Tuesday, November 30, 1999


This story originally appeared on the Secret Garden website and is archived here at the request of author Doug Rogers.

Constance Parring saw the boat coming long before she could hear the cries from the occupants. She had spent the greater part of the day sitting on the shaded porch of her thatched cabana, reading one of the many gothic romance novels she had brought with her to this far-away little island more than three years before. Kusta had crutched by a few minutes before, asking if she wanted anything to drink. He was in the kitchen area now, she was sure, squeezing fruits for a large pitcher of the local variant on planter's punch.
At the thought of the smouldering Kusta she shuddered, an erotic thrill sneaking from the base of her innie navel down the smooth tight line of her flat tummy to nestle warmly deep into the recesses of her most female part. Just thinking about this young bronze god made her vagina ache with desire! He was, indeed, her dream man in every sense of the word. His tall, Polynesian good looks were nothing short of classic. Black hair framed a squared face with exotically high cheekbones. His golden skin covered broad shoulders and a hard smooth chest that she never tired of stroking and caressing. His long left leg was sharply chiseled flesh and the play of the opposing muscle groups as he would hop or crutch from place to place made her marvel at his controlled strength.

Thursday, November 25, 1999


This story originally appeared on the Secret Garden website and is archived here at the request of author Doug Rogers.

I was leaning against the red-orange brick wall of the Student Union reading the campus rag and resting my bare stump on the handle of my left blue-trimmed forearm crutch when I first became aware that he was watching me. The look on his open face was a curious one; something between amazement and disgust. Now, getting looked at when I go out bare-stumped in short shorts is nothing new; I've been having that happen ever since my freshman year when they first cut it off. What was odd was the air he seemed to have about me. Most people are either frankly fascinated or just filled with pity. This guy looked, in short, mad. I finally smiled and gestured for him to come over. He looked around, like he was checking to see that no one was looking, and coke-in-hand he got up from the green umbrella covered outdoor table at the student snack bar and headed my way. I noticed in passing that he had a slight limp. That should have tipped me off as to what was about to happen, but it didn't.

Saturday, November 20, 1999

The Dancer

This story originally appeared on the Secret Garden website and is archived here at the request of author Doug Rogers.

"The guy is a fruit loop," Tommy told me flatly.
"So?" I returned. "This is a gay club. What's your point?"
"Not that kind of fruit loop, Will," he returned. "This dude is like a couple of bubbles off plumb."
I shook my head. "He doesn't look crazy to me. What makes you say that."
Tommy Bledsoe took a long pull at his whiskey and soda. "I bought him a drink a few weeks back and he told me this tale of woe that you wouldn't believe. It was all about his dead lover and some freaky story about how they had made a deathbed promise. It weirded me out!"
I looked over at the lone man sitting at the side table again. He had a half-empty beer held loosely in his right hand. He had a world-weary look that made him look older than the early thirty-something that was his apparent age. His dark good looks had caught my eye when we had entered. He had classic features and was dressed to kill. To any casual looker at Wanderlust he was just another cruiser albeit an upscale and attractive one. The pulse of the disco music and the play of the dance floor lighting only added to the mystique the man exuded. I smiled at Tommy. "Guess I'll go check the story out myself." I grabbed my drink and headed across the room. Bledsoe just shook his head and picked his own target for the evening.
"Is this seat taken?" I asked with a smile as I reached his table.
The man's eyes looked up, surveying me casually. "Not at all," he said simply, gesturing for me to sit down if I pleased.
"Will Ramsey," I said, offering my hand.
"John Allenson," he returned with the shake.
"Buy you a drink?" I asked.
"Still working on this one," he answered. "But nice of you to offer."
"I haven't seen you around."
"I haven't been here very often these days," he answered. He took a swig of the beer as if trying to wash something away.
"You used to come here a lot?"
Memories seemed to cross his face like thin clouds skittering across the moon on a cold autumn night. They obscured nothing but still changed the nature of the way he looked. "Yes," he finally answered. "My lover and I used to come here quite often."
I was crestfallen, but tried not to show it. "Oh? He's not with you tonight."
He smiled wistfully. "No." He paused. "Of course, in a way he's always with me." He looked across the table. "He passed away."
"I'm very sorry," I began uneasily. "I didn't know."
"It's okay."
"I must admit that I was going to ask you to dance," I said with embarrassment. "Now I feel like I've dredged up memories you'd rather not have."
John's smile showed no sign of pain. "There you're wrong. Those memories never leave, and I'm pleased to have them with me." He looked into my eyes. "Are you interested in hearing what happened?"
"It was five years ago," he began, the mild din of the nightclub mentally receding from his consciousness. "His name was Sergei Solokyov."

Monday, November 15, 1999

Drive By

This story originally appeared on the Secret Garden website and is archived here at the request of author Doug Rogers.

Jeff Carson looked nervously up and down the darkened street. He was alone. Not that he was surprised. The street was a back-water avenue that had seen better days at least fifty years ago. It was dirty and littered. The public library could have filled any missing issue of the local paper for the past three years from those piled in every dark corner. The single-bulb street light at each corner of the block threw a pool of light about 10 feet in diameter. Outside of those circles, the eye had to strain to see anything in the blackness.
For the third time in as many minutes, he put his hand in the pocket of his wool suit to retrieve the car key that would drive him away to safety. And again, he decided against it. The dealer had said there would be no hitches.
He had actually liked the young man. He was obviously a drug dealer. The heavy gold chains reinforced the golden sheen of his teeth against dark skin. Still, there was a sort of street honesty about him that Jeff felt he could trust.
So, here he was. Waiting. As instructed.
A lone car turned the corner. It's headlights were immediately doused. With parking lights only, the 15 year old car crawled down the block. Jeff stepped out toward the curb.
A window was rolled down, and he heard a stranger's voice say, "That's him!"
All hell broke loose.
Both of the back doors of the car opened in unison. Men in ski-masks, jeans and tee shirts emerged. Before Jeff could respond, one had his hands behind him. A second was pressing a cloth over his face... the strong smell of some sort of chemical burned his lungs as he began to pass out. Almost instinctively, he began to struggle; to free himself from the men and from whatever drug they here using to subdue him. He remembered kicking wildly once or twice. Then a huge explosion, followed by a vague sense of fire on his left leg just as he slipped from consciousness.

Sunday, November 14, 1999

Equal Measure

This story originally appeared on the Secret Garden website and is archived here at the request of author Doug Rogers.

I had almost done it again. I had almost dozed off snuggled against Diane's pillow-soft left tit with my leg still strapped up. You'd think that I would learn after a while that doing that's not a good idea.
I sat up in bed as gently as I could so as not to awaken my sleeping beauty. The sexual flush had faded from her ample cleavage quite a while ago. She appeared serenely relaxed, at peace. There was nothing to reveal that scarcely thirty minutes before she had been a caged animal, her claws raking my back, her mouth almost bruising my own with passion. The sex had been that hot!
Of course the sex was always that hot with her when I had my leg up. I reached down and unbuckled the top restraining strap of the harness, the long belt-like part of it that kept it from slipping down off my tightly folded leg when we were in the process of making love. Next, I pulled on the bow knot that held the long shoestring that laced the top half of the device tight. The tension of the lace released, the two halves of the leather enclosure parted with a slight 'pop,' and I easily slipped the mass of leather away from my body.
Slowly, cautiously, I rolled over on my right side, allowing my left foot to turn 45 degrees back to its normal position. The harness kept it pressed tightly against my butt, and the twist that it put on the muscles and tendons would produce a charley horse if I didn't take this part of the operation very, very slowly.
The foot in a more normal position, I now began the gradual process of straightening out the leg. It was asleep, but not badly so. Another half hour and the pain would have set in! It took nearly five minutes for me to ease the leg out as straight as it would go. I knew, again from experience, it would take the rest of the night for the muscles to completely relax and return to their normal tensions.
Pretending offered a lot of problems, but they were a small price to pay for sex of the caliber that being Diane's 'amputee' lover extracted! And, then too, it wasn't like I didn't owe her. She had done something for me, something that I still marvel at her willingness to do.

Wednesday, November 10, 1999


This story originally appeared on the Secret Garden website and is archived here at the request of author Doug Rogers.

I could not decide which was the more beautiful sight, the vast expanse of the azure-blue ocean to my right or the almost inky blackness of the volcanic sands that met it at the island's edge. The fine powder shifted slightly as I walked through it, my footsteps leaving a series of impressions that were periodically washed smooth as the waves rolled in to wash the beach clean again. It was exactly as I had been promised; the tropical island cooled by sea breezes and verdant with palm trees, fruit bushes and huge-leafed plants. Somehow, I couldn't quite remember the plane trip that had to have brought me here. My senses were so overloaded! A bevy of brightly colored parrots flew noisily overhead, wheeling and chasing each other in a cloudless deep-blue sky.
But it was true! The email ad I had received had looked like just so much spam, but it had been legitimate! 'Fantasy Vacations! Literally!' the notice had proclaimed. A return email had led to a phone call which had led to an interview which had led to a trip to Chicago which had led me to this spot! Or what looked like this spot. Part of my mind understood that I was actually floating in a sensory deprivation tank back at Roark Enterprises. The technicians there were monitoring my well being while all the time an electro-induction helmet was imprinting all that I saw and heard and felt and smelled and tasted directly into my brain. It was an illusion! But what a grand one! I even pinched myself to see if I could feel it. The sting registered just as naturally as any other sensation I was feeling, I could not tell it from the real thing!

Friday, November 5, 1999

First Date

This story originally appeared on the Secret Garden website and is archived here at the request of author Doug Rogers.

I was about to make the only 'B' I'd gotten since coming to college. The fall semester was damned near over, and I still was not over the distraction in 'Broadcast News Writing' that sat a chair up and one over from my own seat.
The distraction was not the person's fault. Not at all. Usually the sort of distraction I'm referring to is along the lines of a girl wearing a much-too-low-cut blouse every class hoping to get the next highest grade by the two points she's showing off to the prof. No, this was not that sort of thing. This person was doing nothing but coming to class and sitting there several rows from the front taking notes.
Besides, it was a guy.
No, what was distracting me today was the same thing that had distracted me every day since the tall attractive green-eyed boy had sauntered into the classroom and taken that very seat on the first day of class. It was not his brown hair or anything about his sharp features that was bothering me. What was distracting me was the fact that Robert Howell was an amputee. I had no idea how high up his left leg was missing, but I knew it was above his knee. I could tell by the shape of the mechanical device that sometimes would be outlined by the cloth of his trousers that he was missing his real one. I had mused about the possible site of his limb loss for a long time, (that being one of the reasons for the upcoming 'B'!) and had decided that he must have quite a bit of his thigh still remaining. He seemed to have no trouble at all managing on his artificial leg. A slight limp and that was it.
Actually, he had at least two artificial limbs that I had been able to identify. The one he wore most often was one of those with the plastic covering that looks more or less like skin until you take a close look at it. I still remember wondering why his gait was a little stiff the first day of class. It wasn't until he turned around to look at me when I asked Professor Cunningham a question that I realized the leg was false. I saw the oval void where the upper and lower sections of the thing were hinged together outlined through the thin tan summer slacks he was wearing. I almost forgot my question, but if he noticed my stare, he didn't say anything about it. A few weeks later I would be totally fascinated by his other prosthesis; the one that had no cosmetic cover. It was just a yellowish tinted metal tube that disappeared down into a sock that peeked out of his left sneaker. The knee for that one was a rather angular metal frame. I had again been able to gather that much by the outline.

Thursday, November 4, 1999

Flowers in the Wind

This story originally appeared on the Secret Garden website and is archived here at the request of author Doug Rogers.

There are two kinds of children: Dandelions and Orchids.
The Dandelions are just like the flowers they are named for; it matters little what the environment, they will flourish. Dandelions can fall into the cracks between the slabs of a concrete sidewalk and grow just as robustly as they do in the midst of a well-manicured lawn.
Orchids, on the other hand, really do need a hothouse.
I was lucky. I was born a Dandelion. Everyone who knows me says they've never seen anyone roll with the punches like I do. Maybe I do. I don't feel that way sometimes. Especially now. But I also had the good fortune to be born into a loving home that was a hothouse. I had more nurturing than I really wanted!
Steven was an Orchid. He was as beautiful a golden orchid as I have ever seen. Steven was one of those incredibly pretty children who, even in the third grade attracted attention! He attracted the attention of damned near everyone except the two people he really needed. Mr. and Mrs. Gwynne never seemed to quite have time for him. It's not that they were bad people. In their way, they were a kind pair. The problem was that he spent all of his time making money and she spent all of her time spending it. Steven got lost in the shuffle.
Steven also attracted the attention of the bullies at school. I suppose that's part of why as an eight-year-old he decided to hang with me. I was always a foot taller than everyone else and no one picked on me! Whatever the reason, there in the third grade with old Mrs. Bell droning on about addition and subtraction, Steven and I became best friends.
In retrospect, I guess I always knew that Steven was gay. I probably realized he was before I realized that I was that way myself. It took him until our sophomore year at Arizona State to come out.

Monday, November 1, 1999

Mr. Gilton's Last Christmas

This story originally appeared on the Secret Garden website and is archived here at the request of author Doug Rogers.

I don't remember if it was the fourth or fifth day after they did the second amputation to my leg that they moved Mr. Gilton into the bed next to me. My insurance isn't that good, to put it bluntly, and they didn't view an above knee amputation as a condition 'requiring a private room.'
I, on the other hand, had taken the situation a bit more seriously. I was depressed as hell and mad at the world. The privacy curtain was pulled between the two beds so I couldn't see much as they wheeled the fellow in on a Gurney. He was just a shape under the white sheet that I glimpsed as he cleared the door. I forgot the interruption to my angst almost immediately.
The door closed and it was quiet in the room. Quiet. Man, was that ever the bane of my existence in those terrible days. All I could do was seethe. "It's so Goddam unfair!" I thought.
"Life is often unfair, young man," a voice called.
I gasped. I hadn't realized I'd spoken my thought aloud. "I beg your pardon?" I returned.
"You were saying it was unfair," came the answer. The voice was obviously old and somewhat shaky. Still, there was a calm there that somehow gave me comfort.
"I'm sorry," I told him. "I didn't realize I was thinking out loud."
"Nothing to be sorry for," the voice returned. "We need to let our feelings out, to be heard." He paused. "And we need someone to listen to them."