This is the story that Eric had written. His word count was 2883, which is well below the 3000 max set by the teacher. Some have questioned how much of it is fictional and how much of it IS Eric's real life set to fiction.
Ugh, I hated this summer… Why? Well, let me begin by saying, I rarely got to see my mom after my dad was killed in a car accident. His left front tire blew, and he lost control. He went left of center and was hit by a tanker truck carrying gasoline. Witnesses said the truck exploded on impact and neither driver had a chance.
Ever since that day, when Mom wasn't working, she was out with whatever flavor she picked up for the week. Dad had been gone just over a year, and I lost count after around fifty-six different dates, and that was five or six guys ago. She claimed that she is trying to find a new father for me.
Don't get me wrong, I think it would be great if she found someone that she could love, but I don't need her dating all these guys trying to find me a new daddy. I need her and am lucky if I see for seven hours out of the week.
So, she found this one guy, early in June. He probably weighed a million pounds. Not really, but he was definitely big, out of shape and had a beer in each hand all the time. He had tattoos going down each arm. One said, "I eat kids for breakfast." Oh, he had a gold tooth and a scar on his face.
He looked at me on the first Saturday after school had let out and asked why I wasn't in school. "First, today is Saturday, and second, we are on summer break."
"So, why are you in this house?"
"I live here." Where does Mom find these guys and why does she think they would be a good father for me?
Anyway, he went and talked to Mom. She got on the computer for about thirty minutes, then told me I was leaving Monday to go to Pirate Camp, in the middle of Iowa, of all places. To my knowledge, there aren't any lakes in the middle of Iowa, and Pirate Camp sounds lame. I mean, I am twelve years old.
Mom packed my bags and made me get on the bus. From the looks of it, all the kids were eleven or twelve, so MAYBE it won't be so lame, but I am NOT talking like a pirate, or singing pirate songs. And most of all, I AM NOT BLEEPING DRESSING LIKE A PIRATE!!!
Once we got off the bus, we were divided into groups. I was in group Black Bart with nine other twelve-year-olds. Our group leader was an older teen; he said that he was sixteen years old. His name was Darryl Teach, and he claimed to be a descendant of Edward Teach, aka Black Beard. I thought that would be kinda cool, if I believed him. Darryl had red hair, green eyes and a hint of an Irish accent, or I think it's called a brogue.
Once we were assigned bunks, Darryl sat on mine. He asked me, "You didn't want to come here, did you?"
"Not really. I'm twelve years old and not a kid anymore. We are in the middle of Iowa, and I don't even see any water, not a lake, river or even a stream. I have no intention of playing pirate. To me, Pirate camp sounds like bullbleep," I didn't hold back.
"Dude, this could be a macramé camp for all that matters. The idea is to just have fun and make friends. I knew you were forced, I can see it on your face, but you are here, so make the best of it. It might surprise you."
"I doubt it, but I will try," I promised.
Our first project was to make a pirate hat. I rolled my eyes, but Darryl told us, "Whoever make the best hat will be the Captain of our ship." By the way, our cabin was called the HMS Good Fortune, one of names of Black Bart's ship."
As everyone was working on making their hat, I slipped away unnoticed from the group, or at least, I thought I was unnoticed. I had a pocketknife and began carving my initials, BW, into a tree. Once I was done with the B, I heard Darryl asking, "Braydon, what are you doing?" I almost pissed myself.
I didn't get a chance to respond before he came over and saw the freshly carved letter. Darryl slipped thick rope over my head and into my mouth, effectively gagging me. Securing that end, he tied my hands behind back and marched me back to our group. "Guys, first, I want you to see, this is how pirates would secure a prisoner." Did this guy really know anything about pirates?
"And second?" one of the boys asked.
"Come with me," Darryl led the group, pushing me along, back to the tree. "Braydon defaced one of the trees on our land. As a group, we will decide his fate."
"We should strip him to his skivvies and make him walk the plank," one boy yelled.
"Ummm, guys," Darryl uttered, "We don't have an actual ship, or even a body of water to make him walk the plank."
Another boy suggested, "We should carve a B onto his back. Maybe THAT would teach him.
Darryl shook his head, "We can't injury him in any way. His parents would sue the camp."
"Parent," I wanted to correct him, but I couldn't talk.
Seth, the boy who had the bed beside mine, asked, "Did he really do anything wrong? We see people carve initials into trees all the time, and the trees don't seem harmed."
"Maybe not harmed so much as defaced; this 'B' will be here forever. Okay, let's vote on that, if you think Braydon violated the Pirate's Code by carving a B into the tree, raise your hand."
No one raised a hand, but one boy asked, "If we vote that he did, how can we punish him? Strip off his shirt and draw a B on his back?"
Another boy suggested, "Pull down his pants and draw it on his butt. No one else will see it, but we will know it's there and he will know it's there. It can be his own private shame."
A third boy suggested I only wear briefs for the rest of our time.
I wanted to explain myself and why I did it, but again, the rope in my mouth kept me from talking. I thought more and more about how lame this camp was, and I just wanted to go home.
Darryl stated, "Okay, if we decide he violated the Pirate's Code, we can draw a B on his right butt cheek. Now, how many believes he did?"
"Wait, before we vote, we should hear what he has to say for himself." Seth removed the rope from my mouth.
"I hate this bleeping camp, I was forced to come here, and I just want to go home. We are not pirates, and the pirate theme is bullbleep, so I bleeping couldn't have violated some stupid bleeping code. I want to go home," I was scared and cried like a little kid.
Darryl ordered, "Dude, calm down."
"Don't tell me to bleeping calm down," I was pissed. "Bleeping untie me and let me call for my mom to pick me up. I want to bleeping go home."
Seth put his arms around me, "Please don't go home. I like you and while I agree the pirate theme is lame, I was hoping to build a friendship with you. And I think you are cute."
Other boys came up and hugged me, trying to make me feel better. Darryl finally untied my hands and asked, "Who wants to drop the pirate theme for our group?" Everyone raised their hands. Darryl looked at me, "We are dropping the Pirate theme, so will you stay? If you do, you can pick the theme."
I was wiping away my tears, "What if we just camp and do things more age appropriate for us, then I will stay. As for a theme, do we really need one? What about making friends or playing DnD?"
"Making friends," the boy who wanted me to walk the plank mumbled… then he spoke clearer, "I like it."
Another boy suggested, "We can play DnD as one of our activities. I have the books."
Seth hugged me again, thanking me for staying. I whispered in his ear, "Are you gay?"
Suddenly, Seth looked scared, so I kissed his cheek. He kissed me back and replied, "Yes, but please don't tell anyone."
In a voice so everyone can hear, I tried to calm Seth's fears. "Don't worry," I winked at Seth, "I think with you as my friend, neither of us will be straight bored." I think Seth understood what I meant, because he smiled.
Darryl suggested for our first age appropriate activity, we group up in pairs and take a nature hike. He said that he would tell the program director what we thought about the pirate theme and that if they wanted to keep it, they should lower the age group for the camp. He also requested, "Please don't carve into any more trees."
Seth and I grouped up. As we walked, Seth asked, "When you said that neither of us will be straight bored, were you implying…"
"Yes, Seth, about a year ago, I decide… no, that's not the word I want," I questioned how I wanted to say this, I mean, you don't really decide that you are gay. Either you are or you aren't, it's not a choice. "I mean, I accepted that I was gay."
"I started questioning whether I was when we started having to shower after gym class. It wasn't until a few weeks ago that I realized I definitely am."
"It's a shame we will only be here for a couple of weeks. I mean, I really believe we can be good friends, maybe more," I know, I am always the realist.
Seth smiled, "I live in Albion. Do you know where that is?"
"I sure do, I live about half between Albion and Marshalltown," I chuckled. "It's about five and a half miles to Marshalltown and four and three quarters to Albion. Even though we live closer to Albion, I'm in the Marshalltown school district."
Seth smiled, "I actually live outside of Albion, not even a mile outside. That means we live about four miles apart. If you want to be boyfriends, we can see each other often.
"Outside Albion? Do you know Bethany Woods?" I asked.
Seth nodded, "Yeah, she's a nice lady and lives across the road from me. How do you know her?"
I couldn't help but laugh. "Dude, my last name is Woods. She's my grandma."
Seth looked at me, "Can I kiss you?"
I pressed my lips to his and we kissed. It wasn't a simple kiss, he both opened our mouths and our tongues fought for dominance. It wasn't much of a fight; as soon as I felt his trying to go in my mouth, I surrendered and let him dominate. I felt like I was in heaven being kissed by an angel.
We parted when we heard clapping. We looked around and saw nine boys, counting Darryl, clapping. Mr. "Walk the plank," who I learned was named David Bowman, yelled, "Way to go, guys. We hope you enjoy each other for a very long time."
I'm glad I decided to stay, but two weeks passed by too quickly when you enjoy who you are with. When I got home, I went to my room. Other than my bed and an empty dresser, my room was empty. "MOM!!!" I yelled, "where is all my bleeping stuff?"
"Watch you language," Mom ordered.
"I'll watch my bleeping language when you tell me where my bleeping stuff is."
Mom slapped my face, and though it hurt, I glared at her. "Malcolm need some money, so he hocked it. I told him that he shouldn't have, but it was already done."
"He had NO RIGHT!!!" I was screaming the last part. "Dad bought me most of that, not you or him, and I want it back."
"He already spent the money and can't get it back."
"Then, I am calling the police. He stole from me, and I don't like him. I never liked him."
"You better start, we are leaving tomorrow for Las Vegas. He bought me a ring and we are getting married."
"I'm not going." Maybe I was being a brat, but can you blame me?
"No, Grandma Woods said that she would take you in. She said that you can stay with her as long as you like."
That actually calmed me down. I was going to live across the road from Seth. "Can I stay with her until I graduate?" I requested more than asked.
"If that will make you happy," Mom started stroking my hair like she had done whenever I was upset.
"I still want my stuff back, and I refuse to call that bleeptard Dad, but yeah, I want to live with Grandma."
"Before Malcolm and I head to Vegas, I will sign over custody to her."
I went to my room and cried. How could Mom marry that guy when he stole from me. I actually flipped between crying and smiling. Seth had given me his home number, so I called him.
"Hey, I didn't expect to hear from you so soon."
"Yeah well, I got home, and my room is empty. Apparently, the guy Mom was dating while I was at 'Pirate Camp' sold all my stuff and bought Mom an engagement ring."
"He what?" Seth couldn't believe it. "Dude, that is theft, you should call the police."
"I'm considering it…" Seth cut me off.
"Don't consider it, do it."
"Seth, if I do and he is arrested, I'll be living with Mom, and she will be mad at me for preventing her getting married to the creep. If I wait, Mom is signing over custody of me to Grandma."
"Grandma Bethany? Across the road from me Grandma Bethany?" I chuckled as I heard the excitement in his voice. "Okay, you have my permission to wait, but you do seriously need to report him."
"I love you, Seth," I responded, "and I plan to call the police once I am living at Grandma's."
"I love you Braydon, and just so you know, I mow your grandma's grass" Seth informed me. "All I get is a glass of lemonade, some oatmeal raisin cookies, and a nice chat with a nice elderly lady, so don't even think about taking that away from me."
"Just think, you'll get even more. Her grandson will give you kisses, I am sure."
"In that case, I better give her the best service possible so I can earn those kisses."
When I got to Grandma's house, she took me to the various pawn shops, and she bought everything Malcolm had stole from me. I told her that I still wanted to call the police on him, but she advised, "If you do, they will bring him back here. Your mother put the house up for sale and they have no plans of returning. It's not right, but to me, it's worth it to have you living with me."
"I love you, Grandma, and since I do have everything back, I will follow your advice."
"One more thing," Grandma smiled, "I have this really cute boy who mows my grass. He's you age, and I know he is gay. He'll be by today to mow it because he was gone for two weeks. I would like to introduce him to you."
"You know I am gay?" I was surprised, but also laughing.
Grandma kissed me on the cheek, "I've known for about a year. I could see you struggling with it, but was afraid that if I said anything, it would hurt you."
"So, what time do you expect Seth over?" I surprised Grandma.
She questioned, "You know him?"
"Yeah, Grandma," I answered, "we met at camp and became boyfriends."
Seth came over, and not knowing Grandma knew I was gay, he asked, "Hey, Bethany, who's this handsome young man?"
"Your boyfriend, Seth. Don't you recognize him from camp?" Grandma retorted. I couldn't contain myself.
"She knows Seth, but before I told her, she wanted to fix me up with you."
"I guess, we saved her some work."
"It's hot out, and I don't think my grandson would mind if you take off your shirt. He can even rub sun block on, if you would like."
"Can I kiss him, too?" I asked Grandma.
"He's your boyfriend, I don't see why not."
I can never tell Grandma enough how much I do really love her. And I shared with Seth about Grandma not wanting me to go to the police and why. He wasn't any happier about that I was, but he did see her point and agreed. Oh, and when I applied the sunblock to Seth's back, arms and torso, my hands may have slipped down into his pants a little, but he didn't mind.