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Strangers on a Train
by J. A. Adkins
Part 8-The Clan
The dreams were coming all at once. They raced around, crashing into each other. The good dreams...the bad, all colliding in a maelstrom of thoughts; a hurricane in my head. I don't remember ever falling asleep, though. But here I was, descending through my subconscious, hitting every thought on the way down.
In one I'm naked. I feel tender fingers graze my flesh, making me gasp. A red light opens the darkness from outside the single window of the room. I see him on top of me. I feel his hardened cock embattled with mine. He thrusts forward, forcing his weight towards me, the movement sending an electrical charge coursing through my body. Moaning is the only way I know to react. He kisses me. I open my eyes, only to suddenly find the room lit in red replaced by a bedroom swathed in a hazy purple and cloudy blue. Moonlight punches unstoppably through the windows above the headboard. Those are Max Aralia's lips on mine. It is his tongue lapping around mine. His hands on either side of my head. His precum-dripping cockhead teasing my naked ass. I moan again in welcomed pain and drunken, miserable ecstasy. Every inch of him slides deep into me, rubbing and torturing my prostate.
Max pulls his mouth from mine. He growls-he always growled. Already he's fucking me hard, tearing in and out of my ass, stabbing my prostate with each heavy thrust. God, this feels good. Or it did, from what I can remember. He grunts and growls again. The throbbing tip pulls all the way out before being shoved in deeper. I close my eyes.
Suddenly, there is the sound of whispering. I make out a voice echoing softly above me somewhere. I try to open my eyes but I can't. Am I dead? Harder I fight to move my anchored eyelids. A sticky, white fog envelops my vision. I wonder how long I have been asleep. Then I hear the voices, closer now. They're talking about me. They're talking about what I did.
I scream. But no one hears me.
I open my eyes. My empty house surrounds me. "Hello?" comes my voice, soft and resonating on the barren walls. I walk down the rest of the steps from the second floor. I turn the corner and gasp. I see my father, standing in the open doorway. A bright light swathes the outside world, leaving him a ghostly shadow against the blinding plane behind him.
"Dad!" I call out. "I...I thought you were dead!"
He turns around. I had been running, hurrying toward him. I stop at the sight of him, stumbling over myself. The face I remembered from my life, the face I grew up knowing isn't there anymore. His skin is mangled at torn. The slightly red, over-tanned hue to his face is replaced by a thick blue and purple. I can't see his eyes. He doesn't make a sound. Instead, he turns his back to me, looking into the light. I run forward. I want to catch him. But when I get there, the door is closed. The handle is as cold as ice. I twist it fast, my fingers tingling.
The hinges hold the door without a noise as I pull it open. On the stoop outside is a battalion of police officers. My reflection bounces back to me from a dozen pairs of tinted sunglasses. My driveway and street are crowded with humming police cruisers. My body trembles. I feel my knees giving out. I have to run. I have to! I turn and stumble in my haste to get away, falling flat into sweaty sheets tangled around themselves across an empty bed.
I'm naked again. The hairs on my arms, legs, and neck stand on end. The darkness falls away. The red light bleeds into the darkness around me. The bed shifts, new weight falling on top of it. Naked skin glides across mine. Soft hands roll me onto my side to find warm, perfect lips touching mine. They draw me into a deep, hypnotic kiss. His other hand draws a line from my chest, to my navel, then down past my pubic hairs to the base of my stiffened flesh so desperate for release my whole body could explode when he touches it, grabs it and pulls up on it firmly.
A tongue probes my ear while he's kissing me. New hands grab my shoulder and caress both cheeks of my ass. From somewhere in the darkness of the room, beyond the reaches of the crimson light, I hear a judge's gavel slam loudly into earshot, stirring me from the moment. On the bed, two bodies manipulate my own, taking me into orbit. In front of me is my mysterious man who waits for me in my dreams, brining me to climax in the heartbeat of the red light. Behind me, I feel firm kiss my neck and shoulder; then a tongue trace my spine down past waist and into the cleft of each of my ass cheeks. His oozing dick, the hardest it has ever been, throbbing madly, slides against my thigh. My perfect man sucks hard on my nipples. He tightens his grip on my cock. My breath stutters and I gasp, his tongue slowly dragging across my stomach. Then his lips, those sweet candy lips, grip the aching, precum bleeding head of my penis.
"Do you know Max Aralia?"
"What?!" I say breathlessly, suddenly aware of Max's tongue poking through my anal ring, spiraling around and around just inside my hole. I eye the lawyer in the crisp, black Armani suit standing wickedly at the foot of the bed.
"I said, do you know Max Aralia?"
Max moves his mouth away from my sphincter. I can hear his fingers rubbing up and down along his shaft, greasing it with his own precum. The lawyer looks at me expectantly, then turns to face the judge in an angry huff. I follow him with my rolling eyes to find the bed in the middle of a crowded courtroom. The red light bathes everything around me.
"Your honor," the lawyer whines. "The defendant refuses to answer the question."
Max's fingers spread my cheeks apart. My hole meets his prick once again. I groan a long "Yeeessss!" as he stuffs my ass with his thick, steaming meat. "Yes, I know him!"
My perfect man guides his lips slowly up and down my shaft. His slow suckling of my rocket-hard penis, so ready to blast off, quickly becomes a steady, pleasurable sucking that makes stars twinkle in my eyes. I'm lost in the incredible pleasure of the moment. My moans are drowning the lawyer's words. I hear the judge's gavel slam against the top of his bench. They want my attention. I can't give it. I moan longer, louder. I'm so close, soo close. Max fucks me harder and harder. My ass is on fire around his sharp staff which each new thrust he makes over my prostate and deeper into me. My perfect man sucks me faster. My testicle rise proudly, happily. They feel like Acme anvils ready to fall on the Coyote. I'm closer. My whole body is trembling. I feel my climax rising. I'm so ready for it. I want it! Then-
My eyes opened with a flutter. I gasped for air, getting a mouthful of tepid, moldy dust. "Wha...what the hell was that?"
"An alarm clock, I think," Darren said flatly from beside me. I couldn't see him. We were both laying on our sides. I was facing the doorway of a dawn-lit room devoid of any furniture; any character at all. "I think it's their version of church bells," he added.
I found myself focusing on one word from that sentence. "Their?"
At that moment, the pinewood door only four feet away flew open, slamming against the front wall. A greasy-haired woman with short round cheeks, beady brown eyes, and thick, heavy arms and legs marched into the room.
"Uh huh," Darren said, answering my question.
"Y'all shut yer filthy mouths! Clement's comin'," the woman barked. Her southern drawl revealed she wasn't native to the western mountains Darren and I were stuck between.
"Good for Clement," I quipped, drawing a fiery glare from the chunky witch in white long-johns.
"It's good someone finally does," Darren said mockingly at me. I knew what he had meant. I glanced down at the elongated wet spot on his jeans I was still wearing. I had been moaning in my dream. I wondered who he thought I was dreaming and moaning about.
"Funny," I said back over my shoulder. I tried to move my hands only to feel the heavy rope wrapped tightly around them, scouring my wrists.
"Emma! Why's them boys talkin'?"
The woman the size of a small full moon glared down at us. "Last time I'm gonna' tell y'all. Shut yer traps!"
"Yes ma'am," Darren and I said simultaneously. I had to bite my tongue to keep from laughing and bite down even harder just to keep from smiling.
My heart suddenly skipped a beat. I felt myself jump back, startled by the sight of who I assumed to Clement walk through the open doorway behind Emma. Instantly I recognized the trouble and danger associated with the all white robe covering his body and the long, white hood masking his face.
"Oh, crap..." I said, mostly to myself.
"Y'all shouldn't a'come. We don't like yer kind 'round here. Now, fer ya crimes, ya got to be punished." He turned to look at someone standing in the hallway. "Pick these queer little faggots up and take 'em down stairs!"
Two more men dressed in similar white robes marched into the room, grabbing Darren and I by our hair and bounded hands. I could feel the dusty, cold floorboards underneath my muddy bare feet. Bruises I didn't know I had began to ache and throb. My vision spun with colorful sparks swimming in each eye. They shoved us past Emma and Clement. I heard Darren sigh behind me. I guess this was the first time he had seen our captors fully dressed in their favorite outfits. I stumbled down the rickety stairs, somehow managing to keep my balance-even when one of the steps gave out under my foot. A dozen splinters pierced the skin of my shin and heel. The clan members guided us carelessly into the front most room of the house.
I felt gloved hands flat against my back as they pushed me onto a ratty sofa against a wood-paneled wall facing the stairs. Springs whined under cigarette burned cushions. Darren plopped down beside me, shaking off his own dizziness and trying not to sneeze from the curtain of heavy particles that leapt off the mildew-feeling upholstery.
"Y'all sit there and don't move," came a voice between gritted teeth. He was forcing his accent, a native of the area.
"Y'all gonna get what's coming to you," the other man said. He was slightly taller than his compatriot, with square shoulders and thin arms. His voice sounded almost Californian.
I looked at them brightly, annoyed by the treatment and the almost sheer stupidity of the situation. Plus, I was scared as hell so I thought some lighthearted sarcasm would make me feel a little better. "I'll have some coffee and eggs over-easy, if you don't mind. Oh, and maybe a newspaper to read while I'm waiting."
Four eyes glared at me behind the thin hoods, then at Darren who shook his head. "Nothing for me, thanks. I'm fine."
Another clan member entered the house from outside. He passed through the light of the waking sun as he hurried up the front steps and across the threshold. His frantic pace caused his left boot to get caught on the tails of his robe, dragging him in a stuttering and breathless heap to the floor. He quickly got back up to his full stance in the next step, but not before Darren had a chance to comment, "Oh, that's embarrassing."
The hooded man short on brains but full in girth turned and looked at Darren angrily.
"You all right over there? I know how that can hurt," Darren continued, mocking genuine care.
The clan member snarled at us from behind his hood. "You will know hurt in a minute. I promish that!"
I almost laughed. A speech-impedded member of this Ku Klux Klanian group. From upstairs, Clement walked ominously to the first floor, tripping in the hole my own foot had made. He recovered, carrying himself with an air of supremacy into the room.
"All hail, Lord Clement!" the clan members shouted, performing some extended salute that involved both feet and hands moving in several awkward, but extensively choreographed steps.
"Are we ready to punish the intruda's?" Clement's voice rang irritably in my ears.
"Yesh, Lord Clement. The ropesh are tied and ready."
"Good. Get my horse. Lead these faggots outside!"
The two heavies who had brought us down stairs pulled us off the couch. We walked side by side out the front door and into the warm, morning sunlight. A few dark clouds traced the distant slopes of the mountain ranges around the open fields. I tried to remember more about last night. About jumping from the train, hiding in the shack trying to stay warm. I looked at Darren, remembering trying to kiss him. That's when the door had been kicked open. There was a struggle. Something heavy bludgeoned my skull seconds before I faintly heard the sound of a-
SNAP-BANG! SNAP-BANG! SNAP-BANG!
-A shot gun.
That was the noise that had woken me up. Now, it stirred the crowd of people dressed in their brightest white robes and hoods. Many sat on horses huffing and puffing their frustration at the noise of the guns. I leaned my head closer to Darren, whispering. "What planet did we land on when we jumped the train last night?"
"I have no idea," Darren said, squinting in the morning light.
A gloved hand pulled me forcefully away from Darren. I could feel the fibers of the rope digging deeper into my skin. "Up on the platform!" One of the men behind us ordered. We stopped our uneven march into the middle of the yard in front of the decrepit house. A carefully constructed stage made of the finest cut pinewood and finished in a gleaming varnish that brought out the detailed lettering of a language I couldn't understand carved painstakingly around the smoothed trim on the edges.
As Darren and I were pushed up the short steps to the sanded-down surface of the platform, Clement and his entourage emerged in a tightly packed procession from the rear of the house. The crowd of clan members gathered in a crescent in front of the platform cheered and saluted their leader as he approached.
Silence strangled the crowded yard. Darren and I stood, half naked on the platform in front of all those hooded men. Their leader, Clement, stood his horse in the center of the watching clan. He looked left, then right. I felt the hairs on my arms tickle my skin as a cool morning breeze passed up the clearing.
"You faggots," Clement suddenly shouted, pointing a gloved finger at Darren and I. Both of us looked at each other, then turned our heads to look at the two men behind us. They jumped back, shocking their heads in protest.
"No! Not ya idiots! The two were a' gonna hang!"
"Ohh!!" the two morons behind us said loudly with heavy relief.
Clement pointed his finger at us again. "Ya faggots are charged with trespassin' and invadin' our here country! We don't take lightly to aliens! So by the power vested in me, the all mighty Lord of Munto Codru, I find ya guilty of all charges and therefore shall be put to death by hangin'!"
"Oh, crap..." I mumbled again with a sigh as cheers wailed out from the other clan members.
"You know," Darren commented matter-of-factly as Clement gave a signal to the two men behind us. They grabbed the nooses at the ends of the short, tight ropes similar to the ones tied around our hands, draping them around our necks. "The problem for me about being in a cult is that you don't realize you're in a cult until the last ten minutes."
I choked, feeling the sweaty rope clasp my neck, the idiot in white behind me trying to strangle me with it before the floor even opened. I adjusted it as best I could, turning my head and neck until I could talk. "Ho...how long has it been since you realized we were in a cult?"
Darren choked, the clan member behind him doing the same thing. "A...About ten minutes."
The cheering settled down. For the first time, in the brightening morning sunlight, I could make out some of the individual details in each person's costume. Patches on their shoulders were different colors or embroidered with slightly different designs. Rank and location in their strange, self-proclaimed annex I assumed. Clement had patches and stripes of various colors down both sleeves. The cape he wore was emblazoned with a crescent moon...or even a planet-their homeworld, I thought quickly, above a man on a horse riding victoriously from battle.
Clement looked at us. His voice brought me out of my thoughts. "On my signal..." he yelled raising his arm. "One!"
I glanced at Darren sidelong. "Darren, I'd like to thank you for showing me such a lovely time..."
"Oh, it's my pleasure. Shame we didn't get to take the tour of the Munto Codru Wax Museum."
"I would have liked that."
"Two!" Clement shouted above us, frustrated by our apparent lack of respect.
"Sorry you won't get your bounty," I added, glancing at him out of the corner of my eye again.
Darren didn't look at me. His attention stayed forward, his eyes locked on the far end of the yard. "Oh, I don't think this is over yet."
The plants underneath our feet creaked open. My heart thundered one last time in my ears then skipped several beats. I gasped. The air around me became alive, sizzling with energy and exploding with noise. The varnished wood of the stage passed my eyes the second before I hit the hard dirt beneath the platform. I granted, feeling the air in my lungs rush up my throat and passed my lips.
Beyond the stage, the clan of Munto Codruians spread out in a riot of panic. Smoke curled off their guns. The horses whined in fear. At the edge of sight, just under the blinding rays of the sun I could see the hill become crowded with a host of new figures-all of them wearing cowboy hats.
Clement shouted above the ruckus, "It's the sheriff!"
Two hands gripped my bear shoulders, rolling me onto my back and then my right side. "Come on," Darren yelled, pushing me onto my knees and then my feet as we crawled out from underneath the stage. Wood exploded in smoldering chips from the barrage of shotgun shells.
"Hey, your hands! They're free," I yelled, running close beside him around the side of the house, ducking under the storm of crossfire.
"Yep," he said matter-of-factly again.
"I've been able to get them off for awhile now."
"So why didn't you?"
He glared at me. "And get shot?! I don't think so."
We stopped running, caught at the front of an oncoming line of horse-riding deputies. A Calvary horn trumpeted above the trees. The thunder of two dozen horses galloping at their full speed reverberated between exploding tree trunks, the current victims of the gun fight. I could see the wall of fast-breathing, dark haired steeds through the shafts of light stretching down through twisted limbs.
"Over there," Darren pointed to an open doorway at the same time he was pushing me into it, diving over me as the mounted officers galloped by.
"What fucking century did we land in," I yelled towards the ceiling.
Darren grabbed my wrists, loosening the ropes enough for me to slip them off. The skin around each wrist was red, irritated to the point of burning at the slightest touch. "So what do we do," I asked, looking away from my hands to Darren. He was smiling, his eyes locked on a pair of horses eating their grassy breakfasts quietly in their stalls.
"Oh, no," I said, shaking my head.
"Oh, yes." Darren's smile widened.
"Are you crazy?"
"Yep!" He opened the stalls. "Come on. We have a train to catch."
"But I've never ridden a horse!"
He led the horses into the middle of the barn, adjusting a pair of saddles he found on a table near the door. "Now's as good a time as any to learn. It's just like riding a bike...only without pedals or handlebars."
I hesitated. He grabbed my hand. I cringed, his fingers pushing against my scoured skin. "Come on! We've got to get out of here."
I looked into his eyes. He didn't turn away. Suddenly, I saw the same look I had seen last night, only more clearly now. The sarcasm and ego were gone. There was only a warmth in his amazing, beautiful eyes I still can't describe. He held my gaze, encouraging me without words into the saddle. I saw his cheeks blush slightly when he realized that I had been on the horse for several seconds yet had continued to stare at me.
"Let's go" he said at last, smiling. The glass on the windows above the door exploded into the barn. Darren ducked, scurrying to the second horse.
"Keep your head low until we clear the farm house and get closer to the tracks."
"This is still crazy," I said in failing protest.
"I know. But it'll be fun," he winked. "Now, let's go! Just follow my lead as best you can. Yaw!"
And we were off. The barn doors burst open as we made our sudden egress. Two clan members sank back against the wall, holding their bleeding noses. I kept my head low against the horses bucking head, trying to mimic Darren's movements. The horse weaved in and out of the besieged yard-or planet- around the farm house.
"Hey, those are my horses!" I heard Clement yell from behind us. "After 'em!"
Gun fire ricocheted off a nearby tree. Wood sailed past my head, making a hot buzzing sound in my ears. I followed closely behind Darren, crossing over the short hill, around a bend and back into the open field we had been in the night before. Three hundred yards away, the quiet, empty railroad tracks glinted in the sun. Behind me, only a hundred yards or so, came the swift pounding of horse hooves over packed earth.
"Looks like we've got company," I yelled toward Darren.
He looked back quickly. "Then ride faster!"
With that, he gave his horse another swift kick. I watched his horse pull ahead, then did the same with mine, trying to keep up. Bullets hissed past my ears, splashing against the rolls of alfalfa scattered around the pasture. Three hundred yards to the track fell to two hundred, then one hundred. Before I knew it, Darren was guiding his horse in a sharp angle to the right and up the steep hill onto the tracks. I did the same, only not as gracefully. I glanced over my shoulder again, ducking under another cloud of sizzling shells and laughing at the sight of police cars racing into the open field. Darren looked back, smiling brightly. I could see the relief in his eyes as we made eye contact once more. He blushed, looking away and ahead again.
As we followed the tracks back into the woods and through the mountains, my eyes hardly left Darren. I could see his cheeks sometimes and knew he was smiling. I wanted him so badly. But I would ever get to?
"There's the train," he said, his first words in nearly two hours.
"I wonder why it's still around here," I asked, riding up beside Darren.
"Probably because of all the commotion." He looked sidelong at me. "I'm sure your porter boy had some help in keeping it here."
I shook my head. "Are you jealous?"
Darren laughed. It suddenly, fell silent under the whistle of the train. We watched it push ahead of the small station, slowly at first but easily gaining speed on the downward slope.
"Come on," Darren yelled, urging his horse ahead, "or we'll never catch it!"
I mimicked Darren's movements and we were off again, galloping down a mountain side to chase after a train.