All the usual disclaimers apply to this story. Any sexual activity is left up to you the reader. Please also understand that the people in this story are not real, and any relation to actual events/people is a coincidence. Please also understand that I am not implying anything about religion, religious groups, or religious practices. Situations are used for setting only.
I control all rights to this work.
October 22, 1843
North of Ithaca, NY along the banks of Cayuga Lake
The air was still as the lake waters softly rolled up the shoreline and retreated back. Joshua Bentham and Luke Milson sat with there back to the water and watched the group of people standing in a circle several yards from them. They were softly praying, and neither of them could hear what it was they were saying.
"Do you think they actually believe this non-sense?" Luke whispered to Joshua.
"There is something to be said for the devout." Joshua shrugged. He looked up at the moon that was overhead. They had been sitting here since the sun had gone down almost 5 hours ago. "Everyone has a need to believe in something, and this works for them."
Luke shook his head as if in disgust at what he was watching. This in turn caused his long black hair to roll over his face a bit. His hair sat just below his shoulder, and he usually kept it tied back, but he decided tonight he would let it hang lose. There was no need to be proper tonight. His eyes were a dark brown that captured the light of the moon and glimmered. Joshua looked at Luke and bit his bottom lip. He had deep feelings for his friend, but knew better then to act on them, or express them. That would be deadly.
"You know," Luke, said looking out of the lake, "It is almost midnight, and nothing is happening."
Joshua turned his attention back to the group, not wanting to stop looking at Luke. Even if he COULD tell Luke how he felt, Luke would never return the feelings. Luke was married, and had two children. Joshua never took a wife. Being age 30 it was starting to cause rumors to fly around that he was not `all there'. He always joked that he just never found the right woman. He had gone on proper dates, shown the proper respect, but always ended up leaving them after a month or so.
Luke always told Joshua that you never married for love. You married them because you could tolerate them, and then love came later. If you waited for love you would never get married. Joshua disagreed. Love had to come first, and he knew he could never love a woman.
"What do you suppose they will do when nothing happens?" Luke brought Joshua out of his thoughts. "I mean most of them sold all their possessions. They have nothing to go to."
"I have no idea." Joshua shifted his weight over to prop himself up on his left arm, which brought him closer to Luke. "What would you do?"
"I would throw myself off a cliff." Luke turned to face Joshua, leaning against his right arm, which placed him mere inches from Joshua's face. "I mean, people think you are a possessed for doing this in the first place. Imagine if it didn't come true. How much of a case are you then?"
Joshua had to turn his head back to the group before he was overcome with the urge to kiss Luke. "Either way, we will have a great story for the paper."
"That we will." Luke continued to watch Joshua.
It was almost midnight, and nothing had transpired yet. This group, which were known as Millerites, were waiting for the end times. According to the prediction of their leader, the end was supposed to take place by this date. Many of the followers had sold their possessions in anticipation of the rapture. Now, in a last feat of their faith, they stood together waiting for the end times.
There were about 20 members, some children, standing in a circle, praying. Joshua and Luke had been following their activities, writing up an exposition of the activities for a Newspaper back in New York. Joshua felt bad for exploiting a group of people's faith to sale papers, but it was his job. He never sent anything in about people's real names. He could not live with that on his conscious. He also kept the more macabre things they had discovered to Luke and himself. No need to air everything out to the public.
They both sat silently watching the group, which was now apparently finding the end was in deed not near. Some of the group looked defeated and hurt. One-by-one members of the group departed. Joshua felt pain for them. They had put everything on the line for their faith, and it never happened. Joshua watched them walk off down the riverbank back to their homes. If they had one left.
Luke poked Joshua in the shoulder and motioned to the last of the group. There were still 5 members standing, and still praying. They were not going to give up as easily as the other had.
"Maybe they will wait till the sun comes up." Luke suggested.
"Well, they can wait." Joshua stood up, dusting off the grass and other natural debris off his pants. "I think this is enough for our article."
Joshua offered a hand to help Luke up. Luke grabbed his hand and pulled himself off the group. Behind them a large snap caught Joshua attention, letting go of Luke's hand and turning around to face the sound. Luke fell backwards giving a yell that reverberated across the clearing.
"Damn you Joshua." Luke said as he lay on the ground. He started in, but noticed Joshua had turned fully around, and was not paying attention. Luke turned his gaze around Joshua to see what he was looking at.
The five members were now lying on the ground, motionless. Joshua started to walk towards the group, and Luke hurried to get himself picked up and ran after Joshua.
"What in all that is holy?" Luke said as he came up on the scene. Each of the members had their eyes opened wide, as if they had seen something horrible, and died before they could speak it.
Joshua made his way around the circle. Each of the five men had the same look on their faces. Each of them had a look, like they had seen the worst horror in their lives.
"Do you think it was ritual suicide?" Luke asked, his face white. Joshua had never seen him that shaken before. They had seen some horrific things in their reporting careers. Death was a constant for them, but nothing like this.
"I don't think so." Joshua rejoined Luke at where he started to walk around. "Nothing indicated that any of them were suicidal. Plus, why would the other members leave?"
"Lets get out of here!" Luke said walking backwards from the circle. "We did not see anything!"
"Agreed." Joshua turned to follow Luke, but his eye caught the glint of something in the grass. "Hold up."
Joshua stepped over the bodies and made his way to the shinny object, which lay at the direct center of the circle. He reached down and picked up the object. It was a black jagged stone, the size of a quarter. It was shinny and reflected the moonlight perfectly.
"Hey look at this." Joshua said bringing the stone over to Luke. "I wonder what they used this for?"
"I don't know." Luke said looking at the rock quickly, and then started to walk as fast as he could without running, back towards town. "But I don't really care either."
Joshua shrugged and put the rock in his pocket. It would make a nice memento of the occasion, even if it ended in such a tragic fashion.
August 27, 2012
Jason Rivers sat in an out of the way coffee shop that sat a few blocks from the University of New Mexico. Several college students sat around chatting about classes, relationships, and other oddities. He enjoyed this spot as only college students and faculty visited. The lights were dim so you could feel relaxed, with sofas and big chairs strewn placed in groups around the edge of the big center room. He was currently sitting in one of the big chairs, which seemed to swallow his whole body. He was sipping a chi tea he had ordered just moments ago.
One of the things he enjoyed most about this location were the guys. Not the typical college jock, or the annoying frat boy, but guys who had their heads on straight, and had a high level of intelligence. Not that he didn't think jocks and frat boys could be intelligent, but typically they were just after some piece of ass for the night, loud parties, or getting drunk. He sometimes felt it was stereotypical to think that way, but he had yet to find one that did not fit that set.
He was focused on one particular guy sitting on the other side of the room. He was tall, with broad shoulders. His hair was a dark black that was short and combed forward. His body was average to say the least, but that was okay with Jason. Jason liked to see people that did not mind eating a hamburger, and did not require an afternoon in the gym as repentance.
The big problem was the guy was out of his league: His age league. Jason was not an unattractive man, but his age of 40 made it difficult to find guys, even his own age. They always wanted the younger. Again, the stereotypical view never seemed to escape him. He sipped his drink and looked down at his watch. It was 2:30. He had thirty minuets to get back to his office, gather his materials, and be in the lecture hall to start his first class of the year.
Justin walked into his office to grab his papers that he needed to hand out and a copy of the textbook for the class. He stuffed the papers and the textbook into a soft leather briefcase. The bag also contained two black pens, a red pen, a black white board marker, and three sharpies. Sometimes he was in a room with a white board, and sometimes in a room with an ELMO, which projected information up on screens in the classroom. He always wanted to be prepared no matter what classroom he may have found himself in.
He checked the list of what room he was to be in, and hurried down the hall. He had ten minuets to get there before the class started. As he approached the room he saw various people walking into the classroom looking excited for their class to start. Some were saying hi to those they knew, or introducing themselves to someone they might have a connection with. Of course there were always the guys who tried to hit on the attractive girl as a possible romantic encounter. He got to the door and entered. Several of the students he recognized from pervious classes, but there were some new faces he did not recognize.
He looked at the clock on the wall and saw that it was time to start.
"Please find a seat and we will get started." He said and the rest of the class sat down and sat silently waiting for instructions. He pulled out the syllabus for the class, and passed it to the student closest to him. The student in turn passed it on to those around him. "This is History 3343: Religion and Doomsday Beliefs. If you are in the wrong class, you can sit to avoid being embarrassed, or you can just get up and leave."
He paused and no one got up. He then pulled out a blank sheet of paper and handed it to the same student sitting in the front desk. "Please write your name on the paper. This will be the attendance for the day."
"For this semester we will be looking at the history of doomsday thinkers, and how religion has influenced such beliefs. We will be looking at some of the…" he paused as a student ran into the room late. Jason hated late students and was about to explain this but stopped short. It was the guy he found highly attractive at the coffee shop. Just his luck: Totally out of his league for age AND for being a student. "You are late sir."
"Sorry Professor." The kid said. "I am new to the campus, and I got lost. It will not happen again."
"Make sure it doesn't." he pointed to an empty chair, which the kid quickly moved to. "As I was saying, we are going to look at the history of doomsday thinkers, how religion played a role in those thinking's, and why people are so fascinated by such ideas." He paused and looked around the room. There were around 30 students in this class. He always had more students wanting to take this course, as they were high amount of interest; More so this year then previous years. He had a request to move to one of the big lecture halls, but did not want to do so. This class was always reserved for those with history majors and minors. To accommodate the higher number of students, he opened up another section.
"After all," He continued, "You are all in here. You are all interested in doomsday ideologies, and I am sure you all want to know more about the 2012 prediction. Where did it come from? What does the real Mayan calendar mean? Will I have to pay back my student loans?" The class laughed.
"Of course there is always the question as to why people are interested in the end of the world. Why would people want a mass extinction event? There is always the human need to find the end, and people are willing to follow someone, even if it flies in the face of logic. People will sale their possessions; they will give all there money to someone who says they have all the answers. They will even go so far as to kill themselves, all in the name of finding an answer to the ultimate question: when will the world end?"
Jason turned his attention to the syllabus and what was expected from students in the class. This was run of the mill information, and nothing was new for students who were juniors or seniors already in college. He also instructed them that the book was optional, but would be a valuable tool during their research paper.
"Are there any questions?" Jason asked, and waited a moment for anyone that may have a question. "Today is of course a unique day. We are getting done early, however, we will always have class till the end. Have a good day."
He started to put all his papers back in his bag, and watched as the students left. Some stopped to talk to him as they had him the previous year, and wanted to let him know how much they thought of him. He had so many students, sometimes it was hard to remember names, but if they remembered him, that was all that was needed.
As he was about to walk out the room one last person in the room stopped him: the guy that came in late.
"Professor River." The man came up behind him. "I am so sorry for being late. I promise not to be late again."
"I am not a big fan of late people." Jason turned around. "But seeing as you are new, some mistakes can be tolerated on the first day."
"Thank you sir." He put his had out. "My name is Jonathan Bentham. Most call me John."
"Jason River." Jason extended his hand out and gave a firm shake. His hands were strong, but soft. Jason let his hand linger longer then was necessary. John's eyes were dark brown, and it was hard to tell where the iris ended and mixed with the pupil. He found himself getting lost in the eyes.
"I know. Everyone says you're the best teacher for history." John said not seeming to mind the extra long handshake his professor was providing him. "I am interested in doomsday ideology, as one of my ancestors was able to observe and actually wrote about one of the more famous events: the Millerites."
Jason let go of John's hand and looked shocked. "Really?"
"I have some of his journals if you would like to look at them. They were never published accounts as he felt they were too personal." John grinned. "He always said they were too dark for public consumption, and he also had an interesting journal entry about the night the end was supposed to come. October something…" He trailed off.
"October 23, 1844." Jason said absently. "I know there has been a great deal written about the topic, but I would be interested in reading those journals."
"Great!" John said smiling bigger. His teeth were perfectly white and straight. He either was born lucky, or had a good orthodontist when he was younger. Jason rubbed his tongue over his own crooked tooth that could never be straightened out. He always hated smiling because of it. "I saw you at the coffee shop down the street. Would you like to meet there tomorrow? I can bring one of the books with me if you want."
"Sure." Jason thought for a second. "How about 3:30? I will have my last class by then."
"Sounds good." John walked out the door leaving Jason behind.
"Great Jason." He said to himself as he walked out the classroom heading for his office. "All I need is to find myself falling for one of my students."
Jason walked into the coffee shop, and looked at his watch. It was just 3:30, and the place was almost empty. There were three guys standing at the counter waiting for their order, but other then that it was empty. He made his way to the counter to give his order.
"Hello Jason." The lady behind the counter said. She was a college student, with blond hair and green eyes. She was pretty by all standards, and guys loved to come see here. He guessed that's why the three college guys were standing around waiting on their order. She also was one of the few students that called him by his first name. She was a senior and had him several times already, and they had gotten close.
"Hi Tina." Jason smiled. "I will just have my usual please."
"That will be $3.50." Tina smiled as Jason gave her the money. "It will be just a moment. I will bring it to you if you want."
"Thanks Tina." Jason shoved the $2.50 in change into the tip jar.
Jason made his way to the larger chair in the back corner of the shop where he liked to sit. He could watch everything and not have to be involved in anything. That was the historian in him. He liked to observe, and did not much care to get involved.
Jason sat in the chair, glancing at his watch ever so often. Tina came up with his drink and placed in on the table in front of the chair.
"Waiting on someone?" She asked.
"Yea." Jason said looking at his watch again: 3:35. "Looks like he is as late to meetings in a coffee shop as he is to class."
"Oh?" Tina smiled and stood with her hand crossed in front of her. "A prospect for you?"
"No. No. Nothing like that." Jason felt his face go red a bit. Tina had been determined to get him set up with the perfect guy. He could expect a phone number at least once a week from a prospective romantic fling. They were all fine, but either wanted a friend with benefits situations, or wanted someone younger. "He is not only in his early 20s but he is also one of my students." He picked up his drink and took a sip. "Plus, I am not sure if he is gay or not."
"Well let me meet him and I will find out for you." Tina winked. "Let me know if I can get anything else for you." She turned and walked away. The three guys were sitting in the chairs closest to the register and she walked over to check on them. They had no idea that they did not have a chance with her. She was out of their league, as they had dicks. He laughed as he took another sip of his chi tea.
Jason waited another five minuets, and started to get up when the door opened and John walked in flustered. Jason frowned as he stood there and watched John come up to him out of breath.
"Professor," John started, "I am so sorry about being this late. I know this makes twice I was late for something with you."
"Are you going to start making this a habit Mr. Bentham?" Jason said with a cold stare. God the man was adorable, but he had to keep his professionalism. He was a student after all.
"Sorry sir." John responded, looking down at the floor. "I went to my apartment, but someone had broken in and destoryed the place. I was dealing with the police."
"Oh." Jason turned red, and rubbed his hands together in a nervous tick. He had stuck his foot in his mouth on this one. "I am sorry. Is everything okay?"
"Yes." John said looking around the coffee shop. He spotted the three men sitting near the counter, but moved on as he saw they were highly interested in the waitress. "Nothing was taken that I could tell. I don't have many valuables in my apartment."
"That is good." Jason pointed to the door. "Do you need to return?"
"Uh… no." He said glancing at the door in nervous motions. "I have taken care of everything."
"Okay." Jason raised an eyebrow. The man standing in front of him was definitely nervous, and needed to calm down. "Do you want something to drink? Coffee?"
"Yes please." John sat in the chair Jason had been occupying which faced the door.
Jason frowned, but decided to leave the situation alone. The man was freaking out, which was understandable. You don't have your home invaded and act like it is nothing. Jason walked to the counter. Tina asked be pardoned from the men and walked up to Jason.
"Tina, can I have a coffee please." Jason looked back at John. "And make it as dark as you can."
"Everything okay?" Tina asked looking over at the pale man fidgeting nervously.
"He had his apartment broken into." Jason turned to look at the three men sitting, who had turned their attention to John. Something in Jason's stomach turned. Something was off.
"Oh my." Tina said. "Coffee is on me. I will bring it to you in a moment."
"Thanks Tina." Jason said turning his attention back to the counter. "Do you have something to write on?"
"Sure." She pushed a paper from the register towards him. She went about making the coffee.
"Here." He said putting it on the register out of sight. Tina nodded from her coffee machine.
Jason walked back to where he had been sitting and sat down in the chair opposite John. He could not get the feeling out of his mind that something more was going on. Something John was not telling him.
"Coffee is coming." Jason leaned forward trying to look into the dark brown eyes that he found drawn to, as well as haunted with fear. "Are you sure you are okay?"
"Um…" John looked at the door for another quick glance. "Yes. I am fine. I just…" He trailed off.
"Do you have family here?" Jason asked again trying to pull more information out.
John looked at Jason like he was crazy before shaking his head and coughed. "No. I am here alone. Nearest family is back in New York."
"Okay. Why don't we go to your place, pick up some clothes, and what ever else you need, and you can stay at my place for a few days?" Jason swallowed hard as he was unsure why he was offering a stranger that he was highly attracted to into his home, but he felt it was the right thing to do. He lived in a gated community, with a home security system, and private security patrols. Tina came over and brought John's coffee.
"You okay sugar?" Tina asked kneeling next to John.
"I am shaken, but okay." John smiled at Tina, but went right back to watching the door.
"If you need anything Jason here is the best." She patted John's hand and looked at Jason. She stood up and walked over to Jason and leaned over to whisper in his ear. "I have never seen those three in here before."
Jason nodded and Tina went to check on the other three.
"Lets go." Jason said getting up and leaning over John. He reached down and moved the coffee drink over and whispered. "Act like you're sick to your stomach."
John looked up at Jason like he was crazy, and was about to protest before John continued.
"Just to be on the safe side." He moved his thumb towards the three guys talking to Tina.
John started to cough a bit, and stood up really fast, and ran for the bathroom with his hand covering his mouth. Jason turned and followed John, looking along the way at what the three men were doing. They watched the bathroom door, and now seemed no longer interested in Tina. Inside, he found John leaning against the sink.
"What was that for?"
"I think those three men are here for you." Jason leaned against the sink. "What the hell is going on?"
"I can't say." John looked like he was about to faint. "I came to you for help, but I am not sure you have the answers. I am also sorry if I dragged you into this mess."
"Well, we can leave by way of the back door, and get out of here. Then you are going to tell me!" Jason said going to the bathroom door, and stepped out.
He looked towards the three men, who Tina was still talking to. "Tina, can we use the back kitchen? I need some ice and stuff?" He called out across the lobby.
"Sure sweetie." Tina said. She turned back to the three men. "If you will excuse me boys, looks like I have a patient to see."
Jason went back into the bathroom and grabbed ahold of John. The touch sent electricity through his body. He closed his eyes for a second, willing himself to get ideas of sex with this man out of his mind.
"Okay, act like you hit your head or something." He grabbed John's arm and pulled it around his neck to look like he was providing support. "This is going to be tricky if they are really here for you."
"Why are you helping me?" John asked skeptically. "You don't know me."
"Let's say I have a soft spot for hot guys." Jason said groaning as he admitted it to him.
"Me too." John laughed and acted like his head was hurting. "Lets get out of here."
They made their way through the door and John put up a good acting job of being injured. Tina was holding the door to the back room open and played along with the act of the being hurt. Jason was amazed that she was able to pick up on this so well.
They made it to the back room where Tina closed the door, and Jason and John stopped acting like they were hurt.
"What the hell did you get into Jason?" Tina asked once the door was closed. "One moment they were all over me, and now all they seem to care about is this guy here. They keep asking me what was up. I told them I only knew you, and that you were someone new."
"I am sorry." John said leaning against the wall. "I can't tell you."
"Come by after work Tina." Jason said. "I am going to take him home with me."
"Oh wow." Tina laughed. "You work fast when there is something serious going on don't you."
Jason grinned as he went to the back door. "I wish. Just tell them he fell and hit his head, and that we are just getting him to lie down out of the way. Then come back and check, and then go back out and tell them we went out the back door to go to the hospital."
"Maybe they are just curious and want to make sure such a good looking guy was safe." Tina winked at John. John blushed.
"Maybe." Jason said. "I have been in plenty of situations where the need to get out of dodge was warranted. This feels like that situations. Never thought I would feel that urge here in the United States."
"Careful." Tina said walking out the door back to the main area of the shop.
There was a jingle as the front door opened. Good, thought Jason. More costumers meant that Tina would have some time before they could ask questions.
"Lets go." Jason said opening the back door. John did not argue and they both walked quickly out into the alley, and then the long way around the buildings to get to Jason's car.
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