by Araddion

2015 R. Keith Peck


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You can never step twice into the same river.
-- Heraclitus.


"From some men, those would be boastful words." Dionysus wore a thoughtful look. "But in your case, you tell no lie. It is hard to live knowing what fate has in store for you. And fate is hard on those who won't seek to escape from it." He fisted Achilles' erection. "But you're valiant."

The god left Achilles. When Dionysus emerged from the stone building -- which Achilles now suspected was much larger on the inside than the outside -- he carried several small wicker baskets, a corked wineskin, and a wide, shallow chalice. He set these on the ground at Achilles' feet and knelt.

"Poison?" asked Achilles.

Dionysus nodded. "A good word for this concoction, though there are different formulations." He opened one basket, frowned, set it aside, and opened another. He sniffed.

The dry, musky scent rising from the basket made Achilles' flesh crawl.

Dionysus nodded to himself. "Ah yes. But first, the wine!"

"With water?" asked Achilles, feeling thirst.

"No water," said Dionysus. "The pure substance. Blood of the grape." Dionysus uncorked the wineskin and filled the chalice halfway. "Don't fret. This will be a rich stew."

"I can't remember when I last ate."

"You last ate," said Dionysus, "just before you fucked Eros in your tent."

"It seems like a different world."

"Any mortal world," said Dionysus, his eyes taking in Achilles' naked form, "is, from an immortal perspective, a cave, and you are a lights which causes shadows to come into being upon the wall of your own personal cave. To see different shadows, one can change the cave, or those things within us which cause shadow, or change the color of the light we emit. " Dionysus picked up the basket. "What do you think has happened in your case?"

"I don't know." Colors? Shadows? Caves? Achilles was too weak and too full of dread for riddles. "Wine is no poison."

"But wine can be fortified. Its shape can be changed, which is what happened when I poured it into the chalice from the wineskin. Like human beings, it can be transmuted into something entirely unlike itself."

From one basket Dionysus selected three large mushrooms. Each cap was at least as broad as his palm. He tore each mushroom into minute shreds. He dropped the bits into the wine and swirled the chalice, staring down with a blank expression at the mixture.

"Now it's poison," murmured Achilles.

Dionysus considered. "It is ... nearly a poison. It will take you to the precipice. Whether you fall off depends entirely upon your instincts."

"If I don't drink it?"

" Patroclus wil remain with me," said Dionysus. "He is a lusty man. You will hang from that tree and suffer a different -- and quite protracted -- death."

"This isn't a choice."

"How is this different from how your life has been? Oracles and prayers, Achilles! You never had a choice. The poet created you and wove his spell, and you slew your enemies in accordance with his art. When Eros heard your prayer and when you united with him, a different kind of fate began to rule your life. The fate of the liminal man, the man in-between, who has escaped but doesn't understand how to become liberated." From another basket Dionysus took a handful of dried herbs. These he crushed and sprinkled onto the purple liquid. He smiled. "Now it's fatal."

"I suppose it's unwise to defy you."

"Very astute. Bits and pieces of those who rejected my gift are strewn over many mortal worlds."

"You're as bloodthirsty as me."

"As a god," said Dionysus, "I have a different perspective on matters of flesh and soul and spirit and death."

"Give me your damn potion. Let me drink it."

Dionysus stood. His expression held nothing but curiosity. He held the chalice against Achilles' lips. "Drink. All of it. Every chunk. On the far side of death lies liberty."

Achilles drained the chalice. The potion was sweet, the mushrooms refreshing.

It acted swiftly.

Achilles' heartbeats slowed. Each beat stretched out, and the silence between heartbeats deafened him. He sweated and awaited the blackness. Or the light. Or whatever it was like to be dead.

Achilles will atone. So come to me, death! Take me! Obliterate me!

The sharp twitters of the birds became lengthened. Distorted. Long undulating warbles like waves rolling across the sea. But the exact moment when the death-rose blossomed never arrived. Achilles' heart thudded, then stopped. He was suspended in a place of no emotion. He knew his heart would thud again, but for now -- endless silence. Achilles hung suspended in a moment between heartbeats, in the trough of birdsong, in an interval poised between one sparkle in Dionysus' eye and the next.

Dionysus smiled. "Fearlessness seems instinctive for you. Well, remember your instincts, Achilles. They're all you'll be able to take with you."

Dionysus chanted and the vines released Achilles. The Achaean fell to the turf at the god's feet.

Dionysus lifted the limp Achilles as easily as he might a bag of meal. He slung Achilles across a shoulder. The horned god carried the lion-maned warrior all the way to the river. Wading thigh-deep into the current, Dionysus laid Achilles on the water as if it were a bed. For a moment Dionysus supported Achilles under shoulders and buttock, testing to see if the warrior would float. Achilles half-sank into the water, but no further. Dionysus released Achilles, holding him by the thigh so the current didn't carry him away.

"Does the Sun hurt your eyes?" asked Dionysus.

Achilles heard the question but no impulse arose in him to answer. Nor to breathe. Fear? Dread? Neither. This was a wonderful languid moment, feeling exactly the same as the lethargy that came over one after a titanic bout of sex.

"Good," said Dionysus. "Now. Off into the sunset with you." He grinned. "If I'd remembered my trumpet, I'd play a dirge for you."

Dionysus gently pushed Achilles into the river's current. Water swirled. Gnats glowing in the dawn wrote golden curlicues on the air.

"Look upon the Sun and cherish it," called Dionysus. "Remember its light and its fire. For if you are to return, it will be through the Sun."

The river carried Achilles to the middle, where the current was strongest. The warrior heard the god splash back onto the bank. Soon the Sun winked at him through the canopy of trees as he drifted, turning first one way, then the other.

Achilles felt the precise line of demarcation between the cool river and the warm air. Like a worm, it wriggled against his side as random ripples chased him, overtook him, and left him to simply be.

As he drifted, Achilles realized that the same emmptiness his rectum felt after Patroclus withdrew his bull-sized instrument was the same sensation that now permeated his spirit.

Patroclus. I will not forget you! Do not forget your Achilles!

He floated in a dreamless state, staring at the winking sky, that cosmic stud who'd bred Mother Earth and brought forth all the wonderful creatures that crawled on the land and swam in the ocean.

Time was as formless as a fogbank, as insubstantial as the touch of dandelion fluff.

A small snake, not much longer than his forearm and as slender as a finger, slithered out of the river. To him, Achilles was a convenient log. The snake coiled on his thigh. Black eyes like beads of onyx glittered. There was no malevolence, merely bland curiosity at the source of the warmth it had found.

The snake slithered over Achilles' testicles and along his phallus to lay stretched out upon his pectorals. The cool beast absorbed the energy of the Sun. The serpent looped its body and its head rose to peer at Achilles. The tongue flickered. Achilles felt his cock stiffen and rise in kinship with the snake's posture.

Through the passing canopy the Sun peered down at man and snake. Fish leaped and the river gurgled through reeds.

Suddenly the snake darted forward. Scales rasped on Achilles' cheek. It looped in his hair, twining round his skull like a diadem tying itself.

For a human, killing is not instinctive. It is a perversion.

The snake was gone, diving into the river with a plop and shimmying away.

Achilles drifted, alone except for his erection, with the cool water and the warm Sun.

Achilles became aware that trees no longer passed above him. The river which carried him stirred uneasily, as if his watery bed were a living thing emerging from soft dreams. He heard the crash and sigh of surf. The calm river began to heave, a horse going from a slow gait to a canter. Achilles body rode the motion easily though sometimes a wave broke on his face.

So Achilles drifted out to the warm, soupy sea. It felt as if he lay in a bath of seed freshly ejaculated.

The glorious Sun caressed him with unblinking rays. The sound of surf faded. He floated in the water's embrace, rising and falling as waves passed under him. Gulls wheeled above him, telling each other raucous jokes but leaving Achilles to his mystery.

The Sun's rays began to slant. Achilles felt chill currents against his back. For the first time since drinking the potion, dark fear haunted Achilles. He imagined enormous monsters prowling the endless wet night beneath him. Things with tentacles and teeth and hunger that no amount of flesh could satiate. From time to time he thought he saw the heaving waves darken around him as if a behemoth the size of a island was about to surface from below and engulf him.

Achilles became aware the blue-green ocean had become purple wine. The Sun's rays came almost parallel to the sea. Above him the sky above his feet was deeply bruised and glittered with the early stars. Behind his head a campfire glowed, saffrom and crimson.

Light was extinguished, and he was alone under the endless stars. The Moon had followed the Sun beneath the rim of the world. The stars crawled through the night sky. Every bead of moisture on Achilles' erection reflected them.


Achilles felt thunder. Poseidon's voice was something a man heard with his bones, not his ears, for the god's roaring made one quiver inside. It was as if a mountain tumbled into a valley.

But the spell of death was lifting. Achilles was able to twitch a finger.

For a moment he thought two biremes were cutting through the waves on either side of him. But no. On his left and right Achilles saw two promontories of stygian shadow, and he saw and heard waves breaking on them.

But they weren't the source of the booming thunder.

Looking between his feet, Achilles saw a wall of darkness, crowned with a frothy white mane, racing toward him. It had eaten the lower part of the sky, and looked to be high enough to drown the capes to either side. He jerked with terror --

Free! Achilles was free of Dionysus' potion. He could act!

He rolled onto his belly, sinking his erection into the sea. Behind him the doomsday wave bellowed. His legs kicked and his arms windmilled and he fled the wave. He didn't make for either promontory, for they looked steep and unclimbable. He swam for the crotch where the two joined, hoping he might find some ravine up which he could scurry.

The wave was hungry. Achilles felt the current drawing him back, clawing at him like a lover eager for more. His arms and legs churned. Energy throbbed around him. His effort was futile. Once again a wave lifted him. The sea sloped down in front of him, as if he he looked down from the peak of a hill. He began to skid forward. Water foamed around him.

The sea crashed over Achilles. Water roared. The blackness was infinite, and furious. He cartwheeled beneath the surface. Watery claws twisted him right, left, then right again. The wave scraped him across smooth stone, lifted him up briefly, then slammed him on the sea bottom. Nothing was left but fury and power. His lungs burned for air.

And then --

Achilles lay on a shelf of slimy stone, face down, his breath heavy.


He listened but did not hear his beloved's response. He tried again. Only the roaring, churning sea spoke to him.

Achilles and Patroclus were severed. Achilles was in a different world. He was desolate. He sat up and wept. He did not know how long his tears flowed. It seemed like night after night passed. It felt as if there would be no sunrise ever again.

When the last of his sobs shuddered out of him, he stood and gathered himself. Even if he was alone, he was Achilles. Salt spune stung him as he looked at his surroundings.

The slimy stone where the wave had cast him formed a shelf. As he'd hoped, a ravine -- formed by the joining of the two promontories -- led upwards from the shelf. The island appeared desolate, even unformed. Outcroppings of stone reminded Achilles of a heap of clay awaiting a potter's hands. Nothing seemed to grow here. He smelled only the slime of the sea. No hint of flowers or grass. As his fingers groped the stone he didn't even feel the crumbling rasp of lichen. This island was bereft of life.

The spume wet the stone, making the rock a reflector of starlight. Above him a crimson glow emanated from somewhere. A fire? Instinct drew Achilles towards the light. The ravine, though steep, was easy enough to climb, having no shortage of footholds. It was a quick ascent.

The glow originated in a cavern just beyond the raviine's mouth. The opening was a mere slit in the rock. The lips were smooth, as if the rock had been poured into place then allowed to solidify. Perhaps many hands over the years had polished it. The opening was only as long as Achilles was tall, and not much broader than his shoulders. Far away, across the plain, he saw two rounded hills standing in silhouette against the stars setting in the west. He couldn't be sure, but dolmens seemed to crown them.

There was a short vertical drop into the cavern. The roseate glow, pervasive as soft moonlight, emanated from the stone itself. He touched the walls. The rock was as warm as his own flesh. The light bathed Achilles' erection as he stood there a moment, getting his bearings. There was only one passageway, directly ahead and descending deeper into the island. He looked up at the entrance for a moment. He was certain he could jump up, grab the lips, and draw himself back into the outer world. He wasn't trapped.

Achilles went on. The passage, ribbed and vaulted, ran straight. It transmitted the sound of flowing water long before Achilles stumbled into the grotto.

The grotto was a fantastic, unworldly place. Fingers of stone hung from the ceiling and trunks of rock trees struggled to touch those fingers. Crystals winked at him as he passed. Winding his way amongst the formations, Achilles felt lost in a forest.

On the far side of the grotto two waterfalls poured sheets of crystalline water from dark mysterious passges. Their curious beauty drew his attention so much that the voice startled him.

"Achilles my son."

Her voice echoed and it seemed that an entire army of women were contained in the solitary figure. She crouched between the two pools at the base of the waterfalls. When she stood Achilles saw that she had been kneeling over a body. A tangle of bones, sinew, and flesh now so mangled he couldn't tell if it had been human or animal. Scraps of flesh hung from her lips. She was old and withered and her matted gray hair writhed around her face like a halo of pale serpents.

Achilles reached for his sword -- but of course, it wasn't there.

"You have brought the only weapon you need, my son" said the crone.

"Who are you?"

"Why don't you remember me?"

Harsh words almost burst from Achilles. But he was deeply involved in the weird and the portentous. It it didn't seem wise. Memory of Patroclus stabbed his heart. Yet Achilles didn't know what she expected him to say, and he grew frustrated trying to find the words that would answer her.

After a long time passed without response the crone sighed. "Mortals! If their flesh weren't so tasty I'd have no truck with you at all."

Achilles resorted to courage. "Stand aside! Don't resist me!"

She cackled. "And if I don't stand aside, you'll what? Rape me?" She dissolved into mirth. "I've copulated with Father Ouranos himself. Your phallus is pretty, but its simply not in his league."

Achilles' face burned. "I am -- " but then he stopped. What exactly was he doing here?

"You've been sent by one of my kin," said the crone. "Or perhaps some fate drives you. Mortals always traipse through my domain. Yesterday it was your friend Odysseus who was here. Or will it be tomorrow? I've never seen the point in keeping track of which moments come first and which come second. All in all, they're just stones in a great mosaic."

"Dionysus," said Achilles. "Dionysus sent me to atone --"

"I'm not interested in specifics. I've got one duty and I'll perform no other." She pointed at the two pools into which the waterfalls poured. "Pick."

"I don't understand."

"How obvious do I need to be? Are you a man, molded out of clay, or a moron, molded out of an idiot? Pick! One or the other." She pointed towards the right-hand pool then the left. Both appeared to be bottomless columns of water bored into the stone.

"Drink! If you choose wisely ... well, you can then dive in. Swim on. It's your only way forward to what awaits you."

"What awaits me?"

She was sharp. "I'm not in that department!"

"And if I chose unwisely?"

She indicated the corpse and grinned. Chunks of meat oozed blood between her teeth.

Achilles glanced over his shoulder. Could he --

"I assure you that there is no way back. So. Choose carefully! In one pool there is the water of memory. In the other forgetfulness."

"What will happen when I drink --"

"How obvious do I need to make the consequences?" she snapped.


Achilles felt the sweat begin to trickle.

The water of forgetfulness. The water of memory. But which was which? He studied the waterfalls. If there were clues in how the shimmering sheets of water fell, or in the stone that seemed draped like a silken tapestry behind them, or in the shape of the basins, or anything perceptible in the grotto, Achilles couldn't fathom them.


He would know. But he was not here. It was Achilles alone in this cavern.

The crone's eyes now glittered. Gleefully she rubbed her hands together.

"Has any mortal ever told you," Achilles snapped, "how irritating and annoying the gods' testing is?"

The crone gestured at the body upon which she'd been feasting. "Each and every day, my son."


He was alone, his only weapon his hardon.


Eros. Do you still hear me? You heard my prayer when I wasn't sincere. Now I am! Guide me! Which pool? Lead me back to what I desire most!

There was an impulse in his head. It came from no where. Not words. Not even an image. Simply an urge.

Achilles strode past the woman and knelt beside the left-hand pool. He looked down at the shimmering water. It was as transparent as air. In the depths there was an opening to one side of the shaft big enough for him to swim through.

Achilles thrust his hand into the waterfall, filled his palm, and brought the water to his lips. It was sweet as honey. Achilles turned to face the crone. She gazed steadily at him, giving no clue to her thoughts.

Suddenly fire raced up his spine. Words glimmered in his mind like two intertwined necklaces and he knew he must speak them.

"I am," Achilles said slowly, "the son of the earth. My father is the ... starry sky." He shook his head, clearing away smoke that had concealed something. "I was thirsty ..." He looked at the dregs of his drink in his palm. "But this cold water has refreshed me. I'm no longer ..." he frowned "... dying."

She beamed at him as if he were a pleasant child. "Of course not. When you raged against the walls of Troy, you were all set to become a shade. Now you've turned away from death and become a true human being." She frowned. "A pity. I was imagining you slathered with salsa."

He hung suspended in a silent moment, a tiny moth who'd strayed from a moonbeam in search of the light of the Sun. He felt as if he could move in any direction. He felt the way a beam of light must feel. He looked at the shimmering curtain of the waterfall then back at the woman.

"Well," she snapped. "You're not done yet. Dive in and swim on!"

Achilles stood and dove. The splash rose almost as high as the waterfall.

The crone watched the ripples subside. Then she crouched again over the corpse and ripped a long strand of flesh free. She devoured it.

Achilles swam. Light from the glowing stone suffused the underground passage. The route, though sinuous, did not fork. It was a strenuous swim, but not long. The passage entered another vertical shaft. Achilles lungs ached as he broke the surface of another pool. He climbed out. A path led on, twisting and plunging and rearing, It did not fork either. Achilles' hardon drew him on.

The passage opened onto an immense chamber. A slender stone bridge crossed it. Achilles paused, studying the great vault, stunned that such a space could exist beneath the earth.

In shape the cavern recalled an egg standing on its broad end. When he shouted the echoes returned muted and faint. Crimson light pulsated in time with Achilles' heart. Purplish light emanated from glowing veins embedded in the rock. The air was warm, almost as warm as his own body, and steamy.

A glance downward almost blinded him. White liquid bubbled at the bottom of the vault, thick as mud, glowing as intensely as the noon Sun. Whatever it was, the molten white light, though quite far beneath the bridge, was the agent heating the chamber. In that brief moment, Achilles felt its warmth on his face as if he'd opened the door of a kiln.

Something moved midway along the bridge. It was pale as a maggot, yet dry and desiccated. It had a torso with a sunken belly, and it crawled on four limbs thin as reeds. The head hung down, shriveled like a dry apple.

Achilles swallowed. The shades of the dead retained the outlines of the form they'd worn in world above. An husk of what the had been -- vital, and full of juice.

Led by his erection -- never harder, never more defiant of the surrounding circumstances -- Achilles strode onto the bridge, walking in a parade ground strut.

The shade continued crawling, head down. Ringlets of lank black hair trailed like seaweed over its face.

Achilles halted ten feet in front of the shade. He stood with feet apart. His cock twitched, and sweat trickled over his testicles.

"I am Achilles, son of Pelleus!"

The shade froze. Slowly, it raised its head.

"How did I know it was going to be you?"

Achilles stared into the face of the last man he'd killed. The Trojan youth. Troilus. Even though the shade was a remnant, there was no mistaking those eyes. They did not need to be framed by a helmet. The shriveled orbs caused Achilles to recollect the sublime beauty of the original young man.

Achilles wept. Not for himself. Not even for Patroclus. But for all the young men who had taken up weapons in defense of their country, and gone out to discover what their own poets had composed for them, and discovered they were merely a stanza -- a couplet, a line -- in somebody else's epic.

This withered shade was all that remained of a youth who brightened the world with his mere existence. A sapling cut down before the rains could bring it to maturity.

More like Troilus, Achilles knew, haunted this underworld. Many had been dispatched here by his own sword.

The shade, seeing the tears, howled. The terrible noise filled the vault. It wasn't a threat. It was a cry of desolation. A paean to a life that had been stolen.

"You're cruel, Dionysus."

Achilles wiped his tears. He and the shade stared at one another.

Achilles thought, Why did Dionysus send me here? To look at my handiwork?

Then Achilles nodded to himself.


What is the part of a man that gives life? With that unbidden thought came the image of slender buttocks, smooth as a peach, dripping a man's seed.

Achilles grasped his erection by the base, brandishing it like a sword. He strode towards the gray figure. All men have known the mood that gripped him. All men have felt that pulsating energy, felt their blood thundering in their temples, felt their muscles quivering with a power from some place that can only be described as other.

Men in Achilles' mood are going -- with that magic instrument between their legs -- to bring forth life.

The shade's lips parted, ready to emit a second howl. But no sound came. It watched Achilles halt not a foot from its face. Eyes, dark and crinkled like dead grapes, focused on Achilles' erection.

"This is my atonement," Achilles murmured.

Achilles frigged himself. He hadn't done this since he was a boy, but no one ever forgets those motions. Handling himself was like returning to those long ago youthful days when his body was alight with fresh energy. Fire kindled within him.

Beads of transparent oil dripped from Achilles' phallus. When they fell, to spot the warm stone, the eyes of the shade followed them. When the slow trickle became a steady rain, the shade bent down and sniffed the wine.

When the shade looked up at Achilles, hunger had been reborn in its dim eyes.

Achilles' grunted as his pleasure gathered impetus. His power fed upon the shade's naked hunger. For a few moments the shame Achilles felt as a youth shackled his groans. But why stifle the natural chanting of a man engaged in the sorcery that was natural to him? Achilles let the noises escape. They originated not in his throat but between his thighs, bursting from his lips like steam. The great chamber resonated with Achilles' growling. The vault seemed to gather it and focus it -- each grunt adding ever more energy -- until the sound became deafening.

"Eros!" Achilles shouted. Pleasure burst within him, and he spewed his seed with blind abandon.

Grouts of sperm burst on the shade's face and streaked its back. The spunk, thick as stew, sizzled.

Achilles, shuddering, released his erection, flicked long strands of semen from his fingers. Staring at the shade, he smiled. Where his spunk had landed, its ashen flesh quivered.

"Eros," said Achilles. "Join the living to the dead!"

The seed sank into the shade like serpents diving beneath water, leaving not a trace of itself to be seen. The transformation was swift. Pink and bronze tones rippled across the shade's skin. Its body plumped. The dried grapes of its eyes swelled into warm luminaries, and muscles grew thick in arms and legs and torso.

It was no longer a mindless shade who crouched before Achilles' muscular glory. It was a supple youth, beautiful as spring sunlight, whose eyes saw nothing but a throbbing, giant phallus.

Staring down, Achilles grunted. Bereft of his armor, Troilus was incomparably lovely. His skin was the color and texture of dark honey. His hair was so lustrous and black that it seemed blue. His lips were thin and delicate, and his tongue darted across them nervously, wetting them.

"Isn't it wonderful to be alive?" asked Achilles.

Troilus didn't speak. His eyes were fixed on one thing alone. Achilles' erection dominated his reawakened thoughts.

"No blood for you," crooned Achilles, who remembered well what the wise women had told him about the appetites of the dead. But this one, he knew, was no longer dead. "It's my seed you must drink."

The Trojan heard. He emitted a lascivious mewl. He darted forward. His nostrils snuffled at Achilles' testicles, and his tongue tasted the man's crotch. The Trojan panted like a marathon runner, the fumes of an aroused man filling his lungs and rekindling his blood.

Achilles' fingers gathered the Trojan's hair and he moved the youth's lips to his phallus. A single teardrop of spunk remained.

"Here," murmured Achilles. "Drink this. It's my offering."

The youth's tongue plucked the semen into his mouth. His eyes shut and he shuddered. His lips gaped and he impaled his mouth on Achilles' spear. He did not stop until Achilles' pubic hair fluttered like wind-blown grass beneath his nostrils. A hot eel, his tongue writhed against the sperm-clogged urethra.

Achilles stroked the youth's jaw. "Yes. Now drink down the wine of life fresh from the bag."

Lips, tongue, and throat displayed great talent. Whoever had taught the Trojan youth was a master. The youth drew back and kiss the slit where the foreskin exposed it, eliciting groans and oil from Achilles. Then he engulfed the entire shaft, paying homage to the virile man who throbbed with life. He cupped Achilles balls with reverence and awe, feeling the powerful treasure building inside. He slobbered as he serviced Achilles, and saliva flowed down his chin.

The great cavern rumbled. It sounded as if dragons coupled behind the stone. The light from below intensified and plumes of steam rose past the bridge.

Achilles threw his head back and pumped at the Trojan youth's throat.

When Achilles burst a second time the youth guzzled the wine of life. Achilles ejaculated so powerfully that the Trojan's cheeks bulged. But the crouching warrior lost none of it. His throat worked and he swallowed. He stroked Achilles' thighs, giving thanks for this divine drink.

The warmth and the steam and the rising white light of the vault infused Achilles with lust. Ah, it was good to be a man! He eased his weapon from the youth's mouth. It emerged shiny with spit and semen. Achilles knelt and kissed the youth, tasting his own seed on those hungry lips.

"Are you awake yet?" Achilles moved a curl of hair out of those beautiful eyes. "I think you're dreaming."

The youth's mouth worked as if to speak but neither words nor howls came. This seemed to frustrate him. A shiver ran down his back. His eyes pleaded with Achilles. His buttocks arched into the air.

Achilles grinned. "Ah. It's breeding you need."

He stood. His heart exulted. His erection raged triumphantly. He threw back his head, beat his chest, and sent out a roar that caused the rising steam to shiver. He hadn't been this potent since he landed his ships on the beach near Troy.

Looking down at his prize, Achilles said, "I shall show you a trick that brings all good men to life."

Achilles knelt behind the youth. The buttocks were small, rounded and dimpled. This one had been, in his previous life, a runner. The tiny rosette quivered, lashed by Achilles' tongue, as the cavern shuddered and seethed around them.

Rather than take the youth on all fours, Achilles brought him up so he knelt, his bac pressed against Achilles' chest. Rough fingers explored the soft skin and the hard muscles. Achilles' tongue nuzzled the delicate ear and the back of the neck. Achilles pumped his erection between those taut buttocks. The Trojan smelled of musk and oil and he ground his ass against Achilles' crotch.

"Since we have no oil," Achilles muttered, "You will feel pain when I enter you. But you must ride this out." He remembered that long ago day when Patroclus emerged, naked and dripping, from a mountain spring, his mighty organ swaying between his thighs. Achilles grinned. "Pain is merely a gateway to greater pleasure."

Achilles expected difficulty penetrating Troilus. Looking down after lining up for entry, it seemed to Achilles that his phallus was a trireme trying to enter a tiny harbor. But he needed to be inside the youth. Needed to feel the youth's heart beating around his erection. Needed to be half of a new, living, breathing, throbbing organism.

Achilles spat and worked the remnants of spit and seed back to life. He pushed. The ring gave slowly, like a city gate crumbling beneath a battering ram's blows. It was sweet in there, and the sweetness goaded Achilles on.

There was pain. The vault echoed with the young man's cries. But the Trojan hungered for what Achilles supplied in such copious amounts. Troilus summoned up memories of courage. On they went. They struggled towards union. Muscles showed in high relief through sweaty skin.

The ring gave, and gave again. The Trojan cried out. The young man thrashed and writhed but Achilles held him in place. He paused to give the young man relief, but now that he was inside Achilles had no intention of retreating from this citadel.

So tight and succulent was the Trojan's butt that Achilles almost spilled his seed before he was fully embedded. He paused, struggling away from the beckoning gulf. But, once the danger subsided, he thrust and buried himself to the hilt. He roared to his possession, and felt the Trojan spasm. The youth's arms flailed like a marionette. His rectum struggled to eject the giant invader.

"Easy," Achilles growled. He licked the sweat trickling down the youth's golden skin. "Feel me inside you? That's the power of a man."

Mindless lust overcame Achilles when he saw the youth peering over his shoulder, wanton hunger glowing in his eyes.

Eros possessed them both. The pounding began.

"Tell meyour name." growled Achilles, working his shaft in the tight channel, his hand tweaking the young man's nipples.

"I am -- " the youth gasped. He stopped, surprised that he could speak. "I am -- oh, by the gods, just fuck me!" His head fell forward and he thrust his butt hard against Achilles' groin.

Achilles obliged. Giant fur-coated testicles slammed against a sack where the hair was sparse. Locked in Achilles' embrace, the young man writhed and twisted. The huge shaft speared him. He moaned. Lips touched and tongues dueled.

"Your name!" Achilles demanded. "Tell me your name!"

"I think ... " The young man fell forward, resting on his chest, his gut still full of Achilles' raging cock. "I think I'm called Troilus."

"Yes," grunted Achilles, "that's who you are. Troilus, son of King Priam ... and now, Achilles' whore!" Triumph surged within him. He roared. He had indeed stormed the fairest citadel of Troy. Let Menelaus whine about getting his tart back! Achilles would spend the rest of his existence spilling his seed into Troilus' sweet guts.

At some point during the relentless hammering Troilus went mad. It was the happiest kind of madness that could be bestowed upon a man. His slim shaft began erupting, spewing white seed onto the stone bridge and striping his belly. The eruptions pulsed in synchronization with Achilles' thrusts. This cascade of pleasure did not die away. Achilles' plundering organ continued to bring forth Troilus' spunk.

Lost to pleasure, neither of them noticed that the billowing white steam now pulsated with light. Neither saw that the distant walls hammered as if some titan's heart throbbed in the act of copulation.

Troilus' squirming anus launched Achilles into the abyss. Fire raced up his spine. Hot air roared from his mouth. Sweat glued his stomach to Troilus' back. Achilles' sperm splashed Troilus' chute. Achilles became a conduit through which semen cascaded on its way from some space where all was spunk to the insatiable hunger of Troilus' guts.

Minds spinning madly, lost to pleasure, neither saw the glowing white torrent burst over the lip of the bridge. Both felt its hot, slimy embrace. Neither lost hold of their orgasm as a violent currents plucked them off the stone. Achilles clutched Troilus, jetting and howling even as the luminescent slime filled his mouth and throat.

Let the wave come! They were orgasming, and by all the gods nothing would shatter that eternity.

They whilred and they spun -- side to side, head over heels, plugged together cock to butt. The violence reached its crescendo. The tumult tore Achilles away from Troilus' butt. He almost wept again. The sweet feeling of the young man's rectum was gone. Nonetheless, Achilles poured his own ejaculation into the surging cataract. He tumbled and whirled at dizzying speed, all alone, blasted upward and drowning in an ocean of semen.

The thundering roar ended. Achilles spun like a leaf in a gale. His stomach leaped into his throat. He was plummeting, not rising, and his spurting cock painted the sky with clouds. He heard a shriek tear past, a shriek like the cry of a hawk as it dove.

Round him was the sky, blue and serene, and beneath him the world.

For one moment that froze forever in Achilles' mind, the Sun itself blazed in front of him. Rays streamed from it. He knew. He knew, and the knowledge awed him. Each ray was an erect phallus, and from each phallus an endless stream of light poured. Light was the seed of the Sun, and as the Sun scattered its seed to the cosmos life was conceived on the world beneath it.

Fountaining semen, Achilles plunged through the void.


"Is he alive?"

Achilles took a few moments to verify he was alive. Yes, his heart beat. The song of birds danced in his ears. Grass was cool and moist against his back.

Why was he sticky?

His chest convulsed and he coughed. A wet mass dislodged itself from his throat and lungs. He felts its heat oozing over his chest. He wiped the fluid from his eyes.

The trunk of an enormous pine thrust towards the sky like an erection. Ivy, thick as pubic hair, wound about its lower regions. He saw the second tree a little to one side. Morning light made their needles gleam like emeralds.

He sat up.

"He's not dead," chuckled Dionysus, shaking the dregs of his potion onto the ground. "But he'll have a tale to tell."

Patroclus knelt, smiling with unmasked warmth and concern at Achilles. He combed Achilles' sopping hair with his fingers, soothing his man.

"What happened" Achilles croaked.

"Dionysus called me," Patroclus said softly. "He told me you'd drunk his potion. That you had ..." He bit off the words. "You were laying stretched out on the ground."

Dionysus rose. "And you came." His erection tented his loincloth. "I've never seen any mortal spunk like you just did."

Patroclus nodded. "I've never seen so much seed. Not even when a stallion mates."

There was no mistaking the smell. The feel. The heat. He scraped it off his face, filling his palm. He grinned at Patroclus and offered the semen to him. "Drink."

Patroclus drank without hesitation. He took his time and savored the offering. When he was done tendrils of it crawled in his beard. He scraped a palmful off Achilles' chest.

"Drink," said Patroclus, and with a rising erection watched his beloved eat the substance.

"Where -- where am I?"

Beside Achilles sat slim Troilus, equally drenched in semen. He held his head as if it ached. He shaded his eyes and glanced at the Sun, rising above the belt of trees. Then he glanced at Achilles. "You're here. Help me!"

Achilles took Troilus' hand. "You have nothing to fear, Troilus." He looked at Patroclus, questions in his eyes.

Patroclus shrugged. "While you were ejaculating .... I wish you could have seen it, beloved ... fog formed and, when you stopped, he was there."

Troilus' eyes pleaded for answers. "Who are you? I know you as a great lover, but I'm sure I've seen you before!"

"I'm Achilles. I killed you once. Outside of Troy."

Troilus' eyes widened. "But how --"

"Explanations later," said Dionysus. "Come. Let's eat."

Achilles, reverent to oracles and schooled by wise women, knew how to deal with the gods. Never let them off the hook. "Atonement. Have I atoned?"

Dionysus gave a small smile. "Achilles, you are baptized in the seed of your Father and are hereby ... cleansed of the sin of murder."

Many hours later, when the Sun left the world again and the skirts of night spread across this unmapped land, the bonfires were kindled again and the drums began to beat. Dionysus brought forth his wine and cast his herbs into the fires. The entire meadow filled with incense.

Patroclus gave Achilles a golden-maned lion mask and leggings of tawny-furred skin. Achilles shaft stiffened as he donned them. His heart and the throbbing drums were one. Patroclus donned his bull mask; he needed no leggings, for his fur was naturally luxuriant. Troilus rather shyly put on the mask of a deer and leggings of thick, curling fur.

As men streamed out of the night they drank Dionysus' wine and they breathed his incense and for a long moment they let the drumming fill them, let the wine subdue all thought, until they were nothing but muscles and erections and hunger. They were men, seeking to take and to give pleasure to whoever might wish it in this orgy.

Patroclus, Troilus, and Achilles, hand-in-hand, had just begun to search through the narcotic fog for partners when a slim finger appeared out of the dimness.


No mask was a disguise to Eros. His eyes rose from the erections he'd been ogling. He beamed and said, "Achilles the indomitable. Patroclus the wise. Troilus the reborn. You will now write your own tale, or compose your own music, or create your own dance. And if the only one who hears your poem, Achilles, is Patroclus, then the cosmos is ten thousand times brighter. And you, Patroclus. If Achilles is the only one to hear your song -- if the best he can do is murmur it back to you, out of tune and out of time, then that will be a fire brighter than ten thousand suns. Now come. My flesh is eager to be filled by you again."

Lust glimmered in Eros' eyes. Their mortal orbs reflected the god's.


Unite whole and part,
agreement and disagreement,
accordant and discordant;
from all comes one,
and from one, all.
-- Heraclitus



The End



continued in part 2