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    Rigby Taylor
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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.

Mortaumal - 12. On Top of the Mountain

An ‘Old-boy’ [previous student] who was now a famous rugby player, had been invited to speak to the school during the usual sports periods. To ensure one hundred percent attendance, all sports including cross-country running were cancelled.

‘I have to go running!’ Mort stated to a startled Mr. Caprine whom he’d cornered in the laboratory at the end of the period. ‘I just have to! I’m all tied up inside. Zoltan’s gone. Everyone I liked is dead. I’ve no friends. I think I’ll smash something if I can’t go for a really hard run. I need to exhaust myself. Please, can’t we skip this stupid talk and go for a long hard run—just you and me?’

‘I’d love to, Mort, but I have to sit on stage. How about after school?’

‘Serious?’

‘Serious. I’m not feeling very different from you. As soon as school finishes, meet me at the Land Rover. You’d better tell your parents you might be late home.’

‘I’ll use the office phone.’

‘No way! You’d have to explain why you might be late; the women in the office would hear and start rumours about us. Haven’t you got a mobile?’

‘No, there’s no one I ever want to call and I hate the idea of being available to whoever feels like annoying me.’

‘Here, use mine. Know the number?’

‘Yeah, but I’ve no idea how to use this thing. Will you ring Marshall and tell him for me? He lets me do whatever I like, as long as he knows where I am.’

‘ Marshall?’

‘ Marshall Trimm, my foster father.’

‘You call him Marshall?’

‘What else?’

‘He’s the man you go to the theatre with?’

‘How do you know?’

‘I’ve seen you both there. And didn’t I see you at the Art Gallery for that exhibition of Chinese landscapes?’

‘Yeah. I tried to paint like that afterwards, it looks so simple, but I was useless—especially when I tried to put in the tiny figures.’

‘You should take art classes and do some life drawing.’

‘Do you?’

‘Yes. Would you like to come?’

‘Would I? Yes! But ring Marshall now or interval will be over and I’ll be late for class.’

‘You’re right; I should be the one to ring, being the adult. It would look suspicious if I didn’t clear it with him first.’

 

‘Mr. Trimm? I’m Angelo Caprine, Mortaumal’s physics teacher. He wants to go for a run with me this afternoon after school. We’ll be back by six o’clock, will that be OK?’...‘Yes, just the two of us... Hang on. I’ll put Mort on.’

‘Hey, Marshall. Yeah. It was my idea because I’m feeling so bloody since Zoltan left and Angelo is a really great guy. No, he won’t molest me—unfortunately. Ha ha. Great, see you later.’ He handed the phone back to his teacher. ‘Is it OK if I call you Angelo and you call me Mort?’

‘Of course, as long as no one hears you. I’ve got to be careful of my image. Can’t have the other kids acting as if they’re my equals. He sounds nice, your foster father... did he really ask if I’d molest you?’

‘As a joke. He knows I can handle myself. He’s really nice... but you’re pretty good too.’

 

‘Shit the road’s rough.’

‘It’s a forestry track. I’ve never seen anyone else up here. This is where I come when I’m feeling sorry for myself. It’s a rather special place, there’s a view and... but I’ll let you discover it for yourself. And I trust you to keep it a secret.’

‘Of course. That’s one of the few things I know how to do, keep secrets.’

‘Hang onto your seat,’ Angelo warned before turning sharply left and heading straight for a stand of tall trees.

Mort thought they were going to crash, but kept silent as they bounced and rocked through a gap just wide enough for the vehicle. Twenty metres further on they stopped and the silence was palpable. Tree frogs first, then birds restarted their afternoon chorus of screams and calls for mates or territorial warnings. The two men got out and stretched.

‘We’re invisible here, and will be until we return. Like it?’

Mort was awed. ‘I didn’t know such a place existed so close to the city. It’s primeval. I feel like an intruder in my school uniform.’

Both were whispering, unconsciously determined not to disturb this world of natural things that humans had rejected in favour of technology.

Angelo’s expression was wary. ‘It’s bizarre you should say that; I always feel the same, so I try to behave as naturally as the rest of the animals.’

Mort’s eyes lit. ‘Sometimes when Marshall and I go camping in the forest, I run around naked if there’s no one else there.’

‘And Marshall doesn’t mind?’

‘He encourages me. Even strips himself sometimes. He’s got a great body for forty-one—a bit pale, but fit and healthy. How old are you?’

‘Thirty-eight.’

‘You look much younger.’

‘And you seem much older than fourteen. Especially the way you talk.’

‘So... let’s be naturists.’

‘Angelo hesitated only a second before grinning and whispering, ‘Let’s... except for the runners. It’s not smart to damage your feet.’

Seconds later, two naked men in running shoes set off along a wallaby track that led up the side of a fairly steep ridge, then turned north to follow it. For the next ten minutes the slope was easy and all Mort had to do was follow, so he had a chance to study his teacher. During the cross country runs he’d not liked to stare in case the other kids noticed, and had been too busy working out the route and keeping up with Zoltan to take a really good look at his teacher. He believed, as did his grandfather, that the body was an accurate indicator of a person’s character, so was pleased to have his first impressions confirmed.

Angelo was lean. Not thin or emaciated, but athletic and wiry... he’d be really tough to eat, Mort decided. No bulging sprinter’s calves or massive thighs hampered his agility. Sinewy, tanned legs sprinkled with short black wiry hairs were perfect for running long distances. His bum, slightly darker than his legs and also slightly hairy, was as lean as the rest of him. The muscles clearly visible stretching and tightening as he ran. The interplay of muscles also rippled across his back as he moved with the agility and grace of a wild animal up the slope, brushing effortlessly through overhanging bushes, glancing from side to side as if to check for danger.

They stopped. Angelo hadn’t even worked up a sweat. Mort was panting, but not seriously.

‘Need a rest? Want me to slow down?’

‘’No way! Where you go I go.’

‘Ten minutes more and there’s a lookout.’

With a grin and a light tap on Mort’s shoulder, he set off again at a slightly faster pace, although the gradient was much steeper.

Mort proudly kept up.

Angelo stopped suddenly. Mort ran into him, stumbled and fell to his knees. Angelo took his arm and pulled him upright, steadying him.

‘You’re amazingly fit! We both must take care now because there’s a vertical drop in ten metres, so keep behind me until I tell you it’s safe.’

They pushed through scrubby growth to their right and suddenly were standing on the edge of the world. A stupendous view opened out before them. On either side steep crags and densely treed slopes. Far below, the flash of a stream between folds of forested hills and valleys. Then farmland crossed by roads, and in the distance the murky air of the city with its mess of commercial buildings, backed by a twinkling ocean.

Angelo stood behind Mort with his hands firmly on his shoulders as if to prevent him leaping off. Mort pressed himself back into the protection of his partner’s body, relaxing as strong, hairy arms wrapped around him, keeping him safe. Safe from what, Mort wouldn’t have been able to say, but increasingly he’d been feeling as if he was tottering on the brink of a precipice... in danger of... of what? Of falling and dashing himself onto whatever was at the bottom? It was all in his head—he knew that, but for the moment at least there was someone behind him, protecting him from himself.

He could feel Angelo’s heart beating... unhurried... relaxing. He was aware of the rise and fall of his protector’s chest. Angelo’s breath tickled Mort’s cheek. Mort took a large breath, sucking in the same air Angelo had just expelled. It was warm, moist and sweet. The two men remained thus gazing out to eternity for several minutes, contemplating the enormity. Enjoying uncomplicated intimacy.

Reluctantly, Angelo released Mort and stepped back.

Mort felt a wrench of loss, and shivered.

‘You OK?’

‘Sure.’

‘What do you think?’

‘At first it’s awe-inspiring; what the Victorians would have described as sublime. But…’

‘But what?’

‘But modern science and technology have made nonsense of such descriptors. We know too much about the world; how the land was formed, eroded, changed.... And on closer inspection you can see that this nature is not held in awe by the inhabitants; they’ve blasted, cleared, constructed and destroyed not only the natural habitat, but also the ancient gods and fabulous creatures that dwelt here.’

Silence.

‘So... you don’t like it?’

‘I adore it! It’s wonderful. I feel as if I’m flying and if you hadn’t stood behind and held me, I might have thrown myself off. I was in the mood to do that this morning.’

‘As was I. But that first bit about science and stuff... where did you learn to speak and think like that?’

‘I read all the time. Marshall has a brilliant library—wall-to-wall books, loads of old one’s his grandfather collected. That bit was from a comparison of John Ruskin’s ideas and contemporary criticism. It just seemed to fit.’

Angelo was unable to hide his grin. ‘You’re astonishing the way you think about things. Makes me feel stupid.’

‘You’re not stupid! You’re an intelligent, kind and considerate work of art.’

‘I’m not going to ask what you mean by that. Come on, only another ten minutes to the top.’

 

A large, smooth slab of granite lay in a slight hollow, surrounded by scraggy, windswept trees that were home to a large paper-wasp nest and a host of brown butterflies. They dropped onto the warm rock and relaxed.

‘I reckon it’s about four o’clock. That gives us an hour to unwind and rekindle our love of life.’

Mort considered this. ‘I don’t think I’ve ever had a love of life. I’ve enjoyed bits here and there, but mostly I wish I’d not been born... it doesn’t seem worth the fuss.’

‘If any other fourteen year-old said that I’d be worried he was suicidal. But I suppose you’ve arrived at this conclusion through a rational process and logical thinking?’

‘Of course.’

‘Does the religious idea of purpose make sense to you?’

‘You mean being a faithful servant of god so you don’t annoy the puerile old fool and he’ll let you go to heaven? They don’t even believe it themselves. They’re all shit scared of dying.’

‘You said you had no friends... why’s that? You’re an attractive, personable young man. The other kids respect you and certainly don’t make fun of you.’

‘I’ve no friends because now Zoltan’s gone I don’t know anyone else my age I like, or have anything in common with. Most seem like babies. I guess it’s because I’ve mainly mixed with adults. It’s not surprising I’m not fussed about friends... after all, I don’t even like myself very much. My mother didn’t want me—disappeared the day I was born. Grandma didn’t want me. Grandad said he wanted me, but I know I was a lot of work, especially when he got sick. Leo liked me around because I made his son happier. Marshall likes having me live there because he’s lonely and it makes him feel useful, but what he really needs is someone more his own age to love and share things with. By living there, I’m preventing him from finding a partner, which is depressing. As for kids not making fun of me, that’s because I’m capable of maiming anyone who thinks they can make me do what I don’t want. They know it and are frightened I’ll smash their faces in.’

Would you?’

‘Instantly, if anyone tried to bully me. I’m also for the death penalty for violent crime, as long as there’s not a smidgen of doubt about guilt.’

‘Also for murder?’

‘Not unless it’s a by-product of the violent crime—done for personal gain. People often murder for specific reasons, and as some of those are valid, it would be silly to punish the person who removes an evildoer.’

‘What would be a valid reason for murder?’

‘If someone makes an innocent person’s life a misery through either psychological or physical means, or both. Cruelty should not be tolerated.’

‘How are you feeling now?’

‘Immediately after the climb and standing on the edge of the world, I felt euphoric. Now I’m back to feeling as if I want to tear myself in pieces, violently... to get rid of whatever it is inside that makes me feel dead. It’s got worse since Zoltan left.’

‘Have you told Marshall?’

‘He’s a busy lawyer. My problems aren’t real. I’m a very lucky person. He does more than enough for me. There’s no way I’m going to burden him with my pathetic ennui. Because that’s all it is.’

‘This morning... why did you demand I take you on a run?’

‘I felt rotten. You looked so sexy during class and I had a fantasy that we’d go somewhere private, like I used to with Zoltan, and you’d fuck me. Shocked?’

‘No.’

‘I’ve recently read Mary Renault’s ‘Last of the Wine’ and in it an older boy fucks his younger lover because they believed that the manliness of the older would be transferred to the younger via the sperm. In the same way as people used to think that eating brains would make you cleverer, or cannibals thought they’d gain some of the power of their opponents by eating them. I admire you, and would love to have some of your qualities, so thought it’d be worth a try. Also... it seems like an experience every man should have at some point. Touching skin is fine, but to have someone actually inside you, emptying their vital juices into your body seems rather poetic.’

‘About as poetic as a penicillin injection. Anyway, technically, the alimentary canal from the mouth to the anus is not internal, it’s like a tunnel, open at both ends. You can’t say you’ve been inside the earth if all you’ve done is walk through a storm drain under the motorway.’

‘Angelo! You’re so prosaic. The French apparently take some medicines anally, because it is more rapidly absorbed. Do you think I’d derive some benefit from an injection of your protein enriched sperm?’

‘No sensible person fucks strangers without a condom. But you could suck me off and swallow.’

‘It wouldn’t have the same romance, and I think I’d gag... I loathe slimy food. I wanted to be a passive, pliant, languishing lover.’

‘Not your style, you’re an assertive young prick.’

‘Wanna be pricked by me?’

Angelo laughed. Not an ordinary laugh, but a sudden, uncontrolled almost hysterical bout of laughter that left him breathless, gasping. As soon as he started to say something, he’d start laughing again.

‘Oh! My sides. I hurt. You’ve ruined me. I can’t breathe…’ He lay back, his whole body twitching with the effort to stop laughing. Finally he took a deep breath. Held it, then relaxed.

‘I didn’t think it was that funny,’ Mort remarked with a wry grin.

‘It was and wasn’t. You triggered a catharsis. I’ve been wound up tight, a coiled spring, a stretched wire, a…’

‘Apologies for interrupting this string of clichés, but how can you be both coiled tight and stretched?’

‘Mort! I love you! You’re a breath of fresh air, a…’

‘Don’t tell me...I’m better than a glass of cold water, I’m a fountain of delight, I’ve released the safety catch on your shotgun and now you’re firing on all four cylinders. I’ve breached the dam and freed your emotions to billow forth and suffocate your enemies?’

They lay side by side in silence, breathing softly, occasionally giggling. After a few minutes Angelo gave a large sigh, sat up and gazed down on his young friend.

‘Thanks, Mort.’ He paused, choosing his words carefully. ‘It’s another cliché, but I’ve been repressing just about everything about myself, pretending I was someone I’m not, worried I’d be rejected if anyone found out I wasn’t like them. But this afternoon I’ve discovered that someone I like knows who and what I am, yet still likes me. I think I’ve been a foolish coward.’

‘But a very nice one.’

‘How can I repay you?’

‘A kiss will do.’

‘You strike a hard bargain.’ Angelo leaned over and looked into Mort’s eyes for a few seconds before lowering his head and letting their lips brush lightly, before lying back.

‘That was nice. Much better than feeling as if the other person’s trying to eat your face like they do in the movies. Must be terrifying to have someone shove a wide drooling mouth onto your face. I hate wet and sticky.’ Mort raised himself on his right elbow and stared down at Angelo. ‘Now for your reward for such a fine osculation.’

‘Osculation? Elucidate please.’

‘It’s a humorous way to say kiss, from Latin. I read it yesterday in a book of poems by Victorians. The clouds were osculating in the heavens. Now my fingers will osculate your fine furry flesh.’

Angelo failed to suppress a belly laugh as, with light fingers Mort traced along his inner thigh, lightly brushing the scrotum and flaccid penis, then up the line of hair to the chest where each nipple was granted a slight tickle, causing his patient to twitch. Rolling onto hands and knees Mort straddled his target, allowing both penises to osculate gently before he sank onto the body beneath, head nestled in the hollow between shoulder and cheek.

‘So... do you still feel like ripping your insides out and being fucked?’

Mort laughed quietly. ‘No. I fear I have a penchant for histrionics. All I needed was to talk freely as we’ve done. To say all sorts of sexy, silly, nonsense things and know the person I was saying them to didn’t think I was a nut case. And I think you like me. That’s the main thing, isn’t it? To know you are liked by the few people you also like. What about you? Are you still feeling depressed?’

‘No. I feel calm and relaxed, as if I have the strength to dare to be myself, and not to care overmuch what others think of me—especially as they usually aren’t.’

‘Aren’t what?’

‘Thinking about me.’

‘Thanks for bringing me here.’

‘Thanks for coming.’

Copyright © 2018 Rigby Taylor; All Rights Reserved.
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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.
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Chapter Comments

Now that was a wonderful chapter that filled me with bliss and joy. Now I know it didnt advance the plot much, but in terms of blissfully happy and satisfied characters, it fair warmed the cockles.😆

 

Great read. Very enjoyable. Brought back some happy memories! 😆😘

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1 hour ago, Canuk said:

Now that was a wonderful chapter that filled me with bliss and joy. Now I know it didnt advance the plot much, but in terms of blissfully happy and satisfied characters, it fair warmed the cockles.😆

 

Great read. Very enjoyable. Brought back some happy memories! 😆😘

Thank you, thank you, thank you. It's one of my favourites - and as you will see, it actually does advance the plot - ever so subtly - as always. :P

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So, I see Angelo meeting Marshall, finding common ground and Mort goes it alone for some time longer.  Very well written, ennui and all.

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39 minutes ago, skyacer said:

So, I see Angelo meeting Marshall, finding common ground and Mort goes it alone for some time longer.  Very well written, ennui and all.

Predictions, predictions - I love them... Are you keeping tabs on haw many you guess right? Glad you liked it. 

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7 hours ago, Rigby Taylor said:

Predictions, predictions - I love them... Are you keeping tabs on haw many you guess right? Glad you liked it. 

I actually have not kept track of where I've been right, wrong or even close. I enjoy the rollercoaster ride of your writing and storytelling.  I think that you have the makings of TV and movie scripts in some of your stories, something to think about for the future?

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45 minutes ago, skyacer said:

I actually have not kept track of where I've been right, wrong or even close. I enjoy the rollercoaster ride of your writing and storytelling.  I think that you have the makings of TV and movie scripts in some of your stories, something to think about for the future?

Maybe in the US - not here, the market for gay stories is very limited in Australia. But it would be fun to write one of those soap operas that go on forever, crisis after crisis... It's nice to know you're enjoying the ride - that's what it's all about - fun and thinking and wondering and not getting too up tight about the insanities of humans. 

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