I called home from Michael’s, praying Mom would answer but prepared for the worst. Of course, Dad answered.
What?” he barked curtly.
“Tim. You get home this instant.”
“Yes, sir,” and I hung up.
I looked across the room at Mike Sr. and shook my head. He nodded back.
I whispered in Jack’s ear, “I have to go home alone. Please let me do this alone.”
He looked as shocked as Michael had when Jack whispered into his ear. I kissed each eye shut, turned, and left.
When I arrived, Dad hustled me into the car and drove me to Miami Police Headquarters. He lectured me all the way there. I had caused a riot. I had gotten Max killed. I had put the younger kids in danger.
“I got a call hours ago to bring you in for questioning. Do you know how wrong it was to say I didn’t know where you were?”
“I was at Jack’s until an hour ago when we went to the Antonio’s.”
“I wasn’t going to bring them into this mess. You better not lie to the police.”
“Dad, can’t you be on my side? They’ll just lock me up if they think you don’t trust me.”
“Maybe you need to learn a lesson from all these antics you pull.”
“They shot and killed Max, Dad.”
“Don’t expect me to defend you if you blame the police for what you caused.”
I kept silent the rest of the way to the station.
Once there, it seemed preordained that I was going into custody. They wanted to charge me with police obstruction but were unsure I had actually done anything. Dad had me describe what had happened. He interrupted me when I started to accuse the canine handlers of negligence and potential assault on the concert goers.
“We’re going to hold him until this fracas has been thoroughly investigated,” the interviewer concluded.
Dad said goodbye, handing me a small case with a change of clothes. He must have known I was going to juvenile hall. I remained dry-eyed as he left the station.
I was put in an open cell of about ten kids, 12 – 16. The oldest one was also the fattest. He came at me right away to knock me down. I jumped back. Fatty fell on his face. I put my foot on his neck and ground him into the floor.
“Don’t fuck with me,” I told him.
He squirmed a little before giving up. I looked around and threw my stuff on the nearest bunk. A few, then all the little kids, grabbed their stuff and moved on my side of the cell.
“You owe me one beat-down,” I told Fatty as I took my foot off his neck. He hunkered back to his corner, where the last few boys spit on him before running across to me. All the kids rearranged their bunks so I could protect them. They sat on or near my bunk while I set up.
“Y’all look abused,” I challenged them, staring at two boys cowering in the back.
“Whatcha in fer?” the nearest boy changed the subject.
“Murder…of my dog,” and they broke up.
We chatted. The tension in the cell disappeared. My only worry was if some football jock got thrown in with us, would I have to fight him? I was not surprised when shortly, a jock showed up. He gave me the stare, which I quickly averted, and we left each other alone. Half the kids moved over to his side. Balance of power established; Fatty banished to a corner.
That night seemed to last an eternity. Jock boy alienated his followers by choosing a looker as bed buddy. The winner was promptly abandoned by all his allies in that corner, who returned to my side. They complained that their friend was about to be victimized. They pestered me with their fake hero-worship while I accepted the inevitability of a fag on fag battle. As soon as the victim’s whimpers turned desperate, we marched over and confronted jock-head who already had pulled down the 12 year old’s jeans.
“Why you havta do that?” I challenged him.
“What’s it to ya, dickweed.” He ignored me, returning to the molestation.
“You gotta find someone small ‘cause yer dick ain’t growed yet?” I implied.
That got his attention.
Grabbing his swollen, half-erect dick and shaking it at me, “You want some of this, bitch?”
My dick was already swinging, easily seen through the denim jeans I wore. “I thought you just liked little boys.”
He blanched when I didn’t flinch. “Faggot.”
“Yeah, who has his dick halfway up his bunkmate’s ass?”
Everyone laughed at him. The victim quickly escaped to his friends. We walked back, the tribe reunited. It took the jock a minute to get his dick to relax and realize how dissed he was. He came roaring over, yelling like a banshee, straight at me. My quick step-aside only made him change direction. I put my back to a wall and prepared to be assaulted. His punch went wild. I heard the bones crack as his fist hit the cement wall. It made him scream even louder as I scurried away. Waking up from their general torpor, the guards rushed in, grabbed the jock, and dragged him off to solitary.
The guard asked me why he was attacking me. The kid victim told the guard that I had been defending him.
“That boy wanted to rape you?” the guard asked.
I silently shook my head and the kid shrugged. “He didn’t after my friend told him to stop.”
The guard gave me a funny look. “It’s not your job to protect anyone.”
“Yes, sir,” I meekly agreed.
He turned to the victim, “You saying he assaulted you?”
Again I shook my head. The boy resisted the urge to rat, “Nah, he was just threatening me.”
“Okay. Well, he’s earned his week in the hole.”
I kinda enjoyed how it turned out. The boys stopped pestering me, confused as to whether I was a wise-ass wimp or something they didn’t quite trust. At least my hard-on was long gone. One kid sat on my bunk and asked me questions, just like Stu always did.
“How’d you know them guards would come?”
“Man, he sounded like a bull elephant when he broke his hand. They had to come. I just had to get out-of-the-way.”
“You never threw a punch. You ever get in fights?”
“Why risk marring this pretty face?”
“It is pretty,” He told me, giving me a look.
“Hey. You know I’ll back you up. I don’t need any ‘special’ favors. Just friends.” I offered a handshake – how silly.
He barely shook hands, looking downcast.
“What’s your name?” I tried to encourage him.
“Tommy,” he brightened up.
“I’m Tim,” as I winked at him. He looked pleased that he didn’t have to give up his ass for protection. Most of the others came over that evening and introduced themselves. We all agreed to watch out for one another.
Later another older boy was led into the cell. Again the nasty looks warned me to leave him alone. He chose a bunk near Fatty who quickly tried to explain why everyone hated him because of me. The new kid soon was sitting on a different bunk in a vacant corner of the cell, glaring at anyone who looked at him.
Soon after lights out, there was a rustling among the bunks. First the youngest boys, moved into the furthest bunks, two or three to a bed; I figured it was for self-protection. Tommy was sitting at the foot of my bed.
“This happens every night,” he whispered. “The big guys pick their victims, and it starts all over.”
“What if I take on the big guy before he grabs someone young?
“You mean take him out?
“Nah. I’ll just fuck his brains out.
“I knew you was a fag,” Tommy suppressed crowing.
“And, I know you’re not.”
“Well, there ain’t no girls in here.”
“You still makin’ a play for me?” I laughed.
“Why not? You ain’t ashamed are you?”
“No way. I’ll enjoy riding that asshole.”
We both giggled. He had a gleam in his eye.
In the darkness, I heard someone shuffling in our direction. Crouching until the shuffler was close, I jumped the boy, knocking him down. It was my original nemesis, Fatty. I kicked at him and told him to stay on his own side of the cell. While this went down, the new boy must have sneaked by me. Soon I heard a struggle and muffled cries. By the time I got over there, the bigger boy already was on top of the smaller kid, who was already half naked. I jumped on top of the two, reaching around to grab the older’s already hard dick. In his surprise, I undid his jeans while he mindlessly humped. He quickly regained his composure, trying to knock me off his back. Grasping his exposed dick like a bronco’s pommel horn, I held on as he bucked. The younger boy slid out of his bed and joined my posse watching the action in the dark. I stroked his dick which quickly became super hard. Realizing I wasn’t about to be bucked off his back, he tried to maneuver himself so we were face to face. Unhooking my jeans and pushing them down, while still stroking his stiffy, I grabbed both dicks in my hands and worked on them. It was totally different from jumping Jack. I despised this guy. I just wanted to humiliate him. Thinking he had bested me, he really started getting off. As he got closer to ejaculating, I swiped the top of his dick for pre-cum, smearing his straining cock. The rest of the pre-cum I smeared into my ass. In one move I sat on his straining dick, squeezing on it as it penetrated me. His look of surprise quickly turned to moans of ecstasy. He was about to cum. I rolled backward, pulling him further inside my ass. He shuddered and began to ejaculate. As he slowed the bucking and spurts, his moaning finished. I reversed our positions. With his cum leaking from my ass, I took a swipe of jism and lubricated his still pulsating anal muscles. His head was thrown back as he felt my dick sink up to my balls in his ass. Cum restarted flowing from his dick head as I vigorously started to pump him. His legs wrapped around me as he gave into the fucking. He soon realized what was actually happening. He started squirming, trying to push my dick out. I wouldn’t give him an inch. The more he squirmed, the longer and firmer my thrusts became. His moans turned to whimpers as he couldn’t stop our fucking. I relentlessly drove into him, never nearing climax.
“Now you know what it feels like, cunt. Take it all. Take it hard. Take it all night long.” I taunted him.
He lay there, passively waiting for me to be done, hoping it would be sooner than later. I showed no indication that I was about to finish. From the whispering all around us, I knew we had an audience.
“If y’all don’t get back in your bunks, I’m gonna start looking for a tight ass. This boy is goin’ all loose and flappin.’ I’ll never cum.”
Hearing the boys scurrying back to their bunks, I pulled out and came all over him with just a few hand strokes. He tried to crawl away from me.
“You like boy pussy because you can’t take real fucking. You’re pitiful,” as I kicked him toward his bunk. A small cheer went up and a few ‘Yeahs’ were heard. I went and washed off my dick. When I got back to my bunk, Tommy was stretched out at its foot. Ignoring him, I climbed in and was instantly asleep. When I woke up, Tommy was gone. Daytime was normal time.
Another day in the life of Tim Castle, delinquent waste case. I refused to be pestered by my minions, telling them to talk to the boy I had fucked.
“He’ll tell you what it really feels like, especially at the end when all you want is it to stop. I coulda fucked that cherry ass all night.”
They all laughed, making it obvious who was the object of their scorn. Tommy sauntered over to him, sitting on the opposite bunk, and started his pestering.
“Hey, man. How long ya bin in?”
“Com’n. What was it like? You were into it with him. I seen ya cum.”
“Shut up and die,”he screamed at Tommy.
Tommy scurried back, grinning at me.
“Stop pestering, Tommy. That guy’s got serious problems, not just that he likes dick.”
“Yeah, like how wide his ass is.”
I laughed, “Well, who’d want to grow up wanting to fuck little boys? He’s sick and it’s makes him a sick bully.”
“Don’t deny you didn’t enjoy it last night, both fucking and being fucked,” Tommy pressed.
“Ya got it all worked out, dontcha?” I challenged him. “You can’t enjoy it, even if you’re gay?”
“Yes, shit for brains.”
Dad’s old line caused an uproar, with half of us rolling on the floor like Baptists. The guards came in to take us to chow. They gave us, especially me, suspicious looks.
After chow, school, chow, school, we finally got recreation. B’ball not being my thing, I sat with my minions in the shade, while the Black kids took it out on the Whites. I told Tommy to stop running his mouth about me, which shut him up.
A really young kid sat silently next to me. I swear he wanted to crawl into my lap. It was unconscionable that we treat kids like him as criminals, subjecting them to abuse. I figured it was time to play Teen Jesus.
“Which of youse has Jesus in his heart?” No one spoke up, but several looked downcast.
“Well, who used to have Jesus in his heart?” I looked right at the boy who seemed most conflicted.
“Com’n here,” I motioned to him. “What’s your name?”
“Luke,” he barely answered.
“You know who you’re named after?”
“Sure, the gospel of St Luke.”
“Who was St Luke?”
“He was Jesus’s disciple.”
“So they were friends. Why don’t you want to be friends with me and say you still have Jesus in your heart?”
“Oh, but I do want to. It’s just that I hurt him by being bad.”
“Do you feel you’re bad?”
“Look around. Why would I be in here if I weren’t bad?”
“You want to be friends with me, so I must not be so bad.”
I could tell he trusted me.
“Look around and tell me who your friends are.”
He pointed out first one and two best friends, then said, “I guess everyone here’s my friends.”
We all smiled and mellowed out to the bonding. The mood lasted only long enough for the frustrated white b’ball players to notice. At my nemesis’s urging, they marched over to threaten us.
“Come for some more of this?” I grabbed my dick and gave it a squeeze.
The boy blanched at my brazen attitude. His backers grumbled that he didn’t tell them about that. The Black players were listening. They started pointing and picking out their next victims.
My minions spoke up, “He loved it, cumming all over hisself.”
Confrontation averted. We jumped up and high-fived the Black players. All of us were laughing at the loser White players. At the rate I was making enemies, I better be transferred soon. Mike Sr. was supposed to be my lifeline. No word yet. Where was Jay? I needed a phone call. I better first call Dad, chain of command.
Later one of the kids, a tough looking Cuban, asked me what if he didn’t believe in religion and Jesus.
“Well, do you have family or a friend who’s dead?”
“Sure, half the ‘hood.”
“Well, if you knew anyone of them well enough to ask them who to trust, it’s the same thing. They’ll let you know because you hold that person in your heart.”
“Well, I trust you, but I don’t know you.”
“It’s your heart that tells you to trust or not. I figure you know I would never do what these child molesters do.”
“Nah. You’re cool, cabron.”
“Seems like everyone comes in here with a chip on their shoulder. It’s a weakness to show you trust someone. It robs us of our youth. For me, that’s all I got.”
“Why you defend these losers?”
“I grew up in the military. We always back each other up.”
“S’cool. But these kids ain’t gonna defend their selves, let alone you, in a fight.”
“I don’t need backup, which means they want me on their side.”
“Got it all figured, don’tcha?”
“Yup,” and I smiled. It took him a second to smile back, but then he grinned.
“You enjoy fightin,’” he concluded. “Once you get outta the holding cell, you might enjoy our midnight fight club in the kitchen. Ya gotta fight ta get in.”
“At this rate, I’ll have a couple of real fights under my belt. How long ‘til I get outta the holding cell?”
“72 hours, unless they throw you into solitary.”
“I’ll keep watchin’ my back.”
“Si, si mon.”
72 hours. I should hear from someone by then. I asked a guard about a phone call. I was told not until I got out of holding. So much for rights.
Night came quickly. We had rec time after chow. The minions were all over me with pestering. I told them about our band and how we always had fights at our shows. I sang them Elvis’s “Kung Fu Fighting.”
I even threw in some fake moves, swiveling my hips like Elvis. I caught my ‘boyfriend,’ with a gleam in his eye, watching me from across the cell. I’m not sure that he relished his memory of the last night or was just jealous that all the little boys were in thrall of me. He’s was sick either way.
Tommy had appointed himself as my lieutenant and was cracking down on the others. I was the Godfather, Tommy, my Consigliere. The 72 hours were endless.
“Cool it, Tommy,” I admonished.
“Just keeping the troops ready for tonight’s action.”
“You see it as ‘action,’ like a military operation.
“Sure. I heard you’re military. We’re your troops.”
“Com’n over here,” I patted my bunk.
A gleam was in his eye now, as he slid onto the bottom of my bed. I sat so my head rested on the wall at the head of the bed.
“Admit that you’re really enjoying our escapades,” I prompted him.
“You, too. This makes juvie almost fun.”
“I got asked to join fight club.”
“You know about that?”
“They said you had to fight your way in.”
“I ain’t seen you throw a punch yet.”
“You ain’t seen me dragged off to solitary neither.”
“Ha,” he laughed.
“Get real. We have to protect these little kids. They will stand up to the bullies if they believe they have back up.”
“Sounds like you want me to fight too.”
“Only to stand up to the assholes.”
“I know you’ll back me up, so look at me, the kung fu fighter.”
We laughed and kept smiling at each other until it was too obvious.
“I do like you, Tommy. I just won’t give you any slack.”
“Like that asshole last night. I was creamin’ in my jeans.”
“That was not about sex. I wanted to humiliate him. Sometimes I havta punish my boyfriend with rough sex. We both enjoy it and he gets the message.”
“You gots a boyfriend?”
“Yeah and a couple of girlfriends.”
“Is he like me?”
“Kinda. He picked me, after smoking out for the first time. It makes him super horny. I let him sleep with me. He had a wet dream but thought it was real. When I told him in the morning, he was so bummed. I said I’d be his boyfriend anyway.
“So you don’t really love him, just feel sorry for him?”
“Nah, we’s really in love. Pot makes the dick grow fonder.”
We giggled. By then, most of the younger kids were gravitating toward us. I stifled the sex talk with Tommy.
“Listen, everyone. I expect the usual trouble tonight, so let’s swear to protect each other. If you get attacked, loudly complain until we all show up to help you. We havta protect each other and stay together.”
“Yeah,” they all agreed, looking mean at each other. I wondered how tough they could be, most weighed under 100 pounds.
It didn’t take long, after the lights went out, for the perverts to come hunting. The idea that they kept getting rearrested in order to have their way with the younger boys in the holding cell made me sick. There shouldn’t be that many teens who lusted for young boys.
As soon as someone started to complain, we all rushed to his rescue. Tommy was the hero who chased the molester away. As he was acting tough, we heard someone else crying for help. I kicked the first molester in the balls, hors de combat, for the night.
The sneaky pervert was none other than my previous night’s ‘boyfriend.’
“What’s wrong with you?” I calmly challenged him. “You can’t keep fucking these little kids. You’ll be a dirty old man. Then what?”
“Maybe I want another shot at you, asshole,” he challenged back.
I grabbed my dick and indicated I was ready. He let the kid go and jumped up, thinking I wanted him again. My uppercut caught him by surprise. The stomach punch put him down.
“Do you think I enjoyed fucking you?” as I stood over him with a foot on his neck.
He looked pitiful, gasping for air, so I let him up. He wouldn’t challenge me anymore.
“Sit,” I ordered, indicating an empty bunk. He refused to look me in the eye.
“What’s your name?”
“Charles,” he gasped.
“You mean Up-Chuck,” as he continued to gag. The boys laughed.
“You want to stop lusting for young boys?” I asked. The boys went silent.
“Right now, yeah,” he got some of his bravado back.
“It’s up to you. If you don’t stop, you’ll be a pervert all your life.”
“Naw. It’s only ‘cause there ain’t no girls in here.”
“How often have you been arrested and thrown into the system?”
“A few times,” he admitted.
“And every time you’ve had your pick of boy pussy?”
“You don’t see how sick that is?”
“I guess,” he demurred.
“Think about it. But until you decide, get over to your own bunk,” I indicated he had to leave our area.
We settled down until we heard sobs coming from the other side. The kids who came in that day had been unaware they needed protection. We marched over and pulled the molester off his victim. Tommy kicked him the balls, which, unfortunately for him, were hanging out. We told all the kids to move to our side.
In the morning, the guards came in to get us for chow. Seeing almost everyone on one side, they quickly became suspicious.
“They’s all yer harem, Castle?” The friendly guard joked.
I laughed, at which, he just shook his head. The jerk guard gave me a look that meant he had it out for me. He’d be the one to fuck with me when the guards decide to have their own party. 72 hours. Where’s Jay?
The regular chow, school, chow, school routine kept me busy until it was rec time in the late afternoon. My posse/harem gathered in the shade, laughing at the b’ball players. Some of the Black kids joined us. We decided to sing the Kinks, ‘Apeman” to make them feel welcome.
“You callin’ me a monkey?” one of the Black boys challenged me.
“My song’s called ‘Monkey like Me.’ Don’t I act like a monkey?” as I did our band’s monkey song chorus:
“Ha ha ha
Hee hee hee,
Cha cha cha
Chee chee chee’
Jumping around like a chimp, scratching under my arms. My boys did the same, mimicking me. The Black b’ball players took instant offense, running over to defend their brothers. Luckily one of the first Blacks to sit with us got it.
“Chill, boy. They’s sayin’ we’s all monkeys.”
“Don’t I look like an ape?” I responded.
“More a great White clown,” their leader countered.
I started mimicking him, like a mime. He took a swing, missing wildly. I did the same.
“Fight. Fight” they all yelled.
We kept mirroring each other, missing wildly. Everyone was in stitches. The guards came running over and separated us.
“No fighting,” they warned us.
“We wasn’t fightin’, officer. We was doin’ the monkey dance,” I answered, at which everyone went into the jumping and scratching and singing the monkey song chorus around the guards.
Infuriated, they started chasing us around the rec yard. The bell rang for chow. We all calmly lined up. The guards had red faces and could hardly breathe.
After chow we were back in the cell. The jocks were angry over their multiple humiliations. They lacked the energy to challenge us. The kids hung around my bunk, asking me about the shows I played with the band. When I mentioned Max, several knew who he was. As always, I played second fiddle to a dog. They loved that they had done the monkey dance, as I told them about all the times at frat and roadhouse shows we had used it to escape riots. By lights out, I felt confident that there wouldn’t be trouble from the molesters. Shortly after I had fallen asleep, my assumption proved incorrect.
Before I realized what was happening, several sets of hands grabbed me and rolled me into a blanket and kidnapped me out of the cell. It was the guards extracting their revenge on me with a blanket party. I lay still as they kicked and punched my trapped body. Except for a couple of real blows, it seemed that they were pulling their punches. Once they stopped, I was freed from the blanket and scurried into a corner. It was the mean guard who had organized my beating. The three others stood around while Meanie yelled at me and called me a fag. The friendly guard pretended to be punching me.
“Just go along. He’ll run out of things to say soon,” he whispered.
“Thanks, but let me get a chance at him. I’ll fuck his faggot ass good.”
The guard laughed.
I jumped up to meanie’s surprise, knocking him down, while the others just watched. I had him pinned from behind. I wasn’t surprised to find his miniature dick was rock hard when I gave him a reach around. I gave it some strong jerks until I felt it erupt. He was barely struggling, unsure whether he should enjoy his own climax or should be struggling against me. I quickly had his belt undone and uniform pants down. Taking the still leaking cum from his piss-hole, I lubricated myself and mounted him in one thrust. He screamed without lubrication, which made me pump harder. More violent sex for me. I swore to keep pumping without pleasure until Meanie was totally submissive. It didn’t take long before he slumped face down and waited for me to be done. I pulled out and stood over him,
“That’s all you deserve, sir,” I spit out the word. “Now you’re just a piece of shit.”
The guards grabbed me again, as I pulled up my pants. I acceded to their authority and was dumped back on my bunk in the cell.
“He deserved it, but don’t tell anyone,” the friendly guard again whispered to me. I nodded and was left alone.
All my kids sneaked over, wanting to know what happened.
“Blanket party,” I told them.
They were crestfallen that their hero had been defeated. I so wanted to tell them how it had played out, but I kept silent, although I winked at Tommy. He slept the night at the foot of my bed.
No sign of Guard Meanie at chow that morning. My 72 hours were up. I anxiously awaited my phone call and a possible release hearing.
“You’ll find out when we tell you,” was all I could get from a guard.
I was pulled out of school (all we ever did was fill out worksheets). The guard marched me down to the admin office where I was locked in a meeting room by myself. Finally Dad marched in, with several County officials, and a guard to protect them from me, the hardened criminal.
“Dad,” I jumped up.
“Sit,” he ordered. My heart sank.
Everyone sat down. The officials pulled out a file and perused the few pages of reports in it. At least my ‘record’ was not extensive. He then took another file crammed with newspaper articles and photos. My celebrity was part of the record, I assumed.
“I’m Mr. Perk, your social worker, Tim.”
I nodded, then looked at Dad. Did this mean I was being taken out of my home? Dad kept his mouth shut.
“Your police record was clear until you were caught drinking at the concert.”
Instead of protesting, I kept silent. Dad finally gave me an approving look.
“One beer is not what concerns me,” Mr. Perk continued. “You’ve certainly been active promoting your band. While most press accounts speak highly of you, there are some issues of concern. Gables High Assistant Principle Proctor describes you as insolent and part of the ‘anti-social’ peer group. The photos of you kissing that New York artist can be troubling. You know that homosexual behavior is a crime in Florida. There is a police report of an incident in Coconut Grove in which you were attacked by an adult. You apparently subdued the man who was arrested and then released when you refused to press charges – something about you claiming to be Teen Jesus. I assume this is a publicity stunt that may have gone wrong.”
He paused, expecting me to defend myself. After a few seconds he went on.
“I can discount Mr. Proctor’s report due to the controversy reported in the press about allowing the Hialeah students to stay for after-school activities. Apparently he felt you were criticizing his authority, which I find untenable.”
“What does that mean?” I asked, even though I knew.
“Well, discrimination cannot be tolerated if we’re ever to fully desegregate the Miami schools.”
“Oh,” I continued to seem clueless. Dad was now giving me the evil eye.
“The homosexual activity may only be for publicity. Mr. Warhol has certain medical conditions that make it unlikely that anything could have happened. Anyway, he’s the adult here.”
“I didn’t know that he was ill. He was awfully nice to us when we were in New York. He never was inappropriate.”
“Well, that leaves the Teen Jesus story. Care to explain?”
“After my best friend Jace died, we started meeting with our bass player’s Baptist Youth Group. My family’s Catholic, so I was surprised when the kids were rolling on the floor and making noises. The first time, a girl said she saw a ghost. I thought it was Jace, still alive in my heart. Then we were working at a clothing store in the Grove, playing hymns and talking about Jace. It was actually a police officer who first asked me about the Teen Jesus rumor. He said he’d always wondered what Jesus was like as a teenager, whether he was rebellious or not. It was just rumors, but it made me feel like I was keeping Jace’s memory alive.”
“So, you don’t call yourself Teen Jesus.”
“No. It was about Jace and how he inspired us. People thought I was calling myself Jesus. The man who attacked us thought I was being blasphemous and became really angry. I think he had been drinking.”
“So you were turning the other cheek by not pressing charges?”
“Not really. I didn’t need to make an enemy. I just wanted him removed from the store.”
Mr. Perk turned to Dad and started questioning him.
“Tim’s side of the events seem very innocent – going to church, singing hymns, and avoiding fights. Is that all there is, or do you see real problems?”
Dad took his time before answering.
“Tim had some adjustment problems when his mother and I were divorced. I wasn’t happy about his defying me when I told him not to go on vacation with his friend’s family. It was while I was not living at home. I feel his mother was not supervising him adequately. We had some arguments after I moved back. I insisted he get a job, which meant he no longer was on the swim team. After some resistance, he got the job at the clothing store and he formed a band. Both have been money makers. His earnings are being held in trust for college. His religious revival was a complete surprise. The death of his friend may explain it. Tim has always been very independent. The shooting at the concert and the subsequent police involvement made him think more about the consequences of his actions.”
“You agree with the police that their band incited the riot that ended with your dog shot.”
The mention of Max made Dad look vulnerable. He quickly went back to business.
“I trust the police to get to the truth of a situation. Tim was too emotionally involved to see how his actions were to blame. We’ve talked a lot about it. He knows that what they started turned violent. It was fortunate no one else was hurt. Losing my dog was hard on all of us.”
“Is that how you see it, Tim?”
I had a choice, agree with Dad and go home, or, say what I really saw that night and probably not go home.
“I take responsibility for all our actions. I was the band’s leader. We were used to playing small venues – frats, clubs, churches, and the clothing store. There were thousands of fans that night. Our typical set caused the fans to go out of control, knocking down the fence and letting in hundreds of non-paying fans. I have to disagree with Dad that the police are always right. They shot Max while he was protecting our friends from the police dogs that were let loose on the crowd. They killed Max.”
Dad was exasperated with me.
“You incited the crowd. Your friends were put in danger by your actions.”
“Shooting into a crowd of kids is not reasonable force.”
Mr. Perk stopped our argument.
“Well, it seems to me that Tim is not ready to accept your authority,” he addressed Dad. “I think we need to keep him under County supervision until he is ready to return to the family. That is what I am recommending.”
Why must I be so stubborn?
Dad shook his head.
“He’s just being obstinate. Maybe time in juvie will give him a chance to see the error of his ways.”
“I guess you won’t need me to be best man at your wedding,” I pouted.
“Hang on. No need to convince me that you don’t see eye to eye. I’ll make my recommendations in my report. In the meantime, Tim, you’ll be placed in a juvenile facility in West Dade.”
I was too angry to respond. Dad just shook his head. The guard took me back to the cell. I gathered my few clothes and left for the permanent juvenile facility out in the Everglades. The kids, especially Tommy, looked anguished that I was no longer going to protect them.
For the first two days I was kept in isolation. I mostly slept, barely eating. Finally I was issued detention overalls. I was put in another large cell with at least 20 other juveniles, all my age or older. The other kids looked tough and street-hardened. They avoided me like the plague. The word had spread that I was a devil worshiper. I adjusted by mostly sleeping. My dreams were haunted by images from my Samhein-Belladonna trip. One of the other inmates, a tall black kid, would wake me up when I started crying out in my sleep. He seemed afraid of my dark powers. On the third morning, I awoke feeling more coherent. Looking at his inquiring face, I cringed from the memory of him waking me, mixing him into my nightmares.
“Yo, brother, I ain’t gonna harm you.”
“I know. You’ve been waking me out of my nightmares, man.”
“Sure. I couldn’t jist lay heah, listenin’ to them screams. You sure musta done sumthin’ to be screamin’ like that. My name’s Billy, Billy Johnson.”
“Thanks, Billy Johnson. I thought I’d never stop tripin.’ My name’s Tim.”
We looked at each, wondering whether to shake hands or not. The moment passed.
“So you was trippin?’ Everybody says you’s a devil worshiper.”
“Naw. We just tripped on Halloween. We started a band called False Gods. It all spun outta control and the cops shot and killed my dog. I’m no Satanist.”
“You a rocker? Cops think all rockers are Satanists.”
All the memories of the concert rushed into my head. They mixed with my nightmares of the Belladonna trip. Adding to the panic were thoughts of the cops thinking I was an evil Satanist. The thoughts of serious consequences seemed too real.
“Well, maybe we got carried away,” I told Billy.
“Hey, bro, you feel up to eatin’? You jist bin laying heah and missin’ meal call.”
My stomach turned over at the thought of food. Then hunger conquered my queasiness. I was famished. Soon we went off in a group to breakfast. The counselor escorting us noticed I was coherent.
“Castle. Stick around after eating. They’ve been waiting for you to come ‘round.”
It was almost enough to kill my appetite. But I hadn’t eaten in three days. I devoured the oatmeal and toast breakfast.
I was taken to an office, where a Mr. Downs interviewed me. It started out easy, with him assuring me that my folks had been told where I was and that they could see me later in the day. That was hardly reassuring news. Then he started interrogating me about my drug use. I denied being a drug user, just admitting to smoking pot.
“That’s how it starts, son. You must’ve been on something at the concert, more than pot.”
“Everyone was drinking, but not me. I had one sip of beer but it tasted vile.”
He gave me a skeptical look.
“Then explain why you had to sleep for three days.’
“I don’t know. Maybe being in jail scares me.”
“This isn’t jail, son. You’re being held in protective custody as a juvenile.”
I looked around. It sure felt like jail.
“Well, can I leave then?”
“Once you’re released to your parents. But you’re in serious trouble. Gables Police suspect you and your friends were involved in an assault on two 10-year-old boys on Halloween. Their parents want you charged with sexual molestation.”
“We caught them spying on our party. We teased them but nobody hurt them.”
“Well, why did they come home naked?”
“We cut off their costumes and let them go. Sure, we scared them, but again, nobody hurt them.”
“Well, who did what?”
Ah, the old turn in your friends, rat-fink ruse. Was Mr. Downs a counselor or a cop?
“I can’t remember that much. We mixed up some blood and flowers. There were no drugs involved. It gave me a headache. I was sleeping with Robby and Mary in the crypt.”
“Crypt? You mean like a gangster’s crip?”
“No, man. The party was in an abandoned cemetery we had found. There’s an underground crypt. We came out when somebody found those kids hiding in the bushes, spying on us. We tied them up.”
“You mean you and who else?”
“Not me. I was just watching. The others. I can’t remember who. They were tied up. Robby cut the ties on their costumes. Then he cut the ropes holding them and they ran home. Nobody molested them.”
“So Robby was the one who cut them?”
“I can’t remember, but he had the sickle. It was part of his costume.”
“Sickle, like the Grim Reaper?”
“More like Father Time.”
“Do you boys worship Satan?”
“No. Who told you that?”
“I guess you really scared those younger kids. Their imaginations may have gotten carried away. But you’re sure you weren’t using drugs?”
“No way. We made up a witches brew of blood, spit and flowers. I think it’s called deadly nightshade. It was for Halloween.”
“Deadly nightshade? Is that like Mellow Yellow or Purple Haze?”
“Those are drugs, man. This was flowers we chopped up and ate.”
“How do you know those others are drugs?”
“Donovan and Hendrix man. That was the 60s. Everybody knows that.”
He looked at me skeptically.
“Tell me about your friends. Do you know how much trouble they’ve been in before?”
“We all live in the same neighborhood. We climb trees and ride bikes. At night we listen to music. If someone has money, we go out for pizza. Nothing too heavy, man.”
“You sure seem to talk the talk. How much pot do you smoke?”
“Just every once in a while.”
“Who do you buy it from?”
”Somebody just has some and he shares. I’ve never bought any drugs, man.”
“Well, your school record is good. Tell me why there were so many absences this fall.”
“I fell on a trampoline and hurt my back. I’d go for a couple of hours, but I couldn’t sit down that long,” I lied for the first time.
“Well, Tim, I want you to see a drug counselor before we release you. You may not think smoking pot is bad, but it’s the first step down a long road to addiction.”
“Sure,” I agreed to escape more interrogation.
“After that, I think we can release you to your parents. Does that sound okay?”
“Sure,” but that prospect was not exactly reassuring.
Once I returned to the holding unit, I noticed the other kids were shunning me. Billy came and sat with me. I asked him, “Do I have the plague or something.”
“Yo, brother, you really a devil worshiper?”
“We were just foolin’ around for Halloween. We didn’t worship the devil, just trees.”
“Ya was worshipin’ trees?”
“Just nature. It got carried away.”
“Ya was neva tryin’ ta worship the devil?”
“Well, we all saw his face in a candle.”
“You seen the devil?”
“I think we thought we did. We were pretty high.”
“Ya gots the cocaine blues?”
“No, man. All we was doin’ was smokin.’”
“You be smokin’ that rock?”
“No, man. Pot.”
“Shit, that ain’t nothin.’”
“We ate some flowers called Belladonna.”
“I ain’t neva heard o’ that shit.”
“It was a total trip, man. I was flyin’ for hours. Saw all kinds of shit. I even died and went to hell.”
“What’s that like, bro?”
“Kinda like underwater.”
“Kin ya breathe?”
“Ya don’t need ta, man. Ya can’t feel yer body. Once I was in two places ‘cause my eyes were split apart. Each one was seein’ different things.”
“Yer eyes was split?”
“’Course, man. They split my head in two and I died.”
“My friends. It was only a hallucination.”
“Man, you was trippin.’”
The others were listening and began to move closer. I recounted all my dreams for their enjoyment. A fat white boy said I was a sinner and was bound for hell.
“Bound for glory,” I countered.
They all laughed. The cell had bunks piled three high against the wall. They were all sitting in one corner, listening to me. I told the whole series of events leading up to Halloween.
“That Robby is the one goin’ to hell,” one of the kids said.
“Haven’t you ever played with magic?” I asked.
“Yer playin’ with the devil if’n ya do.”
“Ain’t ya even curious?”
“Not if’n I gots to go to hell.”
“Well, it ain’t that bad, least what I saw.”
Soon we had to go to chow. Afterward, I had to see the drug counselor. He was more concerned about how well I was getting along there. When we were through with those formalities he asked me about the Halloween drug. I told him it was Belladonna. He got a book to look it up.
“Here it is. It’s also called deadly nightshade. It’s an herb that has a stimulant in it. They use it in Contact cold tablets. I guess it can’t be dangerous. Wait. Here it says when taken in large doses, it can cause blindness. Son, you’ve got to be more careful. There’s lots of dangerous stuff out there. What worries me is that you did it just because your friends did, too.”
“They’re my friends. One for all. All for one.”
“Look where that got you.”
“Am I going to be able to go home soon?”
“You’re accused of sexual assault on those two boys.”
“We were just scaring them. We made them run home in their underwear. They were spying on us.”
“I think if you take drug treatment diversion, the charges will be dropped.”
“I just watched what happened. I’m not guilty of anything.”
“Nobody’s saying you’re guilty. But as a juvenile, the court has to protect you from harm. Look at you. You need protection.”
“I just want to go home.”
“Don’t worry, son. We’ll meet with your parents tomorrow and decide where you’ll go.”
That night, after being allowed to watch TV in the lounge, we were sent to bed with lights out at ten. I fell asleep quickly but was awakened by muffled moans and cries. I looked over and saw Billy looking at me. Across the cell, we heard the fat white kid molesting a younger boy who was fighting back. We both got up and went quietly over to the bunk.
“Stop it, asshole,” I whispered, pulling the fat kid away from the boy.
“You gonna stop me,” he challenged back.
“We’re gonna stop this,” Billy joined in.
The fat kid looked long and hard at both of us. Then he jumped down from the kid’s bunk.
“Fuckin’ mind yer own bizness, devil worshiper,” he spat at me.
I ignored him. We took the kid over to an empty bunk on our side of the cell. He had tears in his eyes but didn’t say anything. He didn’t want us to leave him. Billy sat him on his bunk while I went back to mine. In the morning, I noticed that Billy had slept with him. My life in hell went on.
The next evening, my folks came to see me, meeting with both counselors. The folks were speechless that I was in so much trouble. They learned I had been skipping school. They agreed that I had become a drug addict. Dad mentioned that my ‘real’ mom had become addicted to pills, suggesting I had inherited the problem. The drug counselor suggested I be placed on probation, dependent upon completion of drug rehabilitation. He suggested The Program in Fort Lauderdale, the place Jace had dreaded. All this was discussed and agreed upon without my input. I realized I was being tried, convicted and sentenced in this one meeting. Finally, I tried to speak up.
“Why can’t you let me go back to my regular life?”
“You’ve lost that privilege, son,” Dad countered.
“All this is happening because I took a sip of beer I didn’t really want?”
“You know there was more going on than that.”
“All you had to do was say I was a good kid and you trusted me.”
“You still refuse to accept responsibility for what happened at the concert. Max is dead,” Dad sighed. “You put the younger boys at risk with your antics.”
“So, you’re going to send me off to be brainwashed in Ft Lauderdale? How much is that going to cost?”
The drug counselor answered, “It’s $1,100 a month. If you can’t pay, the County will pay.”
“You’re willing to pay to have me locked up?” I accused Dad.
The other counselor chimed in, “I’ll remind you, Mr. Castle, there’s really little choice here. He’s facing serious charges. It’s either drug diversion or juvenile detention hall.”
“What did I do besides some Halloween pranks.”
“You’re accused of molesting two 10-year-old boys.”
“You wanna see molestation,” I yelled. “Just check what goes on in here every night.”
“Calm down, son. I’m sure your folks don’t want to think you’re in danger here. If you have accusations to make, we’ll take care of it. Who’s been doing what.”
“We’ve got it under control. But I’m talking rape here, not scaring nosy little kids.”
“Who is we?”
This guy was the grand inquisitor.
“My friend and I. We stopped it last night, and it’s over. I’m not playing your games here.”
“If you don’t start cooperating, you may not even have the choice of where to go.”
“Yeah, between straight to hell and the long route.”
“I’m having you removed from this hearing to stop your disruptions, so we can come to some resolution.” He signaled for a guard to take me out.
“You don’t wanna hear what I have to say because it shows how screwed up this place really is,” as I was pulled from my seat by a guard.
“You’re a juvenile, Castle, and you have no rights.”
“You just need to have the last word.” I shut up and was escorted back to the cell.
Billy looked up as they shoved me into the cell. He and the kid we’d rescued were sitting on his bunk, across from mine. Billy let me calm down before asking what had gone down.
“They crucified me on a stick.”
“The so-called counselors and my parents.”
“You ain’t gettin’ out, bro?”
“Naw. It’s drug program or juvie. I ain’t done nothin’ but smoke some weed.”
“I learned a long time ago ta jist let ‘em do what they’s want to me. You white boys gotta lots ta learn.”
“We white boys gotta learn to hang together with all the brothers to get along.”
“Ya gots that, bro.”
We shared a high-five. I smiled at the kid on Billy’s bunk.
Later I noticed that all the empty bunks near mine were now taken by the kids from across the cell. The other two black kids were also in our corner. The fat white kid was isolated by the empty bunks. The cell had decided who the real Satanist was. There were no cries or moans that night.