I Must Be Dreaming
by Jason Finigan
This story is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. This story may contain scenes which involve sexual situations between young males. If this type of material is offensive to you, or it is not legal for you to be reading this type of material, please do not read any further. This story is copyright © 2007 by Jason Finigan, all rights reserved. Please do not copy this story for distribution or post on any online server without the author's permission. Please send all your comments to: email@example.com.
From the last chapter:
Walking back into my room, I closed my door, and began to take off my clothes. My muscles were really sore, but I wasn't kidding when I said I was actually feeling pretty good. In fact, I was feeling very relaxed at the moment.
I put my clothes on the back of my chair, and took out the clothes that I had worn at the YMCA from the bag I brought with me. I tossed them into the hamper, then climbed into bed. Tomorrow would be a new day, I thought to myself and began to drift off to sleep under the warmth of my blanket.
I've been on the road now for the last two hours. I left home early, in the hopes that I'd bypass the morning traffic. Boy was I wrong about that. Who would have guessed that there'd be so many people trying to get to work at six thirty in the morning. It was bitter cold that morning. I had left bundled up with several layers of clothes on, but nothing prepared me for the incredible bitterness in the air that bombarded me when I stepped outside. It was almost as if I had stepped out into it naked and every inch of my body was being assailed on all sides by the bitterly cold ragingly gusty wind. Getting into my car and turning on the heat couldn't happen soon enough. I almost slipped on the glassy slick ice, hidden below the thin dusting of snow that had fallen overnight.
It was eerily quiet that morning, with the sound of the wind blowing being the only sound I could hear. It seemed like it took me forever to get my car door open. Once inside, I put the key in the ignition and tried to start the car. It took several attempts before the engine would accede to my demands that it start up. Giving it a little gas to encourage it, I sat there allowing it to warm up for a bit, to make absolutely sure that the car wouldn't stall on me. Finally assured that it was going to continue running, I cranked up the heat, and got out of the car again. The bags I was taking up to the cottage with me were still in the house, and I went to go get them, once again almost slipping on that same patch of craftily hidden ice. You'd think I would have learned the first time to watch where I was going, but such is life.
The back pack we so carefully packed was really heavy, and I didn't feel like putting it on my back just to take it to the car, so I half carried, and half dragged it outside, making sure that the front door was closed properly. My parents would no doubt kill me, if I left the door open. My dad was always telling me that he either wasn't cooling the outside or heating it, depending on whether it was summer or winter. As a typical teen, I would always just roll my eyes, as if to tell him that I wasn't stupid, but like any other teen, I always had so much going through my mind that the most common sense things were oft times forgotten.
And now, here I am, stuck on the QEW, on my way to the cottage, and barely moving at all through the traffic. I thought that I could probably have walked faster than the traffic was moving. Thankfully, I only had to put up with the traffic to Toronto. Once I was there, I'd have virtually an open road all the way up to the cottage.
Before I left home, I had turned on my computer and taken a look at the weather reports for the area where the cottage was situated. The weekend was supposed to be very cold, with some snow, but nothing I wasn't used to already. Though it was only December, we'd we had already had two heavy snowfalls, most of which had long since melted away, but you could still plainly see the evidence of them by the huge mounds of snow piled in ten foot mounds in the mall parking lots. The tires on my car were ones designed specifically for traction during the winter, so I knew I wouldn't have to worry too much about getting stuck in the snow. It is amazing how many cars I see with their emergency lights flashing while they are stranded off in the ditch somewhere because someone who should have known better, didn't think to make sure their car was equipped to handle the conditions that were simply a part of life during winter months.
Damn, this traffic is slow. Now I knew I should have invested in a laptop. At least then I could have used the wireless card in it to go on the Internet. While I wouldn't think of driving and surfing the web at the same time, with how fast this traffic is moving, I doubt it would make a difference if I was. Thankfully, I did bring several of my CDs with me, which gave me something to do while I inched my way through the heavy stop and slow traffic.
I thought Mondays were bad for traffic jams, but now I'm seeing just how bad Fridays can be. Most of my classes on Friday are in the afternoon or late morning, so I never have to go in during rush hour. Mondays and Wednesdays were actually the only two days that I had any morning classes, and they were the only times that I had to beat the traffic. Thankfully I was only going to Oakville, so it wasn't as if I had a major drive ahead of me.
That 'forty five minute drive' to Toronto ended up taking me over an hour and a half, and there was still over three hours worth of driving left to go, once I got through the city. As I had expected though, once I got through Toronto, the traffic thinned considerably and I was once again able to travel at a fairly decent rate of speed. The speed limit was posted at a hundred kilometers per hour which I totally ignored. I think the whole time since Toronto, the speedometer never went below one twenty. It was risky, of course, as this area is notorious for police with those pesky radar traps, but I still wanted to get to the cottage before lunch. Even though I had already eaten breakfast before leaving, I was already beginning to get a little hungry. I knew I probably would have to stop off at a Tim Hortons or something to grab a quick bite and a nice warm drink.
I made it to Barrie, which was north of Toronto in a fairly short amount of time. Thankfully, the traffic that was on the road with me was traveling at the same speed I was, and no one was getting pulled over. Once again, I had somehow escaped the radar traps, which made me quite happy. The last thing I needed on this trip was a ticket for speeding. I haven't received one yet, and I don't plan to get one if I can possibly help it. My dad would be pissed if I did, and since he paid for the insurance on my car, he'd probably take my driving privileges away for a week. I should know, he told me what he'd do if I ever got a ticket.
One of the things about Barrie that I like was that although it was quit an urban center, it still had large patches of rural land, mostly consisting of farms. It was quiet, peaceful and unassuming. Not at all like Toronto with it's crowded noisy streets or obnoxious cab drivers and seemingly endless homeless population. Burlington was more urban than Barrie, and though it was not as quiet as Barrie was, it was still a far cry better than Toronto.
I stopped at a local Tim Hortons and grabbed myself a coffee and a donut. Boston Cream. The best donut in the world ever created if you ask me. There's just something about sinking my teeth into the chocolate frosting, biting down into the soft bread, and finally releasing its delicious banana flavored filling. Pure heaven. It's an almost orgasmic experience, eating one of those donuts. But then again, that's just me.
Once more on the road, I continued my journey north. The clouds, which were a light gray when I left Burlington, were now becoming quite a bit darker and thicker than they were before. That told me that there was some bad weather up ahead. The weather report said it wasn't going to be anything serious, so of course, I wasn't worried about it. The car was outfitted to handle a snow fall, with the winter tires, and I had topped up anti-freeze tank for the windshield wipers. About an hour away from Barrie, it began to snow; starting off as just a light flurry, but soon starting to come down a little more heavily. I would soon be at the cottage, and I could turn on the furnace to warm up the house. I still had to get a few things from at the grocery store to stock up the fridge for the weekend, but I was planning on doing that after I had everything unpacked. By the time I reached Haliburton, the snow was coming down pretty hard, harder than I had expected, but not hard enough to cause me any real alarm. Maybe it should have.
Pulling into the long driveway, I parked the car in the garage, got out, and headed to the front door. Finding the key, I unlocked the door and stepped inside. Despite the cold air outside, the cottage inside felt almost as cold, and it made me shiver slightly. Turning on the furnace and getting the place warmed up was definitely the first order of business, before doing anything else. I made my way downstairs and located the controls for the furnace. I set it to twenty-five degrees Celsius and heard the unmistakable sound of the furnace starting up. A strong odor could be detected, coming from the openings in the vents, and I recognized it immediately as burning dust, the special smell that dust makes when it's suddenly heated. It was actually a welcome smell, letting me know that the furnace was indeed working.
Going back outside, I grabbed my back pack from the car and headed back into the house. Even though I was alone in the cottage, I wasn't going to use the master bedroom. That room, after all, belonged to my parents, and I was respectful enough to not use it while I was there. I chose, instead, my old bedroom, which was just down the hall from the large bathroom and small entertainment room, both of which were separated by a hallway from the kitchen, living room, and dining area. Dropping the heavy bag at the foot of the bed, I went back outside, locking the door behind me, and climbed back into my car. Starting it back up, I carefully made my way to town, where I could see people busily hurrying into and out of the grocery store. The sight of it actually amused me slightly. It was like watching those news broadcasts where everyone was rushing to buy everything they could to get ready for a hurricane or tornado or other major weather disaster. All I could do was shake my head in amusement as I parked the car and went inside the store.
Whatever people were buying, they were buying it in bulk, it seemed. Several of the shelves were practically emptied, but thankfully everything that I needed was still available and I soon had a full cart to take to the front checkout. Several customers were looking pretty anxious, almost as if they were in a panic to get out of the store. It was a confusing sight for sure, but one which was good for me, as it meant it didn't take long for it to be my turn to pay for my things and get back to the cottage. While the cashier was ringing through my food, I decided to strike up a conversation with her.
"So," I asked, "What's the big story?"
"What do you mean?" she asked me, hurriedly scanning items and placing them in the plastic grocery bags.
"Well, it's like everyone around here is in a panic over something. So what gives?"
"You mean you haven't heard?" she asked, pausing briefly.
"Heard what? I just got into town a short while ago," I told her.
"There's a huge storm headed our way. We're supposed to get about ten to twenty inches of snow during the day."
"No, I just checked the weather forecast before coming up here. There's supposed to be some snow today, but nothing major."
"I don't know what forecast you've been listening to, but trust me; there's a big storm coming, and you'd be best off to get yourself situated in your home before it hits."
"It's already snowing outside," I said.
"I know. The boss is letting everyone go in an hour, so we don't get caught in the storm. That's why everyone is in such a hurry."
"Well, I still think you have nothing to worry about, but I'm glad you're going to get out of the weather. Nasty or not, it's not fun to be caught out in a snowfall."
"Normally I wouldn't mind," she told me. "But from what I've been told, this might be the worst storm we've had in a long time."
"I'm sure the forecaster is wrong, though. But you still have a good day, okay?" I said, handing her my credit card. She swiped the card, and my purchase was completed. After signing the bill, I gathered up the bags and started to head back to my car.
"Take care, and stay inside," she warned me, just before I left. I turned back to look at her and nodded my head in acknowledgment, seeing as how my hands were full carrying the bags.
Truthfully, I was beginning to get a little worried by that time. These people were obviously used to the weather up here, and if they were worried, then I guess I should be as well. But I'm young, and stubborn sometimes. I quickly shook those thoughts out of my head and brought the groceries out to the car.
Getting back to the cottage was an adventure on its own. Everyone who was shopping like mad at the grocery store, seemed to be leaving for their homes at the exact same time. This of course meant that I was once again stuck in another traffic jam. Thankfully, it wasn't one that took me hours to get through. After what must have been twenty minutes or so, I was pulling into the driveway to the cottage. I parked the car in the garage, and took the groceries I had bought, out of the trunk. Once I was back inside the cottage, I stomped my feet to remove the snow that had stuck to my boots. Putting away the groceries, I decided to sit in the entertainment room to relax for a bit. Turning on the TV, I found out that the satellite was down. With the snow that was falling outside, I wasn't surprised about that.
Then I remembered the promise I had given Jim, about calling him when I got up here. Walking back into the kitchen where the phone was, I dialed his number and waited for him to pick up the phone. After four rings, I heard his answering machine pick up, followed by the a beep signaling that I should leave a message. Telling Jim that I had arrived safely and was getting settled in, and telling him to let Rich know as well, I hung up the phone, and decided to grab something to drink. I brought my drink into the dining area and sat down at the table, staring out the window, and watching the snow fall outside. It was really beginning to get thick, but still nothing that I was much concerned about.
I found my mind wandering, as it usually did when I was alone. This weekend was supposed to be a weekend where I could get away from things and just think. I've always been a thinker, but this time is different. This time there were things that I just had to deal with that I couldn't do with everyone else around me. Specifically, I was conflicted with my feelings and the thoughts that went with them, at least, around a certain person that is. A person I couldn't talk to about it.
You see, I've known for a while now, actually since the fourth grade that I was attracted to boys. I used to watch them in gym class, and tried to take peeks at them in the change rooms after class, especially when we went to the pool. Okay, I admit it. I am gay. But that in itself wasn't the problem for me. The problem was that I had a crush on the one guy I knew I could never possibly have for a boyfriend, and he happened to be my friend, Jim.
Who can explain why we're attracted to certain people, and what makes us turn to jelly when we're near them. I don't know how I managed to keep what I felt for Jim hidden for so long, but I knew it was taking a toll on me. Every day I watched as he and his fiancée talked to each other, and whisper sweet nothings in each other's ears, cuddling up close to one another and kissing in public as if no one else was around. Okay, I was jealous, I'll admit it, and even though I was happy for Jim, I was sad at the same time. I wanted it to be me that he loved like that, even though I knew that there was no possible way that it would happen. I am gay, while Jim is straight, and in love with his fiancée. It was just something I was going to have to deal with and accept, no matter how difficult it was. I could feel my eyes beginning to tear up. It was just too much for me to hold back any longer and I soon found myself sobbing openly into my folded arms on the table.
I must have sat like that for a good half hour. Crying non-stop. The sleeve on my shirt was soaked from my tears, and when I raised my head off my arms, I wiped away the remaining tears from my eyes. I looked again outside at the snow falling steadily, adding layer after layer on the ground.
What I needed was to get out, and go for a walk. It still wasn't too bad outside, and I was sure a quick walk was what I needed. Grabbing my now empty glass, I took it to the sink and rinsed it out before putting it into the dishwasher. Walking to my room, I put on a few extra layers of clothes and some heavy wool socks, then I went to the front door, slipped on my boots and jacket, put on my hat and gloves, and grabbing my keys and wallet, opened the front door and went outside, locking the front door after me.
The wind had really picked up by then, but it was still nothing I was worried about. I thought back to all the people in town scurrying about, just because of a little snow. Shaking my head, I headed down the trail leading from the house to the pond behind it, and continued on into the woods. The woods sheltered me from the worst of the wind and snow. The canopy of leaves protecting me from the worst this snowfall had to dish out. It was eerily quiet, with no animals making any noise at all. The only sound I could hear was the sound of the wind as it blew past the tops of the trees, and filtered through the trunks. It was quiet, and peaceful. Just what I needed.
I don't know for how long I ended up walking, but it was long enough that I found myself walking out of the forest and into an open clearing. One I had never been in before. It was then that I realized that I had been walking and not paying any attention as to where I was walking. I wasn't lost, really, but looking around me, I found that I had never been here before. The clearing was surrounded on all sides by forest, and in the center was a dense blanket of snow, with only the tops of some weeds poking through. The snow was beginning to fall even harder than before, and I began to think that the girl at the store had been right, that this was going to be a really bad storm. It was already difficult to see more than ten feet in front of me because of the snow.
I decided it was time for me to head back to the cottage. No sooner had I re-entered the forest when I suddenly heard a loud cracking noise behind me. Looking back, I was just in time to see one of the trees, with a wide trunk already falling towards me. I tried to dive out of the way, and thought that I had made it. That is, until I felt a sharp pain in my left leg which was accompanied by a loud crack. I yelled out loud from the pain that hit me. It was almost unbearable. The tree had fallen on top of me, and the sound I heard was obviously the bones in my leg breaking. Never before had I ever felt such intense pain. It was so bad that I almost passed out. Somehow, I managed to stay conscious, and tried to reach down and push the tree off of me, but it was too heavy. The slightest movement of the tree sent wave after wave of pain shooting up my leg, causing me to shout out again. I was trapped.
It was getting darker, and the snow was still falling. I knew I was in trouble. No one knew that I was out here. I should have heeded the warnings of the townspeople, but no, not me, I knew better, I had heard the forecast. Instead of being sensible, I found myself out here, alone in the brush, and unable to move. The tears began to fall from my face. Tears of pain, and frustration, but also tears of hopelessness. I knew that no one was going to come to my rescue. By the time anyone knew that I was missing, it would already be too late. All I could do was lie here, trapped under the tree, and wait for the inevitable.
All the friends I had, and the family that I cared about so much, and everything I had gone through in my life went through my mind. I began to cry even harder. I knew the pain that my family and friends would feel. They would keep asking themselves if there was anything they could have done to stop me from coming up here, and knowing that they hadn't. Most of all, I was angry at myself. Not because I came up here, and went out into this weather, but rather because I was ashamed of my cowardice. For not being able to face my problems, and hiding everything from the people I cared about.
Jim would never know how much he meant to me. No one would know, because I was too scared to tell anyone. Maybe it was better this way. Maybe they are better off not knowing, and that this is God's way of telling me that I should have trusted them, and that this is what I deserve.
I was beginning to get very sleepy, my eyes beginning to get really heavy. I knew I should try to stay awake, but I couldn't, and my eyes began to close.
A sound from behind me jerked me awake, and I craned my neck back to look where the sound had come from. I didn't see anything at first, but then I saw it. A flash of white moving from behind the trees. The sound I heard was of a twig snapping. Something was out there, and was getting closer. Please God, don't let it be a wild animal, I prayed silently. Another sound, this time louder, and definitely closer. Closing my eyes out of fear, I tried to wish whatever it was to go away. And then I heard it. Not ten feet away from me. I could hear the unmistakable sound of heavy breathing, and knew that I had been found, but I couldn't tell who or what had found me, as my eyes were still closed. No other sound could be heard except the wind blowing through the trees and the heavy breathing behind me. Gathering up my courage, I slowly opened my eyes to look at what was there, and gasped in shock, all my worst fears suddenly realized for there, standing behind me, were two almost pure white wolves, their yellow eyes glaring down at me, and their mouths open, panting slightly. One of them took a step towards me, and I screamed. Then all went black.
* * *
Warmth. I felt so warm. Is this what happens when you die? Then I felt the pain in my leg, and I opened my eyes. I must have made a sound when I awoke because I soon felt someone approaching me. Where was I? What happened? All these questions were going through my mind, and I still could not see properly, everything being a blur. And then I heard the most angelic voice.
"You're awake. How do you feel?"
"It hurts," I said, or at least, I think I said. I couldn't tell. Whoever it was must have understood me because I soon heard something liquid filling a container.
"Try to sit up," the voice said, and I tried to do as I was asked, but the pain in my leg was too much and I just winced before collapsing.
"I can't," I said.
"Yes you can, let me help." I suddenly felt strong arms helping me sit up. The pain was still there, but whoever it was was so gentle that I didn't feel it as much. My leg was throbbing by now, but at least my vision was improving. A glass was held out in front of me, as well as a couple of small pills which I recognized to be some pain medication. I recognized it because it's the same stuff my mom gave me when I came back from the hospital after I had my appendix removed. Taking the pills, I put them in my mouth, and washed them down with the glass of water.
"Thanks," I said, my voice getting stronger.
"You're welcome," the person said, and I looked up. That angelic voice that spoke so softly to me belonged to one of the most beautiful men I had ever seen. His face looked so beautiful to me. He was blond, and had these brilliant blue eyes that just radiated the compassion this person had within him. He must have been no older than twenty years old, as his skin was so smooth, and his features so gentle looking. He smiled down at me, and took the now empty glass from my hands and put it on the table beside the bed I was lying in. I now recognized that I was in fact in a bed, and that I was in a small cottage by the look of the room I was in. The angel in front of me sat down in a chair that was beside the bed.
"My name is Ben Stephens," the man said.
"I'm Chris," I said, managing to snap myself out of the shock I felt after seeing this beautiful man beside me. "Chris McCabe."
"Nice to meet you Chris, though I'd like to know what it was that you were doing out in weather like this."
"Being stupid," I answered, sighing heavily.
"Well, I'm not going to argue with you there," he said, though I could detect no contempt from him whatsoever, just a gentleness in his voice that told me that he was genuinely concerned about me.
"What happened?" I asked him.
"As far as can I figure, you got lost, a tree fell on you, and you passed out. It was a good thing I found you when I did.
"I thought I was dead," I said.
"You very well almost were. Had Akela and Mia not found you, you probably would still be out there, and most likely would be dead."
"Who are Akela and Mia?" I asked him.
"They are my friends," Ben said. As soon as he finished that, I saw two white wolves walk into the room, and I jerked back in fear. Ben saw this and put a comforting hand on my shoulder.
"Do not fear them, Chris," Ben said.
"But, Ben. Those are wolves."
"Yes, I know that," he replied, as if it was entirely natural for them to be in the same room as us.
"But how? Are they yours?" I asked him.
"You mean, are they my pets? No, Chris. They do not belong to me. I rescued them when they were only pups. Their mom had been killed, and the rest of the pack had abandoned them. I don't keep them, they stay only because they want to. They are free to come and go as they please."
"I'm sorry, I didn't know. I'm not used to wolves. Everything I've been told by the people up here was that they're wild and would just as soon attack you."
"The townspeople are fools. Wolves have no interest in humans."
"They're friendly?" I asked, looking at the two white wolves who were now sitting on their hind legs, staring up at me.
"Yes," Ben laughed. "They will not hurt you. I brought you to this house, and they now see you as a part of the pack while you are here."
"I still don't know where here is," I told him.
"You're in my home, some six miles from where I found you."
"You live here all year round?" I asked.
"Yes. I like it up here, though didn't always. I used to live in a city, much like I suspect you do."
"Yeah, I am from Burlington. My family owns a cottage up here."
"And you came up here on your own?"
"First time too," I sighed.
"There's a first time for everything, Chris. But I'd still like to know what you were doing out in weather like this. I only go out when I have to."
"Honestly, I didn't think it was going to be this bad out. The weather station said it was going to snow, but nowhere near anything like this."
"That's what you get for listening to the weather report," Ben said, smiling again.
"Yeah, tell me about it. Anyways, I had to get out, and go for a walk. I always do when I need to think."
"Sounds to me like you've had a lot on your mind."
"More than you know, and actually, now that I think about it, I've been a fool about things all along."
"What do you mean?"
"Just before I saw your two wolves there, I began to realize that everything I'd done, and felt, most of which I hid from the people I care about, was really foolishness on my part. By denying who I am, to them, I'm denying it to myself. I don't know if I'm making any sense,"
"Probably more sense than you realize. You're in love with someone aren't you?" he asked.
"Yes," I replied honestly. "But it's a pointless love."
"No love is ever pointless. No matter how you might think it is. It's a part of you," he said.
"I'm beginning to realize that. But the person I thought I loved, is actually my best friend, and who is in love with someone else."
"Chris, you're still hiding," Ben said, smiling knowingly at me."
"I don't get what you mean," I replied.
"You are gay aren't you? And the person you love is your best male friend, but he's in love with a girl isn't he?" Ben asked.
"How... how do you know?" I asked, suddenly scared.
"Takes one to know one," he said.
"You... you're gay?" I asked him.
"Yes," he replied.
"I've never met anyone else who is gay before," I said.
"Oh I bet you have, you just don't know it," he laughed.
"Probably," I said, thinking back on the number of times I've looked at another guy and thought that he might be gay.
"Look, I'm going to let you get some rest. Those pills should begin to work in a few minutes."
"Thank you for everything you've done for me," I told him.
"Well, I couldn't very well let a gorgeous man like you die out there alone, now could I?" he said, smiling once again at me, before leaving the room. His parting comment caused me to blush something fierce. I had never been called gorgeous by anyone before, and to have this angel of a man who rescued me say that I'm gorgeous made me feel so good inside. I lay my head back onto the pillow and looked over at the two wolves, who were still sitting beside the bed.
"And thank you two for finding me. I owe you my life," I said to them. I could have sworn I saw them nod their heads at me, but I brushed that thought aside as being ridiculous. I could feel the pills Ben had given me already beginning to take effect, and as I began to drift off to sleep again, I saw the two wolves lie down. So much had changed in a short amount of time and I was, for the first time in a long while, truly happy with who I was.
I am really excited about this story. I am very impressed. That shouldn't come as much of a surprise, though. Chris is a very nice person and so is Ben. I was sure the wolves were not going to hurt Chris. One of the things I learned a long time ago is that wolves have gotten a bad rap, mostly due to ignorance, and also, in large part, due to those awful fairy tales. Things like The Three Little Pigs, and Little Red Riding Hood among others, gave the wolf a terrible reputation. The wolf, after all, is nothing more or less than a relative of the dog, who is one of the most loyal and gentle creatures ever to exist. Of course, that is only if you treat them with the respect they deserve. There have been stories of wolves who have saved the lives of humans who have been lost or injured in the forest or elsewhere, and in one way or another, they kept them safe until they could be rescued. It is certainly not unheard of. The wolf is generally considered to be very intelligent and brave. Of course, you should never take the wolf for granted. As I said they are quite intelligent and they don't take to being treated like pets. They know who and what they are and being a pet is not in their lexicon. They will help anyone in need of it, and will respect your right to live, but you had better not expect them to submit to being confined. I can hardly wait to see what will happen next. Jason, please don't keep us waiting too long. Thank you very much for writing this wonderful story.
Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher