Stevens School Runaways - Part 18 (hist, tort, CBT, psych)
By Platypus (formerly Dark Man)
copyright 2005 by Platypus, all rights reserved
(First published on Eunuch Archive)
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This story is intended for ADULTS ONLY. It contains explicit depictions of sexual activity involving minors. If you are not of a legal age in your locality to view such material or if such material does not appeal to you, do not read further, and do not save this story.
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Stevens School Runaways - Part 18
It was daylight now, actually late morning, but when peering through the van's darkly tinted windows, and it was hard to tell. Rich opened his eyes first, but Tom was awake within moments; his consciousness activated by his friend's first awakenings. Tom yawned rather loudly.
"You're up. Finally!" Rich said laconically.
"What?" Tom was still half asleep, and rubbed his eyes. "Where are we?" he said.
Behind the wheel, Mr. Cousins had heard the yawn. "That was a rather vocal demonstration of getting oxygen to your brain," he remarked to Tom, or maybe it was more of a comment voiced to no one in particular. "Glad to see you boys are up. Ready for some breakfast?"
"Where are we?" Tom repeated.
"Mr. Cousins has kidnapped us. Isn't it cool?" Rich said, and then added, "Yeah, I'm starved. Are we going to stop somewhere?"
Mr. Cousins and "the kids," as it became his wont to call them, soon ate breakfast. After stopping at a Canadian clone of the International House of Pancakes, Cousins instructed them to stay in the van while he brought out the food. "We'd best not arouse undue suspicion," he said.
The breakfast was heaping platefuls of pancakes and maple syrup and bacon and scrambled eggs and all the orange juice they could drink - food enough for any army of three. "I appreciate everything that you're doing for us, Mr. Cousins," Rich gushed in-between mouthfuls.
"Me too," Tom added, "I know that you're taking a humungous risk. I bet that the FBI is after us by now. Maybe the CIA. It's great what you're doing, Mr. Cousins."
"Call me Alfred from now on, if you'd like. No need to be that formal anymore, is there?"
Rich noticed a twinkle in Mr. Cousins' eye. He felt the edge of a tear in his - along with a crying jag coming on after all he and Tom had suffered through at the Stevens School.
"I guess not," Rich choked out, "Alfred."
Tom was a bit more suspicious. "You're not going to hurt us too, are you sir?" He looked Alfred Cousins right in the eyes as he said it.
Mr. Cousins found himself teary-eyed, sitting in the seats at the back of his van with these 13-year-olds. Reaching out with his right hand, he used it to playfully mess up Tom's hair - which was a dirtier-than-usual blonde since the boy hadn't taken a morning shower. "No, I'm not going to hurt - either one of you," he said, "and where we're going, nobody's going to find us if we don't want them to." He hoped that both promises could be kept in the end, but he knew that such things might not be totally under his control.
"Okay, Alfred," Tom said. "That's all I needed to know." He was giggling now, laughing hard enough to drool spittle between every bite.
"Ewwh gross! You're getting egg all over me -- you jerk -- quit it!" Rich yelled.
"Kids, kids!" Alfred began admonishing. But then he was laughing at seeing Tom and Rich returning to some semblance of normalcy.
Sometimes Alfred had second thoughts. Why am I doing this? My career, and my life teaching at Stevens or anywhere else, ruined, definitely over. What do I know about anything else besides teaching? Where I am taking them - will it really be safe for these boys? Had it been safe for HIM so many years before? Some people once considered Edgar Mansen crazy, others went a bit further and called the man extremely dangerous. But Mansen was Alfred's mentor, his role model, and his oldest friend. It was all set, Edgar had agreed to everything on the phone. They'd have a place to stay the boys AND Alfred -- for as long as they needed -- for the rest of the summer, maybe forever. The movement of the van's radial tires - steady, rolling, steady on the asphalt surface -- created a monotonous wall of sound. Would it work out? He tried to convince himself. It's the only solution I can think of, Alfred mused. There weren't exactly a multitude of choices.
"Are we almost there? Does Mr. Mansen, I mean Edgar, live anywhere around here?" Tom was tired, maybe a little impatient, sitting in the backseat for Canadian mile after Canadian mile gets tedious even for a boy whose recently been released unexpectedly from a living hell. They'd traveled past a thousand mile markers since crossing the U.S. border. "Rich is sleeping again," Tom added. It seemed like he was trying a little too hard to make conversation.
"Won't be long now, a couple of hours maybe - he lives about eighty miles from here, northwest of Banff. We'll be driving back roads or it wouldn't even take us that long."
"He sounds creepy. I've heard of Charlie Mansen. Didn't he murder a bunch of people a long time ago?"
"Remember, he'll want to be called Edgar. He's funny that way - you're not the first person to compare him to Charlie."
"But you didn't answer me. Is this guy Edgar - your friend - is he anything like the famous mass murderer guy?" Tom pressed.
While Edgar hadn't ever been guilty of murder as far as Alfred knew, what to say to the boy was worth pondering. There was the matter of the eunuch cult to consider - at least fifty members last he'd heard -- all recluses, all unpredictable and according to reports from Edgar, more than a few of them were nutcases. Could the whole lot of that strange community be trusted to "go easy" on Tom and Rich? It was a delicate matter.
"No, he's nothing like Charlie Mansen - he's not even related to him," Alfred ended up saying, smiling when he said it, trying to make his evasion sound like a quip.
But Tom kept pressing. He was a bright boy, but wary now, so very wary. Adults had hurt him, didn't you know, and it would take him a long time to really trust any grownup again. "You still haven't answered me." The look on Tom's face, which Alfred couldn't see since he was watching the road but could certainly sense, was truly an anxious expression. He knew he had to answer.
"He's a good man deep down," Alfred ended up saying, "Not a murderer, very gentle in many ways - and he likes kids. We'll have to leave it at that until you meet him. He's very strange in some ways, eccentric perhaps, definitely not used to, err, most people, and you'll form your own impressions, I'm sure."
"I guess so," Tom yawned again, "Guess I'll get some more shut-eye in the meantime. Wake me up when we get there."
At least the interrogation is over for the time being, Alfred thought.
Edgar Mansen was up to greeting them when they got there. It was past midnight and pretty cold for late April. Alfred had picked up warm clothes for the boys at a thrift store back in Calgary, so at least they could get out of the van and into the mountainside lodge without much discomfort. Boots even, for the deep snow.
"It looks like a ski lodge," Rich said.
"Used to be one," replied 'Edgar' in a low gruff voice. The boys considered him, this new person in their lives. His voice was fathomless, without shape or edges, odd sounding, like he spoke through a voice box in the manner that a cancer survivor who'd lost his larynx might, but without an echo of any kind. He was a very large man, with a great long silvery-brown beard, neither boy had ever seen such a beard, wide and luxuriant and part and parcel of his head hair, itself a silvery-brown mass of unkempt tangles. His nose was sharp, probing like a sword into the Canadian chill, with icicle snot dangling at the end reminding Tom and Rich of something comical, like a facial penis. He stank, or at least his breath did, the boys weren't sure where the smell exactly emanated from. Also evident was the queer masculinity he exuded - raw and male, so very male; if the boys could articulate it they would have described Edgar's essence as the penultimate maleness, there was nothing in the slightest way feminine about this rogue man, this primitive man, as to physicality. The boys, always seeking adult role models at their age, even if unconsciously, were simultaneously repelled and attracted, certainly impressed.
"How tall are you, Edgar?" Tom asked.
"Six-foot-five, and I weigh close to 300 pounds," Edgar said.
Rich thought that Edgar looked like a cross between a pro wrestler and Grizzly Adams, except he was older, like God. He had to be at least sixty.
Soon everybody was in the house. It wasn't exactly a four- star ski lodge, but it had lights and heat and basic necessities. They talked, Edgar and Alfred catching up it seemed for hours with small talk and chit-chat, mostly facts about how the surrounding environs were getting too settled, how people were encroaching on the world of Edgar and of THE OTHERS, mysterious others the men knew about and took for granted but who were a complete mystery to the boys. Finally some hospitality commenced and the boys were able to join in.
"Time for a hot toddy!" Edgar exclaimed.
These "toddies" as Edgar called them -- hot Belgian chocolate spiked with rum - were prepared on a nearby stovetop. Soon enough, they were bubbling and ready to drink.
"This is excellent," Tom remarked.
"Bloody decent," Rich chimed in, imitating what a Brit might say, perhaps to impress Edgar and sound manlier. Wasn't most of Canada British? Anyway, the drink's alcohol content wasn't lost on Rich and he realized a sound sleep was definitely in the offing. Sipping their drinks, getting a slight excited buzz from the new experience, ended when the last dregs were gone from their cups. The immediate effect was a certain pronounced restlessness, a desire for boyish conversations to evaluate their newest situation.
Another factor was their surroundings. Banal, even stark, compared to what they'd been used to all of their brief lives. Although there was a ham radio in the kitchen area, no television or electronic entertainment device graced the premises anywhere. It might be boring here - in some ways, the boys thought, all of a sudden. Yet boring might be good in a way considering their cumulative recent experiences.
They would be sleeping upstairs. Somewhere in the conversation, the boys had learned about their own room to share, upstairs - everything prepared for them, made up, ready.
"I'm getting sleepy again," Tom said.
"Yeah," Rich added, "We'd best retire for the evening."
So they marched upstairs to their cozy, an alcove with unmarked log cabin walls graced with twin beds covered with thick homemade quilts, and since it was cooler in their room than downstairs, they hopped straight under the covers after undressing down to their pajamas again.
It was only later, in the wee hours of a new morning, when Tom became the first to learn Alfred's secret. It was premature, an accident - not yet intended - but life tends to unravel when you least expect it. Sneaking downstairs to the bathroom, he saw Alfred in the altogether for the first time, getting out of the bathtub - the door was open a crack and the boy had let himself in, not realizing that his former math teacher was even taking a bath.
"Oh, I'm sorry," Tom said, "I didn't know." But seeing the naked man was like peeping in a freak show. He couldn't believe it. "You - d-don't have any balls!" Tom blurted. Actually, his ball-sacs were pea-sized, tiny and shriveled, and indeed the man's testicles had long ago been surgically extracted, and Alfred's penis was oddly shaped, like it had been cut off and then replaced with another body part; what remained resembled more of a bulbous middle finger. Tom ran out of the bathroom afraid to pee right then and there; instead he decided to get dressed and to pee outside in the cold - where it was safe. After he shook out the last drops and found himself staring up at the black starry sky, he put his organ back inside his pants and began sobbing, uncontrollably, and for a long time, a very long time, the tears trickled down his face. When they began freezing there, like the man-beast Edgar's snot revisited, he stopped them cold, like shutting off a faucet.
End of Part 18