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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. 
TW for sexual acts between two men and internalized homophobia.

The Cornishman - 1. The Cornishman

One Shot/Drabble. TW for sexual acts between two men and internalized homophobia.

The Cornishman read by candlelight rather than paraffin lamp (as so many were wont to do nowadays). There were no nostalgic reasons for this (and candles brought ghastly memories with them anyway) it was simply that the smell of the oils made him nauseous. He was home at last from a tiresome day of work and a delightful hen lunch with his son that he didn't care to lose, so he lit some wax and removed his precious King James from its spot in his dresser. He peeled it open, the tight snap of the bind an old and welcome greeting, at the saving grace of his life, the Book of Ecclesiastes.

"The words of the Preacher," he read, "the son of David, king in Jerusalem. Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity..."

But even that great faceless writ could not help him now.

The 'ugly itch' was upon him, you see.

It was a rotten little ague but he could go for days without even thinking about it, until he passed a man in the streets with his hair in a certain kind of curl or a freckle-sottish cheek; then the fever was on him and his manhood became an anchor. That was the ugly itch. And it wouldn't be done away with, not until it forced him to acknowledge it.

The Cornishman shut his bible. He had no business reading it now. If only to rid himself of that damned itch on a night when he so desperately needed to focus, to think, he put on his overcoat and quietly slipped out of his flat into the cold, fogy streets of the capital.

For all its import and history, he had little affection for this, his city. Of the thousands of ways to view London he saw it the way he always did; a pupating sprawl of smoke and commerce, stifling and immense and teeming with cacophonous multiplicity, a planet's black heartbeat. It was full to its breeches with immigrants, socialists, non-conformists and spiritualists, whores, crooks, killers, gamblers, drunkards and the godless. Its manifold poor went unheeded while its politicians spoke oh so poignantly to the Jewish Question; they brought civilization to the Subject Races whilst leaving the common lot to their illiteracy and their rickets. And as it was in day, so it was in night. Pub windows were alight and animated with drunken revelry. Old carriages took their passengers toward Vauxhall Bridge on rickety wheels and colicky horses. Helmed policemen patrolled the cobbles. A dense fog withheld the stars. It was a city that knew no rest and he was just another face in its creeping godlessness. No one who passed him by knew his ugly thoughts. God only knew what animated their souls in such a fashion.

He kept his head down and followed the old path through the streets and corners of Pimlico, guiltily familiar now, to the Malt and Mitre Inn. Est 1808, it was a 99-year old coaching house that had fallen into the hands of Lady Dahlia, a migrant Jewess who came to England to escape the Tsarists in her native Lithuania. But she was no 'lady', that he knew quite well.

A dozen cabs stood idle in the forecourt when he came. The clash of oil lamp warmth within and the cold weather without fogged its windows, making silhouettes of the drunken cabmen dancing behind them. The Cornishman withheld his disapproval and went inside. The atmosphere was appropriately poisonous, thickened with pipe smoke, salted pork, beer and flatulence. Coachmen and their more adventurous passengers sat around ale-stained tables exchanging rum jokes and filthy songs. Girls in gaudy furs traipsed between them with ever so coquettish giggles to offer more 'libations'. "I don't want no libation!" yelled some flame-bearded Scotsman as he scooped a girl into his lap, "I wants me a wife for the night!"

So far as the police knew; this was just a place for travellers and their cabmen to rest a night before they crossed the Thames in the morning, and to cool one's throat with a stiff drink. What the police and didn't know, since all its 'customers' were sworn to secrecy, was that it was also a brothel.

Then Lady Dahlia descended the wooden steps of her Inn, a witness to the ruckus, and asked the fiery Scotsman to keep his voice down. He scoffed like a scalded child, but the shrewd old Madam laid a kiss upon his forehead and offered him a discount in exchange for his temperance. A slightly cheaper whore was enough to buy it.

Then she saw him across the hall. She smiled. He looked away. Lady Dahlia came over to him (slapping away a wandering coachman's hand as she passed his table by) and took him by his wrists. "Oh, labas vakaras, my favourite patron! It's so good to see you again, eh? Ash taves labai pasiilgau! Kaip sekasi? How have you been, eh?"

"...Well," he croaked. "I've been well, thank you. O tau?"

"Man taip pat gerai, my friend, I cannot complain, eh? So I suppose you're here for the usual fare, eh?" He replied 'yes' with a nod. A now grinning Lady Dahlia threaded his arm with hers and led him upstairs to the lodgings. "You know, you are truly my favourite customer. Why? Because you don't make the racket those boys downstairs do, eh? Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!"

It galled him to be so cordial with someone who led such a debauched lifestyle, but the ugly itch was an all-powerful itch, and she was one of the few whoremongers above the river who had someone capable of catering to its peculiar needs.

She took him to the same door she always did, the third door, and told him that Sydney was having a "sluice" after a previous patron. It should've disgusted him to hear that, but he was too itch-sodden to care. He thanked her instead.

"Prasom, my friend, prasom. But you'd thank me better with a few crowns."

He passed her six of them. She bit down on one and, pleased with it, slipped the rest up one of her silk skirts and excused herself with a grin. If whoring was not her trade in Vilnius, then London was a terrible teacher.

He turned the knob alone.

It was a boxy little room half consumed by a stairwell's overhang. There was just enough space for an old bed, a wooden dresser full of instruments, collars and oils (the purposes of which he was glad to be ignorant of) and a steaming iron bathtub. A thin hairless leg arched up from its sloshing waters then came back down again, and a handsome little face peeked over the rim with a smile. Wet chunks of chestnut hair clung to his cheeks. His tidal blue eyes washed over the once-a-policeman, humbling him, stunning him.

His name was Sydney and he had been the caretaker of the Cornishman's itch for the past two years.

"....'I made me pools of water'..." He could not help it, it slipped from his lips with a sob, the second he saw those sea-spray eyes again, "...'to water therewith the wood that bringeth forth trees'..."

"Is that the Bible?" asked Sydney, as he climbed out of the bath with nothing but the air around him to blanket his flesh. His flaccid cock swayed with him as he approached in wet, slapping footsteps. "I can't say I'm a devotee, although my family was, before they lost it all."

There was less than two feet between them. Yet when Sydney approached him in such staunch nakedness, it was as though the world was encroaching on him. Everything around him became such... such flotsam, so blurred and unremarkable. Everything was suddenly Sydney; his eyes the oceans, his flesh the earth, his breath the winds.

He stood still as Nelson's Column as the boy wove his lithe arms around his neck.

"I like Lord Byron myself," he said. The former constable's manhood was a rock caught between them. "Someone left a book of his behind once and I've become a terrible admirer since. I try to read him often. Have you read him?"

"No," he said. "No I haven't."

Sydney had to lean upon the tips of his toes to bridge the gap between their two heights and whisper in his ear, "...Not even what he said about sin?"

His heart thundered beneath his breast. "...No."

"Should I quote him to you?"

He swallowed. "As you please."

And so, Sydney carefully, slowly, teasingly slipped his hands down his patron's throbbing chest, loosening each shirt button one by agonizing one, until he finally peeled it open.

"The night hath been to me a more familiar face than that of man," he whispered.

He pursed his cool lips against the older man's chest. When he shivered with delight Sydney replied with a dozen more. Soft kisses traced his way down his chest, belly and abdomen until Sydney was on his knees and gazing up with his little devil of smile.

"...And in her starry shade of dim and solitary loveliness..."

His hands were practiced and artful. He unbuckled the belt without even watching himself do it, daring the ex-constable not to acknowledge him, not to burst from his skin and seize him the way a man did a wife. This was a different kind of magic. Sydney held his eyes as he tugged his trousers down into a puddle around his boots and let that tyrannical erection spring forward.

"I learned the language of another world," said Sydney, closing his mouth around the Cornishman’s girth.

Oh, the pleasure! It swept over him like a wave, tightening his toes, locking his knees, knotting his stomach, and knocking the breath out of his lungs. He sighed a sigh of delight. When his eyes rolled into their sockets everything went dark and numb. Everything except that dirty little mouth's wet-hot caresses sliding back and forth and forth and back and back....

Then Sydney's small hands clutched around the Cornishman's buttocks to hold steady. The former constable could have gone on for the rest of the night if not for that, that minute embrace. But upon that and Sydney's too-well-practiced ministrations, and sound of those tiny suckles and occasional gasps for breath; it was suddenly all too much to bear.

The Cornishman growled like an animal in heat, sunk his hands into Sydney's nut-brown hair, and forced his mouth all the way down his cock's throbbing length. His hips unclenched and thrust forward. Somewhere out there he heard Sydney and moan, he felt his grip tightening around his arse, but he didn't care, allowing himself to rut the youngster like a dog, like a beast, like the spawn of the pit, and he wouldn't stop -- couldn't stop -- until that thick creamy tide ran up from his balls sputtered out down Sydney's throat. He cried out. Oh, the joy of it! The relief of it! And then he stopped. And his thoughts caught up with his racing breath. And then he opened his eyes and saw it all...

Him gasping like a trout while his penis fell out of a sodomite's mouth in the backroom of some filthy whorehouse.

God alone could have known the depths of his disgust. Good heavens, what was he thinking? The Cornishman shoved the whore off him and pulled his breeches together, snatched up his overcoat, and bounded out the door, slamming it behind him. He hurtled down the stairs, through the door past all the drunks and miscreants, then stumbled outside and regurgitated every scrap of that nice hen meal he ate with his son that morning.

That's all, folks! Thanks for reading!
Copyright © 2023 Stephen Wormwood; All Rights Reserved.
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Thanks for reading!
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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Although set 100 years ago, I think many men who have been brought up in religious households and have tried to live that life, know exactly what the Cornishman goes through. 

You expressed it all really well. Thank you. 

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This packs a punch way beyond its short length.  Instead of a healthy self-love so many, even today are forced into self-loathing.   Well done! 

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An interesting take on how warped and twisted those who profess to teach and preach christianity, have gotten it all wrong...One has to wonder how many lives have been ruined as a result...

Thomas Jefferson saw through all the false dogma, kept an annotated bible that only contained what could actually ascribed to Jesus. One of his proudest achievements was ensuring that one could worship or not. And no longer would taxes be collected to support a state sponsored church... 

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What we see here is someone who has been taught to hate himself and his desires, seeing them as amorphous sins. It's sad to see such self-loathing. 

Well crafted.

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