Okarito - The Great Beynon
Instead of going home, he went to his uncle's place. Uncle Jeffrey, his mum's brother, lived alone and he worked night-shift more often than not, so hopefully, he might be able to cadge a ride with him.
He arrived there and the door was locked. Still in bed? He hoped he wasn't working day-shift. He rang the bell and waited. He was about to give up and go, when ('Yes!') the door opened and his bleary-eyed uncle looked out. "Logan?"
"Hey, Unc. I didn't get you out of bed, did I? Sorry 'bout that.."
"No, I was already up. You caught me in the loo actually. What can I do for you, or did you just come to see my smiling face?"
"Is this your smiling face? I need a favour, a huge favour. Please, pretty please!"
"A favour? Stop batting your eyes at me, Boy. That won't work. Tell me what you want and I'll tell you if I'll do it."
"I need a ride, out to Richardson Road, on the Waitangi River, about 20k out of town. Can you take me there please? Like, right now."
"I know Richardson Road, that's about the limit of our patrolling area. Why do you want to go out there, like right now?"
"I've got to see a friend who lives out there. Well, I hope he's still a friend. We had a row on Monday and he hasn't been back to school since then."
"Oh? Oh yeah – would your friend be the Beynon boy, Dan Beynon's kid?"
"Yeah, that's him, Lorne Beynon. Can you take me, Unc? It's way important."
"Of course it is! It's always important and almost the End of the World at least once a week. Yes, I'll take you just because I'm the best uncle ever. Give me 5 minutes to have a coffee, and then we'll go. We'll go out on the bike, it's time it had a run to blow the cobwebs away."
"On your old bike? Are you sure it'll get us there and back?"
"Don't you be cheeky about my old bike. She's a classic and very reliable if you treat her right."
"Sounds like a woman," Logan grinned. "But still an old one."
"Are you sure you don't want to walk?"
"Very sure. Did I tell you that you're my favourite uncle?"
"Greaser! I'm the only one you've got."
"True, but I don't need any others."
"Okay, knock it off!" Jeffrey laughed. "I've already said I'll take you out. Come and have a coffee with me."
Both of them dressed in black imitation-leather outfits – jackets and leggings. Jeffrey wore a black full-face helmet and Logan had a cherry-pink one with a black visor. They wheeled out of town, riding on the old BSA. When they passed the 'Open Road' speed limit sign, Jeffrey pulled the throttle right back. That increased the engine roar, but didn't really do much about the speed.
However, it was only a few minutes before he slowed and turned off the highway onto a narrow, scrub-lined side-road. Richardson Road was sealed, but really needed resealing – you notice these things on old bikes with bad suspension. Hitting potholes was not fun.
He stopped next to a gravelled driveway which wound out of sight in the trees. "There you go, Boy. Dan Beynon's 23 Richardson Road. Go in there and do what you've got to do and I'll give you some privacy. I'll carry-on down to look at the lake and I'll be back here in exactly one hour. If you're not here waiting, it'll be a long walk back to town."
"I'll be here. Thanks, Jeffrey. If I do have to walk all the way home, I'm telling your big sister on you."
"I'm not scared of your mum. Once I was, but not now. Put your helmet on the carrier and I'm gone."
"Okay. Why do I have to wear a pink helmet when you've got a cool black one?"
"Because, Nephew, you're smaller than me and my spare leathers and helmet are for the ladies to wear."
"I'm wearing a woman's outfit?"
"You are, and very fetching you look too. I normally only take female passengers; I'm not riding around with big hairy blokes cuddling me."
"Hey! I'm a bloke."
"Almost. You're still a boy to me. Okay, see you soon."
He restarted the bike, crossed the narrow wooden river-bridge and roared away down the road. Logan stood watching him go, then turned to face the driveway. Butterflies were going crazy inside him; he was really nervous now. That was dumb, he wanted to be here and he'd come all that way.
Which was going to cost him, by the way. Jeffrey never did anything for nothing, there was always a payback.
He could just stand there, wait an hour, and then go home, but that'd be even dumber. He forced himself to start walking. Around the corner, the greenery opened out suddenly. What had looked like dense bush from the road was nothing but a big, thick hedge. These people must really like their privacy.
Or, maybe it was a windbreak for the gardens. There were huge, busy gardens there, all on the left side of the driveway. Flowers, vegetable, berry-fruit and trees were all mixed together in glorious profusion. It was like no garden he'd ever seen.
There was no room for weeds to grow in the overflowing beds which were separated by narrow paths. Ripening fruit, pumpkins, beans and cucumbers growing on trellises and every sort of vegetable imaginable. Very impressive! You could feed a town on what was growing here.
There was a huge pink and black pig in a pen, along with a lot of chooks, and ducks roamed free everywhere – probably because they eat snails and other pests but they don't scratch and dig like chooks do. The ducks were mostly white, but there were a few black ones too.
There was also a couple of geese sitting in the long grass on the right of the drive. For a start, he thought that they were oversized ducks, but they weren't, they were geese. One of them had half a dozen busy babies playing around her.Goslings?
He'd better be careful of them. Geese are good watchdogs, aren't they? And they were aggressive too. These ones weren't, at the moment, they just sat there looking at him. He gave them a wide berth anyway, in point in upsetting them if he didn't have to.
The long grass sloped down to the small fast-running river. There were a few beech trees dotted along the near side and a solid wall of trees over at the far side over the water. Close to the riverbank there was a small ramshackle and crooked house overshadowed by two trees.
The corrugated iron roof and chimney were painted dark-blue and almost thatched with fallen leaves. The house walls were about half and half, rough old weather boards and vertical corrugated iron, all painted a dull and faded white. There was a wide wooden deck along the riverside wall and the whole structure leaned back away from the water. The windows were tiny and there weren't many of them. It all looked like an old homemade house.
Further along the drive, at the end, there was a collection of rough old sheds clad in iron with a variety of colours, largely rusty. 'This here must be their house then,' Logan decided.
A power-cable crossed the river to connect to the house. It'd probably help stop it falling down too. A trickle of white woodsmoke was coming from the chimney, apart from that there was no sign of life there. He went over and knocked on the door.
It was only a couple of minutes until the door opened, but it seemed like ages. Lorne appeared in the doorway. His hair was a mess; he had a bad case of bed-hair. His blue eyes opened wide, they dull and lifeless looking and his face was a sickly pale colour, but – 'Wow!'. The body!
All he was wearing was an old, worn and faded pair of track-pants. His feet were bare and so was his torso, upper body and arms. 'Wow! Again.'
Logan had seen heaps of internet pics of adolescent males, who hasn't? But to actually come face to face with a half-dressed good looking boy was something else and much, much better. Good looking? No. Lorne wasn't good looking, he was way better than that. He was sensational. Logan stood open-mouthed and staring, feeling stunned. 'Oh, my . . wow!'
Lorne's body was not skinny, but it wasn't far from it, especially around the narrow waist. His broad shoulders were twice as wide as his waist. A perfect 'V' rose to the slightly-bony shoulders, muscles, pecs and abs swelled beneath the golden skin.
The skin! It was incredible – hairless, soft and smooth, warm, golden and fully fleshed. It was absolutely flawless and there was not a spot, not even a single mole, anywhere. Nothing. Amazing. He'd seen that Lorne's face looked good, but nothing had prepared him for the body. It was simply perfect and oozing sex - fully ripe and ready. Logan could've stood there all day, admiring it.
"Logan?" A quizzical smile appeared as he looked at the boy staring at him. "Logan, what on earth are you doing away out here?"
"I, umm – yeah," Logan came back down to earth. "Are you okay? I mean, you haven't been at school since Monday and I was getting worried about you, really worried."
"You must've been," Lorne smiled. "Nobody ever comes out here."
"Well, I had to. I had to know if you were all right and, also, I need to know if we're okay? I'm really, really sorry about – well, you know. Sorry. Are we still friends?"
"Whoah. Slow down, Logan. Yes, we're friends; I hope we are because I want to be your friend. I'm all right now, nearly all right. I've been horribly sick, but it's getting better. I think I'll live."
"I'm pleased about that then. What was wrong? You getting better?"
"I am, slowly but surely. Dad says it was just the 'flu, but there's no 'just' about it. I've never felt so bad!"
"Good that it's over then. 'Flu can be a lot more serious than people think – especially the 'Man Flu'."
"That'll be the one I had then. It was way serious. I'm standing in a draft here and that's not good. Do you want to come inside?"
"For a few minutes, yeah. I can't stay long. I got a ride out here with my uncle and he says that if I'm not there waiting for him in one hour, he's going without me."
Lorne led him inside. "Would he really do that?"
"Probably. Well, maybe not. He'd more likely stop a couple of k's up the road and wait for me there."
"You've got a mean uncle."
"Sort of. He's not really mean, he just pretends he is and he's got a strange sense of humour. So this is your home?" Logan looked around the crowded little, low-ceilinged, living-room. Everything looked old and mis-matched, like the variegated squares of carpet on the floor.
"This is it." Lorne sat on the couch and, worse-luck, pulled an old blanket around himself.
That was sensible, Logan knew. There was only a small fire in the open fireplace and it was not overly warm in there, but – 'Damm!' The amazing body was out of sight.
'Oh well, nice while it lasted,' he shrugged mentally.
"This is the only home I've ever known," Lorne continued. "I was actually born in this room – right there in front of the fireplace."
"Yeah? Wow. Not many people can say that."
"Some can. Homebirths are getting more common. There weren't so many back when I arrived, but my parents were a couple of Alternatives, so that's the way we did it."
"That's what they called themselves. They were Hippies, if you like – getting back to basics and in touch with nature and all that stuff. The dream was to start a commune here, but it didn't work out."
"It was all too much like hard work, I think. It was easier to get a job and work 8 hours a day instead of every waking hour for no pay. When people are stoned out of their skulls, you're not going to get much work out of them anyway. Dad was a worker, but he was the only one."
"Now there's just you and your dad here? Where's your mum?"
"Who knows? We don't. They were never married and she just drifted away with some of the others and left us. My granddad lived here with us for a few years, he actually owned the property, he died a couple of years ago. We're sitting on 150 hectares here. There's a couple of small plantations, but it's mostly in bush and scrub."
"Trees - Western Red Cedar and others, including Pines of course. They were planted as an investment when they first moved in to the property. They're ready for milling but they're not worth much now. It was not a good investment. I dunno what Dad's going to do about them, leave them growing I suppose."
"But why wouldn't they be worth much?"
"There are no local sawmills any more, they've all shut down. To get the timber milled, the logs would have to be trucked away and that's not cheap."
"I see. That's a shame – a disappointment after waiting all those years."
"Tell me about it!"
"Was your granddad a Hippie too."
"Alternative. No, he wasn't. He helped dad with the gardens and stuff, but he was never into the lifestyle thing. He was different though."
"Different? How so?"
"He toured with circuses for years."
"Circuses? Like big-tops and elephants and stuff?"
"You've got it."
"Wow. That'd be cruisy. What a life! Was he a lion tamer or something?"
"No, nothing like that. He was a magician actually, a good one too."
"A magician? Circuses don't have magic tricks, do they?"
"They did when Granddad was there. He was a clown who did magic. He was really good too. When he was younger he did stage shows and he was quite famous, as the Great Benyon. He liked the circus life, it was more fun and he didn't have to worry about the business side of things.
My granddad was a very cool guy and I still miss him like hell!"
"I guess you would. And that's why you never smile much! Did he teach you any magic tricks?"
"Oh yes. All of his old tricks and equipment are mine now. He left everything to me because Dad was never interested and I was the no.1 grandson."
"Pretty cool to be no.1."
"Pretty easy when you're the only one. How about you? You said you've got a mother and two brothers. Where's your dad?"
"Not far away. He's in Franz Josef, he manages a big hotel there. I don't see him much, but the kids go there a lot. They think they're living the Suite Life when they're there."
"Suite Life? Oh, that old TV programme, you mean."
"That's the one. They're not twins though, just brothers."
"Just brothers. I wish I had a brother, but I don't."
"They're a pain in the butt sometimes, but not always."
"They're boys then. Why don't you spend more time with your dad, don't you get on?"
"Yeah, we do, sort of, but his new wife's a bitch. She doesn't like me and I don't like her. I'd rather stay at home with my mum. She's got no-one else."
"Families are complicated, aren't they. Why did they split-up?"
"I'm not sure exactly. Lots of reasons, I suppose. He walked out and left Mum when she was pregnant with Brad. That's really low when you think about it. Mum hasn't forgiven him, she never will."
"That's no surprise. I wouldn't either."
They talked for a few minutes, and then Logan had to go. It was a long walk back to town and he didn't want to have to do that. Lorne said he'd come out to the road with him, but he told him not to.
"Stay here, look after yourself and get well. Are you coming back to school tomorrow?"
"Tomorrow? I don't think so. It's Friday, I might as well have the rest of the week off."
"Will you be in town in the weekend?"
"Probably not. I'll see you at school on Monday."
"I'll look forward to that."
"Yeah, me too," Lorne grinned.
"Lorne, you've got no cellphones, no land-line, no computer. Tell your dad he needs to get into the 21st century."
"I wish he would. We could do with a new house too, but he won't build one. He says this old place is good enough for the two of us and he likes fishing off the deck."
"Is that why the house is so close to the river?"
"Yep. It was built as a fisherman's lodge – just someone's hobby thing. Dad and Mum moved into it temporarily. They were going to build a proper house, but things happened and they never did."
"I guess it'd cost a fortune to build a new house, especially way out of town like this."
"It'd cost, but not too much. Dad could do a lot of the work himself, he's a good handyman-builder and I could pay for it."
"Really? You could afford to buy a house?"
"Well, yeah. I've got pots of money, just sitting in the bank. Granddad left most of his money to me."
"He left money to you and not your father? Wasn't he his son?"
"Yes, of course. Dad got some money, but not much. He got the property and that's worth heaps."
"Oh. So you're rich then?"
"Kind of. Dad says it's better to leave the money where it is. It's invested, it's growing and it will be there when I need it."
"That makes sense. You don't know where you'll finish up living."
"Oh, but I do. I'll be living here. This is my home and I couldn't see myself living anywhere else. It'd be nice to have wheels though."
"I guess it would. You're a long way out of town. Lorne, I've gotta go or I'm gonna be late. I'll come back in the weekend, if I can. Otherwise, I'll see you at school on Monday."
"You will. Come back anytime you like. Thanks for coming out today."
"Thank you. I had to know if we were okay. It's good that we are."
"Yeah, it's good. Now go or you'll be walking."
"Yeah. 'Bye, Lorne."
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