This is a work of fiction. No one was exploited in the creation of this fable. In some locales, even reading about fictional teenagers having imaginary sex is prohibited. Local laws apply.

This story explicitly depicts young men forming erotic bonds with each other. Generally they are between the ages of 14 to 17, and they "generally" agree that peer relationships are best. However, among this particular group of youths, there are some who consider scoring some hot older fellow a coup, while there are others who remain enchanted by younger lads. These liaisons appear as dangerous edges, and the author has attempted to depict such outlawish trysts in a realistic way. Also, some of the fellows depicted here do other "bad boy" things like experiment with drugs and get in terrible fights. Last, being sexually versatile, as jocks typically are, they occasionally even have sex with girls. Ultimately, many are the spirits of the young who, in these pages, simply say, "Fuck the rules."

There is plenty of raunchy sex in this tale, but if all you are looking for is pure fapping material utterly devoted to some precise specialty, you might want to look elsewhere. In publisher's lingo, this is a "Coming of Age" novel.

Authors Note: This chapter was originally a bit of a tease, but there was a sex scene or two that were natural developments for these horny boys, so I let them have their way; nevertheless, I felt the story needed a calm interlude, and I needed to get some fortelling in place, so I let that happen too.

Water Dancing

Nicky was glad that Ricky suggested they wrap themselves with towels rather than walk to the river nude. It would have been awkward otherwise. It was the same way at the nude beaches in Greece and Italy. One wore clothes until arriving at the chosen place on the beach. Ricky also grabbed a shopping bag from the truck to carry a few items, like water, sunblock, and his phone. They had to almost step over people to finally get to the far end of the hole towards the mountains.

Nicky did not see any guys he thought were kalós. There were perhaps twenty people there, most were older "hippy types"; that is, big, bearded men and long haired, middle aged women. Ricky sauntered by their rainbow colored, tie-tied piles of clothes of natural fabrics next to highly decorated bric-a-brac, waving sweetly and hopping over the rocks in his giant strided way that seemed to whoosh through space! Nicky always found Ricky's walk so magnificent. He was reminded of Homer's descriptions of Achilles when the King of Troy sees him as a "shaft of light" and a "force of nature." Ricky sometimes even seemed to appear and disappear from one spot to another in a new pose without having moved between locations! He was a stunning guy. Nicky was madly in love.

When they were all at the high end of the pool, Ricky, without looking at the people, tossed down his towel and sauntered over to the edge of the great slab of rounded gray rock, shaking his arms and pumping his legs the way he did when he was "warming up." Joining him, Nicky saw the water was perhaps three meters below this in a deep, dark, cleft. Already Nicky was reading the slow current. At this time of day, the fish would be near the bottom, lazing behind rocks, and not feeding.

Wesley pointed out the ancient "ficus" tree that gave the place its name. It was not a large tree, but it was twisted and gnarled in the way of only extremely old trees. It had big leaves that were not quite "spade" shaped. They fluttered in the wind. It was almost as if one could hear the tree sighing and singing.

Wesley explained, "Those kinds of trees just do not grow around here. It snows in the winter, but that tree grows. The hippies think it is a miracle tree, for it was under such a tree that Siddhartha achieved enlightenment."

Wesley, Nicky was seeing, was like Ricky. Always always full of information like that. Nicky nodded happily. He believed in miracles.

Nicky was quite aware that they were being watched. It did not matter what anyone said; everyone, young, old, male or female enjoyed the sight of beautiful, naked boys!

He was entranced by the serenity of the environment. It was a little cooler here than at Sweetwater Falls. The air smelled fresher. The water was clearer. The sky was bluer. Even the trees seemed greener! When Nicky commented on this, Wesley explained that they were about three-thousand feet higher in elevation. That meant almost a thousand meters higher.

Before them, on the other side of the river, there was a broad valley, perhaps a kilometer across before the land rose again. He could see that the river had changed course many times over the course of many centuries, for the stones were all rounded, and there were few trees. In the far distance, he could see another course of the same river. It reminded him of a rope that had untwisted into many strands, some thick, some thin, sometimes close together, other times far apart.

He felt very peaceful in this space. The people seemed kind. They did look at them, they did not stare.

He was so lost in the vast, loving space, that he completely forgot he was standing there nude, and he snapped to attention only when he heard Ricky shout, "Come on, Nicky! Dive in! You will love this water!"

Ricky was right. The water was like heaven. It was cold, but not as cold as it was at the swimming hole. Ricky had explained that before they built the "stupid dam" the water had been warmer, but since the river at Sweetwater was then fed from the bottom of a deep lake, the water was always colder. Here, at an upper tributary, the water was warmed by the sun. Ricky said he drank it all the time, and he never got the "runs," for it was fed by snow melt and springs, and there were no cattle shitting in it. He did not recommend drinking it, even so, saying he was "a carrier for several species of paramecium, so immune."

The three, knowing they were being watched, though not leered at, then showed off. Ricky with his champion freestyle, Wesley with his ability to swim underwater a vast distance, and Nicky with his ability to appear and disappear from under the water anywhere he wanted. They had an audience! Nicky thought of it as a dance. His Ricky would churn the pool above him, and he would swim beneath, occasionally rising to bang into Ricky's strong body, making him laugh, even though he pretended to complain. Wesley, meanwhile would cruise below them, moving in a surreal way. He had a beautiful swimming style. It reminded Nicky of the way a sea turtle would seem to "fly" underwater. His flippers came up and forward slowly, then surged back in a powerful way. Wesley also kicked with his whole legs rather than only his feet. This was a sign of a good diver.

Nicky also saw that the hole was teeming with fish!

He caught his first one within a few minutes, and he shared it with Ricky, sitting together naked on the far side, eating the raw, living flesh even as the fish still wiggled. But Wesley turned up his nose, wrinkling it cutely.

"Is this not the most delicious flavor, Ricky?" he asked, as happy as he had ever felt.

Ricky kissed him then. Right in front of everyone! Wesley, perhaps embarrassed by the stares, left them then to sun himself. But he watched them, his eyes big.

They had to drop into the water then before they embarrassed themselves with double boners.

But Ricky was absolutely incapable of catching fish! He did it all wrong. Nicky kept explaining, "You have to be water! Otherwise the fish will sense you. Fish are sensitive! You are making too many motions and sending vibrations to them!"

He showed Ricky how to use a big rock to dive and using one's hands to pull oneself along the bottom, working one's way up from behind the fish, making one's heart slow, slow, slow to keep one's air, and then the reach with open hand, and then, the snatch! Just behind the gills.

Ricky did manage, one time to actually touch a fish. But that was all. Nicky suggested that he then not try to catch them but just touch them.

Nicky caught two more fish. Each time, they shared. Sitting on the rocks near the stream on the far side, utterly indifferent to the astonished stares of the people as the two naked boys ate raw fish, caught by hand.

They sat closely together on the warm rocks with the sun beaming down on them, each in a chaste and demure way, not flaunting their gender. Ricky, with his head near Nicky's confided, "A lot of hippies are vegetarians. They will not approve of this carnivore behavior."

"It seems," Nicky observed with smile he supposed to be sly, "that a lot of hippies are fat and slow moving, like cows. I am not concerned with their bovine opinions in this matter!"

He made Ricky grin his big grin and made Wesley ask was "bovine" meant.

"Like, slow, stupid, grass-eating cattle," Ricky answered.

After many trips up and down the swimming hole, they all grew over-chilled, they rejoined Wesley. He seemed so very content! He was constantly smiling, keeping his beautiful face to the sun with his eyes closed.

Beyond polite nods and a word of greeting, no one had spoken with them. They had been left in peace. Nicky presumed that was the way it would be there, so he was surprised when two girls, or, rather, young women, who approached them. Nude, like everyone, with beautiful breasts and hairy genitals, one was blonde, and the other was brown haired. Both had long hair. The brown haired one had lush, curly hair. They both carried each a shoulder bag and a large towel. They introduced themselves. The brown-haired one was Alicia. The blonde was Zephyr!

Nicky loved that name. He told her, "In Greek, that is Zepharos. It means 'West Wind.' Sailors consider the Zepharos a blessing, for he is warm and constant. He brings good luck!"

"'He?'" Zephyr asked.

"Yes, Zepharos is a god. He is a male. All the winds are male. I do not know why! It is ancient!"

Alicia said, "It's because boys go out, and girls go in!"

"That must be it!" Nicky agreed.

Then Ricky said a funny thing. He said, "I must confess something, Zephyr, Alicia? See? I am naïve. I have a hard time reading girls. I can never tell if they are hitting on me! How do you know?"

Alicia laughed. But it was Zephyr who spoke first, "We're hitting on you."

She said it with the cutest smile.

Alicia added, "And you do not fool us with that line. You are hardly naïve. That was just about the slickest line I have ever heard!"

"Oh!" Ricky cried with funny gesture, holding the back of his hand to his forehead and pretending to look sad, "You wound me!"

Nicky loved it when Ricky would act all theatrical like that. Always the showman! He could be shy about hitting on boys, but he was a social lion.

He pretended to sigh, then he said, "So now you know my secret, but really? You are both so very beautiful! But Nicky and I? We're into the gay scene. Didn't you see us kiss?"

Nicky noted that Ricky did not out Wesley, who, meanwhile, appeared to ignore everything but the sun.

"We saw," Zephyr said. "We thought it was sweet. But straight guys kiss. The cool ones do, but damn why do the prettiest ones go for each other?"

Nicky said, "It is just the way God made us."

Alicia smiled. She said to Zephyr, "You must admit, He did a good job with these two!"

Zephyr shook her head. She was clearly disappointed. She pretended to pout. She said, "Well, you dudes are jailbait anyway!"

"We are," Ricky agreed. "I'm sixteen. Nicky is fifteen, and you two are, like, eighteen or something?"

"What little fucking charmer you are!" Zephyr exclaimed. "Try twenty-four?"

Ricky laughed.

Alicia said, "You guys should meet Tom and Alexander. They came in on bicycles last night. They're probably off humping each other right now, but stick around. They'll be back."

Ricky said, looking sad, "Is this the part where you get up and leave us because we can't give you what you want, or, will we be friends?"

Nicky was once again amazed by Ricky. He had a way with people!

The two young women looked at him with happy eyes. Alicia said, in answer, "You wanna get high, gay boys?

They did, Wesley included, but Nicky was not prepared for the intense buzz he got from high quality, California, "green bud." This was not the same type that Justin and Mark had brought. It made him feel weird.

They were soon all giggly, acting silly, laughing at everything and nothing. Wesley started to sing the lyrics to popular songs, off in his own, evidently beautiful world, indifferent to any attention given him.

The girls laughed. Not unkindly.

But he was far, far away.

Once again Nicky was struck by the beauty of this place. The warm breeze felt like a thousand dry tongues on his skin. He was surrounded by love. Ricky loved him. Wesley loved him. The girls loved him. The warm rocks loved him. The trees watched him and approved. The water welcomed him. He wanted to immerse himself in the river because the river loved him best.

He does not even notice himself return to the water. He is simply in his element again.


But Nicky can catch none. He is too slow. Everything is in slow motion. This California grass is strong skatá!

Where was Ricky? Where was Wesley?

They were gone. It was no matter. He left the water and joined the two girls. They were eating sandwiches!

Zephyr said, "Your boyfriend left with your other friend. We have vegan sandwiches. Are you hungry? They are delicious!"

"Are there more?" Nicky asked, stupidly, he realized.

They giggled and handed him a half sandwich. It had avocado in it. They had made, they told him, a dressing of olive oil and apple cider vinegar, seasoned with basil, but no mayonnaise; instead, it had hummus! Also, tomato and "sprouts." Nicky liked avocado. Avocado never tasted so good! He told them it was a most delicious sandwich, and then he could not help himself; he had to brag about how his Ricky was also a good cook. He did not tell them that Ricky also killed squirrels. He knew they would not like this.

They were very kind to him, these hippie girls. He knew they thought he was the cutest boy!

Where was Ricky? Where was Wesley? Nicky knew better than to go wandering around. He stayed with the girls until they said they had to "bounce." After that, he simply hugged his knees and took in the space.

Soon enough, Ricky reappeared with Wesley. He explained, "Wesley was looking for his phone. He wanted to call his folks. We texted Roan. Also, Josh texted. Vasily has an iPhone, like me! He wants to Facetime! Him and Josh are getting together as soon as V can ride his bike over. They want to put on a show!

Wesley added, "This is one of the few places in the valley where you get reception."

They put sunblock on each other, and when Josh texted, that he and V were "setting up," they lay face down on their towels. Soon, V's Facetime call came through. Evidently, Joshua had mounted Vasily's phone on a tripod, for the view was a few feet away from them in Joshua's bedroom. They were nude. Sitting in Joshua's room on his big, armless computer chair. He was sitting on Joshua's lap, facing them. Vasily was playing with Joshua's amazing penis, rubbing it against his own, and smiling serenely. Wesley gasped t his beauty. He was a slender guy and quite white, as Joshua had said. This was in contrast to his dark hair.

They kept the chatter to a minimum as Vasily greased Joshua's giant cock and his own butthole. He casually lifted up and slipped down on it with a long sigh. After a mischievous glance towards them, he turned his head to kiss Joshua, who, while returning the kiss, slowly fucked Vasily's virtually hairless ass.

All three guys, laying on their towels nude with their beautiful boy butts exposed to the world, soon had raging hard-ons as the watched the show on Ricky's phone as he held it in front of him. Nicky figured out that Joshua loved to fuck in front of a camera, and his new boyfriend, Vasily, was the same. They were not so much looking at the the three as they were looking to make sure they were being watched. Nicky understood. He was kinky in just the same way.

It heated up even more when Joshua broke the kiss to leaned down to expertly suck on Vasily's long prick, making him come! This discharge he then spit into Vasily's mouth as he himself shot off a load in his ass. It leaked out all around his much stretched hole.

"Oh, fuck! That's so HOT!" Wesley exclaimed as he squirmed over what Nicky knew to be a particularly lovely and immensely stiff penis.

Since they were so publicly exposed, it was not possible to give their two virtual friends a show in return. All Ricky was able to do was hold up the phone and give them a three hundred sixty degree view of the area. They closed the connection with promises of more to come. They looked around and saw themselves ignored for the moment, so, seeing a chance to slip in the water without others seeing their boners, they took it.

And there were Ricky and Wesley beside him. He looked up and around. There were at the high end of the pool and the steep rock bank shielded them from any view. No one was watching. No one could see. He kissed his Ricky; he kissed his Wesley. They kissed together. It was all beautiful, beautiful! He thought he would feed the river his sacred seed at that moment.

Ricky takes command. They are half in the water, and half leaning against exposed rock. Ricky tells Wesley to "keep a lookout," and Wesley climbs up a bit higher. It is perfectly private, except for the view of the stream and the sky. Down, down Ricky dips and Nicky's hard cock is in his mouth while Ricky lovingly sucks it in his amazingly deep-throated way.

Nicky pumps into him, purposely trying to make himself come, and come he does, though there is not much seed.

It is his turn to keep a lookout now. He watches Wesley fuck Ricky from behind in long strokes with that long, slender penis of his. He gives Ricky a cute reach-around while nuzzling Ricky's neck. This makes Ricky purr as Wesley gives him a wet batch up the ass. From Ricky's satisfied sigh, Nicky knows he does not need to come into either of them. He got exactly what he wanted the way he wanted it. Sometime Ricky could be such a bottom! This pleases Nicky greatly. He is like fire, always changeable, never the same form for more than an instant.

They swim some more and sun some more. Roan keeps texting. He wants to meet Wesley.

Ricky says, "We are thinking of going back now. Wesley wants to spend the night!"

Nicky is as high as a buccaneer bird. He can make no sense of what Ricky is saying. "Leave?" he asks.

Nicky feels confused.

Hooking Wesley Up

Nicky seemed awfully stoned. He must have smoked more with the girls when he and Wesley took off to get his phone and call his parents. Also, Ricky was concerned that Nicky's mom would start to worry; Wesley, meanwhile, wanted to meet the younger guys, Roan and Mason. He was a local. They were locals. Ricky loved the idea of hooking Wesley up with some permanent friends in the area.

Driving home, Nicky, who continued to act act strangely, insisted on sitting in the middle, and he tried to play with his and Wesley's cocks the whole way. It was distracting. Ricky drifted on the road several times before insisting that he stop. But Wesley just laughed and slid his pants down!

He was acting drunk rather than stoned. So Ricky pulled off main road and took the truck down a side road under a big bridge. He had Nicky climb in the back with Wesley, telling him, "I do not think he's used to weed that strong. Will you take care of him?"

"It is very strong, Ricky! Do you not feel it?"

"I did not hit the pipe very hard. I think Nicky might have bogarted it."

"'Bogarted?' Nicky asked."

"Yeah. It means be a weed hog, take too much, and not pass it along until forced."

Nicky, meanwhile, was taking his clothes off in the back of the truck and giggling.

"Why this word?"

"I do not know, Nicky, now that you ask! It has to come from the movie star, Humphrey Bogart... Say, why don't you have Wesley look it up on his phone?" Ricky was thinking this might distract Nicky.

Ricky left them in the back and drove the rest of the way back. He came in the back way, going through locked gates, through the forest service land and ranches, for he had the keys. It was Boone land, all around there. They had a right of way privileges going back a hundred and fifty years.

This path also avoided the bridge across the river, which could be seen from the swimming hole. Ricky's cover story was that he was gathering manzanita — a kind of dense-wooded chaparral — for barbecue fuel.

Once they arrived at the cabin, Ricky backed in and let the other two out. Nicky had completely removed his clothes and fallen asleep in Wesley's arms. It was very sweet. Ricky carried him nude into the cabin, and laid him in the bed. He left a note on his folded clothes saying they were at the swimming hole.

On the way, Wesley told him, "So I tried to get Nicky to look up 'bogart' on my phone, but all he wanted to do was get naked. Then he started to get all sleepy, so I looked it up. Yes. It comes from 'Humphrey Bogart' who always kept a cigarette in his mouth, and there is a song."

Wesley cutely sang the main line: "Don't bogart that joint, my friend; pass it over to me!"

Ricky laughed at the way Wesley so perfectly imitated the voice and style of the original song. "You have a nice voice, Wesley!"

Wesley nodded at the compliment and mentioned that he had been the singer in one of the bands before he continued, "But the meaning existed before the song, and some say it also means 'being selfish' or a 'bully' or 'too bossy' because Humphrey Bogart played characters who were like that."

"Ah. Interesting! Thank you!"

At the swimming hole, as arranged, Roan and Mason were there.

"Where were you guys?" Roan complained, "We looked and looked for you! And where is Nicky?"

"We were just driving back the long way. He fell asleep. I left him at the cabin on the bed. We can go there, if you like."

Ricky suggested again that they return to the cabin, but it was unnecessary, for Nicky just then was making his way down the path to the swimming hole.

It was cute, then, the way those three did "The Dance." That was Ricky's phrase for the way gay guys would check each other out, finding out the things they liked and didn't like, and negotiating terms for action to come.

Ricky was once again feeling the bad effects of too much sun. He told Nicky, "I need to get more sunscreen. I can feel myself burning. Either that, or I must get out of the sun."

Wesley, he noticed, had no problem removing his clothes and swimming in his cute green briefs only. He was a natural boy, a child of nudists.

Nicky wanted to come with him back to the cabin. This was a surprise, for he expected that he would want to run off with the little guys. Ricky had never quite overcome a nagging jealousy over Nicky's flirtations and dalliances with the young guys. To overcome this, he had decided to not pressure Nicky to choose between friends. Thus, he found Nicky's choice of preferred companion a quiet victory.

Emerging from the water, delectable in all his wet underwear, revealed glory, Wesley cried excitedly, "They invited me over! They have a teepee!"

Wesley wanted to leave with them, but before he did, they all exchanged bro' hugs while Wesley kept saying, "Thank you! Thank you!"

Ricky was pleased. He thought it was some elegant matchmaking. Wesley began his day with one ex-boyfriend, but was ending it with four new ones; well, six if one counted Joshua and Vasily..

Meanwhile, Ricky would have Nicky all to himself. He did not even try to push that thought away.

Back at the cabin, Ricky let Nicky rub him down with fresh aloe, and Nicky took his time, making the whole experience loving and warm rather than lustful. Nicky was good at reading Ricky's moods, lately.

Working on his back, after extolling the virtues of Wesley's beautiful butt, Nicky told him, "So I was thinking about this Challenge you posed, Ricky. It occurred to me today when we were with those girls that had I said, 'I have never been with a woman. Would either of you like to help me with this problem?' One — or both — might have wanted to help me!"

This was interesting news!

"Yes, Nicky?"

"So, yes. I agree. I agree to this challenge. I will try it!"

Ricky sighed happily. "I love you, Nicky!"

"Yes," Nicky agreed.

He gave Nicky his phone to call his mother. She was just then at the swimming hole. Nicky told her he was helping Ricky with his chores and they would soon join her.

Finally, their tasks finished and the dinner meat marinating, they went to meet her. It was barely four o'clock. Nicky's mother was sitting in a beach chair under a big umbrella, reading a book and wearing a soft, long, white dress. As it happened, she had hardly missed him, but Nicky wanted to stay there with her, and Ricky wanted to stay with him.

Roan, Mason, and Wesley were nowhere to be seen.

They sat on the beach with Nicky's mother. Occasionally, they would all go for a swim. Nicky's mother would take off her dress, of course, for that. She wore an elegant blue one-piece bathing suit and had an extremely shapely body. Also, like Nicky, she swam well.

Feeling overtired, oversexed, and still over-sunned, Ricky wanted a nap. He told Nicky and his mother, "I need to lay down."

Nicky's elegant and beautiful mother said, "Why don't you and Nicky go nap. You say the meat is marinating?"


"We can cook it later. We'll have a late dinner, neh?"

"Yes, Mrs. Theophilos."

They napped then, at Ricky's cabin, for a couple hours. It was always cool there in the afternoon. That was how the place had been designed and placed and was a characteristic of the cabins on the east side of the river where the "rich, summer people" had their second, third, or even fourth homes. Neither of them was in a mood to fool around.

When Ricky awoke, around six, he saw Nicky sitting there next to him, watching him.

Nicky said, "You are beautiful in your sleep, Ricky. I love the way your lashes lay when your eyes are closed. Your face is smooth, like marble."

Ricky smiled. "Let's take that meat to your mother."

Ghost Stories

At eleven at night, Ricky and Nicky still could not sleep.

Typical for the cabins on the west side, it was also too hot in Nicky's room. They opened the sliding glass door and sat there, on the floor, leaning with their backs to the bed. They listened to the river and looked up and out at the stars. It was a moonless night, very dark, and the stars were brilliant.

Ricky asked, "Do you have binoculars?"

"Binoculars? Why?"

"They are great for looking at the stars. Let's look at the stars!"

"OK! But I don't think there are any binoculars."

Ricky said, "Well, I have a lot of energy. I'll go get my dad's. They are the right kind. They are big in the front, so they give you night vision!"

"I know that kind. They are used by sailors. Let's go together!" Nicky suggested.

Then Nicky had a fun idea. "Hey Ricky?" he whispered, "Let's go naked! You know? Like I did with Roan and Mason?"


"Yes! I told you! That night? With those two? We went out nude, running around naked in the dark? You do not remember?"

Ricky thought back. He remembered that Nicky had told him about the sexual adventures, but he had not been listening well. He was working on the computer, looking things up, and Nicky was talking and talking.

"I apologize, Nicky," he said. "I did not mean to be rude, but I must have been concentrating on something when you told me that."

"It is fine, Ricky. I wonder? Perhaps in your big, loud family you have learned this skill? It is no matter, but we did that! It was fun? Would you like to do that with me?"

Ricky did not like the idea. Sneaking around in the dark, nude, was cute for little boys. The consequences of discovery were not dire for them, but for a sixteen year-old? No. It would not do.

He explained this to Nicky, but Nicky was caught up in the excitement. "We'll be naked ninjas! Gay naked ninjas!"

"No, Nicky. I cannot!"

"It's a challenge! I challenge you!"

"Not fair! We need a rule that says 'No public indecency, and no hurting anyone!' Take it back! Anyway! It's still my turn. You agreed!"

Nicky frowned and turned his head away.

Ricky offered, sweetly, "We could hold hands while we walk."

Just as suddenly as he had been obdurate, Nicky melted. He smiled and looked at Ricky, "OK. We could do that."

"Well, let us go then!"

Dressed in shorts and t-shirts, they also put on their sandals at Ricky's suggestion, for even though their feet were tough, in the dark, one could easily miss a step. Instead of going through the house, just to make it an adventure, they hopped over the side of the deck. They carried no flashlight.

However, with no moon, it was astonishingly black on the tree-lined road. They had to walk slowly and carefully. But they did hold hands the whole time, and that felt divine.

As they neared the main road that came from the highway, crossed the tracks, and went across the bridge to the Boone side of the river, Nicky scooted close and held Ricky's arm with both hands, "Ricky, I feel like we are being followed by phántasmata!"


"Yes! Do you feel it?"

Ricky felt it. He did feel watched! The hairs on his neck raised up, and he had chills.

The various hauntings of Sweetwater Falls had always been a topic of conversation among the children for many generations. The three murdered Chinese railway workers, a drunk teenager who drowned, the old man who had killed his wife of forty years and then himself, and the girl who had hung herself from the bridge had worked their way into the ghost stories of the place.

It was not that Ricky did not believe in ghosts, for he did; it was because he was not afraid of them that he used the opportunity to regale Nicky with some of the old stories.

Pausing on the bridge, facing downstream, he told Nicky, "On this bridge, Nicky, right here, during World War II, a young woman named Marsha Crowe was disappointed that the young man she thought loved her had married a woman in the Philippines before he returned home from the war. She made a noose and tied the rope here, right here in this exact spot, and jumped over with it around her neck!"

"Eeek! Why are you telling me this?"

Ricky laughed evilly. "Ha Hah! But here is the funny part! Evidently, she made the rope too long, so when she jumped, the power of the fall took her head clean off!"

"Gaaaagh! That is NOT funny? Why do you say that is funny?"

Ricky, undeterred, added, "But here is the best part! They never found her head!"

"OK! Now I am scared!"

"Yeah. Isn't it great? The river could have rolled it for miles and miles!"

"Oh, Ricky you have a cruel side to you!"

"I know!" Ricky agreed happily. "So, anyway, she wanders around on moonless nights, looking for her head!"

"No!" Nicky was clinging to him then, actually shaking. "That is just a story!"

"It is a true story. My Gran even saved the newspaper. It is probably still in our attic!"

"I hate you!" But Nicky was giggling, and Ricky hugged him and kissed him. Sometimes Nicky made him feel like he was the big brother. This was a role he knew how to play.

Ricky then looked up at the beams and braces of the iron bridge, to no one in particular, he said, "Miss Crowe? It is time to let it go. Scaring children is a silly occupation, don't you think? And really, did it ever occur to you that he dumped you because you were clinging, needy, pathetic, lunatic? I mean, killing yourself over a guy? Get a fucking life!"

Nicky thought the last comment was extremely funny, for he laughed and laughed.

Just then, they saw the lights of an approaching car, coming from the direction of the railroad tracks. They dashed off the bridge onto the trail that led to the waterfall, but then Ricky suddenly held and arm out to stop Nicky! He touched a finger to Nicky's lips! He grabbed Nicky's arm and pulled him behind a tree. In Nicky's ear, he whispered very, very quietly, "I smell a cigarette. There is someone at the waterfall!"

Ricky was very glad then that they had not gone out nude, for the bridge could clearly be seen from the falls, so whoever was there would have seen them.

Nicky told him, speaking in a quiet murmur, "There is a nice spot behind a big tree past the waterfall, Ricky. I was there with Roan and Mason, and they double-dicked me just like Wesley and I did you, today! Wasn't that fucking hot?"

Ricky laughed and roughly mussed up his hair. Nicky was such a fun guy!

They waited for the car to pass over the bridge, not looking at the lights. Following behind, in the distance, they saw that it pulled into the lot of the far cabin on Ricky's family land. The front was the big, shared lot. It could be any of a number of people.

They made their way up the road then towards the Boone cabin, but Nicky had an idea. "I know of a porch swing!"

He grabbed Ricky's hand and pulled him toward the group of cabins on the opposite side of the road into the Logan family cabins. At the furthest, in the back, on the small deck, hardly more than a covered porch, there was, indeed, a porch swing. Nicky, breathlessly said, "This is where Roan and Mason sucked my dick!"

Ricky took Nicky's hard body in his arms and kissed him. Nicky, after a few minutes, said, "No more scary stories!"

"I will make no such promise, Nicky my Love."

Nicky giggled. "Let us go to your cabin and make out some more, Ricky! I am feeling excited!"

It was only a short distance to the Boone cabin from there, and they entered in the dark, turning on no lights. Ricky took a small flashlight from the kitchen, but he held his hand over the lens, so that it provided just enough light to find the binoculars. Ricky also found another light that had a tiny red beam. He explained, "Sailors use these to read charts at night. The red color does not mess with your night vision."

"Oh, please, Ricky! Do you think I was just hatched?"

He made Ricky laugh at the literal translation of what must have been a Greek expression.

Then Nicky suggested, "Let us go for a midnight swim, Ricky! You would not get in any real trouble for that were your actions revealed. No one would care! Yes? Yes?"

"Yes. OK. We can do that."

Nicky wanted to wear jewelry, as he explained, he had done with Roan and Mason. "It will make us feel even more naked!"

Ricky wanted to put on his rattlesnake necklace. They first stopped at the gazebo for that. He found his shell necklace for Nicky.

Nicky said, "Let us go to the swimming hole now! We can bring towels! We can swim in the dark and fuck on the rocks!"

"I love it!" Ricky exclaimed.

The new car proved to be a group who were arriving at the cabin next door to Ricky's mom's cabin. The two, emboldened and confident in their stealth, slipped past them even as they were unloading the van. Ricky paused on the path to the hole, and then changed his mind, taking the other path to the rocks instead. Carefully, they studied the swimming hole to make sure they were alone.

They were.

Or so it appeared.

They dropped their towels on the diving block, placed the binoculars on top of them, stripped off their clothes, and dove into the frigid, black water.

It was a tremendous thrill to dive naked into the liquid darkness, trusting completely in their knowledge of the waters.

Shivering, they emerged on the rocks and huddled together with their towels wrapped around each other.

Ricky then took the time to show Nicky the wondrous world that the big, naval binoculars revealed.

Nicky looked through them, down the river, at the bridge. He said, "You know? If there were two boys there hugging and kissing? I could totally see them from here!"

"Oh, that's crazy talk! Any boys who hugged and kissed on the bridge would have to be so very gay! But, I know! They turn day into night. My dad had these in the navy. They are very expensive! Do not touch the glass!"

Love Under the Stars

Nicky knew that Ricky could be extra cautious and intense sometimes. He did not complain or protest about how to handle the binoculars, or boyishly insist that he did, indeed, know all that. He simply agreed.

He decided, however, he would impress Ricky with his knowledge. First, a test: "Ricky? Can you show me Polaris?"

Ricky turned around and immediately pointed at the North Star.

Good! He does not even hesitate. Yes, it seemed to Nicky, he has grown since we met! His chest is deeper. His voice is deeper. His Ricky is a young muscle stud! He looks like one of the figures in gable of the Parthenon — except, his dick is bigger!

All he said was, "Yes! Do you know the story about the Great Bear, the Little Bear, and the Dragon?"


"Well, in Greece, the way we learn the stars is by the stories that go with the constellations. My father says that their locations were important to the early seafarers, and the Greeks were famous for this. We still call the stars by different names than the Arabic ones in common use, but this is no matter.

"Here is the story. You see, the Great Bear is actually the Mother Bear. In ancient times, there were bears that were much larger."

"I have heard of that," Ricky offered. They were called 'cave bears.' They were made extinct by men sometime in the last ice age."

"I did not know that was why they disappeared, but Papa said that ancient men worshipped this large bear, and even considered her the Mother of Men, who are represented by the Little Bear. Then, one day, there was a great fight in Heaven, the Dragon, who we call 'Draco,' came by the name 'Typhon,' and in this battle, there were great storms, and the world was flooded. In the Bible, they talk about the Great Flood, but the story is much older than the bible."

"Yes," Ricky agreed. "Plato talks about this. He says that was what destroyed Atlantis!"

"Ah! You are the first non-Greek I have met who knows this! But look! See how the great spiral of the constellation 'Draco' circles around between the Mother Bear and the Child Bear? He separated humans from their mother, and this was the beginning of a new age of strife and suffering."

"That is very interesting!" Ricky agreed.

"I know many more stories than that, Ricky."

"I believe you! But right now, I want to tell you a story!"


Ricky said nothing at all. He leaned close and kissed Nicky in the sweetest way. It was not the cold that sent chills all over his body. When their lips parted, Nicky asked him, "What story is this, Ricky?"

"It is the story of two guys who love each other so much, they can speak without words."

"I like this story, Ricky."

Questions? Comments? Critiques? Don't be shy. Let me know. All feedback is useful. Your letters have been helpful and encouraging. Heck, I'll even write you back. I like to do that.

Cheers, Dorian

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