27th June 2003: Sadly incomplete because my computer crashed so badly that the whole hard drive needed replacing. The concluding third chapter of ‘First Appearance’ had been on it and I never had the patience to rewrite it from scratch.

First Appearance
by Maverick


Part 1

The first thing that comes to mind from that day was when Stephen Palmer, a guy in the next year up from me, called out, “Hey, look at that. It’s like a piece fell off the sun.”

We’d all looked upwards, squinting from the chill of the Arctic wind. The pale disc of the sun hung low in the sky above the desert of tundra ahead of us; a cold white disc shining weakly through the steely grey cloud. I saw, and a chill unrelated to the iciness of the air made me shiver as I did so, that the sun wasn’t circular: it was as if one side of it had been damaged.

Another boy, nearer to me, had laughed and said, “Yeah. It’s like someone took a bite out of it.”

But the notch was too small for that; too small even to be a nibble. A tiny part of the circumference was indented, that was all. Like a saucer that had been knocked and had chipped on one side.

Mr Vaughan, our teacher and the leader of our group, came walking towards us, wondering why we’d stopped; why we hadn’t been keeping up with him. He turned to look at the sky, to see what we were looking at.

He stared at it for a few seconds, shielding his eyes as the sun intermittently broke through the clouds that rose like smoke across it. Then he turned back to face us, grinning and with an expression full of delight.

Palmer said, “It’s an eclipse, right?”

Vaughan nodded, “Yeah…” but then his smiled faded and his eyes lost their sparkle. He seemed to have remembered something significant.

He looked back up at it and muttered, “Except there’s more to it than that… if I’m getting the date and time right…” He was speaking more to himself than to us. His voice was faint and distracted.

Someone asked, “What do you mean, ‘there’s more to it than that’?”

He looked around at the eight of us, standing around him like we were his disciples, and seemed to remember where he was; who he was talking to.

He smiled. “I used to be into eclipses. Years ago.”

He was a young guy; barely in his mid-twenties. He hadn’t been alive long enough to have been into something years ago.

“I think we’re seeing the first eclipse of a saros cycle. We’re pretty lucky… it’s kind of a rare event… at least it’s rare for a group of people to be around to see it.”

I didn’t know what he meant and looked back up at the pale, ashen disc of the sun, trying to see something that made it special. The piece missing from its edge was getting smaller. The eclipse was all but over. If this was special I figured we must have missed the special part.

He went on, “We just happen to be at exactly the right place to see it. And the date rings vague bells… when I was about eighteen I’d have given just about anything to see what we’re looking at…”

John Franklin said, “But it’s over. There wasn’t anything to see.”

Vaughan laughed. “Yeah. But it’s just being born… this is just the beginning…”

Most of us looked up again, wondering if maybe there was more to come. Fireworks shooting out from it or something.

But Vaughan explained, “That’s the point. In eighteen years time, the shadow of this eclipse will be back. Part of the same cycle. A few thousand miles south east of here but still within the Arctic Circle . That time a little more of the moon will cover the sun and it’ll last a few seconds longer.”

Anderson muttered, “Ooh wow. Book me in to see that one, sir.” Vaughan ignored him except for a slight smirk. He tended to ignore most of the crap Anderson came out with.

Vaughan went on, “And then in another eighteen years, somewhere in Siberia maybe, it’ll be back again. And then, in another eighteen, it’ll reappear in Alaska . And it’ll visit our planet every eighteen years, drifting slowly southwards across the surface and getting longer and longer and with more and more of the sun getting covered by the moon.

“In a few hundred years, when it’s as far south as London and New York, if they still exist, the moon will eat so much from the sun that only a thin arc of light remain will in the sky. And then, eighteen years later, the eclipse will become total for just a few brief seconds.”

We stared up at the sun, its white watery disc moving through the clouds like it was sailing on them, watching as the last speck of the moon’s silhouette moved away from it. Watching the sun become whole again.

“It’ll continue moving southward,” he continued, “returning every eighteen years a few thousand miles east of its last visit, becoming more and more spectacular as it matures. By the twenty-eighth century the brief eclipse you just saw will have developed to a total time of three of hours, with seven or eight minutes of darkness at its climax. To the people watching it in as it moves across Africa or South America – or even if seen only by fish, whales and birds as it sweeps across the Indian Ocean or Pacific – it will be magnificent.”

The wind whistled around us, freezing our ears and making our noses turn pink, as we stared up at the sun’s disc, listening to him. For a guy more used to teaching fifth-form Physics, he had a captivating way with words.

“And today is its birth date. Pity we didn’t pack a bottle of champagne.”

When it became obvious that Vaughan had said all he was going to, our eyes moved from the sun back to him. I could tell he was grinning even though the after-image of the sun’s disc made a dark purple ball hover in front of his face.

I looked around: at the wind making waves through the rough mossy plants on the endless plain and at the leaden clouds above us, moving as one sheet like they were frozen together. What a bleak place in which to be born!

We set off again, walking north-eastwards towards our next intended camp and our third night away from civilisation.

Throughout the afternoon, as we walked across the flat, desolate tundra, my mind kept returning to the eclipse, unable to let it go.

I wondered if the others in our group had been as affected by it as I had. They seemed more quiet, most of them silent, and tended to stay further apart than was usual, as if immersed in their own thoughts.

But it seemed unlikely that boys like Anderson and Robson, usually so derisive of those among us who expressed our appreciation of the landscapes we traversed, would be moved to silence by the tiny chink the sun had so briefly lost. If the bleakness of the plain, stretching darkly and ominously out in front of us, couldn’t stir up emotions inside them, an eclipse so partial as to be next to invisible hardly would.

I thought about what had happened the previous night. Stuff that we d been getting up to in our four man tent long after Mr Connell, the other teacher supervising our trip, had called out from the tent he and Vaughan were sharing that we should switch off our torches and get some sleep. Maybe Anderson was quiet because he was thinking about that; maybe he felt he and Palmer had gone too far.


It had started on the first night we’d set up a camp, fifteen miles north of the small isolated airstrip we’d been left on. The way things turned out, my friend Josh and I had ended up sharing with Palmer and Anderson, both of whom were from classes further up the school than us.

Vaughan had made it clear that he didn’t mind what went on in the tents after lights out as long as we didn’t break any of his ‘three basic rules’: no noise, no leaving the tent without taking a two-way radio, and no relighting the camp fire. He had explained to us the rationale behind each rule and how they made good survival sense.

Someone had joked, “Yeah, and rule number four is no wanking in the tents.”

Connell had looked a bit embarrassed but Vaughan had smiled along with the laughter from the rest of us.

He’d said, “Well, I don’t mind if you guys want to follow that rule in your tents but there’s no way I am in mine.”

We’d laughed again and Connell had looked a little surprised at Vaughan ’s candour.

Vaughan noticed this and became less jovial. “No. Seriously, you guys. We’re all gonna be spending a lot of time together over the next ten days. It’s gonna be difficult to get a proper wash and we’re gonna be very close to each other. We’re gonna have to get used to that pretty quickly.”

A silent nod of assent ran through the group. We’d all known exactly what we were getting into when we’d signed up for this.

“And we can’t afford to get uptight about bodily functions. There are no public conveniences on the tundra and there aren’t many opportunities for privacy. So if you’ve never seen a guy taking a crap or having a wank up until now, well I guess you’re soon going to!”

Robson made a comment about the lads in his tent having to go outside if they wanted to ‘beat the badger’ as he put it. Someone asked if he’d have to take the two-way radio and there were a few jokes about what would happen if a guy accidentally switched it on while he was in full swing.

I kept out of it. I wasn’t sure how to take all this. I wasn’t particularly hung up about the idea of masturbation: I just didn’t enjoy doing it back then. I’d played with my dick a few times – rubbed it against my pillow and whacked it around with my fingers like I was playing tennis with it – and both of those had felt good. But whenever I’d tried to grip it in my fist and pull at it, copying the gestures of other lads making ‘wanker’ signs to each other, it had started to hurt after a few seconds. I’d never even been close to the thing they called ‘cumming’ and I’d began to wonder if maybe it just didn’t happen to some guys.

So I kept well out of the jokes and comments, although I thought they were quite funny and laughed along with everyone else. Jokes about guys’ hands sticking frozen around their dicks or of arcs of semen freezing into solid fountains in mid-air were made funnier by their being said openly in front of a couple of our teachers.

Vaughan intervened, “Seriously, lads, I don’t want you creeping around outside the tents in the night. I mean, the jokes are funny but there’s a high risk of hypothermia out here. It can get as low as minus twenty even in summer this far North. If you’re gonna get hung up about being around other guys all the time, you shouldn’t be signing up for Arctic expeditions.”

“What if we wanna take a piss or somethin’?” Adams asked.

“Yeah. You can nip out for a minute or so, but masturbation takes a bit longer than that… a lot longer than that when it’s too cold to take your gloves off…”

A low chuckle ran through the group and then Robson asked, a look of feigned disgust on his face, “So we just lie around pulling our puds together…?”

Vaughan smiled. “Well, that’s up to you guys… I prefer a more discrete fumbling in my sleeping bag when I think the other guys in my tent are asleep. But if you want to stroke together as a group… that’s fine by me.”

We all laughed and Robson, although smiling, went a bit red. I glanced at Josh and saw that he was looking at me. He was wide-eyed with delight, his expression saying, “He’s just admitted that he wanks! A teacher! This is so cool! Wait ’til we get back to school…”

Vaughan laughed, probably at the combination of amusement and discomfort that the faces of most of the lads in the group were showing. Connell, on the other hand, looked slightly tense: I guess, even as an experienced hiker, he wasn’t used to having unspoken rules like these openly discussed.

Vaughan went on, “Actually, if you’d have let me know I could have brought my webcam along. Could have set up tentcam dot com… could have made myself a fortune…”

Again we all laughed. He was trying to put us at our ease and I guess it was working. Most guys were looking more relaxed at having Vaughan , in effect, giving the thumbs up to the continuation of a habit which, from jokes and comments I’d heard, seemed almost universal among guys.

For my part, I hadn’t even thought about masturbation as being an issue while sharing a tent – like I said, I hadn’t done much more than fiddled with my occasional erections up until then – but the prospect of being in such close confines with other boys and men had definitely been on my mind in the lead-up to the trip. So, even for me, it was nice to hear him talking so nonchalantly about the fact we were going to be so intimate together: yes, we’re gonna see each other doing things friends aren’t usually party to, but if our teacher could be cool with that, maybe we all could…

Vaughan reiterated, “But seriously, lads, don’t stay out of the tent any longer than necessary… I don’t want to find one of you frozen solid in the morning with your dick in your hand…”

No doubt as a result of Vaughan’s directness, that night the guys in my tent proved to be a lot more relaxed about sharing a tent with other lads than they probably would have been otherwise. Undressing together in its close stuffy confines wasn’t as embarrassing as it might have been and the inevitable poking of elbows and knees into each other’s crotches and arses as we clambered into our sleeping bags was more funny than awkward.

Anderson lightened the mood further by telling us that his cock was so big that he’d need the space of a double sleeping bag if he was going to wank. That started a totally unserious comparison of the size of our bulges through our underwear, by the end of which our reservations were all but forgotten.

We talked until after around eleven, when Connell called over to us to get some rest, and then whispered for another hour or so after that. At about midnight, we giggled to hear sounds of masturbation coming from one of the other tents and then Palmer declared he might “need to do the same” before he could get some sleep.

But I don’t think anything happened inside our tent on that first night, and if it did I must have fallen asleep before it had started. We’d walked a long way that day and I was pretty exhausted. The ground was hard and uncomfortable and the air was so cold that our breath condensed on every surface like dew, but sleep came easily nonetheless.

I woke up with Palmer’s cock almost poking me in the face. The morning sun was shining in through the side of the tent that Josh and I were lying on. I squinted in the brightness to see what was going on. Palmer was pulling on a clean teeshirt, unaware that I was waking up and unaware that his semi-erect cock was swinging around in front of me like a fat, swollen pendulum.

Anderson was talking about a dream he’d had about a girl from the sixth form. Even in my state of semi-consciousness I was aware that he was probably making it up.

The sun had warmed the inside of the tent, and the air was heavy with the smell of sweat and that sharp, thick odour you find in male locker rooms. A lot of the latter, I realised, was probably due to my nose being so close to Palmer’s exposed crotch.

I thought, “I don’t want to even think about what we’re all gonna smell like in ten days time!”

I looked over at Anderson who was pulling off the vest he’d worn overnight. His erection was full and proud: seven or eight inches of it curving upwards from his densely hairy balls. I figured that his talk of his supposed erotic dream was his way of making light of his state of arousal.

Just then the tent doors were pulled open, the ripping Velcro making the sound of tearing canvas.

Vaughan stuck his head in and said, “You guys up?”

Anderson didn’t attempt to cover his erection, as I would have done, and Vaughan looked down at it and grinned. He said, “Ah yeah… looks like you definitely are…”

Anderson grinned back. “Looks like he wants to be your friend, sir. He’s smiling up at you…”

Vaughan threw him a look of amused consternation. “Get something on, Rob. It’s a bit chilly out here…”

Then he withdrew and refastened the Velcro strips on the doors.

Palmer said, “You know what we’ve gotta do next, don’t you?”

Anderson pulled a clean pair of underwear from his rucksack. “I’m all too aware, Stephen.”

Palmer went on, “Well I’d try and lose the woody if I were you. Guys are gonna start talking if you’re flying at full mast while we’re all sitting around taking a dump…”

Anderson laughed. “I reckon the sight we’re about to see will be a sure-fire passion-killer if the cold air isn’t enough…” Then he laughed louder. “Although, actually, the sight of you guys crapping might be kind of… interesting…”

Palmer looked horrified and Anderson punched him in the shoulder, “Hey, I’m just fucking joking, okay?”

Anderson manoeuvred himself into a position to pull his underwear over his feet. I got glimpses of his arse, the crack of which betrayed a generous sprouting of hair. His cock swayed around in front of him like a branch in the wind.

After a minute or so, Palmer broke the silence, pulling on a shirt. “Come to think of it,” he said in a low, almost inaudible voice, “it makes sense to – you know – sort ourselves out last thing at night…”

Anderson pulled his boxer-briefs up his thighs, struggling to confine his large rod-like cock within their tight gusset. He asked, “How d’you mean?”

Palmer grinned and became a little coy. Almost in a whisper, he said, “You know… having a wank…”

Anderson grinned back. “Oh right. Why?”

Palmer started pulling his trousers on, finding it difficult to force his feet into the folds of the thick material. “Well… if we’re gonna have to show just about everything to the other guys… it kinda makes sense to… you know… relieve ourselves so that we don’t throw a stiffy at an embarrassing moment…?”

Anderson grinned. “Yeah. I guess.”

Palmer went on, “I mean it’s something guys need to do. You heard what Vaughan said. It’s just like a biological function; like taking a piss.”

I was intrigued by all this. I’d had friends to stay over with me loads of time, but those were boys of a similar age to myself and, like me, probably not in the habit of masturbating yet. But Palmer was a year older than me, Anderson two, and the idea of them needing to relieve themselves sexually belonged to an adult, and at that time alien, world.

They finished off dressing, pulling on their thick padded jackets, and, grabbing their soaps and towels and toilet rolls, headed out through the door.

After they’d left, I got out of my sleeping bag and felt an icy draught against my bare legs from where Palmer hadn’t fastened the flaps of the door properly. It was obviously close to freezing point outside.

I closed the door more securely and pulled my briefs off to change for the day. As I did so, I nudged Josh to wake him up. “Hey Josh – it’s morning, mate.”

He was sleeping on his side, his face directed away from me. He grunted but I could see that he didn’t open his eyes.

I realised his body was shaking slightly and thought there might be something wrong with him. Vaughan had told us a lot about hypothermia and how to spot the warning signs. Maybe Josh, being next to the side of the tent, had caught a chill.

I shook his shoulder gently. “Hey Josh. Wake up.”

His shoulder and forearm were really vibrating. He was also breathing faster than normal. Maybe he was in a fit or something.

I knelt over him so I could see more of his face and said, “Come on, mate…”

He didn’t open his eyes. He kept shaking inside his sleeping bag, his breathing getting gradually faster, and grunted, “Fuck off…”

I was confused. Josh never spoke to me like that; he didn’t speak to anyone like that.

I asked, “Are you okay? What are you doing?”

He kept shaking, his arm vibrating like he was scratching himself or something; his rhythm getting faster.

“You know what I’m doing… fuck off and leave me alone…” His eyes were still closed but his expression was angry; his mouth almost a snarl. He was almost panting and found it difficult to complete what he’d said in one breath.

I was a bit shocked by Josh’s behaviour. This was so unlike his normal, laid-back manner. I wondered if I ought to fetch Mr Vaughan. Josh might be seriously sick.

I heard a slight slapping sound: skin against skin. Like a gentle applause coming from within the thick folds of his sleeping bag.

Then, as I stared at him, wondering what was happening to him, his eyes tightened like he was in pain and he gasped. At the same moment, his hips started bucking, making his whole sleeping bag move to the same rhythm of his arm.

I smiled. It was a joke. “He’s pretending to ‘cum’,” I thought. One of our friends did the same act, impersonating his older brother who he’d supposedly overheard having sex. But in Josh’s case the acting was more understated; less embellished and theatrical.

After five or ten seconds, his hips stopped thrusting and the rhythm of his arm slowed to a mere shudder and then stopped altogether. I expected him to turn to me and laugh but he just lay there, eyes closed, recovering his breath.

I moved away from him, still confused, and fished a pair of clean briefs out from my rucksack. Josh croaked from his sleeping bag, “What time is it?”

I found my watch. “Seven thirty eight.”

I looked over at him, my underwear in my hand. He was rubbing his eyes, pretending nothing had happened.

Then he unzipped the side of his sleeping bag and got out from it. I saw that his briefs were pulled down slightly and that his cock was sticking out from between the bottom of his teeshirt and the waistband of his briefs. It was semi-stiff and looked very large; much larger than my own looked back then when it was in a similar state.

He reached forward to his rucksack and I saw that his right hand glistened like it was wet. Then I saw that the tip of his cock was also wet, and the bottom of his teeshirt had splashes and dribbles on it.

An unusual smell, thick and heavy, seemed to rapidly fill the air inside the tent. It was a smell with which I’d become very familiar with in the confines of the tent over the next ten days, but at that time I had no idea what it was.

I asked, “Did you piss in your sleeping bag, Josh?”

He grabbed something from his rucksack and wiped his hand on it. “Uh?”

I grinned. “Or do you just get really sweaty down there?”

He dabbed at his cock, gently drying the head of it. I looked down at it and noticed that the wetness he was wiping off was thicker and more gooey than sweat or piss. It was more like snot; like partially set jelly but creamy in colour.

I laughed, “It’s like your dick sneezed.”

He looked at me and glared. “What the fuck’s wrong with you this morning, Stu? You know what I was doing… it’s not like there’s anything wrong with it…”

I guess I just stared at him, looking dopey.

He said, more gently, “You heard what Vaughan said… when you’re living so closely with other guys you’re gonna see them wanking sometimes… there’s no need making a big deal of it…”

I flushed with embarrassment. “Oh right… yeah… sorry… I didn’t realise that’s what you were doing…”

He threw me a sceptical look. “What did you think I was doing?”

“I dunno… I thought you were ill or something…”

He hitched his teeshirt up a little and dried more of the sticky-looking white stuff from around his pubic hair. He smiled slightly and asked, “You thought I was ill?”

“Yeah… I dunno… the way you were breathing so quickly and the way your hips were kinda thrashing around, I guess…”

He looked up at me, his smile fading. “Everyone does that when they wank…” His expression was faintly confrontational; like I’d suggested there was something odd about him. He asked, “Don’t you?”

I shrugged. “I’ve never really done it, actually. It feels too weird when I try…”

He stared at me incredulously and I felt embarrassed about what I’d just said.

I quickly added, “I mean… I’m probably just not doing it the right way…”

He kept staring at me and I felt my face flush.

I said, “Don’t, like, tell anyone…”

He shook his head. Then he started pulling his briefs off. I saw that his cock was now totally limp and hung down over the top of his sparsely haired balls. He said, “Guys start at different ages. It’s no big deal. I shouldn’t have got arsey with you when I was doing it. I thought you were pissing about… trying to annoy me or something…”

“I honestly didn’t know what you were doing…”

He pulled off his teeshirt. There were still a few dribbles of thick liquid on his belly and he wiped them off with his teeshirt before throwing it onto his sleeping bag.

Now we were both naked, kneeling in front of each other, looking at each other’s bodies. Although Josh was my good friend, up until then I’d never been naked with him. At school, we did sport at different times and so had never had to shower or get changed together. We didn’t stay over at each other houses. So shared nudity had never been part of our relationship.

But now that we were in this situation, we were both surprisingly comfortable with it. We were good mates; the fact we had our dicks out together, as Anderson would have put it, wasn’t an issue.

I saw that Josh’s body, like mine, was thin and firm. Muscle was starting to develop on both of us in areas which had, in previous years, remained stubbornly lean despite hours of labour. His underarm hair was thick and bushy, like mine, but we differed in that his chest was smooth whereas mine had a central clump of thin, soft hair.

I saw him look down at my cock, drawing comparisons, and I looked at his making my own. We were both hairy down there, though mine was perhaps slightly thicker, but that was where the similarities ended. His cock, even though flaccid, was large and thick and rested heavily on his small, insubstantial balls The colour of it was pink, no doubt from the attention it had just received from his hand, and his foreskin was slightly retracted exposing the moist tip of its round pink head.

My cock, on the other hand, was pale and small and looked thin alongside his. My foreskin was long and covered the head of my cock completely, giving the tip a round puckered mouth. My balls, though, beat his by a long stretch. They were bigger and protruded outward from between my thighs, looking ripe and round inside their tight bag. Like a couple of eggs next to his marbles.

He grinned. “Big balls.”

I said, “Big dick.”

He smiled more broadly. He liked the compliment.

Then he said, more seriously, “Maybe you’re not ready to start wanking yet.”

I was a little offended. “Sod off, Josh. Just ‘cause my dick’s not as big as yours. I mean… it gets pretty impressive once it wakes up…”

He chuckled. “Well, why do you think you can’t do it?”

I considered the question for a couple of seconds. “I dunno… I do the action but it hurts after a minute or so…”

“What action?”

I was too embarrassed to wank in front of him so I made a masturbatory action against my crotch without actually touching my dick. My fingers curled around to form a schoolyard ‘wanker’ gesture, beating rapidly against my pubic bush.

He said, “Maybe you’re being too rough. And maybe you shouldn’t use all your fingers.”

“How do you mean?” I asked. Then, feeling my face go a little red, and lowering my voice to a whisper, “How do you do it?”

He reached down and raised his limp cock upwards to show me. He whispered, “When I started, I just did this.” He jerked his foreskin back and forth a little using his thumb and forefinger like a letter O. He held his other fingers outward, keeping them away from his cock.

He rolled his foreskin back and forth across his cock head a few times. The pink surface of the helmet was slimy and wet from the orgasm he’d just had. A white pearl of liquid grew from the thin slit at the tip of it as he gently masturbated the stem of it.

He said, “Then, as I got used to how it felt… I mean, like, over a few months… I started using all my fingers. I worked up to it, though. I didn’t start out like that.”

He furled the rest of his fingers around the stem of his cock and squeezed it inside them, continuing to slide his foreskin back and forth.

He went on, “And then I started getting faster. Up until then I’d been slow. I mean, when you first start wanking you’ve got be gentle ‘til your dick gets used to it…”

He took his hand away from his dick and it stood upward from his balls. Half-erect.

I laughed. “Looks like you were enjoying that.”

He grinned back and said, glancing down at my cock, “Likewise.” I realised I was also in a state of semi-arousal. I hadn’t been aware of it, but watching Josh masturbate had clearly had an effect on me.

Just then the doors of tent were yanked open and Anderson started crawling in.

Josh and I both struggled to pull our underwear on.

Anderson laughed. “’Ello ‘ello ‘ello. What’s all this then? Having a little play together, were we?”

I heard Palmer call in from outside. “What’s going on? What are they up to?”

Josh was pulling his briefs on, smiling and shaking his head. I wasn’t able to look quite so indifferent. I was aware that my face was scarlet.

Anderson came in, putting his stuff back into his rucksack and starting to clear up the mess he’d left. Still laughing he said, “Don’t let me interrupt you guys. I’ve plenty of spare tissue…”

Palmer also crawled in, grinning. He saw my cock, still half-erect, as I tried to pull my underwear on to cover it and then turned to see Josh’s, also clearly semi-aroused, inside his tight-fitting briefs. He laughed and said, “Ooh… naughty boys.”

I expected a lot more jokes and ridicule but none came. Josh and I got dressed and Palmer and Anderson told us what Connell and some of the other lads were cooking for breakfast. I realised that, even if Josh and I had been masturbating together, it was clearly not a big deal to Palmer and Anderson. An occasion which warranted a couple of facetious comments, yes, but not a major issue.

Even when we’d set off for the day, and Palmer was with his mates from the other tent and Anderson was pissing around with Robson, they still didn’t return to the fact they thought they’d caught Josh and I wanking. It had been a non-event.

Within an hour or so the walk and the landscape had driven any lingering concerns and guilt from my mind altogether.


Part 2

7th July 2003: The story was heading in an obvious direction which was also suggested by the title and that was what the third part had described. Maybe one of these days I’ll take the time to finish this rather sweet story off…


We continued walking throughout the afternoon following our brief sighting of the eclipse. The guys seemed subdued; Vaughan strode out ahead of us in silence.

I stayed near the back of the group, just a few paces ahead of Connell who was bringing up the rear. Josh was with me but he didn’t say much.

Everyone seemed tense.

A thin, indistinct sliver of the moon’s shadow had passed over us, rushing to meet us across the frozen tundra. And then, after just a few short miles, it had risen from the hard ground and swept upwards, back into space.

That was all that had happened and yet I found it impossible to shake my mind free of it.

I was fascinated by the idea that something so momentary and so innocuous could develop into something so incredible; by the incomprehensibility of the timescale involved; by the thought of the millions of people who, in the distant future, would look up and marvel at the spectacle that a handful of us had just fleetingly witnessed on its first brief graze across the planet’s surface.

Eighteen years ago the shadow of an eclipse in the same family had skimmed the atmosphere somewhere north west of here. Nearly touching down for a few seconds, but not quite. Nearly born, but not quite.

Birds flying high over northern Greenland might have been caught up in the edge faint fuzzy shadow; clouds might have been imperceptibly darkened by it. Eighteen years before that it had missed the atmosphere by a few hundred miles.

I looked over at Palmer and Anderson.

Palmer was with Franklin , but not talking to him or anyone else.

Anderson was with Adams and Robson. He ignored Palmer and seemed unwilling even to look in his direction.

My mind returned to what had happened in the tent on the previous night after what Vaughan called the ‘curfew’.


Anderson had his torch on, set to the lowest beam. Connell had already called over to us once when Anderson had had the torch on full power. If we were caught again we’d get chores to carrry out the following day.

We hoped the canvas of the tent was thick enough to conceal the dim sepia-coloured glow from the torch.

We chatted quietly for a while and then heard Connell shouting at the guys in the other tent to put their lights out. They’d be cooking breakfast for everyone in the morning. Anderson directed the weak beam from the torch down into his sleeping bag and we waited to see if Connell would come over and have a go at us.

When we heard him get back into the tent he and Vaughan were sharing, we grinned at each other like we’d achieved a major coup.

A whispered conversation had started up on the tedious topic of the type of car each of our parents owned and had then headed off into the realms of house sizes and holiday locations.

I was bored and slightly irritated.

It was only when that had subsided that Palmer told us, in conspiratorial tones, that someone in the next tent had been caught pretending to masturbate on the previous night.

Anderson asked, “Who?”

“Andrew Thompson’s younger brother. What’s he called… Michael?”

Josh asked, “Why would he do that?”

Palmer shrugged. “I guess some of the other guys were doing it so he thought he should join in. He was lying with his eyes closed, moaning and gasping like it was the best thing he’d ever done. His hand moving up and down inside his sleeping bag…”

Anderson shook his head. “That’s bullshit. I mean, how would they know he was faking it?”

Palmer giggled. “He was using his torch, right. Instead of his knob. And he was so caught up in acting the part, he didn’t realise he was switching the torch on and off with each stroke… his sleeping bag was lighting up and going dark like a fucking strobe light…”

We all chuckled. It was funny but rather implausible.

Josh asked, “But why would he fake it? Why not just join in if he wanted to be like everyone else?”

Palmer said, “Maybe he’s still firing blanks.”

I asked, “What do you mean, ‘firing blanks’?”

Anderson explained. “You know… a guy tries to wank but he can’t finish it off…”

I nodded. Obviously this was something normal and accepted. I said, “I do that.”

Palmer grinned eagerly like I’d admitted something scandalous.

Josh shook his head and threw me a reprimanding look. “That’s what little kids do, Stu… guys our age spunk up when we wank…”

I felt my face go a little pink. “Oh right… I didn’t know what you meant… yeah I spunk up. ‘Course I do…” I laughed lamely and Palmer’s grin became more like a sneer.

Anderson shook his head. “Come on, Josh. Different guys start at different ages. I didn’t wank when I was your age… I only vaguely knew what it was…”

Palmer laughed. “I was already a three-a-day man, me. By ten or eleven. Couldn’t get enough of it…”

Anderson nodded. “Yeah yeah yeah. And your balls dropped when you were three. Whatever.”

Palmer was about to respond when we all heard the gasps of someone in another tent reaching his orgasm. Then a couple of other people sniggering.

Josh giggled, “That was Vaughan !”

Palmer shook his head. “Naah… it came from the wrong direction… it was Adams or Franklin…”

Anderson nodded, grinning.

Josh was adamant. “It was Vaughan .”

Anderson shook his head. “You heard what Vaughan said last night. He likes to be discrete. That was Adams . Trying to make up with a few fake gasps what he lacks in style…”

We chuckled, hearing someone else’s masturbatory rhythm take over from where Adams’ – or whoever’s – had left off.

Then, abruptly, Anderson turned the torch off and said, “And now – if you guys will excuse me – I’d like to produce a few gasps of my own.”

We all settled into our sleeping bags in the semi-darkness of the Arctic twilight.

I waited to hear sounds of Anderson masturbating but the four of us remained silent. Noises of other boys and, perhaps, of Vaughan or Connell, attending to themselves were obvious, but no-one from our tent seemed to want to join them.

Eventually Palmer whispered, “Come on then, big dick. Show us what you’ve got…”

Josh and I chuckled.

Anderson laughed a little nervously. “Well I feel kind of embarrassed. You guys are all listening out for me now.”

Palmer seemed impatient. “Come on, Rob. I’m hard as hell. If you start up I’ll join in…”

Anderson remained coy. “I dunno. You guys are all waiting to listen to me wank. It’s freaking me out. I don’t think I could even get a stiffy, actually.” He laughed again. “Many hopes have been raised but not the one between my legs.”

“For Fuck’s sake,” Palmer barked. “I always wank before I go to sleep. If I start it off, will you… you know?”

“Yeah I’ll join in with you, mate…”

Someone in another tent grunted gently in pleasure. It sounded like Connell, but the direction was unclear.

Palmer needed reassurance. “Everyone else is doing it…”

“If you wanna wank, just fuckin’ wank,” Anderson snapped. His voice, although a whisper, was so loud that everyone awake must have heard it. I could imagine Vaughan grinning with his eyes closed.

A gentle rhythm started up from inside Palmer’s sleeping bag. He sighed, obviously enjoying the feeling of his hand on his cock after so much anticipation.

Anderson whispered, “I can’t believe you’re masturbating in the presence of two innocents, Palmer…”

Palmer said, “Fuck off.”

The light beating noises from Palmer’s sleeping bag continued. His breathing was becoming slightly, almost imperceptibly, faster.

Eventually, Anderson whispered, “What are you thinking of?”

Palmer repeated, “Fuck off!”

Anderson chuckled. “Come on, mate. If you want me to join in…”

Palmer snapped, “I’m thinking of my dick fucking your arse. That get you going?”

Anderson laughed. “You’re thinking of Sophie Crooke. Aren’t you?”

Palmer didn’t miss beat. “No. Actually.”

Anderson chuckled. “In that case… could it possibly be one of those nymphos from the fifth form…?”

Palmer kept wanking, his rhythm becoming faster. “Getting warmer….”

Anderson kept at it, the sound of his voice making his grin obvious. “Pamela Craddock or that French girl Maria…?”

It became obvious that there were two independent rhythms inside our tent. Palmer’s hand was obviously moving faster than Anderson ’s but he’d had a head start.

They continued chatting, both becoming more breathless, enjoying exchanging names and scenarios as their hands worked at their cocks.

Hearing them talking while they masturbated excited me a lot. I wondered if Josh was going to join in and if he did whether I ought to try to follow suit.

My cock was hard in my boxer shorts and I gently and quietly eased it out through the fly. It felt good in my hand; warm and thick. I slid the foreskin back from the head and that felt good too. My cock throbbed in my fingers, becoming longer and harder than before.

I was afraid to do anything else in case they heard me. I didn’t want them to make a big deal of it after what I’d said earlier; I could imagine Palmer shouting, “Whoa! Stu’s playing with his little pecker. Come on, Stu, fire some blanks for us!” And the whole thing getting agonisingly embarrassing.

So I just lay there listening to them, holding my aching dick in my hand.

I thought again about Josh. His breathing was deep and I wondered if he was masturbating already. Holding his sleeping bag up above his cock so as not to make it obvious.

But then he snored slightly and I realised he was asleep.

I was amazed that he could have gone to sleep while all this was going on. Perhaps, because he himself was already masturbating, it wasn’t such a big deal to him as it was to me. Perhaps it just didn’t interest him. Perhaps when I was masturbating regularly it wouldn’t be so interesting to me. Just like hearing guys taking a piss wasn’t interesting to me since I could watch myself doing it just about as often as I liked.

Anderson was saying, his voice barely comprehensible through his heavy breathing, “I guess I just go for… thinking of her undressing… or showering… that kind of stuff…”

Palmer was also breathless. “Tits or pussy…?”

“Both. And her arse. And her legs…”

Their rhythms were now equally fast and their fists made thumping sounds against the material of their sleeping bags. I wondered if they were deliberately keeping pace with each other or whether they were running an unspoken race in which they were currently neck-and-neck.

Palmer said, his voice breaking as if he was about to sob, “I need to think of her… you know… doing something with me…”

“You fucking her…?”

“Yeah… or her sucking… my dick….”

Anderson ’s rhythm became a little faster, his fist coasting ahead of Palmer’s for the first time since they started. He said, “Yeah… I like that too… thinking of her mouth sliding down my pole…”

“Red lipstick making… streaks on your dick…”

Anderson gasped, “Oh yeah.” His fist was a frenzy, pounding roughly and frantically inside his sleeping bag at such a rapid rate I couldn’t understand how he wasn’t hurting himself. It was a like an over-powered turbine; a steam train pelting down the track way beyond top speed.

Palmer hammered the image home. “… her chin slamming into your balls…”

Anderson whimpered and I thought for a second that what Palmer had said had upset him somehow.

But then he started gasping, to the same rhythm as his fist, “Yeah… yeah… aaah… fuck…” And I realised he was cumming.

I wondered if I would ever experience that. It sounded like it felt good – maybe even fantastic, although it was impossible to tell how much of guys’ reactions to it was exaggeration – but also a little scary. Like venturing into something unknown.

Anderson ’s orgasm lasted longer than Josh’s had when I’d unknowingly watched him masturbating that morning. Maybe Anderson was more experienced or something, but it went on for twenty or thirty seconds. His hand kept pounding at his dick and he kept gasping like he’d just been sprinting.

Palmer was loving it. He was saying, his grin obvious from the tone of his voice, “Yeah… milk it, Rob… think of her mouth… eating your knob…” His own hand was still working at his own cock, whacking at it noisily inside his sleeping bag.

When Anderson ’s orgasm had subsided, he lay quietly recovering his breath for a few seconds and then, abruptly, started moving around. I realised he was pulling off his underwear and cleaning himself up with them. Masturbation seemed to have an unpleasant aftermath. I wondered if it was really worth all the mess it seemed to produce.

Palmer kept at it, his rhythm steady and his breathing deep and regular, and Anderson complained, “See what you did? What a fuckin’ mess you caused…?”

Palmer giggled, “No but I can smell it.”

I could too. That same smell that I’d noticed that morning after Josh had finished wanking. A thick, slightly cloying smell; heavy in the air but not unpleasant.

Anderson had spunked up. That was the expression he’d used about Josh and I and now he’d done it himself. The smell was his spunk, the same pearly white liquid that Josh had had smeared on his hands, his dick and his teeshirt that morning.

I’d kind of known about these things biologically – known that guys produce a liquid containing sperm during sex – but the theory was cold and scientific and I’d never been able to directly connect it with talk of ‘spunk’ and ‘cumming’.

Hearing Anderson orgasm had been a bit of a revelation!

Anderson said, “At the end of this trip, all three tents are gonna have the same smell…”

“Yeah but none as disgusting as ours… Christ, Rob, it reeks…”

Anderson sounded pissed off by that. He called out, “Well if it’s so fucking bad maybe you should try tasting it…”

There was a scuffle and Palmer yelled. I realised Anderson had pushed his sticky boxer briefs into Palmer’s face.

Palmer shouted, “You fucking bastard… it’s in my fucking mouth…” and Anderson guffawed.

Anderson settled back down and Palmer wiped his face with Anderson ’s underwear. He said, “Jesus, Rob. Your kegs smell of your knob… of your fuckin’ dick sweat….” He moved them around, trying to find a clean area. “Christ that must be the back… I can smell your arse on them, you dirty sod…”

Anderson chuckled. “That’s the way the ladies like ‘em.”

Palmer threw the boxer briefs to one side and, after half a minute or so, he started masturbating again. Despite his noisy protests, he was obviously fairly unruffled by getting Anderson ’s underwear pushed into his face.

After a couple of seconds, Palmer said, “Your spunk tastes like lukewarm porridge.”

Anderson laughed. He asked, “Salty porridge or sweet porridge?”

Palmer considered this for a couple of seconds. Then he replied, his fist still beating at his cock inside his sleeping bag, “Kind of halfway between…”

Anderson giggled again. “You’re sick…” Then after a couple of seconds, “And your mother has a bizarre recipe for porridge…”

Palmer laughed quite loudly.

Just then the velcro strips on the door were torn open and a torch was shone into the tent. Behind the glaring beam, Vaughan whispered, “Can you guys settled down… it’s past one o’clock…”

Palmer stopped masturbating but his fist remained on his dick making a large mound in his sleeping bag at crotch level.

He said, “Just finishing off, sir,” and the mound rose and fell a couple of times, making his meaning unnecessarily obvious. Anderson sniggered.

Vaughan didn’t sound amused. He said, “Well can you be a bit more discrete, Stephen?” He paused. Then he asked, “And what have you got around your mouth… what have you guys been doing in here?”

Palmer was quick to protest. “Hey – it’s not what it looks like, sir. That was Rob…”

Vaughan said, “Evidently.” He sounded like he was smiling now.

Palmer said, “No… I mean… it was Rob messing around…”

Anderson said, in a low conspiratorial voice, “He was very well-practised at it, sir… very sensual…”

Vaughan chuckled. “Look you guys. It’s time to knock it off now. Nice to see you’ve been enjoying yourselves but no more of it. Time to sleep…”

He and his torch withdrew from the front of the tent.

Palmer whispered, “What did you fucking say that for? Now he thinks I’m a fucking cock sucker…”

Anderson tittered. “Naah… he’s smart enough to know the truth… that you’re a spunk eater…”

“I’m not a fuckin’ spunk eater…”

“You said it tasted like porridge…”

They went on for a few minutes, their voices growing gradually louder, until Vaughan called over from his tent, “I mean it, you guys. Knock it off… if I have to come over there again you’re in it deep tomorrow…”

And then they knocked it off.

Palmer didn’t masturbate that night. I could sense him lying in his sleeping bag, staring up into the Arctic twilight seeping through the canvas of the tent, seething at the joke Anderson had played on him. After a couple of minutes, Anderson ’s breathing became deep and heavy and it was obvious he was soundly asleep.

My cock was still hard and aching. I still held it in my hand, feeling the head of it gently throbbing against my thumb. I really wanted to try to do something with it. After all, just about every other guy in our camp seemed to have played with their dicks that night.

Anderson was asleep; Josh was asleep; and Palmer? Well, even if Palmer heard me he wasn’t likely to risk getting into serious trouble with Vaughan by waking Anderson up. And if I held my sleeping bag upward so that my hand didn’t make a sound against it…

I pretended to shift position, groaning quietly as I did so, and made a tent in the sleeping bag above my crotch.

Then I waited a few seconds.

I could tell Palmer was wide awake. He was still livid but, from his slower breathing, gradually calming down.

I made an O with my finger and thumb and gripped the top of my foreskin inside it. Then I worked my foreskin forwards over the head of my cock. I couldn’t help but gasp slightly from the mixture of pleasure and pain: the tip of my cock was just too sensitive.

I pulled my foreskin back and swept it forwards again. Again, it felt good but hurt at the same time. I did it again and again and began to develop a rhythm. The pain seemed to diminish but the pleasure remained. It started to actually feel really good; even better than when I’d humped my pillow in my bed at home, and better than when I’d played tennis with my cock against my palm.

I realised I was making a sound; a regular swishing noise as my fingers brushed against the material of my boxer shorts which was covering the paired mounds of my balls.

Holding my cock steady in my right hand, I tried to release my balls from my shorts with my left. But there weren’t any buttons lower than the one I’d already opened and my balls were way too big to slip out through the tiny gap in the fly below my cock. I opened my legs a little, trying to ease my balls downward but they remained stubbornly aloft. Like a couple of ripe plums pressing upward against the material of my boxers.

“Jesus, why do I have such big bollocks?” I silently cursed.

I eased the sleeping bag back into a tent above my cock.

Palmer’s breathing was even slower. Maybe he was asleep. I don’t know why – after all the sounds of other guys wanking that I’d heard that night – but I really didn’t want him to hear me.

I guess it was because it was my first time; I didn’t want an audience.

I started masturbating again, gently working my foreskin back and forth across the head of my cock as I had been. Now there was little pain: it felt, quite simply, amazing!

I couldn’t help but smile, aware that my breathing was coming out as short, sharp pants.

I squeezed a little more tightly with my finger and thumb and the pleasure swept over me like a warm, gentle wave. My cock seemed to be growing longer and thicker on every stroke: it swelled to an unimagined size as if in gratification for the attention I was giving it. It seemed to want more; to want to thicken and lengthen to offer as much of itself as it could to my hand.

I knew that the swishing noise I was making was getting louder. I was making longer, faster and firmer strokes and my fingers were sliding across more and more of my balls. My elbow was making gentle thumping noises against the sleeping bag.

But Palmer was asleep; he must be.

I wrapped my other fingers around the stem of my cock, again marvelling at how thick and long it felt.

I was thinking, “Fuck, Stu! You’re wanking. You’re actually fucking wanking!”

And Christ, did it feel good!

In those few minutes, feelings from my cock seemed to take over those from the rest of my body. My cock became everything to me; the rest of my body was insignificant in comparison with the sensations from that one part.

I’m sure, in retrospect, that my cock had only swelled a little as I masturbated it, but to me it felt like it was a meter long and as thick as a drainpipe. I loved it. I thought about how big Anderson ‘s cock had looked when I’d seen his morning woodie first thing. Mine was surely longer than that now; an inch longer, maybe two. And I thought about how thick my dad’s cock had looked when he got out of the shower. Mine felt like it could put even his to shame.

My rhythm was getting really fast and I realised I was panting like a dog and whimpering gently. My forehead, my cheeks and my chest were wet with my sweat. My arse crack felt as hot as a skillet.

My left hand gripped my balls, making the sleeping bag fall against the pounding of my right. The noise I was making was now unmistakable, but I no longer cared.

I was thinking, “I’ve got the biggest dick in the school and I’m wanking it. And I love it… I don’t care who knows it…”

Even if Vaughan could hear me, I didn’t care right then. The feelings from my cock were all that mattered.

I squeezed my balls and felt a new wave of pleasure wash over me. I dimly thought, “Maybe having big balls isn’t such a bad thing.”

Then Palmer whispered hoarsely across at me. “Fucking keep it down, Stu. I’m trying to fucking sleep, you tosser…”

And I stopped. Just lay there panting to recover my breath and feeling the sweat on my face grow cold.

I said, “Sorry.” I regretted that as soon as I said it. My voice sounded like a girl’s; I seemed to have lost the ability to judge how my voice-box worked.

He spat, “Can’t you fucking wait ’til tomorrow? If you’re firing blanks you’ll probably go on all night…”

That thing about ‘firing blanks’ again. I wasn’t sure whether what he said was true, but it made sense. Maybe I wouldn’t cum like Anderson had done; maybe I’d still be lying there at six in the morning, pulling myself off until I was red and sore with nothing at the end of it.

I felt embarrassed, like I’d been trying to copy things the older guys were doing without really knowing what I was doing.

I said, again, “Sorry.” This time my voice sounded more normal.

He whispered, “Just be more fucking quiet.” Then he rolled over, away from me, and was still again.

My cock felt soft in my fingers now.

Back to its normal size.

I’d hoped it would stay as big as it had become even after it had gone limp, so that my soft cock might be as big as Josh’s had seemed that morning. That maybe bigger limp dicks were a ‘wanker’ thing; until you first masturbated your dick looked small and immature.

But it had gone back to its normal small, shrivelled state.

I wanted to continue masturbating – I’d been enjoying it so much – but I didn’t want Palmer to hear me. I hadn’t cared when I’d been in full swing but his voice has sobered me up. Brought me back to reality.

I really didn’t want an audience.

I lay there, listening for changes in his breathing. My fingers were still around my foreskin: I didn’t want to move them in case I couldn’t regain the pleasurable technique I’d found for the first time.

But Palmer didn’t seem to want to drop off. He kept moving and turning over. Maybe he was still pissed off with Anderson ; maybe he was now feeling guilty for having put an end to my pleasure.

I drifted off to sleep, my hand still around my dick, waiting for Palmer to do the same.

Then, abruptly, I woke up and it was morning. I squinted in the brightness of the sunlight and saw some guy’s naked back and arse a couple of feet away from me. He was squatting on Anderson ‘s discarded sleeping bag, rummaging to find something in his rucksack.

I looked up at the back of his head and saw that it was Josh. Palmer and Anderson had obviously awoken before us and already gone out.

I looked back down to Josh’s arse which looked pale alongside the slight tan of his back and thighs. I noticed that his balls hung downward between his thighs, swinging gently inside his scrotum as he pulled something from his rucksack.

The door was ripped open and Connell looked inside at us.

Josh didn’t attempt to cover himself; we were all getting used to being comfortable in situations which we would normally have found awkward.

Connell said, “Hurry up you guys.” He looked at me. “Hey, Stuart, you should be helping us make some breakfast not lying dozing in bed…”

I croaked, surprised at how deep my voice sounded, “Yes sir. I’ll get up in a minute…”

Connell looked angry. “No Stu. Not in a minute. Now. Come on, get out of bed. Right now.”

He stared at me and I realised he wasn’t going to leave us until he’d seen me get out of my sleeping bag.

Josh started pulling on a clean pair of briefs. They were dark blue. He turned to look over at me and I saw his cock, limp but fat, poking out from the bush of hair around it.

Connell said, “Now, Stuart.”

I struggled out of my sleeping bag. I was aware that my own cock was as hard as a board and still poking out through the fly my shorts from the night before. I fumbled to tuck it in as I climbed out from my bedding.

I knelt on the floor, reaching for my watch. My cock poked upward inside the front of my boxers, making a thick and obvious rod pressing against the dark green material. The fly was still unbuttoned and part of my erection was visible inside it alongside the thick black bush of my pubic hair.

Connell looked at it and then back up to my face. He said, “Okay, Stu. Sorry to have disturbed your fun.”

He smiled and I thought, “He thinks I was wanking when he came in.”

He added, “It’s late, though. You better get dressed.”

Then he grinned more broadly and turned to Josh, who was bending to pull his briefs over each knee. “And I wouldn’t bend over with a thing like that so close to me… wouldn’t want any accidents…” He laughed and withdrew from the door.

Josh grunted, apparently not understanding Connell’s joke.

After Connell had gone, Josh moved forward to refasten the Velcro strips on the door, preventing the icy drafts getting into the tent while he got dressed. I saw a small pink circle nestling between the almost hairless cheeks of his arse as he did so. I didn’t want to see it: it was unavoidable.

I thought of Connell’s joke and of my cock accidently slipping out from my boxers and poking into Josh’s pink little ring. In my state of arousal, the thought was not as unpleasant as I’d expected it to be. I quickly dismissed it from my mind.

Josh straightened up to pull his briefs up his thighs. The dark blue material clung tightly to his bum cheeks and, as he turned to look over at me, I saw the medium sized bulge his cock and balls made in the front of them.

He muttered, “You seem pretty tired this morning…”

I pulled off my vest. It smelt strongly of my sweat and I hoped Josh wouldn’t be aware of it.

“Yeah. I didn’t get to sleep ’til late. Anderson and Palmer were kind of noisy…”

He nodded. “I was glad I was knackered enough to sleep through it. Did they actually wank off together or were they just arsing about…”

“They did the dirty deed… well, Anderson did but then he pissed Palmer off by pushing his wet kegs into his face…”

Josh said, “Freaky. I’m glad I slept through it.”

I pulled off my shorts, exposing my cock. I wasn’t too bothered if Josh saw my morning woodie. We were friends: it didn’t matter.

I smiled. “Actually, it was kind of interesting…”

Josh didn’t smile back. He looked at me with tired eyes. “How d’you mean?”

“Well. I didn’t really know much about wanking and stuff until this trip. I didn’t know that just about everyone does it. I mean, everyone except me.”

Josh pulled a teeshirt out from his rucksack. He looked at my cock, arching upward to maybe six inches. “Looks like you need to do it soon, Stu. That thing’s gonna explode.”

Now he smiled and I didn’t.

He muttered, “No wonder you’ve got such big bollocks…”

“What do you mean?”

“You know… all the spunk that’s inside them that you’re not letting out. They’ll explode…”

I guess I looked horrified.

He chuckled. “It’s a joke, Stu…”

“Yeah but it might happen…”

He laughed a little more. “Your face! ‘Course it can’t happen…”

“But it might… I mean, if I’m firing blanks like Anderson said…”

Josh smiled and shook his head. “You’re not, Stu…”

“How do you know?”

“Look at your dick! Look at your balls! I mean, I’m no expert, but you look like you’re ready to wank as soon as you want to. It’s just up to you…”

“But maybe I can wank but I can’t cum…”

Josh became more serious. He looked at me, perhaps working out a little of what had happened on the previous evening. Why I looked so tired.

“This isn’t really the right time or place, mate. You can’t exactly relax with three other guys lying next to you. Wait ’til you get home… you’d better have a bucket ready, though…”

I must have still looked utterly shocked.

He laughed again. “And I’m joking about the bucket…”

He pulled on his teeshirt and I fished a clean pair of boxers from my rucksack. They were a dark blue checked colour.

I asked, “Does wanking make your dick bigger?”

He reached for his padded shirt. “I dunno. Never really thought about it. Why?”

“I just thought… you know… the exercise…”

He laughed, pushing his right arm into the sleeve of the shirt. “Maybe. I dunno.”

I pulled my boxers over my feet, my erection swinging around in front of me, pointing upwards.

He glanced at my cock, and said, “If it does, then you’re gonna have a monster down there in a couple of months, Stu…”

I laughed, pulling my boxers up my legs.

He added, “You better buy some bigger shorts…”

I pulled them over my balls and then tucked my hard cock into the front of them. “Yeah. They’re getting a little tight even now…”

He grabbed the dark green pair I’d discarded from the previous night and pretended to look at the label.

“Just as I thought,” he grinned. “It says dick size five inches… you’re gonna have to upgrade, man…”

I chuckled, a little uncomfortable that he was holding my dirty shorts.

Then his eye caught something on the front of them and he turned them over to take a look.

My first thought was, “Oh shit, he’s seen a skid mark or something,” and I tried to grab them from him.

But he willingly gave them to me and smiled. He said, “Looks like you were really close last night…”

I stuffed the shorts into my rucksack and he buttoned up his shirt. I asked, “Close?”

“Yeah. The marks on the front.”

I didn’t know what he meant and, after seeing that he wasn’t about to take the piss out of me or make some corny joke, I got the shorts back out of my rucksack. There were dried trails on the front of them like a slug would make on a carpet.

I was intrigued. “Is this… spunk?”

Maybe I had cum without realising it. Maybe it had happened while I was asleep.

He shook his head and reached for his trousers. “No. It’s what comes out of your dick just before you spunk up. It means… well… there’s no way you’re firing blanks, Stu…”

It felt surprisingly good to hear him say that. I mean, I knew that he was only slightly more knowledgeable about this kind of thing than I was and that what he said might be total bullshit, but it felt good nonetheless.

I had been close!

He grinned. “You nearly had touch down, mate…”

We didn’t say much else as I pulled my vest and shirt on and Josh did his boots up. I felt pleased at what Josh had said but was, at the same time, unpleasantly aware that I was having to be taught so explicitly about a habit that most guys seemed to pick up on their own.

Eventually, as he grabbed his stuff and made to leave the tent, I said, “Palmer disturbed me… he said I was too noisy…”

Josh grinned. “Like I said, Stu. This isn’t really the ideal place…”

And then he crawled out through the doorway.

I started pulling my socks on and noticed Anderson ‘s discarded grey boxer briefs lying near Palmer’s pillow. The ones he’d wiped himself with after he’d finished masturbating.

I wanted to ignore them but I couldn’t. The urge to look at them and see what Anderson ‘s spunk looked like was too strong.

I thought, “No I can’t do that. What if someone came back into the tent?”

But then it occurred to me that it was a reasonable thing to do. That it would prepare me for seeing my own cum. That I would know what to expect and what was normal. I would know what it should look like; the colour; the texture.

I’d seen Josh’s but that was a fleeting glimpse.

This time I’d have the luxury of getting a long, close look.

Again I wondered what I’d do if someone came in and my mind replied, “Just throw them back onto Palmer’s pillow as soon as you hear the Velcro strips being opened. And carry on getting dressed like nothing was happening…”

I reached for the underwear and brought them over to look at them. I turned them the right way round and looked at the front. The gusset bulged outward, stretched into a pouch by Anderson ‘s hefty cock and balls. But there were no marks on the front; they seemed fairly clean.

I turned them over and looked at the back. Again, the material had been stretched and had loosened into paired cups by Anderson ‘s large round buttocks.

Again I thought of Connell’s joke and the image of my cock pressing into the back of Anderson ‘s boxer briefs while he was wearing them sprung into my mind. Shit. Why couldn’t I shake off this idea?

But there were no marks on the back either.

I turned them inside out and immediately found what I was looking for. The inside of the gusset was streaked with dried gobs of Anderson ‘s spunk where he had roughly cleaned himself up with them.

There seemed to be loads of it: it had been spread from the waistband, right across the crotch, down to the bottom of the left leg of the boxer briefs. The grey material was smeared and splattered with it.

Maybe Josh was right about the bucket.

I lifted the front of briefs to my nose to sniff Anderson ‘s cum. I thought, “If I get caught now I’m never gonna live this down…” But I was too interested in finding out what it smelt like.

Palmer had been right: Anderson ‘s boxers did smell strongly of his cock. Sweaty and with a slight but sharp hint of piss. The cum had dried and was hardly discernible through the stronger odours of Anderson ‘s crotch.

Even the spunk smeared across the material around the leg had little odour. The sweat from the tops of Anderson ‘s hairy thighs masked everything.

I turned the boxer briefs over and saw smears of cum on the material on the back of them. I realised these had been made when Palmer had wiped his mouth. Faint lines running up the arsecrack of the boxers explained why Palmer had been so revolted by the smell of the back of them.

A picture of Anderson ‘s naked arse, its cleft thick with dark brown hair, flashed into my mind and was immediately followed by thoughts of my cock pressing in between his cheeks. Jesus Christ. What was wrong with me today?

I suddenly realised why guys said masturbation was a form of relief. The state I was in, Connell’s joke just wouldn’t lie down and take a rest.

A fist banged on the top of the tent and I threw the boxers back onto Palmer’s pillow. Vaughan ‘s voice called down, “Come on Stu… you’re gonna miss breakfast…”

I called out, “Just a minute, sir,” and I started pulling on my trousers.

Then I noticed Josh’s discarded briefs lying on his sleeping bag. Still pulling my trousers on with one hand, I reached over for them.

They were made of white cotton, with thin dark blue stripes running upward across the flimsy material.

They felt wet.

I brought them over to look at them and saw that the front of them was covered in a thick, white gelatinous liquid. Josh’s spunk. He must have masturbated just before I awoke.

Some of it got onto my fingers and felt like cold gravy. Thick and with semi-solid lumps in it.

I could smell it even before I brought the briefs up to my nose. It was a heavy, musky and slightly pungent aroma.

Another whack on the top of the tent. Vaughan ‘s voice. “Last chance, Stu. If you’re not out of there in thirty seconds, your sausages and muffins are going to the lemmings.”

I threw Josh’s briefs back onto his sleeping bag and pulled my trousers on quickly.

Then, with my boots untied and my fleece half-way on, I staggered out of the door.

I still had an erection and I still couldn’t stop thinking about sex.

Even the sausages and muffins made me think of cocks and buttocks.

We packed up and were able to set off by about nine o’clock.

We walked in small scattered groups – singly or in pairs – across the barren frozen plain.

Palmer remained silent; Anderson went off with his other mates and I kept thinking about sex.

It was only at about eleven o’clock, when Palmer had called out, “Hey, look at that. It’s like a piece fell off the sun,” that I managed to shake my thoughts completely free – for a short while, at least – of what had happened in the tent.


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