I want to rip Myron’s head off and beat him to death with his own so-called wand, but common sense prevails—or maybe it’s fear— as I stare up into the cold hard eyes of the slavering beast above me.
When I was a little boy, my Vati took me to see a special traveling exhibit that passed through our town. It was filled with various oddities, the likes of which had never been seen before. Or so we were assured by the smooth-talking barker that took Vati’s money and directed us toward the dark interior of the canvas tent. Gleaming jars filled with iridescent fluids and shadowy forms; lithe-limbed young ladies contorted into painful shapes; two men caught in a permanent clutch, sharing one body between them; a two-headed sheep, a splinter from the true Cross, and a bone from an animal that lived at a time before man walked the earth.
Little did I dream then that one day I would come face to face with that same prehistoric creature, alive and in the flesh. But here I was, and here he was, although to be honest I‘m making assumptions as to gender, based on nothing more than…
Vittorio’s voice jars me from my scholastic reverie concerning the sex of the being that seems intent upon making me its dinner. I suppose it’s too much to hope that the beast is vegetarian? Of course, with my luck, he’d see me as some sort of German potato salad.
Large fetid-smelling globules of thick fluid splash on me, dripping from that sharp-fanged mouth. I know now how the mongoose must feel, caught in the stare of the cobra. Like that unfortunate mammal, I cannot move, despite my commands to my limbs to do so this very minute.
Just when I think all is lost, and I’ve recited the Hail Mary about ten times straight, I find myself yanked out of harm’s way by my Italian beauty, who slings me over his shoulder and runs. At a time like this, it pays to be compact. The Tyrannosaur bellows in our general direction, but like most bullies, his bark is worse than his bite.
Finding shelter in a thick copse of trees, Vittorio sets me on my feet, clasping me close. So close that I can feel the shudder of his body, his heart pounding out of his chest. We cautiously peer around the fat bole of a tree that is wide enough for both of us to stand within its shelter and not feel crowded. The animal in question hasn’t moved; shaking its overly large head, it vents its displeasure to the uncaring world at large in stentorious tones that echo around us. To my dismay, I also see my penny-farthing; lying on the ground, its front wheel pokes up at an unnatural angle to the rest of the bike.
“Doll, are you all right?” Vittorio asks; his shapely thumbs caress my cheekbones as he gazes with concern into my eyes.
“Under the circumstances, I believe I am.” A verbose way of saying yes, I know.
“What do you think are the circumstances?”
Now that is a very good question, indeed.
Before we have a chance to speculate on the likelihood of an extinct dinosaur suddenly appearing in our very own neighborhood—perhaps because the evidence of our eyes, as well as this rather heavy foliage about us, must tend to negate that particular theory—an earsplitting high-pitched scream rends the air.
“Scheiss,” I swear aloud without thinking, then immediately I apologize to Vittorio for my crudeness. “Scusi.”
We’ve known each other so long, we’ve become rather bilingual.
He kisses me softly. “Shhh, Doll, don’t worry,” he assures me, and I lose myself in the depths of his licorice eyes until the scream comes again. I guess we can’t ignore it, although the thought is very tempting, since the panicked voice in question obviously belongs to Myron. And personally, I feel that he deserves whatever happens to him as I have every reason to believe he’s responsible for our being here. Wherever here might be.
I see the look in Vittorio’s eyes and I don’t like it. Sometimes I think he envisions himself as an Italian Douglas Fairbanks. By which I mean a true hero. He has a heart as big as the world, and I love him for it, but I don’t want him to get hurt helping someone who doesn’t deserve his sympathy. Namely Myron.
On the other hand, I also know he has a stubborn streak a mile wide. Like me.
I sigh and he squeezes my hand.
“Ich liebe dich, Doll,” he murmurs.
“Ti amo, Vittorio.” Just as I’m reaching for his lips, another scream. We dart a glance into the clearing. Now there is no sign of the prehistoric beast. I frown. Something that large just doesn’t disappear.
“Look!” Vittorio nudges me. He points to an object that dandles from a tall tree, jerking about like a marionette at the hands of a wicked puppeteer. Myron, of course. His suspenders appear to be tangled in the foliage; he hangs at an awkward angle, his hands slicing the air impotently. On the whole, he looks ridiculous.
My first inclination is to leave him there.
“We probably need him,” Vittorio points out. Sadly, I do realize the necessity of rescuing him from his dire predicament, even if it’s his own fault that he’s behind the eight ball. Well, so are we, and he owes us.
“I suppose so,” I grudgingly admit. He raises my hand to his lips and kisses the back. I know it’s my reward for acquiescing, the sweet Italian sugar that makes the bitter medicine palatable.
Of course the question is how to get the moron down once we stand beneath the tree he’s caught in. Too high to climb or reach.
“Don’t just stand there,” Myron begins when the branch breaks and he lands in a sorry heap at our feet.
to be continued
Now, go see what the other Wednesday Briefers are up to! And don't forget to join the Hop Against Homophobia on the 17th!
Lily Sawyer m/m
MA Church m/m
MC Houle m/m
Sara York m/m
Until next time, take care!