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The Light

By and © Joe Writer Man

Chapter 56

The beach was basically deserted save for some people located far away. I liked the ocean, its power, the warmth of the sun beating down on my back, the breeze blowing across my body... the beaches of Hawaii has been and continues to be the top favorite of all the places I'd lived or visited.

With those thoughts firmly etched in my mind, I took my shirt off, tucked it into my shorts and then took off walking. The sea gulls eyed me carefully hoping I had some morsel of people food for them, but I had none, and even if I had had I would not have given it to them for fear that they would be become dependent instead of being the scavengers of their nature.

After walking down the beach perhaps 1,000 yards, or so, I stopped, pulled off my shoes and socks and then went into the water and swam out all the while jumping waves and feeling the intense power of mother nature and her offspring. The waves were huge, above my head at their peak.

When I was about 150 yards or so away from shore I felt a number of annoying stings on my back, the back of my arms and finally three our four on the back of my head. After the stings quit, I looked back over my shoulder and found a number of young people standing at waters' edge. Once I cleared my eyes from a particularly large wave I was able to really see who they were.

They were the bullies who had felt I had no right or business being in 'their ocean' and on 'their shores'.

Fear, something I was not used to, coursed through my veins caused by being so far off shore and the waves so tall and strong. I clearly knew that I was at a disadvantage. They no doubt knew the very same thing.

The strength and the depth of the water continued to take me down the beach. My concern levels increased as I observed that they were following me.

Though my sense were on high alert, my body was tense, and my sense of awareness acute, there was little I could do outside my element which was solid ground or at least in shallow waters.

Nevertheless, I continued making small strides toward shore as I was urged down the beach by the strong, tall waves.

As I got closer I noted that there were 8 of them, and one of me. They were large dudes, probably 15 to 18 or 19 in age, body builder types. They looked angry and determined to do what... I didn't know but I assumed it had something to do with a perceived foreigner on their shores, much like the Japanese at Pearl Harbor, or something.

The tallest of them shouted, "Well if it isn't the nigger. Don't you learn anything, dumb ass?"

I looked all around, to their sides, up the beach, down the beach, behind them. I was looking for the security forces... they were nowhere to be seen. For that matter, the area of beach we were on was otherwise deserted. I hadn't brought my cell phone so I had no means of communication.

With that, I stole in all of my inner strengths, hours and hours of mind, spirit and physical training I'd been afforded throughout my life since I was 3 years old.

Three of the boys were wearing boardies; two were wearing Speedo swimwear, and three of them were wearing Cargo like pants. The tallest boy, the one spilling his filth and vile words also had a bulge in one of his pockets, one that I immediately recognized as being a gun or other hand held weapon such as stun gun, or something.

The guy reached into his pocket. Knowing that I had to do something, I sprinted out of the water, headed for him. By the time I reached him he had drawn the weapon, had it pointed me and had it in firing position with him standing at the ready.

"I told you we don't allow niggers on our beach. Have this..."

He released the safety and squeezed off a shot then two then three. Luckily, I was faster than he and was able to dodge the weapon extensions. It was when I got right in front of him that I noticed the weapon was actually a Sig 9mm.

With a single kick the gun dislodged from his hand surely breaking at least three of his fingers. The look of surprise on his face was noteworthy. It was then that I retreated, but only a foot or two. With the immediate life threatening danger past, while I didn't retreat from a defensive stance I maintained an acute state of readiness and awareness.

Like a pack of wolves they began circling until I was the center of attention. There was nowhere I could go; I was surrounded.

Immediately I took inventory, looking for ways to diffuse the situation in a calm and collected manner, but I could see none.

At the same time I heard a many engines belonging to land rovers, dune buggies, way off in the distance. The good thing was that they were getting closer and closer, but still they were too far away to diffuse the immediate situation.

All that realization only took about 2 seconds to formulate.

In the third second, the big lead guy shot out his foot in an arc. He was much, much larger than I and despite my attempt to deflect his leg caught me square in the temple causing me to land face first into the sand. One of the other guys then struck me hard in the side causing major pain which I was able to quickly deflect somewhere else in my mind. Then I felt another crushing blow in the middle of my back causing me to eat sand.

I rarely get angry, and never experience rage, however at that juncture my emotions too over. Like a crab I scampered out of the middle of that situation, hit my feet then let loose with every ounce of strength and training.

The big guy was flying in the air, face first, toward me. The arc being perfect. At the last possible moment I rolled and at the same time planted my size 8 foot into his neck. He landed face first in the sand and did not move. The second guy, a small but very strong guy landed on my torso. They all, except for the big guy jumped on on my body and began pummeling into submission. From far, far away I found my strength and stamina. Though controlled, I was out of control. I no longer cared and fought my way out of that conflagration and mass of human strength, agility, confidence, and lethality.

All the while I vaguely heard several men screaming to stop, that they were going to shoot, that they meant business... but I paid no attention until all of the guys were lying on the ground wailing, grunting, groaning and screaming for me to stop.

I took a swing at a policeman who'd jumped into the center of the mayhem. It connected however not in the way I'd expected. He grabbed my arm and in one fell swoop had me on the ground, eating sand, and then I felt the cold hard steel against my right ear, and his knee in my back, and another cop sitting on my legs. I was totally and completely neutralized, and they knew it.

I heard the voice of another cop, a friendlier voice, say, "Son, relax. The danger is passed however we will hit you with lethal force if you don't relax. Just do it."

Knowing I'd met my match, I relaxed, the fight left me. Worse than fear, something I fought with everything in my being, I began crying softly as the adrenalin left my veins. I strained against all those men to reach my face and wipe the tears away... but I was pinned. There was nothing I could do except to relax, suffer my fate, and bask in my shame.

One of the cops, I could not see him as my face was still planted in the sand, handcuffed my wrists behind my back. They then jerked me into a sitting position.

The cop with the friendly voice said, "Son, I'm going to pour water over your face. Just relax. I'm not going to hurt you."

With that, gobs of water started flowing down my forehead and over my face, it seemed like gallons causing me to sputter, snort and sniffle as the water was running into my nose... but it was working. Next, he opened my eyes, much to my dislike but the cool water was washing the sand from under my lids. The water kept coming and coming. At the same time the scratching sensations on my eyeballs quickly ceased to be a problem.

The water finally stopped. I dared not to open my eyes not knowing what else was going to happen but I said, "I did not start this sir. I had to defend myself but I failed. I was minding my own business out in the surf."

At the same time I heard a voice say, "We were simply walking down the beach when he attacked us for no reason whatsoever. He was a madman who was out of control beating the holy hell out of us."

When I tried to open my eyes to see the person who said that, they would not open because sand was still in them, though not quite as bad as before. The friendly cop said to me, "Do you still have sand in your eyes?"

I replied, "Yes sir."

"I'll be back with more water, hold on, do not open your eyes."

I nodded.

Close by I heard the boys saying the same thing, that the niggers were taking over their beaches and that they couldn't let that happen. One of the officers with an African-American voice told them to shut the fuck up or they were going to be charged with hate crimes. They shut up.

Another cop was heard to be calling for an ambulance to the scene, that they had a person with life threatening injuries who needed immediate care.

The friendly cop returned. He told an officer to remove my cuffs. He did. The friendly cop then laid me on my back and began, once again, pouring gallons and gallons of water in my eyes while another one lifted back my eyelids. They showed no mercy, yet I knew they had to do what they were doing else I'd be blinded from the friction of the sand against my corneas. I thought I was going to drown, but thankfully didn't.

The friendly cop, once he'd expended all available water urged me to sit up. I was quickly recuffed but not as tightly as before. I checked my wrists and found that, if necessary, I could have worked myself out of them but chose to stay as I was because there were more of them than I could handle on my own.

Once I got my wits about me, I said, "Sir may I say something?"

"No, not yet. Just remain quiet. You'll have time to tell your side of the story. We're going to get statements from everybody... just remain quiet."

"Yes sir. I mean no harm. I didn't start this."

A man with a heavy hand patted my back, not in a threatening way but rather in a way that I felt comforted.

I ventured out to open my eyes. While they were scratchy, they weren't overly so. I looked all around. Six of the assailants were standing around. They weren't handcuffed. They weren't being restrained or detained, not in any way. I did notice that most of them had cuts and bruises about their heads and shoulders and necks. One guy was sitting on the beach, holding his arm, and his face was grimacing, and his forearm was in a most unnatural position, nearly bent at a 90 degree angle.

I heard sirens approaching from far away. Next, I heard and saw multiple black colored Ford Crown Victoria vehicles assembling in one place close by.

The officers drew their weapons in response. I said, "No, don't. They are security for me, my mother, and for my friends.

A loud speaker was heard to say to the officers to drop or holster their weapons before they were shot with lethal force.

The officers complied.

The friendly officer said to a man getting out of one of the cars, "We have a crime scene here. You are directed to stay back until our investigation is complete."

Off in the distance I heard not one but two helicopters quickly approaching. Both landed in the parking lot. I cowered my head between my legs to keep blowing sand from the backwash from getting into my eyes. When the rotors braked to a stop I once again looked up. One of the descendants from one of the helicopters identified himself as Fugi Hoshomoto, Operations Manager at Blake Enterprises. I breathed a sign of relief. Though I'd heard the name I'd never met him.

After being briefed on the situation, he walked over, knelt down and told me that everything was going to be okay, but that the matter had to be investigated by local law enforcement before I'd be permitted to leave.

One of the assailants loudly presented that I was a menace to society, that they had just defended their selves and that he was prepared to file charges of assault causing grievous bodily harm. The friendly cop told him to shut his fucking mouth. The officer then said,

"I'm not sure your story is true son. From what I saw, you guys surrounded this boy sitting on the ground here."

"Sir, may I speak?"

"Not yet. We will be taking all of your statements separately then we'll put them together and decide what happens from here."

"Yes sir." I said just loud enough to be heard by him but not by the others.

The guys were escorted, individually, to other places not too far from where I was sitting. Although I could hear them talking I could not understand what was being said.

The friendly officer identified himself, "Antoine, let's go to my car so that I can obtain your statement. You, at this point, are not under arrest. You are being detained pending the results of the investigation."

When we arrived, he opened the door to his unmarked vehicle, motioned for me to sit inside on the back seat then he got his pad of paper out and began writing my name, address, age, date of birth, and other identifying information. He ran my information through the computer terminal then when nothing came back turned around in his seat.

He introduced himself as Detective David Ramirez from HPD and that it was his job to fully investigate violent crimes against people, including but not limited to murder, homicide and sexual battery. He advised me that he had been a HPD officer assigned to the sex crimes unit for a number of years.

Finally, he asked me what had happened. Calmly, I told him everything that had happened including the stings I had experienced way out when I had been wave jumping and minding my own business. I also advised him of the previous encounter I had had with those guys a few weeks or months before, and why.

Next, he instructed me to get out of the car so that he could see my back. He said he could see nothing other than a couple of welts on my lower back.

It was then that I explained "Sir, the weapon is probably 30 paces from here when I tossed it aside at the beginning of the confrontation with those guys."

He had me sit back in the vehicle, closed the doors then walked over to where I said the weapon had landed. He took an evidence bag with him then returned shortly with the weapon in it.

"Okay, I believe you. I will call your parents to have you picked up. Right now, I'm going to go talk with the other officers to find out the other stories. I do not see that you broke any laws that instead I do believe you defended yourself. By the way, what discipline do you defend yourself with?"

"My teacher was a Ninja, sir. Although I am not designated as such, meaning I did not finish my training, I can adequately practice the art. I simply use my skills to defend my physical body. The words they called me did not and will not provoke me but their weapons did and will continue to. Sir, I intended no harm, instead I was on my way down the beach to speak with Father Ben at the mission."

"Oh yes, Father Ben is a great guy. He does much good and helps many, many homeless kids, gives them a lot of encouragement, and helps them to get started with new lives. How do you know him?"

Being totally forthright, I explained how we happened upon one another, why, and what my life was like now. When I mentioned Jim's name his eyes brightened considerably and his demeanor softened dramatically.

Just then Fugi opened the front passenger door to Officer Ramirez' vehicle, got in, closed the door and said, "David, I'm taking custody of Antoine. From what I've heard he did nothing wrong. I've been in contact with Jim Blake, a close friend to Antoine's family."

"Yes, I know Jim, both professionally and personally. I think I have enough information to release him to your custody. Let me check with my guys just to make sure. I'll be right back."

With that Officer Ramirez exited the vehicle and walked to the officers standing in a circle comparing notes, and whathaveyou.

Fugi said, "I'm sorry this happened to you. Our beaches are friendly, and are open to everyone no matter what. The private beaches are clearly marked, and are usually but not always gated off. I'm going to call your mother and have her come get you. Are you hurt? Do you need to see the medics?"

"No, I am not hurt. How bad are they hurt?"

"One boy has serious neck injuries. Another has a broken arm. A couple have cuts and bruises. They will all be okay. I have no doubt they'll be back. I'm sorry that our security did not follow you... it was a tactical error on our part. It will not happen again, I promise."

"Normally, I can handle my own but there were more of them; they took me down... there was nothing more I could do, not really."

"Where were you headed? If I may ask."

"I was going to the mission to see Father Ben. We have much to talk about."

Officer Ramirez returned just as Fugi was calling mom. The officer got into his car and said, "Of course they are telling a different story, but I believe you over them. They've been in trouble before so their word isn't being taken seriously. You are released from our custody. Be careful, they're bad business."

With that I exited the car. Fugi and I walked to a dune, away from the sound of the wind blowing in from the ocean. He talked to mom for a while then handed me the phone saying she wanted to talk to me.

I heard the worry in mom's voice. I could see her face, contorted with worry and concern for my safety. "Honey, what is going on? I want to hear what happened from you."

"Mom, I was running down the beach, decided to go play in the waves for a while on my way ... and well, I was shot at with a pellet gun then got into a confrontation with 8 guys on the beach who did not want me here, and well, you know the rest; they're the same guys from the last time. If you will permit, I'd like to continue to go and see Father Ben as he and I need to talk. I have many confusions that I need to talk to him about."

"Okay, I would prefer it if Fugi took you on down to the mission. Take the limo back here to Jim's house. Do you know how long it will take you to talk with him."

"No ma'am. I don't know. Your conditions are acceptable. I'll call you when I'm ready to leave. Oh mom?"

"Yes honey?"

"I love you. Thanks for understanding."

"I love you too."

She and Fugi then talked for a couple of moments then hung up. He said, "I'm going to take you to the mission then either I or one of my people will take you home when you're ready."

"Okay, thank you."

We walked to the center of the mass of black security detail vehicles, got into his car and drove to the mission where we met Father Ben tending to the garden. He looked up but didn't recognize us until I got out of the vehicle. Quickly, he walked to me, grabbed me into a hug and asked what happened, why I was all sandy, why there were bruises all over my body.

Fugi and I explained the situation then Fugi departed after being assured by Father Ben that he'd keep me safe.

As soon as Fugi took off, Father Ben, not minding at all that I was totally sand covered and caked drew me into hug. We didn't need to say anything.

When we broke away he said, "Go in the house, strip down in the kitchen, rinse your clothes in the sink, and then go take a bath. I'll find something for you to wear. Go on now, son. The maid is not here this afternoon, she''s out shopping."

"Thanks. We need to talk, if that's okay."

"I figured as much, young man. Go on now."

I took off for the rectory, slapping at the running shorts trying to get as much sand off as possible. When I was satisfied that all that could be brushed off was brushed off I entered the kitchen, walked to the sink, removed my shorts, socks and jock then tossed them in, ran water enough to cover them, and then put some dish detergent in the water and mixed it all up.

Just as I was finishing up with that task Father Ben entered. I said, "I'll take a bath now." I then took off for the bathroom, closed the door, sat one the toilet and took a good dump while the water was filling the tub. Because of the sand I had to take 3 baths, changing the water between each one.

I kind of half anticipated that Mildred would arrive to wash my back but, of course, she didn't somehow magically appear.

True to his word, Father Ben had left a pair of jeans on the floor in front of the bathroom door. There were no underwear. The jeans were very loose, being several sizes too large for my relatively thin frame. I found two safety pins in a drawer in the kitchen, cinched them up the best they could be and then rinsed out my clothes and took them outside to dry.

Father Ben was sitting on the glider. He beckoned for me to sit next to him. After hanging up my clothes, I did just that.

"Those look big on you." He said pointing to the jeans he had provided for me to wear.

"Yeah, a little bit but I've got them pinned together pretty good."

After some idle chit chat, I told him of the burgeoning relationship with Peggy and our friends, the Blake family. He shared how things had changed around the rectory with Mary then new 'mad maid' as he called her. He didn't think that things were going to work out because she was angry most of the time.

The pointedly he asked, "So what brought you down here Antoine? Not that you are ever not welcome - you just seem to have something troubling you, so, well, let's talk about it. A problem shared is a problem cut in half."

"I kissed a boy my age last night ... and ... and ... and ... I want to do it again. I am filled with lust."


"What do you mean 'so'? I just told you the most horrible thing I have ever done in my life ... and you say SO ... Did you hear me? I kissed a boy!" I exclaimed loudly and incredulously.

"So. You are making a bigger deal out of it than need be."

"I don't understand. I'm confused. Doing that is absolute and total mortal sin... to lieth with another man! The Bible says so."

"The Bible also says that spilling our seed on the ground is sinful, yes? We've already talked about that now haven't we?"

"Well, yeah. That's different."

"Okay, let's look at this in a different vein, shall we?"

"Ot oh, here it comes ..."

"Here what comes? Don't answer that! <Father Ben laughed - I didn't see what was so damn funny!> Let me ask you a question to answer your question ... do I have your full attention?"

I nodded.

"We talked about sin a few weeks ago. Do you remember our conversation?"

"Yes sir. You said sin was when we hurt, harm, force ourselves on someone else or take their choices away from them ..." I said casually as I remembered what we had talked about before ... then added "We did not do any of those ... our kissing just came over us ... I didn't even think anything was wrong at the moment we did 'it'. Neither did Matt."

"Mildred knew this about you, Antoine. We talked at length. We talked about your being you. I've talked with other boys and girls. We have just decided to be who we are and to not let labels that people put on us hold you back from being the best person you can possibly be."

Just then a boy who was perhaps 10 or 11 years old ran up to us. He had this great big smile on his face.

"Buenos días, padre." The boy said excitedly. [Good morning, Father."]

"Buenos dias, Manual. ¿Qué vas a hacer este niño por la mañana?" Father Ben said. [Good morning, Manual. What are you up to today, child?"]

Manual looked at me carefully and happily then asked "¿Cuál es tu nombre?" [What's your name?"]

"Antoine Garza."

"Si. ¿Qué estás haciendo aquí?" [What are you doing here?"]

"Manual, sea cortés. Esa no es forma de tratar a un visitante." Father Ben said. [Manual, you be polite. That is no way to treat a visitor.]

"Lo siento. Por favor, perdóname." Manual said. [I'm sorry. Please forgive me.]

"Está bien manual. No estoy ofendido. Lo que usted está aquí?" I laughed. Manual gave me a shit eating smile. [It's okay Manual. I am not offended. What are you here for?"]

"Padre, mamá ha hecho burritos especiales para el almuerzo de hoy. Antonio, ¿puedes venir con nosotros, por favor?" Manual asked beseechingly. [Father, momma has made special burritos for lunch today. Antonio, can you come with us, please?]

I looked at Father Ben ... he smiled broadly, "Maria makes the best burritos in town. They are, how do you say it? 'They are to die for'."

"Sería un honor." I said in Spanish so that Manual would understand since he appeared to not understand English. [I would be honored.]

Manual, smiling, jumped onto my lap, hugged me deeply, kissed my cheek, and then stood up, grabbed my hand and urged me to follow him.

I looked to Father Ben, looking for any sign of disapproval. Finding none, I 'allowed' Manual to stand me up. He then wrapped his arms around my waist and squeezed tightly. I felt more air down there than I was accustomed to so I looked down and found the jeans had slipped to where the top of the hem was nearly exposing my pubes. Manual giggled when I loosened the safety pins to adjust the jeans, in fact he looked down into that dark place. He giggled.

I went to my clothes and found that they were still soaking wet. I looked to Father Ben, he said, "You're fine. They are poor and do not have fancy clothes or anything. They have lots of love to give though. Maria will be pleased to have us as guests in her home."

He added, "I'm sorry Antoine. All this talk about burritos, well it side tracked us. Do you need to talk some more, right now?"

"No, I'm okay. So, it's okay if we kiss and stuff, maybe even... you know..."

"Antoine, son, so long as you do hurt intentionally hurt each other then I believe our Father will be happy with your lives. We are not responsible for who we love. People come into our lives, and well, if it is what it is supposed to be then it will just happen. The Vatican is wrong in many ways, homosexuality... oh, I'm sorry. I made an assumption..."

"No, that's okay, I'll have to think about it some more. Ouch." I said to Father Ben then to Manual as he just about jerked my hand off (not seriously).

Father Ben didn't need to go back to the rectory but I said that I needed to get a shirt, that I'd feel more comfortable wearing one. Manual, glued to my side, went with me. After retrieving a shirt that fit he pulled me into the bathroom, unabashedly dropped his thin, tattered shorts to the floor, sat down and then began pushing down with all of his strength. His eyes lit up, seemingly in pain, and then giggled when a large poof of air escaped but then grimaced as a splash hit the water, and then another, and finally one more.

He stood up, tore off a piece of toilet paper, handed it to me then turned around. "¡Y ya está. Por favor limpie. Hago un lío." Manual said seriously, imploringly. [All done. Please wipe me. I make a mess.]

He was indeed messy, but a lot of the messiness was dried and caked. My heart immediately went out to him as I'd been there, done that during some of my travels for the jobs I'd been given by my father.

I was not prepared to see his swollen, red and inflamed anus. He yelped when I applied the soft paper to his bottom and wiped the fresh stuff from it.

"Hija, yo voy a limpiar la parte inferior. Está muy sucia. ¿Está bien si hago esto?" ["Child, I am going to clean your bottom. It is very dirty. Is it okay if I do this to you?"]

"Si. Sea amable, por favor." [Yes, be gentle, please.]

"No te preocupes, voy a ser muy suave. Vamos a entrar en la bañera, te voy a lavar bien, ¿no?" [Don't you worry, I will be very gentle. Let's get you in the bathtub, I will wash you properly, yes?]

He smiled brightly. His teeth were in obvious disrepair but his smile was bright and unmistakeable.

I ran a tub of water, had him sit while I washed his hair, face, neck, chest and back, his belly including his innie belly button that was caked with filthy grime. The boy was smiling, giggling and running his mouth a mile a minute throughout until I had him sit forward so I could clean his bottom. There was still quite a bit of hard, crusty material, so I changed course and washed his legs and feet first before returning.

By then the crusties were softened and easily washed away, clean.

When Manual reached for me to help him out of the tub he had unshed tears in his eyes. He said, "Gracias Antoine. Nadie me trata con respeto, como usted tiene. Te amo." [Thank you Antoine. Nobody treats me with respect as you have. I love you.]

"Manual, que le hizo daño como este? Esto es muy, muy mal." [Manual, who hurt you like this? This is very, very wrong.]

"No, no, no, nadie. Tenemos que ir. Mamá se va a enojar si llegamos tarde." [No, no, no, nobody. We must go. Momma will be mad if we are late.]

"Si." I said sadly, knowing that something was wrong, yet I didn't know what was wrong because I'd never seen a bottom look like that before, not that I was knowledgeable about bottoms, no I wasn't.

I helped the boy out of the tub then wrapped him in a large fluffy towel. He was so, so very happy, so much so that for a moment I thought he was an angel. We quickly got him dried then I looked into the medicine cabinet and found a tube of cortisone cream which I applied to the outside of his anus and inside his crevice. I debated on pushing some of the cream inside his anus but decided not to when the label read "For External Use Only".

His shorts were filthy dirty, from sand and dirt to dried and caked fecal matter. I decided to take him to the clothing closet and get him some clean and dry underwear and shorts, and perhaps even a shirt or two.

There was a very large selection of little boys' clothes so we found him a pair of red underwear and black gym shorts to put on - those were his favorites, what he picked out. He put them on. He was so happy and proud.

Without warning, he wrapped his arms around my neck, squeezed tightly then kissed me on my lips, all the while whispering, "Gracias" over and over and over again.

With him decked out, we stopped by the bathroom, flushed the toilet then I tossed his old shorts into the trash can, and then we went outside to Father Ben. Father Ben looked at me with surprise, with a hint of of worry on his face, but didn't say anything.

Hurriedly, Manual led Father Ben and I to his house, a totally ran down place what with the front door nearly falling off. Manual was cute when he held the door open for us, and especially how he closed it - he banged it against the frame with his bare foot. He slapped his foot as if that would push away the discomfort. But his discomfort, if there was any, was short lived.

Maria was a cherubic woman, happy, contented, outgoing, warm and very loving, especially to her youngest son, Manual. She told Father Ben that her other 3 sons had been gone all day, and that they probably wouldn't return until later that night, however she was hopeful that they would be home because surely the smell of her burritos could be smelt miles away. We all laughed and had a great time.

Manual, whose attention span was short, urged me to follow him. We went to the ocean shore and goofed off for a while. Toward sundown, he carefully and neatly took off his clothes and folded them into a neat pile. He then urged me to do the same. I looked around and saw nobody so I joined him. He made a point to lay his clean clothes on top of mine, all done, of course, with his impish smile and amidst giggles.

After a considerable period of time, I got out of the water, sat down on the beach and watched him play as a little child should do. Constantly and consistently, he sought my approvals for his antics, which I readily gave because not only did he think it was funny -but- I sensed he needed my encouraging words as well, desperately even.

He soon tired out and joined me sitting in the warm sand. He sat down in front of me and pulled my arms around his shoulders. In silence, we sat and watched the waves come in and go out.

Though I didn't intend to tickle him, when I put my hands on his chest he began giggling uncontrollably. Well, one thing led to another. He was having a complete and total laughing fit. He didn't threaten me with peeing his pants, mainly because he had no pants on to pee in, instead he stood up to get away from my clutches, grabbed his stiff dick and let loose with a stream to be proud of. He thought that was the funniest thing in his life. Of course, I laughed and giggled right along with him. He plunked back down in my lap. I had to rearrange my dick so that it wasn't between his skin and mine. He looked at it curiously, then with the curiosity that only a small child can half, he touched it and looked at it very carefully. Satisfied, he let go...

Yet he wasn't satisfied. He said, "Su pene, que es muy grande. Voy a ser tan grande algún día?" [Your penis, it is very large. Will I be that big some day?]

"Tal vaz." [Maybe].

He offered to me his penis with a deep sincere desire for me to tell him that he was okay, on his face. I made a point to thoroughly check it out. Satisfed that his appendage was just fine, I replied, "Sí, el pene está bien para un niño pequeño. Crecerá a medida que envejece. Se le harán cambiar todo lo que se convierten en un niño grande, como un hombre." [Yes, your penis is just fine for a little boy. It will grow as you get older. It will bring you much pleasure as you grow into a big boy, as a man.]

He looked into my eyes with all the love and caring I'd ever seen another human being give to another. He was so innocent. He smiled widely then took hold of his appendage and began jacking it furiously. I didn't know what else to do other than to just let him have his way. Father Ben's words came to my mind about masturbation, so I just let him have at it. My own penis was behaving itself though I was probably a bit bigger than it normally was while totally relaxed.

Soon, his little body tensed up. He hollered, "AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!" Then when it passed he was consumed with giggles. He looked into my eyes for approval. I kissed him on his nose and then said, "Vamos hijo, tengo que irme pronto antes de que oscurezca. Te amo, Manual. Eres un niño bueno. No dejes que nadie te diga lo contrario!" [Come on child, I must be going soon before it gets dark. I love you, Manual. You are a good child. Don't let anybody tell you otherwise!]

Happily, he grabbed his clothes off mine then took off running for his house, buck naked. I wasn't ready to do that so I put my jeans on and got the safety pins arranged so that my pants weren't hanging around my ankles.

Soon I arrived to find Maria and Father Ben sitting in lawn chairs just outside of the front door of Maria and Manual's home. Manual was happily arranging and rearranging rocks in a rock garden located to the side of the sidewalk. Again, he kept asking me if this position or that position was just right. I made a few suggestions, soon he was satisfied then sat down on my lap and pulled my arms around him.

By then it was close to dark, and I still needed to call mom for a ride home. It was way past their dinner time, I was concerned because she might be worried... but then again she knew I needed to talk to clear some things up in my mind, and she knew I would be in good hands, safe and sound.

Father Ben stood up from his chair and stretched out. He said, "Well, we should probably be taking off. I have some paperwork to do before I go to bed tonight. You can stay here if you want to."

I was ready to go also. Manual was winding down, in fact he became still, save for his breathing. I leaned in and kissed his cheek. That woke him up. He beamed a smile letting me know of his approvals.

Much more subdued, he stood and urged me to stand. When I was standing he pulled me into a deep, deep hug and wrapped his arms around my neck and hoisted himself up. Of course, I grabbed him tightly and squeezed smartly. He whispered "Vuelve pronto a verme, Antoine. Te amo." [Come back soon and see me, Antoine. I love you.]

"Sí, Te amo demasiado. Sé bueno. Recuerda lo que te dije cuando estábamos en la casa del Padre de Ben. Te veré pronto. Te amo demasiado." [Yes, I love you too. Be good. Remember what I told you when we were at Father Ben's house. I'll see you soon. I love you too.]

After he kissed me on my lips, I returned it of course, he jumped down and went into the house.

I turned to Maria, "Gracias por una comida maravillosa. Es un placer conocer a usted y su hijo, Manual. Es un niño muy brillante, tan lleno de vida, tan enérgico y tan lleno de amor. Usted debe estar orgulloso de él!" [Thank you for a very wonderful meal. It is a pleasure to meet you and your son, Manual. He is a very bright boy, so full of life, so energetic, and so very full of love. You should be proud of him!]

"Oh sí, estoy muy orgulloso de él. Muchas gracias por pasar su tiempo con él. Rara vez la oportunidad de jugar y divertirse como lo hizo hoy. Por favor, vuelva a verlo. Es un niño muy solitario." [Oh yes, I am very proud of him. Thank you so much for spending your time with him. He rarely get to play and have fun like he did today. Please, come back to see him. He is a lonely very child.]

"Oh, ¿por qué se siente solo? Tiene hermanos, ¿no?" [Oh, why is he lonely? He has brothers, yes?] I asked seriously, not understanding because he spoke of his brothers earlier in the evening.

"¡Oh, no, ellos lo tratan muy mal. Manual es el, ¿cómo se dice? Sí, es el bebé de la familia. Me temo que sus hermanos de aprovechar su naturaleza extrovertida, sí." [Oh no, they treat him very badly. Manual is the, how do you say it? Yes, he's the baby of our family. I am afraid his brothers take advantage of his outgoing nature, yes.]

"Le duele, ¿verdad? Él tiene moretones." [They hurt him, yes? He has bruises.]

"Sí, hacerle daño de muchas maneras. Pablo, mi hijo mayor, tomó innocense a mi bebé en coche. Él nunca será inocente de nuevo, no en esta vida. Por favor, le ayuda a mi Manual. Él es tan dulce y cariñoso. Que ha tomado para que como el caramelo dulce. Por favor." [Yes, they hurt him in many ways. Pablo, my oldest son, took my baby's innocense away. He will never be innocent again, not in this lifetime. Please, will you help my Manual. He is so sweet and loving. He has taken to you like sweet candy. Please.]

Maria's eyes filled with tears. She moved her hands to wipe them off. I stepped to her and replied, "¿Tiene su hijo, Pablo, es lo que la fuerza manual para hacer cosas sexuales con él? Manual está muy dolorido en su parte inferior. Ha accidentes." [Does your son, Pablo, does he force Manual to do sex things with him? Manual is very sore in his bottom. He has accidents.]

"Sí, él tiene muchos accidentes." [Yes, he has many accidents.]

I looked to Father Ben. Maria's revelations were new to him, he had no idea. I said to him, "Father, Manual has been violated. His choices were taken away by his brother or brothers. They must pay for their sins. I am a warrior, I must protect him, at the cost of my own life."

Father Ben said, "Vengeance is mine sayeth the Lord. Let the police handle this."

"I will fuck them up, Father. They will never hurt Manual again. They will learn their lesson." I said, my words leaving no room for any doubt whatsoever.

"What about your mother? Do you want her to come get you? The man who brought you here said for us to call him when you were ready to go."

"I should call her. May I use your telephone, please?"

He nodded.

"Hello, mom."

"Hi honey. I was wondering about you. Shall I come get you?"

"If it meets with your approval, Mother, I am going to run home. I have much to think about. I must take care of one thing before I come home. I will be there within the hour."

"Okay honey. After what happened earlier today..."

"I will be fine. Do not worry. I will be safe."

"We'll see you in an hour or so. Love you."

"I love you too mom. I will see you soon."

Father Ben, looking at me carefully as I hung up the telephone said, "Your mother loves you very much. Please don't do anything she would be ashamed of, okay, please?"

I nodded, knowing my mother would could not be ashamed of me for doing what I knew to be right. I excused myself to the bathroom but before I got there I remembered my clothes out on the clothesline. I headed out, retrieved them then returned to the restroom where I discarded the too-big jeans, peed then got dressed in my still-wet clothing, and then took off for home, with a small stop between here and there.

I took off for the beach, and then 'just happened' to stop by Maria's house. She invited me inside but I declined until she motioned to accompany her. She didn't say a word which caused me to go on full alert, in defensive status. My hearing became acute, my sight honed in, my awareness acute, and my muscles tight yet relaxed all at the same time, thinking there was danger lurking close by.

She took me to a sleeping form lying on a broken down bed with dirty filthy clothes scattered all about the room. In the midst of all the chaos, filth and destruction was a child sleeping peacefully with his thumb firmly entrenched in the boys' mouth. Manual.

I walked to him, knelt down and kissed his cheek. Softly, I whispered, "Me encanta que mi amigo, hijo de María. Sus hermanos va a pagar por hacerte daño, te lo prometo. Niño dulce noche buena." [I love you my friend, child of Maria's. Your brothers will pay for hurting you, I promise. Good night sweet child.]

Together, Maria and I walked to her garden. She reveled and gushed about how her youngest child came up with the idea for the rock garden on his very own. It was his gift to her. She explained that her oldest son, Pablo, had destroyed it many times but Manual returned and repaired it each and every time.

The fire in my chest was growing and growing and growing, until it was a blazing inferno.

I asked Maria, "Pablo, es lo que hace este manual a? ¿Y los demás, cuáles son sus nombres, ¿cómo voy a saber?" [Pablo, does he do this to Manual? What about the others, what are their names, how will I know them?]

"Sí, Pablo es mi hijo problema desde que su padre murió hace 4 años. Tiene 17 años de edad. Él es alto. Jesús es el siguiente. Él es 12 años. Jesús no hace daño Manual, a pesar de que las cosas del sexo juntos, muchas veces después de Pablo ..." [Yes, Pablo is my problem child ever since his father died 4 years ago. He is 17 years old. He is tall. Jesus is next. He's 12 years old. Jesus does not hurt Manual, though they do sex things together, many times after Pablo...]

Maria began openly crying as her heart broke. Quickly, she gathered her strength and courage and continued, "AZ, mi próximo hijo, que es de 11. Él es un buen chico. Pablo le duele demasiado, aunque AZ no se queja, pero sé que duele, Antoine. AZ hace las cosas del sexo con el Manual, Manual, pero no le importa, demasiado. Es todo tan natural, Antoine. Tengo miedo de Pablo, yo no confío en él que no me di cuenta. La policía, dicen que no hay nada que puedan hacer." [AZ, my next child, he is 11. He is a good boy. Pablo hurts him too though AZ does not complain but I know he hurts, Antoine. AZ does sex things with Manual, but Manual doesn't mind, too much. It is all so unnatural, Antoine. I am afraid of Pablo, I do not trust him not to hit me. The police, they say there is nothing they can do.]

"Sí, voy a hablar con ellos. ¿Dónde están, ¿sabes?" [Yes, I shall speak to them. Where are they, do you know?]

"Sí, ellos juegan en las rocas. Por lo general, llegan a la puesta del sol. Deberían estar aquí en cualquier momento." [Yes, they play on the rocks. They usually arrive at sundown. They should be here any moment.]

"No te preocupes, María. Voy a hablar con ellos y ayudarles a comprender que no puede hacer estas cosas a su hijo menor, Manual. Si no me hacen caso entonces voy a tener que convencerlos de que lo digo en serio, ¿no?" [Do not worry, Maria. I will talk to them and help them to understand that they cannot do these things to your youngest son, Manual. If they do not listen to me then I will have to convince them that I am serious, yes?]

"Sí. Por favor, tenga cuidado, Pablo es muy fuerte. Él está muy enojado ya que su padre murió. No lo puedo controlar. El padre de Ben ha hablado con él. Mi hijo, le escupió en los ojos del Padre. Tenga cuidado de él, no le des la espalda para que no se lastime." [Yes. Please be careful, Pablo is very strong. He is very mad since his father died. I cannot control him. Father Ben has talked to him. My son, he spat in the Father's eyes. Be careful of him, do not turn your back lest you get hurt.]

"Maria, no te preocupes por mí, voy a estar bien. Ahora tengo que irme. Adiós." [Maria, do not worry about me, I will be okay. I must go now. Good bye.]

With that, I hugged Maria warmly then kissed her on each cheek.

I took off toward the rocks. I didn't go very far before meeting up with them.

While I was checking them out, I nearly had the life scared out of me when a pair of arms wrapped around my waist. Quickly, I turned to see that Manual had attached his body to mine. He was trembling and mumbling something I couldn't understand.

Quickly, I pulled him into my arms and urgently said, just as I noticed the 3 boys approaching us, "Manual, ir a casa, correr. No mires hacia atrás. Prisa." [Manual, go home, run. Don't look back. Hurry.]

Before Manual could get out of my arms, the oldest brother, Pablo, hissed, approaching us, "Ven aquí Manual. Usted alejarse de ese negro. Lo que quiere decir más que problemas."

[Come here Manual. You get away from that Nigger. He means nothing but trouble.]

Manual screeched, "Vete a la mierda, Pablo." [Fuck you, Pablo!] Then he scampered out of my arms and ran like hell in the direction of his home.

With fire in my chest I said to Pablo, "Que dejar al niño solo. Si lo vuelves a tocar, te voy a matar. La policía no hará nada, pero te prometo que va a morir si le toca, que Dios me ayude." [You leave the boy alone. If you touch him again, I will kill you. The police will do nothing but I promise you you will die if you touch him, so help me God.]

Pablo smiled then with fire, hatred, venom and callousness spat, "No sabes lo que estás diciendo ... Te vi jugar con mi hermano pequeño. Te joda, también?" [You don't know what you're saying... I saw you messing with my little brother. Did you fuck him, too?]

Pablo closed the distance until he was one pace away. Though I did not assume my warrior stance I did tense up and my senses went on full alert. Very quickly, he, in one fell swoop slapped my face.

That was met with 16 slaps to his face, knocking him to the ground on the last one.

The youngest, a portly child, ran toward me at full steam then he put his head down as to butt my body. Easily, I stepped aside and watched him fall into the sand. I chuckled. When he started to get up I delivered a very mild kick to his chest which sprawled him back into the sand. I said, "Quédate ahí AZ, este no es su lucha." [Stay there AZ, this is not your fight.]

While I had my back to the middle child, talking to his youngest brother AZ, he came flying and knocked me to the ground with his body weight. Granted he didn't weigh as much as I did but nevertheless, he used his body weight appropriately. I easily wrestled the boy into the sand and told him the same thing I'd told his younger brother, to stay out of it.

By that time Pablo was standing though he thought differently about coming toward me offensively. The two youngest ones stayed down.

Rather than taking him out, I walked to Pablo and said into his face, not two inches from my own, "Si alguna vez oye que te lastime, Manual de nuevo, yo vendré a matarte. Te encontraré, no se puede ocultar en un lugar lo suficientemente oscuro para mí, no se encuentra. Que no significan nada para mí, pero tu hermano te ama. ¿Entienden lo que estoy diciendo?" [If I ever hear that you hurt Manual again, I will come to kill you. I will find you, you cannot hide in a dark enough place for me to not find you. You mean nothing to me but your brother loves you. Do you comprehend what I am saying to you?]

Pablo stood in my face for maybe 5 minutes before his stance softened and he said meaningfully, "Si." [Yes.]

The younger boys got up, walked to me, and in unison said, "Si."

We parted.

That night I explained to mom what had happened at Maria's house, the confrontation on the beach, Manual's bruising, his fear of his older brother, and the fact that I'd restrained myself, and how I'd given them another chance.

Mom said we needed to go to the police station and make a report, that it was required whenever any kind of sexual assault was found, or whenever it was strongly suspected, as it was in Manual's case.

Reluctantly I agreed.

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