Life on the Farm

by Joe Writer Man

Chapter 16

The next few weeks flew by.

At first, I was going to the farm every weekend, or every other one. Going there just depended if Adam, Tony and Seth were going to the lake, or not. I loved it down there, but, I also loved going to spend time with what was becoming my new family.

I was learning to trust them. I was starting to feel as though they were not going to turn me away. Add to that the fact that I didn't want to run away. When things got heated, I found myself taking off for the creek where I'd spend as much time as necessary to regroup and get my head on straight.

My turning point came on July 4th, Independence Day.

James.


The plans were to get chores done really early. The city had its annual celebration... you know... the carnival, mud wrestling, tractor pulls, all kinds of hotdog and hamburger stands, followed by the fireworks, at dark.

Things turned to shit before we planned to leave the house, though.

Being ornery, as we were (still are, who am I trying to kid?), I lobbed an egg toward Eric who was not paying attention as he was bent over scrapping with a fucking chicken that had pecked his hand. The egg landed perfectly: his lower back. Immediately, it cracked wide open, spilling its contents.

In an instant, he turned, looked into my eyes... at first, his were blazing hot, but, then retaliation was in order. Geezus. Let's just say one led to another and another and another. Total slime.

In any event, once the ornery moments passed, somewhat, we got busy doing what we were supposed to be doing – picking eggs, putting them in the basket.

In our hurry, several eggs broke, a whole shit load of them, to be perfectly honest. As we were hurriedly halfassed cleaning up the mess, Dan entered the coop. Seeing us cleaning up more eggs than the one or two that was usual, he got pretty hot in the coveralls about carelessness, lack of taking pride in our work. We both thought he was going to blow a gasket at seeing our hair and clothes. But he didn't get 'mad.' Instead, he said, "You hoodlums get this place straightened out, and then get yourselves to the barn. I'll be waiting for you."

Using a pitchfork, we covered up the egg remains with hay. Using our fingers, we got the broken egg shells mostly out of our hair, and then using the backs of our coveralls, got most of the goo and gunk off our faces.

Dan soon returned. He wasn't happy, but, then again, he wasn't pissed. He said something about us taking too long to do a simple chore.

For fooling around, for breaking the eggs, he assigned an additional chore: cleaning out a stall where a horse had had a very, very difficult childbirth. The foal had died... he said, by its appearance, it wasn't too hard to tell that the young'in was the product of Coltrane's heritage – it was black as the ace of spades – and huge, too big for a normal birthing. The vet didn't make it in time, and Dan didn't have the know-how to do what needed to be done, a Caesarean Section... where the veterinarian would cut a hole in the stomach of the mother to get its baby out of the womb.

Eric turned his back on Dan while he was speaking, and then made a comment, something about 'this being all fucked up'.

Dan grabbed Eric's arm, led him to the door of the coop, opened it, and started walking toward the barn. I couldn't let Eric do that alone, so I followed. Dan heard my footsteps, and in no uncertain tones, told me to stay there, that Eric would be returning soon with a whole different attitude.

I thought differently. After all, I was just as much to blame for the broken eggs, as was Eric.

I had yet to see Dan angry. He wasn't a happy camper. Knowing Eric's story, I wasn't about to let him take the full brunt, perhaps a beating, even. Quickly, I caught up to them, despite Dan's admonishments for me to finish up the chicken coop, on my own.

Without warning, he firmly grabbed my arm, pulled me in so that I wouldn't try to run away. "What the hell are you going to do? Beat us?" I said hatefully.

Dan quickly said, in a very parental way, "I don't beat my kids... but I don't permit sassing and back-talking. Eric challenged my authority, and you have a big mouth."

Eric seemed to know what to do. When we entered the barn, he led Dan to the wall, pulled off a strap like thing and handed it to his dad. With a sense of finality, he dropped his coveralls to the ground, turned, facing away, folded his arms, bent over... and waited.

"You. Stand there. Don't move. You're next." Dan said to me, parentally.

"Bullshit. I'm not taking any more beatings. I'm fucking out of here."

Eric said, "Just shut the hell up, James. Dad, let him go. I'll take his swats. Can we just get this over with?"

Dan's weather worn face turned totally red. His eyes bugged out. Our eyes met. Because of the intensity of the moment, I broke contact and looked to the ground. What was it going to be?

He took hold of my chin, lifted it up. I averted my gaze, but, quickly blinked every once in a while to look back into his eyes. Gone was the bug-eyed look. Instead they were like laser beams burning holes through my eyes and on into my head, then bouncing back out, like one of those strobe lights.

"Okay, fine, leave, but think about this... what am I supposed to tell my wife? What in God's name am I supposed to tell Kevin? Do you really want to spend the next 6 years locked up in a room full of criminals who will do bad, bad, bad things to you?"

He released my arm. I was free to go. Dan turned to Eric, received the belt like thing that his son handed to him. Eric turned away. Dan said, "Eric, you can't take James' swats. It wouldn't be right. He'll get his own, in the end, mark my words."

I watched in horror as Eric bent over at the waist, grabbed his knees. Dan put his hand on Eric's back, then, as if in slow motion, his hand started heading for Eric's underwear clad behind. I couldn't let that happen. I took the two steps forward between us, grabbed the belt, and looked into Dan's eyes, "Don't. Please. I threw the first egg, and the second, too, then a third before Eric could load up. I'll take Eric's swats. Maybe my mouth is my worst enemy. I can't let him take the punishment that's due me..."

With that said, with a sense of finality, knowing everything was all fucked up because of me, I grasped my suspenders, unhooked them, let them drop to the floor, and then pushed my underwear to my ankles, and bent over. I pushed Eric away. He stumbled and fell to the ground. Instead of being mad, as you thought he might have been, Dan interrupted, "Pull your shorts up, boy. Get them UP!" I did. He continued, "I would never, ever do that to you, James. Punishment is punishment. I'll not ever degrade you. I don't know what the hell your parents did to you..."

"Dad, I'll take James' swats. Please, just do it this one time. Dad, I threw a bunch of eggs... uhm, it was like 8 to 1. My mouth gets me in hot water, too. You already know that."

"No, that's not fair!" I said emphatically. I turned away from Dan and began slapping my ass, trying to get him to hit me, to get it the fuck over. I couldn't believe Eric would... but, he was...

"Life ain't fair, James." Eric said then pushed me aside, causing me to fall to the ground.

I grabbed his ankles. When he went down, I jumped on him, holding him to the ground. I said, "Swat me! Eric doesn't deserve it!"

Eric would have no part of that. Before I knew what was happening, he had me turned onto the ground, face first. "Swat me, dad. Let's get this over with!"

I didn't like my damn face plastered in the ground so I jerked my body up and out. I got up about halfway but Eric was faster. Soon we were just rolling around on the ground, trying to force the issue. As I was going to my feet, Eric took my legs out from beneath me, landed on my chest... and then, in a fit, he began laughing his ass off. He got so weak from the exertions that I could have easily... and then it happened – I started laughing, too. I couldn't help it. I was laughing so hard that I started peeing my underwear, which set off even a harder round. Eric had the same problem, only he reached down, grabbed his dick and squeezed hard.

Giggling wildly, Eric said, "Dad, can I pee first? I don't think I could take the whoopin without peeing my britches."

"Ha ha hah ha.. me too... ha ha ha." I said cracking up. Eric's hair, his head lying directly in front of my eyes had dirt, straw, gravel rocks. I really cracked up when tears began flowing down the corners of his eyes, leaving streaks trailing down his mud caked face.

The silence, other than for our breathing, caught our attention. Eric looked up and over, expecting his dad to be waiting for us to get serious. He looked back into my eyes... they were questioning... incredulous. I turned around and looked, too. Dan was nowhere to be seen. We looked all around the place.

I had absolutely no choice. Either I was going to piss my pants or Eric was going to piss his – or – we could get up, take care of business, and then go look for Dan. Eric was thinking the same thing because he pushed me off of him, got up, went to the back barn door, and began peeing a huge arc into the dirt. I got up, joined him, where, side by side we took care of pressing issues.

Finished, we shook several times, probably too many times from what's acceptable, put them back inside their confines. Eric turned to me. I turned to him. It was all automatic. I don't think we were planning anything, really, at least I wasn't. He put his hand on my shoulder, looked deeply into my eyes, and said, "We're brothers... right?"

"We're brothers."

"Together, right? Forever?"

"Forever. We're together."

"I'll not let you down, James."

"I'll not let you down, Eric. I promise."

"Deal!"

"Deal!"

Eric giggled, "I bet we look pretty dumb, standing here with our pants around our ankles, huh?"

"Yeah, no doubt. Shall we pull them up?"

"Uhm hmm."

Yet, we stood there, not moving, only looking into each others' eyes.

Then, thinking my old thoughts, I put my head down. I was about ready to speak when Eric said very, very softly, "You're a good brother, James."

"No I'm not. I don't know how."

"Uhm, that's utter bullshit. Kevin loves you so much. And, I love you for bringing him to us, so that we can be brothers to him. You didn't even have to do anything. Don't you see?"

"I'll fuck it up. I know I will. I always do."

"I'm so afraid of fucking up, too, James. Not a day goes by where I don't worry... I... I... I... I always think of Shane, James. Not a fucking day goes by..." He bent his head down to about the level of his waist. I then saw great big tear drops coming from the area of his face. They were dropping to the ground like those fat rain drops that strike the dirt during a rainstorm.

I sat on the ground and urged him to join me. I put my arms around his chest, pulled his head into my neck, and held him while he cried. He put his arms around me, clung on like his life depended on my strength, and then began sobbing hysterically, holding nothing back. Tears were running out of my eyes, too, but I held him and didn't let my emotions get the better... he needed me right then and there. We were brothers.

Eric's composure was just beginning to return, when Dan and Thomas' voices were heard coming around the back of the barn. With the sun being blocked by their mammoth sizes, I could and did look up and into their eyes, then turned my attentions to Eric as another wave of anguish washed over him, then I looked back to them. I shrugged my shoulders and mouthed the words, "I don't know what to do, now."

Dan got down on his knees and pulled Eric into his arms, stood up, and said, "You're doing everything just right. Let's go to the house."

I pulled up my coveralls. Thomas fastened the snaps. He put his mammoth arm around my shoulder, pulled me into his side, as we walked toward the house, following Dan and Eric. Dan was talking to Eric all the way. I couldn't hear what he was saying, but his words sounded soothing, gentle, reassuring. I relaxed.

Vera met us at the door. She leaned in and kissed her son, Eric, tenderly. She then urged Dan to take him upstairs so she could give him a bath. For a brief second, I thought about offering to do it myself, but then remembered her soothing touch, so I sat on the step. Dan returned a few minutes later, sat down next to me, "James, we've been waiting for Eric to cry. We hear him cry himself to sleep nearly every night. Of course, both my wife and I go to his side, but he dries up and won't talk about it. His counselor, in town, told us that something or someone would come along to open him up. You were wondering what to do next... the truth is that you knew exactly what to do, and did it."

"But what did I do? I didn't do anything."

"James, listen to me very carefully... look into my eyes."

I did.

"You gave of yourself. That says a lot about you. It demonstrates what's inside of here." <He touched the center of my chest>. Continuing, "You're going to be okay. Trust me."

I needed to clear the air... what he was going to do to us was weighing heavily on my mind. I said, "Can we go to the barn? I need to talk to you in private, please."

"Okay... give me a minute. I need to check on my wife and son... I'll catch up to you if you want to walk up there on your own. Sometimes a man needs his own time, to himself."

"I'll wait... uhm, can I go with you, sir? I want to check on my brother... if it's okay. I don't have to..."

"I'm sure they would like that... I don't think mom will mind too much about all the dirt and stuff being drug through the house... this time... but kick off your boots."

Dan knocked on the door to the bathroom. Vera answered it, smiled, and urged Dan to enter. He closed the door. Luke and Stacy were standing in the hallway. Thomas had Kevin in his arms. As soon as the little one saw me he tried to clamber down. I reached for Kevin, took him into my arms, and sat him down on my hip. He wrapped his little arms around me, as far as he could, and remained quiet.

Unable to stay quiet for a long period of time, Kevin said sadly, "Eric's sad. Whyyyyyyy?"

I sat down on the floor, pulled his small form into my chest, and said, "Sometimes we have to be sad so we can be glad again. Eric's going to be okay, I just know he is."

"Otay." Then in his shrill voice, he said, "BE GLAD ERIC!"

Out of the mouths of babes!

A few minutes later, both Vera and Dan exited the bathroom. Vera said, "Well, are you just going to stand around here... we're going to the fair... so get ready. James, you need a bath, crime in Italy, you boys sure do know how to get filthy dirty. BOYS!"

Dan said, "We'll be right up. James wants to talk to me."

Vera nodded. As she started down the stairs she rattled, "My house! You guys. STACY!"

Dan said apologetically, "We'll help clean up..."

"Oh, you old man, you know nothing about cleaning a woman's house... you'll do no such thing." Vera whined. I looked down and saw dirt and stuff clinging to my clothes. Stacy reached into my hair, removed some grass clippings, then opened my mouth and stuck them inside.

"Stacy, you get down there and help your mother. I don't know what gets into you sometimes." Dan groused.

"I'm outnumbered!" Stacy exclaimed as she disappeared down the stairs.

Dan put his hand on my head, pulled me into his side, released, and then we walked side by side to the barn. Before we entered, he asked, "Did you and Eric get 'anything' done this morning?"

"Uhm, not much, sir. Sorry sir."

"They'll have to be done before we can go into town." Dan said as matter of fact. He opened the big door in one fell swoop. I took off for the wall, grabbed the razor strap, and then before he arrived I had my coveralls to the ground.

As he walked to me, his eyes took on this very surprised look, and his mouth opened slightly.

I said, "I'm taking Eric's swats. He's my brother. I messed up." With that said, I bent over at the waist and grabbed my knees, just as Eric had done earlier. I scrunched my eyes tightly shut, and waited for the inevitable. I figured if I'd survived what dad had done to me, then this would be a cake walk. That was me psyching myself up...

"James, pull your pants up. I want to talk to you, man to man."

I got one of the snaps fastened. He motioned for me to come to him, so I did. He took the other snap and showed me how to fasten it using one hand. We then sat down on a crate. He deeply contemplated then said, "James. You did wrong this morning, but you also did right. The wrong came from your upbringing and your need to survive on your own, neither of which you deserved. You've done several things right this morning. First, you've owned up to your mistakes. Secondly, and most importantly, you gave of yourself..."

"But..."

"James, let me finish speaking... then you'll get to speak..."

"Okay, sorry."

"Adam told me a little bit about your history with your folks. I'm sorry that happened. Every child deserves a good home to grow up in, so that he or she has deep roots to fall back on when the going gets tough. Tony told us that you were held captive in your own home, but they didn't say how that was done, only that it was horrific. I told them that I needed to hear about what happened directly from you. James, if I were to punish you with a thrashing, I do believe, I sincerely believe that it would give you the wrong message about who we are here on this farm, in this family. I think you've punished yourself enough. It would not be right for me to punish you. Do not talk to me like that again. Do we have this clear?"

"Very clear. But, what about Eric? Please, let me take his punishment... I won't even cry. I know how to hurt without crying... but I can cry... I've done it before... even when I didn't want to, or shouldn't..."

"Child, oh Lord... Eric's not going to be punished. Just like you, he sometimes has a problem with blabbing his mouth without even thinking. Once again, though, two wrongs do not make a right. James, when his little brother died, a big part of Eric died, too. You see, he feels responsible for what his parents did to him and his little brother, Shane."

"He tried. Oh he tried. Please believe me. He tried so hard but his mom made him hide beneath the stairway at his house... he couldn't... he would have..." I said as drips started falling out of my eyes and onto my filthy dirty shirt."

"Oh for the love of God. You children are not to be held accountable for an adult doing that kind of stuff. It's just plain wrong, pure and simple."

First one memory, then another one... one of me lying in my wet bed in front of the window, came to my mind, and then a brief encounter of one of the times when my mom grabbed me out of the shower because I'd taken too long, and then another memory, the one where she screamed into the phone, and then the memory of them taking off for Alaska without me, even though dad had promised to take me there... I shuddered violently the first night I returned home after mom... and the memory of dad smashing my head with his closed fist, and then, and then, and then … everything became fuzzy, garbled, making no sense, yet it made sense, every bit of it, how I was a fuck-up, how I was a mistake, how...

"James, are you with me?"

… of having to get down on the kitchen floor, naked, while my dad made me clean the house using small rags and a toothbrush...

… and then the door...

… and then chasing me...

… across the street...

… of being tied to my bed... all four corners...

"JAMES! That's not happening... not now. Come back, don't go away."

… the basement...

… the laundry...

… the late nights...

… the storm...

… the motherfucking storm...

… the basement...

… dog food... but, we didn't have a dog...

… it had been killed... a long time ago...

"James... what happened in the basement? Adam said you were sick, very, very sick..."

"No food. No water. He... he... he... wanted me dead... I just about died... I wanted to die. Nobody cared... Adam cared. Tony cared. Seth cared... he held me. I remember."

"Yes, Seth is a very good friend. He is a very fine boy. You are safe now. Nobody will ever hurt you like that again – ever. Eric is your brother. And you are Eric and Kevin's brother, now. And you are Luke's brother, too. You are also Stacy and Thomas' brother, too. They all are growing to love you, and there is nothing you can do to change it. And James, my wife and I are growing to love you, too. You have a lot to give. You just need to learn how to receive it, and this will just take time, just believe that it can and will happen. Can you do this?"

"I'm afraid."

"I know."

"You do?"

"I know, yes. I can feel it in you. You know what, though?"

I shook my head and opened my eyes. I then realized that he was holding me in his arms, tight and secure, I wondered how I'd gotten that way, there... but, at the same time, for once I felt safe... and I mean safe. It was then that I realized tears were in his eyes. His mouth was moving, but nothing was coming out...

"You are a very strong boy. You've had to be. I feel this strength in you. We'll guide you through the rest of your childhood, and for as long as you need or want us. Oh, my, child, I swear to God that a person will pay with their life if you are ever hurt like that again... so help me. James, you have so much love inside of you... just ready to bust out. When it does come out, this world will shake mightily."

"I'm scared."

"You'll learn not to be."

"Really?"

"Really.

I scrunched up my eyes as a tremendous constriction of my throat and lungs nearly took me out of this world. Dan seemed to know what he was doing because instead of letting me go he pulled me in tighter, not bad tighter, I don't know what I'm trying to say... his arm went around my back, his hands cupped my shoulder blades, his other hand went around my butt, squeezing it firmly... no, it didn't feel malevolent... I simply felt cocooned, safe from the world, and from those demons that had been put into me. I was totally immersed in feeling okay; I never wanted it to stop.

"What happens if I have to leave, then what?"

"You don't have to leave, James. Our home is your home for as long as you need or want it. The important thing is that a house is just a house when nobody lives in it... but a home is where love of one another is nurtured and grown into blossoming flowers. I can speak for my wife..."

"Why are you speaking for me; I'm right here." Vera's voice said close by.

"Oh, honey, we were just talking about the differences between houses and homes."

"James, honey, are you okay... Dan, what's wrong here?"

"I don't think there's anything really wrong, now, sweetheart. James is afraid that maybe someday he'll have to leave." Dan replied.

"Well, sure. He'll leave one of these days. I hope you don't leave until you're ready to make your way out in the world, as an adult, James. Homes are people. Houses are boards and shingles all put together. Houses keep the family warm in the winter. Families keep each other warm at all times, even when we disagree, which we do from time to time, the love and warmth is still there, here, right in our hearts."

"I've done bad things."

"You've done good things, too."

"I tried. I really did."

"I know."

"You do?"

"Yes."

"We talked about it." Dan said.

The words Adam had said came back to my mind, "Just be you. You have a lot to give."

Vera knelt down on the dirty, filthy barn floor, reached across, kissed her husband, then she did something totally foreign: her lips touched mine, just briefly, yet the touch rocked my world... I couldn't ever recall being kissed by a woman. It was nice.

Dan said, "You have a home here. James, we're family. We don't kick our family members when they're down; instead we rally around when somebody's hurting. We also celebrate accomplishments, big and small, it don't matter."

Softly, feeling a lump clogging my windpipe and tightness in my chest, I said, "But... my mouth... you were mad... I saw it..."

"James, listen to me very carefully, because I'll likely not ever say it again. A man's word is sometimes all he has to give. You will not be beaten here. If you are, then that person will have me all over them. That's the same for outsiders, especially outsiders. Now, about your mouth, I was not mad. You haven't been here long enough to see a rabid animal on the place... now, that's mad. Sick mad. I do not get sick mad, ever. Annoyed, peeved, yes I do. Let's just say that you AND Eric put me into the annoyed category. There's still a consequence for how you talked to me. I'm not going to … it's like we talked about earlier, James."

"Sounds like a pretty good deal, to me. James, do we have a new son, or do you need some time to think it over some more?" Vera said gently as a matter-of-fact, while brushing several strands of hair away from my eyes. "You need a haircut, boy." She grinned.

Then I snapped. Enough. I had to do this. I wiggled out of Dan's arms and promptly fell to the ground, on my back.

Quickly, I got up, assumed the best rocker impersonation I could think of, put my index finger high up in the air and shouted, "YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

I didn't know everybody was standing and waiting outside the door to the barn. Eric, and the rest, entered. While Thomas and Eric were hooping and hollering, Kevin came straight at me and jumped into my arms. Luke, meanwhile, was dancing, turning, twisting, and moving his lips as if he was trying to say something... he was smiling, though, it was a million dollar one.

Stacy, holding back, walked to me, acted like she was going to give a hug, but, when she arrived, Eric grabbed Kevin, and then Stacy and I both went to the dirt and wrestled like 'he men'. Crazy girl.

When the hoopla quieted down, Eric looked at me in a way that I'd never before seen... I would later learn that the look was of pure orneriness. He walked to Dan. Dan leaned down so that Eric could say something into his ear. Dan looked at him like he was crazy, yet he grinned from ear to ear, looking at me. He patted Eric's back, then took his wife in his arms, hugged her deeply, all the while whispering something into her ear. She laughed out loud... a cackling laugh

I wondered what that was all about... all she said was, "Go take a bath. I'll be right up to wash your back. Go on, now, son, do as I tell you. And strip down before you go in the house!"

Full of excitement, I ran to the house, stripped naked in the ante room, paraded to the bathroom, ran my water, brushed my teeth, peed, got into the bathtub, got the main dirt off, changed the water, and soaped up. I wished they had a shower. The water had turned black in a heartbeat. While the water was draining, I leaned back, took my dick and began vigorously 'scrubbing' it, using soap as a lube. As excited I was already it didn't take very long before the moment arrived. Just in time, too.

I had to change water 3 times before I felt clean, almost. A light knock on the door interrupted the silence... I was just lying in the soapy water, taking in and processing everything that had happened that morning … you know, parents, brothers, a dip-dog sister, a farm, a FUCKING FARM – YEAH!

Not even thinking, I said, "Mom, is that you?"

There. The words tumbled out. I said it.

"Can I come in?"

"Oh, yeah, sorry, come on in." I said then covered, not very well actually, my protruding dick with the washcloth. I giggled, got up on my knees and leaned forward.

"Mom" entered, giggled, then proceeded to wash my back, then she play swatted my exposed butt, said to hurry up, that they were waiting on the slow poke in the house – me. What! I'm no slow poke.

"Mom" giggled again, handed me a towel as I stood up and pushed it into my stomach area. She then turned away, "Just put on a clean pair of jeans and an old shirt. The fair isn't anything fancy. You'll have a good time, mark my words."

Sheesh, they like to say that.. "Mark my words!"

Okay, I could deal with that. No time to stand around thinking.

Naked, with my hair still dripping, seeing the coast was clear, I headed to my room, got dressed in a pair of decent jeans that Adam had bought the last time I was with him, put on a button down shirt that was pretty kewl, and a pair of tennis shoes without socks. After drying my hair with another towel, combing it out straight, I was off down the stairs, and outside like greased lightning.

Eric was sitting on the step. He looked up, whistled loudly, "A white boy! God, James, we're gonna have a blast! Here's $20.00. Dad said I could give it to you. You don't even have to pay it back, bro."

I stood there, not really knowing what to say, think, or do, so I did the first thing that came to mind... I leaned down, pulled him to his feet, and then in front of God and everybody else – I hugged him... deeply, feeling nothing but gratitude.

Luke was standing back, watching us with keen interest, with longing in his eyes although he was smiling brightly.

I released Eric. Without hesitation, I walked to Luke and spread my arms... I really wanted to hug him. For a moment, a very surprised look crossed his face, but then opened his arms and we hugged very deeply. I said, "You're my brother, too, right?"

His response was vigorously nodding up and down, and a hard squeeze... dayummm, he's strong! But, I loved it, each and every second, I did. And I loved hugging, too.


Dan bought all of us full day passes. Mom, Kevin and he were going to be moseying around doing this and that, but they'd be close by if they were needed.

I'd never before experienced a carnival... there were all kinds of rides and stuff to do. Even Thomas was getting into it. He said a tractor pull was supposed to start at 11:30am, just before lunch, so we headed in that direction, got there in time to get good seats and views. Three John Deere's and five Case tractors were slated for the show. Thomas explained the workings of it and how the winner was determined.

God dang, those things were loud. Two of the tractors, a John Deere and a Case, blew their engines at the last possible second. One broke an axle; one got a flat tire that put him out of the race. The one tractor, a John Deere, pulled the load past the finish line. Out jumped a girl. She was whooping and hollering as the judge handed her the trophy. She then walked into the stands, climbed up, and then sat down next to Thomas. They wrapped their arms around each other, kissed sincerely.

Wow, I didn't know Thomas had a girlfriend. She was pretty, dainty... you'd never ever guess she won a tractor pull... not to say anything against women... no, never. I was just surprised.

Thomas said, "James, this is Sandy. Sandy, this is James, our newest brother."

"Nice to finally meet you, James. I've heard all kinds of good things about you. So you're staying here, right?"

"Yes ma'am. Uhm, well, we just decided this morning... YES!"

"Well, you seem like a nice boy. I'm glad to meet ya. Oh by the way, I'm this big oaf's girlfriend. Thomas, I'm going to borrow your brother for a little while. He needs to help me do something."

"Okay, babe. I'll probably wander over to the food stands. I'll wait for you there."

Sandy grabbed my hand, took me to the huge tractor, climbed aboard and then reached for me. I got up there okay, on my own. She said, "Ya gotta let people help you. We're all in this together. You help me, I help you, that's just the way we are around here.

"Okay, sorry."

"No harm done." She smiled warmly, and then turned her attention to the mammoth machine. We drove around to one of the huge sale barns, as she called it, and then explained that the town has auctions every Saturday at noon, and that, if I wanted to, she'd take me. I readily agreed.

After parking the rig inside, she took my hand and led me to the food area where Thomas was waiting. He insisted on buying lunch for all 3 of us. I offered him my $20.00 but he said to just keep it and spend it however I wanted to.

As we were chowing down, Eric and Luke showed up, grabbed burgers and Cokes, and then joined us at the picnic table. Everybody was hungry, so there wasn't much conversation. With an evil eye, Eric told Thomas, "We're placed."

Thomas chuckled. Sandy looked amused. Luke had a huge grin on his face. Still grinning, Eric reached into his back jeans pocket, retrieved two cards, handed me one, and held the other. He looked into my eyes, "This is going to be so kewl. You'll love it!"

"Love what?" I asked curiously.

"Hey Thomas, it starts at one, right?"

"Yup. Finish up, we need to get going."

Nobody answered, directly. Even Sandy was grinning like a Cheshire cat. I looked at the card, it read #2. I turned over Eric's card... it had a #1 written on it.

"Hey Eric... are you gonna wup some ass? I see you're in the #1 spot."

"Jason, be quiet, willya!"

I looked at Eric, "#1 in what?" Wondering what was going on.

"Oh sorry..." That kid turned my hand over, read the card, and said, "Good luck, dude. Eric's #1 around here... nobody's got a chance with him."

"Jerry, would you shut the fuck up!" Eric exclaimed.

"Oh hey, are you James, sorry, I'm rude?"

"Yeah, I'm James. Nice to meet ya." I said. I briefly looked at Jerry, but then my eyes returned to Eric, then to Thomas, then to Luke (Luke was grinning – damn, I wished he could talk!), then to Sandra.

Thomas patted my back, and said, "It's cool, James. Really cool."

"WHAT?" I spat, almost angrily, I didn't want to be kept in the dark! Something was going on, and I seemed to be in the middle of it, whatever it was.

Sandy took pity. She got up, gathered up the trash, took it to the waste can, returned, took my hand and led me away from the – conspiracy! Since they weren't saying anything, maybe she would.

She put her arm around my shoulders, led me to another sale barn on the opposite side of the fairgrounds, and took me inside up to a table that had a sign saying, "Mud wrestling check-in".

I looked at her, "NO FUCKING WAY! No way! I won't... no way!"

That Sandy is a smooth talker. Before I really knew what was happening, she was taking off my shirt and belt, told me to kick off my shoes, roll up the jean legs, get on the scale to weigh in, and to stop the whining.

Just as I stepped off the scale, Eric flipped his shirt and belt to Sandy, took off his shoes and socks, and jumped up on the scales. He weighed 90 pounds. I weighed 81 pounds.

As a token of consolation, tiny as it may have been, Eric put his arms around my shoulders and led me to the mud pit. Two dudes... I thought they were dudes... no... They were girls. Girls with what was supposed to be blond hair... were going at it, wrestling around in knee deep -mud-. Oh fuck. Eric said, "Hey, we already wrestle in the dirt... just add water..." That cracked him up. He grabbed my legs and swept them out from under me, and then we wrestled in the -dry- dirt. There's a difference between mud and dry dirt, doncha know.

Soon, though, he said, "Okay, that's enough. I don't want to wear ya out before we ever get started!"

"Ho ho ho, you think..."

"No, I KNOW! Don't worry, we'll have a blast."

"My clothes!"

"Don't worry so much. It's all covered. We'll just ride in the back of the truck. Then we'll go to the creek and wash off. I've done this every year... well, since I've been in the family..."

"How long have you been their son?" I asked, not knowing the answer to the question.

"Three years ago this past May. It's kewl, James. Mom and dad'll be watching, too. I've got an idea..."


Holy shit... I loved it!!!!! Payback is a muthafucka!


Before we headed to the locks, Eric asked, "I... I'm wondering, James... I hope this doesn't hurt you... the mud is heavy, and it's hard to walk in... We don't have to do it if you don't want to..."

"Think I'm a pansy, do ya? I'll wup ya before ya know what's happening!"

"OH LISTEN TO HIM! SHIT TALK, MY BRO! PURE-D SHIT TALK!"

The first thing Eric did when we entered the arena was to rub his arms and chest with muck and mud. All the while glaring at me with intensity... not mean like, just determined. Okay, I didn't know why he was doing that, but I didn't wait around. I rubbed it all over my neck, chest, arm pits (which he hadn't done), belly, hips, and even pushed some down inside my jeans. Pretty slick! :-)

The announcer, over the PA system, said loudly, excitedly, "Okay, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, we have two contestants in our annual mud wrestling competition. Our champion from last year, Eric Richardson, the boy with the dark hair will be wrestling for the championship for the second straight year. He will be competing with James Richardson, his brother. One small announcement we have to make – James agreed to become a part of the Richardson family just this morning... let's give him and his family a huge round of cheer!"

Eric bowed toward me, then without hesitation, walked over and pulled me into a deep, deep hug, "Love ya, bro, but I'm going to whoop your ass." He then smeared mud on my face.

I felt like balling my eyes out. The crowd was going apeshit, applauding, whistling, whooping and hollering. But I didn't ball my eyes out. I looked to the stands. Mom, dad, Stacy, Luke were clapping their hands, with smiles on their faces, and Kevin was waving a handful of balloons over his head. He was screaming something, but I couldn't hear him because of the noise. I gave him a thumbs' up, and he returned it.

"Okay, are you guys ready?" The announcer shouted.

"READY!" Eric bellowed.

"RED-EYE!" I screamed.

"GO!" The announcer announced.

Before I knew what was happening, Eric knocked me on my butt in the muddy goo mess. I loved it.

We clawed, we clambered, we grunted, we groaned, we shouted nasty stuff, we got into the mud and muck, and we fucking loved it.

Eric was good.

But I was quicker.

Eric was really, really good, though. More than once my head went into the mud, though he was careful not to land me face first in it. I tried to do the same for him, however, he was wet and slippery... although he didn't go directly into the mud, he might as well have. He didn't mind, though. The determination was just that much stronger for him. And for me, too.

The last straw, just as the whistle blew, was when I picked Eric up and planted him into the mud, and I jumped on top of him, but, I was quick to pull him up so that he was standing.

The audience was clapping, hooting and hollering, and having a great time. I looked to Eric. Only the whites of his eyes were showing, even his mouth had mud caked around it – but his white teeth showed through. He was grinning.

Without hesitation or forethought, I put my arm around his shoulders and pulled him in tight. I said, "You beat me fair and square. It was fun." Eric then pulled me into a full hug. We rubbed our faces together, including our lips, but we didn't kiss. Then we cracked up laughing so hard that we both fell on our butts, with our arms still in place.

"I wonder what's taking them so long..." Eric said quietly, "You won fair and square. You're good, dude."

"No, you beat me fair and square... I've never done anything like this before." I said then reached to his nose and, like a squeegee, smeared a glob away from his nose opening.

He reached up, then removed a glob of the brown smelly stuff from my right ear. Then we began trying to get up to stand. Try getting out of a mud pit, deep to your navel, and laughing so hard it hurt. Finally, we leaned in toward the other, touch face to neck, then with tremendous strength wiggled our way up to a standing position, all the while laughing... and so was the crowd.

"Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, for the first time in recorded history... we have a tie. I've never seen this before... both boys received all 5's. I've double checked. Okay, what we're going to do is this: we can't have a tie. The judges have decided that we'll have another event. These boys are both in the 12 year old division. They will wrestle with the third runner ups... David Lane and Rocky McBride, would you please stand up and assume your positions in the ring... if you guys are still here..."

Eric exclaimed, "Holy shit. We're toast. I beat Rocky last year on a technicality. David is like a stone pillar. He was sick last year, so he didn't compete."

"Are you quitting, pussy?"

Eric took a glob of mud and rubbed it across my face, "Pussy, huh? So are you in, or are you out, Chicken Little?"

I grabbed handful of mud and very gently but generously rubbed it through his hair, plastering it all over.

He grinned, "You know we'll never get clean again."

"Shall we whup some ass?"

"Let's whup some ass."

That David and Rocky had some serious balls. Without a qualm, they dropped all their clothes except for their underwear – boxers. David had on white and blue plaid ones. The crowd roared when Rocky bared his – he was wearing white and pink boxer briefs. He was grinning like a Cheshire cat! From the looks of things, from probably 25 feet away, it did appear that his shorts were tented out in front, just enough to be noticeable.

Eric giggled, "He's such a fag. There's only one thing we can do, James."

"Yup."

Hah hah, we rolled around in the mud trying, trying, and finally succeeding in getting our mud caked and soaked jeans off. We were already muddy as all hell, so you couldn't even tell that we were wearing tightie whities. Not to worry. We were both a bit pudged, ourselves. "Meet calamity with calmness." Eric said, "Ya ready to whup some butt?"

"RED-EYE!"

Eric and I were on one team while John and Rocky were on the other.

The whistle blew.

The fight was on.

Twice each, one after the other, they found their heads in the mud. The opponent's partner would help to clear their eyes enough to see, and then it was on again. We only got dunked once, but they had us in deep mud.

With one last lunge, with all of my strength, I yanked John's legs out from beneath him while Eric delivered the fatal blow, a full body slam, which sent Rocky into the mud on his butt.

Just then the whistle blew.

I then noticed that Eric's underwear were tattered and torn, and hanging off of one leg. He grinned, pointed to my midsection... I had no underwear on, at all.

But with the mud and shit, you couldn't really see anything of importance. We cracked up laughing, fell in the mud, and started wrestling, halfassed, just enjoying the moment, not caring about shit.

John and Rocky helped us up. They, too, were missing underwear. We all cracked up, gave high 5's, and then stood in solidarity as the judges made their decisions.

Rocky said, giggling, "I suppose we should be embarrassed... but I'm not!"

"Me neither." Eric said giggling, too.

I looked down... there was absolutely no pink... I then started cracking up... John wasn't so lucky... even with the mud caked pubes, there was a definite bulge, and it was trying to peek out. I reached down into the mud and packed into his crotch, quickly, I didn't linger. He finished the job... all was okay, he laughed, "Thanks!"

That sent us all into hysterics, until the whistle blew.

"Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, we have a winning team. Please stand and applaud the winners of this year's competition: ERIC AND JAMES RICHARDSON!"

"Holy fuck." Eric squealed.

"OH MY GOD! WE WON!!!!!!" I shouted from the top of my lungs... allowing a glob of mud into my mouth.

John and Rocky smacked our bare backs. John said, "You guys won fair and square."

"Yup. Lucky break, you guys, congratulations!" Rocky said.

They then put their arms around each others' waists and walked toward the sale barn interior.

Eric and I hugged deeply. We held it for a moment or two, just to enjoy our accomplishment. Tears started flowing from my eyes... which was not a good thing... super wet mud on your face, by your eyes, is a very bad thing. Eric saw the tears flowing. I noticed that his were flowing, too. Together, using our fingers as squeegees, we dabbed away the mud, and then just held each other again.

We parted then dabbed plenty of mud in strategic places. I was hard as a missile, so I made a mound of mud to not have it on full display, to the crowd of people still cat calling, whooping and hollering.

Eric said, "We don't have to claim the trophy right now. God, our fucking jeans are somewhere around here. Dad'll put the hose to us... we're fucked."

"Do you suppose we could keep the mounds?" I cracked up laughing my head off.

"Heh heh heh... wouldn't that be a picture!!!"

"Well, are we just going to stand here, or what?" I asked, while trying to regain a modicum of composure.

"Whew, okay, mom's got our jeans... see?" Eric said then pointed toward the restroom area.

I didn't know the restrooms were across an open area of the fairgrounds. Our jeans were hopeless. They were totally caked with varying states of drying mud. Before we totally left the mud area, ample quantities of the nasty stuff was put onto strategic places.

As we walked through the thong of people on the periphery, several congratulated us, others just looked away, and some paid no attention. Of course, there were the hecklers giving us a ration of shit for showing off. Dan met us at the door to the janitor's closet. He hosed us off down to bare skin, and then hosed as much of the mud off of our jeans as was possible. Even though the sun was blazing hot, the ice cold water temperature was shocking. We decided to screw the shirts, no, not literally, heh heh heh.

There was a lull in the activities during the afternoon so Thomas and Sandy took us 'home' for a couple of hours. We decided to go to the creek, goof off, sit around and do nothing.

Winning the competition was the highlight of the day, week, month and year, and would always be remembered. We recounted and recalled each little detail of the event, laughed our asses off more and more until tears were rolling down our faces.

After dunking our heads into the water several more times, we got out of the creek, stood side by side, took a good country crap, jumped back in to clean up, climbed up the rock, laid out to let the sun and light breeze dry our skin.

"I'm glad you're my brother, James. I was kind of alone. Sure, Luke's my brother, too, but he doesn't talk, so he's hard to get to know."

"I think he'll talk some day. He tries to." I said sincerely, encouragingly.

"I hope so." Eric said quietly. "James?"

"Yup."

"You're funny. You sound like you've lived here all your life... all the yup's, and stuff..."

"Can I tell you something? Ya can't tell anybody."

"Dude, let's get something straight between us... what we talk about... stays between us. I don't tell anybody anything anybody else says. The only time I would break that honor is if you or someone else was getting hurt... then all bets are off... the rules go down the drain." Eric said emphatically, yet his voice was calm and assured.

"Is that what brothers do? I don't know anything about this stuff... I'm just asking."

"I guess. It's what I do."

"Okay, me, too. Whatever we talk about stays between us. What I was going to say... I found a farm outside of Wichita. I rode my bike there a few times. It was really kewl. But ya know what? I like it here better. This is a real farm. The other one was abandoned, run down, but, it was a place that got to me, totally. I liked the wide open spaces, running around naked without a care in the world... I felt totally free."

"I know what you mean... well, I haven't run around this farm naked, but I like the idea... maybe sometime... uhm, we probably ought to get back to the house... ya wanna jack off first?" Eric said hopefully.

Heh heh heh... his question was rhetorical. His hand was working his pole of pleasure with vigor. He giggled, and then got down to business. I brought my legs up so that my feet were resting flat on the rock, grabbed my already hard member and began working it... the open air, the light gentle breeze, the little sounds that Eric was breathing, the whole experience, was too much to take, within 5 minutes, no more, I was groaning as a powerful orgasm took over and shook my mind, body and spirit to the core. My butt was probably 8 inches off the rock as I totally and completely got 'into it'.

Resting my spent body on the rock, I turned toward Eric. He was frantically jacking, his face was contorted in what appeared to be pain, his muscles were totally taut, spit was drooling from the corner of his mouth, and then he stopped, just like that, "Fuck. Goddamnit. Son of a bitch. I can't get it... come on, let's get the fuck out of here."

With that said, he got up, poised himself to get down off the rock. "Eric, you can't go away like that."

"I have to, I couldn't reach it. Let's just go, I'll be okay. It'll go down in a little while."

I giggled. Eric turned toward me with wonderment on his face. "Well, I might be able to help you out... uhm, I mean, only if you want to."

"Nah, it's way too sensitive. I was there but it wouldn't go. It does that, sometimes. What do you mean, 'help me'?"

I stood up, looked into his eyes, "Well, I could try to jack you off... sometimes it works if somebody else does it for you... I would suck it, but only if you want me to."

"Do you do it to Seth?"

"Yup. He does me, too. It's totally up to you. Are you ready to go... I don't want to push anything..."

I bent over to check on our jeans. Though they were drying, they were nowhere near dry enough to wear for any length of time. I hate jean chaff. I shook them out and laid them back on the rock, on the opposite side so that they would get direct sunlight.

I looked back to Eric. He shrugged his shoulders, laid back down on the rock, lifted his legs up so that his feet were resting flat, took his maleness in his hand and began jacking fast and furious. I lay down, turned onto my side facing him, and said, "Take it easy... you're working too hard. It'll bust loose if you just slow down, like this..." I looked into his eyes for any sign of disgust or disapproval.

When I saw none, I reached over, ran my hand from his chest down to his pubic area, and then rested my fingers on his mound. When he didn't reject my hand being there, I lightly grasped his rod and began toying with it, "Just relax. Let it come. Clear your mind. Close your eyes. This isn't rocket science."

"You don't have to do it... I'll be okay."

"Would you just stop it? I offered. Now, just relax and let it happen."

He nodded; laid his head on the rock, looked up into the heavens, scooted around a little bit to get comfortable, and then closed his eyes as I took his penis and began gently working it. I felt it contract and expand with each stroke. His muscles were getting tight, then he reached down and took my hand away, "Damn, it's sensitive, give me a minute... I don't think this is going to work..."

"Let's try it one more time. Don't hate me, Eric. Please don't hate me."

"I'll never hate you, but what are you doing?" He asked as I got up on my knees, pushed his legs apart, leaned down, licked the head of his penis and put my hands under his butt. When he didn't push me away, I took his maleness fully and completely into my mouth, and held it there, but, at the same time, used my tongue to bath it, thoroughly. That caused Eric to whimper. While I was there, I gently brushed his hole with my thumbs and spread his thick cheeks apart, a little bit. He jumped a little bit, but didn't make any sign that he was uncomfortable with the ministrations.

Encouraged, I began a slow process of going down and coming back up and gently massaging his back door. His moans and groans were becoming almost continuous with each and every breath. Then he lifted his legs and rested them on my shoulders, thus giving me free access to all that he had. My fingers had dirt and sandy like gravel on them so I didn't insert them, nor did I lick down there because of the same reason, even though I would have, had the circumstances been different.

In case you haven't noticed, I was getting into it. I felt longing return to my loins, and knew that I would have to take care of my own needs, again, but, my primary 'want to' was to get Eric 'off'.

Without warning, Eric clamped his legs around my neck, and began spasming like crazy. His whimpers and whines turned into full out blissful remarks such as 'fuck', 'oh shit', 'here it fucking comes!"... Followed by a deep gut wrenching howl as he exploded a dry orgasm into my oral orifice. When he began calming down, somewhat, I rested my mouth in his pubic triangle, giving a little tongue lashing so that he would experience those few remaining aftershocks.

Unable to contain myself any longer, with his still much distended member in my mouth, I grabbed hold of my straining sex muscle and began jacking with earnest. At the very last possible second, I released his penis because I didn't want to bite him! I did fall forward so that my face was resting on his rib cage as I exploded, a second time.

Nearly recovered, I climbed off, laid down so that my head was resting in his neck with my arm draped across his chest, and my thighs touching his.

We must have fallen asleep. The next thing that happened was a massive sting shrieking through my body, beginning on my ass, in that little dimple just above my hole.

I screamed bloody murder, then, thinking I was on fire, dove into the water below and began rubbing my butt. I felt a piece of something, but then the object went away. Eric jumped in, held me up while I continued rubbing like crazy.

"What happened? !!" Eric said as he swam us to the base of the rock.

"I don't know. My ass feels like it's on fire!"

"It must have been a fucking red ant, or you may have gotten stung by a bee. There are lots of bees and ants around here. You okay?"

"Yeah, but this cold water feels really good."

"Okay, we'll stay here. I'm going to see if the stinger is still in your skin. The fire won't stop until it's out. Okay, I'm going to touch you down there..." He glided his fingers over my most sensitive places, including my back door, and then he brought his hand up, "I didn't feel any stinger... it was either a bumblebee that got you, or it was a big fucking ant. I'm going to make a mud poultice. It'll take the fire out."

"Heh heh heh, too bad we're not at the mud pit." I grumbled and giggled, somewhat, at the same time.

When he was ready I got out of the water. He applied the mud, and sure enough, the sting began to dissipate, somewhat. "Dude, you're all red back here. I'll bet it was a bumblebee... they don't leave their stingers inside. Fucking honey bees, when they sting a person, they fucking die."

"Why's that?"

"Half their fucking body gets stuck in your skin. Kamikaze fuckers. Come on, let's get up to the house... fuck the clothes... if anybody asks... we'll just tell them it ain't none of their business."

Thomas and Sandy were exiting the house when we arrived. Sandy snickered, "Nice stuff."

"Ah, come off it, Sandy. James got bumblebee sting on his ass. I put some mud on it, just like mom would have done."

Sandy asked me, "Do you mind?"

"No, no problem. Hell, half the town's seen everything."

Both Sandy and Thomas cackled... I must admit: so did I, and so did Eric.

"Yeah, you're pretty swollen up back here. There's a little hole where it bit you. I don't see a stinger. And it doesn't look like an ant bite. Let's get some ice on it."

An hour later, bathed and dressed in clean clothes, and with very little sting remaining, we headed back into town, parked a mile away, then headed in and had a blast riding the rides, watching another tractor pull, idiots walking around on stilts (I'm afraid of heights!), and other neat things.

We ran into Luke, almost literally. He grabbed Eric's hand, took us to mom and dad who were sitting in the shade drinking iced tea, and chatting.

Eric was quick to say, "James got bumblebee stung... we were down at the creek... you know... drying off..."

Sandy was quick to point out that she did everything she knew to do for it. Mom nodded and agreed that all that could be done was already done.

The evening at the fair concluded with the biggest fucking fireworks show I'd ever seen. The old 'rents would take me to those in Wichita... some were good, some were duds, but the fair show was killer good.

Everybody was dog-ass tired. Before going to bed, I asked if I could call Adam to tell him the news. Mom approved. So I called him and told him everything, well, almost everything, I didn't say anything about 'helping' Eric. He was happy as could be... seriously, he was totally happy that I'd decided to become a member of the family.

He did suggest that I tell Seth the news, in person. Also, Seth had something to share with me, but he wouldn't say what it was, only that he needed to tell me in person, too. They were going to the lake that weekend, and thought it would be a good time for Seth and me to talk.

I really didn't want to leave, but, I wanted to hear Seth's news. Mom and dad... hey, I liked the sound... said I could go at any time, so long as I came back home.

Home. I liked the sound of it.

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