Mr. Twirler had his doubts about the boys in room 3b. Yes, they had been at his rooming house since last January; six months now, but still there was something about them he just couldn’t get. Try as he might he couldn’t quite put his finger on it.
Why should he worry? He told himself often enough. They paid the rent on time. They were both in good jobs. Donny, the fair-haired one with the broad chest and snake hips, was an office boy or some such at the Gas Board. Jasper, the dark-haired lad with the deep brown eyes and the Mediterranean skin, worked at the Co-op store. Something in the warehouse, Mr. Twirler thought. But he couldn’t be sure how he knew that. It couldn’t have been Jasper himself who told him. The two had hardly exchanged a dozen words since the boys moved in. It must have been one of his other tenants. Mr. Baskerville, perhaps. He knew everybody’s business, that was for sure.
They had arrived together. As a package as it were. Wanting to share a room. Donny had been living with his parents.
“They’re driving me crazy Mr. Twirler,” he had said, flashing a toothy grin and waving his arms about. “I’ve got to get out. I’m eighteen. I shouldn’t be living at home.”
Jasper hadn’t said a thing. He could have been living in a skip, for all Mr. Twirler knew.
“Let’s do it,” Jasper gasped and he leaned back until he was flat on the bed. He felt Donny’s hand on his thigh making light stroking movements. He hissed through his teeth as the tips of Donny’s fingers made their first fleeting contact with the skin of his still soft cock.
The eighteen-year-old’s fingers lightly caressed the length of Jasper’s penis and it twitched again as it started to fill out and moved up from between his legs, rubbing against his thigh then flopping onto his stomach.
He felt Donny’s fingers lightly enclose the hardening shaft down near the base and slide slowly up the length of the twitching member. Reaching the top, Donny’s finger’s gently tweaked the sensitive edges of Jasper’s foreskin, causing an involuntary gasp of pleasure. His hand made a couple of slow, firm strokes along the full length of the older boy’s now fully erect cock. Donny’s other hand cupped Jasper’ balls, gently kneading them between his fingers.
Donny’s hand was slowly massaging along the full length of the cock from base to head, then letting go and returning to the base again. Jasper, shifted his hips, torn between wanting Donny to go faster and wanting this feeling to last as long as possible.
“Wait,” Jasper shuffled his buttocks on the bed. “Come here, get across my legs. Let me spank that terrific arse.”
Donny beamed. “Oh, yes please.” He released his hand from his pal’s cock and careful not to be speared by the rock-hard member he stretched himself over Jasper’s knees. He squealed with pleasure as the palm of his friend’s hand smacked with full force into the soft undercurve of his cheek.
“They’re homosexual,” Mr. Baskerville’s face creased like he could smell a dead dog in the room.
“Homosexual?” Mr. Twirler’s pink fleshy jowls wobbled as he shook his head in incomprehension.
“Pansies. Perverts. Fruits. Fairies. Queers,” Mr. Baskerville’s voice rose an octave with each word. “Shirt lifters!” he roared.
Mr. Baskerville mimed raising his shirttail clear of his buttocks. “Shirt lifters,” he said definitively, expecting that to be an end to the matter. “You must have read about them in the Sunday papers.”
Mr. Twirler’s face reddened, perspiration soaked his bald dome. Absent-mindedly, he reached into his trouser pocket, extracted a clean handkerchief and wiped his head dry.
“Shirt lifters, Mr. Twirler,” Mr. Baskerville scowled, “What are you going to do about it?” he asked rhetorically as he slammed the front door behind him and scurried off to the seamen’s mission.
What indeed? Mr. Twirler stared aimlessly from his window. It was grey and overcast. It would rain soon. Then, he’d be forced to turn on the lights. More expense, he supposed. If only all his tenants were like the boys in 3b.
Mr. Twirler meant if only they paid their rent on time then he could afford money for the electricity meter; not if only they were all … what had Mr. Baskerville called them? Shirt lifters.
Homosexual? Was it even legal to be homosexual? Mr. Twirler wasn’t certain, but he rather thought not. Mr. Baskerville was correct; there had been an awful lot about it in the papers lately. If only Mr. Twirler could remember. Against the law: what if the police found out, would Mr. Twirler be arrested? He turned away from the window. He would ask at Church; they would tell him what he should do.
“Contrary to God’s law.”
Everyone he asked at Church knew for sure. It was simple really. Donny and Jasper were going to Hell.
“Love the sinner, not the sin.” That was Mr. Tinkerman, a wizened old geezer. He trembled as he spoke and gently held onto his chair. He looked like it wouldn’t be long before he would be able to get God’s definitive word about homosexuals.
Mr. Twirler sat opposite the old man, silently marvelling that in his state he was still able to shuffle down to the Church every day.
“You should save them,” the ancient man wheezed. He slurped in a mouthful of air, “Your Christian duty.” He left the sentence unfinished. His piety spoke for him. He didn’t feel the need to spell it out.
Except that he had to. Mr. Twirler blinked uncomprehendingly.
Mr. Tinkerman’s tongue popped through his lips and he ran it slowly around his cracked lips. “There’s a cure,” he coughed silently. His eyes watered. “It works.” He stopped and stared at the florid man sitting in front of him, as if only then noticing him for the first time.
“Go on,” Mr. Twirler leaned forward. A cure. He could save the boys. Wouldn’t they be pleased when he told them.
“Lashing,” Mr. Tinkerman breathed and when once again Mr. Twirler looked vacant, he continued impatiently. “Whipping. Thrashing. Flogging. Caning!” a trickle of saliva ran from the corner of his mouth. Mr. Twirler watched it reach the ancient man’s chin, his own stomach churning.
“Beat the Devil out of them!” Mr. Tinkerman’s eyes blazed. “It works. I know it does. I read about it in The Empire News last week.” His hands shook violently.
So, that was that then. Mr. Twirler pulled his threadbare overcoat tightly around his body: July, the height of summer and bloody freezing. He would go to Frank’s, the oil shop on Commercial Street; he sold all sorts of things there, including authentic whippy, rattan school canes.
Frank’s young assistant grinned broadly. “Of course, Sir,” he beamed. They got all sorts in the shop. This old geezer was no schoolmaster, nor was he a father in search of an implement to punish a disobedient son. He probably got his rocks off caning young men.
“We have two types of cane; the junior or the senior.” He stopped himself adding, “Would you like to try them out?” He had once earned thirty shillings from a customer. Six stingers across the seat of his trousers, but it was worth it. Thirty shillings, that was nearly a week’s wages.
Mr. Twirler grunted. “Bah, give me the one that hurts the most.”
“Shall I wrap it?”
Mr. Twirler carried his long, thin parcel back to the rooming house.
“He says he wants to cane our arses; it’s something to do with saving our souls,” Jasper guffawed as he recounted his weird conversation with Mr. Twirler.
“Does he?” Donny’s eyes shot heavenwards. “Well, only if he sucks me off after.”
“It might be fun,” Jasper wrapped his arm around his friend’s shoulder and led him to the bed. “It would make a change to be caned by an old man.”
“So I’m not good enough,” Donny’s pout was exaggerated.
“Oh behave; you know what I mean.”
“Do we use our cane, or has he got one of his own?”
“I rather think he has come prepared,” Jasper leaned forward and slipped his tongue inside his pal’s mouth.
Mr. Twirler swished the cane through the air. It was incredibly light weight; he wasn’t at all sure it was up to the job. He was in room 3b. Donny and Jasper stood contritely together on the warn rug. A small rickety table – utility furniture from the end of the war – had been dragged into the middle of the room. It was just about strong enough to hold both their weights as they bent across together; heads low, arses high.
Mr. Twirler had not noticed before just how round an how brown Jasper’s eyes were. He looked a lot like Mickey Mouse. His permanently-tanned face shone. His white tee-shirt was tight and showed some of his tight, flat waist. His pink shorts were just that – short. They hardly covered his buttocks. Jasper wore no shirt; his hairless torso was smooth-skinned and muscular. His yellow cotton sport shorts were if anything even shorter and tighter than his pal’s.
All the spittle drained from Mr. Twirler’s mouth. He licked his dry lips, but he had nothing to moisten them.
“Let’s get on with this, shall we?” he spluttered as he flexed the cane between his hands. It was indeed an authentic punishment cane, complete with the curved handle. It would not look out of place in a headmaster’s study. Mr. Twirler swished it through the air oblivious to the stares of the two contrite teenagers before him. It was a little over three feet in length and as thick as a pencil. It made a terrific swooshing noise as it cut through the empty air.
Mr. Twirler gave a little cough; he still could not find his voice. “Bend across the table,” he pointed the cane in front of him in case there was any doubt what he meant. Jasper and Donny exchanged the merest of glances. They shuffled to the table, paused for a second and then fell forward together like synchronised swimmers, until both their stomachs rested across the worn out wood.
Jasper clasped his pal’s hand, only to have it shaken away vigorously. Donny didn’t want Mr. Twirler to discover their little secret.
Mr. Twirler was presented with a terrific target. The tight cotton shorts ran up into the boys’ creases, lifting and separating each cheek. The naked undercurves were easily visible beneath the hem. It was almost as if the bare buttocks were on show.
Mr. Twirler had never beaten a boy’s backside before. There had never been occasion to, but he was a man of God, a man of certainty, and he was sure he was up to the task. He tapped the cane across Jasper’s tight cheeks. There was a lot of meat there. There wasn’t enough spare fat on the nineteen-year-old to sizzle a sausage. He let fly and was rewarded by a dull thud as the whippy rattan connected. The teenager truly had buns of steel. Jasper sucked on his bottom lip. That hurt. The warm glow across his bum was quite pleasant.
Thack! A cut – a little harder this time – connected with the seat of Donny’s shorts. “Ow, ow, ow,” he howled. Jasper stifled a laugh. Trust Donny to act the goat.
Mr. Twirler cut three more slices into the pair’s rear ends. Jasper remained stoic, absorbing the pain. Donny wriggled and writhed and yapped and yelped. Two more to go. Six of the best – wasn’t that the usual number of strokes for a caning?
The old man had a plan. He would finish with a flourish. He “sawed” his cane across the bared undercurve of Jasper’s buttocks. The teenager tensed his body. This would hurt. Like crazy. Whop! Whop! Two stingers swiped across the naked flesh. Immediately two dark red welts rose on the skin. Jasper’s head threw back, tears filled his eyes. The agony was intense. Huff-huff-huff, he struggled to catch his breath.
Donny’s cock grew. It was his turn now. This would be something else. “Owww!” the cry was genuine this time. It was like Mr. Twirler had pressed a red-hot poker against his unprotected flesh. The agony was intense, it started at his bottom and ran up and down his legs. Donny stomped his feet up and down like a soldier on sentry duty.
Then it was over. The aching in two scorched backsides was swiftly dissolving into a hot throbbing. They knew soon it would become a warm glow.
“Stand up,” Mr. Twirler was enjoying himself. He had missed his vocation in life. He would make a splendid headmaster, he reckoned. Jasper and Donny rose gingerly from the table and stood contritely, hands held in front of crotches. The silence was awkward. What was supposed to happen now? How did a beating end?
Mr. Twirler tucked the cane under his arm. “God loves you,” he croaked as he exited the room.
“Jesus Christ,” Donny shrieked with glee as he ripped down his shorts. He wore no underwear. He poked his bum at the mirror and was rewarded with the sight of six deep marks. Jasper’s shorts were off too. Both cocks were at full attention.
“Quick,” Donny pushed Jasper face down on the bed and knelt beside him. He soaked his tongue in spit and ran the tip along the length of his pal’s cane marks.
Downstairs, in his own room, Mr. Twirler lit a match and set a flame under the kettle. His mouth was parched. He needed a cup of tea. His hand shook uncontrollably as he reached up on the shelf for the caddy. What had just happened? Was it God’s Will? He had no idea, he wasn’t an educated man. He didn’t have the answer. Somehow, instinctively, he knew he should not ask for guidance at Church the next day. The front of his underpants was full of cold, sticky goo.
Picture credit: Adams Gay Readers
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