Young boy with a book, sitting on a stool

The Last Act

by Alan Dwight

Michael was born in May, 1938, which proved to be the perfect time for a white, Anglo-Saxon boy to be born in a northeastern American suburb. True, there was a World War beginning. True, the Depression was continuing. But in his little corner of the world, he knew nothing of these events. In time, he became aware of the war, and as he grew older, he learned of rationing and the little flags in the windows of families whose sons had gone off to war.

But the war meant little to him. He had friends, he enjoyed playing, and the seriousness of events had not yet penetrated his mind. His parents worked to protect him and his siblings from the grimness of life. They subscribed to Life magazine, with its horrifying pictures of the war, but they hid the magazine from their children.

Michael’s father worked for a bank which never closed during the Depression. He was able to support his growing family and was even quietly planning to send all four children to college. They would be the first in the family to go.

Michael’s mother loved her children and raised them with a combination of caring and discipline. She bought their clothes and their food. She employed a live-in maid, an African American woman with her own family which she saw once a week on her day off. Until much later, Michael was unaware that she had a family.

Michael was the youngest of four children. His sister Jennifer was ten years older than him. His brother Mark was six years older, and his brother David was 4 years older. David always maintained that there were three disasters in 1938. One was that Michael’s siblings all had whooping cough. The second was the hurricane of ’38, and the third was the birth of Michael. Perhaps David didn’t appreciate being usurped as the baby of the family.

Michael was a beautiful child. He had golden curls on his head and a face that was beyond cute. Often when people first met him, they thought he was a girl.

Michael’s aunt, his mother’s sister, was very interested in early childhood education and owned a small school in town. It was in a large house on the main street, and it had a multi-car garage referred to as ‘the barn’ with a loft which was finished and heated and used for the older classes. Behind the barn were some sheds which stored play equipment.

Michael began attending the school in the January before he turned two, but his earliest memories of the school were of when he was a toddler. There was a large room which contained, among other things, wooden blocks and a little slide. On the wall was a cartoon-like whale being caught with a line by a man in a boat. He later realized that the room wasn’t nearly as large as he originally thought and was probably the living room of the house.

As a toddler he attended school three days a week. When he was a little older, he began attending five days a week. Two of those days, Tuesdays and Thursdays, were short days, when the children were dismissed at noon. On the other three days they ate lunch at the school, a delicious hot lunch which grew even better after rationing ended. On those days, the children had a rest period after lunch. Folding cots were placed in the room, and the children had their own blankets.

At dismissal time, the children sat outside on benches lining the porch of the building. Cars snaked up the driveway until they reached the porch, where a teacher called out the names of the children being picked up in the cars.

Michael spent his first years at the school mostly playing, but often the play was quietly led by a teacher in a way that honed the social skills of the children. The three other boys his age in the room became his fast friends, and in his way, he loved them.

The school gave a Christmas pageant each year. The pageant was always the same although the children played different roles as they grew. For his first years, he was a villager. As he grew older, he became a shepherd, and then a donkey, and in his final year ─ third grade − a wise man.

One of Michael’s earliest memories was attending his family’s Congregational church in the city. It was a large, stone building, and he was fascinated by the big rose window. His family always sat with his grandmother. After the Children’s Talk, the little ones processed behind the American flag and the church flag out of the sanctuary and into the Sunday school rooms. It was always a proud day for Michael when he got to carry one of the flags.

When he was in first and second grade, he had a kind teacher who spoke with a southern accent. It took him a little time to learn to understand her, but when he did, he grew to love her. Occasionally, she gave him a ride home in her yellow Buick, which she named Eggnog or Eggie.

Michael’s siblings had all attended the school. There was a time when the school went through sixth grade, but as it became more difficult to find teachers and to pay them a living wage, older grades were gradually dropped. So it was that for Michael and his friends, third grade was their final year in the school. As a leaving present, the school gave each child a ballpoint pen, the first that they had seen. It turned out that his pen often leaked, smearing Michael’s hands with ink, but he treasured it for years.

Michael had a friend, Peter, who lived on the same street. In fourth grade they began attending the same neighborhood public school. The school was only two blocks away, so the boys always walked. They were able to walk home for lunch and then return for the afternoon session. Occasionally, there was a day when Michael’s mother wouldn’t be home, and he would walk to Peter’s house for lunch.

Fortunately for Michael, his mother finally had his hair cut, and while he still retained some curls, nobody called him a girl anymore.

Sometimes on the way home after school, he sang aloud. He sang songs he’d learned at school, but he also sang ones he made up as he went along. He even pretended to sing in foreign languages, which he also made up. Unbeknownst to him, he was well known among his neighbors for his singing.

By fifth grade, Michael had discovered the pleasures of fondling himself. Of course, he didn’t orgasm, but he loved the sensations he was having.

He developed a crush on his fifth-grade teacher, Mrs. Holden, and in later years he decided that fifth grade was his favorite school year. He was still a child with no hormones pushing him towards puberty, and he was knowledgeable enough to be able to learn from reading in his history and science books.

By sixth grade, his hormones had begun to affect him. He found himself having erections at odd and sometimes embarrassing moments. He discovered that Peter had likewise experienced both erections and the joys of fondling himself, and they began doing it together, usually in either Michael’s or Peter’s bedroom.

Self-masturbation moved on to become mutual masturbation, and soon the boys couldn’t get enough of it, even though neither one had yet reached a climax.

Michael had been spotted by a local talent agent who found young people for advertisements. Michael was cute and began to model for photos for local businesses ─ a tire dealership, a furniture store, a toy store, and even for Peter’s father’s Cadillac dealership.

There was an amateur theater group in town which recruited Michael when they needed a boy in one of their plays, and he discovered a love of acting.

One day, as the boys lay side by side on a bed, Peter rolled over so that he was on top of Michael. He began sliding up and down, grinding his friend. Suddenly, he felt the need to urinate. He leapt up and ran for the bathroom, but by the time he got there, the feeling was gone.

Michael was unhappy that Peter had left so abruptly, but Peter explained what had happened. They both wondered about it.

Further grinding on subsequent days led to the recurrence of the feeling. Peter decided that it was not a sign of a full bladder. Instead, it was a wonderful, new sensation which captivated him.

Michael was a little behind Peter in his maturation, but only by a couple of months. Soon, their grinding rewarded them both with dry climaxes.

Then came the day when Peter first produced cum. It was only a little, but he knew from a book his mother had given him called Being Born what the liquid was. It wasn’t long before both Peter and Michael were shooting loads of cum, both together in their afternoon explorations and alone at night.

Peter discovered that, by looking at himself in the mirror, he could make himself climax without touching himself.

Meanwhile, Michael discovered that he was flexible enough to bend over and take his member in his mouth. That was a whole new and thrilling sensation. He tried to teach Peter, but his friend wasn’t as flexible, so he did the next best thing and took Peter in his mouth. Thereafter, oral sex was a frequent occurrence.

The boys spent long, happy days together in the summers. They played baseball in a vacant lot behind Michael’s house. He had discovered that he enjoyed running, so when they went to a park to join a soccer or touch football game, he jogged the two miles to the park while Peter rode his bicycle.

The first time Michael ran beside Peter, his friend asked him why he was running and not riding his bike.

“I just love to run,” replied Michael, who wasn’t even winded when they arrived at the park. Peter eventually accepted that his friend was a very good runner.

When they were in seventh grade in junior high, Michael and Peter often walked in the hallways with their arms around each other’s shoulders. Occasionally they received odd stares, but nobody ever said anything.

The town began to hold occasional sports days at the park. Michael not only ran to the park, he won the quarter mile race and anchored the last leg of the mile relay, which his team won.

A day came in the summer after their seventh-grade year that Michael announced to Peter that he wouldn’t be available for a while. He said he would be working on ‘a project’. When Peter asked about it, Michael replied, “I can’t say. It’s a secret.”

When they did get together, Michael seemed tired and not as playful as he usually was. He wouldn’t tell Peter what he was doing, but he did mention that a man was helping him . . . a lot.

Peter mentioned this one time to his mother when she asked why she hadn’t seen much of Michael. She wondered if there was something not above board going on between Michael and the man.

In those days, children were not taught about the dangers of being with unknown men. Peter had been told in a general way not to go with strange men or accept gifts from them. He was also told to stay out of public rest rooms. But he was naïve as a 14-year-old and made no connection between the warnings and his friend spending time with an unknown man.

It was toward the end of that summer when Michael announced that he was finally nearly finished with his project and could then tell Peter about it.

On a night soon after that, a car pulled up to the side of country road. The driver turned off the motor, got out, and opened the back door.

“Get out,” he ordered.

Michael slowly climbed out of the car. The man grabbed him firmly by the arm and led him down an embankment and into a field. Michael stumbled slowly, hesitantly, through the meadow. He was sobbing. The nearly full moon shone brightly in the sky. The grass was wet, and the boy felt the dampness through his sneakers. He wore shorts and no shirt. The man behind him shoved him forward. Michael’s hands were tied behind his back, and the rope tied to his ankles hobbled him. Tears ran down his cheeks.

“Kneel,” the man ordered.

“P . . . P . . . Please don’t,” the boy stammered.

“Kneel,” the man repeated, pushing the boy, causing him to fall face down. He pulled the boy up until he was kneeling.

“No . . . No . . .” the boy pleaded.

He felt the barrel of the gun against the back of his head.

“Say your prayers,” ordered the man.

“No . . . No . . . Please! I d . . . don’t want to die!”

There was a brief silence, and then a voice called, “Cut . . . . That’s a wrap.”

The man stuck the pistol in his belt, helped Michael up, and untied his ankles and hands.

“Good, work, Michael,” said another man coming over to him.

“But that’s not the end of the movie,” Michael said.

“No,” the man replied, “you know that we don’t shoot the scenes in order. You’ll see how it works when you watch the movie.”

“When can I see it?” asked Michael.

“Oh, we have a lot of work to do yet – editing, adding music, dubbing in the sound, all the things that make the final product. When it’s ready, I’ll give you a call and you and your family can watch a private showing.”

“Can I bring a friend?”

“Sure, as many as you want.”

“Thanks,” Michael said. He turned and walked back to the road. The man who had played his captor gave him a ride home.

Michael had grown to really like the man, but he knew that the man would be returning to California.

When the car pulled up to Michael’s house, he gave the man a big hug.

“I’ll miss you,” he said.

“Well, if the movie’s a success, you may well get some work in Hollywood,” the man replied.

Michael went into his house, said hi to his parents, and told them his job was finished. He went upstairs to his room, stripped off his clothes, and took a relaxing shower.

He was exhausted. He fell into bed and lay for a moment smiling. He was asleep before he even had time to pleasure himself.

It was several months later when Michael learned that the film was ready for showing. A theater was rented in town, and he was told he could invite his friends to the show.

The night of the viewing, the theater was packed with school kids and their parents.

They watched, spellbound, as the story unfolded. It began with Michael being followed by a man who grabbed him, threw him into a car, and drove away. For most of the film, the man held a naked Michael in a locked, windowless room. It showed the man entering the room and the audience heard Michael screaming.

Other scenes included a detective trying to find the missing boy and distraught actors playing Michael’s parents in various stages of fear and anxiety.

Towards the end of the movie, as Michael was led out into a field, there wasn’t a sound in the theater. Michael knelt on the ground and pleaded, “No . . . Please! I d . . . don’t want to die!” as the man put the gun to the back of the boy’s head. The viewers became aware of sirens and police cars pulling up on the road, blue lights flashing. The man who had been threatening Michael began to stand and turn when he was met by a volley of bullets and fell to the ground. The audience cheered.

During the reception after the viewing, Michael said to the director, “Now I see how the whole thing fits together. It didn’t really make sense to me until now.”

Michael was a star at school for a few days, until routines returned and all the students settled into their work.

One afternoon, as Peter and Michael were lying on Peter’s bed, he said, “Wow. Now I’ve had sex with a movie star.”

Michael giggled. “I’m no star,” he replied. “At least not until the reviews come out.”

“You’re a star to me, and you always will be,” said Peter. He rolled on top of his friend and kissed him lovingly on the lips.

Michael reached up and began to peel off Peter’s shirt.

Soon they were lying naked and grinding, their excitement rising.

When they finished, they kissed again, and Peter produced tissues to clean themselves off.

They lay silently, side by side, knowing that this might be the last time they were together, for Michael was leaving in the morning for Los Angeles and Hollywood, where he would make a new movie.

When Peter announced that he had to go home for supper, they stood and dressed. At the front door, they exchanged one last, bittersweet kiss.

Peter walked home slowly, wondering if he would ever see Michael again.

Slowly, Michael made his way back to his room and lay down on his bed, tears running down his cheeks.

His last thought before he drifted off to sleep was, “God, I love him. It was so great while it lasted.”

As always, I want to thank my editors for their comments and suggestions. They were a great help.

Please consider backing the website by making a donation.