The little boy was soft, smooth, and clean. He smelled of patchouli. The boy smiled, and cooed. “I like Yankees best. They have biggest dicks and strongest seed. I make you feel real good, Yankee. I take your dick in me. You fill me with your seed. Your seed make me strong. You like, Yankee.”
The boy licked salty blood from the cut on his lip. He was hungry, but the dumpster smelled too bad to look for food, there. Sometimes one of the girls from the bar would bring her trick into the alley. Sometimes, he could beg a dollar from the girl. Sometimes he could get enough money to buy a little food. Not often, and, so far, not tonight. His head spun, and he passed out.
Fred was lying on top of Casey. I had been where Casey was enough times to know exactly what was going on. I didn’t need to see Fred’s naked butt pumping up and down, and I didn’t need to hear Casey’s crying to know. I grabbed a pitchfork and ran toward Fred.
I saw us lying under the stars. The air was so clear I could easily separate Mizar and Alcor in the Big Dipper. I lay on my back, naked. Uncle George entered me … not like Fred had, but gently and with love. I didn’t know if this was something I imagined, or something he imagined, ’cause by now, we were showing each other a lot of things in our heads.
The bridge straddled the Chicago River. The river ran backwards to send the city’s sewage toward the Mississippi rather than into Lake Michigan. The boy didn’t know that. All he knew was that if he jumped from the catwalk into the river, he would die.
Uncle George kissed me, and then led me to the shower. He covered me with body wash; he massaged shampoo into my hair; he rinsed me off and then he penetrated me while warm water ran off our bodies. I splashed my essence against the wall of the shower when I felt his heat pulsing inside me.
The boy had been living in a windowless apartment, eating whatever he could find in the pantry. His need, his pain, had called me to him long before the government bureaucracy was able to put facts together: why a child was truant and why that child’s parents were occupying adjacent slabs in the city morgue.
Casey and Aiden made a lump in the middle of the bed. That’s not what I saw first, though. What I saw first were two pairs of Casey’s pajamas strewn around the room. Looked like Gary and Uncle George had put the boys in pajamas, and they’d rejected them. I pulled back the covers. I was right. They were both naked and cuddled close together. The bed reeked of boy-pheromones.
The CITs threw off the blanket and yanked me out of the bunk, yelling things like “filthy boy,” “sinner,” and “evil” while they dragged me, one on each arm, to the shower room. My pajama bottoms had come off. My bare bottom burned from rubbing across the wood floor. My penis … I guess it was fear, but my penis had shrunk down to practically nothing.
Leroy was a dreamer, and his mind held the residue of all his dreams. Most of the dreams had to do with a mysterious figure who would become his mentor and lover. Trying to understand that, however, was at the moment the least of my worries.
I offered a hug to Aiden; he accepted it with grace, warmth, and a sob. “Thank you, Leroy’s daddy,” he said. There was sadness in his voice that even a hug couldn’t cure. I hoped that someday, he would find a new daddy of his own.
The boy’s lips did not move, but his voice echoed in Father Malcolm’s mind. “I am not here. I died when I swam into the lake until I could swim no more, and drowned. I meant for that to happen. My body became food for the fish. I know that my soul is damned.”
I had just made a promise, and I would to keep it. I would keep it even if Set didn’t keep his promises. I had to decide if I would live or die and, if I wanted to live, would I be Set’s friend or his slave. I didn’t like any of my choices but, no matter what, I had to keep my promise.