A Prairie Christmas Chapter 1

I call home from Michael’s, praying Mom answers but prepared for the worst. Of course, it’s Dad who answers.
What?” he barks curtly.
“Tim. You get home this instant.”
“Yes, sir,” and I hang up.
I look across the room at Mike Sr. and shake my head. He nods back.
I whisper in Jack’s ear, “I have to go home. I must do this alone.”
He looks as shocked Tim 456 as Michael had when Jack whispered into his ear. I kiss each eye shut, turn, and leave. Tim 178

When I arrive, Dad hustles me into the car and drives me to Miami Police Headquarters. He lectures me all the way there. I caused a riot. I got Max killed. I 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.” Tim 390
“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 keep silent the rest of the way to the station. Tim 375

Once there, it seems preordained that I’m going into custody. They want to charge me with police obstruction but are unsure I have actually done anything. Dad has me describe what happened. He interrupts me when I start 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 concludes.
Dad says goodbye, handing me a small case with a change of clothes. He knew I was going to juvenile hall before we left home. I remain dry-eyed as he leaves the station.

I’m put in an open cell of about ten kids, 12 – 16. The oldest one is also the fattest. He comes at me right away to knock me down. I jump back. Fatty falls on his face. I put my foot on his neck and grind him into the floor.
“Don’t fuck with me,” I tell him. Tim 327
He squirms a little before giving up. I look around and throw my stuff on the nearest bunk. A few, then all the little kids, grab their stuff and move on my side of the cell.

“You owe me one beat-down,” I tell Fatty as I take my foot off his neck. He hunkers back to his corner, where the last few boys spit on him before running across to my side of the cell. All the kids rearrange their bunks so I can protect them. They sit on or near my bunk while I set up.
“Y’all look abused,” I challenge them, staring at two boys cowering in the back.
“Whatcha in fer?” the nearest boy changes the subject.
“Murder…of my dog,” and they break up.


We chat. The tension in the cell disappears. My only worry was if some football jock gets thrown in with us, would I have to fight him? I’m not surprised when shortly, a jock shows up. He gives me the stare, which I quickly avert, and we leave each other alone. Half the kids move over to his side. Balance of power established; Fatty banished to a corner.

That night seems to last an eternity. Jock boy alienates his followers by choosing a looker as his favorite bed buddy. The winner is promptly abandoned by all his allies in that corner, who return to my side. They vigorously complain that their friend is about to be raped. They pester me with their fake hero-worship while I accept the inevitability of a fag on fag battle. As soon as the victim’s whimper turn desperate, we march over and I confront jock-head who already has pulled down the 12 year old’s jeans.
“Why you havta do that?” I challenge him.
“What’s it to ya, dickweed.” He ignores me, returning to the molestation.
“You gotta find someone small ‘cause yer dick ain’t growed yet?” I imply.
That gets his attention.
Grabbing his swollen, half-erect dick and shaking it at me, “You want some of this, bitch?”
My dick is already swinging, easily seen through the jailhouse jeans I wear. “I thought you just like little boys.”
He blanches when I don’t flinch. “Faggot.”
“Yeah, right. And, who has his dick halfway up his bunkmate’s ass?”
Everyone laughs at him. The victim quickly escapes to his friends. We walk back, the tribe reunited. It takes the jock a minute to get his dick to relax and realize how dissed he is. He comes roaring over, yelling like a banshee, straight at me. My quick step-aside only makes him change direction. I put my back to a wall and prepare to be assaulted. His punch goes wild. I heard the bones crack as his fist hits the cement wall. It makes him scream even louder as I scurried away. Tim 388 Waking up from their general torpor, the guards rush in, grab the jock, and drag him off to solitary.
The guard asks me why he attacked me. The kid victim tells the guard that I was defending him.
“That boy wanted to rape you?” the guard asks.
I silently shake my head and the kid shrugs. “He didn’t after my friend told him to stop.”
The guard gives me a funny look. “It’s not your job to protect anyone.”
“Yes, sir,” I meekly agree.
He turns to the victim, “You saying he assaulted you?”
Again I shake my head. The boy resists the urge to rat, “Nah, he just threatened me.”
“Okay. Well, he’s earned his week in the hole.”

I kinda enjoy how it turned out. The boys stop pestering me, confused as to whether I was a wise-ass wimp or something they didn’t quite trust. At least my hard-on is long gone. One kid sits on my bunk and pesters me with questions, just like Stu always does.
“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 tells me, giving me a look. Tim 390
“Hey. You know I’ll back you up. I don’t need any ‘special’ favors. Just friends.” I offer a handshake – how silly.
He barely shakes hands, looking downcast.
“What’s your name?” I try to encourage him.
“Tommy,” he brightens up.
“I’m Tim,” as I wink at him. He looks pleased that he doesn’t have to give up his ass for protection. Most of the others come over that evening and introduce themselves. We all agree to watch out for one another.

Later another older boy is led into the cell. Again the nasty looks warn me to leave him alone. He choses a bunk near Fatty who quickly tries to explain why everyone hates him because of me. The new kid soon is sitting on a different  bunk in a vacant corner of the cell, glaring at anyone who looks at him.

Soon after lights out, there’s a rustling among the bunks. First, the youngest boys move into the furthest bunks, two or three to a bed; I figure it’s for self-protection. Tommy is sitting at the foot of my bed.
“This happens every night,” he whispers. “The big guys pick their victims, and it starts all over again.”
“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 suppresses crowing.
“And, I know you’re not.”
“Well, there ain’t no girls in here.”
“You still makin’ a play for me?” I laugh.
“Why not? You ain’t ashamed are you?”
“No way. I’ll enjoy riding that asshole.”
We both giggle He has a gleam in his eye. Dario 03

In the darkness, I heard someone shuffling in our direction. Crouching until the shuffler is close, I jump the boy, knocking him down. It’s my original nemesis, Fatty. I kick at him and tell him to stay on his own side of the cell. While this goes down, the new boy sneaked by me. Soon I hear a struggle and muffled cries. By the time I get over there, the bigger boy already is on top of the smaller kid, who’s now half naked. I jump on top of the two, reaching around to grab the older one’s already hard dick. In his surprise, I undo his jeans while he mindlessly humps. He quickly regains his composure, trying to knock me off his back. I grab his exposed dick like a bronco’s pommel horn, I hold on as he bucks. The younger boy slides out of his bed and joins the posse watching the action in the dark. I stroke his dick which quickly became super hard. Realizing I’m not about to be bucked off his back, he tries to maneuver himself so we were face to face. Unhooking my jeans and pushing them down, while still stroking his stiffy, I grab both dicks in my either hand and work on them. It’s totally different from jumping Jack. I despise this guy. I just wanted to humiliate him. Thinking he me bested, he really starts getting off. As he gets closer to ejaculating, I swipe the top of his dick for pre-cum, smearing his straining cock. The rest of the pre-cum I smear into my ass. In one move I sit on his straining dick, squeezing on it as it penetrates me. Tim 384 His look of surprise quickly turns to moans of ecstasy. He is about to cum. I roll backward, pulling him further inside my ass. He shudders and began to ejaculate. As he slows the bucking and spurts, his moaning finishes. I reverse our positions. From his cum leaking from my ass, I take a swipe of jism and lubricate his still pulsating anal muscles. His head is thrown back as he feels my dick sink up to my balls in his ass.Tim 343 Cum restarts flowing from his dick head as I vigorously start to pump him. His legs wrapped around me as he gives into the fucking. He soon realizes what was actually happening. He  starts squirming, trying to push my dick out. I won’t give him an inch. The more he squirms, the longer and firmer my thrusts become. His moans turn to whimpers as he can’t stop me fucking. I relentlessly drive 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 taunt him.
He lies there, passively waiting for me to be done, hoping it’s sooner than later. I show no indication that I’m about to finish. From the whispering all around us, I know we have an audience.
“If y’all don’t get back in your bunks, I’m gonna start lookin’ for a tight ass. This boy is goin’ all loose and flappin.’ I’ll never cum,” I taunt my victim.  Tim 532
Hearing the boys scurrying back to their bunks, I pull out and came all over him with just a few hand strokes. He tries to crawl away from me.
“You like boy pussy because you can’t take real fucking. You’re pitiful,” as I kick him toward his bunk. A small cheer goes up and a few ‘Yeahs’ are heard. I go and wash off my dick. When I get back to my bunk, Tommy is stretched out at its foot. Ignoring him, I climb in and I’m instantly asleep. When I wake up, Tommy is gone. Daytime is normal time.

Another day in the life of Tim Castle, delinquent waste case. I refuse to be pestered by my minions, telling them to talk to the boy I 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 laugh, making it obvious who was the object of their scorn. Tommy saunters over to him, sitting on the opposite bunk, and starts his pestering.
“Hey, man. How long ya bin in?”
“Fuck off.”
“Com’n. What was it like? You were into it with him. I seen ya cum.”Tim 474
“Shut up and die,”he screams at Tommy.
Tommy scurries 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 now.”
I laugh, “Well, who’d want to grow up wanting to fuck little boys? He’s sic. It’s makes him a sick bully.”
“Don’t deny you didn’t enjoy it last night, both fucking and being fucked,” Tommy presses.
“Ya got it all worked out, dontcha?” I challenge him. “You can’t enjoy it, even if you’re gay?”
“You’re gay?”
“Yes, shit for brains.”
Dad’s old line causes 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 get recreation. B’ball not being my thing, I sit with my minions in the shade, while the Black kids take it out on the Whites. I tell Tommy to stop running his mouth about me, which shuts him up.
A really young kid sit silently beside me. I swear he wants to crawl into my lap. Tim 123 It’s unconscionable that we treat kids like him as criminals, subjecting them to sexual abuse and bullying.  I figure it’s time to play Teen Jesus.
“Which of youse has Jesus in his heart?” No one speaks up, but several look downcast.
“Well, who used to have Jesus in his heart?” I look right at the boy who seems most conflicted.
“Com’n here,” I motion to him. “What’s your name?”
“Luke,” he barely answers.
“You know who you’re named after?”
“Sure, the gospel of St Luke.”
“Who was St Luke?”
“He was Jesus’s disciple.”Tim 389
“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 can tell he trusts me.
“Look around and tell me who your friends are.”
He points out first one and two best friends, then says, “I guess everyone here’s my friend”
We all smile and mellow out to the bonding. The mood lasts only long enough for the frustrated white b’ball players to notice. At my nemesis’s urging, they march over to threaten us.
“Come for some more of this?” I grabbed my dick and give it a squeeze.
The boy blanches at my brazen attitude. His backers grumble that he didn’t tell them about that. The Black players are listening. They start pointing and picking out their next victims.
My minions speak up, “He loved it, cumming all over hisself.”
Confrontation averted. We jump up and high-five the Black players. All of us are laughing at the loser White players. At the rate I was making enemies, I better be transferred soon. Mike Sr. is supposed to be my lifeline. No word yet. Where is Jay? I need a phone call. I better first call Dad, chain of command.

Later one of the kids, a tough looking Cuban, asks me what if he doesn’t believe in religion and Jesus.
“Well, do you have family or a friend who’s dead?”
“Sure, half the ‘hood.”
“Well, if you know 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 smile. It takes him a second to smile back, but then he grins.
“You enjoy fightin,’” he concludes. “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 ask a guard about a phone call. I’m told not until I get out of holding. So much for rights.

Night comes quickly. We have rec time after chow. The minions are all over me with pestering. I tell them about our band and how we always had fights at our shows. I sing them Elvis’s “Kung Fu Fighting.”

I even throw in some fake moves, swiveling my hips like Elvis. I catch my ‘boyfriend,’ with a gleam in his eye, watching me from across the cell. I’m not sure that he relishes his memory of last night or is just jealous that all the little boys are in thrall of me. He’s sick either way.

Tommy appoints himself as my lieutenant and is cracking down on the others. I’m the Godfather, Tommy, my Consigliere. The 72 hours are endless.
“Cool it, Tommy,” I admonish.
“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 pat my bunk.
A gleam is in his eye now, as he slides onto the bottom of my bed. I sit so my head rests on the wall at the head of the bed.
“Admit that you’re really enjoying our escapades,” I prompt him.
“You, too. This makes juvie almost fun.”
“I got asked to join fight club.”
“You know about that?”
“They say you have 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 laughs.
“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 laugh and keep 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 giggle. By then, most of the younger kids are gravitating toward us. I stifle the sex talk with Tommy.

“Listen, everyone. I expect the usual trouble tonight, so let’s swear to protect each other. If you’re 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 wonder how tough they could be, most weighed under 100 pounds.

It doesn’t take long, after the lights go out, for the perverts to come hunting. The idea that they keep getting rearrested in order to have their way with the younger boys in the holding cell makes me sick. There can’t be that many teens who lust for young boys.

As soon as someone starts to complain, we all rush to his rescue. Tommy s the hero who chases the molester away. As he’s acting tough, we hear someone else crying for help. I kick the first molesterTim 622 in the balls, hors de combat, for the night.

The sneaky pervert is none other than my previous night’s ‘boyfriend.’
“What’s wrong with you?” I calm challenge 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 challenges me back.
I grab my dick and indicate I’m ready. He lets the kid go and jumps up, thinking I want him again. My uppercut catches him by surprise. The stomach punch puts him down.
“Do you think I enjoyed fucking you?” as I stand over him with a foot on his neck. Sid 01
He looks pitiful, gasping for air, so I let him up. He won’t challenge me anymore.
“Sit,” I order, indicating an empty bunk. He refuses to look me in the eye.
“What’s your name?”
“Charles,” he gasps.
“You mean Up-Chuck,” as he continues to gag. The boys laugh.
“You want to stop lusting for young boys?” I ask. My posse is silent.
“Right now, yeah,” he gets 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 admits.
“And every time you’ve had your pick of boy pussy?”
“Until now.”
“You don’t see how sick that is?”
“I guess,” he demurs.
“Think about it. But until you decide, get over to your own bunk,” I indicate he has to leave our area.

We settled down until we hear sobs coming from the other side. The kids who came in that day are unaware they need protection. We march over and pull the molester off his victim. Tommy kicks him the balls, which, unfortunately for him, are hanging out. We tell 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 jokes.
I laugh, at which, he just shakes his head. The jerk guard gives me a look that means he had it out for me. He’ll be the one who fucks with me when the guards decide to have their own party. 72 hours. Where’s Jay?

The regular chow, school, chow, school routine keeps me busy until it’s rec time in the late afternoon. My posse/harem gather in the shade, laughing at the b’ball players. Some of the Black kids join us. We decided to sing the Kinks, ‘Apeman” to make them feel welcome.

“You callin’ me a monkey?” one of the Black boys challenges 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 do the same, mimicking me. The Black b’ball players take instant offense, running over to defend their brothers. Luckily one of the first Blacks to sit with us gets it.
“Chill, boy. They’s sayin’ we’s all monkeys.”
“Don’t I look like an ape?” I respond.
“More a great White clown,” their leader counters.
I started mimicking him, like a mime. He takes a swing, missing wildly. I do the same.
“Fight. Fight” they all yell.
We kept mirroring each other, missing wildly. Everyone is in stitches. The guards come running over and separate us.
“No fighting,” they warn us.
“We wasn’t fightin’, officer. We was doin’ the monkey dance,” I answer, at which everyone goes into the jumping and scratching and singing the monkey song chorus around the guards. Tim181
Infuriated, they start chasing us around the rec yard. The bell rings for chow. We all calmly line up. The guards have red faces and can hardly breathe.

After chow we’re back in the cell. The jocks are angry over their multiple humiliations. They lack the energy to challenge us. The kids hang around my bunk, asking me about the shows I played with the band. When I mentioned Max, several know who he is. As always, I played second fiddle to a dog. They love 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 fall asleep, my assumption proved incorrect.

Before I know what’s happening, several sets of hands grab me, roll me into a blanket and kidnapped me out of the cell. It’s the guards extracting their revenge on me with a blanket party. I lay still as they kick and punch my trapped body. Except for a couple of real blows, it seems like they’re pulling their punches. Once they stop, I’m freed from the blanket and scurry into a corner. Tim 528 It’s the mean guard who organized my beating. The three others stood around while Meanie yells at me and calls me a fag. The friendly guard pretends to be punching me.
“Just go along. He’ll run out of things to say soon,” he whispers.
“Thanks, but let me get a chance at him. I’ll fuck his faggot ass good.”
The guard laughs.
I jumped up to meanie’s surprise, knocking him down, while the others just watch. I had him pinned from behind. I’m not surprised to find his miniature dick is rock hard when I give him a reach around. I give it some strong jerks until I feel it erupt. He’s barely struggling, unsure whether he should enjoy his own climax or should be struggling against me. I quickly have his belt undone and uniform pants down. Taking the still leaking cum from his piss-hole, I lubricate myself and mount him in one thrust. Tim 558 Without lubrication he screams, which makes me pump harder. More violent sex for me. I swear to keep pumping without pleasure until Meanie is totally submissive. It doesn’t take long before he slumps face down and waits for me to be done. I pull out and stand over him,
“That’s all you deserve, sir,” I spit out the word. “Now you’re just a piece of shit.”
The guards grab me again, as I pull up my pants. I accede to their authority and am dumped back on my bunk in the cell.
“He deserved it, but don’t tell anyone,” the friendly guard again whispers to me. I nod and am left alone.
All my kids sneak over, wanting to know what happened.
“Blanket party,” I tell them.
They’re crestfallen that their hero has been defeated. I so want to tell them how it had played out, but I keep silent, although I wink at Tommy. He sleeps the night at the foot of my bed.

No sign of Guard Meanie at chow that morning. My 72 hours are up. I anxiously await my phone call and a possible release hearing.
“You’ll find out when we tell you,” is all I  learn from a guard.
I’m pulled out of  school (all we ever do is fill out worksheets). The guard marches me down to the admin office where I’m locked in a meeting room by myself. Finally Dad marches in, with several County officials, and a guard to protect them from me, the hardened criminal.
“Dad,” I jump up.
“Sit,” he orders. My heart sank.
Everyone sits down. The official pulls out a file and peruses the few pages of reports in it. At least my ‘record’ is not extensive. He then takes another file crammed with newspaper articles and photos. My celebrity is part of my record, I assume.
“I’m Mr. Perk, your social worker, Tim.”
I nodded, then look at Dad. Did this mean I’m being taken out of my home? Dad keeps his mouth shut.
“Your police record is clear until you were caught drinking at the concert.”
Instead of protesting, I keep silent. Dad finally gives me an approving look.
“One beer is not what concerns me,” Mr. Perk continues. “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 Principal 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 pauses, expecting me to defend myself. After a few seconds he goes 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 ask, even though I know.
“Well, discrimination cannot be tolerated if we’re ever to fully desegregate the Miami schools.”
“Oh,” I continue to seem clueless. Dad is 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.” Tim 454
“No. It’s about Jace and how he inspires us. People think I’m 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 turns 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 takes 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 did not supervise 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 worked 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.” Tim 317
Dad is 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 stops our argument.
“Well, it seems to me that Tim is not ready to accept your authority,” he addresses 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 shakes 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 pout.
“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’m too angry to respond. Dad just shakes his head. The guard takes me back to the cell.  I gather my few clothes and leave for the permanent juvenile facility out in the Everglades. The kids, especially Tommy, look anguished that I’m no longer going to protect them. Tim 120

For the first two days I’m kept in isolation. I mostly sleep, barely eating. Finally they issue me detention overalls. I’m put in another large cell with at least 20 other juveniles, all my age or older. The other kids look tough and street-hardened. They avoid me like the plague. The word has spread that I’m a devil worshiper. I adjust by mostly sleeping. My dreams are haunted by images from my Samhein-Belladonna trip. Tim 299 One of the other inmates, a tall black kid, wakes me up when I start crying out in my sleep. He seems afraid of my dark powers. On the third morning, I awake feeling more coherent. Looking at his inquiring face, I cringe from the memory of him waking me, mixing him into my nightmares.
“Yo, brother, I ain’t gonna harm you.” Tim 604
“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 passes.
“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 rush into my head. They mix with my nightmares of the Belladonna trip. Adding to my panic are thoughts of the cops thinking I was an evil Satanist. The thoughts of serious consequences seem too real.
“Well, maybe we got carried away,” I tell Billy.
“Hey, bro, you feel up to eatin’? You jist bin laying heah and missin’ meal call.”
My stomach turns over at the thought of food. Then hunger conquers my queasiness. I’m famished. Soon we go off in a group to breakfast. The counselor escorting us notices I am 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 devour the oatmeal and toast breakfast.

I’m taken to an office, where a Mr. Downs interviews me. It starts out easy, with him assuring me that my folks have been told where I am and that they can see me later that day. That is hardly reassuring news. Then he starts interrogating me about my drug use. I deny being a drug user, just admitting to smoking pot. Tim 583
“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 gives 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 look around. It sure feels 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 are 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.” Tim 151
“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. Is 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 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 looks 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 lie 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 agree to escape more interrogation.
“After that, I think we can release you to your parents. Does that sound okay?”
“Sure,” but that prospect is not exactly reassuring.

Once I return to the holding unit, I noticed the other kids are shunning me. Billy comes and sits with me. I ask him, “Do I have the plague or something.”
“Yo, brother, you really a devil worshiper?”Tim 381
“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.” Tim 605
“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 are listening and began to move closer. I recount all my dreams for their enjoyment. A fat white boy says I’m a sinner and bound for hell.
“Bound for glory,” I counter.
They all laugh. The cell has bunks piled three high against the wall. They’re all sitting in one corner, listening to me. I tell the whole series of events leading up to Halloween.
“That Robby Tim 268is the one goin’ to hell,” one of the kids says.
“Haven’t you ever played with magic?” I ask.
“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 go to chow. Afterwards, I have to see the drug counselor. He’s more concerned about how well I’m getting along there. When we’re through with those formalities, he asks me about the Halloween drug. I tell him it was Belladonna. He gets 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.  All for one. One for all.”
“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. Bleach Ichigo 09 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’re sent to bed with lights out at ten. I fall asleep quickly but awake to muffled moans and cries. I look over and see Billy looking at me. Across the cell, we hear the fat white kid molesting a younger boy who is fighting back. We both get up and go quietly over to the bunk.
“Stop it, asshole,” I whisper, pulling the fat kid away from the boy.
“You gonna stop me,” he challenges back.
“We’re gonna stop this,” Billy joins in.
The fat kid looks long and hard at both of us. Then he jumps down from the kid’s bunk.
“Fuckin’ mind yer own bizness, devil worshiper,” he spits at me.
I ignore him. We take the kid over to an empty bunk on our side of the cell. He has tears in his eyes but doesn’t say anything. He didn’t want us to leave him. Billy sits him on his bunk while I go back to mine. In the morning, I notice that Billy slept with him. My life in hell goes on.

The next evening, my folks come to see me, meeting with both counselors. The folks are speechless that I was in so much trouble. They learn I  skipped school. They agree that I had become a drug addict. Dad mentions that my ‘real’ mom had become addicted to pills, suggesting I had inherited the problem. The drug counselor suggests I be placed on probation, dependent upon completion of drug rehabilitation. He suggests The Program in Fort Lauderdale, the place Jace dreaded. All this is discussed and agreed upon without my input. I realize I’m being tried, convicted and sentenced in this one meeting. Finally, I try to speak up.
“Why can’t you let me go back to my regular life?” Bleach Ichigo 06
“You’ve lost that privilege, son,” Dad counters.
“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 have to do is say I’m a good kid and you trust me.”
“You still refuse to accept responsibility for what happened at the concert. Max is dead,” Dad sighs. “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 answers, “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 accuse Dad.
The other counselor chimes 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 yell. “Just check what goes on in here every night.” Copy of Ichigo05
“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 them.  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 signals 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’m pulled from my seat by a guard. Bleach Ichigo 02
“You’re a juvenile, Castle, and you have no rights.”
“You just need to have the last word.” I shut up and am escorted back to the cell.

Billy looks up as they shove me into the cell. He and the kid we’d rescued are sitting on his bunk, across from mine. Billy lets me calm down before asking what has 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 wants to me. You white boys gotta lots ta learn.” Tim 605
“We white boys gotta learn to hang together with all the brothers to get along.”
“Ya gots that, bro.”
We share a high-five. I smile at the kid on Billy’s bunk.
Later I notice that all the empty bunks near mine are now taken by the kids from across the cell. The other two black kids are also in our corner. The fat white kid is isolated by the empty bunks. The cell decided who the real Satanist is. There are no cries or moans that night.