQ awakened James, he felt as if he'd only slept a few minutes. He got up right away, for he knew that if he didn't, he never re-awaken in time. In the latrine downstairs he splashed cold water on his face and combed his hair, what there was of it, and hurriedly finished dressing for duty. Once he was ready and was outside, he felt a little better. At least there, there was some air moving. In the distance lightning flashed and it was followed moments later by the soft rumble of thunder. My God, he thought, almost out loud, it's going to rain! He felt at his belt, checking to make certain that his rain poncho was in place.
The one o'clock group lined up and marched in near silence to the area to be guarded. They all knew that there was nothing on the base that needed guarding, least of all an eight-foot high fence topped with barbed wire. By the time they arrived, it was already beginning to rain a little. They quickly pulled on their ponchos.
The Sergeant of the Guard assigned them their various posts, and by the time that he was gone, it was raining in earnest. There were flashes on lightning followed instantly by booming thunder. The rain continued to sheet down upon the young airmen as they splashed along their appointed routes. At the end of each of their routes, they turned around and headed back the other direction. It was the only time that they had a chance for contact with anyone else. With a precision that surprised even themselves, they paced themselves so that they would be certain to see the person who was at the next post on either end. James had drawn the end post, and therefore was only to see one other person at the end of a complete round. They dared not speak, even in whispers, nor to smoke or to even chew gum. These were the rules that were imposed upon them.
James counted the steps it took him to complete one round of his tour: it was 4,956, the third time he made his round, at 28 inches per step that was seven tenths of a mile per round. After that he stopped counting, as it hadn't changed more than 2 or 3 steps during the first two times he counted. He was bored, and he was beginning to ache. He knew that it wasn't from the marching or exercise, for he was well used to that by now. He figured that he was coming down with something. That's all I need, he thought, is to be put back in training!
He knew the regulation regarding anyone who was out of training more than three days: they were put back to the beginning with the next incoming group. The commanders knew that if the penalty for missing training was not severe, they would have to deal with those who would do anything to get out of the various phases of training. Since the closer to the end of training they got the more rigorous the training became, the more severe the penalty became as well. This worked better than anything else that was tried, and it was easy to enforce.
After the first hour James lost his sense of time, he was alternately cold and then hot, he shivered in the falling rain. He began to perspire more and more. He knew that he had a fever, and as he continued to march he began to doubt that he'd be able to finish his two-hour tour. He tried not to think about how he felt. The harder he tried not to, the more he thought about it. His head began to feel strange, he wiped his forehead with his wet hand and that helped somewhat, for a short time, at least.
He continued to slosh through the mud that he had created by marching back and forth in the same dirt path, time after time. It was beginning to ooze up onto the sides of his high-topped shoes. He tried now to think of how he was going to get the mud off from his shoes when he was finished. He almost laughed out loud, when he realized what he was thinking about. He could have cared less, the way he felt now.
"Sergeant of the Guard!" he heard someone call in the distance. He repeated the call. "Sergeant of the Guard!" The effort of calling out hurt his throat. He wished that he hadn't called out so loudly. He heard the call echo in the distance as the men passed on the alarm further down the line. The call went out in all directions. James wondered what the problem was. The distress call had never been used before when he had been on duty. In the classes they had been warned that it was to be used only in an emergency. He heard the call again, this time more urgently, or was it just closer. He couldn't tell. He passed it on once again. It seemed like forever before he saw someone coming toward him.
"Halt!" he called out. The figure stopped. "Pretty Picture!" he called out the first part of the password.
"Sunset!" came the reply.
"Advance and be recognized!" James called out, each time his throat became more hoarse, but he had to use what voice he had left.
The figure approached him to within three arms length and then stopped.
"Name, rank and serial number?" James called.
"Johnson, Larry E. Airman First Class. Four, seven, zero, five, five, one six," came the response.
"State your business!" James was nearly finished now; he doubted that he could have continued much longer, shouting into the pouring rain.
"I'm Sergeant of the Guard," Johnson said quietly. "I'm checking on a call."
"All right, Sergeant," James answered. "The call came from that direction, when I first heard it." he said pointing off to the left.
"Thank you," He started off into the darkness.
"Sergeant?" James started.
"Do you know what time it is?" James asked.
"Yes, it's two fifty hours," Johnson responded after looking at his watch.
"Thank you, Sergeant."
"Good night, Airman," and he disappeared into the blackness.
Two fifty! He was elated. Ten minutes more, he thought to himself. He could take that amount of time without too much pain.
He paced back and forth with more determination, now that his time was nearly up. It began to rain more heavily once again, and once again James lost track of time, as his body became drenched from both the outside and the inside of his clothes.
He stumbled and fell to his knees, both hands down in the mud, his rifle which by now weighed a ton, barely survived being flung into the mire. He struggled to his feet, wiped his hands on his pants and continued on down the path he had created. Just as he was about to turn around at the end where he was furthest from anyone, he once again stumbled and fell into the mud. This time he did not get up.
He was aroused from his faint by the sound of voices nearby. There was the sound of rain as if it was raining on a tent. He realized that he was on his back, but his face was not getting wet, and it was darker than it should have been. He struggled to get up, but someone gently held him down.
"That's okay, James," It was Parkinson's voice. He relaxed and once again his mind clouded over.
To be continued
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