Dave and the Dickersons: True Tales of Tickle Torture

PART I :
THE FIRST FORBIDDEN FOOT FULFILLMENT

Around eleven years ago I was unceremoniously fostered out to a black couple.

This was a strange experience for me, mainly because of how people in the neighborhood (not the couple who'd taken me in) treated me. I wasn't brutalized or anything . . . wasn't even ostracized for being white. But I was treated strangely. And this attitude towards me didn't stem from racism, I later discovered. Rather it was a result of a misunderstanding. You see, it had been a long standing tradition in this part of the state that white children who were fostered out to black families were generally the most mentally unstable, unmanageable, emotional wrecks in the child welfare's kiddy corral . . . kids who were rejected by most, if not all, white foster homes.

So naturally, when I was placed in the care of the Dickersons, the couple's neighbors were somewhat wary of me. It didn't take them too long to get over this wariness though. The real fact of the matter was that I wasn't unbalanced or an emotional mess at all . . . well, if you don't count the fact that I craved to have my feet tickled and played with. But other than that, I was okay. The reason I was fostered out to the Dickersons had to do with the overcrowding at Landy Hall, and the fact that the Dickerson themselves had a good reputation for their care of foster children.

Anyway, I made myself at home with the couple, and--for the most part--everything went fine. It's funny, but in any world other than the one I was fostered out to, I would have been considered a very handsome kid. I mean, I have sandy-blonde hair, blue-green eyes, and--according to many--I'm good looking. But in the Dickerson's home . . . even in the surrounding neighborhood, I wasn't viewed this way. I mean, no one said I was ugly or anything, but I never got the impression that anyone there considered me really handsome (they good-naturedly nicknamed me Casper . . . and not just because I was friendly). Yes, I was a little "unique" by virtue of the fact that I was white, but no one in that neighborhood considered me "special". Looking back, it was a kind of sobering experience in that instance.

* * *

On one slow, lazy Sunday, I found myself alone and wandering aimlessly around the Dickerson home. The house was empty save for me and my foster father, Isaac Dickerson, who was taking full advantage of his only night off. Even the couple's other foster kids were gone--off to engage in varying pursuits and activities. I, being the new kid, had none to occupy my time with on the weekend.

So I trudged aimlessly from the corridor and into the living room--the plush carpeting felt wonderful stroking softly against the bottoms of my sensitive sock-clad feet. The television was off, though the cable box above it was still alive with the time of day visible on it's red digital display. And stretched out on the sofa with his back to me was Isaac Dickerson--tall, dark, handsome and strong. He wasn't moving a muscle and appeared to be sleeping. I stood over him for a moment, still somewhat awed by the presence of this man for some reason.

I stared down at him for a long while. I fantasized about him taking me in his strong arms and kissing me from the top of my sandy-blonde head to the soles of my sensitive, extremely ticklish feet. I had weird fantasies too, I must admit. I mean, I fantasized about cranking up the stereo and blasting Led Zeppelin throughout the house, and then my foster father would become so angry that he would do something like tie my feet together, remove my shoes and socks and coat my toes with honey or jelly. Then he would torture me by forcing Shaka (the family dog) to lick the sweet honey or jelly from my feet and causing me to erupt into laughing hysterics.

Any way, I continued to stare at my black foster father for I don't know how long. Mr. Dickerson was still lying with his back towards me, and I assumed that he was sleeping, but then he spoke:

"I can feel you standing there, son. What do you want?" He asked calmly without turning around.

I, who hadn't counted on the fact that my presence would be detected, fairly gasped in surprise. "N-Nothing, Mr. Dickerson. Hope I didn't wake you."

I hurried back down the corridor, making loud, panicked skuff-skuff sounds on the carpet with my stocking feet. For the next few minutes or so after, I sat in the bedroom, almost terrified that Mr. Dickerson would call me back and demand that I explain myself.

When he didn't call, I tried to relax. I lay back on the bottom bunk of the double-decker bed (which I shared with another one of the Dickerson's foster kids) and listened to my frantically beating heart.

Then I began to fantasize again.

I couldn't help but imagine my foster dad using my feet for his pleasure. I imagined him coming into the room right at that moment while everyone else was away. I could just visualize him sliding off my cotton white socks and exposing my bare, pink, very ticklish soles. At thirteen years of age, the soles of my feet were soft and smooth . . . still are now eleven years later, as a matter of fact. I fell asleep dreaming about Mr. Dickerson sliding his index finger up and down my bare soles, sending me into helpless hysterical laughter.

* * *

In retrospect, there were times when I wonder if maybe I did belong in the "unbalanced" category.

Once, when Mr. Dickerson left out late at night to play a big-stakes card game called "bid whist" at a bar/pool hall called Pigstickers. I managed to sneak out of the house and follow him! Hell, I even managed to sneak into the bar! You see, no kid (white or black) in his right mind would sneak into a place like Pigstickers at eleven o'clock at night. But I wasn't in my right mind then, so I got away with it. I appropriated a seemingly discarded glass of some kind of alcoholic beverage (I forget what it was) and was even thinking about walking to a table and pretending to be a customer. I soon abandoned this plan, and just hid myself in the corner-kicking myself for being so stupid as to even come to the place.

Eventually someone spotted me.

I immediately pretended to be passed out at the table (the glass of the unknown alcoholic beverage nearby, clearly and purposely visible). It's not easy to fake unconsciousness while you're scared to death, but somehow I pulled it off. The person who spotted me asked everyone if they knew who the sleepy little white-boy was or how I'd gotten there. It didn't take long for the news to reach my foster dad at the opposite end of the bar. Mr. Dickerson, who had walked to the bar/pool-hall because it wasn't very far from the house, carried me out of the pool-hall and towards the car belonging to his friend, Earnest Jackson. Once we were situated in the back seat, Mr. Dickerson lifted me onto his lap while Mr. Jackson drove us home. He stroked my forehead during the entire drive. He told Mr. Jackson that he had no idea why I'd followed him. He even verbally expressed concern for my well-being, because he wasn't sure how much I had drank. He would have been surprised to discover that I hadn't ingested half of the glass of the unknown beverage I'd swiped.

Upon arrival, Mr. Dickerson carried me into the house, and undressed me. As he pulled my shoes and socks off, I silently begged (while still pretending to be passed out) that my foster dad would just slide his tongue once across the soles of my bare feet . . . even plant a kiss on my instep, or kiss my toes. But he didn't. Mr. Isaac Dickerson, I'd learned right away, was forever more attracted to the breasts of full-grown black women . . . and not the feet of young whiteboys. He put me to bed with a modicum of paternal tenderness, but without the slightest trace of sexual attraction.

The next morning, he wasn't even too angry about my sneaking out to follow him to Pigstickers. He knew that I wasn't trying to be a willful, obstinate foster son, but rather I--much like a cocker spaniel puppy--just wanted be around him. He was probably touched by the fact that I loved him so much. Still, he never understood in what way that I loved him. I partially loved him in the father-son sense . . . but I also loved him in another way. A way that I just didn't have the courage to reveal to him. I still don't . . . unless of course he's reading THIS! Sure I changed the names to protect the innocent and blah blah blah, but I'm sure that anyone who was involved in the events that take place in this story would be able to recognize themselves AND me.

After the way he'd carried me home and put me to bed, I began to desperately crave his touch and affection more. Once, while playing football with my foster brothers and a few of the neighborhood boys, I got tackled by three husky black lads. I wasn't hurt more than usual by this, but I could hear Mrs. Enid Dickerson (my foster Mom) yelling fearfully--probably fearing that the slight-looking whiteboy had been crushed. So I took advantage of the situation, and pretended that the three young offensive linemen had knocked me cold!

I played the role for all that it was worth, keeping my eyes closed and remaining perfectly limp as Mr. Dickerson checked me for injuries and then carried me in his strong arms off the lawn. He carried me into the house and sat down on the sofa with me still on his lap. Mrs. Enid Dickerson hovered above us and, after making certain that I wasn't dead or too severely injured, ordered her husband to put me to bed. My foster father complied without complaint. He was deeply concerned himself. I still feel guilty about worrying him so much that day.

He lay me on the bed and undressed me. I was "conscious" now, but was still pretending to be a bit groggy. He pulled off my worn sneakers, and wrinkled his nose a little as he slid off my smelly, sweat-soaked socks. As unreasonable as it sounds, I was hurt by the fact that the smell of my feet repulsed him. I wanted him to love the smell of my feet. I wanted him to bring my sweaty socks to his nose and take deep whiffs. I wanted him to lift my bare toes to his nose and sniff for all that he was worth. But he didn't.

"What's the matter son?" he asked, seeing the depressed look on my face.

"Nothing, Mr. Dickerson." I lied. "I was just feelin' bad about losin' the game."

"Oh, cheer up, boy--the other team won by default." He said with a bright smile, as he continued pulling off my sock. I giggled as the sock slid past my sensitive heel.

"Good, you're smiling again."

I became sort of bold and told Mr. Dickerson that I wasn't smiling because I was "cheered-up", but rather because of the way he'd slid the sock off my very ticklish foot.

"You're ticklish?" he asked.

I nodded, looking forlorn and depressed again. "My feet especially."

"Well, if this is the only way to get you to laugh . . ."

Then, without warning, my foster dad slid his index finger from the heel of my right foot all the way up to the area below my little toe. I jerked and laughed. He then scraped his finger across the area below my toes, down the arch, then brushed it back and forth. I began to scream out loud, it tickled so much!

"Oh, you can try that if you want to, but it ain't gon' help . . . " he said, noticing that I was now curling my toes in a desperate attempt to protect them from his tickling fingers. He raked his fingernail from the heels of my bare feet, across my arches and towards my toes--causing me to flex my arches and wriggle my toes in a frenzied attempt to escape his fingers. I had found the secret! All I had to do from then on was pretend to be deeply depressed. Whenever Mr. Dickerson saw a hangdog look on my face, he'd grab my foot, relieve me of my shoes and socks, and begin tickling my feet like crazy.

As you can imagine, I was depressed a lot during the time I spent living with the Dickersons!

PART II :
THE SNEAKY SOLICITED SOLE SEIZE

It was after twelve o' clock midnight, and I was tossing and turning upon the top bunk in my assigned bedroom.

Unable to sleep, because of the exciting afternoon I had painstakingly planned for the following day, I sat up in bed. I used my old Ghost-Buster key-chain flashlight to read one of my eight-year-old foster brother Ricky's books, while Darnel (my fifteen-year-old foster brother) snored and mumbled in the bunk below me. The book--Madeleine L'engle's A Swiftly Tilting Planet--was obviously for younger readers, but not for mere eight-year-olds like my foster bro! Ricky was quite advanced for his age, however, and there was no doubt in my mind that he comprehended most of what he read. After scanning the collection of the astute eight-year-old's books in the room (Ricky slept in a different bedroom, but almost all of the paraphernalia belonging to us foster kids was stored in the same bedroom that I shared with Darnel), it was also clear that he had excellent taste when it came to selecting reading material.

Despite the fact that I looked like a poster child for the Aryan nation, my entire foster family was black . . . if you didn't count Flaviano, who was Mexican. Flaviano wasn't one of the Dickerson's official foster kids, but he hung out with us so much that he might as well have been. How my thirteen-year-old self came to be fostered out to the Dickersons is a long story, and were it not for the fact that I'm white, no one would even care. Well, to make a long story short, I wasn't fostered out to a black family because I was crazy or an emotional ruin (as most white kids purposely fostered out to black households were), there was just a matter of overcrowding at Landy Hall . . . honest!

But anyway, I digress.

My foster brother Ricky also owned a copy (if I'm remembering correctly) of J. California Cooper's novel Family, and once--when I glanced through it--I saw that he had even circled a passage with a red felt-tip marker, the ink of which had managed to stain through four pages. I can't remember exactly what it was he had circled, but it read something like this:

'Other people, a few, have kind souls til some other people mess with them so much they can't take much more of nothin' and they get that mean evil streak in them to fight back with.' Really heavy stuff for a kid who had trouble tying his shoelaces! Heavy stuff for even me . . . and I was thirteen or so at the time!

Anyway, after growing bored with the L'Engle book, I lay back on the top bunk and dangled one leg over the side again. This action had become a habit for me ever since I came to live with the Dickersons. You see, when I first began doing it, it was in the hopes that Darnel would see it one night--hanging near his head where he lay on the bottom bunk. Can anyone spot a bare foot dangling near them and resist the urge to tickle it? Well, Darnel could. I mean, I'd hang my leg down in the morning so that my elder foster bro would have to see it when he got up. And always he did indeed see it. But instead of gliding his fingers along my very sensitive sole, he would harshly shove my foot out of his way!

Needless to say, this reaction from Darnel was not the desired result.

It was my fantasy that this husky black teen would lean his head out towards my perfectly smooth and soft sole and lick it. I fantasized that he would stroke his tongue across it gently because he would be afraid of awakening me. Of course, I would only be pretending to be sleep. I'd fake being asleep while trying my damnedest to resist bursting out laughing because of the frenzy that Darnel's tongue would be causing me!

Actually I mainly fantasized that my foster DAD would do the licking, but I would take what I could get.

I would always have the strangest (albeit pleasurable) dreams surrounding my foster Dad. The black Adonis, Mr. Dickerson, would hold my teen frame in his muscular arms as if I was a baby . . . and I'd be wearing nothing but a bath towel! He would kiss my temples and coo over me, nuzzle my ears and play with my fingers and my ticklish toes. He would continue covering my entire body with soft kisses even after I've fallen asleep. One of Dickersons, either Isaac or his only biological son Vincent, would carry my sleeping body out of the living room and ever so gently place me atop the king-sized bed in Isaac Dickerson's master bedroom. Then they would both go to the foot of the bed--my foster dad giving my foster brother a wink to signal him to begin--and they would proceed to lick the soft, sensitive, ticklish soles of my bare feet. Mr. Dickerson would take my left foot, and Vincent would take my right . . .or vice versa. And even though, I'm ticklish to death, in my dream I can't seem to be able to move . . . am unable to even scrunch my toes or flex my feet to escape the two velvety tongues mercilessly cleansing my bare soles.

Scenes like this is what my wet dreams were made of.

Anyways, since there wasn't a chance in hell that my foster dad or bro were going to do something like that, I had to always go about tricking people to tickle my feet. Doing things--as I mentioned earlier--like hanging my leg over the side of my bunk in hopes of getting my foot played with. And playing this waiting-to-be-tickled game was often painful, for one's leg gets mighty sore after it's been dangling precariously over the side of a top bunk for an extended period of time.

My foot was tickled for-real one morn, however. I had my leg dangling over the side like usual and had long-since fallen asleep . . . and I had dropped off into dreamland while still desperately hoping that Darnel would suddenly become mischievous and would tickle my foot. A pathetic fantasy, but it was one I dreamed about almost nightly. Anyway, I was asleep when Mr. Isaac Dickerson--my kindly foster dad and a man I considered to be a black Adonis--came into the room and rapidly slid his index finger from my heel and up my sole towards the area below my toes. He knew how ticklish my feet were, and he knew that this action would wake me up quick and in a hurry!

He was awakening me for our trip to the barber shop. Mr. Dickerson took Vincent, Darnel and Rick to the neighborhood barber, but he always drove me to get my sandy Caucasian thatch cut at a shop in the city of Paramount. Yeah, my foster parents took time and effort to deal with my "special" needs. But there was one special need they couldn't take care of . . . a need they really knew nothing about. My insatiable compulsion to have my feet tickled, licked, played with.

Anyway, back to the story at hand.

I was just teetering on the edge of dropping off when I heard the pad of bare feet and the squeaking of the bedroom door opening. Sitting up in bed, I was startled--but not truly shocked--to see Ricky enter. Carrying a graphite pencil in his left hand and a sketched drawing in his right, he tip-toed towards the bunk bed.

"Look at this," the eight-year-old said loudly.

Darnel awoke--opened his eyes and stared directly at the boy. He didn't see him. How could a surly, exhausted fifteen-year-old see an eight-year-old who has crept into his bedroom after midnight with only the sole intention of showing off a childish drawing? The idea of such an event occurring was so strange and remote that I'll bet Darnel's brain flatly refused to register Ricky's presence.

Still, I was afraid for Ricky because I knew that, eventually, Darnel would come to his full senses. What would happen after that was a despairing, dreadful mystery. Darnel could get pretty mean.

I once tricked young Rick into tickling my feet just by telling the boy that my feet were so ticklish! With the knowledge that his white foster brother had the most ticklish feet in the world, how could a lad of eight resist the opportunity to tickle them when the chance to do so arose? And I have to give the kid credit, he set me up good. You see he pretended that a marble from his hand-crafted Mankela (a board game) set had rolled underneath the bottom bunk in my room. So I, in my stocking feet and with the word "sucker" written all over my face, crawled under the bunk in search of the elusive marble. Well, not completely under--my head and torso were under the bed, but my butt legs and feet were still exposed.

"I don't see it, Rick." I said, probing around beneath the bunk. While under there, I did discover that Darnel kept a Pee-Chee folder full of semi-pornographic sketches hidden. Anyway, I was still searching when I felt a weight settle on my legs, pinning them down. It was Ricky. Before I could inquire as to what the heck was going on, the eight year old tugged off my socks and was tickling my soft, pink bare feet. He slid his fingers from my heels, across my arch and towards my toes. In Rick's mind there was nothing sexual to this tickling business. To him it was all fun. Anyway, my laughter could not be contained. I grew a hard-on in my pants and laughed uproariously until I hurt myself. Not only had my hair gotten caught in this wire-mesh under the bunk, but I sorta injured my hardened cock by reflexively humping the floor with it.

So with BOTH my heads hurting, I kind of let myself go limp. I scared the hell out of Ricky when I did that. I think he thought I'd passed out or died. He stopped tickling me, and as I lay there not moving, I could feel him gingerly poking at the bare soles of my now limp feet with his index finger. "Dave? Davey?"

I was still sore, but just his poking finger was causing me to get hysterical all over again. I wriggled my feet crazily and begged for Ricky to stop. My sore cock was hard all over again and I'd lost a few strands of hair to the snagging wire mesh beneath the bunk bed. Ricky didn't stop tickling me until one of my kicking feet caught him right in the forehead. That single kick discouraged Rick from tickling my feet with that much vigor and ingenuity ever again.

Anyways, let me get back to the night in question.

It was after midnight and Ricky came bouncing across the room with the sketch in his hand. He advanced closer to the bunk bed.

"Look at this," he repeated. The combination of nut brown skin and contrasting bright hazel eyes gave him an exotically handsome appearance. I held down my hand expectantly, ready to quickly take the youngster's proffered gift and usher him out of the room before Darnel truly detected his presence. I was shocked and rather offended when Ricky ignored my extended hand and gave the drawing to Darnel! It was a childish--but well done--reproduction of the theater masks illustrated on the cover of one of my Motley Crue albums (I was the only one in the Dickerson's household who claimed to like metal, but every time I played it, I couldn't help but notice that black foster brother Vincent never failed to bob his head along with the songs).

Anyway, with a lot of frantic pantomiming, I silently motioned for the kid to leave the room as quickly as his little mincing feet could carry him. I unfairly imagined an enraged Darnel grabbing Rick by his pajama collar and giving him several hammering blows atop his close-cropped head, sending the lad into the same senselessness that he, Darnel, had been so rudely awakened from. Then he would throw the youngster's inert body out into the hallway and let it lie.

I know that this scenario would never have happened, but I've always had an active imagination. It was this imagination that constantly kept me thinking up ways to get people to tickle my feet.

Anyhoo, Ricky didn't notice my anguish and concern for his safety, however. He had all of his attention focused on Darnel, and was anxiously awaiting the fifteen-year-old's reaction to his gift. I saw an angry gleam appear in Darnel's eyes and it sent a bolt of terror through me. I held my breath and glanced down at my older foster brother. And much of the cold anger had gone out of the fifteen-year-old's smooth, milk-chocolate face and was replaced with a drowsy look of keen interest. Through heavily-lidded eyes, he closely scrutinized the sketch Rick had given him. Then he looked at the smiling eight-year-old and the expression on his face changed again.

I suddenly thought about cats. How they sometimes kill mice and drop the dead rodents at the feet of their human owners. This was how Darnel was looking at Rick at that moment--as if the youngster were a cat who'd just given him a dead mouse. Still, there was no real anger in his eyes. Just sleepiness. He actually held the sketch up to me. "Yo, check this out, cuz. Big ears here has talent . . ." he said. He was back to sleep as soon as I pried the drawing from his hand.

Though dark-skinned, Ricky seemed to flush with pleasure. He was grinning from ear to ear as he padded out of the bedroom. As he departed, I spied the eight-year-old's tender, cream-colored soles--wondering how tender and ticklish they were. And I continued to speculate on how sensitive the soles of Ricky's feet were when I finally dropped off into dreamland.

The reason I was having so much trouble sleeping was that I had devised a conspiratorial plan to have my feet tickled the following day. Hell, I was like a kid the night before X-Mas! You see, my foster brother Darnel had a friend named Hakeem who was addicted to narcotics. I won't say if it was crack, because I couldn't honestly say for sure . . . but I believe that it was. I mean, he wasn't a hype or anything. Anyway, Hakeem was always dropping by and asking Darnel for five dollars or so. And Darnel, disgusted by what his friend had become through the years, would always turn him away.

Hakeem was a light-skinned black teen with gray eyes. Around the neighborhood he had been known as "Ghost". And because I was white, the people in the neighborhood nicknamed me "Casper". Casper and Ghost. I don't know why, but I always felt a kind of odd connection with that poor guy. So much of a connection that I decided to secretly lend Ghost the money he wanted (Mrs. Dickerson dolled out ten bucks every week to all of us). But I would lend him the money only if he did me a favor. And that favor was to drive me to his place one afternoon and, of course, tickle my feet.

You see, every Saturday the other foster kids went out and did all kinds of things. I, on the other hand, usually hung around the house and was constantly--according to Mrs. Dickerson--underfoot. Sometimes I would ask Mr. Dickerson or my foster brother Vincent to drive me to Leuders Park where a lot of the neighborhood kids played basketball and soccer regularly. While there I would spend the money given to me on things like fast food and stuff which, when I think about it, was stupid because Mr. Dickerson bought us kids fast food all the time . . . and he paid for it out of his own pocket.

Anyway, I came up with a plan. A plan where a member of my foster family would drive me to Leuders Park on Saturday. They would then leave me there and pick me up around six that evening like usual. After this, I would implement my carefully thought out plan. You see, not too long after being dropped off at the park, I intended to call Hakeem and he'd come and drive me from the park in order to transport me to his house in Lynwood. And once we were at his place, he would tickle my feet for a time . . . and then he'd drive me back to the park where I would wait for a member of my foster family to take me back home. It was a good plan. And a bold one for a thirteen-year-old whiteboy from Pomona.

But most importantly, it was a plan that worked! On a sunny Saturday afternoon, I found myself in Hakeem "Ghost" Davis' apartment. I was half terrified, half pleasurably excited as I untied and removed my sneakers.

What followed is still burned into the cells of my brain to this day.

Hakeem himself slid off my somewhat sweaty and smelly white cotton socks and exposed my bare pink soles. As he stared at my feet, he got a look on his rather beige face that seemed to say "Damn, even this whiteboy's friggin' feet are soft and pampered-looking!". Still, I'm probably wrong about whatever thoughts were running through what was left of Hakeem's mind at this time--as I've said, I have an active imagination.

Anyway, he tried tickling my exposed soles, but I kept kicking free . . . and came very close to accidentally kicking HIM. My feet are VERY ticklish, you understand. So ticklish that nothing short of medieval stocks could keep me from kicking my feet as they're being tickled. At first Hakeem was frustrated, I mean he didn't necessarily relish the idea of having to tickle some whiteboy's smelly, sweaty bare feet just to glean a paltry five dollars. (and my feet really were kinda smelly then, for I managed to get in several games of basketball before he arrived at the park to transport me to his place) But eventually "Ghost" really got into the spirit of the task that I was asking of him. He solved the problem of my kicking legs by grabbing my feet in a headlock, if you can imagine--it's kinda like I was in a headlock, except my feet were where my head would have been, you know?

His fingers scraped up and down my excessively sensitive bare soles, then he used a toothbrush to attack the undersides of my toes. I desperately wriggled my toes and tried to flex my feet, but Hakeem was holding them vice-like within the crook of his arm. He'd alternate between using his fingers and using that toothbrush . . . the toothbrush whose pleasure-giving powers I still dream about to this day! He inserted the bristles of that brush between my bare toes. One at a time that brush grazed all over each toe. My screams had to have been deafening, and yet Hakeem was totally unconcerned about anyone hearing.

It wasn't long before my face, chest, pits and crotch were damp and heady with sweat. My cock was so engorged and throbbing that it hurt . . . but it was a GOOD hurt. Hakeem put the toothbrush aside and attacked my feet with his fingers again. He moved his fingers up and down my soles, then from left to right, again and again. I screamed my head off. And my cock throbbed and pulsated. There was electricity in my genitals, and this electricity grew stronger in intensity with each stroke of the toothbrush and each scrape of Hakeem's fingers. it was incredible!

Hakeem seemed to be surprised at how much he was enjoying himself. He retrieved the toothbrush again and began to broom it between my toes, then all over my feet. From my heels, up my soles, down through the arches and across the ball. Then he began the whole process all over again. I shot my load at the very moment Hakeem used the bristles of the toothbrush to trace an intense, electrified, ticklish path from the sole to my heel on my right foot. I must have spurted four times (at thirteen years of age you have to realize how new and powerful shooting off was to me!) The orgasmic experience didn't cause me to faint, but the second my last drop of jizz had been released, I almost immediately dropped off into an exhausted, but pleasurable sleep.

When I awoke I found that Hakeem had placed my shoes and socks (though haphazardly) back onto my still-tingling feet. Once I fully regained my bearings, he drove me down to Leuders Park and I stayed there until foster bro Vincent came and picked me up.

The implementation of my plan with Hakeem was the boldest thing I'd ever done up to that point. I can honestly say that the time I spent with the Dickersons were some of the happiest days of my life thus far . . . but, looking back on some of the things I did in secret back then, I would also have be honest in saying that I may have been temporarily insane half of the time!

PART III :
CASPER CRAVES CAPTURE

For those who've read of my other chronicled experiences, the facts about how my white teen-aged self came to live with the black Dickerson family is already known. But for those who haven't . . . .

It wasn't a very big secret that, in this part of the state, white children who were fostered out to black families were generally the most psychologically unsettled, ungovernable, wrought-up hellions in the child welfare's juvenile stable yard--kids who had been forsaken by numerous other white foster homes. So when I was fostered out to the Dickersons, it was assumed around the predominantly African-American neighborhood that I was a calamity waiting to happen. Still, it only took a little while for everyone to realize that I was perfectly okay . . . in most instances.

There was the insignificant little fact that I had an unquenchable need to have my feet tickled and licked and so on. But only one person in the Dickerson's neighborhood knew about how strongly this need was in me. . . and he learned about it only after I was already comfortably ensconced with the majority of my foster family's community. But that's another story.

Anyway, I'll start this narration after Mr. Dickerson picked me up from the barber shop. And since we were so close to where my older foster bro Vincent worked, we decided to drop in on him at his place of business.

A police officer who was apparently on his way into Louis Burger (a fast-food establishment) gawked at me and Mr. Dickerson. I suppose, if your mind is geared a certain way, we did present an odd picture. I mean, my hair--sandy and short--was styled to the best way that I was capable. My skin was smooth and clear, except for the few freckles across my nose. I have eyes that seemed to straddle the line that separates blue from green. Folks in the Dickerson's neighborhood had playfully nicknamed me "Casper" for obvious reasons, but I knew that I was a good-looking kid. At Landy Hall, kids and ADULTS alike made this quite clear. My foster dad, however, was a tall broad-shouldered man with a commanding presence and a intimidating stare. He had skin the color of a Mounds bar and streaks of gray in his otherwise coal-black hair.

As the policeman turned away from gaping at us, I wondered what he was thinking. Maybe he thought I was Mr. Dickerson's catamite. No . . . policemen in Lynwood weren't smart enough to know what a catamite was. Anyway, instead of driving over to the cleaners where Vincent worked, Mr. Dickerson and I decided to walk the relatively short distance.

We made our way to the overpass of a concrete river bed. He was surprised to find that there was water flowing within it. Usually these kinds of man-made rivers were bone dry, with water rushing through them only after heavy rainfall. We were even more surprised to see an assemblage of Mexican youths (they may have been Salvadoran, I honestly can't remember) standing shin-deep in this water, their pants legs rolled up and their sneakers tied together by the laces and looped around their necks. Mr. Dickerson came to the conclusion that they were searching for the loose change that either superstitious or foolish people had hurled into it from the overpass.

It wasn't long before he was yelling at the boys in the river bed, berating them by saying how inane it was to stand and rummage in the fetid waters.

And the boys looked up at the man. Some with sheepish, guilty expressions on their faces. Others with open hostility, and still others with blank gazes.

"Get out of that water!" He yelled down at the boys in the river. "Don't you know times are tough and people are only throwin' pennies down there! Hell, if I thought there was anything more, I'd join you!"

A few of the younger boys, responding to the authoritative seriousness in Mr. Dickerson's voice and not his words, did slosh out of the river and run up to the bank. The older, more rebellious and mischievous ones defiantly yelled something in harsh Spanish up at the man.

"Shit!" exclaimed Cooper to no one in particular. "I don't know how they survive day-to-day. They're too young and dumb and reckless and can't understand logic or even simple English! They gon' remember my warning when they're sick with some bacterial infection . . . while they're laid-up in the hospital gettin' health care paid for by my goddamned tax dollars!"

I laughed. Don't get my foster dad wrong, it was concern for those boys in the river, not hate, that had prompted his angry words. He shook his head and continued to stare at the few who remained in the toxicant water.

As I stood there beside him, I immediately began to weave a fantasy around the idea that the water in the concrete riverbed really WAS poisonous or something. And I imagined that Mr. Dickerson and I would watch as the poison water took effect on the unfortunate lads who'd been digging for whatever within it. In my mind, the two of us would peer across the concrete riverbed helplessly and see the boys begin to teeter on their feet--succumbing to the effects of the mysterious, malodorous waters they had been standing barefoot in. Then my foster father and I would watch as each of the boys' knees begin to buckle . . . and bear witness as they topple forward like dominoes. It was an, odd silly daydream--I mean if a bunch of kids were to really collapse to the hard concrete like they did in my daydream . . . well, let's just say there would be a lot of cracked skulls!

But anyway, back to the bizarre fantasy I had conjured . . .

In my daydream, Mr. Dickerson and I sprang immediately into action when we saw the boys fall--ready and willing to provide emergency aid. Making our way down to the concrete bank, my foster dad and I would each take an arm of one of the unconscious boys and would haul his limp body off of the riverbed bank and onto the softer grass that bordered it. And we dragged each one of motionless boys directly onto this grassy area, their bare feet scraping on the concrete. Me and Mr. Dickerson would continue to do this until all five boys had been lain-out side-by-side.

Then my fantasy really became peculiar.

After Mr. Dickerson removed his own shirt (!) and used it to wipe the poisonous water from the wet, tan feet of the unconscious boys, he began to tickle their bare soles. He moved his index finger from their heels, up their soles, and across the balls of their feet and around their arches. This action magically caused the boys to awaken--much in the same way the Prince's kiss awakened Sleeping Beauty.

Once they were all tickled back into consciousness, the boys expressed how grateful they were to Mr. Dickerson for saving them--asked my foster dad if there was anything they could do for them. And, in this fantasy soaring through my head , my foster dad did something for me that was totally unexpected. He told the youths that they could thank him by tickling the feet of his white foster son!

And before I could blink, the five boys had wrestled me to the ground, stripped me of my shoes and socks and were attacking my bare soles with their fingers--tickling me into a blissful frenzy. And as they tickled me, my foster dad--broad chest bare and glistening with sweat--watched the proceedings and laughed with amusement. He laughed that deep rumbling laughed that always gave me goosebumps. And the combination of the sight of his bare chest, the sound of his baritone laugh, and the feel of the Latino youths' tickling fingers on my soles caused me to shoot my load right in my pants.

This daydream was so powerful that, in the REAL world, I swayed on my feet and nearly toppled over.

"Hey, take her easy, boy." Mr. Dickerson said, catching me before I could strike the ground. "You sick or somethin'?"

"I'm okay, Mr. Dickerson." I said, straightening up. But in my mind--when I thought about all the fantasies I'd been having--I had to wonder if this was really a true statement.

* * *

Settling down after work one evening, Mr. Dickerson rubbed at his neck to ease the kinks before plopping on the sofa to read his mail. Normally he would have sat in his armchair, but currently eight-year-old Ricky (my younger foster brother) was occupying it--curled into himself like bird and fast asleep. I was so awed by the handsome muscular man. As I pretended to watch the television from where I stood in the kitchen doorway, I cast secret glances at my foster father--watched as he read an official-looking letter he'd received from the Child Welfare Bureau.

As he read the letter, I watched as his mood rapidly decayed. When Mrs. Dickerson came into the living room and asked her husband why he was fuming and mumbling angrily to himself, my foster dad burst out with, "Tell me why, WHY do they make it so difficult for blacks to adopt?? More than fifty percent of all kids in foster care are black. This being the case, why do they make it so damned-near impossible for black couples to provide them with a permanent home? I swear, sometimes I think they purposely try to keep those kids from living in a stable environment! Hell, all I can do is keep doing what I'm doing . . . giving a home to as many black kids as I can for as long a time as I can. And the bureau seems intent on keeping us from even doing that!"

And I was stunned. I recalled why I was fostered out to the Dickersons in the first place--Landy Hall was overcrowded and the powers that be were dolling out kids to as many "choice" foster homes as they could . . . without even bothering to take into consideration the ethnic and cultural differences and blah blah blah. And the Dickersons didn't turn me away even though they were sort of tricked into taking me (they never saw this "boy named David" that they had agreed to take in until the moment my caseworker escorted me right up to their front door).

Now, for the first time, I began to wonder if Mr. Dickerson regretted taking me on as a foster kid. Did he secretly resent the fact that I was taking up a space in his home that could've been occupied by another black kid? Was he only tolerating me as opposed to being truly fond of me? Mr. Isaac Dickerson loved all of his foster kids with a kind of genuine paternal ardor you don't see much in foster care. The way he liked me didn't seem to differ at all from the way he liked the other kids. Was this perception just an illusion? Was his seemingly equal affection for me just an act?

I just felt cold, from the roots of my hair all the way to my sock clad feet right then. Mr. Dickerson started flipping through a magazine (I remember to this day, it was a thick publication with a beefy black guy named John Fuqua on the cover) . I just stood there and stared at him, my insides were a trembling, quaking mess. Finally he looked up from the magazine. I don't know how I must have looked at that moment, but it must have been bad because Mr. Dickerson dropped his magazine and said, "Good god, boy--what's the matter with you?"

I couldn't get my tongue to work at that moment--didn't know how to verbally express the chaotic, jumbled thoughts that were jolting through my brain at that moment.

Then I suppose Mr. Dickerson thought about what he had been saying a little while earlier--and realized how his words might have been interpreted by me. His dark eyes softened with pity. Then he kinda grabbed me and plunked me down beside him on the sofa. "Hey, now, just because I try to foster as many black kids as I can don't mean I got any regrets about you bein' here, D-man!"

Then Mr. Dickerson kissed the side of my head. It was perfectly innocent--an act he gave about as much thought to as he would have about scratching an itch on his nose. But to me that quick little comforting kiss was everything! He had never kissed me before, you see. And even though the kiss wasn't even remotely an "I love you" kind of a kiss, it . . . I really don't know how to explain it.

Anyway, feeling Mr. Dickerson's lips brush my hair, I gasped inwardly and kind of felt my spirit leave my body for a brief instant. In that mere second everything started whirling around and around. My head felt lighter than air. The world turned black. And I fainted right there--slumped against my foster dad like a dead thing!

All the conflicting emotions that I had been assaulted with--I guess it was just too much for me.

When I came to, I opened my eyes and found that I was stretched out on the sofa and Mr. Dickerson was stroking my hair. This felt great--but there were considerably stronger waves of pleasure emanating from the vicinity of my feet. Once the images around me stopped being mere blurs, I could see that Mrs. Dickerson was at the end of the couch, messaging my toes--but her kind eyes were focused intently on me, not my socked feet. I'm positive she wasn't even conscious of the fact that she was chaffing my sensitive toes and messaging my ticklish soles.

As he continued to stroked my hair, Mr. Dickerson cast a worried glance over at his wife and softly said, "He did this before--nearly passed out cold on the overpass while we was on our way to visit Vincent at the cleaners. I'm thinking about takin' him to a doctor."

I had to make a remarkable recovery. Would hate to have a doctor discover that the only thing "wrong" with me was the fact that I was thirteen, hormone-ridden and enamored with my foster dad.

* * *

Oh, I just gotta mention this . . . .

Mr. Dickerson appeared on a long-canceled game show called Tic Tac Dough around this time. And when the host asked my foster dad about his family, Mr. Dickerson said "I have a lovely wife and four sons." Can you beat that?? He didn't say "I have one son and three foster sons". No, he simply said "I have FOUR SONS". Can't you see why my love for this guy hit on many levels?

Anyways, I remember another morning that same month as well. It was Saturday so Mrs. Dickerson didn't make her usual big breakfast, she just left a huge plate of piping hot pop tarts and croissants on the kitchen table. And, of course, it wasn't long before Vincent and Darnel (two of my older foster brothers) were fighting over the last pop tart--falling down on the kitchen Linoleum and rolling around in a double bear-hug while the pop tart grew cold on the plate. The fight would have gone on and on if Mrs. Dickerson hadn't entered into the kitchen. They immediately insisted that they had only been "playing" and smiled sweetly at her. She told us that today she was washing all of the whites and ordered us to bring in our laundry hampers so that she might extract all of our white clothes from our colored ones.

Since everything white was getting washed at once, I pulled the athletic socks right off my feet and asked her to add them to the load. I was the only one of the boys to constantly roam that house in my stocking feet, so dirty socks and me were inseparable. I skinned the pair that I was wearing off my feet and held them up. Because the socks were so dirty right then, my foster mom took them as if they'd come from off the feet of Death himself. Holding them between her index finger and her thumb, she looked at the cotton socks as if the smell of my feet were visible on them. Wrinkling up her nose in distaste, Mrs. Enid Dickerson finally tossed them into the hamper with the other whites. Then she ordered me out of the kitchen sighting that, if I was going to roam about the house barefoot for a while, I shouldn't do so on the perpetually freezing kitchen floor.

I didn't mind being exiled from the kitchen. I liked walking barefoot on the Dickerson's carpeted living room floor because doing so was so pleasurable. I don't know much about carpet, but the weave of the living room and hallway carpet was a joy to sensitive feet. I discovered that Flaviano--a Mexican boy who worked with Darnel at detailing cars and often hung out at the Dickerson's place--was also a person who possessed ticklish feet. The reason I knew this was because every time he came over, he'd kick off his shoes and would inevitably begin to shuffle his socked-clad feet on the carpet. . . and he'd do it with a concealed look of bliss on his swarthy face. And when Mr. and Mrs. Dickerson weren't home, he'd actually take off his socks and do the same thing in his bare feet . . . just like me!

I liked Flaviano a lot. He saved my life once when two pit bulls (whose owners lived on the house at the corner) got after me when I was on my way to the market to pick up a pound and a half of beef kidneys for some stew Mrs. Dickerson was making. I only wished I'd had the guts to talk to him about the one (or is it two) things we had in common . . . our sensitive, ticklish feet.

* * *

On Sunday, me and a pal of mine, André "Dre" Wilson (who was coal-black and over six feet tall at twelve years of age!) were leaning on the rail of a steep embank glancing at what I believe was the Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome official movie magazine. As we leaned against the rail, I think it was André who pointed out how much the rail vibrated . . . how, if you held your hands to it as a car passed, thrilling vibrating sensations shot through your body.

It wasn't long before I began to wonder how such vibrations would feel coursing through my incredibly sensitive, ticklish feet. But how could I find out with Dre present? What would he make of me if I took off my shoes, lay on the ground, lifted my legs and placed the soles of my feet against the rail to feel the vibrations? He would think something like, "everyone said Casper was a normal whiteboy, but I think he's just as off as the others who've been fostered around here through the years". I couldn't have that. I'd gone through incredible lengths to ensure almost everyone in the neighborhood that I wasn't a psycho, a schizo , or a suicidal manic depressive.

I would have to make up a logical excuse to place my feet on that vibrating rail.

I found one. I bet Dre that I could walk on the metal rail like an acrobat. You see Dre always bragged about how he was able to balance and walk across a wooden plank he'd suspended from the roof of his house to his garage. (I saw him do that once and nearly fainted!). And he was always telling me how chicken shit I was about doing acrobatic things like that. So I told my pal that I could walk on the rail like a tightrope without fear of the fact that one wrong move would cause me to tumble town the steep embankment and break my neck. Jeez, the things I did back then!

Anyway, Dre took me up on the challenge. So I tugged off my sneakers and white socks, then hefted myself onto the railing. A gentle breeze simultaneously cooled and tickled my sweaty bare feet. In a moment I was standing on the rail like a world famous tightrope walker. And I felt it! The rail vibrated as cars past and the sensation it gave my bare feet actually caused my penis to become semi-erect!

"Okay, man, climb down now." Dre said, his very dark face was etched with worry. Odd as it sounds, I was touched by that look of apprehension on his face. I don't know how to explain it, but it was like I knew that he cared about me for the first time, you know?

I wouldn't climb off the rail, however. The vibrations felt too good. But the pleasure that the undulating rail gave my feet also made my mind careless. Eventually I teetered off the rail, thrashing wildly, trying desperately to grab onto something . . . but there was nothing around me but empty air.

I fell off the rail and tumbled down the embank.

My bare feet flew up from under me as I fell. Continuing to tumble down the slope, I even made an attempt to catch onto the ground with my hands in order to slow my momentum, but this was useless. I didn't stop until I had plunged to the ground at the bottom of the embank. I was bruised, scratched and stunned, but--amazingly--I somehow managed to avoid killing myself!

I was so sore and dazed that I couldn't even enjoy the moment when a panicked but helpful Dre carefully put my socks and shoes back onto my feet. Eventually I was able to stand and, with Dre's help, make it home. Dre left my bruised and battered body at the back door of the Dickerson's place before departing for his own home down the street. I made my way into the Dickersons domicile, and (before I made my way into the living room) I knew exactly what I would find.

Because it was Sunday, I knew that Mr. Isaac Dickerson would be stretched out in front of the television with his big feet crossed on the table, his half-glasses low on his nose, a couple of magazines on the floor, and one of those little Jet magazines in his hand. And until he finished reading he would be totally oblivious to everyone around him.

What would he say when he saw me all bruised and dirty and scratched up? What would he say when I told him about tumbling down that embankment? Would he call me an idiot and call Mrs. Dickerson in to patch me up, or would he take me into his arms, like I always craved, and soothe me? Perhaps neither reaction would come from my foster dad. I wouldn't know until I made my way completely into the living room where he was.

As I made my way further into the house, I began to fantasize about stumbling into the house after making up some elaborate lie as to how I'd sustained my bruises and scratches. I imagined stumbling into the house, barely able to walk . . . and I would pretend that the reason I wasn't able to walk had to do with the fact that I had been viciously beaten up by a band of kids who hated me because I was white. I could just see myself stumbling over to where my foster father sat in the armchair and then succumbing to my "injuries" and collapsing before him in a dead faint. I imagined Mr. Dickerson's dark, worried face as he carries my unconscious body to the bedroom. I imagined him laying me on his own bed and removing my shoes. But even as I imagined Mr. Dickerson feeling concerned for me because I'd been beaten senseless, I began to fantasize that his concern would eventually turn into lust.

I would imagine him, after laying me upon his bed, removing my socks in order to kiss the soles of my feet so vigorously that I regain consciousness and begin to giggle and writhe with pleasure. Then he would begin to wedged his tongue between each of my toes. Then he would lick my incredibly sensitive soles all over and my laughter as well as my hardening penis would grow larger and larger and--jeez, how I tormented myself with these thoughts!

This fantasy was a good one, and if it weren't for the fact that Mr. And Mrs. Dickerson knew almost every kid in the area, parts of it might have even been believable. But I always thought things through. And I knew that if I tried to bring this fantasy to life, it wouldn't work. What if I did tell the Dickersons that a gang of racists kids had beat me up--what would happen after I made this accusation? The couple would ask me to reveal the names of the offenders, that's what. And If by chance I didn't know who the offenders were, I would be forced to provide descriptions of them. There would be just too many lies involved, and the Dickersons--especially Mrs. Enid Dickerson--was a great lie detector. Also, if you want to know the truth, I absolutely HATED to lie to the Dickersons. I felt odd enough secretly feeling the way that I did about my foster dad.

And there was something else. If I lied and spouted off about some gang of kids beating me up, my foster bro Darnel and his friends wouldn't rest until the fiends were punished. Darnel protected Ricky and me with a rottweiler-like viciousness. And he didn't protect us out of love (though I'm reasonably sure he did love us in his own surly way) but rather he watched over us for his honor's sake. Because we all lived under the same roof, Rick Darnel, Vincent and I were "brothers". Not by blood, but by a precarious kind of urbane obeisance.

And Darnel, being older than Ricky or myself, was responsible for us. If someone injured us and he did nothing, it would make him appear as a "punk" or a "mark" in the eyes of his peers. Therefore anyone who even dreamed of hurting me or little Rick had to be prepared to take on Darnel and all his friends as well. That was just the way things worked. Vincent was older than Darnel, but he wasn't involved in the goings-on of the neighborhood. In fact, Vince approached everything around him as if he were royalty in exile.

Anyway, I decided to try my hand at making a fantasy come to life, but only this time I wouldn't lie so much when I tried it.

So I ran back outside and called for André who was a little ways down the street by this time. I called him back and told him to come into the house told him that I would give him back the Right On! Magazines I'd borrowed (the one's which featured James Ingram who, unbeknownst to even Dre himself, I had a kinda star-struck crush on). He followed me back into the house, and waited in the kitchen while I pretended to make my way through the living room towards the bedroom.

Well, while I was stumbling past my foster dad as he sat reading in his armchair, I kinda released a weak, moaning sigh and collapsed to the floor . . . pretending as if I'd fainted.

"What the--?" said my foster dad, and in seconds Mr. Dickerson had my limp, seemingly unconscious body in his arms and he was yelling for his wife. He gasped when he saw the scratches and bruises that my face and arms were dotted with.

"He fell down an embankment earlier today," I heard Dre tell my foster parents in a worried voice as he rushed in from the kitchen. "I thought he was okay . .

. "

I would later feel like such a bastard by putting my foster family and friends through all of this just so I could receive a cheap thrill. But at the time, the cheap thrill was all that I could think about. Mr. Dickerson stretched me out upon the sofa, and after that his wife took over the job of tending to me. My foster Mom was relieved too see my eyelids flutter and eventually open.

Meanwhile my foster dad was untying my Adidas' and slipping them off my feet. Just this act alone was arousing me! But as I became aroused I suddenly realized that there was a part of my plan that I hadn't counted on. Arousal on a guy is often visible through his clothes, you know what I mean? I wished that I had tucked my penis in a little bit before I went through with this mad idea.

Luckily, it wasn't large enough to make too noticeable a bulge in my slacks. Plus no one was staring at my crotch anyway. All eyes were on my bruised and scratched face, including those of Mr. Dickerson who was massaging my socked feet and making me so dizzy with pleasure that I almost truly did pass out! My foster Dad didn't even seem to be aware that he was massaging my sensitive feet and toes . . . just as his wife hadn't been aware she was doing it when I'd fainted some weeks earlier. The pleasure I was feeling wasn't as great as it would have been if Mr. Dickerson were actively tickling my feet, but it was extraordinary all the same!

And I was drowning in this extraordinary pleasure . . . right up until the moment my foster mom dabbed at the cuts on my face with a cotton-ball soaked in iodine. Boy, did that sting! Once she began tending to my wounds with that torturous liquid, pleasure flew right out of my mind, and all I could focus on were my attempts at not screaming like a girl in agony.

But the next day pleasure found me again.

I convinced my foster folks that I was okay, but they made me stay in bed the rest of that day and even the next day. I was miserable, but I had a choice to either follow their wishes or take a trip to urgent care for a cat-scan. So I lay in bed (the bottom bunk instead of the top because of my "condition") and was soon bored to tears. My buddies André, Lamarque, Kwame and Damon visited me now and again, but most of the time I was left trapped in bed and regretting the decision I'd made to implement my plan.

Eventually Mr. Dickerson caught onto my misery and came into my room to ask me if I needed anything. He even brought Shaka, the family's rottweiler, into the room to cheer me up (normally the canine was kept out of the house). When this didn't spark a smile from me, my foster dad did what I'd hoped he'd do--he reached under my coverlet, seized my ankle and began to tickle my left foot!

Mr. Dickerson knew how ticklish my feet were, and he'd use my vulnerability as a last resort to forcibly lift my spirits. His right hand held my left ankle firmly as he slid the fingers of his left hand back and forth across the delicate ball and the base located beneath my toes. I laughed and thrashed about, while Shaka hopped jauntily around, probably wondering what the heck was going on. Mr. Dickerson's fingers scraped across my heel, up through to my arch and back to my soles. I screamed for mercy and kicked my other leg like a madman while tears squeezed from my scrunched-closed eyes. My laughter and pleasure reached a new height when my foster dad did something completely unexpected this time around-he seized both of my ankles and rubbed the sensitive soles of my feet vigorously against the bristly stubble beneath his chin!

I swear, I came close to passing out before Mr. Dickerson stopped tickling me in order to answer a phone call. He left the room and didn't come back that night. He was done with tickling me, but I wasn't. I mean, I was hard as a rock beneath my pajama bottoms and I just HAD to have relief. So I sunk to a new level of instant self-gratification that day.

I closed and locked the bedroom door (if by chance a member of my foster family should stray by and wonder why I'd locked it, I would make up some excuse). Once the door was closed I took a couple of packets of apple butter--which I had appropriated from a not too distant family eatery for just this purpose--and smoothed their contents across the soles of my bare feet and between my toes. I then lay back on the bed and allowed Shaka to lick my feet clean while I jerked myself off. The dog's warm tongue lapped at my toes and soles with an ardor I could never have imagined. Shaka already liked to lick at me and my foster brothers' feet whenever he got a chance to, So I knew that my sweet, apple-butter coated soles must have been an extra-special treat for him.

You have no idea what kind of concentration it took to keep from really kicking my feet and still simultaneously keep my mind on jerking myself. As Shaka licked, I imagined that it was my foster dad's tongue sliding up and down my smooth soles and around my tingling toes. When I finally shot off, I dropped off into a sweaty, exhausted sleep. A sleep so deep that even the fact that Shaka was still licking ravenously at my feet couldn't keep slumber away from me.

PART IV:
DESPERATE DAVE STUMBLES UPON A SOLE MATE

Okay, for those who've read my first three True Life Experiences, please bear with me through another brief introduction . . . .

My name is David. I was born in northern California, but reared in the city of Pomona (in SOUTHERN California) until I was around eleven. At the age of thirteen--around 1986--I was fostered out to a black couple who resided in the city of Lynwood California. Yes, I know, white kids who are fostered out to minority families are generally loons--crazy critters whom most white foster families didn't want to have to deal with. And this being the case, the generally good people of Lynwood whispered things about me at first . . . before they really got to know me, that is. After a relatively short while, however, Casper (my nickname bestowed upon me by the area's residents) became a regular feature in the neighborhood. This despite the fact that I looked like a marshmallow in a bowl of Coa Coa Puffs.

Well, I am not a loon. And yet, in all honesty, I'll admit that the people who thought I was a closet nutcase weren't altogether wrong: I am indeed crazy. Crazy about having my feet licked, tickled and played with. To me it's a good kind of crazy.

Anyways, I lived with the Dickersons and three handsome foster brothers;

Vincent, Darnel and young Ricky. The couple was fantastic, and my three foster brothers were all elegant in their own way. I myself was a thirteen-year-old boy of average height at the time of my arrival. Thick sandy-blond hair, parted at the left and feathered back (unevenly usually) framed what many called a very good looking face. But handsome or not, I have a penchant for what some might consider to be "ugly" fantasies.

I mean while I was staying in Lynwood, I used to fantasize about very bizarre things. One of my favorites was about being knocked out and kidnapped by the N-Hood Crips . . . and being carried away by them to some secret lair.

And after they used ammonia or whatever to bring me around, they'd proceed to tickle my feet.

I'd awaken not only to discover that I was barefoot, but I'd also realize that my hands were bound, my ankles were tied together, and that my mouth gagged so that I couldn't cry for help. The gang-bangers would start their torture by gliding a stiff feather over and between my bare toes. They'd stroke it between and around each toe on both my feet, cruelly smiling at the sound of my gagged and tortured screams. I dreamed that these "gangstas" would use their hands in order to glide their fingers over my left foot--from my delicate heel, up my very smooth sole, across the ball and all around my arch . . . then they'd repeat the same process over and over again.

An odd fantasy, I know, but the thought of it still warms me.

Anyway, in reality no one in Lynwood cared about kidnapping me. Sure I was the white guy in the mainly African-American and Hispanic town, but not many were interested in doing me harm because of the color of my skin (or lack of color, depending on your point of view). And I think the reason for this stemmed at least partially from the fact that the residents of Lynwood simply got bored with things too quickly. Even the neighborhood slang had more than a few revolutions. I mean, during my stay with the Dickersons--between 1986 and 1989--the expression for " very good" went from being "da bomb" to "fly" to "fresh" to "def" to "dope"! Hell, the last time I visited the neighborhood (four days ago from the time I am writing this) I noticed that the kids were using "da bomb" again!

My point is, everyone got bored with me fast. At first I got a few stares, but once everyone knew who I was, the staring stopped. It reached the point where some stranger would gawk at me, turn to a friend and say, "Look at that whiteboy over there!" and this person's friend would just sort of wave the astonishment away and say, "Aw, that's just Casper."

Everyone knowing who I was also helped. I could thank Mr. Dickerson for that. My foster dad always insisted on learning people's names. He was aware that if you knew everyone else's name they became more like "real" people to you . . . not just "them" or "those people over there". It's funny how something so simple as learning people's names could cure many ills that political action groups and government programs can't. Not that I'm putting down action groups or programs, mind you. Both are needed and both help out greatly. But they work a LOT better when people remember to incorporate their souls into them, if you know what I mean.

Anyways, I think I'll talk about my first trip out of Lynwood and into Ladera Heights.

Now, Ladera Heights was and still is one of the nesting places for well-to-do African-Americans. It was also the home of some of the stuffiest black people I've ever met (and please, no e-mail flames from you Ladera residents . . . I said SOME of the stuffiest black people I've ever met). I mean, in Ladera Heights (also portions of Baldwin Hills even) the wealthy "older" black families had long since decided that if you were black and weren't in medicine or law, you were beneath them. Exceptions were made only if you were something like a world-wide recognizable star. Can you appreciate this? These people were black and looked down on other black people--this was bad enough. What REALLY makes these "old black money" people so awful is that they would look down on you if you were black and had money . . . but hadn't made your money an "acceptable" way! In other words, if you were a wealthy African-American doctor or lawyer you were A-O.K. with them. But if you were an African-American who struck it rich at something like rap music or football playing, they would turn their noses up at you. I didn't get that at all.

Anyways, Mr. Dickerson's brother-in-law was in good-standing with the "old black money' crowd because he was a judge. Me, Mr. Dickerson, Vincent and Darnel went up to his house to visit this arbitrator and his wife (Mr. Dickerson's sister) one day in March. I think I was still thirteen at this time, but I may have already turned fourteen. Anyways, also accompanying us on this trip was Darnel's friend Rasheed. Now, this wouldn't have been so awkward if it weren't for the fact that Rasheed looked as if he were an extra from Menace II Society. I mean, his demeanor was rowdy and he was always unconsciously scowling. He strutted about in his gangsta attire and black shades, and he had a tear tattooed on his face. To top things off, he treated me worse than Darnel did. Which is saying a lot.

I mean, my sixteen-year-old foster brother was mean to me at every given opportunity. He purposely stepped on my feet (and because I usually roamed the house in just my socks, I really left myself wide open for this abuse) and he especially liked to slap the back of my head whenever I said or did something that displeased him. And yes, I did try to fight back, but Darnel had two years and nearly a hundred pounds on me.

Anyways, we made it to Judge Pastel's house. It was a nice place. I may be mistaken but, at the present time, I think attorney Christopher Darden lives just across the way from the good judge. He was a tall man, and his non-existent stomach looked as if he had been doing his sit-up regularly. This guy, who must have been at least fifty, showed up at the door wearing Bermuda shorts and a tank top. I don't know why I expected him to greet us in his black judicial robe. Anyway, the moment I saw him, I began to weave a fantasy around him.

In my mind I imagined that I was criminal whom the judge had spared from a particularly harsh sentencing. And in exchange for not being sent to jail, the judge would punish me himself by tickling my feet. I fantasized about showing up at his door and being ordered to take off my shoes and socks. Also in my fantasizing mind I saw him stretching me out on the mattress of one of his guest rooms with my bare feet propped on cushions. Then he'd have his way with my feet. He wouldn't use feathers or anything to tickle my feet . . . rather he would use his tongue to torture me! I'll watch with contingent terror as he takes my bare feet in his hands and begin to ravenously suck on and in between my toes. I'll laugh uproariously as he slides his tongue across the balls of my feet, and along my heels and the base of my toes. He'll keep this tickling tongue-torture until I laughed myself unconscious.

Yes, my fantasies are odd. But they're mine.

"Vincent's moving out I hear, but you're still fostering kids, I see," The judge said to Mr. Dickerson as we all settled into what might have been the living room. "How do you keep your sanity, Isaac?"

"Sanity??" Rasheed cut in, laughing uproariously. "Yo, Mr. Dickerson is playin' foster Daddy to Darnel, Ricky and the whiteboy here. What kinda sane person would do some shit like that?"

The rowdy boy's laughter was cut short by a withering glare from Mr. Dickerson.

I always wanted to ask Mr. Dickerson if he'd ever wanted to go through the headaches (and perhaps social scorn) of adopting me like he'd later adopted Ricky. In the few years I spent being a victim of the child-care bureaucracy I'd learned all the statistics: less than a hundred kids were eligible for adoption annually, and the preference on adoption rights went to the foster parents caring for a child when the natural parents rights were terminated. Maybe one day I'll get around to asking Mr. Dickerson if he ever thought about adopting me. And maybe one day I'll get around to writing about just why my natural parents' rights had been terminated.

Anyway, Mr. Dickerson and Judge Pastel later retreated into the magistrate's home office, leaving Vince, Darnel, Rasheed and me to be entertained in the living room by the judge's wife, Lillian and her daughter Debra a.k.a. "Cookie". I couldn't take my eyes off the living room's incredibly plush-looking carpeting. A desire was burning within me . . . and eventually I got the balls to ask.

"Can I take my shoes off?" I asked Cookie. Hey, it was worth a shot. I wanted so badly to feel that carpet stroking softly against the sock-clad bottoms of my feet.

Before Mrs. Pastel could answer, Darnel slapped the back of my head. Hard. "What the fuck is wrong with you? Nobody wants to sit around here smellin' your stank feet!"

Anyway, I didn't get a chance to feel the carpet on the soles of my feet, but I left that house in Ladera heights with something else. My first inclination to write. The judge himself told me that I could get over a lot of my "personal issues" if I just write down what happens to me--keep a journal of sorts. The very next day I found myself at Vincent's old desk staring at a blank piece of college-ruled paper in a spiral notebook. Tales of both past and present burned inside of me. Stories I was screaming to tell . . . but was VERY afraid of what the consequences of telling them would be. I wrote a lot of stuff down, but it was only very recently that I've gotten the nerve to share anything. And my audience is a small one. One comprised mainly of those whom I hope can understand my feelings and all that.

* * *

Now, I wasn't the only white person in our portion Lynwood, you know. There was this one old guy, Mr. Graham Stiffle, who lived about a block down from the Dickersons. Apparently he had been living in Lynwood since back in the days when the area was all white. Mr. Stiffle lived with a black young man named Faizon Smallwood. And no, this was not a sexual relationship--strictly father and son. Now, because Mr. Stiffle was white and Faizon was black, myths were constantly generated about how this relationship began: Faizon, at eight years old, broke into Mr. Stiffle's house to steal food, subsequently fainted from hunger before he could complete his burglary, and was informally adopted by the old white man who was moved to pity by the scrawny little thief; also, there was the rumor that Faizon was Mr. Stiffle's true half-black son. This rumor persisted despite the fact that Faizon didn't look half white at all.

The worst rumor of all was that Mr. Stiffle was a child molester, and that he and Faizon had been sharing a bed since the boy was nine. I guess the cloud of suspicion hanging over the neighborhood was the reason some thought this. There were known suburbanite child molesters--affluent-looking guys in business suits who sometimes crept into 'the hood' pretending to be law enforcement officers or some such so that they could trick the kids into giving up a part of themselves. Or even worse, these stately-looking yuppies would seek out the "vulnerable" kids--the ones from abusive or neglectful homes who seemed desperate for kindness or affection. These respectful-looking, well-dressed men would gain the trust of these kids in order to betray them . . . to take their childhood away in the most vile fashion. The neighborhood still hadn't recovered from those guys by the time I left. In fact, my first caseworker was nearly taken down when he drove into the neighborhood because some residents thought he resembled one of those creatures.

Anyway, most people were positive that Mr. Stiffle was no molester, And it was only about two years ago that I learned the truth about how he and Faizon came to have the relationship that they had. It seemed that long ago, a nine-year-old Faizon (who lived with only his rather infirm grandmother) was caught stealing things in Mr. Stiffle's admittedly junky-looking backyard. And it was Mr. Stiffle himself who had caught him.

Well, Mr. Stiffle didn't call the police or anything, but rather offered the kid a sum of money for spending the summer clearing out his backyard. Faizon accepted, and he spent late June through early September cleaning Mr. Stiffle's backyard and getting to know the old white guy who had always been so private. By the time the summer was over, the backyard still hadn't been completely cleared . . . but, strangely enough, Faizon had become Mr. Stiffle's son. It was just that simple.

Few things were that simple in Lynwood. And people were even less so. I think I first became aware of how complex people were after one very ordinary day in April. I remember waiting for my foster father's decision to let Darnel and I spend the night over my oldest foster brother Vincent's new apartment in Inglewood. I remember my heart soaring when Mr. Dickerson said we could. What I didn't know was that, though Darnel had a key to Vincent's apartment, Vincent wouldn't be joining us later once we arrived. You see my older foster Bo was spending the weekend with his girlfriend in Las Vegas--a fact that Mr. Dickerson was not aware of. In other words, Darnel and I would be alone in Vincent's new one room apartment on Crenshaw.

Well, to be more accurate, I would be alone. You see Darnel was only using Vince's apartment as an excuse to get to Inglewood . . . and to one of the most anticipated parties of the year. He had lied to our foster dad and he had used ME to accomplish this selfish goal.

"But you told Mr. Dickerson that you were going to stay here," I said, watching with mounting panic as my foster brother was getting himself ready to leave.

Darnel slapped the back of my head. So hard that tears of pain sprang into my eyes.

"I know what I told Mr. Dickerson. And as far as YOU know, I told him the truth, hear me?" He said threateningly.

"But you can't leave me here by myself!"

I braced myself for another slap to the head. But it never came. Instead Darnel suddenly grabbed me by my jacket and slammed me so hard against the wall that Vincent's framed poster of Vanity fell off. His voice had become a deadly whisper when he said, "Listen, you little fuck, you're going to stay your ass here till I come back. And you ain't gon' tell Mr. Dickerson about the party or nothin', hear me?"

I heard him. And since I didn't want to die, I agreed not to say anything.

So I watched him leave with an inordinate amount of apprehension permeating my entire being. There was nothing I could do, so I switched on the television to Miami Vice, drunk a bottle of Schnapps, then sprawled out on the apartments only bed. It had been my intention to wait up all night until Darnel returned from the party. But I fell asleep after about two hours.

I awoke tangled in the blankets and layered in sweat. Shivering, I sat up and peered around the darkness trying to spot Darnel in the room. But I was still alone in the apartment. He hadn't returned. I dialed the number Darnel had given me and learned that the party had been broken up an hour earlier. I tried not to think about the fact that I was all alone in this strange little apartment, in this unfamiliar portion of the city. I buried my head under the pillow and almost immediately dropped off back to sleep.

I woke up once again at maybe 2:30 in the morning. Darnel should have returned a LONG time ago! I broke out in a brand new sweat, and my heart began to beat like crazy. Panic and liquor had created a certain pathos within me. Paranoia.

After about an hour of sitting frozen in terror, I got up and proceeded to pace the apartment. I whimpered inwardly for some time, because I was REALLY scared. I mean, I had no idea where Darnel was, and I kept hearing the sound of ambulance and/or police sirens outside of the apartment. What if my foster brother had been jacked or killed by rival gangsters or just some crazed, crack-addicted low-life?. I would be all alone. There was no phone in the apartment, how would I call Mr. Dickerson or someone to come and get me?

My panic intensified when I realized that I couldn't remember my foster family's telephone number. I get like that when full-blown panic has settled in me--the information most vital to me suddenly flees right out of my brain.

I didn't know what to do. I thought about knocking on the door of one of the other apartment dwellers and asking them for help of some kind, but I was scared of these strangers. They didn't know me like the people in my foster family's neighborhood in Lynwood. Would they hurt me? rape me? kill me? All three? I had no idea. I decided to search for Darnel my own self . . . he told me that the party was just "up the street". Maybe he was still hanging about the general vicinity. I won't lie--I was sobbing when I stepped into my Adidas and put on my jacket. Leaving the apartment, I traversed the stairs leading to the first floor and ambled my way down onto the street.

Once I arrived on the sidewalk, I felt more terrified than ever. It was dark out. There were a few people in huddled cliques talking and smoking and whatever. These little groups began to break up when a late night drizzle and a cold breeze began to come down. I hugged myself to stave it off as I made my way up the street. I had no idea which house the party was transpiring at or anything. I was just walking blind down an unfamiliar street . . . in an unfamiliar portion of town. My heart was beating so hard that it was making me dizzy. EVERYTHING looked terrifying to me out on those streets. The trees, the homes, the few people that I saw.

The drizzle eventually turned to outright rain. And this rain itself quickly worsened, pelting down in huge, fat exploding drops. I recalled the day I had sneaked out of the house in Lynwood in order to secretly follow Mr. Dickerson to a card game. That had been a cakewalk, for the streets we aligned with opened business, and people young and old (familiar people who would lend a hand to protect me if danger arose) were out on the streets that evening. But now, in this strange area, I was just some whiteboy roaming the concourse of mainly African-American territory. My inward whimpers became audible.

The wind turned up full volume, and I was walking directly into it. The freezing rain blew into my face mixing haphazardly with my streaming tears. I spotted a house where it looked as if a party transpiring. I started to walk towards it only to sink up to my ankles in mud . I eventually pulled my feet free, but already the damp wetness had seeped into my socks an sneakers, numbing my already chilled feet.

Once I hit Carlton Drive, I was thoroughly worn out.

"Casper? Hey, what the fuck you doin' out here?"

I turned towards the somewhat familiar voice. It was Rasheed Johnson, the gang-banger who sometimes hung out with Darnel. I rubbed my eyes with the backs of my hands to make sure I wasn't dreaming. I stumbled to him, inhaled his Jolly Rancher candy scented-breath and the smell of that English Leather cologne. He was real. In my heart I rejoiced. This gangster, even though I didn't know him TOO well . . . even though he'd often treated me as if I was beneath dirt . . . was an angel to me. This is how frightened I was. And how desperate I was to see a familiar face.

I grew even more light-headed and came close to falling over. Rasheed rushed to

my aid, dragging me into his house

"Sit," He said almost gently, motioning toward a chair near the sink. It was the kind of chair you saw at a barber shop or beauty salon--positioned right there in the middle of Rasheed's kitchen! I blinked uncomprehendingly as I stared at it. it was only later that I found out that Rasheed's mother styled hair right out of her own home.

For a while I stood where I was, still fighting to keep my balance. "No, I-I'm okay . . . just a little t-tired."

"Sit, down, Cuz--you look like you 'bout to faint."

"But, I--"

"Damn it, sit the fuck down!" The gangster ordered firmly now, pushing me into the chair.

As I settled myself, I realized that I was truly in bad shape. I was drenched in a cold sweat, my feet were frozen, and I couldn't think straight. I did manage to tell Rasheed what had happened . . . as well as my fears about the whereabouts of Darnel.

Rasheed sucked his teeth. "Shiiiit, ain't nothin' gon' happen to that nigga. I'll bet his sorry ass is still over there at Shandalyn's house. Lamarque had wanted to go to the party earlier, but I promised I'd beat his ass till it fuckin' snowed in Compton if he did."

Lamarque was Rasheed's sixteen-year-old younger cousin. I wanted to ask Rasheed why he himself hadn't attended the party with his usual crew but decided against. Besides, I think I already knew. Lamarque was eighteen and had somehow gotten his head on straight. He was getting out of the "gangsta-life" and had recently gotten a job at the LAX airport.

"I called Shandelyn's house--and Darnel's ass was still there just like I said.

He's on his way over here now."

I wasn't exactly thrilled at hearing this news. After all the trouble I've caused him today, I had no doubt in my mind that Darnel was going to kill me. When I drowsed and nearly fell out of the chair, Rasheed ordered Lamarque to take me into the bedroom so that I could rest until Darnel arrived.

In Lamarque's bedroom the sixteen-year-old pulled my damp sweatshirt over my head then ordered me to sit on the edge of the bed so he could pull off my muddy sneakers and wet socks. A pair of Lamarque's own pajamas lay across the chair where Rasheed had placed it; Lamarque tugged the top over my head before helping me to stick my bare feet into the bottoms.

It was while he was doing this that Lamarque discovered how ticklish my feet were. And his reaction to this discovery was so amazing that, to this day, I honestly can't believe that it was anything other than unadulterated fate which brought us together. I mean, it wasn't long before he was using this knowledge to torture me. I tried to escape him by ducking under his bed, but, while my top half was hidden, my bottom half--including my now bare feet--remained exposed to him. I instantly recalled the time my younger foster bro Ricky had mercilessly tickled my feet while I was trapped underneath a bed . . . so I knew what to expect.

And within seconds it happened.

Laughter echoed out as Lamarque tickled my poor feet. I tried desperately to slither away, using my toes to push off the floor. But it was no good. He tickled away at my feet. I giggled, laughed, and begged him to stop torturing me. Finally, Lamarque, being stronger than I was, easily yanked me out from under the bed, picked me up and dumped me on top of it.

He sat down upon the floor at the foot of the bed which put my feet at his eye level. He then began lightly tickling my feet as my hysterical laughter erupted once more. I did my best to hold still while he did this. I swear, if I'd had some restraints on hand at the time, I would have cuffed myself to the headboard! Lamarque tickled my feet for a LONG while, alternating between the left and the right and sometimes tickling both of them at the same time. He used his fingers to rush up and down the length of my feet and soon (upon apparently 'sensing' something about me and the nature of my being) he actually used his tongue to snake between my toes and cover my soles with saliva. The more he licked the smooth bottoms of my feet the harder I laughed.

I laughed and SCREAMED right up until the moment Rasheed yelled out from the kitchen saying, "What the hell are y'all doin' in there?!?"

So Lamarque and I settled down to go to sleep. My new bud dropped off almost instantly, but I lay on the mattress listening to the sound of the dryer on the service porch hum. After a while, I heard Rasheed talking to someone in the kitchen. And because I knew who this someone was, I rolled over onto my side and immediately feigned sleep.

It was less than three minutes that I heard the door to the bedroom open. Then someone was walking towards me . . . and this person's footsteps were unmistakable. Darnel made his way across the room and stood over me, believing that I was asleep. I kept my eyes closed and pretended to be deep in slumber. My heart was racing out of control though. I had taken Darnel away from a potentially intimate rendezvous with my panicking and paranoia . . . he was going to kill me! I opened my eyes--not wide enough for my foster brother to see that they were open, but enough for me to see a little.

Darnel moved towards the bed, and my heart was beating so frantically that my chest ached.

He reached a hand down towards me head . . . but, surprisingly, this hand was not curled into a fist. Instead Darnel rested his hand lightly on my head for a few moments, then he rather tenderly brushed an errant lock of hair away from my forehead. In this one gentle touch I sensed many things: an apology, relief . . . even affection. Until this point I'd always thought Darnel viewed me with a little bit of contempt and a LOT of resentment. But now, with this one touch, I realized he cared what happened to me. He really cared . . . and not just because Mr. and Mrs. Dickerson would kill him if his little party excursion had somehow gotten me hurt.

I also knew that this tiny bit of physical contact was probably all the tenderness a roughneck like Darnel could manage outwardly towards another guy, so I never expected him to apologize or tell me outright that he cared about me. His touch was enough. Oh, I won't lie and say that--following this little incident--Darnel was nice to me from then on, but he did stop derisively calling me "the whiteboy", and he never again slapped the back of my head. Our relationship seemed to have reached another level.

I became positive that it had reached another level the very next day. Mr. Dickerson was called in to work on Saturday, and that meant we kids would be home alone until Mrs. Dickerson returned from visiting her relatives in Louisiana. We gave our foster dad our most solemn promise not to leave the immediate area . . . plus he had the Johnsons--a family who lived next door--to keep an eye on us. But despite these precautions . . . boys will be boys. Darnel got on the horn and phoned his current girlfriend Sonya and asked her to swing by. And I must admit that even Ricky and I were feeling a bit mischievous ourselves.

"Let's go to the Par Three," I suggested to Darnel while he was on the phone talking to someone. "We can make fun of the golfers and eat at Louis Burgers. "

Darnel, with the receiver still to his ear, shook his head in annoyance and waved me away.

I shrugged and made my way into the bedroom, but I could still hear Darnel on the phone:

"I don't know about the guys in this house, Cuz." I heard him say gruffly to whoever he was talking to on the phone. "Sonya is coming over, and I got Ricky trying to get me to take him to Ham Memorial Park, and Dave is pushing for a trip to the Par Three. Can you beat that, shit? I mean, don't my brothers know the meaning of pussy!?"

He had referred to me as one of his brothers! You would never catch him CONSCIOUSLY saying it, but I later found out that--if I caught him off guard--I could HEAR what was really in my older foster brother's heart.

It was just as well that Darnel didn't want to take me anywhere. I had awakened that morning with a sore throat and a fever. As time progressed I felt myself getting worse. I'm pretty sure I'd caught a cold or something trekking through the rain before reaching Rasheed's place the night before. Later, while in bed, I saw my foster brother and his girlfriend standing together by my bottom bunk, looking down at me. I saw them through a fever-created fog, Darnel medium height but muscular, his features smooth and milk-chocolate-like, all of him inflexible and dreamlike; his girlfriend Sonya was shapely and caramel-colored, the look of concern on her face belied her rather rough appearance (six earrings in her ears, seven on her fingers and one in her nose).

They only decided to leave for the mall after Mr. Munoz and Flaviano--an old Mexican man and his grandson who lived a little ways up the street--volunteered to look after me and Ricky while the lovebirds were gone. Seventeen-year-old Flaviano often worked with Darnel detailing cars. Mr. "Papi" Munoz, in my opinion, must have been a romantic from WAY back. I mean, he was giving up his Saturday to look after me and Ricky just so Darnel and his girl could play around a bit while our foster parents were away.

"I'll only be gone about an hour, Mr. Munoz-"

"Call me, 'Papi' Darnel . . . everyone else does," The old Mexican man said. "And you and the young lady have a good time on your afternoon out. Go see that movie like you planned. Flaviano and I will stay here with the boys until you get back."

Darnel grinned appreciatively. "That's real nice of you, Mr. Munoz, but you

only need to watch them for--"

"I will hear no more." The older Mexican man smiled as he said this, but his tone was laced with stern seriousness. I immediately recognized the tone in his voice. It was the same tone I'd hear in Mrs. Dickerson's voice when she was no longer going to listen to any further arguments from children. "You and the young lady shall go to the movies and to the shopping mall and have a good time, yes?"

"Yes, but--"

"Then do so. Flaviano and I shall stay here and look after David and Richardo."

Darnel grinned in resignation. "Thanks a lot Mr. Munoz, I mean Papi."

And he and Sonya were gone.

I was just waking up from a nap sometime later when Lamarque came into my bedroom--I suppose one of the Munoz's let him in. He leaned over my bed and sort of frowned because he thought I was still asleep. I rolled over so that he could get a better view of my shirtless top half. Then I discreetly kicked the covers away so that he could see my bare feet.

"Hey, man." I finally said, giving him a tired smile. Between Vicks Formula 44-D and fever, I was really out of it. I looked up at him and said. "I feel like I'm dying', Lamarque--can you play by yourself today?"

At the time that line sounded cool to me. But looking back, it was really kinda odd. What I was trying to tell my buddy was that, even though I was too weak to do anything, he could play with my feet if he wanted. Yeah, I know this sounds weird, but in my mind Lamarque had come a long way to visit me out in Lynwood . . . I didn't want to disappoint him. Plus, I couldn't pass up the chance to get my feet tickled again. I don't care how sick I was.

He stared at me for a long--watched my tummy rise and fall with each sleeping breath. I wasn't really asleep . . . but then I wasn't necessarily conscious either. He couldn't seem to take his eyes off of my bare feet. he could see them better in the afternoon light of my bedroom . . . far better than he had been able to in the dim evening lighting in his bedroom the night before. He could clearly see my semi-high-arches and long toes. Yeah, my feet are good looking if I do say so myself. And my soft, smooth soles really were as vulnerable as they looked.

When I look back, it must have really been torture for poor Lamarque then. I mean, he was only sixteen at the time, and he'd had a few girlfriends, but until I came along he rarely got a chance to have what he'd been craving since he was a kid . . . a guy's feet. And now that he had them, he didn't seem to know what do. It wasn't like the night before--that incident started out as fooling around and eventually transformed into something more. But today Lamarque had come over to my house with one purpose in mind. To lick across my soles and between my toes and so on. It was really an awkward time. And I was only thirteen . . . just a hormone walking on two very ticklish feet.

Eventually Lamarque gave into temptation . . . and I for one was glad that he did. He took his hairbrush and rubbed it across the toes on my right foot. My toes scrunched, causing little crimples to form across the bottom of my sole. In my semi-consciousness I tried to pull my feet away from the tickling bristles.

I think I may have blacked out for a little while during this--I'm not sure. What I am sure of is that, once my senses returned somewhat, Lamarque had tied my ankles together with his own belt. Then he started tickling my feet with his fingers. Giggling, I tried to sit up. Soon I was thrashing around, but I was too weak to really laugh uproariously. I weakly pleaded for him to stop, but he kept right on moving his fingers over my soles and between my toes. Since I gathered Lamarque was mainly a foot-worshipper (with a proclivity for licking soles and sucking toes and so on) I knew that he was tickling me purely for the purpose of providing ME with some pleasure. Still, I wondered if the power he currently had over me turned him on.

Anyway, I continued squirming around--both my feet bound together so that Lamarque could tickle both my soles simultaneously for maximum effect. I was begging for him to stop, my head thrown back as I laughed with all the strength my feverish body could manage. He tortured my toes, rubbing his hairbrush on the edges of both my feet-an act that caused me to arch my back and let out a silent scream of laughter. In the throws of this torture I hardly knew where I was. The all-consuming sensation of his tickling had completely encompassed my feverish mind. Lamarque had me in his complete control--the non-stop stroking, brushing, and swirling across my tender soles suddenly becoming unbearable.

He'd been rubbing the hairbrush faster and harder across my feet. An erection was throbbing inside my underwear, and I was certain that if I didn't set it free soon I would go insane. So I did. My struggling became harder and my weakened screams of laughter more desperate. Realizing what was happening, Lamarque rubbed the his hairbrush faster over both my feet. I felt a fiery stirring IN my genitals . . . then it exploded Out of my genitals. Huge globs of jizz splattered all over the front of Lamarque's RUN DMC T-shirt. And at the sight of my orgasm, he stopped tickling me long enough to stroke his own cock until his genitals exploded outward as well.

That evening Lamarque became my very BEST friend. He still is at the time I am writing this.

* * *

Not long after my recovery, the Mount of Olives Father-Son Revival came around. I wanted to go so badly because, though I had only gone camping once when I was a cub scout years earlier, I had enjoyed it immensely. My younger foster brother Ricky wouldn't be able to go because he had oral surgery scheduled for the week of the expedition. That just left Vincent, Darnel and me. But Vincent was now too old to go, and Darnel had allergies. The matter of going on the camping revival was dropped. But what about me? I had wanted desperately to go on the trip . . . but it seemed as if Darnel's inability to go to the father-son revival was going to keep me from going on this excursion as well.

And I felt that my race did have something to do with it too.

Wait, let me explain this better . . . .

Because Vincent was too old to go, Mr. Dickerson wanted to take Darnel to the father-son revival. After all, it was an expedition of camping and all that with fathers and sons. But Mrs. Dickerson just wouldn't let Darnel go, because the revival would occur in the heart of the Angeles National Forest, and Darnel was allergic to everything. She refused to allow him to take a risk on getting sick or whatever. And Mr. Dickerson, even though he'd never ranked me below his other foster sons, couldn't seem to completely get over the fact that I was white in this instance. I bitterly thought that he was proving own racism by not taking me to the revival. I mean, he obviously felt that if he couldn't take any of his black sons to the father-son excursion, it simply wouldn't look right to show up there in front of his friends with only his white son.

And though I was bitter and more melancholy than you could imagine, I wasn't about to complain about it. Mr. Isaac Dickerson, for all his faults, had treated me well. He and his wife clothed me, fed me and loved me better than any foster parents had any right or inclination to.

Still I was depressed. And I remained in this dejected state until the following Saturday morning . . . .

"Morning, Pop." said Vincent, traipsing into the hallway just in time to embrace his father who was passing through on his way to the john. What was he doing away from the independence of his own little apartment? I hadn't a clue. Anyway, I watched them hug from where I stood in the doorway of the bedroom I shared with Darnel. And as I watched them, I felt a stab of burning jealousy. I was jealous of the bond that already existed between Vincent Dickerson and his father. I was jealous because such a bond could never exist between Mr. Dickerson and myself. As my foster father's only biological son, Vince would always be viewed differently, and this knowledge wounded me so deeply that I felt like I might throw up even before breakfast.

After they hugged, Mr. Dickerson walked over to me and ordered me to get cleaned-up and dressed so that we could head to the Lakewood mall.

I looked at my foster dad, waiting for an explanation, but Mr. Dickerson had turned to Vincent. Vincent spoke to his father.

"You won't need to get Davey new sleeping gear. I bought that mummy cold weather sleeping bag and that mobiflex three-man dome tent six months back, 'member? They're both practically brand new."

It was then that I realized Mr. Dickerson was taking me to the mall to purchase supplies for the father-son revival. The revival that he was taking me to! And instantly I felt ashamed of myself. Ashamed of the fact that I had been sulking over the fact that Mr. Dickerson wasn't going to take me to the revival, when in reality the fact that he WAS taking me was never a question in his mind. Also I was ashamed of myself for underestimating my foster dad. Sure, I was the only person who was aware that I had underestimated him, but I still felt ashamed. I don't know how to explain it.

Anyways, Mr. Dickerson and I had a good time at the Revival. Nothing untoward happened to me THERE. But I did have a rather interesting encounter with one of the boys I met there later on. His name was Michael. We met in his garage and even used his grandfather's camcorder to record ourselves. I swallowed hard once I was certain the camera was rolling. I broke out in a sweat, and my head filled with mad and horrible thoughts about what would become of me if someone besides Michael and I saw the video we were making.

But once Mike knelt at my feet and began taking my sneakers off, the fright began to leave me as if by magic.

He ran his nose along the base of my toes, but my sock got in the way. He grabbed the tip of my sock with his teeth and pulled it, making my sock slide out about half way, exposing my heel. I put my warm foot back on his face, touching it from chin to forehead, then patted his nose a few times with my sole and toes. My heel was smooth and soft. I didn't have thick or rough skin at the bottoms of my feet. My soles were as soft and smooth as an infant's. I brought my semi-bared foot up in front of his face again. He sniffed at my heel and sole, sticking his nose under my sock, feeling the bare portions of my foot on his lips and chin. The contact with my bare foot seemed to enrapture him, and he wasn't ashamed to show it.

He held my sock and ankle with his left hand, slowly and gently sliding his right hand under my loose sock, caressing the sole and toes of my foot. I shut my eyes, leaned back and sighed with pleasure. I calmed myself a bit as he ran his fingers slowly through my toes and played with them--grabbing each toe between his thumb and forefinger, gently tugging and waggling them through my socks and feeling between them over my toenails.

He then removed my socks completely, and soon he was holding my bare foot in front of his face. He claimed it was the most beautiful boy's foot he'd ever seen (still does to this day as a matter of fact . . . even though I'm now in my early twenties) He was on his knees before me. He leaned forward a little in order to look at the portion of my feet that most excited him . . . the part of my toes where my nails were. He said he loved the way the toenails on whiteboys seemed so clear. To him all of my toes and nails were perfect. But to be honest, I didn't take care of my feet any more than any other fourteen-year-old boy would . . . just kept my nails clipped and washed my feet when they were dirty. Yet different people always seem to tell me--even now--that my feet look so well groomed.

He began to feel both of my feet with both his hands, fingers, face and lips. He ferociously licked both of my feet all over, sucked my ten toes, licked in between my toes. He performed oral sex on my feet, and as he did so I felt a pleasure that encompassed both my penis and 'other' erogenous places on my body. I had never felt such intense pleasure before. We even made a video where Mike pretended to be a native cannibal (please no e-mail flames over this either . . . we were just two young knuckleheads fooling around back then) and I was a game hunter who had been captured, plunked into a stewing pot--which was Mike's bathtub--and was being slowly cooked for dinner. In our film, however, the only thing the cannibal ate was certain parts of the captured hunter's body, like his feet. And I have to say we did a good job for a couple of amateurs. I mean if you could see Mike chomping away on my feet--which were covered in barbecue sauce to simulate blood--you'd nominate us for Sundance!

And long after the filming was completed, we crossed paths with all of my foster brothers. And before we knew it, both Mike and I were invited to a celebration of sorts too. Over a secret lunchtime setting of Mrs. Dickerson's pecan pie and Old English malt liquor (though Ricky, Mike and I had to drink chocolate milk as per Vincent's orders) my foster brothers and several of our friends celebrated the fact that Vince had been accepted into Long Beach State. It was a celebration that also included Rasheed, Flaviano, Dante and Eric. My oldest foster brother proposed a toast to himself, and we all clinked glasses . . . even Ricky, Michael and me with our Hershey's Chocolate milk.

I was happy for Vincent, but there had never been any doubt in my mind that he was going to get into college . . . he never failed at anything he set his mind on accomplishing. What I'm trying to say is that outwardly I was celebrating Vince's acceptance, but in my heart (albeit subconsciously) I was celebrating for myself. I was commemorating a new chapter in my life. A chapter where I ceased working solo when satisfying my secret desires, and had become part of a duo.

PART V:
TICKLED TOE-TO-TOE BY TROY

Some might refer to this tale as True Life Experience part five, and it begins with a pleasurable dream I had one morning . . . .

In this dream, my buddy Lamarque leaps upon my bed, grabs my ankles and licks my feet. He then kisses my soles and cleanses them until they're spotless with his tongue. Because my feet are VERY sensitive, I liked this feeling very much and couldn't help but to moan my appreciation. I was on my way towards a massive wet-dream climax when my little foster brother Ricky shook me awake and informed me that it was my turn to set the breakfast table.

The dream still made me feel good despite the fact that it had been interrupted. In fact, I was all but whistling a happy tune when I made my way into the kitchen that morning. But my mood didn't last, however. I mean, I was right in the middle of setting the breakfast table when my caseworker showed up at my foster family's home and informed them and me that my dad was up for parole.

Until that moment I thought I'd found a stable home to reside in until I reached legal age. My mother was deceased, distant relatives apparently didn't want me, and my father was in the joint . . . and when he wasn't in the joint he was usually nowhere to be found. My caseworker never told the Dickersons (my foster parents) that they might be able to keep me forever, but the possibility was always dangled in front of them.

Not that Mr. And Mrs. Dickerson WANTED to keep me forever. After all, they hadn't even asked for me. The fact that some white kid like me was placed in their care was pure fate, really. The hall where I was staying got to be overcrowded, and the Dickersons were apparently always willing to take in a child. These were the two major factors in my being sent to live with them.

As I've said before, it wasn't a very big secret that, in this part of the state, white children who were fostered out to black families were generally future loony-bin residents; kids so unstable that they had been renounced by numerous other white foster homes. I spent several months convincing both the Dickersons and their neighbors that I was an okay kid who wasn't likely to flip out or anything. The only thing really 'wrong' with me was he fact that I had an insatiable craving to have my feet tickled and licked and so on.

So I moved in with this African-American couple who had one biological son and two other foster sons, and everything went, for the most part, fine. My foster dad was a tall and broad-shouldered man with a commanding presence and an intimidating stare. He had skin the color of milk chocolate and streaks of gray in his otherwise coal-black hair. My foster mom was a slightly chubby woman with a heart that was big enough to apply for statehood, and my three black foster brothers were each handsome in very different ways. I was handsome too in an "all-American" way. I mean, I have sandy-blond hair, blue-green eyes and nice features. Yeah, I know I sound like a narcissistic jerk, but I'm not . . . hopefully. I'm just stating what others have impressed upon me through the years.

The idea that my looks would cause me to be arrogant was probably crushed by the years I spent living with the Dickersons. Hardly anyone looked at me twice in their neighborhood. And if anyone ever did it was because I was white, not because I was handsome. No, I take that back--a few girls used to flirt with me a lot in that area. But they were generally Latina girls.

Anyways, let me stop digressing from the subject. As far as my real father was concerned, the Dickersons didn't have a real opinion about him. In their training for foster care they'd been counseled to reserve judgment on a kid's biological parents. . . to even support their bond with their kids. They were also supposed to brace themselves for eventual reunification between their foster child and his or her natural parents. The Dickersons were clearly braced. I mean, the fact that I was white and they were black . . . well, it didn't take Einstein to figure that this set-up wasn't going to last forever.

I, on the other hand, thought that it would. I thought that I would stay with the Dickersons until I was turned 18, or until they adopted me. And as things later turned out, I DID stay with the Dickersons until I was 17. After that, I moved in with my older foster brother Vincent and his wife. I moved out on my own some time after that, but I still visit--and am visited by--members of my foster family all the time. So you can say that I never really left the Dickersons. Heck, at the time I am currently writing this, I'm wearing my former foster brother Darnel's socks.

But back in 1987, when I was a mere lad of fourteen, I had no idea how things would eventually turn out. With my dad up for parole, I actually believed that he had a chance of pilfering custody of me away from the Dickersons. Yes the couple had been counseled to support me in my love for my dad--it was theoretically necessary for my healthy development. And Mr. And Mrs. Dickerson tried their best to do just that. But there was one crucial factor missing in all of this . . . I POSSESSED NO LOVE FOR MY BIOLOGICAL FATHER! I won't get into exactly why I didn't care for him, but the thought that I might actually be placed in his care made me literally and physically sick!

Later during the day that I found out this awful news, I realized how sick I had made myself. I was over my buddy Andre's house, and I recognized that I couldn't talk for sneezing.

"Boy, you got a slight fever," Andre's mom said after feeling my forehead. (How is it that women can gage your temperature by simply touching one's forehead? If someone knows the answer to that, please feel free to e-mail me!). After feeding me a benedryl, she showed me to the sofa in the den, made me lie down on it, and covered me with an afghan. While she was covering me, ten-year-old Troy helpfully untied and tugged off my sneakers.

Troy was a handsome kid with a coffee-and-cream complexion and the sweetest smile you've ever seen. I liked him immediately because he put me in mind of my youngest foster brother, Ricky. He was the nephew of my buddy Andre. Most folks referred to them as "cousins" because Andre was only thirteen (despite the fact that he was over six feet tall!) and Troy was ten. I myself was fourteen at this time, and I discovered that Troy was going to be living with Andre and his family because the kid's mother--Andre's older sister Denise--had died from a heart attack following an appendectomy.

Anyways, the benedryl put me OUT (I'm highly sensitive to all kinds of medications and alcohol, by the way). I was too groggy to go home, so Andre's mom called up the Dickersons and told them that it might be better if I slept over. They agreed. So eventually I was transported--though I don't remember moving at all--from the sofa in the den to Andre's bedroom. There I stripped myself down to my skivvies while Andre pulled back RETURN OF THE JEDI-decorated sheets. I climbed into bed and was asleep before my buddy could cover me up.

The next morning I was greeted--unexpectedly--by Troy.

He entered the room and found me climbing out of bed, naked as a jay bird because I had unconsciously slid off my boxers during my feverish delirium the night before. Troy couldn't even announce to me that breakfast was ready, transfixed as he was. And it wasn't my nakedness he was transfixed by. Rather he couldn't seem to take his eyes off my bare feet. I had a hunch, right then and there, that the kid had a thing for guys' feet . . . but I didn't make anything of it at first.

Later that day, however, Andre, Troy and I went swimming down at the public pool over in Paramount. I noticed that much of Troy's time was spent casting furtive, secret glances at my bare feet. My hunch had been right. He couldn't get enough of staring at my longish toes, somewhat high arches and smooth soles. I know I sound sorta vain, but I'm proud of how good my feet look.

I remember the first time he tickled me--it feels like it happened yesterday even though it was over a decade ago. I came over to wait for Andre to finish showering and dressing 'cause we were going to the Carson Mall to buy up some summer gear to deck ourselves out in. I was wearing an old pair of Adidas hightops that day along with white athletic socks.

At some point during my wait (I can't remember exactly how it started) I stepped out of my sneakers when Troy and I began to playfully wrestle on the floor. My feet, in a pair of hole-ridden socks, were always near to his face. Something got into the kid, I don't know what it was, but he boldly took his index finger and poked it through the hole in my sock--the hole positioned right above my toes. His finger reached right between my big and second toe and, because I am EXTREMELY ticklish, I laughed. I pulled my feet away, but not far enough away from this kid! I think the sudden knowledge that I was so ticklish became irresistible to him. He poked between my toes again . . . and again I laughed and jerked. Throughout our wrestling match he skillfully tickled my socked feet. I giggled and laughed all the while.

As the weeks past, Troy contrived new ways to get at my lower extremities whenever I visited Andre at his home. In the summer this was quite easy for him. He would sit on the floor at my then sockless feet, while I sat on the sofa, and would secretly watch me wiggle my bare toes (I always took my shoes off over my friends' houses whenever their folks weren't around). He would creep his way closer to them hoping I would accidentally step on him or something . . .anything for an excuse to tickle me again. And I have to admit I WANTED him to tickle me again. Getting my feet tickled is the most pleasurable feeling in the world to me. One night he "convinced" me to play a game with him. He would take my socked or bare foot in his lap and would proceed to trace intricate designs on the sole. The object of the game was not to laugh while he was doing this, but you know me . . . I lost every time.

On one occasion I slept over at Andre's house 'cause his mom planned to take us to Six Flags Magic Mountain the next day. I stretched out on Andre's sofa and pretended--for Troy's benefit--to fall asleep. Andre and the rest of his family went to bed, but little Troy remained in the living room with me. He moved over to the foot of the couch, and stared at my feet for the longest time. I knew how much he wanted to tickle them or do other things to them, but he was afraid. I myself wanted to tell him that it was perfectly okay with me if he did whatever with my feet. In fact that was the reason I stretched myself out on the sofa the way that I did--with my bare feet propped on the armrest.

I could practically hear the kid's heartbeat racing as he spied my bare feet from apparently every angle possible. I suddenly remembered how I used to watch Mr. Dickerson--my foster father--when he'd fall asleep on the sofa. I remembered how I often wanted to lay down beside him and snuggle up to him. I used to dream about laying down next to him . . . the black Adonis . . . and then feeling his muscled arm slide around me as we lay together. That, of course, never happened, but I sure as heck loved that fantasy!

Anyways, Troy continued to look at my bare feet. I could feel the wheels of his mind spinning as he thought up ways in which he could tickle them. Eventually he lurched at my feet, locking my ankles under his left arm while the fingers on his right hand frenetically tickled my soles. I had no choice but to "wake up" and burst into laughter. I reflexively tried my best to kick the kid away, but I didn't want to accidentally hurt him the way I had my little foster brother Ricky one day when he'd tickled my feet.

I begged for him to stop, while trying my best to keep my voice low enough as not to disturb the other occupants of the house. My feet and toes spasmodically twitched as I tried to escape the boy's tickling fingers. Although he tickled me for a relatively short time, it may as well have been a lifetime for him and me both!

* * *

It was a hot day in early July when fate found me.

I was sitting in a lawn chair cooling my feet in the sprinkler water when I spotted Gerald Washington. This BBQ stand and restaurant owner stood on the sidewalk in front of the Dickerson's house, his jacket draped formerly across one arm. He was about forty years old and a well-respected member of the community. Even the black Muslims liked him despite the fact that he sold pork foods.

"Hey, David," he said, studying me carefully. "Are you busy?"

I told him no.

"You want to take a stroll with me down to the liquor store? I've got something I want to ask you."

I shrugged, a little perplexed.

"Well, put your shoes on."

We walked to the liquor store around the corner and up the street near Pigstickers, Mr. Washington moving with a kind of grace that belied his bulkiness. He was big, but he took long, limber strides. He was a sexy guy. Not as sexy as my foster dad, but sexy all the same. The streets seemed alive with activity that day. The heat from the sidewalk seemed to be radiating right through the soles of my hightops and were causing my sockless feet to heat up inside my sneaks.

We finally reached the store. It wasn't as large as say a 7-11, but it got the most business because it was owned by some well-known black Muslim family who'd moved to Lynwood from up north in Oakland. Mr. Washington sort of perused the interior of the refrigeration unit for a suitable beverage while I scanned the magazine rack in search of anything that concerned Ozzy or Dio.

"Are you comfortable around here, boy?" he asked me as he extracted a Budweiser.

"Sure." I said. And it was the truth. I'd had a few encounters with folks who seemed rather offended by my presence, but for the most part no one was interested in harming me or anything.

"Fine, fine." He said.

I grinned. Mr. Washington, bless his heart, handed me a Pepsi that he intended to pay for himself. I didn't have enough on me that day to buy even a Snickers bar.

"Uh, I hear you're gonna open another barbecue stand on Grape Street." I said as we made our way back.

Mr. Washington gave a little cough, then put on an even more business-like demeanor. "Yep. Only this one isn't going to sell simply barbecue. It's going to peddle whole dinners--you know, greens, cornbread, macaroni, potato salad and everything. And it's not going to be on Grape. It's going to be on Prairie in Hawthorne."

"Hawthorne?"

"Yeah, I know what you're thinking. That's not exactly an area where soul food establishments thrive, but look at it this way . . . I won't have much in the way of competition."

I had to agree with him there.

The business man eyed me intently. "Boy, I notice you've been rather aimless ever since school let out. Why aren't you hanging out with your foster brothers or something? You fellows used to be thick as thieves before summer vacation."

I nodded sadly. "Well, that's 'cause everybody else has got stuff to do this summer. Darnel is working with Flaviano again, and Vincent is still working at the cleaners. I ain't got nothing to do all summer long."

"Good," he said with a wide grin, "Then you can start next week."

"Start what next week?"

And this was how I ended up working at GW's Barbecue.

* * *

Actually, Mr. Washington's hiring me was good business sense. A minority business in a white portion of town would probably fair better with a whiteboy behind the counter. Still he owned a restaurant in a white portion of town, and it's staff consisted of all African-Americans and one Mexican that I can remember. I think of all the people he employed in his various businesses, I was the only white guy. Forget the fact that I was, at the time, an underage white guy . . . Gerald Washington was the kind of person who wouldn't be denied anything.

Andre's nephew Troy would often swing by the BBQ stand and order a different item each time. But there was no need now, being that Andre's mom was at home and cooking quite regularly. Still, since we wrestled in Andre's living room that time, rarely a day passed that Troy didn't come by asking to try something new on the menu.

"Gimme a whole dinner this time, Dave," the tenacious ten-year-old said to me one hot afternoon while I was busy making sure I didn't have the cornbread squares confused with the little pound-cake squares. Mr. Washington's stand also sold a kind of desert called "sock-it-to-me cake". I shamefully admit that I ate half of his stock of those myself.

"You want greens with that?" I asked.

He nodded quickly. "Uh huh. I didn't get a chance to eat breakfast this

morning, so--"

"Collards or mustards?."

He seemed to think a moment. "Ummm, collards. I been thinkin' about one of these dinners all day, man."

"Okay, you want the small cornbread muffin with that, or the big square?"

He told me he wanted the little cornbread muffin. "Don't know why I like this

barbecue stand so much, grandma cooks some good barbecue too, an--"

I stopped working and narrowed my eyes on the kid. "Uh, Troy?"

"Hmm?"

"You don't have to keep ordering dinners here every day just for the chance to talk to me, little buddy."

He was momentarily stunned that I had seen right through him. Then he relaxed--relieved by what I was telling him.

"Hey, you're my bud, Troy. If you want to talk to me, I can set a stool or somethin' behind the counter and you can hang out with me while I work."

His sweet grin coulda filled two city blocks.

So Troy became a regular fixture at the BBQ stand. He even became my practically unpaid apprentice after a while--a young novice studying at the feet of the master. And later on, once we dropped all pretenses, he REALLY began to study at my feet . . . if you get what I mean. He tended to my feet so wonderfully that, eventually, I began to wonder what it would be like to tend to HIS.

Though I had always craved to have my own feet licked and tickled and played with, I had only recently become aware that there was something I found inebriating about the aroma of a young man's foot. I had known that several people have enjoyed the smell and taste of MY feet, and I have always been attracted to other guys' feet to a certain degree. But by this time in my life I had only recently become aware as to just how deep my own attraction to guys' feet truly ran. I think I had spent too much of my life blocking out my feelings for guy's feet--selfishly only focusing my attention on having my own feet tickled and played with. In other words I was only interested in "taking" and not "giving" pleasure really.

But I was just beginning to learn what Troy already knew; there is something intoxicating in the aroma of a young man's foot . . . when he removes sneakers that have been on his feet for a good while. There is something arousing about a young man removing his sneakers, (especially when he hasn't been wearing any socks) and allowing you to smell his feet. For young Troy, the occasionally moist areas in between my toes was always the best place to find the smell he hungered for the most. On days when he was lucky, he'd discover the added "benefits" which result whenever I wear my sneakers without socks. The natural agglomeration that forms between my toes and is evident on my smooth soles. the mixture of sweat, dirt and sneaker leather always made his feasting on my feet that much more special.

It was a great revelation.

* * *

The feel of Troy's tongue on my soles was still in my mind when the two of us showed up to work one hot summer day. Still preoccupied, I was relieved not many people were in the mood for barbecue and such.

The first customers to arrive, however, destroyed what I thought would be a perfect day.

Two white guys, maybe college age, came strutting up to the stand. When they spotted Troy working behind the counter, their strutting became an exaggerated kind of swagger. I recognized them both as being Vaughn Copat and Chad Halvorson. I think they both used to play for the Paramount Pirate football team a few years before.

"Hmmm, maybe we should choose another place to eat," Chad said evilly. "Look at what's handling the food!"

Troy blinked as he'd been slapped. Then a sort of veil of serenity came over his face. I should have told those guys to leave--that I didn't want their business. But I was a fourteen-year-old kid at the time, and not a particularly bright one. I wasn't going to pass up a sale to spare Troy's feelings, but I would ask them politely to 'cool it'. Lame, I know. But I was a kid, you know? I didn't have the presence of mind to realize that by accepting their business, I was--in effect--stabbing my little pal in the back. Yes, I know Troy was probably too young to even understand that he was being stabbed in the back . . . but it doesn't make what I did right, regardless.

It wasn't long, however, before Vaughn and Chad became more interested in harassing Troy than they were about ordering.

They glared at the kid. I don't think I've ever seen such naked hate before. If looks could kill, little Troy would have been burned to a cinder. But Troy didn't burn. He glared right back at them, the immovable object verses the irresistible force. And both Chad and Vaughn broke their gazes first.

You see, underneath their hateful attitudes lay two cowardly hearts. Cowardly hearts, I've learned as I've gotten older, lay beneath the exteriors of most haters. Chad and Vaughn were no exception. They were only good at intimidating little kids and maybe their own girlfriends. If they ever managed to hurt anyone in their own age province, you can bet they pulled it off in the manner that most cowards do; gain some unsuspecting person's trust, then attack them once their defenses are down.

Troy was just a kid . . . but his defenses weren't down. And this apparently unnerved Vaughn and Chad. Seeing Troy's hard look probably gave them the impression that the kid KNEW their manly macho posturing was just so much bullshit . . . and this of course made them angrier. They spun on their heels and marched back to their car. But once they were inside they proceeded to shout the most vile, hateful things imaginable. Words that only sniveling craven cowards like them would shout while in a vehicle that had it's motor running.

Walking Troy home from the bus stop was SO awkward. I didn't know what to say.

I didn't know how to apologize or anything.

The kid himself exuded calmness. He had a an almost comical bearing: eyes bright with laughter, sunny grin, jutting chin. He didn't appear to be affected at all by what those two cretins had said about him.

"Look, I'm sorry, man," I said, not knowing what to say or how to say it. "I

should have--"

"It's okay, Casper," the kid said, using the nickname some of the people in the Lynwood neighborhood had Christened me with. "It Didn't bother me."

"But--"

He gave a cheery laugh and stared at me resolutely. And he suddenly didn't look like a mere ten-year-old kid. "Look, I'm used to all of that, Casper. Those guys didn't say nothing I haven't already heard from fools just like them."

And I began to relax a little. I was glad that what those guys had said didn't really phase him, but I was still kinda pissed off that Chad and Vaughn had said some crap like that in the first place. What gets into people? What makes them just want to lash out and hurt others. And why is it that they more often than not choose to hurt those who aren't able to fight back?

I bid the kid good-bye and was just about to make my way back to the bus stop. Then I realized that I forgot to give Troy his pay (I always gave him five dollars for helping me out at the stand). So I made my way back to his house. I knew for a fact that the kid was in the backyard, because Troy always went straight there after work in order to crush flat the aluminum cans that his grandmother usually brought home the day before.

So I made my way to Troy's backyard, and was just about to turn the corner in the area where the garbage cans were kept. Suddenly--before I'd made it around the corner, my ears detected the sound of heartbreaking sobs. I peeked my head around the corner and spotted Troy. He was sitting on a stool by the garbage cans, he was turned kind of sideways, so he couldn't really see me.

But I could see him clearly. And I could clearly see the tears that filled his eyes . . . and how the kid was folded into himself while he cried his heart out.

I looked at Troy's face, filled with so much intensity and anguish. I wanted to reach out and rub the back of his neck--like how Mr. Dickerson would touch me if I was hurting. I wanted to brush away the tears that were running down his cheeks.

But I wouldn't do it. Troy had gone through a lot to keep the fact that Chad and Vaughn had hurt him from me . . . to hide his tears. I wasn't about to take his dignity away by revealing that I'd seen him crying like the little kid that he was. So I just couldn't comfort him at that moment--no matter how much I wanted to. You get what I mean?

As I turned and left, I tried to close myself off from the hate that had filled my heart. The hate I was feeling towards Chad and Vaughn.

* * *

It was somewhere in late July that I visited Dante Williams' house, for I was tagging along with my oldest foster brother Vincent who worked with Dante at a neighborhood cleaners. During my entire visit there that day I kept my mind on "search-mode"; I wanted to know about the foster son Dante's parents used to harbor. A foster son who was as white as me. Because he had been a white kid reared by a black foster family, I felt a precarious kind of connection to him. Eventually I found a framed photograph of him positioned near Dante's brother Samuel's prom pictures.

In the photograph he was attired in a pair of swim trunks and nothing else. He was also barefooted, tanned and smooth-skinned. His hair was light brown and a little long , and his eyes--from what I could tell from the photo--were either green or hazel. He was a cute boy. But cute or not, he had been insane . . . and a prime example of the reason why white foster kids were always looked at funny by the residents of Lynwood. Remember earlier, when I explained about how white kids who are fostered to black families in this part of the state were usually "unstable"? Well, the Williams' white foster son fit this description to a T.

This boy's name was fifteen-year-old Milo Ballard, and he had been fostered out to Mr. And Mrs. Williams about two years before I was placed with the Dickersons. He was a mystery to me. A mystery I wanted solved. That was why I was doing what I was doing now. So in spite of the fact that I knew I was being VERY nosy, I pumped Dante for information concerning Milo; I really was a quaint mixture of nosiness and curiosity that day. But the twenty-something year-old told me as much as he could remember. And I was enthralled.

"I remember the day Milo ran away from home. At first he only showed a few signs that he was a little bit 'off', but on THAT day he ran out of the house like he was wearing gasoline-soaked drawers and someone had taken a match to 'em! My brother Samuel and I hopped into my Hornet and we took off after him straight away. I drove past the concrete riverbed, and low and behold, Milo was there . . . up to his knees in that cold-ass water, trying his damnedest to reach the other side!

"Why'd he run away in the first place?" I asked

"My daddy wanted him to get his hair trimmed . . . not cut, only trimmed . . . and Milo was like, 'fuck you . . . I'll die first'."

"Jeez!" was all I could manage.

Dante shook his head as he remembered what was clearly a painful time. "That boy was so cold that his face was all white and his lips were blue! I ain't sure what he was thinking when he climbed into that river, but I knew one thing for sure; it was a mistake. A dangerous one too, even though the water was shallow.

"Sam and me yelled for Milo to come with us--told him that our mama was out of her mind worrying about him, which she was. But Milo started having a fit and screaming that he was never coming back . . . and that we were all plotting to kill him, or sell him to pornographic movie makers and all kinds of stuff.

"So I just kinda sighed and slogged my ass into the riverbed too. After I chased that boy down I had to bodily drag him towards the levee. And after dragging him up onto the dry asphalt at the edge of the fake river, I used Milo's own belt to tie his hands behind his back so that he'd have a hell of a time if he tried runnin' again. Man, I had to treat that boy like some fugitive or runaway slave or somethin'. Looking back though, I think I coulda been more gentle . . . helped Milo to keep his self-respect.

"Anyway, he dodged away from me and Samuel when we were trying to get him in the car. And if you asked anybody who witnessed what happened back then, they'll tell you just how determined Milo was to get away! I mean, that boy turned straight-up savage! Even with his hands bound behind his back, he dodged us, while using his feet to kick out with a ferocity you wouldn't believe!

"But Eventually Samuel managed to clock him over the head with a bicycle tire pump. And Milo dropped like a brick and stayed unconscious even after we untied him, loaded him into the car, and drove him back to our house. Believe me, Mama wasn't a happy camper when she saw her knocked-out foster son bein' carried towards her. I still remember the look she gave me and Sam. Man, the thought of it STILL makes me feel guilty!"

Unknown to Dante, my mind was shamelessly conjuring images about what I would do if a knocked-out handsome guy like Milo was brought to ME.

I would lay his limp body on the sofa and retrieve a big comforter. I'd turn up the heat to warm the room. And because his clothes would be wet from the riverbed, I'd undress him and towel him dry before wrapping him up in the comforter. While I'm wrapping him, I'd take note of how good he looks--handsome, light-haired, strong with a good build.

I'd sit next to the unconscious youth on the sofa. I'd remove his wet sneakers before picking up his feet and placing them in my lap on top of my penis. I'd free my tool from my pants and begin rubbing it against the insides of his wet socked feet. Because he's unconscious I would be bold in my exploration of his body . . .wouldn't think twice about touching him wherever or however I chose. After peeling off his socks I'd suck each toe and lick his feet. They'd have a faint odor of sweat lingering from his socks.

In the REAL world. a boner had sprung into my pants, and I tried to hide it while Dante continued speaking . . . .

"Milo settled down after that incident, and it seemed like everything was going to be okay. But then one day . . . ! I mean, he just flipped out and accused everyone in the neighborhood of training their dogs to attack him . . . which was weird 'cause the dogs that got after him earlier that day were known to chase EVERYONE. But he clearly wasn't in his right mind then. Well, somehow, somewhere he got a got a gun. It was a Browning design Colt model 1911. With this wild look on his face, he threatened to kill anybody and everybody. I pinned him to the ground and tried to pry the gun out of his hand . . . but it was no use. The gun was cocked and loaded. He woulda blew my head off if he could have managed it. Daddy sat on his legs. We couldn't get the gun out of his hand, so I punched him in the face. And I kept punching him until he was unconscious. That was probably the hardest thing I ever had to do in my life."

Oblivious to the tragedy of Dante's words, I began thinking up a completely new fantasy concerning handsome young, Milo Ballard.

I would lay the unconscious, battered youth on the bed in the bedroom and remove his sneakers. Then I'd take one foot and bring it up to my mouth before sniffing and licking his sole. The perspiration on it smells and tastes great mixed with the smelly sock and the leather of his sneaker. After removing his socks, I'd lick his bare sole for a while . . . then his bare toes. Licking his toes would make my penis really hard. I'd roll up his pant leg and run my tongue up his calf, then his thighs. I'd kiss his inner thighs gently through his jeans. Then I'd bring his bare foot to my groin. I'd push his toes into my crotch, and grind them into my balls, penis and scrotum until I shot my load. I had yet to do something like this at this point in my life, but I did think about it!

Dante continued talking slowly, his tone becoming progressively sadder. His voice became so sad that the fantasies in my mind faded to nothingness. "They took Milo away after that. But you remember how he was before he started trippin', don't you Vince? When we went to Disneyland and Knotts Berry Farm and to see the Spruce Goose and to the Fresh Fest?"

Vincent nodded, his face as sad as Dante's voice.

"He was a true friend and a hard worker. But he needed more help than anybody in this house could ever give him." he glanced over at the same photograph that I had been looking at with lust just moments before. "My mama still hasn't gotten over him bein' gone. Man, I don't think none of us have--I mean, he was only with us a little over a year . . . but we loved him, you know?"

I lowered my head just as Dante used the back of his hand to wipe the tears away from his face. I felt rotten that day. And for so many different reasons.

* * *

Over the next few days I baby-sat Troy sort of; his grandmother saw how well we got along, and she sensed that I wouldn't hurt the kid in any way. So the kid and I hung out when she went to work. He and I took the bus to both the Carson, Lakewood and Cerritos malls; my two best buds, Lamarque and Andre, joined us in skating at what is now called World on Wheels. And Troy backed me up when I tried to explain to Darnel that most of the aches one feels in the body are connected to the feet (I'd seen a report about this on cable, you see). Darnel could have cared less, but Troy--being as furlong into feet like he was--couldn't help but to be enthralled.

The two of us were watching cartoons at his house when we delved into the subject again the next day. Our discussion eventually reached the point where I scooted closer to him on the sofa, picked up both his feet and put them in my lap. I untied and tugged off his Reeboks one by one as my heart raced, and a peculiar kind of heat engulfed my crotch. I began to gently but firmly rub his warm, size eight feet through his white athletic socks, and he moaned softly.

It was the first time I had ever physically and personally GIVEN someone pleasure via their feet. And I must admit it made me feel good on two different levels. This didn't last long however, for while Troy and I were both in a state of insentient rapture, his older cousin "Bone", and Bone's friends called Damon and Man-Man (!), entered the den unexpectedly and found us.

I had thought we were alone and would be alone until his grandmother got home . . . but suddenly I found myself surrounded by three very unhappy homies. This is how I'm gonna die, I had thought to myself.

They seized me almost instantly. Bone grabbed me, while Damon and Man-Man prepared to pound me into jelly. I refused to die peaceably. I convoluted my body and fought and tried to twist my way out of Bone's grip.

Then a familiar voice said "What the fuck is going on here? What're y'all doin'?"

Man-Man dropped his fist just as he was about to plow my face.

Bone relaxed his grip upon seeing the person who had just entered the scene.

I finally got the nerve to open my eyes.

Darnel, my second-oldest foster brother, was in the entrance way to the den.

"Casper was touchin' Troy!" Bone said.

"Touchin'?" Darnel said, not buying this. He knew what Bone meant by TOUCHING, but he clearly didn't believe that I had been doing that to little Troy. "Dave, what the fuck happened here?"

I glanced up at Bone who still had a hold on me. He was glaring at me--a glare that would have instantly killed someone like Chad Havorson. I focused my eyes back on Darnel, and in a calm voice I said, "I told you that all the aches and pains in the body are somehow connected to the feet, 'member?"

"Yeah," Darnel said, clearly relaxing. "I remember you telling me some shit like that."

"Well, Troy told me his neck hurt, so I was rubbing his feet to try and hit the nerve that was making his neck hurt . . . that's all!"

All poor Troy could do was nod vigorously.

Darnel glared at his friends. "Is that what all this is about? Y'all was gon' jack Dave jus' 'cause he was doin' some of that crazy acupuncture shit?"

"Acu-PRESSURE." Troy corrected in a small voice.

I sighed with relief and thanked God that I happened to mention the nerve points in the feet and all of that to Darnel the day before. To this day I wonder--had my explanation as to why I was rubbing Troy's feet had not been found satisfactory--if Darnel would have still rescued me. Maybe he would have joined his friends in beating me senseless. I don't know. I'd like to think that he wouldn't have.

Whatever the case, he DID find my explanation satisfactory.

"Let him go. Y'all know Dave ain't right sometimes." he ordered. He knew that neither Bone, Damon or Man-Man wanted to fight him. Hell, I'm reasonably certain that Darnel could take on all three of them at once. My foster brother was the Psycho-Alpha--the Crazy One. Young Troy, I had learned some time earlier, was the type of kid who was the most fragile at the moments when he seemed the most hard. Darnel was another story entirely. Beneath his hard exterior was an even harder interior! It was an interior that he only softened for a choice few people. And eventually I became one of those choice few. For most people Darnel exuded violent power. Everyone knew for a fact that, if provoked, he'd do something like yank your eyes out of your skull, or crush your nuts into nothingness in his fists. This was the impression he left upon most people.

And seeing the incredulous, almost provoked look in my brother's eyes, his "friends" immediately let me go . . . and I immediately excused myself to use the bathroom before I wet my pants.

* * *

Mr. Dickerson contacted all of his children and all of his childrens' friends and asked for volunteers to help in the restoration of some nursery school. And because I couldn't refuse my beloved foster dad anything, I was the first sign on. Several of my buds did the same.

So there we were, six boys painting a giant pumpkin (it was a giant artificial pumpkin--a hollowed out space that the kids could use as a clubhouse or whatever) in front of the Little Ben's Nursery School. There was probably more orange paint on us than on that giant pumpkin, but we did a pretty good job of painting it. And we had fun doing it to! There was me, my buddies Lamarque, Andre, Troy, a guy named Eric and--believe it or not--Vaughn Copat! Yes, the same Vaughn Copat who had taunted and derided little Troy at the barbecue stand some time earlier.

I'm not sure how he came to be with us volunteers that day . . . I think he did something wrong and he had been ordered to help out as some sort of community service punishment. But whatever the case, he worked long and hard beside us that day. And by the time the job was done he was a friend . . . even to Troy who subtly extended an olive branch to this former scumbag whom Andre had contemplated murdering. He never really apologized for what he'd said to Troy that dark day. Still, he treated the kid with such complaisance and circumspection that he didn't really have to. All that he wanted to say was made clear by his actions from then on.

It became quite clear that he and Chad Halvorson didn't remain of one mind forever. I wish I could write how or why Vaughn changed, but I honestly don't know. What I do know is that Vaughn Copat is now a journeyman welder and is teaching my former foster brother Ricky guitar (he is also the guy who punched rock star Ted Nugent out cold in 1991). I wish you could see him today. Somewhere within the space of about a decade he became a person TOTALLY different from the low-brow who taunted Troy at GW's BBQ stand on that hot summer day in 1987.

His pal Chad didn't progress half as well.

What I would describe as very freak accident befell Chad Halvorson. From what I hear, he was sitting on a brick wall talking with friends, when he accidentally toppled backwards and broke his back and busted his head open. He was helped and treated, but he was unable to move about as a functioning human being ever again. A stroke also caused by the accident ruined his speech, and he was paralyzed from the waist down.

This changed his life completely. I mean, his body had been broken, his friends had moved on, and what remained of his family wasn't even bothering to visit him in the nursing home. A poor nursing home where the staff frequently forgot to feed him, and--because of the stroke--he can barely manage to voice a complaint. (Lamarque and I witnessed this first hand when he and I went there to visit our old buddy Hakeem "Ghost" Woods who was residing there after having also hit rock bottom in his life). To make matters worse for poor Chad, he hardly gets changed after he messes himself, and he spends his days being taunted by crippled black and Latino gangstas who had also been dumped in that hellhole. If that isn't hell on earth for a guy like Chad, I don't know what is.

But it was a hell of his own making. Through the years I've come to realize that what goes around really does come around. Chad's pal Vaughn found redemption, and he is currently a reasonably happy, reasonably well-adjusted guy. But Chad himself . . . ! It's very true that the evil you do will come back on you. Maybe not right away, but eventually it will. If you don't believe me, discreetly observer a particularly dastardly person over an extended period of time. Watch what becomes of him or her after a kind of supernatural payback lays them low . . . and remember all the crap they did before reaching that point.

Yes, I am perfectly aware that bad things happen to good people. The time I spent in Lynwood--seeing good people who were frequently beset upon by misfortune--made this perfectly clear. But the bad that happened to good people never seemed, in the long run, as bad as what was bestowed upon truly evil people. Even the deaths that good people often have to endure turns out to be better than the life a bad person has to deal with. Am I confusing anyone? I hope not.

Anyways, Chad wasted his youth being a bastard. I could fill a book with a record of his crap. But that's all irrelevant now--for Chad himself has become irrelevant. It's a shame too. I mean, back in the day that guy had great-looking feet.

* * *

I had that terrible dream again around the end of August. The dream where my dad shows up and somehow gets custody of me away from the Dickersons. Only this time the Dickersons didn't fight to keep me. In this dream I saw the Dickersons actually listening to my lame caseworker and agreeing that I was better off with my biological father . . . despite the fact that he was an ex-con with all kinds of crap on his record. I woke up sweating and crying, and I looked so distraught that even Darnel (who shared the room with me) didn't yell at me for having woken him up.

I hadn't perked up much by the time I baby-sat Troy later that evening while his grandmother completed her shift at the clinic where she worked. It wasn't long before the kid realized that I was really feeling low . . . and decided to do something that would make us BOTH feel better.

He began lifting my spirits by "worshipping" my feet and shoes. He crawled along the floor, lowered his head and carefully licked the outside of my sneaks until they shone all over. He then lovingly--not recklessly--removed my sneakers, placing his nose inside them and inhaling the aroma with a look of absolute ecstasy on his face. He licked the insides of the Adidas clean . . . well, he licked them as clean as was humanly possible. I teasingly placed my socked feet on his face and allowed him to smell, lick, and suck on my rather malodorous socked feet. Then I watched as he gently rolled down, and slipped off my smelly white socks.

I can't be for certain, but pulling off my socks seemed to cause the kid to become highly "stimulated". He took one of my feet in his hands; holding one foot in both hands, he pressed his chestnut brown thumbs into my pink-white soles and moved them softly back and forth and from side to side, giving me a thrill of pleasure that mere words simply cannot describe! Moving his hands to my toes and taking hold of one or two toes at a time, he caressed them. Troy continued to move his hands all over my foot, gently massaging and stroking it. After massaging my foot for some time, he moved to the other foot and continued to pay homage to it . . . while my pleasurable moans reverberated off the walls.

I thrust my sweaty feet into his face. He lovingly took my toes, one by one, into his mouth and licked and sucked each one, deeply inhaling the lingering aroma and savoring the delicious taste. We were both overcome with bliss. He took four of my toes into his mouth at once; I tried jamming my foot a bit more into his mouth, but only succeeded in causing the poor kid to choke a bit. He pulled my foot from his mouth and then licked all over the sole, the top, the sides, the ankles; all the while his face was the epitome of rapture. He licked thoroughly between each pair of adjacent toes, cleaning the space completely and swallowing whatever his tongue found there.

Because I asked him too, Troy did me a favor by tickling my feet in addition to feasting upon them. And when it came to tickling, he was a natural. First I felt his hands gently massaging my soles-waking up my nerve endings even more. He pushed against my instep, thumbs rubbing each muscle and stroking up and down. Then he began brushing his fingertips all across the bottoms of my feet, wiggling like crazy. I shook violently and couldn't keep the laughter inside of me. Because I asked him to, Troy then took a stiff bristled brush (which I had provided him with) and gently scraped it all around my right sole. Each bristle activated hundreds of nerve endings-assaulting my body with wave upon wave of unendurable tickles.

Feeling that he had performed his requested duty of tickling my feet well (which he had) Troy pulled my left foot towards his mouth so he could continue doing to my feet what he liked best. And what he liked best was diligently applying himself to the process of pleasing my feet-kissing and licking every inch, sucking each toe separately, and eagerly cleaning out and devouring the fuzz and whatever else lay between my toes. It was too much for me. I even fell asleep (or perhaps I fainted?) while he kissed, sucked, nibbled, massaged, caressed and licked my heels, soles and toes.

I hadn't felt that good--in that way--in a long time. I hadn't felt that good period . . . not even two days later when the Dickersons got the letter saying that my dad's parole had been denied.

PART VI:
MY FINAL TICKLISH TEEN YEARS

After a particularly harsh bastinado experience that took place in a duplex located not far from one of my old foster homes, I made a four mile trip to visit the Dickersons. Mr. And Mrs. Dickerson (not their real names) are an African-American couple who'd raised me alongside their own biological son, and two other foster boys for four years of my life (from 1986 almost through to 1990).

I've returned to this home many times since I left, so there was nothing new for me to see in the neighborhood. When I arrived on this day, only my foster dad was home. My foster mom and their new passel of foster kids were, according to Dad, 'tearing up' the Cerritos Mall. My surrogate Dad had more gray in his hair and was moving more slowly than I am used to, but he was still the same man who-back in the day-had labeled me "son" even before he knew my name well enough to remember it. He was still the man who was more surprised by my ability to wiggle my ears than he was by the bureau plunking some whiteboy down into his home.

I won't lie--a part of me just loved plainly being his kid. This black bear (pun intended) of a man gave off palpable vibes of warmth and security. In my heart, I pretended he was my own real dad. I suppose I was placed in the Dickerson's care at a time when all I could think about was what I didn't have with my real dad, and what other kids did have. Each time I dropped by my old foster home, like today, my heart lifted just because he smiled at me. It was the smile that said, without words, that he was genuinely happy to see me.

"Boy, you hungry?" he asked, as I stepped out of my sneakers. I ditched my sneaks not in preparation for fun, but rather because this is what I'd been doing upon entering this particular house since I was thirteen.

"Nah . . . not really," I said. Still, he brought me a whole turkey sub with a salad on the side, and he knew I'd been lying by the way I woofed it down. "Thanks, Daddy."

When I practically limped over to the sofa (Lando and another friend had REALLY worked my feet over earlier . . . I mean they'd tied me naked to a rack with my feet bound in cuffs, then went to work on my soles with one of those cane poles you use to keep plants upright) Mr. Dickerson noticed, and asked if my job at the refinery was putting a lot of wear and tear on my feet. And, since I didn't want to say that they were aching because they had recently been spanked like crazy, I told him 'yes'-blamed it all on the refinery.

As I sat beside him on the sofa, he reached down and pulled my white- socked feet into his lap for a long slow message . . . and for no reason other than I was hurting. I just sighed and let Mr. Dickerson do his handiwork. And he worked my feet as methodically as he did everything else. Nothing sexual in this. He was the type of man who used every skill he had to their greatest capacity. He knew he had strong hands, so he used them to do ALL the things that they would be good at. He'd given these messages (foot, neck and back) to me, Victor, and his wife before. I think I am the only person, of course, who TRULY appreciated his foot massaging skills though.

Anyway, all the while he rubbed, kneaded, tugged-at and stroked my feet, he cursed the refinery that was working his surrogate son so hard that his feet ached.

"There is always somethin' goin' on with these feets of yours, aren't they, son?" He actually said while massaging in earnest. "I remember when they was the most ticklish things on this Earth, now you walk around limpin' an' actin' like you bandy-legged." He said with emphasis as he gently pulled on my toes while watching Jacksonville lose to Denver on the television.

I wanted to tell him that my size nines were still the most ticklish feet in the world-it was just that Lando had worked them over so hard not an hour before that they were temporarily desensitized.

Mr. Dickerson rubbed my white-socked feet until everything that might possibly be wrong with them was straightened out. With the hard callused palms of his strong hands, he planed along the inside of my feet along the pads. When I was a kid I used to dream about him lifting my feet to his face, licking my bare soles or just capturing my bare toes in his mouth and sucking upon them. By now I'd resigned myself to the fact that this was never, ever ever going to happen.

Anyways, it was during this current massage that I relaxed enough to ask Mr. Dickerson a question that had been on my mind for a long while. I asked him why he always seemed to be harder on my three foster brothers than he was on me. I knew that the reason didn't stem from the fact that he loved me more than the others, for anyone who knew my foster dad could tell right off that Ricky (my youngest foster brother) was his favorite . . . I mean, the two of them were like black versions of Andy and Opie Taylor.

Still, why was he harder on the other boys than he was on me? The answer should have been obvious to me. (several people online and in person have told me the reason why, but I guess I chose to remain clueless).

Here's what he told me. It isn't word for word. I'm just trying to give you an overall run-down of what he said . . . .

"I was harder than them 'cause they black, boy. And don't act like you shocked. You know damn well what they face out in the world. I was preparin' 'em for that. I wanted to make sure that when they left my home, they knew how to deal with all that bullshit. They're all fighters born, so teachin' them how not to let certain 'forces' run over them was easy. All I had to do was instill the discipline it was gon' take to stay out of trouble. Dave, you know there are things that YOU can do an' get away with on the sly . . . but they aren't going to have that luxury. They're going to have to work harder than you, and fight harder for everything that they want . . . while at the same time battling hateful folks that'll try to take or destroy what they already got."

Right then, I wanted to tell him that-even though I was white-I was part of a minority. A minority that is discriminated against and hated and even feared. I wanted to tell him that the lessons he taught my brothers would have been just as good for me too. But I'm such a coward, you know? I'm scared to death of telling him about me. Petrified.

And then there's my 'brothers'. When they find out about me, and then take into consideration that I'm living with a black guy, are they going to say "he's gay, an' he likes black guys . . . that means he was probably looking at US when we undressed and showered and everything!" ? I think them finding out scares me more than telling my dad. Plus I DID look at one of my foster brothers (and even my foster dad at one time) with more than 'brotherly-love' in my heart. I couldn't help it. I know I'm probably not giving my foster brothers a lot of credit. I even think one of them knows about me, but he never ever SAYS anything. And, unlike my other two foster brothers, he never mentions his exploits with women or asks me about mine. I think he knows. But cowardly me is too chicken-shit to let him know that I think he knows (does that make ANY sense?)

I don't know what to do. I've been dropping clues for years. I mean, I moved in with Lando. I thought this act might sort of be a signal of what I'm about. But my surrogate family didn't think anything odd about it. I have to admit though-Lando is not only incredibly butch, but he's basically straight. He likes tying guys up, and he has a male foot fetish that's out of this world, but he has girlfriends and everything. We AREN'T lovers. Sure, he's tied me and licked my feet and all of that, but not once has he taken me into his bed (well, except for that time this killer mutant moth was terrorizing me in my bedroom. I slept in Lando's bed with him then, but all we did was sleep).

But now, I'm tired folks. I don't want to shout on the mountain-top that I'm gay (though some have basically advised me to do so), but I do want those closest to me to know. I'm tired of lying to them-you can lie just by remaining silent, you know? I wish you all could appreciate how often I've bitten my tongue when the topic of certain gay rights have presented itself in conversations!

The final seed in wanting to disclose all to my surrogate family came after the death of Matthew Shepard. My ex-foster parents and brothers all expressed their sympathy for the Shepard family, as well as outrage over the murder . . . and not simply because it was a 'hate crime' that they-being black-could empathize with (In fact, a connection between hate crimes against minorities and hate crimes against gays never even came up). They were simply as saddened and as angry as I was over what'd happened. Their reaction to Matthew's murder has given me some spark of hope that all my fears about coming out to them might be completely unfounded.

On Halloween (1998) I took a bold step.

I had been thinking about telling my eldest foster brother for some time. After stopping off at 7-11, I reached Vince's house in Gardena. I was accompanied by a fairly new friend whom I shall call simply "Andy". I don't know why I felt I needed to have someone with me at this time. My roommate Lando has pointed out that the reason I brought someone with me was because, subconsciously, I knew that I WOULDN'T reveal anything to a member of my foster family while someone else was present. I mean, what he was basically saying was that I had subconsciously sabotaged my own plans to come out from the very start.

Whatever.

Anyways, Andy is a tan and very slender 'surfer' boy. His hair is long and loosely curly--normally brown but currently bleached blond. His eyes are bluer than the waters of the waves he pretended to ride down in Redondo. He wasn't much of a surfer, but he liked the image of being a surfer, if you know what I mean. I'm pretty sure it won't be long before he'll adopt the role as resident skater punk.

Earlier that day I licked his feet while in the back of his van. He tried to fight off the laughter, but he acted as if my tongue was the most ticklish thing he'd ever felt. I mean my warm, wet tongue vacillated across his slightly rough soles, lapping again and again, stimulating him without mercy. It was fun. I know why Lando had such a great time tongue-bathing my feet and driving me into spasms.

I first met him through Lando. I came home from a swim one day and stumbled upon my roommate chasing this young man around and around our house. At first it looked as if they were two kids playing a game of tag or something. But then I noticed that familiar spark in Lan's eyes . . . and the dart in this hand. It was a dart tipped with an ampul of a narcotic called Orasin.

Lando and Andy were engaged in a miniature hunt. It was fun to watch. Especially when Andy paused on the service porch-clearly assuming that he had reached a vantage point where he would be able to see Lando coming from either direction. What he didn't know was that he had his back to the door which led to Lan's bedroom. It would only be a matter of time.

While he stood on the service porch waiting for my roommate to spring, he glanced at me. "Is your friend Crazy??" his sea-blue eyes seemed to say.

Then quite suddenly he widened those eyes in surprise-it was as if someone had touched him with an ice cube from behind . . . and he opened his mouth for a cry that didn't come. Lando, as if my magic, had appeared behind him through the door that the surfer had been standing with his back against. Realizing that my roomie had already pricked his prey with the dart, I dropped the stack of mail I'd been sorting through, and tried to get to the drugged young man before he toppled over, but I wasn't fast enough. There was a weak sigh, then a hollow thud, perhaps Andy's brainless head hitting the carpeted floor. And he lay there, unconscious.

I won't go into it here, but Lando talked me into joining him in feasting on the meal he'd captured. Yeah, he really twisted my arm.

I knelt down beside the unconscious Andy's head and started licking the top of his cranium-feeling his bleached hair against my tongue. I licked his forehead, his nose, his closed eyelids, both ears (hey, the kid looked sweet). Lando removed Andy's shoes and white socks, then handed them to me. I placed one sock on my penis and sniffed the other one. After pumping my cock with the sock on and sniffing the other one, I stuck the one I'd been sniffing into my mouth and did my best to suck it clean. Lando, of course, went down on Andy's feet. He smelt both the soles and the tops. He sniffed in between the unconscious boy's toes and sucked on every toe on both feet. Then he uniformly licked the soles of Andy's feet until both were pristine.

While I picked the fuzz off my penis (which always occurs after you jerk off into a white sock) Lando grabbed the unconscious Andy by the ankles and dragged him out of the service porch and through the kitchen to the living room. When he realized that his prey might suffer a rug burn Lando gently hoisted Andy's lightweight body over his shoulder and carried him towards the bedroom. Lando used to tell me that when one intends to enjoy being cruel, one must mentally transform his prey into animals. In this particular instance, he was having a hard time doing that with Andy. I don't think Andy pissed him off first.

Anyways, back to what I was talking about . . . .

When Andy and I entered Vincent's garage we found him balanced atop a table suspending Halloween decorations from the ceiling. This was in preparation for a party he was throwing for the neighborhood kids. A party that he, some neighbors and a security guard at Vons supermarket put together with so much enthusiasm that it couldn't help but be a success.

"I went to Halloween parties when I was a kid, but no one seemed to be having them in this area anymore, so the wife and I and a few neighbors decided to throw one here. I even made sure everything is written in both English and Spanish."

"Considerate guy, aren't you?" Andy almost sneered. Already I regretted bringing him with me. Why would he say something like that? Personally I think he was taking out his frustration on Vince because Lan tickled him into a crying little girl.

Vince mouth turned down with distaste. "You're a smart-mouthed fucker, huh? As a matter of fact I am considerate . . . and I'm generous and I'm a nice guy. Just because I know and acknowledge that I'm considerate and generous and nice doesn't change the fact that I am. You can take your mouth and get to steppin' if you're going to eat my wife's cookies and make smart- ass, sarcastic remarks to me."

"I haven't eaten any of your wife's cookies."

"But you will," Vincent said evenly. "Because you look skinny enough to hoola-hoop in a Cheerio, and my daddy raised me to be a man who never allows anyone to remain hungry under my roof . . . plus I saw you eyeing them the moment you walked in here. Be sure to save a couple for me."

And Andy did sample Ardell's cookies (hey, they were hot, homemade and had a smell more crave-inducing than McDonald's french fries) while Vince climbed down from the table. He paused from his work to stare at the television. One commercial in particular caught his interest, and he said,

"Man, the psyche-majors they hire to do these television political ads are working overtime. Look at this commercial. It says that 'governor Dan Lundgren will represent 'US'. And when the word 'us' is said-and notice that it's uttered with marked emphasis-the camera flashes on a very blond, very blue- eyed boy. That says what? That says the 'us' that Lundgren will represent is white people. Yeah-just the sort of man we need to lead one of the most diverse states in the country."

He didn't care that he was in midst of two blue-eyed blonds (well, even if my eyes are more green than blue, and Andy's hair was bleached). Vince always spoke his mind. Which is why I knew that he didn't have a clue that I was gay. If he had known he would have brought it up some time ago. He wasn't like Darnell, who I think knows-or atleast suspects-that I'm gay. Darnell, my other foster brother, remains curiously silent on the subjects of sex and dating and all that. Vince, on the other hand, once came dangerously close to accusing me of seducing his wife.

Once he took a seat at the table, the three of us just started talking about current events and all of that. Eventually the conversation turned to Sheriff Sherman Block, who'd recently passed away. The Sheriff died while in the process for running for another four-year term in office. Andy declared that-because Block would remain on the ballot even though he was dead-he was still going to cast his vote for him. He said he believed in Blocks policies and all of that.

Now this immediately pissed off Vincent because he knew how brutal the police had become under Block. And I remembered too. I remembered the police beatings and the unjustified murders of Mexican, African-American and Samoan men in the city-at least three of each race for every year I spent with the Dickersons and when I resided with Vince and his wife-as if each culture had a season when they were to be hunted. I remember when the police pillaged Miss Neary's house, beat her son half to death, and then later discovered they had the wrong house. The police offered no apologies or manumissions either.

Andy said something like, "Yeah, I know he's violated the civil rights of a few people. But don't you think it's worth it to keep crime down?"

I'm not going to get into the verbal sparring that took place between Vincent and Andy, but Vince basically ended the arguments by saying something that kinda went like this:

"You admit that you know all about the shit that's been going down against minorities under Block's leadership, and yet you still support his policies? That means, to put it simply, that you're my enemy-get the fuck out of my house."

And from that point onward, Andy ceased to be anything but an enemy in Vince's eyes. The way Vincent could just cut people off-completely divorce them from his heart was frightening. That's the way he was. If you taught him that you were his enemy, he cut you away and never looked back.

Andy was still stunned a little. At first he thought Vince was joking, but as I walked him to the door, he got the picture.

"You still going with me Ardell and Ricky to Vegas?" Vincent called out to me as I was leaving. This was his way of letting me know that he hadn't cut ME off.

"Yep!" I replied. "But if we drive down there in Ricky's tore-up Camero, I'm not riding on that hump."

I was relieved not to have been 'cut off', but I knew that there was no way in hell that I would be coming out to Vince that day. Did I fear that he would divorce me from his life if he found out I was gay? Kind of. Judging from many of the experiences told to me by fellow foot and tickling buddies, such an occurrence was common. I want to believe that Vince wasn't the type who'd do something like that, but I was afraid that he'd disappoint me, you know?

So Andy and I left, and I didn't come close to telling Vince that I was gay. In other words, the most appropriate costume I could have worn for Halloween is a big ole chicken suit.

Oh, and I should also mention this. This event happened roughly seven years ago, long before the other events depicted occured . . . .

I sat in the guest bedroom until I was alone in the house which belonged to my foster brother Vincent and his wife. Vincent was still at work in Rolling Hills, and his wife, Ardell, had gone to the mall to shop for a baby shower. Because of what I went through the day before, I knew that this would be my last morning.

You see, I had come to the bus stop after leaving the bookstore located in the mini-mart on the corner of Willow.

Hearing loud laughter, I looked around. There were these two young men who were admiring the giant poster advertising the first or second "BATMAN" movie. One of them looked at me and asked if I used Vaseline. Without answering, I picked up my bag and made my way to another stop located further up the street.

And as I walked, my face was burning, and I was panicked. This was like the third time something like this had happened. How could they see what I was? I guarded my image very carefully. I didn't think I walked funny . . . I didn't speak with my hands flying all over the place or in a girlish tone . . . I didn't dress differently than any other seventeen-year-old. How could they tell? What was I doing to give myself away? I couldn't figure it out. To this day, I can't figure it out. My current roommate suggests that the indicator was the fact that people always saw me alone.

"A good-looking California kid like you always by yourself?? Of course you're gay! You're supposed to have a babe on your arm, or at least a horde of friends and admirers surrounding you. But you're always going places by yourself . . . walking the streets alone,"

I suppose that's a reasonable explanation now, but I didn't have one back then. Back then, I was horrified by the idea that there was something about me that I couldn't control-something that allowed some people to recognize the fact that I was different.

That was why the next morning, after my foster bro and his wife had left me alone in the house, I did what I did.

Since I left the home of my foster parents, I wasn't overwhelmed with joy and happiness, but my sadness was atleast manageable. But with the taunts of few young guys at a bus stop . . . well, the world, once again, became a sunless, airless, loveless place. Only the knowledge of what I was going to do made continuing on bearable.

I was calm as I took an entire package of over the counter Benadryl and removed each of the capsules. I felt almost as if I were sleep walking when I used an exacto knife to slice open each capsule and removed the powder. I shoveled all of the powder of 25 Benadryl capsules into a pile and poured into a glass filled with Coke. And suddenly the drink was transformed from a cool beverage into my best friend-the friend who would release me.

I reached for the glass-ready to guzzle it all down before I could really think about what I was doing,

But I did think.

I thought about my foster mother. Her beloved first cousin had recently passed away at this time, and she had been laid low by it. To top things off she had recently been diagnosed as a diabetic. Would my death push her over the edge? Didn't she weep for two days when Aaron Hayes was killed? And Aaron was just a kid who worked at the post office . . . I was the boy she'd raised as a son for four years! Would drinking this Coke kill her as well as me?

And I thought about my foster dad. He always stressed the importance of being strong. When my corpse was found, he'd deem me a coward for the rest of his life.

And then there were my foster brothers. Vincent would blame himself-after all, I'd be found dead in his home . . . and he'd wonder why he hadn't caught on to the fact that something was bothering me. And then there was Darnel. Always mysterious. Always guarded. I hadn't a clue as to how he'd handle it. My youngest foster brother Ricky would take it hardest of all. Hadn't we planned on going to Magic Mountain the following Saturday? Didn't he call me at work just to tell me something fatuous like he'd pulled straight A's for the entire semester?

And then there was my bud Lando. The one who I both loved an envied. I was jealous of the fact that no one ever questioned his heterosexuality despite all the odd things his did. His favorite movies were Bomba the Jungle Boy flicks (and he'd tell ANYONE who asked). He had a picture of a naked, bound and gagged angel prominently displayed in his living room. How was he going to take my demise? I had no idea.

I put the glass of Coke down and cried. I cried because I knew that I was going to have to endure this pain destroying me from the inside out for a little while longer. At least long enough until I could be certain that killing myself wasn't going to destroy the people I cared for the most.

You know, that glass of Coke almost got me killed anyway. You see, I had neglected to put a coaster under the sweating glass and a ring had formed on the wooden night-stand. When Vincent's wife Ardell came home and discovered this, only the tragic news that Redd Foxx had passed away saved me from being torn limb from limb.

But anyways, I was just crying my eyes out when there was a knock at the door. And I soon heard Lando's warm friendly voice (as opposed to his cold monotone voice) yelling, "Casper-open the door, playa. I know you here 'cause I can hear Guns and Roses."

It was true. I had turned on a cassette of GN'R, for I intended to die to the tune of their hit song "Patience". Ugh! Today I'm glad I didn't go through with it! Though, when I think about it, I probably wouldn't have been the first person who died while listening to Axl Rose's horrible voice.

Once I led Lando inside I was too lost in my own confused world to notice him. When I did focus my attention on my buddy, I discovered that he was staring at me. More than the probing stare of someone curious or concerned. It was one of those piercing looks he flashed that seemed to penetrate clear through to my sole. "If you gon' sit around here with that somebody-just-shot- my-dog face, you know what I'm going to have to do to you . . . "

"No, Lan, I'm not really in the mood for-"

Next thing I knew Lando had me pinned to the floor. My arms and legs were held down on the carpet, and Lando was facing my kicking legs and feet-white socked feet that were helpless and vulnerable to whatever he wanted to do to then. He quickly yanked the socks off my desperately wriggling doggies. He examined my tender, flexing bare soles for a little bit.

"Yeah-still smooth and soft as a baby's ass." He commented. "Ya know, there's something to be said for guys who have feet that sweat like yours, cuzz."

He explored the my pink soles with his strong, probing fingers. He traced the almost imperceptible lines he found there. Then he began tickling my feet with his fingers. I tried to resist at first . . . and my toes, of course, flexed and wiggled as I was tickled. Lando zoomed in on the balls of my feet and my arches. I laughed long and loudly. You never would have imagined that I had been crying piteously just ten minutes before.

"Hey, I'm gonna take you too see Rasheed." Lando told me while I was pulling my socks back on.

"Rasheed?"

"Rasheed Villanueva. You know, the half-black/half-Mexican dom from Paramount."

"Dom?"

Lando sighed. "Dominant-as opposed to submissive."

"Oh!" I said, though-to be perfectly honest-I was still clueless mainly.

Anyways, Lando drove me down to a modest home located on Somerset.

"Introduce me to sandy here," Rasheed asked Lando, as his eyes devoured me from my uncombed hair to my sneakered feet.

"This is Casper Rowan, the worst rollerblader in Southern California."

I timorously extended my hand to the barrel-chested, exotic-looking toffee- colored man.

"I'm pleased to meet you . . . uh, your dominance,"

Lando slapped his forehead.

"Well, subs normally call me SIR." Rasheed explained. I could tell that he was trying hard not to laugh. And he didn't. I liked him already by virtue of the fact that he didn't want me to feel embarrassed by my ignorance. He shook my proffered hand. "Pleased to meet you, Casper,"

I wanted to tell him that 'Casper' wasn't my real name-that it was a nickname given to me by the predominantly black and Latino residents of Lynwood. (even Lando called me Casper at this time) But I didn't get around to it then.

"I'm sorry I don't know all the rules an' protocol-"

Rasheed waved my words away, "Hey, in all honesty . . . I'd rather meet a cute sub like you who knows next to nothing about S&M than any ugly, seasoned veteran of the game. The only problem I have with you is the homicidal maniacs you choose to hang with."

I was confused, And I searched my memory for these "homicidal maniacs" Rasheed was referring to. My foster brother had friends who belonged to street gangs, and I was acquainted with them through association, but rarely did I "hang" with them.

"He's talkin' about me," Lando said dryly. "Casper likes getting tied up and tickled, Rasheed."

And that was all that needed to be said. Rasheed immediately and paternally put an arm around both me and Lando who were standing on either side of him now. Both Lando and I placed an arm around the larger man's waist. Making our way into the house, Rasheed narrated a tie-and-torture adventure he'd had with one of the actors from the movie "Flowers in the Attic".

I didn't start to get nervous until Rasheed and Lando led me into the den and began removing my clothes, shoes and socks. I struggled, but I didn't have a chance against these two maniacally strong men who were hell-bent on forcing me to have a good time.

I grew light-headed when I saw the medieval-looking stocks positioned imperiously in the center of the den. It was like something out of a dream . . . or a bad situation comedy. People didn't really keep torture-racks and stocks and stuff in their homes!!

I became a believer when my feet were placed in the stocks . . . which were then clamped down and locked into place.

"Whatever you heard about me is true, I change the rules and do what I wanna do . . ." Lando sing-songed as he cuffed my hands. The cuffs were then fastened to a rope which hung from the low ceiling of the den. Then Rasheed bound my eyes with a blindfold. I could no longer see. But I could still here Lando singing, "You think I'm crazy? You're probably right, but I'm gonna have fun every mutha-fuckin' night . . . "

I broke out into a cold sweat.

Once I was all locked up and secured, I endured one the worst (best?) tickling-sessions of my life. I mean I had four determined hands fondling, manhandling, tantalizing and toying with my bare, extremely ticklish feet. It was more than I could take. They stroked my soles and raked at my arches. They drew all kinds of designs with their fingers, feathers, ball-point pens, tooth brushes. The two men facing my spasmodically twitching feet were merciless and totally unconcerned by the fact that my screams must have been heard by the neighbors. Lando even began torturing my toes and soles with ice cubes to add an electrifying sensation to the ferocious tickling feelings.

They didn't stop until an explosive orgasm gushed out and dribbled over me. The tickling of my feet seemed to melt something hard inside of me and I started crying even before the last squirt of jizz had oozed out. Then I started laughing again. Yeah, I laughed and laughed and couldn't seem to stop myself even when Rasheed and Lando had finished torture-tickling me.

I'm not going to tell you that this tickling experience helped me to realize that I had a reason not to end it all . . . but it didn't hurt!

PART VII:
DAVE THE SLAVE

I've had a few Latinos worship and tickle my feet through the years, but-oddly enough-only a few precious times have I tasted and tickled Hispanic heels, toes and soles. The very fist time I sampled them was perhaps the best time.

Those who've read my tales before are probably already aware that, around eleven years ago, I was informalally fostered out to an African-American couple. This was an irregular experience for me, mainly because of how people in the predominantly black and Latino neighborhood (not the couple who'd taken me in thank God) treated me. I wasn't abased or anything . . . wasn't even forsaken for being white. But I was treated strangely.

This temperament towards me didn't stem from racism, I later discovered. Rather it was a result of wrong assumptions. You see, (though officials will deny it) it had been a long standing custom in this part of the state that white children who were fostered out to black families were USUALLY the most mentally unstable, unmanageable, emotionally wrecked youngsters in the child welfare's kiddy corral . . . kids who were rejected by most, if not all, white foster homes. This unspoken, rather evil policy may have changed by now . . . but no matter how much officials try to deny it now, I know that this is how things worked with the bureau that fostered me out to the Dickersons.

Anyways, I made myself at home with the couple, and-for the most part-everything went fine. I had three handsome black foster brothers; Darnel, Ricky and Vincent (who was the biological son of my foster folks). I wasn't so bad looking myself. I mean, I have sandy hair, blue-green eyes, and--according to some--I'm fairly good looking.

But this story isn't about me, or my foster brothers. This is about another handsome young man-a Latino lad who lived next door to the Dickersons named Flaviano.

The day I sampled Flav's feet occurred some timr after I was first placed in the Dickerson home . . . it was the day of the big party.

That particular morning the entire Dickerson house was in chaos. My foster brothers and I were running around in just our underwear, bumping sleepily into one another until we completely woke up. The house virtually shook with activity: Music blasting. Sneakers lost. T-shirts found. Breakfast gone cold. Vincent was slicking wave grease in his hair and Darnel was in the shower trying to ignore our foster mother's stockings that were hanging there (the plumbing in the master bedroom's bathroom was broken). Ricky-my youngest foster brother-was bemoaning the fact that I had swiped a slice of bacon off his plate.

The years I spent amongst my surrogate brothers was wonderful. I treasured the times I spent alone in our bedroom . . . the times when I was all by myself and surrounded by my foster brothers' sneakers and socks. There was a pair of everything in that room we shared-Nike, Adidas, Reebok. And not too far away was the hamper full of their dirty socks.

Whenever I was home completely alone I'd lock the bedroom door and seize whatever pair of sneakers that happened to be left behind. All of my brothers' sneakers were somewhat worn and had distinctive charm. I'd place them near my face. I'd be able to smell my surrogate brothers in those sneaks-and it was always that wonderful combination of sweat and leather and their individual masculinity.

Then I'd lie in the tub in the adjoining bathroom and jerk like mad. I'd pull and rub my penis, imagining all kinds of things. One of my favorite things to imagine was Vince, Darnel and Rick holding me down and licking and tickling MY feet. Yeah, I'd shoot my load about three times in that tub and smear my cum all over my body.

But I digress. This tale is about Latino feet, so I want to tell you about the Dickerson's next door neighbor, Flaviano.

Flaviano's golden-tan body is almost perfect. He has a slim build, with dark brown hair that looks so black in the Winter time. He's clean-shaven and boyish-looking. His chest is almost totally smooth. He's wasn't as tall or as built as my foster brothers, but he was very firm. His legs were solid and only lightly hairy. And his feet were magnificent, in socks or bare.

Except for my foster family, Flav was generally a loner. I can't say for certain, but the rumor about town was that Flav and his brothers had to flee their old neighborhood because the Hispanic community had basically exiled them. You see Flav's brother and his "carnelitos" allegedly used to rip-off the illegal Mexican immigrants who were crossing the borders into California. Most of those people carried with them few items, but these items were generally everything of value in their lives. Still they didn't put up much resistance when guys like Flaviano's brother and his brother's friends bushwhacked them. Again, I can't be for certain if this rumor is true, but whatever the case, I don't think Flaviano was involved in it.

He moved in next door to the Dickersons where his grandfather, Alberto "Papi" Munoz, lived. I think the Dickersons and the Munoz's barley spoke to each other until my foster bro Darnel and Flaviano got a job together detailing cars. It only took a few short months before Flaviano had become so friendly with the Dickersons that he became like a member of the family. And this fact doesn't surprise me, for Flav is a very affable guy. Combine this with Mr. Dickerson's encompassing warmth and friendliness, and it's easy to see how Flav became as much of a surrogate son to him as me and my bros were. Mrs. Dickerson often fought to keep herself from sending a plate of food to Flaviano and his grandfather next door. She often felt sorry for them when she saw all the cheap instant noodle packets in the their trash cans (which was clearly visible over the fence that separated both families' back yard).

But even though she wanted to send food over, she wouldn't. She knew Papi Munoz was an extremely proud man. Handing him a plate of food would have been an inexcusable offense. So she settled on discreetly inviting him and Flav over for dinner whenever possible. By the same token Papi kept a stern-but-fatherly eye on us foster boys whenever Mr. Dickerson was away working or whatever.

On this particular fateful day, most of the Dickerson clan was planning to go out to a dinner and movie, but Darnel and Flaviano were all set to go to a party.

The party was loud and rowdy, but also elegant and civilized in a manner of most house parties which were chaperoned by the parents of the guy or girl who threw it.

Still, tomfoolery was bound to occur . . . and my foster bro and his co-worker proved it.

By one in the morning, Darnel and Flaviano had passed their alcohol limit and had stumbled into the living room of the Dickerson's home, where they passed out on the plush carpet side by side. Neither of them were supposed to be drinking, but it seemed that both had inadvertently consumed potent potables. Darnel (at least from the story he told Mr. and Mrs. Dickerson) explained that he had been the victim of spiked fruit punch (yarite). Flaviano had inadvertently consumed an entire jar of pineapple slices. Pineapple slices which had been soaking in vodka for days! I believed him too. I mean, he certainly smelled of pineapples.

Whatever the case they were both in trouble when Mr. Dickerson walked into the living room and found them. With help form Vincent and myself Darnel was pushed and pulled into the bedroom we shared and put to bed. Mr. Dickerson took the task of stripping Flaviano down and tucking him in on the sofa.

And later that night I strolled into the living room and spotted Flav sprawled on the sofa.

The Latino party-animal was now clad in a tank-top, boxers and was barefooted. I checked to make sure no foster family members were lurking about, then crept towards the prone, slumbering Mexican. I made my way to the end of the sofa where his feet rested and leaned down until my face was right in front of his soles. I glanced up at his face and saw that he was sleeping soundly. And the odor of alcohol (mingled with the scent of pineapples) surrounding him should have assured me that setting off a firecracker near his head would not have awakened him. Still, the closer I got to his feet, the harder my heart pounded with fear. My eyes found their way back to the Latino's bare feet and became transfixed. I'd seen Flav's feet clad in white socks many times, but rarely had I seen them bare.

He had great-looking feet with smooth heels and soft-looking soles. I moved my hand down his leg and settled it on one foot. My touch on his sole was light and his body jumped and spasmd without Flav waking up. Even though my head swam with dizziness, I leaned my head down to his bare feet and sniffed-they smelled of sweat and leather. I began lightly touching his feet again. His soles were perfectly smooth and his long toes curled and jerked under my touch. This gave me so much pleasure! I mean, I like having my own feet tickled more than anything in the world-but I'd never pass up the opportunity to tickle someone else'. With one hand massaging his beautiful, ticklish feet, I used my other one to lightly rub the bulge rapidly forming between my legs. I was nearly fainting with pleasure while Flav moaned and whimpered without ever regaining consciousness.

I paused from tickling to admire his feet again. His toes were long and even, with shiny nails. His soles, somewhat lighter than the tops of his golden tan feet looked so unruffled and delicate. I resumed tickling-using my fingers to stroke his soles. He giggled in his sleep and his body shuddered. My fingers stroked from his heels to his toes on both feet...then I switched motion so that I was stroking from toes to heels. I got the best reaction out of Flav when I placed my fingers in between his big and second toe and sort of twiddled them around and around.

I had to stop tickling when I heard noise on the front porch. I woke up my foster parents, because I thought it might be Papi Munoz come to retrieve Flaviano. But, when Mrs. Dickerson opened the front door, she didn't find Papi. Instead she found a Mexican young man named Rafael Quintana.

Rafael was a short, but muscular Mexican. Usually you'd find him dressed the same way; white T- shirt and a pair of khaki shorts. His legs were muscled and slightly hairy, and he wore white socks with his black Nikes. We later found out that Rafael had meant to stumble to Flaviano's house, but-in his intoxicated haze-he had misjudged the domicile's location and collapsed on the Dickerson's porch instead.

Folks often said that Rafael was bad news-a hardened gang-banging vato. I didn't listen to people who said things like this for, according to the same gossips, my foster bro Darnel was also a gang-banging homicidal maniac. Hey, no one could prove that Darnel had ever busted a cap in anyone. Well . . . not in anyone who hadn't asked for it. But anyways, Rafael did look rough. He was not a prettyboy by any stretch of the imagination, but he was a ruggedly handsome young man with square features a thick mustache and a goatee. If anyone saw him coming, I think the first thing they would assume was that he was a gangsta.

Anyways, Mrs. Dickerson went to the door and there was Rafael, passed out on the porch, the smell of booze wafting off of him, currently looking more like some abandoned orphan than a hardened vato. I think it was when Rafael regained consciousness, vomited his guts out, then passed out again that my foster parents first began to soften. Mr. Dickerson carried him in, plunked him down in the armchair and lit a scented candle because Raf really was smelling loudly.

Instead of sending Rafael home like I thought he would, Mr. Dickerson actually took the reputed rapscallion into his house. Mrs. Dickerson wasn't thrilled about opening her home to some alleged gangster, as she put it, but she didn't like to see any "child" all messed up and out in the cold like Rafael was. He didn't get stripped down and tucked in like Darnel and Flav had been, though. Mr. Dickerson merely sat him in the armchair, pulled off his sneaks, propped his socked feet on the footrest and covered him with blanket.

When Mr. and Mrs. Dickerson returned to bed (which surprised me, because what if Rafael had turned out to be an ax-wielding psychotic?) I returned to the living room. I was actually going to make an attempt at tickling Flaviano's feet again, but I suddenly became more intrigued by my surrogate family's new houseguest.

At first I played it safe, and decided to only fool around with the sneakers Mr. Dickerson had pulled off Raf.

I could smell the vato's manly foot odor mixed with the leather of those Nikes. I sat in the dark for some time, sniffing his sneaks. The damp, humid smell was strong. All I could think of was Rafael Quintana's manly foot buried in these Nikes all day and all night long. My penis was hard and growing harder. I eventually reached the point where I actually began to lick his sneakers. They tasted of mingled leather and Latin footsweat. I first licked the toes of these sneaks and then all around them (you ever notice how difficult it can sometimes be to lick the insole of hightop sneaks?). Once they had been cleansed with my saliva, I gave into temptation and turned my attention to the vato's white-socked size-eleven feet.

Rafael's socks were a mite dirty, but they were sweaty and stuck to his feet so that I could see the indentation of his manly toes. When the Latino "gangster" began to snore, I felt comfortable-in the almost encompassing darkness of the living room-to bring my face down to his feet. My penis came close to exploding on it's own when I felt the warmth and dampness of Raf's socks. Though as deeply asleep as Flaviano, Rafael let out a sleepy sigh and unconsciously flexed his toes inside his socks. I could smell the wonderful build-up of sweat.

Then I ran my face up and down every inch of his socked soles, massaging them with my cheeks. Dancing at the party probably explained why his feet were so sweaty. The faster I rubbed my face against his socked soles, the more heat and salty odor seemed to waft from Raf's feet. The smell was horrible (wonderful!). I even began kissing the bottoms of his moist-with-sweat smelly socks. I could taste his Latin mansweat on my lips as I tenderly kissed the unconscious vato's feet.

Growing bolder with each passing second, I wedged my nose in his sock right between his big toe and the second one. I took in the deliciously rancid smell with each inhaling breath. I continued kissing his raunchy, sweat-filled socks for what must have been five minutes. I didn't stop until Flaviano-stretched out on the sofa across the room, began to mumble and shift as if he were waking up. I was too scared to take any chances, so I dashed back to the bedroom. Then I traversed THROUGH the bedroom to the adjoining bathroom where I wanked until I shot-off four times (three times with lots of jizz, and once with nothing but feeling).

Despite the incredible experience I'd had the night before, the next day was rather somber. While suffering through hangovers, Darnel and Flaviano were handed down penalizations for their actions.

"Papi's gonna put Flav on punishment for eating a jar full of vodka-soaked pineapple slices." Darnel explained to me and Mrs. Dickerson long after the Latino young man had been taken home by his grandfather.

"Humph! You'd think if that ole coot was gon' punish that chile it would be because Flaviano is so greedy that he would eat a whole jar full of ANYTHING." said Mrs. Dickerson mumbled as she left the kitchen. "That boy would have been sick this mornin' even if the pineapples hadn't been spiked."

Once she was gone, Darnel went on and on to me about how the Dickerson and Papi were prone to treating him and his peers as if they were children. And I couldn't disagree. And I was so flattered by the fact that Darnel would deem to talk to me (he usually treated me like Fuzzy Zeller performing at the Apollo Theater) that I ended up keeping him company while he was confined to the house. When the rest of our foster family all took off to follow their own pursuits, Darnel and I secretly made our way over to Flav's house next door. Papi was supposed to be keeping a jailer's eye on both Flav and Darnel, but hey, the guy was like seventy years old!

When Darnel and I entered the house, we found Papi nodding over an old copy of the now defunct STREETBEAT magazine on the sofa, and Flaviano was at the kitchen table apparently contemplating which color of primer paint he was going to coat his old Chevy.

"You get into Streetbeat Magazine, Papi?" Darnel asked the elderly Latino man.

"Well, now, no, I don't usually," said Papi, coming out of his doze with a start. The old man was so confused that he didn't even recall the fact that Darnel was not supposed to be over, and that both his grandson and my foster brother were supposed to be "on punishment".

The old man forgot everything. In fact, Papi was so energized after being startled out of his doze that he turned to me, Darnel and Flaviano and said, "Come on, muchachos, let's go to Hambriento El Lagarto (a local eatery)."

So regardless of the consequences, that's exactly what we did.

In the restaurant/bar Papi jokingly introduced me and Darnel as his nephews (and on the way to the restaurant old man Johnson jokingly referred to us as 'the Rainbow Coalition') and ordered us all some Mexican dish that I still can't name. The moment Darnel and I finished, Papi ordered us something else.

We finished our second plate of hot, spicy mystery food and Papi ordered us a brand of Mexican grape soda that made me sick. As nonchalantly as I could, I excused myself from the table and made my way into the restroom. Darnel followed. At first I thought he'd sensed that something was wrong with me and was concerned, but then I realized that the food we ate was affecting him the same way it was affecting me. He splashed water on his face while I heaved into the toilet. This act was contagious, for no sooner had I finished vomiting, Darnel was bent over a toilet with the dry heaves.

After we'd cleaned ourselves up, we returned to the table, smiling and pretending as if nothing had happened. Flaviano knew exactly what had happened to us and he kids Darnel and me about it to this very day.

That day at Hambriento El Lagarto was the last day of fun we had with Papi Munoz before he died.

I remember how tenderly the Dickersons dealt with Flaviano after Papi passed on. I mean, the family wrapped him in a sea of kindness because the Latino young man was clearly in a state of shock brought on by the unexpected loss of his grandfather. The entire family dealt with him like a newborn while he stayed with us until his mom and brother could fly out to make arrangements for Papi. I mean, meals were prepared for Flav, his bath was drawn for him, his clothes were cleaned, pressed and laid out. And when Flaviano fell asleep in front of the television, Vincent's strong arms actually carried him to bed! The tenderness of Mrs. Dickerson, the head pats of Mr. Dickerson, the solicitude of me, Darnel, Ricky and Vincent . . . these were clear indicators that Flav could do no wrong for at least a week.

I was in a state of shock over the loss of Papi myself, and so was Darnel. But my foster brother and I dealt with our shock in our own way. Darnel became taciturn and surrounded himself in walls made of a cold lack of emotion. Papi was one of the few people whom Darnel had dropped his guard around (I don't think he did that for anyone else but the Dickersons), and even I could see that the old man's death was effecting him far more than he let on. To this very day folks will tell you that Darnel often behaves like a cold-hearted thug. But he does have a softer side. And when he was around our foster parents or Papi Munoz, you saw it.

I remember how I handled Papi's death. I did what I always did to keep my mind off death . . . the one thing that made me feel so ALIVE. I met my buddy LP at the park and then we made our way over to his house. Not long afterwards, LP was lifting my sweaty sock-clad feet up to his shoulders. I put my right foot to his mouth and he began to suck on it through my sweat-dampened sock. I moaned with pleasure as his tongue caressed my toes. I felt the warmth of his mouth around my toes and moaned some more. It made me hot, and I just couldn't help stroking my penis as his mouth worked over my feet.

He paused from worshipping my feet, peeled off my socks and began to mercilessly tickle my soles. My best bud had a sadistic sneer on his face as he attacked my bare soles with his fingers. He reached for one of his ever-ready eagle feathers and began brooming it between my bare toes. I begged for mercy.

Once he grew bored with my crying and pleading, LP stopped tickling me and proceeded to nibble on my bare toes while holding both of my feet to his mouth. When he began to suckle upon my toes I shot off without any warning. As usual, having my feet worked over had taken my blues away. Yeah it was only a temporary remedy, but better than no remedy at all.

Now, maybe seven years later, I found myself transformed from LP's bud, to his slave.

I won't get into how or why this transformation had taken place, but it was all purely consensual.

It was around 12pm and other new slaves were due to arrive soon. Slaves whom neither LP not I had ever met. I waited nervously alongside my perfectly calm (and somewhat bored) master who had outfitted my naked form with a collar and chain.

Oh, forgot to mention this; one slave had already arrived and currently lay unconscious in the center of the living room.

I had been too busy getting the house ready to watch as LP disposed of slaveboy Tony Antonelli (handsome, five feet six with dark curly hair and flashing brown eyes). By the time I'd finished washing the dishes, I did catch a glimpse as my master carried the unconscious young man from the sofa to the center of the room. Tony Antonelli, with his dark, classical features was almost the opposite of me. I am a little under six feet even, slim, with sandy hair and blue-green eyes. The fact that LP's slaves were so diverse was further proof that it wasn't their physical attributes that turned him on.

LP didn't say anything when he saw me watching him as he hauled Tony across the room-only stared into my eyes. I tried to stare back, to boldly (albeit silently) protest my master's treatments of his hapless slaves, but I cracked . . . and he didn't come close to cracking. His face was medium brown: the angry inner-city-man-features were exaggerated, unflinching, and appeared to be carved from solid oak. Everything about him seemed to say he wasn't in the mood to be disobeyed or disagreed with today. Everything: the unblinking brown eyes, the set jaw, the limp and seemingly lifeless body of the handsome youth in his stolid arms.

So I kept my trap shut. I had learned to gauge LP's moods long before I became his slave.

And currently my master and I were waiting in the living room-he on the sofa, me kneeling on the floor beside him. I was completely naked and LP had a firm hold of the chain that was attached to the collar he'd cinched around my neck.

It was around noon when the front door suddenly swung open with a bang.

I was terrified at first, fearing that the police-having heard the screams of the other young slave-had arrived to investigate. But when I looked, I saw that it wasn't an officer of the law. It was a young man in an open white shirt, beige trousers and black boots. He was dressed like an overseer in the days of 'them ole cotton fields back home'. His face was young and so fair-skinned that it had been tinged pink in the sun.

"What the fuck are you supposed to be, man?" LP asked him.

"I'm your master, boy! With my whip and iron I've kept the discipline among a hundred slaves like you!"

I understood now. This young man had misunderstood LP's request for an S/M session. This young man actually thought that LP was going to play the role of sub . . . despite the fact that his ad clearly stated that my was master not versatile . . . that he was a dom first, last and always.

I saw even before it happened what this error in thought would lead to. Assumptions were dangerous . . . and presuming anything as far as LP was concerned was harmful. This costumed young man had forged an image for himself . . . but LP's "image" was the normal working stiff he presented to the general public. This young overseer had declared himself a dom, but LP WAS a dom.

What happened next might have gone quite differently if my master had not been so angry and disappointed by the frailty of the first slave who had arrived. I mean, LP was ready to tell this booted overseer boy to forget the whole thing and would have ushered him out the door in less than a minute. LP might have said something like, "this ain't gon' work out, cuz . . . I'm not a sub" or he even might have said "Yo' dumb-ass automatically assumed that I was going to play the slave and you the master?? Shiiiiiiit." But as it happens LP's eyes turned into narrow slits, and he charged at the young overseer and clutched him by the windpipe.

A young man with a head of close-cropped light brown hair is what I saw of the overseer when he was conscious. He had eyes that were greener than my own blue-green. He was maybe a couple of years younger than me. Just a year out of high school? Possible.

LP tightened his hands around the astonished youth's throat. The overseer stared at him with bulging green eyes, and LP squeezed--dug his fingers into the tender flesh. I wondered if my master could feel the beat of the youth's pulse beneath his fingers. I bet he felt it become stuttery . . grow increasingly weak as the youth lost consciousness.

I had never stood so close while LP choked the air out of someone before. I was so light-headed with bewilderment at the time that I can't tell you how long the choking lasted. It seemed like quite a while. And the sounds they both made! Between LP's grunting and the young overseer's choking, the sound that filled the room were the noises two animals might make in a particularly brutal congical session.

When the young overseer was completely out, LP rose from the floor and brushed his pants knees. Sighing, he glanced at me and said, "Shiiiiit, I hope the next arrival has got more juice than these two simple weak mutha fuckas."

The next slave arrived no less than twenty minutes later. He was cute and almost obscenely Nordic-blond, blue-eyed, intent. He glanced sideways at the two unconscious slaveboys lying haphazardly in the center of the room.

LP hesitated before stepping towards him, because if he did, the boy would run. LP knew that blondie-boy wasn't afraid of him; what the boy was afraid of was that this scene might not be as perfect as it looked; that what he was seeing was all just an elaborate role-playing session that would probably turn out to be unbelievable and unsatisfying. What this born sub wanted was a real adrenaline rush to accompany the sexual tension in his body.

LP was staring at the boy's feet which were clad in flip-flops.

"Lose the footwear, boy," he ordered.

Blondie immediately kicked off his flip flops. He really did have nice feet. They were only about a size ten, but they were high arched with long, well-shaped toes and were very well manicured.

"Come here, boy." LP ordered.

Blondie looked uncertain.

"You retarded or somethin'?" LP said with the guttural anger in his voice that may or may not have been genuine. "Bring yo' mutha fuckin' ass over here!"

The boy practically sprinted to my master . . . and immediately LP seized him.

Blondie bent under my master's grip. LP got his hands around the blond's throat and squeezed tightly before the youth could even begin to think about prying himself loose. There was a long, dry rattling sound and the boy collapsed. I closed my eyes . . . seeing the light fade from a vibrant person is painful to watch. When I opened my eyes again, the blond was being dragged towards the center of the living room, sweet bare feet dragging limply on the carpet, blue eyes rolled up in his head.

The last young man to arrive was a cowboy that I'll only refer to as "Tex". He was the most elaborately dressed sub I'd ever seen. He was dressed in full cowboy attire-hat, shirt (with that little string-tie thing) and boots with real spurs!

"Look," LP told the cowboy directly as he sprinkled a velvet cloth with a brown-glass bottled substance. "I'm too tired to throttle you, so I'm gonna take you down the easiest way. Now you have two choices, wrangler; either you come here and allow me to sedate you with ether . . . or I'm jus' gonna take my fist and knock you the fuck out."

LP's face was twisted with malevolence as he said these words, and this scared the cowboy more than the ether soaked cloth my master was holding. Scared me as well. The cowboy eventually cleared his throat and said, "That stuff's safe?"

"Of course," LP said, almost to himself. "Plain ether. You'll just sleep a while."

Tex knew that LP could kill him and all the other slaves while they were unconscious, but he was even more aware that my master was going to take him down right at this very moment if he didn't cooperate. And he would take him down painfully.

Tex trudged over to LP as if his feet were weighed down with lead. He stood before my master with slumped shoulders and resignedly said, "Just do it fast, pard. Uh . . . if I inhale real deep, it ain't gonna kill me or nuthin'?"

LP didn't answer, he merely pressed the cloth over Tex's mouth and nose and held it in place until the struggling cowboy went limp.

Pretty soon the prostrate bodies of four young men lay sprawled at our feet. The young overseer did regain consciousness long enough to clutch weakly at my ankle. Either he was seeking my help, or he was going to make an attempt at licking and/or kissing my bare foot. Whatever the case, he passed out again before he could make his intentions known to me.

LP ordered me to drag them to the den, strip them naked and bind them hand and foot. By the time I completed this arduous task, I was ready collapse amongst them.

* * *

The lighting was dim, so the den (which was strong with the odor of eight pairs of sweaty male feet) was illuminated mainly by natural sunlight. Still, the room wasn't the brightest-lit place, but it was bright enough for me to see the four naked and bound bodies sprawled upon the carpeted floor. When LP arrived he had to walk a circuitous path, stepping carefully between bare arms, legs and pale, unconscious faces.

LP turned to me. "Wake up these two ," he said pointing at the young overseer and the cowboy. "I want to practice with them for a while. After you wake them up, get to steppin' for a little while, okay, cuz?"

"Just because they're subs doesn't mean they're gay or weaklings, master" I said cautiously. "You took them down while they were off-guard, but they're stronger than you might think."

"But I know they're strong," said LP. "So I don't think I'll be surprised."

"I'm just saying you might not want to be alone with them, master." I said.

"And I'm just sayin' that I might not want to give them the slightest indication that I fear them," said LP. "I've handled men more dangerous than these punk mutha fuckas-men with cravings and fetishes that would make your skin crawl. I hadn't known anything about those men until they taught me by their actions. These simple bitches here aren't any different."

So I dumped basins of water over the heads of the already awakening cowboy and overseer-then shook and slapped them into full alertness.

LP leaned over one of the slaves.

Tex lay before him, blinking his blue eyes, trying to understand his surroundings. LP reached down with one hand, took him by the throat, and raised him up almost to a sitting position, screaming at him in the most colorful language, the very least of which was, "Shit-kicking mutha fucka-you gave up without really putting up a fight. Where the fuck did you come from, Ranch Pussy?"

Tex's first response-understandably-was not fear but rage. And LP was pleased to see this. Was pleased to see how the cowboy reached out with tattooed arms still weak from the ether and tried to plow my master's face.

"Ah, so you still think you bad, huh?" Still gripping Tex by the throat, LP yanked him up and off the floor . . . and flung him against the opposite wall.

"Shiiit, this is too easy! D-man! Get in here and wake up the rest of these punks."

So I scurried in and woke the remaining slaveboys one at a time. LP made it a point to be the first face they saw when they regained consciousness. He also made it a point to handle them roughly and constantly. They felt his grip on their shoulders as they were propelled along the corridors. He pushed them ahead of him through the house. The only reason he did this was to see if his slaveboys would at least try to revolt against him, or if they'd submit and follow his every order like subjugated peons. They submitted . . . thus my master became bored with them really fast. When he got tired of terrorizing them, LP knocked out Blondie and Tony Antonelli again with more ether. He eventually ended up sucking on their sweaty toes while playing with their feet at the same time. My master had rendered them unconscious before worshipping their feet because he apparently didn't want his unworthy slaves to enjoy anything this day.

When LP was done feasting on the feet of Tony and Blondie, he and I stared down at the remaining two subs. My master was now in the mood to tickle, so he started on the overseer's sweaty back, then allowed me to join in. We each took one side, and slowly gave this youth an agonizingly slow and thoroughly ticklish tongue bath. We lapped at the back of his neck, then down his shoulders . . . then up to his ticklish armpits. He giggled and screamed-and the more he screamed the larger the bulge beneath LP's pants seemed to grow.

The two of us then used feathers to tickle his big size thirteen bare feet. My master ran the soft feathers along the youth's soles, while I tickled him along his ribcage and armpits. The helpless young overseer was able to stifle his laughter for exactly one minute-then chortles was erupting from him like an active volcano. He was heaving with uncontrollable laughter. We mercilessly stroked his body with the feathers, brushing them between his toes. The youth was howling and trying to twist away from the torture, but I'd tied him well. There was nothing he could do but endure the torture or plead with us to stop.

My master then trailed his tongue down the cowboy's spine and sides, causing Tex to spasm as if he were possessed by some unearthly demon. Then LP began to lick his armpits. The cowboy went crazy-screaming and yelling. He wasn't nearly as tough as his image seemed to indicate, he fainted even before LP got to his feet.

Once he grew tired of using the slaveboys as his playthings, my master got a peculiar look in his eye. My heart began to race when I saw this look, and I could feel my own blood thudding crazily in my temples. Even my vision began to blur a little. I had seen this look in my master's dark eyes before. And what became of his lowly subordinates at that time was not pretty.

The rest of the afternoon was bound to be pretty interesting.



David