Chapter 8

Jack had been fun, hell his whole life had been mostly fun, but here he was, sleeping in a bunch of dead vegetation, a skunk hanging over his head, putrid liquid mix of skunk piss and poop falling across his body, while he thought about the guys he had, the guys he wished he had had. Strange, how his mind seem pre-occupied with sex, when he should be worrying about staying alive, of staying out of jail.

Life hadn't been all fun for him, there had been rough times, such as when the Twister had hit, when he had found out about his parents. Still, he had managed to get over it. Sure he had lost the farm, but the place he had now, well it wasn't much, but it was his.

He had enough smarts, to keep out of trouble, to earn a sort of living. Least it was enough to keep clothes on his back, food in his belly. Not many his age could say that, and he still managed to satisfy his natural urges, so life really wasn't bad.

Twisting a bit in the rotting leaves, he felt his mind wandering, felt a strange prickliness in his nerves, as he tried to figure it all out, to try and put it together. Why were the Feds after him, but just as important why was Old Roy taking the risk to protect him? Okay, not protect him, but at least help him. There is no doubt, without his help, he'd be a goner. So why?

It troubled him, as he tried to push the thoughts away, to send the fear packing. His father told him, fear needed to be faced, but not allowed to take charge. He didn't quite get it back then, but he was starting to figure it out now. He was scared, and he rarely let himself admit to being scared. There was the time when he found out about his parents, a few times earlier in his young life, but nothing like now.

For the life of him, he couldn't figure out why. Why were the Feds after him, as he had only been fishing, then had hid out in an old barn. It wasn't like he had seen anything, just some old geezers nattering. He hadn't heard a word they said, just a sort of buzz as they talked. Okay, he knew it was serious stuff, by the way the buzzing sound rose and fell.

You could see the guys were not in a happy mood, but was that reason enough to go after him? Hell, he didn't even know what they were saying he had done, nor did Bobby Rae seem to know. Still, he had killed anyone, hadn't seen anything, just some old crocks talking. He didn't even recognize them, so what was the fuss about?

It gnawed at him, at his mind and at his whole body. He felt the fear, always lurking wanting to wake him up, to make him run, to just run. He had given in to that at first, but ever since the cabin, he had held it in check. Yet each time he slept, he could feel it coming back, trying to get past his defences, to have him sit up, to push the cover off and just light out for somewhere. Anywhere but where he was going.

The arguments he had with himself, about how stupid it was to be going back, to going closer to the source of his whole problem, was making him shiver. Even the hot sun striking the leaves, filling the air with its warmth, didn't seem to stop the shakes that would come to him, while he slept. The fear wouldn't go away, but kept hammering at him, telling him to get up, to run. Yet in the back of his mind, and deep in his heart, he knew it was wrong. He just didn't know how long he could keep himself going, without listening to the doubts, to the fear.

His Father had told him, even Bobby Rae had told him, but there were moments, like now, when he was close to ignoring them. He wanted to leave, to just go someplace, strip his clothes off, clean up and be free. He didn't want to spend his time in the recess of some dingy cave, never warm, never dry. Besides winter was coming, and those caves were no place to be.

TJ wasn't what you would call religious either. Yet as he made his way to the caves, as he lay there trying to sleep, he found himself thinking about God, about his parents. Anything to keep the fear at bay, to hold it off for just a few more minutes. His body needed the sleep. The cold river water was tough enough to manage, never mind having to wade through it tired and exhausted. He needed the sleep, but the fear kept him semi conscious.

Mind you his Dad had told him to respect fear, that to never assume anything. Yet he was covered in dead leaves, and God knows what else, because of what Old Roy and Bobby Rae told him to do. He had accepted it, but what if they were just setting him up? TJ knew he wouldn't stand a chance if his fear was right, but he didn't have to make it easy for them either.

His fingers flinched a bit, touching the hilt of the knife Bobby Rae had given him, and he felt his mind relax, just a bit. Least if he was cornered, he'd be able to sort of fight it out, though the ending wouldn't be ideal. Still, it was better than nothing, or was it? Did death really end or was it, as the Preacher said, a stepping stone to a new life elsewhere?

Was there Gays in God's Heavens? Was his folks there, waiting for him, or was it just all a bunch of hokum, used by some to fool people into doing their bidding? He hadn't bought into religion must, though his parents seemed to have believed. His Mother specially, and in his own way, so did his Father.

Oh he didn't go for that Church Going religion, like his Mother did, but he was a believer in a higher power, and in there being a better place after death too. TJ hoped his Father had been right, that he was now in that better place, looking down on him, feeling for him. He could feel the pain in his heart, feel the little twitch, as his mind thought about his parents, as he missed them, even while sleeping.

The fear couldn't stop that, couldn't make him forget. Oh maybe there were times when it could, but he retreated to those earlier memories, the times when he would sit on his father's lap as a youngster, listening to his tales of Blackie the rabbit. How his little heart would quicken, as his father spoke to him, about the renegade rabbit, that always got into trouble, yet never seemed to give up.

It hadn't been easy back then, just that his memories weren't jaded by all the politics of the time. He didn't know about the pressures of being an adult, just that his parents had food on the table, clean clothes for him, and lots of love. What did he know about mortgages, about grants or even working? All he knew was he liked to sit on the river bank with his Pole, and enjoy the warmth of the sun, with his Father next to him.

Even his earlier experiences with sex weren't complicated. The first time he jerked off, was still amusing to him. How he had been so surprised when he had found his little dick stiff, and how it had felt when he had touched it. There were times when he wished, it would still be like that. Full of surprises, like how it had made his heart quicken, how it had made him actually break out into a sweat, as his small hand had stroked his little dick. But that was then, when he didn't know, and as he let the sleep work, he realized that sometimes, not knowing wasn't so bad.

Least when things happened, it was fun. Okay the time he had stuck his hand in a hive, now that hadn't been fun and the stings had hurt like hell for a long time after. For months afterwards, each time he saw a Bee he had gone running home, afraid of more of those stings. Yet he had gotten over it, and learned from it too. Just like that first time whacking off.

How surprised he had been when he felt the sticky stuff come from his dick. How it had made him giggle actually, and how he had been so proud of himself. He could laugh now too, as he had to taste that stuff, and it hadn't been what he had expected. In fact, his mind remembered how he had thought it was icky, and he had spit it out, right away. Sure wasn't that way these days, as his body continued to relax. Today that sticky stuff was like Nectar to him, no matter how salty or sticky it was.

His mind continued to think of those times, holding his fear at bay. How he had run to tell his friend Jimmy about it, how this strange stuff had come spurting from his little stick. Like he had a clue back then? Still it had been interesting to see Jimmy's face, as he had told him. How frightened Jimmy had been, how he hadn't believe TJ, until he too tried it.

Thinking back, maybe that had been his first ever gay experience, unplanned, and certainly unknown, but it must have been. He could still feel the tingle inside, as he had then, watching his best friend play with himself, and how he had looked. In all fairness, it wasn't like watching a guy today, as he stroked himself. Yet, it still was exciting, except back then he hadn't a clue as to why it had excited him.

His dream was peaceful, or at least it was beginning that way. His body sagged a bit deeper into the earth, as his muscles relaxed, as his mind felt more at ease. Yet even as he sighed, as his mind told him everything was fine, that danger was far, far away he felt the tingle, felt the slight prickling of his hairs, as if his body sensed something else. His mind continued to play the earlier memories, to soothe his tired body, but the apprehension lingered, lurked nearby.

Suddenly he felt the warmth of the sun being blocked out. A dark cloth was over his head, the air was difficult to breath, as he felt his eyes pop open. There was nothing but blackness, and a strange buzzing sound. He tried to lift himself up, but as he moved his head up, he felt his body being held down, felt his whole body being restrained by some unknown binding.

TJ struggled, felt his chest heave as he struggled for air, as he twisted his head but was unable to shake the covering off his head. Nor was his body able to move beyond a certain point. He felt the restraints cut into his flesh, realizing that he was no longer covered by leaves, or anything. Not even clothing. He felt a chill creep up his whole body, as the realization that he was naked, was being tied down, hit him.

How could it have happened? TJ felt the fear inside, felt the quickening of his heart, as he lay back, exhausted. His arms ached, as did his legs, and he could wiggle his toes, but his feet just wouldn't move much. Sweat was dripping from his forehead, down the sides of his face, making it very hot and uncomfortable. Yet not a sound, not even the wind rustling the trees could be heard. He wanted to shout, to cry out, but instead bit his lip.

The idea that somehow he had been set upon, had been tied down without waking made him angry. How stupid could he be, to have let himself get trapped this way, but by who? Who had done this to him?

His mind was reeling, as he felt some hot liquid touch his body, near his groin. He moaned, as he felt the burning sensation across his pubic region, afraid to call out. He had no idea if anyone was even there, though the burning liquid would indicate someone was. He struggled to move out of the way of it, but couldn't. The restraints were too hard, to restrictive. He felt them cut into his flesh, felt their roughness too, which made him realize that they were rope.

The slap across his face made his head roll viciously to one side. He felt the hard surface strike the other side, and his heart quickened again. It wasn't like the dirt, like the ground, but more like some flat surface, like a table or slab of something. His cheek hurt, and the side of his head ached from the hard whack across it, as he bit his lip, tasting blood.

Not only had he been tied up, but somehow moved too. Where in this wildnerness could there be a shack he hadn't known about? How could someone sneak up and not only tie him up, but haul him off to some place? It wasn't possible, his mind kept telling him, reaching for him, yet being denied. The fear was too great, as it mocked him, calling him a great woodsmen like Daniel Boone' and making fun of his predicament. His body shook, as he felt something reach down, and grab his genitals. It didn't feel good, and yet as he felt the searing pain of his balls being squeezed, he could see the laughing face of a child. His eyes tried to peer into the darkness. Yet as he tried, he realized the laughing face was his own, from when he had been seeing that sticky stuff come shooting out of his dick, that first time way back when he hadn't a clue what it was. It was his face laughing, not some stranger, as the pain lanced up his whole body now.

He twisted against the rope holding him down, felt another stinging blow land across his other cheek, driving his face over to the other side. TJ felt the cold of the table strike his cheek, felt his head shake, as it bounced a bit off the hard surface. The pain in his groin suddenly stopped, and there was suddenly no blindfold over his face.

Instead he was staring up at a soft gentle face, a face he knew. It was staring down at him, a tuft of bright blond hair dangling in front of one eye. The lips were thin, but sort of red in color and were coming closer to him. He stared as the face grew closer, as he felt the soft brush of those lips against his own mouth.

Somehow he felt his lips part, tasted the tongue as it darted past and into his mouth. He could feel it lick inside his mouth, at the roof of his mouth. TJ could feel his chest heaving, feel the ache deep in his groin, but not from being squeezed, but from an urgent desire. He felt the kiss stop and once more his eyes opened, to stare up into the soft gentle face above him. His eyes blinked, and as they did the face above changed from a sweet handsome face, to one of a leering wrinkled face. It was the face of the Preacher.

He shuddered, as he saw the angry eyes, saw the dried spittle around the Preacher's mouth. His eyes were dark, evil looking as he stared down at TJ. He felt his heart go cold, felt a chill, as the face moved out of his view. He began to lift himself up, not sure if he was being held back or not. Yet as his head moved up, he didn't feel anything holding him back, and now he was sitting up, looking around a sort of misty darkness. There was a sense of warmth in the air, but no real light. Nothing to hinder his vision, yet it seemed so misty, so clouded.

His hand moved out from his body, feeling the richness of topsoil. The fingers dug into the soft warm dirt, as he lifted his body up, to see dirt falling off his chest, falling from his head too. He felt the pressure on his legs, and glanced down to see they were covered in the same rich dark dirt. TJ felt his body ache, felt a tremble inside, as he shook the dirt off.

He was naked, but not cold in the growing darkness. There was a strange scent in the air too, that he breathed in. He realized it was lavender, a scent his Mother liked, and his home had always been filled with that smell. Now he could smell it, feel its familiar aroma as he sat up, trying to figure out where he was. Strange too, how he could smell that, yet not the Skunk.

Glancing upwards, there was no sign of the sack, or of the tree he remembered crawling up under earlier in the morning. Nothing was as it had been. There was no dead leaves, no fallen branches anywhere. As his eyes grew accustomed to the semi darkness, he noticed other mounds around him. Strange lines of grass covered mounds, with strange shadows all lined up behind each mound.

A cold shiver ran through his body, as he turned every way possible. No matter which way he looked, there were rows of mounds, with the dark shadows at the head of each mound. He couldn't make them out, just the shadows of their shapes. Some were tall, some wider than the one's next to them. Some had different shapes to their darkness, yet they were all in a perfect row. His heart was thumping as he stared around, and looked down at the fresh soft dirt around him. It was good dirt, the kind you could grow lots of stuff in, not something you found near the top of the ground, either.

His eyes blinked, as he stared at the silent rows, felt the presence of others, yet he couldn't hear or see anyone. The shiver inside made him reach up, to rub his eyes, to maybe erase the last remnants of sleep from them, but as he did, he felt a strange reluctance from within. His arms didn't feel heavy, light actually and yet they seemed unwilling to move. It wasn't like they were held down, just that there was nothing there.

Glancing down he couldn't see much, but as he looked back up, he had this strange notion that there were people all around him. He tried to stare through the odd swirling darkness, but he couldn't see a thing. Just the rows and rows of mounds. Yet as he peered forward, off in the far distance he noticed a light.

It wasn't bright, but yet it pierced the swirling darkness, in a sort of soft soothing way. He stared at it, noticing shadows moving towards it. Well not really seeing them, but sort of feeling them, as they seemed to head towards the distant light. It was a strange feeling, that didn't scare him, or make him feel any better. It was just a curiosity, that made him want to get up, to move that way too.

Yet he couldn't. It was like he was still tied up, though there seemed to be nothing holding him back. He could only stare at the light, the sort of glitter of little stars off in the distant that were gold in color. He could see that much, but nothing else. He shook his head, trying to figure out what he was seeing, trying to figure out where he was.

The motion of his head made him moan as he felt a strange ache inside. His eyes closed, then as they reopened, he found himself staring into the face of an animal. He felt himself shuffling backwards, as the animal head glared at him. It had small beady yellow eyes, that made him cringe in fear.

His one hand was reaching out to his side, trying to find something solid, a branch or something, that he could use as a club, when the head in front moved. It wasn't an animal at all, but the head of one, sort of like a mask, as he saw a pair of pale blue eyes now staring at him. The face looked familiar, but he couldn't place it.

Looking at the face, he saw the thin nose, the soft lips, and the sunken cheeks of the man under the animal head. His heart quicken a bit, but his fear seemed to dissipate a bit. His hand stopped searching for a weapon, as he watched the man move his hand towards him, but he didn't feel threatened by it.

TJ noticed that along the shoulders was some fur, sort of like a cape. It covered the back of his arm too, and over his hand, but beneath it was a soft golden color. He watched the hand reach out, to touch the side of his face. He could hear a soft purring sound, like a sound a cat would make, when pleased.

Nothing was making sense, as he felt the hand touch the side of his own face. It was warm to the touch, soft and gentle as the fingers lightly moved down his face, then under his chin. The fingers lifted his face up, then caressed his chin and moved across to run up his cheek, and along his ear. TJ felt his body shudder, as the head now stared at him, the hand moving down his neck, and along TJ's bare chest. He could feel the warmth, the lightness of the touch, as the fingers moved across his body. They touched a nipple, which made his body shudder. Then they moved down the centre of his chest.

His head lowered and his eyes followed the fur covered hand, as it caressed his stomach, then down his belly towards his groin. He could see the tip of his cock, sticking upwards, feeling his excitement, as the hand moved down across his groin.

Staring down, he saw the fingers brush his pubic hairs, then circle the base of his hard cock. He sighed, feeling the tenderness in the touch, as the tips brushed up against his throbbing pole. Tj felt his excitement growing, as the watched the strange hand move across his groin, to run down the inside of his thigh. He felt the muscles shiver, felt the nerves tingle, as the hand moved down and he top of the animal head began to block his vision. The fur was blowing in a gentle breeze, as he leaned back, letting the caressing hand soothe his body, soothe his mind.

The sound of a twig breaking made him start. TJ was suddenly awake, and the man dressed like an animal was no where to be seen. The smell of skunk made him want to retch, but he held back as he listened to the forest sounds. He could hear the river running, the water moving along against the shore. The sun was high in the air, judging by the light that was blinding him, as he struggled to regain consciousness.

His body ached, but he tried not to move, not to let his body make a single sound. The stench from the skunk made him look up, to see the familiar sack above him. He had been dreaming, the guy with the animal cloak was just a dream, the being tied up was just a part of that dream, as was the strange light among the rows of earth mounds. Yet the sound of a breaking twig, that wasn't a dream, that was real. There was something out there, moving silently as he held his breath, wondering if somehow someone had stumbled upon his trail?

TJ felt the panic inside, but he didn't jump up. He held his breathe, remembering the lessons from his Father. He controlled his breathing, controlled the motion of his body, as he lay there. He didn't even reach for the hilt of the knife at his side, though it was within easy reach of his hand. His fingers could feel the hilt, but he didn't flex them, keeping silent as he just listened.

There was a rustling sound to his right, as his head turned slightly. He could see some of the brush moving, some branches of a low brush move, as he bit his lower lip. His fingers ached, but he held them still, as the branches moved a bit more, a bit more violently, as whoever it was, whatever it was, was coming closer.

His heart pounded, as he waited. In his mind, he could feel the fear, telling him to jump up, to grab the knife and be ready to defend himself, then to run for it. It was a persistent mantra inside his mind, as he struggled with the urgings, while in his heart, he knew he had to sit still, to keep perfectly silent. He didn't know what was out there, running wasn't going to help him, least not yet.

The pins and needles in his legs, in his arms, were making it harder for him to sit still. He had too, and the cold sweat he was feeling didn't help matters, but he held firm, watching the branches of the bush, listening. His ears didn't pick up any other sounds, just those coming from his right, from the bushes. Staring at them, he saw the branches closest to him move, knowing that he would soon know what was there, what was stalking him. His fingers ached, but he held from reaching for the knife, leaving it for the last possible second.

The branches moved, and a dark pointed head came out. It had a dark nose, and was nibbling at the leaves on the branches, as he relaxed. Nothing but a deer, which didn't seem to notice him, as it fed on the leaves. It's ears perking up every few seconds, as it too listened for strange noises.

TJ felt suddenly foolish, yet relived as well. His fingers relaxed, and the ache in his body eased a bit. He had won one more battle with fear, as he saw the Deer's nose twitch, as it picked up the skunk scent. The head lifted up, staring straight at him, but it didn't rush off. The dark nose wrinkled a bit, as if it recognized the scent, and like everyone else, wasn't impressed.

Finally it lowered its face, and once more nibbled at the lush leaves, before slowly moving on, paying him no further attention. It had been satisfied that the only scent was one to be expected. Seeing that, made him relax even more, as he watched the Deer move along. His body was easier, as once more TJ closed his eyes.

Maybe this time, he'd get some sleep without the strange nightmares, the strange visions. His mind let him rest, as his body unwound, as sleep once more took hold.


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