Thursday, December 7, 2023

The White-Vined Park Bench, Post #254

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Well, how did you like meeting Charlie and Red Leg over the last two weeks. Think you might get some interest up if you met those two?


Let’s try some flash fiction this week. Read on and meet a shy, high school senior Army brat and see if you can share any of his feelings.


* * * *


“Hi, my name’s Layton Dunelton, and I’m an army brat who gets transferred around a lot.”

That brought a rumble of laughter from my new senior class at Harthbrow Academy. I mean to say the class was new to me, not that the class was new. My dad’s an Army major, and you’d think I’d grow accustomed to switching schools, but the truth is I’m shy as hell and have a hard time meeting new people. Sometimes I hate my dad’s profession, although it’s been good to us. You know, great medical benefits and respect and all. But it’s hard on the kids, I can tell you.

Anyway, this was my first day in class at a new school, always the hardest. I could readily spot people I’d like to get to know but didn’t always make the connection. Guess that’s an awfully shallow way of picking friends—by the way they look—but nobody’s ever accused me of being deep.

I made it through the day and started for home, by foot since we lived no more than four blocks from the Academy. Before leaving campus, I stopped off in the boy’s room to drain the pipe for a more comfortable walk. Like lots of places I’d attended, Harthbrow was not immune from graffiti. I casually read and dismissed them, but one caught my eye. Obviously old, the ink was faded, it simply read, “Meet you at the white vine tonight at eight.” I guess it snagged my attention because I wondered if there was a teen joint in town I hadn’t heard about.

I got my chores and homework done early, there wasn’t anything else to do. Boredom drove me away from the boob tube and out looking for something to occupy my time. Not far from the house, I found a nice city park. At first, I thought it was just a small thing, but as I wandered around, I found it went on for blocks. The broad swath of green was fringed by trees as thick as a wild forest and interspaced with heavy, iron benches with backs fashioned like interwoven vines. A perfect place for walking. This’d be my hiking spot. I did a lot of hiking, my form of physical exercise. As I explored, I found little sheltered nooks. A little green space would open unexpectedly through the trees, and as a dedicated loner, I gravitated toward sheltered places.

A little after passing the obligatory His and Her restroom hut, I came upon a really attractive place. This little park was almost totally screened from view by trees. Pulled by a sense of serenity, I entered the little place. No more than twenty-five yards wide in any direction, the glen felt like another world. Spotting one of those remote cast iron benches even deeper in the trees, I walked over and sat down. Surprisingly comfortable, although it probably wouldn’t wear on the butt well. I sighed and decided to claim the place for my own.

A few minutes later, a man walked past the screen of trees, or at least, I thought he was going to. Instead, he claimed a bench I’d not noticed no more than ten yards in front of me. One not so deep in this little glen, but still somewhat isolated from the bigger expanse of green beyond. His back was to me, but he looked a little older than my eighteen years. Like a junior or senior at the college in town.

At any rate, he had a sort of—I don’t know—expectant air about him. There wasn’t much traffic in the park at this time of day, but there was some. As I observed—a loner’s often a great observer of life around him—I noticed something. If a woman or girl walked by, he nodded courteously, but if a man—especially a young man—approached, he spread his legs and watched the guy approach. Like a hunter watching his prey was what came to mind. But what was his bait?

After about ten minutes, a guy who looked like he was another student walked up and stopped in front of the bench. I could hear voices but not words. Didn’t need them. The second guy sat down beside the first and took a long look either way before moving his hand. Although their backs were to me, I would have sworn he was groping the other one.

They got up and moved deeper into the trees. If they hadn’t been so intent on one another, they would have seen me, but I remained as still as a stone. When they were well screened from the public portion of the park—but easily within my sight—one of them, a curly, dark-headed guy, leaned against the bole of a tree while the other pressed against him. I could swear they were kissing. They were! Moans reached me. Then the blond-headed one dropped his britches, baring his butt to me. It looked like the other one’s trousers drooped, as well. More moans and groans as they massaged one another.

Damn, if this wasn’t beginning to get to me.

They halted their activity and started discussing something. I couldn’t hear plainly but enough to realize they were compatible—whatever that meant. Then I heard, plain as day. “My roommate’s gone for the night.” They restored their clothing and started back to the public area. One looked startled when he spotted me, but grinned and flashed a thumbs-up behind his partner’s back.

Damned, if that didn’t send something crawling around inside me.

When they were gone, I got up and walked to that bench. Sitting—and spreading my legs, I have to admit—I kinda experimented with the feeling. Then I noticed something I hadn’t before. The park benches were all painted different colors. This one was white. A white-vined park bench. Could that be what the note on the toilet wall meant? Yeah. This was a pick-up spot. A meeting place for those people. Those people?

Damn, I had a raging boner. Did that mean anything? Naw. Well, maybe.

Anyway, I was sure as hell gonna come back tonight and see what developed. Hell, maybe I’d sit down and spread my legs now that I knew what the bait was.


My, my, what do you suppose he’s figured out the bait was? Will it work? Will it be okay with him if it does, or will it be a case of the dog catching the car? Figure it out for yourself. Or… I might write a second story, we’ll see.

 My contact information is provided below in case anyone wants to drop me a line:

Website and blog:



Twitter: @markwildyr

Now my mantra: Keep on reading. Keep on writing. You have something to say, so say it! (Don Travis keeps reminding me I stole it from him, but he didn’t copyright it. His bad.)

See you later.



New posts the first and third Thursday of the month at 6:00 a.m., US Mountain time.

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