Episode III: PARTICLES
OF UNCLE MIKE
Bernard had hoped to walk home
with Jules after the meeting. Alone instead, he continued to think
back to the night of that first demonstration. He hardly paid
attention to his route home, enjoying the quiet streets, absorbed
in his memory. That first demo had left his head swimming, and
not only because of seeing Jules for the first time. Like everyone
else, he knew the history PERM taught: In 2018, scientists had
discovered a wormhole, and in 2019, they located a parallel world
with plenty of petroleum. The fuel panic of 2020 led to the plan
to migrate to this new world by 2050.
the official history, the heroic pioneers of PERM decided to stay
on Earth, and then made the brilliant discovery of harnessing the
power of etheric energy from sex, which led to the people voting
for PERM to assume perpetual power in order to safeguard the health
of the planet. In the official version, life is wonderful because
PERM is forever on guard against anyone who might threaten the balance
that brought peace and happiness to the whole world.
But the speakers
at the demonstration claimed that PERM had nothing to do with the
discovery of etheric energy. What Bernard heard instead was that
PERM had come to power in 2052 by spreading rumors, creating a panic
that only they could calm. They said that men who missed petroleum
planned to seize all the etheric sex energy for themselves and create
a new hyper-oppressive power structure. PERM claimed the only way
to stop the Petroleum-Lovers was to have a strong revolutionary
force take control, otherwise the Petroleum-Lovers would take the
new energy away from the people who created it. This was a brilliant
strategy, because it led many well-meaning people to support PERM,
not realizing that the supposed threat was nonexistent. Best of
all, anyone who opposed them or even questioned the existence of
the threat must be in cahoots with the Petroleum-Lovers who wanted
to take over, making effective opposition to the plan impossible.
Hence, those who cared about freedom were forced underground, leaving
PERM free to consolidate their control. Naturally, this was made
easier by the pretense that they were defending the new sexual freedom,
spreading joy and seeking a renewal of balance in the world.
If the speakers
Bernard had heard at the demonstration were to be believed, all
the best things about their world the male sex cults, the
gay role in culture, the separate spaces for womenhad been
established before PERM took over, and PERM's leaders had merely
exploited their potential to keep people happy ever since. But the
speakers had also warned that no good had ever come of such a concentration
of power: The result might be crimes against humanity, or even a
widespread loss of sex drive.
The speeches had
made him think of the secret cache of old books his great-great-Uncle
had hidden when PERM first took over, and which his own Uncle had
since given to him.
"We don't know why
he saved them," his Uncle confided. "But it has been the custom
to pass them on to the next Uncle ever since, and now it is your
of the Uncles had not read the books, but Bernard had. He liked
to think he had a secret "vice," a word he found in one of the books.
Fortunately, the Great Uncle had preserved an old dictionary, too,
so he could make sense of the rest of the books. Language had changed
over the generations of the PERM regime. Bernard felt as if he possessed
a secret vocabulary, and he found that sometimes the old words fit
his thoughts best.
our way to Armageddon!" he muttered out loud.
"I beg your pardon?"
A voice in the dark asked.
reflexively. "I didn't say anything," he replied to the darkness.
"Yes, you did. I
heard you. You mentioned Armageddon. You've been reading the old
The hairs on the
back on Bernard's neck tingled. His face felt flush and hot. He
hoped it wasn't visible in the weak glow of the Guide Lights.
"I said, 'I'll lose
my way if I don't keep my head on'."
"Then I'm afraid
I must beg your pardon again. Because it sounded as if you said,
'We're screwing our way to Armageddon'."
you?" Bernard asked. "Why can't I see you?"
"I'm afraid I've
been taking advantage of your presumptions. You're looking too high.
I'm down here."
Suddenly, from out
of the gloom, a face hovered into view, about chest high, and then
a pair of shoulders, arms, and finally a body, sitting erect in
an old-fashioned wheelchair.
"Good God!" Bernard
ejaculated. It was Militant Mike.
"My, but you do
have a Biblical turn of phrase. Are you sure you haven't been reading
the old books?"
"Damn you!" Bernard
cried. "You scared the hell out of me." In his confusion he didn't
know whether to cry with relief or scream with rage. "How dare you
play with me like that! You know damn well what would have happened
to me if I had been caught speaking Old Book!"
"I'm sorry, child."
The concern and remorse were plain on Mike's face. "Please believe
me, I didn't mean to frighten you. But I couldn't see who you were
either, in the dark, and I didn't feel I could give myself away
without some idea of who you were. I'm at a bit of a disadvantage,
as you can see ..." Here he seemed to grope for the right words.
"I didn't intend to end up here. I was trying to ... go somewhere
asked bluntly. Under any other circumstances his question might
have been more circumspect. But after all, it was Mike who had ambushed
him, intentionally or not, and he felt he deserved an explanation.
"I'll explain later,"
Mike replied. "But first, may I ask you, were you alluding to the
"Fuck you," Bernard
said. Now he was angry.
Mike smiled. "I
haven't heard that word since I was a child. Back when we used to
watch TV. Do you even remember TV?"
Bernard just glared,
sullenly. He wanted to leave, to go home. He was tired. And yet
somehow he felt rooted to the spot.
"Look," Mike said.
"I'll explain about the wheelchair. But first I want to show you
something in my library. Have you got a few minutes?"
"It's late," Bernard
"A few minutes,
that's all," Mike said. "It's not far. Come on, sit on my lap."
back a foot or two, but before he could protest any further, Mike
had rolled forward and with a powerful arm scooped the young man
onto his lap.
squealed with pleasure and alarm.
"Shhhh" Mike whispered
in his ear. "You'll wake the Sluggards."
Bernard was momentarily
disoriented, partly by the use of the old forbidden slang, partly
by the fact that he was lying supine in Mike's arms like the Pieta
(Forbidden art! Oh, more guilty pleasures!), partly by the fact
that the ancient wheelchair had now picked up speed and was hurtling
through the darkthe boulevard's Guide Lights were just a blurand
partly by the warmth of Mike's sweet breath on his face and throat.
His breath smelled of lemon and ginger. Bernard inhaled and felt
as if he had breathed in a kind of essence of Mike.
Then they were speeding
through the dark silent streets. The Guide Lights must be farther
apart in this neighborhood.
"I thought you lived
just a few doors away," Bernard said. "Are you lost?"
"Shhh," Mike said.
"Keep still." Remarkably, this seemed like a very good idea. Suddenly,
Bernard didn't want to talk. He didn't care if Sluggards and Nabodies
heard him recite every line from every Old Book. What could they
do? They'd never catch him on Mike's chair. God, this chair was
fast. The sidewalk flew past. Occasionally they passed a light in
a doorway or window, but mainly they just flew in the dark. How
Mike navigated was beyond understanding.
Bernard felt the
cool evening fog on his face and the warmth where his back, shoulders,
and thighs pressed against the heat of Mike's body. Bernard wanted
to melt into that heat. He felt the tension and alertness leave
his body as he dissolved into delicious, langorous, laziness. Bernard
gazed up into Mike's face. Mike looked very serious, concentrating
on something. He seemed to be looking at the Guide Lights, which
for several minutes now had been increasing in amplitude.
They were getting
brighter and brighter, until finally Bernard could see nothing but
the lights. They seemed to surround the two men and the wheelchair
to form a sort of tunnel, and he felt that he and Mike were somehow
dissolving into the lights, like particles of some great beam of
energy. As if for the first time, he recognized that in fact he
was light, nothing but light, that light was what he was made of.
Of course, he must always have known this; it was more that he was
remembering a long-forgotten fact, a truth that had somehow fallen
out of his present recollection. He heard Mike murmur above him,
and he looked up. Mike was light, too, a thousand miles away but
also within easy reach. Bernard wrapped his left arm around Mike's
right shoulder and pressed his face against Mike's firm chest. Mike's
left pec was like a small mountain. Whatever his neuromuscular compromise
(what was it, exactly?), it clearly did not involve his arms or
chest. But why wasn't he wearing a shirt? Well, that made sense.
They didn't need clothes, now that they were made of light. That
was when Bernard noticed that he was naked, too.
From where his head
lay pressed against Mike, his eyes fell upon Mike's nipple, where
it protruded, pink and inviting, from the furry expanse of a glorious
chest. Bernard couldn't take his eyes off it. It was like a beautiful
flower, begging to be sucked. Bernard's tongue reached for it hungrily.
He began to suck and bite. The nipple responded by growing firm
and erect. Bernard sucked more, brushing it with his tongue, caressing
it with his lips.
"Yes," Mike answered
and his huge arms lifted Bernard to where he had a better purchase.
That was all the
invitation Bernard needed to suck and bite even more greedily. Although
his expression never changed, Mike's hands responded by wandering
up and down Bernard's back, bottom, and thighs, pressing, petting,
"Oh, please. Please."
Mike's hand circled
Bernard's cock, slowly increasing the pressure until he carried
Bernard just to the threshold of pain, and then just as slowly released
him. Then the heat of his hard muscular hand was on Bernard's cock,
stroking and fanning until Bernard gasped and begged him to stop.
That was when he saw Mike smile, as he leaned forward to press his
lips against Bernard's, his tongue reaching in. Bernard's mouth
opened to receive him.
Next he felt himself
being lifted, up, up, higher, and higher. How was that possible?
Mike held him, almost crushing him in his arms. He pushed Bernard's
legs apart and reached between them. Suddenly Bernard heard his
own voice begging Mike to take him, begging Mike to let Bernard
take all of him, begging him to let Bernard feel his cock inside
him. Then Mike was already in, thrusting and grunting like a wild
animal. Bernard screamed in exquisite pain as Mike pounded his ass.
Bernard screamed his pleasure and his fear. Suddenly, Mike stiffened
and thrust, and then spasmodically thrust again. He stiffened and
groaned and then groaned again. Bernard came like a small rocket,
shooting come up on to his own chest and belly. He wailed and then
sighed and then collapsed back into Mike's arms.
He must have fallen
asleep, because the next thing he knew, a bright overhead light
forced open his eyelids and he raised his head to see that they
were in the lobby of a building, though not one he had ever seen
before. Mike gave him a little shove, and suddenly he was on his
feet, fully dressed.
"Huh? What? Huh?
What just happened?" He stammered and blinked at the light.
"We're here, that's
all," Mike said. He had a sly grin on his face. "You wanted to see
my library, didn't you?"
© 2005 Seamus
Header design by Tom Metz
Episode IV of
The Professor of History
in the November issue of BENT
Seamus Lester Hussey, who admits to suffering from far too much
education and far too many ideas, has been pondering the transformative
power of fiction. He assures you, dear reader, that if you are
not careful, the inhabitants of the future will take over your
life, they way they have already taken over his.
Let us know what you
think of this BENT feature.
A Journal of CripGay Voices/September 2005