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    [ONGOING] Dark Winds Over Easton


    Dark Winds Over Easton

    By: LittleLiam117


































    DEDICATIONS


    For my love, who’s always there when times are toughest


    For my friends, who’ve stuck it through to the end


    For my family, who’ve always allowed me to pursue my passions


    For myself; because I finally decided to write again.




    PREAMBLE:



    Writing has always been a passion of mine. From when I was a little kid, I’ve always had a book in my hand and always wanted to make something that affected others the way some books have affected me. ABDL-specific fiction doesn’t exactly spread to a great audience, but it’s a community I’ve been a part of for a long time that’s, for the most part, treated me pretty well.


    I joined this site, initially, because other people from all over recognized me and wanted to see me write again. That’s seemed to recharge my writing batteries, and even if it takes me to the end of my life, I intend to finish this story. I’ve got my plot threads stitched, and I feel prepared to take on this project- the biggest I’ve ever attempted to take on.


    By the end of this, I’ve estimated I’ll have written 120,000 words. That’s somewhere between “Prisoner of Azkaban” and “The Half Blood Prince,” as far as length goes. 30+ chapters with a deep, interconnected cast of characters, motives, and some wickedly weaved webs of dark, Lovecraftian horror.


    H.P. Lovecract’s works have been a huge inspiration for me recently. Everyone knows C’Thulu, but the man wrote an incredibly exhaustive lore, a pantheon of deities and servants, and his influence is still felt to this day, more so than when he was alive.


    This is my biggest project ever. If you’re here, expect to be in for the long haul; the winds don’t blow and we must cross a long stretch of sea, lads.






























    1: Waking Up With Coffee



    There’s a certain wonder about the first day of school. I wonder if any of my teachers are going to suck as bad as my math teacher from last year? I wonder if there’s going to be a lunch table that isn’t instantly snagged by a dumb clique of snobby upper-middle class future yuppies that legitimately only care about how good they look and how their moms and dads are all alumni from ivy league schools, and how they’re DEFINITELY getting in thanks to big donations? I wonder if I’ll be able to keep my head awake during the first ten minutes of my first class seeing as I was up until about four in the morning, and I have to wake up every morning at 6AM? All valid questions, no doubt; but none of them were getting answered without coffee.


    The dark circles under my eyes made me look more like I was 18 and not a 16 year old, freshly minted junior. September is a wonderful time of year in the northeast; there’s always a soft wind in the morning to remind everyone that fall is just about to start. The pine needles start to have this weird change in their smell, almost indescribable. There’s a coolness that hangs on every word spoken outside as they pour out of the mouths of students at the bus stop, falling short on their hoodies. I poured my grinds into the paper filter in the auto drip coffee pot, then added water. I turned it on and watched as the clear glass pot below slowly grew darker.


    My mother has this innate ability to smell coffee from her room all the way upstairs and down to the end of the hall. If my life were a hanna barbera cartoon, she’d of been floating down the stairs, nose first, the coffee leading her right to me. Instead, she brought herself sleepily down the steps, clad in her pajamas, hair still messy, and shuffled over into the kitchen. “G’morn’ swee’har’...” she mumbled as if she’d completely forgotten how to talk.


    “Morning.” I responded. I rubbed some of the sand out of my eyes from behind my glasses, using the cuffs of my long sleeve shirt. It wasn’t a dress shirt; in fact, my first day outfit was plain. A dark grey long sleeve shirt, black jeans with a studded belt, my flat-bottom skater style sneakers and long black socks. The coffee had finished emptying into the pot; I grabbed two mugs out of the cabinet, setting them down on the counter and pouring some into one, and then filling the other.


    “I still don’t know where or when you got into the habit of drinking coffee black,” my mother said, finally having woken up a little. She grabbed her creamer and sugar, from the fridge and the lazy susan, respectively.


    “I don’t know where or when you got the idea that creamer tastes better with a little bit of coffee,” I yawned, then began to blow into my mug. When it was just cool enough to not burn the roof of my mouth, I took a sip. That first sip made me feel like I’d gotten a whole five hours of sleep; just what the doctor ordered.


    “Very funny; you excited?” she sipped her now lukewarm cream with coffee abomination.


    “For what? Seven periods of crap I already mostly know to get drilled into my skull so I can fall asleep in class and still do better than half the idiots that go to CHS, plus lunch?” my previous two years had given me a jaded perception of education as a whole. There wasn’t anything I learned in class that I couldn’t find out for myself by watching the history channel- and with all the added visuals those lessons stuck better.


    “If I get another call that you’re not doing your homework and falling asleep in class, there’s gonna be trouble,” my black haired mother warned. It wasn’t naturally black; I don’t think any mother on the block, maybe even in town, still wore their natural color- besides a few very red-haired Irish-American individuals who’d always over decorate for Saint Patrick’s Day.


    “You won’t get another call because I’m just going to tell my teachers up front that I’m not doing homework. When I ace all their tests they won’t care.” I brushed a hand through my dark brown hair. It was somewhere between my mother’s naturally light brown hair and my father’s black hair. During the summer it would lighten, but as fall rolled around it seemed to darken, and in the winter it wasn’t uncommon for someone to think my hair was actually black. During the summer, the lightness of my hair brought out the dark chocolate brown of my eyes more, but during the winter it all seemed to blend together in a dull sort of way.


    “If you say so mister confident,” she took another long sip. “Where’s your brother? He knows you guys have to leave in fifteen minutes right?” I didn’t answer for a moment. With the both of us quiet, we could both hear the water running upstairs.


    “The beauty queen is getting her makeup done so she can impress her homeroom teacher and all the hot guys in first period.”


    “Luca Antonio Vitaccino, you watch it! It’s his first day of high school, you were the same way!” my mother scolded. I breathed out my nose and smirked. She rolled her eyes, set her coffee on the counter and walked out of the tiled kitchen and into the living room, then up the stairs. I figured that it would be better for me to dip out quickly before she came back down and demanded pictures of myself and my delinquent brother, so I poured what was left of my coffee into a ‘to go’ mug and grabbed my backpack. Dark blue, medium blue, and red accents; it was the only thing of ‘color’ in my entire outfit. I put it in the side pouch, slung it around my back, and slipped out the front door. I closed it just loud enough for my mother and brother to hear me, but not loud enough to get yelled at later for ‘slamming the front door.’ By the time the day was out I was DEFINITELY not going to want to be getting read the riot act about something so incredibly stupid.


    As I walked out the door, my phone started to softly buzz a few times in quick succession. I pulled it out of my pocket and partook in the ancient millennial ritual of ‘walking to the bus stop while reading my phone and using my peripheral vision to not run into poles,’ an art that came second nature to both myself, and peers. I glanced at the message, and the sender.


    Little Chris:


    “Happy first day of school little one! Going in padded?”


    I rolled my eyes and walked down the sidewalk. “No,” I texted back, “Not for the first day. I don’t have a good excuse for gym yet. It’s every OTHER day though, so some days I may be able to get away with it if my brother sleeps in a little.” I finished what I was going to say and then slipped my phone back into my pocket.


    So, I was into some kinky stuff. There was a point in life where it was purely for comfort, and at the behest of Chris, but at this point in my life... not so much. Puberty was hitting its end point; I’d grown to be a whopping five foot six and weighed a whole 125 pounds after gorging out on Thanksgiving dinner, or sunday pasta at my aunt and uncle’s. By the next day I’d be back down to 120. I had to shave every morning now, which completely ruined my old morning routine by five minutes, but at the very least it meant I could SAY that I shaved- which was more than I could say than most of my peers.


    That soft gust of wind carrying the smell of pine trees through the air hit me with an intensity that it didn’t normally have. Maybe it was the dew on the grass in the morning that I wasn’t used to smelling, adding to everything. Maybe it was the fact that I didn’t go outside very often unless it was absolutely required. Maybe, just maybe, it was because the coffee I’d been drinking was finally starting to hit me and all of my senses were coming to life. Whatever the reason, it hit me hard, and I was almost taken back to my first day of school EVER- almost. As my mind started to wander, I realized that my short suburban trek was over, and a few blocks away from my house, I was at the bus stop. There stood another boy my age; taller, tanned from a summer’s worth of weekends out on the family boat and by the poolside. Skinny, dressed better than I was with a dress shirt and blue jeans, expensive sneakers and black tube socks similar to my own. Actually…


    “Chris, are you wearing my socks?” I blinked down at his ankles.


    “Well good morning to you, too, happy first day of school, brat!” he said, putting his hand on my head and ruffling my medium-long hair. I pushed his entire arm aside.


    “Oh bite me; seriously though I’m positive those are mine.” I reached my arm back and pulled out my to go coffee cup, taking a few sips. It’d be a little bit before the bus got there.


    “I’ve already told you, biting isn’t my thing!” Chris’s light brown hair drifted softly with the wind, and his green eyes looked me over. The sky was dark, the sun not yet being fully up, but it was also a somewhat foggy and cloudy day. Visibility wasn’t completely terrible or anything, but if a monster from the black lagoon suddenly appeared in the distance, I don’t think there’d of been a better time or day for a while yet to come.


    “Ah, you think you’re real funny, huh? Cool your jets until I’m done with my coffee.” I took a few more sips.


    “I hope that’s a no spill sippy-cup!” He jested. I rolled my eyes. Chris and I had known one another for a while; since elementary school to be exact. To be entirely honest, he was the one who’d gotten me into ageplay in the first place. We both realized in middle school that we had some feelings for one another, and it wasn’t really any secret to anybody that we were in tandem. What I liked about Chris is that he wasn’t as much of a… I guess you could say ‘queen.’ In five or so years if he was sitting down at a sports bar with the guys and chatting them up, nobody would even think to ask if he had a boyfriend. He didn’t shit rainbows or sparkle in the sunlight. Guys like that just didn’t interest me. I’m much of the same way. At least, I think I am. When we were in middle school, when we’d decided to start experimenting, Chris had some… unique fantasies that he wanted to fulfil. I obliged; and the next thing I knew, I was posting on forums and on sub-spheres of social media when I was entirely underage and shouldn’t have been doing so, but I knew a fair number of people doing the same thing so I didn’t really care.


    “You’re really testing me today, love,” I took a giant gulp of my coffee. The bus wasn’t even there yet and my cup was already empty.


    “Tests start in a couple weeks, but I figure practice tests are just as well,” he chuckled.


    “So, fifth period lunch, right?” I shoved my coffee cup back into the side of my backpack. A good rinsing in the water fountain would do it some good, and then I could fill it with deliciously unfiltered, lukewarm school water! Huzzah.


    “That’s what my schedule says.” Chris pulled a piece of paper out of his pocket, already folded in twenty different ways, and beyond that it seemed to be marked up with a black sharpie pen from top to bottom. I didn’t bother asking about any other classes; Chris was in regular classes throughout all of our academic careers, while I was bored with honors and advanced placement classes. Chris wasn’t, by any stretch, a dumb person. If he was I’d of dropped him off in my mind with the rest of the ‘likable but dumb,’ people section of my brain. He was smart, but he never applied himself. I applied myself even less, I just got the content more for some reason. Again, history channel, probably.


    Chris reached behind me and opened my backpack to peer inside. “Didn’t even bring one for the first day, huh?” He zipped it back up.


    “Nah, no point. The first day is going to have freshman looking for a place to hide out so my normal spot is gonna be crowded as fuck, just like last year on the first day.” I retorted.


    “Language!” Chris scolded.


    “English, but I could say it in Italian if you’d like?” With a name like Luca, there was no question where my family hailed from, and there was a part of me that both respected and abused that fact. Sometimes I’d use certain words or phrases to make it seem like I was in the mob or something like that; an absolutely ridiculous thought. My dad was an investment banker and my mother was a professional stay at home coffee-drinker. If she remembered, she was also a professional ‘how many pinches of food do I feed the fish?’ person. Three was the answer but she’d always text me, usually at the worst times, just to double check.


    “Yeah yeah, relax ‘mi pisano,’” he chuckled. I heard a few footsteps in the distance, and out of the fog from behind me, there he was. Joey- oh, I’m sorry, ‘Joseph.’ My younger brother; he was born with my dad’s black hair, and none of my mother’s wit. Since last year he’d been… sort of being a giant dick with everybody, and I made sure he knew that I recognized that fact. Chris was a fair bit kinder to him about it, but only to a point. Chris was very good at de-escalating situations. I was very good at pressing buttons like Homer Simpson in an FBI control room.


    “Sup, beauty queen?” I taunted. It was a constant back and forth between the two of us; one day he’d start, the next day I’d start, by the end of the week one of us would be on top of the other getting them to say uncle, and the whole process would start over again. Joseph’s nostrils flared. “Oh come on Joey, just a joke! At least you made it to the bus stop this morning.” He’d been cutting classes last year; part of his new ‘delinquent persona,’ he was crafting for himself. But his delinquency was unique; he was sports-focused, but had a passion for art. During lunch he’d be chatting about football or drawing in an art pad. Always, for some reason, he’d draw characters with giant swords. Too much anime, but it made him happy. He wasn’t one of those ‘going to grow up and move into the basement,’ type of kids, though. He HAD a head on his shoulders, he just preferred to put the extra energy into his muscles than into anything else, especially anything academic.


    “If you call me Joey one more time,” he started, fists clenched.


    “Relax there chief, not on the first day! If you wanna fight me after class one day I’ll gladly meet you in the parking lot, but let’s wait at least a week,” I smirked and turned back to Chris, he was trying to hold back laughter. “So, what’s the plan for after school today?”


    “I dunno, probably get online. Stop by your place when class ends, grab your controller and just meet me back at my place,” Chris smiled at me.


    “Why so you can shove the controller in his ass?” Joseph butted in.


    “Joey, at least if Chris puts something in someone’s ass, they’d feel it. The same can’t be said for you,” Joseph didn’t like that. He threw his backpack to the ground and started walking up to me. His face was red and his short black, spiky hair didn’t flinch in the gust of wind. I let my arms down and my backpack slid off, my coffee mug smacking into the sidewalk pavement below. Joey and I walked up to one another, chests puffed out like the primates we both knew we were deep, deep down, and just as we were about to go at it, a familiar loud slowing screech crept up from behind me.


    The school bus, an average looking yellow behemoth that was yet to be filled by more than ten adolescents with incredible complex and severe insecurities, pulled up to my brother and I about to go at it. I looked down at him. Despite an age gap of three years, there were only a few inches between us. Joseph had a long way to go before he was done sprouting. Our eyes were the same color- a deep, dark brown. We were locked onto one another’s gaze. To make my point I stepped forward with a quickness my brother wasn’t used to. He flinched, snarled at me, then reached down to grab his backpack. I did the same. Joseph strode quickly onto the bus and found a seat towards the front. Chris and I sat near the back, on the left side. Two people a seat and we had one of the earlier stops? Seemed like a good deal to me.
    Last edited by LittleLiam117; 08-09-2018, 11:30 PM.

    #2
    2: Absenteeism


    When the bus finally got to the school (and Chris was done telling me that he was not interested in seeing Joseph and I have a bigger-dick contest at the bus stop where there was literally only the three of us there to wait), all of us stood up at the same time and got off the bus in the same fashion most people get off airplanes; except every other person on the bus smelled like they were drowned in one of three different kinds of Axe body spray, and another one in three smelled like they were dipped in a vat of old spice just before getting to the bus stop.


    Joseph fucked off to some unknown corner of the school. We had about twenty minutes before class started. Every year was a little different with where each group of friends would hang out, but certain spots of the two story adolescent-prison were always taken by particular groups. The two upstairs ramped hallways were always taken up by various sports teams. The kids outside the library were the ones who had a free first period but ate lunch at home and either wanted to do homework, or mess around on the computers. A few actually WOULD read, but those individuals were sick and twisted and without a second cup of coffee, I could never be one of them.


    Downstairs by the gym was where my group of friends and I would normally sit. Not because we had gym or because we like sports, but because there was a table there and we’d always play cards before class started. Matt Sovierie was somehow already sitting at the table with his deck of playing cards out before Chris and I showed up. “Well there you fucks are, where’s Antonio?” He said. He, too, was a bit tan, but that was more from the fact that his parents came from Sicily, and so he was naturally bronze. He decided to go with a long sleeved black and white plaid shirt, blue jeans, and some average looking but well-cleaned sneakers. They were obviously fresh, from the mall, probably bought the day before. His short dark brown hair reflected off the light above from all the product he’d put in it an hour or so ago.


    “What, am I some kind of psychic?” I put my middle fingers up to my temples, carefully aiming them at Matt. “I see… I see someone… a greasy little monkey who’s going to fail his math class for the third year in a row!” Chris snorted, holding back a laugh. Matt got up and shoved me playfully as I burst out into laughter, then embraced me. We’d seen one another throughout the summer, but it was always important to let others know who was still cool with who. Certain groups would sometimes splinter during the summer, especially between freshman and sophomore year. There was something about the summer between ninth and tenth grade that always seemed to destroy friendships, test the mettle of each member of the group- it was a time for growth and personal exploration.


    For me, my destroyed friendship came during the summer that had just ended. A friend, Anthony Ferrara, had been getting way too close with my brother. It was one thing to try and chill with the entirety of my family, as most of my friends did, but Anthony was going and hanging out with Joseph without even telling me, or anybody else in the group about it. Chris had taken my side in the ‘what the hell do you think you’re doing hanging out with my brother who’s been being a complete chode,’ argument. Matt, by the end of things, also sided with Chris and I. Antonio had been away most of the summer but, a week before our first day I’d made sure to clue him in. He had no ill will towards Anthony (the two were fairly close) but he wasn’t really ready to jump ship. Needless to say, things were a little stressed and a little touchy in regards to that whole debacle.




    “We gonna wait for Antonio or what?” Matt started. The three of us grouped up around the table as Matt shuffled his deck of cards.


    “He can join in when he gets here. Come on, start dealin’.” Chris smiled at Matt. The tan looking Sicilian with no hint of his parents’ accent nodded and dealt out cards to everybody. Our game of choice was bullshit; the only way to be good at bullshit is to know your friends. Unfortunately, I’m a terrible liar, but I realized that from the first time we’d ever played and, as such, never bet much. We would never bet against one another in school, of course, but after class and on the weekends when we’d get together, somebody was definitely losing their weekly allowance. All three of us were in the same grade (and so was Antonio), and we’d all grown up with one another. We’d been in classes together, almost all of us, at one point or another. In the fifth grade, all four of us were in the same class, and we were pretty sure that by the end of the year our teacher was going to throw each of us out the window one by one, and make the others watch. It was entirely worth it, though; fifth grade was my favorite year of school.


    Five or so minutes passed of each of us calling out ‘BULLSHIT!’ and then looking around to make sure no teachers were walking by to hear us say it. I felt a hand touch my shoulder. “Starting without me? Didn’t any of your mothers’ teach you jackoffs manners?”


    “Have you met my fuckin’ ma?” Matt starred in my direction, but looked up a little past my head at Antonio.


    “Yeah, still can’t understand a goddamn thing she says but I assume she’s a saint.” he retorted. Out of everyone in the group, Antonio was the only other person I ever felt was as quick on the draw as I was. We were all wise-asses with something to say, but for me it was the best game we could all play. Putting one another down just enough to let them know they’re loved and respected; Antonio enjoyed that game as much as I did. It was a passion, an art, and that game gave me more laughs than any round of Mario Kart or Smash Brothers ever could.


    “You’re god damn right she is, pick up the pile,” Matt smiled.


    “‘Sup dude,” Chris grabbed Antonio’s hand and the two touched chests.



    “Same shit different year,” he started, “I actually have gym first period so I don’t have to run all the way across the school to get to class now.”


    “Fun fun, that means you get to smell like the locker room and sweaty balls the other seven periods in the day,” Matt chimed in. I put my cards down and started laughing uncontrollably.


    “Holy shit STOP that’s so twisted,” I managed to get out before taking in another deep breath and laughing more. Chris, Matt, and Antonio joined in.


    “So where’s your little brother hanging out, huh?” Antonio asked me. “You think he’s hanging out with Anthony?”


    “Hell if I know, he screwed off before Chris and I even got off the bus.” I really, honestly and truly, didn’t care. Anthony had shown me his true colors over the summer.


    “I might go look for them, just to say hi to Anthony.” Antonio was careful about the words he used. He was trying to talk to George Washington about how he was going to go check on his good old friend Benedict Arnold, and he didn’t want to be misconstrued.


    “Yeah, it’s fine man, no worries. If you find them quick we may be able to keep playing bullshit for a minute or two!” I lied through my teeth. Everyone looked at me, knowing that it was merely a kind gesture. I no longer felt love in my heart for Anthony. Through countless sleepovers, games of cards, and summer days spent indoors playing video games or at Chris’s house swimming in the pool, he suddenly seemed to care more about my kid brother than me. It hurt, more than it should have. Anthony and I were the closest two in the group after Chris and I and him and Antonio. Matt was somewhat of an outlier, having only truly joined the group a bit later than the others, but since being stabbed by Brutus, I felt it only right to unofficially elovate him to ‘new Anthony’ position. Antonio was still fine, and I understood where he was coming from, so it really didn’t bother me that he wanted to go say hi or hang out with Anthony- I just needed to make that clear to everyone.


    “Alright cool. I kept texting him this morning but he stopped returning my texts after I got on the bus.” Antonio explained.


    “He’s always had crap signal, I forget what network his parents are on though? Whatever it is it has so many dead spots,” Chris said. He wasn’t wrong. Often, it was easier to send him a message on Xbox than it was to text him, even if it required plugging in our mics at six in the morning just to call him a shithead and tell him to wake his ass up. More than any of us, he was on his console constantly- and on his computer. He was always talking to someone else, doing something, trying to get things scheduled with some team or clan to play with in every which game imaginable; he was social like that. Just who he was.


    There was only one big complication, other than splitting the friend group a bit, that came with Anthony no longer being in the group. He knew about Chris and I- not that we were together, everybody knew that; he knew what we were into. Once or twice I’d been worried he’d said something to someone online about us being into ageplay, and each time I thought I’d caught him certain messages in his ‘sent’ folder of messages were suddenly gone. There was never any hard evidence so, I never felt the need to really call him out over it, but I made sure to let him know that what Chris and I did behind closed doors should stay behind closed doors; doors that he wasn’t supposed to open.


    To make a long story short, our Sophomore year Anthony had stopped by my place when my brother and parents were away during spring break. I’d left the back door unlocked, and Anthony decided to come around that way- and walk into my place, then the living room to find me wearing a onesie, thick padding, and being held down and kissed in various places by Chris. Not my proudest high school moment. Sudden pleasure was instantly destroyed by an intense panic attack and a lot of questions from Anthony, followed by a lot of swearing and me nearly beating him. Chris held me back but was equally nervous. We made Anthony swear a blood oath right there and then. We were weird like that; Matt had told us when we were younger that a blood oath was unbreakable, but should only be done once in a lifetime so that it meant something. I’d be damned if I didn’t make THAT promise, the promise for Anthony to NEVER tell ANYBODY about what he’d seen, my once in a lifetime blood-promise. Of course, he could request one from me at any point, but as far as I could find he didn’t have any dirty secrets. I made him swear on our blood oath, on his family, on me and our friends that he would never speak of it to anyone, or in the presence of anyone else but himself, Chris, and I. He accepted those conditions.


    Now that we weren’t friends, there was the fear that he’d spill the beans to somebody else about Chris and I, but if he did, he knew that he’d be jumped outside his house and wouldn’t be getting up for a while from the beating. That’s just the way things were; none of us were at the age where we’d go and tell our parents. We definitely weren’t going to get the school involved, they were complete tools and the principal was a fat old man who thought that things should be run like the 1950s when he was present. It wasn’t because we would ever WANT to do it, but it was about honor, and dealing with things as a group of friends.


    “Yeah, you’re right; let me get looking, I’ll see you guys at lunch!” Antonio waved, his other hand in his pocket as he headed down the hall, scanning left and right to try and find out where my brother and Anthony had laid claim to. By all accounts, Easton High was huge. It held upwards of four or five thousand students, had two floors that were of equal length, and three gyms plus the pool. It was a miracle that Chris, my brother and I were the only three people at the bus stop this year. There were two others there the previous year, but they’d since graduated. Lucky bastards.


    “You alright man?” Matt looked at me. We all slowly set our cards down.


    “Yeah. It’s alright; like I said the other day, Anthony chose to be my brother’s friend; but that doesn’t make Antonio a bad guy. Antonio’s still cool with me, and you guys can choose by yourselves if you want to be his friend or not, but I don’t see an issue with it.” For some reason I’d wound up as the group’s de facto leader. It was probably because I was the best at all the video games we’d play, so I tended to come up most of our battle plans and lead the charge online. I was okay playing the role of vanguard, and nobody ever really questioned it. Matt nodded and Chris took his phone out.


    “Seven minute warning guys.” Chris slipped his phone back into his pocket. Matt scooped up everybody’s cards and put them all back into the cardboard deck holder, slipping the deck into his backpack.


    “Luca, what’s going on after class? Anything?” Matt asked.


    “Chris’s place probably. Right babe?”


    “Yeah, just grab your controller and come over.”


    Matt pulled a controller out of his backpack and winked, slipping it back in. “Already there.” We chuckled. “Let’s let Antonio know so he’s not out of the loop.”


    All three of us packed up and started off towards our classes. Freshman dashed through the hall, eager to get to their first class. Some of them even had their agendas out, which came complete with a map of the school. By the second week, not even, nobody would be using their agenda map for anything but trying to figure out where certain groups of people were and how best to avoid them during the morning.


    My day, up until fifth period, was fairly standard fare. Some of my teachers handed out a syllabus, some just verbalized what the focus of the class would be. The first day of class is always marred by the fact that you only really get to know the plans your teachers have for you- followed by everyone mentally determining which of those ‘planned projects and activities’ they’d actually be doing. I’d decided before even showing up for class that I’d be doing all of my class work, none of my homework, and trying my best to not skip out on days where we had tests or a quiz. When fifth period finally rolled around I was already rubbing my eyes from exhaustion. The first day wasn’t hard, just annoying since I hadn’t slept at all. Before the period began, nobody was allowed into the lunchroom, so we were all stood outside it like a herd of cattle, waiting to be let out into the field for grazing. The day had turned out to be somewhat rainy, so nobody was going to be going outside. At the very least, the fog had dissipated and there wasn’t any lightning or thunder; just rain, and that pine-scented first day breeze that wafted into the school through cracked windows and under the doors that led outside.


    I spotted Chris and Matt out of the corner of my eye, through a gap in the crowd. I turned and slithered my way through, accidentally bumping into some freshman or sophomore. I patted his back, “sorry man comin’ through,” and moved along. He didn’t seem entirely bothered by it. I tugged on the straps of my backpack and stood before my allies in crime, my compadres in confidence, my confidants; my friends. It was weird not seeing Anthony amongst them. Antonio showed up a moment later.


    “Hey have any of you guys seen Anthony? Like, even in the hallways or somethin’? I found your brother,” Antonio turned to me, “but he wasn’t with Anthony. I texted him to see where he was at but he didn’t text me back?”


    “He’s in my second period but he wasn’t there, I thought he just skipped Math.” Chris responded. Antonio turned, and eyebrow raised.


    “Come on Chris, not even Anthony would skip on the first day.”


    “I dunno dude, remember last year how he showed up halfway through our Earth science midterm because he forgot that it was that day and he was skipping?” Matt reminded him. That had been a class I’d of loved to be in; Chris, Matt, Anthony and Antonio all got to be in it and the four of them had decided to group up during projects. I’d gotten stuck in the advanced version of that class, in which I knew only two other guys and both of them had their noses so far up their own asses that all I could do was wonder if they knew what their own colons smelled like.


    “Yeah but that was just because he forgot, today’s the first day. His mother would’ve drove him to school if he was late, and if he was sick he would have texted me…” Antonio said. There was something about the way he said it that seemed to open the door to a darker train of thought. Whether we liked it or not, all four of us walked through that door the moment it was unlocked. There was an air of dread hanging over us for some reason, and I could tell I wasn’t the only one feeling that way. Matt gave me a look that said ‘maybe we should check on him.’


    “Dude,” I started out, “relax. He’s probably just sick with something,” I started as the herd of people began to move. This was an important moment- for almost the entire rest of the year, wherever we would decide to sit today would be where we would be sitting for all of our junior year. There was something to it, just laying claim to a spot in the lunchroom. “If it makes you feel better, I’ll text my brother during lunch and see if he knows, since him and Anthony are just such good friends.” I hadn’t meant to end my sentence the way I did, but Antonio, Matt, and Chris just seemed to blow it off. The nice part about lunch was that it was the only time we were all allowed to be on our phones without getting screamed at about how disrespectful and disconnected our generation was, by individuals who thought that by deleting the ‘internet explorer,’ icon on a computer they were deleting the internet. I reached into my left pocket and handed a five dollar bill to Chris. “I’m gonna grab us a spot, just get me nuggets with mashed potatoes and corn if they have it. If not… you know what I eat!”


    “Luca, they don’t serve ass at this school so I don’t know what else Chris can get you,” Antonio jested. He’d gotten his lick back at me. I laughed, Chris blushed, and Matt patted him on the back. Back towards the end of the lunch room, the second to last row of tables on the left end not too far from the door, was the perfect spot for us. It was off to the side, out of view of the main table where the teachers sat, and during the summers we’d have first dibs on getting outside to play cards on some of those tables, or play wall ball. The only problem with lunch-time wallball is that there wasn’t a single teacher alive that would let us peg the person who was out. I had a hell of a throwing arm but I’d be damned if I didn’t miss my target fifty percent of the time. All strength and form, no accuracy.


    It took a few minutes and some mean looks at a few people to say ‘get the hell away from this table, it’s claimed,’ but before long the guys had made their way back to me. Chris handed me my tray. “They had pizza, chicken nuggets will be on Fridays this year the lunch lady said,” Chris said.

    “On FRIDAYS?” my eyes widened, “pizza on Wednesdays and chicken nuggets on Fridays? What the hell kind of world are we living in?” I munched down on my slice, then immediately regretted it. “Fuck that’s HOT!”


    “No shit smart guy. Did you text Joey?” Matt asked. Antonio looked at me in a weird way. He was nervous to hear any kind of news at this point, it was obvious. It was written on his face like that time we drew some less-than-PC images on his face with permanent marker at one of our many sleepovers. To be fair, it was hilarious in the morning when we were all woken up by him beating us with his pillow. That’s what you get when you pass out first; we honored the guy code, that’s for sure.


    “Alright I’ll text him one second…” I grabbed my phone and sent Joseph a very brief, “Antonio wants to know if you know where Anthony is? Sick?” I sent the text. Unsurprisingly, it took only about a minute to get a response. “Okay so Joey says he has no idea, he hasn’t heard from him since last night.” I looked at Antonio, he was clearly flustered. “Would you stop with the drama? Look, he’s probably home, sick, he probably just passed out. Don’t worry about it, alright? Manja manja.”


    Manja was a sacred word our parents, and especially our grandparents would use at the table. In short, ‘shut your pie holes and eat this delicious food I slaved over a hot stove to make for you, my own flesh and blood; remember this meal when I’m old and grey so you remember to call your poor old dying mother…’ or something of the like.


    When everyone was done stuffing their pie holes there were vague discussions about plans post school. In short, it was finally, one hundred percent agreed upon that not only were we going to play video games and things of that nature, but we were all going to take a hit or two off the peace pipe. Now, let’s be clear; none of us were bad kids. We’d never been in trouble with the law, we’d never gone and robbed or mugged anybody, we just lived in a very progressive neighborhood where, even if we did get caught, it probably wasn’t going to be a big deal. Unless our parents caught us. But, Chris’s parents smoked. Hell, his mom grew a couple plants in one of the closets in the basement area of his house. So, going downstairs and smelling some of the devil’s jazz cabbage wouldn’t give ANYBODY up to Chris’s parents. Now, of course, all of our parents knew what Chris’s mom did. Hell, I’m pretty positive our parents had ALL gone over there once or twice and took part in some of those types of festivities, but it just wasn’t talked about. Chris’s mother suffered from chronic back pain after some fall years and years ago so, she at least had a decent reason. Better that than percocets or whatever else the doctors would prescribe her.


    So, we all chuckled about our plans softly enough so no snitches at the other tables would hear us. We discussed our classes for the rest of the day, and how this was going to be the most chill first day of classes on record.


    Just me, Chris, Matt, Antonio, and NOT Anthony.



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      #3
      3: An Unexpected Storm



      “Listen, I’m telling you, if we all just go left and loop around the edge, we’ll be able to smash through any team of god damn apes we come up against on that map,” I explained, the four of us having finished our pizza (after letting it cool for what felt like millenia).


      “And what if they’re prepared for something like that? What if they have a team geared towards mobility and just run up on us?” Matt suggested. A fair counter argument.


      “Then we just die and swap up the team comp, not that big a deal. Better to break through in the first place and make some dudes stagger,” I whipped my dark brown hair out of my eyes, looking deeply at Matt. He rolled his in retort and chuckled.


      “Yes, your majesty!” he half-bowed mockingly. I threw a small crumb of pizza right at his forehead, then ducked, anticipating return fire. It came, but from right next to me as Chris opened up my shirt and slid a few crumbs down the back. I shivered at the odd sensation and pulled back my shirt, letting them fall to the scuffed up cafeteria floor. I looked, eyebrows raised at my slightly-taller boyfriend and he smiled softly, innocently. He was pretty good at that- playing innocent and all. Almost as if to say ‘so you think I’m a goody two-shoes?’ (of which I DEFINITELY did not), Chris reached down past my shirt and clutched my underwear in his finger, like a bird of prey falling upon a helpless, fleeing field mouse. I gritted my teeth as my face went red. He quickly released me, sure, but the damage was done. He stood up, lifting himself from the bench as if he was floating up towards the clouds.


      “I’ll be right back,” he said, “I gotta grab something from my locker.”


      I went wide eyed. Chris and I had worked out a sort of ‘code,’ for certain things. Whenever he needed to ‘grab something from (his) locker,’ what it REALLY meant was ‘follow me.’ I obliged and stood up, less gracefully. School lunch table benches sucked, after all.


      “B-babe! Uh… let me come with?” I asked. It was clearly for show. He nodded. Matt and Antonio made simultaneous ‘ooo’ sounds. Rolling my eyes, I shoved my hands into my pocket, leaving just the thumbs out to cup the textured denim, fidgeting a bit as we walked. I couldn’t get a good look at Chris’s face, but something about the way he walked told me he was more than happy about whatever was about to happen. We walked up to one of the three exits that lead to the hallways, where a familiar face stood vigil over her post.


      “Hey, Mrs. Conway! What’s going on?” Chris started, raising his hand up casually to greet her. A woman, sharp, in her 50s with greying auburn hair smiled kindly back at him. “I promise I’ll make Luca bring ALL of his homework in tomorrow, you have my word,” Chris chuckled, crossing his heart.


      Mrs. Conway rolled her eyes and breathed deeply out of her nose. I gave her a short wave. “I’d be worried more about this year to come then I would be about any classes you’ve had yet. Junior year is no joke, boys.” Her arms crossed in front of her chest. “Now, I assume you need to leave the cafeteria for something?”


      Whenever anybody walked up to one of the teachers standing by one of the doors, it could only mean one thing; they wanted to get the hell out of the cafeteria. There were a slew of valid reasons, so it wasn’t normally an issue, but on the first day of school the normal reasoning of ‘I just wanted to stop by the library to get some work done,’ wasn’t yet viable. It’d be at least a week before that.


      “We just wanted to organize and decorate our lockers!” Chris reasoned. I nodded once in affirmation of his claim. That wasn’t a bad reason, not at all. Mrs. Conway nodded and handed us each a paper pass. They were disposable, printed out daily so people couldn’t just sneak off to some part of the school and use an old pass to get away with mischief. Today, the pass was on a red, cut out strip of construction paper. “Thanks!”


      “No problem boys. Just don’t get too caught up, the day’s almost done and you shouldn’t be late to your next class. Good luck to the both of you this year!” her smiled continued. It wasn’t one of those big ‘I’m so glad to see you!’ kinds, but a subtle grin that a grandma who saw potential in her grandchild would give. We both nodded and headed past her, out the door into the hallway.


      As the door closed behind us, drowning out the sounds of several hundred kids clattering and clamoring to be the best in show within their respective groups, I poked Chris in the side. He laughed a little, swatting my hand away. “You’re such a brat, stop it,” he said. “It’s not fair that I can’t even tickle you back!”


      “Hey man, that’s the genetic lottery for you!” I was notoriously unticklish, which came in handy more often than not. I followed Chris down several hallways to an area of the school I hadn’t been to for a while; the shop-class hallway. There were several shop-class electives the school gave as a choice to aspiring craftsmen and craftswomen; auto-body, woodwork, computer repair, that kind of thing. At the end of the hall, though, was a fairly secluded and often untouched bathroom.


      The thing with school bathrooms, besides the unpleasant smell after a day or so of classes starting up, is that there’s no locks on the entrances. They’re also patrolled by teachers, and on the first day it was anybody’s guess who would be assigned to what hallway. Last year, this area was being guarded by a malicious 20 something gym teacher who’d left the school halfway through because he found out he was strictly into crossfit and wanted to teach the lord’s will to do chin ups at some Catholic school a few towns over. As far as either of us could tell, there wasn’t anybody guarding this bathroom at the moment, and as such, Chris took a few brisk steps inside. I followed close, only have the slightest idea of what he wanted me for.


      “Babe, what are we do-” a finger that didn’t belong to me placed itself gently against my lips. I stopped breathing entirely, becoming silent as a soft breeze against a wet grass field. Chris laid his hand, fingers spread wide, flat against my chest. I released my breath, then breathed in deeply, pushing me back towards the wall. I felt so suddenly small, blinking up as my knees buckled from excitement and panic as Chris seemed to suddenly tower over my, like a rampart standing before a lowly footman and his yet, smaller-still squire. Like a shield bashing against me, the tile of the teal wall was cold against my shirt, which lifted slightly from all the hustle and bustle.


      Chris leaned forward towards me, wrapping his lips around mine as our eyes shut. I felt his hand reach down slowly, from my chest to the top of my pants. Still with our eyes closed, his single handed attempt at pilfering turned into a successful venture as he managed to unbutton my pants; I did nothing to stop it. Instead, I reached to grab his head and continued to keep our mouths locked together. Of course, I began to quickly spring to attention, my underwear tenting towards my lover. He pulled away from me, tugging my hands softly away.


      “Little boy,” he started. The words came quick, causing a sudden tingle to rush down from the top of my head down to my toes, “aren’t you NOT supposed to be wearing undies? I thought we talked about this!” he spoke with such a soft and caring tone that my brain began to seemingly melt, along with the rest of my body. I was speechless. He grabbed me by my shirt and brought me to the handicap stall and locked the sliding, incredibly small bar into place. I swallowed, hard. I hadn’t noticed until this point, but he had his backpack slung over his shoulders- and he now began to unsling it from his back, letting it drop with a resounding ‘thud’ onto the floor. He unzipped the back most zipper and, between lots of different books I saw it. He grabbed, pulling the crinkling object out and waving it around as if it were a medal.


      “Now,” he began, putting a hand on my shoulder and pushing me down, “I think we need to fix you up, little guy!” I winced as I found myself brought to the floor, unable to stop what was happening. I wasn’t in control. This wasn’t my decision.


      This was all Chris. All ‘daddy.’


      Chris Brought me to my knees. There was no question that both of us were enjoying this, just in different ways. Clearly, I enjoyed feeling helpless, small, and just generally controlled- Chris was obviously feeling in control, powerful, as if he held to whole world like a marble in his hand. That was the thing, though. To one another, we were the world, especially in moments like this. Moments where I trusted him enough, moments where I could simply let everything go. It was the only time I didn’t feel like the burden of being the leader was on me, where I could just be someone else; someone who didn’t have to worry about taking care of anything.


      Chris laid the plastic diaper down on the floor in front of me and scooched himself up behind me, getting down to one knee and grabbing at my member through my undies. They were, in fact, white; a certain ‘gift’ that was given to me by Chris. He kissed my neck roughly, playing with me as he did his best to aim while he otherwise gripped and stroked. He did nothing in any kind of attempt to fish me out of my undies, things were left as they were in that regard.


      My thumb found its way into my mouth as I felt something stir deep within me, grabbing at Chris’s shirt. “D-daddy,” I lisped around my impromptu pacifier, breathing heavily, trying not to moan or make enough noise to alert any potential peers passing by. Worse would be if a faculty member decided to stumble on through- there’d be no explaining anything about what was going on.


      Chris reached past me to pull the padding closer, aiming me right on top of it as the thought of being discovered rushed through my mind. Instantly, I knew what I was to do and obliged- I shot my load into my undies, blasting through them and coating a fair portion of the padding beneath me with it. I bit down on my thumb, not so hard as to hurt myself but hard enough to stop me from screaming at the top of my lungs about the sudden release. Then it came to me.


      If we were walked in on… what WOULD happen? Would be we expelled? Would our parents be told? Would word spread around the school? Worse yet, it wouldn’t be the first time. Anthony had walked in on us once and now he wasn’t even a part of the friend group. He’d said he was cool with everything and wouldn’t tell a soul, but it wasn’t long after that happened that he started hanging out with my brother more than me, or anyone else in the group. That bothered me, but- it wasn’t even worth worrying about at this point.


      As I slowly came down from my adrenaline and testosterone fueled high, Chris began to click his tongue at me. “Little Luca, look what you did!” he said, trying to shame me, “this is why we have to keep you padded! Here, let me help you,” he brought me down towards my already soiled padding. I obliged, wincing as I felt the wet, warm stickiness grab ahold of me like an eagle clutching its next dinner in its talons. Once grabbed, there was no escaping. Of course, we didn’t have quite as much room as we’d of liked, and so my padding had to be adjusted. Chris got in front of me and adjusted my padding, squishing that stickiness around on my bottom, feeling so warm and foreign, almost inconceivable that such a substance had only just escaped me.


      Chris reached back into his bag to grab a travel sized bottle of powder, sprinkling it over top of me. It stuck to the padding, too, letting him know just how much he’d made me spend in a single, treacherous moment of lust. He brought the front panel up and, almost as if I were a dog trained by Pavlov, I grabbed the top of the front panel and held it in place. “Good boy!” Chris cooed as he taped me up. “You have gym at the end of the day, but, I had it third period and we didn’t have to take our clothes off. You’ll be fine for today, little guy,” he finished as the last tape was put into place. My undies were now around my ankles and, so, my shoes were pulled off and the now sodden white briefs were removed. Chris leaned forward, holding them away from me but within eyesight. Still clearly lustful for his little one, he said, “This is why you aren’t a big kid, yet. Maybe one day.”


      He kissed me softly, but I pushed him away a little as I stood back up, putting my pants and shoes back on. My pants managed to hide my padding well enough, and my shirt came down past my waistline so I certainly wasn’t in any danger of being found out anytime soon- but something felt wrong. I rested my head against Chris’s chest and sighed. “Sweetheart…”


      “Chris, stop for a sec,” I reached over and unlocked the door, stepping back into the main area of the bathroom. I walked over towards one of the sinks and ran my hand under a faucet, having water pushed by too little pressure trickle into my hands. I soaked them, then ran them down my face. I felt drops fall off of my face and onto my shirt, shoes, and the floor. Chris went to touch my back, but pulled away. I looked away from him, out the small window that was really more of a square porthole out at the parking lot. In the time it took for use to start and finish our business, the period was about to end. The morning fog still lingered over the field, and off in the distance we both heard a soft but unmistakable ‘boom’ from a blast of thunder.


      “I’m… worried about Anthony.” I said. “We could have been walked in on just now, you know that, right? Remember what happened the last time we had to deal with that?” my hands balled into fists. Several silent seconds passed as a far off bolt of lightning crashed down to the ground. In several more seconds, we heard thunder again. A light rain started to pitter and patter weakly against the window. The sudden storm that hadn’t even been on the forecast last night was rolling in.


      I thought about the ships docked at Port Easton. Easton wasn’t a huge town, but big enough to support a good amount of small local business and bigger retail chains. Originally, it had sprouted out of the trade coming in and out of the small town stationed close to the coast. It was always a beautiful sight to see the red and yellow leaves blossom from the dark green of the sugar maples and paper birch trees. They’d fly to the shore, onto boats, and coalesce into piles on the edges of the sidewalks there. The storm was seeming to come in from the sea, from the port. When Chris had started experimenting with me, getting into this whole fetish, I’d been in the middle of an off the books summer job cleaning boats and helping sailors and casual boatmen with their small summer yachts and fishing vessels. At the time, it was good spending money I could use it on games and trips to amusement parks, and eventually some new bike parts- but, now, whenever I heard an old sailor song or thought about the sea, ABDL things cropped into my head, and vice-versa.


      “Luca… I’m sorry, I didn’t think you really cared anymore man,” he moved a step closer towards me. I only knew that because I heard his sneakers squeak against the tile of the floor where it was wet thanks to my face-dousing. I was too fixated on the coming gale, the rain slowly but surely picking up. “Listen, if it makes you feel better, we can skip going to my place and go over to see if he’s alright, okay?”


      I was still deep in thought. I couldn’t get the image of the boats, tied up to the many docks, rocking violently back and forth. Fishermen at sea braving the weather in bright yellow raincoats as the hauled their next catch onto the deck, lightning striking all around a vessel large enough to be a fair sized house- I’d seen it happen, that summer. Things were different, then, less complicated. Then I got into… this. And now, something in the pit of my stomach told me that something was wrong with someone I’d once considered a great friend. A gust of wind splattered the rain against the window, obscuring my vision. I turned back towards Chris.


      “No.” I said plainly, definitively. Despite the sudden plastic and softness between my legs, I was suddenly feeling that unmistakable determination that drove me to be the well-thought, sarcastic, stalwart person I thought I should be. I didn’t find it to be an uncommon trait amongst people with this fetish- if anything, it was common, and made more than a few people butt heads with one another. The irony of wanting to feel small, helpless, and fragile but in reality being a hardheaded, strong willed free spirit didn’t escape me. “Let’s do what we planned. I’m still mad at him, and he’s probably just sick or something, but we can check after we chill out. I could use it.” I slipped my hands back into my pockets, looking up slightly at Chris. He was legitimately worried about me, I could tell; and that’s why I loved him. “I’ll be fine babe, don’t worry.” I said. “We should get going to our last classes. I’ll see ya on the bus.” I walked past him, giving him a poke in the side as I did so, bringing out a giggle. He smiled at me. “And thanks for the handy!” I said, not too loudly. We both laughed.


      The rest of the day was uneventful. Gym was, as Chris had said, just a bunch of setup where we wouldn’t have to change our clothes or anything of the sort. My singular notebook for the day was all I’d needed, and even then I’d only taken a few minor notes on little things about each class. Some of the teachers I had seemed nice, most just seemed like people who’d been doing their job for too long. That wasn’t uncommon, as most of the teachers seemed to have greying or fully grey hair, and had no clue what any of our lingo meant.


      When it was time to leave, the rain had lessened but only slightly. The thunder and lightning boomed and cracked through the air now and then; it wasn’t an unusual summer storm, just an unexpected one. That said, it certainly felt like fall was just about ready to break through. A few trees showed signs of yellowing and reddening leaves, and there were one or two scattered oddly about the ground. I waited for Chris by the doors, in a spot immune to the rain thanks to the overhang. I watched all the new fashion statements that long-standing fashionistas and bro-dudes tried to pull off, and most of them just seemed to blend in with everyone else who was trying too hard. There were edgy band tees, jerseys of favorite sports teams, and that group of guys who all looked to be seniors with those weird jackets. As they past me out the front door, I was able to get a good look at them, finally.


      I realized that it wasn’t a regular symbol for some kind of game or company logo, but some sort of intriquite emblem. From the right angle, it looked like a skull with long teeth that came down from the top of the jaw, curling back up like fish hooks. They all had one of those jackets on, and it unnerved me. New people weren’t entirely uncommon, but all four of these guys were new, had on the same jacket, and they all gave me the creeps.


      The tallest one of the group had a nearly shaved head with a big ugly jawline. It begged to be clocked like a bell, but something told me by the broadness of his chest that if he did take a shot to the jaw, he wouldn’t flinch.


      The other three were all about the same height. One had clean cut black hair, and the other two had red hair. That’s when I realized they were twins, with slight variations on freckle placement on each of their faces. They passed me without saying a word, which was weird; everyone was chatting about their first day, who their teachers were, what electives they were taking, how their summers were, who was wearing what… but they were silent.


      They stopped for just a moment, standing shoulder to shoulder like a phalanx in the rain, looking up towards the storm before trudging past a gaggle of 10th grade girls and towards one of the many buses that were lined up for the end of the day.


      “Luca!” Chris shouted from the other side of the door. I motioned with my head to walk past the mouth of the school where most of the student body were spewing from, and he did so. We met up further down, closer to where our bus was. “This thing really came out of nowhere, huh?”


      “Yeah, let’s get the hell on the bus!” Are we all still hanging out?”


      “You gotta start checking your phone more often man, we’re all good. Let’s get on the bus!” Chris shouted as a burst of thunder sent that gaggle of girls scattering off towards their bus. Why they were standing idly in the rain in the first place I didn’t know, but the loud boom of the thunder seemed to shock some sense into them.


      We got onto the bus, our sneakers squeaking as we scooted past people only halfway into the edges of their seat, gawking at the door in anticipation of their friends or siblings joining them for their ‘first day of school’ tales. Not all friends got to see one another throughout the day, or even during lunch time. We got lucky, having our entire group in the same lunch period, but that wasn’t always assured.


      I noted that my brother hadn’t gotten onto the bus yet, but, I wasn’t surprised. I didn’t much give a damn, either, to be honest. Chris and I took our seat near the back and, as I sad, a small cloud of baby powder shot up from my waistline. Chris, try as he might, couldn’t stifle a hearty laugh that bellowed from deep in his gut. I punched him square in the arm, hard, but even through rubbing it he continued to laugh. “Dude, it’s not funny, shut the hell up!” I said, a little annoyed. He eventually calmed down as all the buses began to whir to life. Their heavy, great engines spurred into action by a row of key-turning drivers, ready to carry their precious cargo to its destination. With that in mind, I noted how similar they were to sailors, hauling precious cargo across treacherous waters.


      “Okay, so, tell me about your classes!” Chris started.


      We chatted about school and electives and things of that sort for the duration of our trip. We weren’t on the bus more than 15 minutes before we were dropped off. We both agreed to meet up at Chris’ house, since both his parents were at work and my mother was still home and would want me to tell her about my day. I kissed him on the cheek coyly as we got off the bus and started my light jog through the rain. That’s when I realized I’d forgotten something; Joey never got on the bus. I stopped in my tracks, looked behind me, and then back towards my house. I could see it, then, waiting for me. The porch light was on, and there stood my mother behind the screen door, waving at me. I raced over to her, getting out of the rain.








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