TSL's Fill In The Blanks

TSL's Fill In The Blanks

Author's Note:

If you click on the Red Underlined Words you will get more detail about those words.

The day that John Q. Smith had dreaded, and at the same time looked forward to, was finally upon him. His first day as a freshman at the Greater Institute of Public Higher Education had arrived. He was as nervous as the proverbial long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs. John was finally leaving the nest and doing something entirely on his own; there would be no one that he knew at his new school. John's first day at the Institute was going to be very busy since he had missed the New Student Orientation the previous week as there were still crops to bring in before he could escape the family farm in the small town of Erehwon. Thanks to the wonder of Al Gore's Internet Al Gore's Internet (" <a href=\"https:\/\/en.wikipedia.org\/wiki\/Al_Gore\">Al Gore<\/a>&#160;is a former&#160;<a href=\"https:\/\/en.wikipedia.org\/wiki\/United_States_Senator\">US Senator<\/a>&#160;who served as the&#160;<a href=\"https:\/\/en.wikipedia.org\/wiki\/Vice_President_of_the_United_States\">Vice President of the United States<\/a>&#160;from 1993 to 2001, and is co-winner of the&#160;<a href=\"https:\/\/en.wikipedia.org\/wiki\/2007_Nobel_Peace_Prize\">2007 Nobel Peace Prize<\/a>. In the 1980s and 1990s, he promoted legislation that funded an expansion of the&#160;<a href=\"https:\/\/en.wikipedia.org\/wiki\/ARPANET\">ARPANET<\/a>, allowing greater public access, and helping to develop the&#160;<a href=\"https:\/\/en.wikipedia.org\/wiki\/Internet\">Internet<\/a>. &#169;Wikepedia <a href=\"https:\/\/en.wikipedia.org\/wiki\/Al_Gore_and_information_technology\">https:\/\/en.wikipedia.org\/wiki\/Al_Gore_and_information_technology<\/a> "), John had a map of the campus and directions to the main Administration Building.

John found his Advisor's Office easily and was directed to a small conference room just down the hall where a small group of new students was awaiting their Orientation. Sophia Smith (no relation) began the Orientation as soon as John was seated and even before, he could open his notebook to take notes. The Orientation took less than half an hour and Ms. Smith handed out a slew of pamphlets and assorted other printed material. She also gave them links to the Institute's IntraWeb, for all of the pertinent information that they would need in the ensuing weeks. The one thing that she forgot to mention was the quiz buried in those links. No quiz no grades, the Institute was a very sneaky place. Since John was a meticulous note taker, he was the last person out of the room and since he was looking at his timetable and map as he walked out the door, the inevitable occurred. Of course, John stepped out of the door turned and ran smack into two veritable hulks of the stud variety. John fell to the floor - timetable, maps, and notebook flying.  As he was being helped up from, the floor he was stunned, as he looked up into the brunet hair hazel eyed face of his favourite cousin and then John passed out as he looked into the face of the blond-haired, sapphire-eyed quarterback of the Institute's Football Team.

John struggled through the first couple of months adjusting to a much larger city and a totally different educational system. Here it was up to him to get all the required work done and handed in on time, the instructors handed out the assignments with a due date and that was it. The strange thing though was the fact he kept running into the sapphire-eyed quarterback even though they had no classes together. He asked his cousin about that, one of the few times that they ran into each other. His cousin had no idea why Marcus would be stalking John. John's cousin asked if Marcus looked angry or hostile whenever john caught him spying on him. 'That's the strange thing he is always smiling, and it isn't a smirk either.' I thought to myself in answer to my cousin's question. "No he doesn't look angry or dangerous, it is just spooky." At that moment both of their watches started beeping, they both just said bye and hurried off to class. The rest of John's day went quickly until he arrived at last class Comparative Religions. John was taking the class as he was only familiar with the Catholic Religion that he was semi-forced into by his family. However, at the Institute he kept hearing about lots of different religions and was very curious about their differences. He was only lackadaisically looking for a new religion for himself; however, he also wanted to better understand his fellow dorm mates and teammates. John walked into the class totally unaware of the firestorm that was about to erupt. The Instructor began handing their latest assignment back to the front row, which dutifully began handing them backward. John was very surprised when he didn't get his term paper back. He looked up at the instructor who was now standing behind the podium holding a term paper and giving it a quick read through. John wasn't sure what was going on and he was just getting ready to stand and ask the instructor where his term paper was. "Some of the term papers submitted were very good, unfortunately, a lot of them weren't even mediocre. Over sixty percent of you didn't even meet the minimum word requirement, and before you ask quotations, references and punctuation do not count toward the required word count; only your own words do. If that wasn't bad enough the majority of you failed to follow the instructions completely! I wanted a paper that convinced me one way or another, why I should follow a religion, and why one religion over another. Only one paper fulfilled all of the requirements and received an 'A', however, I do have to admit that the author fulfilled the requirements in a totally unexpected way. I was expecting that most of the papers submitted would be extolling the benefits of the authors' own religion and trying to convince me why that religion was the best. For some strange reason, the 'A' paper didn't exactly do that. The author had the unmitigated gall to tell me in writing that it was impossible to complete the requirements of the assignment. He then went on in great detail to tell me why it couldn't be done. I am going to read you an excerpt from John Q. Public's paper, which I have already submitted for publication in the Institute's Newsletter and a professional Comparative Religion Quarterly. John was trying to crawl under the seat in front of him when the instructor told him to stand up and prepare to answer questions. John dutifully did as ordered, hoping that the heat from his red face would set off the fire sprinkler system, and he could escape from the nightmare that he just knew was about to overcome him. The instructor began reading,

"This assignment is impossible to complete as laid out because you have to have experienced or have knowledge of more than one religion. Otherwise, all you will be doing is parroting whatever your parents, guardians, or religious elders have told you. You will be unable to fully explain the differences between one or more religions if you have only one religion to base your point of view on." John goes on later in his paper to state how hard it is for some people to experience different forms of religion due to the strictures of their existing religion. While John's paper didn't fulfill the letter of the requirements they above and beyond fulfilled the spirit of the requirements. Now we have fifteen minutes for John to answer questions, if you want to read more of John's paper and learn how to pass my class, his paper is online on this classes portion of the Sociology Departments Section on the Institutes Intranet.

The fifteen minutes went very quickly as the questions were mostly about John's Catholic Religion and its strictures. John had just begun to enjoy himself when the quiet chime announced the end of class. John had to turn down several requests to join study groups as he just didn't have time. He did join one that consisted of students that sat near him in class.

One afternoon while John was practising his swimming he happened to look up into the bleachers and there was Marcus sitting next to a ginger-haired stud. Marcus was pointing toward John when John looked up, Marcus quickly turned to the stud and ignored John.  After that John didn't notice Marcus very often and he never saw the ginger-haired stud again.



John stood there for what seemed hours as he looked at the exquisite invitation that had been slid into his Gym Locker. With fumbling hands, he opened the invitation and nearly dropped it. He stood there in shock as he read the contents of the invitation, completely forgetting that he was nude, something he wasn't used to doing in public. The invitation was to a Halloween Party at the home of the same quarterback that he had run into his first day at the Institute. 'There is no way I am going to this party, I have no clothes and I don't know any of the people that will be there. On top of that, they will probably all be rich snobs like most of the students at the Institute.' John's thoughts were running way ahead of his reading and then he came to the kicker in the Invitation. 'No Regrets, your cousin will pick you up at 7:30 PM and drive you to the party. The dress is casual, masks and costumes preferred!'

Sure, enough at 7:30 PM (on-the-dot) of the evening of the party John's cousin Aloysius P. Smith knocked on the door of John's dorm room, and then walked on in. Less than five minutes later the two cousins were on their way to the party. John's curiosity wasn't satisfied on the way to the party as his cousin deflected all of John's questions with tidbits of family matters. They arrived at the party and Aloysius introduce John to his host and then disappeared. The host, whose name John could never remember, gave him a tour of his house and introduced John to so many people that hiss memory banks went into an overload state. The host finally left John in a room that had a few of his classmates and said,

"Don't go anywhere, I will be right back."

John conversed a bit with some of his classmates, and also nibbled on some of the finger food from trays scattered around the room. The host returned with a dripping unopened can of a local cola for John and then they resumed their tour.

John awoke as the sun peeked through the window of his dorm room with no idea of how he got there. As he was getting out of bed John realized that he was still fully dressed. He staggered into the small half bath and looked into the mirror. John let out a scream that could be heard on the moon as he realized that the clothes he was wearing weren't his own. Just before he passed out he realized that the clothes belonged to . . .

When John came to several hours later he was lying on top of his bed still dressed in the stranger's clothes. As John lay there staring at the ceiling his mind went back to what happened the night before.

John had spent most of the evening wandering through the mansion drinking only unopened cans of Cherry Coke™, talking to a few classmates and occasionally a dormmate. His cousin Aloysius was nowhere to be seen or found. John was preparing to call a cab and leave when who all people but Marcus came into the room where John was trying to dig his phone out of his costume. Marcus walked over to John and introduced himself and then asked John if they could head outside to the gazebo (macadamia) in the back? Marcus said that he wanted to explain why he seemed to be stalking John. "Don't worry John, the gazebo and backyard are well lit and there are other students in the backyard as well. You will be perfectly safe there and your cousin Aloysius is out there trying to get to second base with a girl, too bad for him but she doesn't bat for his team."

For some reason, John agreed and headed to the gazebo with John, passing Aloysius on the way, John waved but Aloysius didn't seem to see him or anything else. Marcus chuckled as he observed the two cousins' attempt at communication. Upon arriving at the gazebo, and climbing up the steps and going inside John saw the ginger-haired stud sitting on a bench obviously waiting on them. Marcus took John by the arm and lead him over to 'ginger',

"John this is Blake, Blake this is John, now get to know each other while I go get some cold cans of Cherry Coke™ and Mountain Dew Code Red™. The two guys stood there staring at each other and whenever either one of them tried to speak they stuttered and couldn't get a word out. Before the silence became too much Marcus returned shaking his head at the two statues standing there tongue-tied. Marcus decided to put the cards on the table,

John, Blake is my cousin and he wanted to get to know you, but he didn't know how. He had somehow come across some poetry and papers that you wrote in high school, unfortunately, he didn't have any classes that were anywhere near yours and since I had a few classes in the vicinity of yours, not close but a heck of a lot closer than his, he asked me to find out what I could about you. You know things like did you talk to the same girl or guy, what kind of books did you read etc... While I was doing that he was scouring the Institute's Intranet to find every little tidbit about you that he could. So, now I am going to go sit across the room while you to get acquainted. Jake don't forget to tell John about what the Varsity Swim Coach said about him. With that Marcus walked across the gazebo and sat down where he could still see them but probably couldn't hear them. John decided to start the ball rolling,

"What did the Swim Coach have to say about me, Blake? Before you answer let's sit down on the bench behind us it looks nice and comfortable."

Without waiting for Blake to answer John turned around and took a few steps and then sat on the padded bench and leaned back into the padded back.

As soon as Blake had sat down and before he could lose his nerve he answered John's original question.

"The Varsity Swim Coach has been watching your swimming practices and is going to approach you about joining the team. At least that was his original plan, however, he found out that you never joined any sport in high school so now he is just going to have the registrar transfer you from your regular PhysEd Class to the Swim Team's Class. So, unless you want to join the Swim Team you better head him off at the pass."

Once the ice was broken the two talked for a long time, they found out that Blake went to high school the next town over from Erewhon, a small town Nowheresville. He had learned a few things from some of John's cousins and cousins of John's neighbours. As they talked they found out that they were a lot alike, somehow the fact that they both might be gay became part of the conversation. Marcus just happened to look up as the two leaned in to kiss. As their two studs' lips touched there was a flash of light when Marcus could see again the boys were gone. Marcus jumped up and ran over to the bench they were sitting on, he could see indentations in the cushion and a can of Cherry Coke™ and a can of Code Red Mountain Dew™, however, no John or Blake. Marcus then ran out of the gazebo spotted Aloysious grabbed his arm and began forcibly leading him to the gazebo, while at the same time trying to explain what had happened. When they reached the gazebo, they were stunned to see John sitting exactly where Marcus has last seen him leaning forward with his lips puckered for a kiss. But, there was no sign of Blake and John's costume was still in perfect shape. Marcus and Aloysius both called to John but to no avail, John never moved he just kept staring off into space. Aloysius walked over to John and shook him, however, that didn't work either John's lights were on but there was no one home. Meanwhile, Marcus was looking all over the Gazebo but no sign of Blake anywhere. After the two of them tried to get through to John with no result they decided to take John home and put him to bed, and then they would both return and try to find Blake. Marcus and Aloysius got John home with a lot of struggles considering the fact that John while alive was stiff as a board. The two carefully removed John's costume before laying him on the bed and covering him with a quilt. They also place a pillow under his head and then returned to the party hopefully, to find Blake.


As John was taking stock of his surroundings he was trying to figure out whose clothes he was wearing. He had finally figured out that they might be Blake's, but he had no idea how or why he was wearing them. John decided to check and see just how many of the clothes were Blake's, so he unbuckled the jeans and looked to see what kind of underwear he was wearing. He was happy to see that he was wearing his T-Titans boxer briefs, quickly shucking his shows he was very glad to see to see his Duck socks. As he was sitting there trying to make hide or hair of what was going on his bedroom door burst open and Aloysius and Marcus came barging in simultaneously yelling out,

"Where is Blake and what did you do to him?"

As John opened his mouth to answer he predictably disappeared. {TSL pays Str8mayb a quarter.}

The End


Author's Note:

I wrote this in about two hours and I don't apologize for any of the supposed cliffhangers some people claim are in this.


All Comments except pitchforks and torches are greatly appreciated by The Story Lover

Darryl The Radio Rancher's Note:

 Now let me see, is this a cliffhanger on a short story? I certainly hope we can figure out egg zackt lee that the duce is happening and why!  I must admit you got my attention, but I'm afraid I am still in the dark, so to speak.

Please let me know how things turn out. Inquiring minds want to know!

Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher


Head Edit Minion's Note:

It looks good, just the few proposed edits, and the fact that you used "John" so many times I had to go to the john. Otherwise, it was an enchanting story that I would like to see more of….Unless you want to pop into "Spoilers" and just tell me the what, where, why, and how of John and Blake's disappearances. No? Oh well, I'll just keep bugging you until you cave. :P