Thursday, April 2, 2020

The Drama Club-Part 3 (The Chameleon-Episode 1 of 3 Episodes)


dontravis.com blog post #383

Courtesy of Needpix.com
More requests bring more Jarrod Gray and the Casa Verde College Drama Club. Let me know when you get tired of it. Here’s the third Jarrod Gray story. By the way, sorry Part 1 of the Drama Club got switched with Part 2. I’ll swear the computer did it. Whatever, I hope things will stay straight this time. Here we go.

*****
THE DRAMA CLUB
Part 3: THE CHAMELEON


Junior year. Casa Verde College. The Drama Club. Lighting and Curtain Director. It all sounded good to Jarrod Gray as he looked around the first Drama Club meeting of the school year. Thespian Hall held a slightly musty smell that would dissipate with the coming and going of student over the coming weeks. Someone dropped a book, sending an echo throughout the big hall.
Most of the faces were the same as last year with a few new ones scattered around the group. His eyes involuntarily searched for Kahn even though that beautiful young man had graduated last spring. As had Rick, the year before. What would these people say if they knew he and Rick, the school jock and leading man two years back, had been lovers. And Kahn, that wonderfully compact Vietnamese who transformed the stage with his beautiful sets last year.
The buzz of conversation died as the school’s drama teacher Mrs. Atherton called the group to order. Jarrod’s jaw dropped when she announced the first play this year would be a musical. A musical, for crying out loud. Did she really think this bunch could bring that off? Wow. His talents would really be tested for a production like that. His lights always made the actors look better than they were, but singing and dancing? Wasn’t much they could do to enhance that.
Brett Starrett, a hunky guy Jarrod recognized from last year, caught him on the way out of the meeting and was a little more upbeat. “Might be fun. Some pretty good voices in the club. The dancing might be a problem.”
“You trying for a part?”
“For the chorus or something.”
“Didn’t know you sang. You dance too?”
Brett blushed, which on him was attractive. “A little. My mom made me take tap and a little ballet. Some flamenco.”
“Flamenco! Thought that was for Spaniards.”
The brown-haired, hazel-eyed senior laughed. “That’s me. At least mom was Mexican. And there’s some Portuguese and French thrown in there somewhere. Of course, my dad was Scots and Welsh.”
Jarrod smiled. “You’re a regular chameleon. Don’t know what I am except for English.”
As Brett walked away, Jarrod climbed a rope hand-over-hand to his home-away-from-home, the maze of lofts and catwalks above the big stage at Thes Hall where he spent the rest of the afternoon cleaning out months of accumulated dust and litter. His easy chair and mattress both required a good beating. He caressed the mattress fondly, recalling times there with Rick and Kahn, examining and identifying stains he’d not been able to wash out, associating them with one boy or the other. Damn, it was good to be back!
Jarrod’s world was bi-polar… the stage at Thespian Hall and everything else, which he called the classrooms… or just rooms.  He existed when he was in the rooms; he lived when he was at Thes.
By the time Mrs. Atherton started preparing for the season’s first play, he’d long since done a read-through and experimented with the lighting and moving spots, spending time on back-lighting ideas, and imagining things you saw at the Oscars or TV extravaganzas. He was working on some rewiring for one of the ideas when he heard a step on the ladder to the loft.
Bret’s head appeared in the opening. “Hey, your own little kingdom, huh? You permit visitors?”
“Right kind,” Jarrod grunted, still concentrating on his work. “Come on up.”
Brett explored the loft and walked the catwalks while Jarrod finished what he was doing. Returning from his explorations, Brett flopped belly down on the mattress and gazed over the edge of the superstructure down on the stage. The sight set Jarrod on edge, reminding him of others who’d lain on that mattress.
“Man you can see everything from up here!” Brett said, his head hanging off the edge of the loft.
“Yeah, saw a guy getting it on with a gal at the back one night during rehearsals,” Jarrod said, licking dry lips as he took his place beside Brett. No way he could keep from making comparisons with others who’d lain there. Brett was tall and slender. Good hips, slightly smaller waist, and good shoulders, although they looked a little bony beneath his shirt. Interesting.
Brett turned over and faced him. “You saw them screwing? Who?”
Jarrod smiled. “You knew them both.”
“Are they still in the club?” Jarrod shook his head. “Graduated, huh? Or left. Let’s see. Likely candidates if it was two years ago would be Shelly and Rick. That’s who it was, isn’t it?” Jarrod’s smile widened. Brett laughed and slapped his knee. “Old Rick. That jock made it with about half the women on campus.”
Jarrod bit back a retort as Brett moved on to another subject, as was his wont.
‘You know, this is a good stage.”
Jarrod lay beside him, shoulders and hips touching slightly. “Yeah. ‘Bout as good as a professional stage, except maybe the big ones on Broadway. I love it.”
“Just think, a musical! Never thought I’d get to be in one.”
“You get off on that, huh?” Jarrod asked.
“Singing’s okay, but it’s the dancing I like. Man, I dance every chance I get. June and I go downtown to a club about every weekend.” Jarrod knew June had been Brett’s girl last year. “You and your girl oughta go with us sometime.”
“Don’t know how to dance,” Jarrod confessed, And no girl, either, he added mentally. “You oughta try for the lead this year, not some chorus position.”
“Probably get to dance more in the chorus. Besides, I’m not leading man material,” he said turning to face Jarrod, his square, regular features strangely appealing. He wasn’t classically handsome like Rick or darkly beautiful like Kahn, but he was handsome in his own way and exuded more sex-appeal than any other guy in the club, including the pretty boy who’d probably go for the lead.
“I mean it. The script calls for some intricate numbers with the female lead. If Blue Balls”—his derisive name for the pretty-boy snob—“goes for it, Ms. Atherton will have to dumb it down to his level..”
Brett frowned, wrinkling his short nose. “Yeah. That’s true. Be a shame.” In one of those lightning changes, he returned to the previous subject. “Really, you oughta double with June and me. Nothing to it…social dancing, I mean. I can show you sometime. Hey, I gotta run. June’s meeting me at the cafeteria.” Brett scrambled to his feet and stepped over Jarrod’s inert body. Jarrod had to clasp his hands to keep from grabbing him.

*****
It looks as though Kahn didn’t manage to stay in the picture after graduation from Casa Verde, but perhaps Jarrod is zeroing in on someone new… a song and dance man this time. Will he be successful? Tune in again next Thursday.

Until next week.

The following are buy links for the recently released The Voxlightner Scandal.


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

My personal links: (Note the change in the Email address because I’m still getting remarks on the old dontravis21@gmail.com. PLEASE DON’T USE THAT ONE.)
                                                                                                    
Facebook: www.facebook.com/donald.travis.982
Twitter: @dontravis3

Buy links to Abaddon’s Locusts:


See you next week.

Don

Thursday, March 26, 2020

The Drama Club-Part 1 (The Jock)


dontravis.com blog post #380

Courtesy of en.wikipedia.org
Got a lot of hits on last week’s post (My Personal Hero). Hong Kong particularly liked it. I had more visitors from there than I did the US. Hope they enjoyed it.

Some time ago, I wrote a series of 5 stories under the title of The Drama Club, each with a subtitle. I pulled them out and took a look at them, deciding I want to publish them as blog posts. Here’s the first one, called “The Jock.”

*****
THE DRAMA CLUB
Part 1 – The Jock

          A tricky, fast-paced scene, the kind Jarrod Gray liked. He got the lighting right more often than the actors hit their lines correctly. This was only the second play of the year at Casa Verde College, but he’d worked hard in high school and summer stock to learn how the spots created moods and hid flaws in both sets and actors. Now he was the Drama Club’s lighting director. Not bad for a freshman. He’d outfitted the superstructure the way he wanted, an easy chair placed so he could watch the stage below with hand-held remotes for the lights and the curtain. He even had a mattress in case he wanted to nap or even sleep here.
          Jarrod was never more alive than when dancing across the superstructure, focusing and coordinating lights without a fumble, a slip, or a mistake. He labored alone among the battens and baffles high above the stage to enhance the efforts of budding thespians without a trace of jealousy or malice, doing his best for each.
          Jarrod wasn’t impressed by the lightweight comedy the Drama Club was producing this season, although he liked Rick Moore in the male lead. Rick was Mediterranean with dark skin and hair so black it refracted the light, requiring a deft touch from Jarrod. A senior and the handsomest man on campus, Rick seemed more comfortable on the football field. Still… the guy’s spectacular looks made up for a lot.
          Three days before opening, Jarrod’s world shifted. Both Rick and the female lead Shelly Weldon were on stage during most of the play except for a stretch in the second act. From the catwalks above the stage, Jarrod watched as they exited right and strode into the wings. Since there were no lighting changes programmed, he moved quietly along the sky walk, following the cute couple to a small area cut off from view of the others by heavy black curtains.
          As soon as Rick started undressing the girl, Jarrod scampered for his camera. By the time he reached the area directly above them again, Shelly was stretched out on a pile of stacked canvas, and Rick was going at it, full steam ahead.
          When it was over, Jarrod rushed back to the lighting control center, but in his haste, he banged the camera against one of the support rails. Safely back in his control booth, he discovered he had taken a whole roll of film.


          Jarrod was usually in the superstructure over the stage before anyone else arrived for rehearsal in order to check his lights, run through his controls, and fine-tune the settings. An hour before the curtain went up on dress rehearsal, he heard someone on the ladder and was astonished to see Rick climb into the superstructure.
          “So this is where you hang out.” The senior’s deep voice turned Jarrod’s knees to water. “Man, you can see everything from up here.” Rick indicated a catwalk. “How far back does this go?”
          “I can go all over the top of the stage from up here.” Remembering striking the camera against the catwalk the other day, Jarrod nervously dropped a pair of electrical pliers. As he knelt to pick them up. Rick’s voice froze him where he was.
          “Did you get an eyeful, you little fucker?”
          Jarrod looked up. Rick’s groin was right in his face. “Uh. Of what?”
          “Of me screwing Shelly, that’s what. I heard you up there. It’s a wonder you didn’t slobber all over us. Well, did I do it right?”
          “It was awesome!” Jarrod blurted before he could stop himself.
          “I knew it! You spied, you bastard!” Rick took a step forward, forcing Jarrod hard against the wall. The rough denim of Rick’s jeans pressed against Jarrod’s face. “Well, you want it so bad, you’re going to get it!”


          Jarrod operated the lighting almost by remote control during the first act. His mind whirled at the thought of what had happened a mere hour ago. Conflicted—shouldn’t he outraged?—he rubbed his bruised lips, yo-yoing between resentment and joy.
          Before he drew the curtain at the end of the first act, he realized he’d been studying Rick, seeing again in his mind’s eye what was covered by the jock’s costume. Jarrod’s heart took a leap. Rick had come to him. Exposed himself. Looked to a lowly freshman lighting director to satisfy his desires. There probably wasn’t another guy on campus who could say they’d had Rick Moore. Jarrod almost grunted aloud when he realized the drama club’s jock had chosen him over Shelly.
          After rehearsal, he hoped Rick would scale the ladder so they could discuss the play… and discover more about one another. He waited an hour after everyone else had left before coming down and going to his dorm room.
          The next day, Jarrod worked for an hour rigging a camera he could operate remotely. If Rick came back, he could take wonderful pictures they’d share.
          Opening night, he heard a foot on the ladder before the curtain went up. When Rick’s head appeared at the opening, Jarrod thought his heart would burst.
          “Get undressed,” the star ordered without preamble.
          Unhappy at the jock’s tone, Jarrod considered ignoring him for all of thirty seconds before tearing his T-shirt over his head and stepping out of his sweatpants and shorts, growing a bit uncertain over standing naked until Rick dropped his pants. A shiver played up Jarrod’s back. They were going to explore one another. Get familiar, more intimate. Wonderful.
          When Rick moved, it wasn’t anything like Jarrod had imagined. The jock threw him on his stomach across the mattress, and all Jarrod felt was pain… at first. And then he realized the pressure of the jock’s body moving against him held a new kind of sensuality. Seeing the remote control for the camera within reach, Jarrod grabbed it and pressed twice.
          Rick froze. “What was that?”
          “A… a couple of lights… blew,” Jarrod panted, anxious for Rick to resume. “Have… to change them before curtain time.”
          Why had he lied? As Rick started thrusting again, Jarrod forgot about it in the wonder of the moment.
          Then Rick ruined it all as he got up to dress. “You liked it, didn’t you, you little fairy!”


          The play was a success. Rick, his lines and timing finally down, was the hit of the comedy. Jarrod couldn’t take his eyes off the tall, manly form and forgave his lover’s language and coarseness a hundred times over as he waited impatiently for the next opportunity to share an intimacy. But there wasn’t one.
          After the end of the play’s run, Jarrod desperately sought to keep in touch with his lover. He put himself in the jock’s path at every opportunity. Rick studiously ignored him.
          When Jarrod’s roommate went on a weekend trip; he left a message on Rick’s cell phone inviting him over. No response, Jarrod trudged across campus to the frat house. Rick, looking more handsome than ever in cutoffs and a sleeveless T-shirt, scowled upon answering Jarrod’s timid knock.
          “What the fuck you doing here? Get outa here! Leave me alone!”
          Before the door slammed in his face, Jarrod heard a voice asking if it was the little queer from the theater. It was all he could do to keep from running. His face and ears red from embarrassment, Jarrod imagined everyone he passed was laughing at him. Head down, eyes on the step in front of him, he fled the frat house and ran all the way to the theater. Disconsolate, Jarrod climbed a rope by the strength of his arms alone up into the superstructure, into his world where he curled up on the mattress and cried, leaking tears where once semen had flowed.
          Jarrod’s mortification matured into fear and then anger, the adult stage of his transformation. He became a plotter, a schemer. One day, he left an unsealed, unaddressed envelope with prints of the two photos on Rick’s chem lab desk. Jarrod watched from the window as the senior arrived and opened the envelope. Those fantastic black eyes bugged before Rick frantically slid the photos back into the envelope. To Jarrod’s surprise, the jock gathered his books and put on his coat.
          Half-panicked, Jarrod rushed across the quadrangle toward Thespian Hall. He didn’t bother with the ladder; he hauled himself up the rope hand-over-hand. Within two minutes, Rick’s menacing figure stood on the top rung of the ladder.
          “Hi, lover,” Jarrod said more jauntily than he felt.
          “Shut your dirty mouth! What the fuck’s this?” He held up the envelope.
          “Mementos,” Jarrod answered.
          “Those fucking flashes! They weren’t spots, were they? I’m gonna hurt you!” Rick took a step forward.
          Jarrod managed to hold onto a shred of calm. “You can do that but think of all the trouble if you do. Those pictures are bound to come out. In fact, I’ll make sure they do when I explain the assault to the police. Wonder if the Casa Verde Student Voice would print them?”
          Rick halted in his tracks. “You wouldn’t spread pictures of yourself like that all over campus.”
          Jarrod shrugged. “Why not? It shows me getting it on with the big man on campus. Not only that, it shows the big man enjoying it, even though he doesn’t wanna be seen with the little queer from the theater.”
          “You’re bluffing!”
          “Am I? Why don’t you come over here and get undressed? All the way this time.”
          “Fuck—”
          “Yeah, that too. But right now, I just want to look.”
          From the smoldering anger in Rick’s black eyes, Jarrod feared he’d gone too far. But the bigger boy got control of himself and wordlessly began to strip.
          Jarrod smiled. This was going to work. With any luck, he’d turn the macho motherfucker queer before the semester was over.
  
*****
How about that? The bully gets bullied. “Little fairies” all over the world can take heart. The next installment has a different take as we meet Jarrod in his sophomore year at Casa Grande College.

Until next week.

The following are buy links for the recently released The Voxlightner Scandal.


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

My personal links: (Note the change in the Email address because I’m still getting remarks on the old dontravis21@gmail.com. PLEASE DON’T USE THAT ONE.)
                                                                                                    
Facebook: www.facebook.com/donald.travis.982
Twitter: @dontravis3

Buy links to Abaddon’s Locusts:


See you next week.

Don

Thursday, March 19, 2020

The Drama Club-Part 2 (The Stagehand-Finale)

dontravis.com blog post #382
  
Stage Spotlights
Courtesy of publicdomainpictures.net
Well, has Jarrod ripped his britches with Kahn (please don’t try to make anything out of that comment, it’s a good Oklahoma saying)? Let’s see how things progress.

*****
THE DRAMA CLUB

Part 2 – The Stagehand (Finale)

Later that afternoon, Jarrod watched from his perch as Kahn built a mockup of his first set. He had removed his shirt and worked bare-chested. Jarrod replayed last night in his mind while watching the muscles play beneath that golden-brown skin. Kahn glanced up at him occasionally but continued working. Not wishing to confront the boy, Jarrod went to one of the lighting banks and began to clean the rig carefully.
An hour later, a creaking floorboard told him he had company. Kahn stood at the edge of the platform with the rope clutched in one hand. He was still shirtless. His eyes danced, looking everywhere but directly at Jarrod.
“Hi, man. What time did you leave this morning?”
Kahn shrugged. “Donno. But it was light outside.” He hesitated. “Jarrod, I want to apologize.”
“Apologize? For what?”
“For whatever I did that made you do that last night.”
“You didn’t do anything,” Jarrod said, amazed at the boy’s words. “I did it… well, it was partly selfish and partly not?”
The black eyes found his face for a second before falling away. “What do you mean?”
“You’d had some bad news and were hurting, and I wanted to get your mind off of it. But mostly, I did it because I wanted to.”
“You wanted to?”
Jarrod nodded.
“You do that to boys?” Kahn asked with a frown.
“You and one other… last year. He’s gone now.”
“Not for more?”
“No. I don’t go around doing that for anybody I see.” It was Jarrod’s turn to shrug. “Just for ones I like… a lot.”
“You like me? A lot?”
“Yeah. I do.”
“This other guy you did it for, he…?”
“He graduated last year. We used to come up here. I did for him what I did for you. And… more. You can too, if you want.”
Kahn’s thin eyebrows shot up into his hairline. His eyes almost became occidental. “You wan’ fuh?”
“If you want.”
“Uh…betta ge’ bac’ work,” he mumbled, backing off the edge of the loft. Fortunately, he still had a firm grip on the rope.
For the next few days Kahn buried himself in work on the sets and had his mockups ready earlier than promised. Figuring the stagehand was lost to him, Jarrod reluctantly concentrated on some more improvements on his lighting board.


The afternoon Ms. Atherton held try-outs was always busy and hectic, especially for Jarrod since he strove to give each would-be thespian the right lighting to bring out his or her best features. After the readings were over and the place cleared out, he relaxed in his easy chair beside the control booth and noticed the rope he sometimes used for access moved like it had a weight on the other end. After a moment, Kahn appeared, climbing effortlessly into view, his legs at a forty-five-degree angle. Yeah, the guy had been a gymnast.
Jarrod smiled and called a greeting. Kahn stood at the edge of the platform and mumbled something about wanting to see the set from this angle.
“Things went pretty good, huh?” Jarrod said to kill the silence. “Glad it’s over.”
He spent a few minutes speculating who would get what part to loosen the other boy up. When Kahn started responding, he found they agreed on most of the choices.
When a small silence grew, Kahn refused the offer of a seat, choosing to stand, shifting from foot to foot nervously.
“What’s up, Kahn?” Jarrod finally asked.
“When we tal’ las’ time… Well, you sai’… Uh, you still…?”
Jarrod walked to where his friend stood chopping off his words and revealing his agitation. “Yeah, I still, Kahn. Any time. You’re still one handsome son of a gun.” Kahn may have blushed, but Jarrod couldn’t be certain.
Kahn confirmed his embarrassment by turning and leaning against the metal railing that passed in front of the control booth. Jarrod walked up behind him. After hesitating a long moment, he put his hands on the other boy’s hips and dropped to his knees. His tongue snaked out and pressed against the cotton of the boy’s pants. Without warning, Kahn turned around and spread his legs. The old stage below them creaked with age. Even Kahn’s ragged breath created small hollow echoes.
.
Without totally understanding, Jarrod stood and pressed his groin against the boy’s butt. Trembling in excitement, he slipped Kahn’s trousers down and caressed smooth, satiny flesh. He dropped his pants and pressed against Kahn. Without consciously intending it, he found himself inside his friend. Kahn grunted, but made no protest. At times their moans took on the lilt of a Gregorian chant. Jarrod tried to delay things, but he couldn’t. The spurt of his semen robbed him of his strength, and he dropped back onto the mattress. Instantly, Kahn fell atop him and moved his hips frantically.
When it was over, there was some awkwardness as Kahn shrugged out of his embrace and restored his clothing. Without turning, the boy mumbled. “You fuh me, Jarro’! Why you fuh me?” He moved to the rope and slipped out of sight.
“You can do it to me,” Jarod called down softly. “Now. Later. Anytime.” Kahn showed no sign he heard. Sadly, Jarrod turned away to go clean himself up.


The lighting technician became lost in his work as rehearsals began. He experimented with different light angles, with new filters, with anything to keep his mind off of the silent form of Kahn as he moved catlike through the sets, changing, adjusting, improving. Jarrod had to admit that Kahn was as good with the sets as he was with the lighting.
Following the final dress rehearsal, Jarrod stayed later than usual replacing some bulbs that seemed to be weak. He didn’t want them blowing on opening night. As he finished, he heard a noise, and looked down. Kahn stood on the stage, hands on hips looking up at him. Not knowing what to do, Jarrod gave a half-hearted wave and went to clean his hands. When he came out of the small bathroom, Kahn stood at the edge of the platform looking vaguely uneasy.
“Hi,” Jarrod said.
“Hello,” came the solemn answer.
“Kahn, once you apologized to me even though you didn’t do anything. Now it’s my time to apologize to you. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have taken advantage of you like I did.”
“I wanna do it,” Kahn slurred.
“What? Well, okay. Sure. When?”
“Now. I wanna fuh you, Jarro’! You unnerstan’ wha’ I say?”
“Calm down, Kahn. Of course, I understand.”
“Like you do me!”
 “I said okay. What else do you want me to do?”
“I don’ kno’,” Kahn almost wailed.
Jarrod moved forward, and Kahn took a step backward, almost falling off the platform. “It’s okay, Kahn. Come over here with me… on the mattress.”
Jarrod stretched his long frame and reacquainted himself with sensations and emotions and pleasures he hadn’t experienced in five long months. Kahn settled down, transforming himself from a little boy experimenting with sex into a young man seriously plowing his partner’s furrow. Still, he moaned, going from a high hum to a low, throaty growl. Kim was a confirmed, certified moaner. If there was anyone else in the theater, they knew something was going on somewhere!
Finally spent, Kahn rolled off him. “Oh, Jarro’, I din’ kno’ it was like tha’! I do okay?”
“Any better and we’d both be dead! I hope the hell anybody came in while that was going on thinks there’s a monastery choir practicing somewhere. That brought a giggle, then a belly laugh.”
“Sorry I got mad at you Jarrod.”
“So you’re back to talking like an American,” Jarrod teased.
“Okay, worthless Kahn humbly beg honorable lighting technician’s pardon for acting like an asshole.”
“Honorable lighting technician accepts worthless set director’s apology. What was it for again?”
“For being an asshole.”
“Seems to me I remember liking that.”
“You know what I mean,” Kahn said, punching him on the arm, making the muscles in his chest roll.
‘You’re so beautiful,” Jarrod breathed, all teasing behind him now. “I’m so lucky I found you.”
“We goin’ make love ‘gain?”
“Don’t go getting all excited. But sure we will. Whenever you want.”
“How ‘bout ever’ day?”
“Whenever you want within reason.”
Jarrod Gray knew that something special had come into his life and would remain there at least until Kahn graduated in the spring. After that, they’d have to see….


*****
Sometimes things work out just find, don’t they? So Jarrod and Kahn seem to be fixed up, but what about next year? Kahn won’t be around… or will he?

Until next week.

The following are buy links for the recently released The Voxlightner Scandal.


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

My personal links: (Note the change in the Email address because I’m still getting remarks on the old dontravis21@gmail.com. PLEASE DON’T USE THAT ONE.)
                                                                                                    
Facebook: www.facebook.com/donald.travis.982
Twitter: @dontravis3

Buy links to Abaddon’s Locusts:


See you next week.

Don

Thursday, March 12, 2020

The Drama Club-Part 2 (The Stagehand-Installment 1 of 2 Installments)


dontravis.com blog post #381


State Spotlights
Courtesy of publicdomainpictures.net
Sorry, guys and gals, I tried to get it down to a single installment but couldn’t do it. Interesting thing: By far the most hits I got last week came from Hong Kong, and that’s not unusual. I generally have a bunch from that part of the world. The astonishing thing was that they were followed by Turkmenistan. Both exceeded the number of hits from the US. For those who are interested, I generally receive 5,000 to 7,500 hits a month. Not great, but not bad, either.

At any rate, let’s get on with the saga of Jarrod Gray, student lighting director for Casa Verde College’s Drama Club.

*****
THE DRAMA CLUB

Part 2 – The Stagehand (First Installment)

Great to be back home! It was true. Casa Verde College was more of a home than…well, home. This place, with its Drama Club and Thespian Hall, was where Jarrod Gray was most comfortable. Not a people person, Jarrod totally submerged himself in the Drama Club, where the inhabitants were at least tolerable because their passion was his passion… the theater. Most liked to be on stage, but Jarrod preferred to be behind the scenes as the lighting wizard. And now he was back for his sophomore year!
The long summer vacation, made bearable by a little summer stock, didn’t come close to filling his need for Thespian Hall. Jarrod had spent his freshman year improving the lighting boards and the spots and the curtain controls lurking in the catwalks above the stage. He’d proved so dedicated that Ms. Atherton, the drama coach, had given him a key.
He used it now to enter the back of the building, experiencing a tingle down his spine as he walked across the deserted stage and pulled himself hand-over-hand up a rope to survey his world of catwalks and superstructure. Everything was just as he’d left it. Even the mattress, easy chair, small fridge, and hot plate. Those items plus the bathroom in the corner made this place a second home.


Eventually, the call went out for the first meeting of the Drama Club, meaning everyone taking drama classes plus the theatrical vocational students. Jarrod took a seat at the back of the small crowd in the front seats at the Thespian to look over the people he’d be working with this year while Mrs. Atherton announced the three plays the club would perform this school year. Jarrod recognized most from last semester and took note of one or two new faces. One was an Oriental who was a transfer from some other school. Kahn Something-Unpronouncable looked about sixteen, but must have been older, because he was introduced as a senior in the TheVoc program. Sets and scenery were his thing. He was a stagehand like Jarrod. That was okay, stagehands were usually good people. For some reason, Jarrod was pleased when Kahn emerged as set manager. After the regular meeting, Ms. Atherton detained three or four of the TheVoc people to discuss the first play, a drama that would require a lot of lighting changes and a different set for each of the three acts. Kahn promised sketches in two weeks. There was little Jarrod could do until then except familiarize himself with the play.
Regardless of whether he had work to do in the control booth, Jarrod always got to the theater early. The day following the club meeting, he was surprised to find Kahn in the theater before him armed with clipboard, pencils, ruler, and measuring tape. In a spirit of cooperation, Jarrod volunteered to hold one end of the tape so Kahn could take more accurate measurements.
“Vietnamese with Chinese ancestry,” the boy answered Jarrod’s question as he made notes on his papers. “But I was born in California. Folks got out after the end of the war.”
“Then you’re American,” Jarrod corrected, earning a quick smile in return.
“Yeah, but that’s not the answer they want to hear.”
“Who wants to hear?”
“Whoever asks that question.”
Later in his aerie, Jarrod looked down at the slight figure as he moved around the stage, looking, examining, planning. Kahn was deceptive. His fine bones and five-foot eight frame made him appear small, but from his loft Jarrod could see that the stagehand’s shoulders were as wide as his own. The chest was full, tapering quickly to a waist smaller than some of the girls in the club. He moved with a lithe grace that reminded the lighting technician of a feline. Jarrod found himself thinking about some of the gymnastics that took place on the mattress last semester.
A few days later, Jarrod looked down and saw Kahn’s lonely figure sitting on the edge of the stage reading something, the perfect picture of dejection. Finding some imaginary task below, Jarrod lowered himself by rope and walked across the boards.
“Hi, Kahn! What’s up?”
The youth looked over his shoulder, startled. “Oh, jus’ readin’ letter. Not so goo’ news.”
“Sorry. Wanna talk about it?”
“No’ righ’ now,” Kahn said.
Jarrod stared at the kid. When did he acquire an accent? “Sorry.”
“You know where I am if you need to talk.”
An hour later Kahn ascended to the loft the same way Jarrod often did, hand-over-hand up a rope, his face sour, unhappy. “You mean it, ‘bout tal’?”
“Sure. Sit down. Bad news?”
“My girl. We go togetha two year. She write, say she gotta marry this man. Family fin’ ‘im for ‘er.”
“Is that a cultural thing? I mean finding husbands for girls?”
Kahn’s head bobbed. “Sometime amon’ older folk. Yes, yes.”
“Damn, Kahn,” Jarrod said without thinking. “You sound like you just came over on the boat.”
“Sorry. I get all excited, I talk like my parents do, I guess.”
“Look, do you love this girl?”
“Yes. And she love…uh, loves me. We want get marrie’ someday.”
“Maybe she’ll change her mind.”
His new friend’s face fell, destroying the myth of the inscrutable Oriental. “Too late. She mar’ las’ week.”
“Oh, man, I’m sorry! Look, you have any friends you can hang with? Any other Vietnamese on the campus?”
Khan shook his head.
 “Well, you’ve got one friend right here. Whata you wanta do? Bowl? Drink? Find some girls?”
“No. Don’ wanna do that, ‘cep’ drink, maybe.”
So Jarrod found himself in a beer joint that evening with a despondent Asian bent on getting drunk. Getting drunk was all right, but getting stinking drunk was something else. He hauled a protesting and surprisingly strong Kahn out of the Pickled Parrot at one in the morning. Fortunately, neither of them had classes on Saturday.
“Don’ wanna go home. Don’ wan’ roo’mate see Kahn all drunk!”
“We can’t go to my place. My roommate’s there. We’ll go to the Thes.”
“Clos’,” Kahn staggered against him and pushed off, launching himself down the street. Jarrod, who had his own buzz going, managed to get him into his fifteen-year-old Chevy and pulled out of the parking lot without damaging anything of material value.
“Key,” he belatedly answered Kahn. “I got a key.”
“Ho kay!” Kahn burped softly.
Neither of them could manage the rope, and the ladder didn’t look likely, so Jarrod loaded them into the freight elevator. Kahn headed straight for the mattress and almost went over the edge to the stage thirty feet below. Jarrod managed to catch him around the waist and haul him back to safety. The feel of warm flesh against his body sobered him instantly. He hung onto the unresisting Kahn a moment or two longer than necessary.
“You okay?” he asked to delay things. He wondered if Kahn could feel his growing excitement.
“Yes… ho kay,” Kahn mumbled. “Baf room!” he squawked. Jarrod led him to the small room and waited outside the door until Kahn emerged, his face washed and seeming a little less stupified.
“Lie down on the mattress. I’ve got a couple of blankets. You can spend the night here.”
“You go?” the stagehand asked, blinking rapidly, as if trying to focus.
“I can stay if you want.” He gave a little laugh. “Make sure you don’t fall off.”
Kahn didn’t answer, merely flopped on the mattress.
“Let’s make you comfortable,” Jarrod said through a tight throat. He reached down and unbuttoned the boy’s shirt, pulling it out of his trousers. What he saw made him dizzy.
Kahn’s upper body was phenomenal. A heavy chest divided into two distinct pads, each crowned with a large black areole. Dark skin with a slight golden cast. Carbon black eyes shrouded by a fold of flesh at the corners studied Jaron seriously.
With a sob of desire, Jarrod fell to his knees and lowered his head. The left nipple rose as he sucked it. Kahn’s hand caressed the back of his head.
“Kim…she like do tha’. Oh Kim! Kimmie!” The chest heaved; a sob escaped the boy. “Ohhhh!” The moan startled Jarrod.
Jarrod dragged his lips across that wide torso and found the other nipple. At length, he left that one and licked the center of the chest, feeling the boy’s heart thud beneath the flesh. His hands fumbled with the boy’s buckle and fly. Kahn lay like a log, giving him no assistance.
 “Jarro’? Jarro’? Wha’ you do me? Ohhh! Jarro’! Don’!”
Kahn’’s voice died away as Jarrod lowered his head, only to begin moaning again. It was almost a mantra. Jarrod wondered if it was.
The climax came suddenly, explosively. Kahn took a few deep gasps and then slept.
Jarrod sat on the edge of the mattress, his head resting on his drawn knees for a long while as he watched his naked friend sleep. The fine oriental features were handsome, almost pretty in repose. Every part of him was well formed and shapely. Jarrod decided Kahn had been a gymnast in high school. He didn’t know anything else that would build muscle tissue in exactly that way. The boy was beautiful, was his final verdict before he restored the clothing and covered the inert form with a blanket. Then he stretched out to sleep.
The next morning Kahn was gone. Alarmed, Jarrod peered over the edge to the stage below but found no crumpled body. Breathing easier, he went to his dorm to clean up.
  
*****
Do you get the feeling Jarrod feels differently about Kahn than he did the jock in the first story? I do. And maybe that’s why it takes more than one installment to tell Kahn’s story. At any rate, bear with me.. and Jarrod.

Until next week.

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