By Carson Carruthers

Dear Reader: I am so glad that I started writing each chapter that way because if I had to give this one any other way to start I am not sure that I could start at all. John Rice lowered the boom on us all last week. He started raving about homonyms. At first, I thought that he was being a bigot, but then I realized what he was talking about: words that sound alike but are spelled differently and mean something different. I know my "too", "two" and "to's", but he caught me on a "they're" where I put "their". "There", "they're" and "their" were the ones he screamed about most. Then he started conjugating verbs on the blackboard. We did that in sixth grade. These were not just any old verbs. "Lie" and "Lay" - and I am still not sure which does what. Lie means to recline or go to sleep but the past tense is "lay". Then "lay" is placing something, when it is not the past tense of lie. How was I supposed to know? At least it kept me from having to write this in class. This is the by far the hardest thing that I have ever written.

This is the third time that I have started this chapter. I do not have writer's block. I have not written enough for that yet. Everything is going fine with the writing I guess. I have been wondering what all the hullabaloo is about incest. I mean, I never thought of what Uncle Spence or Cousin Robert and I did as incest. There was nothing about keeping it in the family. They were there. They were the easiest to trust with something like that if a big, muscular dark-eyed boy like me wanted to suck their cock. It did not take long, as you have guessed, before I was sucking lots of cocks. I guess maybe there are two reasons that I am having a hard time starting. First is that it was the summer that the big blow up came in the family. I still do not like to think about that time. Secondly, John Rice says that I do a good job of expressing my emotions, but the emotions that were shattered when Randy moved away were too much. The loss of two of the people I loved in a matter of weeks in what I still think of as the summer from hell in my life was awful. I cried almost constantly. I had to hide to cry. That was what was so bad. I could not let anyone know I was crying or why I was crying.

Let me explain. I know you are dying to know what happened with John Rice after class last week but that will just have to wait. The summer from hell started off pretty great. Randy and I were sent to summer camp in the mountains. Neither one of us had ever been away from home other than to spend the night at the other's house. The guy signing up people to go to camp came to the house one night to show the movies. Randy's parents came to watch. After the movies, the man from the camp, who was not old but I guess he was in his thirties, asked us boys if we wanted to come to the camp. He was built. Muscles everywhere. I thought he made Spencer look puny. I looked at Randy, and Randy looked at me. I then said to the man, "We'll go if we can be together. We never been anywhere alone." The man told our parents that he would make sure that we were in the same cabin. It was set for us to go to the short term camp, which lasted only two weeks, as soon as school was out.

It was a cold and rainy night . . . someone used a description like that to start their story. John Rice said that they did that to set the mood. It surely set the mood for our camping experience. Our parents took us to the bus station with our backpacks. My parents finally sprang for a sleeping bag which was way too big and had come from the Army Navy Store. I did not care; at least I would have a sleeping bag. Our mothers had sewn tags into everything we owned. My underwear declared that I was Carl Crenshaw from the elastic bands on every pair of Jockey shorts. We had the exact number of everything that was on the list the man from the camp had sent to our parents. We had each also gotten a personal letter welcoming us to the camping experience that he had signed. It was pretty neatly done, but he had gone back and corrected what his secretary had typed. I thought that he must be really smart to be correcting his own secretary.

It was raining when we got to the bus station. I was determined that I was not going to cry. I think Randy had the same idea until the bus pulled in, and we watched as our backpacks were stored underneath. My mother gave me a brown paper grocery bag filled with food and a couple of colas for the trip. Randy had a bag of food, too. We probably had enough food to last a week if we were careful. Then they all hugged us and said that we were really grown up. I felt like I was walking into exile when I finally walked down the aisle looking for a seat. Randy was right behind me. We finally found a place with two seats empty. We waved to our parents as we pulled away from the bus station. That is when I saw that my mother was crying. Randy had leaned over me and could see his mother was crying, too. That did it. Once we could no longer see them, we both put our arms around each other and started to silently cry.

Needless to say, we arrived. It was raining. Randy and I got there the next morning. We had slept some on the bus. There were a couple of counselors there to pick us up when we got off the bus. They drove us to this place that was freezing. I was thankful that we had decided to wear jeans. Had we been in shorts, we would have been freezing. Not only was it raining, but the cabins were open affairs -- more like screened in porches -- situated around a lake, and the wind from the lake was even wetter and colder. It is cold in the mountains in June. It might be hot in South Carolina, but the mountains in North Carolina were really cold. Randy took the top bunk, and I took the lower one in cabin eight, which was for nine year olds. I thought they had made a mistake. Everyone was nine years old in the cabin. The other campers were just as miserable as we were. Everyone was sitting on their bunks with their arms wrapped around themselves. This guy that looked to be about a senior in high school finally came in. He told us that his name was Joe and that he was to be our cabin counselor. He said that he would not be like our parents but the camp did have certain rules which he had to enforce. He went over the rules. Then we were all marched to the infirmary in the rain. It is bad enough to be taken out of your home for the first time, then be put outdoors in the rain and cold, but to make you have a physical naked in front of a bunch of other boys was too much. Randy and I both had tears in our eyes when we got back to the cabin. We finally just sat there and held onto each other and cried. I kept thinking about what Bobby had said that night at the drive-in. We had to take care of each other and look out for each other. I started drying my eyes, hoping that would make him feel better. Then I took a handkerchief with my name tag on it and wiped his eyes and nose. "Hey, let's get in the sleeping bags," I said. "It's got to be warmer." We pulled his sleeping bag onto my bunk and the two of us got really close in his bag and then wrapped my bag around us. It was not long until we got warm, and both fell asleep.

"Oh, isn't that sweet," Joe said as he came back into the cabin when the last boy had finished his physical. I woke up, and the other boys were snickering at us for being in the same sleeping bag.

"At least we are warmer than you guys," I said defensively. I was not going to let them laugh at Randy or me. "When your balls turn blue, you'll wish you had someone in the sleeping bag with you to help keep you warm, too," I said, knowing that they were all shaking from the cold. One really skinny kid was shaking so bad that he was crying. His mother had not even sent a pair of jeans or long pants. All he had was shorts. I found my extra pair of jeans and loaned them to him to wear. I had made one friend, that was for sure. He could not stop thanking me. There was a kid there from Mexico. He was really dark brown. His father was something with the government. They lived in Washington. We later found out that his father was the Mexican Ambassador. He was another one that could not tolerate the cold. He was pretty big for his age and had an accent. He said that he would gladly share his sleeping bag with someone to help keep warm. Joe had gone back out for something. We all did the best we could making sure that everyone was dry and had at least long pants and a jacket or sweater. A couple of the boys had been at camp before and said that it was cold but never this cold. By the time Joe came back, he found four sleeping bags with two boys each and everyone with warm clothes on. He looked around. Laughed. "Well, I may have all gay campers, but at least you guys are warm." I don't think that some of the guys knew what gay was, but before the week was out everyone was fully aware of the meaning and had experienced the joys. That was to come later; right now there was a bell ringing, and Joe told us that it was time to eat.

Reluctantly, we crawled out of the bags and went to the dining hall. The food was great, since we had missed breakfast. Randy and I had eaten everything that our mothers had packed so we were not too hungry. We both dug into our food and got seconds when they came around. After the meal, the guy who had shown us the camp movie got up and welcomed all of us. He then turned it over to this skinny red-haired guy. Well, I do have a thing about red-haired guys, but this guy was butt ugly. To make up for being ugly, he was the happiest person that I have ever known. Nothing ever seemed to bother him. He would just smile and go on with his life. I would not know that until later. John Rice said that my biggest fault in writing is that I get ahead of myself.

The red-haired guy told us that since it was raining the activities would be indoors. He gave the assignments by cabin. Our cabin got to go to the rifle range after we had our naps. Can you believe it? They expected us to take naps like little kids. We went back to the cabin and dried off as best we could. Some of the other boys were already getting back into their sleeping bags with each other, so Randy and I did the same thing. We all kept our clothes on. Joe made sure that we were all lying down and told us that he had better not have to come back and even check on us. We all got really quiet, and he left. I got warm. Randy got hot. I guess we had finally relaxed because in just a little while I felt his boner pushing against my butt. His hand went around my waist and started rubbing the area of my jeans where my dick was. I could see the Mexican kid who was in the bag with the skinny kid that I loaned the jeans to on the next bed. They were doing something too. I thought to myself this could prove to be an interesting experience. I turned over and unzipped my jeans so that Randy could get my dick out. He started jacking me big time. That is when I saw that the skinny kid's head had disappeared. There was a lump moving up and down in their sleeping bag. By damn, he was giving that Mexican boy head. I looked at Ruiz and winked. He did the same. I pushed Randy's head into the bag. Now both bags had lumps that were going up and down. I had to almost sit up so that Randy could get to my cock, but that only gave me the advantage to see the other two cots where the other four boys were. One of the bags looked as though the two boys were sleeping. The other one was definitely showing that there was some action going on. I do not think they were getting a blow job, but they were jacking each other off. Those were the two boys that had come to camp the summer before.

I really did not mean to get into the "camping experience". That was what the guy who owned the place and showed the movies to the parents was constantly calling it. Since I have started telling you I might as well fill in the details. Details. That is one thing that John Rice says that I do well. He was reading this piece that I wrote contrasting the personalities of brunets, blonds and redheads and said that I gave too many details. I told you I had always had a thing for strawberries. Strawberry people were also my favorite. Then the blond people were next and last were the dark-haired ones. That is the order in which I prefer my men. Thankfully, this is a world of diversity, and there are those people, unlike me, who prefer really dark-haired people. I think we all want what we do not have. Most of the people who have wanted me were blonds. Not that I mind. I can see what John Rice meant about getting lost in the details and also straying from the subject. Back to camp.

After the hour when we were supposed to have quiet time they did not want to call it nap time so they called it quiet time we went to the rifle range with Joe. There was a counselor there who showed us all about rifles and talked on and on about safety. Then he let each of us fire the weapon. I thought about Spencer and wondered how he was firing his weapon with me being gone. I said that I was going to fill you in on the camp experience. The rifle range was the first exposure. Everything had to be done safely and in order. There evolved unspoken a pecking order to things within our group. The two old campers who knew their way around were first in everything. Their names were Brent and Trent. I know it sounds like they were twins. They were not related but did go to the same school in Louisiana. Both of them were normal sized nine year olds. They may have been a little taller than Randy or me, but they were nowhere near as tall as Ruiz. Ruiz. What can I say? He was the all-American "wetback". That is what he used to call himself. He said that he really liked living in America. He loved hotdogs and baseball. He was in really good shape and was already starting to form a sixpack of muscles in his lower stomach. I had muscles too but they were not so obvious. I guess that Ruiz and Matty were next at everything since he was the tallest kid in the group. Matty was the skinny kid that I loaned the jeans to. He was tall and skinny. Not quite as tall as Ruiz, and he was about twenty or thirty pounds lighter. Matty had dishwater blond hair, blue eyes and fair skin. He was about the opposite of Ruiz, who had black hair and black eyes. Then there were the two boys who were left. What do you say about them? They were both nine years old, but they were young nine year olds. Actually, I was the youngest in the group since my birthday came in November. Ruiz was already ten by the time we got to camp and Brent and Trent turned ten the second week we were there. Paul and Pete. Those were the two boys who were last in everything. They were just sort of brown haired and brown eyed. Nothing special about either of them. They would probably change within the next few years, but my bet was that they would be pretty average guys.

After the rifle range where we had all fired our weapons in our pecking order, we then went in the rain to the dining hall to eat dinner. It was hot soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. I ate two or three sandwiches and tried to figure some way to get a couple back to the cabin for a snack. After dinner we were herded into this big room next door which was the lodge. There was the home movie screen that the guy had shown the camp movies on set up in front of the room. There was a fire going in the fire place. Joe and a couple of the other younger counselors had to make sure that there were logs on the fire. We all sat on the floor. The red-haired guy said that since it was raining again we would have a movie this evening. I cannot remember what the movie was. I remember everything else, it seems, so I wonder why I forgot what the movie was. I do remember that Randy sat between my legs and leaned back against me to watch the movie. I noticed that Ruiz had Matty leaning against him. Brent was leaning back on Trent. The only ones that did not seem to be comfortable were Paul and Pete. I guess they finally figured that if they were going to get along with the rest of us they would try to be together as partners too. About halfway though the movie, I noticed that Paul had Pete leaning back against him. We had not done anything, but the fire and being still really made me sleepy. I did not want to go back in the rain to the cabin. Joe told us to march. We marched.

That night we all went to bed in our own bunks. Some one had found army blankets for all the campers. They were rough and wooly. I pulled the sheets that my mother had sent out of the pack to make up my bed. I really was glad that we did not have a dryer because I could smell good old South Carolina sunshine on the sheets. We all went to the latrine together. Joe said that we could get by without a shower that night but that we had to have one the next day regardless of how cold it was. We all pretended to sleep until we heard Joe leave. After he left, Ruiz came and sat on the cot next to me. He whispered in my ear. "Do you want to trade?"

At first I shook my head wondering what he was talking about. "What d'ya mean?" I asked him.

"You take Matty and I'll sleep with Randy tonight. That way we can experience something different."

I thought about it, but somehow it did not seem right. I knew that I was bigger than Randy and that he would do what I said. I was not a bully, though. I decided that it would be okay only if Randy and Matty both agreed. I told Ruiz that. He kind of shrugged and said, "Okay."

I stood up and whispered into Randy's ear what Ruiz wanted to do. "Hell, yeah." I was sort of crushed that he was so enthusiastic to get with someone else, but I really wanted to see Matty's cock hard. It was like him: long and skinny. Of all the boys there, I had the biggest cock, and Matty's was the longest. Although we had not been in the showers together, at some point in the day I had managed to get a glimpse of everyone's peter. I whispered to Matty, and he was as enthusiastic as Randy. That made me feel better since I thought that Ruiz was really good looking and had an air of mystery about him. Well, Matty grabbed his blanket and came off the top bunk and onto my cot with me. Randy did the same with Ruiz. I know that we were making noise. That was when I realized that there was someone else between the two bunks. It was Brent.

"Hey, you guys don't waste no time, do you?" He sort of giggled and reached out and caressed me on the butt as I was getting back under the covers. "Trent and I do it too, you know."

Well I suspected, but I did not know.

"Why don't we all do it together?"

Now that was absurd. First, there was no bed big enough. I mean I was about to fall out and was holding on to Matty to keep him in bed with me. Secondly, what if Joe came back in? We could get away with sleeping together to keep warm.

"Hey, don't worry about Joe. He and that Arthur guy -- you know, the one at the rifle range?"


"Well . . ."

"You mean the two of them sleep together?"

"From what I know, sleeping is not all they do."

We all started to giggle, but he told us to stifle it since Joe was only a couple of cabins down and would come back if he heard us. We immediately stopped our giggling.

"We could all pull our bunks together and then share."

"Okay," I agreed. It felt like I should, since it appeared that I was the one that was trying to argue against the orgy. What I did not want was to get thrown out of camp. My mother would kill me. My father would bring me back to life and kill me again. And I would never hear the end about the money that it cost in the first place. "What about Paul and Pete?" That was something else that was strange about our pecking order. We've been studying something about this pecking order syndrome in my psych class. It was always Peter and Paul. You know, the disciples. There was the candy bar called Peter Paul Almond Joy. It would have been natural to say Pete and Paul. It never happened. Paul was the spokesman for the two of them. They were from the same school. None of us knew that. They did not tell us.

"Don't worry about us telling. Count us in." It was Paul. He was standing beside Ruiz between our beds. He had on some sort of pajamas with blue bunnies on them. They were really kiddy pj's, I thought to myself. There, tenting the front of the pajamas, was an obvious hard peter. "We know more than you think. We got together on the bus on the way here. We were just afraid that no one else was into this sort of thing."

That was it. For the next two weeks it rained. It was cold. One of the older counselors said that he had been coming there for the past twenty years and that this was the coldest June he could remember. He was a swimming counselor. He did not get to teach much swimming. There was a law or something that the water had to be so warm before you could teach. We never swam. We never went in the canoes for fear of falling in the cold water. Again, there was something about the water temperature and the fact that you had to learn to fall out of a canoe before you could use one. Some of the older boys left camp and went hiking for a week. The cabin next to ours had all sorts of fights among the boys. Then there was the big fight three of the counselors had. One of them left. We never knew if he got fired or what. Most of the time, we would go to the rifle range or the arts and crafts and try to stay warm. They finally gave out of activities to do at night so we just all sat around the fire and the red-haired guy read us stories. Our cabin did not seem to mind. The second morning we were there, Joe came dragging in from the rifle range. We all knew where he was sleeping. Our beds were all pulled together in the center of the room.

"What the hell? Get up guys. Why the beds in the middle of the room?"

It was obvious that his bed had not been slept in. "We moved them in the center to get out of the wind. It was really cold coming off the lake."

That was the only explanation that we gave. When the red-haired guy made his inspection, Joe told him the same thing that I had told Joe. He said that was an idea and that night at dinner told everyone to move their cots together in the middle of the room away from the windows. Windows? There were no windows -- just screens.

As I said, there were lots of short tempers. There were several fights. There were three juniors who went home with homesickness; a dozen or more guys in the infirmary with colds or something worse; thirteen of the guys were sent home by the doctor because they were so sick. The guy who owned the place was rarely ever around any more. But our cabin was happy.

After we found out that Joe did not care what we did as long as we did not make a racket, we moved the beds together so that it was like one big mattress. We then got our sleeping bags zipped together. We knew that we would not be using them for camping unless Joe decided to take us to the rifle range for a sleep over. Not likely. The way it worked out, there were four sleeping bags to join us all together and another four to cover us up. It was like we were sleeping in one big bed. We took all the covers from the top bunks and put on top of the blankets that we had for the bottom bunks. Since we were all sleeping together, we did not need the extra sheets. We hung the sheets from the top bunks so that they would shield us from the winds off the lake. By the afternoon of the second day, we were all sleeping together in a big clump with all the protection from the elements that we needed.

The thing was that not only did the sleeping together to keep warm help our attitudes but the sex that we had sleeping together did, too. We were all into sucking cocks. Everyone, including Ruiz, sucked everyone else's cock at least once in the first few days. We were still partnered up, and we slept together that way. I slept with my arms around Randy and his butt pressed up against my peter. Ruiz and Matty. Brent and Trent, and Paul and Pete. Pete was the youngest and the smallest of us all. He was a sweet kid though and loved to suck cock. He thought that Paul was the greatest and would tell him so. They were already worried about how they were going to get together once camp was over. They did not have too much of a problem since they both went to the same school.

As I said, our cabin had no problems. We all slept together and had fun having sex. Ruiz had his brother send us a pack of cards, so we played crazy eights or Uno. He sent us Uno cards also. Ruiz taught us how to play. The start of the second week, everyone was getting nasty to each other except the group from our cabin. The senior counselors some of the ones that had been there a long time were talking about a problem with morale. Joe thought it was cool that we were getting along. He seemed pretty happy himself. Sometimes he would stay with us until we had to cut the lights out and tell us a story. We even pulled him into the communal bed a couple of nights. Then on Monday, after a week of rain, it rained some more. We had finished dinner and started to move into the lodge. Someone started picking on Pete. The kid kept pinching him on the butt. He was a fat kid. I had seen him around and thought that he was usually acting like a bully with some of the smaller kids. Pete asked him to stop. The kid pinched him once more. Well, before Pete could do anything, Paul was right into that fat kid. I never thought that he was muscled or anything, but he punched that kid right in the gut, hard. Ruiz and I were right with him. Brent, too. All the big boys from our cabin were right behind Paul. I took hold of Pete's arm and told Randy to take him on into the lodge. The fat kid came up swinging. That was all we needed. Ruiz grabbed him by the arm when he took a swing at Paul. Ruiz just turned the kid's arm enough that he could get the leverage that he needed. He twisted it up and over and the kid was crying and on the floor. I thought damn if Ruiz does not have to teach me that trick. It was just so quick and so cool. While Ruiz was holding the fat kid down, I socked him once right in the stomach. "Don't ever fuck with any of the boys from cabin eight."

You could have heard a pin drop. I had said the ultimate word out loud. Even the teenagers stopped and watched what I did then. I pulled Paul and Brent next to me. "If either one of us catches you messing with one of our boys we will stomp the shit out of you. Do you understand me?" I grabbed him by the hair and pulled his head up so that I could look him in the face. "I asked you if you understand me?"

"Yeah." He sort of smirked when he said it. Ruiz twisted and I socked.

"I asked you if you understood. I did not like your answer." I punched him again. I am not sure if my punching or Ruiz's twisting did it, but he started crying big time and between sobs managed to get out a "Yes, sir."

Ruiz let go of him, and the four of us marched into the lodge. We found our places with our cabin mates and sat down. No one ever said anything. I am sure that the counselors saw what went on, but I guess they did not like the fat boy any better than we did. He was one of the ones that left that second week to go home because he had a bad cold.

There was one thing that came from that incident. The older campers started to respect us more. Some of the teens who had hardly noticed us before were now interested in what we did and what we had to say about things. At the end of camp, all eight of the boys in our cabin got awards for citizenship. There were not many awards to give out. Ruiz got the award for archery. I got an award for firing my weapon. Randy and Pete both got honorable mentions in the arts and crafts exhibit, and Matty got a blue ribbon for his drawing of Ruiz. I was impressed with Matty's artistic abilities. He drew Ruiz just like he was. I mean there was no question that it was Ruiz. I often wished that he had drawn pictures of all of us that cold, rainy June at camp in North Carolina. I guess we all learned a few things.

My mom and dad drove up on Sunday to pick us up. We did not have to take the bus back home. My parents were there the only day that we had sun out of the entire time we had been there. It was beautiful. The sun was shining and it was actually warm. My father asked me why I had been complaining about how bad the weather was in the letter that I had written. Joe assured him that I had not been lying about the weather when he told them that he was so proud of me and Randy for making sure that our cabin mates were warm and happy even though it rained and was cold the entire time. Joe said that we had the right stuff for being campers. We did not fold up, cry and want to go home. He also praised our parents for instilling good citizenship into us. I was just as glad when he finally shut up. I was afraid he was going to tell them that Randy and I had taught our fellow campers everything that we knew about sex. I'd just as soon they not know that.

That day was a happy day. We piled in the car after our last meal. My parents shook hands with the guy who came around to show the film, since they already knew him. Randy and I hugged all our bunk mates and told them how much we were going to miss them. Everyone had already exchanged addresses. We were going to keep in touch. We played all sorts of games counting cows and red barns and such on the way home. I was ready to go home. We had had a good time sucking and jacking with some really cool guys, but I missed Uncle Spencer and the farm. Randy and I feel asleep in the back seat. Mom kept Dad awake. He drove us all the way home. It was after midnight when we dropped Randy at his house. He was still asleep and never woke up. By the time we got to bed, it was almost one o'clock in the morning. That was the latest I had ever been up in my entire life.

Authors Note: I have it started. I got off on that summer at camp. Like John Rice said, every story has its ending. That was the end of that story. It is not the story that I started out to tell, but it is all that I can do this week. Since I have started, maybe now I can go on and tell the bad stuff that happened that summer. I hope all the "lies" and "lays" are right in this one.

Thanks to Pieter for his help in editing this material. He is such a joy with whom to work. If you would like to email me,