Frankie Fey

by Rigby Taylor

Chapter 31

A Proposition

Frankie realised he'd have to leave soon if he wanted to arrive at the monastery during August. But… having discovered a real friendship with Prudence he couldn't escape an odd feeling about her situation. He was enjoying checking the forest for fallen trees, replacing damaged fences, helping with the clean up after the flood and keeping fit with Massimo who was teaching him to wrestle, but when he was alone with time to think, or in the lounge in the evenings, or playing chess with Prudence, there was this constant niggling notion that he shouldn't leave her alone with the Kwins.

The two young men were lying in the lee of a large boulder sheltering from a chill wind after swimming. Massimo was leaning on his elbow, gazing down at Frankie while distractedly drawing a blade of grass round and round his navel.

Frankie smiled up.

Massimo frowned down. 'We have to talk.'

'Sounds serious.'

'It is and isn't. I need to earn some cash; can't sponge on my sister forever. She reckons Prudence has plenty for all of us. But I don't want to be dependent.'

'What about your parents?'

'They're skint too.'

'Do they make much with their videos?'

'Barely scrape a living. When Rika and I left home they sold the house, bought the van and have been living on the interest. But interest rates are so low they've had to eat into their capital. Dad's trying to get into soft-core porn to make a bit more money. He and Mum are too shy to ask you, so I'm the messenger. You can shoot me if you're offended. They want to know if you'll let them market the video of you and Prudence dancing and fucking. Should make a fair profit if its well promoted.'

'It's Prudence's. She did all the work. I don't care what they do with it.'

'That's a relief. And they want to make the sculpture video sexy with shots of you and Rika getting it off… What do you say?'

Frankie's laugh sounded false even to himself, but Massimo seemed unaware. 'She won't be able to make me stiff.'

'I can give you a hand and clever editing will make it look as if she's done it.'

'Rika doesn't mind?'

'She's easy, like the rest of us. It's only sex and bodies. No big deal. The pervs are the ones who get off on natural behaviour.'

'You should be in it, not me. You're better looking and cuter.'

Massimo plonked a kiss on Frankie's smile, then sat back and frowned.

'From this angle you look like a pro wrestler; your upper body is so powerful,' Frankie said to fill the silence.

'I'm glad you mentioned that because what I was getting around to was…' Massimo paused then blurted, 'What are you doing tonight?'

'After dinner with the Jamesons, I'm going to a performance of Cenerentola at the Opera House, then to an after-show party, then back here if I don't meet a nice young man who wants to seduce me. Why?'

'I've a couple of wrestling bouts tonight.' He looked at his feet. 'Wanna come?'

'So you are a wrestler?'


'How will we get there?'

'I'd hoped….'

'Of course I'll take you. I'd like to see you wrestle.'

'Thank goodness.' He sighed. 'And Columbine needs footage of the wrestling, including the audience, because she wants to make a video.'

'I thought she wanted sexy?'

'We wrestle naked like the ancient Greeks.' Massimo stopped, frowned and added, 'She hopes you and I will do some staged wrestling shots as well. The footage from tonight is to add an element of truth.'

'So that's why you've been teaching me to wrestle! I'll wait till I've seen you in action. And what about…?'

'All further questions will be answered in the car. The match is about an hour's drive away so let's get the cameras, and I need to shower and make myself trim and presentable.'

By the time Columbine had ensured all batteries were fully charged and taught Frankie how to check that the miniature hard-drive was receiving pictures from the wireless camera that looked a lot like a flat button, Prudence had a meal ready.

'Why do you like wrestling?' Frankie asked when they reached the sealed road.

'It's one of the few sports that strengthens and builds virtually every muscle in the body. Afterwards you feel electric. Alive. Buzzing… it's magic. All senses alert, every muscle ready. It's primitive. Real. Sexy but not sexual. When my palm is against a man's chest I can feel the mass of muscle, the racing heart beneath his ribs. With my arms locked under a man's armpits and around his neck from behind, I know the kind of person he is, and feel his next move before he makes it.'

'Sounds almost mystical.'

'It is, for those of us who do it because we love it.'

'What are the other guys like?'

'If I asked you what the people you live with are like, what would you say?'

Frankie thought, smiled and nodded. 'It's a nonsense question. They're each completely different, yet similar. And if I described each person singly there wouldn't be the sense of friendship or unity we have. Ok, then. Are they gay?'

'Another nonsense question!' He shook his head angrily. 'Another fucking label. What does 'gay' mean? To most people it means either a queer, hip-swaying, limp-wristed, eyelash-fluttering, screaming feminine wannabe, or a greasy creep who gives boys sweets and then feels them up and fucks them up the arse. That is what the words gay, queer, homosexual, trans, bi… mean to ninety-nine percent of the population because of those bloody gay liberation marches and parades and Internet porn videos and queers wanting to get married and kiss and stuff in public.'

'Surely religion has a lot to do with it?'

'Only for the genuinely religious who are very grateful to loudmouth gays for making themselves so obvious. That is why they're persecuted in so many countries. So if you tell someone you're gay, no matter how well they know and like you, no matter what sort of noble saint you are or how attractive, clean and pleasant you look; in their heads, and that's where it matters, you become one or other of the stereotypes and not someone they can trust with their kids, want to employ, rent their house to, or want to be seen with.'

'I fear you're right.'

'Men have always had sex with other men. It's natural. That's why most people don't give a toss if a healthy fit, pleasant guy has it off with his equally healthy mate in private. That's just guys being guys in the same way as girls kiss and fondle each other.'

'You have statistics to prove your assertions?'

'Statistics can be made to prove anything.'

'Yes, they can. And you're right about stereotypes. This guy's a nerd, that one's a drama queen, this guy's a muscle Mary, he's a faggot, queer, gay, bi. None of those words describe anything.'

'We ought to ask those who use them what they mean, and force them to narrow it down till they admit it means nothing.'

'They'll just say, "You know very well what I mean," and refuse to talk.'

'I reckon the stupidest thing is talking about gay culture, gay lifestyle. That's as stupid as saying you shaved with a gay razor, we ate a gay meal and now we're driving in a gay car. Imagine someone wrote about heterosexual culture and the heterosexual lifestyle; everyone would think they were insane.'

'Yeah. Only individuals should be criticised, not groups.'

'As individuals we stand, united we fall.'

'Good one. Maybe most of the so-called wise sayings are propaganda to keep the downtrodden, downtrodden.'

They drove in silence for a minute.

'How'd you get into wrestling for money?'

'I was skint so replied to an online ad for guys prepared to wrestle for cash. It was the place we're going to.

'And naked feels good?'

'We've all worn singlets in clubs, but naked feels more real, exciting, dangerous.'

'And the audience?'

'They keep coming back.'

'How much are you paid?'

'Two hundred tax-free bucks for each fight, a hundred dollar bonus for each winner. That's an incentive to fight for real! There's nothing staged and the punters know it. I used to do it three times a week. Often making the full, tax-free six hundred.'

Frankie whistled his surprise. 'What's the program?'

'Ten wrestlers. We're paraded in the ring at the beginning, and again after the interval, the opponents are announced so the punters can make bets, then we wait out the back till it's our turn.'

'How long do you fight?'

'Each pair have two, three-minute bouts in the first half. With a few minutes between fights, it takes about three-quarters of an hour. The second half is more… ritualistic, with different opponents.'


'Primeval males in ritualistic tests of manhood with the loser a scapegoat.'

'What do you mean, a scapegoat?'

'In the second-half losers are hoisted into an undignified position by the winner who carries him around the ring before shoving in the sacrificial knife.'

'He's fucked?'

'Well and truly.'

'And the audience?'

'Love it! They clap and cheer, whistle and stamp their feet. It's what they pay for; to see a tough guy humiliated as they feel they have been by life, and often their wives.'

'Have you been fucked?'

'Of course.'


'Always. I don't want genital warts or any other lurgy.'

'Does the loser really suffer?'

'He struggles, pulls faces, and pretends he's in pain, but we're all able to relax and it's usually no big deal.' He glanced across at Frankie. 'You think it's perverted, don't you? But it doesn't feel strange. It feels… right.'

Frankie laughed. 'It sounds like more fun and less kinky than the symbolical cannibalism of eating the flesh and drinking the blood of Jesus, as Christians do. But what if you can't get stiff?'

'During interval we get an injection. And that makes it more challenging because a stiff cock can really get in the way.

'And you like it.'

'Of course. It's fun! It's fantasy! We're no different from any other actors on stage doing what the audience wants, for cash. At least I can't see the difference.'

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