Thursday, February 18, 2021

Sty Wardlow, A short-short story blog post #486

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Last week, I mentioned that my son Clai’s ashes were to be delivered Wednesday of that week. I was out when they tried to deliver the package so I had to go to the post office to claim it. I thought I was mentally prepared, and handled it all right… until I walked from the car to my apartment and realized I was carrying my adult son in my arms just as I did when he was an infant. Have to admit, that got to me some. But enough of that.

 Hope you enjoyed a look at The Cutie-Pie Murders last week Am anxious for the novel to be out. But today, I want to give you another short story. In some quarters “Sty Wardlow” would be considered flash fiction, although it runs more than the 500 words some people use as a measure. At any rate, I hope you enjoy the tale.



Sty Wardlow—birth name, Stanley, and actual nickname, Pig Sty—was usually as neat as a pin and as clean as a recently laundered T-shirt. He didn’t come by his nickname from slovenly habits; he earned it because of where his mind dwelt. Or so his peers claimed. Only eighteen, he was sex obsessed. He’d never had any, but he rarely thought about anything else. He looked at a banana and saw a penis. A grapefruit and observed a ripe breast. A…. well, you get the idea.

So he was floored one day when he spotted an unfamiliar face moving down the hall between classes amid a flood of other students. Tall for a girl, but it was the most beautiful face he’d ever seen. Way better than Libby Sneldon, Drake High’s football queen, prom queen, and everything else that had a queen. Wonder if the new chick had a figure like Libby’s. Sty hadn’t been able to see anything through the crowd of moving, chattering students except that beautiful face and a head of black, black hair. Neither short nor long. He earned irritated mutters when he came to a stop and turned around to watch that magnificent mane of hair disappear around the corner. His body reacted in a way that made him think of a banana.

Sty got the shock of his life when he reported for tennis that afternoon. He spotted the same face atop a slender but muscled male form. He tried to keep from staring as he shook hands with the new guy in school named Ransom Wellerby. The guy had a prominent Adam’s apple, so he was definitely a dude.

“Call me Ran,” the stranger said. His shake was firm. Not crushing and not a dishrag… just right.

He’d bet anything they called this guy Handsome Ransom at his last school. Smart. Cut it down to “Ran” straight off the bat.

“You wanna hit the court for a set of singles?” the new boy asked in a voice that registered somewhere between a baritone and a bass.

“Why not?” Sty answered, deepening his voice somewhat.

Maybe he was distracted or maybe Ran was a better player than he was, but whatever the cause, the new kid whipped him four ways to Sunday… six games straight.

“Okay, I surrender,” Sty said, after Ran put away the final shot of the set. “You’re better than I am.”

“Not really,” Ran said.

“What do you mean?”

“I’ve seen that look before.”


“I’m an air force brat. We’ve moved around a lot. First time somebody sees me, they get discombobulated. Doesn’t take long for that to wear off.”

“Discombobulated by what?” Sty asked.

“They look at my face and figure I ought to be a girl. We get on the court, and they find out I’m not. Am I right?”

“No… yes. Well, maybe. I gotta admit you’re one good-looking dude. I could probably squint my eyes and see you as a chick.”

“Except I’m not.” Ran halted on their way to the boy’s locker. “Sty. What is that? Short for Stuyvesant? I heard your name was Wardlow.”

“It is. Sty’s a nickname.”

“For what?”

“Long story.”

“I got time. This was my last class.”

“Okay,” Sty said, his ears flaming. “It’s short for Pig Sty.”

Ran’s chocolate brown eyes scanned his frame. “Look clean enough to me. A little sweaty, but who isn’t after six hard-fought games of tennis.”

“It… It’s not my appearance. It’s well…. It’s just that I think about sex a lot, so the girls started calling me Pig Sty. It stuck. Hell, even my folks call me Sty now, even though they don’t know exactly why.”

Ran laughed, sending chills up Sty’s back. The image of a banana popped into his head.

“That’s rich,” Ran said, moving on toward the locker room. He shot Sty a hooded look. “Sex, huh? Who doesn’t think about it? But I guess it’s the doing of it that counts, right?”

Sty figured his ears would have lighted the darkest corner of the blackest closet. “Yeah. Right.”

“You ever done it?”

“Uh….” His whole face burned.

“You haven’t have you?”

“Guess not.”

“Guess not? Don’t you know?”

“Well, of course I know. And the answer is no.”

Ran halted and looked straight into Sty’s eyes. “You’re one good-looking dude too. Wanna try it?”


Apparently the new boy at Drake High doesn’t fool around. Well, it looks as though he “fools around” okay, and he does it on an accelerated basis. Any thoughts on whether Sty took him up on his offer or not. I have my own ideas about it… but wouldn’t want them influencing your own.

 Now my mantra: Keep on reading and keep on writing. You have something to say… so say it!

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Twitter: @dontravis3

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 New Posts every Thursday morning at 6:00 a.m. US Mountain time.

Thursday, February 11, 2021

The Cutie-Pie Murders blog post #485


Thanks to my readers for giving me a pass last Thursday, and thanks to Mark Wildyr for guest posting that day. Can’t say that I’ve recovered from the death of my older son Clai as yet,, but at least I’m functioning… sort of. I preparing this coming blog post on Tuesday night because my son’s “cremains” are arriving tomorrow, and I’m sure that will occasion something emotional, although I have no idea what that will be Nonetheless, wanted to get the post set up just in case.


Dreamspinner Prtess has advised of a publication date for the seventh BJ Vinson mystery of April 2021. They likely gave me the exact day, but it eludes me at the moment. At any rate, I wanted to show you the cover and give you some more of the book Those who read my earlier blogs on the book will recall that BJ and his companion Paul have been drawn into the investigation of the death of a handsome young man who was found naked and strangled on Albuquerue’s West Mesa. It appears the youth was a novice call boy who made a date with the wrong individual.


In the scene that follows, BJ is questioning Ma Flanagan, the longtime owner and operator of an old fashioned telephone service. Ma knew BJ’s parents, which makes her a little hard to handle.




Ma Flanagan gave me a motherly look through her rimless granny glasses, and for a moment I thought she was going to say “tsk-tsk.” We sat in the tiny office of her small house on Roma NW. So far as I knew, she’d lived there for most of her seventy years.

“Now, BJ, you know I can’t divulge such information. My business is built on confidentiality… as is yours, I’m sure. My goodness, I can’t get over how much you look like your mother. She was a beautiful soul, as well as an attractive woman.”

“That she was, Ma.” Ernestine Flanagan insisted everyone call her Ma. “But the owner of the account I’m asking about is dead. Brutally murdered, and I’m trying to find out who killed him.”

“Like those two delightful APD detectives I talked to. They made an attractive couple.”

“You do realize they’re a professional couple, not a romantic one.”

“Are they married? To other people, I mean?”

“Not so far as I know.”

“Well, you just wait. They’ll wake up to the fact they’re compatible… quite compatible.”

“Maybe, but I need—”

“Yes, I know. You always were such an impatient young man. Always in a hurry. Take it from someone who knows, one day you’ll discover how much you missed in your rush through life.”

“Yes, ma’am, I probably will.” Like the time I’m wasting now. “But at the moment, I’m trying to catch a killer. Someone who’s murdered three young men and deprived them of the rest of their lives.”

A hand flew to her chest. “Three? Oh my goodness. That’s why the nice detective couple asked if I had accounts for those other two names.”

“Did you?”

She hesitated a beat before revealing how sharp she really was. “No, just for young Mr. Zapata. I had nothing for Mr. Greene or Mr. Hubbard.”

“So explain to me how Mr. Zapata’s account worked. Let’s say I wanted to leave a message for him. Would I need to give you my name?”

“Perhaps. Perhaps not. Most people identify themselves, but not all. Some merely leave a message for Mr. Zapata to return a call to a certain phone number. So my operators take down the number and leave a message on the client’s personal voicemail or forward a text to Mr. Zapata’s telephone.”

“Is it always a request for a phone number?”

“Sometimes it’s to confirm a meeting time and place.”

“So I could merely call and leave a certain hour and a specific address.”

She nodded her head without dislodging a single strand of gray hair held in a bun by a huge tortoiseshell comb. “Exactly.”

“But would I have to leave my name and phone number?”

“Most do, but sometimes prior arrangements have been made, and the pertinent information is all that is given.” She smiled and shook her head. “And I can see your father in you too. Robert was as handsome as Frances was beautiful. You have good genes, BJ.”

“Thank you. Do you—”

“What a tragedy. How long have they been gone now?”

“January 2003. Do—”

“Nine years now. Seems like yesterday I heard the news about their automobile accident.”

“Ma, I’m taking up too much of your valuable time. I have a couple more questions and then—”

“Oh pshaw. My operators handle most of the calls. Did you know I have a male operator now? Can you believe it? First time in forty years, but you can’t discriminate, you know. Name’s Robert, like your father. Such a nice young man.”

My skin crawled, but I kept at it, refusing to believe Ernestine Flanagan was going dotty. This was her way of evading my questions.

“Ernestine, cut out the old lady act, and let’s get down to business.”

“Why, Burleigh J. Vinson, I can’t believe you were so rude to me.” The words were prim, but there was a smile hiding in the pastel-blue eyes. “Your mother would give you a smack on the back of the hand.”

“You may do so in her stead, but, Ma, this is serious. Someone is murdering handsome young men after—” I fought for an acceptable word. “—debauching them.”

“Well, why didn’t you say so? What do you want to know?”

“Are there recordings of the calls?”

“Goodness, no!” She apparently rethought her vehement answer. “It’s not like in the old days, BJ. Now you can call me on my cell and leave me a message. When I opened this business, there was no such convenience. And when it came along, I had to adjust my way of doing things to stay in business. Most of my clients are medics or medical services who need a human to discern what is an emergency and what is not.” She paused again. “In order to survive, I had to accept other customers. I’m certain some of my clients arrange trysts, for example.”

“Why not use email or Skype or something similar?”

“Do you know what I believe it comes down to?”

I shook my head.

“The authorities are watching for that sort of thing on the internet because it’s become so prevalent. My clients want to be a bit more discreet.”

“Okay, you don’t record the calls. Do you log them?”

“Oh yes. Otherwise I couldn’t bill my clients. You see, they get a certain amount of traffic for a blanket fee, but—”

I held up a hand. “I understand. May I have a copy of the log for Mateo Zapata’s account? And the three text messages?” I saw her internal battle and added, “The police already have them.”

She surrendered gracefully. “Do you want a copy of the calls and texts that came in after the young man died?”

My eyes widened involuntarily. “Absolutely. How many were there?”

“If memory serves, three more phone calls and one text message. I see no reason why you shouldn’t have the information.” Her eyes sharpened. “Providing you can tell me who engaged your services.”

She probably thought she had me over a barrel, but I fooled her. “The family engaged me, Ma. They want me to help APD catch their son’s killer. And I’ve okayed this with Homicide and the two detectives you mentioned.”

I knew how much I’d been played when she picked up a slender file folder from her desk and handed it over. “Here are your copies.”


I hope this piques your interest in the book. I had fun writing it.

 Now my mantra: Keep on reading and keep on writing. You have something to say… so say it!

 Here's a link to the new book:

 My personal links:



Twitter: @dontravis3

 See you next Thursday.



 New Posts every Thursday morning at 6:00 a.m. US Mountain time.

Friday, February 5, 2021

Douche Bag blog post #484

 Photo courtesy of

On January 22, the older of my two sons died in a Texas hospital. He was admitted on the 7th of that month suffering from colitis. Although he’d had heart trouble over the past two or three years, I initially had no clue that his condition was serious. But as time went on, his organs began to fail until they could no longer sustain life. On the afternoon of his death, the nurse put the phone to his ear and I was able to say goodbye and tell him I loved him. Not long after that, he passed. Needless to say, I sort of fell apart and am not yet fully collected.


As a result of this, my Oklahoma writing buddy, Mark Wildyr agreed to let me guest post the same short story he’s posting on his own website ( this very day. Thank you, Mark, for coming to my rescue.



By Mark Wildyr

I managed to snag a summer job back home after my freshman year at Eastern New Mexico University. Lucky, gainful employment was hard to come by in this uncertain economy. Not only that, but my hometown can’t even claim 10,000 residents, every one of them scratching for a living.

Anyway, when I hired on as one of the remodel crews for Westerton’s Home Repair, I considered myself lucky. I might have liked a semi-blue-collar job, say like working in the mailroom at city hall or delivering for the local florist, but, hey, you gotta take what’s available, right?

I’m not a rough-and-tumble guy, but I figured I could hold my own with a blue-collar crew. My old man was one for years, but then, I’m not my old man. In fact, I spent more time with my mom and grandmother than any of the male members of my family. Truth be told, I’ figured out I was gay this past fall when I got involved with my first semester roommate. Can’t tell you how liberating that was. But now I’m back in this little town with a mindset of the 1940s, requiring me to go back into the closet. Wasn’t hard to do. Been doing it all my life, even if I didn’t know it at the time.

On my first day, the boss assigned me to Walsack’s crew. Julius Walsack was about as broad as he was tall, but it wasn’t fat. Overdeveloped muscles… but definitely not fat. I’d known him before I went off to college in the vague way a guy knows everyone in a small town. He had a rep for spending his days doing hard manual labor and devoting his evenings to doing hard physical exercise in the town’s one gym. About five years older than my nineteen years, he’d been somebody to say hi to when our paths crossed. Looking back, I realized that he’d scared me, or at least intimidated me with his he-man bluster. Now he was my immediate boss.

The other two members of our crew were older men I knew the same way I knew Walsack, they were faces I could put a name to. They were an amiable bunch, and I knew my way around a hammer and saw, so I fitted in right from the start. Or thought I did.

The second day, Walsack walked up to me as I was fashioning a spline miter joint for a box window and sent me to the hardware store to pick up an order. As I started up, he slapped me on the butt.

“And put a hurry on it. It’s got some stuff I need,” he yelled while tossing the keys to his pickup at me.

I caught them and hurried to the company’s truck, swiping sawdust off the rear of my jeans as I went.

Later the same day, he came up to inspect the work I was doing and stood so close his thigh lightly brushed where he’d left his handprint. I moved to the other side of the saw table and watched his eyes as he studied what I’d been doing. He suggested a small change which made sense before walking back to whatever he’d been doing.

The next day, I was hanging a curtain rod in one of the bedroom’s closets when he sauntered in to see how I was doing. While one hand tested the rod, another came to rest on my ass. I was sorta penned in, so I just brushed his hand away. He agreed I was doing a good job, and went back to his own work. Maybe I wasn’t as far in that other “closet” as I thought.

For the rest of the week, it was something every day. Once, he slipped past me in tight confines and rubbed his fly across my butt. He paused just a second, not noticeable to the others, but it definitely was to me. A couple of times when he came to make suggestions or inspect something I was cutting on the saw, his eyes weren’t on the work. They were on my crotch.

Long before the end of the work week rolled around, I considered quitting. But this was as decent-paying a job as I was going to find. Maybe I could ask for a new assignment. Of course, I’d have to come up with a reason for the request. At the end of shift Friday, he informed me that most of the guys gathered at a local bar downtown to celebrate.

“But I’m not twenty-one yet,” I replied.

“Aw, you come on. I’ll get you in.”

But he didn’t. The bouncer turned me away after eyeing my driver’s license. I glanced at Walsack, who shrugged.

“Hey, I figured every college kid had a phony ID. Too bad.”

As I turned away, he laid a hand on my arm. “I’ll get a couple of six packs, and we’ll go to my place.”

I pulled free and started walking toward my car. “No thanks. I’m tired.”


The weekend was unsettling. Most of my high school buddies had moved on, and I wasn’t interested in trying to find a date. Most of my time was spent puzzling over how to handle Walsack and thinking about my former roommate. I missed him; and I missed what we’d done. Sure wasn’t anyone in this little berg I could do that with. Except maybe Walsack. The thought made my skin crawl.

Why? He wasn’t a bad-looking dude. Sure was built. Like a brick shit house, as they say. But he was so damned… macho was the word that came to mind. Aggressively so. Wasn’t my type. I had a type? Must have because he sure wasn’t it.

I went to work Monday with my tail dragging. Not a week before, I’d been excited and anxious. Now I was dreading it. My mood must have showed, because the others on my crew-except for Walsack—asked if I was okay. He just beamed at me like a fox spotting a hen.

We’d finished last week’s job and were working at a new house. My assignment was to install paneling in the two-car garage. That meant I mostly worked alone since the rest of the guys were remodeling the kitchen. A solo job was okay by me, but it meant Walsack checked on me more often than usual.

The first couple of times were okay. He pointed out a couple of things I needed to correct and gave me some tips that made the job easier. Then he started in with his tricks. Standing too close. Putting his hand on my arm. As the afternoon went on, he grew bolder. Once, he reached over me to point to something, and his groin pressed right up against my butt. I froze, and after saying something I don’t even remember, moved away. I turned in time to see him adjust himself.

The dude’s turned on!

Just before quitting time, he delivered the clincher. I didn’t even hear him enter the garage, but I heard the door close behind him. I ignored Walsack until he was standing behind me… too close, as usual. My mouth was open to say something when he leaned into me.


I started to move away, but his hand snaked around me and grabbed a handful. I twisted away and ended up in the middle of the garage with my fists curled.

Walsack faced me, laughing. “What’s the matter, kid?”

“Don’t ever touch me like that again!”

He shrugged. “Why not, you’re gay aren’t you?”

“What of it?”

“So you oughta like a real man feeling you up.”

“Is that what you are? A man?”

“One hundred percent New Mexico beefcake. A queer like you oughta be lappin’ up what I’m offering.”

“Tell me something, Walsack. If you’re such a man, why’re you even interested.”

His chest swelled. “I’m a man, all right. But a little change now and then don’t hurt. You oughta be flattered I find your ass kinda fetching.”

“If you’re such a man, that means you screw women, right?”

A smile played on his lips. “Ever chance I get.”

“So do you go feeling them up all the time.

Walsack scowled. “N-not all the time.”

“Why not?”

“Hell a man doesn’t make a play for every woman he meets. You know the old saying. Some will, some won’t.”

“According to that logic, you oughta feel them all up to see which ones will.”

“Hell, can’t do that.”

“How come?”

“They’d, I dunno, think I was a douche bag or something.”

I smiled. “There you go. Got it right the very first time.”



I believe this short story addresses a truism… far too many people, upon discovering someone is gay, automatically assumes he or she will go to bed with anyone who’s willing. Not so in most cases, as gays are looking for special people and commitments and possibly marriage, just as hetro’s do. Of course, some sleep around… just as some hetros do.

Good job, Mark. And thanks again for your help.

Now my mantra: Keep on reading and keep on writing. You have something to say… so say it!

My personal links:



Twitter: @dontravis3

See you next Thursday.



New Posts every Thursday morning at 6:00 a.m. US Mountain time.

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Whiz Quiz Washout (Part 4 of 4 Parts) blog post #483

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Last week ended as TI Bley called out a detail of five men… including Trainee Justin Corso. Did he have an ulterior motive in selecting the handsome young man? Let’s see.




It took half an hour to dig out everything I had on my list. As the men worked, I found myself watching Corso. He was as graceful as a cat…a feral cat. His biceps bulged as he lifted the cargo. His chest expanded with his efforts. A desert camouflage T-shirt stretched across his muscled torso, and I went dizzy as I mentally whirled back to Egypt when the young tech lay beneath me, his slender form straining to meet my thrusts. I recalled the feel of his lips on me and got angry. How dare this sexy motherfucker remind me of things like that?

My explosion when one of the trainees dropped something probably seemed normal to the detail, but I had to work hard to keep from turning loose on them. Instead, I issued orders without really understanding why…at least consciously.

“All right, take the last of this gear and load it in the truck. We got most of it already. You,” I snarled at Corso. “You stay here and help me find the balance. The rest of you head back, double time. I’ll catch up to you before you get back to the squadron. Get to it!”

Four trainees stumbled out the door with their bundles, dumped them in the truck, and took off down the road, single file. I turned on Corso.

“You! Give me a hand.”

Within five minutes I had the remainder of the gear ready to pack, but I lingered. My unreasonable anger had cooled; the urge to pick at the boy had not.

“What’s with you, Corso?” I demanded, abandoning the TI façade.

“Sir. I don’t understand your question, sir.”

“It’s a simple question. What’s with you? Why did you enlist? What are you running from?”

Those strange shimmering eyes fixed on me for a moment. “That’s a personal question, Sarge…uh, sir.”

“Yeah, it is. Now I’ll ask another. Are you gay?” I took in the quick, wounded look and held up a hand. “Don’t answer that. I’ll ask it in another way. One that won’t trap you.”

Risking my career as well as my teeth, I walked straight up to him and placed a palm on his hard chest, feeling the heart skitter beneath his ribs. Uncertainty clouded his face. I didn’t give him a chance to think about it. I pulled him to me, and for the second time in my life I kissed a man…and damned near swooned like some candy-assed queer!

After it was over, neither of us said a word, just stood cheek to cheek until he yielded to the pressure of my hands on his shoulders and went to his knees. He pressed against me and fumbled my fly open. I released my belt and dropped my trousers to my knees. His hand on my sensitive flesh sent a tremor through me. He did nothing more than rub a gentle hand over my belly and thighs and buttocks for a long moment, and then he went to work. I leaned against shelving holding gear while emotions swirled like a kaleidoscope through my addled brain. Anger, fear, lust, gratitude, resentment. Anger because this good-looking stud had brought back memories of Egypt I’d spent years suppressing. Fear that we’d be found out. Lust…Lord, yes…lust. Nobody’d raised such sensations in years, since…Egypt. Gratitude that this dark-headed Adonis was ministering to me, resentment he was drawing me deeper into some fathomless hole while doing so. And then I closed my eyes and surrendered to his touch.

“Shit!” I mumbled opening my eyes to watch the road in front of the hut through the window…and snatch glances at the handsome hunk working on me.

The kid was good. Experienced. I thought that was heaven until he did something with his tongue. Then that was heaven, but I didn’t know nothing! My knees damned near collapsed when he started humming or something. The vibrations almost sent me over the roof!

I gasped aloud. “Crap, man! What are you doing to me? Oh…oh!”

Heaven finally arrived. Electric currents shot through me—even my nose tingled—as the contractions hit. My orgasm took me back to Egypt, back to every woman I’d ever fucked, every hand job I’d ever had, and left them all in the dust. Contractions wracked my whole body, consumed my mind, wrung me out, and left me spineless, boneless, helpless. Finally, Corso pulled away and looked up at me.

“Was it all right?”

“Fucking beautiful!” I gasped. “Now I have the answer to my question, but in a way neither of us can exploit. The big boys call it MAD.”

He stood in front of me. “Mutually Assured Destruction.”

I hoisted my trousers and straightened my clothing, trying to keep from looking at him. I failed. He was a powerful sexual presence. I should have been ashamed, embarrassed, repulsed. I wasn’t. I wanted him again. As I started to walk away, he took my hand and pressed it against the hard lump of his groin.

“Please,” he begged softly. “It’s been a long time.”

I paused a moment. “All right, but I won’t do such a great job on you. Haven’t had that much experience. And I want an answer to my question. Who’re you running from?”

The boy answered as I slipped his uniform trousers down over his tanned thighs. Shit, he was even beautiful south of the belt, and from years of short-arm inspections, I knew that wasn’t always the case. He gasped as I teased grasped him.

“It…it was my history professor,” he stammered. “He understood what I needed before I ever…oh, shit…ever knew myself. Fuck, Sarge, that feels good. I’d forgotten how much. Oh, man, I’d…forgot. Oh!”

As I knelt before him, drawing soft sighs and moan, I felt the strength of his thighs. I explored his flat, ridged belly, and brushed his heavy chest. I might not have been an expert, but this kid was so deprived that it didn’t make any difference. Within minutes, he groaned a warning. Then he exploded like he was never going to stop. Shit, this guy was a walking package of pure sex. Meat and muscles with a fucking, drop-dead gorgeous kisser.

By the time he got through it and I stood in front of him, I’d recovered my sanity. “You understand what this means, don’t you?” I demanded, already halfway back into my TI mode. “I’ve gotta ride you hard. Can’t let anyone think I’m…easy on you,” I said, barely avoiding using the words "sweet."

He snapped to attention. “Sir, yes, sir! I understand sir. Completely, sir.”

“This probably earns you some extra detail time. Some of them out in the boondocks where there’s nobody else around.

His jeweled eyes found mine, and a smile played at the corners of his broad mouth. “Sir, thank you, sir!”

I eyed his air force field uniform as he walked to the door of the Quonset. Yes, sir. That fabric sure was a thing of beauty when it hugged the fine figure of Trainee Justin O. Corso.




Now what do you think of that?

My mantra: Keep on reading and keep on writing. You have something to say… so say it!

 My personal links:



Twitter: @dontravis3

 See you next Thursday.



 New Posts every Thursday morning at 6:00 a.m. US Mountain time.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Whiz Quiz Washout (Part 3 of 4 Parts) blog post #482

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At the end of Part 2, Technical Sergeant Bley hung around even though he was off duty. He obviously wanted to talk privately to his second, Sergeant Bemis.




“Don’t you think it’s time to ease up on Corso?” I asked. “He’s handled everything you can throw at him like a trooper.”

“Shit no, Tom!” he snapped. “He’s a queer, and I want him out. And I’m gonna break him yet.”

I rose and stood in front of him. “No, you’re not. You’re going to treat him like everyone else. He gets his dose of bullshit, but no more. There’s not a shred of evidence the kid’s homo. He’s as much man as any of them.”

“How come you standing up—”

“I stand up for all my men. That’s my job! Yours, too, Staff Sergeant Biers. We’re not here to vent our private prejudices on these trainees. We’re here to make airmen out of them.”

“Shit, Tech Sergeant. To my mind, getting a hard-on for your Pecker-Checker is evidence.”

“Nothing like that happened, Wayne,” I sat back down and tried to ease things a little.

“You calling me a liar?” His redheaded dander was rising.

“No. I’m saying you misunderstood the medic. I talked to the man, myself.”

“Well, fuck, Tom. Never thought you’d take a pickle’s side against me!”

“I’m not taking anyone’s side. I’m just saying treat him like anyone else. Do you hear me?”

“I hear you. Loud and clear!”

It seemed to me he’d said that before.


Discord among TIs is not a desirable thing, but it happens often enough. We were both well trained, and I doubt any of the flight noticed the clouded air between us. They had all they could handle struggling with the PC final assessment, meeting Air Force personal hygiene standards, keeping spotless quarters, a second clothing issue, learning the military codes and courtesies, and drilling—endless drill pad marches, road marches, cross-country marches, parade marches. Handling all that and trying to satisfy two of the meanest motherfuckers they’d ever run into, their Training Instructors, gave us cover for our strained relationship.

I kept a sharp eye on Wayne, and while he tended to pick Corso for the shit details, the real harassment reverted to an acceptable level. After another week, I relaxed my vigil. I shouldn’t have.

At the beginning of WOT 4, I arrived for the morning set-up to find pandemonium in the dorm. I walked halfway through the bay before anyone noticed me and called the flight to attention. Then trainees in various stages of dress scampered for their bunks, abandoning the two men scrambling up off the floor. Corso and Flight Leader Windle had obviously been fighting. Wayne’s pet hadn’t been doing well. Windle nursed a split lip; Corso didn’t have a mark on him. I noticed that the two had been mixing it up down near Corso’s bunk. That meant Windle had approached Corso. When Biers breezed in, prepared to let out a bellow, I took charge, holding up a hand to stop Windle from returning to his bunk.

“Stay right there, Trainee Windle!” I disdained his title of Flight Leader to raise the man’s anxiety level. “I’m not going to ask what’s going on because I don’t want to know.” I raised my voice and acted like a TI, “I won’t have personal fights in my flight! Is that clear?”

“Sir, yes sir!” they shouted in unison.

“If you haven’t learned you’re a team by now,” I bellowed, “then I doubt you’ll ever learn it! Nobody…nobody…is going to disrupt this flight. I’ll ship the two of you out before that happens. Do you understand me?”

“Sir, yes sir!”

“I can’t hear you, ladies!”

“Sir…yes…sir!” They would have made a good chorus; they sang on key.

“Nothing will go into the record…this time! But if there’s ever a next time, you’re dead meat. Now drop and give me twenty and then go get yourselves cleaned up!”

I caught the look in Wayne’s eyes and understood what had happened. He’d allowed his personal prejudice to poison his judgment. He’d probably told Windle about his suspicions and suggested that the Flight Leader take care of the problem. Corso hadn’t been willing to take shit from another trainee like he did from his TI. Good for Corso.

Wayne pouted for the rest of the day.


The chickens came home to roost near the end of the week. Wayne Biers had set things in motion by calling my attention to Justin Corso that first week, and now, damn his eyes, I was getting sucked in deeper and deeper. I found myself thinking about the good-looking trainee more than was normal. Fuckups usually dominated my time, but Corso was no screw-up. He was one of the best in the flight.

The Supply Officer issues and controls supplies, but most TIs store a few items for use during field training. I scrounged up a detail on Saturday and commandeered a truck for the two-mile drive to the Quonset hut housing the equipment. I’m not certain whether I brought Corso along by accident or design. Whatever the reason, he was one of the five trainees I tapped for the detail.




Are things coming to a head? Looks to me like it.


Now my mantra: Keep on reading and keep on writing. You have something to say… so say it!


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Twitter: @dontravis3


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New Posts every Thursday morning at 6:00 a.m. US Mountain time. 

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Whiz Quiz Washout (Part 2 of 4 Parts) blog post #481

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Last week we left Technical Sergeant Bley eyeball to eyeball with Trainee Justin Corso after the recruit admitted that although he had shy kidneys, he’d managed to pee in the cup. So technically he didn’t fail the Whiz Quiz. We pick up their conversation below.

What is it about the first paragraph lately. Again, the program failed to respond to my commands



I damned near violated the basic tenet of the TI code and laughed at his look of contrition, but I kept my face straight, staring into those deep, iridescent opal eyes. He stood a good inch under my five-eleven, but we were about a par in the weight department. One seventy.

“Then we’ll have our answer soon. Urinalysis tests are an important part of your life now, Trainee, so you’d better learn to piss on command. You’re gonna have a Pecker-Checker staring at your dong every time the Piss Bottle Man gets thirsty. Understand!”

“Sir! Yes, sir!”

“And you’d better start controlling that dick.”

Confusion twisted his handsome features. “Sir?”

“You keep getting an erection in front of your Pecker-Checker, you’re liable to get a fist upside your head!

The kid’s tan slowly flushed a bright crimson. “Sir! That didn’t happen, sir!”

“You calling your TI a liar, Recruit?”

Corso finally became flustered. “Fucking A!” He got control of himself before I could pounce. “Sir! No, sir. I wouldn’t do that, sir. But he wasn’t there. I did not get an erection, sir!”

As we left to catch up with Sgt. Biers and the rest of the flight, I looked over his gear. Expensive stone washed jeans. Good-quality linen shirt and standard New Balance white running shoes. This California sun worshiper did not come from a destitute background.


Biers leaned on Corso mercilessly. I didn’t interfere, because I was curious about how much he could take. Every trainee in the flight, all sixty of them were run ragged to the point they virtually had no time to perform all their duties, at least to the impossible standards we set. Corso came as close as any, even with the distraction of extra harassment. In my opinion, he should have been Dorm Chief, the trainee Flight Leader, but Biers wanted a man named Windle, claiming the kid’s two years of AFROTC had at least taught him his left foot from his right. There wasn’t much doubt about Windle’s reason for enlisting. He was aiming straight for OTS, Officer’s Training School at Maxwell AFB in Alabama.

Biers found fault with Corso everywhere we went: finance, personnel, career orientation. Wayne didn’t even like his haircut—and he was shaved damned near bald like every other trainee in the squadron.

Corso was a standout at PC, physical conditioning. His athletic form and crisply executed sit-ups and pushups drew the eye amid a mass of sweating, straining, sloppy young bodies. He’d built those muscles in a gym and kept them toned in the surf near his home in Monterrey. Unlike the punks from the Mean Streets of a dozen cities, his muscles were not for show, they had strength behind the definition. Windle, by contrast, would be doing good to pass his PC assessment during the third week of training.

Our Rainbows received their uniform issue and graduated to Baby Flight status, recognizable by the white running shoes they wore with their BDUs, battle dress uniforms—what used to be called fatigues. They’d live in the sports shoes a week before donning boots to accustom their tender toes to walking and marching and running instead of being carted everywhere by jalopies and convertibles and subways and escalators.

Corso was handling Wayne’s double load of shit more or less equitably when I conducted a graded inspection upon return from the drill pad during WOT 2, the second week of training. Biers took one side of the bay while I inspected the other. My attention was drawn across the room as Biers unleashed on Corso. He held the trainee’s clothing drawer in his hand, and I had just enough time to see everything looked to be folded and in its proper place before he upended it onto the floor. Then Biers tossed all the uniforms in the wall locker on top of the mess.

“Who taught you to stow your gear, Trainee?” Wayne roared in Corso’s ear. “If you ain’t learned the Air Force way by now, you ain’t gonna never learn it! Might as well pack up and ship out! Drop down and give me twenty!”

Corso’s jaw muscles worked overtime as he assumed the position, but he snapped off the push-ups quickly and cleanly before coming to attention again.

“You straighten up that mess right now! You hear me, Trainee Corso?”

“Sir, yes sir!”

“Well get to it! And I’m gonna inspect it again after chow. Understand?”

“Sir, yes sir!”

I let it go, but hung around for Wayne’s second inspection even though I was on short duty that day. There wasn’t a thing wrong with the clothing drawer, but Wayne dumped it on the floor again, anyway.

Now it’s a normal part of BMT to demand perfection when none can be achieved, but my junior TI was carrying it a little far. He had a hard-on for Corso, and nothing the kid could do was going to satisfy him.

During a break while the flight was scouring its bay, Wayne wandered into the orderly room.

“How come you still here?” he asked, removing his campaign hat and wiping his brow with a stubby hand. “Ain’t you got nothing better to do than hang around and mother your kiddies?”

“Nothing planned tonight,” I said. We both knew every TI put in long hours, especially during the early part of the six-week BMT course, and was jealous of every spare moment of free time.



Now Bley's altering his pattern of behavior.  What gives. Maybe we'll learn next week.

Now my mantra: Keep on reading and keep on writing. You have something to say… so say it!

My personal links:



Twitter: @dontravis3

 See you next Thursday.



 New Posts every Thursday morning at 6:00 a.m. US Mountain time.

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Whiz Quiz Washout (Part 1 of 4 Parts) blog post #480

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I trust everyone made it through the holidays okay… although that’s a matter of great faith in these times. I lost one good friend—about whom I lamented on this site a couple of weeks ago. And the terrible pandemic sweeping through the world and robbing so many of their lives, seems to be gathering strength, rather than waning. We’re all betting heavily on the vaccines about which we hear so much and see so little.


This week, I’d like to start a four-parter. I call it the Whiz Quiz Washout. The reason becomes quickly clear. Let’s get started. (By the way, don't ask me why the first paragraph is different. That's just the way the Web Site gods decreed. Nothing I did changed it.)



A uniform is a powerful thing. Any kind of uniform: street cleaner, cop, army, navy—it doesn’t matter. But an airman’s uniform is something uber-special. Desert camo or dress blue, it doesn’t matter. Let’s face it, a uniform is just cloth and buttons and zippers until someone puts it on. Then it confers power and grace and beauty on the man or woman wearing it. That uniform is why I made the U. S. Air Force my career.

I had returned from a dispute with the finance weenies over my housing allowance to find Wayne Biers, my junior Training Instructor absolutely apoplectic. Wayne was a Staff Sergeant in the first of a three-year assignment with the Basic Military Training Command at Quarrels AFB. In my opinion, he was only marginally qualified to be an AETC Instructor. He came to the program from one of the NAF support units, and I’m not certain his Mississippi high school diploma, a requirement for a TI, was genuine. Oh, he was smart enough, but he tended to be narrow in his opinions. The incident that set him off this time was a case in point.

“He’s a fucking queer, I tell you, Tom!” He had left our Rainbow Flight standing at ease on the drill pad to come inside the orderly room and pour his homophobia out onto my desk. “Rainbows” is a time-honored term for Air Force recruits so new they haven’t even been issued uniforms. “Flunked his whiz quiz,” Wayne went on.

“He tested positive for drugs?” The question was perfunctory. We didn’t get test results back that quickly.

“Fuck no!” Wayne’s five-foot eight frame wiggled like it was infested with chiggers. “Couldn’t piss a drop and started getting a hard-on for his Pecker-Checker.” Outrage heightened his normally ruddy complexion. “Pulled a boner right out in the open. I say we wash the faggot out. Get rid of him before he infects the flight. Hell, the fucking squadron.”

I paused a moment, studying the slight man almost dancing in agitation in front of my desk. Was my assistant’s homophobia driven by fear? “Biers, you do know Don’t Ask-Don’t Tell is coming to an end, don’t you?”

“Hell, I know that. Fucking shame. Then they’ll be able to tell you even if you don’t ask. All the more reason to ship this guy before that comes down the flight path.

“You saw this with your own eyes?”

“Yes. No. Well, I seen he was having trouble pissing. And the tech told me about the hard-on later. I tell, you Gley, he was the last one outa there. Rest of the flight was in formation ‘fore he come out looking whipped.”

“What’s his name?”

“Corso. Justin O. Corso. I got him waiting in the dorm.”

“You get the rest of our pickles to their next appointment, and I’ll go talk to Corso. But you treat him just like everyone else until I tell you different. Do you hear?”

“Yes, Tech Sergeant. I hear. Loud and clear.”

“All right, get those Rainbows moving. I’ll bring Corso when I’m finished with him.”

He did an about-face and left, most likely figuring he’d got his lick in, and I’d fall into line. That was one of the things I didn’t like about him.

The comforting sound of TIs counting cadence and the more or less uniform stamp of marching shoes soothed my subconscious as I snatched a quick glance at the trainee’s file. Corso was twenty years old. Older than most Rainbows. College grad with a major in history. OCS material. So why had he enlisted?

When I entered my flight’s bay on the third floor of the big dorm, I got the shock of the day. It was an expression of my own prejudices that I’d expected a pasty-faced, androgynous creature cowering in fear. Instead, a sculpted, handsome, dark-haired young man snapped to attention the moment I blew through the door.

“Sir! Trainee Justin O. Corso, reporting as ordered, sir!”

The voice was deep and manly. He looked like a fucking Air Force recruiting poster—well built, handsome, masculine. Too damned handsome. I left him at attention. Hoping to take him off guard, I spoke without the normal TI bluster, probably the first time that had happened to him since he boarded the bus at the airport for the short ride here.

“I’m Technical Sergeant Thomas Gley, your Senior MTI…military training instructor. Staff Sergeant Biers tells me we have a problem.”

“Don’t know…uh. Sir, I don’t know what the problem is, sir!” He recovered fast.

In the best TI manner, I leaned forward and put my face in his. “What’s this I hear, Recruit?” I shouted. “You gonna be the first trainee in history to washout over the whiz quiz? What’s the matter with you?” I barely restrained myself from asking if he was gay. That wasn’t allowed nowadays…DADT wasn’t gone quite yet. “Well, answer me!” I roared.

“Sir, bashful kidneys, sir!”

“What?” I asked, rocking back on my heels, distracted by his musky aftershave. I took another look. Jeez, this kid was fucking beautiful. If I was queer, I could go for him, myself. I flashed back to a TDY in BFE where I’d shared some experiences with another young tech. BFE—Bum Fucking Egypt—but it had been a great place for me for those few months. I hadn’t thought about what happened over there in five years!

“Sir, bashful kidneys, sir. Have trouble pissing on command. Always have. Uh, sir.”

I took a deep breath and leaned in again. “You’re not trying to stall until some drugs clear your system by any chance? If you are, you might as well forget it. I’ve had every trick in the book tried on me, Corso.”

“Sir, no, sir! I gave a sample, sir. I complied with the requirement, sir.”

“So you managed to pee in a cup.”

He glanced at me through sheepish eyes. “Yes, sir. Finally managed it.”


Wonder what’s building here? As someone who had shy kidneys in the military, my sympathies lie with Airman Corso. Course, the way he looks doesn’t hurt any.

 I believe I forgot my mantra last week—the mantra that rat Mark Wildyr appropriated for his own use. Just kidding, I gave him permission. Keep on reading and keep on writing. You have something to say… so say it!

Tune in next week.

My personal links:



Twitter: @dontravis3

See you next Thursday.



New Posts every Thursday morning at 6:00 a.m. US Mountain time.

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