Last night I dreamt about a boy I haven't seen for over 50 years. He'll be approaching 70 now and I haven't thought about him much since I last saw him in 1963 but the dream was so powerful and so finely detailed I feel I'd like to share it with my readers.
In October 1962 Sam Dunford and I were fifteen-year-old pupils in a boys-only boarding school near the east coast of England. Sam was in a different boarding house from mine, he ate in a different part of the dining hall and we didn't even share the same classroom but despite hardly ever having spoken to him, I felt I knew him.
I wasn't alone - my classmates felt they knew him too. We didn't know him in the normal sense; we didn't share his interests - in fact we didn't even know if he had any interests. He didn't shine in any particular field of study, never winning prizes, nor taking part in the school plays, nor participating in debates, nor representing the school in any sports. In many ways he was a non-entity. Yet he generated in many of his schoolmates a great deal of interest and we felt we knew parts of him quite intimately. You see, it was very much in a physical sense that we felt we knew him.
Sam had fair hair which he kept unfashionably short; not quite a crew-cut but very short. He'd grown almost a foot taller since his fourteenth birthday and his slim body seemed oddly-proportioned. His limbs looked too long for his torso but long legs didn't make him a good runner for he sometimes fell over if he broke into a trot. It would be another year before he possessed sufficient bodily co-ordination to tackle a cross-country run without tumbling helplessly into the mud or on the football pitch falling over if attempting a hefty kick. That autumn of 1962 Sam was always the muddiest boy in the huge, communal bath at the end of a games afternoon.
Another feature of his body was its complete lack of hair, apart from the little amount on his head and a few under-arm hairs and some lonely-looking pubic ones. His face, torso, arms and legs didn't sport any visible follicles that might one day sprout a hair. Sam was smooth as glass and his glistening body after all the mud had been washed off shone brightly in the harsh lights of the changing room.
Poor Sam hated that communal bath because he was always the main target for boys who liked to feel other boy's naked bodies and Sam's naked body, submerged in warm, filthy water, would receive enthusiastic and prolonged stroking and pummelling, unseen by the games master. I was often in the bath at the same time as Sam; his long, thrashing limbs made me think of a tub of aggressive eels. With his body wet he was as slippery as an eel. Another thing - he had an immensely long penis. Well, it probably wasn't a record-breaker but to adolescent boys it was massive and of course, when grabbed in the bath it felt exactly like an eel. Sam became known as Slippery Sam. He giggled as he fought off his assailants but we could all see he was putting on a front. He must have felt terribly humiliated. There was no way you could escape the communal bath - every boy had to get in and wash off the mud before being allowed into the showers to rinse himself down. Sam must have dreaded it.
When I said we all felt we knew Sam in a physical sense I didn't mean it was only in the huge bath and the changing room that we grew to know him in that way. Sam's humiliation wasn't confined to the communal bath. Athletic shorts in those days had no inner liner and Sam, like me and many other boys, hadn't yet been given jockstraps. The ubiquitous 'no underwear ' rule would therefore cause embarrassment when your penis popped out of your shorts. I'd nothing much to boast about and if I felt the icy wind teasing my genitals I'd ease my shorts down a bit and tuck the offending organs out of sight but for poor Sam that wasn't really possible. Not only was his penis so long but his shorts were extraordinarily short, too short even to cover the whole of his bottom. It probably came from his being too long in the body. Sam's penis was forever popping out, its tip dangling two or three inches from the leg of his shorts. Boys found it hilarious.
I once secretly put on Sam's shorts and looked in the mirror. No bottom showing, not even when I pulled the waistband right up. Ergo, it must have been Sam's build that caused him to display an inch or more of bare buttock whenever he was in sports kit. His bottom had pleasing contours, nicely emphasised by the tightness of the long, grey trousers that were part of his school uniform. His parents had postponed giving him long trousers until they thought his spurt of growth had subsided and Sam was fifteen before he graduated from the absurdly brief grey shorts that we boys had to wear until at least thirteen. In the bath and in the showers, I'd been able to touch Sam's bottom and move my fingers over its slippery slopes and I liked that. Yes, I liked Sam's bottom and it wasn't only after lights-out when I enjoyed little fantasies about it.
In those days it was my habit, during lessons, to alleviate the tedium by designing bomb-shelters. These were underground affairs, reached by a vertical shaft and comprising no more than a room with two smaller rooms leading off, one being a store room and the other a basic bathroom. It was basic because in those days bathrooms and their facilities were not high on my agenda. So long as there was a toilet and a washbasin that was all I wanted. I was much more interested in the large room, the living room. It had two bunks because it was designed for only two people. It was designed for me and whichever boy I fancied at the time. I don't think there was ever much in the way of a kitchen - I probably thought we'd get by on cans of baked beans, mandarin oranges and evaporated milk. And cheese. I may have overlooked drinking water altogether. I can't remember now. My real purpose was to imagine this other boy hermetically sealed from the outside world with only me for company. I naturally hoped this would lead to some sort of friendship building and that we'd need just the one bunk for sleeping in. And for other things.
I hadn't imagined Sam as one of my bomb-shelter companions because there'd been no shortage of boys with more kissable faces, cheekier grins, more engaging personalities and sexier bottoms; boys with whom I'd done things and who were happy to give as good as they got, even though it never extended much beyond adolescent fumbling. Sam wasn't like that - he didn't seem to realise some people found parts of his body highly desirable; he found his totally inadequate shorts inconvenient rather than embarrassing and he found the way he was manhandled in the bath to be sadistic teasing rather than erotic fun. He never talked about sex, nobody had ever admitted to tossing him off and he never grabbed the parts of boys who were grabbing his parts. He seemed to be asexual. He became to me something of a challenge. Could I be the first boy to have sex with him? But what had I to offer? Like Sam, I was pretty much a non-entity but I had feelings. Did he have feelings, too and would they accord with mine?
In October 1962 there was imminent danger of nuclear war. The Cuban Missile Crisis resulted in the USA and USSR getting closer to declaring war on each other than at any other time during the Cold War. We boys anxiously debated whether we supported Khrushchev or Kennedy. The Americans seemed so gung-ho that some boys were happy to throw in their lot with the Russians but most of us just hoped Kennedy would hold out and defuse the situation. As the situation reached its climax we were all nervous and yet school life continued as normal. No parents came to take their sons away, the meals were as ghastly as ever, no boy was found whimpering pathetically in the toilets - unless he was due for a caning. But we all became nicer to each other, perhaps fearful that after we'd all been blown to smithereens we'd be judged as to our character in the time of crisis.
Living in the east of England, we were surrounded by USAF bases. Mildenhall, Lakenheath, Wethersfield, Bentwaters, Alconbury - all seemed within earshot on the night the crisis reached its climax. The night air was filled with the sound of aircraft taking off, flying overhead, climbing to altitude and all, as far as we were concerned, flying east with a payload of hydrogen bombs. 'Poor Russia,' some boy said. 'Poor us,' said another, and we all wondered whether we'd see our parents again or even live to wake up in the morning. In Chapel that evening we sang the hymn Abide with Me and for the first time, I paid attention to the words. I know I wasn't the only person, man or boy, to have lead in his tummy as we left the comforting atmosphere of the chapel and dispersed.
My dormitory, like most others that night, was inhabited by frightened boys, some declaring it would all be over in minutes, some saying their prayers and some creeping over to another boy's bed and climbing in, with no intention of dying alone. I was trying to be stoical and resisted the attempts of two boys who wanted to join me (actually at the same time and from opposite sides, so I could have died as the jam in the sandwich) and praying that my parents and our beloved family dog would not have to suffer.
Unlike thousands of people that night, I eventually fell asleep. I embarked on a dream that was as realistic as any dream I'd ever experienced.
The four-minute warning had sounded and I found myself running to the secret hatch forming the entrance to the shaft that led to my private bomb-shelter, which was lead-lined and deep enough to withstand all but a direct hit from a hydrogen bomb. I was in school uniform and in my hand were some books I thought I'd be able to study during my confinement. In a bag were as many chocolate bars as my pocket money had been able to buy at the school tuck shop. I wasn't panicking, I was simply heading underground to survive until I estimated it to be safe to emerge into what was left of the world. I felt surprisingly unemotional about the whole business.
Just as I was about to close the hatch and descend the ladder I heard an excited voice.
"Jols, Jols, can I come and stay in your shelter? I'm really desperate. Please let me!"
It was Sam and he was in PE kit: white plimsolls, white singlet and those astonishingly short white shorts that left the lower part of his bottom bare. He seemed to have been in the rain, for his clothes were wet and his body glistened with moisture.
"Yes, of course. Come in and let me shut the hatch. Be quick. There's no time to lose!"
Sam slithered down the vertical ladder into my little lair and I shut the hatch, locked it carefully and descended to find a very slippery Sam, shivering with cold and looking at me with a pleading expression. I felt stirring in my loins.
"The bombs'll be going off soon," said a plainly distraught Sam, "and I don't want to die. If you let me stay with you I'll do anything to say thank you. Anything you want."
"OK, Sam," said I, calmly taking charge. "You're welcome to sit it out with me down here. It's a pity you didn't think to put some clothes on. I haven't got any spare clothes and there's no heating. I've got a towel you can put round your shoulders...."
Actually, of course, I did have spare clothing in my little bunker, but it only amounted to flimsy items of sportswear intended to be worn by whichever boy I'd managed to entice down there.
"Look," I said, "when you've dried yourself I've got some dry shorts you could wear but you'd still be a bit cold."
Sam removed his singlet and rubbed himself with my towel. He was looking at the two bunks, each made up with sheets and blankets. "Couldn't I just snuggle into bed?"
"But it's not bedtime!" I said, immediately realising what a stupid thing I'd said. "Oh well, the time of the day is irrelevant down here and all we've got to do is wait for a few weeks so I suppose we could wait in bed as well as anywhere. Fancy some coffee?"
Sam's long, slender penis was exposed below his shorts and it jiggled around as he worked himself dry with the towel. I felt slightly repulsed by the sight of the eel-like appendage doing its jolly little dance. Then, as if to award himself some rather belated modesty, he turned away from me and continued to dry himself. Then he took off his wet shorts, giving me my first view that day of the whole of his bottom. It was a glorious sight.
I gave him my spare shorts and he put them on. Worn on me or on most other boys they'd have adequately covered the bottom but on Sam the lower hems stopped two inches short of the crease where his buttocks met his legs. He manoeuvred his penis so that it pointed upwards, its tip just below the waistband of the shorts and therefore out of sight, if you discount the obvious bulge. By now my own penis was getting decidedly excited.
Sam looked at me and to my surprise he grinned. "Did you mention coffee?"
"Yeah, I'll make us some."
It never struck me how incongruous it was to chat about cups of coffee when above us, presumably, the world as we knew it was about to end.
I had a pullover and let Sam wear it as I found the sight of his pale, hairless, shivering torso somewhat off-putting. He sat on one of the bunks and sipped his coffee. Bizarrely, we said nothing about the Armageddon about to envelope the entire world and all the people we loved. Instead we began to talk about school. Sam mentioned his nickname.
"I hate being called Slippery Sam. It's not my fault I've got no hairs anywhere and I hate it when the other boys grope me and pull my dick and things. It's not my fault it's too long and keeps poking out. Nearly every night in the dorm someone creeps over after lights-out and tries to molest me. And in that bloody communal bath - it's hell. D'you know what I mean, Jols?"
"Well, I don't suppose it's much fun but you never seem to complain," I said.
"No point in complaining - it would just make 'em worse. But you never go for me like the others, Jols. That's why I like you."
This made me feel awful. I had felt Sam's slippery body in the bath and it had excited me, just as the sight of it was exciting me now but for once he was making conversation and I could see his personality trying to emerge. Why'd I been too stupid to try to speak to him before now?
"I'm surprised you never get attacked in the bath, Jols," continued Sam. "You're cute and cuddly and you've got lovely dimples and blue eyes and all that so I can't understand why the big ugly brutes leave you alone and always go for me."
Nobody had ever called me cute before, at least not to my face. I'd just been given a big compliment.
"Thanks, Sam. You're the first boy to say I'm cute. But I don't think I am. I can have thoughts that aren't very nice. Like when I watch you being teased in that bath. I never go to your aid - I just laugh like the others. I do want to help you but I never have the courage and anyway, I don't want the others to think I fancy you."
"And do you fancy me, Jols?"
I found myself blushing and looked at the floor, unable to give Sam an answer.
"Oh, Jols! You're the sweetest boy in the whole school and if this is my last night alive I want it to be with you!"
He looked at the bunk and beckoned me over, seductively.
"We mightn't have long to live," he said, with a curious little smile. "Better not waste time, eh?"
With me being cute and cuddly and Sam being slim and tall, it was easy for us to slip into the bunk and start to make love. Sam persuaded me to undress to my little white briefs and at first he kept my white shorts on. It wasn't long before he'd taken them off. Shortly afterwards I removed my briefs and we wriggled about as naked as the day we were born. He was the first to squirt his load (onto my tummy) and I reciprocated a few minutes later by amply lubricating the almost unfeasible smoothness of his inner thighs - and the palm of his left hand. I lay back and tried not to think of England, the country I loved and which was presumably in the very throes of destruction as Sam and I stroked and licked and pummelled and kissed and thrust our bodies into each other's. After our exertions I made it my business to feel all of his blissfully smooth and still slippery body while he caressed and explored all my own 'cute and cuddly' bits. Then, warm and spent, we snuggled close together and fell asleep.
When I awoke I was in my bed in the dormitory and the morning bell was ringing. I looked at my dorm-mates and realised we were all still alive (and each back in his own bed). The aerial cacophony of the night before had ceased and there was just a single aeroplane flying overhead. Had it been to bomb Russia? Had the crisis ended? It must have done. Aware of a stickiness in my navel I felt down and realised I'd suffered a pretty massive nocturnal emission. Sam! All that stuff in my bomb-shelter had been a dream! My bomb-shelter existed only as a sketch in my notebook. Oh, but it had been a lovely dream and Sam had been unbelievably scrumptious. Thinking of him gave me another hard-on. Wrapping myself in my dressing gown I went with the others to the washroom. We were all excited to be alive. At breakfast the word went round that Kennedy had held firm, Khrushchev had blinked first and the crisis was over. That morning even the school breakfast tasted delicious.
Our education continued as if nothing dramatic had happened. In biology practical we dissected white rats and Latin was spent on compound verbs but I spent the morning concentrating on the events in my dream and trying to relive them. I saw Sam in the lunch queue but I don't think he saw me. How could I approach him and tell him about my dream? The afternoon lessons dragged tediously by and at teatime everything was back to normal and it was as if there'd been no Cuban Missile Crisis. Then we were told that because the crisis was over there'd be no prep that evening so we were free to do what we liked until Chapel, when there'd be a short service of Thanksgiving. Most boys went to their common rooms and chatted, played games and ate snacks. I had another priority - making contact with Sam to see if there was the remotest chance that he thought me cute and cuddly and sweet. I'd love to have felt another arousal building in my pants but I was too nervous for that sort of thing.
I found Sam in his common room. He wasn't chatting to the other boys but sitting with a magazine about tractors. So maybe he did have an interest, after all. I went cautiously up to him and asked if he'd seen a copy of National Geographic, a magazine I enjoyed browsing. He'd never usually shown me any sign of recognition but this time he looked straight into my eyes and gave that curious little smile. It made me shiver.
"No, sorry, Jols, I haven't seen it."
"Oh," I said, nervously. "Well, thanks, anyway." I began to move away, feeling deflated.
"Don't go away," said Sam. "I had a funny dream last night. It was about you!"
Sam looked around to see if anyone else was listening, then he closed his tractor magazine and continued. "Wanna go for a walk?"
Outside, in the chilly October air, it was eerily quiet. The thundering of USAF bombers that had terrified us the night before was absent. Sam and I walked towards the stand of trees behind the cricket pavilion. I was itching to hear about his dream and was working out ways of telling him about mine.
"Last night was crazy," said Sam. "I was the only boy in my own bed. The others were all scuttling about, swapping beds like no-one's business. I had to stop a few of them climbing in with me but in the end I was left alone, which made a nice change, I can tell you!"
I wondered what he was going to say next. Surely he didn't dream of sharing my bomb shelter?
"I had this dream that you and I ran away from school and hid from the bombs in a little tent and that was a fat lot of good cos we knew we'd be blown up to little bits."
"So what happened?" I asked.
"Dunno, really. I woke up before the dream finished but why would it be you I was with? It's not like we're mates or anything."
"D'you like me, Sam? I know we're not mates but I like you and I hate the way you get teased."
Sam put his arm round my shoulder and that was all I needed. I told him about my dream in some detail but leaving out the most sexy bits.
"That's crazy," said Sam, tousling my hair. "I like you, Jols. It's as though we're destined to be mates."
And that's just about all you need to know, dear reader. At the start of this tale I'm afraid I lied. I did indeed see Sam after 1963 and we did indeed become great mates. We never shared a bomb shelter but we often shared a little tent and very nice it was. But our interests were different and at twenty-five he married a girl he'd known since childhood. I was best man and in my speech I said I was sure Sam would become a pillar of society. In a way, that's precisely what happened. He took over his father's vast arable farm in Buckinghamshire, he produced three lovely daughters and became chairman of his golf club, a post he still holds. Introducing me to friends and family during the wedding reception, he called me, without a hint of embarrassment, his 'cute, cuddly and very sweet little friend.' Dear old Slippery Sam.
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