This is an excerpt from my novella THE BIBLE BOYS which can be purchased at Amazon. com or Smashwords. I’m very proud of this book. There is a tremendous amount of my real life in this book. I was, indeed, raised in a household of radical Evangelicals and knew first hand about repression, sexual and psychological, at the hands of religious fanatics. And yes, there really was a “Caleb” in my life. I believe we all have catalysts who help us break through our cocoons and grow our wings… This is a story about that.. And this is one of my favorite excerpts from the book.. I hope you enjoy it enough to want to read the whole story! Smooches… Dan
Quietly, they made their way out of the horse barn into the night. The air
seemed to be a bit fresher and cooler outside, but not by much. Caleb led him to
the corral. Perseus was already waiting. Caleb’s free hand found his nose, then
dropped to the gate and opened it. Matt followed him in. The horses stirred and
watched, but stayed in place. Only Perseus pressed next to his master as he closed
and locked the gate behind them.
Walking forward, Matt could tell they were heading toward the pond. While
they were still several feet from it, Caleb handed him the lantern. Matt took it and
watched as he strode toward the water with the animal. A couple feet from the
edge, Caleb shed his underwear and walked naked into the pond with the horse.
He waded in chest deep.
Moon and starlight framed them in an incandescent glow as he took cupped
handfuls of water and poured them over the head of the animal. Perseus made
noises of enjoyment.
The sight mesmerized Matt. He’d never seen anything like it. Caleb pressed his
head against the horse’s and then touched its leg. The horse seemed to bow. Caleb
grabbed it by the neck and hoisted himself upon its back and lay down on him.
His hand stroked the side of its face, lovingly. Matt thought it was the most
incredible thing he’d ever witnessed.
He was only briefly distracted by a falling star streaking across the sky. All
these sights he would have never been exposed to had he remained in the city. He
was glad he’d come. That Caleb had insisted on it.
He saw Caleb’s hand tug on Perseus’s mane. The horse turned and walked back
toward the bank. The young man slipped off and patted him lovingly. The animal
leisurely walked off to the side to sleep with the other horses.
Caleb retrieved his briefs and slipped back into them as he joined Matt where
he was waiting with the lantern and sat next to him. They both stared off into the
After a few moments, Caleb said in a low voice; making certain it wouldn’t
carry back to the barn, “Isn’t this great?” Matt agreed.
“Out here you don’t have to have someone tell you what’s natural and what
isn’t. It just comes to you. You know? It’s okay to be different. To grow into
whatever you’re supposed to grow into without someone trying to change you
into something else. To force you to fit into their mold.”
He didn’t know why, but Matt could sense those words contained the truth of
“You’ve never had vacations with your family, have you?” Caleb asked.
“No. We never had enough money.”
“You’re not very close to your pop, are you?”
“No,” Matt’s sorrowful tone said everything his one word answer didn’t.
“Your dad doesn’t let you do much does he?” His silence answered that
“And you have no real friends in the church.” That was more of a statement
than a question. He didn’t respond. Caleb had seen how the others treated him.
“Your pop is real strict? You’ve had a lot of whuppins?” A fortuneteller couldn’t
read him any more clearly. It made him sad that he could be read with such
Caleb picked up a stone from the ground and skimmed it across the surface of
the pond. It woke a few horses that made noises of protest against the sound.
“The guys don’t like you because you make them feel inferior,” he said.
That statement surprised Matt. He turned to look at him and found Caleb
leaning back looking at the stars. “What?”
He turned to face him. In the shadows mixed with moonlight, Matt could see
the pits of the scars. He looked calm and cooled off from the dip in the pond. His
chest still glistened with drops of water.
“You’re beautiful. You make them feel unattractive. They don’t want you near
them because they don’t want the comparison. They don’t hate you because
you’re less than them. They hate you because you make them feel less than you.”
Matt sat stunned at the words. He didn’t know what to say. It was too much to
“Your attractiveness doesn’t intimidate me,” Caleb said, looking into his eyes.
“I appreciate the beauty of nature. It’s not anything to run from.”
Matt could think of no response. His brain hadn’t wrapped itself around
Caleb’s words yet.
“You’ve missed out on a lot, haven’t you?” He asked it like he didn’t expect an
answer. As if he already knew it to be fact. How did he know all of this? ”You
shouldn’t miss out on anything,” Caleb continued. What was he saying?
The face moved toward him. He felt the distance between them disappear inch
by inch. A hand curled around his neck and pulled him forward to the mouth
parted in front of his own. It was like a dream unfolded itself in the space where
reality should have been. And then that mouth was upon his own. Caleb’s tongue
pushed inward and he tasted him. Indescribable…
He felt faint, realized his body was descending in slow motion to the ground
while in Caleb’s grip. His eyes rolled upward toward the sky. He saw another star
streak against it. Caleb’s breath filled him and he gave it back to him as the press
of lips continued.
When it ended, he realized his eyes had closed and he felt adrift; like a boat on
a calm ocean, gliding into the night. When he opened them again, Caleb still
hovered above him. He could see the slight smile curling his lips.
“Your first kiss. I wanted it to be mine.”
Matt blinked as if he thought the whole thing would disappear. “Why did you
“Because it felt like the thing to do. It felt like something I had to do. Because I
wanted to do it.”
“Yeah,” he agreed, feeling disembodied.
“How do you feel?”
“Sleepy. Like I need to go to bed,” Matt said dreamily, feeling drained;
“Me too,” Caleb said, helping him back to his feet and grabbing the lantern.
He guided him back into the horse barn and up the stairs to the apartment like
he was intoxicated.
Caleb put the lantern on the floor between the beds.
Matt realized he was on his bed and Caleb was unbuttoning his shirt and
pulling him out of it. He folded it, draped it over the bottom of the bed frame.
Matt saw him studying his shoulders and chest. The tanned hand ran gently over
them down to his navel and discovered the blond fur there. His ears thudded with
the blood pumping through his heart.
Caleb bent and tugged the shoes and socks from Matt’s feet. He tucked them
under the bed.
Matt watched it all as if from a far shore.
Deft fingers found the button to his jeans and undid it. The zipper slid down
under a firm draw. The jeans disappeared from him. He saw them folded at the
end of his bed next to his shirt, not fully aware of how they had gotten there.
He heard his own respiration, felt the rough hands upon his thighs. Everything
was pushing him further away from his connection to the real world.
Hands urged him down onto the bed and he felt his underwear vanish. He lay
exposed, vulnerable. Caleb’s face floated above him like an apparition. “Are you
His voice came as an indistinct hoarse whisper: “Yes.” The calloused hand
found him. Held him. Ignited him. Moved. Found a rhythm and he followed it.
Every second felt like it expanded to ten.
He opened his eyes and found Caleb staring into them. Hypnotized. He
couldn’t close them.
The hand urged him onward and he felt the desire grow until it scorched his
whole body. When he tried to move away from it another hand held him down.
“Why are you doing this?” He heard the words coming from his mouth but he
couldn’t remember thinking them.
“Because it’s right,” came the answer in a soft whisper that breathed over his
cheek. The hand continued its attentive pursuit. Matt’s desire grew. It expanded
in the grasp of the abrasive calluses.
“Ready?” the voice above him asked. All he could see were the eyes, shining
and beautiful in the dim lamplight.
His voice abandoned him. He nodded. All he knew was that rhythm, and when
he could stand the pull no more, he let go. It felt eternal as his mind left him
completely and he traveled a void that was as endless as the starry universe.
A hand holding a cloth wiped him down. The lips pressed upon his again, and
he fell into a dreamless sleep.