I probably should point out that I'm not anti-religious -- every modern religion teaches peace and love, and the repudiation of hate. Unfortunately, there are preachers, rabbis, and imams who claim hate and fear to be the message of their god; and, even more unfortunately, there are people who believe them. So, I'm nowhere close to repudiating the God of Christianity in this story; but hate-mongers who claim to speak for Him are fair game.
This story is gay fiction. It is copyrighted and cannot be reproduced in any medium without my express permission. If you are a minor in your country of origin, don't read.
I have two other series running on Nifty: GLOBAL ENTERTAINMENT appearing in the Incest folder and ILLUSIONS in the Beginnings folder. If these two stories don't give you enough hot vampires and mortals, Starbooks has just released my LOVERS WHO STAY WITH YOU, and that has 28 tales that'll have you offering your neck to the next guy who offers to lick it. <G> It'd make a great stocking stuffer, too. You can help Nifty by using its link to A Different Light Bookstore when ordering this book.
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It was six thirty and dusk was already settled on Mountain Hollow. Rastus Reed couldn't remember a more disorganized bunch of country bumpkins as he saw Tugaloo Baptist Sanctuary being. From toadying little Philin Phredd down to the church piano player who missed notes even when she was playing Standing On The Promises.
Deacon Butts hadn't bothered to show up for the planning meeting between him, Rastus, and Phredd; and it'd been the man's idea to go up on the mountain in the first place. Phredd had completely lost it after that; and Rastus had had to take up the slack. Fortunately, the sheriff had turned out to be on the revival's side, so Rastus saw no reason to lead the revival right up to the longhouse again. He'd circulated during church and found men who had enough brains to follow orders. He'd even spent the whole afternoon giving them orders to lead people onto the mountain for tonight's meeting.
And, now, it was time to start the revival caravan up to the mountain; and Philin Phredd was a no-show. What a useless bumpkin.
He opened the door of his big Lincoln and looked at the driver waiting behind him. "Let's get this show on the road!" he growled.
* * *
At dusk, thirty vehicles from the mountain converged on the intersection of Highway 28 and the access road. They parked on and across the access road, blocking it between the fences that ran alongside of the road to the fence. Teenaged sons joined their fathers in guarding the mountain. Each of the men sported a rifle or a shotgun.
I knew the guns were necessary as a deterrent -- but I still didn't like them. As angry as I was that the Tugaloo Baptist Sanctuary had trampled over our property rights -- and I fully accepted that I was part of the mountain by Sunday night -- armed men seemed to pre-suppose violence.
At seven, the county sheriff came down Highway 28 and pulled to a stop at the intersection.
"You're blocking the road, boys!" he yelled at us from the car. "Get those cars and trucks moved."
At least, it was the sheriff and not one of his deputies. I stepped forward, making sure that I stayed within the imaginary line that ran from the fence post on my left to the one on my right.
"These men are protecting their property, sheriff," I yelled back at him. "This is private property -- just like the road is. Nobody's going to trespass tonight."
He got out of his car. I'd been prepared for the fat pig that rural Southern sheriffs were made out to be in the movies. He wasn't. He was tall and his gut didn't hang over his pants. He studied my cousins and, then, me.
He finally shrugged. "I never knew a Taylor who went looking for trouble."
"There's never been a Taylor up here who's had thirty-five hundred and twenty-five dollars worth of damage done to his property before, sheriff," Ralph called out from behind me and moved up beside me. A moment later, Henry was standing at my other side.
"It's just a church revival, boys. Write it off as a donation or something."
"Bullshit!" I growled. "The Taylor Family Foundation makes charitable donations to real charities -- not rabblerousers."
"Those are some pretty strong words, son."
"The law suits those assholes are going to get Monday are going to be pretty strong too," I continued, adrenaline pumping through me. "Libel, slander, trespass, property damage -- some of those are criminal offenses -- even if your men support these people."
"My men don't…" he sputtered.
"Your deputy last night did," I told him, letting my anger show. "He called every man on this mountain a faggot and told me to get my faggoty ass away from my meeting house." I smiled then. "So, you're getting sued right along with these holyrollers, sheriff."
The sheriff didn't get a chance to answer that one. A State Patrol cruiser pulled up beside his car and the same trooper from that morning stepped out. Three more cruisers pulled in behind him.
"What're you doing here?" the sheriff demanded of the trooper.
"We're protecting a crime scene. There was extensive property damage on the mountain," the trooper answered, moving to stand between me and the sheriff. "There's enough evidence the vandals plan on returning and doing more damage tonight."
"I have men placed on Highway 28 at a mile and a half mile in both directions," he said, turning to me. "We also have a helicopter that'll be here by eight." He flashed a quick smile. "We've got you protected, okay?"
Ralph and I nodded at the same time.
"So, make sure these men don't do anything stupid. Got it?" He looked from Ralph to me and back to Ralph.
He turned back to the sheriff. "If I were you and wanted to lower my legal exposure, I'd do everything I could to get those people involved in this revival not to come out here tonight."
"But they've got rights!" the sheriff growled at him.
"Yeah, they're voters," the state cop said. "But they have no right to trash private property."
"Who says they did that? My man reported things were calm."
"I personally investigated these people's complaint this morning," the State Patrolman told him. "It was a goddamn mess out here."
"And those signs along the road -- they sure looked like they could be libelous to me." He looked at us before turning back to the sheriff. "That is, unless you have men who will swear in court publicly to having sex with every man out here."
We watched the sheriff turn and walk back to his car. I felt good as shit when he gunned his car and burned rubber getting out of there. There were real cops out here with us, the kind who believed in protecting people. I didn't know how, but I knew I was going to be pushing a commendation for one particular patrolman in every state office I could find come Monday.
I could hear them shouting as they came up the road from Mountain Hollow. Even over the clop clop of the State Patrol helicopter overhead. "They're faggots!", "They ain't got no rights!", and "We're going to run them out of God's country -- them and Satan both!" Those were the loudest three slogans.
Henry handed me a shotgun and someone behind him gave him a rifle. "They'll run, Sammy -- when they see that we mean business," he said softly, leaning against me so that I could hear. "Just like any bully."
"I hope!" I groaned.
I knew what was happening. The Taylors had money -- it was obvious in their homes and their cars. A lot of the people in Tugaloo county were a lot poorer -- I'd seen their poverty as I'd driven out to the mountain from Seneca. It was the French Revolution all over again -- only here, it'd been made into Cromwell's English Revolution with religion justifying everything. The poor rising up to take the wealth they perceived the rich having. I'd read about it in history and sociology textbooks from high school through university. Now, I was seeing it up close.
I was seeing it real close. I was right dab in the middle of the fucking shit. I was nervous as hell.
Paul and the men he'd brought from Atlanta pushed their way through the barrier of Taylor men. Each of them wore work boots, leather chaps over jeans and an open leather vest. And each of them had some sort of whip in his hand. They strolled up even with Henry, Ralph, and me. The six of them took up half of the access road.
I wanted to laugh so bad. Instead, I was able to keep myself down to a few innocuous chuckles which I hoped didn't carry to the other side of the road.
"What the hell?" Henry groaned under his breath.
Ralph looked at his son sharply. "Shut up, boy! Right now, we'll take any man who wants to join us."
Henry nodded and turned to face Highway 28 again. I heard a couple of swallowed snickers.
A big Lincoln turned into the access road and stopped. A couple of cars behind it pulled onto the shoulder of Highway 28 and stopped. A pick-up truck with a piano in its bed pulled onto the access road and pulled to a stop several inches in front me. I hadn't moved. I was so fucking angry that the redneck behind the wheel was trying to intimidate me that I'd probably have hopped up and started shooting if the bastard had run over me. I saw that both Henry and Ralph had their rifles pointed right at the driver's head.
The driver door of the Lincoln opened and Rastus Reed started toward us. More cars pulled onto the side Highway 28.
"Turn around and get the fuck out of here, fuck off!" I yelled at the driver of the pick-up. A second line of people formed on the road.
"Get out of the way, you creatures of evil!" Rastus Reed thundered as he neared me. "We're here on the Lord's work, and the minions of Satan can't stop us."
A short man who'd followed Reed from the highway nodded his agreement and started toward us making shoo-ing hand motions like he would a bunch of chickens in a barnyard. No Taylor moved.
The short man stopped and, in surprise, looked at the line of men still standing before him. Rastus' nose flared.
"Heed Thy servant, Lord!" he shouted. "Get these abominations out of the way of our doing Thy will!"
People moved closer behind the pick-up with the piano as more of them left their cars. They crowded on the road, keeping off the dirt shoulders on either side of the asphalt. Their crowding had the effect of pushing Rastus Reed past the pick-up.
There were more of them than there were of us.
I didn't like this at all. We were two street gangs facing each other off. My gang had guns but I didn't doubt that some of them had them too -- at least in their trucks if they hadn't yet thought to bring them up to this confrontation. I wondered where the State Patrolman was.
"You are on private property," a loudspeaker blared down from the helicopter. "Disperse quietly!"
"God has condemned these people!" Rastus Reed shouted immediately before anyone had a chance to react to the State Patrol's demand. "He's calling on us to reclaim this mountain from Satan and make it holy."
A fat woman in a flowered dress broke from the church crowd and marched right up to me. I'd never seen madness before until now. There was undiluted hate in her eyes.
"Faggot!" she screamed. "Filth! Abomination!" She spat at me, leaning forward to give her spittle more distance. "Get Thee behind me, Satan."
I wiped her spit off my cheek with my hand and tried hard to convince myself that I didn't want to hit her. "Ma'am…"
She swung her purse at me, aiming for my head. I stepped back and stared at her.
The patrolman came up from the ditch, moving directly toward Rastus Reed. "Okay, everybody," he shouted. "You've already been told to disperse. Now get. You have five minutes before we start arresting you."
Paul and his men from Atlanta marched up to the south Georgia preacher. "Rastus!" Paul barked. Loud enough to be heard in the next county. "What do you think you're doing, boy?"
The preacher froze. Slowly, he turned his head to look at Paul.
Paul snapped his bullwhip out in the space between the church group and us Taylors. Its crack was loud.
"What do you pay me two hundred a week to do to you, Rastus?" Paul continued as loudly as before, his attention concentrated on the other man. "Why do I punish you every week when you go back out and do the same thing over and over again?"
There was complete silence on the Taylor Mountain Access Road. Paul had everyone's attention. There was a smirk on the patrolman's face as he began to figure out the relationship between the televangelist and the leatherman.
"What is that boy in Jacksonville going to think, Rastus?" Paul asked almost conversationally as he stepped closer to the preacher and stopped in front of Rastus. "You putting on airs up here like you weren't the queerest turd in Georgia, you worthless piece of shit!" he bellowed in the man's face and Rastus stepped back.
Paul snapped his wrist and the whip wrapped around Rastus' ankles.
"That boy in Jacksonville is going to tan your worthless ass, not fuck it." Paul pointed to his boots. "Get down on your knees, slave. My boots are dirty."
"Do it now, boy!" Paul screamed at him, his face inches from the preacher's. He grabbed Rastus' shoulder and pushed. "Lick them clean."
"Please, master…" Rastus' voice was a whisper as he sank to his knees.
There was silence, except for the movement of those in the church crowd trying to get closer to see what was happening.
"Do it, slave!" Paul growled. "Maybe your boyfriend will forgive you, if you do a good enough job for me."
Rastus leaned closer and stuck out his tongue. It touched the toe of Paul's boot and licked up the instep toward his chaps.
The State Patrolman grinned and winked at me.
Brenda was in the fifth car, following the pick-up with the piano. She shivered when she saw the Taylors standing in the road. They looked so evil. But she knew the Lord was with her. He was with them all. With His help, the Tugaloo Baptist Sanctuary would reclaim this mountain for Him.
She got out of the car and moved to the hood to watch her father bring God's swift vengeance down on these people who'd embraced Satan and his evil. There was a little light from the headlights of some of the cars; it was enough that she could just make things out.
She saw Sammy then. Standing in the center and at the head of all that evil.
She sobbed, her fist rising to cover her mouth. She'd lost him for sure. If he was going to stand there and fight the hosts of the Lord, Satan had claimed him in full.
She finally accepted that he could not be saved. She accepted that he had to be killed -- after all, didn't some of the great thinkers of Christianity postulate that it was best to kill a possessed man early, because the faster he died the more of his soul was uninfected by Satan and his followers and the less people he'd have time to corrupt.
She knew that had to be true. As good as he was at love-making, Sammy'd have half of the men in Georgia willing to let him fuck them if he wasn't stopped.
She felt dirty as she thought on that. She was so human, so frail -- she'd actually thought he was showing his love for her when they did it. When he fucked her; she knew now that was all it had been to him -- a fuck. She'd become addicted to him, to his penis moving in and out of her, and his hands cupping her breasts.
Sammy Taylor hadn't been the first man she gave herself to. She had to admit that. She was so weak, though; it was as if she didn't have any of God's strength like her Daddy did. But Sammy had made her want it all the time. She'd always come back to him to let him have his way with her, like a whore. He was so good at making her feel good.
She knew though that, if he could do that to her, he'd have the same power over boys and men. Satan would give him that because he'd be the perfect weapon in his hands.
She was going to have to bring God into her life and keep him there all the time. She needed His strength if she was going to be strong and resist the temptation of the flesh. She was going to have to become like her mother. And she was going to have to find herself a God-fearing man she could serve. Like God wanted her to.
She reached into her purse and her fingers found the grip of the small .22 revolver she'd bought to protect herself when she moved to Atlanta. She smiled.
She could stop Sammy Taylor, even if nobody else could. He would be cast down into the everlasting fires of hell when Satan could no longer use him and his penis as weapons to destroy mankind. She could make sure that there was one less abomination with enough money to undermine God's plan for America.
She just wished she could tell her Daddy about the plan God was unfolding in her head. But there were too many people for her to pull him away from them. Besides, he'd try and stop her. He lost all of God's strength in him when it came to her. He became just another daddy trying to protect his little girl.
She began to make her way around the side of the crowd. She knew none of the Taylors would bother her. Even as weak and human as she was, they would still know that she was God's and not touch her.
She rounded the last person and began to walk toward the center of the access road where Sammy was standing.
She saw her daddy then, kneeling before a man she almost recognized. Two steps closer, she saw that the man was decked out like one of those leathermen from Atlanta. And her daddy looked like he was looking the man's boot over real close.
Some of the Taylor men were laughing. Several women from the revival gasped and a couple of their men chuckled.
She'd gotten close enough that she could now see that the leatherman was Paul.
She stopped, unable to take even one more step. Her eyes bulged. Her Daddy was licking Paul's boot! With his tongue.
She looked quickly around her. People were laughing. They were laughing at her daddy.
She suddenly hated Paul Estes far more than she'd hated him in Atlanta. Then, he'd been just one more of the abominations that circled around Sammy. Here, he somehow had found a way to get to her daddy -- and corrupt God's plan for Taylor Mountain.
He was pure evil, destroying all the good work her Daddy did. She knew with complete certainty that nobody would ever listen to him when he tried to get people to listen to God -- not anymore. Not after this. She clutched her purse to her.
Somehow, as strong as he was in the Lord, her Daddy had fallen. She understood that the revival was over. She understood, too, that Taylor Mountain would continue to fester like an open sore.