These Unusual Fellows

an excerpt

"So, I learned how these unusual fellows are so easily and quickly condemned by those of us with less complicated desires and, of course, by those looking, for reasons of their own, to occupy the high moral ground."

Benjamin Edwin Andrews, 1851--1924

Stationmaster, Oakwood Station

Chapter One

Kevin followed the American airman in the nifty brown leather jacket down the dark, narrow passage at the side of the old public house. He liked the jacket. He thought they looked good on these men. It was late in the English summer. September to be precise, 1942.

They had spoken only briefly in the crowded bar. It was important not to attract undue attention to these conversations, or the clandestine deals they were intended to seal. Kevin didn't catch the young man's name above the noise in the pub, but he did recall that he came from somewhere called "upstate New York." Wherever that was. Now, away from the commotion inside, they sought a secluded spot for the quiet business they had in mind.

The short, clean-shaven client in the sharp new garrison cap was jumpy. As he reached the end of the alley, he paused in the shadows by a row of dented metal dustbins and waited for Kevin to catch up. Above him the artificial glow from a small, open window cast just enough light to partially illuminate his face. He glanced nervously up and down the alley, his lean frame twitching this way and that as he craned his long neck to double check that no one had followed them. Kevin gauged from this demeanour that he was, what these Yanks called a "rookie." He clearly hadn't done much of this sort of thing before.

"Half a crown, you said," the airman confirmed with Kevin, in a hushed voice.

"That's right," the burly builder said.

The American serviceman reached deep into one of his trouser pockets and pulled out a mixed handful of British coins. He paused, muddling over the strange money, with only the dim light from the little window above to assist him with the difficult task of counting out the correct amount.

Some of these boys, Kevin reminded himself, had only been in Britain for a matter of days. At first, duped by the superficial similarities suggested by the language, it probably didn't seem that different. But it didn't take long for that false sense of security to fade. Their home was in fact a long way off. They were living in a foreign country now. A tiny, cramped little island far from the vast open spaces of the super continent they knew. England. A place where the quaint, smiling natives were still living in the shadow of their Victorian grandparents and where, as a result, they didn't even have a decimal currency yet.

"Here, let me help," Kevin said, taking pity on the confused youth as he mulled over the money. "Half a crown is two shillings and sixpence."

He studied the mixture of bronze and silver in the airman's hand. He didn't have a half crown coin. He'd have to make up the amount from what he had. Kevin patiently tried to explain.

"Okay, so this big silver one here is a two-bob bit. A florin. That's two shillings. And that little silver one there is a tanner. A sixpence. So together they're worth half a crown. Two and sixpence."

The airman picked the coins out of his palm and handed them over.

"Two and sixpence," the Yank repeated. He lifted his head and braved an awkward smile. "A florin is worth two shillings. A tanner. That's sixpence. I'll try to remember that. Thanks."

"You're welcome," Kevin replied, taking the money.

Kevin hadn't met many foreigners either. Maybe the occasional tourist before the war, asking for directions while he was digging the roads in his native London. Sometimes French, or back then even German. Lost souls, searching for the way to Trafalgar Square or Buckingham Palace. But these encounters had always been brief, and limited to rather superficial exchanges. So, aside from where to turn right or go left, neither party had learned very much about the other. Not like now. The "friendly invasion" as they called it, had brought hundreds of American servicemen like his young friend here to England. Not just to visit, but to live. This really was worlds colliding. Not so much a passing peck on the cheek, as a full-on fuck in the arse--and with the way the war was going, it seemed like they might be here to stay. But then Kevin wasn't complaining. For some, like him, the wartime economy wasn't limited to ration books and darning socks by candlelight. He had a lucrative side line to supplement the meagre money he currently made as a bricklayer, and the United States Army Air Forces were proving an exceptionally fertile field to plough.

Kevin pocketed the payment in his black donkey jacket. He had stopped off at the pub on his way home from work and his shirt and trousers were still covered in traces of brick dust and splashes of grey mortar. However, mindful that this fellow was paying, he ran a big, working man's hand through his thick, raven black hair. He always prided himself on looking good for the customer.

Suddenly, through the open window--the one providing what little light there was to illuminate their furtive transaction--they heard the sound of two men pausing at the urinal in the pub toilets on the other side of the wall. Two of the young man's countrymen were laughing and sharing a dirty joke, while they relieved themselves of the beer they had been building up all night. Their chatter turned to the dance at the village hall, which was where they were heading next. This sudden intrusion seemed to rattle the airman. He froze until the voices began to fade. They listened to the sound of a squeaky door swing shut. The party boys had gone back into the bar and all was quiet again. Hastily, the airman unzipped his long fly and popped his dick out.

"Hurry it up, mac. I ain't got all night," he said impatiently to Kevin.

Kevin was a stocky, strong man. Since leaving school at the age of fourteen, he had carried bricks, dug roads and shovelled concrete practically every day of his life. While he had lived in London, he'd often drank in rough pubs. Consequently, he knew how to take care of himself and he wasn't intimidated being alone in a dark alley with an intimate stranger. He confidently grabbed the cock being dangled in front of him. The dinky airman flinched. Kevin duly loosened his grip a little, then gently tried to coax some life out of it. But for all his best efforts, his client remained stubbornly soft.

Kevin didn't have much experience with these Americans yet, but one thing he had already noticed about them was their enthusiasm for oral sex. This, it seemed, was their default setting. This was something new, even for Kevin, who had been around the block a few times where men were concerned. After all, he used to live in London. But even so, there wasn't much call for sucking cock back then. Of course, he had heard about it. Even met a fellow once who swore by it. But on the whole, British men just weren't interested in it. In fact, in the thirty years since he had lost his virginity, he had only been asked to do it once. Generally, the Brits just wanted a good wank. Maybe, if they wanted to push the boat out, a bit of frottage. And, of course, for the real zealot, an act of buggery. That is, if they had the nerve to risk a run-in with the law in a country where taking it up the arse was a criminal offence. But sucking on it? Never crossed their minds.

Kevin looked down and weighed the flaccid member in his hand. It was good and thick, but still completely soft. Perhaps this fellow didn't want a wank. What he probably wanted was what all his countrymen seemed to want, which was for Kevin to get down on his knees and put it in his mouth. Kevin had done this quite a few times since the friendly invasion began. Not that he could see what all the fuss was about, or why this should have all become such a big thing in the States. But the fellow was paying. So, he obligingly got down on one knee, grasped the punter's thighs and lined his open mouth up with his customer's cock.

"Hey!" the airman barked, in a hushed protest. "Whadda' you think you're doin'?"

"What you paid for," Kevin answered, glancing up.

"I don't want my dick in your mouth! What kind of a pervert do you think I am?" the airman said indignantly.

The fellow was quite cross. "It's just that you have a very nice dick," Kevin commented, trying to assuage his anger. "I thought sucking on it might help."

The airman melted slightly at the praise being heaped on this key part of his anatomy.

"Right, well, thanks. But, use your hands. That's all. Just your hands."

Kevin got to his feet and grasped his client's cock again. It was still soft. He started one of his well-rehearsed massage techniques, pushing and pulling and teasing the base of the shaft. There wasn't a man alive, Kevin had convinced himself, who wouldn't empty his balls after just a few seconds of that juicy treatment. Generally, that was correct. But not this time. It was a conundrum. He really would be earning his half-crown with this one.

"Come on, mac!" the airman said. "I'm goin' to miss the start of the dance."

Kevin stared his client straight in the eye and began manipulating his genitals with renewed vigour, reaching all the way in through his open fly and tugging gently on his balls. The response was, at best, lacklustre. Was this fellow actually queer?

"Is something the matter?" Kevin asked delicately.

"It's your eyes," the airman whispered. "Stop looking at me. Look away. And close your eyes."

As requested, Kevin shut his eyes and turned away. He felt a light evening breeze brush his cheeks. It bore the faint odour of stale urine and ammonia, escaping from the adjacent gents. All that beer going down the drains. Clearly, Kevin wasn't the only one making plenty of money out of their visitors.

At last, his client began to respond. Kevin squeezed the erection, then began playing with the tip. Herein lay yet another difference with their American cousins: they all seemed to be circumcised. This one too, Kevin noted. This made the head far less sensitive, but Kevin had a few tricks up his sleeve to get around that. Finally, his reticent friend began to go rigid. Kevin judged that he was the type who couldn't hold out for long once the pumps had been started and sure enough, no sooner had he grown in Kevin's hand than he shot his load.

"Fuck!" the airman sighed, with a hint of bittersweet relief.

Kevin studied the shuddering figure and then the tell-tale puddle of white splashes on the ground, casually deposited between the American's brown leather shoes.

A man's desire is always so exposed, Kevin thought. It always leaves a trail of evidence.

He glanced back at the airman's face. Actually, he wasn't bad looking. In fact, come to think of it, a lot of them are quite easy on the eye. If they did have to stick around for a few more years, that might not be such an awful thing.

Some fresh shouting in the lavatory startled the airman again. Inside the pub, another young Yank was calling his buddy out of the toilet. They were moving on to the dance, he said. It was time to go. Time to find some women. The young man's eyes sprung open and his hard-earned erection quickly subsided.

The airman put his flaccid cock away, zipped up his high-waisted trousers and straightened his garrison cap. His new leather jacket creaked as he adjusted the contents of his pants.

"Thanks, mac," he said to Kevin. "See you around."

"Anytime, mate," Kevin replied, as he watched the young man turn and march spryly down the dark alley in the direction of the street, with a jaunty, masculine swagger that belied his love of cock.

Kevin had hoped he might get some repeat business from the fellow. But he never did see him again. He never saw many of them again. But the mounting losses didn't stop them. They just kept on coming. Thousands of them. A relentless tide of ordinary boys, far enough away from home to take a fresh look at life and close enough to death to take chances with their choices.


The following morning, Kevin woke to the now familiar sound of the bombers. It was just after dawn and the first wave of Flying Fortresses were already preparing to get away. The caravan where he lived was parked in a neighbouring field, not far from the end of the runway. From inside, he could hear the aircraft engines droning impatiently, as the squadron waiting to leave lined up on the airfield. Then one by one, they passed overhead with a deafening roar. The mighty B-17 was a big beast and with fuel tanks full and a payload of bombs on board, it took everything the planes had to overcome the law of gravity and take to the sky. But defeat the forces of nature they did, and high into the air they climbed, each one carrying ten men on a wing and a prayer.

Kevin lay in bed and counted. Ten, eleven, twelve. Only twelve? That wasn't even half the planes stabled at the base. There would, he thought, be another raid launched later this morning. Now fully awake, he sat up and swung his legs out of bed. He slept naked. He always had. He'd never had seen the point of getting dressed to go to bed and mercifully, he didn't feel the cold. He stood up and turned to one of the small windows. It was dressed with a pale-yellow curtain that had seen better days. He drew it back a little. Just enough to check the weather. It was a fine day. Beyond the trees, behind the caravan, he could see the end of the runway at Hemmel's End, so–called because of its proximity to the nearby village in northern Essex.

It was strange to think that less than twelve months ago, there had been nothing over there but open fields. Hemmel's End had been a small, rural community of traditional farmers and proud shop keepers. A quiet, quintessentially English village, where life hadn't changed much in hundreds of years. The sort of place where a cat going missing was big news. Then suddenly, one morning, the bulldozers had arrived. Within weeks, a runway had been poured over the Essex clay. Hangars and workshops had been built. A new village had risen up out of the English countryside. One that clustered around the futuristic outline of a control tower, instead of the ancient spire of the local parish church.

Kevin had arrived shortly after construction began. He worked for a British contractor the United States Army Air Forces had brought in. Originally, he had only planned to stay for three months. But then the USAAF had stepped up their bombing campaign in Europe. They needed extra space and additional facilities for more planes and, of course, even more men. So, six months later, he was still here. Laying bricks, mixing mortar, and supplying other services for Uncle Sam that perhaps the military might be less pleased about. Or maybe not. The body count was high. Maintaining morale was always a challenge. A wise commander, Kevin believed, would understand the part that sex--any sort of sex-- could make toward achieving that. After all, these were men. Not bloody angels.

Kevin rented the old caravan from a local farmer, who had previously put it there to house his seasonal labourers. But then the base had been built on the fields and the farmer had no further use for it. Kevin had spotted it from his motorbike on his first visit to the village. A weathered old box of rough plywood construction, mounted on a rusty steel chassis. It was painted blue and white and had been parked up for quite some time in a secluded corner of a fallow field on the outskirts of the village. Long enough for the roof to have become warped and the side panels discoloured by the elements. It wasn't luxury accommodation. But in its own way, it was quite cosy and for Kevin, very convenient. Close enough to be handy for the airfield where he worked, and the pub in Hemmel's End where he drank, but far enough from all of that to accord him some privacy. Preferable to the communal bunks on offer at the base. Ideal for a man who valued his personal space--even if it did leak in heavy rain.

Kevin lit the gas ring on the work top and popped an old tin kettle on it. The caravan had a simple interior. At one end a kitchen, at the other, a double bed. Separated on one side by a built-in wardrobe and on the opposite side by a couch that could double as an extra berth. A hangover from the days when the farmer, particularly during harvest, would need to billet three or even four men at a time. All the wooden surfaces inside were painted in the same blue and white emulsion as the exterior and it was fitted throughout with a rather grimy blue carpet. The one bit of luxury was a small heater, fuelled from the same gas bottle as the cooking ring. He had seldom used it, but it was nice to know he had one if he needed it.

He left the kettle on the heat and went over to open the door. As the fresh air flooded in and the sun kissed his skin, he remembered that he still had no clothes on. Funny how he always forgot about that. Nudity had always seemed so natural to him, even as a small child. It had been a constant bone of contention around the house and his mother had always had to remind him to put some clothes on. At least, until he had started turning into a man. At which point, to avoid public ridicule or bringing disgrace on the family, even he was forced to relent and cover up.

He had never felt his body was something to be ashamed of. In fact, he was rather proud of it and not just his physique, which was robust and well worked, but also his impressive array of tattoos. A tapestry of wild beasts and birds of prey mingled with abstract patterns and mythical landscapes, cascading like waterfalls over his shoulders, down his back and across his chest. An abundant freeze of fearless lions and imposing eagles and a collage of London landmarks including Nelson's Column on his left bicep and St. Paul's Cathedral on his right. Among them, piercing his heart, was a flaming sword of justice bearing his name, a design to which he attached particular significance. His body, he felt, was a real work of art and something that ought to be celebrated, not covered up and kept in the dark. Much of the ink was in colour. He had spent a small fortune on it. It was a crying shame to think that it didn't get to be put on show more often.

The kettle began to whistle. He put some loose tea in a dark brown china teapot and poured in the boiling water. A grumbling meow announced the arrival of a ginger cat that jumped deftly into the caravan from the field outside. Kevin turned and smiled.

"Hello, Matty," he said.

He stooped and picked him up, hugging the animal's fur to his own hairy chest and stroking it vigorously under the chin. The cat purred.

"So, where have you been all night?" Kevin asked. "Like I can't guess. Out with the ladies, I suppose, you randy little git."

He put the cat down and opened the cupboard under the sink. He took out a plate with some scraps of pork sausage he had saved from yesterday's breakfast. Matty circled him impatiently, rubbing himself up against his well-developed calves and purring incessantly. Kevin put the dish down on the floor. He paused for a moment to pet the distracted animal while it enthusiastically started to eat, running his hand down the length of the cat's spine.

"You're getting fat, my friend," Kevin told him. "Too many mice, I'll wager."

He left Matty contentedly eating.

He pulled on the white boxer shorts lying at the end of the bed and then grabbed the porcelain chamber pot that he kept handy for nocturnal calls of nature from under the bed slats. He went outside. Behind the caravan, where he couldn't be seen from the road, he tossed the unwanted contents of the pot away. Then he put it down and got his cock out to piss. As he hosed down the cold ground with his warm urine, he looked through the trees and over the hedge row into the airfield. An open-topped Jeep with a prominent white star painted on the door was parked some distance away, near the end of the runway. A serviceman, ground crew Kevin judged from the baseball cap and dirty overalls he was wearing, was leaning against the side of the jeep. Kevin scanned the perimeter of the field. He was here on his own with the vehicle strategically placed between him and the control tower.

After checking no one was around, the chap reached down and manhandled a plump dick out through his open fly. No prizes now, for guessing why he is out here. Kevin watched. He could see, he was hardening. In response, he felt his own cock swell. Kevin's bladder had long since emptied, but distracted by sight of the lone wanker, he hadn't let go. Now, he too, found himself clutching a sunrise standing and in unison with the maintenance man, began to vigorously abuse it.

In the distance, the Yank was getting ready to come. Kevin could tell by the way he suddenly spread his legs and thrust his pelvis forward. With frantic strokes, he beat the pole poking out of his overalls, gripping it like the barrel of a cannon. When he finally did come, the volley travelled for yards. It was, Kevin thought, always such a splendid sight to see a man who genuinely relished emptying himself like that and within seconds, the bricklayer did the same, aiming his own morning glory gratefully in the fellow's direction. In the distance, his business finished, the serviceman did up his fly. He jumped into the jeep and hastily drove off. Kevin tucked himself back into his boxers, picked up the empty piss pot and went back into the caravan.

By now, Matty had cleaned the bowl and then, like a typical man, had left without so much as a word of thanks. That cat is such a tart. God only knew how many homes he would visit that morning, prostituting himself for a bit of grub. But then, maybe that's why they got along so well. They were two of a kind. Kevin took a spoon and stirred the tea he had left brewing in the pot, then used a metal strainer to pour some into a chipped china mug. He glanced at yesterday's milk in the bottle nearby. It would be past it's best, but then who wasn't? Anyway, put enough sugar in and he'd never tell the difference. Outside, he could hear more bombers on the move, lining up for take off. Collecting his tea, he went back into the field, and stood close to where his muddy motorbike was parked. He looked up. One by one and with deceptive grace, the ponderous B-17s soared overhead, heading east.

The second wave was away. It was a busy day for the warriors.