Chapter 12D The Golden Thread - Friday July 21, 1995

Written by Charles Well <charles.well@yandex.com> and Sarge AKA Aldric <pietar_the_fearless@yahoo.com>

(C) 2018)

The original Kids of Indian Spring (KOIS) story by Jonas Henley can be found here: https://www.nifty.org/nifty/gay/young-friends/kids-of-indian-spring/

and if you wish to read Jonas Henley's account of the 1968 Mackey Choosing Ceremony, look here:

https://www.nifty.org/nifty/gay/young-friends/mackey-tails/

Also see map.pdf and Springer Families.pdf in the Sandy Jacobs folder on Nifty. There is also an extensive family tree of the Mackey family available as well.


This story is about sex between boys and is therefore a total fantasy. It was written by an adult for the entertainment of other adults. No children or animals were either involved or harmed in the writing of this story. Please leave now if you are not supposed to be here.

Writing the continuing saga of the Kids of Indian Spring has become a real community effort. My co-author on this chapter was Sarge AKA Aldric. His ideas, drafting, hard work, and constant support in too many areas to mention made this chapter possible.

Please consider a donation to Nifty for allowing us to have this resource to share our stories. To donate go here: http://donate.nifty.org/donate.html

Comments or suggestions may be directed to either of the authors mentioned above. We welcome feedback from readers. It's the only payment we receive for many hours of hard work.


1:15 pm, The England Residence

"Just to be sure nobody quits; all lost clothing gets secured like this." He took his shirt off and ran a steel cable through it and put a combination lock on the cable. "You get your clothes back once we have a loser. The first person to end up naked twice goes outside for ten minutes. Got it?"

"Really?" Dewey asked. "I don't know..."

"Look, do you want to play or not?" Jory asked. "We all are playing that way, right?" He looked at Jonah who immediately said, "Sure, it's fine for me. Of course, I don't intend to lose."

"But what if you do?" Dewey asked. "Would you really walk out of the house naked?"

"It isn't fun unless it's risky," Cliff said. "I'm in." He looked at Dewey and asked, "Look, they didn't invite any girls because they knew you wouldn't play if they did. So there has to be something to make it daring. You're not afraid to let us see you naked, are you? Ten minutes in the backyard isn't all that daring. Don't chicken out."

Dewey's whole face turned red, but he couldn't admit to being scared shitless in front of the other guys. He was thrilled enough that he'd been invited. "Think of all the stuff England has done to you. Maybe this will be your chance to see him humiliated." That had been enough to convince him to come.

"If you don't want to play, you'd best leave now," Jory said. "Of course, that means that Cliff would have to find someone else to invite." He looked right at Dewey as he asked, "Maybe Greg Allen. He's weird, and he'd be thrilled to know that he got to play because little Dewey the Dunce was too scared to be seen naked by a bunch of other boys."

"He'd come, especially if he knew he was Dewey's replacement," Cliff said.

Poor Dewey fell for it all.

Much to the poor kid's total surprise, Jory was the first to end up naked. He stood up and walked around the table, his dick just a tiny bit past being totally flaccid. Dewey hoped he wouldn't have to do that.

In the second game, it came down to him and Jonah. The other boy had nothing on but his boxers when he lost his pants. He glanced behind Jory and saw the string of clothes locked on the cable.

He lost the next hand. He'd taken two cards and tried to bluff, which wasn't so wild an idea because he had a pair of jacks, but Cliff had three sixes.

"Underwear off and stand and show," Rory said.

He couldn't. His dick was as hard as it had ever been. He couldn't let them see that.

"You aren't getting your clothes back," Jory said. "Be a brave little boy and strip or go home like you are."

There was no way in hell he could go home in just his boxers, even if he didn't have a boner. His sister! Oh, god, if she saw him, he'd be tease for months.

He slid the underpants down while still using the table for cover. He used his feet to pull them off. Then he had to force himself to stand. His four-inch-long erection got caught under the table and when he leaned back it bounced up.

"Shit Dork, do you even have hair yet?" Jory asked with a smile.

He quickly made his way around the table, using his hands to try and hide his erection. He was somewhat surprised that the others, especially Jory, let him get away with it. As soon as he got back to his seat he put his boxers back on.

He lost the next game in six hands. This time, Jory pulled the table back away from him, giving him nothing to hide behind.

"Second time naked," Jory said. "And out the door you go." He pulled the very reluctant 12-year-old to the back door, opened it, and pushed him out.

The only house visible was Nathan Carlin's, and Dewey hoped that he wasn't around. There was no cover anywhere. He stood on the back step counting the seconds before he could get back inside - back to his clothes.

Jory held a hand-printed sign up to the window on the door. It read, "Go home. We're not going to open the door. You can get your clothes back tomorrow."

"No, no, you can't do that," Dewey yelled. He started pounding on the door. "Come on, let me in. Please." Rory, Jonah, and Cliff stood inside laughing. He was locked outside naked, and they were all laughing at him.

Jory held the sign up again. He'd circled the words "Go home" in red. He held it up there for several seconds, and then took it down and he could see the three of them recovering the few items of clothing they had lost that game. His clothing remained locked with the cable. Then they left the back room.

A second later, they came around the side of the house. Jory had a hose in his hand, and as he approached he began spraying Dewey.

"Go home Dewey the Dork," he said. "Leave. Have a nice day. You can get your clothes back tomorrow, but not before then."

With tears in his eyes, Dewey made his way to the other side of the house. Tasha Parker lived there, and he hoped and prayed she wasn't outside. He continued home, where his 11-year-old sister Debbie was.

With his hands over his privates, he ran naked across the street, only to see that it was worse than he could have ever imagined. Not only was his sister out on the front porch, but Ronnie Gaston (12) was there too.

Debbie saw her brother as he was crossing the street. She could hardly believe he was totally naked, but then she'd never put anything past Jory England. She hurried to the front door, and just as Dewey got there she slammed it behind her.

Dewey pushed her out of the way and put his hand on the doorknob. She'd locked it. He was now locked outside, in broad daylight, naked.

"Please Debbie, let me in. I'll do anything."

"You can start by moving your hands and letting Ronnie and me see you."

Ronnie laughed as Dewey moved his hands. "You're two months older than me, but you sure don't look it down there."

"I always wondered what boys meant when they said they had a hard-on," Debbie said. "Now I know. I just wish it was on someone interesting instead of my stupid brother." She looked at Ronnie and said, "Will you show me yours?"

"Yeah, maybe later," Ronnie said with a laugh. "First, your brother looks kind of puny. I think some exercise would help." He turned to Dewey and said, "For starters, how about if you do 30 pushups, 70 setups, and 100 jumping jacks, and then I'll try and talk your sister into letting you in the house."

"Come on Debbie, let me in," Dewey said, ignoring Ronnie. "Before someone sees me."

"I don't really care who sees you," Debbie said. "You can walk all the way to Coolspring and tell mom if you want. Or you can let Ronnie become your personal trainer and start doing the exercises he thinks are best for you."

"Screw you," Dewey said as he ran from the porch and headed to the back yard. Maybe the back door was open. If not, he'd break a window. But he was not going to be seen naked by anyone else.

Except as he ran around the side of the house he almost ran right into Gena Isenbern. Gena lived in the house behind his, and they were both in the same grade.

And she began laughing so hard she almost fell over.

He ran past her to the back door, which fortunately his sister hadn't locked. He hurried to his room, wondering why the other boys had been so cruel to him. He was the butt of plenty of jokes, but nobody had ever gone that far just to humiliate him.


12:30 pm, Along the Bank of the Crazy Indian - Spread the Feeling

Dustin, Wesley, Ryan, and Kyle met up at the corner where the Gaston's lived. Carrie Gaston (13) was just checking the mail and asked them where they were going.

"Down to the stream to, uh, do something," Kyle said. He almost said something else and caught himself just in time.

"What, skinny dip? You think I don't know that you boys do that? Maybe I'll come down and watch for a while. Or sneak up and steal your clothes."

"You'd better not," Wesley said.

"Or what? Are you going to beat me up if I do Wesley?" She said his name in a sing-song voice just to piss him off. "I've got better things to do than spend an hour looking at little boys, even if they are naked." She emphasized `little boys' as she said it. But what she said and what she felt were two different things. Seeing Dustin Cannon naked would be fun indeed. And maybe Ryan Henway too. Perhaps even Wesley.

"Come on Wesley, she's just pulling your chain," Dustin said. "She's not going to follow us." But as they cut almost straight east into the brush and trees, he and the others turned around frequently to make sure she wasn't following.

"I'm not sure about this," Wesley said when they arrived at the Crazy Indian. "What if she did sneak up? I don't want her to see Kyle licking peanut butter off my dick."

"You don't have to worry," Ryan said. "He's going to see what he got himself into and chicken out."

"Besides," Dustin added, "We looked and she wasn't following. But how about if we wait a little while just in case."

Everyone agreed with that plan. Shirts off, but shorts still on, they got comfortable along the bank, keeping an eye to the West. After what seemed like a half an hour, Dustin wanted to get started.

"She's not there, and she's not coming. Go ahead and spread Kyle's second lunch on your junk."

"And put it on nice and thick too," Ryan added. He was beginning to worry that his brother might just really do it. "Don't forget your balls."

With a careful eye to the west, Wesley stripped and got the jar of creamy peanut butter he had brought along with a spoon and began covering his dick and balls with it. He got a boner, which embarrassed him, especially when Dustin laughed at it.

"It won't take long to clean that short rod. How long is it, three inches?"

"Three and three-quarters," Wesley said. He lied, he'd measured it just a few days ago and it was still just shy of three and a half. "Okay, that's good enough. Come and get it Kyle."

Kyle didn't hesitate. He got down on his knees and began licking the sweet, sticky peanut butter like it was ice cream on a cone. Wesley's dick began jerking up and down, and he had to use his hand to hold it steady.

"Shit, he's doing it, and its driving me crazy," Wesley said.

Ryan looked on with disgust. Not that his brother was doing it, but that unless he failed to clean it all off it would soon be his tongue on Wesley's dick. And Dustin's. And worse of all, Kyle's.


1:00 pm, The Abandoned House - "We'll Start to Forget a Place Once We Left It." -Dickens

Kelley and Malcolm met up with Seth Mackey just before they reached the old Anderson house. He had come down to remind them that they were supposed to return to Grandma Corbin's.

"Oops, I completely forgot about that," Kelley said. "I guess we should get up there." He saw the look of disappointment on Malcolm's face. "After we take care of something else first."

"I went by myself. She asked if we found anything at the witch's cabin."

"Did you tell her?" Kelley asked. He put his hand in his pocket and felt the coin with his fingers.

"I lied. I told her there was nothing there. I think she believed me. Anyway, what do you guys need to do?"

"Malcolm wants to check out that old house over there," Kelley said as he pointed at the old Anderson house. "He thinks maybe he lived there when he was little."

"You've lived back that way for as long as I've known you," Seth said, pointing towards the house Malcolm now lived in.

"Yeah. But before that." Malcolm took off, walking at a fast pace. Seth and Kelley followed.

Once inside, Kelley closed the door, thinking that they really weren't supposed to be in here.

"Someone was here recently," Seth said. He sniffed, and then sneezed from the dust. "And they had sex. I can smell it."

Malcolm looked sharply at Kelley and smiled. "Who was it?"

Even in the gloom inside the abandoned house he couldn't hide the blush. "Nate Carlin."

"Cool," Malcolm said. He led the search. The floor plan he had drawn was remarkably like the house. The biggest difference was with the relative size of the rooms.

"This was my room," he said very softly. "My bed was here, next to the window, and my mom would sit right there and read to me until I fell asleep." He rubbed a tear from his eyes. "There must be something left here. Something of ours."

Kelley knew he didn't mean the three of them. "There were some old sheets in the closet in the hall. That's about it."

Malcolm went to the kitchen and opened every drawer and cabinet, but all were empty. They started removing the drawers on the bottom to see if something had fallen behind the back of one of them, but still nothing.

"I don't know what you think you're going to find Malcolm, but there isn't anything here," Seth said.

"Don't say it. There has to be something. Please don't give up." Malcolm was now openly crying.

"We aren't giving up Malcolm. It's just that there aren't many other places to look."

Malcolm started tapping on the floor boards. Each one he tapped made the same sound. "Maybe there's a crawl space," he said, going back outside. They walked all around the house but there was no coal chute, no crawlspace, nothing. Kelley was beginning to get scared with how much this was upsetting Malcolm. He glanced up to the roof to see if maybe there was an attic. A single chimney extended through the roof, but the slope was too shallow to allow for much of an attic. Then it hit him. Ashton was never wrong. He ran back inside, and the other two boys followed him, leaving the door open behind them.

It took ten minutes, but they did find a stone near the side of the hearth that wasn't cemented in. Kelley lifted it out and Malcolm reached into the black hole behind it. When his hand came out, he had something wrapped in a canvas cloth.

Malcolm slowly unwrapped the hidden package. Inside was a book. It was about 2 inches thick, and the individual pages were bound between the leather covers with leather straps.

"The diary of Hester Mackey," he read when he opened it to the first page. "Who was that?"

"I never heard of her," Seth said.

Malcolm skipped to the end page and read the last entry. "I wish you to know that you have been the last dream of my soul." He paused. "It's signed Tabitha. I don't know if that's a first name or a last name."

"It's a first name," said Hal Tucker from behind them, making them all jump. "Let's go back to the house. I want to talk to Malcolm about this."

Kelley stood up as straight and tall as he could. He was still a head shorter than his dad, but he looked straight into his father's eyes and said, "No lies this time dad. I will be there too, and I'll know if you lie. Malcolm wants to know the truth, even about his mother."


1:30 pm, Along the Bank of the Crazy Indian

Wesley was about to bust a nut. Kyle had his dick in his mouth and was literally sucking the last of the peanut butter off of it. He couldn't stop it from happening.

"OHHH, Shitttt, ... I'm gonna shoot," Wesley said as his whole body tensed. A moment later, his sperm mixed with peanut butter inside of Kyle's mouth. The boy pulled his head back and swallowed, then smacked his lips.

"Not as much as Cliff shot, but enough," he said. And then he finished cleaning the last of the peanut butter from Wesley's dick and started on his balls. By the time he was done, he'd made Wesley shoot twice more.

"You lost," he turned and said to Ryan as he wiped his mouth. "Now you have to do all three of us. Twice."

"You've done this with Cliff Frazer?" Ryan asked. Cliff Frazer was just a half month younger than he was and would turn thirteen in four months.

"Yeah, and Cameron Wood too, only he doesn't shoot as much as Cliff. And they've sucked my dick." Kyle stared at his brother, wondering if he would fail to perform the spit bet for the first time ever.

"Fuck," Ryan said. "I should have known better you little shit head. You were too eager to do it. Get over here." Ryan was blushing, and angry with what he had to do, but it was a spit bet. You don't not do the bet if you lost. He'd been bested by his little brother.

It wasn't the first time he'd seen Kyle's dick hard. But it was the first time he'd seen it from six inches away. His brother had almost no hair other than just a few small strands. But seconds after he started sucking on it, his brother squealed with delight and shot two bursts of thin, salty cum. He'd eaten his own cum once, so he knew the taste.

Before Ryan could even think about what he had just done, Dustin and Wesley were pushing each other to be next. Both of them were naked and erect.

Size turned out to be the deciding factor in a backwards way. Dustin gave Wesley a shove to the side, and the smaller boy ended up on top of Ryan. But instead of being defeated, the boy realized he had been pushed right to where he wanted to be. He stood, and his 3.5" dick was immediately taken captive.

Ryan hadn't cared who won, he would have to do both of them twice anyway, so once Wesley was there he began sucking on his dick, making the small boy screech and yell with ecstasy.

"Hold down the noise," Ryan said to him as he released the small dick from his mouth. "People will hear you. I don't want anyone to see what I'm doing." He resumed the blowjob after making a quick look around. This time, Wesley started out quiet, but as the feeling got more intense, his noise level rose, until he hit a high-pitched yell just as he shot a meager amount of salty cum into the older boy's mouth.

"If you're going to make that much noise I won't do it," Ryan said as Dustin took up to get his turn. "At least not here," he added when he remembered it was a spit bet.

"I'll be quiet," Dustin promised. His 4.25" long dick was twitching and Ryan knew it would end quickly, so he took it in. The boy's pubes tickled his nose as he began long, wet strokes, and in seconds the boy shot, far more than he expected.

"Now you have to do all three of us again," Kyle said with obvious excitement showing in both his face and his groin.

"Not here," Ryan said. All three boys turned as they heard other boys approaching. Or what they hoped were boys. They suddenly recalled that Carrie Gaston had threatened to come and watch or steal their clothes. To hide their erections, they all got in the pond. A moment later, a trio of boys their age arrived on the bank and began stripping off.

"How's the water?" Toby Sanders asked with a smile. He'd heard the noise Wesley had made and knew what it meant. And he'd told his brothers, Shawn and Joey, what he thought was happening. He was disappointed to have missed out on the action. But he could still use his knowledge to embarrass Kyle.

"You need to wipe your chin, it looks like you didn't get it all in your mouth."

With his face turning red, Ryan immediately wiped his chin, proving what Toby had suspected.

"Any chance we can get in on the action?" he asked.

"I don't know, Wesley Schumate said. "What would be the worst thing you'd do for a dollar?"

"I'm not licking peanut butter off your dick like Cam Wood did," Shawn said. "But I'll pay you a dollar to do it to me."

Much to his total surprise, Wesley said okay. And not just to him, but offered the same deal to 13-year-old Toby and 10-year-old Joey. The youngest boy didn't have a dollar, but Shawn, who was 11, had two dollars to cover him and his younger brother. While the kid was busy with the Sanders boys, Ryan decided now would be as good a time as any to finish off Dustin and Kyle's second blowjob. He figured he'd catch up with Wesley once the boy was done with his nutterbutter snacks.


2:00 pm, Tucker's House - Recalled to Life

Hal had led the trio of boys to his car and drove them back to the house. Silvie had sent Ethan and Ashton out to play with neighbors.

"Years before you were born, a woman came to me needing some legal assistance," Hal Tucker began. He was sitting next to Silvie, and across from Kelley, Malcolm, and Seth.

"This would have been around 1979 or `80. Her name was Tabitha Anderson, but she told me she had been adopted by the Anderson's when she was a month old. Her birth name was Mackey. She wanted me to help her change her name to Natalie Anderson and to gain title to the house her adoptive parents had moved out of when she was sixteen."

"Who was Tabitha Mackey?" Malcolm asked.

Kelley started to say what Sandy had told him, but decided it could wait.

"I don't know all of her lineage, but she was the daughter of a woman named Hester," his father continued. "She lived in an old cabin that Robert Jr. had built, somewhere deep in the woods."

"The witch," Seth said. "That was the cabin we were at yesterday."

Hal looked hard at his son. "You were in Deep Mackey land yesterday?"

"Not just deep," Seth said. "Deepest of the Deepest." It didn't make Hal's face soften when he added that part.

"It was okay," Kelley said. "We had three Koch brothers with us. Nothing happened."

"Why were you even there?"

"Uh, Grandma Corbin told us to go there," Kelley said, squirming under the hard look from his father.

"You and I will have a lot to talk about later." Hal cleared his throat and then continued.

"The legal work was easy, and she paid me in cash, something as a young lawyer starting out I badly needed. I was engaged to Silvie at the time. It took about a month, and then Natalie Anderson moved in as soon as she got the title issued in her new name. She married Michael McEwen a short time later, but the title of the house stayed in her name."

In 1987, Elijah came to visit her. I don't know why or what happened, but I do know that Tabitha put her son to bed and came outside and killed herself. Elijah had called the police before he went to the house. There was an investigation, and various charges against him were looked into. Again, I don't know the details, only that he was ordered by the court to stay away from her family."

"He was looking for his gold," Kelley said. Seth kicked him from under the table.

"Well, he was, wasn't he?" Kelley asked Seth. Kelley's hand once again reached in his pocket to feel the coin. It felt warm to the touch, and he clenched it in his hand, enjoying the way it made him feel to have it.

"I don't know nothing about any gold," Seth said. His tone carried the message to Kelley that he shouldn't have mentioned it. The room was quiet for several heartbeats.

"My mother didn't leave me?" Malcolm asked, breaking the silence. Kelley put an arm over his friend's shoulder but didn't say anything.

"No, Malcolm. You were lied to by myself and others. Tabitha was your mother. I purged your mother's name from the title and helped your father buy another house, the one you live in now. He insisted that you never know what happened. The truth is that your mother committed suicide that day."

"Did she leave a will or anything? Did she say anything about me?" Malcolm gripped the diary tighter. He was going to read it this evening, even if it took all night.

"Not as far as I know," Hal said. "I was paid in cash, and shortly before her death she came over and painted the painting hanging on the wall in the other room. After that, I had no further contact with her."

"What about the painting at Matthew Corbin's house?" Kelley asked.

"I told you before, I don't know anything about that. And I don't want you going over there again unless you're invited. There is too much going on right now."

"But Malcolm needs to know."

"STAY AWAY FROM THERE," his father said firmly.

"Malcolm, I'll take you there," Silvie Tucker said. She squeezed her husband's hand to quiet him. "But not today. I want to call him first and tell him we're coming."

"I want Kelley to come too," Malcolm said. "I want to know the truth."

Malcolm refused all offers to stay the night and left. Seth followed him out the door and invited him over to his place, but he refused that offer too.

Not wanting to have a conversation with his dad about things he shouldn't have been doing, Kelley left while his mom and dad were having a discussion in the front room. He'd find out about that later.

When he left the house, Malcolm and Seth were both gone already. He figured he'd give Malcolm some space and visit him later to make sure he was okay. He thought about going to find Sandy, but remembered his new friend had `bottom business' today. It would be a long bike ride, but he decided to go and visit Geoff Lanham.


4:00 pm, Sweetwater

Kelley was ten minutes away from the Lanham house when he saw the coin dealer. The sign said, "The End of the Rainbow," which he thought was a strange name for a stamp and coin shop. It was next door to a bike store, and he rode past the window, looking in at all the cool bikes inside. He wanted to feel the coin in his pocket again, but while riding his bike he decided to keep his hands on the handlebars. For now.

A bell tinkled as he opened the door to the coin shop. After a long bike ride on a hot day, the air-conditioning felt good. A man who Kelley guessed was about the same age as his dad, put down the newspaper he was reading and got up and greeted him, but not enthusiastically.

"I'm curious about how much a coin might be worth," Kelley said. His right hand gripped the gold coin tightly, warming his whole body. It was not like the heat from the sun. It was a different sort of warming more like a feeling of radiance and a sensation of security.

"You'd have to be a bit more specific," the man said. "Actually, a lot more specific. Do you have the coin you want appraised?" He looked down to where the boy had something gripped in his fist inside his pants pocket.

Kelley immediately let go of the coin, mentally sighing as the warm feeling left him. "No, but it's a gold coin, about this big around," he held his fingers about an inch apart, "And with 13 stars surrounding a picture of an old lady. It says 1873 on the bottom."

The man's eyes narrowed. "Like this?" he asked, moving to the back of the display case. He unlocked the door and took out a coin inside a plastic bag. "This is a Double Eagle. The `old woman' is called Lady Liberty. Is this the coin you mean?"

Kelley looked. The coin was the same, except the one the man had was very worn. You could barely make out any of the features on it. "Yeah, kind of like that, only better looking."

"This is what is termed fair condition, and the asking price is $4,499. Are you interested in buying a coin?"

"No sir, I, uh, don't have that much money." He ignored the man's sneer. "The one I saw was more like that coin there." He pointed to a very shiny 50 cent piece.

The man looked to where Kelley pointed.

"That coin is termed Uncirculated. There are many fine divisions that define value. An 1873 Double Eagle in the uncirculated category would be worth between $8,000 and $12,000 depending on its condition."

Kelley had his fist wrapped around the coin again.

"If the coin you saw is in your hand, you should know that just by handling it you are reducing its value."

Kelley reluctantly let go. "No, I just saw one and wondered what it was worth."

The bell rang as a man and two boys came into the store. The man had a small box in his hand.

"If you find a coin you want to buy or sell, please come back," the clerk said. He put the coin he had gotten out back and locked the display case before turning to the other adult.

"Mr. Jameson, have you another coin you wish to sell?"

Kelley had been dismissed and left the store. His mind tried to grasp the numbers. Between 8 and 12 thousand dollars. An average of $10,000. He struggled to think of what that would mean to his life. He wouldn't need to keep his job. He could get a new bike a good one, with gears and stuff. He'd be the envy of all the Springer's and even some of the Sweetwater boys. He was still thinking about it as he got on his bike. He rode from the sidewalk directly in front of a car, not even aware he'd almost been run over. He rode on, ignoring the horn and angry yells from the driver that had come within inches of hitting him. "Ten thousand dollars," he said out loud.

As soon as he pulled up to the Lanham's house Kelley knew something was wrong. The place looked like it was closed up - something he'd never seen before with this family. Candles burned on each corner of the porch, and small pumpkins were carved and placed around the house.

Patrick Lanham answered the door.

"You have to strip to your underwear to come in," he said. At first Kelley thought the eleven-year-old was joking, trying to trick him, but then he sensed the boy was frightened and not joking.

"Why?" he asked.

"To make sure you don't bring evil spirits into the house."

"Who is it," Geoff called from the back somewhere.

"Kelley," Patrick turned and said. "He'll be in as soon as he strips."

Geoff came out. "Go sit with Jack," he said to his brother.

"Sorry, parents' rules. A piseog has been put on Jack, and we can't break it."

Kelley was down to his underwear, feeling somewhat embarrassed. "A piss, uh what?"

"It's like a curse. Magic. Beyond that, I can't answer your questions. My dad got a flight to Ireland to get us more protection. All of us are getting sick, weaker, but Jack is the worst. I'm not sure he's going to pull through."

"Of course he will," Katherine Lanham said as she came to the front room. "Go and get Kelley some pants please. And Kelley, please leave your clothes on the front porch and step inside."

"Uh, Jack is sick?" he asked as he entered the house. His first thought was of the gold coin, that it was no longer with him. He had to work hard to silence that thought, and the desire to leave and have it in his hand again.

"It is just a bad cold," she said. "Ahh, but there is no fooling you, is there. Yes, he is very sick, and nothing we have done is curing it."

"Here," Geoff said as he returned with a pair of shorts for Kelley to wear.

"Can I see Jack? Is what he has contagious?"

"You can see him. He might like that, if he's lucid," Mrs. Lanham said. "Come."

She took him to Jack's room. The entire space was lit by candles. Piles of flat rocks had been placed around the bed - three for a base supporting two above them. Definitely weird Kelley thought. But then he gasped audibly when he looked at the boy lying there.

Jack was twelve, like him, but you wouldn't know it. He was naked from the waist up, and his skin hung from his frame. His black hair contrasted with the paleness of his face.

"He can't hold any food down. He'll eat some broth, or tea, but not much else," Geoff said from behind him.

"Ian is sick too. The Cormack's wouldn't let me see him, but Duncan told me he was dying. And they think Jack is the cause."

"Well now, that might explain a few things," Mrs. Lanham said. "Yes, I think we've been working on the wrong ideas."

"It must be a Baykok," Geoff said. "But they can only be summoned with gold."

"Search everything of Jack's. If we find the gold, we can possibly give it back and force the Baykok back to its cave."

The two Lanham's, then joined by Patrick, started a very thorough search of the boy's room. Kelley reached for his gold, remembering when it wasn't there that it was in his pants pocket on the porch.

"Lift the Mattress," Mrs. Lanham said. "Patrick, when we lift it, you look under it."

As Kelley moved next to the bed to help lift, suddenly Jack's eyes opened.

"Get away from me," he shouted. "Filthy asshole, don't touch me or I'll destroy you."

"Jack, its me," Kelley said. He reached out and took hold of one of the boy's hands, and the room went black.

***

"Geoff, go and see if Eric will drive Kelley home," Mrs. Lanham said as Kelley woke up. He was on the couch in the front room. "How are you feeling?"

"What happened?" Kelley asked. He reached in his pocket, but the coin wasn't there. Then he remembered. It was in his pants on the front porch.

"You tell me," Mrs. Lanham said, feeling his forehead. "You touched Jack and passed out."

"I don't remember that," he said as he sat up. But he did remember. And he knew what he saw when he touched Jack. "I need to get dressed."

"Geoff is asking the boy next door to drive you home. He's sixteen and just got his license. I won't let you ride your bike and I have to stay here with Jack. You can return the shorts anytime. Don't worry about your clothes."

"No, there's something I need. He stood up, feeling lightheaded for just a second. As he headed for the door, it opened and Geoff and an older teen were there.

"Eric will take us," Geoff said. "But we have to go now."

"Uh, what's he doing?" Eric asked as Kelley slipped off the shorts Geoff had gotten for him.

"Kelley, you can keep the shorts," Geoff said, but by then Kelley was down to his underpants again. "Okay, I guess not. Let's go."

"Eric, you drive safe," Mrs. Lanham said as the three boys went out. In the driveway was an older model four door sedan. Kelley grabbed his clothes and got in the back and put his shorts and shirt back on while Geoff and Eric put his bike in the trunk.

The coin was still there. As soon as he grabbed it, the images in his head disappeared. He saw that Geoff was turned around and saying something to him, but he didn't hear a word. Just peaceful quietness. He nodded, which seemed to satisfy Geoff, and they traveled back to Indian Spring without further conversation. Gradually his sense of balance returned. He felt centered, and released the coin as they approached Indian Spring.

"Which way?" Eric asked.

"Left," Geoff said.

"Straight," Kelley demanded. "I want to go to the park. I need to think before going home."

"I don't think that's a good idea," Geoff said.

"Take me to the park or I'll jump out here," Kelley yelled.

"Hey, asshole, we're just trying to help," Eric said. He sat at the intersection and asked again, "Which way?"

Geoff looked at Kelley, hesitated, and said, "Straight. And then the next left."

Sandy and Malcolm were sitting at one of the picnic tables and turned and looked as the strange car pulled in.

"Can you hang for a few seconds?" Geoff asked Eric.

"Damn few. I've got to get the car back before my mom gets home."

"Just go," Kelley said to Geoff. "I'll get my bike, and those guys are friends."

Eric got out and opened the trunk and helped Kelley get the bike out. Geoff had gone over to talk to the two boys sitting at the table. They stopped talking as Kelley approached.

"One minute, and then I have to go," Eric shouted as he got back into the car.

"Just go Geoff. Thanks for getting me home. I'm fine."

"I'm not so sure. You aren't anything like the Kelley I've known since you were three and I was four." Geoff looked to Malcolm and Sandy. "Take care of him."

"We will," Sandy said.

As Geoff returned to the car, Sandy explained, "He told us you passed out. You touched his brother and passed out. You need to be home and in bed. I think the trips into the deep Mackey lands were too much for you right after all the stress of the ceremony."

"His brother is sick, deathly sick. Something is sucking all of the life out of him. So is Ian Cormack. You guys are gonna think I'm crazy, but I saw it when I touched Jack. A, uh, small person. Not a child, but that size. It had red eyes, and I could see it breathing out evil. That is what has made the Spring go crazy." He looked up at his two friends hoping for support.

"Kelley, uh ..." Malcolm didn't want to say what he was thinking.

"No, I'm not crazy. I saw it. And I saw Ian Cormack and Jack together, along with a boy I didn't recognize. And Ian said, "No, dude, I'm giving you Morgan. Jack, my gift to you." Ian told the Morgan kid to give Jack the best blowjob he ever had. Then Jack said, "Ian, this is the best gift you could have ever possibly given me," and after that Ian looked, uh, I don't know, just kind of different. Then the room shifted, and Morgan and Ian were sleeping together in Ian's room, only Morgan was fucking Ian in his sleep. Then I woke up on the couch in the Lanham's living room."

Sandy and Malcolm looked at each other, unable to think of anything to say.

"Don't look at each other like that. I saw it, it wasn't a dream. Jack Lanham, Ian Cormack, and the boy with the golden tooth, Morgan."

"Morgan Lowry?" Sandy asked. "Did he have blond hair and look more like 10 than 12?" Kelley nodded. "He's a distant cousin of mine. My mother's a Lowry. Morgan lives in Sweetwater. You must have met him one time or another and just inserted him into your uh, vision, or whatever it was."

"You don't believe me." Kelley looked at Malcolm. "You don't either. You think I'm as crazy as everyone else in Indian Spring. Well, I'm not. I touched Jack, and that's what I saw."

"We don't think you're crazy," Malcolm said. "But it is a bit ... unusual. And everybody, even me, knows that nobody ever fucks a Cormack boy."

"Wait, the golden tooth," Kelley said. "The Lanham's said it was a Baykok, and that they can only be bought with gold. Ian gave his gold to Jack, and Jack used it to summon..." He paused, seeing the looks on the faces of his two friends.

"Just go. I want to sit here for a little bit. Alone. I'll see you guys tomorrow."

"Tuck, dude, there is no way we are leaving you alone, not now," Malcolm said. "Let's all leave, and go back to your house."

"I'm sure it all seems very real," Sandy said sympathetically. "But it is just your brain lying to you. Not a dream, just the result of stress."

"Fuck off Sandy," Kelley said. "Don't patronize me." He stood, feeling the warm glow of the gold in his hand. Once he traded it for what he wanted, he wouldn't need them anymore. He could have all the friends he wanted.

But the thought caused him to pause. Was this really him? Did he just tell Sandy Jacobs to fuck off? Did he really need a new bike with a bunch of gears and gifts he could buy for girls and everything else he could have with all the money? Or was it a lie? He knew others couldn't lie to him, but his friend Nathan had been correct about his ability to deceive himself. And the realization scared him.

And this time he didn't need to dwell on it. He'd completed his thinking in the past. Nathan had warned him. His father had warned him. Even Mike Kim, in an off-handed way had talked about who the real Kelley Tucker was. And he knew.

He pulled the coin out of his pocket and threw it with perfect accuracy into the center of the spring, where the water from the artesian well bubbled up to the surface before becoming the Crazy Indian.


4:30 pm, Indian Spring Park - The Calm in the Storm - Part A

"At last, my brave has returned," the woman said.

The young warrior wanted to avert his eyes, but couldn't. The woman, or perhaps an older teen girl, had no covering over her chest. She had dark olive skin and green eyes. Her hair was straight and black, and was tied behind her head. She had beads around her neck, and she wore leggings made of deer hide. There was a scar under her left shoulder. He knew he was staring, and couldn't stop, but at last he found his tongue.

"I'm no warrior," he said.

"You are. You have been battling with yourself for a long time now. That battle is ending, you have saved yourself. You are my warrior. I have waited for you for so very long. You do not need to look away from me, for I am yours."

The warrior did take his eyes off her. He was shirtless, and dressed only in a piece of deerskin that wrapped between his legs and was attached to a leather sash around his waist. He wore that, and moccasins, and nothing else.

"State what you desire of me," the woman said.

The young man felt his `desire' start to rise, and pushed that thought away as best he could. "There is a Baykok. It was released when one boy cast a spell from gold given to him by another."

"Such magic is always two-sided, and unless both sides are considered, the Madoc can feed from both. I believe what you named a Baykok is known to us as a Madoc. You placed gold in the spring. Was it yours to use?"

"Yes," the warrior answered without hesitation. He was afraid that if he thought about it he might answer otherwise.

"Then I will have the Madoc return to the cave in the Devil's Backbone."

"The two boys involved in the spell are sick, dying. Will that cure them?"

"That is the other side of the gold coin you used. Before any can be recalled to life, you must defend a brother warrior. That is the way. I shouldn't need to explain this to an Algonquian fighter such as yourself."

"Who?" the warrior asked. "Who do I have to defend?"


To be continued...