Recalling the sensation of my eyes bursting before they turned to ash is the only feeling of comfort I can extract from that moment last year.
I was walking my dog on the beach near my home. The beach had been closed for the season because of a toxic algae bloom. The woods in my backyard let out to the beach, though, and I knew enough to stay away from the water.
Parker and I were finishing up when I heard splashing near the shore. I glanced over and saw what appeared to be a school of fish trapped under the thick, algal sludge. I was surprised; the water was supposedly hypoxic from the algae. I assumed the fish would stay away.
The splashing persisted as we walked by. Parker growled. I was concerned, since he never showed any aggression of any sort since we’d gotten him neutered. But as the splashing grew louder and the water grew increasingly turbid, Parker’s growls became ferocious and he started to bark and pull at his leash.
The problem with sex is it eventually becomes mundane. Do anything enough and it’ll become boring and repetitive. It’s silly to think fucking might be different. Obviously, there’s quite a bit one can do to spice things up, and it works – for a little while. Then it stops. Years go by and exciting, new fetishes become dull, standard procedure. By the time I hit 44, I was in a rut. Nothing did it for me. But the desire was still there.
To say I’ve done it all is a bit of a stretch, but I’d gotten pretty close. I’ve shied away from the illegal and illicit, despite frequent temptation. I don’t want to hurt anyone, and I certainly don’t want to end up in jail. There’s no fun in that.
For a little while, I’ll admit to being depressed. I went through the motions – one joyless, soulless fuck at a time. Men and women of every sort passed between my sheets. It always ended up in disappointment.
Then I met Carson.
I’d been with other men countless times, so Carson initially wasn’t anything more than a blip on a radar full of traffic. After we’d finished, however, he sensed my despair. He sensed my unfulfillment. Before he left, he scribbled an address, a date, and a time on a sheet of paper. 27 Hallsworth Hill. October 9th. 11:00pm. He wouldn’t tell me what I’d find there.
My interest was piqued for the first time in as long as I could remember. Two days later, on the 9th, I drove across town to 27 Hallsworth Hill.
The address was the location of large, old, stone house that was in need of some upkeep. Ivy ran unchecked across the gray slabs of its granite face, and bushes, perhaps once sculpted, grew wild and threatened to obstruct the view from the large, first-floor windows. A heavy wooden door with an equally-massive iron knocker stood at the top of the steps. I knocked twice and waited.
The door opened and Carson stood, shirtless and smiling, and asked me to come in. I obliged and followed. The house was beautiful, but very, very old. Nothing appeared to have been touched or moved in decades; when we passed under a dusty, hanging chandelier, part of me was surprised it had electricity running to it.
“I want you to meet my friends, Daniel, Lucy, and Eileen,” Carson told me, and before he opened the door in front of us, asked “I want you to have an open mind, ok?” I nodded as anticipation and mild concern set butterflies in motion within my stomach.
Carson opened the door and we walked into a spacious, sparsely-furnished room. A man, who I assumed was Daniel, was tied to a marble pillar stretching from the stone floor to the ceiling. Lucy and Eileen stood in front of him, kissing one another. All were unclothed. I jumped slightly and almost started to laugh when I heard a goat bleat from the corner behind us.
“How open does my mind have to be?,” I whispered to Carson, as I studied the goat staring mindlessly at the five of us. Carson laughed. “Not that open, don’t worry.” I sighed with relief.
The others in the room didn’t acknowledge Carson’s and my entrance. The women writhed against one another while Daniel, bound tightly to the pillar, watched with lust in his eyes.
“Right now,” Carson told me, “you’re not allowed to do anything but watch.” He pointed to the sofa. “Have a seat. You can get comfortable if you’d like.” With that, he stripped off his clothes and incorporated himself into his friends’ action.
I joined them in their nudity and sat on the remarkably-comfortable couch while the four engaged in basic, moderately-kinky sex. It was pretty vanilla for me, but not unpleasant to watch. Time went by and the four brought one another to the peaks and plateaus they’d desired. For my part, I was getting a little bored. The first half hour was fun because of the newness of the people involved, but with nothing to do other than jerk off, I was ready to hit the road.
The goat bleated again. I’d forgotten about the fucking thing. I turned around and saw it shitting on the floor, effectively killing my arousal in its entirety.
“Thanks guys, it was nice meeting you – I’m going to be hitting the road now,” I called out. Carson extricated himself from Eileen and rushed over.
“Wait, please. We’ve almost started.”
Carson put his hands on my shoulders and gently pushed me back down on the couch. “Started.”
“Can you at least get rid of the goat?,” I asked.
He laughed and rejoined the group and they finished one another off with a decent enough show that I actually found myself getting into it. The four of them knew what they were doing – there was no doubting that.
Lucy untied Daniel while Eileen walked to the small table next to the couch to pour herself a drink. She winked at me and said, “didn’t Carson offer you a drink?” I shook my head. “Jesus, Carson,” she muttered under her breath, as she poured a whiskey-looking liquid out of the bottle into a wide glass and handed it to me.
I looked around for Carson. He was cleaning up after the goat. “You guys aren’t gonna fuck that thing, right?,” I asked Eileen. She looked horrified for a second before erupting with peals of laughter.
“No,” Eileen said, still practically hysterical, “we’re not going to fuck the goat.”
I laughed at the absurdity of it all, but I still needed to know. “Then what’s it doing here?”
Eileen didn’t answer. She just grinned and grabbed me. I jumped a little in surprise, then allowed her to lead me to the pillar like a dog on a leash.
“Do you consent?,” she mewled into my ear.
“Consent to what?,” I grinned, allowing her to tie me to the pillar. It was still warm from Daniel.
“Do…you…consent?,” she whispered, tracing her knuckles over my anatomy.
“I do,” I told her.
“Good,” Eileen smiled. My hands and feet were bound to the marble. I couldn’t move. Eileen dropped to her knees, and my world began to blur.
I closed my eyes and relished the sensation of her mouth and hands, entirely oblivious to the rest of the universe as I departed in a solipsistic whirlwind of hedonic bliss. I felt new pairs of hands and more mouths on me. Sopping, salty fingers pushed insistently at my lips and I allowed them inside to stroke with my tongue. Everyone was moaning. Everyone was sighing. No sounds existed except breaths of ecstatic need.
No sounds other than gasps of pleasure.
Not even bleating.
The unwanted thought of the goat took me briefly out of my haze and I opened my eyes. Then I screamed.
The four friends stood or knelt around me, covered from head to toe with blood and gore. The carcass of the goat was sprawled out on the stone floor, eviscerated and twitching. The scent of its guts hit me a second later, and I retched and struggled to break out of my bindings. The four wouldn’t let me, though. They continued trying to pleasure me, glistening and growing sticky as the hot blood on them cooled and grew tacky.
Daniel took his mouth off me and stood up.
“Trust us,” he said, looking directly into my eyes.
“What the fuck are you doing!,” I shouted at him. At them. The two women worked to keep me in the moment as Carson licked smeared blood out of my navel.
“Trust us,” Daniel instructed again, holding my head in his hands. I stared at his gore-streaked face. There was concern in his eyes.
“Please untie me,” I told him.
Eileen slid a finger inside me and I shouted with surprise and indignity. “I promise you’ll thank us soon,” she whispered.
Helpless and hating myself, I felt my arousal grow as lips and tongues and fingers forced my biology to betray me. The haze descended again and I closed my eyes as the stink of entrails permeated the room and combined with the heavy scent of sex.
A minute or two later, my climax ended the assault.
My eyes snapped open and I glared at the four. They all stood up and smiled. Wide, unsettling smiles.
“Let me the fuck out of here,” I pleaded, my voice quivering.
The smiles took on a patronizing, sympathetic quality. Drooling the contents of her mouth into her palm, Lucy said, “Honey, we’re finally ready to start.”
For a second, I was certain I was about to be killed. This was it. My quest for new and interesting sex had led me to the end of the road. Death. Snuff. My own end for their twisted pleasure. Then the goat screamed.
I yelped as the disemboweled animal’s mouth wrenched itself open. I heard its jawbones crunching and splintering as its mouth widened, its angle continuing to grow until it was a straight line up and down. It screamed again – now a deeper, groaning sound that I felt in my stomach and intestines. I watched in terror as the animal shuddered and convulsed. A series of red, knotted ropes exploded out of its throat and slapped wetly on the bloody stone.
“Fucking let me out!,” I howled. I glared at the four with panic. They were still smiling and staring at me. The goat’s body shuffled across the floor like a hairy, osseous caterpillar; its pulverized bones sounding like gravel with every peristaltic push. It reached my captors and stopped at their feet, almost as if it were a dog awaiting a command.
Finally, one of them moved. Lucy. She held the palm filled with her saliva and the product of my stolen orgasm out in front of the goat’s destroyed mouth. Its nose twitched, and one of the smaller tubes crawled across the woman’s hand. With a disgusting, wet sound, it lapped up the contents. Before before I could blink – before I could shout – the goat erected itself on its hind legs. Its ribcage exploded outward like a metal gate hit by a truck. More tubes, thicker, heavier tubes, writhed inside. And in a blinding instant, it lept against my face.
Everything went white. I floated, disembodied, free from fear. Free from disgust. Free from violation. I was in a pool of warm, white mercury flowing in lazy currents around formless porcelain and glass. It was heaven.
The world returned with a gentle shudder. The carcass of the goat was on the floor, its ropes and tubes deftly manipulating the erogenous zones of my four captors. All animosity I felt for them was gone. All indignity had evaporated. I tried to move my arms and realized I’d been untied. Legs, too. I stretched and watched the spectacle in front of me without any sense of revulsion.
A tube branched off and approached my ear. “Do you consent?,” it whispered. The voice was soft and sexless. Seductive. I hesitated as a remaining pang of concern shot through me. What did all this mean? What was happening? The questions were endless, but the sensation was undeniable. It was the feeling of newness – of blushing, virgin uncertainty. I looked at my four friends and saw the expressions of boundless ecstasy on their faces.
The knotted, red rope was waiting patiently for my answer. Was this what I’d been searching for? To my right, Eileen shuddered as an orgasm passed through her. She looked more beautiful than anyone I’d ever seen. They all did. Each one-upping the beauty of the other with every passing glance. The tube twitched and I smiled.
“Yes,” I whispered. “I consent.” And I opened my mouth.
Like so many things, it started with a bright spot in the night sky. As I watched, it grew brighter. Closer. Before long, I could hear it. It was loud and constant; a freight train riding a persistent thunderclap. Birds were roused from their sleep and they took to the sky, soaring away from the threatening light and sound. I didn’t move, though. I had to see.
It struck the ground in the woods outside my property, perhaps a quarter mile away. A second later, a searing blast of heat and pressure singed my eyebrows and threw me to the ground. My daze, while not insubstantial, was pushed to the side by excitement and wonder.
I scrambled to my feet and ran toward the impact site. The woods were alive with fire; orange plasma licking the evergreens as the sap within boiled and hissed. I passed the charred bodies of squirrels and deer as I darted around the hottest spots of quickly-dying flames. Before long, I was there.
The crater was about as wide and as deep as a backyard swimming pool. At its center was a red rock. Bright red. Fire-engine red. Its color wasn’t from heat, I noticed with some surprise, as feathery rime crept with fractalic persistence over its exposed surface.
For a moment, there was no sound.
I peered into the crater and watched the rime crawl up the rock, wondering how ice could form so close to the still-smoldering brush and dirt alongside it. On the other side of the object, out of my view, a sliver of yellow light flashed. Before I could go around to investigate, a crack spread on the surface of the rock. Dazzling, hypnotic sparkles of yellow and green filled my eyes.
I woke up on the forest floor at some point in the morning. The fires were out. Whatever had been in the crater had crumbled to dust. Without any knowledge of how I’d lost consciousness, I felt fear tickle the back of my neck. Almost as quickly as it started, though, the feeling evaporated. All my concern evaporated. For the first time in my 40 years of life, I felt wonderful. At peace.
I followed the trail that had been left for me. It led to my garage. Impelled to write something to let the world know what had and would be happening to me, I took my phone from my pocket and started to type.
And here I am.
Here we are.
I hadn’t noticed the gossamer-thin tendril stretching from my forehead to the pilot until we’d officially met. Its eyestalks perked up upon seeing me enter the garage, and it extruded newer, thicker filaments from its bulk to greet me. They stopped at my clothes, slapping weakly and wetly against the fabric until I got the message and stripped them off. Unhindered, the finger-thick filaments, now perhaps tendrils, pushed into me.
I tasted the cosmos with my skin, and every exposed surface of my body sang in an electric choir of caressed nerves.
“Let them know how it feels,” the Pilot whispered in me.
The sensation was that of being licked by ten thousand tongues, if ten thousand tongues were the emissaries of ten billion galaxies. I felt stars blink into existence on my chest and detonate in supernovae chaos upon my hands and feet. Pulsars fondled my shoulders while civilizations discovered fire and tamed the atom on my cheeks and under my scalp.
“Have them come to us so we can let them feel,” the Pilot breathed throughout me.
I dialed 911 and sighed the words, “officer down at 133 Rural Route 5.”
It didn’t take long.
The Pilot kissed each one with its tendrils the moment they arrived. The stellar choir of skin and taste grew by nine.
The Pilot, too, had grown. It filled the entirety of the garage; its filaments and tendrils and tentacles poking and pouring out of windows and doorways. The ground grew slick with its excretions. We stood – we stand – inside, all connected. All consumed and all consuming. All feeling.
More calls have been made and our network of flesh will only increase. The Pilot is gifting us with poetry to swallow; concepts that can only be understood once they’ve been tasted. Once they’ve been digested. Once they’ve been incorporated.
It is with a fleeting sense of loss that I recall the man who I’d once been. A man who, just last night, succumbed to his fervid curiosity and ran toward the fire. Never once did he care about being burnt; never once did he worry about what may happen. And now he is here. Now I am here. Now we are here. It was his desire to learn – and now he knows everything.
The Pilot has broken through the roof of the garage and is towering above the forest. It tells me if I were to measure, it would be a mile. One mile of the Pilot stretching like a gray-green obelisk toward the cosmos which birthed it.
More sirens puncture the tranquility of our home on the outskirts of the forest. Soon, they will stop. The Pilot can now reach aircraft with its tendrils, which have grown strong enough to break through. And those bodies inside are now with us. We all taste stars – we all bathe in radiation and fling ourselves toward the expanding borders of the universe in simultaneous orgasm.
The Pilot whispers he is 20 miles tall now. Depending where you are, if you look outside, you might see it. If you do, don’t be afraid. Don’t be anxious. Just feel the one, final moment of your loneliness. Of your solitude. Then open your windows, smile, and wait.