The Boys of Belsmeade was my the first story I completed for the Wednesday Briefs flash fiction group. It was posted on my blog in 1000-word installments for several months. I'll be editing the story and posting it here as a free read. Please keep in mind that an editor has not seen it, so a few goofs are possible. I hope you enjoy the story.
PARANORMAL - VAMPIRES
There were two schools in town. Belsmeade Academy, established in 1810, was a very selective preparatory school for the privileged male offspring of the upper tiers of society. Its manicured grounds covered fifty acres of the north side of Clackelton, New Hampshire. The academy resembled a luxury resort, including horse stables, professionally-equipped sports facilities, and an ice rink.
Seven miles from Belsmeade's lush lair of learning was Clackelton Consolidated High School, established in 1948, quaintly situated between the local chain supermarket and a small bookstore. The school building was a post-modern, concrete eyesore and was aging badly. The floor of the gymnasium was so warped that the basketball team had re-located to the YMCA three blocks down. The sports fields were four miles away behind the equally unimpressive Junior High School.
Students who attended the public school were called "Clacks". Students from the private school were "Meades", although most Clacks referred to them as "Assmeades". The boys at Clackelton hated the boys of Belsmeade for two reasons: first, their money and privilege; second, the fact that every girl at Clackelton lusted after those boys behind the gilded gates.
I was a Clack. Every morning, as my bus passed by the Belsmeade campus, I sighed with longing. I wanted to tell the bus driver to stop and let me out. To experience life at the academy even for a day was a dream I had often. The monotonous, unending ordinariness of high school bored me to tears. I did well in class, and had a decent group of friends, but I wanted more.
I watched the Meades crisscrossing the immaculate lawns in their blue blazers and khakis. Some of the guys were carrying lacrosse sticks. Clackelton didn't offer "exclusive" sports like that. Not that I was into team sports anyway. I'd played singles' tennis as a junior because it fulfilled the stupid requirement that each student play at least one sport at some point during their four years of high school. Badminton was an option too, but I wasn't a complete tool.
This year I had spent obsessing over my parents' divorce. My mother had abruptly left just before Christmas, explaining to my father that she had fallen in love with a radiologist at the local hospital where dad worked as a cardiologist. She'd written a farewell note to me, but I threw it in the trash, unopened.
Now I was leaving in the fall and dad wouldn't have anyone to look after him. Not that he was a half-wit who couldn't boil water. He was an extremely intelligent, an excellent chef and had even figured out how to do laundry. I simply couldn't help feeling like I was abandoning him, just like mom had done.
As the bus passed Belsmeade, I replayed the morning's conversation. Dad laughed, as usual, and told me that the house wasn't going to burn down the moment I left for college, and that he was not an old fart and would probably begin dating again soon. The thought of dad bringing a date home and potentially having sex in the next room made me shiver. Time to stop thinking along those lines and get ready for another day in purgatory.
If there was one thing I hated more than that annoying nickname, it was the person yelling it across the hall. I turned to find Frank Hitch bearing down on me and steeled myself for the impact. The soccer goalie threw an arm around me and laughed. "Listen. I really need some help with my French homework, Burnsie. Can I come over—"
"It's Berenz," I growled, "and the answer is no. You are not using my house for a kegger."
Frank feigned shock and stumbled. "You cut me deep! Do you automatically assume that I would use you that way?"
"Um… yes? When have you not? When in the ten years that we've known each other, have you not used our acquaintance to your own ends? Look, I don't have time for this, okay? I have a meeting—"
"I guess I'll just fail French." Frank moaned dramatically.
It was one of those mornings. I had a meeting with the French teacher and didn't want to be late. She had been looking into an Italian language course for me to take that semester at one of the local colleges and had emailed the previous day to say she'd found something.
"Bon jour, Eliot," Madame Perins said, as I entered her classroom. After routing through an enormous stack of papers, she pulled out a single type written sheet and handed it to me. "What do you think of this?"
I stared wide-eyed at the blue and gold crest on the top of the page. It was the Belsmeade Academy crest. The letter was addressed to Madame Perins:
Thank you for your communications regarding your student, Eliot Berenz. His academic record is certainly impressive. I have spoken with Dean Havers and he has agreed to consider Mr. Berenz for enrollment in my Italian class this semester. As space is limited, please have Mr. Berenz return the application as soon as possible.
Without giving me a chance to speak, she said, "Fill it out and take it over tomorrow. The class is during this period with me, so you'd be all set. You could go there for class and come back here for lunch."
I lay the letter on the desk and shook my head. "That would be so out of my league!"
The teacher raised an eyebrow. "That's ridiculous. Take the chance Eliot. You can do this."
Could I do it? Did I dare to go where no Clack had gone before?
Parked across the street from the Belsmeade gate, I shook with anticipation. Did I really want to do this? Did I really want to breach those gates and take on such an enormous challenge? Before I could change my mind, I put the car in gear and turned into the maple-lined drive.
"Holy shit," I mumbled as I made my way slowly toward this new horizon. A glimpse around made me thankful of my father's offer for me to take the BMW that morning. My own car, a fairly new Volvo was also really nice, but I thought it was great that dad was so excited and wanted me—in his words—to look like a Meade.
I parked the car and climbed out, taking my portfolio. Not wanting to look like a complete idiot, I had checked the school map to figure out where I was going. Unfortunately, I couldn't help but gawk at my surroundings. Everything was so old and massive. And intimidating. I felt the sweat bead on my forehead and subtly wiped it away.
"Can I help you?"
The voice came from behind me, and I turned to find a group of four students heading in my direction. They were all in gym shorts and sweat-soaked shirts, and my forehead was suddenly the last thing on my mind. The tallest of the boys had a halo of artfully-messy, blond hair and the facial features of a Roman god. Sculpted pecs strained against the damp cotton shirt.
I stared until I realized the god was speaking to me. "Are you looking for someone?" he asked.
"What? Oh sorry. Yes."
After I didn't offer any other information, he grinned. "Good. Now that we've established that you are indeed looking for someone, I'll have to ask the person's name."
Mentally slapping myself, I replied, "Mr. Rampura?"
"Oh sure. I can show you over there. Hey guys, I'll meet you at lunch." They all nodded their assent and walked on ahead. My guide thrust out a hand and said, "Aramis."
"Pardon?" I asked.
"It's my name: Aramis Ambrogi."
"Wow. That's quite… Italian."
The boy smirked. "Really old family name. And you are?"
"Right. I'm idiot, and I swear I'm not usually such an Eliot. Wait. That wasn't—"
The blond god laughed heartily put his hands up to stop my worrying. "So, what brings you here, Eliot? Are you transferring?"
"No. I'm… a Clack," I said with a shrug.
Aramis bowed mockingly. "And I'm an Assmeade."
I stumbled and stuttered. "I never—I mean, I don't call—"
"No sweat. But we're not all complete assholes, you know." His smirk made my blood boil. Then he oontinued, "Are you friends with Mr. Rampura?"
"Actually," Eliot began, "I'm applying for the semester to study Italian here."
Aramis jerked his head back. "Really? Without transferring completely?"
"I guess the teacher talked to the dean about me and they said I could apply."
"Wow. Wonders never cease. Here's McMahan Hall. Mr. Rampura's office is the first door on the left. Good luck, Eliot. I hope I see you around soon."
I watched Aramis' retreating backside for a little longer than I should have, and then turned to face the powers that be.
Aramis Ambrogi sat in his European History class thinking about the dark-haired, light-eyed boy that had rocked his world earlier that morning. When he'd seen Eliot—Damn! He didn't get a last name!—walking across the parking lot, Aramis had literally tripped over his own two feet.
His friends laughed and his dormmate Robbie said, "Uh oh. I think someone's gaydar just sighted booty ahead. Oh yeah, booty! Boo-tay!" He planted his feet and attempted twerking, and the rest of the group cracked up.
"Will you shut up?" Aramis hissed. He studied the newcomer and could only hope that the face would match the body. The boy was shorter than what Aramis usually went for, but his fingers itched to feel that perfectly-rounded, tight ass.
"Go ahead," Robbie said with a sigh.
"No. You guys come too."
Matt raised his eyebrows. "That's kinky Air, but I don't really do the whole threesome thing. Especially when one third of the equation doesn’t have two holes."
Aramis came to a sudden stop and glared at Matt. "First of all, I don't ever want to even think of doing that with you. Second, I don't do… that."
"Say it," Matt dared. "And not the clinical term either."
With a grumble, Aramis muttered, "Pussy."
His friends all howled with laughter and Robbie took out his phone to text someone. It was always amusing to them: Aramis' aversion to the female anatomy. He rolled his eyes and snapped, "Get over here and back me up."
"Whatever, Air," Robbie said. "We'll be good."
They hurried up behind the boy and Aramis called out, "Can I help you?"
Eliot was adorably tongue-tied, and his eyes drifted down Aramis' body before slowly settling on his face. Oh yes, Aramis thought. This could happen. Once he got a name out of the boy and found out he was looking for the Italian instructor, he got rid of his friends and started toward the language building—the long way around. He needed time to get to know Eliot.
"So, what brings you here? Are you transferring?"
"No. I'm… a Clack," he said with a shrug.
Aramis had to focus so he didn't trip again. Damn. The cute, boy-next-door face made the whole package absolutely perfect, but a Clack? It just wasn't done. Some of the Meade guys had hooked up with girls from town, but no one had ever dated one of them. What to do? Play the joker.
He recovered his composure and bowed slightly. "And I'm an Assmeade."
Eliot looked aghast at Aramis. "I never—I mean, I don't call—"
It was irresistible, teasing the newcomer. The innocence and lack of pretense was refreshing. And there was an attraction there. Interesting. After dropping Eliot off at the McMahan Hall, Aramis hurried to his dorm to consult the Book of the Covens.