(I’ve been sitting on this story for days, wondering if I should attempt to finish it before posting. I think I’ll try submitting this in parts. It’s getting pretty long, anyway. Also, this is one of two stories I’ve started writing, based partially on a comment Max made to me while I was home for the holidays. I’d taken a few pictures of our wooded backyard to show him, and he’d noted how deep the woods ran…)
I stopped and leaned heavily against a tree, trying to catch my breath. My throat was dry from breathing in the cold, crisp winter air, and from striding quickly up and down rocky wooded hillsides for an hour.
An hour. I swallowed the threat of panic that the thought brought with it. Instead, I straightened up and took stock of my surroundings, peering around for any familiar landmarks.
Trees. Trees, rocks, and more trees. Everything painted in the same dreary greys and browns of New England winter. For the hundredth time, I cursed aloud to myself for letting my mind wander as I hiked through the woods – childhood woods that I’d practically grown up in. I’d come out of my reverie to see, with shock, how low the sun was, and had promptly turned around, thinking I’d be back at the house well before sunset.
It was only after walking for half an hour that I’d grown anxious. Surely I hadn’t wandered this far into the woods? Perhaps just over this next hill…
But no. After I had crested that hill, only more woods came into view. That was when I’d become truly worried. I had agreed to housesit for my mother while she was out of town, grateful for a brief respite from the city grind. I’d come to appreciate the stillness that living in a small rural town offered after moving to San Francisco. Why not give myself a little vacation after having worked steadily these past two years?
To think that I’d get lost behind the woods of my mother’s house on the second day of my vacation. There wasn’t even anyone waiting for my return, nor to come looking for me after realizing I’d been gone too long. I sighed loudly, cursing again. I had stopped checking my phone for a signal half an hour ago, opting instead to turn it off to preserve its battery. In the twenty-odd years that my mother had lived here, the cell phone signal in our area had never changed. That is to say, there never was one.
The quiet stillness that I’d been so looking forward to took on a more malignant air here, where I couldn’t even hear any birdsong. I started walking again, trying to ignore the fact that the air was growing chillier as the sun sank lower in the sky.
I aimed for elevation, thinking – hoping – that if I got high enough above the treeline, I could at least spot a road or rooftop. The terrain was rocky and, despite there being no snow, the leaf layer was slippery underfoot. As I climbed up towards a rocky outcrop, I could feel my calf muscles straining. I reached the top of the crag and sat down to rest.
The landscape remained unchanged; a sea of grey, leafless branches stretching out to infinity. I could feel the panic welling up in my throat, harder to swallow back this time. I felt like screaming, if only to give voice to all that panic and anxiety. I bit my lip to stop myself. I couldn’t lose it, not now.
Where the hell was I? Curse these damnable woods!
I nearly jumped out of my skin at the sound of another human voice. I’d been so distracted and distraught, I hadn’t noticed the footsteps behind me. I spun around.
Standing a few feet away from me, a slim hiking stick resting in one hand, was a man in a faded leather jacket. A small hiker’s backpack rested on his shoulders, and the other hand held lightly onto one strap. A short beard framed his face. I was still sitting and found myself having to look up at him. His brow was furrowed, and as I scrambled to my feet, he asked, “Are you hurt?”
His voice was gruff and low, and, if I had not felt such relief at being found by someone, I might have noticed an edge to his words. I shook my head.
“No, but I think I’ve gotten a little turned around. Thank goodness you found me! Could you point me back to the main road?”
“Of course. If you just head that way, you’ll find an old logging road about a fifteen minute’s hike away – ” He gestured off to my right with his hiking stick, and I turned to follow the direction he was pointing in.
The stick caught me in the ear. My head jerked back – in surprise more than pain, – and I stumbled. Before I could fully register what was happening, I felt a hand grab my wrist and pull it sharply up behind my back. My shoulder screamed, I arched my back, and I buckled as he put weight against the arm.
I landed jarringly on my knees. The man gave a short, sharp push of my caught arm, and I fell the rest of the way, my face landing in a pile of leaves and dirt. His knee dug into the small of my back, pinning me down against the forest floor. My brain finally caught up to the danger I was in, and I screamed as loudly as I could.
My ears rang. Any attempt to struggle made my shoulder seize in pain. His grip around my wrist was vice-like, and I heard myself pleading with him as he twisted my other arm to my back.
“Why are you – ? Please, no – please don’t hurt me… What do you want?”
His only response was to dig his fingers into my hair and pull my head back. I felt the cold air brush against my exposed throat and shuddered. He did not say a word, did not try to stop my screaming. Instead, he was tying something around my hair in a rough, tight ponytail. Then I felt the same material being wrapped tightly around my wrists. It felt like twine, a thin length digging painfully into my skin.
I whimpered. The cold sharpened the pain in my shoulder and the added pain from whatever bound my wrists to my hair.
With a final, cruel tug, he finished binding my wrists, and I finally felt him take his weight off the knee in my back. He ran his hands down the sides of my waist, then hooked two fingers through the belt loops of my jeans and pulled.
This renewed my attempts to struggle, and I twisted my hips wildly and kicked out, trying to dislodge his hands. His knee came down hard again, knocking the wind out of me. He leaned over my body until I could feel the bristles of his beard brushing against my cheek. I felt his breath warm my skin as he finally spoke again.
“Scream and struggle all you want, girl. There’s no one around us for miles. There is no logging road.”
My whole body convulsed as the weight of his words sank in. I shivered, feeling his hands return to my waist. The cold air hit my hips and ass as he slid the jeans off.
“I’ve never liked candy corn.” I wrinkled my nose at the proffered bag. He continued holding it out, rattling the bag slightly as if to make the brightly colored candy somehow more enticing. I shook my head again and raised a hand as if in self defense.
He laughed. “How is it possible not to like them? They’re almost entirely made of sugar.” He withdrew the bag, shook a few pieces onto his palm, and, throwing his head back, dumped them into his open mouth with obvious relish.
I made a face and shrugged. The wind was brisk today, tugging insistently at my hair and making the fallen leaves skitter around our feet and the park bench we sat on. It was a classic autumn day: sunlight filtering through the trees and creating golden pools on the ground, the almost chatter-like sounds of desiccated leaves rustling in the wind filling our ears, and that deep, piercing scent of almost-frost in the air. I leaned back on the bench, closed my eyes, letting the sunlight warm my eyelids.
“I just remember them tasting funny. I guess I was pretty picky as a child, though,” I amended, trying to think back.
“Then maybe your memory of their taste is outdated, and you should try them again to update your memory bank,” he suggested playfully, and I heard the crinkle of plastic close to my face again. I opened my eyes and gave a mock sigh.
“Okay, fine. Just one…” I dipped two fingers inside the bag and withdrew one candy corn piece. Gingerly, I put it on my tongue, letting it rest there briefly before biting the candy in half. The familiar sickly sweetness assaulted my taste buds, and I grimaced.
“Ugh! Nope, they’re just as awful as I remember,” I spoke through the pieces of candy in my mouth – pieces I now refused to swallow. I turned my head away to spit the candy out onto the grass.
“Wait. Here.” His hand on my shoulder stopped me, and I turned to see his other hand, half-cupped, raised level to my chin. I blinked.
“Um. You – you want me to spit it out in your hand?”
I hesitated. I wanted to ask why. I wanted to just ignore the offer and spit the candy out on the ground. I wanted to look away from his suddenly serious eyes. My mouth half-opened, full of questions and mild outrage and protests. But no sound came out. Seconds ticked by as I looked at him, trying to gauge how serious he was. My eyes narrowed. Was this some kind of game? A test? An opportunity for ridicule?
The corners of his lips curled slightly in a smile that was more a challenge than a taunt.
I made to spit the candy out, thinking he’d pull his hand away and laugh. Instead, he just lowered his arm slightly, so that I had to bend further down to avoid missing his hand. I felt oddly, ridiculously committed to the action now. I pushed the two pieces of candy out of my mouth, depositing them – and a generous coating of saliva – onto his open palm.
My face flushed at this thing I’d just done. Flushed with embarrassment … and – something else?
I gave him a sidelong glance, but he just smiled and pulled his hand back, closing his fingers around the candy. He turned and threw the candy a few feet away. His face, when he turned back around, held only a gentle, satisfied expression – no malice or mocking glee there. I swallowed away the lingering taste of the candy corn. Not quite knowing how to dispel the strange, confused sensation that had suddenly filled my chest, I just wrinkled my nose at him again.
He laughed lightly, ran his clean hand through my hair, and gave the back of my head a few gentle scritches.
I closed my eyes again, letting the sensation of his fingers in my hair melt away my confusion.
“Why do I feel like I’m being patted on the head like a puppy who’s been good?”
He laughed again.
I’m gone. No one’s heard from me in months. My family thinks I’ve died, or been kidnapped, or worse – eloped.
I’ve run away, bare-footed in a shredded dress, running like I’m being chased by wolves. I gave birth under a full moon and cradled by pine boughs, listening to those same wolves howl. Her father? A stranger I seduced at a bar in Tucson and brought back to my cheap motel room one cloud-streaked night. The babe’s eyes are gold-flecked, she is a wild little changeling.
I’m living out of my car, driving from place to stranger place, chasing after tornados, trying to bottle lightning to feed my hungry baby. She is quiet, wary, watchful. I wonder.
I fell into a cave while hunting down my next meal (a fat, feisty quail), my stomach groaning over the fatal miscalculation. My hands and fingers press against the rough rock walls, poor substitute eyes in this perpetual darkness. I’m afraid to fall asleep, lest I lose the ability to differentiate my dreams from reality.
Or, I’ve been too busy to write here lately.
The desire to be on the move again has me feeling incredibly restless lately. Yesterday Jewel and I went on a long coastal drive along Route 1, talking about our various travels and what we want to do in upcoming years.
I find myself yearning more and more strongly for a different landscape, different lifestyle, different environment. My relationship with San Francisco feels like it’s close to expiring, and I’m starting to feel claustrophobic.
Don’t get me wrong, this city is an amazing place for many reasons. The SF bubble has been a wonderful place to nurture the kink part of my life. For a year, I’ve been able to focus almost solely on exploring my kinky side in a completely safe, encouraging environment. I have met some incredible people, and I’ve been fortunate to call many of them friends.
Yet, yet. I find my mind wandering to the vast western country I passed through on my roadtrip. I think back on Santa Fe, Denver, Aspen, and it makes my heart skip a beat. I think about the possibility of visiting New Zealand and Australia, and wonder if I’d be able to return to the US after such a visit. And then there are the multitudes of opportunities to volunteer, for weeks or for a year, on farms and intentional communities in another country.
How much longer will I be able to stay rooted in one place? Why is it that I cannot be satisfied to settle in place for more than a year? I feel the travel itch in my sitbone, crawling under my skin, making the soles of my feet tingle impatiently.
I’m not sure where my next step will take me. But if I don’t make one, I will go stir-crazy.
For as long as I have been sexually active, I’ve held a particular fascination for the male genitalia. Even before I ever touched a penis, I would watch (bad, pixellated) clips of porn and wonder what it felt like for the guy to have sex. I found it difficult to translate the stroking of a hand, penetration, or lips and tongue around the shaft, to what I felt while masturbating. Did it feel the same? Or similarly? I would wonder. Do guys feel the same surges and sensitivity that I feel when I touch my clit, expanded over a larger surface area?
And once I did start having sex with a male partner, my curiosity just continued to grow. I love hearing those sounds that lips, hands, and cunt can elicit from men. I’m fascinated that I can make another person feel that way. And I’ve always maintained a strong association between erection and power. That admission probably makes me a very bad feminist, but I do find the erect penis to be an extremely powerful symbol. I like the idea of being able to physically grasp at arousal – to feel it pulsing and hard and hot in my hand. When I’m aroused, I’ve often wished I could grip onto my lust and desire as a physical object.
Despite all of this, I don’t own any strap-ons or even any realistic dildos. I’ve certainly thought about it, but it doesn’t have quite the same appeal. So for now I just deal with having, from time to time, a little penis envy.
I have an oral fixation. I crave feeling something in my mouth and in my throat almost constantly, unceasingly. I love food, but that alone cannot satisfy the desire to have something pressed against the walls of my throat, thrumming against my palate and cradled by my tongue.
Filling all the crevices and contours of my mouth just so.
A long swig of cold water, the first bite of a hot dog, teeth sinking into a palm-sized strawberry – all fleeting, all-too-soon gone. Each swallow brings with it an aftertaste of disappointment, a teasing hint of fullness too quickly taken away.
My fantasies induce a Pavlovian response, thickening my saliva and slicking the walls of my throat with anticipatory lubrication.
I am sitting in front of my computer, barely focused on the work at hand, when I feel the air stir behind me like a shadow. In the time it takes my eyes to widen reflexively, I feel his hand slip up my throat, his arm pressing firmly against my chest as he pushes me bodily against the wall.
His breath is hot in my ear, low growling whispers drawing dark images in my head.
And just as quickly he’s gone, substance dissipated into memory. I have to remember to breathe against the ghost of his hand on my throat.
I look around. I am alone in the room.