The Fires, Chapter Three


By Tommyhawk1
Artwork (c) 2003 by Mike D.

Illustration of Fires #3
The next day, I woke up as dawn began, and wondered if I should take my chances again in the forest. Markham and Scottie were both sound asleep, they had been drinking heavily, and I waited until hunger grew too great, then started cooking breakfast for myself. The smell of cooking food woke up Scottie.

His reaction was a huge groan, then his eyes crossed and he ran to the edge of the clearing and vomited heavily into the nearest bush. The sound of his retching nearly put me off the eggs I was cooking...nearly. I sniffed them and drooled, finished stirring them and then spooned the yellow mass into a plate and settled down to eat.

"Thanks." Markham said as he took the plate out of my hand, I was too nonplused to even react as he also took my spoon. "Nice to have someone to fix breakfast after a night of drinking."

I overcame my annoyance when I remembered that there were plenty more eggs. I looked at Scottie and decided to fix enough for both of us, he was still puking his guts out over at the bush. Markham was watching him with a good deal of amusement.

When Scottie staggered over to the fire, I had the second batch of eggs scrambled up. "Can you eat something now?" I asked him as kindly as I could. I wanted him to take me to the town with him, after all. If I was going to leave Markham, the town was the best bet to find someone else to live with, not to mention the chance at some real stuff of my own to have and to trade.

"I don't know." he groaned. "God, Markham, what kind of rotgut was that?"

"Vodka, the real stuff." Markham said. "Picked up a case of it a week ago, still got a few bottles."

"Man, it's tearing me up!"

"That's because you're used to the home-brewed stuff." Markham said. "Not used to the pure form, are you?"

"God, no!"

"Want some more?"

"Hell, yeah!" Scottie said.

He washed down the eggs with some vodka, though I noticed he only took a couple of drinks. Markham, too, didn't drink that much. Soon enough, men were coming through the clearing, ready to bargain with him again. No wonder Markham didn't shift his camp, even though it was beginning to stink.

I took advantage of his distraction to go over to Scottie. "Can I go to the town with you today?" I asked.

"Ask your owner." Scottie said. "And if he says yes, remember that if you slow me down, I'll leave your ass behind."

"I'll keep up." I promised.

Markham looked startled when I asked him, he looked over at Scottie. "You're not planning to get a free ride on him, are you?"

"Maybe." Scottie allowed. "After all, I paid for an entire night, and just got one load out of my nuts from it."

"Well...it's up to you." Markham shrugged. "Just bring him back in one piece tonight."

"Sure." Scottie promised. "One piece, very well-fucked."

"Works for me." Markham said.

I didn't care just then. A town! And one not picked over beforehand! Who knew what I could find in a town freshly supplied! Eggs of my very own loomed before me. And if I found someone else I could stay with, Markham and Scottie could become a part of my past!

So I tagged along happily with Scottie. "Where are we going?" I asked when we were away from Markham's camp.

"Eager to get there? Soon as we do, first thing I'm going to do is fuck your butt again." Scottie said.

"Can't we look around first?" I asked. "Wouldn't want someone else to get the good stuff." I said a little too eagerly.

Scottie laughed. "Got a case of the grabbies, eh?" he said as he ruffled my hair.

I ducked away from his hand. "Why not? I work for Markham now, don't I? Finder gets to keep half of anything he gets. I just want my fair share." I'd listened to Markham and Scottie as they'd talked.

"Fair enough." Scottie said. "But be careful. Some of the guys aren't that careful about where they find their stuff." An arched eyebrow and touch of the knife at his waist told me what he meant.

"I'll be careful." I said, feeling cowed all over again, and moved next to Scottie again. He was my protector. Even when his arm went around me, I let it stay there.

The town was one the Professor and I had been in numerous times. The Professor had always insisted we wait until the afternoon to go to the towns. Now I knew why, Scottie and his men got first pick, by noon most of them had finished and moved out.

There were a lot of places to look. A couple of hundred buildings, including eighteen blocks of buildings more than one story tall (the Professor had called it "downtown" or "the offices," words that meant nothing to me, except that we had stuck to "the suburbs"), it was currently the sole property of Markham's men, and Scottie was in charge of them. He was assigning them districts to work over.

"What about me?" I asked when he was done.

Scottie looked at me, then laughed. "You can help me in my district." He said. "I'll give you half of my half."

Having looked at some of the rough-looking characters working for him, I was willing enough to settle for that...this time.

He'd kept for us a section of larger houses. The Professor had called them "mansions" and hadn't wanted to bother with them. Since Scottie seemed to have these mansions for his own section as a part of his routine, I guess I had the answer for that bit of the Professor's eccentricities, too.

Inside the first place, I was amazed. There was a vase sitting on a half-smashed table, a pile of vegetables on a mold-ridden chair, and some cans of food piled in the corner near the fireplace! Riches beyond belief! "Wow!" I said.

"Like this?" Scottie bragged. "Like this every fifth day, in this town. The Things have their own schedule, and we have them clocked.

"Is it like this in all the rooms?"

"Not every room." Scottie said. "They try to keep it random, like it's chance that these things are here. But we know better. Come on, help me gather this up. We'll pile them in this corner with the cans, then we'll scrounge up some transportation for it."

I dashed out, saying, "I'm going to look in the other rooms!" as I ran as hard as I could.

"Don't go too far away!" Scottie called after me.

I was busy working over the rooms. It was like the real holiday the Professor insisted on celebrating every year, which he called Christmas, he'd make a few gifts for me and I'd make something for him, and he'd always talk in apology about how when he was young, the whole day was filled with gifts for him, news ones coming with every relative visiting! This was like this, for me, at least.

I wasn't stinting the hiding places that had borne fruit for me in the past with the Professor, either. That was why I looked under those stairs, in that little hidey-hole there.

A small, merry face peered back at me. "Boo!" he said to me.

It was another kid my own age! I couldn't believe it! I hadn't ever seen anything but grown-ups, long as I could remember. Looking up at everybody, here was someone that was looking up at me! Of course, he was on his knees and I was standing.

"Hello." I said, surprised. "Who are you?"

"My name is Joey." He said. "Joey Franklin." Joey was my age, like I said, only where my hair was blond, his was brown and cut all around the sides. The Professor had hacked my hair back now and again, but this hair of Joey's looked much neater than mine. His eyes were brown, too, and his nose was turned up at the end, and his cheeks were full and round, which made it easy for him to smile at me, like he was doing now, his whole face was shaped around smiling.

"Charley." I said to him, giving him my name.

"Charley what?" he asked.

"Just Charley." I said.

"How long you been here?"

"In town? I came in this morning."

"I mean...here." he waved his hand around. "I've been here two weeks now."

"Oh." I said. "I don't know. Long as I can remember. I was a baby when the Professor found me."

It took me and Joey some time to catch up. Joey had been living here all alone, all this time.

And he didn't build a fire at night! When I found that out, I blurted, "Joey, you have to build a fire! How else can you keep the Things away!"

"You have to keep very quiet." he said. "If you do, they don't know to look for you."

"Really?"

"Yeah." Joey said. "Just keep quiet and they'll leave you alone."

I wasn't convinced that quickly, but Joey kept on talking about his life. He gathered the best of the stuff first thing in the morning, putting it away in his special hidey-hole, and then hid until the men went away. Most of the afternoon was all his to play in the town, doing whatever he wanted. He talked so enthusiastically about the games that he talked me around (after all, he was still alive, staying in town even, and without ever building a fire) and I decided to stay with him and see what it was like.

He had a room in a house behind a fake wall he had found on his first day. I figured that was why he hadn't been found, the Things didn't know it was there! Inside was a bed, table, chairs, shelves loaded with food and what food! Candy! I'd never experienced it and he had a whole bag of something he called "taffy." I ate several pieces and Joey just beamed. He had other sweets, and those were things I'd had only a few times, and never as good as these.

The sun was going down. I could see it through the small window the room had. I felt the darkness surrounding me and I began to get scared.

Joey saw me shivering. "What's the matter?" he asked me.

"It's getting dark." I said. "Where's the fire?"

"We don't need a fire." Joey said. Then, he admitted, "I don't know how to build one, even."

"I do." I said. "Let's run into the woods and build a fire, fast!"

"It's too late for that." Joey said, "All we have to do is keep very quiet. The Things will come into the house, but they won't find us. It's okay, really."

I heard them outside! Things, lots of them. Dragging stuff, carrying stuff, sniffing around.

A startled sound from one of them and then I heard them clambering into the house!

"They're coming after us!" I whispered.

"Shh!" Joey said. "It's okay.

"Joey." I admitted. "I'm scared. I've never gone without a fire."

"It's all right." he said to me, holding me. Touching me. Kissing me.

It wasn't like doing it with Markham or Scottie. This felt...natural and right. It was so easy for me to turn to him and touch him, tug his clothing aside so I could touch him. His skin was so soft and smooth.

Joey shivered, but not with fear, as my hand moved over his chest. "Hey, this is cool!" he breathed. "You want to do it?"

"Do what?"

"Play with each other." Joey said, like it was obvious. "Haven't you ever done it with other kids?"

"No." I said.

"Yeah, you've never seen another kid before."

"I did it with a couple of men." I said. "But that was different. I like you."

"I like you, too." Joey said. His hand came down to my pants, he untied the tie that kept the oversized cut-off pants on my smaller body, and then he was inside, and his hand touched my penis.

It was like a jolt hit my entire body as his fingers wrapped around my dick and snuggled in tightly around the shaft.

"You like that?" Joey asked me.

"Yeah, oh, yeah!" I said.

"Do it to me." Joey urged. "But quiet. The Things are outside now. We have to keep quiet."

I got my hand to Joey's crotch and found he'd unzipped himself (Joey had pants that fit, he really did get first pick of everything in town), and I found his little pud standing up and waiting for me.

"Now quiet, just like we were having to keep quiet back home." Joey said softly. "Mom and Dad are asleep in the next room. We don't want them to hear us, do we?"

"Uh-uh." I said.

Joey's fingers were stroking up and down my prick, sending shudders through my body, so good, so good!

"You and me are brothers now." Joey informed me, and I just smiled at that. I knew waht brothers were, but I'd never had one. "Brothers do this with each other, in bed at night while Mom and Dad are asleep in the next room. It feels good, doesn't it?"

"Yeah!" I agreed.

"Mine, too." Joey said. "Play with my dick, little brother, play with it, only, play faster now, okay?"

"Sure." I said and I began to pump Joey's prick even faster, and when I did that, he moved his fingers faster on mine.

"Oh, oh!" I gasped out.

"Shh!" Joey said. "Mom and Dad will hear us!"

"Oh, oh!" I said, softer, but I had to say it. It just felt so good! Quivers ran through my body, I thrashed my hips up and down as Joey pumped on my pud, and then it was over, and I lay limp under him.

"Now, finish me off." Joey urged me.

I was eager to comply, and I moved without thinking. I put my head down to Joey's prick and I took his little prong into my mouth and I sucked on him.

"Oohhh!" Joey groaned. "Oooh, that's good, that's goo-ood!" His hips bucked up and down like mine, as he writhed in his passion. "Oh, oh, oh, uh, I'm coming, I'm coming!" He said to me, and he had forgotten about his parents entirely, he was saying it to me without whispering.

His little climax was soon done, and he was panting the same as I had. "Oh, man, that was good!" Joey said to me. "You got to teach me how to do that!"

"Sure." I said. "Tomorrow."

"Okay." Joey said and he pulled his clothes the rest of the way off. "Sleep now, if you can. Easier to keep quiet when you really are asleep."

"Can't wake up Mom and Dad." I said. The Things were outside in the room the other side of the door. I could hear them snuffling about. Searching for us. Our scent must be fresh in the room there.

The Things got quiet after a while. I lay there as long as I could, then I whispered to Joey. "Do you think they're gone?" I hissed at Joey.

"They probably are." Joey whispered back. "They give up after a while. But we'd better stay quiet."

"Yeah." I agreed.

"Charley?"

"Uh-huh?"

"Can I suck your peter now?"

I considered it. Sleep wasn't very attractive with those Things prowling outside, I could hear them out in the yard easy enough. We could sleep come dawn, the next four days, this town would be mostly deserted by man and Thing alike.

"Okay." I said. I pushed the covers down and exposed my body to Joey and he licked his lips. I could see his face in the moonlight, those round cheeks of his now stretching themselves long-ways to open his mouth wide and he took my cock in his mouth.

Warm, so wet and warm! Again, I felt the sheer delight of someone else touching my dick, bringing it to life.

The only sound in the room was the sound of Joey sucking my dick. I kept myself to small sighs of pleasure as he nursed my prick. Joey squirmed around to stretch out flat on the bed and he began to move faster on my pud, filling my world with delight. I had to groan, I just had to, and I made it the smallest groan I could.

It was answered with a crashing sound. A big, black arm tipped with black claws plowed through the door and grabbed Joey by the ankle!

Joey screamed. "Ahhhhh!"

So did I. The Thing was pulling Joey back toward him. A Thing had Joey. A Thing had my new brother!

I looked around the room frantically, for something I could use on that big arm! It was pulling Joey's leg, it almost had his foot through the hole!

I found a small axe, too small for anything but maybe playing with, but it had a real edge on it. I took that little axe and I chopped at the Thing's hand at the wrist where it had hold of Joey!

Black blood spurted from the black wrist, and the Thing howled in pain and rage! I chopped again, and it let go and Joey spider-crawled on all fours across to the other side of the room. I joined him there.

Things, several Things, were at the door, pounding on it with their big fists, pounding at the door! Another hand and arm reached through the hole and fished around, but Joey and me were out of reach!

I held that axe ready. No Thing was going to get me without a fight! Joey had a small stick of wood in his hands, two boys ready to fight off demons out of hell!

The door was breaking apart, but it was a strong door, and the holes were small. One got big enough that I could see the glowing eyes of the Things looking in at me. The only thing about them that wasn't black, those glowing red eyes. As other Things moved in front of those eyes, I got glimpses, horns, claws, hair, lips, teeth. Everything sharp and evil and black!

But the door held, thank God, the door held! They kept it up for a long time, and then it was like they gave up, and they grumbled and growled and slinked off.

I looked at Joey and he looked at me. I crouched down in one corner of the room and he took the other, my axe and his stick ready.

And that's how we spent the rest of that night, two scared kids making their plans for daylight, voices shaken but firm in resolve.

Tomorrow, I was getting out of this town, and find a fire! And if that meant I had to go back to Markham, that was where I was going!

And Joey was coming with me!

THE END
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