"They all hold swords….."
(Song of Solomon)
Percy and the Pirate
Stunned, almost speechless and physically immobile, almost disbelieving what I'd just heard, I stumbled out, "I do beg your pardon, perhaps I misunderstood you; you are whom?" I knew very well what I heard, but I really wanted to confirm and have her restate it. This did not bode well, in my humble opinion, but I did need time to sort it out in my mind before responding.
"Malachi Duranleau's grandparents," the woman snapped, disgusted with my apparent ignorance or lack of paying attention, and with a dismissive wave of her hand in my direction, "Go, Boy, and bring him here immediately! Understand or are you unfamiliar with God's English language?"
"Yes, Ma'am," I responded with a slight bow, feigning humbleness and respect for my elders, hoping my reticence in leaving would give me more time to think what the hell I was going to do. Who the hell did she think she was, ordering me about as if I were some lackey, using a very racially slurred term "boy?" I wanted to shout back, 'Fuck yes, I understand English and probably better than you,' but I didn't, reserving my comments until a more appropriate time, if there ever would be one. This was going to be an interesting encounter, I thought, and not altogether a pleasant one.
"If you'll wait right here," I added, indicating the sidewalk in front of the house, before turning away, "I'll see if Malachi is available."
There was no way in hell I was going to invite her and her ugly retinue of black garbed thugs into the house and give them access to its contents. She was one mean mother-fucker I thought to myself, smiled, bowed again, and headed up the steps and into the house, securing the screen door behind me, heading toward the stairway leading downstairs to the office and store area.
Once inside, I paused again, thinking what the hell I was going to do, before walking down the steps to the office where Malachi was opening boxes of merchandise delivered to the resort on Saturday. He was checking the contents against the invoices and stocking them on the shelves.
"There are four people out in front of the house. Two claim to be your Grandmother and Grandfather Taylor. The other two are dressed in black and, if I were to hazard a guess, they look like they belong to one of those religious groups whose preachers you see on television anxious to suck your billfold dry before claiming to have saved your soul. You know, the kind that are almost fanatical about the whole business; in other words, fucking zealots. I'd be damned careful; I think they're up to no good."
He furled his eyebrows in apparent thought, looked down at the jackknife he was using to open boxes, closed it, slipped the knife carefully into a front pocket of his shorts, raised an eyebrow, and responded calmly with a confident smile, "We'll just have to see what this is about, won't we?"
Noticing a concerned look crossing my face, he continued confidently and trying to reassure me, "Don't worry, Scooter, we can handle this," and sort of patted the pocket holding his knife.
He was one hell of a lot more confident than I was, but I followed him up the stairs. I did take the liberty, acting on a course of action I decided, on my way down the stairs earlier, to send a quick text to my brothers and mom telling them Malachi's grandparents were here and I thought there might be trouble. Actually, the first word of the text was "HELP" all in capital letters. I thought that might be more effective in getting the troops here than just saying they came for a visit, since I didn't think they did. You know, as the song goes, "I yelled fire when I fell into the chocolate" (because nobody would come if I hollered "chocolate."). The gathered little band of righteous bastards had the appearance of a pack of hungry lions setting upon a freshly killed carcass, teeth bared, drooling slobber, and all that nasty shit. The feast the pack intended on gobbling up was Malachi and I wasn't about to let that happen- not without a fight anyway!
Malachi didn't seem to be in any particular hurry going up the stairs to the main house or as we walked through the living quarters toward the porch. He was almost casual about it, strolling as if he was on his way to get a drink of water or on the way out to the mailbox to pick up the daily mail.
"Watch out," I cautioned, touching him on the arm trying to reiterate and emphasize my initial concerns to him about out visitors, "I don't trust these people. I think they have some evil plan in mind." The only plan I had in mind at the moment was wondering where the hell Seth was. The last I knew, he was somewhere near the docks and lord knew where The Minx, Terrance, might be. I could only hope reinforcements arrived in time to help us stave off what I feared might be an attempt to grab Malachi and cart him away. If they did try, before reinforcements arrived, they'd leave a very bloody Asian-American teen boy laying on the ground, exhausted of all strength to physically disabuse them of their heinous goal.
"No need to fuss, my Love," he responded patiently again to my increasing concerns. "I guess we'll just have to see, won't we? Don't get too upset, yet. Let's just see what they have to say, okay?"
I still didn't know how he could remain so calm knowing what I did of the old battle-axe waiting for us in front of the house. Perhaps, just perhaps, he was reacting as he wished he would've when he was grabbed in Georgia or learned, from that experience, to prepare himself mentally, calmly putting together a plan to thwart their attempts at misdeeds.
My first impressions reminded me of the "Wicked Witch of the West" from "The Wizard of Oz." Personally, I was shaking like a young puppy shitting sharp bone fragments, terrified the next one to pop out might shred my asshole to the point I'd shoot broadsides when I shit. I still hoped my brothers were close. Maybe Aaron and Samuel got the text out on the lake and were close by as well. Seth was the closest and the best fighter of all of us. I was counting on him to come dashing to our assistance. Well, I really didn't care if he walked, as long as he hustled like his balls burned or his ass was on fire.
Malachi and I stopped out on the porch, unlatched the door, walked slowly down the steps in the manner of a prince and his bride coming down the castle staircase, and stopped, facing the four people standing there. Nope, she hadn't changed any in looks or disposition. Still had the same sour look on her face like she'd swallowed a large dill pickle or had one stuffed up her snatch and it was irritating the hell out of her. I hoped it was really salty and irritable.
"I'm Malachi Duranleau," he said with a killer smile, introducing himself. "How may I be of assistance to you? Perhaps a cabin rental? Although we are booked full right now. Yes?"
Oh, my god; how could he act as if it were merely someone seeking a vacation spot? I quickly realized it was meant to disarm them or perhaps demean their actual mission, letting them believe he had no idea why they were here and make him more vulnerable to a surprise attack. Assholes!
"No!" his 'grandmother' growled. "We've come for you."
Aha, I was right, the dirty fuckers came to snatch him away from me. I tensed, waiting to see his reaction. Other than a hand rest comfortably near the pocket opening where the knife was concealed, there was no other reaction, other than a smile, a very tight, warning smile to those who knew him.
"And who might you be, madam, to presume to come for me?"
The woman narrowed her eyes, looked at me, and cast her evil eyes back onto Malachi, trying to bore into the very depth of him and intimidate him.
"I'm Bernice Taylor and this is my husband, Frank Taylor."
She failed- ha ha on you, bitch! You don't intimidate my boyfriend that easily after all he's been through.
"May I see some identification, please?" Malachi cordially asked, remaining outwardly calm, "Preferably, a photo ID of some sort."
"Of all of the impertinent rude….." she sputtered, frustrated with the delay and seemingly unnecessary processes to establish her identification, stopped her grumbling, temporarily only mind you, to dig into the purse crooked over her left arm, searching for a wallet containing her driver's license. She held it out for Malachi to inspect and waited for Frank to show his license as well.
Malachi nodded thoughtfully. "Yes, you are who you say you are. Now, what is it you wished to discuss with me?" He made no effort to invite them to the porch, make themselves comfortable, or more welcome than an infant's shitty diaper stinking up the front row of the church. It was now evident, to me, he had the same vibes concerning their purpose as did I and was making no effort to enable their venture. In fact, he was preparing to offer one hell of a resistance to whatever he proposed; he just didn't want them to be aware of his intentions. Malachi wanted to be outside where there was room to fight – or run. Malachi vowed no one would ever take him again as the kidnappers did in Georgia and he was about to stand his ground, and not alone, this time. I was beginning to think the jackknife was going to play an important role in his defense. If so, I hoped he stuck her real good.
Mrs. Taylor again looked down at me (She was a good-sized woman. I remember a man saying one time he never saw anything that big that didn't eat hay. My feelings toward her exactly) and with a dismissive wave of a finger, again in my direction, indicated I should vamoose, growled, "What we have to say concerns you, Malachi and not the colored boy."
He listened calmly, nodded his head, but before he could respond, and respond I knew he would but I didn't know how, I stepped forward, my face adorned with a faux smile of pleasure.
"That I am Ma'am; a person of color. I'm African-American, Asian-American, and White-American."
I heard her mutter "mongrel."
So, being the good polite boy I am, I asked, "And you are what? According to the Gnome Project, all of us originated in Africa. Perhaps we have a common black ancestor?"
Her face darkened; dark like the ash filled clouds over a volcano in the throes of eruption, ready to release its fiery fury, spewing vicious, scalding, sizzling, searing, molten lava and sparks hurling down the mountain side, engulfing forests, villages, and people before cooling into a hot black mass. She would rot in hell before she'd ever acknowledge her ancestors may have come from Africa or there were any other races of note on the earth other than white. People of color were on earth to serve white people in her belief I imagined. Really, there are more in our country than one would imagine sharing this belief and this particular lady personified the existence of all of them. What a bunch of fucking, hypocritical racists!
If I thought Malachi was calm before as he lay a hand on my shoulder and responded to her remarks, I was greatly mistaken. His voice was level, without visible emotion, but still laced with determination, commitment, pride, and defensiveness.
"Perhaps, Mrs. Taylor," refusing to address her as 'grandmother', "I failed to introduce my fiancée, Josiah Grant Dickenson Parker. We intend to be married shortly after we graduate from high school. I'm certain you are as overjoyed as I am."
His eyes snapped and boiled with anger, expressing the anger, the hate, and loathing toward racists, the religious right, and white nationalism in general; the revulsion and repugnance he felt toward someone who'd insult me, the love of his life. I knew him only too well. They'd better step easy, I thought at the time or Malachi Duranleau would pop a facer on her as well as her toady husband, who just sort of stood by like a simpering lap dog.
"Alas, I regret to inform you, Madam, you and your entourage are not included on our guest list. However, you could send a substantial cash donation to a local LGBTQ organization in our name. I'm certain they'd accept a donation from anyone, even people like you."
Her anger was building, seeking to erupt to the surface, ready to loose a storm of colossal proportions, yet she kept it contained, momentarily, with great effort as she reached into her purse and whipped out a thick envelope and waved it in front of Malachi.
"All the more reason," she proclaimed loudly, "to remove you from this nest of Sodomites and their evil, wicked, debauched ways and beliefs. I have here an order, signed by a judge, overturning those false claims of custody giving your sinful, depraved, and immoral excuse of an uncle any and all rights of custody. This document outlines how your lies concerning your occupation as a male prostitute and faking a rape to cover up a group sex party where you were willingly and were paid to be sodomized by numerous individuals for money, debunks your claims of rape to cover up the reasons for your injuries, hospitalization, and placement with your uncle, out of state. These lies are substantiated by sworn statements from your mother."
With a satisfied smile on her face and a harrumph from her throat, she continued to wave the envelope in front of Malachi, acting as though her actions would be validated by an envelope full of lies, from a judge of dubious character residing in another state, in an area not altogether too friendly to the LGBTQ community.
Bernice Taylor's words, the lightning flashing in her eyes, using the voice of a religious zealot bent on converting all near and far to her way of believing, were laced with the vitriol of homophobia and xenophobia. She reached the point in her diatribe of extolling the virtues of her daughter, Susan, Malachi's mother when Malachi raised a hand to silence her.
She sputtered to a reluctant stop but really railed verbally when he asked, "You mean to tell me you'd take the word of a common whore and believe all that bullshit?"
"She found her Savior and repented!" was the shouted proclamation as if declaring it would make it so and announced by Heavenly Hosts. "You, on the other hand, have embarked on the Road to Perdition and unless we save your soul, you'll burn in hell for eternity."
Malachi's voice was steely cold and condemning. "The only thing she's found, Mrs. Taylor, and I might add still looking for more, is O Kaar, cock in your language I think, and never ending in her relentless search. She spent my entire boyhood fucking her way across campus in Madison, trying each one on like a pair of shoes, sizing cocks of her partners as she spread her legs, cunt dripping in anticipation and desire, starting with the freshmen boys, always looking for the one that wouldn't fit up her well-stretched meesh. My god, even my own father couldn't satisfy her and he's hung like a horse. The only road I'm heading down is one to a very loving life with my future husband," and touched me lightly on my shoulder with his left hand.
Like father, like son, I thought concerning cock size, but perhaps more growth in the son than in the father, but I'm not certain. I do know if Malachi ever had a light attached to the end of his pecker, my belly button would glow like Rudolph's nose on a foggy Christmas Eve once that massive honker was settled with his pubic bush resting on my ass cheeks.
"I'll bet you five to ten," he continued, "she's spread eagled on her back with a fat prick lodged in her right now and several more pantless, drooling boys, cocks bared, dripping with natural lubricant, waiting their turn. She has had one or both of Judge Lawson's sons buried balls deep up her snatch since before she and Judge were married. I'd find it difficult to estimate how many high school boys, college boys, and other young men of Atlanta she's spread her legs for. Hell, when she dies she'll have to be buried in a 'Y' shaped coffin."
With an angry, dismissive wave of her hand, she ordered, "Enough of your filthy, disrespectful mouth about God-fearing, good Christian women like your mother; you're coming with us. I've enrolled you in a fine Christian Academy where your mind will be cleansed, your soul redeemed, your sexual preferences will be re-oriented, and the demons will be driven from your body."
"JANDO KAR!" Malachi shouted back at her.
"So much like that perverted father of yours," she bellowed back. "Always speaking that heathen Gypsy filth he was raised on. Just look at you, you're even colored like he was."
"Oh, pardon me," Malachi growled malevolently, with a false, snide, apology. "In English I think the equivalent would be 'fuck you' or at least close to that."
"You, you," she sputtered, "are spawn of the devil and those colored pagan Romani's," finally screeching and signaling the two men with them, "Take him!"
The two men started to step forward, Malachi tensed, as did I, preparing for the fight ahead of us.
I've often heard people speak of "time standing still" when everything seemed to move in slow motion. I must admit I was skeptical when I heard it said because time never really "stands still." Even in the most dire circumstances, time always moves forward, not even death stops the incessant forward pace of time, leaving past events as past events, not caring for the future, only time. My mind was rapidly changing on the subject, evolving into something more on the order of the "perception of time" in a person's mind when you are occupied, so focused intently, on an impending action, the occurrence in which you are a very willing participant or unwilling participant, you are aware of little else around you. Reality, outside of what you are concentrating on, ceases to exist. I imagine it is the same effect a Japanese warrior experiences when about to commit hari-kari, the ritualistic honorable suicide, seeing, feeling an out-of-body experience with no fear, no concern, only on the impending end, resignation to the conclusion or, in the past, when devout Buddhist monks self-immolated by dousing themselves with gasoline, and lighting it in protest to effectuate their own death in sacrificial protest.
In the instant case, I was a very willing participant, preparing myself mentally and physically for combat as I'd been taught during my martial arts lessons (however imperfect I might be) by my mother. I was calm inwardly; my body was wound spring tight, my mind relaxed, free of all other concerns other than on my opponents in front of me, readying myself to fight and defend Malachi with all my strength, skills, and life if it be so.
Easing myself into a defensive position, hands poised, feet placed, my eyes cutting from one black-suited adversary to the other taking in their strengths and weaknesses, gauging their individual vulnerabilities, and judging which one would attack first, concentrating my mind, my intent on them, as no more or less than someone who I will either destroy or they will destroy me. My eyes bore into theirs and while I saw no fear, I did see some concerns on their part. Whether their concerns were whether they could defeat me or whether, while handily crushing me, they'd take pleasure or guilt in bringing harm to an underage teen boy. I rather think they thought me either foolish or expressing more bravado than skills.
I could use my smaller size to my advantage and their disadvantage. Their expectations were low, so surprise would assist me in my attack and defense. Each one probably out-weighed me by one hundred pounds and stood at least a foot taller than me. I imagined, in reality, they were unconcerned by my stance and for my size in relation to theirs, seeing me as little more than a fly on an elephants back, a nuisance to be swatted or flicked aside. Little did they realize this fly had a bite. Their balls were just as vulnerable and sensitive as any other human males',
So intently was I focused on the two of them I failed to notice Seth step up to my side, a quarter staff (upon closer examination it was a broomstick) held by both hands, extended out in front of him in an attack posture, hearing him say evenly, without raising his voice, yet quietly threatening,
"I wouldn't do that if I were you!"
That's all he said. Unspoken between us and with an imperceptible motion of his staff, indicated he'd take the man on the left and I was to take the man on the right. We tensed, readying ourselves, but were interrupted by Malachi.
"May I introduce one of my future brothers-in-law, Joseph Thomas Dickenson Parker."
The introduction diverted their attention momentarily and mine as well, along with hearing from behind me and on my left, "And two more" as Samuel and Aaron stepped up alongside Malachi, both taking the same martial arts posture as I'd assumed.
"Ah, yes," Malachi continued, "how rude of me. I would also like to introduce Samuel Lawrence Dickenson Parker and Aaron Jacob Dickenson Parker, also future brothers-in-law."
"Oh, lest I forget," he continued, "coming from behind your vehicle is James Ambrose Dickenson Parker and his friend Scott Shaffer. If you haven't gathered by now, James is a future brother-in-law as well. Scott is his boyfriend."
James and Scott stepped from behind the van, moving up to join us. Each held a baseball bat in their hand.
How long had we been standing in confrontation with the Taylor's and their two big ox-like bullies so I'd not heard Samuel and Aaron arrive on the boat from their fishing expedition or James and Scott roar down the road on the ATV? Was I so intent, so concentrated on the immediacy of the situation, sound and time "stood still" blocking from my focused consciousness all things not relevant, as I prepared to fight?
With the addition of more Parker Brothers, the situation appeared to tilt in our favor, so I thought, until the two men began removing their suit coats, carefully, deliberately, without taking their eyes off of the assembled pre-teen and teen boys in front of them. They were preparing for a fight and, if I knew my brothers, we were prepared to give it to them. We might not win, but we'd bloody the shit out of them in the process. If a fight did happen, I wanted to make certain dear Grandmother Taylor didn't miss out on receiving a bloody nose in the process. What simple pleasure that might give.
A whistle sounded- a parrot type whistle, followed by a squawk, "Back off, fat fuck!"
Another whistle and "Sail ahoy!"
The two men's eyes widened momentarily before narrowing into a frown, wondering what was coming down the house steps toward them. We knew, without looking, when a young boy's voice shouted, "It be a fat merchant off the port bow, matey, ripe for the pickin'."
Stepping from the house, around our gathered defenses, strutting between our human redoubt and the Taylors, arriving with the aloofness and confidence of a captain of a well-armed frigate on the high seas flying the Jolly Roger, The Minx, dressed unlike I expected him to be, yet not surprised. Strolling with a swagger befitting an "old sea dog," red bandana, knotted in the back, covering the top his head, one eye covered with a makeshift eye patch from an adhesive eye bandage, colored hastily with applied soot, if my eyes were correct, by the index finger of one hand, shirtless yet partially covered with an overly large men's brightly colored vest (rainbow), waist bound with a long red sash, probably from either a table runner or winter neck scarf, securing an iron fireplace poker, pointed with a hook, to his side, left hand resting casually on it as would a pirate captain caressing his favorite sword, but, sight of all sights, perched on the Pirate Captain's shoulder was Percy!
What a picture it was! If the situation wouldn't have been so serious, it would've been hilarious!
The Minx could've cared less who he faced or how many, so it seemed, as he marched forward. Percy broke out into song with "who's that knocking at my door". He skipped most but really belted out "open the door you dirty whore," and whistled again.
Terrance, The Minx now Pirate Captain, began a slow walk, pacing back and forth between us and them, tilting his head occasionally, looking up at the Taylor party as if appraising them, preparing them for the Pirate Captain's judgement; cat-o-nine-tails, keel hauling, or walking the plank.
"Motley crew of reprobates; probably impressed from some English Pub or a wench's bed chamber," the Captain complained, completing his assessment; to which Percy, whistling again, responded "Fuck-em Bucko."
Mrs. Taylor gasped in horror and indignation and pointed a boney finger at Percy. "That bird is filthy!"
The Pirate Captain took exception to her remarks, stepped closer, leaned forward toward her, sniffed the air tentatively, and wrinkled his nose. "The bird is clean as Sunday, Madam. You on the other hand could use a real good douche! You're a bit ripe in the old, musty crotch. Either that or you have a couple dead fish stuffed in your droopy panties."
She gurgled some nonsense, unable to come back with anything as delightful, I thought, especially when Percy shrieked, "She's a whore!"
One of her muscle men reached forward as it to grab Percy and throttle him.
The Pirate Captain, quick as lightning it seemed, whipped the poker from his sash, rested the pointed end at the man's lower abdomen just above where his cock would attach to the rest of his body, pushed just a mite, threatening, "Touch me bird, Bucko, and I'll gut you like a goat and roast your balls over a brazier of hot coals before feeding them to the sharks; who, no doubt, would spit them back out because of the unpleasant taste. Not from the roasting, but because of rottenness contained within." He gave the poker another little jab.
Terrance could be more eloquent and loquacious than I thought. I really should complement him on his use of the English language, when the fight was over and if we survived it.
"Asshole!" muttered Percy bobbing his head up and down as the Captain pulled back on the poker, evidently convinced the big ox in front of him got the message.
"Just who do you think you are?" snarled Mrs. Taylor.
"Why," he answered with a suave confidence, "I'm Captain Terrance Matthew Dickenson Parker, another one of Malachi's future brothers-in-law and my side kick, perched so sedately on my shoulder ready to assist me at a moment's notice, is Sir Percy of Filth and you Madam are about to be taken prisoner and sold as a wench to a desert sheik where he may, once he sees you naked, allow his camels to perform certain bestial acts of depravity and debauchery on you for no other reason to entertain his tribe."
With that, Terrance stepped back, brandished the poker in the air, waving it about, and shouted, "Stand by me Hardies; prepare to repel boarders and take prisoners!" adding, "all males will be divested of their balls and sold out as eunuchs."
A calm, yet extremely authoritative and familiar voice spoke up.
"Could you please wait a moment, Captain, before you engage the enemy so I might examine any Letters of Marque they might possess?"
"Well, shit!" complained Percy.
Dad stepped forward, stopping in front of Mrs. Taylor. "May I see the documents or warrants you might have in your possession permitting you to trespass on private property, threaten underage children, and perhaps attempt an abduction before I summon the authorities?"
She sputtered for an answer as she handed over the envelope. Perusing the papers, Dad simply said, without engaging her with a look, treating her as if she were a tree planted nearby, "I'm Jedediah Dickenson Parker, Attorney at Law representing Malachi Duranleau and the others here present."
He took his time examining the papers, refolded them, and placed them in his pocket rather than return them to her. "These papers give you no authority in our state. If you care to pursue your efforts of claim in one of our courts, I'd be more than happy to meet you there in front of a judge to argue my case. Until such time, I'd ask you to leave, please."
"You have no authority to order me anywhere!"
"But I sure as hell do," shouted Malachi's Uncle Dave rounding the front of the van. "Get your ass off my property – now!"
Dave Taylor was mad, well furious would be a better word, when he stepped up to his mother, face to face; calming down, continued, "Take your self-righteous, hypocritical bunch of bullshit someplace else."
Percy began squawking, "Happy days are here again!"
The tension was electric, Dave Taylor was ready to take on his own mother in battle, the Parker Family prepared to smite the Philistines, but our Samuel (Boomer) broke ranks, stepped up rather close to Mrs. Taylor, ostensibly to gain more knowledge concerning the discussion, the paperwork, or contribute to the atmosphere we found out, lifted his right leg slightly, asking innocently, "May I see the papers, please?" and ripped one! By the sound, it was about sixty percent shit and forty percent pungent, putrid air; deadly, sinking, yet floating just enough to begin its attack on the human senses. A good description might be a green cloud of noxious, nauseating, almost sticky stench, clinging to all within twenty yards. God, it was horrible! Eye-watering, stomach-turning, throat-constricting horrible!
Percy shrieked, "Abandon ship!"
A chorus of "shit bomb attack," "cannon fire from the rear," "torpedo in the hull," accompanied by gagging, coughing, and general watering of the eyes. The crowd started to dissipate before the gas attack did. Boomer's farts should be declared a weapon of mass destruction and outlawed internationally such as mustard gas is.
"Much better and quicker than just telling them to leave," Boomer said with a smile.
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