~*~ ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF SODOM: ~*~
BY D. DIXON MANNIX
The following is a work of fiction, and any resemblance to people or characters, either living or historical, is coincidental. Historical places are used infrequently and primarily for context. In the case that extant insitutions are depicted, their opinions, present or historical, may not be the same as those herein described.
BLANK! On the 21st of December, 1886, Jackson Roddick came for the first time. He was eighteen years old.
BLANK! The eruption rocked the house on its foundations, unbalancing every picture, chipping the dinner-service in its sacrosanct cabinet, and sending all within into an uproar. Several blocks away, the tremendum of the noise roused even the unimaginative curiosity of the police, who assumed the city to be under attack and deployed two officers to aggravate the chaos of a household already in disarray. Their sudden arrival spun an already frenzied situation into terrified panic, and their blustered bullying derailed absolutely everything until the cook, with prosaic pragmatism, suggested that perhaps they should check on the young master.
BLANK! And so they found him, struggling in the gel of his own secretions, his floor a mass of crusted stalagmites, and his sheets plastered to the ceiling like a poor man's carnival ghost.
BLANK! His mother was scandalized. The cook, who had raised three strapping boys of her own, was amused. The maid went into hysterics and could not be calmed until Mr. Roddick himself assured her she would not be responsible for the mess. The gentleman also dealt generously with the two officers, who accepted the wages of their silence magnanimously. The first died a week later amidst fits of apoplectic laughter, while the second finally betrayed the scene to his wife. If it broke his word, it probably saved his life.
BLANK! But so great was the consternation that no one noticed the single, copper-colored hair that curled on Jackson's chin.
BLANK! It was a crucial detail because for six years--since his twelfth birthday, in fact-- Jackson Roddick had not aged a day, swathed in a sunny and unperturbed childhood that made his mother ecstatic and his father bored. He floated from hour to hour on a cloud of his own golden curls, a flawless toy-immortal who excelled at all he touched. He was the darling of the household, the star of all his tutors' arts, and his seraphic soprano had earned him the undisputed laurels of the St. Bunbury Boy's Choir.
BLANK! But this... was changing.
BLANK! Nell Geary, the cook, was the first to notice something awry when-- on December 22nd-- the cuffs of Jackson's immaculately tailored pants no longer brushed his shoes as he walked. Baffled, she chided him gently and tugged his cuffs down, but sent him on his way.
BLANK! The next day he was an inch taller.
BLANK! On the third, no one in the house could mistake the two inches of naked argyle that hung between his pant leg and the polished tops of his shoes.
BLANK! And then he began to grow in earnest.
BLANK! For three months the household was to witness Jackson's metamorphosis with continuous bewilderment. A week later, his mother woke the entire household in a panic when she discovered his golden curls had darkened to a glossy chestnut overnight. She seized upon a pair of scissors, and-- snipping away at the glittering threads that had avoided the catastrophe-- tied them in a pink ribbon and hid them in her jewel casket . A week after that, Jackson's tutor in foreign languages failed to recognize him entirely, and frantically alerted the police of the intruder peaceably translating Virgil in the family library.
BLANK! Yet all this confusion was as nothing compared to the startling transfiguration of his body: Jackson's height exploded. His shoulders broadened. His muscles bulged. His buttocks swelled to the size and heft of medicine balls, and it quickly became apparent, even squeezed into his trousers, that the organs of his sex resembled the unslung trunk of a baby elephant. His mother's gilded cherub had vanished, supplanted by a nubile--if oversized-- adonis with the muscles of an ox and the face of a young god.
BLANK! Keeping him dressed become a daily battle, one his mother embraced in her denial to admit the momentum of his change. Yet no matter her devices, Jackson would burst through his clothes, splitting pants and rupturing shirts so violently that for years to come the maids discovered buttons in the unlikeliest places. Early on she tried to fit him for a suit, only to discover upon arrival that the pants were so tight that from the front you could tell his religion and from the back he violated every known code of obscenity.
BLANK! Still, she was determined. Especially on Sundays, as Jackson retained his lofty throne as first soprano long after his physique had rendered the spectacle ridiculous, she redoubled her efforts to make him presentable. When the children's robes began to choke him she ordered a man's custom from London, and when that ceased to serve she would awake at three o'clock each Sabbath to wallpaper her son in ivory linen and white lace. The rest of the household, with varying tact, suggested that perhaps seven years was an enviable reign for any boy soprano, but she would not-- could not-- think of life without it.
BLANK! The tragedy was inevitable, of course. And finally, on the Feast of the Annunciation, during the climax of Gounod's Ave Maria-- before God, His saints, and all St. Bunbury's congregation-- it happened: Jackson's voice shrieked like a bird, crashed like a stone, and readily assumed the deep, resonant bass he would maintain for the rest of his life.
BLANK! His mother was so distraught that she spent the rest of the service grieving loudly into a handkerchief, and afterward could not bring herself to ride the same carriage home. The next morning, Jackson overheard her ask Mrs. Geary if the latter thought it likely her darling had been spirited off by faeries and a changeling left in its place. The Irish-woman replied, with customary curtness, that she did not think, "T'was necessary to look to fairy-tales for the causes of everyday things," and was dismissed on the spot. The next day, however, in accordance with unspoken custom, the cook returned to the house with not a word said.
BLANK! Yet despite this and every misadventure Jackson did not-- dared not-- give even the breath of thought to his guilty conscience.
BLANK! For Jackson had discovered, secreted deep within his being, the restless and unremitting lust for men.
BLANK! The discovery was both momentous and trivial, one of those incidental accidents that mark every life but of which his mother's meticulous care had rendered Jackson ignorant. On the morning of December the 21st, however, in her hurry to count the proceeds and allot the glory of the St. Bunbury's Annual Christmas Bazaar, Mrs. Roddick made her mistake. Depositing her son in the chill side-chapel where the boy's choir rehearsed, she pinched a few stray hairs from his tiny jacket, fastened it close around him, and cheerily bustled off to greet her fellow busybodies.
BLANK! Leaving him to wait.
BLANK! For fifteen minutes Jackson sat beatifically upon his stool, hands folded, ankles crossed, hair like a halo in the cold light of a lancet window. He had been called early to meet with the choirmaster and go over his solo for Christmas Eve. But the handsome young choirmaster, Mr. Henry Robbins, was nowhere to be seen.
BLANK! As the wait progressed Jackson found himself beginning to fidget: could something be wrong? Such had never happened before; Mr. Waxley, the previous choirmaster, had been a punctilious old paragon of order, and such a gaff would have seemed an unthinkable disgrace. But Mr. Robbins was new, and Jackson-- though he timidly admired the charming young director-- barely knew him. Perhaps something unexpected had come up? It was near Christmas, after all. Perhaps he had expected to meet in the music office? Or perhaps he had simply forgotten?
BLANK! Perhaps Jackson should remind him?
BLANK! It was nothing like he'd ever done before, and yet he knew of no reason he should not. And so, bundling his thick tweed against the cold, Jackson alighted from his stool and sought out his errant instructor in the bowels of the church.
BLANK! And in a narrow water-closet off the music office, through the dim gap of the door, he found him.
BLANK! The choirmaster's lean body arched against the wall, his bent shoulders and crumpled shirt revealing the thin shadow that sank between his milk-white buttocks. With one hand he buttressed the fullness of his weight, the other convulsively clenching the swollen mass that lurched between his thighs. His breath was a low and ragged murmur provokingly at odds to the nobility of his usual voice, and despite the cold a thin sweat fogged his muscles.
BLANK! Jackson stood transfixed: fully alive, every sense electrified, every particle of his being polarized with a revolutionary fever. He was held not by pressure but by its opposite, the dizzying expansion of all he knew into uncontrolled universes of senseless sensation. Every hoarse breath was magnified and every flash of bare skin danced green-violet spots before his eyes. The choirmaster's thin musk pervaded his every pore, and Jackson became aware, dully, of a rod of pain that pinned him through the loins.
BLANK! And so, his lungs clamoring for air amidst an innocent terror, he gasped:
BLANK! The vision collapsed, shattered by his intrusion. Mr Robbins-- his face choked with alarm-- stumbled, half turned, and crumbled onto the porcelain seat beneath him. His manhood slapped heavily against his belly, a sticky smear of precome matting the naked hairs.
BLANK! "Shut the door. Shut the door!"
BLANK! Jackson did so, with a violence that rattled the frosted glass in its frame and reduced Mr. Robbins to a damp silhouette beyond. The spit boiled in his mouth, his entire frame flushed and trembling with an energy alien to all he'd ever known. He took a step and his leg foundered beneath him, nearly pitching him to the ground, but steadying himself he picked his way across the room and curled anxiously onto the small, motheaten couch in one corner.
BLANK! A few pained moments later, Mr. Robbins slid open the door and stepped out.
BLANK! He was dressed, and even in his distress was still handsome, but the lively quickness that gave his fine features their compulsive charm had given way to a mask of pallid fear. The words he dared not speak-- inquiry, scandal, disgrace, resignation, ruination-- lingered in the room like cold echoes, and though Jackson could hear them clearly, his own fears held his tongue dumb in his mouth.
BLANK! For a long moment they stared at each other, until, with another moment's chill hesitation, the choirmaster took refuge behind the clutter of his desk.
BLANK! By contrast, the resolution was laughably smooth. Mr. Robbins, with a faint smile that summoned up all of Jackson's unrealized affections, asked the boy if the latter thought it possible--since the events in question had been so unavoidably accidental-- that they simply forget they had occurred at all. Jackson, enticed by the complicity and equally anxious to avoid his own perturbing emotions, hastily agreed.
BLANK! But that evening, in the hazy super-clarity of between sleep and wakefulness, Jackson's visions returned:
BLANK! The taut pressure between the choirmaster's white buttocks. The bare expanse of chest and tight lines of his waist, just visible through the gap of his open shirt. The blind, idiot lurch of that blunt organ as it smacked between his legs, strands of precome glistening in the light.
BLANK! The vague but erotic thrill Jackson felt seeing fear in those wide eyes, in the arch of those dark brows, in the nervous rush of air between Henry Robbins lips.
BLANK! In the twilight shadows of his bedroom Jackson's body churned. The dull rod of pain he had known in the choirmaster's office returned, no longer a burning but an unquenchable, aching thing that swelled out from his loins. His impressions flowed unstoppably, stuttering between the searingly real and his imagined flickers of touch and taste; between the visions of his fancy and the animal friction of his body on the bed-clothes. Every instant spilled over the last, tumbling, rolling, crushing, faster and faster and faster until, with a blast like the Horn of Judgement--
BLANK! He came.
BLANK! And so his metamorphosis began.
BLANK! Yet despite the enormity of the personal evolutions that burst forth every morning, the daylight found Jackson's demeanor much the same as ever: gentle, diffident, studious, with an occasional unthinking bluntness in the man that had been mistaken for mere obstinacy in the boy.
BLANK! At night, however, his exploration of those forbidden reaches continued unabated. As his muscles swelled and bunched beneath the taut sheets, his mind would venture into that strange twilight of palpable images until he lost himself in masses of intangible flesh. Knowing nothing of the lusts of men, his mind supplied the differences with the kiss: mouths on mouths, kissing, sucking, grinding, biting, raping.
BLANK! He dreamt that Mr. Robbins lay atop him, the hardness and softness of the choirmaster's body crushing him in turn, their mouths locked, their members burning with the friction between them.
BLANK! He dreamt of Mrs. Geary's three grown sons-- with their red hair, ruffian smiles and roguish freckles-- holding him down and covering him with kisses until his muscles shone with the wetness of their mouths.
BLANK! Of being bound by the coachman, forced to press his lips to every bare inch of that rugged body.
BLANK! Of doing the same to his own staid but well-built tutor in mathematics.
BLANK! Of the butcher.
BLANK! The butcher's son.
BLANK! A hundred others, sating his hungers in the fever of his transient nocturnal orgies
BLANK! Jackson knew, instinctively, that the kindling of these passions had unleashed the long-delayed surges of his body: that with each new climax another riotous flood of growth broke forth, overflowing every previous boundary and filling the spaces with some new, prodigious permutation of his self. Yet in the presence of others he didn't even dare to think on them, lest some invisible action--some bare flicker of the eyes or guilty wetting of the lips-- should give him away and reveal his dissolute debasement to the world. He felt his mother's hurt bewilderment as a continuous reproach, and sheepishly took to haunting the far regions of the house as a kind of bashful behemoth, a guilty Goliath who had done away with her darling David.
BLANK! Others--despite their own confusion--responded more kindly. The maid prepared the few clothes that still fit him with impeccable care. The congregation of St. Bunbury's smothered him reassuringly, pressing him to employ his beautiful bass in the adult choir, and Mr. Robbins-- though fully ignorant of his role in Jackson's sudden advancement-- continued friendly and personable despite the loss of his first soprano. Mrs. Geary `s natural tendency towards mothering increased tenfold, making a space for him to work in the kitchen and surrounding him with her affectionate agitation.
BLANK! But Jackson knew, like some universal truth, that he would never again be his mother's child.
BLANK! He was now, irrevocably, his father's.
~*~ AUTHORIAL NOTICES ~*~
BLANK! This started as an experiment.
BLANK! Simply put, the question was: is it possible to use magical realism in writing *ahem* homosexually themed erotica? So far, I think it's going well. Not well enough to call it a success, but well.
BLANK! Magical realism is generically described as literature "where magic elements are a natural part in an otherwise mundane, realistic environment". To me, this definition is a bit lacking (though to be fair it is covering a huge range of interpretations). I see works of magical realism as primarily realist-- focusing on realistic portrayals of characters, places, politics, daily life, personal problems, and motivations-- in which elements of the fantastic, either overtly magical or not, are used to accentuate the action. These works thus become a kind of developed tall tale, revealing some of the subjective and emotional realities with which we approach our own lives. Okay, that sounded really pretentious.
BLANK! So, without further ado, MY NOTES:.
ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF SODOM
"...Jackson Roddick came for the first time."
"His mother was scandalized."
"...the undisputed laurels of the St. Bunbury Boy's Choir."
"But the handsome young choirmaster, Mr. Henry Robbins, was nowhere to be seen."
"And so his metamorphosis began."