The Brotherhood of the Hand

The fire wasn’t my fault. Nobody ever said it was my fault. It was the damned stove. I knew it was a cheap piece of junk. Probably wired by some poor sonuvabitch making 13 cents an hour in some shithole country you never heard of.

So I slept through the smoke alarms … so what? The next thing you know some kid fireman’s got me over his back carrying me down a ladder like some damned baby. They saved most of the house. The back was pretty much gone, though. So I had to stay with my daughter, Mariel.

That was a big mistake. She and Jeff worked on me from the minute I got up to the second my eyes closed at night.

“Dad,” she said, “You just can’t live alone anymore. We almost lost you this time.”

“What are you talking about ‘this time’? You’d think I had a fire every other day.”

“You’ve had plenty of other close calls,” Jeff chimed in.

“That’s why Jeff and I have picked out a nice home for you,” Mariel said in that cloying teacher-knows-best voice of hers.

“You think you’re going to put me in ‘a home’? I don’t think so.”

“Dad,” Jeff said, “It’s for your own good. And, to be honest, we can take steps to place you there.”

Why’d my daughter have to marry a damned lawyer, I was thinking to myself when Emily came home just in time to catch the tail end of her father’s words.

“You’re not putting grampa in a home.” she insisted. Her mother tried to wave her off, but she stood her ground, “No, Mom, grampa can stay with me … I’ll take care of you, grampa.”

My granddaughter is a sweetheart. She visits a lot with me when I know she has friends … boyfriends especially she could be spending time with. But, more than that, she looks so much like my Lucy it almost breaks my heart.

Lucy … she was the best thing I ever brought back from the war … not that I brought much else back from The Philippines except a bum leg and malaria. Medals didn’t make up for that, but Lucy sure did. She had a free and sensual way about her. I still have sexy dreams about the way she moved … as graceful like as a cat. Her deep, black-coffee eyes and a sassy ‘let’s play’ smile. The 13 years since she passed away … a day hasn’t gone by that I don’t miss her like hell.

Her offer to let me move into her new apartment nearly made this old top sergeant cry his eyes out. No way was I going to insinuate myself into this young angel’s life. I loved her for it, though.

So, I gave in. I figured, how many years did I have left anyway? I’d probably move in to that home and get carried right out. So be it.

And that’s how I came to reside at the Golden Rest on Rosary Hill. Yeah, some name, huh? Boy, if you didn’t think you were there on a one-way pass you sure got the message after you got a load of that name.

Emily helped me move in, inspected the digs and pronounced it okay. She was depressed, though. Something about a building full of old folks will do that to most people. Tell you the truth … I didn’t much care to hang around with a bunch of old bastards myself. I lied to her and said I liked the place and that I couldn’t wait to play hearts in the rec room with a bunch of old farts. She kissed me and said she’d be by as often as she could.

The place wasn’t that bad, I guess. For one thing, people didn’t talk to you like you were a child. Why do people talk that way to the elderly?

It was clean, too. It didn’t have ‘that smell,’ if you know what I mean, except for a couple of the residents’ rooms. The food wasn’t bad, either, except you had to eat it in a common dining hall, like at school … or prison. All in all, it wasn’t the kind of place that was likely to show up on “60 Minutes.”

The joint was run by some kid in her fifties … a real attractive woman with short red hair and long legs: Ms. Kelroy, but she called herself Janet. She was nice enough, I guess, and tried to make me feel at home. I probably gave her the impression I was going to be trouble. I kinda regretted making that remark about “doing my time.”

Later that night I couldn’t sleep. I lay awake thinking life was sure going to be different. I just couldn’t shake the feeling that I was being “kept.”

Then I heard the doorknob rattle. The door swung open and a tall, black shadow entered the room. I’m thinking – ’bout time, but where’s his scythe? – when the shadow stumbles into something in the dark and grumbles, “Aw, shit! Where the hell did that come from?”

“Hey,” I said, “Who the hell are you?”



“Aw, fuck me … I must’ve taken a wrong turn.”

I sat up and flicked on the light. The tall, dark shadow was actually a tall, black man with a wooly head, kind of like a silver-gray Brillo pad. His face looked vaguely familiar.

“What’re you doing in my room,” I demanded.

“Now don’t get all flummoxed up, mister,” he said. “I’m just sneaking back from a date in the B wing and took a wrong turn is all. The name’s Raleigh Bunch.”

A surge of memory brought to mind a lanky Negro pitcher with a blistering fastball and a slider that was unhittable.

“I saw you pitch,” I said. “When I was in the Army. You sat down a whole company of pros in an exhibition game.”

His face broadened into the brightest grin. “You don’t say? My, oh my, that was a time. What’s your name, soldier?”

“Jake … Jake Sullivan. Damn, I thought after Jackie Robinson that I’d be hearing from you too.”

“Aw, well,” he said, his smile remaining but taking on a sadder shade. “I bought a Purple Heart. I got out disabled. No regrets, though. They remembered my name … you did.”

Raleigh and I talked right through till dawn about everything … baseball, the Army, how he developed a small chain of hardware stores after the war. His sons ran them now. The most amazing thing we talked about, though, was sex, and how hard it was to get any in an elderly facility.

“It’s a bitch to be old and be put in a warehouse … even a pretty nice one like this,” he said. “But the worst is everyone thinks you don’t need to juke and jam no more. But I got to tell ya, when Mr. Johnson goes to sleep and don’t wake up, it’s time to carry me out feet first.”

I hadn’t talked about sex or the need for it … not since Lucy died. We’d enjoyed an active love life until her illness took her. It took her quickly, so there wasn’t even a lingering period when we couldn’t. Everything just ended when her life did.

“You know, Raleigh, I’ve always had urges, but no opportunities. Anyway, I doubt anyone could love me like my wife did.”

“That’s how I felt about Agnes before she passed on,” he nodded. “But you just can’t shut it off. The world wants you to ignore it after you get up in years. Well to hell with the world, cause this old man needs some stimulation.”

“You said you had a date?”

“Thought so … but by the time I snuck to her room I think she slipped into a coma … she sure wasn’t waking up, that’s for sure. It was a long shot anyway … she made dates with me before and forgot about ’em ten minutes later.” He leaned over and whispered, “Tell you the truth, most of the women who live here are pretty far gone … real shame.”

“So, how do you get your stimulation?”

“Tell you what,” he again whispered, “Come around my room after breakfast. I found a special little place right here. I was gonna show my roommate, but you come along too. The more the merrier.”

It sounded like something to do anyway. I agreed to meet Raleigh later in the morning. He slid through my door before breakfast call. I slept for a time after that. It always amazes me at how little sleep I need these days.

Around 10:30 a.m. I knocked on Raleigh’s door. He took a couple of quick glances up and down the corridor before he ushered me in and introduced me to his roommate.

“Jake, this here is Hidalgo.”

A small courtly Hispanic man made a stiff bow and offered me his hand. Apparently unsatisfied with Raleigh’s informal introduction, he said, “I am Rodrigo Jesus Enrique Hidalgo de Garcia y Alcazar.”

“Yeah,” Raleigh added. “His name’s longer than his damned dick. He used to run that company that sold black beans and that other Spanish spicy shit.”

“Hidalgo,” I said. “Sure, my Lucy used to cook with your stuff even before you started finding it in the regular supermarkets.”

A brief smile crossed Hidalgo’s face before his lips crinkled in a bitter pinch. “Let’s go,” he said and started into the corridor.

Raleigh put his hand on my shoulder and said, “Hidalgo got screwed by his family. He had six daughters and divided the company among their husbands. Next thing you know he’s in here and his wife is outside being worshiped like a queen by the daughters and the sons-in-law.”

I nodded, wondering that Hidalgo didn’t spend most of his spare time plotting to knock off his family. I stepped out into the corridor followed by Raleigh, who stepped lively to overtake Hidalgo.

Raleigh then led us to a near vacant part of our building and then to the end of a hall where he tested the knob on a utility door. The door yielded and he motioned us to follow him. We had entered an attached shed packed with cleaning supplies and tools. A brace of windows looked out onto a rectangular grassy area enclosed by windowless walls.

Raleigh invited us to sit in front of the windows. Before I had even settled down five young women I recognized as nurse’s aides entered the grassy courtyard. They were chatting and giggling as they made their way almost to the center where a single small tree grew. Two tossed down a couple of blankets and smoothed them out. Then all five began to shed their clothes right down to their panties, and spread themselves out on the blankets, some on their bellies, some on their backs.

After a short time, two of the girls, one who had introduced herself to me when I arrived as Kasey, and another, Suzie, began smoothing lotion over their companions.

Raleigh’s smile was broad and bright as he pronounced, “Ummm, that Kasey is one fine-looking girl.”

I had to agree. Her skin was the color of coffee and cream. Her breasts were full and pendulous as she smoothed the lotion on her companion, a red-haired nurse whose name I didn’t know. She had a brilliant smile; as I recalled, she always smiled, even when she was working.

Susie, a slightly built Asian girl had straddled the ass of a full-figured blonde. She made the mistake of pulling down the girl’s panties and greasing her behind. Now she was giggling as she continually slid off her friend’s substantial bum cheeks.

While I watched the girls I detected a change in my companions’ breathing, which had turned into irregular sighs and moans. I turned to see they had taken themselves in hand and were vigorously jacking off.

Raleigh broke concentration long enough to say, “Well, whacha waiting for, Jake? Get your johnson out.”

I felt a tickle in my crotch as I watched the young women cavort, but I couldn’t shake the thought that they weren’t much older than my granddaughter. Still, as I absently squeezed my crotch my cock responded by pushing uncomfortably against the fabric of my pants.

Now the girls were playfully wrestling and tickling each other. Raleigh let out long “Oooohhhhhh!” and squirted his cream onto the floor. He was followed by Hidalgo whose face wrinkled up as he let go with an “Eeeeyaw!” His seed also dribbled onto the floor. At the same time I noticed a wet spot had appeared in my crotch.

The girls had begun to gather up their things and dress. Raleigh passed down a box of Kleenex to Hidalgo who seized a handful and wiped his dick. Raleigh then turned to me with a quizzical look.

“What’s up, Jake?”

“I don’t know, Raleigh. I haven’t jacked off in a group since I was a kid. I guess I wasn’t expecting you two to …”

“My friend,” he said, “This is the best it’s ever gonna get for us. It’s the only way we’re gonna prime the pump. So what’s the problem, you don’t like watching pretty girls roll around naked?”

“Those girls could be our granddaughters … Don’t you feel like a dirty old man?”

Raleigh thought about this a bit, then said, “True enough … but they’re old enough to have boobs and they’re all haired over … and watching ’em makes me feel alive. But, you suit yourself, Jake.”

It was lunchtime. On the way to the cafeteria Raleigh explained that the girls sunned themselves every day just before lunch. Raleigh had found the service shed and the scenery quite by accident while exploring the grounds.

As we sat together at lunch, Kasey sashayed up to our table and winked. I thought, my gosh, she knows. But she just said, “Hi, boys, how’re you doing today?” She smiled that brilliant, classy smile.

“I feel as sound as a rutting buck,” Raleigh smiled back. Kasey winked again and sashayed away, smiling over her shoulder.

“Cripes, she damned near gave me a heart attack,” I said.

Hidalgo wasn’t much of a conversationalist. Occasionally he would mumble some invective in Spanish. Once he started laughing to himself.

“What the hell is so funny, man?” Raleigh asked.

“I was thinking of a big old armadillo.”

“What the hell is so funny about an armadillo?”

“I was thinking he crawled up inside my wife’s cunt and got stuck,” he snickered.

Raleigh and I looked at each other and shrugged. It was then that Raleigh noticed Chou watching us.

“What the hell is he looking at?” Raleigh grumbled. “Looks like a damned Buddha or something.”

That was true enough. Chou didn’t say much. He would sit for hours, silently staring at whatever happened to be in front of him. He could unnerve you.

That evening, Raleigh, Hidalgo and I were playing poker for quarters in the rec room. I had been cleaning up and my companions were grumbling about my luck. All of a sudden I felt a shadow and the hairs on my neck stood up.

“Gambling is not allowed!” came a voice like a cat that’s been stepped on.

We all looked up to see Ms. Brosius. Raleigh called her pig-nose. She was the only unpleasant staff member in the joint, and she did have a pushed up nose with two huge nostrils that resembled a pig’s snout. She was the recreation director, and she thought finger painting was the most fun anyone could have over the age of seventy.

“We’re just playing for quarters,” Raleigh said.

“Rules are rules … anyway, shouldn’t you gentlemen be in bed?”

“At 9 o’clock? What the hell time zone you think we’re in?”

“I will not suffer profanity … watch your language,” the harpy shrieked.

“Aw shit,” Raleigh whined, and tossed down his cards.

I gathered up my winnings and the deck and we walked back to my room to continue the game. The rattletrap followed us. I turned and glared back at her and she seemed to lose her resolve. I closed the door.

Raleigh and Hidalgo left to turn in around midnight after they had won back most of what they’d lost earlier. I turned in and fell asleep pretty fast. That night I dreamt of naked angels cavorting and playing and touching each other. They flew around me winking and spreading their legs dripping golden honey. I awoke with a genuine hard-on like I hadn’t had in years.

Just before 11 o’clock the next morning we three trekked to the utility shed again and took up positions. The girls showed up right on schedule and stripped, including their panties this time. Raleigh and Hidalgo were at it before I could even pull down my zipper. The young ladies were particularly animated this morning, giggling and laughing. Without any preliminaries four of them pounced on Suzie and began to tickle her mercilessly. Tears were running down the poor girl’s cheeks until she managed to squiggle free. Then she and Kasey each grabbed the red-haired girl while the blonde playfully spanked her bottom.

I was just about to pull out my cock when there was a rap at the door. We all froze as the door swung slowly open. It was Chou, standing stone-faced and inscrutable. Without a word he stepped inside and closed the door behind him, then made his way behind us and sat next to Hidalgo. He deftly unbuttoned his shorts and let his cock fall free.

Raleigh looked at me and shrugged, “More the merrier.”

The girls were now rolling around wrestling and playing some kind of kissing game. Their breasts and buttocks lolled and jiggled and their hair tangled together. Before I knew it I had my prick in hand and was pumping for dear life. Hidalgo came first; his cream fell like clogs onto the floor, while Raleigh shot a fair distance. Me? I produced barely a trickle. I was disappointed.

But Chou sat with his hands on his knees, palms up, eyes focused on the women. He seemed to hum in a low frequency as his dick just kept getting bigger. We three were transfixed at the performance. Eventually Chou nodded slightly and a spurt of come left his cock like a rifle shot and traveled about two and a half feet where it hit a half empty paint can, knocking it a good six inches.

“How the hell did you do THAT?” Raleigh asked, eyes popping. “Man, is that some kind of kung fu jack-off shit, or what?”

Chou, who from that point on would be known as “Joe,” nodded and offered to teach us the technique.

The weather was pretty gloomy for nearly a week so the girls didn’t make their regular sunshine appearance. That gave Joe time to teach us this wonder of the East. He had us do exercises that Ms. Brosius thought was Tai Chi. What she didn’t realize is the exercise we were doing inside where she couldn’t see. Joe told us to alternately make like we were trying to hold our water, and then push like we were straining on the toilet.

It was kinda tough at first. Raleigh, beads of sweat on his forehead, leaned over to me one morning and grimaced, “How long we supposed to strain?”

“I dunno,” I grunted in reply. “But if I do it much longer I think I’m gonna shit my pants.”

By the time the weather cleared up, Joe pronounced us ready. It was a Wednesday when we filed into the utility shed and took up our positions. The girls arrived but were uncharacteristically sedate, just choosing to sun themselves quietly and nap. Still, four soft curvy bodies completely naked were an inspiration.

But Joe wanted us to concentrate. “Think of picture in your mind,” he said.

It seemed a waste to fantasize while the real thing was right in front of us, but Raleigh closed his eyes and smiled. “I’m thinking of a singer I saw in a little jazz joint in Chicago after the war. What a set of pipes.”

Hidalgo’s face creased into a rare smile. “I’m thinking of fucking my wife’s sister, Maria. My wife was always jealous of Maria. I’d love for her to catch me fucking her in the ass, calling her ‘Querida.’ Yeah, that would burn the snatch on that bruja vieja, heh, heh, heh …”

I closed my eyes and saw Lucy. The first time we made love. She had made me lie on my back as she straddled me and took my cock into her. She never moved, but inside her … she milked my cock with her cunt muscles. I could barely make out a little ripple in her belly as she did it. She made me shoot my load like a howitzer.

Before I knew it a healthy jet of jism departed the tip of my cock and splattered loudly on the wall, Raleigh and Hidalgo also fired off like a pair of cannons. Joe, always one to take his time, still outdistanced us.

We we’re grinning from ear to ear, even Joe, whose great stone face broke into a satisfied smile. Raleigh patted us all on the shoulders and exclaimed, “That’s it. We’re all brothers now. The Brotherhood of the Hand.”

We were so busy cheering each other we didn’t notice the door open. We noticed the shriek, though. It rattled our spines.

Ms. Brosius stood screaming, “Get out! Out! You filthy … Oh, I never saw anything so disGUSTing in my life!”

My face was on fire. I swear even Raleigh’s face turned red, as we hurriedly fixed our pants and shuffled out of the shed. All I could think of was my daughter getting a report from the administration. I wished I could find a really small hole to climb into.

Word got around pretty quickly. When I entered the cafeteria every eye in the place fixed on me. I skipped supper.

The following morning we were summoned to Ms. Kelroy’s office. Her secretary had us wait in the outer office. Inside we could hear Ms. Brosius, just as loud as if she were standing in front of us.

“This behavior must be nipped immediately. Can you imagine the health issues if residents were allowed to masturbate?” old pig-nose was saying. “Sedation … That’s my recommendation, perhaps even chemical treatment …”

“Ms. Brosius,” Ms. Kelroy interrupted. “Exactly where did you receive your training … Auschwitz?”

“Well, I never …”

“We don’t sedate our residents here,” Ms. Kelroy continued, her voice rising to high indignation, while the four of us guys broke out in broad smiles. “We certainly don’t ‘treat’ them chemically.”

“Really, you don’t mean to say that men in their seventies should be masturbating … It’s … It’s …”

“Perfectly natural,” Ms. Kelroy interrupted again. “They are healthy, normal men. Their needs and natural urges are none of this facility’s business.”

“Well, I don’t believe I could continue to work at a facility like …”

“Fine, I accept your resignation.”

There was a silence so heavy it could have sunk the building. Then Brosius stormed out, stopping long enough to wrinkle her face in our direction, before she exited the office, slamming the door behind her.

Ms. Kelroy then called us in. Our smiles vanished quickly enough. I felt like a little kid being called to the principal’s office. We stood in a row hanging our heads, except Joe who stared ahead, back into his Buddha mode.

“I’m sure you heard my exchange of thoughts with Ms. Brosius,” she began, “So, I won’t waste our time going through those points with you. But, there is another issue here … one that might even qualify as criminal. It is, after all, a crime to spy on persons in their intimate moments. Being a ‘peeping tom’ I believe it’s called.”

We just stood and shuffled our feet.

“The young women you spied on had no idea you were watching them, they didn’t invite you to watch them, and although they were wrong in choosing to engage in that activity on facility grounds, they had every reason to believe their privacy would be respected.”

Ms. Kelroy paused a minute to let it sink into our old gray brains. “I’ve spoken to the young women and they would rather not take any official action against you gentlemen. They’ve indicated to me they would like to forget the whole thing, but I think you at least owe them an apology.”

Ms. Kelroy then waved toward the office door and the girls filed around us. They stood facing us, but I got the notion they were trying very hard not to burst out laughing.

“Well?” Ms. Kelroy demanded.

Raleigh spoke for us all. “Ladies, we didn’t mean no disrespect, nor any harm, and we apologize if we offended you.” We all nodded in assent. “It’s just that you ladies are so fine …”

“Turn off the charm, Mr. Bunch,” Ms. Kelroy warned. “That’ll do.”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“I think this concludes this matter.” Ms Kelroy said, and motioned us to leave the office. I held back a bit and when the others had left I turned back to her. “Ms Kelroy, I just want to thank you for how you handled this. I haven’t been this embarrassed since I was a kid and got caught … well, never mind that. I just wanted to say, you’re a very wise woman … for a youngster.”

“Thank you, Mr. Sullivan,” she replied. “And may I say, you are a very fine-looking man.” She said it with a playful smile.

I think I squared my shoulders and stood up a bit straighter. I left with an ear-to-ear grin.

Raleigh was chatting with Kasey and Susie in the corridor. Kasey was giving him a mock scolding. “Thanks to you boys we can’t sun ourselves any more at our regular place. No, I guess we’re just going to have to walk down to the stream, you know the one that runs behind the parking lot. There’s a little clearing there. Of course, there are some bushes nearby so we just can’t know if someone might be peeking.” She winked as Susie giggled.

Raleigh just beamed. Later we Brothers of the Hand played poker in the cafeteria … for quarters. All around us we felt the gazes and nods of, I think … admiration? Maybe it was just my imagination.

That night I dreamed of naked angels again. Then one of them turned out to be Lucy. Oh, it was a beautiful dream.

© 2001 by R.E. Buckley Not to be reproduced without permission of the author.

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