Oliver of the Adirondacks

by Dashiell Walraven

Chapter 47

Early in the summer season, before I got my license, my Dad began to hatch a plan to somehow get power and water over to the cottage on our island in the cove. The island represented nearly three acres of total land, so it could easily accommodate a small compound of buildings. My father figured that if he could make the cottage the main building, and put three or four smaller cabins on the island, we would have another feature to attract renters and retreaters. Neal and I thought it was a grand idea, Garrett was game, only Mom was dubious.

"It's a big project," she said, "Apart from the money it's going to cost to do all this, who is going to want to rent a cabin or what have you, that's only accessible by boat?" Mom wasn't trying to put the kibosh on the deal, but she would have felt remiss if she didn't point out some of the more obvious pitfalls.

"The cottage is already there, and it's going to fall into ruin if we don't use it," Dad pointed out. Mom had to agree with him there. He was always going over to the cottage to make repairs and keep it in good shape. Making that kind of effort didn't make much sense if nobody was going to rent the thing. The cottage had never been rigged for electricity, but that could be done easily enough. The local electrical utility had offered several times to bring power to the island, as they had done for several others on other end of the massive lake. Now, Dad decided was going to take them up on their offer.

One afternoon, Neal and I decided to take the canoe over to the island, and visit the cottage. With its surrounding copse of trees, the cottage is remarkably quiet, even with all the buzzing of boats and activities going on around the lake during the busy summer season. We wandered through the tall grasses and weeds surrounding the building, and started to picture in our minds what the end product would look like.

The cottage itself sat near the northern most point, the rest of squat, crescent-shaped island which lay beyond its front door. My father explained to us that he planned to update the cottage, a rugged stone affair, and add a wrap-around porch on the front. Beyond the steps of the front porch, we would clear the land to create a fairly large yard, and surround it with four smaller cabins. Two of which would be "family style" cabins, with a bathroom and shower, one large bedroom and two smaller rooms, equipped with bunk beds. The other two cabins would be larger, but little more than bunk rooms divided by a common room in the center, four showers and toilets. Those "camp style" cabins were designed to be single-sex, and could accommodate up to eight campers plus a "counselor" bed in each bunk room, for a total of 16 children or adults per cabin.

At the other end of the "yard", would be a large fire-pit made of stone and log benches. Near the main cottage, would be a small outbuilding where mowers, maintenance equipment and tools would be kept. Dad also planned on including an outdoor BBQ station. The rest of the island would remain wooded, to shield its occupants from the hustle and bustle of the lake, except where it shared the cove with the mainland.

An ambitious project for sure, I felt kind of infected by the completeness of Dad's vision for the island. I was constantly asking him questions about what was going to go where. Garrett's father was on the board of a local bank, so the loan my father needed to make his island dreams come true, was quickly and easily approved. Mom worried about whether we'd ever make enough to pay it back, but Dad seemed confident.

Neal and I wandered the boundaries of the island, I watched him as he walked ahead of me through the tall grass. He was taller now, but I still outpaced him in the height department. True to his prediction, Neal wasn't the tallest among our circle of common friends. He was no shorty, standing about five feet, eight inches, but by then, at fifteen, nearly sixteen years old, I stood about 6 feet. I would eventually top out at 6', 4". So, he stood a little taller than my shoulders, making for a noticeable difference between us. It didn't seem to bother Neal, so it never bothered me, which is good because there wasn't going to be much either of us could do about it.

Neal had developed a lean, yet muscular build, whereas I tended toward long and lanky. My hands and feet felt freakishly large to me, while Neal's seemed perfectly proportioned to the rest of him. To me, he was complete eye-candy. Even if I had not known him as well as I do, my eye probably would have been drawn to his good looks.

As we crashed through the brush, his butt wriggled under his tight shorts, which warmed more than just my heart. That's the way we wore them in the seventies, so tight that they looked like they'd been grown out of since putting them on in the morning. One could say that little was left to the imagination, but with everything compacted so tightly, it was sometimes hard to tell exactly what you were looking at. Of course, Neal and I were already intimately associated with each other's wares, so there was no need of speculation for either of us.

In that regard, however, is where Neal easily outpaced me in the growth department. Neither of us where porn-star material, but where my equipment stayed mostly in the normal range, Neal's dick had thickened. Lengthwise, we were on par with each other, which suited me fine, but in terms of girth, Neal had me beat. This too, suited me very well, thank you muchly. Let us just say that the surplus circumference added an extra "dimension" to our play times together. Since we had literally grown up together, my ability to accommodate him, grew along with him. He was big enough to make our intimate moments together enjoyable and comfortable, and I didn't have to unhinge my jaw to bring him pleasure when the mood struck.

By all measures, we were made for one another. In our mid-adolescence, with all those teenage hormones racing around our bloodstreams, we became even hungrier for each other, if you can imagine such a thing. Thus, it was inevitable that our explorations of the island, would lead us to the interior of the cottage, where we intended to sublimate our passion for one another. I was already painfully hard as I focused on his delicious bubble-butt, during our approach to the cottage.

My ardor quickly subsided when we saw that the side door was hanging at a strange angle against its frame, the window broken out. The remains of a bleached out curtain waved limply in a small breeze, through the shards of glass still stuck to the mullions.

"Holy shit, Oliver," Neal breathed as we inspected the damage, "Somebody broke in."

That was fucking stupid, I thought to myself, because none of the doors to the cottage, had actual locks on them. If whoever had done this had merely tried the knob, the door would have opened easily. In fact, we were used to local youth exploring the island and cottage. We knew practically everybody in the area, and they knew us, I couldn't imagine who'd want to do such a thing. Gingerly, Neal pulled the door open by the knob. The hinges squealed in protest as the broken door swung open, wedging itself into the dirt about halfway, but wide enough to let us squeeze through.

The damage on the inside of the cottage took my breath away. There was no furniture or appliances to damage on the first floor, but the doors on the cabinets in the kitchen that had not been either torn off their hinges completely, hung awkwardly by a thread. The built-ins on either side of the fireplace had suffered similarly. The spray-painted outline of a large, squirting penis graced the entire wall, even crossing the stone mantle and chimney. A portion of the hearth stone lay cracked and broken on one side.

It felt like somebody fired a cannonball through my insides. I had so many good, fun and private memories of the place, and I couldn't believe the damage I was seeing. On the hearth was an area of small, blackened marks, like somebody had burned something there. Above, on the ceiling, smoky rings and marks marched around in an inexpert attempt at spelling the words "Helter Skelter". The entire room bore a peculiar smoky stink that I recognized from the pot-heads who sparked up beneath the bleachers at school. From where we stood, most of the windows were broken out, some completely. The front door, curiously, remained untouched.

The upstairs floors were in no better shape. The vandals, whoever they were, had made it a point to smoke in every room, and it made me wonder how they didn't just set the place ablaze and be done with it. The master bedroom, the empty bedframe had been flipped over, and the springs torn apart. The brass knobs were dented, one of which had been knocked off entirely. Neal looked out through a window into the back yard, remarking that the outhouse had been pushed over, the old timber frame collapsing under its own weight.

Empty spray paint cans littered each room, there had to be an even dozen of them. Seemed like an awful lot of money to spend to vandalize a place. But then, it also occurred to me that people who waste their resources on cigarettes, pot and other drugs, probably aren't the best custodians of their money to start.

Limbic rage is probably the best term I could use to describe my state of mind. Having surveyed the last room, and finding similar wreckage, my emotions began to spill out.

"MOTHERFUCKERS!" I roared, "WHAT THE ACTUAL FUUUUUUCK!" Neal, standing next to me, was shaking. I was too, for that matter.

"Okay," he said, weirdly quiet, "This... this is really bad."

Thank you, Captain Obvious.

"WHO FUCKING DID THIS?" I screamed at the Universe, as if it might answer.

"C'mon," Neal said, tugging at my shoulder, "Let's get out of here and tell your father." I shrugged him off, my fingers balling into fists. "Oliver," he said sternly, giving my shoulder a gentle sock with his fist. "This isn't your fault, let's go tell your Dad, he'll know what to do." I'm glad he said that, in the way he did it. If he hadn't, I felt like I might have gone off on a rage of my own, doing further damage, maybe even triggering a seizure. Instead, I stood there, getting my breathing under control.

Eventually, we picked our way out of the mess, got into the canoe, and silently made our way back to shore. My father was there, pointing up the cinder blocks for bon-fire pit on the shore. He looked up and waved cheerily as we trudged up to him, then smile fell from his face when he saw me.

"Oliver?" He asked, "What's wrong?"

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