West Otter Lake
Copyright© 2013 – Nicholas Hall
West Otter Lake – Chapter Twenty–One - "They fuck you up, your mum and dad, they may not mean to, but they do. They fill you with the faults they had and add some extra, just for you!" – (Philip Larkin)
Good God! What was that slimy son-of-a-bitch up to now? I may've been concerned before, but now I was becoming more than "concerned;" I was becoming frightened for my brother's welfare, and fucking angry besides!
"Thanks for the heads up, Roy. I'll keep an eye out for him."
"Remember, Conner," Roy admonished, climbing into his State pickup, "Wesley wasn't a happy camper when you took over the Resort, but you know something? He never earned it or deserved it to begin with. I've spent most of my career here in Otter County and Wesley Johnson is one of the very few people I really disliked!"
Roy wasn't alone there; my entire household could echo those sentiments. How a person can turn his back on his own children was beyond me, but Craig's family did too. His family didn't stalk him like Wesley appeared to be doing, but they continued to send him the religious right, anti-gay material they subscribed to and accumulated, condemning him to hell if he didn't "take the cure." I think I would've sent them a nicely embossed letter with "KISS MY ASS!" for a letterhead and a picture of my bare ass cheeks if I were him.
After a couple of dry, windy weeks, after finishing night rounds, four days before the start of the new school year in Otter Lake, I heard a fire truck, siren whooping, gears grinding, speeding toward town from the direction of Parsonville. The only time that happens is when the local fire department has a major blaze and calls for mutual aid from surrounding communities. I looked off toward Otter Lake and could see a red glow in the sky but more to the right, somewhat south of where I thought town would be. Standing a moment, watching the red glow flickering and rising in the distance, I heard more sirens and then what I really dreaded, the drone of a small plane headed in the same direction. Forest fire!
I ran to the Lodge, up the stairs, and from room to room, to awaken the boys and Craig. Leandro heard me and met me in the hallway.
"Forest fire;" I gasped, "off toward Otter Lake. The DNR already put up a spotter plane so it must be growing."
"Boys, gather those things you might need, put them in your school bags, and take them to the pickup truck. Dress yourselves in long pants and long-sleeved shirts. Once you've done that, join us on the front porch. Hustle your buns!"
More sirens were echoing down the highway when we all gathered on the porch. The growling, noise of big trucks loaded with heavy equipment, accompanied by sirens and blasts on air horns, bellowed and bleated out of the night. Cedric and Mae, awakened by the noise, scurried up the porch steps to join us as I finalized what we needed to do.
"Ollie, Luis, Terell, and Treyvon, go through the campground and alert the campers. Advise them to be prepared to evacuate if the DNR tells us to. Don't panic them; just let them know we are taking every precaution. Then come back here, okay?"
"Mae and Cedric wake the cabin guests and advise them of the same procedure and come back here."
"Listen up everybody, Mae will man the office and answer questions as guests begin to gather. The rest of us will go to the storage shed, gather up the piss cans, you know the five gallon backpack pumps, the gasoline engine water pump, hoses, shovels and axes; load them in the trailer behind the tractor and head to the lake. We'll fill the cans, prime the pump, and lay out the hoses so we can access them if we need to wet down the buildings or put out hot spots. If the wind comes up and blows in our direction, it could be tricky for a while."
As we worked, a smoky haze began drifting in the air above the Resort. Guests, eager to help, joined us and worked alongside. Other guests were gathered in the Lodge seeking advice and answers to questions. Mae did her best to calm them and reassure them, but she'd never been in a forest fire before so really didn't know what to expect. You'd never know it though from the calm demeanor she exhibited.
Finished in our preparations, I joined Mae and explained to the gathering group of guests the fairly elaborate fire plan for the area, organized by the local fire department and DNR, and if it became dangerous for us to remain, the authorities would notify us.
"I had you awakened as a precaution; I'd rather have you prepared to leave and not have to rather than not be prepared and lose everything. For those of you who want, we'll have coffee and snacks in the Lodge all night and for as long as this lasts."
I sent Mae, Cedric, and the Twins to the kitchen to begin preparing the drinks and snacks, and sent Ollie and Luis outside to partner with Leandro and Craig. I made certain our emergency alert radio was on in the office and checked the charge on my cellphone. Roy would notify us via both means if necessary.
Around two in the morning, the smoke seemed to lift and Ollie came in announcing the wind was now coming off of the lake, from the east, blowing smoke and fire away from the Resort. I could only hope an east wind would bring the rain the weather forecasters kept predicting. Just before dawn, a steady rain began; raising our hopes and our spirits. Even if the rain contained the fire, it'd take several days of overhaul by fire crews to put out all of the hot spots. Those guests still in the Lodge wandered back to their cabins or campsites, relieved we apparently escaped the wrath of the blazing inferno some distance away.
Ollie and Luis were standing on the Lodge porch, watching it rain when Loren Polistrini's car came rolling down the lane from the main road. Ollie gave a quick shout to Craig, alerting him and he bounded down the steps to meet Loren. Loren's face was smudged with soot and dirt and he smelled of smoke, really, really bad! It didn't stop him from grabbing Craig, hugging him and then just stood there, bringing Craig's head to rest on his shoulder.
I stepped out of the office when I heard Ollie call for Craig and stood a moment observing Loren and Craig before asking, "What happened?"
Loren, shaking his head in apparent disbelief, groaned, "I lost everything except what I could cram in the car before getting the hell out of there! I rented that little cabin of Agnes Mallory's on Half-Moon Lake and it burned to the ground when the fire hit it."
The fire, according to Roy Wagoner when he raced up to the little cabin to warn Loren to leave, appeared to be started by a careless camper who was camped on a logging road about a quarter mile from Loren's, and failed to extinguish a campfire completely before leaving. The wind caught the sparks, blew them about, and started the wildfire. The fire swept through a relatively narrow area, bordered by the county road and the lake, but consumed Agnes' cabin.
Ollie clucked his tongue, muttering something about "idiots."
Loren needed to clean up so Craig took him upstairs to his room to shower and find some clean clothes for him to wear. After they left, Leandro looked at me and raised his eyebrows; Ollie and Luis smiled at me; and the Twins stood sad-faced, pleading looks in their eyes.
As if I needed to ask. "Okay," I relented, "I'll offer to let him live here; everybody happy now?"
While Loren stripped his smoky, dirty clothes from his frame, Craig located clean towels and washcloths for him. Loren stood ready to accept the proffered items and Craig's eyes assessed, no, more like devoured the nude, lithe man standing in his bedroom. Dark hair, dark eyes that seemed like bottomless pools of ink, Mediterranean olive complexion; hair the same color as on his head was tucked up in each arm pit and a dark, silky treasure trail beginning just below his navel traveled down to an equally dark, well-formed, pubic bush surrounding an almost flaccid, three to four inch, cut cock completed a picture of everything he imagined or desired in another man.
Craig caught his breath as Loren stepped forward, embraced him and urged him to embrace him in return. As he did, Craig let his hands flow down Loren's back until they engaged those firm melons of his buttocks and gently massaged them. Raising his head, he cautiously pecked at Loren's lips until his own were enveloped in a sucking, sensuous mouth, laving tongue, and a warmth which brought his cock to an instant erection. He stood, pliant in Loren's hands, as his pants were unbuckled, unzipped, and dropped to the floor, allowing Loren's hand to invade his boxers and encase his hard, throbbing, dripping cock, gripping and teasing the object of his desires.
"Join me," Loren pleaded softly as he continued to disrobe Craig.
Never in his life had Craig experienced a shower of such erotic intensity! Hands carefully washed his hair, his back, worked cautiously up and down and around his ass cheeks; soapy fingers probed and teased that delicate, puckered, holy of holies, until Loren, standing behind him, hard cock resting in the cleft of Craig's butt, reached around with a soapy hand, and fondled, then stroked his turgid rod. After but a few up and down motions, a nibble or two on Craig's earlobe, and some thrusts up and down the valley of opportunity by Loren, Craig arched his back onto Loren's chest, and they both came; one splattering the walls of the shower, the other, the back and crevice of his lover.
"I think we should check on them," offered Terell when they hadn't returned as soon as he expected.
"Yeah," echoed his twin, "something might've happened."
Ollie smiled; "I'm certain something did; they'll be just fine."
It didn't take the Twins two seconds for them to process what Ollie meant so they grinned, shut their mouths, and sat back down.
Leandro and I fixed breakfast for our crew when Craig and Loren came back down stairs. Mae and Cedric left earlier for her cottage, claiming she was going to fix breakfast for them and then rest. Craig and Loren sitting next to each other, would smile, and return to their meal. We all knew something happened and by the expression on their faces, we knew it was good.
Craig and Loren asked to talk to me while Ollie, Luis, and the Twins cleaned up the breakfast dishes. Craig hesitated, before broaching the subject I expected him to.
"Conner, Loren lost everything except what he could bring in his car and now has no place to live."
I raised my hand, stopping his plea.
"Craig, Loren is welcome to live here with us, sharing your room, I should gather if what I saw at the table is any indication, but I also expect him to pitch in and help around the Resort and Campground when he's not at school or some school function. I can't really put him on the payroll during the off –season, but probably will be able to next summer. If that's agreeable with you two, then he's got a place to live."
Bobbing heads and grinning faces affirmed their decision and agreement.
"Craig, help Loren unload his gear and then show him the laundry room so he can begin washing the smoke out of his clothes. While he's doing that, check with Leandro and see if Cedric can help him today so you can help Loren, and, Loren, I need your full name and a copy of your social security card for the personnel file."
"Lorenzo Rafaele Benedetto Polistrini!"
I raised my eyebrows, questioning his name.
"I was named after my father's brother and my mother's uncles. We're Italian."
It must have been hell filling out papers at the university was my thought!
We spent the rest of the day putting our Resort firefighting equipment back in storage, except I did leave several piss cans full of water ready to use just inside the door of the storage shed. There was still the faint smell of smoke wafting in the air as the breezes shifted, but the steady downpour was doing its job. A call by Loren to the DNR informed him it'd be several days before he'd be allowed back in the fire zone to retrieve what might be left of his belongings.
Tired as all hell that night, I'm ashamed to say I fell asleep with Leandro's hard cock in my mouth. As much as I wanted to bring him off, my tired body just wouldn't allow it.
The Twins didn't wake us in the morning so we assumed they were still sleeping or were waking the two new lovers in the house. At breakfast, I discovered it was the latter.
Craig was laughing as they entered the kitchen and Loren was just shaking his head.
"Why, in heaven's name, Craig, didn't you warn me? I could've at least left my underwear on. But no, you never said a word!"
"I rather thought you might enjoy it!"
Craig and Loren were awake, about to begin a mutual hand-job, when Terell and Treyvon bounded into the bedroom and under the covers before Loren could say anything. Of course, the first thing the boys did was raise the covers, tuck their heads under, and give Loren's hard rod an inspection.
Terell, after satisfying his curiosity, announced to his brother, "See, teachers' have a weanus and balls just like us."
"Well," Treyvon corrected, "not just like us really. His is sort of brownish color with a pinker head and doesn't have skin around the top. He's cut, just like Craig – see?"
Terell, sprawled across Loren's lower abdomen, trapping the larger stiff rod underneath his own underwear covered penis, looked at Craig's dong and nodded his head in agreement.
"They're both about the same size; bigger than ours but not as big as Ollie's ginormous weanus, but I'll bet they won't be bigger than us when we're his age."
With that, they scurried off to get dressed, leaving a very embarrassed Loren and a frightfully amused Craig.
All four boys were instructed to call Loren "Mr. Polistrini" at school, out of respect and so other kids wouldn't think they were "special." Well, they were, but I'll give this to the four of them, they were respectful and closed mouthed concerning any activities, relationships, or life styles we had at home.
I stopped in the school offices and explained my concerns about the activities of Wesley and urged school officials to be wary of any unusual activities. I reminded them not to release the boys to anyone other than me, Leandro, Craig, Mae, or Mr. Polistrini. I didn't add Cedric to the list because I wasn't certain if he'd be around all winter.
With the boys in school, Cedric helped us pick up the slack, although our cabin rentals dropped in half and we only had about ten campsites rented at any one time, there was still plenty to do. The season was quickly coming to an end and we had winter to prepare for. I ordered fifteen cord of hardwood and it needed to be cut and split. With one person running the chainsaw cutting the eight foot long logs into shorter two foot lengths and another operating the hydraulic wood splitter, it wouldn't take long to have our winter's wood supply stacked and ready for the wood shed.
One night, after homework, lessons, and dinner, Mae announced she and Cedric planned on being married in October and, if we didn't mind, they'd like the ceremony to be held here in the Lodge in front of the fireplace with the reception following in the meeting room. Evidently, she and Cedric had it all planned before the announcement since she indicated Ollie would provide the music, with the one exception of a vocal solo by Luis, and Terell and Treyvon would give the bride away.
Cedric and Mae wanted family only (meaning all of us at the Resort), her sister and husband and family from Illinois, and as many of Cedric's seven children and family that could make it. The second weekend of October was the happy date. We had nothing rented for that weekend, so I reserved all of the cabins for family use. If need be, we could also use Ollie or Luis' room and the extra room next to Craig and Loren for overflow. Cedric indicated some of his family might even decide to camp, if the weather was decent.
"After we're married, we'd like to live here at the Resort in my cottage, if you don't mind, Conner," Mae confided. "The Resort and that cottage seems more like home to me than anyplace else. My grandchildren live here and I really don't want to leave, unless it might be to take a short break in the winter to someplace warm."
That was certainly no problem for me and I know the boys would be happy having their grandmother close.
The DNR scheduled hunter safety classes after school at the fire station in Otter Lake so I enrolled Ollie and Luis. I had no idea if they were interested in hunting, but they needed to know how to handle firearms safely and understand all the safety rules of hunting. The woods would be crawling with hunters when grouse season opened later in the month and duck season in October. Rife deer season opened in November and safety really became an issue then. The boys waited at the station until I picked them after each session.
The Twins must have taken our exhortations concerning Wesley more seriously than I thought because each afternoon after the bus ride home, they'd change clothes, putting on cargo pants, and slip a can of aerosol wasp spray in one pocket and their slingshots in the other. We laughed at the "Terrific Twosome – Armed and Dangerous." Of course, they couldn't patrol the streets of Dodge until they finished their homework and practiced the piano to the satisfaction of their grandmother.
The last day of hunter safety class for Ollie and Luis fell, unfortunately, on a Saturday morning, but with rentals declining, it'd be slow at the Resort until the afternoon. I drove the boys to town and waited for them there. Leandro and the others could handle anything at the Resort during the morning. Most check-ins would be in the afternoon and I thought we should be back by lunchtime.
Craig usually picked up the mail from the mailbox stationed along the county road each morning while doing his outside work. This particular morning, Terell and Treyvon decided to accompany him. They really liked their cousin and were exceptionally happy for him now he had a boyfriend; a boyfriend who was also their favorite teacher the year before.
They were laughing and skipping down the lane until they came to our mailbox. Two coyotes darted across the road, either startled by the boys or something else, so Craig and the Twins stood and watched the critters scoot into the woods, tails tucked between their legs. The two coyotes stopped, looked over their shoulders, seeking the source causing their flight, before launching themselves even faster into the woods. Craig and the twins, intent on watching the coyotes, failed to notice the light, tan mini-van race up behind them until it screeched to a halt and two men, faces obscured by black ski masks, leaped out, grabbed Craig by the arms, and started dragging him toward the van!
He wasn't about to go willingly and began putting up a fight while shouting at the boys to get help. For such a small person, he was tenacious in his battle, screaming, twisting, writhing his body, kicking, and biting anything that presented an opportunity to sink his teeth into! It slowed the attempted abduction long enough for Terell and Treyvon to unlimber their wasp spray cans and enter the fray. Spurting from each can, deluges of stinging, blinding poison swooshed onto the covered faces of the assailants, cascaded into exposed eyes and mouths, burning their throats and blinding their eyes. Craig was released as the men clawed at their eyes and mouths. A third man jumped from the van to help and the Twins gave him a dose also.
The three would be kidnappers managed to struggle back into the van and with shouts of "Go!" the driver stepped on the gas and the van careened down the road. Craig, stumbling back from the attack, had the presence of mind to call "911" on his cellphone, report the attempted abduction and give a description of the van. Terell activated his two-way radio and called Leandro for help.
Ollie, Luis, and I were about three miles from the Resort when sirens sounded behind me and as I eased over to the shoulder, a state trooper raced by me, lights flashing, siren wailing. I was about to pull back on the road when a county deputy sheriff's car flew by "whoop, whoop, whooping" his siren, warning me to stay put.
Curious and concerned what would cause all of the police activity, I was more than a little anxious to get home. Driving up to the Resort entrance, my progress was halted by the State Trooper's car, the county deputy, and Roy Wagoner's DNR pickup truck, lights flashing, effectively blocking any entrance or exit to the Resort. My heart sank, fearing the worst had happened! I could see Craig, Terell, and Treyvon sitting by our Resort sign with the Trooper talking to them. Leandro, Cedric, and Loren were standing next to Roy in apparent conversation. Ollie, Luis, and I tried to walk over to them but were stopped by the deputy sheriff. I shouted at Roy and he quickly came to our aid. Off in the distance, I could hear more sirens converging on our part of the woods.
Roy cautioned me not to speak to the Twins or Craig until they had been thoroughly debriefed and questioned by the detective staff when they arrived. As he explained it, someone tried to abduct Craig and the detectives would want to glean every bit of information from him and the Twins they could while it was still fresh in their minds. More police arrived and two detectives took over the questioning of Craig and my little brothers. I could only imagine what they were going through, but as I watched, Terell and Treyvon looked at me, grinned, and gave me thumbs up!
Leandro, Cedric, and Loren joined us, waiting for the opportunity to see the boys and Craig. Mae wandered up in the meantime, having manned the office during the excitement, until the suspense and curiosity got to her, so she locked up and walked out to crime scene.
Twenty minutes later, evidently satisfied they'd pumped all the information they could from Craig and the Twins for the time being, released them. I hugged them, happy they were okay. I climbed back in the truck and waited until everyone except Cedric and Mae crawled up into the way-back and drove back to the Lodge.
Settled in the kitchen, the Twins couldn't tell the story fast enough! As I listened, all I could do or say was "Thank God, you're all fine," and how proud I was of my little brothers, saving their cousin. Tears mattered my eyes as I looked at those two little boys who were so brave. They stopped talking for a moment, walked over, put their arms around me, hugged me tight, trying to sooth my fears, before scampering back to their chairs and resuming their tale.
Loren, arms around Craig, cradling him securely, said very little, listening intently to every word.
"Any idea who did this?" I finally asked.
Craig shook his head, but looked at me rather oddly.
"I told the cops I didn't recognize any of my assailants so it was difficult to say. Perhaps it was a case of mistaken identity."
Odd, I thought, but kept silent.
"I need breath of fresh air," he continued, and with a jerk of head for Loren to follow, walked out to the front porch.
I know I shouldn't have, but I did; I followed after a moment and stood just inside the porch door. I heard Craig, speaking on his cell phone say, "Mother, this is Craig. Your bully-boys missed. Don't you ever fucking try that again!"
To be continued
Thank you for reading "West Otter Lake – Chapter Twenty-One -"They fuck you up, your mum and dad, they may not mean to, but they do. They fill you with the faults they had and add some extra, just for you!" – (Philip Larkin)
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