The Island - Chapter 1

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Chapter One – Lucky Charm

Robert Bingham sat in the cargo hold of the C-47 clinging onto the webbing that kept him strapped in his seat as the aircraft was buffeted around the sky.

The old aircraft was being ferried all the way from Hickham AFB in Hawaii to Ashiya Air Base in Japan to support the Korean war effort. The old war horse had gassed up at Midway Atoll where reports of foul weather over the North Pacific Ocean had not deterred the young and enthusiastic pilots from proceeding with their mission.

The plane was carrying only light cargo to improve endurance and there was nothing on board essential to the war effort so Robert didn’t understand why the flight crew didn’t just wait out the storm at Midway. All they had on board was a pile of crates, trunks, musical instruments and background sets for the USO.

As the plane bucked and swayed, rolling and pitching across the stormy sky Robert bet that two young pilots regretted their decision to continue the flight but now was not the time to be smug.

When Robert heard the aircraft’s port engine begin to sputter he felt not smug at all. He held on for all he was worth as the plane was slammed by a downdraught and began to plummet. He was not a religious man but Robert prayed every second during that terrifying decent.

Miraculously the plane stayed afloat on the tortured mountainous seas long enough for Robert to unstrap himself before it split in half behind the wings spilling Robert and the contents of the cargo bay into the raging Pacific Ocean. The two pilots, the navigator and the radioman strapped into the forward section of the plane never had a chance.

Robert clung to a steamer trunk and tried not to drown. He didn’t know how long he was tossed around the ocean until he felt sand beneath his feet but when he did he was too exhausted to do anything other than drag himself from the sea and collapse on the beach.

“Wake up kid,” a disembodied voice called and Robert felt a shower of water drench his face.

He opened his eyes to see a tall, rangy, shirtless, heavily tanned man towering over him, sprinkling water in his face from a canteen.

When Robert realised that it was fresh water he reached up for the canteen with one hand while he shaded his eyes with the other. The man holding the canteen refused to let go for a second and then let go with a laugh.

“Sip it; don’t gulp it kid or you’ll throw it all up,” the man laughed.

Which is exactly what Robert did. He was so thirsty and his mouth so salty that he gulped down most of the water in the canteen in one long swallow and then immediately threw it all back up.

The man snatched away the canteen and bent down on one knee.

“Sip it kid,” the man cradled Robert’s head and put the canteen to his mouth allowing Robert only a few sips at a time.

“Where am I?” Robert said when he had recovered enough to sit up.

All he could see was a long stretch of white sand with acres of bending palms at the back of the beach. It looked exactly like every other Pacific island and atoll that Robert had ever seen.

“Never mind that kid. Where did you come from and how did you get here?” the man asked.

Robert told the man the story of ferrying the C-47 from Hawaii to Japan and their ill-advised decision to continue the flight from Midway Atoll despite the severe weather warning.

“Korea? We’re fighting there now? We won the war in the Pacific six years ago,” the man sounded bewildered and confused.

Robert studied the man carefully. He was wearing Navy dungarees and had a set of dog tags around his neck. His hair was poorly cut but he had the bearing of a military man.

“Who are you?” Robert asked.

“Chief Petty Officer Ray Millward, United States Navy, and you are?” the man replied.

“Robert Bingham, assistant producer, United Service Organization,” Robert replied.

“I was only on that flight because it is my job to accompany the wardrobe and sets to every location where the USO has a show,” Robert explained.

“You’re a fuckin’ flunky for the USO?” Ray responded.

“I’m an assistant producer!” Robert huffed.

“I was accompanying the show’s theatrical trappings which were being pre-positioned at Ashiya AB in Japan to be transhipped down to Seoul for our USO shows. Of course the performers are flying first class commercial,” Robert said cynically.

“So, where am I?” Robert asked.

“Now that’s a tricky question to answer exactly. Get up and follow me and we’ll get you checked out first, make sure you’re ok,” Ray offered Robert his hand and helped him to his feet.

Robert’s flying suit had dried crusty from the sea water and he had lost his shoes and socks. The sand beneath his feet was warm from the early morning sun.

He followed Ray to the back of the beach and then down a sandy trail winding through tropical foliage. It took Robert a little while to determine why he was so disoriented and then he realised it was the silence. The only sounds were breaking waves and sea birds.

They came out of the dense vegetation onto a runway apron. The apron and the runway itself were cracked and uneven and the jungle was encroaching on it. In several places vines and shrubbery actually crossed the runway. The apron was skirted by several buildings in poor state of repair and rusting Quonset huts.

“What is this place?” Robert asked looking around in confusion.

He could hear the faint humming of a diesel generator in the distance.

“Welcome to Harris Field, Mirrocau Island,” Ray waved his hands expansively.

“Never heard of it,” Robert remained puzzled.

“Not surprised kid. This little shithole was an uninhabited fly speck until it was converted into a staging base back in May 45. Then the war moved on so it was mainly used as a supply and repair facility until it was abandoned in September 1945,” Ray explained.

“They didn’t even bother trying to repatriate most of the surplus stores, they just loaded the troops and anything classified into transports and left the place to rot. Wasn’t worth the time, money and effort,” Ray sighed despondently.

“So what are you doing here?” Robert asked.

“Now that’s a good question but first let’s get you cleaned up, fed and watered then you can meet the others,” Ray started to walk across the crazed and splintered runway towards a group of buildings that looked to be in better condition than the others.

Three other men dressed similarly to Ray came out of one of the buildings to greet them.

“That’s Petty Officer John Fitzgibbons, Seaman Craig Bowen and Seaman Steve Ford, all of the PT 991,” Ray said as the men rushed towards them.

“Settle down guys, let’s get this kid some clean clothes, water and food and then he can tell you his story,” Ray called to his men as they clamoured around Robert and bombarded him with questions.

Robert was taken into a building that looked timeworn on the outside but inside was in remarkable condition. It appeared to be a small mess-hall replete with a stove, cooktops, refrigerator, freezer, table and chairs.

“John, check this kid for injuries,” Ray ordered and went over to a battered coffee pot and poured himself a cup.

The men looked anxiously at Robert whilst Petty Officer Fitzgibbons helped him out of his flying suit and checked him for wounds and injuries. It was obvious that they were keen to speak to him; to interrogate him.

“A few nicks and bruises and he’s dehydrated but that's all,” John said handing Robert a glass of water.

Seaman Bowen harried away and returned with a pair of dungarees and t-shirt which he handed to Robert.

“These should fit,” Craig Bowen said and pulled up a seat at the table.

“We all got questions but you men let me ask mine first,” Ray glared at the other three men who crowded around Robert expectantly.

Robert repeated his story to the men and told them about the crash.

“Do you know if the radioman got a mayday message away before the plane crashed?” Ray asked anxiously.

“The weather was bad. It was a big electrical storm so I’m not sure if the radio would have got through. To be honest I don’t know, I was in the cargo-hold the whole flight and the flight crew were up front,” Robert explained.

Robert saw the faces of the other three men who had been listening hopefully suddenly fall.

“Look, I don’t know. The radioman told me that comms are sometimes sketchy when they are that far out in the Pacific, but who knows, maybe he got through,” Robert tried to placate them a little.

“Ok men we don’t know if that kite got a mayday away and reported their position but let’s hold onto the hope they did,” Ray said to his compatriots.

He turned back to Robert who had been given a cup of coffee and slab of cornbread spread with margarine

“So you said before that we are at war with Korea, is that right?”

Robert began to realise that there was something seriously wrong here. These men seemed ill informed of current events and he had seen no officers. Surely as a military aircraft crash survivor he would have been brought before the CO or XO by now rather than being interrogated by a Chief Petty Officer. Surely he should have been taken to sickbay and been checked by someone from the medical corps.

“What’s going on here Chief? Everything here seems a little whacky. Where is your CO?” Robert asked.

“I’ll ask the questions for now Mister Bingham,” Ray Millward snapped.

“Tell me about Korea,” Ray was insistent.

“After the war we occupied Korea south of the 38th parallel and the Russians occupied the North. Then somehow China got involved, I don’t know about politics. Anyway North Korea invaded South Korea and we sent in MacArthur to sort it all out and he didn’t. We’ve been at war with North Korea since 1950. I’m not even sure if it’s a real war but guys are getting killed over there,” Robert summarised what he knew and cared about the situation in Korea.

“Jesus! We whooped the Japs in the Pacific and then the Koreans start a war. What the fuck did we fight for?” Steve Floyd shook his head.

“Stow it Floyd,” Ray snarled.

“And back home? How are things in the USA?” Ray asked.

The questions seemed unending. The four men were hungry for news and they bombarded him with questions. After nearly two hours of answering their questions Robert had had enough.

“Ok Chief. Can you please tell me what is going on here please because nothing here seems right,” Robert asked insistently.

Ray looked at his three compatriots knowingly and then turned back to Robert.

“We are the remaining crew members of the PT 991. In November 45 we were mopping up in the Northern Philippines, digging out the last Nips who hadn't surrendered,” Ray sighed.

“We got caught in a typhoon and were pushed out into the Pacific. The boat broke down and drifted for two weeks. We ran out of food and drank rainwater and ate any fish we caught. The PT 991 washed up here but by then everyone else was dead except for two others who died just after we arrived,” Ray said solemnly.

“Wait! You’ve been on this island since November 1945! You’ve been on this island for six years!” Robert was astounded.

“I told you, this place is of no strategic or economic value. Technically Mirrocau Island belongs to Palau, a United States governed Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands but no one comes here. At least they haven’t for the whole time we’ve been here. Get the chart John,” Ray motioned to John Fitzgibbons who came back with a creased and stained chart of the north Pacific.

“We’re here, off the main shipping and commercial aircraft routes,” Ray pointed to the chart.

“The island is only five square miles most of which is mountainous jungle. The airfield and base facilities are built along the coastal fringe. At least there is fresh water but other than sea birds and turtles no one comes here,” Ray sighed.

“How do you survive? Why couldn’t you radio for help?” Robert looked into the eyes of the four desperate men.

“Look. You’ll have plenty of time to ask questions so why don’t you just get yourself settled. Craig, get our guest settled. John organise a lookout roster and check that our signal fires are ready to go. If we see any search and rescue aircraft I want those fires lit asap,” Ray got up from the table and took John Fitzgibbons and Steve Ford outside with him.

“Come on Bobbie, let’s get you situated,” Seaman Craig Bowen grinned.

Craig Bowen was in his late twenties with sun-bleached hair and unlike the others he was quite portly. Like the others he was tanned brown as a berry.

“This is our mess hall, kitchen and recreation room,” Craig waved at their surroundings.

“We can’t maintain all of the infrastructure on the island so we just preserve and sustain the essentials,” Craig said as he led Robert outside into the brilliant sunshine, picking up two full canteens of water on the way out.

“Over there is the storehouse or ‘Q store’ as we call it. We have a huge supply of canned goods. When the Army pulled out they left everything behind, even the commissary. We took most of the perishables that we couldn’t use immediately and burnt them in a fire pit not long after we arrived,” Craig pointed to a concrete building.

“Why did you burn the perishables?” Robert asked.

“To keep the rats away,” Craig grinned.

“Rats?” Robert looked alarmed.

“Don’t worry. They’re all gone. Ray insisted that we wage war on them because they were the only introduced species on the island and we didn’t know how long we would be here,” Craig said solemnly.

“It took us a year but we shot and poisoned them out. Ray’s smart, he knew that the rats would ruin everything left behind if we didn’t get rid of them.”

“Those Quonset huts used to be barracks. We each took one so we have our own homes so to speak. When there’s only four people in the world to talk to you can get on each other’s nerves pretty quickly. Ray insists that we keep our rank structure so he’s pretty much in charge and we mostly do as he says,” Craig explained.

“You can have that Quonset over there next to mine. It’s full of old furniture and fittings but the building is in good repair. I’ll help you clean it out and set it up. Hopefully it won’t be for long. You’re the first ray of hope we’ve had for a long time,” Craig sighed.

“Ray of hope?” Robert furrowed his brow.

“They gotta come looking for you. And if they come looking for you, then they gotta find us,” Craig beamed.

Robert grimaced at Craig's naiveté. The C-47 had been thrown all over the sky and was likely way off course. It was also unlikely that the crew got away a distress signal. But most importantly the Pacific was a huge ocean and with the Korean War raging, how much time and effort was the Air Force going to put into searching for a cargo plane with nothing of strategic value on board?

“Well it’s not really me who is the ray of hope, it’s the C-47 I was flying in; I’m just the sole survivor,” Robert said.

“You’re our lucky charm Bobbie. I know they’ll come looking for you and they’ll find you too and when they do they’ll find all of us,” Craig beamed.

Robert decided not to curb Craig's overzealous optimism. Robert might only be a lowly production assistant but he knew the odds of them being found were slim. He was sure that Ray felt the same way but he had to provide his men with any possible hope.

The tour continued.

“That’s the generator house. There are two diesel generators in there but we only need one, if fact we don’t use that much power between the four of us and the base facilities we use. We rotate the generator’s duty cycles and I service and repair them. I was an engineer on PT 991,” Craig seemed proud of his trade.

“Those three tanks you see up on the hill are the base’s supply of diesoline. In five years we’ve used hardly any of it,” Craig pointed to three huge storage tanks nestled in the jungle.

“You guys seem very well supplied. What do you eat?” Robert was curious.

“We catch fish, crayfish and crabs of course. We set traps in the lagoon. Some of the bigger sea birds are good eating and there is a herd of wild pigs on the island. The only thing we’ve been able to grow is corn but there are plenty of wild fruits and vegetables. Steve Ford makes a mean cornbread,” Craig boasted.

“Then of course we have the mountains of tinned food that was left behind,” he waved his hand at the Q store.

“We get plenty of rain, too much sometimes, and there are a couple of streams and even a natural fresh water pool up the hill aways. The engineers who constructed Harris Field diverted one of the streams to those fresh water tanks which give us our water supply,” Craig pointed out three elevated water tanks standing on steel scaffolds that looked like aliens out of a science fiction movie.

“And that’s pretty much the cook’s tour so to speak. Come on let’s get you settled,” Craig led Robert to the Quonset hut he had picked out for him.

They spent most of the rest of the day clearing out the Quonset hut, cleaning it and then putting in a cast iron bed with a clean mattress taken from the Q store where they also commandeered bedding, dungarees, shirts, underwear and shoes. They went over to another store and moved some furniture from that store into Robert’s Quonset.

“These bigger bunks are for the officers but there ain’t any now so we enjoy what little luxuries we can,” Craig said as he helped Robert fold hospital corners on the GI issue counterpane.

“You can pick up toiletries in the Q store or the commissary. I’ll leave you to explore the rest of the base on your own. I wouldn’t wonder off into the jungle until we show you the trails. The island is only small but you can still get lost easily and Ray will get pissed if we have to come find you. He likes to run a tight ship,” Craig said solemnly.

“Dinner is at six in the mess. Don’t be late. We take turns cooking and I’m making my famous albatross stew,” Craig smiled and Robert managed to hide his disgust at having to eat a seabird.

Robert went back to the Q store and ferried items he thought might be useful back to his Quonset. Now he was by himself all he could think of was rescue. How could these men have survived here for so long here? Robert had heard of Japanese soldiers and sailors who refused to surrender after the war, holding out in the jungles of the Philippines, Indonesia and some Pacific islands. The surviving crew of PT 991 seemed to be trapped in similar circumstances. Time for them had stopped in November 1945. It was incomprehensible.

Robert admired the little abode he had made for himself in his Quonset. Originally it was designed to house twenty soldiers or five officers but he was already starting to make it into his own little chalet. He had a bedroom, a lounge room of sorts and a bathroom which was really just four shower stalls and as many sinks set into a long bench.

He hoped to be rescued soon but was not optimistic and he already had plans to make the place more comfortable. He was experienced using hand tools and light building materials, building sets and props for the USO shows. He had done everything from makeup, costumes, set design and had even performed a few bit parts as a supporting actor in comedy sketches on stage. He only had one recurring role which was used sporadically and Robert didn’t really feel comfortable doing that particular sketch anyway.

Robert had taken acting, dance and singing classes in college but had been unable to find work as a performer so he’d taken a job with the USO as a production assistant, which was a fancy name for a Jack of all trades, hoping that one day his talents would be recognised. So far Robert’s only standout performance was a gig where he came out in drag and performed a set singing and dancing as ‘Bobbie’. At the end of the set there was a big ‘reveal’ where Bobbie whipped off her wig to divulge that she was really a man.

‘Bobbie the drag queen’ was really just a ‘stocking filler’ that the show’s director used to fill in a set if a performer was tired or unavailable for some reason, which usually meant drunk. It was not part of the regular production. Robert had reservations about performing as Bobbie because ‘she’ played with his psyche in a disturbing way. Robert was a little annoyed that Craig kept referring to him as Bobbie. Robert would ask Craig to stop once he knew him better.

He turned on the water in one of the showers and let it run for about five minutes before it changed from rusty orange to a clear bright stream. The soap was hard and difficult to lather but the water was warmed by the sun and then turned cooler as he luxuriated under the shower. The GI issue towel was scratchy but it felt wonderful to wash off the salt and grime from his body.

Robert shaved the few wisps of hair from his chin and cleaned his teeth with tooth powder. The toothpaste in the commissary had all turned and was useless. He put on fresh underwear, dungarees, t-shirt, socks and his new shoes and was ready to face the new world.

Robert's Timex had amazingly survived the crash and all those hours being tossed around the Pacific and he saw that it was five minutes to six so he made his way over to the mess hall.

The albatross stew was surprisingly good. It was fortified with breadfruit and canned carrots and peas. Steve Ford had made his famous cornbread. There were condiments and corn oil spread which Robert had earlier mistaken for margarine.

Craig Bowmen, John Fitzgibbons and Steve Ford bombarded Robert with questions about post war life in the USA and they of course wanted to know what had happened to their favourite movie stars. Robert answered their questions as best he could and countered with questions of his own, asking how the four men survived on the island, which they gladly answered. They were justifiably proud of how they maintained a good standard of living on the deserted island.

What if came down to was mostly hard work. They religiously maintained the machinery and equipment they needed to survive and kept meticulous records as to what they had used and what remained in the storehouses. They were fortunate that when the island was abandoned by the military, all the stores were left behind, if it didn’t have wings or wheels it stayed put unless it was classified.

Robert had seen newsreels of US military surplus being pushed into the ocean or simply abandoned as being no longer required. It was more effort than it was worth to tranship the surplus back to the USA. Harris Field on Mirrocau Island was a fine example.

As usually happens when strangers meet and are required to spend time together, talk turned to family. Craig Bowen and Steve Ford were single and were only nineteen when they were shipwrecked. John Fitzgibbons was newly wed when the war broke out. He passed around a creased and faded picture of a pretty, chubby young woman wearing a wedding dress. He said that he knew that she would wait for him but you could tell by his tone that he really believed that wasn’t the case. He looked conspiratorially at Steve Ford who returned his gaze. Ray Millward had stayed silent and surly through most of the meal but he loosened up as he drank.

The ingenious sailors had learned how to ferment coconut juice and made coconut beer and a spirit they called coconut rum. Robert didn't really like the taste of the rum but it certainly had a kick.

“I bet that bitch will remarry as soon as they pay out my insurance,” Ray said bitterly, referring to his wife.

“I heard she was putting it around before I even went missing so you can bet she couldn’t wait to have me classified as presumed dead. I heard she’d open her legs for a pair of black market nylons,” Ray said through gritted teeth.

Craig and Steve steered the conversation away from girlfriends, wives and lovers and back to life on the island, they had seen Ray’s melancholy quickly turn to anger when he was drinking.

“There’s no point talking about home. All it does is make us unhappy and disconsolate. We make the best of what we’ve got until we’re rescued; then we’ll talk about home,” Ray growled.

“Kid, I’m not sure if you’re good luck or bad. You raised the hopes of my men who think that rescue is not far away but I'm a pragmatic man. We’ll remain extra vigilant for the next week or two and keep our signal fires dry and ready but I ain’t optimistic,” Ray glared at Robert.

“You may be our salvation or you may be an albatross around our necks. You men have your overnight lookout watches so make sure you stay awake and vigilant,” Ray said to his crew.

“You can have a day or two to settle in then we’re going to have to find something useful for you to do. On this island we all earn our keep, I don’t brook no malingerers,” Ray turned back to Robert.

Robert walked back to his quarters alongside Craig Bowen feeling a little despondent.

“Don’t worry about the Chief; he gets grouchy in his cups. You’ll do fine Bobbie and anyway we ain’t got much longer left on this rock,” Craig kicked along a piece of dried coral.

“Hey Craig… about you calling me Bobbie… can you… ah never mind, forget it,” Robert was about to bring up the subject but changed his mind.

Robert went into his Quonset and stripped down to underpants and t-shirt and sat with his head in his hands for a while. He was glad that he hadn't died in the plane crash or drowned in the ocean but he didn’t want to waste years of his life on this island like these four men. It was obvious after only one day that they were dysfunctional but what else could be expected?

Robert decided to confront Craig after all and ask him to stop calling him Bobbie; he didn’t need to explain why, he would just say that he didn’t like the abbreviation.

Robert padded through the soft warm sand to Craig’s quarters and saw a soft light coming from an open window. He wasn’t sure of privacy protocols on the island so he went up to the window with the intent of whispering to Craig. What he saw stopped him cold and shocked him.

The window overlooked Craig’s bed and he was lying on it naked with a bedlamp providing just enough light so he could look at the periodical he was holding. The periodical in question was a dog-eared copy of Eyeful magazine. It was open to the centrefold of a woman lying on a couch in a provocative pose. She was dressed in a black and red satin and lace basque, wearing full makeup and high heels, displaying her long legs sheathed in silky black nylons with her pubis shrouded in frilly red panties.

Craig was slowly stroking his erect penis.

Robert knew that he should just back away quietly but he was mesmerised. He looked at the cheesecake picture of the pretty woman in the magazine then back at Craig’s chubby torso, his throbbing member standing upright from his crotch as he stroked it softly and slowly.

Robert felt himself becoming erect and he put his hand down there to move his erection into a more comfortable position but as soon as he touched his flesh he was filled with wanton desire. He knew what he was doing was wrong but he couldn’t help himself.

Robert freed his cock from his underwear and stroked it in time with Craig, looking alternately at the women in the sexy lingerie and Craig’s pulsing penis which was now secreting droplets of dewy precum. Robert bit his lip to stifle a gasp as his own cock began to dribble pre-ejaculate which he used to lubricate his shaft, exactly as Craig was doing only inches away from him.

Robert was not homosexual, he had been with women, albeit not always successfully, but seeing this young man stroke his magnificent manhood only inches away from him invoked a sense of arousal that he had no choice but to gratify.

Craig’s penis began to quiver and he began to stroke it harder and faster. Robert mimicked his actions and bit down harder on his lip as he felt his orgasm getting close.

“Mhg…oh… Karen! Karen!” Craig cried.

A spume of creamy semen erupted from Craig’s penis and spattered on his chest. Another followed. Then torrents of milky spend splattered on his soft plump belly as his penis erupted in geysers of hot, creamy seed.

Robert’s cock erupted at the same time and he ejaculated his load onto the sand as an enormous orgasm washed over him. He had to hold onto the window ledge for support. It was difficult experiencing such divine pleasure without divulging his presence and he tried not to gasp too loudly. He fell to his knees and drained the last of his ejaculate onto the ground, his whole body shuddering with the intensity of his climax.

Robert stayed on his knees, breathing deeply as he scattered sand over his semen then he crawled away, not getting to his feet until he was at the door to his Quonset hut. He knew what he had done was wrong but too much had happened today; there was too much going on in his head for him to stop and try to psychoanalyse it. He crawled into bed and fell into a deep sleep.

His dreams were interwoven with facts and fantasy. He relived the plane crash and the hours spent clinging to the trunk on the tortuous seas. He relived his days working as a waiter and busboy in New York restaurants so he could pay his way through drama school. He relived the time when his father caught him dressed in his sister’s clothes putting on a performance for his sister and her girlfriends. His father had taken Robert into the kitchen had beaten him. Mary Spencer, his sister’s best friend, had consoled him, hugging him to her. He had become tumescent and Mary had put her hand under his skirt and stroked him until he filled his sister’s panties with his essence. She had sworn him to secrecy and it had been his main masturbatory fantasy until he finally lost his virginity.

Then the recurring nightmare started.

William Brindle, the Director of the first USO show he had worked on came to him with his idea for a skit that Robert could perform as a standby number. Bobbie would be dressed as Lauren Bacall and sing the song How Little We Know with a big reveal at the end of the song when she would whip off her wig and reveal herself as Robert.

Robert had done a little drag in drama school. He had the figure, looks and voice to carry it off. Dressed enfemme with a wig and makeup he was completely passable but he was never really comfortable doing it. He presumed it had something to do with being punished by his father for dressing like a girl and then the incident right after with Mary Spencer. He psychologically linked dressing as a woman with both punishment and pleasure.

Regardless, Robert had taken William up on his offer because as an aspiring performer you never said no to an opportunity to appear on stage. The showgirls had fun helping him with the character. They went to wardrobe and found a shoulder length brunette wig which was styled into a wave on the right side then started to curve at the corner of his eyebrow and ending sloping downward at his cheekbone just like Lauren Bacall. They taught him how to mimic her makeup he worked on her voice and mannerisms. He worked with the orchestra to perfect the song.

There were plenty of dresses in wardrobe that fitted him and with the help of prosthetic breasts to fill the cups of his bra, ‘Bobbie’ impersonated Lauren Bacall almost perfectly. There was no need to announce to the audience that a Lauren Bacall impersonator was the next act. As soon as ‘Bobbie Bingham’, as she was billed, came out on stage it was obvious. At the end of the set when Bobbie ripped off her wig the audience was always astonished and then amused.

Robert would be notified at the beginning of each performance if Bobbie Bingham would be preforming so he had time to transform but the act really was only a standby and used sparingly as required.

In his nightmare Robert recalled a show last year in West Berlin where he had left the stage after a successful appearance as Bobbie and made his way back to the dressing room which was empty because the rest of ensemble were on stage for the encore.

William Brindle was drunk and he came into the dressing room with a bottle of scotch and locked the door behind him.

“You were wonderful tonight Bobbie, here have a drink,” William poured a large amount of scotch into tumbler and offered it to Bobbie.

“No thanks Bill, I just want to get out of costume, I have a lot of work to do after the show,” Bobbie replied and was about to remove her wig.

William grabbed Bobbie and pulled her into his arms, pressing himself against her. His face inches from hers, his breath smelled of alcohol.

“Don’t be ungrateful Bobbie. I got you this part. You owe me! You want to be a glorified stagehand for the rest of your time in the USO or do you want to become a full-time performer? Your choice doll,” William’s face closed in on Bobbie’s and she felt helpless and unable to resist.

This is where Robert always woke up shivering and sweating. He had blacked out any recollection of what had happened in that dressing room and had no inclination to restore the lost memories.

William Brindle left the production a few weeks later but Bobbie Bingham’s act impersonating Lauren Bacall remained on the bill as a filler. Robert rehearsed the part once a week to maintain continuity and performed the act when required but he was never comfortable dressed as Bobbie and couldn’t wait to get out drag as soon as the performance was over.

Robert awoke from the nightmare just as William Bridle’s lips were about to touch Bobbie’s full, lipsticked lips which were formed into an inviting pout. Robert was drenched in sweat but he was shivering. He was also painfully erect.

He got out of bed and drank three glasses of water, urinated and went back to bed. The rest of his sleep was dreamless.

The next morning Robert was awakened by a bar of brilliant light streaming into his eyes through the window. It took him a little while to realise where he was and the circumstances that had brought him here. He groaned and rolled over, attempting to go back to sleep, when there was a pounding on his door.

“Wake up sleepyhead! The guys have found something on the beach!” Craig called excitedly.

Robert got out of bed and hurriedly pulled on his clothes and went outside where he found Craig circling like an excited puppy.

“Come on! Come On! Let’s see what they found!” he called breathlessly and skittered across the runway, down the path to the beach.

Robert followed behind.

They came out onto the beach and Robert was amazed to see that the pounding surf and huge waves had mellowed into a beautiful flat azure sea with little wavelets tickling the shoreline. Above the high water mark Ray Millward, John Fitzgibbons, and Steve Ford were inspecting a small pile of flotsam. As he and Craig drew closer Robert recognised the steamer trunks and suitcases from the USO show. It was part of the wreckage from the C-47.

“Well this shit is about as useful as a screen door on a submarine,” Ray Millward growled as Robert and Craig approached.

“Clothes, costumes, shoes and shit… not even a pack of cigarettes,” Ray grumbled as he threw the contents of the trunks onto the sand.

“You let us down again kid,” Ray glared at Robert.

Robert was about to retort. Why was it his fault if the wreckage from the plane was of no use to them? The look in Ray’s eyes made him think otherwise and he held his tongue.

“Hey Chief. It ain’t Bobbie’s fault if this stuff is useless,” Craig said exactly what Robert was thinking.

“Is that so Seaman Bowen? Well you and your girlfriend can just pack this shit up and get it off my beach, you know I don’t warrant trash on my beachhead Seaman Bowen,” Ray fixed Craig with a harsh stare.

Robert cringed at being referred to as Craig’s girlfriend even though he knew that Ray only meant it as an insult.

“You two can take this pile of shit to the Q store and you can go through it later. See kid, I told you we’d find something useful for you to do,” Ray grinned sardonically.

“John, let’s you and I adjourn for chow. Seaman Ford, make the coffee and get breakfast ready. You two shitheels can join us when you get rid of this crap,” Ray barked his orders and marched off down the beach with John and Steve in close formation.

“Is he always so grumpy?” Robert asked as he began to gather the items that men had scattered along the beach.

“Hey, he’s the Chief; what do you expect?” Craig replied, picking up a tuxedo jacket from the sand.

“Hey, what do you think Bobbie? Should we dress for dinner tonight?” Craig grinned as he turned to face Robert.

Wearing the tuxedo jacket with his dungarees Craig looked like a half dressed penguin. Robert was holding a peach coloured satin petticoat in his hand self-consciously.

“You’d need to find something more suitable than that,” Craig grinned nodding at the petticoat.

Robert blushed and threw the garment in the trunk.

It took Robert and Craig three trips to bring all the flotsam to the Q store even using a handcart to lug it. When they finally got to the mess hall the others had finished breakfast and Ray and John sat drinking coffee. Steve Ford was on lookout duty, stationed on lookout hill, vigilant for a rescue flight.

There was corn fritters, bananas, and papaya for breakfast and Robert and Craig tucked in.

“After breakfast you can go through all that shit we found on the beach kid. Bring anything you find useful or valuable to me. Craig, the second generator needs its three-monthly service,” Ray grunted around his coffee cup.

“My name is Robert, not kid and I’m not part of your little navy. I’m a civilian so I’d like you to stop treating me like some swab jockey,” Robert seethed.

“Well look at you kid, using the naval vernacular like some shellback. Well excuse me for not being polite. Please mister Bingham, will you be so kind as to please inspect our newly obtained chattels and see if there is anything of use and then please bring it to my attention…please,” Ray closed in on him, his nose almost touching Robert’s.

“Glad to help Chief,” Robert glared back at Ray who broke into a malicious grin and backed away.

“Now that we all have our schedules sorted maybe we can get to work. John, come with me. Let’s walk the rest of the beach and see if anything of use has washed up from that wrecked C-47 other than ladies underpanties and trombones,” Ray said sarcastically.

Craig went off to service the generator and Robert returned to the Q store to go through the trunks they had salvaged. He recognised most of them. There were crates full of props that would be of little use but he broke them open, organised the contents and stowed them on the shelves.

A few musical instruments had survived but were soaked in sea water which would soon rust and corrode them. Robert fetched fresh water and submerged the instruments in it and put them in the sun to dry. Those that needed lubrication would get it once dry. There was a guitar, a trombone, a saxophone and a clarinet. He didn’t know if any of the men on the island played instruments but if any of them did he bet they would be happy to have them.

Robert played a decent blues guitar but he wondered if the Gibson J-45 he had put aside would survive. The salt water would not treat the Adirondack spruce top and high quality mahogany back and sides kindly nor the metal furniture such as the frets and machine heads. The guitar was still in its case and hadn't been totally immersed in salt water like the other instruments.

The garments had fared better. They had been packed in watertight steamer trucks like the one he had clung to throughout his ordeal on the ocean. He opened them and divided the contents into men’s and women’s clothing and costumes. The streamers contained everything that the troupe would need to put on a show, there were no corner stores where the USO performed.

He found some clothing racks with hangers on them and hung up the clothing. There was everything from tuxedos to fatigues for the men and for the women, everything from evening dresses to khaki uniforms. USO performers liked to wear military garb when not performing, including the women. The tan uniform of the US army was translated by the entertainers into a slightly sexier, form-fitting costume. Some singers crooned while dressed in the uniform-inspired khaki shirts and matching pencil skirts topped with an angular army hat but most of the women performers wore alluring civilian attire to the delight of the troops.

Although not an official uniform the USO performers wore the khakis when they were in-theatre.

Makeup, lingerie and nylon stockings were particularly hard to come by in foreign war zones and the production ensured that women had good supply. Robert laid them out the goods on the shelves. They would be of little use on Mirrocau Island but he quite enjoyed the task. It was something he was comfortable with and he felt useful for the first time since he had arrived on the island.

Robert baulked when he found a large hatbox. He knew that inside it was the Lauren Bacall shoulder-length brunette wig that he wore when he played ‘Bobbie’. He put it unopened on the very top shelf and left it there. The footwear he arranged by sex and size on the bottom shelf then he turned his attention to the few personal possessions that the performers had shipped on the C-47.

These he lay out on a table and began to go through them.

Ray, John and Steve were about to sit down to lunch when Robert returned to the mess hall carrying a tote sack. Craig Bowman was on lookout duty. The leftover albatross stew didn’t smell all that bad and Robert made himself a plate and sat at the table as far away from Ray as possible.

“I didn’t find anything particularly useful but I found a few interesting items,” Robert pointed to the sack he had put down on the floor.

“We can go through it after lunch,” Ray grunted, picking a thin bone out of his mouth and putting it on the side of the plate.

They ate the rest of the meal in silence, four hungry men concentrating on their food.

Robert got up and cleared the table.

“I’ll wash up. Until you guys get me better trained there isn’t much I can do except domestic duties,” he said, trying to get on the good side of Ray.

“Hopefully you won’t have to learn shit because we’re going to get rescued,” Seaman Ford grinned.

He stopped grinning when Ray gave him a grim stare.

“Let’s see what you got Bobbie. Is that better than kid?” Ray said pushing back his chair.

“As a matter of fact… no that's fine thanks Ray,” Robert was about to correct him but thought better of it.

Better to be called by a nickname he detested than ‘kid’. At least he was being spoken to with a little more respect.

“And you can call me Chief like the rest of my Crew. I know you aint officially military but while you’re on my island you comply with my orders, ok?” Ray said, but not in his usual gravelly tone.

“Yes Chief,” Robert replied.

Robert reached into the tote sack and brought out the treasures he found in the wreckage. They comprised: a silver hip flask, two fountain pens, one a Conway Stewart the other a Montblanc, a silver and ivory grooming set, and a silver cigarette case.

Ray was finally impressed with Robert.

“Little luxuries like these might seem out of place on Mirrocau Island but they remind of us home,” Ray’s hands hovered over the items laid out on the table.

“I’ll take this, even though it is little use. John, you get next choice and so on in order of rank,” Ray picked up the cigarette case and studied it.

John and Steve approached the table and studied the valuables, deciding what to take.

“It might not be completely useless Chief,” Robert reached into the tote bag and brought out an item he had kept until last.

He handed Ray a carton of Lucky Strike cigarettes.

Ray studied the carton and then brought it to his nose and inhaled. He tore open the end and pulled out the familiar white rectangular pack with the red circle in the middle.

He looked at Robert with genuine awe.

"And look Chief... four more," Robert put the other cartons on the table and grinned.

“You did good ki… Bobbie,” Ray’s steely blue eyes met Robert's and showed genuine affection.

So much so that Robert had to look away. There was something powerful and exciting about Ray that Robert was attracted to but it also felt unsettling.

“Enjoy Chief,” Robert said and went back to washing the dishes and cleaning the kitchen.

That afternoon Robert went back to the store and continued to rearrange the items they had salvaged. He sprayed lubricant on the metal items and the instruments in an attempt to save them from the ravages of the sea water then put them on the shelves.

He picked up the Gibson J-45 and oiled the machine heads and frets and polished the wood with bees wax. That was how Ray found him, sitting in a metal folding chair polishing the guitar.

“Do you play?” Ray was framed by brilliant sunlight in the hangar-sized doorway.

Robert had to squint to see him properly. The light infused Ray with an almost portrait-like quality and Robert appraised him thoroughly for the first time since he had seen him on the beach.

Ray was tall and sinewy and in the half-shadow every muscle on his torso flowed from the light into the dark. His brown skin looked tempting to touch. His shag-cut salt and pepper hair fell over his forehead, his deep-set eyes glittered cobalt blue, his nose was long and straight, his lips full. He was not classically handsome but Robert could imagine many a woman swooning if they saw him like this, shirtless and unconsciously posed with the sunlight behind him.

He didn’t know why he did but Robert glanced briefly at Ray’s crotch. The dungarees were tight there and he could see the girth of something quite substantial. Robert snatched his eyes away and looked down at the guitar in his lap.

“I play a little but this instrument needs a little more attention and I’ll need to re-string it. There were a couple of sets in the guitar case,” Robert replied.

“Let me see what you’ve done here,” Ray came into the store and approached Robert.

“Sure Chief, let me show you,” Robert carefully put down the guitar and stood.

“I’ve put the props and tools over here, I don’t think they will be of much use,” Robert pointed to the stage scenery and tool bags he’d put in one corner.

“The rest of it is mainly clothing… stage costumes, some personal clothing and uniforms. I arranged them by gender on those hangers and shelves,” Robert pointed to the wheeled clothing racks.

Ray went through it, sliding the clothes hangers along the rail as he inspected it.

“I suppose if we ever decide to dress for dinner we have the clothes for it,” Ray sniggered and went over to the next rack.

“That’s all ladies clothing. I can’t see that we will have a use for it so maybe we should just throw it away,” Robert remarked, trying to be helpful.

Ray’s fingers lingered on some of the dresses and blouses and then he went over to the lingerie arranged on the shelves. His fingers caressed a few items then he self-consciously withdrew his hand.

“Do you know how long it’s been since I touched a warm body wearing garments like this? Even my cheating bitch of a wife could calm me down and make me forget her indiscretions when she came to me dressed in her intimates and heels, her hair done right, her makeup perfect, her skin so soft and…” Ray suddenly stopped talking and hung his head.

Robert was embarrassed to see that Ray was tumescent, the considerable bulge in his dungarees difficult to hide. He seemed not to notice when he turned to Robert and studied him.

Robert stood at five foot eight inches tall and had slim shoulders and hips, a flat belly but plump buttocks. He weighed around 120 pounds. His face was epicene, which was one reason he had failed to be cast in masculine roles. A pair of strong thick arched eyebrows looked down on sweeping eyelashes and feline green eyes. His delicate ears framed a longish nose and a wide full mouth.

There was a dynamic synergy between Ray and Robert that both could feel and both were uneasy with it.

“We throw nothing out. Rescue might be in a few days or a few years. You never know what will come in handy,” Ray said gruffly.

“What do you think Bobbie; are you up for cooking chow tonight?” Ray changed the subject abruptly.

“Sure Chief,” Robert was glad to be asked to contribute.

“There’s a shoulder of pork in the refrigerator. Try to do something inventive with it. All those other guys ever do is broil it until it has the taste and texture of a truck tire,” Ray gave Robert a rare smile and left the store.

Robert took a deep breath. Something had changed the dynamic between he and Ray and he was not sure what it was. For a few intimate moments they had a synergy that was unexplainable.

Robert couldn’t imagine living with three other men for five years with no other company and more importantly, no female company. He wondered how they coped. He had seen how Craig Bowman sought relief but all men did that regardless of the availability of women. It was all too much to think about. So much had happened in such a short space of time and Robert realised that concentrating on the task at hand relieved him of the burden of trying to think too hard.

Dinner that night was a rousing success. The crew of the PT 911 were used to slopping whatever was for dinner on a tin plate, taking it over to the bare table, grabbing utensils and wolfing it down between swigs of coconut beer.

Robert put his restaurant experience to work that afternoon. He had never been a chef but he knew how to cook and he explored the victualing office in the Q store and found a cache of dried herbs and spices still sealed in their foil wrap sachets. He found sacks of white rice that were untouched. Rice has an indefinite shelf life but the sailors refused to eat it because it was what the ‘Nips’ ate.

He cut the pork shoulder into bite-size pieces and simmered it in coconut milk with a selection of herbs and spices, adding breadfruit, pandanus leaves, corn, peas and carrots just before it was ready to serve. He steamed the rice, adding pandanus leaves to give it piquancy. Robert set the table with a tablecloth, napkins, flatware, cutlery and clean glasses.

He put a pitcher of water in the middle of the table beside an arrangement of freshly plucked frangipani.

“Don’t you men dare approach my table until you have cleaned up!” Robert yelped at the four sailors as they bustled into the mess laughing and joking.

Petty Officer John Fitzgibbons, Seaman Craig Bowen and Seaman Steve Ford looked down at their grimy hands and dirty dungarees and shrugged.

“You heard Bobbie. Go and get cleaned up for supper,” Ray said, an amused look on his face.

The four men returned fifteen minutes later freshly showered and wearing clean clothes. The smell from kitchen was delectable but Robert refused to let the men serve themselves.

“We are not slopping the hogs tonight gentlemen. Please be seated and I will serve you directly,” Robert ordered.

Ray grinned and nodded at the table and the four men seated themselves and poured water and beer. Robert served the men in order of rank and then fixed a plate for himself. The men ate heartily complimenting Robert on his culinary skills.

“I don’t normally like this kind of grub but I gotta tell you Bobbie this is the best meal I’ve had since we arrived on this rock,” John Fitzgibbons said patting his stomach having consumed a second helping.

Craig Bowen and Steve Ford nodded their agreement around mouthfuls of food.

“Great eats Bobbie, looks like you’ve found your forte,” Ray said approvingly opening his newly acquired cigarette case.

Robert got up and cleared the table refusing any assistance. He felt like he was finally contributed to the group effort.

“Where did you learn to cook like that?” Ray asked, drawing in smoke from his Lucky.

“When I started in theatre I worked in restaurants to make a living. I picked up a lot of tips from the chefs in the kitchen. There’s nothing cordon bleu on this island but with a little imagination it’s possible to put something decent on the plate,” Robert said, refilling Ray’s beer glass.

Ray looked questioningly at the others and they grinned and nodded in agreement. The crew had been together for so long that they were almost telepathic.

“Well Robert I think you proved today that you do have some skills we can use. I’m appointing you in charge of catering and domestic services. That basically means you’re the cook and galley bitch, you’re in charge of the storehouses and the laundry. Is that too demeaning for you?” Ray asked.

The question caught Robert by surprise. First off he would gladly take on the role as caterer, storeman, and victualler. It made him useful and freed up the other men to fully utilise their skills. But secondly and more importantly he was astonished that Ray had asked him rather than just ordering him.

“I’d like that Chief. I would make me feel like I’m contributing to the group effort and I’d feel more a part of the team,” Robert smiled.

“Well we ain’t appointing you to the crew of the PT 991 just yet but taking on the domestic chores will sure help us out,” Ray said dryly.

“It won’t be for long Bobbie. There will be rescue plane any day now,” Steve Ford grinned.

“Speaking of which. Seaman Ford, you have the first watch I believe,” Ray stood up and hitched up his pants, bringing the dinner to a close.

Ray Millward had the best night’s sleep he’d had since the PT 991 washed up on Mirrocau Island. He dreamed of his last liberty run in Manila when he’d gone to Kirby’s Meat Market, which is what the sailors called Kirby’s Bar, a local haunt frequented by the sailors of the PT Squadron.

Girls could be found anywhere in Manila but Kirby’s specialised in providing fair-skinned girls who spoke good English, dressed in modern Western attire, and were familiar with Americana.

Ray had already drunk his fill at the NCO Club at Cavite and was in a foul mood. He knew about his wife’s philandering but today he had received a ‘Dear John’. Elaine wanted a divorce on his return and he was livid.

At Kirby’s he selected a girl who looked the most like Elaine out of the procession of bargirls on offer. She was roughly the same build as Elaine and had her hair styled the same way. Except for her almond eyes, through Ray’s drunken fugue, she could well be Elaine; even her accent sounded American.

Usually the protocol was to buy the girl a few watered-down ‘B-girl’ drinks at inflated prices before paying the bar fine and taking the girl back to a hotel but Ray was in no mood for hanging around. He slapped the bar fine down in front of Mamma San and dropped a tip on top to cover the B-girl drinks. One look at Ray’s face convinced Mamma San not to argue.

Ray took the girl to a nearby hotel, all the time calling her Elaine. She didn’t care, American servicemen often called the girls by the names of their wives or sweethearts. She would happily be whoever Ray wanted her to be.

He dragged her up to the dingy room and slammed the door shut.

“Get over here!” he growled as he shucked out of his clothes.

“Why are you angry with me Ray?” the girl was a little frightened.

Ray was glad to see fear on the girl’s face. Elaine usually just laughed at him when he tried to order her around.

“Don’t answer me back you bitch!” Ray spun the girl around and threw her on the bed.

The girl had been with hundreds of servicemen and knew what they wanted. She started to unbutton her dress.

“Fuck that! Open your legs you whore!” Ray screamed at her.

His face was contorted, his muscles bulging and his penis rampant.

Ray leapt on the girl and forced her legs apart. He kissed her not with passion but with fury as he tried to push his cock into her.

The girl still had on her nylon panties which prevented his cock from finding her entrance so Ray ripped the garment from her body.

“Ray! You rip my clothes you have to pay more,” the girl said from underneath him.

Ray shut her up by pressing his mouth on hers and driving his cock deep inside her tight vagina. The girl was unlubricated but Ray was so excited the copious amounts of pre-ejaculate eased his passage.

“Ughf!” the girl grunted as Ray filled her tight vagina with his engorged phallus.

The bargirl’s sheath was tighter than Elaine’s had ever been but when Ray looked down into her pretty face all he saw was his wife.

“You slut!” he grunted as he began to fuck her fiercely.

“You fucking whore!” he fucked her harder and the bargirl obligingly lifted her stocking-sheathed legs around his torso and held him tight.

“I’m your whore Ray,” she whispered in his ear.

The bargirls knew how to role-play and if Ray wanted her to be a whore she would be.

Ray felt the girl’s cunt begin to become moist and she clung to him, meeting his thrusts and sliding her nyloned thighs along his sensitive skin, scratching him with her high heels and finger nails.

“You fucking philandering, filthy whore!” Ray howled as he fucked Elaine.

“Yes Ray. Fuck me! Fuck your whore,” the bargirl edged him on.

Ray brought his hand up high to slap her and she goaded him, just like Elaine would.

“Go on Ray slap me. I’m your filthy whore,” she said through gritted teeth.

Girls could claim extra for ‘special services’.

“Oh god no! I love you Elaine, I love you,” Ray fell on top of the young woman and began to sob.

“I love you too Ray. I love you too,” the whore-Elaine cooed into his ear.

She kept her arms and legs locked around him but she was gentle. She stroked him and caressed him and whispered endearments in his ear.

Ray became fully tumescent again and kissed the girl tenderly.

“I love you Elaine,” he sighed as he slowly fucked her, feeling her vagina contract around his throbbing penis.

“I will always love you Ray,” the girl said as she worked her magic with her velvety cunt and milked Ray of his spend.

On Mirrocau Island, in Ray’s quarters, Ray lay on his rack murmuring in his sleep as a stain spread across the thin sheet covering his body, soaking up Ray’s nocturnal emission.

To be continued

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Can see it coming

A new Michele Nylons story! Yummy!
Very endearing ending.

>>> Kay

I Can Guess

joannebarbarella's picture

Where this is going, but a Michele Nylons story is always a good read.

I'm glad this chapter ended the way it did, as I was scared that Ray was going to get carried away and commit murder.

The details about wartime equipment left behind are totally accurate. I worked for a construction company that got started by salvaging earthmoving machines, etc. left behind in New Guinea by the Americans, and my dad was on a ship carrying machine tools which got dumped overboard as surplus to requirements.

Much appreciated, long time anticipated

Donna T's picture

I had been wondering when we could expect a new story from you... and here it is!

I enjoy your writings and the details you provide as you "paint" your story. I hope Ray plays nice with Bobbie and I'm curious how the others on Mirrocau Island will react to the new arrival... I would think that everyone on Mirrocau have the same pent up needs including Robert Bingham.

Thanks & regards,