BRITNEY SPEARS NUDE!
I roll my eyes as I begin deleting the junkmail from my inbox. I absently push a few loose hairs behind my ear to join the millions of others that were unwashed, itchy and annoying. There are supposed to be hundreds of feedback emails in here. Hundreds of meaningless screen names that have observed my artwork and want to tell me how wonderful I am and how much they want to be like me. I get nothing. Junkmail.
I had entered this drawing contest not because of the cash prize, although that didn’t exactly dissuade me, but for the exposure. I wanted to be the Rembrandt of the cartooning world and not have to be dead to enjoy the fruit of my labors. It was a simple drawing. A lady sitting by a pond surrounded by several flying geese. Typical and pathetic. Not something I’d put in a portfolio, but it was good enough to show my mother the next time she bugged me about never showing her anything. However, she was asleep now, and I was free to roam the internet for the pictures that really got my blood flowing.
I glance down at the sketchpad lying next to the mouse. This was the sketchpad I didn’t like to show anyone. It had all my beautiful male characters in it, all near-clad to skyclad taking it from each other in different, yet creative scenarios. That book was my pride and joy. My “Book of Men”, I lovingly called it. Almost every page was a different set of characters in different predicaments, even sometimes on different worlds, in two ways, threesomes, foursomes, alone and cross-dressing or just plain out masturbating. Whenever I was alone and horny, I’d be into that book, which was a lot more than I liked to admit. I liked to surf around for free gay porn for inspiration.
I had found this site that looked like it might have some interesting stuff, but the moment I found it, my mother walked in and chittered on about the water bill for almost an hour, then told me to go to bed. Granted, I was eighteen years old, but she was still my mother and she still paid the bills. Especially the water bill. And I was currently out of work, and she never let me forget that. Meanwhile, I clean the house, I cook for her when she comes home and all she can find it in her heart to do is nag me; and when she’s really pissed, well, let’s not get into that.
Tonight, the bitch is in bed early and I have the entire night to sit here in the den with no lights, no pants and no interruptions. I bring up the page, cleverly hidden in my favorites list and review the loads and loads of pictures. Some were okay, others just plain out sucked. However, the rest of them made all that waiting worthwhile. One in particular: a tall, fair-haired man with lean muscle, cute facial hair, beautiful green eyes and a charming smile. He wasn’t even fully undressed, which made the picture even more arousing. He was dressed in loose gray overalls with the shoulder thingies hanging down. He had a squeegee in his hands and was washing a large window from inside a building, while turning to smile for the camera. All those beautiful muscles were flexed and accentuated. The picture inspired a brand new character into my thoughts. An exciting and spellbinding character. I grabbed a loose piece of paper to make my preliminary sketches on; after all, only the finished product made it into my beloved Book of Men.
In the picture, I draw myself feeling his godlike body up and down. I looked funny as a cartoon character, because people say I already look that way. I have these big, round glasses that are like Harry Potter glasses only bigger, I have an almond-shaped head and big slate-gray eyes. My wild auburn hair is in the typical Asian cut; long bangs with a short back. Unfortunately, I wasn’t Asian, which made me look all the sillier. Not to mention freckles. I had loads of them, littering my cheeks. I hated them with a passion because I thought they made me look twelve. I drew myself with only three freckles on each cheek and my usual baggy pants, converse sneakers and comic book tee shirts. It was like night and day. Here was this big, beautiful hunk of glory immediately next to this skinny, horny little kid. I eventually crumple up the picture and toss it, but the character concept grew in my head.
The man’s name was Davis Frisco. He was a sketch artist like me, and a contractor for a large faceless company. He also washed the windows, and he liked to do this topless with those shoulder thingies hanging down over his tight, firm ass. And all the stuck-up, pencil-pushing white-collared closet cases in accounting, and all the flannel-wearing, punk asses from the mailroom watched him work and secretly lusted over him. Davis, of course, knew very well what was going on, and went to do his job every week topless just to give them something to gawk at. Of course, this was in like Key West or LA or something so it was always warm. Well, maybe not LA because then there’d be too much smog too actually see him. Key West it was then. Everybody’s gay in Key West anyway. As was Davis, he just didn’t know it yet. He just had to meet the right man.
As the night went on, I searched the thumbnails for another picture that inspired me. I needed to find a lover for Davis. A man who would knock him off his feet and leave him breathless the moment he saw him. Nothing was popping out at me and it was beginning to get depressing. Davis only deserved the best, but was I being too picky? Frustrated, I signed off early and hopped in bed with my book and my new sketches. I concentrated on developing the character. Defining him. I gave Davis hobbies, quirks, a personality. For some reason, I thought he should be good at chess, and racquetball, but he wasn’t rich enough to join a club. He hated gyms, so he worked out at home…y’know, with those funny ass exercise programs on ESPN2? He had a mean side, which only came out when he was scared. Otherwise, he always tried to be nice. He liked boy bands and listened to them openly, not caring what anyone else thought, cause he was just free like that.
I lick my lips, slave-driving my trusty HB pencil and eraser-pen to their limits. The more I work on this character’s inner workings, the more aroused I become, until finally, I just put the book down next to my bed, pull the covers over me and masturbate until both hands scream in pain. All I could think about what how good Davis’ new lover would make him feel. How he would lick all around his belly button, down his pelvis and wrap his thick lips around Davis’ eight-inches of fine, cut, chiseled, meat. I sat up thinking about it long after I was too tired to continue, until finally blissful sleep took me.
*BANG! BANG!* I leap up from my slumber and struggle to get my pants on. The clock said it was 2:14 am. Who the hell would be knocking at the door at this ungodly hour? Afraid it would wake my mother up, I hurry to answer it. I look out the peephole, staring at what looked to be a tall, well-built man wearing a hood and a raincoat, because apparently, it decided to rain tonight. I couldn’t make out anything else about him. I open the door but keep the chain on. “Hi, can I help you?” I ask nervously, my voice still raspy from sleep.
“I sure hope so.” His voice was bass and gritty. Sexy and confident. “You are Jasper Collins, right?”
I gasp and take a step back. Jasper was my pen name. I only signed my work with that name and no one could possibly know that. “Who…who wants to know?”
“Look, kid, we have no time for explanations. Just trust me and get dressed. You’re going away for a while. If it makes you feel better, I’ll wait out here.” He shoves his gloved hands further into his pockets to keep warm. I didn’t have the heart to watch him freeze. I opened the chain and let him in. “Oh wow, thanks, Jasper. Can I call you Jasper?”
“Who are you?” I close the door behind him, watching in interest as he proceeds to partially disrobe. When he takes off his hood, he’s not facing me. All I see is thick, curly black hair with little rain droplets in it. It’s only when he takes off his wet raincoat that he turns to face me fully and I almost fall on my ass. “Osiris??”
He smiles charmingly, which is what he’s always been famous for. “You got it.”
“But…it can’t be you! You’re…” I sit on the couch, finding it impossible to stand.
“What,” He tosses his raincoat onto the arm of my couch carelessly, wiping some moisture off his dark, beautiful face and out of his thick goatee. “Normally two-dimensional? A ‘character’? Well, I’m here and I really don’t feel like wasting more time explaining. And you aren’t getting ready. Why is this?”
“I’m too busy getting over YOU.” I point to him, still slack-jawed. He was Osiris Hehp-Tehal, one of my eldest characters, and one of my favorites. He was a brilliant Egyptian hunk and also one hell of an engineer. He was cocky, egotistical and he had a serious attitude problem, but he was a genuinely good person with pure intentions and a big heart. I didn’t believe this was happening. This had to be a dream.
“Well, get over it. We’ve got lives to save. Do you think I would be here if it wasn’t serious?” I shake my head, eyes still wide. “Good boy, now get dressed.” And I do.
When I emerge, duffle bag in hand and my favorite clothes on, he looks me up and down. “Loose the bag. I’ll be lucky enough just to get you through. Don’t wanna push my luck. Whatever you can’t stuff in your pockets, leave behind.”
“No wait, I have to take one thing.” I hold up my beloved Book of Men. I couldn’t bear to part with it, even for a night. Not to mention if I’m not here to guard my room, my mother will surely rummage through it and find my treasure. I don’t know how I’d be able to explain that away.
He rolls his pale green eyes impatiently. “If you must.”
We bundle up and dredge outside in the wet muckiness of the city. I lock up the house, pondering over the fact that we hadn’t woken my mother up once through all that. It’s freezing out here and we’re the only ones stupid enough to be walking down these streets in this weather at this time of night. I can’t stop staring at him once we get walking. He’s so much more beautiful in real life. He turns to glance at me with that movie star smile again. “Go on, ask me. You know you want to.”
I smile. “Alright. I have several questions, and since we’re already on our way, I’m not wasting any time by asking them.” I point to him, my eyes narrowed. “First, how did you get here? And how did you know where to find me?”
“It’s a long story, and I just…knew. I don’t know how, I just did.” He shrugs, a chill going through him. “Brr..”
“Alright, fine. Then what’s going on that’s so terrible that you need to bring me into it?”
He leads me to an alley and we stop dead. “Because you created the problem and now only you can stop it.” He states flatly, glaring at me with a serious tone to his seedy, sexy voice. His answer only leaves me more confused. “We’ll worry about it when we get there. Open the book and stare at your favorite drawing, trust me.” I comply without a word. He takes out this funny-looking rod of some sort. It looks like it’s made of brass, stick-on rhinestones and shards of broken, multi-colored plastic glued to its shaft. He sets it on the ground so it stands upright and steps away from it.
“What is that thing?”
“This is going to get us there.” He puts a hand on my shoulder and motions towards the book. “Keep staring. Don’t stop.” He takes out two dice, a pair of small knuckle bones and a cracker jack from his pocket and shakes them up in his hand. I see this from the corner of my eye, and I try my best not to look away from the book. This was all too weird. While he’s shaking this in a fist, he hums some nursery rhyme that I haven’t heard in years. I don’t even remember the name of it anymore.
I concentrate on what’s before me. It was an all time favorite picture of mine. It was Osiris and another character, Russell making love with Russell’s hands handcuffed to the bed frame. Russell was a petite, feminine young black-winged angel with long black hair, dark, bedroom eyes and almost sickeningly pale skin. I love this picture and often find myself just staring at it for hours. I suddenly feel lightheaded, like I’m floating. I don’t look up from the book. It’s almost as if I couldn’t if I wanted to. I feel each darkened in line of the drawing consume me, as if I were a part of them. I was looking beyond what the lines connected into, I wasn’t seeing the big picture anymore, I was just inspecting and connecting spiritually with each individual line.
“Jasper??” I hear a pained cry come from nowhere. “Jasper Collins? Is that really you??” I’m snapped out of my trance and I realize I’m in a small apartment with very little furniture. I’m facing the back of a long, crème colored couch and there’s a thin dark figure laying listlessly on it. Random blood stains and scattered black feathers soil the fabric.
“Russell! Are you alright? I got him, he’s here!” Osiris runs to Russell’s side in concern. He motions for me to follow him. When I reach the front side of the couch, I grip my chest in despair.
“Oh, it really is you!” The dark-haired beauty lies there, bleeding, broken and crippled. His wings had been mercilessly ripped out by someone with significant strength. His long, slender legs had been battered and bruised and there were cuts and gashes all over his neck, upper torso and arms. He was wrapped up in blankets and a rough patchwork job was done with band-aids and gauze.
“R-Russell?” I stammer, dropping the book. “Russell Gelling?”
“Oh, Jasper, come to me!” His long, slender arms reach out for my embrace dramatically. Russell was infamous for his endless melodrama. “I need to feel how real you are!”
“Hey, I’m right here.” I rush over to hug him, stroking his blood-soaked raven hair. He sits up to better accommodate me and I claim a small sliver of cushion to sit down, my arms still snug around him. “Where is this? Where did Osiris take me?”
“Take a look outside, hon. You should know this place well enough, you did create it.” He manages a weak smile.
“Create it? What are you talking about?”
Osiris chimes in, walking up to us. “This is your dream world, kid. You created this realm for us to live in, and now it’s being destroyed by that new asshole you dropped in here with us.”
I turn to glare at him, still holding Russell tightly. “New asshole…Davis??” At the mention of his name, Russell bursts into tears.
“You got it.” Osiris states without smiling.
“But he’s a good guy!” I frown, wide-eyed.
“Pssshhht, yeah right.” Osiris laughs sarcastically and Russell shakes his head. “Ever since that jerkoff set foot here he’s been nothing but trouble. And now, he has some hostages that happen to be friends of mine that he’s going to kill, unless we give him what he wants.”
“And what does he want?”
His smile suddenly turns genuine. “Why, YOU, of course.”
“Are you sure you’re up to this?” Russell rubs my back as I look through my sketches and notes of Davis Frisco. I nod absently and the doorbell rings. It almost makes me jump right out of my skin. Osiris creeps up to the door to see who it is.
“Who goes there?” he furrows his brows, looking out the peephole.
“Let me in.” A strong female voice grunts impatiently from behind the door.
“What’s the password?” He smiles jokingly, putting his hand on the doorknob.
“Don’t make me hurt you, Osiris.” He laughs and opens the door for her. I’d recognize that built Greek Goddess form anywhere. It was Artemis Philotopolis, my radical feminist. Along side of her stood Alejandro, her smaller and craftier counterpart. She takes one look at me and frowns, almost looking disappointed. She then scans the room with her deep green eyes. “So where is he? Did you find him?”
“He’s standing right in front of you, Artemis.” Osiris motions towards me.
“Ha! That’s Jasper Collins?” She walks up to me, looking down at me. I look back up at her, my hands on my hips. “I expected him to be…bigger.”
Alejandro walks up to me as well, him being a full two inches shorter than I. “He ain’t that small, ma. He be taller than I is.” His voice thick with a Hispanic accent.
I interrupt them both, my tone must be harsh because they both shut up and quick. “Height is irrelevant here. If you want me to help, I need to know exactly what’s going on, and I need to know it yesterday.”
Alejandro is the first to speak. “Yo, that fucker, Frisco? He be holdin’ at least eight hostages at gunpoint up in the Johanes Courthouse bell tower. One of the hostages is a little kid.”
“And one of them is my Anubis!” Osiris shouts out angrily, both fists clenched.
“It’s alright, dear, we’ll get him back. We’ll get them all back.” Russell puts his head against Osiris’ shoulder to comfort him. I knew who Anubis was. I had written a four-page illustrated story about them and how they became lovers. Anubis, believe it or not, was Osiris’ cat. To make a long story short, Anubis made a deal with a cat-spirit, making him human for three days. He started by seducing Osiris because he lusted after him. They fell in love and enjoyed every moment of their time together. When their time was almost up, Osiris helped Anubis trick the cat-spirit into thinking her magic didn’t work so the deal was voided and Anubis was able to stay as a human. And they were supposed to live happily ever after. I was saddened to hear he was just another of Davis’ pawns.
“Alejandro, what about the cops? Have you guys had any luck penetrating the tower?”
“No way. We tried and Frisco shot up me an’ my boys like we was nada. He be in there mad tight. That tower hasn’t been used in like forever and nobody knows the layout of the place. The passage to the tower itself was boarded up mad long ago and we don’t even know where to find dat shit.” He walks toward a chair sitting against the wall and pulls it out for Artemis to sit. When she does, he stands beside her, holding her hand.
“Alright, do we know who the other hostages are?” I flip my sketchbook to the back cover, ready to list the names.
“We aren’t sure.” Osiris frowns. “Davis only let us know that he had Steven Patterson and some thirteen year-old kid.”
“Steven Patterson?!” I flip through the pages hastily. “THE Steven Patterson? The Wall Street tycoon, millionaire and powerful political figure, Steven Patterson?”
“The one and only.” Artemis puts her long black hair up in a ponytail.
“Okay, that means that his lover, Pat Olmec is with him.” I scribble their names down. “Now what about this thirteen year-old? The youngest character I have in this book is like sixteen.” I flip to the page featuring my Taiwanese lithe beauty, Lazarus, the novice crimefighter. He was pictured sitting in a giant tree masturbating to the sight of two older men making love in the dense jungle of his homeland.
“I dunno, Frisco said the kid was thirteen.” Alejandro shrugs.
Suddenly, it dawns on me. “Oh my god, Base.” I flip to the back cover again. “Not Lazarus, but Base. Base is thirteen.”
“Lazarus’ tech support, his best friend who helps him out via walkie-talkies from home. He’s kinda like a younger version of that guy who helps Punisher. I just couldn’t think of a more creative name than Base. So sue me!” I rake my fingers through my hair nervously. “You know what this means? Lazarus is going to get himself killed trying to free his friend from Davis’ clutches.”
“Oh boy…” Russell groans. “I’m coming with you.” He starts to get up and Osiris pushes him down again. “No, I know Lazarus, he’s a good kid! Besides, I want to give that bastard, Davis a good helping of his own medicine.”
“No way, Russ, that evil son of a bitch almost killed you last time, remember?” Alejandro and Artemis look at Osiris. “Davis tried to tear him limb from limb before and I won’t let that happen again.”
“Don’t call me Russ.” He growls in return.
“Fine. Russell. Whatever.” Osiris throws him arms up. “But you still aren’t going. You’re going to stay here and relax.”
“Lo que’ seo, man. All I know is, the sooner we hand Picasso over, the sooner we can get the hostages to safety.” Alejandro opens his bag and begins suiting up. “But first, I want you to do us a small favor, mi amigo.”
I knit my brows at him. “And what’s that?”
He goes into his bag and pulls out a handful of wires and a small black box, along with duct tape and a bic razor. “A WIRE?? Are you CRAZY???” Osiris hollers at Alejandro. “You wanna get the poor kid slaughtered??”
“Osiris,” I put my hand up at him and he quiets down, now just shooting looks of death in the cop’s general direction. “I’ll do it.”
“See?” Alejandro smiles. “I knew you was a man of reason.”
“Psst, is this thing on?” I whisper into the front pocket of my button-down shirt. I walk up behind the huge crowd that had formed around the monolithic courthouse. On top of it, the boarded up bell tower. Police and even a negotiator swarmed around the place like army ants. A battered SWAT team licks their wounds a block from the scene. I suddenly get this cramping fear in the pit of my stomach. “I really, really hope this thing is on, because then he wouldn’t have killed me for nothing.”
“Pardona meh.” I hear a gruff, demanding voice from in back of me, and suddenly, someone very strong is grabbing my arm. “You no to pass here.”
I glance up and gasp aloud, seeing my very oldest character and still very beautiful Motaau’ Rides-The-Wind. My rough and tumble Mayan prince, the were-jaguar. He narrows his glorious yellow eyes at me and steals a sniff. “Hi, Moto. It’s good to finally meet you.” I smile wide when I face him fully, and those eyes of his dart open wide when he realizes just who he’s talking to. “Santa Sagre!” He lets go of my arm and takes a step back, giving me a great view of his tight, muscular bronze-colored form and long, thick black wavy hair. When his jaw hits the floor, his signature sharply filed eye teeth appear. “I did not know! Lo siento mucho! Please forgive me!” His fingers lace and his expression is pleading.
I put a hand on the cuff of his deer skin shirt. “It’s alright, Moto. Calm down. I’m here to get the hostages out.”
He shakes his head. “Man muy dangerous. You must be careful.”
Hey wait. Motaau’ can heal people. “Moto, I need you to do me a great service.”
He nods enthusiastically. “Anything.”
“You know Osiris, right?”
“Si, big builder man. He nice.”
“He’s here. I need you to find him and ask him to take you back to where he’s hiding Russell. Russell’s been hurt bad and needs you to heal him.” That kills two birds with one stone. I get Osiris out of the area, because he’s too emotionally involved in this and might do something stupid, and at the same time, Russell will be restored. On the other hand, if I need a healer, Motaau’ will be too far away.
Motaau’ smiles at me in agreement. “I do this for you, no problemo.” He puts a strong, long-nailed hand on my shoulder. “Good luck, and if need heal, take this.” He hands me a small, but heavy pouch, winks, and then takes off into the crowd.
“I’ll need it.” I say more to myself than him. I take one more look at the ominous tower and swallow hard, putting the pouch away and gripping my sketchbook tightly, accepting this charge and walking forward into the unknown.
“Oh my god, is that…?” I hear someone to my left gasp when I walk by, heading straight to the negotiator with the bullhorn. The negotiator? None other than Quentin, my charming, I’m-gonna-knock-you-outta-the-closet-with-my-drop-dead-good-looks playboy. He could charm the socks off of the most hardened drill sergeant with ridiculous ease. He has his sleek back towards me, and all I see is a waterfall of his perfect golden locks that comes just short of his tight apple ass, encased in the tightest pair of leather pants I’ve ever seen. I had to admit, even I wanted to do him right then and there.
“Quentin?” I touch his slender shoulder and he spins around to see me. Oh, that flawless face, those beautiful crystalline blue eyes. Those pink, luscious lips. “Can I use that thing for a minute?” I wasn’t so sure I was referring to the bullhorn, or something else.
“And who are you?” Those wide eyes narrow suspiciously at me. “What makes you think you can do any better than I have?”
“Because I’m your bargaining chip.” I hold up my sketchbook.
He gasps, slapping a hand over his mouth. “Oh my god, get over here.” He shoves the horn in my hands and laces one of his delicate arms around mine. Just his intense body heat and alluring scent was making me dizzy with desire. “The guy did it. I can’t believe he actually did it. It took him almost 30 hours, but you’re finally here and now we can finally do something about this.” He smiles at me, and it takes all my willpower just to keep myself from grabbing him and kissing him. Instead, I nudge him away.
My mind is my own again. “Davis!” I call out over the bullhorn. “Davis Frisco! I’m here! It’s me you want, let the others go!” My insides feel like silly puddy. I’m nauseous and I’m scared and I wanna go home. I wanna deal with my abusive mother and my hordes and hordes of meaningless junkmail. Anything but this.
“JASPER!!” I hear a voice; his voice, calling down to me from the tower. The hulking man steps out just barely into view, with something much smaller squirming in his hands. I squint and I manage to see a small, caped figure being carried into view by his neck, his legs kicking wildly. In Davis’ other hand, a sawed off shotgun presses against the poor boy’s head. Everyone armed down below suddenly aims up there at him.
“Hold your fire!” I hear someone else scream.
“GOOD OLE’ JASPER COLLINS!” He chuckles maniacally. His booming voice could fill an opera house. “PLEASE TELL ME IT’S REALLY YOU!”
I hold up the book as solid proof. “It’s me, Davis, I swear to you. Now let the hostages go!” I must be shaking noticeably, because someone grips onto my arm. Tightly.
“JUST LIKE THAT? I DON’T THINK SO! AS ADDED INSURANCE, I’VE SENT DOWN A FEW ESCORTS!” I turn to see who just grabbed me.
“Matthew Hurst.” I growl, trying to shake him off. He was always a character I loved to hate. He raped people, he killed people, he used people and he enjoyed every moment of it. If anyone would be on Davis’ evil wavelength, it would be him. Matthew just grins at me and grips onto me tighter. He wasn’t designed to be all that big, but he was still slightly bigger than me.
“AND I TRUST THE POLICE WONT TOUCH THEM, SEEING AS HOW OUR FRIEND LAZARUS WOULD BE THE ONE TO SUFFER…”
I’m suddenly grabbed by the other arm. “You’d better do as the man says, Jasper.” A sweet, innocent voice whispers to me. I turn to see my goodie-two-shoes character, Seth Mendle. Now this was a shock. Seth carried around the biblical sword of Michael, and only the absolute purest souls were able to wield it. I was baffled. He also wasn’t the biggest, strongest character in the world, but between the two of them, they hauled me inside the courthouse. And the police couldn’t touch us.
Once we get inside, I turn towards Seth. “Why? Why you, of all people?” He merely lowers his head shamefully and refuses to answer.
“He’s gonna tear you apart, you little puke.” Matthew cackles, reaching with the other hand to grab my crotch.
“Get the fuck off’a me, you piece of shit!” I struggle wildly against both of them. “I swear, I’ll shove my foot so far up your ass-!”
“Shut up.” Seth grits his teeth, squeezing my arm tight. “Don’t make this any harder on yourself. Just put one foot in front of the other and do what Frisco wants you to do and we could all go home happy.” His blue eyes look hard into mine, some blond hair falling in front of his face. He tosses his head back to shake it to the side and keeps me walking.
“Yeah, listen to ‘im, for once, he knows what he’s talking about.”
Seth doesn’t even turn to look at him. “You shut up too, Matt.”
I’ll never complain about the Statue of Liberty having too many stairs ever again. After going through this weird secret passageway, we end up in this dark stairwell with questionable support, dust and cobwebs everywhere. It’s so gross, it makes me want to throw up. Seth and Matthew manhandle me the whole way and Matthew even grabs me inappropriately a few more times, for which I curse him out. Seth even said he’d let me punch Matt for the last one. Instead, I call him an Injun. I know he hates being called that. After ascending stairs forever, we finally come to a trap door. Matthew raps on it three times and it’s opened. Before I have a chance to adjust to the new flood of light, I’m picked up by the back of my neck and lifted out of the stairwell.
“Ahh, if it isn’t my good friend, Jasper. I’m so glad you could make it. I somehow knew that Arab guy would come through.” My heart sinks into my feet when I’m face to face with Davis Frisco himself.
“Egyptian. Osiris is Egyptian.” I choke out defiantly, still in mid-air.
“Whatever…listen, have we got a lot to talk about. But for now,” He drops me and I land with an audible thud. “Take a moment to rest. The trip here must have taken a lot out of you.”
I look around and see the rest of the hostages. Lazarus is bleeding in a corner being taken care of by Russ Benson and Dean Carlyle. A pair of newer characters I wrote a story about. They were still cute together. They looked scared, but relatively unharmed. Then there were a pair of older characters, Talis Vanguard and Craig Kitterman. Talis had a huge gash in his arm, he was shivering and looked severely dehydrated. Craig was far worse off, being the more stubborn type. He was long since unconscious with some serious head trauma. Base was curled up next to Daisy Katz, who had a huge crush on Osiris. I thought it would be funny to give Anubis some static. Speaking of Anubis, he was here too, comforting Steven Patterson and Pat Olmec. They looked alright, thank god.
There was another person here too. His name is Darryl Carpenter. He was a K-9 cop from Detroit, Michigan and a really sweet guy. He was lying on the other side of the room face down in a pool of his own blood. Most of his smooth, chocolate skin was exposed and he was obviously suffering from several puncture wounds. I rush over to see if he’s still alive. Just barely breathing. Without even thinking, I open the pouch and take out the small glass vial that’s in there. I pop the cork and lift Darryl’s head just high enough to pour it into his bloodied jaw. I just about get the last drop in when Matthew kicks the vial out of my hand, almost breaking my wrist.
“What the fuck is your problem??” I scream into his face. He just turns away and laughs at me, walking back toward Davis. I ignore the sharp pains in my wrist and try to sit Darryl up, feeling his breathing regulate again.
“Well ain’t that just the sweetest thing.” Davis moves over to me, grabbing the hurt wrist and hoisting me to a standing position by it. I yelp out in pain. “Are you always this caring and selfless to your characters? I’m touched.”
“Let them go! You have me, what more do you want?” I struggle weakly in his arms. He bends down and takes my beloved Book of Men that I had set aside when I healed Darryl.
“Give that back!!” I struggle harder now, at the threat of losing my pride and joy.
“Here, Anubis, hold that for me.” Davis tosses it over to Anubis, who merely makes a face at it and frowns. “Matt, Seth, begin escorting the others out. I wont be needing them anymore.” They nod and start the evacuation.
“Anubis, give that back! Please, you’re on my side, right?” I reach out for the book. He stands there, just out of kicking distance, putting his head down just like Seth had. Anubis was a bad guy too.
“You presume too much, Jasper. Anubis works for me now. And as for you? You’re reign over this place has passed. The book is mine now, and so is this realm.” He grips onto me closely, squeezing me. I yell out raspily in pain, feeling as though my ribs would be crushed at any moment. I didn’t know what he was talking about. What does the book have to do with ‘ruling this realm’? He grins evilly at me. “And now…you’re mine to do with as I please. Forever.”
Still squeezing me, he presses his lips to mine, his tongue invading my mouth, feeling around for my throat. When he finally lets go, I begin screaming frantically. “Anubis, help me! Please, don’t be a monster like him!” Davis punches me in the jaw and I go sailing into the nearest wall. I slide down the wall, feeling around to see if my jaw was still intact. It hurt like hell, but it didn’t feel broken. I see him take out a pencil and take my book from Anubis. He flips to an empty page and begins scribbling in it.
“Let me demonstrate my power to you, so you understand the position that you’re in.”
“Fuck you!!” I leap up from the wall to lunge at him, and I’m yanked back by an invisible force. Shocked, I look up and discover that there are large iron shackles on my wrists that bind me to the wall. I shake at them for a few moments, testing their strength. I’m held fast and there’s nothing I can do about it.
“Do you see now what I mean? I control this realm now, boy. And you’re going to stay here and be my plaything forever.” I’m suddenly at a loss for breath. I’m trying not to panic, but it’s seeping into me like a bad summer cold. I should have seen the connection. I should have known the book would have power here, but I didn’t, and now the whole dream realm is paying the price for my stupidity.
“You’re never gonna get away with this! Everyone knows I’m here!!” I argue, my voice cracking from duress. “They’re going to arrest your sorry ass and put you in jail for life!”
“They wont be able to touch me. They will watch helplessly as we make our getaway with you and the book. And then…we’ll be free to do whatever we want. As for now, Anubis, why don’t you leave us?” He nods and heads for the trap door.
“Monster!!” I call out to him as he walks out. “Traitorous monster! Osiris is going to hate you for selling us all out!” Davis smacks me again. When I open my eyes, I see that Anubis has stopped and turned to face me angrily. His dark eyes set on his wide, dark face boring into my skull. His shoulder length black hair was soaked with sweat and just barely blowing with the wind.
“I’m doing this for him. For all of us.” He saddens again. “You couldn’t understand now, but you will. You’ll see.” Davis tosses him the book and he puts it away. He then opens the hatch and leaves. He’s right, I didn’t understand. Was I really that bad of a dreamer? Was I a tyrant or something? Did I release starving dogs in the streets once a week? Did I cause them pain? What could I have done to make them hate me so much?
Davis grins wildly in my face and I burst into tears. He takes out a small knife and cuts off my shirt. I scream in protest. He responds by pulling my legs toward him and taking off my pants. I struggle and fight him with every shred of dignity I have left. He nibbles on my neck and I’m thrashing my appendages around, trying to get free. He rips of my underwear and pins my midsection to the wall, struggling with his own pants in the meantime. I ball my eyes out at him. This was wrong. I hadn’t made him like this.
“You’re gonna take it from me, Jasper. Go on, take a look at it. I want you to see what’s about to skewer you like a pork roast.” He grabs my hair and forces me to face the hugest dick I’d ever laid eyes on. It had to be at least ten or more inches. I was sure of it, I only made him up with eight inches. I watch in horror as he drools all over it and pulls my legs back so that my knees are touching the wall. I’m squirming and crying, begging him to come to his senses. He spears that thing into me and I swear, I’ve never heard myself scream so loud in my entire life.
I don’t know whether my natural defenses kicked in, or whether it was a gift from some far off drawing god, but I suddenly go numb. He curls his body over me, grunting and panting like a dog. He thrusts in and out of me violently. I wasn’t sure of much, but I knew this wasn’t my character. Tears flood my eyes and cloud my vision. His grunting filled my ears so I can’t hear anything else. Every so often, he’d groan out, “Yeah, that’s it, Jasper. Take it from me. Take it like the little bitch you are.”
And then there was a loud thud, and Davis collapses on top of me, then slides out of me and down onto the ground. I look down at myself and see blood. I was bleeding badly and all I could think about was he was going to get up and kill me.
“Jasper…it’s alright. I’m here to get you out of here.” I look up and see a pair of gloved hands pry at my chains.
“Lazarus…” I choke out, the intense pain of Davis’ invasion returning in full force. “The book…” My knees buckle from underneath me and the chains are now the only things keeping me upright.
“What book? There’s no book here.” Lazarus looks around frantically, putting a pair of nun-chucks back into his belt.
“Anubis…the book…trapped…power…uhh…” I feel my eyes roll back into my head and then my whole world goes black.
I’m cold. My head hurts and there’s something cold touching my bottom lip. My eyes flutter open and I see a blurry rendition of Osiris. He’s putting a cold glass of ice water to my lips.
“Drink.” He frowns, concern in his faded green eyes. I respond by crying. He puts down the drink and holds me tight. “It’s okay, Jasper. You’re safe. We found the passageway in and I cut you out of the chains with a laser pen.”
“He got the book…” I trail off, wondering how I’m going to break it to him that his lover, Anubis is a traitor.
He just laughs. “Actually, Frisco just got booked. He’s being held without bail at the county prison. Now all we have to do is capture Seth and Matthew. They tricked us. They let go a few hostages but transported the rest of them elsewhere. They still have Anubis.”
I sigh and close my eyes. “You wont get Anubis back, Osiris, I’m sorry.” I regret the words the moment they leave me, realizing how they could be taken.
“WHAT??” He leaps up, wide-eyed.
“No, no…Anubis is working for him.”
“NO! NO WAY! I know my Anubis, and he would never do such a thing. Why would he be part in this??” Just then, I see Motaau’ and Russell walk into the room. Russell looks much better, thankfully. Osiris doesn’t even turn to say hello, he just keeps staring at me.
“I dunno, he said he was doing it for you. I didn’t understand it either. And another thing. Davis Frisco isn’t my character. I don’t know who made him up, but I sure didn’t.”
All three of them glare and Russell sits down on the bed next to me. “So if he isn’t your character, what’s he doing here?”
“He is, technically my character, but he was ill-defined when I was dragged here. And he’s…changed. Someone else changed him and I don’t know who it was. I don’t even know how.” It was then that I look around and realize I have no idea where I am. “Where are we?”
“My house.” A strong voice comes from the doorway. Russ Benson, the contractor. The tall, well-built tanned man sporting a full beard and mustache and messed up cropped dark hair glares at me coolly from where he stands. His steely-blue eyes gleaming. “Dean and I hid you, your friends and the hostages that managed to get away here in my cabin. It’s out of the way and those jackoffs won’t look for us here.” He looks over to Osiris. “I’m sorry, buddy, but Jasper’s telling the truth about Anubis. He was helping those bastards from moment one.”
Osiris puts his head down. “No…” It was more of a whine than a protest.
“I’m so sorry, Osiris.” My brows furrow in despair. I sigh, remembering the other hostages. “Who else is here besides us?”
“Dean, of course, Darryl, Lazarus and Patrick.”
“So they still have Base, Daisy, Talis, Craig, Steven and…”
“And that’s it.” Russell chimes in with a smile.
“I can’t believe they let Pat go and not Steven. Pat must be falling apart over this.” I turn over on my side, pouting at Russell. He just shrugs.
“Lazarus told us you had been mumbling something about a book before you passed out.” He brings over the ice water again and I drink it.
“My sketchbook. I can’t believe I didn’t recognize its power from the start. And now Anubis, Seth and Matthew have it. They can change this whole world with that book, and my stupid ass just handed it right over to them.” I put the glass down and burry my head in the pillows.
“They aren’t the only ones who have it, people.” Lazarus comes running in. “I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but Davis Frisco was just busted out of jail like twenty seconds ago. My guess is, the three stooges broke him out and now he’s on the loose and on the lookout for you, Jasper.” He frowns sorrowfully. “I’m sure he won’t find you here.”
“Damn straight he won’t!” Russ raises a fist. “You’re gonna stay here nice and hidden and if he comes knockin’ on my cabin door, all he’ll find is a face full’a buckshot!” He grins warmly, marching out of the room. “Now who’s in the mood for roast chicken??”
“I’m a vegetarian.” Osiris blankly states.
Nightfall. I watched the sunset from my first floor bedroom window and it was beautiful. Wherever in the woods we were, I wanted to live in a place just like it back home in the real world. The longer I stayed here, the more distant home felt. The roast chicken and garlic potatoes Russ cooked us were wonderful, and his lover, Dean especially loved it. He cooked this tomato and cheese soup thing for Osiris, which he ate up pretty nicely. Ever since dinner, I’d felt very tired, so I stretched out for bed early. Right now, Motaau’ is curled up in jaguar form on my bed, shedding his golden and black fur all over my sheets. I absently pet his ears and tickle his whiskers until he sneezes, listening to the conversation taking place outside the room. However, I was so tired that I found myself only hearing parts of it.
“…There aren’t enough bedrooms for everyone, so you guys are going to have to pair up. I have one bedroom for me and Dean, another day bed out in the hallway upstairs, another bedroom next to ours and the one down here that Jasper’s in. Do you think that maybe…”
“…Day bed is fine. I’m the smallest one here and the day bed is pretty small.”
“…Lazarus is taking the day bed, and Moto can fit in with him, since he sleeps as a jaguar anyway…”
“Pat and Darryl can fit in the bedroom next to ours, so that leaves out Osiris and Russell. Do you think we should move Jasper? He’s still very ill, and…”
“…Take the couch. Osiris can have the bed with Jasper, I’ll be fine.”
Later that night, long after I’d fallen asleep, a form comes crawling into my bed. Snuggling up next to me under the covers. For a brief moment, I thought it was Davis and yelped, jumping on top of the form and pinning it down to defend myself. I hear blankets wrestling and Osiris’ panicked voice harshly whispering in the darkness. “Whoa, kid, take it easy! It’s me!”
“Oh…Osiris…I’m so sorry…” I lay down flat on top of him, hugging him. He hugs me back with a sigh.
“I’m sorry about what that creep did to you, I really am. But he won’t find you here, I promise. You’re safe, Jasper. You’re safe.” He strokes my hair, slick and damp from cold sweat. I nudge my face into his bare, hairy chest. He smells so musky, so sultry and sexy. I drink in that amazing scent of his and it sends my mind reeling. Every soft touch of his fingertips feels like it’s passing my flesh and dipping into my soul. I had always said that if Osiris was a real person, I could fall in love with him. Well, he’s here in front of me. I’m touching him, I’m smelling him and I’m laying on top of him. He seems real enough to me right now, and I think I’m falling in love with him.
“Osiris?” I whisper to him gently.
“What is it?” His hot, moist lips are a fraction of an inch away from my ear, and his thick facial hair is tickling my cheek.
“Was that what sex with a man is supposed to feel like?” I breathe out, almost inaudibly.
“Of course not, Jasper. It’s actually very pleasurable, for both parties. What Davis had with you wasn’t sex, it was rape.” I could feel his briefs growing tighter and tighter from the thick package growing inside them, as I’m sure he could feel mine.
“…Could you…show me what sex is like?” There’s a long moment where he says nothing. My hands run through his long, wild black locks and smooth, muscular shoulders and chest. One of my hands slides down to his pelvis and he lets out a soft sigh of approval.
“I…” He trails off, unsure of his words. “I think I…might be able to help you.” He nods slightly as he whispers this, one of his strong hands caressing my hairless face. The hand trails down to my chest, then my waist, and that’s when the other hand travels over my back. I was much more slender than he was, but I wasn’t quite skinny either. I did have a small amount of muscle tone to me, which I was proud of. Even more so as Osiris caresses over them lovingly, sensually. The more he touches me, the harder my cock gets, and the more passionate our fondling becomes. He puts both of his hands on my small ass cheeks and squeezes them tightly. I let out a moan of increasing excitement and begin grinding my hard crotch into his. His groans are encouraging me to go further. I reach with one hand under the elastic of his underwear and finger the head of his thick, sweaty cock. It jumps a little when I touch it and he bites his lower lip to hide a smile.
“You can take them off if it makes things easier.” He coaxes.
Still holding each other, we flip over so that he’s on top of me. I help him off with them and soon, mine come off as well. Both sets of hands soar over the other’s bodies passionately and impatiently. Our mouths lock in an equally passionate kiss, and our tongues dance in harmony with one another before taking turns licking, sucking and biting on each other’s neck and shoulders.
I hear him gasp out, almost incoherent with excitement. “Oh, Jasper, I fucking need you…”
“I need you too, Osiris.”
He shakes his head, grabbing my hard meat in his hand. “No, I mean I need you inside of me.” He points my dick right at the opening of his ass, biting his lip.
I gasp, remembering how I bled when I was invaded, I didn’t want the same to happen to him. “I can’t, I don’t want to hurt you.”
“You won’t, you just need some lube.” He pants heavily, closing his eyes tight for a moment. “In the second smallest front compartment of my bag. And hurry.”
I practically fly off the bed and down to his bag. I find a small tube of jelly and bring it back to him. He pulls me on top of him and kisses me, throwing his hairy legs over my shoulders. I rub some of the thick jelly on his pucker and test it with an index finger, he rewards me with a contained groan of pleasure. He pushes his hips into my hand, forcing my finger deeper up his ass. “Ohh, god, fuck me, Jasper!” he sucks in through his teeth. “I need your cock in me right now!” I pull my finger out and grease up my dick, easing it into him slowly, stroking his throbbing meat with the hand I’m not using to pull his hips into me. I feel his tight, wet ass envelope around me, urging the cum to begin boiling to the surface. He moans and pumps back onto my dick wildly, gritting his teeth and digging his nails into my back.
I rock back and forth into him, the sweat dripping off my face. His asshole feels so good stretched wide around my dick that I can barely get over it. He bites into my shoulder to keep from screaming and I’m having a little trouble myself. His arousal thumps and pulsates in my hand as I stroke it, my ass clenching every time I thrust my prick deep inside of him. I can feel his sphincter trying to milk the hot juices from my raised balls, and I’m just about ready to shoot it into him. He clamps down hard onto my shoulder with a loud, muffled cry as thick, white cum spurts in waves from his purple cockhead. Just as he’s releasing the last of his seed onto my chest and stomach, I feel myself spike to a climax suddenly and without warning, and I bend over him, thrashing my exploding dick deep inside him for a few last strokes as I empty my loins into his gullet.
As I begin calming down, I ease my spent, but still hard meat out of him and he collapses flat onto the bed. I fall to his side and we both breathe hard on each other while we kiss madly. Needless to say, we repeat this process again and again all throughout the night. By the time morning hits, we’re unbelievably tired, so we fall asleep in each other’s arms.
“Good morning, sleepyheads.” Dean wakes us up around midday by pulling the shades out of the way of the sun. “Does anybody want lunch?” We’re both blinded and grumpy from lack of sleep, and Dean runs out wailing as we chuck all our pillows at him at full force. Osiris sits up and points after him smiling.
“And stay out ya, bastard!” We both chuckle and fool around a little more before falling back asleep.
When I finally wake up, it’s nightfall again, and Osiris is gone. I climb out of bed and get dressed. When I walk out to see what’s going on, I see my friends reduced to bloody body parts tossed carelessly around the floor. Davis Frisco jumps out in front of me laughing. “Now you’re mine for good!” I shoot up in bed filling the dark room with my panicked screams.
“Jasper!” Lazarus runs into the room to comfort me.
“What goings on?” Motaau’ sticks in human head in.
“Jasper had a nightmare.” Lazarus sits down and rubs my back.
“Well, bring him with us to the store!” Pat’s voice rings out from beyond the door. “Let him be around us, he won’t feel so scared anymore.”
“Let me…” I catch my breath. “Let me just get dressed and I’ll be right out.” I honestly didn’t feel like going outside.
“He doesn’t look so good…” Russ frowns, glaring at him through the open door. “Jasper, are you sure you’re up to going out? We just need some supplies, we won’t be gone very long.” He stands up, looking concerned.
Darryl, now awake and much better nods in agreement. “If he doesn’t feel like going out, don’t force him.”
“Still, he shouldn’t be here alone.” Pat argues.
“That’s no problem, guys. I’ll stay to keep him company. You go do what you have to do.” Lazarus grins. They agree and Lazarus stays behind while everyone else leaves. I look up at him questioningly and he draws a quick breath, pausing for a moment.
“Hey, no problem.” I hear the front door slam.
There’s another long, uneasy pause. “What’s up?”
“You created me, right?”
“Yeah.” I hear the car pull away slowly from the driveway.
“So you know who I am, right? I’m getting really sick of walking around with this goddam mask on all the time.”
“Yes, I know who you are, Mai. If you want, you can take off your mask.” He nods and does this, tossing his mask on my lap. His spiky black hair falls into his bright, big eyes. He also takes off his blood-soaked cape.
“Ahh, I feel free!” He smiles, sitting on the bed next to me. “So why don’t you give it to me straight, Jasper. Tell me more about this guy, Frisco. Level with me about how dangerous he is.”
I give a defeated sigh. “I don’t think I can anymore. He’s not the same Frisco I made up. I’m afraid someone has altered him.”
“But how? Did someone mess with the book before he got it?”
“Impossible. It was in my sight the entire time I was here.”
“Well…what about…? Oh, nevermind.”
“I don’t know, I was just thinking that maybe someone could have messed with the book before you got here.” He laughs.
“No, I really don’t think…” I freeze. Something was nagging me. Something deep in my gut telling me I was missing something. My mind scans the events just prior to being dragged here. I saw the picture, I got the ideas, I sketched the character, I made up the quirks…
Wait a moment. There was something else. I sketched the character out, the very first time immediately next to a drawing of me. What did I do with it? I grip onto my head, demanding the rusty old wheels to turn. I drew it, I scowled at it…and then…
I threw it away. I threw it away!! That means the drawing, the first drawing of Davis, Davis in his rawest and most impressionable form is still in my house. Unsupervised. Vulnerable.
“DAMMIT!!” I cry out, slamming my fists onto the bed. Lazarus jumps. “I know what happened. I know who altered Frisco.”
“Did you ever think that maybe I altered me??” That familiar voice booms from the doorway. When I turn to look, I’m deafened by a shotgun blast. Lazarus goes flying across the room, spraying blood all over the walls, the windows, the bed and even me. I bolt upright, both hands clasped onto my mouth in horror.
“Lazarus!! You killed him!!”
He points the shotgun at me. “If you don’t want to be next, I suggest you throw some pants on and start walking, boy.” Seth, Anubis and Matthew file into the room to assist me with my speedy departure. I throw my clothing on quickly and as they drag me out of the room, I take one last look at the bloody pile that used to be my friend. I swear to myself that the moment I got the book back, Lazarus would live up to his name.
“Where are we going?” I nag, squished in the back seat in between Seth and Matthew.
“Your new home, Marvel-boy.” Matthew snickers.
“Well, are we there yet? I have to take a wicked leak.”
“Shut the fuck up.” Davis growls at me from the driver’s seat.
“I’m serious, I just woke up!”
“Umm, I think he’s telling the truth, Frisco.” Seth frowns, probably afraid for the fact that he has to sit immediately next to me if I wasn’t kidding.
“He’s just yankin’ our crank, Seth. He wants the opportunity to escape. Ain’t that right, marvel-boy?” Matthew laughs.
“Dude, I swear to god, if you don’t let me get out and pee, you’re the ones who will have to clean it up back here.” I do the pee-pee dance in my seat.
“Shut up, Seth.” Davis pulls the car over to the side of the highway. “You have exactly two minutes. After that, I come looking for you myself. Seth, go with him.”
“Why me??” He whines.
“The clock is ticking.” Davis looks at his watch.
We get out of the car and go dredging off into the sparse woods. Seth is close behind me. I pick a tree and go to unzip my pants. “Man, I can’t go when people watch.”
“Deal. You don’t exactly have all day here.”
I sigh and begin relieving myself. “You know, I must say. I’m surprised you can still wield that sword of yours.”
“And why is that?”
“Because the sword of Michael can only be used by those pure of heart. You were pure…once. But that part of you has died. I can see that now.”
He growls. “You’re only trying to get under my skin. I’m wise to your tricks, Collins.”
I shrug, zipping back up. “I don’t have to try to get under your skin, Seth. I created you. I know more about you than you know about you.” I walk up to him, getting so close to him, our noses almost touch. We glare at each other viciously. “I know the things you fear the most, the things you desire the most and the things you treasure the most. Hell, I also know the things that turn you on the most. You are a piece of me. You are part of my spirit. By helping to capture me, you’re helping to destroy yourself and you’re too stubborn and corrupt to see that.” I huff into his face and he narrows his eyes at me after a slight pause.
“Get back to the car.” He shoves my back and I almost tumble forward. “Move!”
“Fine. You don’t believe me, go ahead and try to use your sword. Ten bucks says it doesn’t like you anymore.”
“Here he is, Frisco!” Seth calls out before we even get within sight range of the car.
“Very good.” Davis remarks as Matthew opens the door for me. We both slide in and we start driving again. Seth sits there silently with a scowl on his face.
In fact, there’s an awkward silence that spreads to the whole car. “So, um…how was your pee?” Anubis glances back at me nervously. I can’t help but snicker. No one else finds it funny.
“I’m starving. Could we maybe stop off at a drive-thru or something?” I decide to push my luck.
“Shut the fuck up, Jasper.” Davis growls.
There’s a few minutes of dead silence. I sigh. “Are we there yet?”
“No. Shut up.”
“Are we there yet?”
“Are we there yet?”
“GODDAMMIT, SHUT UP!!” I smile at Davis’ lack of patience. When Matthew laughs, the sound of a gun hammer locking back renders us all silent. “Somebody gag him!!”
“With pleasure.” Seth states eagerly. So bound with rope and gagged with an old, dusty belt I was. We drive for miles. Hardly anyone says a word for the rest of the trip. There isn’t much else to do, so I think about things. For instance, how Davis found the cabin. I assumed that he watched and waited for the others to leave before moving in. How coincidental it was that the others had picked a day where I was ill to go running off to the store. I imagine them coming back to the cabin in the state that it was left, and I picture how badly Osiris must be freaking out right now. Poor Osiris; first he finds out his lover is a traitor and then he finds Lazarus blown to bits and me abducted the moment he steps out to get supplies. I find relief in the fact that I never created a lover for Lazarus. I always thought he was too young. Hell, maybe he was.
The car suddenly stops and I’m ordered to get out. Anubis and Matthew grab each of my arms and haul me into what looks to be an abandoned warehouse. How cliche’. They drag me to one corner of it where a rather large portion of the room had been sealed off with Plexiglas. It was like a large enclosure for humans. It had a bed, a toilet, a sink, a chair and a small desk with stacks of junkfood piled on top of it. I cry out in protest as they shove me into my new prison cell.
“You can’t do this to me!” I pound on the plastic-like walls, poking my fingers through the several small holes scattered about in it. “You can’t just let me die in here!”
“On the contrary, Jasper. You’re still thinking on terms of your world’s rules. This is a dream realm, remember? And I control it. You will never die unless I will you to.”
I pause, a lightbulb going off above my head. I’m mentally kicking myself for not seeing this sooner. “Of course…” I giggle, grabbing my forehead. “Of course! Why didn’t I see where this was going before now? I should have known.”
For the first time since I met him, Davis Frisco looked slightly nervous. “And what exactly is it that you think you know?” He approaches the cell wall slowly. Warily.
“That was one of the very few things that stayed true to when I made you up. You might have been altered, but not all that much.” My smile widens. “You only become evil when you’re scared, Davis.” I point at him and tilt my head to a side. “What is it you’re scared of? Huh, Davis?”
“I’m not scared!” He blurts out sloppily, spittle shooting from his lower lip. “You’re the one who should be scared! You’re going to stay in there forever!”
“Why should I be scared? Don’t you get it, Frisco??” I laugh loudly. “You’ve rescued me! I no longer have to worry about my mother, or college, or work or any of that stuff. I have nothing to lose! But the same can’t be said about you, can it?”
He grits his teeth, his fists shaking noticeably. “You think you got it all figured out, don’t you, you little piece of shit…well, I’ll show you.”
I continue my interrogation, reveling in how riled I’m making him. “Because when I go…” I motion towards the cell, the room, then the door. “All this. Your little hideout, this little town, the whole realm goes with me. Isn’t that right?”
“You know what? YOU’RE NOTHING!!” He screams, his voice cracking. “You’re nothing but a monkey in a cage, you know that?? I took away your book, I took away your power, and I took your dignity too! So why don’t you sit down, shut up and get comfortable because you aren’t going anywhere…EVER!!”
My eyes narrow angrily at him. His words cut me deeply, but I refuse to give him the satisfaction of knowing that. “You’re scared to die. That’s it. You are afraid of fading out like every other dream. You’re afraid I’m going to get old and stop dreaming, and you’ll be nothing but a distant memory. Admit it. That’s what this is all about.”
“You better believe it!” Seth stands up suddenly, shouting at me. “When was the last time you wrote anything about my little brother?? When was the last time you even drew him?? You stopped dreaming of him when you were eleven, and he disappeared about a year or so after.” Tears flood his eyes and fall down his cheeks. “I MISS HIM!” He stomps down with a foot like a child throwing a temper tantrum. “Do you even remember his name anymore??”
My hands press against the Plexiglas, my eyes wide and full of shame. My head lowers slightly. “Bryon.” I frown. “He was my imaginary friend when I was little. I made you up when I was eight so he’d have company when I went to the therapist.”
“Because he couldn’t go with you to the therapist. There was too much Banality there and it hurt him too much.” Seth wipes his nose with his knuckles and sniffles loudly. “Oh god, Jasper, I miss him so much.” He begins sobbing, and Anubis puts a hand on his shoulder. “Why did you have to listen to them when they told you he didn’t exist? He was so sick for so long, and one day he was just gone.”
“I don’t…” I take a deep breath. “I don’t have any excuses for you. I can’t say I’m sorry enough times for you to believe me.”
“You don’t have to say a thing.” Seth bites his lip. “Just stay there and behave so it doesn’t happen to anyone else.” They didn’t understand. How could they? And that’s what Anubis meant when he said that he was doing this for Osiris. It had been about a year since I drew him. Hell, since I even thought about him. He was probably getting sick too. Anubis was only trying to help make sure he wouldn’t fade away.
I’m such a fool. We all are. “Seth, Davis, Anubis…I’m afraid all your planning was for nothing.” They look up at me nervously when I give them a calm, knowing smile. “You see, you were right. This is MY realm. And it doesn’t matter how many of my sketchbooks you take away from me. It’s not the paper and graphite that holds my power…” They all watch in shock as I put my index finger in my mouth and bite hard enough to draw blood. “It’s all in the wrist.” I use my bloodied finger to draw a circle in the glass just big enough for me to climb through. The glass disappears and I climb out. They watch helplessly from a distance.
“No! You don’t understand!” Davis crumples to his knees before me. “I can’t fade away like that the minute you decide to forget me! I can’t just lay down and die!”
“And neither can I!” I growl back at him. “Tell me, Davis…you’re a brand new dream. Brand new dreams don’t just think of how they’re going to die.” I give him a stern look. “Who put you up to this!?”
“I did.” A familiar, sexy, seedy voice echoes through the warehouse.
I look up with a blank expression. “Osiris. I should have known. You did know where to find the secret passageway in the courthouse, after all.”
“Your mistake.” He comes closer, out of the shadows.
“You were getting ill, weren’t you?”
“More than that. You have no comprehension of what it’s like.”
I cross my arms. “And you have no idea that this is inevitable. It doesn’t matter whether I’m home or trapped in a box, Osiris. It doesn’t matter if I grow old naturally or stay in some unnatural stasis. My mind will still progress naturally and I’ll still stop dreaming. That’s just how people are!”
“Untrue. People stop dreaming because of a horrible thing called shame. Admit it, there came a day where you felt shame over pulling out a chair so Bryon could sit at a table with you. That was the day he died. You felt silly because your society thinks people shouldn’t have imaginary friends. If you’re surrounded by dreams, that shame will disappear because there will be no need for it.”
“But the magic of dreams is fleeting. If I’m trapped here, surrounded by it every day, it will stop being magic to me, and you’ll all die that way. This is a lose-lose situation. You should have seen that.” For a moment, they are all silent, looking at me with defeated anger in their frightened eyes. They know they’ve lost, all too well. “Hmm.” I smile, rubbing my chin. “Fortunately for you, I have an idea. This idea, I think, will make everybody a winner.”
“We’re listening.” ___
I make the finishing touches to my new drawing and close my beloved Book of Men, placing it gently down by my computer. My mother finally fell asleep after catering to me all day. She was so afraid I had run away because of her, she vowed never to hurt me again. She even apologized for defacing the picture she found crumpled up in the den garbage can.
“I understand that you are probably gay,” She admitted earlier. “But you’re still my son and I love you reguardless. Just don’t bring any gay guys in here or we’re going to have problems.”
It truly felt good to be home. I yawn and stretch, picking up the book and glancing at my new picture as I walk into the kitchen to get a midnight snack.
Motaau’ kneeling over and healing a badly hurt but not dead Lazarus. Motaau’ was born as a jaguar, and all humans look alike to him. Lazarus’ identity remains safe for now, providing he be more careful about taking off his mask in the future. Crazy kid.
I smile as I look up at all the portrait drawings I have hanging on my fridge. There’s one of Osiris and Anubis, another of Steven and Pat, one of Daisy and Darryl, Talis and Craig giving each other the horns, a big one of Motaau’ in both his jaguar and human form, one of Dean and Russ, Artemis and Alejandro, one of Seth wielding his sword with confidence and pride, Davis and his new lover, Quentin with their arms around each other, Lazarus and Base being their usual adorable selves and a nice one with Russell flying over the Johanes Courthouse bell tower. Hell, I even had a picture of Matthew. They were the preliminary sketches of to-be posters, buttons, tee shirts and anything else I could think of that would last a lifetime. I planned to hand them down to my children, and them down to theirs. Well, after I get through job hunting tomorrow.
After microwaving some leftover mac & cheese, I sit down at the table and smile to myself as I pull the chair out next to me for Bryon. I imagine what he must look like, all grown up like me.
“Yeah.” I say aloud. “It’s been far too long, my friend.”