Chapter 3

Fourth Grade

by Michael Peterson

Be advised that in the following one will find graphic sexual depiction between minors and minors and adults. The story is fiction but based on real characters, events, places and situations. There is no relationship between the names used and that of any real person.

By the time school re-opened in September, I was using some of the negro phraseology and dropping occasional 'shit's' into my conversation. I had to be careful at home, especially in front of Martha. She'd swat my bottom if I used a curse word. What saved me with my parents was the general lack of communication between us. However, my classmates picked it up almost immediately though didn't know the source.

'You talk different, Malcolm,' observed Ronnie Stevens finally talking to me again.

'No, I don't.'

What I caught myself doing was using words like 'ass whupped' and 'ain't'. The only problematic words that slipped were 'shit' and 'son of a bitch' but I managed not to say them near the nuns. The coach did catch 'shit' one day but just gave me a hard look.

I tried hard to keep my word to Freddy and not seek sex elsewhere. That didn't mean I couldn't look and look I continued to do during swimming class, this year on Tuesdays. Victor Cibelli still showed off his wares on the side of the pool but I seemed the only one interested.

My fourth grade nun, Sister Mary Margaret, didn't come to the pool much less watch the dressing room area. By the end of September, boys were dressing with their doors open. I caught whatever happened because I always dressed and undressed in the open door of my cubicle.

Tommy Atkins jumped out front one Tuesday and waved his hips back and forth, flapping his normal sized dick at Paul Simpson who had made a remark I didn't hear. 'Try this, Paul,' called out Tommy.

Paul, heavier than I liked, rushed out and did the same but I only saw his fat behind.

The second Tuesday, I walked up and back, before and after our swim, looking in cubicles and catching a bunch of bare butts and interesting crotches along with a few questioning looks. Strangely enough, the one boy who didn't seem to mind having anyone who wanted look at his privates, Victor Cibelli, kept his cubicle door closed. Both times, I ended up with a hard on by the time I got back to my cubicle. Once most were dressed, I closed the door and jerked off.

My altar boy friend, Stewart, didn't serve Mass the second Sunday in September but was back the third. He noticed me immediately and we exchanged glances, smiles, winks and hand signals, the last of which I think my father caught because he gave me a dirty look. After Mass, rather than ask permission to go to the sacristy door, I lagged behind my parents in the crowd leaving the church and switched directions. Stewart again said he'd wait for me on the church steps.

When I got back to him around eleven o'clock, he again put his skinny arm over my shoulder and led me toward his humble home.

'We gotta be kinda quiet 'til my uncle gets outta bed. He come to the house real late last night drunk as a skunk. I hadda get outta my bed and sleep in the chair. He gets real mad if you wake him up.'

From the far side of the tracks, I saw a man sitting in a chair leaned against Stewart's wall.

'He's up,' explained Stewart. 'Still gotta be quiet. He don't like no noise after he's been drunk.

The man looked up as we approached. He could have been forty years old but probably was younger. He was slim but with a large potbelly and a bored expression on his face.

'Mornin', uncle. This is Malcolm from church, the kid I told you about.'

The man eyed me briefly but didn't say a word.

Stewart and I went inside so he could change into play clothes. 'My sister don't want me dirtying up the new clothes the priests give me.'

He had no underwear so was naked except for his socks after removing his cowboy shirt and jeans. He was well over a year older than me but surely weighed less. What musculature he had was stringy and tough. His rear end was mostly flesh over bones. That made his penis look bigger than it really was.

He dressed quickly in torn khakis and a blue and white striped T-shirt. He pulled off his socks and went barefoot. 'Let's go play.'

Outside, he explained, 'We best not play cowboys 'cause it'll bother Uncle Teddy.'

We tossed railroad gravel at a spot between two ties and talked about trains. Stewart had never been on one but liked to watch them come by.

'Some of the kids in my school come to school on the train every day,' I told him.

'Where you go to school, boy,' asked the uncle.

I told him.

'That's up there on the hill, ain't it.'


He seemed satisfied with my response. Stewart and I continued to throw the small stones. He was much better than me. I couldn't get one to stay between the ties; he put his in at least a third of the time. We ran to where we'd been throwing and threw back in the other direction. The uncle called Stewart to him.

The conversation became animated. Stewart didn't like what his uncle was saying. Finally, stomping his bare feet as he walked, Stewart came to the side of the tracks and told me,' You gotta go now. My uncle says.'

'What's wrong?'

'You best just go. He gets up and I'll catch it. Please. I'll see you Sunday at church.'

I generally didn't give up that easily but Stewart's uncle's face had a mean look to it. I didn't want to get Stewart in any trouble so left figuring I'd find out what the problem was the following week.

Freddy said, 'I tole you them white folks ovah theah was nasty. You best stay away from that boy and all a them.'

That next Sunday, Stewart just told me his uncle didn't like the way I talked.

'I talk just like you or anybody else.'

'Well, you do talk a little diffrent an' he don't like your school neither.'

I asked if we could meet and play away from his house but he said no. 'I always gotta watch the house Sunday's 'cause ain't nobody there but me.'

'If he isn't there, then I can come and he won't know.'

'Nah. He tole the people owns the house to tell him if they seen you. I'll get beat.'

I was furious. It just seemed I wasn't every going to be allowed to have any friends but Freddy. What was wrong with the way I talked or the school I went to? That was just as stupid as my father not liking people because they were a different color.

Wednesday, November ninth was my ninth birthday. My parents completely forgot it and were surprised when my mother's parents showed up with gifts. Rather than listen to a bunch of excuses, my grandfather suggested we go to a restaurant and have a little party. My mother came along, apologizing pathetically, but my father said he had too much work to do.

Aunt Martha, as I now called Freddy's mother, remembered or possibly was reminded when the dinner she prepared for Wednesday night went uneaten by all but my father. We celebrated my birthday at her house the following Sunday afternoon along with that of Walter, a lanky teen with terrible teeth and a baby boy turning one. It got really wild when some of the men, drunk with some cheap wine, joined us in tag. They couldn't catch any of us kids so ended up chasing each other, leaving us to watch and roar with laughter as they fell all over one another.

I wanted to try some of the wine but Aunt Martha snatched the glass out of my hand and said angrily, 'Don't never let me catch you with this shit, Maacum, o I'll whup you like you was my own!' I had no doubt she meant it.

As I mentioned, I was helping some of the local kids with their homework including, naturally, Freddy. Every day, usually in his house but sometimes, if it wasn't too cold, in our open air tree house, Freddy and I would do our homework together. He was in second grade, two behind me. There were fifty some kids in his class so his teacher didn't have time to spend with individual students. That left it to me to explain things he didn't understand. I really enjoyed doing it. Sometimes, we'd get to talking about something we were studying in geography, science or history and both go off on tangents about which neither of us knew anything but both wanted to appear they did. Often, the matter would become an argument which couldn't be resolved as there was no one to settle it for us. With the exception of two young teenage girls, the only other schoolkids from Freddy's settlement two first graders. The girls were only in fifth grade, and they tended to know less than me. Freddy and I settled our differences by flipping a coin. The loser had to shut up.

The last swimming session before the holidays, I finally got a look at Victor Cibelli naked, and hard. As usual, I was dressing in the doorway of my cubicle. His was about six or eight doors down. Martin O'Malley, in the cubicle next to mine stood in front of his in his underwear and called him. Victor answered from inside. Martin shouted again. Victor opened the door and leaned out, his long hard cock lolling out from his groin.

'Wow, look at Victor!' laughed Martin.

Victor flipped it at him. 'Jealous?'

'You got my towel and I got yours.'

Victor disappeared back inside and came out with a green towel that he brought to Martin who met him halfway and whispered something into his ear. After watching Victor, his big cock bouncing up and down, walk back toward me to his locker, I closed my door and jerked off to the thought of Victor jerking off which I was sure he'd been doing.

Keeping my word to Freddy was tough.

The pre-holiday exams were easy for me. It helped that I'd been studying. I completed the math test before any of my classmates. Sister Margaret had it corrected before the end of class and nodded at me with a smile. If only I was as talented at sports.

It was during the Christmas holidays that I realized how close I was to being a member of Freddy's extended family and how much his mother loved me. Where there'd been little communication between me and my parents before, it was nearly nonexistent by that time. I couldn't recall speaking to my father at all for a month. At home, all my questions were answered and needs met by Aunt Martha. She couldn't help me with my homework but my mother never had either. If I hurt myself, it was Aunt Martha, not my mother that I sought. When I was upset or just feeling low for any reason, Aunt Martha was there to give me a hug and talk to me. She tucked me in those nights when she left late from work, something I had no recollection of either of my parents ever doing.

Yet, I wasn't supposed to be playing with Freddy. It seemed so senseless, completely ridiculous. If it weren't for Aunt Martha being at the house as our maid, I thought, I'd as soon live with her in her very humble home without all the physical advantages of my twenty room house.

Christmas began with an unexpected problem and went downhill from there. As usual, my plan was to share my gifts with Freddy. My father bought me a Lionel train and a chemistry set. My mother's parents gave me books and a jacket with a five dollar bill in the pocket. My father's folks sent me a baseball bat and glove. There were a couple of toy cars in my stocking but that was it. I really wanted that bat and ball so I could take it to school with me and share it with Tommy, Martin and Victor. There was nothing I could share with Freddy except the jacket, and I'd be expected to wear it the next time my grandparents came to visit. They were much more open to me than my mother so I couldn't let them down. I didn't much like my father's parents so that wasn't an impediment to giving away the baseball gear.

Aunt Martha was in the kitchen preparing our Christmas dinner.

'Aunt Martha, you think Freddy will like these for Christmas?' I held out the bat and glove.

'He sho will. My, that's nice, but din't yo grandfolks give 'em to you?'

'Yes, but I want to give something to Freddy.'

She hugged me and said to get ready for dinner.

My mother came to my room.

'After we eat, your grandfather is going to take you to his house for a week. Won't that be nice? Your father and I are going away until the day after New Year's.'

I was shocked and furious. 'I wanna stay here with my friends! There's nothing to do there.'

'Oh, there'll be plenty to do. Your grandfather has made plans.'

'I don't care. I wanna stay here. How come every time you two wanna go somewheres I gotta go where I don't wanna go.'

'It is 'somewhere, dear, not 'somewheres'. Well, plans are already made and your father isn't going to change them. And you will have plenty to do with your grandfather.'

She was leaving as I screamed 'I'm not going!'

I put on my coat and hat and ran out on the back porch smack into my father.

'Just where do you think you're going?'

'Outside.' I didn't want another beating so I said it in a normal tone of voice. He didn't buy it.

'Back upstairs, boy, until dinner.'

I lost it and, as I turned to go back up the stairs, I said, 'Son-of-a-bitch!'

He was on me before I got to the gate at the top of the pantry stairs. As he dragged me into my room, he said, 'I know where you learned that. This isn't for what you said but for hanging out with niggers after I told you to stay away from them.'

He kicked the door behind him and pulled off his belt. I had nothing to lose so grabbed the chair at my desk and threw it at him. He caught it and shoved it under the doorknob. On the bed was the baseball bat. I grabbed it. Before I could get it completely around, my father smashed his open hand across the side of my head. But the bat was moving and clubbed him hard in the ribs. For a few seconds, I was only semi-conscious. When I regained full realization of what was going on, my father was sitting on my chest, back to my face, opening my pants and muttering something I didn't understand. I reached up and grabbed his shirt collar. He arched forward breaking my grip and yanked my pants down to my knees.

I started screaming, 'son-of-a-bitch, son-of-a-bitch'. He stood up and jerked me off the bed by my legs. I looked for the bat but it was too far away on the floor. My father sat down with my upper body down between his legs. He forced my legs down over his thigh and literally ripped off my underpants. My teeth were biting into his leg when the first swat of the belt made me yelp, opening my mouth. When I tried to bite him again, he kicked his leg out and yanked it back against my head, pinning me to the bed. The beating went on and on. I screamed hysterically using every cuss word I knew until the pain became so intense I began to lose control of my breathing. I barely heard the banging on my bedroom door. Then, I only heard the belt and me gasping for air. The beating stopped. My father stood and let me fall to the floor. The room, everything was a blur.

I didn't see the door fly open, knocking the chair across the room. The first face I saw was Martha's. She had me in her arms and was rocking me, saying, 'It's okay, baby, it's okay.'

My father, who apparently had left the room when Martha and my mother broke in, came storming back. 'Get your black hands off my son and...'

Martha pulled me away from him and said angrily, 'You touch this baby and I'm gonna call the police and have yo white ass locked up. Look what you did!'

       She turned me to show him my red streaked bottom and legs. 'Don' you dare to touch this baby!'

Mother, in tears, near panic, said, 'dear, dear, no, no, please leave him alone.' She pushed him out of my room.

Martha took me, now sobbing beyond control, into the bathroom. She ran cold water into the tub and removed my shoes, socks and pants. It stung as she put me into the water but soon stopped the sharper pain.

Mother came into the bathroom. 'You're not really going to call the police are you? I'm sure Henry is very sorry for what he did. It's just that Malcolm has been very disobedient lately.'

'No he ain't,' snapped Martha. I wisht my chiles was as good as Maacum. They don't come no better than this baby. Yo Henry don' deserve a chile this good.'

I wrapped my hands around Martha's arm and leaned my head into her.

Mother sat on the edge of the tub. Tears dripped down her face. 'Please, Martha, let me handle this. I promise it won't happen again. Please, Martha.'

'I don' know. I don' know. This baby's hurt bad. Coulda kilt 'im if'n we hadn' got in theah.'

Mother put her hand on Martha's shoulder and pleaded softly. 'Please. I'd be all alone, with nothing.'

Martha looked at her and shook her head.

Someone else appeared in the bathroom door. It was my mother's father. Before he could say anything, my mother stood and took him somewhere.

'I wisht I knew what to do,' said Martha softly as she cuddled my head.

My grandfather came back and asked Martha if he could speak to her.

'I'll be right back, sweety,' she said

As she stood, I tightened my grip on her arm and looked up her, pleading in my eyes.

"Don' you worry, sugah, I'm gonna be right outside this doh'. I be back in a jiffy.'

I let her arm slide out of my hands. Mother sat beside the tub and caressed my hair.

'You know your father feels terrible about this.'

I was still sobbing too hard to speak but was sure he had no regrets. He called Freddy a nigger. He hated Negroes. I never wanted to see my father again. I hoped Martha would call the police and they'd lock him up forever.

Martha came back in. My mother backed away and let her kneel down beside the tub.

Nothing more happened until I could stop crying. Martha took me out of the cold water and put me face down on my bed where she rubbed ice cubes over the bruises. I watched the door to see if my father came in. I was terrified he would.

My grandfather came as arbiter. He said he and my grandmother would come stay at the house with me so I could be with my friends over the holidays. He looked at Martha when he said 'friends'.

A short time later, my mother appeared to say goodbye. 'We'll be back in a week and things will be much better, I promise.'

Within minutes of her departure, I heard someone knocking on the back door. Martha went to the window, raised it and called out 'Who's knockin'?'

'It's me, mama. E'rybody's waitin' on you.'

She told him she'd be right there.

'I wanna see Freddy. Tell him to come up here,' I insisted.

'Sweety, I don' think that's a good idee. You can see 'im tomorra.'

I really needed him right then and pleaded with tears in my eyes, 'Please.'

Martha sat beside me and said, 'This ain't no good time fo' that. Just wait 'til tomorrow, sweety. Now, I gotta go. Yo father's gone and you grandfolks is heah so you gonna be jes fine.'

She left me crying.

Freddy wasn't put off so easily. Moments after I heard the back door close, I heard it open and small feet come running up the back stairs. Freddy rushed into my bedroom.

'What he do to you? You okay?'

The moment he saw my rear end and legs, he broke into tears too and lay down beside me, his arm across my shoulders, embracing me tightly. I turned on my side and hugged him to me. 'I wanna go live with you. Tell your mother to take me to your house.'

My grandparents appeared in the doorway. It frightened me. I had no idea what they'd say or do. They stood there for a half a minute, concern on their faces, then left without saying a word. Martha returned.

When Freddy told her my request, she said, 'You gonna be okay now. Yo' grandfolks is nice people and I'm gonna be heah e'ryday and they said Freddy can come too.'

     Freddy stayed the rest of the afternoon. Martha went home for her family's Christmas meal. My grandmother brought Freddy and me plates of re-heated turkey, dressing and mashed potatoes and glasses of milk. Freddy fed me at his insistence. I ate lying on the bed, my head and shoulders extended over the side. Freddy sat cross legged on the floor lifting forks full of food to my mouth.

Freddy did come every day, staying morning to after dinner. My grandparents were very understanding. They showed no sign of animosity toward Freddy or his mother. On the contrary, they even let Freddy spend New Year's Eve night with me after we'd all listened to the celebration in New York on radio.

    Although my ass and the backs of my thighs were still discolored, the worst of the pain was gone. I convinced Freddy it was okay to fuck me. Over the night and early morning, we had three lazy, wonderful sessions, the first with him on top of me and twice with him lying behind. Both times when we did it on our sides, Freddy jerked me off, slowly until he was about to climax. Then he was more vigorous, taking me quickly over the top. We slept with him tight against my back, trying to keep his cock inside but, each time, eventually slipping out.

     I had hopes nineteen fifty was going to be a much better year.

Sunday, New Year's Day, we went to the stream but it had ice on the edges from the cold.

Tuesday afternoon, my parents came home. We were forewarned so Freddy left after lunch. I didn't want to see either one of them so stayed in my room.

Mother came up all bubbly, 'Hello, dear, how was your holiday? One day we've got to take you to see New York. It was absolutely fabulous and the hotel....' And on and on. I was pretending to be reading a book and hardly looked up.

Finally, she stopped and said, 'Oh dear, you aren't still angry? Your father's very sorry for what happened but you were being very naughty.'

I almost made a remark but was concerned my father might be within earshot so pressed my lips together.

Mother left with a sigh.

I didn't see my father until dinner. He seemed physically uncomfortable. 'Good evening, son' was all he said to me. My grandparents ate with us. My grandmother talked about their trip to New York the year before and compared notes with my mother. At meal's end, my father got up awkwardly and went into the living room.

I asked my grandfather, 'What's wrong with him?' pointing my chin at my departing father.

'You hit him in the ribs with a baseball bat.' The expression on his face as he answered was strange but he did seem to enjoy telling me. Mother gave him a dirty look. I sat up straighter, feeling proud of myself.

That night as I was getting into bed, mother came to say good night and look at my 'fanny'. She patted me on the head before leaving.

    School re-opened on Wednesday. There was a week for the bruises on my legs to disappear before the next swimming class. I had no intention of allowing my classmates to see what had happened to me.

Each afternoon, I went straight to Freddy's house then home by six, which was the earliest my father would arrive. Freddy and I were able to do some quickies in the house of a neighbor which was empty, except for the old woman, until five. Everybody's great grandmother couldn't hear or see very well so our entries and exits were relatively easy. The house wasn't very warm except around the wood stove in the main room so we had to bury ourselves under blankets. I wanted to watch Freddy's belly muscles flex as he fucked me from the front but it was just too cold.

Every couple of nights, my mother would come to my room at night to check my rear end. Maybe, I thought, she really did care and would protect me from further assaults by my father. Sadly, her motives did not include concern for me. Sunday, January fourteenth, two weeks after my beating, my legs and rear were completely clear of any marks from my father's belt. 

Monday, they fired Freddy's mother. That afternoon, my mother was waiting at school when the bell rang at three in the afternoon. She claimed she had been free and just decided to give me a ride so I wouldn't have to make the mile walk home.

My father was waiting for me. He took me in the living room and told me to sit on the sofa while he sat in his stuffed armchair.

'Son, I'm sorry about what happened between you and me but now we're going to start over. We've arranged some activities for you and, now that you're nine years old, it's time for you to take on some responsibilities.

First, you have been enrolled in the Cub Scouts up the hill at the

Methodist Church. It's just for scouts, not church. And Saturday mornings, you'll go to the YMCA for programs they have there.'

     Tears were welling in my eyes. I breathed deeper. If he noticed, he didn't show it. He just kept talking.

'And, you're going to have chores to do around the house, just like your mother and me. You are responsible for keeping the driveway, sidewalk out front and the walks around the house clean and that includes snow. When the spring comes, you are going to be responsible for mowing the lawn. For now, the basement needs a good cleaning up. Yes, and you take the trash out on trash collection days then bring the cans back in after school. I expect you here every school day no later than three thirty. If you want to bring a school friend home with you, that's okay as long as you get your chores done. And, I don't want to hear you've been down to that stream or in those woods. Do we understand each other?'

My head was spinning. I was near panic inside. He leaned forward and asked again slowly.

 'Do we understand each other?'

I nodded.

'Good. Go change your clothes and I'll show you what you're going to do in the basement.'

I was dizzy when I stood. Tears were streaming down my face. I went looking for my mother and found her in the kitchen. She appeared dismayed by my tears but said, 'Go do what your father told you.'

'Where's Martha?' I asked.

'She quit. Another woman will be here tomorrow.'

My legs weakened. I moved quickly to the back stairs and sat down. I was in hell.

I looked at the back door, debating whether to run out it but naked fear overruled any move but obedience. I struggled up the stairs to my bedroom to change.

As I was pulling on my shorts, my father called from the kitchen, 'Let's go, son, I've got a lot to do.'

The basement was in four sections, the darkest and worst was an area only four to barely five feet high where my father stored boxes of papers and who knew what else. It was full of cobwebs and black dust. My father gave me a long handle brush and a dustpan.

'Let's see if you can finish this up by dinner, son.'

Within fifteen minutes, I was spitting black. After washing out my mouth in a utility sink in another section of the basement, I took off my undershirt and tied it around my mouth and nose. That helped but it was very cool and I had to go up to my room for a sweater. When I looked in the mirror, I was blacker than Freddy.

As I worked, I became angrier and angrier. But frustration accompanied the anger. I knew there was little I could do to defend myself. Running away was not an option as I'd nowhere to go. If I went to Freddy's house, his mother would put me out for fear of the police arresting her. My mother's parents were an option but I knew they were away too much. Still, I would ask.

Several times, tears streaked my face.

I wasn't finished by dinner time. My father told me I'd just have to complete it the next day.

By the time I'd finished showering and dressing, my parents had left the table, leaving my cold meal waiting for me. I ate bits and pieces then went to my room.

Mother picked me up again the next day after school. At home a white maid was vacuuming the living room rug. Her smile wasn't friendly.

I finished cleaning the first section of the basement too late to shower and make it to a warm dinner. The new maid left mine, cold again, on the breakfast table in the kitchen. I didn't do any homework. All I could think of was how I could meet Freddy for even a few minutes. As long as mother picked me up at school there was only the weekend. I didn't know how long the YMCA business would last. Perhaps I could see him Saturday afternoon.

The teacher gave me a note about my undone homework for my mother to sign.

'I was too tired last night and fell asleep,' was my excuse when she picked me up that afternoon.

'Well, you'll have plenty of time to make it up. You didn't put the trash out this morning and you father says you're to stay in your room until dinner.'

'Shit!' I exclaimed under my breath. Mother caught it.

'You better be careful with that kind of talk, Malcolm. Your father hears it and you'll be under the belt again.'

I turned toward the car door so she couldn't see my tears.

The following night was Cub Scouts. Mother had bought me a complete uniform. I felt ridiculous in that blue outfit with the little cap. There were perhaps twenty-five other white boys along with two women, a couple of teenage boys and a stern looking man with a military style crew cut wearing a Boy Scout uniform.

We were assembled in three groups of eight, eight and mine with nine. I was introduced by a woman who called herself the Den Mother as a new Scout, was applauded, then led around the formations to shake everybody's hand. We said the Our Father which they called the Lord's Prayer and added a couple of lines to the end.

During the course of the next two hours, I was handed a Scout manual, a pamphlet on the Cub Scouts and a paper with requirements like going to school every day, keeping my hair cut short and paying the ten cents a week dues. We also tied knots, studied leaves and planned for a day trip to a Civil War battlefield coming up in the Spring.

The kids looked like a cross section of my class. They ran from a really small seven year old to a large, fat ten who had lots of patches on his uniform and pissed me off with his know-it-all attitude. There was no one from my school. Nothing and no one caught my fancy in any way that first night. I was too angry and bored.

I was taken home by the mother of a freckle faced kid with thick glasses who lived on the other side of our section of town.

The YMCA was a whole different matter. Halfway through the morning, the thirty two of us nine to eleven year olds were taken to the pool where everyone swam absolutely naked, even a few older men who floated here and there. I forgot about everything but checking out bodies and watching the boys with the best torsos. I was so distracted the naked counselor, a well built man about twenty or so with a great bush of hair around his fat penis, had to pick me up and lower me into the water. I swam better than the majority who hardly could at all. While they were being taught, I had time to observe.

I had never seen a naked adult before so, initially, my time was split between the adults and the boys. One of the men hung backward on the far wall watching us carefully.

Of the boys, only three were very interesting. The rest had either really small penises, were fat or had otherwise plain or sloppy bodies. None of the three interesting boys seemed particularly approachable and I wasn't about to risk any problems.

I was home by one. The new maid had a lunch of grilled cheese sandwich and pea soup ready for me ten minutes after I arrived. My parents were out but left me a message to sweep up the driveway and walks, and not to go off the property. I swept and bagged leaves and trash as fast as I could, all the while calculating what the fastest route to Freddy's house would be. There was a path between two houses up the hill that led right down into the settlement. Freddy's mother had used it when she was our maid.

I worked my way down to the barn and put the trash and leaves into a wire container we used to burn things. After lighting it, I took off running from below the barn, up the hill and down the path. Freddy was playing with two teenagers. He jumped up and rushed to me.

'Shit, I din't think they'd never let you loose.'

'I'm not. I'm not supposed to leave the property. The new maid thinks I'm burning trash so I've only got a couple of minutes. Come on back with me. You can hide behind the barn and she can't see you.'

We took off. The fire was just smoldering when I reached it. I carried some dead brush and put it on the fire and stoked it a bit. The barn sat on a gradual incline which ran up from the bottom of our property to the road in front of the house. The side of the barn away from the house sat on a wall about five feet above the ground below. There was an old pig sty, about three by six yards in size, that extended out from that far end of the barn. A stone wall surrounded it. The stone wall that supported that end of the barn extended out into the yard as a retainer for the flat area in front of the barn. I sat on that wall, Freddy below it.

'Mama says they jes waited 'til you was all healed so she couldn't call the police no mo'.' He'd already told me she'd been fired. She hadn't quit but I'd guessed that.

I told him the restrictions I was living under and about the Cub Scouts and YMCA.

'They ain't gonna let you do nothin'.'

I had an idea. 'My father has me cleaning everything up. What if I can get him to let me clean the barn and play inside? Then we can meet in there and no one can see us. You can come in that little door behind the wall.'

There was a two foot square door above the pig sty that had probably been used to get food to the pigs. I guessed it was latched from inside.

'O we can jes sit in theah.' He pointed at the pig sty. 'Can't nobody see us.'

'But what if that white maid Janet comes down looking for me?'

'She white?'

'Uh huh.'

'Bet she gits mo' money than mah mama did.'

We discussed how to protect ourselves from being caught by the new maid. I suggested we put a trip wire on the drive up from the barn. Freddy had a better idea, a mirror.

We talked and played, wrestled for a few minutes behind the wall, until it was getting dark. It felt great being with my best friend again.

I had no idea what plans my parents had for me other than Mass the next day. Freddy said he'd sneak up to the barn around one when he got back from church. If I wasn't there, he'd come by Monday at three thirty after school.

I jumped down and gave him a powerful, long embrace. He went through the hedge separating out property from the field next door and was gone. I made sure the fire was out and went up to the house. The maid was asleep sitting in a chair, her head on the breakfast table. Freddy and I could have done anything we'd wanted.

She awakened when I opened the squeaky door to the back stairs.

'You ready ta eat?'

'What about my parents?'

'They're eatin' out. You wanna eat? I gotta go soon.'

I ate warmed up stew from earlier in the week, all the while kicking myself for not asking earlier about dinner. Freddy and I could have had sex maybe even in my bedroom.

Janet, the maid, left at seven. My parents got home a bit after eight. I stayed in my bedroom. My father looked in but just said 'Good' and went back downstairs.

Sunday right after Mass, I was taken to my grandparents to spend the day with them. After a breakfast of French toast, they took me to the zoo. I tried to be pleasant. None of this was their fault but they were being a part of keeping me from Freddy. Finally, while eating hot dogs, I told my grandfather how I felt.

'Malcolm, we have to respect the wishes of your mother and...'

I interrupted, 'But you liked Freddy. They just don't like him 'cause he's a Negro.'

'Malcolm, if I go against your mother's wishes, she can keep us from seeing each other too. Do you want that?'

'I just wanna be with Freddy.'

It ended there. They had me home by two. I was too unpleasant to have around any longer. My father was chopping chunks of firewood from a near dead tree he'd cut down on one side of our property. He ordered me to take the split wood and stack it under the porch.

I pitched my father on letting me play in the barn in exchange for cleaning it up. He said he'd think about it.

Monday afternoon, another boy's mother brought me home. She and my mother were going to split the chore of driving her seventh grade son and me home. He lived on the other side of our section of town but everyone had to drive past an intersection two blocks from my house so it wasn't really that far out of her way. Taking the seventh grader home took more time but mother accepted it, she said, so she'd have some free afternoons. I'd have happily freed all her afternoons.

  Freddy was waiting behind the wall. The maid was upstairs cleaning the hallway woodwork. She couldn't see outside. I ran back inside and grabbed two blankets from my bedroom and rushed back to Freddy. We climbed into the former pig sty, wrapped up best we could in the blankets, lowered our pants and got to it.

It had been three long, terrible weeks since we'd had sex. It felt redeeming having him inside me. He came quickly.

'It's 'cause I ain't done nothin', not even jerk off,' he told me.

He got right into his second time, pushing deep into me with each slow thrust. I wrapped one arm back around his head and let the other ride his bun up and down. 'I wish I could live with you,' I said feeling near tears.

'I wisht you could too, Maacum.'

Freddy shoved his hand under me and took hold of my stiff two inches. He massaged gently. I kissed his cheek. He didn't pull away when my next kiss was on the side of his mouth. His lips were so soft. I wanted desperately to suck them in but took what he gave and kissed him again. His second climax was prolonged, the pulsing spaced. He rolled us far enough on our side that he could masturbate me to orgasm. When I tensed and started, he ran his hands over my balls and belly. My whole body trembled. The feeling ran like trickling water through my entire body.

We lay like that for a while, eventually talking but not coming apart. Freddy wondered why we couldn't set up something right there in the pig sty but quickly realized my father would discover anything we put there.

'We can just do it like this whenever we get the chance.'

'But we can make somethin' heah so's if'n yo maid say somethin' 'bout you being down heah a lot, you can jes say you was playing in heah.'

Sounded good to me. We built a stick fort in one corner using old corn stalks I picked up in the corn field next to the hedge behind the barn.

'An' you can say the blankets was 'cause it was real cold.'

It wasn't necessary that day. When I went back inside, the maid was setting the dining room table so I was able to get back up to my room without her seeing me with the blankets.

At dinner, my father informed me that I'd be cleaning in the basement again the next afternoon. Having just been with Freddy and feeling sure we'd be able to get together at least a couple of times a week, it was easier to take. Actually, everything seemed brighter. After dinner, I did my homework and read the first chapter of 'Call of the Wild'.

Tuesday afternoon, I was back in the basement, cleaning out the section with the utility sink and some old wooden cabinets and work tables. There was a door to the outside. It was difficult to open. Between there and the cover of the barn was easily forty yards of open space. I stood in the stairwell for a while and watched the wall in case Freddy stuck his head up. He didn't, but I did see him running down the other side of the tall hedge toward the street below. If I could see him, anybody else watching from the house could too. Right above my head was the living room picture window. Spring would fill in the bushes with leaves but for the next few months, it was a dangerous situation.

Wednesday it rained all day. Thursday was mother's day to take me and Frankie Stillings, the seventh grader, home. He was tall and slim with a voice that had sounded about to change and a bit of the Orient in his eyes. We talked about baseball all the way to his house. To be more accurate, he talked and I listened. He showed me baseball cards he was collecting.

I eventually got up the courage to ask him about his slightly slanted eyes and dark black hair. He said it was the result of some Russian ancestry way back in his family. His mother had light brown hair and clear white skin. I assumed his father came from the Russian side of the family.

Mother went to the living room where she sat and read the morning paper. I walked as quickly as I could to the barn. Freddy was there, shivering from the cold. Our pig sty had ice in the bottom where water had accumulated the previous day and frozen over night. The temperature had not risen above twenty-five all day. We talked about bringing our blankets and sleeping bag to the barn. Freddy had confirmed before coming to the barn that they were still in the duffle bag in our tree house. But, there wasn't any place where they could safely be hidden, except, of course, inside the barn. We decided I should ask my father again about having a play area inside the barn.

I brought it up at dinner.

'I've got to think about that some more. Let's see how clean you get the basement.'

That motivated me. The next day, the maid was again in a part of the house that didn't allow a view of the back yard. Freddy and I made love inside my blankets. But I cut it off after one time so I could get to work on the next section of the basement. Freddy agreed it was a good idea.

I was late for dinner due to having to shower off the dirt I picked up cleaning out under my father's work bench. Another boy's mother picked me up for Cub Scouts.

Friday, it rained again so I went straight to the basement and got to work. By six thirty, most of my father's shop was clean. I had two trash cans of debris to burn the next dry day.

Saturday morning at the Y, I got a hardon in the pool when one of the three good looking boys in my group did too. But he ignored his while I hid mine under the water. I couldn't take my eyes off him walking along the side of the pool, yelling at a skinny boy struggling to swim, his cock sticking up at a forty-five degree angle. It was bigger in all ways than Freddy's, about the same size as the larger boy's cock at camp the precious summer. The difference was this boy's balls were still tiny. I looked quickly to see if our counselor was noticing it too. He was busy teaching another boy to swim. No one seemed to notice it but me.

The boy's name was Philip, like the boy who'd ratted me out at camp. Other than a slight bulge above his crotch, he hadn't any significant fat on his softly muscular frame. His blonde hair, a bit longer than most, drooped nearly down to his light brown eyes. He had a friendly face. He was half a head taller than me. I'd have guessed his age at twelve if the oldest kids in our group hadn't been just eleven. I tried to get beside him in arts and crafts. He was doing a water color of a baseball diamond. I did one too hoping to compare ours. Another boy about my age, who seemed to know him well, was also doing one. I was odd man out.

Freddy was waiting for me when I got home. The maid was in the kitchen cleaning out the refrigerator. From where she stood, she could see the area in front of the barn where I generally sat to speak with Freddy. Getting the blankets past her unseen wasn't going to be a possibility. Then I had an idea.

'Freddy, go get the duffle bag and bring it here. I know where I can hide it in the basement and no one will ever know. At least, it will be closer and we can use the blankets today. I can take them back inside in a trash can.

While Freddy dashed off to the woods, I went to the basement and dragged the first of the trash cans, heavy with debris, out the back basement door and up the stairs. It took quite a while to drag it down to the fire container. Freddy was back just as I was about to light the fire. There were pieces of wood among the trash from the basement meaning the fire would burn for quite a while. I figured the maid couldn't stop what she was doing or the food she had out of the refrigerator would go bad. Freddy and I had an hour at least.

We rolled ourselves into the blankets and pushed down our pants. I lay flat while Freddy wet down his peter with saliva. He knew just where to lie on top of me to be perfectly aligned. Initial entry was always special. A stream of tiny tingles shot through my middle as he penetrated my rectum. His hands slid under my shoulders. He pushed deep inside me. I kissed one of his hands and pulled on his buns. Freddy took a lot longer with his first orgasm than he had Monday but still just slowed rather than stop. That's when I heard something. Someone had called my name. Freddy heard it too. I pulled the blanket off my head and listened.

'Malcolm!' It was my father and he sounded closer than the house. 

Freddy and I pulled apart and stood in the cold struggling to get our pants up and buttoned.

'Get under the blankets in the corner here.' I pointed and pushed the blankets toward the corner closest to the front wall of the barn. 'I'll tell him I was playing down here and show him how I'm burning trash from the basement.'

As I finished, I was clambering up and over the wall to the flat area in front of the barn. My father was walking up to the fire a few feet away.

'What's this?' he asked.

'I'm burning the trash from the basement. There's still another can but it's heavy. Can you get it?'

He frowned. 'All right.'

As soon as he turned around to walk to the house, I backed toward the wall. Feeling certain he wasn't going to look at me for a few seconds at least, I turned toward Freddy and whispered, 'Take the blankets and run but hide too.'

I heard Freddy gather things up and move toward the rear wall of the pig sty. My father was at the walk behind the house. He didn't look back but went straight to the open basement door and inside. I could hear Freddy's quick footsteps in the dead underbrush of the field beside our property. My father reappeared coming up the steps from the basement, carrying the trash can full of debris. He was looking my way. I wanted to turn and see if Freddy was visible but didn't dare. Since my father didn't seem to change his pace, I assumed he'd seen nothing. However, as he approached the fire, I saw the anger in his eyes. My stomach reacted like it was being pulled through a wringer. I stopped breathing. I knew I should run but couldn't. He put down the can and grabbed the back of my coat.

'You just don't listen, boy!'

I was so terrified I couldn't walk. Quickly tiring of dragging me, my father snatched me up and carried me under his arm.

By the time we were approaching the house, terror was being replaced by a desperate anger. I had nothing to lose by trying to escape. I turned my body sharply and kicked hard as I could at his leg. He dropped me to the asphalt. As I came up to run, his hand struck me hard between my shoulders, slamming me back to the black top. I tried to roll away but he grabbed my leg and yanked it up in the air. My whole body left the ground. I grabbed at his hands about my leg. He let go with one and smacked me hard in the ribs.

I screamed, 'Son-of-a-bitch! Son-of-a-bitch!' and kicked at his middle with my free foot. He blocked it and dropped me. Before I could do anything, his foot came down on my back and he grabbed both of my hands, pulling them behind me and up. The pain was excruciating.

'Stand up and shut up.'

I got to my knees then stood.

He nudged me forward to the back porch steps, through the pantry and up the stairs to the kitchen. The maid turned and left the room quickly. My father put my two hands together in one of his and opened the door to the back stairway.

Once in my room he said, 'You've got a choice. Take your pants off yourself or I'll just rip them off. Up to you.'

My mind whirred away seeking an escape. He was between me and the door. I had no viable weapon to attack him with. A move a boy had made in a Little Rascals movie popped into my mind. I jammed my heel hard down on the tip of his shoe. If he felt it, he didn't let on.

He shoved me forward, face down on my bed. I kicked back at him but he dodged and yanked my arms higher. Again the pain made me scream not with insults but agony. Holding my arms up behind me, he reached under and undid my belt. He gripped my pants at the fly and ripped them open. Then it was merely a matter of grabbing all from behind and pulling down. I was bare and helpless. All hope gone, I began to scream hysterically. Son-of-a-bitch came out 'Son-a-itch.'

My father sat on the bed, pulled my legs between his, let go of my hands and grabbed a handful of my hair to force my head down. He used his hand rather than the belt this time. It seemed to go on forever. I tried to roll off him but just extended the range of the beating to my hips and thighs. Again, I got to a point where I lost contact with the pain. Panic set in as I lost the ability to get air into my lungs and gasped.

My father got up and let me fall to the floor. There was no fight in me. I lay there and tried to cry. At what seemed like a distance, I heard the door slam.

I've no idea how long it took to get my breath back and cry normally. I thought of nothing during that time but breathing, wishing I could take a deep breath. I grabbed at the air as though there was something out there that would open my lungs and let it in.

Eventually, I crawled to my bed and up on it. The pain began to register. My rear end and legs felt like they were on fire. I remembered Martha taking me to the bathtub but was afraid to approach the closed door, terrified he might be waiting outside. I could do nothing to alleviate my agony. An urge to hit something grew inside me. I swung at the headboard but it was too far away. The word kill flashed across my mind. Growing hate distracted me from my pain. I thought about killing my father, somehow, some way. A knife. There were three big knives in the kitchen. I'd wait until he went to sleep and stab him everywhere in his body. He had a pistol locked in his dresser. I could break into there and get that, stand him up, make him take off his pants then watch as I shot him in his legs and arms then killed him with a shot between the eyes.

I eventually fell asleep from lying on the bed so long. I awakened sometime in the middle of the night. The moment I moved, the terrible aching in my rear reminded me what had happened. I stood best I could with my pants around my ankles. My bladder was bursting. I waddled over to the light switch. The first thing I saw was my torn pants. The fly now went halfway to the knee. I lifted my leg to take them off. It hurt, a lot. My shoes were still on. Leaning over was painful. I cried out of frustration. I considered pissing on the floor but was sure it would just make matters worse.

I tried pulling up my pants so I could walk but couldn't bear the lightest touch of my ass. What finally worked was lying on my side on the bed and raising my knees very slowly. I untied and pushed off my shoes one at a time then slid off my pants and underwear.

The hallway was dark, empty and silent. Peeing felt good.

I looked at my rear end in the mirror. It was streaked with various shades of red and purple down to the backs of my knees. I ran cold water in the tub, took off my shirt and undershirt, and slowly climbed in with my socks still on. I held onto the side of the tub and lowered myself. The water was very cold, too cold. I went back to bed and tried to examine my situation and seek some alternatives.

Running away was my first thought but to where? The only possible refuge was my mother's parents but they'd made it very clear they didn't want to go against their daughter's desires. Other than Freddy, I had no friends. Oh, Freddy! If only he could be with me, I thought. I cried some more. How long would it be before I'd be able to see him again, feel his body against mine? Would my father try to do anything to him? Why did my father hate Negroes so much?

Right then, he couldn't possibly have hated them as much as I hated him.

Over the next hour or so before I fell asleep again I re-visited thoughts about murder, calling the police, or taking my chances and running away.

In the morning, mother awakened me to get dressed for church. I looked at my discolored rear than back at her. She left.

When I heard the car leave, I walked out to the front steps and down, still dressed only in my socks. Each step hurt but less than it would on the higher treads of the back steps. I leaned over the broad railing as I slowly went down, one step at a time. In the kitchen, the box of Shredded Wheat required getting up on a chair. The pain was so great I almost decided eating wasn't worth it. I ate standing up.

When I put the milk and juice back in the refrigerator, the sight of the eggs tempted me to throw them at the walls. I leaned into the refrigerator and cried. I was doomed, without hope.

I refused to go to school until Wednesday. Actually, my ass didn't hurt very much Tuesday but it was swimming day and I didn't want anyone to see my shame.

Wednesday, it was Frankie Stillings mother's turn to bring me home. Frankie was curious why I'd missed school.

'Father problems,' I told him but refused to elaborate.

Frankie had not exactly become a friend but did, as opposed to others in the seventh grade, speak to me on the playground. He knew I wasn't very popular and occasionally offered astute suggestions on how to remedy that.

'Don't say anything, just listen.' 'You're smart, help the kids who aren't.' 'Offer to be bat boy instead of play in the game.'

They were all good ideas. I wasn't very good at implementing them.

He pressed me about my 'father problems'.

'Nothing,' I answered again.

'I got a pretty shitty father too,' said Frankie in a whisper so his mother couldn't hear. 'He hardly ever lets me go anywhere. Kids can come to my house but I can't go to theirs. He's always saying I'll just get in trouble if I go out. I'm almost thirteen. Everybody else in my class can go out a lot.'

'Mine's the same,' I volunteered but stopped at that.

'So what happened?'

'He beat me.'

'So bad you missed two days of school?'

'It was Saturday.'

'Gees! What'd he beat you with?'

'His hands. He just didn't stop.'

'Sorry, Malcolm.'

We arrived at my house. Frankie seemed sincerely concerned about what happened to me. It made me feel a lot better about him.

Thursday, I refused to go to Scouts saying my stomach hurt.

'Then just stay in your room and get well because tomorrow you're going back to work in the basement,' my father told me. It was the first he'd spoken to me since the beating. I said nothing.

Hatred for my father had seeped into every corner of my mind. All other thoughts were regularly dislodged by plans to somehow get rid of him or get myself out from under his control.

Mother had tried to speak to me a few times about how life would be so much easier if I'd just obey my father's one order to stay away from Freddy. I never replied. I wanted to hate her too but, somewhere deep inside, saw her as just another person under my father's evil control. However, it didn't make me like her.

Frankie Stilling's mother was rapidly approaching the birth of her fourth child and found getting in and out of the car too difficult. I had to listen to my mother complaining about her ruined afternoons each time she picked me up after school. Frankie was put on one of the school busses. I lost a sympathetic shoulder, worsening my already sour mood.

I was surly in school the entire week. My homework was sloppy and only partially complete. Sister Mary Margaret tried to find out what was wrong.

'Ain't nothing wrong,' I answered in the vernacular of the Negro settlement which I used increasingly as both an attack on my situation and for its comfortable familiarity.

Sister Margaret sighed. 'Malcolm, my best student doesn't just all the sudden turn into one of my worst, and speak very differently, if something isn't wrong.'

I stared at my hands. Sister Margaret had slowly become my favorite teacher. She was tough but appreciated my good work and often praised me in front of my classmates and in private. And she was the first of my nun teachers who really seemed to know the material she taught. There was no question a student could ask for which she didn't have a ready answer. Still, there was nothing she could do, or could she?

'My father beat me 'cause he hates Negroes.'

She seemed confused. 'Is that why you didn't come to school on Monday or Tuesday?'

I nodded.

She squatted in front of me. We were alone in the classroom. The others had gone outside for recess. 'What happened?'

I worried I'd already said more than I should have. 'Can I go to recess now?'

'Malcolm, anything you tell me is between us, I won't discuss it with anyone without getting your permission first.' She peered into my eyes. I turned my head toward the windows. I really wanted to tell someone. Without Freddy, I had no one to talk to. But it couldn't be someone who had power over me.

'Please, can I go now?'

She stood up. 'It's 'may I' and yes, you may go.'

As I stood, she touched my shoulder. 'Just remember, you can talk to me and no one will hear about it.'

I didn't believe her.

On the playground, I sat by myself and cried inside. I so needed Freddy.

There had to be a way.

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