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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 
This tale owes a debt of thanks to Shirly Jackson’s 1948 short story called The Lottery.  It is well worth the time to check out.

La Tombola - 8. Chapter 8

Consider, once more, the universal cannibalism of the sea; all whose creatures prey upon each other, carrying on eternal war since the world began.
H. Melville...Moby Dick

 

Ned Boone 6

Thery, along with Tom and Billy were waiting for Ned when he walked up to the general store. “Looks like you lost something or should I say someone Ned,” cackled Tom, much to Billy’s delight.

“Were we ever that young,” Ned asked exhaling a long sigh. “Evan saw something going on between Thad and his cousin Linda, his first cousin mind you, and the wrong part of him got to thinking bad thoughts and wrong impressions!”

Laughing, Billy poked a bit of fun at Tom, “Weren’t so long ago as I recall that Tom over here had some bad thoughts and wrong impressions when he caught the Miller boy sneaking round back of his house. What do you think woulda happened if he didn’t have the ring in his pocket?”

Ruefully shaking his head, Tom replied, “So true, I was sure he was looking to climb into a window, turns out he was waiting for me to walk over to open up the store. He wanted to ask my permission to marry my daughter…thank goodness I didn’t react so quickly, leastwise we wouldn’t’ have Evan!”

“Ah, is it ever so, that our young will find ways to test our patience, finding new ways to out think and outsmart us.” Added Thery sagely. “Now Ned, I understand you have concerns, let us talk about this and see if we can reach an understanding.”

~~~

It took a moment but Evan finally remembered the word that describe how he was feeling walking towards the swimming hole, chagrinned, a bit put out with himself for jumping to conclusions. He’d been such a fool; Thad must really think that he was an idiot.

Knowing he needed to swallow his pride, a dozen excuses for his behavior failed miserably as he silently said them to himself. Regrettably he said just a few, not many, words of anger. That’s what hurt the most, it wasn’t like him, he wasn’t that kind of person. If pushed, there was no exact definition that could describe what impact Thad Boone had on him. The boy simply drove him crazy; it was what kept him up at night, that face when he pleasured himself. Thad was his reason for getting up in the morning, simply the very idea, chance that he would see him at the school house. Share a few words between lessons and when not at school or doing chores, finding mischief to explore.

They had known each other for ages it seemed. It wasn’t until the end of the last school year that their friendship developed into something more. There was the end of the school year party up at Thad’s. Several of their classmates were there, all enjoying the food and the games. It was after their mid-day meal that a bunch of them wandered down to the swimming hole. The lack of bathing suits wasn’t an issue, neither was nudity uncommon among his agemates. He had grown up knowing what boys and girls looked like and they him.

He and Thad had grown up the closest of friends in a slightly larger circle of friends including Levi Dunbar, Seth Miller and John Begins. There wasn’t any explaining the closeness of their friendship, it just was and tacitly understood among their other friends.

The party celebrating the end of the school year had become an annual event, left unsaid was that next years would be just before the lottery would be conducted and they all would be standing for the first time.

He knew when his feelings for Thad changed, he could pinpoint it to that day of the party, that very afternoon when he along with Thad and the gang had wandered down to the swimming hole. While they were shucking their clothes to go swimming, Thad had been looking at him with an intensity, a seriousness that was uncomfortable, that is until the kiss.

One minute he was stepping out of his shorts, wondering what was Thad up to and the next, wrapped up in Thad’s arms, realizing his lips were betraying him. It was the final connection in his deep friendship with Thad. Despite being the best of friends, it was as if there was an invisible barrier between them and in a moment’s time, it was no longer.

~

The swimming hole was quiet, most likely a good thing Evan thought. It would give him a few more moments to sort out his feelings. Lost in thought as he sat on a bench, he nearly didn’t hear Thad coming up behind him and it proved to be all too much for Evan, struggling with the powerful emotions leaving him feeling morose. “You must not think much of me, the way I acted the other day,” the comment directed more towards the ground, afraid to look up to see what he knew would hurt him the most, the look of rejection on Thad’s face. “I’m…so…frigging…sorry.” Evan choked out, wringing his hands in a futile gesture to stop the tears. “I can’t take back what I said, it hurts so much to think you must hate me now.” Abjectly looking up over the pond, “I’ll be leaving, I don’t want to spoil the rest of your day, I just…needed…to say how sorry I am.”

Evan was shocked when Thad straddled the bench beside him, stunned when he felt those hands gently turn his face towards his. His thumbs wiping the remnants of those tears away, tenderly caressing the damp cheeks. “I don’t hate you, you silly twit, you took off so fast I couldn’t explain what you saw.”

Looking up into those eyes that so mesmerized him, the eyes that had captivated his heart, Evan struggled to find the words he wanted, needed to say when the very thought of speaking, was the last thing he could think about. Now, the most pressing matter he had to deal with, was a tongue seeking to find its mate.

Taking a needed break for air, Thad knew he had to reassure Evan that all was forgiven, “I saw you coming up to the house, Gramps asked me to stay back, we had a long conversation the other day, and he helped me sort out my feelings and understand why you were so angry. He told me he’d speak to you and send you back, sorry I wasn’t here before you.”

With a glint of naughtiness in his eyes, Thad guided Evan to lay flat on the bench they were sitting on, his fingers tracing the contours of Evan’s side, coming together in an exquisite dance just above and around his rigidity. He shuddered slightly when he felt the cool fingers lever him vertically, coax and uncover the prize he sought. The warm breath he had felt was soon replaced by a warm, wet feeling. He felt the other hand lift the orbs just below, tugging at the taught pouch discerning and defining the center of his being. His hips soon matched Thad’s ministrations, bringing forth a keening cry as he expended his uniqueness in a euphoric fog.

Soft words and loving kisses helped bring Evan back to the land of the living, recovered he had Thad sit on the bench as he spread the knees apart. Dropping between his legs. Evan could smell the heat of Thad’s passion, his musky odor inflaming his senses. Thad was the spitting image of his grandfather at the same age, an appendage appreciable in length and moderate girth, Evan had wondered how it would ever fit when the time came for Thad to lay inside him. Looking at it now, he needed to finish what he had just started, he’d have to come back to that idea later in a discussion sometime soon. He knew Thad was close, his breathing had changed, the soft mews were becoming strident moans of pleasure. A tempo had been reached between them, when Thad’s hips thrust forward, charging Evan with the receipt of his essence.

~~~

It was a fruitful meeting with Thery, he had learned much. Apparently the Gnos had seen an increase in population as well. Those who had survived the predations of the wayward citizens of New Toledo, had found refuge with Bahet’s clan and prospered. Both Ned and Thery agreed that they should seek out Mithras and seek her guidance. They would leave in three days’ time and hike up to the site of the first settlement. There they would drink the herbal tea, laced with the mushrooms, and strive for an audience with Mithras.

~~~

Supper that night was a pleasing affair, Ned was glad to see the boys had put the issue between them aside and were carrying on as normal. As requested, both met him in his study after the evening meal. There were a few things Ned wished to impart to the boys. Gently admonishing them to think before acting, to talk before confrontation, and never be afraid to show their love for each other. The time was coming for the lottery and he wanted to be proud of each of them. That they stand tall and not show fear at being chosen, if they were not picked but were selected to accompany whoever was chosen, to do their duties faithfully.

Without going into specifics, dealing in the most general of terms, Ned took the time to remind the boys of the sacred obligation that was owed.

It was a painful lesson that Ned knew only too well, for this year it was a stark reminder of his time standing for the lottery, and the duty required of him. He could see the boys were restless, they had listened well and had promised they were ready to take part. Asking both to come forward, Ned gathered them in a hug before sending them on their way.

Ned was worried, not only would Thad stand for the first time at thirteen cycles of the days, so would Billy Dunbar and Tom Harrison’s grandsons Levi and Evan. Included in that mix were John Begins and Seth Miller, who ironically was Peter Miller’s great nephew. The five of them were thick as thieves and no amount of internal dissuasion, could dispel Ned of the unsettled feeling that this year’s lottery would challenge him so.

~~~

Thery along with the elders of his clan, were waiting at the site of the original landing and settlement, when Ned showed up accompanied by Billy and Tom. A quick lunch was enjoyed while the tea was brewing. As an insurance policy, Ned had carefully wrapped and carried the cloth that was so precious to him. Once the tea was ready, a good-sized fire was laid in. One of Thery’s sons would see to it through the communion. The first pail of tea was consumed, a gentle buzzing beginning to form in Ned’s mind. Finishing the second, Ned could sense the interconnection with his fellow travelers. Thery’s gentle chanting leading them along a path towards Mithras. It was while they were on that path that Ned sensed a shared vision, appearing before him, as if the pages of a book were being turned, he could see the faces of all the settlers who fulfilled the obligation to Mithras.

A pang of longing occurred when he saw Peter, sitting as the side of Mithras. Gazing at his face, a feeling of reassurance and contentment filled him, dispelling any sorrow. Over a thousand faces appeared before him, all contentedly resting in the valley and gardens across the great river. The last face to appear was that of James Bishop. The first settler to be in accordance with the obligation Mithras imposed. In all the settlers recorded history, James was the only settler who went to the cliff face knowing the fate that awaited him and did so bravely. They watched as James was led to the ancient rock table, lay upon it, not flinching as the obsidian blade sliced across his neck as he joined with Mithras.

It was James who came forward out of all the faces, extending a hand to Ned and his companions, leading them to Mithras. Standing in front of her, she had heard their concerns, their worries of upsetting the balance. She was pleased that they sought out her council and guidance.

It was time she told them to start a new settlement, across the valley that abutted the ledges. There would be land enough for both the Gnos and the settlers. There they would find water and a place to grow food sufficient for their needs. It was imperative that they leave as soon as preparations could be made. The new clan would find plenty of room to follow the seasons. They will need the assistance of the settlers and the Gnos to establish a foothold. Once moved, they would on that longest day, of the next cycle of days, satisfy their obligations and prosper so.

It was what she said next the shook everyone to their very foundations. “I am aware that your ancestors are reaching out Ned, their probes are not far from here, a full cycle of days not much more. They bring with them danger, not only to you and yours, but to all of us, including your reunion with Peter. I say this not as a threat but as a warning, if they cannot be persuaded to leave us in peace, they could destroy everything.

They are looking for something, if I understand their communications, their language is that of your ancestors and has changed somewhat, the context is different. For some reason, whatever they are looking for is shielded from me. Nevertheless, should someone find or stumble across it, warn them, it is not to be touched or moved unless you are present. I have charged you with many tasks, all of which you have done willingly for me. You service to me is nearly complete for which I thank you. You have much to do between now and the longest day, when these responsibilities are complete, you will be reminded of this vital task.

With her blessing she left them, leaving James Bishop to return them to the present. Slowly, groggily they began to come to. Just before they fully returned to the land of the present, in the ethereal glow of the campfire, Ned and Thery caught a glimpse of James Bishop, the look on his face beseeching as he faded along with the warning from Mithras, from view and memory.

Thanks for reading, your thoughts and comments are greatly appreciated!!
Copyright © 2022 drsawzall; All Rights Reserved.
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Thanks for reading, your comments and thoughts are appreciated. Please take a moment to let me know your impressions.
Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 
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Chapter Comments

On 3/18/2022 at 11:29 AM, Mawgrim said:

A threat arises! I wonder why another ship has been sent out. Maybe they hope to bring more humans to settle there? Let's hope Ned can get through to them, although I have my doubts about whether they will believe until something bad happens.

 

On 3/18/2022 at 4:10 PM, weinerdog said:

Oh boy the plot thickens usually I have a thought or two on what will happen(more often then not wrong)but here I really have no idea.

Are Evan and Thad aware what Ned specifically had to do back then.I would assume so but maybe it's something you don't speak of

 

On 3/18/2022 at 5:24 PM, scrubber6620 said:

Interesting development--and a great plot twist

The settlers are growing and prospering and the leaders sought out and received new guidance from Mithras. She was pleased and said a second settlement with Gnos nearby should be built where she told them.

However , Mithras warned them of a great dangers., A space ship is arriving soon and is seeking something special which is not known to Mithras. If the  new people find it first, they are to be warned to not touch it without the original settlers being present.

Who are the new ones? They seem to speak the same language as the settlers? Earth was falling apart and only these old settlers remain of the only attempt to leave . Did others leave also? Or are they from another planet? What is being sought and why is it so important? Could it pose a threat--like a nuclear reactor?

 

 

On 3/18/2022 at 11:41 PM, raven1 said:

I enjoyed finding out more about how Thad and Evan's relationship developed.  Evan's apology was gladly accepted by Thad.  The elder's decision to as Mithras for advice was important and showed their devotion to her.  With the growth in populations, Mithras' direction was obviously important to maintain the balance of their world.

I am concerned about the expected arrivals. @scrubber6620 has some interesting questions and I look forward to learning the answers.  The most important involves what Mithras cannot see, the object that the newcomers seek.  The way it is discuss it is an object rather than a resource of the planet.  I am very curious what it might be.

A very interesting twist in the plot that offers unknown challenges to the settlers!  Great storyboard!

 

On 3/19/2022 at 1:11 PM, CincyKris said:

In an earlier chapter we were told that the settler's supply ship imploded and the other two settler ships left. A computer virus was installed before they left earth. The approaching ship must be from wherever the other settlers ended up. They were apparently able to mine ore to hold onto or rebuild their technology. Did they destroy another planet?

Once again, all great comments and thanks!!!

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I’m really digging the sentient planet/goddess element, especially in this chapter. It’s fascinating that she is powerful enough to sense the approach of other humans, but is powerless to do anything about it herself.

The plot is definitely thickening!

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8 hours ago, imogene_arant said:

I’m really digging the sentient planet/goddess element, especially in this chapter. It’s fascinating that she is powerful enough to sense the approach of other humans, but is powerless to do anything about it herself.

The plot is definitely thickening!

Mithras certainly raises the question as to what constitutes sentient life

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Oh... a mystery! I didn't expect this, but I'm glad Ned got to see Peter, albeit briefly. Looks like humans are at it again... thinking they can take what they want. I'll be back. Evan and Thad were sweet. :)  Cheers! 

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12 hours ago, Headstall said:

Oh... a mystery! I didn't expect this, but I'm glad Ned got to see Peter, albeit briefly. Looks like humans are at it again... thinking they can take what they want. I'll be back. Evan and Thad were sweet. :)  Cheers! 

There is trouble afoot, one wonders what dangers face the inhabitants!! Evan and Thad have become quite dear to me!!

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Trouble nears their paradise.

It isn't surprising the language has changed. It's been a thousand years. It's challenging for us to understand Old English. 

That these travelers threaten both Mithras and the afterlife she oversees is frightening.

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54 minutes ago, drpaladin said:

Trouble nears their paradise.

It isn't surprising the language has changed. It's been a thousand years. It's challenging for us to understand Old English. 

That these travelers threaten both Mithras and the afterlife she oversees is frightening.

One has to wonder if these 'travelers' understand the dangers they may present...

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12 minutes ago, drsawzall said:

One has to wonder if these 'travelers' understand the dangers they may present...

Do they ever?

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I know that the people that are coming to find what they want, they will not care about anything be what they seek. Or what it means to Mithra or the people who live on this planet. Soon something will be needed to stop this, we will have to see what comes to pass. It was sweet to see Thad and Evan's relationship developed.

Thanks so much for this chapter:thankyou:

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5 hours ago, Albert1434 said:

I know that the people that are coming to find what they want, they will not care about anything be what they seek. Or what it means to Mithra or the people who live on this planet. Soon something will be needed to stop this, we will have to see what comes to pass. It was sweet to see Thad and Evan's relationship developed.

Thanks so much for this chapter:thankyou:

Your welcome!! Let's see if these strangers take a deliberate approach...

 

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