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Stairway to Heaven

by It's Only Me from Across the Sea

Pretty much all I've done for the last three weeks is sit on the sofa. Seems a bloody waste of the school holidays, I'd rather be out. This cast's new, so's the contraption. It's a replacement for the horrible, heavy cast after the accident. They changed the thing yesterday, Friday. It seems to make walking about easier. No-one's come round to chat today yet. I suppose they'll sign it, just like the last one, when they come, if they come.

I'd rather be out in the park, maybe by the skate ramp. Not that I'm any good at skating. Nor's Charlie, come to that. Put him on a board and he just looks at you with those soft eyes as though he thinks you're stupid.

Ah, there's a knock at the door!

No. That's the window cleaner needing paying. He's nice, an' all, always talks to me, but no-one I really want to see. The person I want to see most is Harry. I'm pretty sure he's gone out with his folks. I don't really have a concept of what time it is. Well, I know when I'm hungry!.

The TV's burbling in the background, the supposed final part of Stranger Things is on. I can't say I've ever understood it. Text messages coming in on the phone stop me from concentrating on it, anyway. I still can't work out why the big, ugly one's in Russia. It looks like a load of plot filler to me. What do I know, though? I don't write the stuff. I probably could, coz I'm writing this, but I can't get into it.

I can do reality; my reality, anyway, things that happen day to day. Imaginary things? Not so much.

Dozed off again; I got woken up suddenly by a load of noise in the room, voices. Jim, Peter, Archie, Helen. No Harry. As well, you can't have everything.

"Hi guys! It's great to see you."

"We've come to sign your cast." Helen's eyes were on the boxers. "You might have got dressed, though."

"Don't you like, the view, Hel?" Peter was giggling.

"Let me think... Hmm... Thinking... Ok, yes and no." She was blushing, just a little. It looked rather lovely against her raven black hair .

"Get off the fence, say what you mean!" Archie's eyes were boring into hers. I've often thought Archie has a bit of a thing for Helen.

"Idiot, Archie!" She ruffled his hair. "I'm not sure whether he looks better with more gift wrapping or whether I should just open the present!" Her blush had deepened, just a smidgen.

"Hey! That's me you're talking about. I'm in the room, you know. Anyway, my eyes are up here!"

"A girl can have fantasies, you know."

"So can a boy," Archie said. He looked at her, then past her at me, and blushed too.

"Who's got a pen?" Jim looked at the others. "Ah, Peter, you'll have one."

"Course I have! You know we'll never find one here!" And he pulled out a black marker pen. "Me first!"

"Anyone know where Harry is?" Archie was asking the question I wanted an answer to, as well.

"He's with Mum," said Jim. "They've gone for a long walk with Dad. They're trying to work out which one he's going to live with after the divorce. My money's on Mum, like me. But we'll see Dad often. It's not like they hate each other."

That was that for the one thing I was looking forward to above everything today. I really like Harry. He's got wonderful long legs and his hair's gorgeous and silky. We mess around when he's here. We've known each other for ever, ever since we were little. We've always had a bit of a rough and tumble when we get together. It makes me feel really good.

I must have dozed off. I'd felt my eyes closing, and the conversation became general burble. I think I heard someone snoring. I came to and saw only Archie was left. The others certainly weren't in the room, and the house was quiet. He was sitting as near next to me as he could, on the end of the sofa.

"Oww, please don't lean on my foot!"

"Sorry, mate. Didn't mean to. Your dog shifted and jogged me. Eww! Actually I think he farted!"

"He needs a walk. Mum's out, and I can't get far on these crutches. Any chance you can let him into the garden?"

All of which meant lurching off the sofa, to the back door. "Thank god for fresh air!" Archie was laughing.

"Gives me a chance for a good fart myself! I think it's the painkillers. They make me sleepy and I've got the most appalling wind!"

"You don't mean that was you, not the dog?"

"The names have been changed to protect the innocent!"


"Me? A pillock? Me?? Ok, guilty as charged"

"You warm enough? Oh gawd. He's lifted his leg on your apple tree!"

"Makes good fertiliser, Dad says."

"Hope so. No-one wants piss flavoured apples."

"It is a bit chilly out here. Since all the farting and pissing is over for now, let's go back in. You staying for supper?"

"If your mum invites me, I'd love to."

"She'll invite you. Dunno what's for supper. I'll text her. I'd better get washed and dressed. That's a full theatre production, that is."

"Give you a hand if you like?"

"Nothing you've not seen at school!"

"I've not seen it in scaffolding before, though." A pause. "If you like, I can give you a hand to wash. Can't be easy not getting that cast soaked."

"It's a bugger keeping clean. The old cast was awful. I've not tried with the new one. Hand held shower, obviously! No baths for like, ever."

The stairs were a bit of an adventure, but we made it. "Is that dog coming to have a shower, too?"

"Needs one, but no. Dad does that. It's one of his jobs. He can stay in the bathroom, if he wants. He's no trouble."

"No trouble? He's the reason you broke your leg!"

"I still love him. I just didn't see him when I was carrying mum and dad's wedding anniversary breakfast tray upstairs. Tripped over him and fell hard down the whole flight of stairs. Wasn't his fault that he's so low slung. Lucky I'd already taken them tea in bed. I'd have been scalded, too."

"I'd have been upset if you'd broken your neck and died..."

"Don't be soft, Archie."

"You sure you don't want to wait for your folks to get home to help you wash? And it's not soft. I mean it."

"Don't chicken out on me now! Like you said, apart from this scaffolding contraption, there's nothing you haven't seen before. I mosdef need a wash. I'm not shy about it, they've helped me the last three weeks, but I'd rather a mate helped. If you're still up for it?"

"Awkward choice of words, that, 'up for it'." Archie sighed when he said that, looked all wistful. "I'm up for it. Only it's... Oh sod it. I'm up for it in more ways than one."


"I, well, oh heck. I can't keep this in for ever. I like you a lot, a very great lot. Damn, this isn't how I've dreamed this would go..."

"Not keeping up with you, Archie?"

"Ok, hung for a sheep as much as a lamb." he paused as if you gathet his thoughts. "We've known each other for two school years now, almost two whole years, since we both met on our first day at Hallam Academy, both of us wet behind the ears, neither of us much older than eleven. We sort of fell together, same classes, the lot. Only it wasn't just 'fell together', I didn't realise it then, but I was starting to fall for you. I kind of think I may love you." Archie was hesitant as he spoke in gaps, not sentences. And he looked nervous, too, eyes downcast.



"Oh lord. You deserve more than that, I'm sorry."

"Don't hate me... Please don't hate me?"

"I don't. Archie McDonald, you are probably my best friend in the whole world. If I were to fall in love with another boy, I reckon it'd be you. You're sweet, gentle, kind, confident, and pretty easy on the eye."

"Are you pushing me away by being nice to me?"

"No... No! No, I'm not. I'd just not been thinking about anything like that. Archie, I'm not sure what love really is?"

"I don't think I do. I know what I know, though. I know I can't stop thinking about you. I mean not for a minute. Or it feels like that."

"What about... Well, we're about to be up close and more personal than we've ever been. I mean you're helping me shower. What about, well, er, gay stuff?"

Well, there was certainly more going on than I thought there was. I'd absolutely no idea. That was going to take some thinking about.

"Will you think I'm daft if I tell you that I'm a bit scared of that? I mean you know I wank, and I know you wank, because we've both said so. I'm not ready to have a cock up my arse, and I'm not sure I want mine up yours."


Washing had been going on throughout all this difficult conversation and was just finished. Archie had found a towel.

"I do think about sex a lot, and you a lot, and I think about you and me and sex, but I haven't got much further than cuddles and a bit of kissing, not really."

"I'm not sure I'd mind trying that part, Archie."

"I do... I do love you, Charlie Davies. I hope you can love me one day..."

"Right now, Archie, liking you enough to have a cuddle if we can ever get to my bed without tripping over Geoffrey here, that's good enough for me."

"It'd be rotten to trip over him twice! Am I still invited to supper?"

We did get to the bed. I curled up, they snuggled.

"Deffo. Not that Mum's replied to my text yet! Yup. Deffo. I'm glad you got brave enough to tell me."

"I was so afraid you'd hate me..."

"Not a chance."

Well, when it gets all lovey-dovey I'm a bit at a loss. I've no idea what that's all about. Harry's my best friend after Charlie. He's a wonderful, funny Irish Setter. Jim's his boy like Charlie's mine. We romp and play, Harry and I, but I've had my balls cut off, so what do I know about the rest of it? Heck, I even thought Archie had a thing for Helen! And I really don't need a shower.

I'm glad they didn't call me after Winston Churchill. I meet a load of British Bulldogs at dog shows, all called Winston. I like being 'Geoffrey'; it has a certain class to it. It beats being called 'Sit Boy', too.


This story is part of the 2022 story challenge "Inspired by a Picture: Crashing Bore". The other stories may be found at the challenge home page. Please read them, too. The voting period of 17 Dec ember 2021 to 7 January 2022 is when the voting is open. This story may be rated, below, against a set of criteria, and may be rated against other stories on the challenge home page.

The challenge was to write a story inspired by this picture:

2022 Inspired by a Picture Challenge - Crashing Bore

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Stairway to Heaven

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