Chapter 4

CLOSE TO THE PARALLEL

Harvey Peacock stood before the bathroom mirror, half the lather scraped away from his face. An exact man in all ways, Harvey began his shave each morning at precisely 6:27 and finished it at 6:30. He would then walk the few steps into his tiny kitchen and prepare his customary breakfast: a single slice of toast covered with a thin smear of orange marmalade. The price of orange marmalade had skyrocketed the past few years and it was one of the few culinary pleasures Harvey permitted himself in spite of the cost.

Harvey was not especially thrilled with the face that stared back from the mirror each morning. It was a face that seemed to have little to say, a very minor statement to make. His head was almost perfectly round, like a small melon. Thin brown hair the color and texture of mouse fur grew long at the sides and faded away to almost nothing at the crown, necessitating a lot of comb-over in a futile effort to hide the rapidly expanding bald pate; each morning more and more of the coarse hairs collected in his comb.

While his nose was far too long and thin and the squinting brown eyes too common, it was his chin Harvey despised most of all. It began its backward slope immediately below his bottom lip and dropped so rapidly toward his prominent Adam's apple that he appeared, in profile, to have no chin at all. How he envied those men with strong jaw lines and chins like the Rock of Gibraltar!

With his huge, protruding ears and skinny neck ( a ruffian on a public conveyance once had the gall to call him a "pencil neck geek" simply because Harvey had accidentally stepped on the crude fellow's brogan!) the overall appearance presented by Harvey Peacock was one of a strange blend of comedy and pathos; absurd at first glance and yet if one bothered to look past the peculiar head and the funny ears and skinny neck it was not difficult to see a great deal of suffering behind those hang-dog eyes.

This particular morning Harvey was in a cheerful mood, something of a rarity in itself. He even permitted himself to whistle a merry tune as he pulled the razor across his face.

The reason for his high spirits was a young man he had met the night before, a young sailor fresh out of training and on his first serious drunk. Harvey had bought the young fellow a number of drinks and when he finally became so drunk he could hardly stand had suggested that perhaps he might wish to sleep it off at his place. The sailor, rolling around on his feet like a freighter in a high gale, mumbled an acceptance and they returned to Harvey's tiny apartment.

Harvey was not in the habit of picking up young servicemen, or anyone else for that matter, out of a sense of fear. For the most part his sex life consisted of frequent masturbation while viewing his old copy of "Boy-A Pictorial Essay." But at times his yearning for real human contact became so great that he overcame his natural fears and ventured out into the city to seek out real companionship.

He had found the real thing last night! At first Harvey had almost been afraid to make a move, but when the sailor stripped off completely nude and fell down across his bed he lost all hesitation. He stretched out beside the young man for many long moments, allowing his courage to build. And then at some point he reached over and took the penis, which was large and flaccid. As Harvey stoked it, it grew firm and erect. Harvey knew the young man was not truly asleep, for occasionally he groaned and shifted his buttocks.

Harvey disrobed quickly and climbed back onto the bed. This time he stoked the boy's penis and alternately squeezed and caressed his testicles. The young man said nothing but his moans and movements increased dramatically.

Finally, his own small organ twitching frantically, Harvey turned upon the bed and took the penis into his mouth. He worked his lips and tongue and hand in a slow and steady movement and the sailor began to respond, rolling his hips to meet the sucking mouth. With his free hand Harvey pulled at his own member, his ejaculate pouring onto a towel he had placed on the bed just as the young man exploded in his mouth.

It had been a wonderful night and what made it even better was that the young sailor, Riley, was returning this evening for more. Harvey knew it would be hard to get through his boring day knowing that tonight he would once again experience the joy of the young sailor's hard body. But get through the day he did, even if his work as an auditor in a large government warehouse was tedious and boring beyond description.

At seven that evening he awaited expectantly for his new friend to arrive. He had spent, in his own frame of reference, a small fortune on two bottles of good wine and a selection of cheese and snacks. In his mind he pictured a light repast and perhaps some small talk, and then bed. The anticipation he felt was almost as good as the real thing.

At 7:10 the expected knock came at the door. Harvey rushed to answer it.

"I brought a friend," Riley said, pushing his way past Harvey and into the tiny apartment. Behind him lurked a huge, ugly man.

"Well...I, uh, thought we were going to spend a quiet little evening. . ." Harvey stammered, taken aback by the sudden change of plans. The big man eyed him curiously.

"Naw, Louie wanted to come along," Riley answered, smiling.

"Yes, well, as you see I'm....."

"Hey, there's some eats!" the big man said suddenly, shoving past Harvey as he rushed toward the wine and cheese laid out on the coffee table. "Man, I'm starvin'!"

"But I....I," Harvey attempted, as the big man Louie shoved a massive chunk of cheese into his mouth. He picked up one of the wine bottles and, seeing the cork in place, pulled out a large pocket knife and began to probe at the stopper. He finally managed to push the tattered cork into the bottle.

"Look Riley, I thought you were coming alone!" Harvey said, his voice quivering. He almost sobbed at the sight of the huge lout stuffing the expensive cheese and wine into his ugly face.

"You thought wrong, Pops," Riley said casually. He flopped down on the sofa and propped his shoes on the coffee table.

"Hey, look out, don't put yer goddamn feet in the cheese fer Christ sake!" Louie yelled.

"Screw you, Louie, gimme a hit of that juice," Riley laughed. He took the bottle and tipped it, letting the wine gurgle into his mouth and down over his chin, raining down on Harvey's sofa.

"Look fellows, maybe we should have this little get-together some other night, I've got to. . ."

"You ain't got to do a fuckin' thing, old man," Louis snarled at him, his mouth full of food. "All you gotta do is set yer ass down and keep yer fuckin' mouth shut and do what yer told!"

Harvey sat as he was told, his knees trembling. He saw now that he had made a terrible mistake--it was obvious at the very least that they would rob him, maybe beat him. The big lout Louie looked like the type who would enjoy pounding some weaker person to a pulp.

Yes, he had made a bad mistake and the only thing he could do now was go along with them, not put up resistance. If they wanted his little bit of money and his few personal possessions of any value they were welcome to them. He would be far more careful in the future, that was for certain.

Louie took another huge gulp of the wine and burped loudly. He stood with his legs spraddled, the bottle hanging by his side and eyed Harvey. It was clear to Harvey that the man had drank a lot more than the wine.

"My pal tells me you give good head, Pops," he snickered. "Is that right?"

Harvey felt his face flush red. He was not used to such vulgar talk.

"You'd better answer me you old fucker, before I bash your face in!" Louis yelled. He knotted one of his massive fists and shook it.

"I....I don't know," Harvey stammered. He had never been more frightened in all his 43 years.

"You either suck cock or you don't, it's real simple goddammit! Which is it?"

"Sometimes," Harvey whispered, feeling tears beginning to well up in his eyes. He rubbed at them with trembling fingers.

"Well, say it goddammit!"

"What, what do you want me to say?"

"That you suck cock, you bastard! Say it!"

"I suck cock," Harvey whispered, the words lodging in his throat.

"Louder!" Louie screamed, his fists clenched and the veins standing out like blue ropes on his thick neck and sweat forehead.

"Hey man, cool it before the neighbors call the law!" Riley cautioned.

Harvey hoped and prayed that someone would. There would no doubt be a scandal and he might even lose his government job, but anything was better than the terrible vibrations of hatred he now felt chilling the air of the small room.

"Well, you faggy old bastard, you're gonna suck one tonight and maybe two, dependin' on if my pal wants a little dose. How's that grab you?"

Harvey sat with his face in his trembling hands. His entire body shook like the old building did when the RDT rumbled by.

"I'll do whatever you wish, just please don't hurt me," he said softly.

"Listen at that shit, will you," Louie sneered. "Cocksucker don't wanna be hurt. Maybe what he needs is a good chunk of rolled beef up the old chocolate highway. . . How'd ya like that, fag, a big fat cock up that skinny old ass. I bet that'd turn you on, wouldn't it?"

"Shit man, let's just take his bread and split," Riley said. "The old fucker's so scared right now he's about to have a heart attack. . .ain't no sense in keepin' on with this shit."

Louie cut mean eyes toward Riley, narrowing them to dark reptilian slits.

"You tryin' to tell me what to do, pal? Huh? Is that what you're doin'?"

"Naw man, I ain't tellin' you nothin' but that we should just take his money and go. He's just an old fag anyway."

"I'll let you know when we're goin' or when we're stayin'," Louis snarled. "And don't forget that again, pal!" He turned back toward Harvey, his fury more intense since his run-in with Riley. "You! Get your goddamn ass in the bedroom and strip and be quick about it!"

"God, what are you going to do to me?" Harvey gasped, so fearful he could hardly move. "Please, for the sake of Christ, don't hurt me!"

Louie lunged across the few feet separating them and backhanded the stunned little man across the face. Harvey could fee the blood suddenly pouring from his nose.

"You'd better move your ass old man, before I do hurt you," Louie said.

"Better do what he says, Pops," Riley said. There was a tone of soft regret in his voice. "Louie's a bad sumbitch when you get him riled."

Quaking with fear, Harvey did as he was told. Louie stood in the bedroom door and watched him, a sick smile on his thick lips.

Christ, lookit the little dick on that bastard!" Louis exclaimed, as Harvey unsnapped his shorts and let them to drop to the floor. "No wonder the sonuvabitch don't get no pussy, a chick'd laugh herself to death if he pulled that little gun on her!"

Harvey stood silently and stared at the floor, too frightened now to even feel shame. His major concern was to somehow get through the degrading situation and he intended to do nothing to further enrage the animal. Perhaps if he complied with all his demands they would leave him alone.

"No shit, come look at the damned thing," Louis said to Riley.

"I done seen it, man, shit, let's just get his money and stuff and split. He ain't gonna call the cops, he's too scared," Riley said.

"I told you Riley, I aim to get myself a little piece of round brown." He winked lewdly at Harvey. "You gonna love it, Pops, when I shove this big sausage up your ass!" He grabbed the crotch of his trousers and shook it. "How does that sound?"

"I don't know," Harvey whispered. Deep inside he felt as if his intestines had turned into a pit of snakes.

"What? I didn't hear you, cocksucker!"

"I don't know," Harvey said again, louder. "I've never. . .I've never done that."

"Hot damn, I done got myself a cherry!" Louie cried, smacking his palms together. "Ain't had me no cherry hole since I buttfucked my 12-year-old cousin, by god!"

Louie advanced into the room, his fingers working at his belt buckle. Harvey backed away, his eyes wide in terror.

"Don't do nothin' foolish, old man," Louis grinned. He pointed toward the bed. "There, get on your knees on the edge of the bed. And do it now."

It was the worse moment of Harvey's life to that point, kneeling on the bed as the drunken ruffian approached him from behind. Harvey bit into the pillow to keep from screaming in agony as Louis shoved his hard cock inside him in one sudden thrust.

"Move your ass, you bastard," Louie grunted, sawing roughly in and out of him. He quickened his painful thrusts, a low growl beginning down deep in his throat. He groaned loudly, his huge fingers digging painfully into Harvey's thin hips as he was overcome by orgasm. Then, he fell off the man, lying on his back on the bed, his breath coming in ragged spurts, sweat pouring down over his ugly visage.

The sound of the man's ragged breath tripped a switch somewhere deep inside Harvey's head. He had never committed an act of violence in his life and yet now, at this precise moment, he knew exactly what he must do.

Lunging suddenly, he grabbed the bedside lamp by the shade and swung the heavy metal base in a wide arc toward the startled sodomite's head. Louie was slow in raising a protective arm and the base caught him just above the left eye, tearing open a terrible rent through which white bone showed for an instant before gushes of bright red blood came pouring out.

"Goddamn bastard!" Louis screamed, leaping at Harvey and catching his by one skinny ankle. "I'll kill you, you motherfucker!"

Riley, alerted by the sudden violent uproar, ran into the room, his face pale. His friend Louie was bleeding badly from a deep gash in his forehead and had the little queen by the ankle, dragging him across the floor back toward the bed. The little man was kicking and flailing for all he was worth, and panting little gasps of terror.

"Help me, dammit, get his fuckin' arms, cover his mouth up!" Louis ordered.

Within moments with the help of his pal, Louie had the little man trussed up like a pig. With cords torn from the lamps and ripped pillowcases, they bound him hand and foot to the bedpost.

"The bastard tried to kill me," Louis said, his voice filled with rage and awe. "That goddamn little fag tried to kill me!"

"Man, you need stitches bad," Riley said. "That's one hell of a bad cut."

Louie managed a grin through the curtain of blood covering his face. He dabbed at the cut with a piece of torn pillow case. He cut his eyes toward Harvey, who now lay quietly resigned to his fate, his eyes blank.

"Man, you really did it," Louie said softly. "All I wanted was a piece of your old ass and you tried to kill me. You're gonna pay for that, you're gonna die for that."

"Now wait a goddamn minute, man," Riley said. "I'll go along with rollin' some fag but I ain't no part of murder. This shit's just got out of hand here."

"Shut the fuck up, Riley, you're in it whether you wanna be or not. If you don't wanna watch, haul your ass in the other room."

"What're you gonna do to him?" Riley asked. His face paled even more and bullets of sweat popped out across his freckled forehead.

"I'm gonna take him apart a piece at a time," Louis grinned. He reached suddenly and gave Harvey's scrotum a terrible jerk. "A piece at a time!"

Behind the cloth covering his mouth Harvey gagged at the pain and prepared himself to die. Many times he had wondered what it would be like when his time came, but he had never in his wildest nightmare imagined anything like this. . .He had always visualized himself slipping away quietly in his sleep from a heart attack or stroke, with no pain involved.

He watched in fascination as the knife flashed the first time and he was caught up in a cyclone of agony. As Louie worked over him with the sharp knife the pain surged and rolled like waves on some ungodly ocean, becoming finally a monstrous beast that ate him from the inside out. Finally, mercifully, a curtain of darkness slowly descended about him and he found peace at last.

Harvey Peacock exited the world at 8:30 p.m. on the night of September 14, 2025. He was, in the normal sense, a virgin at the time of his death.