Thursday, December 30, 2021

Widget Jackson, Part 1 of a Short Story in 2 Parts blog post #530

Hope everyone had a good and safe Christmas. Thanks for your comments on Happy the Elf.

Today, let's get the first part of a tale about a youth with the unfortunate name of Widget--Widget Jackson--and see how his name influenced his story. Enjoy.



Who names a kid Widget? My hippie parents, that’s who. At least they were hippies when I came along. Since then, they’ve become more mainstream… a little stuffy even but, you know, respectable. They moved on, but they left me indelibly marked by their former hippieness… that name. Most of the kids end up calling me Widge. But I answer to Widget, Widge, or Jackson. I blamed my odd first name for the way I turned out. Odd. As in gay, queer, or whatever label you want to put to it.

I don’t have a problem with that. Well, I do on occasion, but not a major one. My big problem is named Roger. Roger Redding, to be precise. You see, I’m hung up on the guy in a serious way, and I doubt I even register on his radar… much less gaydar, if he has any. Probably doesn’t know my name. Well, in a town this size, he knows that much about me but not much more. You see, he’s physical—as in jock—while I’m more mental. Don’t get me wrong, he’s bright enough, but his tastes run more to footballs, basketballs, baseballs, and the like, while mine seem to center on his.

Come to think of it, he had three names too… at least for me. Roger the Handsome, Roger the Sexy, and Roger the Unapproachable. All spot on. Some good-looking guys are bland, you know, pleasing to look at but don’t raise the blood pressure. And we’ve all known plain looking guys who get under your skin, stir the blood. Roger’s one of those spectacularly handsome youths who make you think of the bedroom or the back seat of a car or the local men’s room or anywhere you can be alone with him. I would be alone with him in the middle of a crowd if he wanted me to.

Then came the glorious day that Roger the Magnificent’s car broke down. I know that’s an odd way to put it, but that’s me… odd. One Sunday afternoon, I was on the way back from the lake after some alone time along the shore during summer break when I rounded a curve in my old Rambler and saw a car with the hood up. I recognized that Chevy Impala. It was Roger’s. His old man had bought a new one last year and gave the old one to his son. Relying on an ancient Rambler for transportation necessitated that I be handy with a wrench. Accordingly, I pulled up behind the Impala and parked. As I got out of the car, I saw the unbelievably handsome head of Roger the Faultless look around the car. A spot of dirty oil had the temerity to mar his flawless forehead. But even that looked rakish on him.

“Trouble?” I asked.

“Hi, Jackson. You know anything about car engines?”

Wow! He did know my name, at least my family name. “Enough to keep this old Rambler running. What’s the problem?”

He swiped his forehead with a muscular forearm, smearing the smudge. “Damned if I know.”

“Mind if I take a look?”

“Be my guest.”

Crap, why couldn’t I come up with suave comments like that? Obediently, I stuck my head under the hood, but my first good look was at his lower extremities since my eyes were hidden from his gaze. Nothing wrong with what I saw.

I recovered my senses, and started tracing and testing wires from here to there like I did on my rambler. Of course, the Impala was different… it was ruled by computers while my Rambler didn’t even know what one was.

“Get in and try to start it,” I said in as manly and masterful a voice as I could manage.

Obeying my instructions—imagine that paragon of macho following my instructions—he crawled in and made it easy for me. The starter dragged for a few seconds and then went to clicking.

“You been having trouble starting the car?” I asked.

“Yeah, it’s been a little balky.”

“Your starter’s gone.” I frowned. “Did the car die on you while you were driving?”

He dropped his gaze. “Uh… naw. I pulled over to take a leak.”

Oh my lord! A few minutes earlier, and I might have been able to behold that awesome sight.

“And then it wouldn’t start.”


“I can give you a lift to the auto parts store.”

“Thanks, but what do I do then? Maybe I oughta call for a tow.”

“I can probably install it for you.”

“For real? Thanks, man.”

Man! He called me a man. Well, probably not. Just a jock term of address.

Shortly thereafter, Roger’s shapely butt was planted in my driver’s side seat as we headed to town. I might not let anyone else sit in that seat ever.

At the auto parts store, we waited while a man fussed around in a big book before poking on his computer for a few minutes. Then he walked away and came back holding a Chevy Impala starter in a box. Roger whipped out a credit card—imagine that, a credit card of his own—and we were on our way back to the stalled car.

“Don’t you need tools?” he asked.

I liked it when he looked at me… gave me substance.

I nodded to the back of the Rambler. “Every tool I own’s back there.”

Once we reached his crippled car, I dragged out my toolbox and went to work. For an hour I felt like the king of the world. Roger the Handsome snapped to, handing me this tool or that one on order. And he stood close, watching what I did, which gave me a dozen—a hundred—satisfying glances at his buffed form… his buffed lower form.

That was the shortest hour of my lifetime. Long before I was ready, the starter was in place, he fired the engine, and it caught. Purring like it was rearing to go.

He got out of the Impala as I slammed the hood. His broad smile turned my knees watery.

“You’ve got magic in your fingers, Widge.” He did know my name. “What do I owe you?”

I held up my hands. “Nothing.”

“Aw, come on. It would have cost me a fortune.”

I shook my head. “I don’t want your money, Roger.”


Jeez, I feel for the guy. Have you ever worshiped someone from afar, especially as a youth? It can be excruciating, can’t it? Well, Widge has his foot in the door now. Let’s see next week if he can wedge something else in, as well.

 Until next week.

 Stay safe and stay strong.

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

 A link to The Cutie-Pie Murders:

 My personal links:



Twitter: @dontravis3

 See you next Thursday.



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

Thursday, December 23, 2021

Happy the Elf blog post #529

Image Courtesy of

This week, it’s time to wish a merry Christmas or a Happy Holiday season to everyone. But it’s important to remember there are those among us who don’t always share in this time of celebration and good cheer. So take a gander at the following.




I spotted the kid sitting alone on a bench in the far end of the Coronado Mall. He’d chosen a seat with the least foot traffic in the whole mammoth complex. I stood and watched him ignore the squeals of happiness and good Christmas cheer echoing all over the place. Even though I was obviously watching him, he didn’t seem to notice me. Lost in his own loneliness and misery, most likely.

I glanced at my watch. I still had half an hour before I needed to be back at Santa’s throne in the middle of the mall. I walked in front of the kid, and as anticipated, he didn’t even notice me. And I was dressed in a bright green, goofy elves’ costume padded to make me look chubby. I turned and headed directly for him. Good-looking kid around sixteen or seventeen, dark, wavy hair slightly disheveled. I’d bet anything his eyes were the color of dark chocolate M&Ms. When I invaded his space, he lifted his gaze and proved my point. Good clothes, gray chinos and a brown coat with a tear on the sleeve. There was a light dusting of grime on him that would only grow deeper with time.

As I invaded his space, he looked slightly startled to see a five-foot-ten green creature in tights with red stripes circling his legs. When it became obvious I intended to share his bench, he shifted to the far end and started to rise, but I caught his arm.

“I’ve got a problem you can help me with.”

Suspicion—and probably a little fear—claimed his features. “Wh-what’s that?”

“I have more energy bars than I can eat. I’ve got to go back to work in a few minutes, and I don’t want them poking out my costume at awkward places. Can I give you some?”

Something lighted his eyes for just a moment. “Yeah, sure. Guess I can help you out.”

He held out semi-dirty hands as I unloaded six or so energy bars into them. They were for the kids visiting Santa, but I figured he needed them more than those kids.

“T-thanks,” he stuttered.

I eyed him sharply. “You have noticed I’m dressed like the Jolly Green Giant with red banded legs, haven’t you?”

He mustered a smidgen of a smile. “Yeah. Figured you were with that bunch down yonder playing Santa and his Elves.”

“Right you are. I’m the Happy Elf on a dinner break. And you are…?”

“Sam,” he said after a moment’s hesitation.

I held out a clean hand, and he clasped it with a grimy one. “Glad to meet you, Sam. You can call me Happy. Only people who’re pissed at me call me Happy Elf.”

No response. He was withdrawing again.

“Care to share your story?” I asked.

He shook his head.

“Do you mind if I take a few guesses?”

“Don’t guess I can stop you.”

“You could get up and walk away. But if you do that, you’ll miss an opportunity to communicate with someone, and my first guess is you don’t have anybody. Right?”

He nodded this time.

“Guess number two. “You haven’t been out on your own for very long.”

He relaxed his lips long enough to say. “A week. Five days, actually.”

“Third guess. You’re homeless.”

That almost brought a sob, but he nodded.

“Guess number four. They threw you out. Probably, your old man.”

He really had trouble with that one, but finally got out the word “Yeah.”

“Kinda rough out there, isn’t it, Sam? Worse this time of year. Albuquerque gets cold at Christmas time, but a guy can survive that. It’s the Christmas spirit all around you that makes it harder. Wish I had a place to offer you, but I don’t. That’s not an excuse, it’s fact.”


“You obviously come from a good home.” I paused to reconsider. “Well, what I mean is your clothes are good quality, you’ve got an expensive haircut.” I frowned. “Shoes don’t match the rest of your clothing, but—”

“Guy took them from me last night. Don’t even think they fit him, but he took them anyway. Left me these ratty old tennies.”

“Naw. He took ’em to sell ’em. Make some coins.”

Sam indicated his torn sleeve. “Tore my coat when he tried to take that too. But I hugged myself so tight he couldn’t get to the zipper. So he took my billfold and left. Had everything I owned in the wallet.”

“I get it. It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there. And the predators rise to the top of the food chain. I’d help you out with some cash, but I won’t get paid for this gig until Friday. I looked at his handsome face haunted by a hangdog look. “You got a foxhole?”

“Foxhole? Oh, you mean a place to sleep. Got a box in an alley… if someone doesn’t take it away from me tonight.”

“You had anything to eat yesterday… today?”

He nodded, and mumbled “hamburger,” blushing as he did so, telling me how he’d gotten the money. He’d sold himself. Probably for the first time.

I leaned back on the bench, my green, padded belly sticking out obscenely. “Care to tell me how you got kicked out?”

His chin dropped lower, and his cheeks really flamed. Once again, he revealed the answer.

“Hey, kid. I’m easy to talk to. Go ahead, tell me. I already have a pretty good idea.”

He looked at me then. For the first time, really. “You do?”

“Sure. You came out to them, didn’t you.”

He bit his lower lip and fought to hold onto his emotions. He nodded.

“And the old man objected.”

“M…my mom too.” A tear hid in those words. “She agreed I was an abomination.”

“But it was him who made the decision.”

His head bobbed up and down.

“So he drove you down to East Central and let you out.” A little silence grew as I let him try to regain control of himself. “You know, Sam,” I said at last, “believe it or not, I know someone just as miserable as you.”

“You do? Who?”

“Your folks. You think you’ve had it bad for the last five days, but I’ll bet they’re suffering as much as you are.”

He shook his head.

“Don’t be fooled. It wasn’t easy on them either. Maybe you’ve all learned something.”

“But… but I haven’t changed. I don’t think I can, Happy. I… I even let a man pick me up and… and….”

“I know. But that was to earn a meal. Doesn’t mean a thing. Forget about it. Well, maybe don’t forget about it, but put it in its proper place. When you came out, you weren’t talking about getting with men for money, you were trying to explain how you felt about someone you know.”

“H-how do you know that?”

I smiled. “I can tell just by looking. Offering yourself to strangers never even crossed your mind until you went hungry for a day or two. But the thing that made you be honest with your family is lots stronger than that. You know what, it’s as strong as what drew your folks together. Just as strong.”

“It is, isn’t it?”

“Damn right.” I smiled. “Elves aren’t supposed to swear, but I needed to make it strong enough so you’d hear. Look, Sam, I can’t offer you a place to stay or money to get by with. But I can offer you one thing that’s just as important.”

“What’s that?”

“This,” I said, holding out my cell phone. “Call home. If nothing else, you’ll hear your mother’s voice once again.”

“But they said—”

“I know what they said. But call and see what they meant.”

After a moment of indecision, Sam took the phone and punched in a number.

I nodded to a bench about twenty feet down the mall. “I’ll wait over there.”

After taking a seat, I watched the attractive young man hesitantly say something into the cell phone. A deep frown claimed his features before morphing into an uncertain smile. I watched the sadness and loneliness fade away as he spoke. Then I saw the moment of crisis when I imagined he was telling one of them—likely his father—that he hadn’t changed. More uncertain moments passed before the kid beamed and held out a fist—thumb up.

Moments later, he came over to return the phone, enthusiasm battling with happiness wrestling with relief painted across his features. “They’re coming for me. They want me to come home. Can you believe it? They… they love me.”

“Did you doubt it?”

He went serious. “Yeah, for a minute. Anyway, thank you, Happy. I wouldn’t have called them if it hadn’t been for you. Don’t know how to thank you enough.” He clasped my hand and then gave me an awkward hug.”

Sam headed for the mall main entrance, still thanking me, pausing now and then to give me a huge smile, a thumbs up, and a heartfelt, “Merry Christmas.”.

My pleasure for him didn’t carry me far. He wasn’t yet out of sight before I sank back on the bench, wrapped in my own memories. My dad had driven me to what he called “Indian Alley,” and literally pushed me out of the car before driving away in a rage.

I’d had similar experiences to the ones Sam described, except worse. For about a week, an older, stronger youth had claimed me as his “bitch,” raping me at will. I only escaped his clutches when a younger, fresher mark showed up. I managed a phone call or two, but my father hung up the phone when he found it was me on the other end of the line, and my mother was too afraid of him to help me.

In time, I found how to survive without debasing myself. I took odd jobs and was able to afford a rooming house where I could rest and clean up and clean my clothes. After a year, it wasn’t all that bad, except for the loneliness. I really missed my little sister.

The guy I wrecked my life for by confessing my love for him to my parents? So far as I know, he never looked for me. Like the bully, he’d probably found someone else.

The kicker? I’d seen my old man pick up a kid a time or two. To make matters worse, he saw me and knew I was onto him. That was the final nail in the coffin. I never even tried to phone home again.

But hey, I’m Happy the Elf. At least for now. So it’s time to go blow some happiness toward all the little guys and gals who still believed in the spirit of Christmas.



Makes a guy think, doesn’t it. At least, I hope so. Everyone have a Merry Christmas or a Happy holiday season. Put away the cares of life for a brief instant and celebrate.

 Until next week.

 Stay safe and stay strong.

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

 A link to The Cutie-Pie Murders:

 My personal links:



Twitter: @dontravis3

 See you next Thursday.



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

Thursday, December 16, 2021

And the Widow Wept (Part Three of Three Parts) blog post #528

 Thanks for your comments, guys Appreciate them. Today we wind up the story with a very long ending that might should have been done in two parts. But I wanted resolution, so here it is.



I clearly remember the day my life changed forever. Still at the police station, I answered my cell phone and heard the unmistakable sound of Chess’s baritone stutter, “Uncle Drew, you…you b-better come. It’s Dad. He’s dead.”

“What happened?”


“Chess, what happened? Accident? What?”


“Call 911 and ask for an ambulance. I’m on the way.”

I closed the call and headed out the door, not even bothering to say a word to my partner. Didn’t need to, he followed on my six. Once we were moving and heading north on I25, I filled him in.

“Where in North Albuquerque Acres do they live?” he asked. I gave him the address. “That’s probably in the county.”

“You’re right. It is. Phone the Bernalillo County Sheriff and fill them in. Tell them we’ll be on hand because of a personal connection to the victim.”

“Are you sure there is a victim.”

“Chess Mendes said his father was dead… killed.”

The county must have had someone in the vicinity because they were already on site and tape was up by the time Detective Jon Murphy and I arrived. Chess immediately broke away from a county deputy and raced to meet us.

“Uncle Drew, thank God!”

“Settle down. Let’s go back to the deputy so you can finish giving your statement, okay?”

“Yeah, sure. Whatever you say.”

Our shields got us through the crime scene tape and into the presence of the deputy, who’s name tag read “Ramirez.” We introduced ourselves, told of our interest, and asked what happened.

Ramirez decided to be cooperative. “The victim, identified as Zorn Allen Mendes, age 36, was found dead by this young man in the family den at approximately five-fifteen this afternoon. He called you, Detective Gainer, instead of the county. I understand you relayed the message to the sheriff, and here we are.”

Things were beginning to straighten themselves out until the county undersheriff arrived and tossed us out on our ears. Zorn was a prominent attorney, and the sheriff wanted the case for his department, not the Albuquerque Police. The Mendes residence would be declared a crime scene, so I suggested a hotel to Chess and asked him to call me when he was free to do so. Lynnann and the other children were being interviewed inside, so I didn’t get an opportunity to speak to them.

Jon and I mulled over what we’d learned from Chess and the deputy, Ramirez. Lynnann claimed to have been at the country club for a dinner with friends. That’s where she supposedly was when Chess called her about the tragedy he discovered after returning from an early date at the local swimming pool.

Edwin had attended a soccer game with friends, and Zorn, himself, had apparently played a round of golf at the country club, declined to join his wife and her friends for dinner, and returned to the family home, a large mansion set on a three-acre estate in Albuquerque’s Far Northeast Heights, with his daughter. So the twelve-year-old had been in the house when her father died. Upstairs and playing in her room, according to Chess.

There was no sign of a break-in, so Zorn knew his killer… or it was a family member. Or one of their two domestics. Or a host of others. That gave me a start. If our situation came to light, I’d be added to that list. No one else had such a “personal” connection as I did.

As soon as we arrived back at the station, I caught my lieutenant as he was leaving and asked for a conference. Thereafter, I detailed my relationship with Zorn Mendes to my boss so it was on the record, and my partner so he wasn’t blindsided. I had no fear of being seriously considered as my lover’s killer because Jon and I had spent the afternoon together, questioning people in a developing white crime case that was likely to become headlines. The possible bribery of a juror on a murder trial panel.

Chess didn’t call until late and sounded so despondent that I ignored convention and went to his room. When he opened the door, backlit by lamps inside, I was momentarily taken aback. It could have been Zorn inviting me in.

Uncle Drew,” he said, using our handshake to lever me inside and close the door. He dry-washed his face and started over. “Drew, I can’t believe it! Dad’s dead. Gone.”

I drew him into my arms and held him tight, as I’d done many times over the years as he grew up. “I know it seems like everything’s falling apart, but you’ll be all right. You all will.”

His voice, muffled by my shoulder, was faint. “Even Cicily?”

I held him at arm’s length. “She’ll likely have the hardest time of it because she’s the youngest, but with your support, she’ll be all right.” I paused and then stuck my nose where it shouldn’t have gone. “Do you have any idea of what happened? Was anyone else in the house?”

He shook his head. “Not that we know of. Just Dad and Cicily.” He shrugged. “But who knows? The servants were off that day, and there was always someone coming around.”

“Did Cicily hear anything? She seemed almost dazed when I saw her at the memorial service.”

“She says not. But I do know she saw Dad’s body when they brought her downstairs. She shrieked and went to pieces.”

“Who was first to get home after you called?”

“Mother…thank goodness. She was there when Cicily fell apart.”

“How did Lynnann react?”

Chess’ eyes hardened. “Like it was nothing. Oh, she said all the right things, even cried, but there was nothing behind the words… or the tears,”

His attitude didn’t surprise me. Zorn had long ago confided his marriage was one of convention, held together only by the need for a “loving” family in the background and the presence of the children. He’d threatened divorce, as had Lynnann, more than once over the years. Lately, he’d remained in the marriage only because of the children, especially Cicily.

“My parents despised one another, Drew,” Chess said. “She hated him more, but I understood.”

“What do you mean?”

“He had you. She ran around too, but she didn’t have anyone permanent. So she poured all of her attention on my sister and totally screwed her up. Made her mad at the world… her world, anyway. Sis and Dad had been having awful squabbles lately.”

His words sailed over my head as I realized what he’d said earlier. He knew? I didn’t even try to deny it. “Who else knew? About Zorn and… me?”

He shrugged. “Everyone. When Mother found out, she made sure we all knew Dad was the philanderer in the family.” He looked shocked and grabbed my shoulders. “I mean—”

I know what you mean, Chess. How did she find out?”

“That’s the one thing she never told us, but I suspect she hired a private detective to get something on him.”

She obviously found something. Wonder why she never acted on it?” I dismissed that thought and moved on. “What was everyone’s reaction to her accusation?”

“Edwin just shrugged. You’re his Uncle Drew, and she wasn’t going to bust that up. Cicily, I don’t know. She never talked about it, at least to me.”

“And you?”

He avoided my eyes for a moment before staring directly into them. “It’s the reason why I’m included in the suspect pool.”

“What do you mean?”

He studied a bland commercial painting with a lot of blue and orange hanging on the wall for a long moment. “I was jealous.”


He shifted his gaze back to me, his big, brown eyes haunted. “He had what I wanted.”

I had trouble drawing a breath. “And what was that?”

“You. I’ve been jealous of him since I hit puberty even though I didn’t know why. Not until Mom said it out loud. He was your lover. I wanted that for me.”

He moved before I got over my surprise. I allowed the kiss to linger longer than I should have before gently pushing him away.

“Chess, we’re all in an emotional stew right now. Once things have settled down, we’ll talk about it. But not right now, okay?”

“No, it’s not okay. Now’s when I need you, but I understand. You need the time, not me. But I’ll be here whenever you’re ready.”

I hadn’t known a nineteen-year-old could be so mature.


The county sheriff’s office never solved the Zorn Mendes case, most likely because they were not willing to consider the obvious. Cicily never quite recovered from her father’s loss. She wasn’t exactly catatonic, but she wasn’t far removed. Eventually, it became obvious to even Lynnann that she needed help. Couch visits with psychiatrists didn’t help, and six months after Zorn’s death, she was admitted to a psychiatric ward in a noted hospital. Her mother was inconsolable.

Edwin transferred to a college back east at the first moment possible. We had a long talk before he left, reaffirming our friendship and fondness for one another. He made it clear he was leaving in order to get away from his mother who had become something of a shrew… his word, not mine.

Not long after that, Chess came to my house and sat opposite me on the couch. After studying the ottoman between us, he lifted those beautiful, brown eyes. “I don’t know about you, but I’m ready.”

My heart took a lurch. My smile built slowly. “So am I, Chess. So am I.”

Then he was in my arms. His kiss was reminiscent of another, but definitely had its own taste, its own distinct thrill.

After we drew apart, he gave a smile. “By the way, I told my mother.”

“Told her what?”

“That I was yours, or soon would be.” Then he went about undressing me as if he were experienced at the task.

And the widow wept.


Now you know as well as I do, that my intrepid investigator BJ Vinson and his sidekick Paul would never have ended a story this way. Nonetheless, there it is. We don’t know why little Cicily took a club to the back of her father’s head, but we can be pretty sure it was something her mother carped about again and again. So was Cicily guilty of murder… or was her mother? All Detective Gainer knows is that it’s not his case and that in its own perverse way, justice has been served.

Hope you liked the story.

 Next week? I haven't a clue.

 Stay safe and stay strong.

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

 A link to The Cutie-Pie Murders:

 My personal links:



Twitter: @dontravis3

 See you next Thursday.



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

Thursday, December 9, 2021

And the Widow Wept (Part Two of Three Parts) blog post #527

Thanks to those who let me know you enjoyed part one of the story where we were introduced to the murdered Zorn Mendes and his best buddy Drew Gainer. We met the Mendes family—at least by reference—and learned that despite his marriage, Zorn had also seduced Drew while they were in high school. Let’s see what unfolds next.



After a couple more times like that night at the park, Zorn wanted to go up to the lake and spend the night camping out. I liked camping, so I readily agreed. He surprised me by failing to suggest we ask a couple of girls to accompany us, but when we were on the road, stag—so to speak—I knew this was just for us… me and him. Zorn and Drew. Best buddies. And we hadn’t brought fishing line or hook, so what did he have in mind?

When I mentally answered that question, a little thrill ran down my back. But I also had a little hollow in my gut. After all, I knew Zorn better than anyone, and he didn’t settle for half measures. With that thought, a bigger thrill ran down my back. What was going on?

Twilight was taking over as we pitched a tent, built a small campfire, and dragged out some goodies from the cooler we’d brought. Zorn was in charge of the foodstuffs, so I guessed they’d be tuna. Zorn loved tuna. Me… so-so. They were okay with bits of celery and pecan nuts and chips of sweet onions, but if Zorn made them, they’d be tuna and mayonnaise between two slabs of bread. It was okay. His mom had made them.

Bellies full, we sat talking about college next year. We were both going to the same university and—dream intact—we planned on rooming together. The crickets had worn out, and the frogs were taking over by the time I quit stalling about turning in. Not that I didn’t want to, but I was still a little anxious over what he had planned. And knowing Zorn, he had something planned.

As cool as the night air was, he stripped to the buff before slipping into his bedroll. I noticed by the lamplight he’d brought his big, family sized bag. Even so, I hesitated before accepting his invitation to slip in beside him. When I finally made up my mind, he stopped me.

“Uh-uh, drop them.”

He meant my boxers. I hesitated again, but Zorn was the director of this little drama, so I stepped out of them. Damned if I wasn’t half hard already.

“Yeah, that’s what I mean,” he said, grabbing hold of me as I slipped down beside him. He didn’t even have to ask, I grasped him the way he had me. That special thrill raced down my back again.

I was no sooner in bed than he released me and rolled into me, the length of his body against me. “What are you feeling?” he asked, his voice a little ragged.

“I… I don’t know. Good, I guess.”

He butted me with his groin. “You guess?”

I let go of everything holding me back. “No, I know. It feels good.”

“I’ve been thinking about this for years.”

There went my eyebrows again. “You have? Why didn’t you say something?”

I felt his shrug. “You were so busy chasing girls, wasn’t sure how you’d react.”

I was chasing girls? You the biggest cocksman in town… in the county… the state.”

“I know,” he said without sounding like a braggart. “And don’t get me wrong, I like them. But I want to know what it’s like with my buddy. Man, I’ve lo… liked you for a long time.”

“Well, me too… I guess.”

“Why’re you guessing all the time. You oughta know how you feel about things. About me.”

“I do. But I never dreamed you’d be into something like this.”

“Like what?” He giggled and poked my hip with a hot iron. “Like this?”

“Yeah. Like that.”

“Now you know. Don’t you like what we do after our dates go home?”

“Yeah, but this is different.”


“We didn’t have girls to get us all worked up. You know… needing relief.”

“No. That’s what’s so great. We’ll do that all by ourselves.”

“Feels odd. You know, queer,” I said, wishing I’d used another word.

“Maybe we’re queer for one another.”

“Just for one another? Not anybody else?”

“I sure haven’t fucked around with another guy. Have you?”

I swallowed hard. “Nope. Just…just you.”

“So you’re queer… just for me?”

I nodded into the darkness.

“Just like I am for you,” he added.

We were quiet while his hands explored me like a blind man. I began to pant… sort of, and then for real. Zorn drove me so wild I was only semi-aware when he lifted my legs and pushed against me. The sudden pain jerked me from extasy to the here and now in an instant. But after a single, heartfelt “Ow!” I found I didn’t mind. In fact, it was pleasure like I’d never experienced it before. He was touching me, rubbing me, caressing me in places no one had ever reached.

Magically, the weight of his body against me became a caress; his thrusts, expressions of a love I’d never experienced. When he achieved orgasm, a feeling of pride gripped me. The more he shuddered and exclaimed in wonderment, the greater that pride grew.

And when—while still inside me—he took me in hand and brought me to ejaculation, I knew my life had changed. I was in love. Carnal love. Spiritual love. Fraternal love, Queer love. Define it as you will, it was genuine love.

But once the excitement of the moment was over and we went about the mundane, embarrassing task of cleaning up, I perceived my self-revelation to be a peril. I knew me. I was capable of being devoted—totally devoted—to Zorn. But was he capable of dedicating himself to me? I feared I knew the answer.

As we settled down into the bedroll, breathing easier now, he surprised me. “That was something, Drew. I’ve never come like that before. It was… it was awesome. Stupendous. How did you feel about it?”

“Like nothing ever. To be honest, it made me think I was… uh, I was….”

When my voice ran out of steam, he rose on one elbow and peered through the weak lamplight right into my eyes. “In love,” he said, a tone of awe in his voice.

My breathing became shaky. “Yeah. Love. I… I… aw, shit, Zorn, I love you.”

He clasped me to him. “Me too, man. That’s what I was feeling. I love Andrew Gaines. Love the dude. How can that be?”

“I dunno,” I said, secure in his embrace, “but I feel like this is our wedding night.”

He gripped me harder. “That’s what it is. Our honeymoon.”

“I dunno about you, Zorn. But I’ll never marry anyone else.”

He came up on his arms and stared at me. “I believe you mean it… for now.”

“I mean it forever. You’re my lover. You have my love. Nobody else ever will.”

“Drew, I believe you’re serious.”

“I am. That’s a vow.”

He frowned. “I… I don’t know if I can make the same pledge. Don’t get me wrong. I realized tonight that I love you, just like you say you do me—”

“Not just saying it, Zorn. I mean it.”

He touched my cheek. “I do too. But… but if I’m gonna be… if we’re gonna be lawyers, we’ve got to have a family. Live life like normal folks live them.”

“Are you saying I’m not normal?”

He bent down and kissed me, making me feel as if I’d never been kissed before. I felt it down to my toes. He came up and stared at me.

“If you aren’t, then I’m not either. I meant what I said too. But I don’t know if I can promise never to marry… you know, a girl.”

“You choose what’s right for you. But as long as you make love to me like you did tonight, I’ll always consider myself married to you.”

“And I’ll be married to you. But… but if it does happen, you know, with a girl, she’ll be my second wife.”

“Is that a promise?

“That’s a promise,” he said, moving into position and sealing our pledge with an act so loving I could scarce endure it. For the second time that night, the earth moved.


Now the stage is set. Drew seems sincere in his pledge, but Zorn is already hedging his bets. And we know from the opening scene in this story that Zorn married and had a family. But what about Drew? Did they become partners like they planned for a lifetime? Did Drew marry and raise a family, as well? Had they remined lovers. So… to the bigger question, who killed Zorn with a 9 iron? Had Zorn dropped Drew, incurring his lover’s anger? If they kept on, did Zorn’s wife know? The kids? Seems like anyone could be a suspect, except fourteen-year-old Cecily. She seems too sweet for violence like that.

 Let’s see what happens next week.

 Stay safe and stay strong.

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

 A link to The Cutie-Pie Murders:

 My personal links:



Twitter: @dontravis3

 See you next Thursday.



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

Thursday, December 2, 2021

And the Widow Wept (Part One of Three Parts) blog post #526

 Image courtesy of

Hope everyone had enough turkey and dressing last week. As promised, I’ll get back to storytelling this week with a mystery. For better or for worse, here we go.



As the widow wept in the front row of the church, I recalled the April Wine lyrics:

Weeping widow, don’t you cry. Dressed in black, I don’t know why.

I sat close enough to see the broad brim of her black hat tremble as she sobbed. Other members of Zorn Mendes’ family mourned as well, but not so ostentatiously as Lynnann.

Chess, the Mendes’ eldest son sat at her right, reminding me strongly of his father, even from the back. His legal name was Chester, but he’d been Chess as long as I could remember. Edwin, to his brother’s right, more closely resembled his mother but had more of Zorn’s personality.

Cecily was more of a blend of her parents, and at twelve, had been the favorite of both parents. Nobody even made an attempt to hide that fact, and neither boy, now 19 and 18, respectively, appeared to resent the favoritism at all. In fact, you might say Cecily was the family favorite, and that included Chip their Yorkie mutt and Sylvester, her goldfish. So far as I could see, the girl wasn’t weeping at all, but when she’d arrived with the rest of the family, she wore a vacant look. Probably still in shock.

Zorn should have been laid out in a bronze casket crowned with white chrysanthemums and red roses, looking as handsome as ever. But this was a memorial service as he already rested in his grave. That was dictated by the prolonged investigation into his untimely death. He’d only been thirty-six at the time he’d been found in his home clubbed to death with his own nine iron. I trembled with rage at the thought of the decades we’d been cheated out of.

The day we graduated elementary school—yes, elementary school—Zorn had looked me in the eye and declared we were going to be partners. He’d waved a childish hand in front of him as he created an imaginary sign. “Zorn Mendes and Andrew Gainer, Attorneys at Law.” His father was a prominent lawyer; mine was a realtor. I didn’t know how I felt about standing at the bar, but the thought of being with my best friend in the whole world snuffed out any doubts.

The dream survived high school, where we were known as the dynamic duo. Zorn threw passes, and I caught them. Won us lots of admirers, and we took advantage of that whenever we could, especially Zorn. By our senior year, his reputation was such that parents were reluctant to let daughters go out with him. Some took false comfort in the fact that we often double dated. Little did they know that Zorn dominated our friendship. He was definitely more venturesome than I, but on occasion, I could bring him back from the edge.

Toward the end of our senior year in high school, I noticed a slight change in his behavior. He still chased girls, and we doubled more than ever, but he wasn’t as aggressive in pursuing them as he once was. It got so we went home “unfulfilled,” so to speak, more often than not. It didn’t bother me all that much, but I figured it drove him crazy.

One night, we parked as we usually did after taking the girls home to discuss the evening. This time, he picked the deserted end of the city park. He shut off the motor and leaned back against the headrest like he was worn out. No reason for it. He hadn’t done anything to get worn out tonight.

He sighed into the moonlight. “Man, I hurt!”

“Hurt? Hurt how?”

“Nut ache.”

“Not your first one.”

“Just the worst one.”

I felt my eyebrows shoot up. “Come on, she wasn’t that hot of a date, and you knew it going in.”

“Doesn’t matter, I’m in pain.”

I laughed aloud and said the first witty thing that came to mind. “So take care of it now instead of waiting until you get home.”

“You won’t mind?”

Caught off-guard, I sputtered. “G-guess not. Won’t be the first time I’ve seen your dong. Not after years in the locker room.”

Surprising me yet again, he moved the seat back and hoisted his hips to slip his trousers down. “First time with me in this condition.”

The night was bright enough to give me a good glimpse of his massive erection. Something liquid glinted on the end.

“Whoa!” I said without understanding what I meant by that word. “You wet already?”

“Yeah, already.”

“Over her?”

He paused, and I knew something was coming.

“Naw. Over you.”

“Me!” I squealed.

“Touch me, Drew.”

It was my time to pause. “Okay,” I said. I reached over and tapped the end of his prong with a finger. It happened to land in the dewdrop at the end.

“Not like that. Touch me. For real.”

Why not? I shrugged, and reached over to grasp him.

“Now pump it.”

“You cum all over my hand, I’m gonna clobber you.”

“Ahh! Feels good.” Before I knew what he intended, he reached over and covered my groin. “You got a boner too, bro.”

“Well, why wouldn’t I. I’m sitting here pumping air in your tire.”

“Come on, show me yours.”

So I obediently slid down my clothing to wave around in the cool night air. I didn’t exactly compare, but I’m sure Zorn did. He had me beat.

I about came off the seat when he grasped me. Damn, that felt good.

He grabbed my hand and guided it back to where he wanted it. “Both at the same time,” he said, beginning his rhythm again.

This wasn’t the way I expected to finish off my evening. But in all honesty, it wasn’t bad. No siree, not bad at all.


Okay, so Drew and Zorn started doing it in high school. Now at age 36, Zorn is dead. Murdered in his home with a golf 9 iron. And there’s a widow, two late teen sons, and a twelve-year-old daughter. Hmmm.

 Stay safe and stay strong.

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

 A link to The Cutie-Pie Murders:

 My personal links:



Twitter: @dontravis3

 See you next Thursday.



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

Blog Archive