My Boyfriend

by Victor Thomas

Chapter 12

Around nine that night, Brian and I met up with the football team for the unofficial Halloween party in the Oakhill Cemetery on the outskirts of town. According to dad, this party has been an annual tradition basically forever.

The idea was basically to hide out and drink beer until we puked, which sounded like fun to me, except for maybe the puking part. A few guys I didn't know were also coming, but at least all my friends on the team would be there. I pushed all thoughts of guilt about not spending tonight with Laura out of my mind, determined to enjoy myself. I wasn't really that big on drinking, and neither was Brian, but I did enjoy a slight buzz. Besides, it was a chance to be with my football friends, instead of my 'girl.' I didn't get much time like that.

She understood my need to spend time with my friends; it was a guy thing. Besides, it wouldn't hurt me to work on my 'regular guy' façade. Drinking with my friends would help me avoid suspicion. Everyone knew that gay guys weren't into beer! What a joke!

We parked a good distance from the graveyard and walked the rest of the way; everyone was supposed to do that. Having a bunch of cars parked by the cemetery would definitely draw unwanted attention. I pulled back the heavy iron gate and it groaned in protest. The place looked deserted.

The party was supposed to be deep into the graveyard on the far side, just before the edge of the forest, which would help us avoid detection. If we did get caught, we'd be up shit creek. Some people had no tolerance for kids trying to have a good time, even though some of them had probably did the same when they were in high school.

I'm no coward, but the hairs on the back of my neck stood straight up as we walked between the ancient, moss-covered stones. Brian took my hand and held it tight. I pulled him close, protecting him from the terrors of the dark. My own fears dissolved as I sought to comfort him. I was his protector. Besides, I teased myself, vampires shouldn't be afraid of the dark. I didn't know why I was so jumpy in the first place. I guess I thought some moldering ghoul might try to reach out to grab us from the grave.

The place was so dark, it gave new meaning to the phrase, 'as black as night.' What little illumination the moon cast was dimmed by tattered clouds drifting overhead, like something right out of a bad horror movie. I glanced over and saw fear in his eyes, not stark terror, but an edgy look. I looked around to make sure no one was there, then pulled him close and kissed him. A second later we both jumped at a freaky sound coming from somewhere near a broken-down crypt. I don't know which scared the shit out of us more, because we thought we'd been caught kissing, or because of any ghosts. After we both giggled with relief, we agreed, it was spooky out there.

The trees cast odd shadows in the dim light. Some of them looked like bony fingers, while others looked like twisted figures standing in the darkness. There was a slight breeze, and it made the trees creak, sounding for all the world like a coffin opening.

As we picked our way through the tombstones and mausoleums, I was beginning to think I'd been had. Maybe there really was no party, and the guys had just sent me into a graveyard at night for a joke! Just then, I heard laughing in the distance. We followed the sound and, in a few moments, we found our friends. The party was in full swing.

"Hey, Scott!" said Todd.

He was already swaying a little, and looked at us suspiciously.

"What's happening, Brian?" asked Mark.

Ashton tossed us each a beer and we sat in a circle with the other guys. A lantern cast a golden glow on our young faces. We laughed and talked about everything, football, girls, and mostly nothing at all. The more everyone drank, the more they laughed, and the more they talked about nothing. It didn't matter, everything was funny. It wasn't long at all before some of our friends were downright drunk. Ashton climbed to the top of a large monument and perched there, claiming to be 'king of the graveyard.' Greg turned up the CD player he'd brought and the old cemetery was filled with loud music.

"Turn it down, dude!" yelled Ashton. "You wanna wake them all up?"

He gestured to the graves all around us and laughed, nearly falling off his perch.

Greg laughed and then turned it down a bit. I shook my head. I was getting a nice buzz, definitely all warm and cozy and happy. Still, I tried not to drink too much. I didn't want to get wasted like the other guys. My parents would shit a brick if I came in drunk.

Brian was a little far gone, too, more so than me. He seemed to have an even lower tolerance for alcohol than I did, and mine wasn't too great. I rarely drank, and beer hit me pretty hard. I was smart enough to avoid the harder stuff that was being passed around, well at least for the most part.

"You guys know where we are?" asked Brendan, pointing towards the ground in front of us. "That's where old man Swenson bought it, right where we're sitting. Swear to god."

All of us grew quiet. Brendan was getting ready to tell one of his scary tales. He had a reputation for that; something about the sound of his voice, and the way he told a story, inspired terror in his listeners. He'd hardly started and the hair on the back of my neck was standing on end. Of course, being in the middle of a graveyard probably had something to do with that. Nowhere was a ghost story more frightening than among the dead.

"They found him out here a few years ago, stiff as a board and white as a sheet."

"What happened?" asked Robert, as he sat by Brendan's side.

"I've got to take a piss," announced Brian, as he leaned over to me.

I knew he was getting drunk. He was usually too shy to say something like that. He pulled himself to his feet, holding onto my shoulder to keep from falling. He was a little unsteady. He walked off, balancing himself by gripping tombstones as he went on his way.

Brendan continued his tale. All eyes were on him, most of them wide with fear.

"They say he just died of a heart attack, but everyone knows that's not what really happened. His wife's buried right over there," he said, pointing to a grave some of the guys were near. "He was really mean to her when she was alive. They say he beat her; some even say he murdered her. Anyway, I heard that he was walking through the graveyard close to midnight, half drunk, and when he walked past his wife's grave, a hand reached out and grabbed him!"

He yelled loud when he said that, and a lot of the guys screamed. I jumped, even though I knew he was going to do it. In our current surroundings, Brendan's tale was a lot more frightening than it would've been during the light of day.

"You just about made me shit my pants," complained Robert.

Brendan smiled and went on.

"She pulled herself out of her grave, holding onto his ankle. He screamed bloody murder, but there was no one living to hear him. She pulled him to the ground and climbed on top of him, her fetid stench making him sick, maggots falling from her face. Her bony, putrid fingers closed around his neck and she squeezed the life out of him as she kissed his face with her rotting lips. When he was finally dead, she crawled back into her grave. A few days later, the police found him where she'd killed him, but nobody could figure out why the dirt was torn up around her tombstone. They say she pulls herself from her grave whenever anyone disturbs it, and she strangles them with her rotting, putrid fingers."

Some of the guys sitting near the grave edged away, as if they were fearful she might reach out for them, even though they knew he was probably making the whole thing up.

Brian still hadn't returned when Brendan finished his story. I was beginning to get a little worried. Maybe he was sick or something. I got up and dusted off the seat of my pants.

"I'll be back in a minute, guys," I told everyone. "I want to get out of here before Brendan starts the inevitable 'hook on the car door' story."

"Oh, that's a good one," said Brendan. "This young couple were parked on a dark country lane, getting it on…"

I slipped away as he spun his tale. I found Brian about a hundred feet away, staring at a large tombstone on a hill, covered with moss.

"Hey, Scott. Look at this," he said, pointing to a small picture on the stone. "When you move, the eyes follow you."

"Sure thing, Brian," I said. "Let's go back."

He looked a little weird in his semi-inebriated state. He was just a little too relaxed, but hell, so was I. Before I even realized what was happening, he grabbed me and kissed me. He started tugging at my shirt.

"Whoa, Brian," I said. "Not here."

He nodded and let me lead him back to the party. He leaned up against a tombstone and grabbed another beer. I was getting afraid of what he might do. Drinking seemed to change him, make him more aggressive and outgoing. It wasn't him that fucked up at the party, it was me.

I knew it was stupid, but I kept on drinking. Everyone was doing it, and it just seemed like the thing to do. I felt my inhibitions lower, and along with them went my common sense. It was getting a little chilly and I snuggled up against Brian. Pretty soon, I had my arm around him and was practically in his lap. I leaned over and whispered to him, my lips barely an inch from his ear. He turned to face me and our lips brushed against each other. We didn't kiss but gazed into each other's eyes. My hand wondered down onto his leg. I was rubbing his thigh without even thinking about it.

"What are you fags doing?" yelled Todd.

I pulled away from Brian in a flash. Todd was pointing down at us. All I could think was, oh fuck! I've done it now!

"What's all the noise about?" asked Brendan.

Now everyone was looking in our direction.

"Scott and Brian were all over each other," yelled Todd. "They're fags, dude!"

Neither Brian or I said a word. We were fucked.

"You're drunk," said Brendan, dismissing him.

Todd was a little unsteady on his feet. He had the distinct look of someone who was about to barf. He stood there, just staring at us.

"I still think they're fags," he said, his words slurred.

"In the condition you're in, you wouldn't know a fag if he bit you!" yelled Brendan.

He laughed so hard at his own joke; he fell right off the tombstone he'd been sitting on.

"Bite me and we'll see!" said Todd.

That got all the guys laughing.

The guys started talking again and didn't pay much attention to me and Brian. Todd kept eying us with a look of distaste on his face. I knew it was too early to leave, but in my condition, I'd probably do something else stupid. I pulled Brian up and quickly led him away from the party. We'd done enough damage for one night. I was so wasted; I don't even remember driving home. I woke up the next morning with him by my side, with a bad headache and a sense of panic in my gut.

We had dodged a bullet this time, but I wasn't sure we would be so lucky the next time. One thing I did learn, however. I'm never going to let myself get that drunk again.

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