Blessed Be the Merciful

by Rafael Henry

Chapter 20

After leaving St Ives that afternoon and all the arrangements in place, Henry drove me back eastwards to see my parents at St Mawgs. I hadn't heard anything from Leon up in Edinburgh for ages, but they had had a long letter from him. I know Leon feels a huge debt of gratitude to them for effectively rescuing him from the Oxford charity so if he only had time for one letter, it would go to them. Fair enough. I know Leon works incredibly hard and is totally focussed on his medical training and nothing else. In the brief conversations I've had with him, he said he has no interest in any social life and spends every evening and weekend working. I regard him as some form of saint. I tell him that I love him, of course, which I will do for ever. Then there's a long and rather poignant silence before he abruptly ends the call. At the end of his first year at medical school he will have two weeks in Cornwall before returning to Romania for one year. The technical staff of which I am one at my college don't get all the student holiday time so I can't be with Leon for all of that two-week period. But in September I will be a full-time student, just three years away from realizing my life-long ambition of becoming a professional artist in my own right. Here's hoping. In some ways, I consider myself one already.

My father, the Rector, is looking frail these days. I know my mother is more worried about him than ever. They both work absurdly hard under trying conditions and in penury it seems. I feel severe pangs of guilt whenever I leave them, but they insist that I have a life and should get on with it as I wish, so I do. Henry has asked me over to his place, not that far away, so after three days at the Rectory I walk to the edge of the village to meet him, waiting in the car. It's Friday afternoon, and on Monday morning we shall begin an artwork in St Ives that could see me break through a culture barrier in London. Well, that's the plan.

There have been three significant boys in my life thus far……Peter, my first desperately rich and rewarding love and Henry's only child, then the mysterious Romanian boy Leon on the rebound from Peter in Dinard, and now to a far lesser extent emotionally, Day Knight. Henry seems to have been there all along too, as parenthesis, enclosing these relationships. He's my go-to mentor, my guide in many things, my friend and my lover. He's like that big boy at school you saw in the showers you wanted to be friends with, thrillingly kind and stern, with that massive hairy penis and pendulous balls hanging between his legs as he smiles down at you , just a worm, naked and shy, whilst he dries himself with a towel. He might stop you later in a corridor one afternoon after games and ask you how you are, then a hand gently touches your shoulder and one leaves the scene breathless with joy. He actually touched me! Then comes the hope that you will speak again, he will want to meet somewhere, privately, unseen, for more of the same, illicit, exhilarating, and giving in to lust. Dear old Henry.

But with Henry, matters came to a head quickly in Dinard. A sexual frisson emerged almost immediately between us, he a thirty-one year-old man and me an awful lot younger and just a very randy and very queer boy wanting to know something more about sex. Henry's son Peter had fallen out with Leon, who had then fallen into my arms. I clearly needed some relationship guidance and Henry was there to provide it, and more. He made it clear that he found me attractive, as I found myself needing to know more about how to give and receive some satisfaction. The two things gently melded neatly together and we found ourselves in bed of an afternoon for a couple of hours each day. I let him have his way with me and I found that I enjoyed everything he gave me, and the different pleasures I could give him. So simple after a slow burn, and now he's my sheet anchor in life. He's wonderful company, funny, and deeply caring. He's still asking to marry me, and I tell him I will, provided I haven't married anyone else! Imagine that……I would become Peter's step father. No, I can't imagine that.

I had spent the Sunday night at Francesca's house in Salubrious Terrace. Henry needed to go home as he had meetings the following day at his office in Truro. My sleeping arrangements were the same as the last time I was in residence, now some months ago. We had a drink in the Sloop, no surprise there, and a bar meal before walking back to the terraced cottage. Day had been with friends and looked tired. He joined me in the tiny bathroom for our last pee before bed, teeth cleaning and a quick soapy rinse under the armpits. He's grown a couple of inches in height, and a little more in another way too. I've an interest here as I shall be casting that delicious morsel, twice, sometime this week.

'You've changed a little Day.' I remark, looking at his nether regions. He just smiles, as if to say, 'that's for me to know, and you to find out.' As he left the bathroom, he turns towards the lavatory roll holder, attached to the wall with a thick piece of string, and rips off a few squares of the white tissue.

'What's that for Day?' I ask, genuinely curious.

'To wipe my nose of course. What did you think it was for?' He says, furrowing his eyebrows.

We walked, both naked, the few feet to our bedroom door, the room still furnished with two beds.

'Are you going to make me sleep in my own bed Jamie.' He asks, standing there, with that pathetic look on his face, trying to suppress a smile. I'm in bed already.

'Yes I am . You look exhausted. You need to sleep young man.' I say, rolling over and turning my back on him.

'That's not fair!'

'Yes it is…….perfectly fair.'

The next morning I wake early as usual to find Day next to me in my bed, warm as toast, and fast asleep. I'm not in any way surprised, as he always seems to have things his way. Close to his hand, let go in his slumber, between his head and mine lies the little package of folded toilet tissue. I'm guessing that it was meant for me last night, not for this boy's runny nose. The warmth of his body and his soft regular breaths are sending little wafts of his perfume around me. I'm looking at the gentle curve of his eyelashes, long ones, on eyelids that shield his eyes from the dawning day. His mouth is moist and open just enough to see the whiteness at the very tip of his front teeth. As I run the tips of my fingers down his cheek, those same eyelids flutter momentarily as he gradually leaves sleep behind and enters our world once more. In this miracle of creation, I can see that mysterious and as yet unknown god, and a gift of creation. I'm greeted by his lovely smile as if to say…..'I told you I would win.'

' You are one naughty little boy. Do you know that?'

Day nods, as his smile broadens.

'And what's going on down there this morning?' I ask, his hands no longer visible.

'Nothing.' He answers, all innocence.

'I don't believe you Day. Show me your hands. If I find you're fibbing, there'll be trouble.'

'What kind of trouble?'

Day pushes his body forwards in the bed until it touches mine. Moved, I run my fingers through his soft hair and take a long look into his eyes which are fixed on mine. I defy anyone in this enviable situation, and of a similar persuasion as mine, not to be tempted by his charms.

There's a plop as the little parcel of tissue, folded neatly and slightly heavier now than it was, hits the water in the lavatory pan. Needs must when the devil drives. I turn towards the lovely Day wondering if he noticed, erect still and unsatisfied, as he brushes his teeth.

As you can imagine, the making of a mould, in two halves, front and back, from the human body is a tricky process, and not something that most readers would want described in every detail, start to finish. There's the application of the release material that will prevent the alginate from sticking to the skin, in this case petroleum jelly, and then smoothing on the liquid alginate. When that's set, plaster bandage is applied to the outside the support the thin alginate mould and prevent it from collapsing. Then when that's set hard enough, the front section can be removed from the body and we begin the back half. Of course, much later, we have the problem of joining the two halves, a process which can be completed anywhere. With Day in a standing pose and much smaller than a full-sized adult, it was a less daunting task. The result was amazing, as we all looked into the mould of Day's body, with every detail recorded in reverse. The back section worked as well as the front, leaving us with two almost perfect halves to be joined and cast in wax. Although the front half of the mould included Day's genitalia, it was decided that we should take a second cast which could and should be completed in the privacy of Day's home, with just myself and his mother in attendance.

Unsure about how well the first genital mould had worked, we took another impression of Day's entire groin area. With the boy standing as he was with our other attempt, it was relatively plain sailing, and the alginate small and thick enough not to need any added support from the Modroc plaster of paris bandage. The mould, now set nicely, pulled easily away from the skin. Excited to see a result, Day wanted to see the cast. Minutes later we poured the liquid plaster into the mould and waited for it to set. Perfect!

Swelling slightly from the normal, we are all mightily impressed with the result, hardened now and pure white, the plaster cast is perfect in every detail, and an ideal accoutrement to my wall space in London, and a conversation piece to boot. Looking at the reproduction of his body part, whilst indulging in a little fiddling, Day wanted to get on with the other task in hand. He was half way there when we laid him on his side on the couch, and old towel underneath his stretched-out body. Day strokes himself to an erection hard enough to resist the alginate, staring down at the swollen organ, clearly intrigued with the whole process, just as I am. It's difficult to believe how easy it is for the boy to provide for me so completely.

'Draw the skin back Day……right back. That's it. Perfect. Now take your hands away.'

I'm stroking the boy's back, right down to his buttocks, between them, and the backs of his thighs too, repeating the journey up and down and in and around all those erogenous forms. This way, there's no chance of Day's beautiful erection diminishing. We need him as hard as a bone for at least three minutes.

Francesca worked the alginate between Day's legs and around his tightened balls, then working up the shaft, and finally covering the exposed bell-shaped head of the boy's penis.

I kept my ministrations going until I was sure the alginate has had enough time to set, before we gently remove the blue mould from his penis which shows little sign of diminishing. With Francesca holding the fully set alginate mould in cupped hands, and day looking on, I pour the liquid plaster in, squeezing it gently to get rid of any air bubbles as we fill the mould to the brim. As plaster sets, it gives off heat, and then gradually cools as it sets, at which point the alginate mould can be carefully removed from the plaster, re-used if desired, leaving the perfectly cast 'positive'. Thus the jewels of boyhood are recorded for posterity to be admired and enjoyed by all.

The full body cast is another matter entirely, and will require hours of painstaking work to join the two cast parts, back and front, smoothing the surface of the wax until a totally life-like image evolves. That's just the beginning. Then there's the colouring stage to make the wax appear exactly like human skin. Real human hair can be applied using a needle to make the tiny holes in the wax to insert a collection of Day's hair into it. The finished product will take months to complete, and for exhibition purposes, the figure will be clothed, partially, with some form of wig to cover Day's head, cast as it was over a swimmer's skull cap. For private exhibition, the image of Day will not be clothed.

I'm going to miss this little warm body next to mine each morning. I'm going to miss the gentle wafts of his sweet breath as it falls on my face as he sleeps. But tonight he's managed to worm his way into my bed again, and in just a few minutes he will be sleepy and content. As for me, I shall have to wait for sleep to overtake my mind and body. He sleeps beside me, my love and inspiration……..and my pleasure too. Morning will come, with Day still beside me. When he awakes, he will smile, and our hands will touch again.

'It's time you got dressed Day. You'll be late.'

'Ok, but you have to help me.' He replies with that coy smile again.

'Alright, I'll do it. Are you ready now?'

'Not quite.'

'Why not?'

It saves Francesca a job each morning if I help Day prepare. He enjoys it just as much as I do. I get clean clothes ready while he finishes in the bathroom, and I wait for the sound of bare feet on the wooden floor. Then he appears, naked and perfect.

'Well stand still please . I can't do this with you wriggling about.'

He's there except for blazer and black school shoes. A peeled orange and a bowl of cereal sit on the kitchen table. Back to the bathroom briefly, blazer off the back of the kitchen chair, shoes on, and then it's a bag over the shoulder and the 'goodbyes', and he's gone. He knew it was my last day in St Ives and I can feel a stinging in my eyes. He lets me hold him for the last time, my hand behind his head, my mouth buried in soft combed hair as I kiss his head. Then I watch from the window as he turns the corner. He doesn't look back. Francesca gave me a lingering hug as I left the little cottage in Salubrious Terrace.

'You will come back and see us?'

We collected all the unused material for the body casting and put it into Henry's old but very beautiful Mercedes SL, plus the four heavy and cumbersome parts of the body cast itself, and the other two small moulds and casts made from Day. All the wax casting and all the colouring and other finishing processes will be done back in London. The result, in theory, will be a perfect three-dimensional life-sized reproduction of the boy himself. In theory. I have high hopes, not just for the success of this project, but also the effect it will have on my future as an artist. Hope springs eternal!

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