It always began the same way with Tony, that odd tingling
in the fingers and toes, the way his right leg trembled ever so
slightly. As the words scrolled by on his screen, he leaned
forward, tense, expectant. He was waiting to connect, in the
only way he could. To reach out and release his own crying need
into the electronic sea of desire that was such a big part of the
Lambda Gate BBS.
Tony Mantanero was 19 years old. He lived at home, in his
room up in the attic, a room without even a door he could close.
It was his space, but it wasn't. His father's old audio tape
collection was stacked in one corner. His mother insisted on
cleaning and dusting, rearranging his things in spite of frequent
requests not to. The only thing that was inviolate was the
Uncle Sal had given him the computer when Tony started
college. His parents were in awe of it. They were proud of Tony
for knowing how to tame such a technological monster. He showed
them how to log onto the library on the modem, check for books
without even going out of the house, reserve them. He showed
them how easily he could edit term papers for school. He showed
them how to draw pictures and print them, how to talk to groups
of people who were all separated from each other by hundreds of
miles. He never showed them anything about the Lambda Gate..
That was his secret, his door into another world, where he
could talk to people like himself, men who were attracted to
other men and were not afraid to say so. Afraid? They were
proud! They had their own secret language and codes, a whole
series of short forms and affectionate phrases. They called each
other Boytoy, Bear Cum and Boner, Jockstrap and Leatherboy and
Topman. Every time he saw these names he felt a small shiver of
delight, a thrill of recognition that validated his own secret
identity. He felt embarrassed by his juvenile handle, but all
the same, he didn't want to change it yet. He wasn't quite ready
to send a more sophisticated message out onto the glowing boards.
The Tigger handle made him feel safe, just a little longer.
He always logged on late at night, after his parents had
gone to bed. He told himself he didn't feel guilty about what he
was doing, but this was a lie. Every time the screen came up, he
felt a strange thrill, made sweeter by the acid tinge of guilt.
All those words -- gay--lesbian-- studs -- gifs -- loaded words,
each one carrying its share of guilt and glitter of temptation,
each one a part of another world he yearned to enter, but only
dared to come to late at night.
He had discovered a new persona on the boards. Tigger was
funny and sexy and playful. He was hunky and hung like a horse.
He could talk for hours in the chat lounge, sending private
messages loaded with innuendo and public messages of open
invitation. He was more than a flirt. He was a downright slut!
In the Wildside Game, where players gained points by collecting
sexual favors from others, he was almost the board champion. But
whenever someone took him seriously and gave out a phone number,
he fled, sometimes ending up sitting in front of his computer in
tears of frustration, overcome with guilt and remorse at how
close he had come to direct contact.
Was there any way he would ever have the nerve to actually
meet any of these men he cruised verbally, he wondered. Had the
reputation he was fast acquiring for playing head games, spoiled
his chances? Secretly he yearned for some man to be so insistent
that he would have to respond, would be forced to finally take
the chance and show himself in public as a gay man. Shit! It
was only recently he had come out to himself, and sometimes, he
still denied it.
>Where's the stud who's man enuf to take all 9 inches of
>Are we talkin salami here?
>And is it kosher, that's what I want to know!
>It's kosher if it's cut! Is it cut?
>I'm drooling, guy! I'm on my knees, waiting for your hot
pulsing rod! Ram my throat, baby!
When Tony first started logging on to the BBS, he would
hear these voices in his sleep -- dark and seductive, light and
suggestive; whispers, moans, invitations.... He'd hear the wet
slurp of sweaty skin slapping against hot flesh. He'd wake up
with a hard-on. Sometimes the sheets were wet and sticky and he
got up in the night and rinsed them out in the toilet bowl so as
not to have to run the water.
The voices had slowed down, sorted themselves out so that
now each belonged to a particular handle with a picture he had
made up in his head that corresponded to it.
Then he discovered gifs. He had noticed the word on the
main menu when he first logged on, but it was merely one more
technical term he didn't understand, and he didn't stop to worry
about it. The term began to creep into the public posts, used in
questions like, "Where can I get hold of Bare Bear's gif?" or "Is
it true the Marky Mark gif showing the great hard-on is a fake?"
Then one of the sysops explained that members could take a photo
of themselves and scan it, then upload it for others to see.
There were hundreds of gifs on the system, hundreds of pictures
of hot men of all types, into all sorts of activities, baring it
all and revelling in it. Tony was delighted. And tonight, having
discovered how to hide files, he had finally got up the nerve to
try to bring one of these pictures into his computer.
It was very late. The old house creaked around him,
settling in the night air. Outside his dormer window, shadowed
leaves waved gently, black and silver in the faint light from the
moon. Tony watched the screen intently, the tingling in his
fingers making him feel very alive as he read the labels that
tried to capture the impact of the hidden image. "Leather stud
unzips for his slave", "This leatherman struts his stuff", "Boy
next door bares all for the neighbors", "Two bears at play".
What did the words actually mean? How real would the image be?
At last he settled on one of the simpler gifs called
"Jason alone". There was something wistful about the title that
called to him. Jason alone. Tony alone. Put them together...
He adjusted his glasses and keyed in the download sequence. To
his delight, everything proceeded smoothly. The numbers clicked
over, counting down the time till he could actually look at his
Two minutes later he logged off the BBS and went into his
viewer program. After a tense wait, a compact young blond
flashed into view, his nearly nude body stretched out lazily in
bright sunlight. One arm was flung back, his hand cradling his
blond head against the brick wall. His other hand explored under
the waist band of his skimpy Speedo. It was obvious there was a
lot going on under there.
Tony stared long and hard at the image, so lifelike, so
real. Jason's eyes gazed dreamily over his right shoulder. They
were deep blue. The blond hair on his arms and legs glistened
gold, his long sun-bleached curls almost stirring in the unseen
breeze. Tony shivered. His own shorts were clammy and with a
furtive look in the direction of the stairs behind him, he pulled
them off. When he sat down again, his naked ass squeaked
slightly against the wooden chair. He thought about the feel of
his buttocks flattened against the wood, the edge pressing into
him, marking his skin, leaving its pattern on him, the way
fingers would leave their imprint from kneading his ass cheeks in
an agony of shared pleasure.
A small moan escaped him. He had never shared anything
like that, only one fumbled hurried encounter in the darkness of
the gym cupboard at school that showed him clearly what he really
wanted from another male. What he had started to look for, at
He gazed at the image in front of him, caressing the
screen with his eyes; that body, so compact, lithe, muscular
without the bulk that he admired but found a little intimidating.
He felt his own cock stiffen, hanging out in the naked air,
reaching for contact. What did Jason's cock look like under that
thin strip of red nylon?
He leaned closer, trying to see the tiny beads of sweat
glistening on Jason's smooth chest. He could almost smell the
salty tang of the damp blond hair, feel the heavy moist heat of
it against the warm neck as he burrowed closer....
He blinked. The tree sighed outside his window and as he
turned his head, he heard another sigh almost in his ear. He
snapped his eyes back to the screen and at the same time, pushed
his chair further away from his desk.
"Jesus," he murmured. He wiped the sweat out of his eyes.
Something was wrong. He stood up abruptly and pulled on his
shorts, feeling all of a sudden, as if we was no longer alone.
"Moron," he breathed. He glanced again at the screen and froze.
Was he losing his mind? Or was the image different? Jason's
right hand had moved, pushing his speedo lower on his narrow
hips, showing more of the dark blond pubic hair curling through
the boy's fingers. And his face! Those green/blue eyes were
looking right at him, smiling, mocking, tempting.... Tony stared
back, mesmerized. It was like looking into water where you can
see down all the way down through different levels of color.
"This is crazy!" Tony hissed, but he shivered in the closeness of
the attic room. His cock stirred again in his shorts.
Back on the screen, Jason winked at him. Maybe this is an
electronic thing, Tony thought. He watched closely as Jason
pulled out his cut cock and began to pump it slowly, slowly, the
slit gleaming with pre-cum, while all the time, those eyes stared
right at Tony. It's like my own personal porn flick right on my
own computer, he thought. He'd heard of such things, but weren't
they called something else? GRASP, or something like that? Not
GIFS, were they?
Whatever they were or weren't, Jason didn't seem to care.
He had turned over now, presenting his trim ass for Tony's
Tony went over and switched on his bedside table light.
Too many shadows, he reasoned. When he turned back to the
screen, there was nothing there at all! The screen glowed a
blank silver in the darkness. Now what? A power surge? Disk
crash? Would it cost a lot to fix? Oh, God! Would he be able
to wipe off the evidence of his double life before anyone saw
those tell-tale files?
All these thoughts raced through his mind as he stared at
the blank monitor. Then he heard a soft ripple of laughter
behind him, like the sigh of the breeze outside his window.
He froze. It wasn't outside. Not this time. Was someone
playing tricks on him? He took a deep breath, then very slowly,
he turned around.
Jason lay stretched out on his bed, one hand behind his
head, the other teasingly pushing his cock back out of sight
under the drawstring of the red Speedo. He grinned.
"Shit," muttered Tony. "I must be losing it."
Jason shook his blond head. "Finding it, you mean, don't
you? And it's about time, too."
"What the hell is that supposed to mean?" Tony shot back,
stung by the retort.
That low intimate chuckle sounded again, almost as if
inside his head. "Aw come on! You're not exactly a high scorer
in this game, are you, sport?"
"I'm not playing games!"
"Sure you are." Jason grinned at him and ground his hips
into the bed suggestively. "But you're too chicken to play out
"You're pretty cocky for a bunch of electronic dots." Tony
sank onto the desk chair. It was either sit down or fall down at
this point, and he didn't want to wake up his mother by crashing
onto the floor.
Jason seemed to be considering his words. The impish grin
had given way to a thoughtful look as he scratched his bare
chest. Tony was seized with the sudden fear that he might
disappear. He leaned forward, reaching out impulsively. At the
last moment, he pulled back.
"What are you?" he whispered.
Jason shrugged. "The boy next door. Your first date.
Whatever. Does it matter?"
"Of course it matters! Shit!"
"Don't be so uptight."
"Yeah, you're a great one to talk, porn star or whoever
"Porn star? Me? Hah! I'm not big enough to do porn."
"You look pretty good to me," Tony admitted.
"I'm average, that's all." He shrugged. "You don't have
to be hung like a horse to look good."
"Sure sounds that way, the way guys talk."
"Talk. Sure. Anyone can talk. You should know, right,
Tony flushed uncomfortably.
Suddenly the Speedo was off and Jason's beautiful cut cock
sprang into view. Tony stared, all the banter and jokes and
leering lines gone from his mind. There was no way he could talk
now, no way he wanted to. He watched Jason twirl the swim suit
around on one finger, a swirl of blurred color that suddenly went
flying across the room and out of sight. Jason got to his feet
and moved closer, his perfect compact body glowing with sun and
sex and invitation.
Tony groaned. He felt week behind the knees and his
breath came in short soft gasps as he leaned towards the boy,
slowly, by imperceptible inches. It was like being pulled by an
unseen cord. He was so close he could smell the sweaty hair,
clinging in damp curls on Jason's forehead, his neck. Jason ran
his tongue over his lips, slowly, looking into Tony's eyes.
Tony's cock jumped against the thin cotton of his shorts, leaking
precum. Without taking his eyes off the golden dream, Tony
yanked his shorts down and kicked out of them.
"Yeah," breathed Jason.
The dark hair on Tony's chest stirred as Jason's hand
hovered barely an inch above his skin. Suddenly, tears spilled
out of his eyes, making the naked blond vision so close to him
sparkle in the dim light. He had wanted this for so long, but
his dreams had always been a hot, shifting kaleidoscope of
anonymous cocks straining against tight swimsuits, cocks swelling
the front of gym shorts, sturdy legs pumping up and down, ass
checks clenching beneath brief track uniforms. There had never
been a clear specific picture, one face, one body. Now, all the
disjointed images coalesced into one likeness -- Jason, with the
golden haze of hair on his arms and legs, the swirl of thick
spicy curls clustered around the base of his cock. Tony closed
his eyes, trying to cope with the naked desire shivering through
him. His body was tense with lust, his cock rock hard, stabbing
the air in front of him, hot for contact with Jason's luscious
mouth. But he was afraid to move, afraid he might shatter this
He felt a shift in the close stillness and his eyes sprang
open. Jason was gone! A sigh coming up from below made him
almost laugh out loud with relief. Jason was on his knees, his
bright head poised above Tony's rigid cock. Slowly, his arm
shaking with the strain of control, Tony lowered his hand. As
his fingers touched the gleaming curls, a sharp tingle went
through him, as if a mild electrical current crawled through his
nerves, down his spine, jolting his cock into delicious spasms as
Jason's hot mouth slid around the swollen tip.
"Ahhhh." The breath poured out of him in a long sigh, the
sound hanging in the dense, hot air.
Jason's hands moved up the backs of his legs until the
strong fingers molded themselves around the cheeks of his ass,
lifting, separating, radiating heat like small suns. Tony was on
fire, within, without, even his face dripped, sweat rolling down
his sides, down his back. He could almost hear the sizzle as
drops of perspiration hit Jason's searing flesh. His cock slid
down the kneeling boy's yielding throat like magic. He could
feel the caress of the strong muscles, undulating against his
swelling shaft, until he began to shake, his whole body vibrating
so much he was afraid he was going to lose his balance.
"I'm coming!" he growled between clenched teeth.
Jason pulled away, his face bright red, slicked with
sweat, his eyes laughing. He rolled back on the bed, pulling
Tony on top of him and put his ankles on Tony's shoulders.
"Fuck me," he whispered, making those two words one long
Tony was beyond thought. He looked down and saw the boy's
brown puckered hole winking at him from between the deep perfect
globes of his ass. Steadying himself with one hand on the wall,
he guided his aching cock past the tight circle of muscle that
opened to him with a soft sucking noise. He gasped as his soul
was pulled deep inside the hot velvet center of his dream Fuck.
His body shuddered. He bucked against the charged flesh, his
tight nuts hammering on Jason's muscled ass as suddenly his need
burst out of him with a great crescendo and he shot his load with
a strangled animal cry of triumph.
When he looked down again, he saw the strings of pearlized
come gleaming on the boy's chest, dripping from the perfect
mushroom head of his cock. Tony grinned down at his companion,
his chest heaving as he tried to catch his breath.
"Tony? Are you okay?" His mother's voice.
For one terrified instant, Tony froze. Then he scrambled
to his feet, crawled around on the floor in a desperate search
for his crumpled shorts. "Under the bed." he hissed, not
stopping to see if Jason understood his urgency. When he found
the shorts, he yanked them on, realizing too late they were back
"Tony? I thought I heard something up here. You okay or
what?" His mother's unkept grey head appeared as she slowly made
her way up the attic stairs.
Total helplessness rushed through Tony as he watched her
pause at the top and reach for the light switch. He pushed both
hands through his hair as if looking presentable were all that
was necessary, when the smell of sex was heavy on the air and his
lover lay naked, covered in come on the bed behind him.
Finding his voice at last, he stepped forward, trying to
ward off this invasion of his privacy. "I'm okay, Mom. Really.
You don't need to come up here just because you heard me talking
to my computer!"
"You should be in bed at this time of night, not sitting
up in front of that thing playing games." She waved at the
"Look, Mom, I don't play games anymore. I'm not a kid. I
have a life!"
"A life. Sure. What kind of a life when you're up all
hours of the night?" She snapped on the light. "Let me fix your
bed. It's all messed up."
"What's the matter with you? Heat stroke?"
"Nothing's wrong. You just ... startled me, okay? I'll
go to bed now. Honest."
His mother looked at him for a long moment, her dark brown
eyes unreadable. Then she shook her head, turned and made her
way back down the stairs.
"Jesus Christ," muttered Tony. He looked towards the bed.
It was empty. Thank God Jason had made himself scarce. "Okay.
You can come out now. She's gone." Nothing. He looked under
the bed, but even shining a flashlight under there revealed
nothing but dust bunnies and an old sock. "Jason? Where are
Tony stood in the middle of his attic room, looking
around. There was no one in the cupboard, no one in the closet,
no naked sweating body behind the dresser. he was alone. He
turned back to the computer and looked at the softly glowing
screen. Then he took a closer look. As he watched, the silver
shimmer slowly tightened into a small blue/green eye in the very
middle of the screen. Then with a wink, the eye vanished,
leaving the screen blank.
"Amazing.Gif" is chapter 2 of the novel Fantasy Board, by Kyle Stone. It first appeared in a slightly different version in the magazine Fresh Men.