Thursday, October 27, 2022

The Mountain (Part Four of Four Parts), A Guest Blog blog post #573

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Last week, Hargis met a temptation he could not resist… a comely youth named Donneth. But as with Gwinneth, hia comely lover was gone by daybreak. Wonder what comes next.




By Mark Wildyr

Saddened by Donneth’s desertion, I resumed my journey. As was the case between these mountain glades, I found the going rough through the narrow rock confines connecting them.

Somehow I was not surprised to see someone straddling the pathway in the middle of the next lea. This was a sturdy youth of my own age, and his stance held a measure of menace. I tightened my hold on my hickory staff as we met.

“You are Hargis of Rodenbury?”

“Aye! And who are you?”

“I am Ayeth of the Mountain.”

We examined one another in silence for a few moments. He was fully as broad as I and of a height. His jerkin was open, giving a glimpse of heavy muscles. Here was a formidable young man. And handsome, too, I noted with surprise. Such things were normally beyond my ken. He bore a resemblance to Donneth, yet without his soft ways.

“You met my sister, Gwyndolyn. What did you do to her?”

“Why, I did nothing, man! We swam together, and I departed.”

“But you slept with my sister, Gwinnyth.”

“We but shared blankets; her virginity is intact.”

“My brother, Donneth, what did you do to him?”

Abruptly, I closed my mouth, stymied for an answer. “Ask him,” I finally said. The words sounded weak.

“Nay, I ask you,” he said, bristling. His anger made him more comely. “Did you spill your seed in his mouth?”

“He took me in his mouth,” I admitted, uncertain what the difference was.

“And did you leave your sperm up his bum?” My silence was his answer. He grew impatient at my mute state. “Now, you will take my cock in your mouth and up your fundament.”

I found my tongue quickly. “Nay, that’ll not happen, Ayeth. You’re not man enough to force that issue.”

He shrugged out of his jerkin, revealing a powerful torso. “Aye, I’m man enough for you, Hargis. And I’ll fight you to make my point.”

“And if you lose?”

“I will not lose. But if I do, you have safe passage. You’re a cobbler, are you not? If I do not beat you, I’ll give you leather enough to make you feel rich.”

He paused to allow me to shed my pack and my doublet. His eyes raked my chest and shoulders, measuring his opponent. Then he closed on me suddenly.

I met him confidently. The quarry is a hard way to earn a living, but it provides certain advantages. Daily, I had moved masses of rock for four long years. I was as hard as one of those stones and as strong as any man I’d ever known.

But somehow in these mountains, Ayeth had found his own source of strength. We grunted and groaned, swaying in the middle of the path, each seeking to throw the other. Finally, he managed to fling me against a tree. Instantly, he was upon me, but I moved aside and fastened myself to his back like a tick on a dog. We rolled on the ground until he dislodged me.

I do not know how long we battled, but it was long enough to weaken me. His attacks seemed less vigorous, but then so did mine. At length, we fell to the ground again with him atop me. I felt the strength go out of him. He lay inert, his long form flowing down the length of me. I stopped my own struggles; we lay face-to-face, sweating and panting. His brown eyes studied me for a moment before he lowered his lips to mine. Surprised, I permitted his intimacy, suddenly aware that I was rampant. Then I discerned his own hard cock pressed against my groin.

“You want me, Hargis. Admit it,” he gasped.


“Then it will be on my terms.” He recovered faster than I.

“Aye. On your terms.” An eagerness seized me that left me weaker than my struggles.

He stood, swayed for a moment, and then steadied himself, legs apart, hands on his hips. I rose to my knees and reached for him. He stayed me with a hand on my head.

“Are you sure, Hargis?”

In answer, I pulled him closer. His rod beat a steady rhythm beneath the cloth of his trousers. I loosed his drawstring to reveal strong, bronzed thighs and a massive manhood. Grasping it, I skinned back the foreskin and touched it with my tongue. It was not offensive. In fact, I was eager to taste more. I took his big head into my mouth. Like Donneth, I found that I could handle but little of that big staff with my mouth. He stood mute as I grasped the root with one hand to steady him and worked energetically at the end with my mouth and tongue.

At length, his big frame stiffened, and his seed flowed over my tongue and down my throat like sweet sap from a maple. He thrust against me now as his orgasm seized him. He pumped urgently, spewing his honey until it was all gone.

Frantically, I moved against him and humped his leg like some mean, sex-starved cur until soiling my own britches with cum. He smiled down on me indulgently.

“Stay a while with me,” he said in a deep voice, a smile on his face. “We will clean ourselves and rest.”

Besotted, I nodded agreement and rose to empty my clothing of my spilled seed. Afterward, we ate in easy companionship although we spoke little. As for me, my mind was taken with seeking answers to profound questions about my actions since entering this strange place. What had happened to me? Why had I acted a man for one man and a woman for another?

As evening arrived, it became clear that I would remain the night. We cleaned ourselves in silence before retiring. He seemed absolutely placid; however, I was skittish as a newborn colt. And in a sense, I had been reborn. When we finished, he turned to me.

“I will return shortly.” With those words, he was gone. I had begun to contemplate desertion before he reappeared out of the darkness lugging a bundle of hides.

“What is that?” I asked in relief.

“Leather for the cobbler. I did not beat you, Hargis. You fought me to a standstill, though you surrendered peacefully enough. Nonetheless, I did not beat you.”

There was leather to supply me for several lunations. I would not starve when I arrived at Dag Durgess.

As we spread our blankets side by side, a question rose to mind. “Will you be here when I rise on the morrow?”

“Nay. I’ll be gone.”

“Will I see you again if I return this way?”

He sighed. “Nay. You’ll not return. A man is given only one quest along this trail.”

“Quest!” I exclaimed. “I am on no quest. I go to seek friends on the far shore.”

He turned to me, his eyes seeming to glow in the darkness. “Perhaps you were on one without the knowledge. It happens sometimes.” He interrupted my response with a hand on my chest. “I would have my way again. Are you willing?”

“Aye,” I answered slowly, knowing full well this would not be the sucking of a cock by a mouth.

“Are you certain?” At my nod, he disrobed me and permitted me to remove his clothing. He moved into my arms and gave a long, searching kiss that wracked my innards before lowering me to the blanket. His hard, muscled body covered mine. His knees parted my legs. His big log throbbed against mine. They pulsed together for a moment before he slid up my body and offered himself. “Dampen it,” he ordered. I complied.

Ayeth entered me as gently as possible, but the sheer size of the object invading my bowels made it painful. He rested often to allow my channel to adjust to his column. Finally, his massive cock was buried inside me, and the pain eased. Tentatively, he thrust and withdrew. I shuddered at the delicious sensations playing up my backside. He mistook my reaction and started to withdraw. I closed my heels around his buttocks and drew him deeper.

He smiled in the darkness, and murmured, “You are sure. You are certain.”

“Aye! Beyond doubt!” I exulted. “Fuck me, Ayeth! Give me something to take down the trail all the way to the sea. Fuck me! Love me!”

It was a case of not knowing for what I asked. He laid his mind and his body to the task with a vehemence that drove away gentleness. He fucked! He plowed. He fornicated. He rutted. He drove me crazy with new feelings, new sensations, new desires. He exhausted me more thoroughly than had our struggle on the trail. And then he erupted, lifting his head to the heavens and howling like some wild beast. His seed filled me. It shot hot and thick, sluicing far deeper than that big cock could possibly reach. And with his orgasm, came mine. He grasped my cock and held me throughout the ejaculation, unmindful of the gobs of sperm covering his hand.

The force of our spasms left us exhausted and draped over one another. His heart thudded against mine as our breathing eased gradually.

“By the Gods,” I exclaimed. “What did you do to me, Ayeth?”

“Showed you how it could be, Hargis.”

“Never have I experienced such a thing,” I whispered against his ear. “Is it love?”

“Aye, a love of sorts. Not a love for me, but a love of discovery. This thing we have done is magical, is it not?”

“Aye. Sheer magic! Come with me on the morrow.”

“I cannot, Hargis. I must remain here in my home.”

“Surely what we have must be preserved. Come with me.”

“Would you stay with me?” he asked calmly.

“I…I want to. But…but there are those who await me.”

He kissed me gently. “As there are for me here. But the night is not yet passed. There’s loving to be done yet.”

He spoke the truth. I took his shaft again in my mouth as he lay on his back, gently and patiently instructing me on what felt the best. He showed me how to ride the bottom of his cock with my lips and how to thrust my tongue between his stones and the way to take more of his length by relaxing my throat. And he fucked me again, with the same vigor, the same strength and endurance as before. Before we rested my throat was sore and my fundament ached and my cock was sensitive to the lightest touch.

Totally exhausted, I lay in his comforting arms through the depths of the night. In the quiet of the darkness, I thought back over my three days in this mountain.

“Where are we?” I asked suddenly. “What is this place?”

“I thought you knew. This is the Mountain of Sure and Certain Knowledge.”

Magically, I slept. On the morrow, there was no sign of Ayeth’s existence. I would have doubted it myself, save for my aching throat and sphincter.

The rest of the trail out of the mountains was as easy as had been the entry. I emerged onto the foothills and viewed a broad plain that led down to a blue sea.

I turned to look back at the mountain. The trail was real; the mountain was a solid substance. Yet I doubted that many who took this way walked the same mountain I had crossed.

My true nature suddenly clear in my own mind for the first time in twenty summers, I gave silent thanks to four supernaturals as the worm of uncertainty departed my chest, leaving me free of disquiet for the first time in ages. Refreshed and filled with a new resolve, I and turned east with firm footsteps toward my goal. To Dag Durgess where Dirkston anticipated my arrival before the Festival of the Harvest Moon.


And so it appears Ayeth has revealed to Hargis of Rodenbury his true nature. Now it is clear to him which of the twins he desires when he reaches Dag Durgess. The handsome Dirkston in lieu of the lovely Lavena.

 Stay safe and stay strong.

 Now my mantra: Keep on reading and keep on writing. You have something to say… so say it!

 A link to The Cutie-Pie Murders:

 My personal links:



Twitter: @dontravis3

 See you next Thursday.



 New Posts every Thursday morning at 6:00 a.m. US Mountain time.

Thursday, October 20, 2022

The Mountain (Part Three of Four Parts), A Guest Blog blog post #572

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Last week, Hargis met Gwinnyth, a pixyish enchantress and failed to take advantage of what she readily offered. Today, he plods on toward the top of the mountain on his way to the sea. What happens next?




By Mark Wildyr

Easing my hunger from the dried stores in my bag, I washed up and was soon on my way through this strange place. Once again, strewn boulders blocked my way in the steep part of the trail, forcing me to do some climbing. At mid morn, I reached the crest and looked eagerly to the east. There was nothing to see except for the broad seaward slope of the mountain and a haze in the distance. It was as if what the pixie, Gwinnyth, had said was God’s Truth. This mountain was it’s own world.

Resolutely, I set upon my trek again, finding the going faster on the downhill trail. The sun had long passed overhead before I paused to take sustenance again in a broad highland meadow like others I had left behind. There was no rushing stream to my left, but doubtless there was one somewhere nearby.

As I munched on tasteless dried goods, the hair on the nape of my neck began to bristle. Carefully, I turned to lean casually against the bole of a tree. In the periphery of my vision I saw the gamin. She had followed me.

“I see you,” I said gruffly.

“And I see you,” came the reply, surprising me by the timbre of the voice. It was lower, masculine.

The figure stepped forward, and I saw that it was not Gwinnyth, but it could have been for the closeness of the resemblance. The pixie face was slightly larger, and the chin was male, the upper lip showing a faint line of down. This was a boy.

Confused, I stammered. “H…have we not met before?”

“Nay, I’ve not set eyes upon you before, although I wish I had. You are long on the trail?” the adolescent voice asked.

“Some days,” I responded.

“Come with me, and I will show you a welcome surprise.”

“I’ve a way yet to go. I’d best—“

“Tis but a short distance. And you will be pleased.”

Intrigued, I followed the youth into the forest. My eyes fastened upon his lean figure, discerning muscles playing beneath his rude clothing. I was brought to think of Gwinnyth walking before me in her feminine, boyish gait. This youth walked in a manly way tainted by a girlish grace. Confounded by my interest, I was glad when he came to a halt and gestured.

“See! There it is!”

He pointed to a dark, green pool from which steam arose. It was one of those natural baths heated by the earth. A thing much coveted for reasons of health.

Confident that I was intrigued, the youth abruptly shed his clothing and stepped into the water. I could not help but notice his dark nipples, lean belly, and the dark hair around his manhood. He grinned as he took note of my observance and then sat in the pool with a curiously feminine flourish.

Suddenly tired, I stripped naked and entered the pool, taking a seat facing him. His eyes had examined me closely throughout the entire process.

“You are a lot of man,” he said as we faced one another in the hot, soothing water. Having no reply to that, I asked his name. “I am Donneth,” he responded.

“Some time back on the trail, I met someone who looked a lot like you,” I said.

“Ah, that must be Gwinnyth.”

Comprehension dawned. “She is your sister?”

“Aye. I have sisters. And a brother. And you are Hargis, are you not?”

“How did you know? Oh, I see. You have spoken to your sister.” I colored abruptly. Had she told of my rod pressed against her buns? My flush deepened as I wondered if she related my subsequent loss of interest.

A hand on my thigh interrupted my thoughts. I flinched.

“Have I offended you?” the youth, who I now judged three or so years my junior, inquired. “I simply sought to touch that splendid rod.”

“Where I come from men do not touch men in such manner,” I said gruffly. Yet in truth, I was not offended.

“That world must be a horrible place,” he said simply and leaned forward to gaze into my eyes.

“That world is your world,” I snapped.

“Nay, not mine! This is my world. Where I can offer my friendship as I see fit.” The hand came to rest on my thigh again. I made no protest. It caressed me for a moment before moving higher to close over my rod gently. To my surprise, I responded to the touch. My staff grew in his hand.

“Ohhh!” he purred, inching closer. “It’s magnificent. Stand so I can see it. Please!”

Whether out of perversity or a need arising from casting aside two attractive women, I complied. I stood with tendrils of hot water cascading off my body, my suddenly exposed parts cooling in the mountain air. Yet my cock continued to stiffen.

It’s beautiful!” Donneth murmured, moving forward to lick the end. I started, but otherwise did not move. He ignored my spasm and energetically washed the end with a moist tongue. As I watched through startled eyes, he took my rod in his mouth…that is as much as he could handle. In truth, that was less than half of the excited monster. And there was no denying that it was excitedly rampant.

The rest of me was shocked into immobility, but not my rod. It pulsed with life as he slid up and down on it. It was alive with strange wonderful sensations heretofore denied it. When his hand grasped my stones, I was freed from my paralysis, but strangely, I stood in the hot water allowing this violation of my person.

Before it ended, the rest of me participated. I found my hands on his head, pulling him to me forcefully. My thighs began to move, thrusting at him. Surely, I was hurting him as I rammed myself down his throat, but he made no protest.

At length the internal storm began to gather. My knees weakened, my frame shook. Strange currents swirled within me and centered in my stones. He sensed my reaction and set to work even more eagerly. When the eruption came, the boy took my white lava effortlessly, sucking and licking at me until the eruption was finished. He was reluctant to release me even as I sank gratefully back into the water.

“Why…why did you do that?” I panted.

“Because I knew it would please you,” he responded simply. “And because it pleased me,” he added with a sly grin.

Exhausted, I lay back in the water, and the boy moved beside me. Wordlessly we rested, his long slender frame brushing against mine from time to time. Perhaps we slept because when I opened my eyes it seemed darker. With a start I felt his legs scissor around mine. His eyes were huge and bright with excitement. Fingers worked my staff, and it betrayed me yet again.

Taking me by surprise, Donneth sat astride me. I had no idea of what he intended until he centered my rod on his hole. Then he pressed himself down against me, almost submerging the both of us. Intent on preventing this, I stiffened my body and shuddered when he slid slowly down the length of my cock. His buttocks rested firmly against my thighs. He was impaled!

“Donneth!” I gasped.

“Be calm, Hargis,” he cooed in his man-boy voice. Involuntarily my hand moved, and I assured myself of his manliness by closing on his rampant tool. It was outsized when measured to the rest of him.

Suddenly inflamed, I thrust against him, sending my staff deeper. Perhaps I intended harm, but that was not the outcome. His mouth opened in pleasure, his eyes closed in ecstasy. I lost myself in him. I turned us so that I was atop his slender frame and found myself surprised by the hard, supple muscles beneath me. He was a man, of this there was no doubt. And I pummeled this man, this youth, feeding him my staff with all the energy of a stag fucking a doe; a ram, a ewe; a man, a woman. I used him as a woman, this time giving him my seed in the black depths of his entrails. I came as I had never come before. I fucked so hard that I drove his sperm from his body. I sought to draw a plea for mercy from him, but only succeeded in exciting cries of pure pleasure.

When I could stand it no longer, I staggered erect and allowed him to wash my cock clean of our wastes. Then I pulled him to his feet, taking some satisfaction at his unsteadiness.

“Such a man!” he whispered as he leaned against me for support while we waded out of the pool. Immediately, he became the host again, taking toweling from some hidden spot and drying my body despite my protest. Then he allowed me to dry him. Touching his nether regions inflamed me again, but I turned away before I ruptured something or other on my insides.

I slept with Donneth beside the comfort of a fire, and before the night was done he fondled me to erection. Just before he took me in his mouth, he looked up at me.

“Are you sure?”

“Aye,” I responded, and so he drew my seed into his throat. I asked if he would accompany me on the morrow, but he could not comprehend departing this world of his.

And then he drew me atop him. Feeling my reaction, Donneth touched his nose to mine. “Are you certain?” he wanted to know. I merely nodded and placed his legs atop my shoulders. He begged me for a fucking he could remember me by. I rendered him one for the better part of a candle-length and then fell into a sound sleep. At dawn, he was gone when I woke. As with Gwinnyth, there was no sign he had ever been here.


Could it be that Hargis has been instinctively waiting for Donneth… or someone like him… to appear? If so it seemed a successful gamble. But having sampled the delicious youth, what could possibly be waiting over the hump of the mountain?

 Stay safe and stay strong.

 Now my mantra: Keep on reading and keep on writing. You have something to say… so say it!

 A link to The Cutie-Pie Murders:

 My personal links:



Twitter: @dontravis3

 See you next Thursday.




New Posts every Thursday morning at 6:00 a.m. US Mountain time.

Thursday, October 13, 2022

The Mountain (Part Two of Four Parts), A Guest Blog blog post #571

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This week, we have the second installment of Mark Wildyr’s story of a magic mountain. I enjoyed last week’s segment when Hargis met the beautiful Gwendolyn on the mountain but foreswore her considerable charms… much to his own puzzlement. Let’s see what happens next.




By Mark Wildyr

The pathway ahead became far more difficult. Rocks torn from the slope blocked the way at times. Late afternoon found me panting and sweating at the edge of another beautiful park and mentally kicking my bum for refusing to sample the beautiful girl on the back trail. Mindful of the refreshing bath earlier that day, I knelt at the side of that same mountain stream and washed away the day’s grime before partaking of the cool water. As I started to rise, I froze. Standing on the opposite shore where the stream was at its narrowest, was a slender youth.

I issued a challenge from sheer surprise. “Who is there?”

“A friend,” came a clear, light voice. My words had galvanized the figure to action. Gracefully, the stranger leapt the stream and strode to meet me. “My name is Gwinnyth,” said a gamin mouth set in a gamin’s face. It was another girl…or woman, if you prefer. Younger than the other, but looking strangely the same except she was slimmer and wore her dark hair cropped close to the head in a strangely pleasing manner.

Introducing myself, I admitted to being a traveler on the way to the far coast. Offering me sustenance, she walked up the stream in a strong, boyish gait to a fire merrily burning in a carefully constructed rock pit. A hare simmered in a spit over the flames.

As she carefully offered a meal of charred flesh on a broad green leaf, she set about questioning me. I responded good-naturedly.

“I am Hargis of Rodenbury, a cobbler on my way to the eastern shore to visit boon companions from my past.”

“You go to seek your beloved?” she asked innocently, her small head dainty upon its slender neck.

“Nay,” I protested quickly and then paused at the thought. “Mayhap you have struck upon a truth. There is a fair lady awaiting on that shore.”

“One? You spoke of two?” she said, nibbling at a hare’s leg on her own leaf.

“The other is a youth. Nay, he’s a man by now. I keep remembering him as I saw him last these three summers past.”

She looked up with interest. “He is fair, as well?”

“When last I saw him, he was as beautiful as his sister.”

“Then likely still he is,” she said nonchalantly. Suddenly, she eyed me frankly. “You have traveled far. You will spend the night with me?”

There was no doubt of her meaning. Her dark eyes examined me from pate to boot with the same disconcerting frankness as had Gwyndolyn. Fresh from that sweet temptation, my rod reacted with excitement.

“And where do you bed down for the night?” I asked through a tight voice.

“Why here, of course,” she replied.

“Have you no home?”

She glanced at me with puzzlement. “The mountain is my home.”

“Have you never been off it?”

Again, she looked perplexed. “There is no other place, at least in this world,” the small mouth proclaimed firmly.

“Then from whence do I come?” I asked with a smile.

“The other world,” she responded promptly.

Delighted at the provinciality of this woman-child, I rose with a laugh and proceeded to wash myself at the stream. As she had no blankets of her own, I allowed her to snuggle against me as we settled by the campfire. She made no objection when I lay close behind her, my groin fitted to her rounded buttocks.

Strange, I thought to myself, that I should be so excited by this slight woman when I spurned the voluptuous Gwyndolyn. Nevertheless, I responded to her. As my staff rose, her firm buns wiggled closer against me. I reached around and fastened upon a rounded breast with a rigid nipple. Aye, I’d take this one for all her boyish, coltish ways.

Suddenly, a loud noise at the edge of the glen drew me to my feet ready to meet any danger. A lilting laugh eased my concern.

“Tis only a stag drawn to the fire and bolting when he caught our scent,” she said. Thudding hoof beats through the far brush seemed to confirm her opinion. “Come back to our bed,” the girl pled.

And I did, but my ardor was deflated, the desire gone. I turned my back to her, and resting my head on my arms, I wondered at the fragility of my need. My heart raced, but it was from the interruption, not the wanting.

Her words startled me. “Are you sure?” To my muttered affirmative, she added, “Are you certain?” I made no further reply, but fell asleep.

When I woke the following morning, Gwinnyth was gone. It was as if she had never been there except for the ashes in the fire ring.


What’s going on? Two enchantresses have offered themselves, and he’s rejected both of them. He doesn’t understand it… but we do, don’t we?

 Stay safe and stay strong.

 Now my mantra: Keep on reading and keep on writing. You have something to say… so say it!

 A link to The Cutie-Pie Murders:

 My personal links:



Twitter: @dontravis3

 See you next Thursday.



 New Posts every Thursday morning at 6:00 a.m. US Mountain time.

Thursday, October 6, 2022

The Mountain (Part One of Four Parts), A Guest Blog blog post #570

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This month, my Okie buddy Mark Wildyr and I are exchanging guest posts. He’s chosen to give me one with a mystical tone set back in the days of fairies and enchantresses and other such folk. Hope you enjoy.




By Mark Wildyr

“Be ye Hargis of Rodenbury?”

The harsh voice pulled me from my cobbler’s stand. A broad, rough-hewn man of middle years stood straddle-legged, arms planted on hips.

“Aye…I am Hargis,” I answered uncertainly. He had the look of the law, but in these times when the unlawful often dealt much misery in the kingdom, they were necessary, I suppose. I quickly examined my last few days for offenses committed. None came to mind.

The stranger’s face eased its stern frown. “You have knowledge of Lavena and Dirkston of Dag Durgess?”

“Aye, I know them,” I answered with a broad smile. “Until the family left to find fortune on the far side of the realm, they were my companions. You have news of them?”

“Aye,” the man replied, accepting my indication to take the seat opposite me in my small stand at the edge of the market. Normally, it was a stool reserved for those who bring me custom; however, he was welcome to it if he could refresh my knowledge of my two friends. He gave the loud sigh of a heavy man happy to relieve his feet of weight.

“I’ve but returned from Dag Durgess; my boat docked at early light. I searched for you in the rock quarry but was told to find you here.”

“I worked the quarry through the last high summer, and then found a master who taught me to cobble. But where did you see my friends? What did they look like? How are they doing?”

The man held up a good-natured hand. “Hold! Don’t bury me with questions. Before we sailed, a fair youth hailed me and asked if we were bound for Rodenbury. He prayed that I deliver a missive to a big lout called Hargis. Marveling that a lout could read and write, I agreed. Then a pretty vision stepped to his side and handed me a message, as well. They introduced themselves as brother and sister, which was needless wind since one could have been the other, give or take a few changes.”

“Aye, they are twins. Born of the same mother in the same birthing bed, one after the other. He first, and then she. They are well?”

“Doubtless they advise of their estate by these,” he answered, holding aloft two sealed letters. “They looked well fed and decently hosed. Spoke like my betters; acted the part, too, although there was nothing offensive in their demeanor.” He heaved himself to his feet. “Tis time to be about my business; I’ve accomplished theirs. May this day in the next Year of Our Lord find you well, Hargis.”

“And you, sir. Thank you for your kindness.”

Lavena’s letter reflected my recollection of her. Small, neat letters formed precise words conveying exact thoughts. She told of her work as seamstress at the nearby Manor and her brother’s position as gamekeeper at the same. Their parents were in health. They were well favored in their lives and content except for missing their childhood playmate. She closed with the words ‘All love, Lavena’. No mention of swains or would-be-beaus. No hint of wedding vows. Nothing to tell me if she was still a maiden not yet promised.

Aye, and Dirkston’s missive, which I eagerly read, reflected him, as well. Bold letters carelessly formed, yet conveying straightforward thoughts. He liked his job, loved his family, and chased the girls. His message closed with ‘faithfully’.

I pictured the two as they were some three years past when we all had seventeen summers. Lavena was tall for a girl and possessed a heart-face crowned by curly golden tresses. She had budded long before either of us and had the bearing of a woman while we were yet striplings. The rock quarry was beginning to put muscle and a man’s form on me, although Dirkston still had the look of a boy. They were both beautiful. Her beauty was feminine, his beginning to emerge from its androgyny.

I reread the last lines of his letter. “Oh, how I long for you again! You would not believe Lavena. She’s the rose of this town, as I am its thorn! I catch my share of looks from the girls, let me tell you. The Festival of the Harvest Moon looms hard on the horizon. It is a wild time. Wicked…without being Evil, if you take my ken. Anything goes. We could have a grand time together were you but here.”

Seized by a acute yearning, I cast around with a speculative eye. My parents had gone to The Lord, and there was nothing to keep me here, certainly not this little stand. A man can cobble anywhere. And while I had improved my station in life, there was a disquiet, a hidden longing eating at me at odd moments.

Two fair images floated in my mind, and I made a small game of trying to decide which I missed the most. Lavena held the calm and ready wit of the pair, yet I missed Dirkston’s rough and tumble and his odd moments of intimacy as we shared important secrets of childhood.

It took three days to sell off my meager collection of things not required to set up business anew. The effort reaped barely enough to keep body and soul together during my trek, but far less than the price of a berth on a ship. One master gave my strong body the once over and offered passage in exchange for seamanship. I eagerly accepted but grew so green with mal de mer on the dory ride to the boat that he sent me back to shore in disgust.

Thus it was that I set across our island kingdom by foot, and being a cobbler, I was superbly shod. My remaining belongings strapped firmly to my back, my stout hickory staff in hand, I turned my face to the east and took the first of countless steps.

The freshness of being on the road fell off my eyes quickly. By the end of the first day, I was tired and sore. A twelve-month away from the quarry had softened me beyond belief. I slept beside the road, one eye open for riffraff and highwaymen and the like. In truth, I half hoped for a set-to with miscreants to stir my blood.

Days passed as I paced along watching a distant mountain loom larger. At the foot of the thing, the trail forked. The well-trod road turned north while a faint path led into the mountains. There was no question in my mind that the path over the mountain was far shorter than the highway. Nor was there doubt as to which I would take. The direct route would gain my goal quicker. With hardly a pause, I strode resolutely eastward toward the distant sea.

The mountain trail was easier than expected. This must be some sort of a pass through the hills. At times I walked with sheer stone walls on either side; at others, I broke out into pleasant, forested meadows. In the second of these, I halted at the sound of singing.

A rushing stream sparkled through the trees on my left. Quietly, I left the trail and made my way to the edge of the forest. Spread out below was a glade of such beauty and peace that it took a moment to focus on the young woman singing as she stood ankle deep in the water. Clad only in a thin shift that clearly revealed the long legs and darkened mysteriously at her pudendum, she removed garments from a small basket to beat them against a broad, flat rock. Her back was to me when she bent to the water and rinsed a linen. I grew aroused as her shift tightened against her buttocks. Realizing she was aware of my presence, I boldly stepped through the brush and marched down the slope.

“Hail, master,” she called gaily as she turned to me, not in the least disturbed by my presence.

“Mistress,” I returned the greeting.

“You travel the high trail, I see. Tarry awhile. I do not see many travelers. Where are you bound?”

“Dag Durgess on the eastern sea. Before I’m done, I will have crossed this kingdom from shore to shore.”

“Kingdom? What kingdom?”

“Why this kingdom. This very place where we stand.”

“I know nothing of kingdoms. This is not a kingdom; this is the mountain.”

I laughed disdainfully at this pretty lass’ ignorance of the outside world. “The Great King will be surprised to learn we are not of his realm.”

“Perhaps so, but enough of this. You’re tired and require a refreshing swim in my brook,” she declared. Laughing gaily, the beautiful young woman strode a few paces up the shore to plunge into a deep pool. Excited, I stripped to my trousers before joining her.

The water pasted her thin shift to her flesh, and at times glimpses of the dark nipples hiding beneath made my rod rise against my codpiece. I was of a mind to release it, but she turned and swam away. Anxious to keep up, I abandoned the idea and raced after her. As she rested against the far bank, I rose to my thighs in the water. Her gaze raked my torso frankly, and I flamed with unseemly pride in my build. The quarry had laid a slab of muscle over my breasts and pulled my sides into a narrow waist. My corded arms had never been a matter of interest until now. She reached out and touched them gingerly, cooing over their strength.

My rod rose so urgently that it strained painfully against my trousers. She saw and giggled. Suddenly ashamed, I sat in the water, covering myself.

“What is your name?” I asked for something to say.

“Gwyndolyn,” she answered with another laugh, dropping her eyes shyly, an artifice if ever I’d seen one, since she had boldly examined me intimately just moments before. “And yours?”

“Hargis,” I answered. “Hargis of Rodenbury.”

I cannot explain what happened next. Gwyndolyn loosed all her feminine wiles on me, which is as it should be since she was a female, but the sidewise glances, the feigned modesty, the teasing with fluttered eyelids cooled my ardor. Of one thing I was absolutely certain, never had such alluring female flesh been so available, and never had I desired it less. Abruptly, I stood, the water running in rivulets from my body. Even her gaze leveled at my codpiece did not rekindle my lust.

“I’ve a long way to go,” I said firmly. “Best be on my way. The bathing was welcome. For that you have my thanks.”

She made a small moue of disappointment, standing in the water to give me a look at everything blurred only by the sodden linen shift. “Are you sure? Are you certain? So few come up this path. I get lonely. I would make your stay worthwhile.”

“I am sure,” I replied, the sincerity of my tone surprising even me. Retrieving my clothing and staff, I set off down the trail without looking back.


So Hargis of Rodenbury is off on a journey and takes an unfamiliar route on the way to the sea. He chances upon and is tempted by Gwendolyn. Why did he not advantage that ripe plum? I don’t know. But he isn’t over the mountain yet. What lies ahead?

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