The RV Chronicles (Chapter 14)

Chapter 14

Written by: (Flash2002)

Griff bounced up out of bed and looked at his phone. It was only 6 am. “Yes! Today is the day! Yes! I get to ride the roller coasters with Nicholas, who is dead asleep still.”

He was itching and burning from the poison ivy rash all over his playground, so he decided to go shower and put more Caladryl on to soothe it. He pulled up the Spotify app and selected “Top Hits Today,” playing it through the Bluetooth speakers. As the warm water began flowing into the shower, he started blurting out the song’s lyrics. He quickly got lost in the song and started swaying his booty back & forth and all around in the shower.

“Mmmmm…. can you please keep the noise down,” Nicholas mumbled. Then, he immediately started laughing as all he could see was Griffin shaking his booty in the shower. He yelled but got no answer, so he knocked on the shower door loudly.

A startled Griff opened the door. “Hey, good you’re up.”

As hard as it was for Nicholas not to laugh, he was still giggling at Griffin. “Now keep it down in here. I’m trying to sleep, but you have some sexy moves in there.”

“Omg!” Griff said. “I’m sorry!” he answered, red-faced and embarrassed. “You saw me dancing. I’m just excited about going to King’s Dominion today with you.”

Nicholas started to head out of the bathroom, and Griff asked him if he could give him the Caladryl off the sink. “Thank you. I can’t believe I got this poison ivy on me in the worst possible place!”

“You’re welcome. I hope it clears up fast!”

After Nicholas had also showered, both the guys got dressed and grabbed a bowl of Lucky Charms. While eating, they talked about their plans together for the day.

“Let’s go, so we’re the first in the gate,” Griffin said eagerly.

“Sure thing, Peaches. I’m coming.”

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Walking down the road, cars started passing by, honking at them and waving. “This is gonna be so fun,” Nicholas said.

The guys got to the gates at King’s Dominion and music was playing over the loudspeakers with voices telling them about all the different and fun things to do.

“Hey, Nicholas, we should get the passes that let us go to the front of the lines.”

“I already got them for us online. I thought it would be very special.”

Griffin grabbed Nicholas and kissed him deeply while hugging him tight.

A group of guys yelled at them to stop. “That’s disgusting! We don’t want to see that!”

“That’s kinda intimidating, Nicholas, sorry.”

Nicholas said, “It’s ok, don’t worry about other people. It’s our day.”

The gates opened and the boys headed for the roller coasters first. The first one they found was a mix of steel and wood.

“I’m so excited! We’re in the very front section! Give me a kiss as GoPro is rolling,” Griffin said.

They kissed as they get buckled into their seats, and they heard yelling. “You guys are gross! We told you to stop that!”

Nicholas and Griffin ignored the yelling, and they were off.

“Wow! That was exhilarating!” Griff exclaimed. “I gotta pee, so you get souvenirs from the shop, maybe t-shirts or caps or both, while I use the restroom.”

Griffin headed to the bathroom and was followed by the four redneck bullies.

They blocked the doors and grabbed Griffin, warning him to stop acting gay around them, or next time it would be a lot worse. They dunked his head in the toilet bowl and flushed. “Got it? Last warning!” They shoved Griffin to the ground and left.

“Hey there. Why are you so wet? What took you so long?” Nicholas asked.

“Oh, it was nothing. Let’s just go to the next coaster.”

After riding most of the coasters, both boys decided to play a few games.

“Hey, Nicholas, your favorite animal! I’ll try to win you one.”

A friendly family, parents and a young son and daughter, sat down beside them to play, too. They smiled and said, “Hello.” Then two of bullies sat down and started talking junk to them.

Ignoring them, Griffin won the game and animal for Nicholas and Nicholas, out of pure joy, hugged and kissed Griffin. “Thank you so much! I love it, and I love you!”

The two guys jumped up yelling and cussing at both of them. The parents jumped up, too, and got right in the boys’ faces.

“Leave them alone! They have the right to love whoever they want to love. If you don’t like it, don’t look!”

“Shut up, lady! They’re gonna get their faces beat in! Get out of the way!” Griffin was shoved down to the ground, scraping and cutting up his legs, arms, and hands.

“That’s it! Leave them alone, punks, or you’ll be dealing with a lot more trouble,” the dad said. “I’m tired of people like you putting down guys like them. All they want is to be treated equally, and they’re not hurting anybody. So, stop, or the police will be called.”

Nicholas had also jumped up yelling, “Leave Griff alone! He doesn’t deserve this! I’m not letting you hurt him!”

Griffin was just lying there, trying to hide his tears and not talking to anyone. He got himself up and sat down on a bench. Park security showed up and dispersed the crowd.

“Are you ok, young man?” the mom asked.

“Griffin, please say something, babe,” Nicholas implored.

“I’m ok, just sad that hate is still so prevalent in this world. I didn’t tell you earlier that they held me down in the bathroom and gave me a swirly. They threatened me and shoved me down. It brought back memories of the high school bathroom and getting picked on and threatened. I want to be treated normal just like everyone else, but I guess that day won’t come.”

“Come eat with my family and me, guys,” the dad said. “We want to buy your lunch. Please?”

“We accept and thank you for standing up for us. We don’t get that much.”

They ate lunch together and chatted about what happened and about their family life. They believed that everyone has a right to love who they want. Richard, Susan, Ethan, and Jenny said their goodbyes and exchanged information.

“Griff, weren’t they a sweet family? Griff? Earth to Griff, are you ok?” Nicholas asked.

“No, sorry, I’m not,” Griff started crying. “I’m going back to the RV. I can’t stay here. I want you to stay and ride more. I’ll be waiting for you back at the RV, ok? I need some alone time.”

″Ok, Peaches. Be safe, and I’ll be there in a little while. I won’t leave yet, only because you asked me not to. I love you, babe,” Nicholas said reluctantly, as he watched Griffin walk away.

Back at the RV, Griff sat on the bed crying and remembering being teased in school, and now he was embarrassed about what happened in the park. “Why couldn’t I stand up for myself” Why do I shut down?” Griff blasted some Metallica and drank a soda, calming himself down some. The music changed to Shawn Mendes and, yes, an old Justin Bieber song.

Nicholas, unable to enjoy himself without Griffin, soon arrived back at the RV and sat down next to Griff. He didn’t say a word, just held him tight. Nothing needed to be said. Just being in that moment, holding each other close, seemed to make everything feel safe and right again.

The Moment

One moment in time did change my life,

What once was peace, now is strife.

Am I alive or am I dead?

Why do these drums beat in my head?

My mom and bro are by my side,

Telling me about my wild ride.

I did just escape from death,

For a time, I held no breath.

A bright light did guide my way,

But my Gran said I could not stay.

There was more for me down here,

And there was nothing for me to fear.

She said I would not die,

And that I should not cry.

I would return to her someday,

But that day was far away.

For now, I must return below,

Where I could learn and grow.

I know now that it is true,

The world is bigger than me and you.

From that moment, I live each day,

Knowing it could all go away.

Live each moment like it’s your last,

Enjoy your life and have a blast.

The RV Chronicles (Chapter 13)

Chapter 13: (Written by Phoenix2020)

The following morning, after seeing that Martin was hooked up with a tow truck and in no further need of their assistance, the boys headed out with Griffin at the helm. After carefully examining the Google map over breakfast, they had decided to continue north a ways on the Blue Ridge Parkway and then hang a right onto Hwy 64 towards the Richmond area. Nicholas phoned the Americamps RV Resort in Ashland to make reservations, as it was close to King’s Dominion, the theme park they planned to take by storm tomorrow.

With Griffin’s tunes as a soundtrack, the morning passed peacefully with the boys enjoying the Appalachian scenery and lost in their individual thoughts. As they maneuvered onto the highway and picked up the pace, Lady Gaga let them know in no uncertain terms …

“I’m beautiful in my way

’Cause God makes no mistakes

I’m on the right track, baby, I was born this way

Don’t hide yourself in regret

Just love yourself and you’re set

I’m on the right track, baby

I was born this way (Born this way!)

Oh there ain’t no other way

Baby, I was born this way

Baby, I was born this way!”

Checking the time on his phone, Nicholas suggested stopping in the Charlottesville area for lunch.

“Maybe find a hot spot near the UVA campus? Find a little eye candy to feast on?” Griffin teased.

“Ooo! I hadn’t thought of that but, of course, you went right there!” Nicholas said with a smirk.

Noticing Griffin’s not-so-subtle scratching of his nether regions, Nicholas inquired, “Diaper rash? Jock itch? Heebie jeebies?”

“I have no idea. It started itching about an hour ago and it keeps getting worse the more I scratch. I took a shower this morning and I didn’t notice anything then.”

“Well, maybe stop scratching … both hands on the wheel, Captain.”

As they continued on, with Griffin trying bravely to keep his hands off his treasures and Nicholas giggling at his frustration, desperation set in for Griff. When he spied the UVA/Charlottesville exit, Griffin almost bumper car-ed three other vehicles in his attempt to navigate to a suitable lunch establishment. At the moment, he wanted nothing more than to find some relief for whatever was going on in his boxers.

Griffin turned the ignition off and headed toward the back of the RV in one fluid motion. By the time he got to the bedroom, his shorts were at his ankles and he was squealing gibberish at the plight that his boys were in.

“Let me see,” Nicholas said. “OH, dude! That is just fifty shades of nasty!”

“What is it?” Griffin screeched.

“My best guess is that, my friend, is an epic case of poison ivy rash.”

“WHAT? … HOW? … WHY?”

“Well, let’s think about this. Yesterday, when you were preparing the picnic area, did you have to clear a spot for the blankets?”

“Yeah, of course. It was kinda overgrown.”

“And, at some point, did you find the need to … uh … drain your main vein?”

“Uh, yeah, I think so.”

“So, you, apparently, handled some poison ivy vines before you then handled yourself, so to speak, spreading the sap to your playground area.”

“Then why aren’t my hands covered in rash?”

“We went back to the RV to eat and you cleaned up, but you didn’t clean up down there. Also, that area is much more sensitive, I would think. You may still get some small rashes on your hands and arms, but not like that.”

“So, what do I do? Help me, Obi-Wan … you’re my only hope!”

“My mom is highly allergic to it and she uses a lotion called Caladryl. It’s a combination of calamine, which helps with itching and drying up the rash, and Benadryl, which eases the allergic reaction. I see a Walgreen’s in that strip center across the road. I’ll go get some. While I’m gone, you wash the whole area with a lot of soap to help dry out the rash.”

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As Nicholas strolled across the parking lot heading for the pharmacy and still giggling, but in a sympathetic kind of way, he heard a yelp. Looking around, he spotted an elderly lady waving her hands about as the shopping cart she had apparently been pushing raced away from her and towards a line of parked vehicles.

Nicholas sprinted toward the cart, dodging an oncoming mini-van and leaping over a low hedge. He snagged the rogue cart just before it had the pleasure of making acquaintances with an exquisite Lexus LX. Stopping a moment to catch his breath, he turned the cart back toward home and the now visibly relieved customer.

“Oh, thank you so much, young man! I didn’t realize there was such a slope here and it just slipped right out of my hands. You reacted so quickly and I’m so very grateful!” She gushed while digging in her purse and pulling out a wad of bills. “Here, please take this! It’s the least I can do.”

“No, no … I can’t take your money, ma’am. Your ‘thank you’ is quite enough. It was no big deal. Just in the right place at the right time.” Nicholas helped the lady put her bags into her car as she continued to thank him and try to get him to take the money, which he politely refused. “You have a good day, ma’am … and drive carefully now.”

“Well, this day just keeps getting more fun,” Nicholas thought, “and I haven’t even had lunch yet!”

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“It took you long enough!” Griffin snarled before Nicholas even had the RV door closed.

“Mind yourself, Mr. Grumpy No-pants … I still have the receipt! I had to rescue a damsel in distress, blackmail a store clerk into finding more of this stuff in the stockroom because the shelf was empty, and wait in line behind eight people at the only register open and it was being operated by a ‘Please be patient, I’m new’ employee.”

“Fine, thanks … so gimme, gimme!”

Griffin tore the seal off the bottle and practically poured the stuff all over himself.

“Easy there! That needs to last you at least until we stop tonight. Rub it in good and let it dry before getting dressed.”

“Dressed? I’m gonna lay right here just like this while you drive. Just go get us some lunch and bring it back.”

“OK. Wash it well with lots of soap every couple of hours and put more Caladryl on it. By tonight, it should be much more tolerable. Let me know if you need a hand!” Nicholas couldn’t resist the quip but also began to realize the disappointing implications as he left to scrounge up lunch.

Griffin would definitely not be interested in any amorous overtures for the next couple of nights, at least. It still amazed Nicholas how their beautiful friendship had morphed into … well, whatever this was now. They were the same people they were a few days ago … before. But nothing was the same now. That thought made Nicholas’ tummy flutter … a lot like that old lady’s hands!

The Witch

Finally, able to close my eyes tight,

I’d managed to survive to see daylight.

Last night was ruled by goblin and ghost.

The whole land was overtaken by an evil host.

Halloween used to be a time for fun,

Now, it’s a time to scream and run.

Many a fateful year ago,

A wicked witch put on a show.

At first, she wasn’t all that mean,

Then she was taunted by every teen.

She cast a spell over this town,

That begins on Halloween, at sundown.

Each teenager becomes a huge beast,

Hungering for flesh to make their feast.

Though the spell lasts but one night,

It’s enough to cause a fright.

The body count, last night, was small,

Just three more bodies killed in all.

As morning light turns into day,

We who survived begin to pray,

That next year we break this spell,

And send that witch back to hell.

The Hunter

The bat fluttered through the sky,

In a blink, gone from my eye.

A shadow broke away from the wall,

The vampire stood over six feet tall.

With looks and swagger, he stalked the night,

He used his charm, he did not fight.

Many women and some men,

Became victims in his den.

He used them for sex and for food,

Depending on his whim and his mood.

A hunter appeared one October night,

Looking to end the vampire blight.

The hunter lured him to a place,

Where he could see the vampire’s face.

He looked the vampire in the eye,

And told him that he would soon die.

The vampire could not charm this man,

So, he tried a different plan.

He tried to turn, he tried to run,

But his long-lived life was done.

A wooden stake thrown like a dart,

Hit the vampire right in the heart.

Another town safe at last,

The hunter’s fame growing fast.

The Last Prophet (Chapter 1)

Chapter 1

Grayson sat at the bar, nursing his drink. He stared down into his beer, letting his mind wander over the disaster of his life. Just this week, he found out his parents were getting divorced. His grades were in a steady decline, and now, just this morning, he walked in on his boyfriend cheating on him.

Maybe breaking up with Sebastian would help him study more and bring his grades up, he chuckled. There you go, Gray put a positive spin on it. The sound of the door opening in the nearly empty bar caught his attention. It brought his focus back to his present surroundings.

He glanced towards the door, and his jaw dropped. The man from his dreams stood framed in the doorway. Gray always had weird dreams, but for the last week or so, they were exceptionally weird. And a guy who looked exactly like this guy in the doorway was in every single one of them. Gray looked away before the guy caught him staring.

The man walked up and sat down right next to Gray. Gray finished his beer and tried to concentrate on the TV over the bar. He heard the man say, “Bartender, two beers. One for me and a refill for my new friend here.” Just the voice alone sent shivers down his spine. Gray turned, and the man was smiling at him.

“I thought it looked like you needed another one. You look a little stressed.” The man said.

“Thanks. Its been a long week. I’m Grayson… well, just Gray is fine.” Gray took a good look at the man beside him. Tall, over six feet, jet black hair, and deep dark chocolate brown eyes. The eyes held Gray’s gaze. For just a second Gray thought he saw bright crimson sparks at the center of the eyes, but then the sparks were gone.

“Nice to meet you, Gray. Different people have called me by different names, but you can call me Luke.” He smiled and extended his hand.

Gray shook his hand. “Very mysterious answer, Luke. Do you go to college here? You look familiar.”

“No. I just got to town today. I’ve traveled around a lot in my lifetime, but this is my first time here.” Luke said.

“What brings you to this boring, tiny town? Not much here but the college and this bar.” Gray laughed.

“I guess you could call it a family drama. I am looking for my Father. No one has heard from Him in quite a while.” Luke said.

“I hope you find him, and everything is ok. I know how rough families can be. I just found out that my parents are getting divorced.” Gray rolled his eyes.

“Thanks. The sooner I find him, the better it will be for everyone.” Luke said and then leaned in close to Gray and placed his hand on his knee. “So, do you have a boyfriend?”

Gray smiled a crooked half-smile. His eyes flicked down to Luke’s hand and then right back up to his eyes. “What makes you think it would be a boyfriend and not a girlfriend?”

Luke slid his hand halfway up Grayson’s leg as he leaned in even closer. “Because, ever since I walked in the door, you have looked at me like you’ve wanted to take a bite out of me.”

Luke smirked, then he added, “Do you have somewhere private we can continue this conversation?”

Gray knew he would probably regret it, but he said, “I should say no, but yeah. Follow me.” He led Luke out of the bar and two blocks over to his small apartment, just off the college campus.

The barely got in the apartment and closed the door, and Gray was kicking off his shoes and grabbing for Luke’s shirt. After removing the shirt, he pushed him into the small bedroom and down onto the bed. Luke was taller and had a more muscled body than Gray, but Gray was eager and determined to work off some of his built-up stress from the last week.

He crawled up Luke’s body, planting kisses along his chest and neck. He covered the other man’s mouth with his own, and then he felt Luke’s hands in between them. Luke gently pushed Gray up to a sitting position and looked deep into his eyes. “Gray, slow down a minute. We need to talk.”

Gray tried to push Luke back down. “Talk later. There are other things I’d rather do right now.” He leaned in and nipped at Luke’s ear with his teeth.

Luke pushed back again. “You’re not making it easy to stop.” He nearly growled. “But we have to talk. It’s important.”

Gray looked a little hurt. “What’s wrong? Don’t you want this? Don’t you want me?”

Luke took his face between his two strong hands. “Baby, I want you more than I’ve wanted anyone in over a millennium, but that’s why we have to talk now. Before we go any further. I want you to know what you’re getting yourself into. There’s a lot we have to talk about.”

Gray looked completely confused. “I have no idea what you’re talking about. You aren’t making any sense.”

Luke grabbed Gray’s hips and flipped him over on his back as easy as flipping over a piece of paper, then he sat upon the edge of the bed. Gray sat up and leaned back against the wall, waiting for Luke to speak.

Luke sighed and began. “Remember, I said I have gone by many names?” Gray nodded, a curious look on his face. “The names you humans most commonly call me are Devil, Satan, or Fallen One. The name my Father gave me upon my creation was Lucifer.”

Gray laughed out loud. “Come on. Did you interrupt the hottest sex of my life to tell jokes? I thought you had something serious to say.”

Luke rolled his eyes and stretched out his right arm, then he snapped his fingers and opened his hand. A small ball of fire appeared, hovering over his palm. “Is this a joke? May I continue?”

Gray’s eyes widened in shock and fear, he scooted back against the wall. He started to get up, but Luke stopped him. “Please stay. I would never hurt you. What I have to tell you is vitally important.”

Gray relaxed back against the wall again, mumbling to himself. “I can’t believe I just made out with Satan.”

Luke chuckled. “Whatever!” Then he continued. “My Father, God, has not been seen or heard from since the time of Creation. I tried to keep order the way I knew he would have wanted, but my brothers disagreed with my decisions. It was not God who cast me out of Heaven. It was my brother, Gabriel. Once he got Raphael and Michael on his side, the others all fell in line. The few lesser angels that tried to help me were cast out with me.”

“Wait. Wait. Wait. So, you’re saying that they cast you out of Heaven because of sibling rivalry, not because you are pure evil and tried to overthrow God?” Gray asked, mouth agape.

“Yes. My Father had no part in my banishment. I tried to honor Him the best way I knew. Gabriel is power-hungry. Always was and still is. It is Gabriel who has spread the lies and propaganda about me to you humans.” Luke said.

Grayson sat there, shaking his head. “I’m trying to soak this all in. Keep going.”

“I was cast out along with a handful of loyal lesser angels. We couldn’t stay on Earth, so we were forced into the Inferno dimension.” Luke looked pointedly at Gray. “Though a substantial portion of the Inferno is indeed a fiery prison for evil souls, I have fashioned a Paradise separate from the Fire Pits. Not all the souls barred from Heaven’s Gate deserve torture. The Inferno accepts any who wish to enter. Once there, we judge your soul and process you into either Paradise, the Fire Pits, or Limbo.”

Gray looked lost deep in thought. “That sounds fair, to be honest.”

“Thank you for your approval, kind sir.” Lucifer scoffed.

Gray smiled shyly.

“There is so much more I need to tell you, but we are pressed for time. Gabriel’s thirst for power reached a new level three days ago. He sent a force of angels into the Inferno, where they united with a force of traitorous demons. Their combined army is marching against my loyalists at the Fire Pits. Gabriel wants to set all the damned souls loose upon the Earth. He wants the humans destroyed in such a way that he can blame me. Then he will swoop in as a savior. He will destroy the damned souls, and he will have won Heaven, Earth, and the Inferno.”

Gray was shocked. He didn’t even know what to say or how to respond. “Luke, why are you even telling me this? Angels and demons are real. God is missing in action. The Archangel Gabriel is a dick who wants to take over the world, and the Devil himself is half-naked in my bed. Why me? Why are you here? You should be out leading your army and saving the world.”

Luke stared at Gray with a look of fierce determination. “My army can hold the Pits without me. At least I hope so. But here’s the thing. The only way we stop Gabriel now is with my Father’s help, and you are going to help me find him.”

If anything, Gray looked even more shocked. “How am I going to find God if you can’t?”

Luke grinned at him. “Because you are the last Prophet of God.”

Gray laughed despite everything. “What are you talking about? My life is a disaster. How am I a Prophet?”

Luke cocked his head to one side. “Have you ever had dreams that came true? Or you were somewhere, and something happened, and you felt like you’d seen it before even though you knew you’d never been there?”

Gray thought for a minute. “Now that you say it like that, yes. Those things happen often. And you have been in every one of my dreams for the last week.”

Luke smiled. “You have been touched by God. You have a connection to Him. You will help me find Him. We just have to make sure that Gabriel or his goons don’t find you first, but based on your dreams, it sounds like I was meant to find you, and you are meant to help me.”

Gray nearly screamed. “What?! Does Gabriel know about me? Are they coming after me? What should I do?”

“We leave this town first thing in the morning,” Luke said.

“I suppose I don’t have a choice, do I?” Gray asked.

“Gray, I need your help. God has chosen you. If you learn to focus, I believe you can lead me to Him. You can help me save all of humanity.” Luke said.

“And when I brought you back to my apartment, all I wanted was to get laid.” Gray laughed.

Luke joined in the laughter. “Let’s get some sleep. We should start early tomorrow. We have more to talk about as we travel.” Lucifer lay back on the bed and pulled Gray close to his side. “Is this ok?”

Gray cuddled in close. “It’s probably a huge mistake, I mean you are the Devil after all, but yeah, I’m ok with it. Wait, are you even gay? Was all this a big plan to get me to help you?”

Luke heaved a big sigh. “There is no label to describe me. Over the centuries, I have slept with countless men and countless women. There have been few, however, that I have cared for. A kind and loving soul attracts me, not sex. Man, woman, angel, demon… these things do not matter if the soul inside is pure. Do you understand?”

“I think I do. That was actually a really great answer.” Grayson said as he drifted off to sleep wrapped in Lucifer’s arms.

My Sister

For a brother, a sister can be,

A blessing and a curse you see.

A sister picks on you, that’s true,

But she’ll always be there for you.

Growing up we’d fight and play,

Annoying each other all day.

But anytime I’d fall in the dirt,

She’d check to see if I’d been hurt.

There have been times we’d barely talk,

When one came in, the other would walk.

Then one day I got sick,

By my side, my sis would stick.

Day and night, she was there,

Showing me that she did care.

My sister has turned eighteen years,

She’ll leave soon amidst many tears.

California is where she’ll go,

College life is what she’ll know.

I will miss her very much,

I hope we always keep in touch.

Whether times are good or something’s amiss,

With all my heart, I love you, Sis.

The RV Chronicles (Chapter 12)

Chapter 12: (Written by: KenW9270)

With the wind whipping his hair into his face, Nicholas kicked his feet and screamed the whole way across the zipline. Halfway across, the screams of fear turned into screams of joy. Griff nudged the zipline employee out of the way and helped Nicholas unstrap himself from the harness. Nicholas got shakily to his feet and fell into Griff’s arms. “Th…that was fun. I was nervous at first, but I really liked it.”

Griff wrapped his arms around Nicholas. “We have time for one more if you’re up for it.”

“Yeah! Now that I’ve shaken off the nerves, I think I’d do even better!” He said, running ahead of Griff to get on the lift back to the start of the zipline.

After their second trip across, Griff looked at his watch. “You need to sit for a minute or are you ready to head back?”

“I’m good.” Nicholas blushed and looked deep into Griffin’s emerald green eyes. “I know we have plans.”

Griff leaned down and their lips met, more with tenderness than passion. “Let’s start back. The hike should take about an hour and then it’ll be time to head out to the overlook.” He said as he grasped Nicholas’s hand, their fingers entwining, and led him onto the trail.

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Back at the RV, the two boys each took showers and changed their clothes. Griffin had just finished repacking the picnic basket, with fruit and snacks rather than the dinner he packed earlier, when Nicholas walked out of the bathroom running his fingers through his still wet hair. Griff’s breath caught in his throat. He still couldn’t believe that they were actually dating after all this time. This did count as dating, didn’t it? Was Nicholas his official boyfriend? Should they put a label on it with him going off to school so soon? Griff pushed those thoughts out of his head. He didn’t want to ruin their romantic moonlit picnic with his angst. He closed the lid on the picnic basket and looked up at Nicholas. “How can someone look so perfect out here in the middle of the forest? Most people can’t look like that with a team of hairdressers.”

“Oh, stop. You’re way hotter than me.” Nicholas said, blushing.

“Whatever. Let’s go.” Griffin grinned and took Nicholas’ hand. They walked to the overlook and spread out the blanket. Griff started setting up the picnic and Nicholas walked over to the cliff and took in the view.

“This is a spectacular spot you picked out, Griff. The view is amazing. I bet it would be even better in the fall when the leaves change.” He felt Griff’s hands slide around his waist and pull him close.

Griffin kissed the side of Nicholas’ neck. “The view is nothing without you.”

“Mm. That feels nice. This was definitely a great idea but check out that sky. I don’t think we’re going to be doing much stargazing tonight.”

“Dang. You’re right. Those clouds are moving in fast. Let’s at least enjoy the view for a little while.” They sat on their blanket and Griff handed Nicholas some of the snacks. “Did you have any specific plan on where we’re heading next?”

“No. Not really. Back toward the coast. I was thinking maybe DC. Was there somewhere you wanted to go?”

“Actually yes. I thought if we passed close to Richmond that we could stop at King’s Dominion.”

“I’ll enter the address into the GPS when we get back. Gee, now the wind is picking up. I don’t think we’re gonna be out here much longer.”

Griff scooted over. He had a bunch of grapes in his hand and started feeding them to Nicholas. Nicholas smirked. “Are we in ancient Athens? I didn’t think…” Whatever else he was going to say was silenced when Griff’s mouth closed over his. With a hand on Nicholas’ chest, Griff gently pushed him down, deepening the kiss.

CRACK! BOOM! The crack of the lightning and the boom of the thunder sounded like it was right on top of them. Then the skies opened up and before they were even on their feet, they were drenched. The boys packed everything up as quickly as possible, Griff grabbed the picnic basket and Nicholas slung the now very wet blanket over his shoulder as they ran back down the trail to their RV. They were almost at the end of the trail and they saw another crack of lightning and the sound of a tree falling not far away.

Nicholas yelled out, “Griffin! Stop!” He wasn’t sure but he thought he saw what looked like headlights coming right for them. “Griffin!” Nicholas dove. He tackled Griff and they rolled off the trail and a little way down the hillside, landing in a puddle.

“What the…” Griff’s complaint was cut short by an out of control RV crashing through the bushes right at the end of the trail they had just been on.

The driver of the RV jumped out and ran over to the boys. “Are you guys ok? I am so sorry! That damn tree fell right in front of me and I swerved and lost control.”

Both boys were still sitting the mud puddle. Griff spoke up, “Yeah. We’re fine.” He looked at Nicholas. “Only because of this guy though. Nicky, I think you saved my life.”

Nicholas playfully punched Griff’s arm. “I won’t next time if you keep calling me ‘Nicky’!”

“I am so relieved that you guys are ok. Now let me see if I can get my RV back on the road. You guys need to get out of this rain.”

The boys got up out of the puddle and joined the man who was now surveying his RV. Nicholas shook his head. “Dude, you’re not getting that out of there without a tow truck. With the busted windshield and the angle its sitting at on the hill, I doubt if it’ll be very comfortable for you to sleep in there either. We got an RV right over there. Let’s all get out of this rain before we drown.”

The man sighed. “Do you mind helping me throw a tarp over the windshield first?”

————————————————————————————————————

After helping the stranger cover his window, they all got into Nicholas’ RV. Griff wiped his hands on his wet jeans and put his hand out to the man. “I’m Griffin and this is my best friend Nicholas. Sucky circumstances but its nice to meet you.”

The man replied with a nervous laugh, “I’m Martin. I’m glad I didn’t kill you, Griffin.”

“Yeah. Me too. Are you traveling alone, Martin?” Griff asked.

“For now. I’m picking my grandkids up in South Carolina and from there Disney World.”

“That’s cool. We’re heading in the opposite direction. No real plan except dropping Griff off at college in August.” Nicholas added. “I pulled out the couch bed for you, Martin. Its ready whenever you wanna crash.”

“What about you guys? I’m really sorry to inconvenience you both. Where will you both sleep?”

“We’ll be in the bedroom.” Griff said, taking Nicholas’ hand in his own.

“Oh. Ok. Uhm that’s great. Are you sure you don’t mind me staying the night?”

“It’s fine.” Both boys said as they walked into the bedroom.

————————————————————————————————————

“You sure about leaving him alone out there with all our stuff?” Griff asked.

“Where would he go if he tried to steal anything? That RV isn’t going anywhere.”

“I’m sorry our romantic evening ended so soon and without much romance.” Griff said with a frown.

“Its totally fine. Now get in this bed. I need cuddles before I sleep.” Griff slipped into bed behind Nicholas and wrapped him in his arms. “This is all the romance I need.” Nicholas said as they both drifted off to sleep.

The Clown

A long time ago on Halloween night,

A villain decided to blot out the light.

Many fell with a slash of his knife,

Starting with a farmer and his young wife.

Next was a stranger, just walking by,

Not knowing that this was his night to die.

The villain then wandered into the town,

Dressed like a smiling, happy clown.

Trick or treaters ran by him, like a live flood,

Never noticing that he was covered in blood.

The clown’s death toll now stood at eight,

He continued to hide, continued to wait.

The police were now aware of this clown,

The deputies searched all over town.

The finally found him, perched on his twelfth kill,

They drew guns and shot him, firing at will.

Dozens of bullets hit their marks,

The clown just smiled his eyes like twin sparks.

Riddled with bullets, yet still standing strong,

The deputies now knew that something was wrong.

The clown charged at them, wielding his knife,

Every deputy fell, empty of life.

The clown was covered in blood, head to toe,

Never have we seen such a villainous foe.

He turned to go up the next street,

But then there came the thundering of feet.

A mob turned the corner and stared at the clown,

He slashed with his knife, he would not back down.

According to legend, I tell you this day,

The mob was all children, not one hair was grey.

The clown’s grin widened, as he faced them down,

The children never wavered as they charged the clown.

The children were armed as if going to war,

The clown’s laugh was gleeful as he started his chore.

He slashed, and he killed as the children came near,

Never once showing the least bit of fear.

The children continued to stab at their foe,

The clown started to weaken, his arms moving slow.

Though he was weaker, the clown still wielded his knife,

Each swing of his arm ended a life.

The situation began to look quite dire,

Until one small boy lit the clown on fire.

The fire burned him right down to his core,

With a bright flash of light, the clown was no more.

They lifted the boy and began to cheer,

Shouting his name for all to hear.

The boy never sought to accomplish this feat,

He only wanted some candy to eat.

When he left his house all he’d want to do,

Was to go trick or treating with a friend or two.

Bond of Brothers

A brother can be good or bad,

Having two can drive you mad.

But I would never say,

That I want them to go away.

Fun and games all day long,

Banding together if things go wrong.

That is what brothers do,

I can surely say that’s true.

I won’t say we never fight,

But the brother bond is very tight.

We can fight with each other,

But don’t you dare touch my brother.

As days and months turn into years,

And we leave behind childhood fears.

When toys are gone, and life is the game,

Our brother bond will be the same.