Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Wednesday Briefs: Dallas in Wonderland II: Chapter Sixteen

Happy Hump Day, one and all! Welcome to another edition of Wednesday Briefs! We are your purveyors of flash fiction, and we aim to please! Keep an eye on this space, and the other Briefers' blogs, for information about an upcoming special event!

Last week, Dallas and Campbell found themselves at a strange feast, and met a pair of unusual twins, but didn't really get anywhere in their quest. Will today find them any better off? Find out in this week's episode of Dallas in Wonderland II. Don't forget to check and see what the other Briefers are up to. We have TWO FLASH VIRGINS this week!

Dallas in Wonderland II: Chapter Sixteen

Leaving the cottage behind, Dallas and Campbell continued to make their way through the dark woods.  They strictly adhered to the path, which was just wide enough to allow them to walk abreast of one another. Since it was hard to see, Dallas circled Campbell’s waist with his arm, and Campbell followed suit, to ensure that neither strayed. The warmth of Campbell’s body was comforting to Dallas, and helped to keep his unease at being back here at bay.

Nothing looked familiar and yet everything looked familiar. Sometimes it seemed as if Wonderland rearranged itself to suit each visitor. But that didn’t really make sense, did it? Then again, did anything in this odd place truly make sense?

The proof of this came when the trees began to thin, and they could see the dappled sky through the interlaced branches. Dallas was grateful they hadn’t been accosted by any strange creatures. At least not yet.

They emerged into the sunlight only to find themselves at the edge of a large meadow. Red and orange 
flowers swayed in a balmy breeze. In the middle of the meadow was a pond. And at the edge of the pond was a still figure beneath a large conical hat that almost covered his head, hunched over what seemed to be a pole in his hand, the end of which hung over the water. On his shoulder, a small bird perched.

“I wonder what kind of fish Wonderland has?” Campbell speculated.

“I’m almost afraid to find out,” Dallas muttered.

“Think we should say hello? Ask for directions or something?”

Dallas considered just skirting the issue entirely, but common sense dictated they speak to the person. They needed to decide where they were going, how to get there, and how to get home. Tall order, he knew, but they had to start somewhere and this person was the only one in sight.

Hopefully, he was a peaceful fisherman, and not another of the many loons that seemed to inhabit this place.
“I guess we should.”

Perhaps it was something in his voice, or in his expression, but Campbell took Dallas’ hand in his, twined their fingers and brought it to his lips and kissed it softly. “Don’t worry, honey, y’all got me. I won’t let nothing happen to you.”

Dallas felt emboldened by his words, a sense of security stealing through him. “You’re the best, Campbell,” he said. “Okay, let’s do this then.”

They approached the man carefully, both not to startle him and also not to alarm him into maybe losing his fish. Assuming he had hooked one. The line seemed to jerk almost rhythmically, but the fellow made no effort to reel it in.

When they were just a few paces away, Dallas cleared his throat, to be polite. The man never stirred.

“Excuse me,” Dallas said softly, and when he still go not response, he raised his voice. “Pardon us. Sorry to disturb you—”

“Then don’t.”

Dallas was taken aback by this unexpected response.

“If you are sorry to do it, then don’t do it and you won’t be sorry. Seems silly to do something you don’t want to do.”

“I was just trying to be polite,” Dallas protested, even as Campbell added, “No need to be rude. We only want information.”

“You only want? You only want?” The mocking voice echoed. “Did I ask you what you wanted? Do you think I care? First you are sorry for doing something you chose to do. And now you expect me to give you information. Do I look like an information booth to you? Well, do I?”

The bird opened its mouth for the first time. It was a small bird with turquoise feathers that morphed into sapphire and then aquamarine, to Dallas’ amazement. Its large eyes resembled huge topazes. “Jubjub, jubjub,” it cawed.

The man removed his hat and raised his head to them, revealing his face for the first time. There was something familiar about him, but Dallas couldn’t place him immediately. He furrowed his brow, trying to think.

And then it hit him, like the proverbial ton of bricks.

He had indeed seen this man before, but he had fewer clothes on at the time. He’d been naked, to be precise, and in quite a different position. Namely, flat on his back, being thoroughly fucked by Dallas’ ex-boyfriend, in their dorm room.

Dallas jerked backward so quickly he lost his footing and began to fall. Luckily, Campbell caught him. He wound his arms about Dallas, holding him protectively against his chest.

“Do you need help?” The man openly smirked, addressing Campbell.

Campbell ignored the man. He gently stroked Dallas’ arm. “What’s wrong, Dallas?” Even his voice was soothing.

“Tsk, tsk,” the man reprimanded them both. “He’s a whiney baby and you’re an enabler. No wonder Quentin needed someone else. A real man.”

“I don’t give a shit. About either one of you.” Dallas worked to still his trembling limbs. He turned his face up to Campbell. “I caught this man with Quentin. He’s the reason we broke up. Well, just the final straw.”

Campbell eyed the other man with disdain. “Well, sugar, all I can say is Quentin has taste for shit if he preferred that to you.”

Dallas didn’t even really care anymore. He was past the pain at Quentin’s deception. Over Quentin. He had other heartaches in his life now. Namely Samuel.

That gave him pause for thought.

“I don’t believe I ever caught your name.  You do have one, right?”

The man gave him a hooded look, as if unsure of whether to answer or not. “My name is Penn,” he said at last.

“Penn, tell me something.” Dallas grew bolder, bolstered by Campbell’s support.

“Tell you what?” Penn sounded surly. The bird squawked, and he told it to shush. The line continued to jerk, but he ignored it, his attention focused on Dallas. “What do you want to know?”

“Do you know Dr. Samuel Levi?”

to be continued

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