Flicker. Glows of match. Then the thready light goes out again. It is dark and cold. There is a match in an other section of the old house. Flicker. Then gone again. He thinks, E.T. with his warm face and his finger that glooowwwweeeeeddddd. Flicker, snap, twists against the side of the kitchen matchbox. Hiss yellow. Like a snake out there. He hated snakes. He hated who was doing this to him. Come on with the college gags. Come on with the college sneak horrors. They were all fake. All fortitude in the right finger of his left hand could be brave enough for this. This and then some.
It was the sound of the match that made the golden shimmer in his brain. The sound of the match hissing, then being twirled and extinguished, for far too short a time. You waste matches doing it this way. It's not economical. It's costly. Do you know how much money it costs to run this house, young man? But this is no house. This is a frat. And he doesn't want to be in a frat house. It's his frickin' mommy's idea and even here, she rules the roost. He is naked and he is 19 and he is not scared or ashamed. They gave him a scary brain, but his body was not scary.
It was buffed and tanned even here in deep late Fall. He had to go through these mazes of darkness, and not get scared, but it was they who would be getting scared. He had a good-sized penis and he had good-sized balls, and he was not ashamed. All they wanted him to do was to masturbate in the dark with only the match light and fizzle. And he had to do it on the count of whenever they had the lights on; he had to come at that exact same moment. He had to guess. He had to pretend he was one of them.
But what if he took his coat of flesh off? What if he did that opening of the Twilight Zone movie—"wanna see something really scary???" No. He was kneeling. He did not care if he passed this portion of the test. He should tell mommy what The Guys had him do to get accepted by Normal Society. Heddy was out there somewhere, waiting. Heddy that none of the guys would get to first base with. And then the accoutrement. Then the sighs the guys watching somewhere in the dim light of forever. All mouse dropping smells. All vaguely rotten odors, for who would be washing their clothes and their jock straps, these half-wit jock jokes? Whisper. Touch himself. Like with Heddy. Touch himself and feel himself go hard.
Feel his balls heavy. Feel his chest smooth and hairless. And they are not getting off on this. Them wearing their infrared viewers. Them thinking he didn't know that. The secret was a few branches short of what old G.W. could figure out in his stoned, coked, drunken brain of sickness. Of course, they were watching their pledge, their feeb, with the funny brain and the dyn-o-mite body. Oh god, it felt good to have them watch—Herbert, and Shelby, and Roach, and the others in this lowest of the fraternities. To show to Mommy. To show to them. To do it for Heddy. To prove that these oh so hetero guys were as gay as he was. To push the distance was to keep him on the straight, so to speak, and narrow. To be nimble enough in craziness to have fooled them. To be Clark Kentish enough to get them to let their guards down, to show them what he and Heddy could do.
And they had started out the campaign against him this afternoon, dull and drear in Uplift Hall by showing him the rankest of horror films. They thought. They not knowing that he had seen far worse and he had gobbled them like eye candy. He loved horror films. He loved the goriest. Because it made him feel hot and hard and it made him feel loved somehow that made no sense. No one but Heddy had he ever told this. No one but Heddy had ever known how he would turn to demon flesh at the beginning of chainsaw massacre stuff, not the classic original, but all the cheap shoddy rip offs and he would dance in his crazy head as he watched and touched and was touched and clothes came off and clothes came with pressings of hands and legs and genitals and blood ran hot in their fevered bodies, the films providing the back drops there on the TV screen and seas of torrents of something past passion, of getting back to the primal, of that lunge for the last of the final primal scream that no half-assed psychologist ever understood, and thinking this:
He was hard. He had been hard for some time. He was kneeling and playing with his rock on. He was thinking Skinny Lizard and Eddie Rafters and Blue Moon on Blood Bay. He was rocking to the songs in his head. Way past Ozzie and Alice and Last Man Standing. Hard in the fair haired boy, so angelic on the outside, so stupid and, can I hold your ah books ah if you ah don't mind—oh sorry, I didn't mean to offend, please forgive me, really really sor And the real him was crouched on this sticky basement floor with the hollow sound of the Guys trying to breathe as silently as possible. He was at the cum level. Had been there for some time. Could wait to shoot at the moment of the light being turned on, and bubble and spurt from him, and this was the last test. He was in. Only Heddy waited outside the building. Waited right out there by the basement window. And Heddy would see him at his ultimate. For what does the Clarkiest of them all do when he was a boy? He trained. He exercised. He watched horror movies. He dwelled in a world totally and precariously all his own. For the real fest. For the real zest was in hearing The Guys. Hearing them jacking off. Oh so quiet. Oh so silent. Oh so clever. A meat cleaver being hurled in revenge thirty miles away could be more silent to his ears than these dim wits. Or rather, no wits at all. Keep in mind—Ivy League colleges turn out regurgitated jerks too.
There had been no match scratches. No momentary flare-ups of tiny sun lights. There were not the goals remembered. That this was meant to be embarrassing to him. But he pictured them almost as though he had on infra-red specs himself, and he could see these guys who put the arms round their main squeezes, total bottom line cheerleader girlies wanna bes, and they were getting off on this crazy brain with the hot body jacking off for them, or at the surcease of the epic of the same act, while they were busily hurtling their hands over, as they would call it, their "meat." He heard a gasp. One had just come. Others turned their heads to look at the comer up and. He knew it. He could feel their excitement. He could feel their own overflows. He could be finally, the first time in his frickin' life, the center of attention. And he knew now. Something from all those horror films he watched all these years, that he and Heddy watched and so soon, made out to, all of the corridors with monsters behind doors, all the saws and knives and the classic monsters and things disgusting that made everybody else almost vomit over, made him and Heddy laugh. Because it was all fake. Didn't they get it? It was all fake and bullshit. Nobody really died in these movies. Save for stupid horrible accidents like the John Landis thing, but there was---imagination at work here—there was the side show mirrors shown up against real life—
--that was the thing that excited him and Heddy. All the gore, sure, they could rock with that, but more—like exhilarating. More than a Ferris Wheel. More than a roller coaster. It was like being on the top of a mountain, at the top of the world. No hiding. Naked him and naked Heddy. And naked world. And nothing to scare them. Nothing to surprise them and send them up in horror in their beds late night before they figured most of it out singly. Then figured almost all of it out, together. And Heddy was at the window. And he could hear the stealth of her. He could hear the non-sound of her. He wanted to come now. He wanted to come so badly. But they had practiced this for a long time, he and Heddy. It was remembering all the gross out scenes in badly made movies. It was the absurd dialogue. And the pathetic acting. And the gallons of stage blood. And the mannequins with severed arms, and the goriest gore to make even Tom Savini blanch—and it was at its cheesiest where it counted. Where it said, look at all the numb nuts that believe in this utter garbage, and in this stupid stuff ten year olds could film in their garages given one summer afternoon. And he heard Heddy. And heard what she had stored in a closet being pulled out. He heard-nothing. Because it was all nothing. And he was naked and he pinched his tits and he rubbed his balls. He remembered E.T. phone hooooooommmmmmmeeeeeee...and the Guys had all come by now. He had super acute ears and senses of smell and feel and the basement room which he would be sent exploring, naked of course, once this test was over—
--but this was the final test. And he felt Heddy next to him. Also naked. Also hard. Holding the head of his own penis, was Heddy. As he held his penis. Both ready. And when the lights were on—and when the lights came on with a click and a flood of bright white ceiling illumination came on—the Guys who had pulled up their cum stained jeans and had buckled their belts again—saw the secret—and the secret was Heddy, who they had never seen before, and their pledge of the lovely body and the crazy brain, knelt there before them. Heads bowed. Penises coming milk spurts. They held each other's hands. They were still as their penises jumped and jumped. If possible, Heddy was more beautiful than crazy brained Herbert, for that was the crazy brained shy as hell boy's name. And they were there totally naked. Totally exposed. They were not embarrassed. They were not grasping for their clothes. In the huge white light in the cold basement room, they were as penitents. They were ready at any given second to be hailed, to be harmed. To be done gentleness and love, as they gave outward. Or to be treated in the most horrible manner the Guys could think of, and they could think of many horrible things.
But they were hypnotized, the Frat guys. They were doe eyed in the head lights. They were before beauty. But more than beauty. Acquiescence. Acceptance. Pure and utter peace. Herbert and Heddy waited. For the next second. In supreme bliss. That was what horror movies, especially the cheapest, more ridiculous, sickest kind, had taught them—that what they saw was a joke. As what they saw in these ridiculous young men was also a joke, these monster want to bes. Only those in on the joke knew where the only true reality could be—in themselves. Thus, peace of mind. What they were to themselves and each other trumped what the stupid, sick, grossness of the world said it was. For they knew it lied. And they turned to each other, Herbert and Heddy. And they kissed. The frat jock jokes might as well not be there. Were not there, not really. They were just a stupid horror film background. And nothing that happened to Herbert and Heddy would really happen, for they had their own bought and paid for private territory.
The less dense of the frat boys, the holy Guys, rushed out of the room, for they saw the emptiness that was forever to be theirs. The others just stayed there and quietly, perhaps the quietest thing they had ever done in their lives, observed and paid homage. They really had no other choice. As Heddy and Herbert did not care about them.