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The Pale Blue Sky

by Jack Lynch

Part 6 - Carey and Connor, Chapter 2

Saturday. The Best Day Ever.

Dreams. Carey hardly ever remembered his. This was different. So vivid, it left him breathless.

He'd had this one before, over and over since he was a child. It was one of those dream days where everything that should be light was dark. Kind of like an infrared photograph. Shadows were light; sunlight was dark. A bulletin came over the TV warning that a gorilla had escaped from the zoo. Carey heard people yelling outside his house. When he went outside to see what was going on, everyone was running away from a huge menacing gorilla that was rapidly knuckle walking up the sidewalk. Carey turned and ran as fast as he could down the street. Desperately fast, the adrenaline pumping in his veins.

Running to a neighbor's house, he banged on the door. No one answered. The door was open so he ran in. The gorilla followed him. Practically out of breath, he dashed up the stairs to the second floor. He heard banging and crashing below him. Walls were being punched in, dishes and glasses shattering. He ran up a second flight of stairs to the attic. In horror, he looked behind him only to see the gorilla right behind him. As it swiped at him, he managed to climb out a window onto the roof. He found a ladder hanging off of a corner of the house. In spite of his fear of heights, he climbed down and ran.

The gorilla, in hot pursuit chased Carey to a nearby train station. He climbed up into the last car of a passenger train praying it was about to leave the station. Too late! The gorilla jumped on just as it started moving. As Carey ran down a corridor, he heard the gorilla violently punching huge dents in the outer walls of the train car and breaking its windows. Carey ran into a closet to hide and pressed his face against the outside wall of the train car. The gorilla grunted on the other side of the wall. Stopping for a moment, it sniffed the air. It was smelling him! It started punching the walls in. The wall closed in on Carey. The gorilla pushed harder and harder. His back hurt. His legs hurt. He was being crushed.

Carey's eyes jerked open. He was in the same bed he'd gotten into the previous night. Early morning golden light streamed through the open bedroom door. He suddenly realized he was gripping the side of the mattress to keep from falling to the floor. Pressure on his back and legs, something hard and sharp jabbing into his back. Somehow, he managed to roll his shoulder over to see what was behind him. Connor. Sleeping.

He must have climbed into bed with them during the night. Connor's body was totally crushed up against him, his elbow firmly stuck in Carey's back. With a groan, he slowly allowed himself to slip to the floor. Still asleep, Connor turned on his stomach, hair completely covering his face, occupying the entire side of the bed where Carey had been lying.

Standing up, he saw that Randy's place on the other side of the bed was vacant. He stumbled to the bathroom to pee. At first, the urine sputtered as it came out as if the tip of his penis was encrusted.

Did he have a wet dream last night? Or….? No. That wasn't possible. He would have been awakened.

He tiptoed back into the bedroom, threw some sweatpants and a sweatshirt on, and went into the kitchen. Thank God! Randy had already made coffee. He poured himself a hot cup. Looking out to the lake, he saw Randy sitting in one of the Adirondack chairs just off the front of the deck. Sliding the door open, he walked out and down the couple of steps to where Randy was sitting. When he placed his coffee cup on the arm of the chair next to Randy, he looked up.

"G'morning!" Carey leaned down and kissed Randy on the mouth.

Randy accepted the kiss as he blankly said, "Morning breath."

Carey slumped into the other chair and slung the mild insult back.

"Coffee breath."

They sat without saying a word for several minutes as they sipped their coffees and gazed out onto the shimmering lake. The trees above and across the lake still held onto the warm glow of the rising sun. A small fishing boat occupied by two men far out in the lake sped across their field of view. From this distance, its outboard motor sounded like a buzzing mosquito. A nearby crow let out a warning, "Caw, Caw!"

Finally, Carey turned to Randy. "Wha-cha thinkin' Lincoln?"

A long pause. Silence. Randy finally leaned his head back to look up at the rustling trees above.

"I'm thinkin'…we're gonna have just the right amount of wind for a sail." Sitting up and shaking his head like he was shrugging the moment away he said, "So, after breakfast let's go to town and get some sandwiches and stuff for lunch. We'll eat it on the boat."

"Great! I guess I should get the kid up. How did he end up in bed with us?"

Randy chuckled. "No clue. I was dead to the World."

Carey got up. "Well. Let's get this party started!"

"I'll be with ya in a minute."

Carey trudged up the steps to the deck and returned to the cabin. He found Connor sitting at the dining room table, slurping down a bowl of cereal and milk. Apparently he didn't stand on ceremony. With his left hand, he brushed the hair out of his face.

"Hey!" That smile.

"Is for horses," Carey replied completing the phrase.

"Wah, wah," Connor said in a put-on nasal voice.

Carey went to the refrigerator to grab a container of yogurt.

"So you got into bed with us last night?"

"Ya, I guess so. I woke up in the middle of the night and I got scared."

"Were you ok after that?" Carey said as he sat down next to Connor. He dug into the yogurt with a spoon. Connor nodded. "Did you have sweet dreams?"

"Uh huh. Did you have sweet dreams too?"

"I think so."

Connor turned to Carey, a drop of milk just off of his lower lip.

"I bet." He smiled with a smirk.

Carey just looked at him.

He couldn't think of a response other than, "Uh-h-h, ya."

"I need to call my mom. I told her I would."

"Go ahead."

Carey took a couple of more spoonfuls of yogurt. Having enough, he got up and threw the rest of it in the garbage.

"I'm gonna take a shower."

After Carey got out of the shower, he opened a small bag containing his toothbrush and toothpaste. The little shell necklace Apollo had left for him fell out. He picked it up, turning it over in his hand. He remembered sticking it in that bag when he was packing up to go home for the summer. Memories came flooding back. If Apollo was only here.

Brush teeth. Comb hair. He rubbed his hand across his face and chin, feeling a bit of stubble. Hard to see but he should have shaved. Oh well, he thought.

Fresh t-shirt, clean shorts. Carrying the necklace, he returned to the kitchen. Connor was still at the kitchen table having just finished the phone call to his mom. Carey walked up behind him, put the necklace around Connor's neck, and shut the clasp.

"For you, Con." He said.

First, Connor tried to see the necklace better by pushing his neck down and pulling it out. Then he got up and ran to the bathroom to look at himself in the mirror.

Returning with a big smile, "That's dope!"

Carey chuckled. The necklace glowed on Connor's neck and reflected into his eyes. The way it matched his blonde hair and the contrast with his pink skin gave him a luminous quality. Carey couldn't help but smile even bigger.

Then, "Hey! "Guess what?"


"I've been to this lake before! I forgot, but my Mom reminded me I went to a camp here at the beginning of the summer."

"Not a very good memory, huh?"

"No. It totally bit. I mean I remember camp. I just didn't remember it was on this lake."

The deck door slid open as Randy came back into the cabin. In relatively short order, Randy and Connor were both dressed, ready to head into town.

Town was busy on this Saturday morning. It had the geographical good fortune of being located in the middle of several lakes and at the intersection of two busy highways. "Town," as everyone called it instead of its real name, had the typical array of gourmet and gift shops, a Christmas shop, and boutiques. Cabin chic filled the windows of a high end furniture and accessories store. A hardware store, a bustling sporting goods store, and a couple of restaurants completed the main street.

An amazing stroke of luck got them a parking spot just down the block from the deli. Walking in to the store, jammed wall-to-wall with customers, Randy yelled over the all the people in front of them to a man behind the high glass counter.

"Hey, Roscoe! Gimme a platter!"

An olive skinned, round faced burly man in a baseball cap with thick eyebrows and a black mustache, yelled back.

"You got it, boss!"

Carey admonished Randy. "Don't you wait your turn?"

Randy laughed. "Don't worry, he'll take care of us in order."

They eventually shuffled their way to the front. Carey watched Roscoe prepare their order. It included an amazing array of sandwiches.

"Did you invite the Kiwanis Club?" Carey asked half seriously. Randy laughed along with a couple of people standing nearby. After the sandwiches were piled onto a plastic platter, Roscoe scooped up a couple of handfuls of single portion potato salad and cole slaw containers, a stack of napkins, plastic utensils, and a couple of giant chocolate chip cookies.

Handing the now clear plastic covered platter over the counter, Roscoe asked, "On account?"

"Sure!" Randy said. As they exited, he told an astonished looking Carey, "My dad settles up with him at the end of the summer."

They were walking together down the sidewalk toward the car when Connor let out a yell and sprang ahead of them.

"Scottie!" A man wearing a black apron was helping a customer put some large boxes into the back seat of his car. He turned in surprise as Connor literally jumped into his arms.

Scottie stumbled back and laughed as he released Connor. Turning to his customer, he waved and thanked her. He immediately turned back to Connor.

"Hello, sweet boy!"

Carey and Randy walked up. Introductions were made around. Carey was stunned at how good looking this guy was. Correction: not just good looking. Beautiful! Taller than either of them, over 6 feet. Very slender, narrow hips. His skin was a deep olive brown, black eyes, thick eyebrows, and an oval face. Full, sensuous lips. His long black hair was pulled back into a pony tail.

Connor turned to Carey and Randy.

"Scottie was a counselor at my camp."

Scottie nodded and added in a light breathy voice, "Ya, I helped out there for a few weeks. Connor and I became best buds." He turned to Connor and smiled.

"Great! I see you're working at the gift shop. 'You from around here?" Randy asked.

"Ya, I am."

"Cool. We've had a place on the lake here like forever." Randy looked at Carey and back at Scottie. "I mean my family. We're heading out for a sail."

"Oh, what a perfect day for it!"

Carey saw the way Connor was looking at Scottie. Was that a look of admiration or a look of…? He shook the thought out of his mind. No way was he going to get jealous. WTF was that all about? He already had a relationship going on with Randy. This boy was…. Oh shit! His mind said. Leave IT alone!

"Wanna come with us?" His mind was so wrapped up in other thoughts, he didn't realize what had just tripped off his lips.

"Yes! Yes!" Connor yelled.

Randy chimed right in. "Great idea!"

Carey tried to mentally pick up the pieces. No retracting the path he had already put them on. Just go with it.

Looking at Connor, "I know Connor would love the chance to catch up."

Scottie looked to the right at the open door of the store.

"Well…I'm supposed to work…" He hesitated for a moment. "Why not? Sure!" He said brightly.

Carey and Randy both looked at the store.

"Are you sure it's going to be ok?" Randy asked.

"Ya. Definitely. I'm in." Scottie said with more conviction.

"Great! Well, we're heading back to get the boat ready and stuff. Do you want to meet us?"

"Sounds like a plan."

Randy gave him the address. "You know, just after the old elevator?" describing a local landmark.

Scottie laughed in his soft, slightly raspy voice.

"I know your cabin. I cut grass at your place one summer."

"Awesome! So we'll see you around Noonish?" Carey said.

"Count on it!"

The three of them continued on to the car. Scottie returned to the store.

As they clambered into the Beemer, Connor was bursting.

"This is the best day ever!"

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