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GENERATOR(* 1 thru 4 *)


* 1 thru 4 *
I pulled up the sheets to meet my ear, and pushed my body futher
under the comforter. Ever since I was little, some part
of me had always feared being exposed at night to monsters. Of course,
common sense told me there was no such thing, but it just made me
feel more secure.

Before long, I was slipping into sleep. One minute I was looking
at the blurry picture of the room, illuminated in shades of grey,
then nothingness. I'd thought before it seemed like what dying would
be like... just fuzzy thoughts then no consciousness. Maybe dreams
were hints of what heaven or hell would be like, after a imitation of

Dreams were something I've always been interested in.As a child, they
had been simplistic, either catagorizing what happenedthat day, or bad.
The bad were full of creatures that made frightening noises,chased me,
but weak enough so that I could never confront them and meetthem. For
some reason, not knowing what was after you made it scarier.But as I got
older, the dreams got more interesting, full of imagesthat seemed created
out of a science fiction novel, and scenes in full color,that jumped from one
story to another. They seemed logical when you were in them,but once out,
if you tried to explain them to others later, it was a fragilemix of
broken up vignettes, with all the important details forgotten.

Next thing I was seeing was hills, of some landscape I had
never seen before, at least not in real life. They lookedlike something
out of a National Geographic special... dusky light breakingdown onto
rocky peaks, which were rising out of an incredibly emeraldgreen plain,
made up of high-reaching trees of a tropical forest. Thesky was a deep
turquoise, turning a deeper blue as it curved down overme, disappearing
behind the trees that stretched as far as I could see. Thesmell of strange
flowers drifted in the air, like airborne spices. I jumpedat the sound
of an animal's harsh cry nearby. For a dream, it was remarkablyrealistic.
I looked down at the ground I was standing on, it was coveredwith tiny
plants growing, or trying to. The light, even at the topof the hill I
was on, was diffused by the leaves of the trees, making everythinga dim

From not too far off, I could hear the sound of water falling.The
air was hot, even though the sun was close to setting, andhumid. I
suddenly realized that I was very warm. The clothes I waswearing were
extremely... wrong. A pair of jeans, Reeboks, and a UMasssweatshirt
were meant for New England winters, not this. As I felt thesweat
beading up on my forehead, I started down the hill, swattingbroad-leafed
branches out of my way. All I wanted was a drink of water,and maybe a
swim. On the way down, I stopped for a second, and strippedoff the
sweatshirt. The name never seemed more appropriate thannow, I thought
and laughed. It didn't look like I would run into anybodyon the way,
or at least not anyone who would expect me to be wearing it.
The hill was steep, and the branches kept hitting me in the
face. After a few minutes of toiling down towards what I hoped
was water, I had been scratched, fallen and rolled a bit, covering
my jeans and bra in moist dark brown dirt, and sastified the hunger of
a few mosquitoes. Which I hoped were just carrying spit.

I had started to long for the place I was used to, a university
campus smothered in cement, and crisscrossed with orderly
paths leading to brick or even more cement. The university loved cement.
It was relatively cheap, could be used in many civil projects,
and the color blended with any part of the campus. That's what happens
when you go to a state university, no Victorian brick buildings covered
in ivy, with stately white columns holding up the roof. Right now, as I brushed
another branch aside, ivy could stay out of the picture.
The sound of water was getting louder...
At hearing the faint characteristic sound of water rushing,I started
to stumble down the hill faster. The sun was still goingdown, casting
the last of its rays into the sky, making the air slightyless humid.
The greenness shining down through the tree leaves wasfading out... I
could see the sky was turning from turquiose to purple throughthe
breaks in the forest top.
I brushed some of the dirt off me, and swatted at a lone mosquitothat
was whining near my ear. One thing I wouldn't have to worryabout in the
water was getting sucked dry by these parasites. The hillwas slowly
leveling out, no longer at an angle that made it easier tojust give up
and roll than bother walking upright. The UMass sweatshirtthat I had tied
around my waist bumped against the back of my thighs as Ibroke into a
run at the glimpse of light reflecting off water.
I dodged through the trees, ducking under vines, feelingthe air getting
cooler and cooler with the mist coming off the water. I stoppeddead at the
edge and ripped off the dirt-covered clothes I still hadon. Bending
over, I grabbed each foot and untied my sneakers, dumpingthem besides the
No wonder I had heard this at the top of that hill. I was facingpools
collected in between huge chunks of rock, constantly fillingand emptying
from the force of the falls that started hundreds of feetabove my head.
The air around where the falls hit, the largest pool wasfilled with what
looked like fog. Water splashed back up off the rocks atthe base. The rocks
were eroded in places from the action of water flowing overthem, resulting
in tiny pools full of warmer water. It was all perfectlyclear, and smelled
wonderful. I walked down the bank of the river a bit, lookingfor a place
where I wouldn't get sucked under. About fifty feet awayfrom my clothes, I
stepped onto a rock that came up to the ground, and sat down.Sticking a
foot in, I sighed. Cool. Clean. I slid in, gasping as thewater level rose
up around me.
Even here, the water was frothy, swirling around me. I tooka deep breath
and dove under, scrubbing the dirt off my skin and shakingmy head. Grabbing
a couple handfuls of sand, I rubbed them against my face.Without a bar of
Ivory, this would be fine. After getting sufficientlycold, red, and clean,
I started moving towards the water's edge. As I was paddlingtowards the
bank, I caught a flash of movement out of the side of my eye,and turned
my head a little. I found myself staring into the profileof a leopard that
was taking a drink of its own about twenty feet away fromme.
I felt every drop of blood drain from my face. It felt likeit was emptying
into my feet. My eyes were fixed on it, and I couldn't seemto be able to
move. Trying to get control, I took a few shallow breaths,then a huge deep
one, and slipped under the water. Thank god I didn't smokeI thought, looking
up at the light playing over the water's top. As a kid, I hadonce freaked
my mother out by holding my breath underwater, seeing howlong I could do
it. I had succeeded in staying under for about two minutes,long enough to
make her think I had drowned and was stuck underwater. Shehad dove in after
me, only for me to come up as she was next to where I was holdingonto
the bottom of the dock. Heh, she was not amused. I could onlyhope my lung
capacity had grown as I did. This was definitely not theway I ever envisioned
it being tested though.
My lungs were just starting to burn. I tried to conserveair by not moving
at all, but it was hard to stay under the water without movingmy hands.
How thirsty could that thing be? Man, I hoped it hadn't decidedto go for a
swim too. Just a little way longer, little while, little...My head felt
like it was going to explode, filling up with blood. If Ididn't come up
soon, I would just pass out and start inhaling water. Mychances were
probably better if I went up. Thoughts like this were battlingin my mind
as I started to black out. Taking my chances, I let myselfrise up to the
surface, taking in a huge gulp of air, surprised by the loudgasp. It was
gone. Or it was not in that specific spot anyway.
How stupid I had been. This was not some ideal Garden of Eden.It had its
predators, tiny as mosquitoes or as large as the overgrownhousecat I had
just encountered. And I had nothing with which to defendmyself, or to
make a weapon with. Being human had some definite drawbacks.Evolving
from a creature that once had fur, long claws, and largethreatening canines,
we were now basically a walking slab of meat. Being an anthropologymajor
had taught me a few things about making arrow and spear headsout of rock,
but I never had a chance to actually practice what had beendiagramed in my
books. I guess this was going to be real learning experience,if I survived
it anyway.
I pulled myself up onto the rock, and just lay there for asecond. Looking
up at the open sky, I knew pretty soon I would have to findsomewhere to
hide from the even bigger beasts that came out at night tohunt. It was not
an appealing prospect to spend the night in a tree. Maybeif I could get a
fire going, I could stay on the ground at least for part ofthe night. I
scrambled up and went over to my clothes. Picking them up,I sniffed them.
Phew. No laundromat around here though. I went over to theedge again and
swished them around in the water.
The sweatshirt would take a long time to dry but I didn'tsee myself wearing
it anytime soon. I grabbed the wet jeans at the knees, wherethey had worn
holes and ripped. Shorts would be a lot cooler. I put on thewet bra and
shorts and turned towards the trees.
About an hour later, I had cleared out a small area of leavesand sticks,
beneath a large climbable tree, and had a tiny fire burning.The friction
way of starting a fire was definitely not as easy as my GirlScout leaders
had told me. Matter of fact, I think they used balsa wood.No fair. But as
I fed in larger sticks, making sparks fly up, I was sastified.By the time
the moon had risen, it was a very bright blaze. I had gatheredmore wood
to keep feeding it in a pile next to me. I sat with my handsaround my
knees, looking fearfully out beyond the light the flamescast. I kept
hearing weird cries of animals, probably monkeys. At leastif they were
making noise, I knew where they were.
The moon seemed unusually bright, and the stars lookedlike they were
barely above the trees. I could see the craters and "lakes"on its surface,
making up the face. The Man in the Moon. Made of cheese. Thenursery rhymes
didn't fit here. I closed my eyes for a second. They weresmarting from
the smoke. I squeezed them hard, getting tears to clearthem. I felt myself
yawn. Suddenly I felt very tired. Well, I couldn't sleephere, it was too
vulnerable. I got up and stretched, going to the lowestbranch of the tree.
I grabbed it and swung myself up. I hadn't climbed a treesince I was
thirteen, and had never slept in one. How did you keep fromfalling out?
Hmmm. I moved up higher into it, settling into a spot wheretwo limbs meet.
Closing my eyes, I prepared for an uncomfortable night.Before long, I
didn't notice the cramped way I was feeling.
Just a little bit before dawn, I woke up, shivering. I wishedmy sweatshirt
was dry. Too bad if I put it on now, I'd only be colder in a fewminutes.
I crossed my arms over my chest, and rubbed my arms. Couplehours from now,
the sun would make this warm again. I was probably cold frommy metabolism
slowing down. As I sat in the tree looking out over the viewI began to
get warm again, and felt myself falling back asleep.
I woke up with the sun shining down onto my face, the treeswaying a little
in the breeze. My neck felt like it had been bent at a ninetydegree angle
all night. It probably had been actually. I twisted my headaround to meet
my shoulder, pressing my ear to it, then switched sides.After hearing a
tiny crack, I grinned. Much better, I muttered. I lookeddown at the
remains of the fire. Just a bunch of charred wood, with someashes around it.
Enough to keep me safe though. I stretched out my legs toget down, and
swung around so that I was hanging from all fours from thelow branch. That's
when I heard a "snap". Very faint. I looked around me to seemyself looking
at a person. Lots of persons actually. Oh my, I whispered.Problem. A big
one. They didn't look angry, but those spears and bows andarrows looked
like they could be painful. One stepped up to the tree I washaphazardly
hanging from, and gestured towards the ground. Unfortunately,that seemed
pretty clear. I sighed, and let go, dropping to the ground.I was immediately
surrounded, and they prodded me to walk in line with themas they started
Considering what they were wearing, I felt like I was dressedfor the North
Pole. Loincloths and bead necklaces, with leather thongsaround their
ankles and wrists was the extent of their clothing. Notthat they were
carrying any extra poundage that required camouflage.I looked ahead of
me at the man walking stoically ahead, keeping time withhis spear. His
leg muscles were highly defined. And they went all the wayup to... I
coughed, smiling. Too bad some guys at UMass didn't go forloincloths.
The men ranged in height from about 5'8'' to 6'0, havingshoulder-length
hair that was a deep black, and brown skin that had a goldentinge. The
youngest looked about sixteen, the oldest, thirty. Wherevertheir destination
was, I figured the rest of the people, including the oldermen and the
women, were waiting. Maybe they had gone out to do a littlehunting, and...
and... Oh no! Nah, that was ridiculous. If they were cannibals,I don't think
they would be letting me walk freely with them. I would probablybe trussed
up like a Thanksgiving turkey instead. Least that was whatI reassured
We were now on a barely visible path, walking north. We werewalking roughly
along the river, I could still hear it burbling somewherebeside us. Why I
was bothering to keep track, I didn't know. It wasn't likeI had a house or
camp to return to where I was before. Just my sweatshirtand sneakers. And
I didn't think I could survive for long here by myself. Butmaybe my chances
in the woods were better than whatever was awaiting me attheir camp. I
wasn't sure. If I was going to make a run for it, now wouldn'tbe the best
time. I didn't know the area, they did. I didn't have anythingto defend
myself with, they could poke me full of more holes than acolander. They
also outnumbered me and could also undoubtedly run a hellof a lot faster.
I resigned myself to going wherever they were going. Latertonight, when
everybody was asleep, or at least almost everybody was,I would take off it
it looked bad.
A few more miles later, my nose picked up the smell of woodsmoke, and
meat cooking. I hadn't realized how hungry I had been untilmy mouth
started watering. Hmm, maybe they'd feed me. Or eat me....
At the smell of wood smoke mixed with the smell of meat cooking,
thoughts of hot, succulent, juicy, tender flesh filling
my mouth ran through my head. Unfortunately, this reminded me they
might be thinking the same thing, except perhaps I'd be the main
course. Talk about losing your appetite. I turned my head to look into
the woods again longingly. Least the animals in there had low IQs...
The path here was more obvious, having branches leading
off, the soil tramped down. Through the trees, I saw something yellow.
Thatched huts. We turned into the large clearing, the men in front of me
being greeted by women and children. I was stopped near the huge firepit
in the center, with the huts in a circle all around me. The others came up
to me, emerging from under the shaded roofs extending out over the doors.
The women kept lifting up my hair and smelling it, and poking
my arms. I guess my light hair and skin were an oddity. I stared back
at them as much as they looked at me. One woman was so close to me I could feel
her body heat. I looked at her in return. She had deep brown eyes, so dark
they were like earth after a rain storm, black, ancient. The wisdom I saw
in them contrasted with the youth of her body... She wore nothing over her breasts,
instead just a simple belt of green plants, plaited together, around
her waist and between her legs, fronds hanging down over her thighs.
She also wore beads, these looped around her ankles, white and tiny, they looked
almost like pearls. Her hair was damp, clinging to her shoulders as
she bent her head to look at me more closely. I could see amusement in her eyes.
She probably thought I was very brash.
Apparently living here didn't result in the sad, stressed,tired faces
that I saw constantly at school. I didn't believe therewas anyone at college
that was taking classes just for the learning experience.Instead, it was
to further their career goals. If they were lucky, it wasin a field they
loved or liked, but more often than not, it was a major inwhich they would
just get a high-paying job when they graduated. Work inorder to play.
Reading hundreds of pages a week, if they kept up. Conversationover meals
was of the latest test failed or passed, homeworks doneor behind in,
professor's antics. Sometimes the whole thing got to me.The drive to get
A's, the complaints about failures, the cramming, theworrying about grades.
Once in a while, I would look around and think it was all ridiculous.Look
how far we had come, Western civilization, poor studentsgoing insane to
guarantee themselves a good living. Maybe as good as theirparents. It was
all crazy. But it didn't matter now. I really couldn't thinkof the
university here. It was too strange...
I looked down suddenly as I felt someone grab my leg in a sweatysticky
grasp. Into the face of a tiny child, who looked up at me,his eyes huge.
He swayed on his short stubby legs, and dug his nails intomy skin. I
grimaced, and bent down. Prying off his fingers, I gentlysat him down
on the ground and stared sternly at him. He looked bewildered...I stuck
my tongue out then smiled. I could tell he was thinking Iwas insane.
I was beginning to think I was too. Playing with a baby, ina village in
what I thought was the tropical forest surrounding theAmazon, captured
by a people who I didn't understand. I had no idea if I wouldsurvive
the night and here I was, smiling at a kid sitting in the dirt.As I
came out of my own thoughts, I noticed the women were smilingat me.
Behind them, a few men grinned too, laughing and stickingtheir tongues
out at each other. They thought it was hilarious, all ofthem. I don't think
I had ever been so relieved in my life. Or tired and hungry.I sat down on
a log behind me, and put my head in my arms. I didn't care ifthey got
upset, I was too sore and irritable to care.
I felt someone grabbing my arms. Yes, so I had been wrong.Here I went to
get perforated, baked, and chopped up. Oh well, at leastI'd get to sleep
after it all. I opened my eyes, to see two women smiling atme, trying to
get me to stand up. I reluctantly got up and let them walkme towards a
hut on the other side of the fire pit. Yep, food processortime. But why
were they smiling?
We came to the entrance of the thatched shelter, and theybent down a little
to avoid hitting their heads. Ducking my head, I followedthem in. Once
inside, I looked around. It was almost totally dark insideso it took a
few seconds for my eyes to get used to the light. As the lightgot brighter,
I noticed there were hammocks hanging limply from the polesthat held up
the roof, swaying a little in the breeze from the door. Theywere made of
net, the strands woven from some kind of plants. Beyondthe hammocks, which
I was tempted to get into, the floor was simply dirt, packeddown hard from
the feet that had passed over it. There was a rack on the wall,near the
door, holding up herbs that dried out of reach of rain. Otherthan a few
wooden containers that lay along the base of the wall, therewasn't much
else. I looked around for my guardians. They were sittingon some grass
mats, over on the other side. As I looked at them, I noticedthey were
very self-absorbed, talking to each other excitedly.I thought of running,
but was unsure. I turned back to look at the door, when I heardone of
them raise her voice. Startled, I jumped, to see her onlygesturing for me
to come to her. Well, if I was wanted dead, they wouldn'thave left
me to them. Or let me walk around freely. Gradually it dawnedon me that
I would be left to live, and that they didn't mean to hurtme. What then?
As I approached, they rose to their feet. Nervously I noticedthey were
looking intently at my clothes. Now what? Next to them,I suddenly realized
what was going to happen, and turned around, to run out.No way, I was not
going to get stripped. I couldn't see myself wearing justa few leaves.
Despite my protesting and thrashing around, in the matterof a minute, I was
naked, trying to cover myself from the sight of the othersthat had gathered
at the door, curious to see what all the yelling was about.I blushed,
embarassed and pissed off. I bent down, pushing my way tomy clothes that
had been trampled on the floor. One of the women laughedand grabbed me,
the other grabbed the clothes and run outside with them.This was not turning
out well.
"Arrrrrrgh!" I yelled, and stamped my foot in sheer frustration.I swore
and stomped to the door, trying to ignore the giggles andeyes. I looked
out, and saw the woman who had taken my shorts and bra tossthem casually
into the coals. Within seconds, smoke rose up and I smelledthe end of my
modesty. Great, modern bra burning (Well, I suppose theywere pretty close
to hippies, minus the Birkenstocks). I went and sat downin a hammock,
carefully keeping my eyes on the floor. Pretty soon, I stoppedhearing
whispering and looked up to see I was alone.
Alone. I leaned back into the hammock, stretching out.I no longer
thought of escape. The forest was undoubtedly more dangerousthan these
people were. Even though they burned my bra... I laughedto myself. As I
looked up at the underside of the thatch, and the tiny chinksin it that
let topt6opin the diffused sunlight, I felt my thoughts slowingdown, and my
eyes closing. Small sounds from outside filtered intomy consciousness,
but I ignored them and soon was in a deep sleep. No dreamsduring this
one, I slept like the dead.
And as long I realized. Opening my eyes, I sat up, sure I'dheard my alarm
go off. It had! I sat in my bed, in my dorm room, with my quilttossed
around me, dressed in my nightshirt. I rubbed my eyes, notsure this was
real. The alarm was still buzzing. I turned the clock around,watching the
dial turning smoothly, unwinding. I pushed in the alarm,shutting it off.
It was Sunday, I must have set it last night for some stupidreason. Oh
well, I had enough time to go back to sleep. Nothing due Monday,so why get
up early. I pulled the comforter back up, and settled myhead into the
pillow. What had I been dreaming? Damn, I couldn't remember!Before long, I
fell back into that grey area where you weren't quite asleep,then nothing.
Just before I went out, for some reason I felt like the bedwas falling
out from under me, dropping out and down, swirling awayinto nothingness,
total blackness broken only by the flashes of color fromdreams.
I rolled over, feeling the net of the hammock come unstuckfrom my bare
skin. I reached down, rubbing the place where I had a copyof the
pattern impressed, bright red. Closing my eyes again,I realized it was
hopeless. I was up. I sighed, and sat up. Swinging my feetaround, I
jumped to the floor. Outside the door, twilight was falling.I must have
slept forever... Going to the door, I saw people sittingaround the
flames, their faces painted a flickering orange. The skyhad turned a deep
blue, except for the bottom towards the earth, which wasstill a fading red
and orange from the setting sun. Far above my head, a fewof the brightest
stars had come out. Venus, cold blue white, stared downfrom her throne. I
smelled meat and something else cooking, as the wind blewthe smoke towards
me standing in the doorway.
At the twisting and growling of my stomach, I felt myselfgoing up to the
foot of the fire. I sat down next to a man who was busily eatingthe meat
off a large bone, ripping off bits with his teeth. It smelleddelicious.
Even the grease on his hands looked appetizing. He lookedup, noticing I
was blankly staring at the meat he held in his hands. Keepingmy eye, he
turned around, and pointed towards the other side of thefire. I followed
his finger, to see where some indeterminate animal wasroasting, suspended
over the fire on a green wood frame. People had gatheredaround it, and
one at a time reached to it, taking what they wanted. I nodded,smiling,
and got up. Before long, I had eaten enough so that the merethought of
food made my eyes cross. I went and sat under a tree at theedge of the
clearing, to let my stomach relax. Now I remembered howI felt when I left
my grandmother's every Thanksgiving. I vaguely wonderedwhat that had been
that I had eagerly eaten. Maybe it was better not to knowuntil later.
I lay at the tree's base, watching mothers play with children,children
lightly fighting with each other, and men doing the male-bondingthing,
comparing spears and telling stories. As time passed,more and more of
the crowd gathered around the men telling stories, sittingwith their arms
crossed over their knees, staring intently at the teller.He gestured
wildly, waving his hands around, and making extraordinaryfaces. Curious,
I got up and sat next to some children to listen. True, I couldn't
understand the language but it was fun to watch anyway.I could tell what
was supposed to be the scary bits, and the funny parts, andhad the correct
reactions. The night got darker, the sun totally disappearing.The stars
brightened, and the fire got hotter as people threw morewood on it. The
smoke kept away the mosquitoes quite well, I was happy todiscover. The
stories ended, and some people drifted off towards thehuts, fuzzy shapes
off in the darkness.
Others got up and sat around another figure, who bent overa bowl he held
in his lap. I rose and went to go see what was going on. Betweenhis legs,
he held a long hollow reed, like a smaller version of a blowgun. He was
grinding up something, and mixing it with a powder he pouredinto the bowl
from a gourd by his feet. I leaned over the shoulder of a manin front of me.
The powder was a faint odd shade of green, bits of it weremoist, making
little balls that the man crushed out, grinding them againstthe side of
the container. Listening to people talk around me, theirvoices sounded
hushed, excited. I was becoming more and more curious toknow what it was.
Was he going to perform a ritual? A religious ceremony?All of these and
other anthropology catechisms occurred to me, but noneof them seemed right.
I had no idea what he was doing. I guess I'd just have to waitand see.
People had sat down to wait. I did the same. He reached downand put the
bowl near the coals, to get it warm and dry it... Then he retrieveda
small round container that had been next to the gourd byhis feet. The
women in the group moved back to let the men forward, whocrowded closer
to him, and knelt. This was getting more bizarre but it wasdefinitely
educational. He pulled off the lid and dipped his fingersinto the small
globe. They came out covered with what looked like a thickwhite paint.
Which is exactly what it was. He smeared it onto the facesof the men, and
their bodies, in intricate patterns. When he was done,the men had been
transformed from ordinary to supernatural looking beings,the firelight
giving their eyes an eerie glint, and their muscles a higherdefinition.
One near me had swirls coming down over his biceps, turninginto bold
stripes that ended at his fingertips, and bars wideningand narrowing up
and down his legs. His hair was pulled back to reveal highcheekbones,
and a wide sensual mouth. I realized I was staring ratherblatantly at
him when he turned and returned my look. As he looked me over,I remembered
one important fact that had escaped my mind hanging outwith 99% naked
people. I myself was absolutely naked, sitting there withmy arms around
my knees. When our eyes met, I wasn't sure what to do, I feltboth
ashamed and aroused. Looking away seemed the best choice.I felt someone
poke me from behind. It was the woman who had burned my clothes.She
had a conspiratorial look in her eyes, and she winked. Icouldn't believe
I had seen that. Must have been a trick of the light. I turnedaround,
The powder had dried. I watched the older man pull it up andstir it
experimentally with his finger, and made a sound of sastifaction.It
had some kind of mildly oily nature that made it leave a residue,but
I saw some of it get caught in the breeze and mix with the dirtbeneath
his feet. The men were silent but the women chattered happily.Dessert?
An aphrodesiac? A hallacinogen? More questions but noanswers yet...
The elder got up, and taking a bit of the powder between histhumb and
forefinger, inserted it into the opening of the reed. Theman closest to
him raised his head, proudly jutting his chin out. I watchedas the older
man put the end of the reed to one of his nostrils, and takinga deep breath,
expelled it hard. The painted man fell back, landing awkwardly.Two near
him took him in their arms, as he started to jerkily convulse.This lasted
about a minute, then he stood, and began to dance, wildly.He circled the
fire, his eyes crazed. Whatever that powder was, it waspowerful. And
frightening. The women were quiet now, watching as oneafter the other took
it. I sat at the end, when the last man took it. He came to menext. He
looked at me quizically, lifting one eyebrow, and the reedin his hand.
I turned around to see what the women were going to do. Theyshook their
heads at my questioning face. I turned back, looking beyondthe reed to
the men who stamped and twisted, illuminated by the fire'slight. They
didn't look real. None of this did. Maybe it was all a dream.So, if it
was, might as well do the impossible in it.
I raised my head, and looked into his eyes. I'm not afraid,I said, even
though I knew he couldn't understand my words. Part of meshrank back as
he put the drug near me but physically I hardened myselffor it. The
reed was smooth, cold. I felt him move slightly as he tooka deep breath,
then felt the warmth of his breath in my lungs, then an explosion.I tasted
something strange and coppery on my tongue, but didn'tcomprehend it.
My body was out of control, I felt my limbs moving spasmodically,dimly aware
of arms on me. I felt like my mind had been ripped out of mybody...and
saw the forest in front of me suddenly. It was different,dark. The trees
flashed past me as I ran, leaping over fallen branches.My muscles seemed
like liquid power, the sheer act of moving was incrediblypleasurable. My
breath came to me easily, rhythmatically. But the way Imoved, the feelings,
were different. I looked down at myself, and saw paws. Blackas space, the
moonlight shining off the curve up into the leg, into thebunched muscle.
Panther. Chasing its prey, which ran in front of me, wildlycrashing along.
I could smell the fear coming from it. It was acrid, brightwhite. It saw
its death and ran. I had been only pursuing before, but nowI hunted. A
massive gathering and leap, over the stick-like legs jerking,to a throat
betrayed by a fragile jugular fluttering underneath.A scream resounded in
my ears but I ignored it as it gradually faded to an imaginaryecho. The
blood, red, hot, bitter flowed into me and I was sastified.
Somewhere far beneath me, my body rose and began to dance,gesturing to the
fire, bending to its primal heat. I saw the flickering colorsin it, and
was fascinated by the waves of blue and pure white that movedinside the red.
The coals, half buried in grey dry ash, looked like magicalstones, the
heat moving across their surface like unearthly water.I danced for them,
until I fell to my knees in exhaustion. My body had betrayedme but the earth
still accepted me. I curled up into a fetal position, breathingin gasps.
Someone touched me and I found myself rising into a leap,bound to run. I
looked into the face of the painted man, who had been thefirst to take the
powder. I didn't recognize him, but at his touch, I trembled.His eyes
darkened, and he reached out again. His hand brushed overmy shoulder, almost
absentmindedly. His pretended distraction was a lie,I could see his tension
reflected in his mouth and body. At his touch to my lips,I froze.
His hand came away red, shiny in the dying light of the coals.I realized the
blood in my mouth had been my own, biting my tongue.
It wasn't bad. I turned and spat into the flames, hearingthe hiss, and
wiped my mouth on my hand. What did he want? His fingers onmy lips had felt
electrifying... I reached up, gingerly feeling my tongue.He mirrored my
actions, putting his finger between his lips and tastingmy blood. I watched
this, mesmerized.
He licked his lips, slowly. I never thought that gesturecould be extremely
erotic until now. I could see his lips were tinged red still...I felt
myself moving closer to him, then tasting his mouth. Heput his arms around
me, pulling me closer and down. Running my hands up his arms,I felt the
hardness of the muscles under the smooth skin. The driedpaint was slightly
rough. I felt it against the back of my neck. I raised myselfa bit, enough
to kiss him, arms running down his body. There is a strangething when you
kiss someone, someone who is good at it that is. You loseyourself in it,
sometimes even more than during the start of sex. Your eyesclose. It's pitch
dark. You wait, anticipating the first touch of lips againstyours. They are
soft, warm, moist. The wetness tastes cool, like a streamon a blisteringly
hot summer day. You drink it and drink it and you never getenough. You press
your body against his, opening your mouth to him. More morebut you can't get
close enough. There is only one way to be sastified... Ifelt him caress my
breast. The nipple was hard, so I felt every nuace of hisfingertip. It
slowly circled, then he lightly pinched the tip. I groaned,feeling it like
a hot bruise between my legs.
I could feel him, hard, pressing against me. Urgent purpose,so serious.
This was truly something to be serious about, the searchfor pleasure. It
was a release from the everyday pains of life, taking youout of yourself
more than any drug could. For some reason, maybe it was thepowder, but
my skin seemed to be more sensitive than normal, and themost bizarre
thoughts kept occurring to me. As his hair, now released,dragged over my
breasts, I felt it like a broom, made of the softest bristles.His mouth
took in a nipple, sucking on it, flicking his tongue overit, lightly
biting. Ah... I moaned, stretching my body out. The dirtwas cold, rough
against my back, making his skin seem more silkily warm.He had removed
his cloth. I closed my hand around him, surprised at theheat. The skin was
as soft as the inside of a lip. At the same time I touched him,he ran a
finger into me, his thumb going between the lips, to thetop. The combined
feel of his teeth on my nipple, and his hand touching me mademe inhale
sharply. He found the wetness in me, drawing it out, caressing.His hand
began to move faster, freed by the slickness. I felt open,very warm. My
legs felt sluggish, but my heart was beating fast. The pulseat my neck
attracted his attention, as he bent to it and bit lightly.
My hips rose to him uncontrollably, moving in time to hisdemands. I gasped
in time to the too brief movements of his thumb over my clitoris...But
suddenly it became exactly right. I anticipated each strokein my mind,
feeling it building up. The fragile link to the climax grewstronger, and I
knew it was inevitable. Just as I arched to him, he movedfrom above me to
between my legs, pulling his hand away. The fever of my movementsslowed,
and I despaired at the lose of what had been so close. He surprisedme
by sliding his legs between mine, spreading my legs apartand moving up and
into me. His fullness made me realize how empty I had beenbefore, not
knowing. He slipped in deeper, going exquisitely slow...Moving
through the tightness. I ran my hands up his back, restingthem on his
shoulderblades, and raised my legs so that my feet cameto his calves.
Feeling his muscles bunch beneath my hands, and his hipsbegin to move
against mine, I was silent. Only our breathing broke thequiet of the night
beside the whispering coals, falling in on themselves.As the wind moved
the ashes, and blew the coals into a temporary gloriousbrightness, we made
love. Connected to him, I imagined our blood flowing together.Back
and forth from him to me, as he slid in and out again and again.I ran my
hand under his soft hair, letting it run over my hand likewater, turning
to kiss his mouth again. He raised his head from againstmy neck, stroking
my hair, and returning the kiss. As we moved against eachother, I felt
his breath in my mouth. Warm and sweet. I breathed it in,and felt his
lips moving away as he raised himselves up onto his armsand looked down
at me.
Above his head, the waning moon looked down voyeuristically.His eyes were
black, shining only in the silvery blue light that felldown onto the
clearing. I lifted my hands to touch his chest, runningmy fingers over
his nipples. Dark brown circles on a field with a copperysheen, moistened
by his sweat. I stroked them, watching his eyes half close.His breathing
was deepening. His hair, long black sheafs, slid over hisshoulders as
he bent forward and back. The moon's glowing whitenessshone down... I looked
up at it, beyond him. His movements kept me there only. Theorgasm was
very close, but I continued to stare at the sterile silverlakes and
mountains so many miles away. I drew in a deep breath, feelingthe heat
opening me up again, losing my mind for that brief moment.His cry was
sharp... I heard it, deaf to my own.
Winding down, he leaned down to me, whispering somethingI couldn't know,
and kissing me gently. I closed my eyes, feeling my heartmove in time
with his, as he pressed against my chest. It was all driftingoff again,
falling away, to blackness. Soft fields of nothingness,that reached out
to me.
I opened my eyes. I was looking up at a bare white ceiling,broken by the
fixture of the plainly functional flouresecent the Universityhad
installed. It was over, and I remembered. Gathering upthe energy, I sat up.
The sun was rising outside, over the bare trees of Sylvan.The leaves had
drifted down, littering the ground with peels of orange,rust, and red. The
sky was covered by heavy sullen-looking fall clouds. Ifelt a wetness in my
eyes that beaded into a tear that fell from my cheek to thecomforter.
I looked down to watch it land, soaking slowly into the comforter.As
my eyes moved over the comforter, I felt my lips turn up intoa smile.
On the comforter's cotton surface lay a single leaf, sucha bright green
it looked like an emerald jewel in that dull dorm room. Pickingit up,
I put it on the bedside table, and got up for the shower. Anotherday,
another class....
----The End----

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