Archive for January, 2008


January 14, 2008

The man introduced himself. “My name is Ferr. This is my wife Med. We welcome you.”

Teres spoke. “My name is Teres. These are my sons: Cal, and Bil. We thank you.”

Med looked steadily at Teres. Strands of her dirty blonde hair floated gently in front of Med’s eyes – in single and double strands, small clumps and large bands, like scratches on a film. She spoke. “You are weary. and frightened, that is plain. You may relax here. There is nothing for you to fear. We welcome you, we wish to give you relief, sanctuary.”

Teres said only, “Thank you.” She thought, “You cannot protect us. You do not know who or what hunts us. When it comes, if it comes – it will probably come – you do not know what resources it will be able to bring to bear. So what defenses will you erect to counteract a threat of which you know nothing? You are fools.” But she said nothing more.

“Come” said Med. “Bring your things inside.” She half-turned, then stood there, waiting for them to gather their belongings.

Teres and her two sons turned and walked back over to their packs. There was no pragmatical way to carry the packs in to the building without in fact strapping them full on again. So that’s what they did. They were too tired to use only muscle, but relied as well on the angular momentum by twisting their upper bodies to get the heavy packs up and smacking against their shoulder blades. They leaned forward, fumbled behind and above their bowed heads until they found the dangling forehead strap, grabbed it, and dragged it across their hair over their scalp to their forehead, then nudged it into place. Standing up erect again they adjusted it one more time, adjusted the weight of the large packs on their waist and started walking toward the woman Med.

Med turned then, full, and without looking back at them walked toward the building, into the large barn-like opening. The man, Ferr, was walking by Med’s side, to her left, then he dropped away. To look anywhere other than straight ahead was difficult while wearing the packs, so Teres and her sons they did not follow his movements. They had to concentrate on following Med, and carrying the heavy load of their packs after having grown used to sitting in the shade without them for several minutes, and having almost come to expect to sit there forever in gathering easy cool twilight.

Bil managed to look sideways to see Ferr off to the left moving slowly toward them like old video footage pulling closed the huge woven-slatted door. As he walked the huge door drifted slowly forward on its track as if it were a cow walking next to him.

They took a right turn once they went through the doorway, and into the differently lighted interior of the building – indirect light coming from shaded bulbs, bouncing off of multiple surfaces, seeping in from around corners – the subtle low mood lighting of a residence in the early evening.

Med led them quickly to the right out of the gloom of what was clearly a shop floor, gloomy even with high overhead lights hanging from the ceiling, hanging close to the ceiling. Through the shop they stepped down a clear narrow path but off of each side the floor was littered with detritus – random equipment, debris, and work in progress than could easily be tripped over by people wearing large packs who can’t really look from side to side to nimbly avoid obstacles.

Even though the shop floor had a big glowing red furnace in the middle of it, the light there had a yellow tinge to it from the overhead lights, and the light in the residential rooms seemed redder – maybe because of the fireplace, and candles, or maybe just because the light wasn’t as strong – reds are the weak end of the spectrum.

Cutting through end of kitchen, what sideways glancing to the left they could do revealed to them a pantry full of stacked cans, large cloth bags lying in a group on the far floor, and paper boxes. Down a hallway, past an indoor wash room, then left. Down a long corridor, and at the end, a door on the right. Med opened the door and behind it was a large room with a couch along the west wall, weaved carpet on the floor, some tables. She stepped in. “You can sleep in here. This will be your room. Let me push these tables out of the way. Please, put down your burdens.”

The three family members, the mother and her two sons, walked a few paces into the room, stepped sideways a pace or two and plopped down into a sitting position so that the bottom of their packs rested on the floor not on their waists, and the weight was off of them. They reached up and pushed the forehead straps up off of their heads, then shrugged their arms out of the shoulder straps.

They stood up and started helping Med push the tables against the walls. A large round table, went into the corner. The rectangular side tables were tucked easily against the wall on either side of the couch.

“I will go get some bedding for you.”

“We have bedding in our packs,” said Teres.

“You will enjoy fresh bedding, I am sure. and you will have the opportunity to wash whatever you wish in the laundry.”

Med stepped out of the room. The three of them looked at each other. Bil walked over and sat on the couch. Both Cal and Teres seemed to want start a conversation appraising the situation, but could think of nothing appropriate to start it off with. They looked at Bil and both knew that he would soak none of it in. Their needs, they had to face it, were immediate. They had walked through a sandstorm that day and had not had very much to eat at all. They were exhausted, hungry, and terrified. It was better to at least minister to two of those needs before strategizing to meet the third.

Bil sat on the couch and stared out into space. He stared against the long wall opposite. He leaned back completely and rested his head on top of the back of the couch. Above his head hung a long strip of cloth woven with an abstract pattern. Dark brown and gray shapes scattered over a beige background, and, breaking up the pattern a bit, strands of pink curved here and there between the other shapes.

Bil turned his eyes to the wall opposite – where there was just bare plaster, dark gray in the gloom of the dimly lit room. As Bil stared at it he noticed its empty regularity was slightly disrupted by a small pattern left by the brush strokes of the craftsman who had laid that plaster. The brush strokes considered by themselves, or next to their neighbors, were irregular. But out of them, from hints sparkling within them like the dissociated pieces in the cross section o a rose, arose a regularity on on a higher contextual context, which Bil could see only when he relaxed and allowed his attention to take a step back. A new pattern then emerged, and expanded out to the rest of the wall, laying itself over all the rest of Bil’s visual field as a reference, to which all other shapes and distortions – from the regularity of nothingness to what might be physical objects – had to be compared.

He was dead tired. He soon drifted off to sleep, as Cal and Teres stared at each other from their other seats in the room. Cal was sitting on the packs. Teres was perched on arm of the couch, farthest from the door.

Med came back into the room, her arms overflowing with cloth beddings. Her husband Ferr followed here with more. They dumped it on the floor in front of the door, and Bil reluctantly was pulled back into wakefulness. He swallowed, sat up, and rubbed his eyes and face with his hands. The three of them got up to help. They spread thick woolen mats onto the floor, which would serve as thin mattresses. Over this they lay coarse blankets, then somewhat more finely-woven sheets, then another layer of sheet, and a layer of blanket. They also brought small bags full of last harvest’s chaff to use as pillows.



January 1, 2008

She lifted it out of the water and dunked it back in once or twice, to make sure that it was soaked through. The man stepped forward to the side of the table and unslung the water skin from around his body, lifting it over his head from around his neck. “Come, drink” he said.

The family stepped forward, up to the man. One by one, starting with Teres, then Cal, then Bil, they walked up to the man, who held the water skin above their faces with his outstretched straining arms. They walked up to those arms, and raised their faces up to take the water. They had to raise their faces up to face the sky – and thus expose their throats to him. After they had all three drunk from his water skin, he lowered it and stepped back, and they stepped over, in the same order, to the table with the washbasin. They had left their packs over by the wall where they had been sitting.

Teres went first. First she cupped her two hands in the water and splashed some on her face. Then she picked up the towel. First she wiped her hands with it, wiping them under the water and then wiping them outside the water. Then she put the towel back under the water, squeezed and twisted it to get as much of the dirt out of it as she could. She brought the towel up and wiped her face clean: once, twice. She rinsed the towel out again, and a third time wiped her face. She rinsed the towel again and wiped her neck with it, pulling it around the circumference and then dabbing it and rubbing it where she thought she neded to (There was no mirror). She stepped away from the table, to the right, and stood looking silently at the woman of the compound as first her son Cal, then her son Bil stepped up and washed themselves in the same way. Cal stepped behind her when she was done and Bil stepped to the basin.

When Bil had finished drinking, the man securely capped the waterskin and set it on the ground next to the table. He then went to do what he had come out to do in the first place: close the gates.

He walked over to the wall to the south of the gates, where there was a panel. He took the cover off the panel, and swung it out to reveal a metal cabinet.

He swung out the cabinet door until he heard a click that told him it was locked open. A little bending wire on the inside hinge was encased in a metal jacket which became rigid once you opened it far enough. To close the cabinet door the jacket had to be pushed with a finger. He turned his attention to what was inside.

Inside was a hand-sized steel handle that could be turned to one of three positions, which were marked by outlines of grease. He turned the handle clockwise from its position on the left through the small catch when it tried to click into position in the middle to the furthest position on the right, where it locked into place. A loud snapping sound struck the air followed by a hum at the edge of hearing, and he felt a zing go through the back of his neck as a large electrical circuit closed.

He stood there, with his hand resting on the knob, and his arm hanging limply from his hand, and he listened to the whir of the flywheels and the hum of the electricity and the grinding of the gears. He watched the shadows of the gates drift slowly to blot out bit by bit the less distinct lighter shadows of the eastern night behind them.

The doors came shut, not with any audible thud of their own, but a shift in tone of the grinding of the gears, the whirring of the flywheels – but not of the hum of the electricity. He switched the knob’s irregular diamond shape back so that it was pointing straight up to the hand-painted ‘off’ symbol, and the noises ceased.

He closed the metal cabinet that was set in the wall and walked back over to the small group of people clustered around the table, standing in their own shadows cast by the naked light up on the wall of the building.

Teres had looked back at her sons as they were washing, and at this woman, and back at her sons and then at the woman again – back and forth. It was not frantic however. She calmy looked at this woman full in the face. The woman looked back at her, looking away only to look at her husband when the changing sounds of the motors and gears told her the gate had closed.

All four of them then – Teres, the woman, Bil and Cal turned to look at the gate as if to tell themselves, “well, the gate is closed after all.”

The man came over to stand next to his wife. He slightly behind her and put his left hand on her right shoulder. At this the woman’s stance shifted slightly – but only the distance of a breath, repositioning herself as if she was putting her hand back in her pocket. It was a natural movement of her own body to have this man’s hand come to rest on her shoulder.


January 1, 2008

What to do, what to do. What to fucking do. Naarka stared out at his vehicle and asked himself that question. What. to. do.

There seemed to be a ceiling to the night. There wasn’t that much cloud cover, but because of the illumination outside, the night only seemed to reach up as far as the streetlights and the light from this eatery’s windows could go. Because of that light, Naarka couldn’t see up into the stars. If he could, if the lights were off, and he could actually see less of what was near him and low to the ground, if he could then see the stars, the night would be so much bigger.

His vehicle looked like a dead thing. Everything did, under the harsh but weak light – an artificial light that wanted to be harsh but was too damn weak to pull it off. The artificial lighting was shooting its wad, spraying its jizm off into the awesome darkness of a natural night, and hoping that smearing it all over the surface of everything, making it all grimy and yucky, would make the light powerful, make it feel useful and praised by mankind. But it didn’t: it just made everything look dead – his vehicle, the stone-encrusted tar that served as pavement, the grass in its cracks, the bushes off to the side, the billowing tumbleweeds skittering across the lot – it made them all look dead. And when something did move, like that tumbleweed, or a bird perched on a power pole on the corner, twitching its head side to side in a circular motion as if its neck were a ball and socket joint – when something did move, it looked like the dead were moving. The undead, not frightening but still ghastly.

The proprietor of the eatery brought his eggs and set them down. In his other hand he held the toast, with a pat of jelly also on the plate, and he set that down too. The man took from his apron pocket a set of silverware, wrapped in a napkin. He carefully placed it on the edge of the table, on the corner of across from where Naarka was sitting. Immediately after he took it out of his pocket he dropped it to the bottom of his arm length, below the edge of the table, and only lifted it just barely enough when he reached the table’s edge to set it down. He moved off quietly – Naarka did not thank him.

Naarka leaned forward slightly, stretched out his left hand and picked up the napkin-bundled silverware. He unrolled the napkin and dumped the knife, fork and spoon into his hand. with his right hand he took the spoon and half-tossed it, half placed it carefully at the upper right of his food. He picked the knife out and, readjusting his hand on the remaining fork, he poised them over the plate of eggs.

The plate was white, with a pair of concentric blue rings about an eighth of the way in from the edge. The outer was thin as a pencil line, the inner as thick as a small marker streak. Naarka paused and lowered his hands to rest his wrists on the edge of the table. He took a breath. Suddenly he was a little lightheaded. He watched, and closed his eyes. The concentric blue rings spawned empty echoes, ripples that were undetectable by any sense except the sense of certainty, ripples expanding out into the scenery, out to the walls of the room, through them out to the lot, to the road, to the trees, out to the city, to the river, out to the desert and away to the faraway sea and beyond. And somewhere out there did they touch the mother and her two boys, he thought.

He raised the knife and fork again and cut into the scrambled eggs. The eggs were not cooked very skillfully. Part of it was runny: undercooked, and part of it, the “back” as he suddenly thought of it, was charred and formed a weird base, like a charred suction cup for a dashboard ornament.


January 1, 2008

Nothing was out of his price range. In fact he could pay the overnight fee, pay for every specific act, and then pay for 12 hours and it wouldn’t really make a dent in his funds.

He turned away from the little plaque on the wall. She was finishing up. She was fairly clean already, and only needed a little freshening. She tossed the cloth on the edge of the sink, turned and walked out of the bathroom. She still had her robe on, and it spread out behind her like wings as she came forward toward Naarka. “Now, sport .. shall we get you all cleaned up and fresh? Would you like my help in there?” as she said this she was walking up to him, then she had clenched her hands like claws and was running them up the front of his shirt from his belly to the top of his chest, and then she was running them back down again, raking him with her hands, and then she had lifted his shirt was raking the skn of his belly and chest with her nails, digging them in enough for him to feel her fingertips too. “Or are you shy, and want to do it yourself?”

He looked down at her with his mouth open, but in an appraising attitude, with one eyebrow lifted. “Uh… no, you can help me.”

She took her hands out from under his shirt and rubbed them flat up against his chest. She raised herslef slightly on her tip-toes, opened her mouth in a mini gape and siad in a low husky voice, “Take these off.”

He thought suddenly, Oh, she wouldn’t touch this. He reached up and undid the clasp of his cape. He twirled it around his shoulder, and looked around the room. Sure enough on the wall was a special hook for it. He walked over and hung it up carefully.

She had followed him over to the wall. as soon as his cape was hung he jumped at the feel of her touch on the small of his back: she was lifting the hem of his shirt. He took over, pulling it up from the front and from his shoulders. While he was doing this. She was poking her hand between his legs and grabbing his genitals from underneath, then spreading her hand out over them and sliding it back over his crotch, perinuem (through one or two layers of clothes, of course) and up his ass. He dumped his shirt on a small chair against the wall and turned around. She pulled the front waist of his pants forward, stepped toward him to get her arm in a position where she could comfortably stick it down his pants, palm to his flesh, running it along his skin down his abdomen to his dick. She swept it down past his dick, rubbing her palm against it, pushing down and pinching it against his pants, briefly brushing the crown of his glans – which made him gasp a little gasp – and then grabbed it, wrapping her four fingers around the shaft and closing on it with her thumb. She brought it to an upright position and rubbed her hand up and down, stroking it once or twice. She looked up at him with the same mini-gape and said, slowly, more and more slowly as she went on, slower and slower, “Shall we .. go … wash …. up ?” puffing out some air with the last “p” to make a whisper faint “pah” sound.

He was beginning to get comfortable now – what was more comfortable than a woman holding your dick? – and relaxed. He nodded and crouched down to finish taking off his pants. Woops, he still had his shoes on. He sat down in the little chair on which he had lain his shirt, and she crouched down and undid the laces and buckles of his boots, then slipped them off his feet. She grabbed the toes of his socks and pulled them free, tossing them with a twirl on the floor of the little hallway to the door, made by the bathroom jutting out into the room.

He kind of jumped up in the chair to move his pants past his waist, and then he pushed them down his thighs and she pulled them off by their ankle cuffs. He was naked now except for a thin leather bracelet on his right wrist.

“Come on,” she said and took his right arm in both of hers, holding it against her belly. She gently push-pulled his arm forward. He walked into the bathroom and she followed, holding on to his right hand. He walked into the bathroom, onto the tile floor. She pulled a small, light blue plastic bath stool our from under the sink and put it in the middle of the floor, right next to the small circular grilled metal drain. “Here, have a seat” she said.

She started to squat in front of him then said “one second.” She stood up, walked to the door and dropped her robe to the floor. He noticed she had freckles on the top of her shoulders. She walked back in to the bathroom, reached over and took the corded shower head from off it’s chrome hook on the tiled wall. “You mind if i wash your hair?”

He wore a completely relaxed smile. “No.” He shook his head slowly. “Go right ahead.” She walked up and straddled him – almost. She stood with her legs on either side of his, and pressed herself against him. He could feel the harsh rustle of her pubic hair against the top of his belly. The tips of her small breasts pointed right in his face. She grabbed the hair on the back of his head and briefly forced his face into her chest and back out. She smiled down at him teasingly fake-cruelly. “You all right?” she said with a smirk.

“Uh yeah” he said, his eyes smiling. She pulled his head back, thumbed the control on the shower spigot and slowly waved it back and forth, bringing it over different parts of his hair. He let his head fall back into her hand, and felt the delicious tingle of unexpected water pouring over his scalp. She finished wetting down his hair and then moved the hose around to splash some water over his shoulders and down his chest, between their two bodies, just for good measure. She lifted her right leg to lean over to the sink and grab some shampoo. He brought his hands up and put them on either side of her waist. When she brought her balance back and put her right leg back on the floor, and was standing upright again against him, he moved his hands briefly up her sides from her waist, then around to her back and down her ass. As she was maneuvering the shampoo bottle with her hands, popping open the cap and pouring some of the gel onto her other hand, he pulled her right ass cheek with his left hand and tried to dig with his right between her cheeks and down to the crotch between her legs, wiggling his fingers, trying to find her labia and then his way in between them. She squirmed a little, rotating her pelvis in a way which made his eyebrows shoot up, thinking lustily of the possibilities that held for later, and she said, in a somewhat practiced way, “Mmmm, honey, let’s wait ’til we’re all clean.”

She brought her left hand – the one with the bottle – to his arm and gently pushed it down. He let her do it. He let go of her right ass-cheek with his left hand, and let both of his arms drop again to his sides.

The practiced air of her the way she said what she said put him off a little bit. After all, she is a whore, he thought. This was her business and she was all business in a sense. He didn’t particularly like being reminded that it was all an act, but then again, he could handle it. This was what he was paying for. He was paying for an act. If he wanted to do the work to get some woman do this without any facade he could do it. But he wanted this convenience; he wanted the act. So be it.

She lathered up his hair, brushing her nipples across his face several times while she did it. He sat back and enjoyed it. Every flex of her hand on the top of his hand sent another tingle up the length of his spine, from his coccyx through his shoulder blades. She rinsed his hair again.