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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.

Luke Hanson's Mind & Punishment: A Teen in Despair - 24. Chapter 24 - It's Taken A Lot Out Of Me Loving You

This chapter contains scenes that may trigger some readers. 


Monday 1:10pm - Luke

It was the day the fair was due to leave town. According to the local Newspaper, it had done it's final Sunday night to huge crowds and a twenty minute firework display. The Local MP was there along with the press and everyone was thanking the Sheperd family for bringing to a close another successful year of safe family fun, temporary jobs, and a huge boost to the local town economy. Clyde and his Mother gave a long interview about Scott Sheperd, his legacy and how they would be back next year as is tradition. 

I would be marking that anniversary with a black rose pinned to my dick! I thought


I'd asked Derek if he wouldn't mind me taking an extended lunch to drive over there. I had no idea what I was hoping for, expecting or seeing there, but I had to do it. Derek had told me to take as much time as I needed which was nice of him and I tried to be respectful with the offer.

I deliberately drove past the main car park and pulled into a country track used by farmers. Then, stopping by a large bush, I got out and started to walk back on myself towards the site. I kept my head down until I got to the car park and hid behind an electricity junction box. Then, crouching down onto my knees, I leaned back on the green chest and looked up into the sky. I knew this was ridiculous, but I would have probably regretted it if I hadn't come here one last time.

I let my head drop down and looked to the right, seeing Leander's large black truck parked. Field dust on the windscreen told me it had not moved for a while. But, after all, what does a Gipsy boy need to leave his place for, right? Well, he did have a reason to, but he chose to isolate himself from what could have been.

There was one question in my head that played over and over. It was the question of whether I would call Leander's bluff and let him go without saying goodbye. I genuinely wanted to let it happen because he made it sound like he was ready for goodbye. He made it sound like it was going to happen, and he just wanted a hug to make himself feel better... to make himself feel like he could end this chapter of his life without it actually hurting anyone.

For me? Well, this was not the case.

I'd often dreamed of adult life when I was a kid. I never thought about who I would be with or how a relationship would play out. But I did dream of how I would feel as an adult. Would I cope, for instance, with responsibilities, bills, work, and friendships? I knew how all those things worked around me, but put me in the middle of them? I wasn't so sure. Now I was at that point I'd dreamt of; it was the other way around. I no longer cared about any one of the mentioned. It was now solely about relationships, who I would end up with and how my life would play out.

I had four boyfriends under my belt... not a proud record by any means but to make a point - None of them lasted a month. All of them dumped me. Max Baker, Jack Austin, Paul Hedger and Leander Sheperd. All of them... all of them left me, gave reasons that made no sense. All said it was them, not me. Mah, Bullshit. Fucking bullshit. Of course, it was me. None would have left if they were as mad for me as I was for them. Okay, I get it. I fall for people badly, quickly and blindly. However, Leander was really different from the others. The feelings, the fate, the drive and the long-term picture I'd created for us. This was all different from the other three. Had I grown up? Perhaps. But I think it was more than that. Until then, I'd never swallowed the old saying 'Love at first sight' - I thought it was tosh. But Leander knocked my thesis on its head and made me question it again.

Leander is what I need in my life, I'm convinced. He's a stable personality, a good talker, and a listener who instantly understands people. He's a younger version of my Dad, actually. Hmm, that's just weird now! But I do think I need... no, I want a person like that. They need to be able to understand me as a person. Not the outside, not the smile, the outfit. They need to know what's happening in the operations centre—the heart of my being.

He does that!

I poked my head around the side of the box and looked down through to the fairground entrance, seeing around twenty people packing various stalls up and removing things from hooks. The ride section was beyond my sights; I imagined Leander would be helping with that. Most of the rides are built like meccano sets folded down onto the back of a flatbed lorry trailer. But expert crews would turn up tonight and would dismantle the bigger ones. After that, Sheperd Fair was off to Wales for another five weeks before it headed to Jersey by ship. That would be another four weeks, and then it was back here to shut down until next year. Despite the size of the operation, it's surprising how little space it takes up once everything is packed, wrapped, and stored.

"Why are you hiding down there," Leander's voice came to my right. 

"SHIIIIIT!!!" I screamed like a pussy. "You fucking scared the... Jesus, how did you know I was here?"

"Because I happened to see your car drive past about ten minutes ago, and I thought you were coming to see me. When you didn't turn up, I came looking for you. Well, have you come to see me?"

I was now red with embarrassment, and Leander could see it, causing him to try and hold back a grin that was bursting to get out.

"I dropped something down here, and I can't find it," I said, pathetically running my hands through the grass, pretending to look.

"Your dignity?" Leander asked, now grinning from ear to ear. I looked up and saw his face before bursting out laughing.

"Grrrr, you weren't supposed to see me. I was going to let you go, you know," I said. Leander's smile faded, and he sat down next to me.

"I was sure you would," he replied, placing a hand on my knee. "I knew I'd blown it with you when I didn't get a response back from my message."

"I blame you for this," I said, looking into his eyes.

Leander looked off into the distance and replied softly. "I know, and that is most of the truth, isn't it."

"Are you happy?" I asked.

Leander sighed. "Honestly? No."


"It's family, Luke. Perhaps you'll never understand how different my life is compared to another random guy you may have met."

"Leander, look at me. If someone is being held in a place they do not wish to be by a group that always reinforces that world, then that is not family. That is a prison."

"Ha!" Leader quipped. "You say that as if I don't already know it's a prison. Of course it's a prison. Of course, it's Hotel California; that's my point, Luke. It doesn't matter if I want this life or not... want my family or not, or want to be with you or not. It's this life which I was born into, and that is it. Theee life, the destiny. Like the bloody Royal Family. Once you are old enough to know your place in the world, you realise you are trapped forever, just like that prince."

I took hold of Leander's hand and looked at him. "The only prison you cannot escape, Bear, is a real one."

"Pffft, easy words, Luke. You have a family who lives a normal life. A family which has never dictated your freedoms or aspirations in your life. When you go out, you are not subjected to questioning from parts of your family or even had a clamp placed on your car."

"A clamp?"

"Yeah, have you not seen it?"


"My mother asked Clyde to clamp me so I couldn't use my truck. Do you know why? Because they feel threatened by two sources. Firstly, YOU," he said, pointing. "And second, Dan Jacobs. The latter comes every year... same old argument, same old threats. But you have really stirred the hornet's nest because I have confirmed you exist and I said I was with you, as in together. After you left, I got the real feelings from my family. And the ones you saw? Those reasonably toned comments? Naaa, not even close."

"But Clyde? Duke? They... they were both nice to me."

"Clyde thinks your okay, Luke. He actually likes you, but once that family instinct kicks in where he thinks one might be thinking of getting away, Clyde can change. At least his words change."

The problem I finally understood was not about Leander's wants, needs, or anything of that kind; that's not what is holding him back. This was about the possibility of him being in a real prison. It's just one where your family is the warden, and the fair is the walls.

Leander stood up and held out his hand. I took it, and he pulled me to a standing position. 

"I'm glad you came," he said. "Even if it was to hide and spy on me."

I blushed. "I was not spying; I was just... I don't know; I just had to see the fair being taken down. Perhaps I wanted some closure. But I wasn't planning on seeing you."

"As I said, I'm glad you came." Leander smiled, but it quickly faded as something caught his eye.

"Bear, what the hell are you doing out here? We have work to do. We leave tonight. You!" Clyde said, pointing at me. "I realise you want to say goodbye, but he needs to be working."

"I was just passing," I replied, starting to move away.

Clyde grabbed Leander by his neck and shoved him in the direction of the entrance. The act shocked me as I'd never seen Clyde behave remotely like that, and it went against his liberal way in contrast to what I heard about Scott, Leander's Dad."

"Leander," I called. He turned around to look at me, his face sad. "Take care, yeah?" I added, starting to well up.

Clyde gave Leander another shove as he stopped. "See you, Luke. I... I love you, yeah?"

All the way back to the entrance, Clyde was berating his brother and pointing his finger at him... into him, as they walked off into the distance. I fell to my knees like some dramatic bellend. He'd said it! He'd said he loved me, but this was still happening. It was still over. And I now knew it was never Leander's idea. It was never him who decided to dump me like all the others. It was his Prison guards.



Monday 1:32pm - Leander

I tried not to cry, leaving Luke at the entrance. I was trying so hard because I knew it would make things worse if Clyde saw it. My Brother dragged me to his trailer and shoved me through the door.

"Sit down!"

"Okay, but please don't get ang..."

"What the fuck was that? Huh? What the fuck was you doing out there talking to him. Wasn't Mum clear on this? And the 'I Love you' thing? What are you? Even you don't fucking know, do you! It's been non-stop drama from you since he came along. He's messin with your head, and you're lapping it up."

"Clyde, he came to say goodbye, that's all."

"Clyde he came to say goodbye..." Clyde mimicked me, sarcastically. "...What did he say? Huh? Tell me what he said. I want the truth! By God, I want the truth!"

"He just said he wanted to see the fair being dismantled. He hadn't come to see me, really."

Clyde came right up to my face. "You expect me to believe that?"

"I swear, it's the truth. He was ignoring me up until I saw him today!"

"Ignoring you? What the fuck were you saying to him to give him the chance to ignore you. Are you thinking of leaving us? Huh, Bear. Didn't Dad drum it into you?"

This was real Clyde. Not the person he is around park guests and strangers. This was the power trip we all feared after Dad died. Within just a handful of days, Clyde had changed into a different person. He managed his persona well, though - leading all non-family and friends to believe that he was the same old Clyde - laid back, polite and a liberal member of the family. But something had been let loose in him that we always wondered was his true self.

"You're not him," I said, looking into his green eyes. "Don't become him, Clyde, please."

"The family, Bear, IS the family. You don't FUCK, with the system. You don't secretly want to LEAVE, yeah? You're committed."

"And I am!" I pleaded.

Clyde shook his head. "Naah...Nah, I don't think you are pretty boy. Because lately, you have become withdrawn, miserable and distant. The last time you were like that for more than a few hours was when Dan Jacobs offered you that job at his shitty establishment. Hell, you aren't even like that because Dad died, then maybe I could understand it."

"Would you be upset about him... what he put us through? What he put Duke through. Do you know what he put Duke through?"

"Don't try and pull me off this subject I'm on, Bear. This has nothing to do with Duke or Dad. This is about you and that boy! Were you fucking him, Huh? Were you puttin that dick in him?"


"You've been with him a while, and you ain't sucking no dick or pumping ass? Jesus, even Duke was getting more action than you."

"That's disgusting," I said.

"No, you're disgusting for thinking of abandoning this family! And you know what happens to people who abandon the family, don't you?"

I nodded. "I swear to you, Clyde, I swear to you that's not the case. Please! Jesus, Please!" I begged.

"Stay here. I want to go and get Mum. Perhaps she has advice for you."

"Okay, that's okay," I replied, feeling a wave of relief when he walked out. 

I did as Clyde asked and waited for Mum. I was hoping she would step in and calm the situation down. This was all in Clyde's head. Why won't he believe me? Mum was generally against my Dad's violence to us all but was pretty powerless to stop it. I hoped that by the time she had arrived, she would have talked to Clyde and this interrogation would be over. I felt confident it would be, and so a little calmer.

I was about to stand up and grab a glass of water as my throat was dry, but I jumped as Nelson and Seth, two of my Cousins, came barging through the door. 

"Guys, shit, you made me jump. I'm in here with Clyde; you better come back later." I said, walking over to the small tabletop fridge.

I was grabbed from behind and dragged out of the caravan. Yeltsin placed his fat hand over my mouth as I began to kick around and scream. "Shut it, Bear; this is for your own good!" Seth said as they both manhandled me to an empty trailer at the back of the site.

"Mmmrrrooorraaahhh mmpphhhh moooormmmrraaahhh," I managed to get a muffled scream out as we got to the old caravan, but no one came.

Yeltsin threw me across the floor of the empty room, and Seth slammed the door shut.

"Wha...what are you going to do?" I asked, tears coming down my cheeks. 

"Shut it. Don't talk, don't ask questions! You answer them!" Yeltsin growled.

Seth picked up a simple wooden chair and slammed it down in the middle of the trailer.

"Undress, now! Everything!"

"What? Guys, no, that's insane..."

I felt a searing pain on my face as Seth landed a punch square on my chin. It was so hard that I fell backwards and hit my head on the wall. 

"You heard the man, Bear. Better get those panties off, or they'll be more where that came from."

I stood up, eying them sideways. "Why are you doing this," I asked in a pleading tone. 

"We said, DON'T ask questions. Now GET UNDRESSED!" Yeltsin screamed at me.

I did as I was told and took off all my clothes, barring my socks.

"He said EVER-RE-THING," Seth added forcefully.

I took off my socks and stood there naked; all manner of dignity draining away as everything I had was on display.

"Quite a big boy, ain't he Yel?" Seth announced. Before kicking me hard in the groin area with his heavy black boot.


Another kick from one of their boots landed on my lower back. I immediately heard a crack and felt pins and needles develop in my legs.

"Thinking of leaving, were you Sunshine?" Seth asked, kicking me again. "This is the part where you answer the questions?"

"Awwww, does it hurt? Does it Hurt?" Yeltsin asked, in a teasing voice, taunting me.

Then that was it. No sooner was I about to try and give my statement, they both launched into a four-boot assault on my naked body. The first few blows were agonising, but then it all became a dull feeling as my hearing started to go. I peered up, seeing a blurry-looking Seth undoing his jeans and pulling them down.

Then, nothing



Monday 2:00pm - Luke

After sitting in my car for a while, I decided I needed to overcome this loss. I also decided that once I left the fair today, I would do everything I could to ensure I never saw it or any of the fair's occupants again. It was going to be cold turkey on this one.

After trying unsuccessfully to turn my mind toxic about Leander to ensure I had help to get over him, I gave up, only ever seeing his beautiful face and the kindness he'd shown me in our short time together.

If you've ever been in love, you'll know that weight that sits on your chest when it falls through or is taken away. You never do fully recover from a broken heart, and that's what I thought I had as I sat there in my beat-up car, trying to blast as much non-conditioned air as I could in my face to cool it.

Is love good? It's a question which baffles me because while it might be assuredly addictive, like a nice round of clotted cream, jam and scones, it can smell like a rotting chicken when it goes bad. I felt like I wanted out of this rat race of love. I'd been wounded heavily. Do I wish I'd just not bothered seeking out that scent I got in the bakers? Do I wish I'd not thought about the person I'd crashed into that day, almost scolding him with my coffee? Of course not!

It was worth every minute. But now, it was over. It was really over. The fair was leaving tonight, taking my soul mate with it, and there was fuck all I could do about it.

Starting the engine of my car, I placed the stick into first gear and pulled away, back down the road which ran alongside the huge field that was home each year to the Sherperd Fair.

As it slowly went by on my right, I mouthed the words goodbye. I took one last look in my rearview mirror before noting a rolled-up carpet being carried by two men. I slowed down, not to a stop, but a crawl, to see what was going on. 

I shouldn't have cared, but they dumped the roll into Leander's truck which seemed strange.




Give me that diamond ring
Give me that love on the movie screen
And I, I won't feel a thing
Promise I, I won't feel a thing


Give me that kiss goodnight
Give me a call, tell me it's alright
And I, I won't feel a thing
Promise I, I won't feel a thing


And I guess that I got rewired
'Cause you're cold as ice but it feels like fire
And the drugs don't work and I don't know why
But when you hurt me I just go higher
But when I'm crying on the bathroom floor
Tearing off the dress I wore, I wonder
If I could never ask for more
If I'm never gonna ask for more from a lover
Crying on the bathroom floor
Tearing off the dress I wore, I wonder
If I could never ask for more
If I'm never gonna ask for more from a lover


Give me your disrespect
Give me your pain and loneliness
And I'll, I'll love you the best
Promise I'll, I'll love you the best
Give me no peace of mind
Give me distress, give me all your lies
And I'll love you for a life
Promise I'll love you 'til I die
But I'm crying on the bathroom floor
Tearing off the dress I wore, I wonder
If I could ever ask for more


(Lyrics copyright of Muna. Crying on the Bathroom Floor. Fair usage.)

Copyright © 2022 James Matthews; All Rights Reserved.
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Trying a different style and a couple of new things in this book and my only benchmark on how that is going is you, my loyal readers. So I have a small favour. Please do click a like if you're enjoying the story and please do recommend the book. If you have a thought or comment I'd be made up to hear what you think. All feedback is relished and of course I do love hearing your ideas, opinions and banter. Many thanks, folks! Now, let go forth on to the next chapter :) 

Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
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17 hours ago, Leo622 said:

Great story. A truly heart wrenching chapter...what a cliff hanger! Thank you for sharing your story. 

Thank you so much Leo for the kind comment :) 

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Wowsers. I wasn't expecting any of this. Big change in his brother's attitude.. becoming more like his father. Scary. Clamping his tyre??? What mother does that to her son?? And to top it all.... his cousins' behaviour. That is simply too terrible.  

I do hope Luke investigates the carpet being dumped in Bear's van to see what that entails and if necessary gets help.

Awesome chapter.

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Thanks a lot Mansex,

Really good to hear you enjoyed the chapter and thanks for the thumbs up :) Appreciate it!

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I have to admit I have no understanding of people who choose to stay with abusive cults, even though they have opportunities to leave.  And yet it happens in real life.  I sympathise with the victims, but admit to being a little judgemental.  They could have left, they did not.  They frequently end up dead.

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