‘I didn’t mean to out you y’know,’ Henry’s conscience was bothering him.
‘I know that, Henry.’ Ed smiled. ‘You didn’t know … couldn’t know, I was coming back.’
It was the second week of their reunion. They had already had one blissful weekend at Trewern, and they could look forward to many more. Andy and Matt had commanded the attendance of both of them in Highgate at exeat for the week, and Mr and Mrs Atwood had raised no objections. In the meantime, they had heeded Worsman’s advice and behaved quietly around school, saving up their hormones for the weekend, when they rutted non stop as long as human biology permitted.
The situation had to be explained to Richard before he went back to Manchester. He had looked a little awed at his brother. ‘Henry, you’re way so cool. Fancy turning out gay. I’ll be the envy of the Union. A genuine gay little brother. The chicks will think I’m so sensitive and understanding to tolerate a little pansy round the house. Can I kiss you?’
‘Did I ever tell you Ricky, how much I hate you,’ Henry had said. But Richard had kissed and hugged him anyway when he left to resume his romance with the awful Rachel.
This second weekend, Ed had joined Henry in the sanctuary, donned the alb and made a very fetching additional acolyte at the ten o’clock eucharist. ‘I’ve been meaning to do it ever since that incident after the King Billy, when we got haunted. It changed my mind about the supernatural, and if it’s true that there are ghosts, there may be other things I have to believe in now too.’
It was autumn and the days were drawing in. The unfinished story of Jed Scudamore and Nathaniel Corner had returned to absorb them. After the service, they wandered out into the churchyard. It was a warm and sunny day in early October. The trees were still green but some leaves had turned and fallen, littering the wet grass. They sat down on Jed’s tomb companionably.
‘Morning, Jed!’ they greeted him cheerily, but there was no reply. They surveyed the nearby depression in the grass which was the last resting place of Nathaniel Corner.
‘What was it all about?’ Ed wondered. ‘You were given a glimpse of their long-ago love affair. Then that awful night we both saw Jed’s spectre, which was trying to tell us something but I never got what it was. It was lurking here, when we caught up with it, and then it went over there, above where Nathaniel is, and it was gone. And there’s been nothing since?’
‘Nope, nothing, just this feeling that there is more to come. The fact that we haven’t got what Jed’s trying to tell us more or less confirms it for me. Once he succeeds, he’ll rest and leave us alone … maybe. But I’m more and more seeing why he picked us. He knows we’re like him, that we’ll understand better than most. It’s me that Jed’s picking on cos I’m like him … not as pretty mind, he really was a beauty, pale and dark, not unlike a young Matt White in some ways.’
‘Oh, so you fancy him do you?’
‘Well not as he is now, all dried bones and dust. Gives me the shivers to think about it, but as he was, well … yeah! Want to make something of it?’
Ed laughed, ‘No, not at all.’
‘The thing is, I was wondering whether we could get a bit more proactive about this haunting business. I’m learning from you, Ed. Let’s go out there and meet him half way.’
‘And how do you do that, little babe?’
‘All the teen horror movies have séances, so why should we be any different?’
‘Aw no, you can’t be serious. It’ll be a massacre; it always is. This rogue demon hijacks the thing, next thing I know I’ll be looking at my intestines hanging out of my gut, while you’re butchered in very painful and long-drawn-out ways.’
‘It won’t be like that … I hope. Anyway Mrs Freemantle at Fifteen Acre Farm told me how to do it at the Mothers’ Union coffee morning, she even let me borrow her ouija board.’
‘Was that the satanist Mothers’ Union?’
Henry gave him a hard look. ‘I think we should do it in daylight, but not at the vicarage. Dad has views, I know. So … er, I think we should do it at the centre of it all.’
‘No. In the Great Wood, by the nettle clearing. That’s where they used to meet and make love. That’s where Jed died.’
‘Erm … some caution here, little one. What are you after? Do you want contact or do you want to stir things up further? It seems to me that it’s information we want, not manifestation. Frankly I’ve seen as many ghosts in this lifetime as I want.’
‘I want answers as to why some dead kid is colonising my dream world. That’s where the answers will be if they’re anywhere. Besides, there’s something about daylight and the supernatural. I don’t know that the sun weakens spirits, but it makes living creatures like us stronger to resist maybe. Certainly I’ll feel safer.
At two that afternoon, they sidled through the woods and found the network of paths. Ed looked around, ‘So is this where …’
‘Yeah, I used to get naked and wank here.’
‘Okay then.’ Ed lifted off his top and pushed down his jeans, pulling off his trainers as he took them off. He stood naked, feeling his genitals and looking expectant.
‘I think we should stay focussed, Ed,’ Henry said with a quirky smile.
‘I am focussed,’ Ed replied, ‘I can feel my dick getting more and more focussed all the time.’
‘Oh, shit,’ Henry swore. He swarmed out of his own clothes. ‘This is just too sexy. Go for it, Ed.’ He got on all fours, displaying his small buttocks to his mate.
‘What, without lube?’
‘Spit on it, they do it in the stories you showed me on the web. Anyway, you were up there only this morning. I can still feel you inside me.’
‘Risk piles then. You asked for it.’ Ed covered Henry, kneeling in the grass, and feeling the sharp stab of a stone in his kneecap. He gave a little yelp. ‘I’m not sure this outdoor sex is all that comfortable, little babe.’ He put his hand under Henry’s mouth and got him to gob spit in his hand, and then added his own. He slicked his already straining cock with it, then moved back and spat directly on to Henry’s anus, rubbing it in and feeling it.
The saliva did make a difference, but he doubted it was enough. He positioned his penis and pushed. Henry’s well-used hole opened to him, as it always now did, but then things got tougher. It was dry inside and the skin of his erection caught and pulled on Henry’s inner flesh as it didn’t do when they had prepared themselves properly.
Henry whimpered and shifted under Ed. But it was too late now. Ed was moving in him and although he tried to move slowly, he soon lost control and his thrusting became vigorous; fast, furious jabs like a dog on a street corner. The animal analogy excited his mind, as he felt the moving air on the hairs of his skin. He arched as he came, thrusting hard up into Henry, who yelled loudly, in real pain.
Ed didn’t fall forward on Henry as he usually did, but pulled out deliberately and slowly, and sat back on his haunches. ‘No blood,’ he said appeasingly.
‘Well, isn’t that a relief.’
‘But the mess on my dick is something else. Urgh. It’ll have to be the grass to wipe it off.’
‘It maybe wasn’t such a good idea. Oh well. We live and learn, and my bum will suffer for my pride. Let me sit and relieve my discomfort on this cool grass for a bit. Where’s my pack? Here’s the stuff. And don’t get dressed, we’ll do this in the nude.’
‘That is so perverted.’
‘Nudity, says my RS text books, is a basic human state which strengthens the achievement of spiritual goals, stripping the mind of secular concerns.’
‘Yeah … what I said, perverted. Don’t mind me. I ain’t complaining.’
Henry placed a fold-out board in front of him. It was surrounded by letters and he placed a small glass tumbler in the middle. They sat on either side, their legs splayed and overlapping, the board in the space between them. Henry gave Ed a narrow look. ‘Stop staring at my little dick.’
‘It’s not that little; as you’d know if you’d felt it inside you. Anyway, it’s a very pretty dick and I love it.’
Henry smiled at him, ‘I think all this sexy talk may help. Nathaniel and Jed were really affectionate lovers, as far as I could tell. I don’t think they’ll mind us making out.’
‘Dunno about that,’ replied Ed gloomily, ‘the Ancient Roman dead were supposed to be envious of the living and hated them, so the living made offerings of wine or even animal blood to keep them off their backs. Nathaniel and Jed may resent us still being able to enjoy sex, when it’s only a memory for them.’
Henry called him to order, telling him to put his finger on the glass tumbler. ‘Okay … uh … now I’ve got to summon the spirits.’
‘And how do you do that?’
‘Come, spirits?’ Ed had to be given time to recover from the nervous hysterics that suggestion inspired. ‘Okay, okay. Er … are you there Jehoiadah? It’s me, Henry. Ed and I want to ask you questions.’
There was silence and nothing happened at all. Henry repeated his feeble conjuration twice. He looked across to Ed, who raised an eyebrow. Then the tumbler stirred slightly.
‘Was that you, Ed?’ Ed looked startled, and shook his head. Henry asked almost in a whisper. ‘Jed, is that you?’ The tumbler moved abruptly to YES.
‘Oh, my God! It’s working. Er … Jed? Was that your ghost we saw?’ The tumbler circled out and then back to YES. Henry wondered what he could ask. ‘Jed, did we discover what you wanted to show us?’ YES, again. ‘What was that?’ The tumbler paused and then circled the board slowly; it stopped without indicating any answer.
Ed looked at him, a little breathless. ‘That’s a hard question which needs a long answer obviously. Try a shorter one.’
‘OK. Er … Jed, is there still something we need to know?’ The tumbler liked that question and went straight to YES.
‘Is it about you?’ The tumbler went to NO.
‘Oh! That’s unexpected. Is it about Nathaniel?’ YES this time. ‘Ahah! Getting somewhere.’ Henry pondered a while. ‘Can we help you guys? Henry looked up at Ed when the tumbler went to NO.
‘What’s it all about then?’ he said. The tumbler took this as a question and circled, and this time there was a vibration in the glass as it began a deliberate search for letters. D-A-N-G-E-R, it spelled.
‘Oh, crap,’ cried Ed. ‘I bloody knew it. They always threaten you. I just knew it would be like this. Here! Cold innit! I’m coming over all goosebumpy.’
Henry’s hackles prickled, and there was something familiar about the feeling. It seemed as almost every body hair he possessed was lifting, as though there was electricity in the air. Again it was familiar. Almost on the edge of his hearing, there was a faint whining hum. Then it came to him. That first autoerotic session in the Great Wood, months ago, when he thought he was about to be discovered. And again, just as then, the leaves stirred and gusted. The trees above them sighed.
Ed looked up alarmed. They had taken their fingers off the tumbler. ‘What is it Henry?’
‘Damn! He’s coming!’ The wind gusted stronger and surged cold against them, a shower of leaves drove across them. The board lifted and went spinning. Both boys stood, leaves streaming past them. Undeniably, a heavy body was pushing through the bushes towards them. Henry grabbed Ed’s hand. ‘Stand still!’ he shrieked over the roar of the sudden gale, ‘It’ll blow out!’ As he shouted those words, the bushes around them thrashed and Henry felt himself falling.
Silence. He opened his eyes. A strange naked boy was with him in the clearing. He had pale skin, sandy hair, and merry green eyes. He was undeniably sexually aroused, as was Henry when he looked down, but it was not his dick he saw. Its root and his balls were obscured by a thick growth of hair, and the member was much bigger. The ginger-haired boy crawled over to him and took him by the shoulder, smiling into his face as their lips met. What a kiss! It was almost electric. He felt the other boy’s warm body press him down and they were making out, their bodies meshed, penis thrusting against penis. But the other boy pulled back before climax.
‘Jed my love, take me in your mouth I pray.’
Henry knelt up, and felt himself reach tentatively for the other boy’s erection, he fondled it and then bent down to lick and suck it. He didn’t know how long he did this, but eventually urgent thrusts from the other boy’s cock warned him of an impending ejaculation. He gagged a little from the size of the redhead’s member. It was very fat and long and stretched his mouth. He held on to the dick to slow its thrusting into him, closing his eyes to concentrate. Finally, he felt a salty taste on his tongue. His mouth filled with the familiar jets of sperm.
He opened his eyes, and the pubic hair in front of his eyes was not ginger and sparse, it was thick, blond and trimmed, and the cock in his mouth was smaller. He looked up. Ed was kneeling up above him, his head back in supreme ecstasy. He looked down at the same moment. ‘Oh Jed,’ he said, ‘this must be the bliss of the heroes of Elysium! My Ganymede! My Adonis!’
Henry and Ed dressed without a word. Henry rummaged through the bushes and recovered the fugitive ouija board. As he shouldered his pack and caught Ed’s eyes, he shrugged.
‘He was classically educated. They went to a Latin grammar school. You shouldn’t be embarrassed about those dorky endearments. It wasn’t you saying them anyway, it was Nathaniel channeling through you.’
‘My Ganymede! My Adonis! … I could die.’
They headed back to Trewern village. After a while, Henry said, ‘I think things just went up to the next level, Ed. They took us both that time, and it looks like I’ve been switched to the role of Jed, and you are Nathaniel. Not surprising perhaps. He had an awesome cock, like a small tree branch. Fortunately he only just pushed it into my mouth, and didn’t try to throat me.’
‘I could see Jed. You’re right, he was really cute, and call me strange but he was a bit like you, little babe, sexy and coy, with the same look in his eyes when he got fired up.’
‘Big black bush round his privates, did you see?’
‘Mm,’ Ed mused. ‘I don’t suppose boys clipped and shaved down there in the olden days. I’ll bet they didn’t do anal much either. There wasn’t any lube, and you couldn’t get the experience we have without a lot of serious pain and maybe even some tearing. So in their days you could only do it by humping each other or by oral, and from what we saw, oral was a new thing for them that time they did it. I know that because I got needled by your teeth, pseudo-Jed!’ Ed stopped on the path. ‘Hey! I just realised! When we were in their dream world, it must have been autumn. The clearing looked the same, with falling leaves. What about your earlier visions? What time of year was it?’
‘Er … summer time I think. No. I’m sure. There were flowers in the grass and fresh green in the trees.’
‘Then does it occur to you that we’re following a trajectory … Jed’s taking us through his last months.’
‘Then perhaps I don’t have to point out the unfortunate conclusion that will lead us to; it’ll end with what I don’t want to see. Jed’s death.’
‘Oh! Yeah. I see.’
‘And I still don’t get it. Jed himself said that we couldn’t help him and Nathaniel. So what’s going on. What is the boy up to?’
‘I read somewhere that events themselves, if they are tragic enough, imprint themselves on a place, soak into it and, like some sort of emotional CD, play and replay for those with the sensitivity to pick them up. It sounds like what’s going on here, don’t you think Henry?’
‘But I saw a projection of Jed himself in the church and we both saw him in the churchyard. That’s not events pressing on us, that’s a personality. But why are we trying to make sense of something supernatural? … By definition it’s beyond logic.’
‘The reason, dear Henry, is the one we have from one of the spooks himself, that we are in great danger.’