Life on Zion
First we pick the herbs to make it taste like medicine. The Professor says it can't taste too good or people will not think it is good for them. We try to get the same herbs every time, but if we can't find some we just use something else. They're just for the taste, that's all. Then we soak them in alcohol we buy from a farmer who makes it himself. We has to travel way up the sierra to get there, so we buy two barrels at a time.
The bottles and stoppers are made in a village near Kirby, where there is good clay, and we get the wax for sealing them from the beeman, who also lives up there. Then there is the secret ingredient. I'm not allowed to say what that is or where we get it, but I know, and so does Levi. We are the Professor's boys, and he trusts us.
My parents were old fashioned, and thought I ought to have the benefits of a liberal education as well as learning architectural skills. I really never got much use out of it until I got here, to Zion. Here, a man who is familiar with some history, some science, some anthropology, some literature, and some psychology is at a marked advantage. Hell, a man who can count past ten without taking off his shoes is at a marked advantage here.
Well, perhaps I exaggerate -- a little. Just the same, the intellectual climate on this world stimulates the growth of a nearly limitless supply of suckers. Home, more properly called Terra, is not much better, of course, but the oligarchs have rigidly monopolized entrepreneurship there for centuries -- if you're not born to the right parents, there is no possible way to get rich by your wits. Here, it's very different. Zion is what our great-great-grandparents would have called "the frontier."
There is not much of a market for architecture here. All the buildings are boring rectangles, internally divided into more boring rectangles. I had to find another line of work, and so, drawing on my store of what some call useless information, I became what the great-great-grandparents of our great-great-grandparents would have called a "snake oil salesman."
Some of the plant and animal life here is native, but much of it comes from old Terra, and some dabbling in the botany of bad habits back in my youth stood me in good stead when I stumbled upon that field of lovely pink and red flowers, with the bulbous seed pods that ooze black goo when they mature. The field was free for the taking, so I took it, filing my claim in Zion City.
The secret ingredient of Professor Billy's Original Recipe Allopathic Tonic is opium.
I met Puck at the orphanage the first night I was there, when he came over and asked if I wanted him to suck my winkie. It is embarrassing, because I am probably two or three years older than him, but I never heard of that before. He said, look, kid, you are crying and it will make you feel better. I told him I am crying because my family got kilt, and he said, oh shit, that is bad, but let's try anyway.
I was shy, though, and I never even let my mother see me naked no more. Also, I didn't know why somebody would want to put my winkie in his mouth, maybe he would bite it or something, so I said no thanks. He stayed with me anyway, and slept right up against me that night, which felt pretty good. I was sad, and scared, and having him next to me was much better than being alone. We fell asleep.
Next day he took me around so I would know what to do. It was a slow time there at the orphanage because all that year's cotton was picked and ginned already, but we got to work some at some mill where they crunch up the seeds for the oil. It is better to get some work, Puck told me, because then you get fed more better. Well, the food ain't bad and a lot better than manna, and the work helped me stop thinking on Mama and Daddy and poor little Jeremy all the time.
I hooked up with Levi mostly because he was big -- one of the big kids in our bunkhouse, anyway -- and I figured if I got him to like me I would get me some protection, especially from Toddy, who was a real shithead. It was funny how he never heard of getting your dick sucked, but I guess kids from real families don't know about that right away.
Anyhow, he turned out a nice kid, and we was friends. He is even kind of nice looking, just not as pretty as me, though. He has hair that is very straight and black, and his belly didn't stick way out like plenty of the kids come to the orphanage. When I finally seen his dick, that was nice too. Saturday they give us the hot water for washing and fresh clothes, and it was funny how even then he didn't want to get naked but when everybody else did, he did too.
So a bunch of us boys from our bunkhouse are splashing in that big tub of hot water, and I look down in the water and see Levi is holding himself like he don't want nobody to see. And then he moves his hand a little and I see he got a hard one down there. And I say, hey, your little guy is standing up like he wants to meet me, and Levi gets even redder than the hot water makes you and turns around, and he has kind of a cute ass too, the round kind that sticks out, you know?
Well, then my winkie is hard too, and I go up behind him and hug him around, even if he got both hands covering his bone and his arms pressed down against his sides so I got to hug them too. And I rub my bone up against his crack, and he gets even more red and says stop, but he was laughing too, so I didn't stop, I just kept on 'til he turns around and tickles me.
Well, so I tickles him back, and we are hugging and tickling, and when I put my hand down on his bone he got real ticklish at first but then he let me. And that night he finally let me suck it, and then every night after too.
My flower garden wasn't particularly profitable that first year because my dilettante's knowledge of how the drug should be collected wasn't especially complete. I knew I had to slice into the pods to let the sap ooze out, but I didn't know how many slices, how deep, or what stage of the plant's life cycle was best. Well, I learned by experimentation -- three or four very shallow cuts, starting just after the flower petals fall.
I thought about just selling the opium, but on a planet where a good half the population arrived direct from prison, going into the narcotics business on my own seemed like a bad idea. Then I remembered reading about those medicine show guys from back when Terra had a frontier. I bought a few jugs of old Oscar's homemade sugar beet rum -- now there is a man who arrived on Zion with a useful skill -- and figured out how to dissolve the raw opium in the alcohol. Then I packed it up in bottles, loaded the bottles on my mule, and went out on the road to success.
The second year, I produced a lot more. I got a cart for the mule to pull, and did quite nicely, thank you, in both cash and kind. The only real problem was that it was getting to be a hell of a lot of work, and I've never been a big fan of work. I've always been a big fan of boys, though, so when I heard about that orphanage that was selling them, I thought, "Why not?"
Most of the boys weren't too impressive -- they had that pasty, "raised on manna" look, with the blubbery thighs and saggy guts that go along with it. Thanks, but no thanks. Then I caught a glimpse of Puck, peeking around the side of a doorway, and knew I had to have him. I called him out into the courtyard where the master had lined up his sad, cellulitic manna sacks, and asked for a price.
Puck easily could pass for one of those rich boys back Home, with his golden ringlets, clear green eyes, pouty lips, and long, slender limbs. I wouldn't mind if his bottom were just a little perkier, but he's as perfect as you're likely to find on Zion. Needless to say, the price the master was asking was ten times what he wanted for any of the other boys.
"Come on," the master said, "don't go tellin' me ya want this kid for farm work. Anyway, I been been savin' him for a special client, buy this boy in a snap. Maybe ya know him, bein' as you got a eye for boys. Fella called Willie Sparkle."
As it happened, I did know Willie Sparkle, who gave me an evening with two of his most appetizing boys in exchange for two bottles of Professor Billy's Original Recipe Allopathic Tonic. I made an offer -- enough to buy three or four manna sack boys. The master came down a little, I went up a little more. He came down again, to the price of about seven, but that was it. After that he wouldn't budge.
I had another look at Puck. He doesn't know how old he is, but he looks eight or nine -- too young to be much help when the time came to collect the opium. It takes pretty good eye-hand coordination to slice into the pods without cutting all the way through to the seeds. On the other hand, he was just so goddamned hot!
Puck solved the problem himself. He motioned me to bend down, and whispered, "Ask if he'll toss in Levi for the same price."
I whispered back. "Who's Levi?"
"My friend," he told me. "And he knows how to use tools, because his father taught him."
So that's how I got two boys for the price of seven.
I like the Professor. I know he likes Puck better than me, but that's okay. I like Puck better than me too.
The Professor really does like me though. When we got in his mule cart to leave the orphanage, he said to me, "Well, Levi, at least you're not a fatty. And you can use tools?"
I said yessir, and told him how I can work a saw and a twist drill and chisels and gouges and the rest of them, and he said good, because he needed a boy who was good with his hands. Most of what I used so far is this little knife to cut into the flowers, but I am real good at it. That's what he says. He also says I got a real cute ass, and Puck thinks so too. They used to argue over whose turn it was to put the plugs in me when we was getting elasticized.
I carved the plugs myself, mine and Puck's both, and made them real smooth by rubbing them with sand. We started with real little ones, and worked our way up. It felt funny walking around with something up my hole, but the Professor explained it would make it more stretchy so I wouldn't get hurt when I got fukt. I didn't know what fukt was then, but now I do.
The Professor made me real happy when he bought Levi too, so I did my best to make him real happy that first night. He got us a chicken dinner at the roadhouse, which was extra great for Levi cause he never ate chicken before. It was good, and we liked it a lot. Then we went up to the room.
It was a little room, and the bed took up most of it, so we all just sat down. The Professor got out his zither, which is a wood box with metal strings that he uses to make tunes, and he made us a tune, a kind of slow tune, and a little sad. Then he wanted me to dance for him. I never learned to dance, but I figured I could try, so I stood up on the bed and just kind of moved around to the music. He said I was good at it, and I should keep dancing while I got undressed.
Okay, I figured it out that I was supposed to do it real sexy, so I did. I turned my back and waved my ass back and forth real slow while I undid the buttons of my pants. Then I let the pants fall down, but made sure my shirttails covered me front and back. Then I faced front again, and unbuttoned the shirt slowly, from the top down. I even got me feeling sexy, and my wiener popped up, but nobody could see it yet. I knew the Professor was liking it because he hit some wrong notes while he was trying to get his cock more comfortable inside his pants.
When there was just the bottom button still closed on my shirt, I let it slide down over my shoulders and tried to wiggle my titties. Well, I don't actually have titties, like some of the boys at the orphanage do, but if I make my chest first tight and then looser, I can move my nips a little. I don't know if anybody noticed. Then I turned around again and hiked up my shirt to show my ass. I waved it around a little, then bent over so everything showed for a second or two. Then I let the shirttail fall again and covered up while I got my arms out of the sleeves and opened that last button.
When I let the shirt fall down around my ankles, I was naked, but the Professor and Levi only could see me from behind. I stretched my arms up over my head and danced like that a little. Then I turned around, so they could see my stiffie sticking out in front of me, and danced a little more, until the tune was over and the Professor put the zither aside.
I wasn't sure what I was supposed to do then. The Professor was staring with this funny expression on his face, and not saying nothing, so I just stood there in my last pose from my dancing. I don't know how long we stayed like that. Then the Professor said something like, "Levi, go give your little friend some head."
Levi was still a real dope back then, so I had to explain: "He means suck on my winkie."
Well, Levi never did that before -- even though I already done him I don't know how many times -- and he kind of froze up. So I said to him, "Come on, it's easy. Just do what I done to you."
So he crawled across the bed on his hands and knees, and he opened his mouth and closed his eyes, and I put my boner in and said go on, do it. And he did. He closed his lips around me and used his tongue, all around and around. Okay, he wasn't too good at it, but it wasn't bad for the first time he tried it. I put my fingers through his long, black hair and pulled his head against me, and then he gave out a little "unnh" noise and reached up and grabbed my ass and started sucking for all he was worth -- until I had to tell him, not so hard!
The Professor had his dick out of his pants by then, and he was yanking it good. I was happy to see it was not some giant monster -- just a normal grown-up dick. Levi, though, never seen one of those before, so when he finally finished sucking and got a look, I thought he was gonna pass out. Poor Levi.
But, you know, I really wonder how boys like Levi, brought up in real families, ever find out anything at all. It seems like nobody tells them nothing.