Some of my friends, and the cousins I have my age, always moan and groan about having to go back to school after Summer vacation, but *I* don’t! I LOVE going back to school after a long few months of being away from everybody I know! School is my life. It’s my ‘job’. My entire social circle revolves around it. I might enjoy a break from the monotony of it all for the first few weeks… but by the time school is ready to start up again for the Fall, I’m usually so desperate to get back to my academic microcosm of the world at large that I end up nearly tearing my hair out in anticipation. “Get up, Cheeky! You don’t want to be late on your first day!” My mom said, calling me from the kitchen while my father took cautious sips out of his hot morning coffee. My name is Charlie, but everyone calls me ‘Cheeky’ because of my smile. I don’t know, I was just bornContinue reading »

By Binneyan Smith   Hi. My name is Jerry. Last week when my friend Dan and I were taking a shortcut home, the strangest thing happened. We ended up in… Nah, you’ll never believe me, but I swear to all the gods above, I’m not kidding… Okay. This isn’t going right; I’m not making any sense. Let me start over… from the beginning this time. The last class of the day for me is History. I really like History, but last Wednesday I had to get home because of a baseball game that I wanted to watch on TV. And Ms Ellis was dragging the class out, which was strange in itself because she’s never done that before. Dan and I were going nuts! We were watching the clock and, I swear, it stayed on 3:19 for twelve minutes! Look, this was an important game. The Mariners were playing the Cubs in Seattle and it was a day game. The Mariners start most weekday afternoon home games at 1:10. That’sContinue reading »

Monday. The weekend’s gone and all I have to look forward to is another boring day at school. Little did I know when I awoke that this was going to be anything but a boring day. Things started off as usual. I got out of bed, showered (taking care of my first morning duty… you know what I’m talking about), got dressed, had breakfast. Then I slung my backpack over my shoulder and headed out to the school bus. I can’t wait another two years until I’m 16 and old enough to get my license and drive to school. As I arrive at the bus stop, several others are there. But then I notice him. Micky. His copper complexion. His brown eyes. His curly brown hair. His perfect teeth. Impeccable clothing. Not to mention the way his clothes fill out just below his waist. He’s a gay boy’s dream, but alas, he’s more a gay boy’s nightmare. He and I have never even shared more than “Hi”, but lately whenContinue reading »

“If you ever threaten him again, I’ll kill you!” cried Nick as he shook his fist at his boyfriend’s father. He turned to his boyfriend, stroking his back to calm him. They had just ‘come out’ to his parents and his father took the news badly. He threatened Bobby that if he continued pretending to be gay, he’d cut him off from the family money. He’d ‘beat the gay’ out of him. Bobby’s mom just sat there. Probably too far gone from the martinis she’s been sucking down all day. I don’t understand rich people. It’s like having that much changes them. I am so very glad that Bobby isn’t like that. We met, believe it or not, on a website chat room. It was a story site and we both loved reading stories about true love and romance. Okay, reading the hot sex scenes didn’t lessen the appeal. We had both been members of (GA) for about six months and one night after about two months, we started talkingContinue reading »

Spark : A Mother’s Story of Nurturing Genius” by Kristine Barnett Breakthrough : How one teen innovator is changing the world” by Jack Andraka with Matthew Lysiak At the heart of these books are two quite extraordinary teenagers. Jacob Barnett is an autistic teenager with a quite astonishing gift for maths. Jack Andraka developed a potential diagnosis tool for pancreatic cancer that could potentially be world-changing. Oh and by the way, he’s gay. Now reading what they’ve accomplished before they’ve even finished high school would be enough by itself to make just about anyone feel like they haven’t done much their lives. But in both cases, the kids had quite a journey to get where they are now. Jacob Barnett started as an apparently normal, giggling baby, who in his toddler years withdrew into a completely uncommunicative state, obsessed with shadows and patterns, and all but oblivious to the world around him. The majority of “Spark” documents his mother’s frankly heroic efforts to try and get through to him, andContinue reading »

By ATrueFan I stood there, at our kitchen counter as I prepared dinner when I looked out the bay window and saw our adopted 16 year old son, Luke, sitting in the back yard on the swing with his new boyfriend, Matthew. Well new meaning about two months now, and in High School, two months is almost a lifetime. Mind you, neither Rick nor I in any way tried to influence him toward any sexual orientation, our boy came out to us about a year ago. The two of them look so much in love, looking at them my mind began to drift off back 20 years when Rick and I first met. We were both 16, same age as Luke and Matt, I wasn’t out yet. Hell, I had barely accepted the fact that I was gay myself. I was sitting on a bench in our local park on a beautiful, warm, sunny Saturday afternoon. Alone in my thoughts, enjoying the sounds of children playing off in the distance,Continue reading »

Cirrus’s Book Club Introduction: We’ve got “Sealed with a Kiss” and “Wet Dream of the Week” and “Movie Monday” and “Jimmy’s Jukebox”… …but I think there’s still a gap in the market for another weekly article. Ladies and gentleman… Cirrus’ Book Club! I’m going to be reviewing books I like that I think would be of interest to the Shack audience. So expect books about gay people, books about teenagers, books about gay teenagers, and books that I decided to review just because I think they’re interesting and worth your time. But wait! That’s not all! I know for all the aspiring internet authors out there, it can be a challenge getting feedback. You work on your creation, you release it into the wild… and tumbleweeds. Did they like it? Did they hate it? Gimme some kind of reaction here folks! Comsie was doing reviews for a while… and they were detailed and thoughtful and thorough. But as you may have noticed, Comsie is hella busy between answering emails (soContinue reading »

His house was exactly nine houses away from mine. I know, because I counted. In fact, I counted more than a few times. Almost as if his house would, one morning, move closer by trading places with one of the others like shuffling cracker boxes. I had only been able to catch brief glimpses of him in the six weeks since he moved into the neighborhood. I remember seeing the moving truck, and this being a pretty quiet place to live…everybody gets nosy and comes out to see the fresh meat. I just never thought of having a boy like that move so close to me. A boy who could basically…’expose’ a part of me that I was hoping to keep quiet. At least until I went off to college. God forbid, I became the lone gay kid on the block. Like I said, everybody in the neighborhood gets nosy about that kind of thing. I peeked and I poked around and I, sometimes, pretended to casually ‘stroll by’ hisContinue reading »

Location: A mining colony on the moon Time: The not too distant future   Part 2: Jordan didn’t tell anyone about his discovery. Somehow it didn’t feel right to share it just yet; it should belong just to himself for now. After putting away his equipment and recharging the oxygen supply of his pressure suit, he made his way over to the recreational area to have a drink and to think about the mysterious hatch some more. Nobody bothered him as he sat there with his beer. He was friendly enough with his coworkers, but everybody knew that Jordan was a lone wolf who preferred his own company. He didn’t have to worry too much about anyone else stumbling over the hatch or whatever it was. Every extraction worker had his own area to work in, and they were far enough apart to prevent discovery. Still the question remained – what should he do with it? Should he try to open it? But what if there was something dangerous inside?Continue reading »

by Lil’ Octopus   He was never a very talkative person. He usually kept to himself. It’s awkward when we’re together. It’s awkward when I try to make conversation with him. Maybe he got the impression that I was a creep. Little details, small things, can really make the big picture, or at least how you perceive it. I first met him in the locker room of our ninth grade gym class. When I looked at him, three details stood out clearly to me. The first two were very unflattering. He was chubby. I know it sounds like a judgment I’m making, but it isn’t. I didn’t mind, it didn’t bother me. Little did I know that it would turn into something worse over time. He was heavy, and as I eyed him while changing into my shorts and gym shirt, I noticed that he was very self-conscious. Not only that, but he was also very nervous. He couldn’t decide between allowing his eyes to wander over the other boys,Continue reading »

The wolf stood quietly in the corner, observing the crowd, scanning it, watching it closely. It had taken his eyes a while to adjust to the semidarkness, but now he could make out all that was going on around him. All kinds of animals had come together peacefully tonight to celebrate. Wild animals from the forests and deserts, domesticated animals from the farms and ranches, even some pampered pets. There were so many animals packed in a fairly small and enclosed space that the wolf felt slightly claustrophobic. But he was fighting down the feeling, building up the courage to leave his dark corner and join the others. And as his anxiety went down, his excitement went way up. Eventually the wolf started to move towards the hot mass of bodies. Many of them were rubbing and grinding against each other, slowly dancing to the soft music that was playing. A tiger noticed the wolf and motioned for him to come closer, encouraging him to become a part of theContinue reading »

  Note: This story is best enjoyed after reading Pete’s Umbrella Incident/Backtracking & PAIN stories. Backtracking Chapter 7a and P.A.I.N. III Chapter 3a     You know how when you get off a plane through the JetWay thingy you can tell what the weather’s like where you just landed?  That’s what it was like here.  The heat of Tucson hit us like a brick!  It was just like Chicago in July… except the humidity was missing!  So this is what they mean when they say dry heat.  It sure was a big difference from the air conditioned comfort of the cabin.  We followed the passengers ahead of us, just like sheep.  Tim and I had our laptops in hand and we looked for and followed the signs to the luggage claim.   “Mike, I hope we can recognize Mr. Taylor.  Sometimes people send a picture that makes them look good and not one that shows what they really look like.”   “Keep your fingers crossed, here’s the door for theContinue reading »

  Chapter One: Don’t jump! You’ll squash my fort.   He was upside down again—the weird boy that no one spoke to.  No one knew why he did it, nor did they care to ask him.  Speaking to him, after all, was social suicide.  Not that Dustin cared about that anymore.  He had already committed it. Last night was the end-of-year party, down at The Old Mill by the lake, and Dustin was meant to bring the keg.  He had failed, but it was much worse than that.  He also lost the beer money.  It wasn’t his fault.  Kevin and his gang of merry miscreants jumped him.  There was nothing he could do.  Nothing except hide, of course. When he had arrived at the party empty-handed, he was practically excommunicated.  As if it wasn’t bad enough that summer vacation had started, and he’d be stuck at home with his freak brother and sick mother for the next few months.  He knew his sister wouldn’t be there.  She was too busyContinue reading »

by Lil’ Octopus   They were the same sounds Julian last heard when he was 14 years old that summer long ago that made him stop, remember, and hesitantly walk to the tall doors of the old church he used to attend every Sunday with his mother before she died, and then a few more times later with Mrs. Riley and her son, Taylor. Julian suddenly had the painful urge earlier in the day to board the train and take a solitary stroll through his old neighbourhood. He had passed his old house and Mrs. Riley’s, though he didn’t think she lived there anymore. Even though it was dark and getting late outside, Julian decided to make one last stop that evening before heading home. As he stood there, he found himself drawn to the tall and slender synagogue, the warm music emanating from it, the rich choir voices and crystal clear keys on the piano, and was washed over by the fond memories of a time so distant itContinue reading »

by Wolfie   Once upon a time, two boys were born in the same hospital, within just a few days. Their parents lived a very short distance from each other, just a few houses apart. They were even baptized in the same church, on the same day. Those boys could have been the best of friends growing up, but unfortunately things didn’t turn out quite that way. Why? Well, even though they were the same age and lived so close together, they never really spent any time together. First they went to different pre-schools, and when the time came to start elementary school, they were sent to different classes because, technically, they lived on different streets. They moved on to different high schools and made friends along the way, but their circles of friends just never mixed. Then, for a short couple of years, their paths did cross. Both boys were sent to church to prepare for their confirmation, so they had to go to class once a week. AndContinue reading »

  This chapter opens with Glenn making another entry in his journal… Dear Invisible Friend, This is great news!  Mike and I were introduced to another gay guy yesterday!  His name is Ethan Cruz, he’s 16 and a junior.  We’ve only seen him at lunch and only twice, so we don’t really know much about him.  I’m sure more will follow. Stopping by Jason’s house yesterday was fantastic!  I can’t believe that Mike and I did that again!  I mean, we go off every day after lunch just so we can talk a bit more freely and without having to worry about who sees us, but going skinny dipping with Mike and Jason and Alex is just so… I don’t know… exhilarating?  Yeah.  Exhilarating.  Neither Mike nor I would consider ourselves exhibitionists, but after a few minutes, being nude in the pool just seemed so… so normal.  Jason offered to let Mike and me shower the chlorine off, but I think both Mike and I thought that might lead toContinue reading »

It’s 8:00 AM on Saturday, May 4th and Tim is in the kitchen putting a layer of homemade cream cheese frosting on his made-from-scratch carrot cake.  I was sitting there watching him and I knew better than to tease him about what he was doing.  He was working his butt off trying to bake something that would impress Gary Klein, the partner of Stoney McGee.  Gary is a chef at a restaurant in Boystown, and Tim had been cooking for us since we were adopted by my Uncle Pete after Raccoon City was destroyed.  I have to admit, Tim was a good cook in his own right.  We’re supposed to meet Gary and Stoney at the restaurant at 1:00 PM today and Tim is as nervous as mouse in a snake pit. “Mike, do you think he’ll like it?” “If he doesn’t, he doesn’t deserve to be called a chef,” I told him.  I had cleared a shelf in the refrigerator for the cake and Tim was cautiously putting theContinue reading »

  Halloween – the perfect excuse to put on a silly costume, get drunk and make a fool of yourself in public. Or to go out into town and watch all the drunken fools in silly costumes. Either way, it would be a fun night. I was sitting at Fat Tuesday’s with a couple of friends, slurping a tasty Screaming Coyote daiquiri. The place was packed with young people from the nearby college, many of them in costumes, most of them at least a little buzzed already. That year’s favorite costume appeared to be the horny priest, judging from all the guys in robes and roman collars and with big fake bulges. Though there were quite a few pimps with fancy feathered hats strutting up and down the street as well. While I was trying to decide if I should have another Screaming Coyote or switch to a Sex On The Beach, a couple of girls came over to our table. “Excuse me, are you gay?” one of them askedContinue reading »