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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. 
The story has some explicit contents and graphic details. Along with nudity and profanity. Reader discretion recommended.

Men in Paradise - 13. Chapter 13 - The Gardening

The geographical origin of the onion is unknown, with probable domestication worldwide, since the wild onion is extinct and ancient records of using onions span western and eastern Asia. Onions have been represented in different ways as having originated in Iran, the subcontinent of western India, and Central Asia. Traces of onions recovered from settlements in China in the Bronze Age indicate that onions were used as far back as 5000 BC, not just for their taste, but also for the toughness of the bulb in storage and transport. The onion bulb for everlasting life was revered by the ancient Egyptians. As evidenced by onion traces found in the eye sockets of Ramesses IV, onions were used in Egyptian burials. In western South America and Central America, the tomato emerged. Its domestication and use may have originated with the indigenous peoples of Mexico as a cultivated food. At the time of the Spanish conquest, the Aztecs used tomatoes in their cooking, and after the Spanish first encountered tomatoes after their contact with the Aztecs, the plant was brought to Europe. Many varieties of tomato plants are widely cultivated worldwide in temperate climates, with greenhouses allowing tomatoes to be produced during all seasons of the year. The spice trade grew in the Indian subcontinent with cinnamon and black pepper at the beginning of 2000 BCE, and with herbs and pepper in East Asia. For mummification, the Egyptians used herbs and their desire for exotic spices and herbs helped stimulate world trade. By 1000 BCE, China, Korea, and India were able to find medicinal systems based on herbs. By 1700 BCE, cloves were used in Mesopotamia. Ramayana, the ancient Indian epic, discusses cloves. In the 1st century CE, the Romans had cloves, as Pliny the Elder wrote about them. Historians claim that in the 6th century BCE, nutmeg, originating from the Banda Islands in Southeast Asia, was introduced to Europe. Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers to spice traders in the tale of Genesis. In the Song of Solomon biblical poetry, the male speaker compares his beloved to several kinds of spices. In west-central Brazil, where it was possibly first domesticated no more than 10,000 years BP. Domesticated Cassava is concentrated. Cassava pollen occurs in the lowlands of the Gulf of Mexico, at the archaeological site of San Andrés, about 4,600 BC. A 1,400-year-old Maya site offers the oldest clear evidence of cassava cultivation. It had been the staple food of the native peoples of the Caribbean islands of northern South America, southern Mesoamerica, and the Taino people who had cultivated it by the time of European contact in 1492 using a high yielding method of shifting agriculture. Traces of pulse development around the seat of the Indus Valley Civilisation have been discovered by archaeologists, dated to c. BCE 3300. In the Egyptian pyramids and cuneiform recipes, evidence of lentil cultivation has also been identified. In a Swiss village, dry pea seeds have been discovered that are thought to date back to the Stone Age. Archaeological evidence indicates that these peas may have been cultivated at least 5,000 years ago in the eastern Mediterranean and Mesopotamian regions and as early as the 11th century in Britain. The soybean was first domesticated around 5,000 years ago in China.

Afridi's PoV

It’s been a week, but no signs of life from the crop seeds.

I lived most of my life in Dubai. I have also been to Sharjah, Damascus, and Riyadh. Once I visited Istanbul with my aunt for a wedding. But I never had the chance to see a farm, neither knew anything about farming.

But Justin's passion in farming infected me in a good way. He taught me more about crops and farms than I ever learnt. I wasn't sure if I would be least interested in them back home. But our situation on that island gave us new perceptions about life, new ways of living and adjusting according to the situations.

Soon after we put the crop seeds on the field. We prepared the fertilizers as per Justin's instructions and applied them on the field the very next day. We took turns fetching water and kept the soil wet at all times. More gatherings of sources for fertilizers and more applications followed every day. But nothing transformed on the field. Justin expected the seed to give new life within three days, but it didn't happen that way.

We concluded that the island is no good for farming. The soil wasn’t suitable for it, neither the climate. We could have tried different crops, but we did what we had. We decided that we must get used to live with fishing and other gatherings.

It was a biggest disappointment to all of us on that island since the plane crash. We put a lot of hard work like a true farmer and prayed to each one of our Gods for a yield. But Gods weren't graceful just like the way they abandoned us on that deserted place. I was giving up day by day.

When rain started pouring down the previous evening, even a tiny bit of hope for the crop that we had were gone. Justin was the one devastated the most. The guy did a lot of work there, poured his heart and soul into it. I really felt sorry for him.

Last night, I held his hand and sang a song while we were on the loft. It must have relaxed him a bit because he slept soon after.

I hate mornings, especially on that island. But I also took the habit of watching our birds at the cage, feeding them, and fetching new eggs. I loved them and spoke to them when I was alone. They followed me wherever I went.

Thanks to Justin's knowledge, we invented poultry. Chickens multiplied every week, we had eleven females and four males then. Some chickens died and we ate a few eggs, but the rest lived. And gave us hope for a regular food supply. I named each one of those chickens. Guys teased me for that, but I loved calling them by their names. I was glad that at least our Poultry succeeded, unlike Farming.

I saw stagnated rainwater in small and large quantities everywhere around our place. We cleared it every day, it rains regularly during that time. Justin said we were at the peak of a winter season. To be frank, I hated winter. It was cold and bone crumbling. Since I never lived in similar climate before, I body couldn't adapt to the cold conditions quickly. My lips started getting dryer, it was peeling due to it and caused severe pain whenever I ate something spicy. My hair was disastrous, and my skin got ugly pigmentations especially on my face. Yep, I hated winter for sure.

Physical appearance was important to me, I spent a lot on cosmetics to keep my look better. It was essential for my Vlog music videos and Instagram photoshoots. My killer looks played a major role which drove thousands of crazy fans to my social media channels. I was super proud of my looks. My Arabic music wasn't great enough, but my looks complimented for it on my music videos. But hey, I was just a kid then and I knew my music skills would improve. But everything changed on that island. And I hated that too.

Justin gave me some plant medicines the day before that and I was intending to start applying them. I didn't wake him up that morning as I didn't want him to be even more disappointed when he saw the crop field filled in rainwater.

So I went to the field alone. I was not only shocked by what I saw. I could never express the words how I felt then. I saw tiny little green objects everywhere peeking above the soil on the field. It was the crop leaves that looked like the pictures Justin showed me the other day in his college book. I hurriedly walked back to the hut to inform Justin.

"Oh my god Justin, wake up. Come and see the field" I screamed out of my lungs.

He might have had a bad dream or something, he opened his eyes and lifted his eyebrows in shock.

“What the fuck Justin?” He asked me irritatedly

"Crops man, crops. It is everywhere. Come and see for yourself" I was so loud even Sakthi and Jai woke from their sleep.

Within a few seconds, we were at the field, stood there and watched the arrival of the new lives with astonishment.

"This is unbelievable" exclaimed Sakthi.

"God saved us with that rain last night," I told them.

"Gods saved all of us" Jai corrected me with a smile.

Yep, our gods in plural may be different, but together they saved all of us. Those new lives of crops gave us hope which we hardly had on that island.

"Let's give it a few more weeks to grow. Then we had to replant and shorten it. We need water it everyday. This is just a beginning" Justin said enthusiastically.

For obvious reasons, we were overjoyed that day. Even we forgot to go and look for ships or flights as part of our daily routine.

Justin pulled me closer to him and hugged me. I doubted if he kissed my neck a little bit. I felt his lips touching the skin on my neck for sure. I held him and let him stay that way as long as he wanted. The guy deserved it after everything he went through over that week.

"Can we now try the seeds which you kept in your bag?" Sakthi asked Justin.

“I am not sure. Those are genetically re-engineered houses developed in a greenhouse for research, but we can try. We got nothing to lose here” Justin replied.

“That’s true,” Jai said as if he understood everything.

"Yes, double yes then" Sakthi was excited out of nowhere.

We went back to the hut and picked up the seeds we have been collecting from the forest and saved them ever since we got our farm plan.

I don’t know if you already knew it, but most Asians travel on a flight abroad with some food items since they are rare to get in Western countries. Especially if they are traveling with their family and have to stay away longer. Mostly Chinese, Arabs, Persians, East Asians, Koreans, Malays, and Indians find it difficult to adjust to the food ingredients of the West. We hate the food served on flights. Thus, we carry whatever is necessary to keep our taste buds alive. Generally, Airlines and Customs in Asian countries are lenient on some of those food items to be carried by the passengers on the flight.

It was Jai's idea when we found a sandwich box in one of the ladies’ bags a few weeks before. Sakthi doubted that the bag belonged to one of the elderly women who traveled with us on the flight. We saved a few tomatoes and capsicums from the sandwich box, separated its seeds, and always kept it in cold storage places. As days went by, the vegetables were rotten, but the seeds were saved. Out of anticipation or desperation, we knew that a day would come for us to use them.

Fortunately, Jai found another leather bag of a guy who belonged to his Kerala state. I guessed that the guy must be an agriculturalist or farm businessman traveling on that flight. He had various spices such as green chili pepper, Indian cardamom, mustards, coffee seeds, red lentils, cumin, asafoetida, coriander, and puy. He could have brought them as samples for business which we did not know.

Justin brought his research bag from the storage and opened it. There were several seeds, roots, and dry leaves in sealed polythin covers. Each one of them was neatly labeled in black and red letters mostly with their botanical names.

"Boy, most of them are seeds and roots for agricultural products and medicines. I was about to research genetic engineering in Boston. These were for my research and paperwork. Few of them can grow anywhere on earth, but not all of them. Some of them need an intensive greenhouse environment. So, I am going to pick only a few of them we can grow here and essential for our needs" Justin gave a short speech before giving their names to us.

He selected a few types of beans, chickpeas, Ajami (a type of eggplant), lupins, green onions, elephant onions, basils, bok choy, radish daikon, cucumber, marjoram, and few berry names that I did not recollect.

"There are so many of them" Jai said.

"Boys, many of them may or may not grow. But we need to keep the crop field and our upcoming garden safe, otherwise, our efforts will be wasted" And he warned us in prior.

"What do you mean by that? We did very well with crops already, how hard it is going to be?" I asked him.

"Bro, we are surrounded by forest with all sorts of creatures on three sides and a sea on one side with salty air. We have uneven weather conditions. It is essential we need them fully protected, or else it could be gone to waste" Justin said in a cautious tone.

"We will grow them like our babies, close to our hearts. 24/7 monitoring and protection" Sakthi said with his arm on his chest like a scout boy.

“I thought you are an IT professional, I did not know you do farm advertisements,” Jai told him with a chuckle.

Sakthi did not reply, he just smiled at him.

“Can we grow some food plants that we found in the forest, it may not be safer to go to the forest to collect whenever we need it” Jai asked Justin.

“What do you want to grow?”

"How about the pumpkins and melons from the forest? And the cassavas and other plants you said are edible? Can we get those seeds and roots from the forest for our garden?" Jai reminded us of the other prospects.

"We don't need their seeds and roots. We can simply bring parts of those plants and cultivate them here. It will give quicker yield than growing it from scratch" Justin replied.

"Man, you are a genius indeed" I shouted at him.

“Guys, it seems we have a growing list of things to plant here. It needs a lot of hard work and commitment. Do you think you are up for that?” Justin asked everyone.

We nodded our heads in unison.

And we similarly brought our hands like what Sakthi did as a solemn oath.

We needed it. Not as a food variety and taste buds' needs, but we need something to do, something to look forward to every day, something to keep our minds occupied. Otherwise, we would have been dead on that island in no time.

We did a group hug. We were a team and a family there.

We got back to work with a plan. Thanks to Justin, he made them possible. He was our lighthouse giving us the directions to do the right thing on farming and gardening.

That night Justin wanted to try our mutual jerk-off session again. I was not sure if I should let him do that with me. I felt like I was losing my masculinity day by day. I was naive enough to think that he was making me gay. I grew fond of him and I found him attractive too in a way I could not comprehend then. And above all, I was horny all the time. The cold weather or loneliness or lack of the opposite sex, I didn’t know why, it could be any of it. But I let him do it with me again and again. And it looked like there was no ending to it, rather it went even further in the next few days. I knew my religion considered it as an aberration, there are laws in our region where such acts could get me beheaded. I felt like I was too weak to not stop him from doing that to me. There was a time when I was so furious with Justin for no reason. I did not speak to him for days. I couldn’t look at his face in the mornings after the sex the night before. I refuse to take a bath with him in the stream. Then again it happened every time he tried to touch me. I felt the same excitement and pleasure which I got from the first time. I was so young and inexperienced in that regard to handle the situation.

Fortunately, I had Jai as a solace. I did not know if he knew what I was going through but he was there. We hardly spoke anything about it. But whenever I was upset or not in a good mood, he cheered me up. He made jokes and pulled me into the conversations. He took me to the stream where we could sit there and watch the flow of the water in silence.

Without putting too much thought into Justin, I decided to divert my mind. And we had plenty of new works to do on that island. Crops were growing fast and the gardening plan was taking shape. Finally, we got a roof over our heads. Things are much better than the day we landed on that island.

But we were under attack from unexpected quarters within a few days.
Copyright © 2021 Vikki; All Rights Reserved.
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I am publishing my story here on experimental basis. Readers feedback and comments are most welcome
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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