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The Boys of Nodaway Ridge

by Nicholas Hall

Chapter 1

"The friendships of the world are oft confederacies in vice, or leagues of pleasure" –(Addison)

Glancing at my watch, noticing I still had an a couple of hours or so before the start of the funeral service at the little country church outside of town, I proceeded to finish my breakfast at Maude's Café located on the main drag. This day's service was quite unlike one I'd attended to just a month previously. One of our members we buried that day, a very dear and special original member of our little group, succumbed to the "grim reaper" and family, friends, and the older generation of "boys" gathered to place him to rest in God's own earth. He died, not choking to death on a fat cock as he often joked "would be the way to go," but was hit by a fucking bus while crossing the street in the state capital! Not just any old bus; no, it was a bus full of female students from Our Lady of Angels Academy. What a pisser; not a male on it; not even the bus driver had a cock!

Paying my bill, leaving a tip for Irene, Maude's daughter who now runs the cafe, and smiling at a couple of patrons who looked at me quite sympathetically, I walked across the street to my office with the intention of putting some finishing touches on a couple of documents before I left for the service. I still had plenty of time and besides, I needed to keep busy, concentrating on something else rather than dwell on the impending sadness awaiting me and the rest of the community. The rattling, banging, and coughing of an older model, four-wheel drive, black pickup truck passing by the front of the office distracted me from my task. I peered out the window toward the street wondering, yet knowing exactly who was in that noisy contraption.

Driven by Garrick Thomas, and accompanied by Paul Stewart, two of the next generation of the "Boys of Nodaway Ridge," was behaving just like Frank and I did years before at their age. The truck appeared to be headed in the opposite direction which I intended to take shortly – toward the little church back in the hills. It'd be a perfect time for them to seek some private refuge, a place of seclusion, known only to them, where they could express their love for each other in the most sensual and intimate manner. There were still red-neck bullies lurking in the world who failed to see that bias discrimination was a crime and take it out on the boys! Seeing them pass by and the impending funeral I was to attend, reminded me of another funeral many years before.

My mother, Meredith Harris, and I lived with her parents, John and Abigail Harris, my grandparents, on an eighty acre parcel of ground north of town. Frank Cauldwell, my very best friend, the oldest of six, lived not far from us on a similar sized farm.

Frank and I were unusually quiet, not chattering or upbeat as we were most days when in each other's presence, as I drove toward the church. The third part of our intrepid trio, Sammy Tolliver, was already at the church, waiting with the rest of his family for the services to begin for his older brother. Sammy lived about five miles east of Frank and me, not far from the Des Moines River. His family was in no better financial straits than anyone else in Nodaway Ridge, but they made do.

Frank and I were friends and mates from tiny babes on. My mom, a nurse at County General Hospital and, by necessity, mid-wife and care-giver to the less fortunate in our tightknit community of Nodaway Ridge, returned home after working as a critical care nurse for several years in Illinois. Her return was welcomed, but carried a complexity with it; you see she was pregnant and unmarried! The father remained unnamed and, as small towns are wont to do, the pregnancy became the subject of considerable gossip until I was born. It really didn't ease up too much, just sort of took a different direction. There're still some of the older generation who would irreverently refer to me as "Meredith's bastard," but never in public where one of the Harris's or Cauldwells could hear it, knowing someone was going to get a good drubbing and it wouldn't be a Harris or Cauldwell. It's not as if some of those old timers never fucked the neighbors' wife, their cousin, or some young thing passing through! Mom did become socially acceptable and then indispensable with the birth of Frank and her role in it.

She was the only girl that Grandma and Grandpa had, although there was a younger brother and two older ones. As a result, I had plenty of cousins, aunts, and uncles in the area to give me support and strong family ties. The Harris's farm was typical of the farm land in the area; brown soil mixed with gravel, not black loam like up north or along the river, but of poor quality. Grandpa was still able to raise some corn, soybeans, oats, and hay. Most of what we raised, except for the soybeans, was fed to the small herd of beef cattle, the two milk cows, pigs, chickens, and geese taking up residence on the farm. The large garden planted and tended by Grandma Abigail and the kids as they grew up, provided what else the family needed. My uncles supplemented it all with game they shot and fish they caught.

Just when Grandpa decided to retire, cutting back on raising livestock, but keeping a couple of pigs and the chickens, Mom came home. I was born there, in the farm house on a lovely spring morning and welcomed by the family. Three days after I was born, Frank's mom, a high school classmate of Mom's, went into labor and it was a difficult labor. The Cauldwell's could little afford to have a doctor come to the house, if there were even one available to do so, and certainly not a hospital stay, so they sent for Mom. She trekked on over to their house, little me tucked under her arm, and, as she once said, "with more luck than sense" eased Frank from his mother's womb. It was a struggle, but Frank showed up howling and red-faced!

Winnie, hearing all of the ruckus, looked up, tired as she was, and asked, "What is it?" Frank's Daddy, James, laughed aloud, saying, "It's a boy; shit, Winnie, he's all cock and balls!"

Winnie and Meredith renewed old ties and spent a great deal of time together. When Mom got the job at County General, she left me with Winnie during the day so she could nurse me and Frank. When Mom came home in the evenings, she returned the favor by feeding both of us herself, settling a tot on each tit until we had our fill. We really didn't care; one tit was just as good as another. Frank and I ended up in the same bed during the day and some nights and became close as a result.

We became a hell of a lot closer when we were about eight years old and I noticed Frank peeking up the legs of my shorts at my pecker and pea-sized nuggets. I remember pulling the legs up higher to afford Frank a better look. Frank grinned, pulled down his own shorts, and pointed his four and half inch stiff boy cock at me. That boy was blessed since birth and proud of it! We just had to taste each other and, finding it agreeable, continued to do so, expanding our sexual tastes to more than just tasting; albeit secretly now since we didn't want to get pummeled by some redneck at the school. Frank could slip that rocket of his inside my launch pad with more ease than imaginable and send us both to the moon! Is it any wonder that Frank and I fell in love with each other? Sammy was brought into the fold, as "one of the boys," at the end of school year picnic the next year.

As we grew older, we spent more and more time together, sharing a bed on weekends at one of our houses, usually mine since there was only one of me and not five others trotting about the house ready to invade our privacy. Frank would cuddle his naked body up against mine, wrap me in his arms, give me a warm kiss, settle his head against mine, and sleep like a baby. In the morning I would often wake and find him looking at me and smiling. He would give me a good morning kiss and say, "Nate, did I ever tell you you're the most beautiful person I've ever seen?" Of course he did, but I loved hearing him say it every morning we woke up together. Our families never questioned our closeness, lack of separation; I think they all knew, but could see the love we had for each other and collectively decided not to comment.

Nodaway Ridge, like many small towns, didn't have a high school. In fact, for many years was served by two or three outlying one room country k-8 schools and one k-8 school in town. Iowa law at the time required children to be in school until grade eight or reaching the age of sixteen. High school, for the very few who attended, was in Central City on a tuition basis. Nodaway Ridges' school and the outlying country schools were under the direction of and monitored by the County Superintendent of Schools.

Times change and so do schools. When the great consolidation of small schools occurred, the small country schools were closed and those, such as outlying Nodaway Ridge, were no exception, save one – Nodaway Ridge became a K-6 attendance center for a half-a-dozen country schools and students were bused in for classes. Nodaway Ridge and the other schools became part of the Central City Community School District, but Nodaway Ridge was blessed with a brand-new brick building, replacing the old wooden structure, to house the incoming students. The new school was equipped with a cafeteria where hot meals could be served and a gymnasium for physical education and some limited sports events.

Students completing grade six in the district were bussed to Central City to attend junior high and once through junior high went on to Central City High School to complete their education. All grades and ages rode on the same buses as they wound their dusty ways throughout the county picking up students. The morning and afternoon transfer of students at the Nodaway Elementary School as they moved from one bus to another, appeared chaotic at first until you rationalized students were sorting themselves out so they would be on the right bus either going to or coming from Central City and then on to the bus which would take them home. Aiding those younger children who couldn't count yet or identify numbers, each bus had plastered near its accordion door, a picture of an animal to assist the child. Usually the picture was of a dog, bunny, cow, or some other familiar critter. Once the proper picture was found identifying a child's bus, on he or she would climb and home or to school they would go. It really worked quite well and, until I received my driver's license and began driving the truck when my grandfather would let me. Since Frank and I rode the same bus to and from school, I naturally picked him up at his house, or if he spent the night fucking me stupid, just climbed in after breakfast.

On those days when I drove, we would swing by Sammy's to pick him up. I always left early on those days and came home a little later, explaining, "it takes a little more time when we give Sammy a ride." I never bothered to explain why it took so long or what we did parked in one of the little byways tucked away in the woods along the way home, but it certainly did relieve a lot of tension and pressure. Frank always snoozed after we'd parked; apparently taking on two of us, one after the other just wore him out. Of course, having me and Sammy tucked up his little pink tucker, might have contributed to it as well.

One change that didn't occur when consolidation happened was the annual end of year all school picnic held at the school. It was a time honored tradition and woe be to the person who might think to eliminate it. The picnic was a time to celebrate the end of the school year for families and children. Families brought covered dishes, desserts, and various food items for the huge potluck luncheon held at noon while soft drinks, coffee, and ice cream was provided by the P.T.A. Games ranging from sack races, to three-legged races, and balloon tosses were scheduled and every child went home with a ribbon or prize of some sort. It was an exciting time for the children and an opportunity for parents to come to the realization that the children would be under foot all summer – not that many would be since there was always chores to do, field work and house work to help with, garden to care for, and a myriad of other tasks which must be completed if the family was going to survive the year and the distant winter.

It was at one of those end of the year parties, a year after Frank and I discovered each other's sexual preferences and determination to satisfy each other at every discreet opportunity, that, having sneaked away from the crowd during a lull in the games, to a remote boys restroom in the school, where we really made Sammy's acquaintance.

Our pants down around our ankles, Frank stretched across my back trying to insert himself as deeply as possible in that warm, undulating orifice with each thrust of his hips, and me, pumping away on my own little cocklet in time with Franks rooting, failed to hear the restroom door open and someone enter until a soft, adolescent voice asked, "What are you guys doing?"

We stopped in mid-thrust or stroke, depending on which it was, turned our heads in the direction of the voice and saw a cute, tow-headed boy about our age standing there smiling at us. Recognizing Sammy Tolliver, who attended our school but was in a different classroom, Frank grinned back and answered, "Playing hide the sausage. Want to play?"

Want to play? Does a bee head for the honey pot? Does a bear shit in the woods? Before Frank could become unplugged from my ass, Sammy's pants were down around his ankles and before the day ended, we both taught him the finer points of the game. Sammy was a quick study and loved to be pronged!

The Literary works of Nicholas Hall are protected by the copyright laws of the United States of America and are the property of the author.

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