by Charles Bryant
Of course, it was a dream. No one here except myself and the two boys, the twins, Feresh and Ahshawn. And yet last night it seemed so real. And what is the ring? It is marriage of minds and bodies; it is completion.
Ahshawn is looking at me as I record these ridiculous thoughts. He is lying on the futon on his stomach, the whites of his eyes so clear, the dark irises so black. The muscles stand out on his massive forearms. The lovely mounds of his arse are like two great dark ripe fruits. Already my mouth is open, licking and probing.
Feresh lies on his back, hands behind his head. The nipples on his lovely chest are there to be tasted and lingered over. I can so easily spend an hour or more, one leg over his massive thigh, my tongue and mouth continually tasting his pecs and shaven pits and the deep sweet recess of his mouth with the large pink tongue. Tonguing his teeth and gums in great deep kisses that go on for ever.
It must have been a dream. How can the three be four?
Ahshawn says: "The one becomes two, because there must always be Another, a desired lover, a friend. Then the two in their completion become a further one, different from either, and there are three. Master and Fersh and Ahshawn. Great love is born and passion is the forest where they dwell, and the planet is Eros."
Last night I saw him, felt him. I must go down to the old city and find him. I am sure that that is where he dwells, down below the ground in the hidden place. He is calling to me, to us. He needs us, I know. And we him.
The vegetation is growing at an alarming rate. Where was scrub and desert is now a mass of greenery and flowers. We have made the desert bloom with our love, we have fructified ourselves and all that is around us. The boys go about with large coloured blossoms in their hair.
This is a very strange place and I often wonder how I ended here. I did not choose it. Perhaps it chose me. My life at court was unsatisfactory, satiated. I could hardly breathe there any more. My father was always on top of me, his dominance irkful. I was expected to be the model prince, restrained and courteous, to marry and to beget.
I could not and I would not. I planned my escape aided only by my one true friend. He was to have come with me. But my father found us out and my friend was killed before my eyes. That night I left the capital, taking with me all the money and precious things that I could carry. The jewelry, many fine pieces, paid for a ship and supplies.
I wandered the cosmos, searching for a home, somewhere to be alone. And after many months I found Eros, this planet, so named by Ahshawn. Here I built my house and laid my lawns, not far from the abandoned city whose broken towers were clearly visible on my skyline before the trees put forth fresh leaf and my hedges luxuriated.
Here, in an enduring dream, I fashioned first one and then the other of my boys, not knowing what I was doing. How much of this is real, I do not know. The forces are too strong, my own forces, deep hidden and potent, beyond my power to control. They have given themselves to the ancient spirit of this place.
We have come again to the ruined city. A breeze is blowing and the boys are chilled so I have fashioned long embroidered caftans for them, red silk with gold and silver threads. They look so beautiful, so real. When the breeze blows the garments against their bodies you can see the outline of their wonderful shapes, more perfect than nakedness. They walk around hand in hand because they know I love to see them so.
While we have been here I have had glimpses, from the corner of my eye and never directly, of something or someone. But when I look around, he is gone.
The city is haunted, and not only by this one, but by hordes of people. I feel them pressing around us, watching, envious. It is as if they are still here in their old places, living long dead lives and passions, unable to let go. But I am not afraid of them and they know this. I am so much stronger than they are.
Feresh and Ahshawn are embracing for comfort, their arms about each other in a loving bearhug, resplendent in their finery. The spirits are watching them, as entranced as I, desiring incarnation and the fleshly response. But the other spirit, the one that has already visited us in our house on the horizon, he does not need incarnation, it is already his for the taking. He is more powerful than the unseen citizens and I hope he loves us. I think he does since he has joined in our lovemaking. Having been one with us he knows that we mean him no harm. Eros is surely a planet of love and I feel sure that we are safe here.
And yet...And yet...
The boys will not come down the rock-hewn steps with me, they are terrified and beg me not to go. I tell them there is nothing to fear. They are rubbing themselves against me in an attempt to arouse me but I have to push them off.
A sudden gusty breeze is aroused and blows through the ruined city, slightly chill on this warm day and raising little dust-devils as it goes, carrying the fallen leaves along with it and the silenced voices of the dead. Do I hear them whispering even now? No, it is only the leaves pattering.
The boys come with me to the very top of the flight of stairs, kissing my hands. The broken columns and the debris of fallen buildings has now a brooding silence over it, and I feel that They, and most particularly Him, are watching and waiting. My balls are bunched tight beneath my cock, but this is from fear not passion. The twins stand above me, embracing each other, trying not to look. I suddenly remember the expression on the face of my friend before he was executed by my father's guards -- beseeching, afraid; but also tender and forgiving.
He will surely not harm me. He has joined in our lovemaking -- this is what I keep repeating to myself as I go down and down into the cool dark depths.
I take out my torch and the waxy yellow light shows me beautiful carvings, beautiful and yet with much savagery contained in the scenes: a fallen warrior with fantastic feathers and a spear entering his heart; grisly rituals of blood-letting; and a young man's heart being torn from his body.
This shows barbarism, not civilisation. But here is another bas-relief showing a young man kneeling before an older man seated on a raised platform. The young man's flesh is soft, hairless, voluptuous; the older man bends toward him, a teacher perhaps, and their hands are entwined.
It grows colder as I descend. I flick at the programmer at my belt so that I am wearing warm clothing and a hood about my face of heavy black silk with silver thread. My steps echo eerily as if someone were following me down into this long-hidden and abandoned underground vault. The boys call to me from above and I tell them there is nothing to fear.
The steps come to an end before a huge slab of featureless coloured marble. Is this all there is? A long descent -- and then nothing? The air is cold and still and I seem to hear sounds, rustlings, softened voices, but cannot tell whether it is the echoes in this stairway or whether it comes from beyond the faceless marble. Then, as I reach my hand toward the blank wall, a surprise. My hand passes through the marble! And then my forearm!
I withdraw my arm, in shock. Thinking, fearing, undecided. Then I duck (don't ask me why) and I am beyond the wall, and unharmed.
A huge circular chamber, and lit from above, the light drawn cunningly down through shafts leading from the surface. Great and ancient stillness, slow motes of dust in the shafts of light. Stillness but always the whispering as if from some far passageway. The sense of presence is overwhelming here.
The whispering grows noisier, more insistent, as if they are conferring. A whirring sound in the air, beating of wings, but nothing to be seen, yet I can feel the movement. Then starts a heavy vibration through the marble floor as of a current noisily flowing, full of power. It reminds me of the power surge that shot through the body of my beloved friend Katte at the point of his execution. I can actually see him before my mind's eye (or is it more than that?) as that fair and wonderful body glowed and then dissolved into nothingness, his eyes looking at me and the expression of forgiveness and understanding shining on his fading face.
For a moment I wonder if Katte and the mysterious Fourth are one and the same. It sounds a mad idea, but it rushes through my mind with all the cleansing force of truth. But Katte is dead and I am in exile, doubly cursed.
Why Katte? And why now, here? Is it just mockery on the part of the unseen presences? Or is it imagination on my part, sound and sight combining to dredge up unwelcome memories? Something I absolutely wish only to forget.
I am not to be spared. I feel his hands about my waist, just like he always used to hold me. I feel his breath upon my shoulder. I turn -- and he is here! It is Katte.
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