Written by Charles Well <firstname.lastname@example.org> and Sarge AKA Aldric <email@example.com>
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:
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.
"What the hell," Sandy said. "That was the coin you found in the witch's cabin. It was probably worth a lot of money. Why did you toss it in the spring?" Sandy ran to the edge and looked in. He could see the bottom until it got near to the source of water, but couldn't see the coin anywhere.
Kelly ignored his friend, confused for a moment. He'd been with the girl, right here on the edge of the pond. Only there had been no picnic bench, no fire pit, and no parking lot. He was so sure he'd been there, and he even looked down and was relieved to see he was wearing clothes and not just a loin cloth. He turned to Malcolm.
"Who were you talking to?" Malcolm asked.
"Huh?" Kelley responded, still confused by what was real and what was in his head.
"You asked who you have to defend."
"Really? You heard that? Did you hear the other stuff?"
"What other stuff? That's all you said. Are you okay?" Malcolm was now more concerned for his buddy than before.
Kelley shook it off. "It was nothing, I was just daydreaming I guess." He looked closely at Malcolm and noticed for the first time how red his eyes were.
"Did you read the diary?"
"Yeah," was all Malcolm said. He averted his head so that Kelley couldn't see that he'd been crying.
"It's why I'm here with Sandy. I went to your house first, but you were gone and nobody knew where you were. Then I came here, and Sandy found me."
"I can see it isn't easy, but can you tell me about it?"
There was a long pause, during which Sandy returned and sat down.
"She ... she killed people. The people who raped her, and who raped her mother. It's all in the diary. All of Elijah's claims were true. But she accidently killed a 14-year-old boy - Derek Mackey, Elijah's youngest son. He was sleeping behind thestill, and she didn't know he was there. When she heard about it on the news, it drove her crazy."
He paused, and Kelley waited, shocked at what he was hearing. It explained a lot about Elijah's rage.
"Hester wasn't a witch. She learned how to use herbs to heal people, or to put them to sleep. She used them for both. She just wanted to be left alone, except for Angus. She wrote that she forced herself on Angus when he was just a boy, not much older than we are, but he came back anyway. She taught him all she knew about healing and herbs and stuff." There was another long pause that neither Kelley nor Sandy broke.
"My mother is dead." Malcolm's head dropped to his arms, which were folded on the table, but Kelley intercepted it and pulled the boy into a hug.
It lasted for several minutes, before Malcolm pulled back and Kelley let him go.
"There was no mention of what happened to the gold. She took it, just so that Elijah couldn't have it. She didn't want it, so she said she put it somewhere safe. I think that was what we were supposed to find at the cabin."
"Do you want to go back and search for it?" Kelley asked.
"No. It isn't mine," Explained Malcolm. "I don't want it. What would I do with it? Toss it in the spring like you did with your gold piece?"
"I used mine to get rid of the Madoc, or Baykok, or whatever it was."
"You're talking stupid again," Malcolm said. "Are you sure you're okay?"
"I've never been better," Kelley answered. "It's getting late. Will you sleep at my house tonight? Please?" He slid down the bench at the table until he could take Sandy into his sight. "You too. Tomorrow Malcolm and I are going back to Mr. Corbin's house. My dad is angry with me and doesn't want me to go, but my mother is taking us. You should come too."
"I'd have to ask my parents," Sandy said. "I can't just not come home. I should already be there, but Malcolm needed me and you weren't there for him." There was a touch of anger in his voice. An accusation.
"I'm sorry I yelled at you Sandy, telling you to fuck off," Kelley said. "And I'm glad that you were there for Malcolm when he needed someone and I wasn't around. Are we cool?"
"Yeah, I guess. But you've been really strange lately, and not always nice." Sandy paused. "But yeah, we're cool."
Just then a car pulled into the parking lot.
"That's my dad," Kelley said. "He'll drive you home. I guess I have to face him first. Can you give me five minutes?"
His two friends told him they would wait, and Kelley went to the car.
The moment he got in, his dad said, "I see my young warrior has returned from battle. Did you slay whatever it was that you were fighting?" His voice was relaxed, not angry. Then he saw the look of horror on his oldest son's face as Kelley struggled to open the door and get out.
"Wait, what did I say? Kelley, calm down and tell me what's going on."
"Why did you say that?"
"Say what? Kelley, I don't understand. You're looking at me like I'm a monster or something. Are you okay?"
"Why did you say `My young warrior has returned from battle?' Why those words?"
Hal sighed. "Kelley, it is obvious you have been dealing with a lot of stress recently. There is a lot going on in the Spring, things you don't understand and can't control. And I was furious at you for taking off on your own and going places that are dangerous. I understand you've been battling your own demons, whatever they are. But when you got in the car you looked relaxed. More like the son I've known for over 12 years. They were just words. There was no meaning behind them. But now, again, I'm getting worried about you."
"I'm fine dad. It was just, I uh, heard those words in my head. Before you got here. It was that French thing, uh, Deja vu."
"We need to talk," his dad said; the tone not allowing for argument.
"I know. We will, I promise. But Malcolm needs me now. He read the diary, and there were a lot of things in it that upset him. According to what he read, all the stuff that Elijah said about his gold and Tabitha was true. Can he come home with us tonight? And Sandy too? We can talk when I get back from Mr. Corbin's. I know you don't want me to go there, but I have to. And I know you lied about the painting. You have seen it, and you knew that Malcolm's mom painted it. I know your super pissed at me, but I can't help it. I just know when people lie to me. I don't care as much about why you said you didn't know anything about it," he rubbed tears from his eyes before he continued. "It was you lying to me that hurt."
"Your mother is going to take you and Malcolm to meet with him, and I'm fine with that. He isn't available in the morning, so the meeting will take place in the afternoon. And I did lie. How about we table that for later. Malcolm and Sandy can spend the night, but you need sleep. If you can't promise me that you'll go to bed early and get some sleep, I'll put Sandy in Ethan's room and Malcolm can sleep on the couch.
"No, I know I'm exhausted. Malcolm needs a good night's sleep too. Sandy has to go home and ask his parents first. I said you'd drive him there."
"There is one other thing to talk about first," his dad stated. "That night that David Mackey tried to burn our house down. First, I'm very sorry for asking you what you and Malcolm were doing. I'm especially sorry for asking it in front of your brothers."
"It's okay dad, everyone was angry and scared. There's even a reason for the anger, but I think maybe I fixed that." Kelley saw his father's eyebrows go up, but he didn't want to try to explain what he meant at that time. "I'll go and get my friends."
"Wait, there is one more thing I do need to ask. Do you know why David did it? Did you ever do anything to him?"
Kelley sat and thought for a minute. "Dad, I can't think of anything. I hardly said two words to him the whole time we lived here. The last time I saw him was when I was just winning Malcolm's trust – trying to turn him into a friend. David seemed pissed at him, but he backed off when I told him to go away. I didn't threaten him or anything."
"Okay, that's good, that is what I wanted to hear. Duane said he had been a troubled boy most of his life. He offered to help pay for new siding to replace what was burned. I may have to take him up on that because the insurance company won't take the claim unless it comes with a police report."
"And this is Indian Spring," Kelley said. "We solve our own problems and leave the police to deal with Sweetwater and Coolspring. I understand all that."
"Good. Go and get your friends. It's getting late, and your mom will have dinner waiting for us."
Kelley signaled to the other two boys to join them and then his dad drove them to the Jacobs house. Sandy went inside to get permission. He was back in just a few minutes, but he looked disappointed.
"My parents said I can either spend the night here where they will make sure I get enough sleep to keep you two out of trouble tomorrow, or I can spend the night at your house but not go to the Corbin's with you in the morning. I think I'm going to stay here. I already had the sleep-over at Sheldon's place on Wednesday and I didn't get much sleep. I've still got to tell you about that. And there's stuff about Chris Corbin from up in Bartlett as well."
"Okay, I think I'd rather have you along tomorrow," Kelley said. "We're not going until after lunch. I'll have my mom drive by and pick you up."
"Okay, see ya. Sorry I couldn't do both."
Mr. Tucker started the engine and drove home with the remaining two boys.
"Should you check with your father?" Kelley asked Malcolm as his dad started to point the car south.
"No need," Malcolm said with a firm voice. He didn't explain, and Kelley knew enough not to ask. He knew that Michael McEwen drank. A lot. It wasn't something that needed to be discussed.
Twelve-year-old David Mackey felt lost and confused. He was alone, and he was scared, lonely, and hungry. But why was he here? It was dark. And, where exactly was he? He looked around until he got his bearings and realized where he was. He was behind the McEwan house. Yes, he remembered now. Malcolm had been picking on his little sister Denise. He felt guilty. He should have stood up and protected her, but he hadn't. However, that must have been hours ago. It was around noon on a cold winter's day when he saw Malcolm bully the little girl. But that's crazy. It was dark now with just a quarter moon, and was stiflingly hot and humid. The trees were fully leafed out, and he could smell honeysuckle blossoms nearby. He looked down at himself. His clothes were filthy and he smelled like he'd lived in the forest for a month. He couldn't recall coming to the Lower Spring area. No, none of it made any sense at all.
He walked around the house, making sure to stay as close as possible to the centerline between the McEwan place and the Brewers, until he reached the road. He couldn't show up at home this late, in torn and filthy clothes, and not have an explanation for why he was out. His Mom and Dad would be real pissed. He decided to head towards where Lower Spring Drive crossed the Crazy Indian where at least he could clean up a little.
As he walked, he felt the calf on one of his legs was very sore, and he felt pain from his right butt cheek. There was a torn-off part of his shirt wrapped around his leg, and a spot of blood showed up on it through the dirt. Where had that come from? What was happening to him?
"Can I leave this here?" Malcolm asked, holding the diary. "I couldn't stand it if my dad found it and destroyed it." Both boys were freshly showered and wearing nothing but boxers.
"Of course you can. I won't read it."
"I guess you could if you wanted to. Maybe let your mom read it too, I think she would understand it more. I'm not sure."
"It will be safe here, and when you are sure, my mom and I will read it if you want us to. But it's kind of private, and I don't think I should be reading it. Anything in there that you want to tell me about is fine." Kelley put the diary up on the top shelf of his closet.
"Tell me more about this painting," Malcolm asked after Kelley got back in bed.
"It was a painting of Matty from when he was about three, which means it was painted about the same time as the one of me and Ethan that's hanging downstairs. It uses the same coloring and design. That's how I recognized it. The better question is why he lied to me about who painted it."
"You're sure he lied?" Malcolm asked.
"One hundred percent sure. Three times, each time a bolder lie than the one before."
"Then it wasn't about the painting," Malcolm said after a moment's thought. "It had to be about my mother. He didn't want you to know that he knew her. Maybe he's afraid of Elijah."
"I got the feeling he wasn't afraid of anyone – or even all of the Mackeys. Sandy was pretty sure he hired people to destroy a still, and do other stuff. And after we talked to him, he denied having anything to do with it, but I'm not sure I believe him."
"But all of that was about Eli and Matty; it had nothing to do with the Mackey. Eli's a nephew of his." Malcolm turned on his back and put an arm over his eyes.
"It was a Mackey Choosing Ceremony, and I think he thought that Darrell and Hiram either tricked Eli into doing it, or at least gave him the suggestion. And nobody stopped him, even when he fucked Matty. That's why I was more focused on the painting. It had nothing to do with any of it."
None of that explains why he lied about the painting," Malcolm said, his arm still over his head. Then he suddenly sat up. "Maybe he knows something about the gold." He saw that Tucker was now considering that.
"I want to know more about it," Malcolm said. "I want your help, but let me ask the questions. But give me a signal if he tells a lie. Can you do that?"
"Yeah, sure," Kelley said. "What makes you think I couldn't?"
"You were ... strange the last two days. Almost like you were someone else entirely. And today, in the park, you were more than just a little strange."
"I know you don't believe that what I saw was anything more than a dream, but I'm sure it happened." Kelley suddenly sat up. "Shit, I just thought of something I have to do. Something strange again. You can come if you want." He got up and started getting dressed.
"Where are we going?" Malcolm asked as he started pulling on his clothes.
"The Cormacks. I have to tell them what happened to Ian."
He expected Malcolm to refuse to go, or even to refuse to let him go. Instead, he just pulled his shorts and shoes on and stood up. "Front door or window?"
"Oh, definitely the window," Kelley said.
James Cormack answered the door. He looked ready to kill whoever was on the other side of it, and his look didn't soften when he saw it was Kelley.
"It's late," he said. "And if you woke Ian my mom will be more pissed at you than I am. This better be a lot better than just good."
"Ian had sex with a boy named Morgan Lowry, the boy with the golden tooth," Kelley blurted out. He didn't give James a chance to respond. "He then gave that boy to Jack. Said it was his gift to him. That's how Jack got Ian's power. But Jack didn't know what he was doing, and a Madoc, or Baykok, or Piseog got loose. It's different names for the same thing. I saw it, a little man with red eyes. I saw all of this when I touched Jack. Jack is just as sick as Ian. I've had it sent back to its cave and as soon as I figure out the last part they'll start to get better."
James stared at him for several seconds before drawing in a deep breath.
"I'm never going to ask you how you could possibly have known that or done anything about it. Getting rid of black magic isn't as easy as wishing it away."
"I had gold. I gave it up. Willingly. I've got to defend a fellow warrior and I don't know what that means, but when I figure it out, I think that Ian and Jack will get better. Could you please call the Lanham's and let them know?"
"He couldn't have made that up," Mrs. Cormack said from beyond the door. "Invite him in. He needs to tell all of this to my sister himself."
James opened the door wider. Kelley saw seven more Cormack's in the room. He nodded to Duncan who was staring at him with his mouth wide open. Only Mr. Cormack and Ian weren't there. "The phone is over there," James pointed.
It took a few minutes for Kelley to repeat the message to Mrs. Lanham, and when he was done, she asked to speak to Elizabeth.
"Aunt Katherine wants to talk to you," he said to Mrs. Cormack. He wasn't related to either the Cormack's or Lanham's by blood, but the adults had been aunt and uncle for as long as he knew.
"We've got to go," Kelley said. "We snuck out."
"I'm sorry about how I greeted you. You woke me up and I was kind of pissed. Mind your gold," James said, giving him the old parting phrase common among the Irish people he knew.
Once they were on the road heading back to the Tucker house, Malcolm asked, "What did any of that mean? Who is this warrior you have to fight for, and how will that help them getting over their sickness?"
"The Indian woman told me," Kelley said. "She said it was the Iroquois way and that as a warrior I should know that I had to pay it forward. I don't have to fight for a brother warrior, I have to defend one, and I haven't figured that part out yet."
All Malcolm could do was shake his head. He didn't dare ask where his friend had met an Iroquois Indian woman or why he thought he was a warrior. And he began to question the idea that the craziness ended when Kelley had tossed the coin into the spring.
"Do you hear that?" Malcolm whispered as they passed the Gaston's house. "Someone is in the Crazy Indian."
Instead of turning right onto Lower Spring Drive to go back to Tucker's house, they turned left. They slowly made their way to the bridge. There was just enough light for them to see a boy, who looked to be naked, ringing filthy water out of a black shirt on the edge of the stream.
"I think that's David Mackey," Malcolm said softly. "Should we go and get your dad? Or maybe his dad?"
"No, he'd be long gone before we got back. Besides, my dad is already pissed at me for a lot of stuff. If he found out I was out again he'd nail my window shut and probably my ass to the wall. David's not a fighter, he's a coward. You cross the bridge and come up from that side. I'll go down here. One of us should be able to grab him."
"No, don't grab him," Malcolm said. "Talk to him first."
They split after Kelley agreed to talking instead of grabbing. He waited until he saw Malcolm reach the other end of the bridge and start down and he did the same from this side. As he got close, he saw a pair of torn black pants laying on the ground.
"David," he said.
The boy jumped, and dropped the shirt, before turning around.
"Hi Kelley," he said pleasantly. He covered his groin with his hands. "I was just trying to wash my clothes a bit before going home. My dad is going to kill me for being out this late."
His response and actions were way out of line from what Kelley expected. He walked forward and picked up the pants and tossed them behind him. If the boy ran, at least this time he'd be naked.
"Why'd you do that?" David asked. "I didn't do anything to you."
"Except to try and burn my house down."
The confusion on the boy's face was apparent, and Kelley couldn't sense any deception or trickery. But it was clear David was confused, scared and unsure of things.
"I, uh, I don't know what happened. One minute it was winter, and now it is summer. I must have been asleep or something. I just woke up a few hours ago, and I don't know how I got here, or why the clothes I was wearing were so filthy. They aren't mine, I don't know where mine are. Could I have the pants back? Please?"
"Wait, when you, uh, woke up – was it light, and the sun still well above the horizon?"
"Yeah," David said. "Are you going to give me those pants back? I don't want to go home naked. I've got a sister."
"Here," Kelley said after he picked them up and handed them over. They were so dirty that now Kelley wanted to wash his hands from touching them. "Just give them a quick rinse and then put them on. Me and Malcolm will walk you home."
"Malcolm doesn't like me."
"He will, you'll see. He's changed."
Just then the beam from a flashlight lighted up David's face. "Who's down there," Darrell yelled. "David, is that you? You are dead you little fucker. You wrecked my motorcycle."
David left the shirt in the stream and hurried over to the other side, carrying his pants. He was about to head downstream, away from the bridge, when Malcolm caught him.
"Calm down, David," he said. "Nobody is going to hurt you. Trust Kelley."
David was still struggling, so Malcolm tried another tack. "Look, I don't want to scare you. I heard what you said, and I don't hate you. I want to help you. I'm going to let you go now, only please, don't run. Let me and Tucker fix this." He let go of the boy.
David took two steps back and started trying to get the pants on over his shoes. Darrell had come down from the bridge and had reached the point where Kelley was standing.
"You aren't going to hurt him unless you can get past me first," Kelley said. "David doesn't know what happened. The last thing he remembers is from winter."
"Get out of my way or I'll squash you like a bug," Darrell said. He looked one way and then moved the other to get around Kelley, but the boy didn't fall for the fake movement.
"Leave him be. He's your brother, and he needs help."
"He needs to be in a fucking mental institution," Darrell said. Now get out of my way or ..."
Before he could finish the sentence, Kelley kicked him, hard, in the balls. Darrell went down, but not for long.
"You are so fucking dead Tucker," he said as he slowly rose to his feet. "I'm going to teach you to stop interfering in Mackey business, and then I'm going to get my brother."
Kelley backed up to the edge of the stream, but Darrell moved with him – walking awkwardly, but advancing. However, before the seventeen-year-old could launch an attack on Kelley, a new voice was heard from close by.
"Leave him be Darrell. I'll be taking David home with me. He'll be a lot safer there than with you or your dad."
Darrell shined the flashlight to where the voice came from and saw it was his cousins Ralph and Simon. Ralph was 25 and his brother 23. Their father, Colton, had died in an explosion at a still he owned, the one Uncle Elijah always maintained had been blown up by Tabitha. Like his two younger brothers, Colton had believed the adage "Spare the rod, spoil the child," and their life had been hard. The boys had been 10 and 8 at the time, but after the death of their father, their mother made drastic and favorable changes in their upbringing.
Their uncles, Paul (the father of Hiram and Paulie) and Duane (the father of Darrell, David, and Denise) had long-standing issues with alcohol. They ran stills and were far too keen on sampling their own products. The drunken rages, assaults, and neglect were a familiar theme to them.
Ralph and Simon had tried to intervene with how their uncles treated Hiram and Darrell, but back then they were too young to stand up to their uncles. As they got older, they had more success with Denise and occasionally with David.
Fear that if Duane got to David first, the kid would end up hurt or worse prompted them into looking for him themselves. Their cousins had clearly done some bad things, but they both believed the matter needed to be handled rationally, something that would never happen at Uncle Duane's house.
Now adults, Ralph and Simon were both big, tough men who had already told him on several occasions that they were tired of all the shit that he and Hiram stirred up.
"David, come here please," Ralph said. "Your brother isn't going to hurt you. We'll help you to understand what happened and make it right. Okay?"
"Go with them, David," Malcolm said. "I know you're scared and confused, but they want to help you, not hurt you."
Encouraged by the support from Malcolm of all people, David made his way downstream to where his cousins stood. Ralph had his shirt off and wrapped it around David.
"Just drop those pants, they aren't worth saving. We'll get you some decent clothes when we get home." Ralph looked back at Malcolm, Kelley and Darrell.
"Thanks for your help, and for protecting David," he said to the younger two boys. "You'd best get home. It's late, and there's been a lot of dangerous things happening." Then he looked at Darrell.
"Darrell, forget about the Tucker boy unless you want to tangle with us. Go home, and tell your dad where David is. He can see him, but he will not be coming back to your house. And if your father decides to give you another beating for letting us get to him first, come and see us and we'll protect you too, but only as long as you help David and not hurt him." The two adult Mackey's turned and headed up the back, Ralph carrying David as if he weighed no more than a loaf of bread.
"I never knew," Kelley said to Darrell.
"Fuck off Tucker," Darrell said. "If I ever need your sympathy, I'll let you know." He turned and climbed the bank up to the road. "And don't think this is the end of things. I owe you for that kick, and there is nothing my uncles can do to stop me from making you pay. Later Tucker! Later!"
Although both Ralph and Simon lived in Coolspring now, they took David to their mother's house, the house they'd been raised in.
"Drop him in the tub," she said the moment she saw him. Her sons had knocked and then used their key to enter. Ralph was still carrying the pitiful-looking boy.
"Mom, give him some privacy, please," Simon said as she unwrapped him from Ralph's shirt and started to pull down the filthy underpants David was wearing.
"Nonsense," she said. "He needs to be washed, and boys his age and that dirty will never get themselves clean." She started the water, waiting until the temperature was right before plugging the drain. "If you want to be helpful, go to the box in the garage with some of your old clothing that I was going to donate and find something that will fit him."
David was too tired, too sore, and too confused to even be embarrassed to have his aunt bathe him. Besides, she had been the one he went to when things at home got too hard.
Once he was clean, she ordered Ralph to put clean sheets down on his old bed and told him that he and his brother could sleep in Simon's old room. She put David to bed, still naked, and sat with him until he fell asleep. She knew what the wounds on his leg and buttocks were from, and would have to speak to her sons about what they meant in the morning.
"Was that him, the fellow warrior?" Malcolm asked once they had snuck back into Kelley's bedroom.
"I don't know, I honestly don't. I hope so. He knew how to hunt and trap, and how to build shelters. He escaped from somewhere in California and made his way here on his own somehow, so he had to have some warrior abilities in him. I guess I'll know if I hear that Jack and Ian start getting better."
"Tell me about the Iroquois woman."
"This is going to sound absolutely crazy, but when I tossed the coin in the pond, I was face-to-face with her. She told me about the thing, Madoc she called it, and asked if the gold was mine." Kelley told him the rest.
"I really did think you were crazy," Malcolm said. "I should have trusted you more. I still think all of this is crazy, but I hope the boys get better, and I'm glad you let me come along."
"Anytime, Malcolm," Tucker said. "And I am very sorry I wasn't here when you needed me." He paused, remembering. "I stopped at a coin shop. I think it was worth about $10,000. I guess throwing it away is just another one of the crazy things I did."
"Not so crazy if the woman was right. If it makes Ian and Jack better."
Kelley nodded. "We'd better get some sleep or my parents will kill me. They think I've been crazy too. And for a while there, I think you and they were right. But the gold – it did things to my brain..."