One Semester

Date 6 September 2016.
Author Palantir
Subject One Semester.

The author retains copyright (2016) to this story. Reproducing this story for distribution without the author's permission is a violation of that copyright.
This story is fiction.

Thank you Nifty for the opportunity to post this story.

ONE SEMESTER Chapter 12.

"Good spotting Sam. I was starting to think we wouldn't be able to get to the Headland."

After walking 300 meters along the beach and twice being misled by stony outcrops, Sam had discovered the remnants of the stone steps climbing from the shore and marking the start of a disused track. Phillip had had doubts as to whether this would still be passable as it was already becoming overgrown five years ago, but it was the only access to Lion Headland without a hard day of bush bashing.
The Headland was a must on the list of things to do because there was evidently a magnificent view in both directions along the coast and it was also the way, if you were game enough, to another of Phillip's now notorious side trips.
After a short tricky scramble there was an extra steep section. This was good news because the old timber retaining steps, held in place with large metal bolts, confirmed this was indeed the right way.
The next twenty minutes was really tough going. Up, up, up, sometimes at a snail's pace to negotiate vegetation blocking the way, and sometimes stopped while Martin did a quick scout to make sure they hadn't left the track. The intrepid leader, Peter called him. The gradient levelled, then, to Sam's disgust, plunged way down again to the thick vegetation of a little creek.

"Is this Phillip's Gully?"

"No, that's the other side of the headland. This one's a dead end."

Up, up again, not quite as steeply, but this time in a zigzag pattern. At one stage they did lose the track till Joel spotted a twist of blue plastic round a branch. The headland was everything it was cracked up to be and from the edge of the almost vertical drop they looked down to the reefs and along the coastline of yesterday's expedition.

"Are we ready to go off the track again?"

Martin was grinning because everyone was hyped about the gully ahead of them. In his pack was the ten meter length of rope needed to manage the final descent to the cove Phillip had described as being 'worth the effort'.
After the last two adventures, the requirement for a rope had everyone wondering what might be ahead.
Half an hour of real bush bashing followed, forcing their way through tangles of shrub, looking for secure foot and handholds where the way was too steep for ordinary walking, and then came the shock of seeing the rock face that was the final barrier, twice as high as the one at Point Volney.

"It's not all that bad."

"Yes it is. It's nearly ninety degrees."

Peter had started this degree way of describing steepness and after gauging for a moment he chimed in.

"Maybe sixty, Sam."

"It might as well be ninety. Look how far it is."

"Shoosh! You'll talk yourself out of it. ...Look at all the holds. It's easier than yesterday, except for that bottom bit. Look for the spike Phillip told us about."

The old iron spike was found, further to one side, poking upright from a crack in the rock and slightly set back from the edge. Martin tested how secure it was, first by pushing and then with his foot but there was no way it would move. After settling for a moment and surveying the possibilities, Martin pronounced that whoever hammered the spike in had chosen the best position.
There was some discussion about what sort of knot to use till Joel showed them one he knew from his farm work. Martin went first, that went without saying, made it look easy, then climbed back up.

"You're after me, Sam. Watch how I do it and I'll tell you where to put your feet."

"Why am I next? I usually go last."

"So you're not always last. Do you want to use the rope or will you have a go without it?"

Sam didn't bother with answering that and when Martin was down grasped the rope as if his life depended on it. Slowly he descended, following Martin's guidance till about half way he looked up with a grin and continued much more confidently. Joel was last and realised that the thinking about it had been harder than the doing.
According to their map this place was called Rocky Cove and it lived up to its name, with jumbled boulders instead of a shoreline and a massive rock section jutting into the ocean like a stone jetty, all excellent for exploration.
Sam pointed to a cleft in the cliff face at the western end of the cove, but they had a sit down first as a snack was the priority at the moment. Joel watched the waves breaking while he munched on scroggin, then wandered onto the stone jetty to get closer to the water.

"Watch out for King waves."

Martin was joking. This cove was protected to a degree by the headland. Nevertheless, Joel did keep a watchful eye out.

"Let's check out that cleft. It has to be the place Phillip's talking about."

It was. The cleft cut into the cliff, became an overhang, and then disappeared into darkness. Martin clambered along a natural ramp and yelled for everyone to follow. A barrier of jumbled rock was easily passed then a sandy incline leading to a ridge. Oh my! In the gloom ahead was a black hole and Joel took out his headlamp.

"Are you game, Sam? There might be pirates in there."

"As if!"

"Vampires! Snakes!"


"Well, if someone got shipwrecked there might be skeletons."

There weren't, but the joking did add to the atmosphere of exploring the cave. Right at the back Joel turned off his lamp.

"What happened?"

"Nothing. I'm seeing how dark it is."

"It's pitch black. Turn it back on."

"You can't see dark because if it's dark you can't see."

"Well, I'm looking and my eyes tell me it's dark."

"But you're not seeing anything. That's what dark means."

While Peter and Martin argued about whether you could see dark, Joel realised that as his eyes adjusted he actually could see. Not much, but enough to make out dim outlines in the direction of the entrance.

"I can see."

"Hey, so can I."

Joel took a few cautious steps. Yes, this was possible. Slowly he moved, quietly and carefully testing for any obstructions with his hands and feet.

"Where's the light? ...Joel?"

Joel smiled to himself at the comments as they worked out he wasn't there. Peter was first and he added to the fun.

"He's slipped down a crevasse."

"Dork-head, there's no crevasses in here."

"A black hole's got me. Don't move, Sam, or you'll get sucked in."

"I'll suck you in."

When there was no answer Joel figured that Peter was probably adding to the act and maybe even making his own way, so he stood still.

"Turn that lamp on!"

"Help, Sam! Help! Something's dragging at me. I think it's the black hole."

That was Martin.


"When I'm gone you can have my speedos. help you remember Big Boy... Hey, let go."

"No way. I'm not staying here by myself."

Joel jumped when something brushed against his side, and reaching out he felt an arm.
It had to be Peter so he tugged him into a hug. The hug was returned, a nose bumped against his face, then was replaced by soft seeking lips.
Whoo! The usual charge ignited and Joel pulled Peter closer.
There was an exclamation from a few metres away where Martin must have bumped against a rock, a laugh from Sam and then another exclamation as he in turn must have knocked the same rock.
Joel moved sideways, dragging Peter with him, in the hope that Martin and Sam would work their way past and leave them in the dark. It worked, and barely aware of Sam and Martin's comments as they fumbled their way forward, he pulled Peter close.


"Sucked into a black hole hey?"

"Joel got randy."

"I thought so. I had to stop Sam from looking for you."

"They might have been hurt or something. I got worried."

"Oh yeah? Funny then how you only got worried after I said they were probably having a quickie."

"Well, I suppose I wasn't too worried. ...Did you really have a quickie?"

Joel flushed a little at this rather direct question then even more when Peter answered.

"Eat your heart out, Sam. Once Joel's randy you can't stop him."

"Why not? What does he do?"

"You're too young to know."

"Hah!.. As if."

"All right. I'll tell you. ...But not today."

After more exploring the return to camp started. The rope climb up was almost an anti-climax after the adrenaline rush of the descent and by the time they'd retraced the bush-bash up the gully and all the steep up and downs to Milanesia it was after 2 PM.
The remainder of the afternoon was spent in the water with bouts of lazing on the sand. Sam learned how to catch waves and Joel picked up a few pointers while watching Martin teach him.

"Who's coming for a run with me?"

"Are you crazy? We already hiked ten kilometers this morning and we've been swimming for over two hours."

Sam was right, but Joel liked to think he could keep up with Martin and they couldn't go far because they'd run out of beach. Peter and Sam stayed.
It was an enjoyable feeling, jogging beside Martin, mostly on the hard wet sand and sometimes splashing through the last swirl of a dying wave. Twice they did a sprint, once at the end of the beach where the sand changed to rock, and again to finish up with Peter, Sam, and another person.
As he slowed in the last few meters Joel recognised the guy with the cows. While he recovered his breath he felt a hint of disappointment that someone was intruding on the solitude of their special place but that was unreasonable and he quickly brushed it off. Peter and Sam had big smiles.

"Hi guys. I've come down to do some fishing."

Introductions went round then everyone sat on the sand and the questions started. It was almost like an interrogation, but Craig, who lived on a farm near where the cows crossed the road, had plenty of questions of his own.

"How did you know about Milanesia?"

"A friend told us. It's one of his favorite places."

"Does he like fishing?"

Joel didn't have a clue about that and looked at Sam.

"No. He says he never catches anything. He likes it for adventures."

"Well he'd catch fish here. What sort of adventures?"

"Niagara wall. Have you been there?"

"Never heard of it. Where is it?"

Sam explained.

"You went there? That place is dangerous."

The other adventures were recounted and Craig was most impressed that they'd been places he didn't even know about.

"There's a cave? I've seen Rocky Cove on the map but I didn't know there was a cave there."

"Yeah. We call it the quickie cave."

Joel gave Sam a look but he was too busy describing the darkness in the cave and how they had to use a rope to get there.

"Which part of the beach do you fish from?"

"Anywhere, but I'll wait another hour before I start."

"An hour? You came down early?"

Joel looked over at Peter. He had his act-up tone.

"Just to have a look around."

"It's a good beach for skinny-dipping isn't it?"

"What? ...Er. ...I suppose so."

"Ever tried it?"

Craig's manner of hesitation told everyone his answer was yes but he was reluctant to say so. Peter laughed.

"You can try it with us in a little while then. Sam loves it. Don't you, Sam?"

"It feels fantastic, especially in the waves. This was my first time at the beach."

Peter lent towards Craig and spoke in a highly emphasised stage whisper.

"He loves it because he gets to check us out."

That was the same term Craig had used jokingly when they were talking at the car. Sam lent in with his own whisper and pointed to Peter.

"Takes one to know one."

Craig looked back and forth between Sam and Peter, obviously wondering if they meant what they were saying or just stirring each other.

"Is it lonely living down here?"

Martin was changing the subject for some reason.

"Kind of. When I get a car it won't be so bad but I still have to be home every day for milking the cows, unless my mum helps out."

The conversation continued for a while and Peter suddenly stood up.

"Who's going for a swim?"

Without waiting for any answer he stripped out of his speedos and ran for the water. Craig looked rather startled and Martin laughed.

"We did this the first night after you told us it was a nudie place, so it was your idea really. Coming in with us?"

Joel jumped up and, dropping his bathers, raced after Sam and Martin. When he caught up he pushed Sam into Martin, dived through an oncoming wave then warded off Sam who'd chased after him.

"Look. I think he's coming in."

Sam immediately lost interest in the chase. Craig's shirt was off and he was sitting on the sand undoing his shoes.

"Maybe he'll swim in his jocks?"

"Don't stare Sam. You might put him off."

They moved to join Peter and Martin.

"He stripped!"

Sam sounded excited. He jumped on Joel's back and Joel fell over on purpose to get him off.


"Take it slow, Sam. He's probably nervous about this."

Craig arrived, and if he was nervous it didn't get a chance to show because Sam started a splashing war with him. He retaliated straight away then won resoundingly when everyone else ganged up on Sam who had to dive under to get away. A bigger wave started building and everyone dived low to escape being clobbered.
After an enjoyable half-hour of surfing and general mucking round Peter climbed on Joel's back and told him to attack Sam. Sam, without even asking jumped on Craig's back. Craig, totally startled, staggered and nearly fell, rallied for a moment then did fall when Joel and Peter crashed into him. As soon as he regained his feet Sam was on his back again and the battle raged for five minutes with Martin shoving both pairs over.

"Head for the reef."

Joel had his orders and, sensing that Peter intended to stay where he was, started moving. Halfway there Joel noticed that Sam, still riding piggyback, had a funny look on his face.

"He's doing it again."


"The same as he did at the moonlight barbecue. Look where he's got his feet and I bet he's got a bone."

Peter spoke back in the same quiet manner that Joel was using.

"I think you're right. We better help Craig. ...Hey Craig, weren't you going fishing? Or is it still too early?"

"Um... Yes, it's good conditions for the next hour."

"Well, we're just going to explore the reef for a while. We saw seals there the other night."

"I'll go with Craig. I've never tried fishing."

"Sam, you'll probably frighten the fish away."

"No he won't. It's good to have someone to talk to and I can show him what to do."

That was interesting. If Sam had a bone, and Joel was certain that he did, then Craig was surely aware of it and he sounded keen for them to stay together.

"Talk? Sam'll probably tangle all your lines and hook onto a passing seagull."

Sam took his hands from Craig's shoulders, wrapped them around his neck and twisted in the direction of the fishing gear.

"Don't listen to them. They're always giving me a hard time. If I catch a fish I'll eat it all by myself. Come on, let's go."

Sam did catch a fish. To his amazement he actually caught two.
Craig caught five, stayed to share them for their evening meal, disappeared somewhere along the beach with Sam for an hour, then headed up the access track at ten o'clock. Sam really copped it from Peter and Martin with the 'Sam the Seducer' title getting a real workout.


"What happened, Sam? How did you go from fishing before tea to sex after?"

Sam snuggled close to Joel, making the most of his promised hug.

"We didn't. We had fun while we were fishing too."

Joel had to laugh.

"Every time you say fun from now on I'll think it means sex. ...You didn't push him into it did you?"

"No way. You know I wouldn't do that. He wanted something to happen so I helped him."

"Wanted? How did you know?"

"He liked carrying me on his back."

"And that was enough for you to start something?"

"He was really nervous but once we got going he couldn't stop."


"You know what I mean. He must be even randier than you."

"Me? You're calling me randy?"

"Martin and Peter always say you are."

"They say anything. You can't always believe them."

"Well I do, and anyhow what's wrong with being randy? It's natural."

"Idiot! What about Phillip? Will you tell him?"

"Of course I will. He'll be really pleased I've made a new friend."

"You call him a friend? After one day? You'll probably never see him again."

"Yes I will. We're organising something in the semester break."

"You are?... Sam, you don't even know him."

"Yes I do. He's friendly and he's lonely and we like each other. You all liked him didn't you?"

"Yes, we did."

"So what's the problem then?"

"None I suppose. It's just so quick that's all, and I don't want you having any hassles. ...What are you organising?"

"We're not sure yet. It depends if he can get the week off from his farm. He might come and stay at Phillip's or come with us on our touring trip."

"What touring trip?"

"The first week of semester break. Phillip wants to go somewhere. We haven't made up our minds yet but it's either the Alpine country or the Grampians mountain range and the Port Fairy Music Festival."

"Whoo! Really? You lucky dog."

"You could come too. We'd love that."

"So would I, but I'm going home. I haven't even been once since I started College."

"Couldn't you go in the second week?"

"Not really. Mum's doing her yearly stock-take for the shop and I said we'd help her."

"We? ...You mean Peter?"

"Yes, he's coming with me."

"You randy dog. You can't go for even a day without seeing him."

"Of course I can."

"Hah! What about the Big One? He can't."


Sam laughed and moved under the cover.

"Cut that out!"

Joel grabbed Sam's hand, which had just made a sneaky touch.

"No funny business."

"Pretend it's Peter's hand and let nature take its course."

"Behave yourself or I'll shove you outside."

"What about tickling? Will that make you horny?"

It was Joel's turn to laugh as he fended off the tickle attack.

"Don't you ever stop? You've already been with Craig this afternoon and tonight."

"Can't have too much fun."


Joel pushed Sam away, pulled the cover between them, and said a friendly goodnight.


The end of chapter 12.
I hope you've gained some enjoyment from this story.
Any comments and feedback would be greatly appreciated.
Also, please consider making a donation to Nifty to help with all the ongoing work.
My email address is