Miles of Smiles
by Alexander

 

Chapter 1

It was getting late. I’d spent far longer than intended proof-reading another story that I’d written for the gay story website that I contributed to, and I still had some marking to do before school tomorrow.

Being an English teacher, I enjoyed writing gay-themed stories as a hobby, both for the pleasure they gave me and as an outlet for my natural inclinations. There were any number of good-looking boys in the school, some of whom I was sure would not be averse to having a little ‘experimentation’ shall we say – that much was evident from reading between the lines in the fiction I sometimes got them to write or the unmistakable traits of character some of them showed. But I valued my career, freedom and reputation far too much to ever get involved and followed the school policy guidelines to the letter in not letting myself be placed in any situation that could be even slightly misinterpreted. In fact, I’d not been in any relationship worthy of the name since I’d left university. OK, I’d had a few ‘one-night stands’, none of them were serious but they’d kept my hormones under some sort of control. Mostly I satisfied myself with the writing, thinking wild, unmentionable thoughts about some of the boys, and my right hand.

Checking my contribution one last time, I emailed it to the archive, turned the machine off and picked up the pile of books that demanded my attention.

I needed the books the following day, mainly because I had the least popular lesson on my timetable, a double period of English with the fourth form – boys of about fourteen or so. Ninety minutes of English in one hit is far too much as far as I am concerned, but the timetable was such that it was impossible to do anything about it. I tried to alleviate the tedium by giving the boys an exercise in free-writing for at least half the lesson: it was something that they found less stressful than anything else and a few even enjoyed it. I must admit that I had a bit of an ulterior motive in getting the class to write short stories – I had picked up some good ideas for my own work from several of them, especially when it came to writing current teenage dialogue.

Thus it was that I asked the group to write a short story about a group of boys stranded on a desert island – we’d read ‘Lord of the Flies’ not long ago and it had captured their imagination. Mine too, as it happened: the story I’d sent off last week was a short J.O. story on the same theme. Not a great piece of literature, but good enough to satisfy the needs of some people.

“OK,” I said as the lesson drew to a close. “Who’s not finished yet?”

A few hands went up. “Right then. Finish for homework. The rest put your books on my desk on the way out.”

It was mid-evening before I got round to marking the work. It was easy enough – I wasn’t too concerned about spelling or grammar this time – just signs of a good imagination and logical presentation. Scrawling a grade on the one I’d just read, I picked up the next offering and started to read it.

I was two-thirds of the way through the story when I suddenly realised it was familiar. Going back to the beginning, I re-read it more carefully. The scene description, the boys names and even the reason for their being marooned on the island were disturbingly recognisable. In something of a minor panic, I fired up the computer and checked the story against another – my latest contribution to the archive. Michael, Robert, Steven and all the others were there. Even the ‘crescent-shaped bay of silver sand, fringed with sky-scraping palm trees …….’ ! The only major difference was that the boy’s story didn’t end up with a free-for-all sex orgy, but with their being rescued. No spurting semen, just seamen.

Leaning back in my chair, I panicked for a few minutes, thinking that somehow I’d left a copy of the story at school. But then logic kicked in – I never printed my work out, there was no need. The only place outside of my computer the story could’ve been read was on the internet. Self-preservation then led me to check (not for the first time!) that neither the pseudonym I wrote under, nor my email address could be traced back to me directly. Breathing a sigh of relief, I thought it over.

The book belonged to Miles Jackson. It took a moment or two before I could bring him to mind. Average ability, average looks, average build: average all-rounder in fact. Nothing special apart from an ever-present trade-mark grin.

I scrawled a ‘See Me’ at the bottom of his work. If nothing else, he’d got me curious.

 

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