Strange Enough Ch. 01bylessthanperfect©
The setting and characters are all works of fiction, too much caffeine, and an overabundance of free time. Bearing that in mind, enjoy.
Why is it that whenever the shit deems that the time is right to vigorously fling itself into the fan, I'm always caught without an umbrella? Honestly, I'd settle for a simple jumper at this point.
I mean sure, I was fairly certain that my parents wouldn't take my coming out well, but this went far beyond my wildest expectations. Their immediate reaction was to kick me out of their house with the intention of abandoning me on the streets. How the hell could they just cast aside their only child so easily, like a broken dish, was beyond me. Thankfully, I placed a call to my grandmother Eleanor and she happily agreed to take me in, all the while chastising my parents as incompetent scoundrels. The only downside however, is that she retired to Abernathy, Virginia several years ago.
I've lived in south London my entire life, and now I'm stuck in this abysmal backwater for my last year of college or as the yanks call it, high school. I arrived in June and have so far managed to keep myself locked away safely in her quaint, two story house, located in the middle of the woods for most of my time here. She's only managed to drag me into the actual town of Abernathy twice in two months.
Unfortunately, with August comes the arrival of a new school year, which is soon going to require me to interact with these backwards hicks. If I couldn't find acceptance in London, I somehow doubt that I'll find it here.
All of this was running through my head as I stood at the end of Ellen's driveway awaiting the bus. The early morning heat was causing me to become increasingly annoyed as I continued to kick rocks, as it seemed that I was never going to be retrieved anytime soon.
Just as I was about to call it and use this as an excuse to go back inside, I saw a blotch of yellow come around the curve of the twisty road I now lived on. The elderly woman driving nearly passed me as she haltingly brought the ugly behemoth to a stop. The doors opened and she stared a cold glare at me as I climbed the steps and walked to the back of the bus. The only other people on board seemed to be small children and a few pre-teens who all eyed me suspiciously.
Once seated, I stared out of the back window grudgingly admiring the beauty of my new place of residence. The rolling hills piled high with trees and wildflowers provided the perfect landscape for the sunrise to shine upon, its amber hue casting a strange glow on the foggy bus windows further from me that were fogged over with dew.
I turned my focus to a large truck that was following us down the road. Its driver was quite the handsome lad. From my current vantage point I could see straight, shoulder length brown hair that fell down into his face to occasionally cover one eye whenever the wind would cease blowing through his window long enough for it to settle. His chin was prominent with a cleft to it and his jaw line sharp. The button up flannel shirt showed great strain in trying to contain the large, muscular chest beneath it. Just as I was beginning to enjoy my view a little too much, he lifted his head to look at me and I quickly averted my gaze. I don't plan on going back in the closet for these hicks, but nor do I much care for the idea of getting my ass kicked.
So, I simply daydreamed for the rest of the endless journey, only taking the occasional glance back at the enchanting man.
When the bus finally came to a stop, we had arrived at some fool's poor imitation of a schoolhouse. It looked more like an industrial warehouse with its beige bricks and simple two story design. I could feel the stares and see the pointing fingers as I walked up the steps to the front entrance, all of them undoubtedly trying to figure out why a stranger was suddenly cast into their midst
The main office supplied the locker combination, along with a class schedule and pointed me in the direction of the central staircase, as my locker was apparently on the second floor. I soon found my locker and placed my mini dry erase board, mirror, and calendar inside its cramped quarters when I heard a nasally voice sneer nearby. I closed the door to find a mountain of a man on the other side. Now, being five foot five it doesn't take a whole lot for someone to achieve this rank in my mind, however he had to be at least six foot six.
"Well, if it aint a little fresh meat."
His voice was surprisingly not as deep as would be imagined from such an imposing figure, with his barrel stomach extending over his huge belt buckle and his t-shirt doing its best to contain the rest of his upper body. Though it must be said that his face looked as if someone had tried to cram his eyes, nose, and mouth into the middle rather than spread them about as is normal, and it was painfully obvious that his nose had been broken a time or two.
"Like what you see, shrimp?"
"Hardly. Now if you will excuse me, I have a class to go to." I didn't want to talk to him anymore than I had to.
He turned a shade of bright red as a walked by him, though before he could say anything else the bell rung and students began to quickly swarm the hallways as they made their way to class. Thank god for that.
I quickly made my way to a desk in the back corner of the room, near the window, as the room began to fill. Tiny took a seat in the front, but not before casting me a nasty glare. An elderly woman walked in behind the large desk at the front of the room. The name Mrs. Arnold was written on a blackboard behind her.
"Welcome to English twelve ladies and gentlemen." A small but stern voice called out. "This being your senior year, I'm sure you all know that our focus will be on British Literature this semester. If what the principle told me earlier holds any water, our newest student should be especially suited to this class. Young man, would you please stand up and introduce yourself." She said as she gestured a hand towards me.
"Alex Benedict Traherne." I said after barely rising from my seat and sitting back down as quick as I could.
"Thank you Mr. Traherne. Now class, today we shall be going over the school's many policies regarding..." when I realized that she was going to be covering all the basic information and rules that a child would know by now, I simply tuned her out, preferring to watch the smaller children walk around outside on some sort of outdoor activity. Their teacher appeared to be showing them different flowers.
A bell went off after an hour or so signally that it was time to depart to the next class, which was apparently physical education for me. I said goodbye to Mrs. Arnold on my way out the door as she handed me the class's textbook. She gently placed a hand on my shoulder and wished me luck with the rest of my first day.
I was halfway down the hall before I realized that I had no idea where the gymnasium was. Pulling out my schedule, I began to try and gleam some understanding from the room numbers as to where it was located when I walked into something quite solid, which caused me to give out an embarrassing squeak. Whoever said a soft voice was nice never had to put up with having one.
I supposed that I should apologize to whomever I had nearly trounced, but as I looked up to do so my voice failed me.
"My fault hoss, I had my head in the clouds there for a minute." His voice was deep, his drawl making him sound as if he were trying to sing but not quite. Now that I was actually standing next to him, I could see that he was about six feet, his eyes were a bright blue, and his hair looked extremely silky.
"You still with me man?" He'd sort of tilted his head to the side like a confused puppy. Cute.
"Sorry, I'm fine. Would you happen to know where the gymnasium is?"
A broad smile appeared on his face as he clapped me on the shoulder. "Why sure I do. In fact, I'm headed there now so you can just tag along." He used the hand on my shoulder to turn me around and give a gentle push in the direction that I had just come from, little bolts of electricity coming off of his hand the entire way.
"So you're the new guy here. You're from the U.K. aint ya?" We were walking down the stairs.
"That's right." Must think neutral thoughts. It wouldn't do at all to spring wood here in front of everybody while this walking underwear model was next to me.
"Well then, you certainly downgraded a bit. What the hell made you want come here?" I was going to dodge the question, but mercifully a small girl walked out in front of him. The collision sent her books to the floor, to which he bent over to pick them up for her, giving me a nice view of his chiseled ass. Holy shit, it shouldn't be legal for denim to fit someone that well. I don't understand how. They're clearly just casual work jeans judging from the patches and holes scattered about, but they hug him perfectly.
This really isn't helping to avoid any embarrassing situations. He said a word of apology before turning back to me.
"God damn, that's the second time I've done that today." He said through a large grin. Curse his perfect smile, the fucker. At least he seems to have forgotten his question.
"At least you were talking to someone this time rather than merely daydreaming."
"Very true. You know, we've walked all this way and I don't even know your name yet."
"Alex Benedict Traherne." He stuck his hand out for me to shake.
"Clayton Rayburn McConnell, at your service." I took the offered hand and received a firm shake. "Good to have met you Alex."
"Same." His smile was continuing to affect me in adverse ways.
We exited out of a small side door to walk down this long dirt path which wrapped around a thicket of trees. In the middle of a clearing was a football, baseball, and American football field as well as a large building which I came to learn housed the basketball courts.
"Sports are about the only thing our little hole in the wall has going for it, so they tend to get the majority of the funding. Just remember when you're eating that watered down tomato juice that they call soup for lunch that all the money is busy elsewhere."
The facilities were immaculate as far as I could see. We entered the locker room to change, Clayton and I choosing lockers next to each other.
"Have you enjoyed your time here so far?"
I turned to answer him to no avail. He had taken his shirt off to reveal nothing but muscle coated with semi-dense fur. Quickly, I turned back to my locker to try calming myself. It didn't help much.
"Um... yeah I suppose so. Just adjusting...still." Real smooth Alex, real smooth.
He slipped a plain white t-shirt over his head. When he reached for his belt, I swear I tried to turn away again. It's not my fault that he has a perfect ass, which is encased in light blue boxer briefs. Holy shit! There must not be any fat on him at all.
I began to feel a little self conscious as I took off my shirt. I had a little muscle scattered about, but pale skin and lithe looses out to tan and chiseled every time. I decided that I would just try to change as quickly as I possibly could in order to minimize my embarrassment, suddenly very happy for the loose boxers after my recent viewing pleasures.
When I finished, I turned to look at Clayton. His head immediately moved and his eyes darted to a distant corner of the room. What the bloody hell was that about? He curled up his nearest leg to tie his trainer while I stood there dumbfounded. He couldn't have been doing what I thought he was doing. My mind is just hoping to hard is all.
"Come on Alex. Coach will be pissed if we don't get to it, first day or not." He said rather quickly as he got up. I followed him, a little confused, as we headed out onto the courts.
The teacher was apparently the football coach. He had us do some basic calisthenics for fifteen minutes before he just gave us all free time. I decided to go find a nice corner to sit down in. I had just sat down when Clayton came up to me with two other fellows flanking him.
"Alex, I'd like for you to meet my brothers Claude," he pointed to the shorter of the two with wavy black hair on his right, "And Clovis," this time to a tall blonde on his left with straight hair. The McConnell Brothers were all built well, though Clayton was by far the most muscular. Claude and Clovis both shook my hand, Claude smiling and Clovis with a slight upturn of the corner of his mouth.
"These two are twins, believe it or not." Clayton said, smiling like a proud older brother.
"Don't worry, I'm nothing like him." Claude said while pointing at Clovis.
"Fuck you, little brother." Chimed Clovis.
"You've got three minutes on me you tall bastard." Said Claude.
"It's not my fault that it took your dumb ass three minutes longer than I did to find the exit." Came the fervent retort by Clovis.
"Asshole..." muttered Claude.
"Shut up you two. Come on Alex, the boys and I are going to teach you how to play basketball. You're on my team. These two do each other in any way when they're on the same team."
"I appreciate the gesture but..."
He reached down and began pulling me up by the shoulder.
"I wasn't asking Alex. Trust me, you'll have fun. Just follow my lead."
Oh great. This can only go well.
Thank you again for reading and in advance for any comments. Simplicity went well and to all the people who were nice enough to read that, i say thanks as well. Any who, this is sort of a pass time for me, so bear that in mind if there's a slight gap in between chapters. Thanks again.