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Gull Island Light

by Nicholas Hall

Copyright© 2017 – Nicholas Hall

A fine mist sprayed up on our faces from the wind-whipped, frothing waves rolling in from the great lake from which they originated, slapping up against the side, spewing over the rails of the car/passenger ferry on our voyage across the strait separating Gull Island from the mainland. It would've been drier to have remained in our car, parked beside where we stood, but I wanted to stand outside, unable to contain my growing excitement, looking ahead toward the island looming before me, my mind filled with the memories of a twelve year old boy standing in a similar position, anticipating a fun-filled summer ahead, as I had in the Summer of 1941!

It was a summer which would affect my life in so many more ways than I could ever have imagined, in a most positive and powerful manner; how I'd forever view the world, other cultures and people who might be different from me ethnically, racially, religiously, physically, financially, or culturally! It'd be the summer I'd see myself as I truly am, then and now; when I became comfortable in my own skin even when others around me weren't comfortable in theirs or knowing I was happy with mine; it was the summer I first fell in love!

Howard Leckand-Mullins, my partner for many years before same sex marriage became legal in our state, stood by my side, looking toward Gull Island, suffering the same dampening effect of the wind thrown moisture, yet didn't seem to have the same anticipation or anxiety I was experiencing. It was at his urging we were making this journey to the shores of Lake Superior from our home in far South-east Iowa. I'd be returning to Gull Island for the first time in over sixty years, just prior to the onset of World War II!

"We're not getting any younger," he cautioned on a sunny, warm day in May. "You've always wondered, so why don't we just load up the car in June and go find out?"

"Why not?" I thought. We've been retired for some years and, although our resources are not limitless, we lived a comfortable life; comfortable enough to afford an extended trip from home to Northern Michigan to the shores of Lake Superior. Lodging and food would be more expensive that time of the year since it'd be in the start of the tourist season but, as Howie indicated, we're not getting any younger!

The captain of the ferry slowed the diesel engines, slackening our forward motion, sounded the ferry's horn alerting all other craft and those on shore, waiting to load, of his impending docking, and began maneuvering the large craft to the lake side concrete pad. Once secured, the front ramp was lowered and the workers began directing us to drive off so they could reload and make the return journey.

The differences, compared to when I first arrived here in 1941, were quite striking; not only did the ferry make several trips a day instead of two or three per week, but the roads were paved rather than gravel or dirt, several gas stations dotted the road as we traveled, noting variety of shops, a grocery store, and homes as well. Oh, there were still stretches of timber and marsh land, but a golf course lay within sight of Superior, despoiling the naturalness of the area! Point Pleasant, the small community of permanent residents, apparently was the seat of government with a city hall, library, fire department, and community center. Nearby was a snug harbor where a multitude of sailing and motor boat classes could be seen bobbing, bouncing on the waves and wakes created by other craft entering and leaving the snug harbor. The area and the entire island reeked of catering to the tourists!

Following the little green signs designating the direction to the lighthouse, we came to a stop in the parking lot of the Gull Island Light! Stepping from the car, I was overcome with sweeping nostalgia, twisting my gut, clenching my heart as memories of those years gone by flooded my mind, suddenly missing and yearning for that happy summer so many years ago to return, wishing I could step back in time!

The light house tower, some one hundred steps on the winding interior metal staircase to the top, stood tall and just as majestic as I remembered it! The red roof, house and tower freshly painted white, the larger Light Keeper's house attached and part of the structure, yard protected by the rock wall, and the Assistant Keeper's Residence a little over one hundred yards away to the right, gave me every expectation to see Uncle Edmond and Aunt Caroline standing there, arms open and outstretched, waiting to welcome their favorite nephew for a summer visit!

I explained to Howie the two entrance doors were used for entering the family residence, on the left, and the other, the one with the sign above it announcing "Entrance," was the one people used to access the Light Keeper's office. We walked up to and in through the "Entrance," paid our admission fee, which I thought was rather steep, but understood the non-profit historical society acting as the guardian and protector of the site needed funds to complete their mission of restoring and preserving the old facility for others to enjoy! We vowed to make a substantial, for us anyway, donation when we returned home!

We stepped from the small alcove, formerly the coat room, where the admissions desk was located into the waiting room where, in past years, guests or visitors to the light were received. The waiting room was now full of displays and memorabilia chronicling the history of the Lighthouse. In this section of the building, the Keeper of the Light's office was located, beyond the waiting room, as well as the communication center or radio room, and the control or equipment room containing all of the buttons, levers, and switches activating the light, the fog horn when needed, and the diesel generator in case of power failure from the cable under the strait from the mainland. A series of windows, not far from the Light Keeper's desk, afforded an unobstructed view of the lake. A transit and compass was also located there so the Keeper could, if necessary, mark any wreckage, ship in distress, or persons cast adrift radio for assistance. All of the records of ships passing and other information, including the daily log book, were located in the office, at least when I was there so many years before!

A door led to the outside and the outside entrance to the light tower and with another door leading to an inside entrance to the light in case of inclement weather. The inside entrance door was locked and a sign pointed to the other door. The access door from the Light Keepers office to the residence was also locked with a sign on it announcing, "Authorized Personnel Only!" I gave it a shake, gently of course, just to test the veracity of the sign, but a young lady stepped up and announced it was the entrance to residence and was not in use!

"I used to live here," I announced, "and was just curious what it looked like now!"

"That's nice!" she responded with a smile signifying she could care less before reiterating, "but authorized personnel only!" and walked away.

Howie raised his eyebrows, I shrugged my shoulders, somewhat frustrated and disgusted, and we walked back into the waiting room to look over the exhibits. A young male, probably college student, tour guide was addressing a group of young boys and girls, explaining the exhibits and answering questions.

Standing in front of a locked, glass front display case full of pictures and attached to the wall, he was in the process of pointing to one picture in particular, evidently answering a question from one of the youngsters.

"This one," pointing at the picture in question, "is a picture of the Assistant Light Keeper, his wife, and son taken during the late 1940's or early 1950's."

Coughing slightly to gain his attention, I corrected him;

"That picture is of the Keeper of the Light, Edmond Mullins, his wife, and nephew. It was taken June 2, 1941."

The young man smiled, almost condescendingly, and, offering to humor, with the same indifference as the young lady had addressing me concerning the closed door, an old man who must be confused, answered, "You must be mistaken!" smiled again and led his little group of now very misinformed young scholars away from me and to another exhibit!

"Mistaken, my ass!" I muttered softly to Howie.

Resplendent in his Coast Guard uniform, Aunt Caroline on his left, and me, age twelve and delighted to be there, on his right, suitcase on the ground in front of me, his arm around my shoulder, was Uncle Edmond, a smile on his face, clearly pleased with my visit!

"That picture, Howie," I snorted tapping the glass front, "was taken by the Assistant Keeper shortly after I arrived here from the mainland!"

A gentleman, older than the tour guides, perhaps age fifty-five or sixty, stepped up to us, apologized for eaves-dropping on our conversation, and inquired if there was anything he could assist us with. His name tag gave his name and identified him as a trustee of the historical society. I explained how mistaken the young man was concerning the picture!

"Are you certain?" the gentleman asked nicely, with a hint of misgiving or hesitation tinged in his voice.

"Of course he is," Howie sputtered. "We have a copy of it in our home hanging on the wall in the living room!"

"My Uncle Edmond developed all of his own photos," I explained, "and I helped him develop and print that particular picture. If it's the original, open up the case, look at the back of the picture and you'll find the date written on it."

The trustee walked over to the admissions desk, procured a key, walked back, unlocked the case, and carefully removed the photo. Turning it over, read aloud, "June 2, 1941" written in my own young hand!

"Oh dear!" he expressed apologetically, "Our most sincere apologies. I assure you we will correct our records and brief our tour guides!"

Extending his hand in friendship, introduced himself. "Steve Alger."

"Carl Mullins," I responded, "and my spouse, Howard Leckland-Mullins."

"We have fresh coffee and fresh donuts in the kitchen," he offered, "if you'd care to join me. I have so many questions I'd like to ask. We get so few who are familiar with the past history of our light and never have I, since I came with the Society, had the pleasure of meeting someone who actually lived here!"

"It was only for the summer, in 1941," I explained, hoping to correct any misconceptions he might have on the length of my residency at Gull Island Light!

Bribing me with hot coffee and fresh donuts would loosen my tongue, of that I was certain. Mr. Alger picked up a small tape recorder from one of the filing cabinets, unlocked the door to the residence, and led us in.

The kitchen wasn't furnished the way it was as I remembered it. In fact there was quite a modern refrigerator, gas stove, coffee pot, and sink. Those, along with a table, several chairs, and a couple of work tables, made up the entire furnishings. Seated at the kitchen table, fresh coffee in front of me and a couple of fresh donuts inside me, I began answering Mr. Alger's questions.

Over the next hour I described the furniture in the dining room, now empty except for some boxes of materials, the living room, also empty except for storage, the wall paper designs, rugs, curtains, as well as pictures on the wall. The bathroom, as I looked it over, was nothing like what I remembered! Gone was the claw-foot cast-iron tub, pedestal sink, and toilet with the pull chain on the overhead tank to flush it, replaced with modern plumbing and furnishings.

We spent some time discussing my Uncle and Aunt's likes, dislikes, personalities, and how they lived their daily lives. The Assistant Keeper's life styles and family was a little more muddled in my mind since I really didn't spend much time with them. I recall they had three children, two boys and one girl, all younger than me. I had other things on my mind by the second week I was on Gull Island!

I interrupted his questioning to ask if I could see the upstairs. He picked up his tape recorder and followed me this time instead of vice-versa! I knew quite well where the stairs were leading up to the second floor, having trampled up and down them numerous times in the Summer of '41!

There were two bedrooms on the second floor; one to the front and smallest of the two, and the one to back, much larger, with two very large windows where a view of the lake was always available should one care to look. My Aunt and Uncle loved this room! They could look out on the lake and witness it's very beautiful moments when Superior was calm and the sun or moon cast light on it, reflecting and catching the brightness of day or the subtleties of night!

The lake could also exhibit its nasty, dangerous side as well, wind whipping gigantic, crashing, waves, breaking noisily and fiercely on the treacherous, jagged rock reefs and those outcropping below along the shore! Uncle Edmond often said the lake was like a loving, gentle, beautiful woman, soothing your heart and mind, but at a moment's notice would twist to a dangerous, cutting, killing mistress if one who sought her favors did so recklessly or foolishly!

I moved from their bedroom across the hall to the small bedroom I'd occupied. For some reason, I wanted it to look as it did when I left it in August of 1941; single bed near the window to catch the cooling breezes on a hot summer night, dresser up against the wall with the picture of my mom and dad resting on the white doily covering the top, braided rug on the floor, small desk and chair where I'd sit to pen a short weekly letter to my folks, the night stand with the small radio on it where I'd lay on my bed and listen to my favorite radio program when I could get reception, and lace window curtains covering the windows; but the room was empty except for memories!

Walking through the small room, saying nothing, stopping momentarily where the single bed used to set near the windows to catch the summer breezes, the desk where I'd pen my weekly letter, and finally stopping by the closet door, and slipped in!

During my sojourn through what used to be my bedroom and entry into the now empty closet, neither Mr. Alger or Howie interrupted my thoughts, my memories with a question or comment, somehow understanding my desire to be alone in my thoughts! After all, isn't a young boy's bedroom his most private of all places, where his dreams seem to be reality, where heroes conquer villains, poor boys become millionaires, and small town boys become world adventurers, and should be held sacrosanct? Especially those deepest of all, those special, heartwarming, heart fluttering, and eventually, heart-breaking memories of a boy's first love?

Inside, in the half-light trickling in through the open closet door, searching an inner wall, I rediscovered the loose board I found so many years before and, with some effort, wiggled it free from the tongue and grooves holding it secure to the other wall boards. There, lo and behold, in the small space behind the board, right where I secured it in August of 1941 before I left for home, was the envelope I forgot to retrieve and take with me; yellowed, somewhat brittle, but its contents still intact! I slipped it under my shirt, replaced the board, and nonchalantly stepped out into the room to resume my tour without either Mr. Alger or Howie being the wiser to my apparent misdeed!

A puzzled look was cast my way from Howie as I excused ourselves, begging other pressing items on our itinerary and with a limited time, soothing our hosts desire to seek more answers to an apparent plethora of questions he had yet to ask, by promising to spend time, once we returned home, producing a written narrative and compendium of memories, events, and sights I recalled experiencing during my summer visit to Gull Island. I would, I decided, report only on those events deemed worthy of public knowledge and scrutiny; others or a deeply personal nature would remain sequestered and personal!

Shaking Mr. Alger's hand as we left, accepting his profound expressions of gratitude for our time and my information, I casually asked if the small Native American settlement was still on Destruction Bay.

"Oh, yes," he explained. "It's grown some in the past years now the government recognized it's Indian Land subject to some provisions of some treaty signed in the 1850's or 1860's. It's now known as Bayview."

He snorted derisively, "Even though the land was part of the National Forest for many years!"

I resolved then to temper even further my written comments to him! I had no desire to reignite or enable any prejudices I suspected he harbored! Howie gave me a sly smile when he heard overheard Mr. Alger's comments. It must've been rather disconcerting for Mr. Alger to lead a private tour, asking questions to reveal accurate information concerning the history of the Light and the area, from a gay man married to a multi-racial gay man!

Oh, well, such is life!

It was a short drive to Bayview, perhaps two miles along a winding, shoreline hugging spur of the main road. It was a trip I made many times while on the Island. There were roads on the Island then and the Light had two vehicles, a jeep and pickup truck provided by the government. Uncle Edmond kept a bicycle as well for short trips and running errands. He enjoyed the ride and the exercise. The bike was at my disposal all summer and I used it many times!

There were a few newer houses in Bayview along with a number of older structures; many already there when I arrived in 1941. Some needed repair and/or a cosmetic application of paint, but otherwise indicative of a peoples who saw hard times and oppression more than once, but maintained their pride! On the land side of road, overlooking the bay was a small convenience store with fuel pumps, a café, and a small building with a sign "Tribal Office."

Several homes along the road on either side of the community center, so to speak, had boat docks extending out in front into the bay where we could see small boats and a couple of larger fishing boats moored. What struck me, however, was the existence of the long, perhaps one hundred foot or more, wooden pier stretching out into the bay in front of the convenience store. It was as I remembered it, although at my young age then, it looked longer and much higher above the water level, although now, in retrospect, I realize it was all a matter of perspective! The only change I could see was a concrete boat ramp nearby.

We parked the car and Howie and I walked out on the wooden pier. I stood at the end, looking down at the crystal clear, azure, cold water of Destruction Bay and the great lake which was its source, remembering the hot day in June when I first jumped into this water from the pier, the cold sucking my breath away, my maturing balls tight to my crotch, and causing my pecker to shrivel up like a small wrinkled mushroom without a coat or helmet to cover the head! I never experienced that kind of shock to my genitals when I swam in the gravel pit near home or off of one of the many sandbars in the Mississippi River!

An involuntary shiver rocketed up my body as I re-experienced the episode, even if it was in memory! I sat on the bench, Howie by my side, listening quietly as I spoke of my first time on this pier.

"I'd been standing on the rocks on the lakeside of Uncle Edmond's office, scanning the horizon on the lake using Uncle Edmond's powerful binoculars, hoping to catch sight of a freighter, fishing boat, or anything which might be of interest to an almost teen boy. Finding nothing, I slowly shifted my visual inquiry from the lake to Destruction Bay. In those days, there was a fairly clear line of sight from the Light to the Bay. I looked from the entrance to the Bay from Lake and slowly moved my visual inspection down the Bay toward the small settlement."

The long pier entered my field of vision first and as I swept by it, I caught notice of a group of boys and girls swimming, diving and jumping from the pier. I quickly focused back on them, disbelief in my mind on what my eyes saw, trying my damnedest to assimilate what I witnessed! Although they were still far away and the images small in the lenses of the binoculars, there was no mistake; they were swimming naked, as bare as a billiard ball- all of them, boys and girls!

Uncle Edmond, evidently watching me from his office, noting my open mouth, and the close attention I was paying to something I was seeing through the lenses, stepped out, and stood alongside of me.

"Seeing anything interesting?" he asked, looking in the direction of my almost undivided attention.

I nodded slowly, and, without taking the glasses down, exclaimed, "They're swimming and I think they're bare assed naked, Uncle Edmond!"

"Probably," he answered, "the youngsters and sometimes the older ones do. It's not uncommon for people to swim naked or even be naked in some places."

I knew when I went to the YMCA to swim, we had to swim naked, but then it was in the privacy of the pool and not with girls around, but here, out in front of everybody, your pecker and balls hanging out in front of girls and strangers? No way could I believe it was happening!

"I have some things to deliver to the settlement, you want to ride along?"

Do boy's peckers get hard when a soft breeze blows on it? When a soapy hand tries to clean it and forgets how many times it was scrubbed until it's too late? You bet I wanted to ride along, only probably not for the same reasons Uncle Edmond wanted to!

Giving the binoculars to Uncle Edmond to secure back in his cabinet in the office, I hustled my butt to the jeep and waited while he went to the house. On returning, he placed two paper bags on my lap with instructions to hold them for him and we took off, bouncing and jouncing down the dirt road the mile or two to the little settlement. Uncle Edmond pulled into a small parking area near the pier. There were several ladies and one older man sitting on benches watching the swimmers. Uncle Edmond walked over to them with one of the bags, while I zeroed in on the nakedness frolicking on the pier and in the water!

I couldn't help but overhear his conversation with one of the women as he handed the bag to her.

"Mrs. Mullins thought you might like to have this; maybe it'll bring you some relief."

Aunt Caroline was a nurse by training and, although she didn't work in a hospital or doctor's office any more, she still tended to the medical needs of those who either had no access to medical care or couldn't afford it. She tended to dispense aspirin, care for minor injuries and illnesses, and even deliver babies. She also kept a supply of narcotic drugs under lock and key at the Light, obtained through various corpsmen on Coast Guard vessels and elsewhere. I never asked where! This small community certainly could use all of her help they could get!

The small, racially white community of Point Pleasant on the other side of the Island had no doctor either, but sought medical help from doctors on the mainland. It meant traveling by ferry or small craft during spring, summer, and fall or across the "ice bridge" in the winter when the strait froze over. Unfortunately, only in rare instances or emergencies, did the native population utilize the service! Perhaps, I imagined, they didn't feel welcome!

I heard her say softly to Uncle Edmond, "My granddaughter has some preserves if the healer lady would like some and perhaps, visit with her awhile."

Uncle Edmond nodded, saying he'd pass the message to her, inquired among the others concerning their health, family, or shared with them some story he'd heard or of the various ships passing out in the lake. Leaving them he returned to me, commenting, "The lady's granddaughter got herself with child, and it was kind of a round-about way of asking for your Aunt Caroline to make a visit and check on how things are going!"

I merely nodded, pleased Uncle Edmond thought I was grown up enough to understand not only the importance of the event, but considerate enough of the young woman and the family to mention nothing about it to anyone!

"Get the other bag from the jeep," he said with a smile and when I turned to do so, he whistled and waved his hand at the swimmers. They all stopped, looked in our direction, and the mad rush from the water and pier began, all of the naked bodies descending on us at once! There were a couple of girls and the rest boys, eleven in total. The youngest boy appeared to be around eight while the oldest boy was perhaps fifteen or sixteen. There were two boys I thought were about my age or a little older and the two girls probably around ten or eleven.

Amidst excited chatter, water dripping from their brown bodies, and grins filling their faces, it didn't take me long to appraise the sexual development of all, save one who stayed to the back of the group. Little boys with small uncircumcised cocks and raspberry sized balls to the two my age, with larger balls and penises decorated slightly with a few dark pubic hairs. The two girls were flat-chested and hairless, but still very much girl!

Uncle Edmond suddenly realized he had only five chocolate bars and eleven boys and girls to distribute them to. Half a bar each would leave one boy without any. The bars would have to be divided equitably!

"John," he asked softly motioning to the boy standing quietly behind the others, "would you do me the honors of dividing the treats, please?"

John stepped forward, around the others, and it was then I met John Blackwell!

Pausing in my narration, I reached into my shirt, extracted the envelope I'd retrieved from the closet hiding place, opened it, extracted a black and white photo, and handed it to Howie. The picture was of two naked boys, one clearly older and the other younger; one more sexually developed than the other but both clearly teen or nearing it, leaning against a fence, eyes fixed on each other, smiles reflecting the joy and love they had for each other!

"Uncle Edmond took this picture of John and me August 1, 1941 after we'd had a cooling dip in the Bay. We were standing back there," I said, pointing toward the shore, "leaning against a wooden fence around someone's yard, allowing the sun to dry our bodies. Uncle Edmond always carried his camera with him and photographed people, places, and landscapes, anything that interested him. In those days, it wasn't all that unusual to take pictures of naked kids swimming. Only in the past number of years have they started tossing people in prison for even looking at them!"

"He was a handsome young man!" Howie murmured.

Indeed he was; he stepped up to Uncle Edmond and, after taking the bag from him, looked at me, smiled, and conquered me! John was taller than me, shoulder-length hair, black and shiny as a raven's wing, dampened by the lake's water; his dark eyes, sparkled, glittering as the sun glinting on the finest obsidian; his body, nut-brown from the sun and heritage, devoid of fat, sleek and trim with the strength and outlines of a young cougar or mountain lion, and moving with the quietness of a nightfall! He was comely, in my eyes, beyond the stars of the heavens!

His eyes glimmered as he looked into mine, now wide with wonder, and as much as I desired to steep myself in those pools of liquid heat, my vision dropped lower, down past his navel, ending up at his crotch, where, nestled in patch of black hair, was a nice fat, uncircumcised cock, not huge, but not unnoticeable by any means (a little above average I deduced as I grew older), drooping over a nice set of lower hanging testicles!

Looking up quickly, realizing I was spending too much time contemplating his manly features, my face reddened as I realized he was looking at me looking at him and he smiled, ever so slight a knowing smile, one inviting me to explore more – sometime, and winked!

He stepped forward, accepted the bag from Uncle Edmond, and began dividing the chocolate bars. Each bar was segmented into twelve small pieces. He gave a chunk of six segments to each of the other kids present, starting with the youngest, and finally to the two oldest. As he opened the wrapping on each bar and divided it up, he meticulously folded the wrapper and returned it to the bag.

John finished and I exclaimed in dismay, "But, there's none left for you!

He said nothing, smiled, and when he did, the two youngest stepped forward, offering to share theirs with him. He hugged them as he declined their kind offer. Each of his companions offered to share with him as well, but it wasn't until the two oldest boys made the offer, which he accepted; only two small segments from each one, however! He thanked them and gave them a hug as well. Their shy smiles indicated their pleasure of sharing with him and his appreciation of their generosity!

John did something most remarkable and totally unexpected! He turned to me, handed me two of his four segments, embraced me, pulling me tight to his nakedness, causing my free arm and hand to circle around his back and rest there, as he whispered in my ear,

"Come swim with me so we may enjoy each other's company and friendship!"

One look from those dark eyes, one slight touch by his warm lips on my ear, my hand on his nakedness, and the taste of chocolate from his hand, formed an image in my mind of the path laying before me! I was as a small boy entering an enchanted forest, giddy and beguiled by the plethora of mystical, magical, wondrous sights and sounds whispering, singing, flashing, and dancing in an open glen, beckoning me to follow, join in, and bathe myself in its pool of wonder, eager to divest myself of all else for just one moment, one minute, one hour, or a lifetime with him!

He pulled back his head, but didn't release me, and introduced himself;

"I'm Johnny Blackwell and I'm sixteen!"

"Carl Mullins," I stammered, "and I'll be thirteen in four months."

Uncle Edmond coughed softly behind me; "Carl, why don't you join John and the others while I take care of some other things. I may have to drive back and get Aunt Caroline, so don't worry about having to rush your visit. Enjoy yourself," he said over his shoulder as he walked back to the jeep.

Leading me out to the end of the pier, following the other laughing, happy, well-treated kids, John bade me sit down on a wooden crate. He knelt in front of me, secured my feet with his hands, and removed my shoes and socks.

"Stand, please!" he asked with a smile. "Take off your shirt while I remove your pants and underwear."

In any other place, in any other circumstance, with any other boy, I'd probably refused! Who was I to refuse this Pied Piper of my heart? Oblivious to all others around me, caring not if the adults on the shore or any others saw my nakedness, I did as he asked, removing my shirt as he unbuckled my jeans and drew them down, along with my boxer shorts, to my ankles, freeing my erection, all five inches of it!

John licked his lips as I pronged up and out in the open air, reached down, cupped my eggs in his hand, before running his hand up the shaft of my throbbing pecker, sighing with pleasure, "You're cut and oh, so nice!"

If he hadn't released his firm, yet soft grip on my cock when he did, I would've spouted like a surfacing whale!

Grabbing my hand, giving a laughing shout of "Let's go!" pulled me to the pier's edge and over, sending me rocketing through space toward the lake along with him!

It was S O O O O cold; cold as an ice cube shoved up a snowman's ass, cold as a witches tit in Alaska, or as cold as Carl Mullins after he jumped into Lake Superior!

"Oh, My, God!" I shouted as I bobbed to the surface, sputtering and snorting cold water, amidst the laughter of the rest of the gang, delighting in my shock! Rather than using the ladder at the side of the pier, I quickly stretched out, arms and legs moving in the rhythm of a crawl stroke, and began a fast swim toward the shallower water! It didn't but a minute to reach waist deep water. John swam quickly to join me!

I stood, teeth chattering, stuttered, "It's so cold I think my nuts shrunk up clear to my throat!"

He looked at my neck, inspecting it carefully, shook his head "no," reached down into the water, cupped my balls in his hand, fondled them gently, announcing, "Nope, still where they're supposed to be, but really tight in their sack!"

"Let me warm you," he said, quickly wrapping me in his arms, pressing his front to my front, bringing my pecker to rest tight against his lower abdomen, nestling the head of it in his pubic bush, tickling me, causing my cock to react accordingly!

Our embrace didn't last as long as we wished; we were attacked by two young naked, giggling, boys climbing on our backs, one on me and one on Johnny! I reached around behind me, secured the butt cheeks of the boy on me to hold him in place, and walked into shallower water. Watching John lower his cupped hands in the water, inviting his attacker to step in, he waited, and gave a thrust upward, tossing the boy over his shoulder, head first into the water. Well, it didn't take my boy long to beg for the same and so the games began! Water fights, tag, and all sorts of fun wore us out after a while and the entire entourage decided to head for the pier and rest and allow the sun to dry us off!

Uncle Edmond hadn't returned as yet, so I was in no hurry to quit the group. We all sat or lay on the wooden pier, Johnny next to me, our sides touching. It wasn't long until one small boy, the one who played "horse" with me, climbed on my lap, reached his arms around my neck, settled his butt on my crotch, lay his head on my shoulder, and fell asleep!

"He's Pauley and is six years old," Johnny said, "and this one, pointing at the one sprawled on him in a similar manner, "is his brother Charlie and he's almost eight. They're my cousins and are pretty tired today!"

Nothing more was said as we each cradled a sleeping boy on our laps. Perhaps a half hour later I heard the jeep horn sound, the boys woke, stood, their little prongs sticking straight out in front of them, and said "thanks" through sleepy eyes and with sleepy voices!

"I better go," I said, retrieving my clothes and dressing quickly. I winced, pulling my boxers on, as well as my shirt and jeans. I'd taken a bit too much sun and burned.

"You've burned!" Johnny commented concern on his face as he felt my tender butt!

I nodded, but reassured him it wouldn't be painful long since I tend to tan quickly and I'd be good as new in a couple of days. Johnny didn't ask if I was coming back! He didn't need to; he knew I would! I'd tasted the wild fruit and taken to it with a habit difficult to shake! I couldn't get enough of John Blackwell or him of me as I was to discover!

Rain the next two days separated me from him and the others as well as allowing my sunburn to heal. I was developing a nice summer tan – all over! On the third day, after lunch as I was scanning the bay with Uncle Edmond's binoculars, I spotted Johnny and the others walking out on the pier. Permission from Aunt Caroline sent me pedaling my ass down the road toward the beach!

Johnny didn't seem to be able to keep his hands off of me while we cavorted in the water. Once, while involved in a game of tag, Pauley climbed my frame, locked his legs around my hips, secured his arms around my neck, and murmured, "Johnny Two-Spirits really, really likes you!"

I wondered why the others referred to him as "Johnny Two-Spirits," although I had a pretty fair idea! Before long I'd find out, in a very personal and erotically satisfying way!

Our afternoon in the water came to an end and, as I moved to get dressed, Johnny asked me to leave my underwear!

Frowning in curiosity, I asked, "Why?" thinking he wanted to do something kinky in my bright, Scotch-plaid boxers and return them to me!

"I'm going to hook them to a tall pole and attach it to the end of the dock whenever we're going to swim or," waggling his eyebrows seductively, "when I want you! You'll be able to see it from the Lighthouse!"

It was to become our signal for the rest of the summer, although by summer's end those boxers were growing tattered and faded. The lack of a telephone wasn't about to keep us apart!

Instead of returning to the Light right away, I accepted Johnny's invitation to see his home. He lived with his grandparents, the two boys who were his cousins, and two sisters, two of the girls who swam with us. The house was a simple three room house; one bedroom shared by Johnny, his two cousins, and his sisters, and the other was for his grandparents. I didn't ask where his or the boy's parents were; it was none of my business! The other, main room, was a combination kitchen, dining room, and living room. The cook stove burned wood, as did the heating stove in the living area, and food was kept cool in an ice box filled from an ice house with ice cut from the bay during the winter.

There was no indoor plumbing or electricity. Water was drawn by a large handled pump from a well near the door, an outdoor privy for a toilet located toward the back of the property (Johnny confessed it was one fucking cold hike during the winter), a large vegetable garden in the back, along with a chicken house and over three dozen chickens (not counting the little chicks), and a small hog pen with two porkers in it, rooting, grunting, and munching on who knows what.

Besides the vegetable garden, the chickens, and the pigs, their diet was augmented by fishing, hunting, trapping, and harvesting berries, nuts, and other edibles on the island, the mainland, and surrounding waters and the other smaller islands near Gull Island. Flour, salt, and other staples could be purchased from a store in Point Pleasant (where there was electricity).

"It's not a bad life," Johnny commented as we stood in front of his house. "We have all we need and no one seems to bother us, except for an occasional visit from the BIA (Bureau of Indian Affairs) agent and a couple of times a year some missionaries who are convinced we're heathens. We shout out the 'Amen' at the right times, accept whatever food and clothing they bring, and when they leave, return doing whatever heathens are supposed to do, according to them!"

He stood quietly, looked at me, and smiled his effervescent, loving smile; "I'll walk you home!"

I have no idea what we talked about as I walked my bike beside him, his arm around me keeping contact, letting me and others know I was his! About half-way to the Lighthouse, we stopped in a timbered section of the roadway near an open area overlooking the lake. Johnny looked at me, his eyes glowing with desire, face beaming in anticipation, as his lips softly touched mine; lips warm, soft, moist, brushing mine, encouraging me to respond! He was careful, not knowing how I'd react! The bike fell from my hand, my arms wrapped around his neck pulling his face closer to mine, forcefully, lustfully, I returned his kiss, opening my mouth to his, expressing my passionate love!

Our need for each other was great! He led me to a relatively flat rock in full view of the magnificent blue waters of Lake Superior, knelt before me, unzipped my jeans, lowered them with the care one would take with a special Christmas present, inspected my stiffness jutting out from my sparse twelve-year old bush, leaned forward, swiping it with the tip of his tongue removing the droplet of pre-love juice, savored it a moment, before slipping his mouth over the swollen head!

I shivered with the excitement, the warmth of his suctioning and bobbing head, knowing this homage to my erection, this stimulation, this boy was so much better than doing the same by hand! Looking down, I saw his hard penis extending through the fly of his jeans and, while he sucked me, his hand was rapidly stimulating his own sex!

"I need to taste you as well!" I proclaimed softly.

Johnny quickly stood, lowered his jeans, bade me to lay down on the sun-warmed rock, with his face in my crotch and mine in his, so we could pay oral homage to each other! He again sought my cock, much like a babe nursing on mother's teat, while, with one hand, I carefully inspected his, noting the length, the soft, velvety skin, the thick girth, the way the foreskin slipped up and down, and with my tongue, tasted the clear fluid oozing from the slit in his full, swollen, cock-head before wrapping my lips around it!

He shuddered when I did, clearly enjoying the sexual, stimulating nature of my act, much as I did his, giving little vibrations to my own stiffness through his mouth as he moaned his satisfaction and delight!

Copying his actions on me on him, it wasn't long until I could feel the storm building in my balls, the tempest beginning to surge forward; I could hold back no longer and allowed the crashing waves to fire up my tube, and erupt into his mouth! Johnny didn't pull away, but stayed the course, swallowing each thin squirt as it past though his lips! My orgasm must've triggered his because he body stiffened, legs extended, the head of his penis puffed up, and he ejaculated four or five strong, thick blasts of white, gelatinous semen into my oral cavity! I swallowed, he swallowed, and we were one!

The summer, that marvelous summer, at Gull Island wouldn't be long forgotten! Johnny and I fished the bay and beyond when the lake was calm and delighted in our catches of walleye, bass, whitefish, lake trout, and various panfish. Brought home, they were shared with others in the community, smoked or salted and dried, preserved for those times when food was scarce. I joined the family in picking blueberries, thimble berries, and other wild fruits, along with helping harvest garden vegetables. Johnny's grandmother canned, preserved, or dried the garden produce while they were in season. The root crops, such as potatoes would be harvested in the fall and stored in the below ground root cellar.

However, no experience will ever compare to the one on a rainy afternoon in my bedroom! Uncle Edmond and Aunt Caroline were on the mainland, the Assistant was overseeing the Light, and we were alone! The rain started as Johnny was walking me home from picking berries and by the time we made it to the Light, we were both soaked! After securing several bath towels from the bathroom, I led him upstairs to my bedroom where we stripped our wet togs off. There was no way they'd dry, but it was a good excuse to get naked!

Johnny's arms came around me and we eased ourselves onto my bed, our lips engaged, our hard cocks up against the others, and we delighted in the sensation!

"I want to…" he began before I interrupted with "Me too!"

Knowing what I wanted inserted where and knowing it probably wouldn't enter easily without being slicked up, I told him to wait, ran down to the bathroom, and returned with a jar of Vaseline. I smeared a glob on his cock, spread it the length, handed the jar to him, rolled over face down on my bed, and turned my face so I could see him. Johnny took a bigger glob on his finger and proceeded to smear the greasy substance all around my anal ring, before inserting his finger up my ass and lubricating it as well! Satisfied all was in readiness, I watched as he knelt between my legs, spread my butt cheeks with his hand, position his stiff rod at my opening, and begin leaning forward until the plum shaped head popped through and my muscles locked around it!

"Take it slow!" I breathed out, beginning to feel the fullness of what was entering my hot, moist, twitching depths! I could feel him, large, filling, stretching me, as he pushed slowly in until I felt his crotch hair, soft and tickling, up against my butt and his balls dangle in contact with mine!

Locking his arms under my shoulders, his stomach resting in the small of my back, chest on the upper part of my torso, and his head over my shoulder, lips brushing my cheek, he murmured passionately, "I love you so, my boy of Gull Light!" and began the ancient dance of love, thrusting forward and back, forward and back, faster, faster and faster until I felt him swell, shove as deep into me as he could, and with a soft, releasing yelp, began pumping his life essence into me, breeding me, claiming me as his until death! His release brought me to fruition as well, spewing my wad onto the towel beneath me!

It may've been the first time, but it certainly wasn't the last! We discovered we could make love standing up behind the chicken house, standing in the lake, on a sandy beach, leaned over a fallen tree, on a flat rock, or anywhere we had any privacy!

Summer had to come to an end, as it always does, and I, amidst tears and promises to write as well as return another summer, left for my home in Iowa! We did write, although it took some time for my letters to reach him or him to respond since the nearest place to mail or receive mail was Point Pleasant, until we figured out to send our letters to Uncle Edmond and he'd either deliver them to Johnny or send his to me.

Then came Pearl Harbor in December of 1941 and everything changed! War time regulations and restrictions were imposed, Uncle Edmond was transferred to another Coast Guard post the end of March 1942, and our method of communication slowed drastically to a crawl! The last letter I received from Johnny was in March of 1942 telling me he was enlisting about the time Uncle Edmond was transferred. I wanted to plead with him not too, I loved him too much to lose him, but I knew he'd enlist anyway! Johnny Two-Spirits was also a warrior and a warrior does what he must to protect home, family, and receive honor. I heard no more after that time!

Each night, when I went to bed, I prayed he was well but when the war was over and I heard nothing, my heart knew all was not well! It took many years to cease my grieving, but life moves on, and my loss lessened, but wasn't forgotten! It wasn't until I met Howie my life began to turn around. Still, there were times, on a rainy day, I'd feel sad, remembering the rainy afternoon in my bedroom on Gull Island!

"What say we go over to the Community Building and see if anyone there might know anything?" Howie suggested, bringing me back to the present from my musings!

There were four people seated at a table, an older man and an older woman, drinking coffee, and two young lads drinking soda. A young lady behind a desk, smiled and asked if she could be of any assistance.

"I was wondering," I asked politely, "if you could help me locate a Mr. John Blackwell who used to, or perhaps still does, live here?"

The young ladies eyes scrutinized me, her face remained quite unexpressive, reflecting only her distrust of strangers asking questions concerning local people, especially a white stranger asking questions! There was no doubt she was dubious concerning my intentions, feeling she had no compunction or obligation to answer them!

"Have you tried the main Tribal Office or the Bureau of Indian Affairs?" she asked politely in return.

Shaking my head no, I became acutely aware of the silence in the room, permeating the atmosphere, warning me, but I decided to forge ahead and take a chance. I turned slowly until I was facing the table where the four people were staring at me!

Deliberately, slowly, I looked at the older gentleman, inquiring sincerely, but respectfully, "I'm seeking my old friend, Johnny Two-Spirits."

Both the man and woman fixed their eyes on me, black obsidian orbs piercing me deeply, trying to read my intentions, almost looking into my soul, while the two young boys quickly tossed glances at each other before returning their attention to their sodas!

The older man, rubbed his chin as if in thought, asked hesitantly, but respectfully, "How would a person, who is not one of us, know of a person called 'Johnny Two-Spirits'?"

I nodded, thought a moment, and returned his question with one of my own;

"How would the person, who is not one of you, know to ask a respected elder, who is one of you, someone a person used to hold on his lap for a nap by the lake, such a question concerning Johnny Two-Spirits?"

The man smiled, stood walked over to me, saying softly;

"Only a little boy named Pauley would allow such a thing by the 'boy of the Light'!" and hugged me dearly!

The woman stood, joined us, hugged me as well, and identified herself as Marian, Johnny's youngest sister. Pointing at the two boys, announced with pride,

"These are two of my great-grandchildren. The taller one is John after his great-uncle and the other is Carl after his great-uncle's special friend!"

I must confess, I cried with joy, but seeing the two boys, hearing their names, and the sadness in Pauley's and Marian's eyes, my tears were of loss as well!

Motioning to us to follow them, the four of them led us to a small cemetery about a block from the Community Center. There, among the rows of simple, granite grave markers, was one white one! Stepping up to it, I knew what it'd say before reading aloud to Howie.

The catch and hoarseness in my voice betrayed my sorrow; "John Blackwell, Corporal, United State Army; born 8 June 1925, died 22 January, 1943. Killed in Action, Anzio, Italy."

Johnny lied about his age to enlist!

"We didn't know how to contact you," Marian explained apologetically, "but now Johnny's spirit can rest knowing you returned to say goodbye and honor him."

Standing in the stern of the ferry, watching Gull Island slip away from me, our ride was silent, voices stilled with words thought but not spoken aloud, heard only by the spirit of one who was now resting in the embrace of the soil where he was born, played, and loved before he met his end as a warrior would wish, counting victory over his and my enemies, each time he entered into battle! Johnny Two-Spirits lived on, even in death through his name-sake, as his name was spoken by others and me, reviving his spirit, continuing his life among others.

Howie clasped my hand and I clasped his in loving return, renewing my love for him while remembering my first love, my first heart's desire, sharpening me to recognize a love chosen for me from the spirit world; a spirit of beauty, of wonder, of existence to me forever. As one shoreline slipped away, another neared, as life often does; I was reminded of a segment of a verse by Percy Bysshe Shelley, from his Hymn to Intellectual Beauty, stanza 2,

Spirit of Beauty that does consecrate
With thine own hues all thou dost shine upon
Of human thought or form.

With a wave of my hand while suppressing a sob, accepting a comforting hug from Howie, I did as Johnny Two-Spirits would've wished of me, move on with life, looking forward to those days when war would be no more, and the three of us could celebrate our love together!

The End

Thank you for reading "Gull Island Light"

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or locales is entirely coincidental.

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Nick Hall

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