Goldilocks and the Three Lumberjacks
1/ Strolling through the woods
Corey was a fine young man. He enjoyed life as it came. He had many friends in the village and people always seemed to cheer up when he showed up. He was not aware his looks helped him to get by in life. He had deep blue eyes, rosy cheeks, and cute dimples when he smiled. This is why he charmed all those he met. He was quite proud of his mane of blond hair that had gotten him a peculiar nickname down in the village - Goldilocks.
Corey loved the outdoors. Living on the edge of the forest allowed him to observe animals in the wild, pick all sorts of berries, or enjoythe thousand smells that the forest had to offer. He never got bored or tired of all the gifts from Mother Nature. Picking flowers or trapping rabbits or small birds was always pleasant. He felt like he was the Prince of theForest.
One glorious summer morning, Corey went for a walk in the woods. He followed the stream to a clearing, his leather sandals getting wet with dew. But it soon would be warm and they would dry. Dressed in a brown linen shirt and shorts a soft morning breeze flowed around him gently. At the end of the clearing, he spotted a rabbit.
"Lunch!" he thought. He approached silently, glad that the wind was against him. He was three feet away from his prey when he was spotted. The rabbit leaped away, and hid amidst a thick bramble bush. Corey grabbed a dead branch lying on the ground. He started to beat the bush to scare the animal out.
The rabbit jumped out on the other side and started running. "Great, bunny, great! You wanna race?" And Corey started chasing the rabbit. This was some clever animal, though, which zigzagged through the forest. At one point Corey lost it. He stopped, panting with his hands on his hips. Running through the woods in short shorts caused him to scrape his legs, but this wasn't much of a concern.
Then he saw the bunny rabbit again, leaping merrily away, as if it was taunting Corey by shaking his little white tail. Treading carefully so as not to make noise by cracking a twig, Corey followed the bunny which stopped every once in a while, seeming to wait for him. He was about to catch up with it when the clever woodlander became aware of the human predator behind it and began running again. Corey sprinted forward and dove to catch it, only to end up with just three white hairs between his fingers.
He stood up and brushed the leaves and the earth off his clothes. This time, he had lost the rabbit. But it had been fun and he would have another opportunity. He'd just need to go back to the clearing. There would be others. There was an endless supply of game to hunt in the forest.
He headed back to where he came from. But, after having walked for five minutes, he started to wonder where he was. He knew the woods well, but he did not recognize his whereabouts. He was heading in the right direction, wasn't he? He had not chased the bunny for more than half an hour, had he? He would never get lost anyway, would he?
He stopped. He turned around, trying to pick up a familiar sign that would help him to find his way back. A distant church bell, a tree he knew, some bump in the landscape, there had to be something. He breathed deeply. There was a wood fire on his right. His nose never betrayed him. He followed the scent and soon was rewarded by the sight of a small cottage in another clearing. How could he not know this place? The forest was big but he thought he knew every nook and cranny. He walked to the door and knocked. There was no reply. But the breeze brought a really nice aroma to his nostrils. Food! He took a few more steps and found a window that was slightly ajar. He pushed it and it opened, the hinges grating a bit.
2/ Breaking and entering
He climbed over the ledge and landed inside without a sound. Corey was supple and strong; he could move nimbly. He looked around. No one was in sight. The room occupied all of the first floor, with just a staircase at the back. A large hearth was in front of him, some scarce embers glowing under a large cast iron pot. Three chairs stood in a circle around the fireplace. It was summer, and the fire had only been lit to cook a meal. The fire was almost out.
In the middle of the room, a wide, round oak table took a prominent space. This was where the smell of food came from. Three bowls of soup stood on the table. Smelled good! Peas and bacon soup would be a perfect snack, even though it was to be a warm day. The first bowl was big, but it was way too hot. The second was of a nice size, but it was cold! Corey seized the smallest bowl and swallowed the thick, just warm enough content with delight. He felt quite warm from all the running and from the soup, so he removed his shirt and stood in just his shorts, his broad shoulders and his wiry torso glowing as he stretched.
He then moved closer to the fire.
He wanted to dry his sandals as he did not enjoy having wet feet. He was hot, but his feet felt cold. He first sat on the biggest chair, but it was so high his feet were far away from the embers. He sat in the second chair, but it was too wide and he was not able to lay his forearms on the armrests. He sat in the smallest chair so he'd be just at the right height to get his feet close to the glowing embers. This one was just perfect, as if it was waiting for him. He relaxed as his feet got warm and dry and he enjoyed the feeling. But after a few minutes of reveling in its comfort, the chair snapped under his weight as he lay against its back. "Poor quality stuff!" Corey thought.
He stood up. After the warm soup and hot fire, he felt sleepy, and decided to see if there was somewhere he could take a nap, since the inhabitants did not seem to be coming back. If he took a short nap, he would be in shape to get back to hunting. He climbed the stairs. Once he reached the landing he saw two open doors that led to two different bedrooms. One was messy with a big double bed, the other one was clean and tidy, with a nice quilt pulled over the bed.
Corey chose the clean bed, flipped off his sandals, climbed on it, and laid on his back. "Just a quick nap and then I'm off!" But the fluffy mattress was very comfortable. And it all smelled so nice… He was not fully aware of what the particular scent was, but it sure helped him to doze off and he started a very vivid, sweet dream…
Just as he fell into a deep sleep, the door to the cabin opened. Lewis, Steve and Matt came in. Matt noticed the open window. "Dad," he said to Steve, "someone has come in through here, look!"
Steve and his friend took a look. Indeed, someone had stepped over the ledge with muddy shoes.
Then Lewis scanned the room. He saw the empty soup bowl and the linen shirt bundled carelessly on the table. Steve was now alert for anything out of order. He spotted the broken chair. "Holy cow!" Lewis shouted. "What the…" Steve exclaimed. "Someone broke into the house!" Matt summed up, refraining from cursing for he had been raised to be polite.
Then the three of them heard the wooden floor above their heads creaking. "He's still here." Matt whispered, and the prospect of confronting the burglar brought a smile to his face. Matt had lived for fifteen years in the forest and he was not afraid of anything. He knew how to fight wild boars or build a shelter so he could stay overnight in the woods in any kind of weather.
The two men and the boy climbed upstairs, holding various weapons to fend off the intruder's potential blows. Matt held the chair's broken leg, whereas Steve brandished an axe and Lewis held on to his cutlass. Once on the landing, they all stopped short in front of the dangerous intruder. Now lying on his belly, with a contented grin on his turned face, the almost naked Corey was quite a sight. Steve and Lewis looked at each other and they smiled also.
The cause for this mirth was Matt gaping at the boy occupying his bed. They knew the look on his face. Well, they had never seen such a look on his face before, but they had a pretty good idea what this meant. Matt liked what he saw. And they could not deny their son had good taste. This burglar displayed five feet ten inches of teenage perfection.
Long golden legs with fine downy hairs that caught the sunlight perfectly, a pert little butt inside tight brown shorts, a slim muscular upper body with broad shoulders and silky hair flowing down his neck, and a face that looked really sweet from where they stood: they were not surprised Matt took a few steps to get closer to the sleeping boy. Lewis leaned towards Steve's ear. "Are we both thinking the same thing?"
Steve looked at his man's eyes and flashed his teeth as he beamed. "Oh, yes, my love, you bet I am!"
They waited until Matt's gaze left the boy and he looked at his father and his man with a questioning look. "Come over here," Steve replied with a whisper to the unspoken question. The three of them kept their voices low as they plotted what had to be done to turn these three wrongs into a right. It only took a few minutes.
"Yes, son, you must do what has to be done when one catches a thief! Capture him! He's all yours!" Steve concluded with a wink. Lewis had gone into their room and now handed Matt several coils of rope. "Now your dad and I will go back to work. Join us as soon as you've explained to this young man how things work around here."
They tiptoed down the stairs and out of the cottage.
Matt did not want to disappoint his dad and Lewis. He had always pleased them; and once again they had entrusted him with a mission he had to complete. Matt turned back to the sleeping form sprawled across his bed. Even though he only saw half of his face, it was a fully beautiful one. But then it belonged to someone who had trespassed, plundered and vandalized. He had to make his parents proud. They had taught him how to struggle and not let anybody take advantage of him, and this lad would be no exception. He just hoped that… Well. He would think about it later. Time to act.
He took great care in not waking up the trespasser as he looped a first coil of rope around the boy's ankles. Stealth and sleight-of-hand were qualities he had developed to catch game. The blond guy was lightly snoring now and still displayed the same merry smile. What could he be dreaming about? Matt couldn't help but grin. It seemed there was no danger anymore. Still he had to remain cautious. His nimble fingers worked skillfully, and he was done wrapping both his wrists in white cotton rope when the boy stirred a little. He was waking up.
Corey fully regained his senses as he felt the weight of a body jumping on him. Someone was sitting on his butt and he felt his wrists were pulled to the small of his back. Something tightened around them and he could not move them anymore. He wriggled but this person was straddling him. With feet pressing on his thighs and knees tightening along his flanks, his bucking and kicking did not lead him anywhere. Especially with tightly roped ankles. "Hey, let me go!" he said as he turned his head around, trying to see who was thus attacking him. He couldn't see very well. It was a boy, and not a very big one, but a fast and skilled one, for now his elbows were roped.
Matt jumped down from the bed. He turned Corey around and grabbed his shoulders to lift him to sit on the edge of the mattress. He stood in front of his prisoner and crossed his arms across his chest. Corey was astounded and gaped at his captor. For five seconds they looked at each other in silence. It seemed much longer than that to Corey as he thought he now knew what the pleasant aroma was when he had dozed off. It was the scent of this kid!
As for Matt, he was taking in the flawless looks of the stranger stranded inside his bedroom. So the prophecy was turning out to be right… He kept a stern and concerned face while he felt overwhelmed with joy inside. He would act tough for he had to make sure the prophecy would be fulfilled. He eventually broke the silence. "What's your name, Blondie?"
Corey came back to reality. "Uh… Corey. And I wasn't nicknamed Blondie, but Goldilocks."
Matt chuckled. "I'll stick to Corey, then. My name's Matt, by the way. Don't interrupt now, I've got a few things to explain and not much time." "Yes." Corey twitched nervously.
"You broke into our house and vandalized it. My dad and his man were none too happy about it." "I didn't break in! The window was open!" "Do NOT interrupt, please! You ate my lunch, broke my chair and came to soil my bed."
"Hey! I took off my sandals!" "OK, if you won't let me finish…"
He stepped forward and crammed a cloth ballinside the mouth of a startled Corey, and knotted a scarf behind his neck so he could not spit it out.
"Let me continue, now. There are no police around, so we're going to get even on our own terms. Hey, don't look frightened, we're not going to hurt you!" Matt reassured the boy whose wide open eyes looked scared. If he had telepathic powers, he'd have known it was not fear that shone through Corey's eyes, but fascination. "You are to work for us over the next three days. This includes helping with woodcutting and doing work around the cottage like feeding animals, gardening, cleaning… Do you understand and do you agree?"
Corey nodded. He marveled at the boy in front of him, with his hands on his hips, his stocky build, his round face, his cheeky smile, his big brown eyes, his long eyelashes and his long brown hair… Corey wondered if he had not dreamed about such round softness before. Now the boy was kneeling in front of him and untying his ankles. His smell triggered some very strange thoughts in Corey's head. "It seems you don’t mind being tied up," Matt commented as he stood up again. Corey blushed lightly as his captor's eyes had lingered on his crotch for a few seconds, and he realized the effect the weird thoughts had on him. He was glad the gag exempted him from replying.
"Come! Dad and Lewis are waiting for us!"
Corey followed his guest down the stairs and then out of the cottage. As he walked behind, he noticed the view he had from the back was as nice as the one he had had from the front. A few hundred feet from them Steve and Lewis were busy hacking up a tree trunk. "Hey Matt, I see you managed to deal with the burglar!" "Good job, son! You told him what was in store for trespassers around these parts?" "Yup, and he agreed."
Corey looked at the two men, nodding so he would give his assent to them, too. It was obvious who Matt's father was. Except for his eyes that were a lighter hue of brown, and a slightly receding hairline, he looked a lot like his son. The other man was slightly taller and had jet black hair and wide black eyes that looked both amused and inquisitive. He smiled.
4/ … and punishment?
"You should untie him so he can get to work then!"
A few seconds later, Corey was free from the bonds and gag and ready to get to work. He had to carry logs, fetch water, hoe the small field, feed the hens and the sheep… What would have been an exhausting, grueling job the day before was just plain bliss because he never was more than a few feet away from Matt. Corey had never felt that way before in the sixteen years he had spent on Earth. Had a spell been cast on him? As the sun was beginning to wane the workday was over. Matt was told to walk Corey back home.
They chatted about the tasks they had performed and what they would have to do the next day. Matt pointed out the important landmarks for Corey to spot so he could find his way back to the cottage; the twisted oak or the maple tree with the fork. They reached the clearing that was familiar to Corey and they parted. As he walked back home, Matt thought about this very odd day. It felt so strange to be side by side with someone he knew was meant for him. He felt a pang of anguish as he realized he was now on his own. That morning he did not know Corey, but now that they had parted, it was as if something had been torn from him. "So, Matt, do you think the day has come?" "Yes, Lewis. He's the person the prophecy was about. I can't wait until tomorrow to see him again." "Don't get too carried away, son. We'll have to see if he even comes back."
They finished putting away the tools so they would be protected from thedew, and did the usual evening routine: dinner and a little singing outside until the darkness was complete.
This night, a league away from each other, two boys had very sweet dreams.
The next morning, as Matt went outside the cottage, he found Corey already toiling. He smiled and went to help him with the hens, which were pecking his sandaled feet.
"They seem to like you already!" "Have them stop! It hurts!" They both laughed as Matt shooed the birds away.
A voice called them from behind. "Boys, do you know what you've got to do? Steve and I are going into the forest to hack down a couple trees, so you guys take care of what has to be done, OK?" "Yes, dad, we will."
The two lumberjacks left, anaxe on each of their shoulders and the long saw between them. The morning flew by, busy and fruitful.
When Steve and Lewis came back, they discovered Corey tightly hogtied on the lawn in front of the cottage, with Matt taunting him verbally as he tickled him senseless. The men pretended they did not notice the arousal the kids' game produced. "Hey! Don't you guys have chores to do?" "We've been done for two hours, Lewis! And then Corey challenged me to restrain him, saying he'd escape my flimsy knots, and that yesterday he just didn't try to get out!" "Did he really? Well then, jobs we gave you should be completed to perfection if you can find time to fool around!"
Corey only grunted through his gag to explain that they had done what they were expected to.
Steve went to check on the hen house, the field, the pasture and the tool shed. Everything was spotless. When he came back, it was Matt who was helpless and being tickled. He let them play a little longer.
Corey stayed for dinner this time. The conversation only dealt with life in the forest and was rife with lumberjack stories. These three woodcutters knew tons more than Corey. He who thought he was the Prince of the Forest! If that were true, then these men were the King, the Emperor, and… his Sovereign. It was time for him to head home, much too soon. Matt walked him to the clearing. Matt longed to tell Corey more, to give voice to the feelings that were stirring inside him. But he knew better and did not want to spoil anything. They shook hands and wished each other good night.
The third day was busier. All four of them had to go into the forest to finish the job Steve and Lewis had started the day before. They were done by mid-afternoon and headed back to the cottage. They then busied themselves with the sheep and the hens until it was time for dinner. Corey broke the uneasy silence that had settled once everyone's plate had been filled. "So I'm done with my punishment?" "I guess you are, Corey." Lewis gently replied. "Does that mean you won't need me again?" He turned to Steve. "Why, did you like having to pay off your trespassing by working here?" "Sure, it was very nice to learn how to cut wood, how to feed the chickens and how to collect sheep manure!"
The three smiling faces told Corey there was something more to their merry mugs than the mere silliness of his latest statement.
"Should I tell him, dad?" "Go ahead, Matt. He will have a choice to make, so don't leave him hanging."
Matt turned to Corey. "When I was born, a fairy cameover my cradle and told my parents that in the summer of my fifteenth year, someone special would come. Someone with long blond hair who would bring me good fortune and happiness. And… I think it's you." "Uh… I'm glad you think I'm special." Corey blushed and looked down at his bowl of soup. "The fairy said that if this person came three mornings in a row, it would be the one. So, we forced you a bit but I thought you were this special person the moment I saw you." "You mean you didn't really punish me?"
Lewis was quite entertained. "If we'd thought you were an actual trespasser, you'd have gotten a sound thrashing to make sure we would never see you again, my lad!" "Oh!" As Corey was quite puzzled, Matt explained further. "The fairy also said that on the evening of the third day, this someone would tell me something." "Tell you what?" "I don't know. This wasn't part of the prophecy. Let's eat now."
The rest of the meal took place in silence. Corey wondered what he was to tell. There was something he wanted to say to Matt, but… Could it be what the lumberjack boy expected? Two hours later, Matt and Corey reached the clearing. Only the faint glow of dusk lighted it, giving trees and ferns the same gray look. Corey had required that Matt be tied up.
"I don't want you to run away when I tell you what I have to say to you…" he had impishly said.
Matt was only too happy to have someone to play with so he had complied. And having his hands tied behind his back and his arms restrained wouldn't have prevented him from running away anyway. But he had no reason to do so.
They stood in the middle of the clearing. Corey grabbed a few hankies from his short’s pocket. "I don't want you to interrupt…" he mockingly said as he gagged Matt thoroughly. "Matt, I've got something to tell you. I want to become a lumberjack. I want to be with you everyday. Even when we don't have work to do. No fairy came over my cradle to tell me someone special with nice brown eyes would be here for me some day. But it seems I knew you before I met you. When I slept on your bed I knew your smell already. I love you. Do you want me to become your man?" "MMmmph!"
As Matt nodded, he hit Corey with his forehead. They both laughed, though Matt's laughs were seriously muffled. Corey came closer to Matt and grabbed the knot at the back of his neck. He removed the cloth that silenced him, only to replace it with his lips. Matt's tongue came forward, and they engaged in a passionate kiss. Corey soon ran his hands all over Matt's back, removing the restraints one at a time until they embraced and rolled in the grass and ferns,hands free to caress each other, a myriad of stars inside and above their heads.
and in the dedicated thread...