Fiction~~The Last Pure Human~~Ch. 30
|Previous Chapter||Fiction Index||Next Chapter|
Chapter 30 - Naked into the Wilderness
Ch 1 | Ch 2 | Ch 3 | Ch 4 | Ch 5 | Ch 6 | Ch 7 | Ch 8 | Ch 9 | Ch 10 | Ch 11 | Ch 12 | Ch 13 | Ch 14 | Ch 15 | Ch 16 | Ch 17 | Ch 18 | Ch 19 | Ch 20 | Ch 21 | Ch 22 | Ch 23 | Ch 24 | Ch 25 | Ch 26 | Ch 27 | Ch 28 | Ch 29 | Ch 30 | Ch 31 | Ch 32 | Ch 33 | Ch 34 |
The tall door opened with a newly-oiled smoothness. Shadowed
sunlight seeped in and spread out as the gap between the door and its
frame widened, but Max stopped pulling, listening hard.
Maybe someone actually had oiled the stupid door and this was some kind of trap where they’d be waiting outside to snag him and take him back to the cell like a rebellious lab mouse. There was no way he was standing out in the open like an idiot just to find out. He’d keep it cracked like this and hide behind it until he knew for sure.
The door continued its silent glide, opening toward him at a faster pace than before. It didn’t seem to care that he wasn’t freaking touching it anymore. “Crap!”
He took a quick step back, slamming his palms against the thick slab to no effect. “Stop, you damn door!” Max stumbled back again and flattened against the wall. The door rushed at him, blocking his vision and so huge he knew it was going to crush him before he could leap to the side. Max closed his eyes, apologized to Kasan, and braced himself to become the first human pancake in Kyashin history. A small rush of air poked his nose, but no door. A low, grinding thud clamored at his feet.
And he was still there. Cracking open one lid, all he could see was the door. It had stopped? “How…?”
Max tried to hold his breath, quiet now that it might already be too late. This could be exactly like inside the prison, when someone had come in. But this time they’d know to look for him. He’d have to sneak out and run fast. Max listened for footsteps or talking, but the muted clamor from outside was masking anything quiet. A pungent earthiness swept in on the humid air. Twittering and a loud howl that sounded very far away trickled in with the smell.
But no shadow moved past the small ribbon of light between the door and the wall. Nothing was coming in. Were they waiting? He squirmed sideways a millimeter and stopped, still listening. Anything? Had anything heard him?
Max squirmed another toe’s length, and then another, inching toward the gap that led to freedom at the edge of the door. He finally noticed a small upraised stone in the floor that had caught the door and saved him from a painful, squashed death.
Thank god for cat-invented doorstops.
He had to gather a little more courage once he got to the door’s edge. If anything was waiting for him, this would be it. One big swallow and Max peeked into the corridor. No one. Max melted against the wall, blowing out his breath and laughing shakily. Safe. No cats, no monsters. Just the forest.
Something screeched, high-pitched and furious, and he clutched at the slab, staring out at the empty doorway and finding it not as comforting as it had been a few seconds before. The bright punch of the forest seemed to scramble his brain, too-bright colors dazzling his eyes.
“Holy crap,” he whispered.
He was on an alien planet.
Not that he didn’t know that, but…he’d been inside before. A building, a walled garden, hallways and kitchens and hordes of tall barbarian cats. That had been frightening. This was just…there.
Somehow, the fact that not one bit of it had ever interacted with Max, and probably didn’t care about his existence one way or another, was scarier than anything he’d run across yet.
Everything about it screamed ‘alien jungle’ just as loudly as the raucous calls he could hear. The sky was that too-bright blue he’d seen above the walled gardens, so brilliant it looked painted on. Some of the plants were familiar colors. Ferns and a few bushes, and the trees had plenty of green leaves and brown trunks, even if they were large enough to make a rainforest feel the need to compensate. But a few trees had it reversed, with green trunks and leaves a dark and rather evilly glistening brown. The floor of the forest was oddly free from the normal detritus that he associated with woods. Very few leaves and twigs and more rock-strewn dirt in winding paths between emerging roots.
And there was a bright pink tree, right in the middle of it all, heavy fruit hanging from the branches. The tree and its fruit were both as pink as the stupid blobs in Kasan’s garden, and even thinking about them made Max scan the forest, frantically keeping his body covered by the door.
Shoru had said the forest had wild Androcles. Would they have wild pink blobs, too? Or blob herds? “Oh God,” he whimpered. But he had to go out. No cats had found him yet, but that didn’t mean they weren’t on their way. And Kasan would need him soon. Max had to get his head out of his ass and get moving.
With a tremulous breath, Max stepped out fully from behind the gargantuan door. A gust of wind that smelled like orchids ruffled his hair, but not the hair on his head. Max covered his dick with his hand automatically, feeling exposed and stupid about it because really, who the hell was going to see? Just because he felt absolutely vulnerable with everything hanging out, it didn’t mean that anything bad had designs on his dick.
Unless Kasan’s planet had bugs just as big as everything else?
Max shuddered, images of every ‘Animals that Kill’ episode he’d ever seen running through his head. Hadn’t there been one about some Amazonian flies that laid eggs in people’s bodies? He shuddered again. God, he didn’t think he could take that.
Although at least if the bugs matched Kasan, they’d be easy to see, the freaking ginormous bastards. Max stayed just inside the door frame, keeping his feet off the packed earth outside. He wasn’t afraid, he reminded himself, he was just making sure there wasn’t something about to jump out at him, like huge catmen or wild dogs or beetles the size of footballs.
Max thought he heard the faintest scritch scratch to the right and froze. It grew louder, so faint that every time the wind blew, the sound of the leaves covered it up. Max tensed, adrenaline flooding his system. He backed away from the doorway, eyes glued to the right side of the door. What the hell was he going to do? He didn’t have a weapon, hell, he didn’t even have any clothes! Maybe…just close the door and wait the thing out, whatever it was?
Max reached for the door to do just that. an ant the size of his pinky nail crawled into view. It pulled a leaf along behind it, scritch scratch.
And now he was a stupid idiot. The ant ignored his outburst entirely and pulled the leaf in front of the doorway resolutely, pausing to change its grip a few times before it disappeared around the other side.
Okay, so yeah, the stupid thing was big, but not too big, right? Earth had bugs that big. Max could do this. Just step out into the jungle and look around until he saw Kasan’s home. Then he could find Kasan and…and tell him about Waran.
And tell him about Aosh and Androcles.
Clenching his fists, Max chewed on his lip painfully until he could keep from crying. Androcles had just been trying to save him and those fucking bastards had cut him down like he was nothing. And Aosh. Max couldn’t believe he’d fought Waran and the other cat like that, just for Max. The big cat had been such an asshole, and then to do that for him? Unless someone had found them right away, there was no way they could have survived. Maybe not even if they were found right away.
There had been so much blood….
Max gagged once before clamping down on his stomach muscles. Max had to tell Kasan. Kasan should know what they'd done. And Max had to say thank you, even if Aosh couldn't hear him say it any more.
Max chewed on his lip some more, holding it inside. Get to Kasan first, get sexed up, and then he could freak out and fall apart. Kasan first.
Max’s entire body quivered wildly as he took the first step out the door and onto the warm dirt. He looked around, turning his head to try and see every angle at once, twisting so fast it made him dizzy. If anything was there, it wasn’t jumping out at him, and he couldn’t see it, either.
He checked the forest around him again, slower this time, looking higher. No animals, although he could hear they were around, and there sure as hell wasn’t any yellow, stone skyscraper anywhere. The trees were so tall, their foliage so thick, that he couldn’t see past the first few, except to see beyond them to more trees just like them.
Max wanted to wrap his arms around his stomach and just quietly panic until someone found him. Except there was no guarantee that whoever found him would be a good guy. Or that they knew Kasan, even. Or that they’d come in time.
Max was feeling…antsy. His cock was thinking of erections, a bit stiffer than it should be for a body part that had no protective gear on in a forest full of pointy things. “Stupid anal loving nympho,” he muttered.
Staring up at the trees, starting whenever something exceptionally loud screeched near him, Max wondered where he going to go to get help if he couldn’t figure out where to go. Hell, how would he even know if any cats he saw were good guys or bad guys? He’d only met a handful of them! What was he supposed to do if he saw one? Run away, or try to get them to help? Or find another town and hope they could understand what he said and help him find Kasan and…
Max started hyperventilating again and smacked himself in the face to stop it. “Kasan needs you. Straighten up, Max!”
He could get to Kasan, right? Yeah. He could. Totally. Humans could do anything. As long as Max could freaking find him. And soon.
His ass was starting to feel empty.
Max just needed something that might give him a clue. It wasn’t dark yet, but he could see the shadows were longer. Late afternoon, if not evening. Max wasn’t quite sure how long the sun lasted here; he’d never been outside long enough to tell. But if he didn’t think of something soon, it would be too dark to find anything but a tree when his face ran into it.
Maybe if he climbed up one of the trees for a better vantage point?
Max stumbled across the dirt. Wincing as his bare feet trod over sharp rocks – and something slimy that he didn’t want to even think about – he made it to the nearest tree without scratching his dick to pieces on any of the lower hanging branches. The trunk was enormous, but it had branches sprouting at every angle, the lowest no higher than his knee. Heavy limbs jutted out from the trunk as far as he could, high above him, lost in the heavy green leaves.
Climbing it was scarier than Max would have thought. He refused to reach up over his head at first, putting his feet on the branches that he could see. Touching anywhere he couldn’t seem first seemed like a good way to get bitten by some hidden alien bug. They could be sitting on top of a branch like some evil chameleon, waiting to gnaw on some clumsy, human hand.
At least everything seemed to run away from him. Max saw blurs streak through the air above him, making branches shake violently in the nearby trees when they landed. He could do this. He could really do this. Max made it up high enough that he could no longer make out the ground, had a moment of pride at his skill, and then slipped.
He scrabbled frantically, grabbed one branch as his feet slipped off a coating of slimy moss, and his body slammed against the trunk. Max screamed loudly enough that if there were any catmen looking for him, they’d know right where he was.
The echo had just faded when his feet found the trunk again and he clung against the tree, panting in fright. Everything was silent, all the sounds that had echoed through the forest falling quiet. And in the silence, the naked expanse of his skin that had kissed the tree began to complain loudly. Max bit his lip and peeled himself away from the tree an inch to look down his stomach.
Small scratches beaded sluggishly with blood along his chest and abs. But worse, the bark had scraped the side of his cock raw. Max whimpered, wanting to scream again when a breeze shifted the limb he was on and he hugged the tree tight. It smushed his dick’s raw spot against the bark again. He had to breathe through the pain. Looking up, the pungent smell of the bark strong in his nostrils, Max had to force himself to lift up a foot to the next branch and start climbing again.
Berating his own stupidity helped.
“Dummy. Those damn cats could have heard you. Real men don’t scream. Or whimper. Tarzan never screamed when he scraped up his dick, did he? No, he didn’t. Stoic and calm and swinging from the trees and that was it.” A few large streaks shook the branches above him, diving to another tree, and he froze until their hooting died away. His voice was shaky as he climbed and talked to himself at the same time. His arches curled over the crumbling edges of the bark every time he stepped on a new branch.
“B-be like Tarzan. That’s the goal. Stoic and calm, like Tarzan.” His ass got poked by a molesting twig and he cursed. He tried to shimmy and dislodge it but the stupid thing embedded itself in the fleshy part and wouldn’t let go. Shaking, he let go with one hand and reached back to break it off. Max looked at the twig once he freed himself – was that a thorn on the end? – and tried to ignore the unpleasant throbbing in his dick.
He never thought he’d actually miss his ass-rope clothing.
And come to think of it, Tarzan hadn’t been naked, had he? “Bet Tarzan wouldn’t be so brave without his loincloth. Lucky bastard.” Max kept climbing another few branches and had to stop to take a rest. Maybe he was high enough now?
He held on tight, clinging to the nearest branches with a white-knuckled grip, and looked through the leaves. Trees surrounded him on all sides, but it was thinner up here. The branches were slighter, less foliated.
And it was scary-ass high, he thought, looking down for only a second before he stuck to gazing around his own height.
Dammit, he still couldn’t see-
No, wait, there was something there….
Max looked above his head, found a slightly thicker branch that didn’t look too precarious, and pulled himself up. If he could get away from the trunk along the branch, just a little bit, he thought he might be able to see something. Straddling it gingerly and leaning forward to hold on for dear life, he inched his way out. The air underneath his branch felt deeper than the ocean.
And his body was complaining about new scrapes that were nearly impossible to ignore. Another warning to put in the human exploration handbook: treebark and bare testicals don’t mix.
Whimpering, Max squinted as he tried to make out the strange shape in the distance and ignore how much his body wanted to lie down and whine. That thing, it was definitely something that didn’t seem natural. Too many straight lines. It looked almost like the golden glow when the sun was going down, intensified into one blockish space in the sky. Except the sun was low in the sky on the other side.
“That has to be it.” Didn’t it? “Please be Kasan’s home.” Max picked out a few trees along the straight path to the golden block that he thought he could remember: another disgustingly pink one with a strange trunk, two of the brown leafed giants that had grown together in a twisting pattern, and then another pink one that had bright green leaves decorating it in stripes all the way down.
Then he shakily made his way back to the trunk and headed to the ground as fast as dick safety and not-looking-down-ever-again would allow. Max started running the second he hit the ground. He was doing it. He knew where to go – that had to be Kasan’s home – and nothing had bothered him and the catmen hadn’t caught him yet. All he had to do was make it through the forest, go find Kasan, and have really quick, heavy, hot sex.
Max’s dick twitched, he tripped, and then he yelped as he stepped on a freaking enormous thorn.
He hopped on one foot to pull it out and kept running in between the tree trunks. It was almost like a path, very little growth and only a small vine that crept along the ground next to him.
“Ow, crap!” Another thorn embedded itself in the same foot and he cursed again. Trying to stand on one foot to pull it out, he stepped on another sticker with his good foot and fell over onto his ass trying to avoid stomping the king of thorns into the soles of his feet. He pulled one long spike out of his foot, nearly as half as long as his finger, and then dethorned his other foot as well.
Max made it another three steps before it happened again. And then again. He was looking so freaking closely at the ground, he would swear there were no thorns, but every single time, his feet were finding them among the vine’s leaves. And they freaking hurt! After a few more minutes, he had to bite his lip as he tried to walk, doggedly taking another step, switching between watching the ground and watching the pink tree he could just see in the distance that told him he was still going the right way.
“Don’t be a wuss, Max. Kasan needs you. You stop to pull out every stupid thorn, you’re never going to get there and it’ll be too late, so deal with it!”
Max shuddered, not even wanting to think about what ‘too late’ would mean. He had to stop for another thorn. He didn’t want to, but they were so large, he couldn’t leave them in or he might not be able to walk at all. He was so…stupid! He was screwing this all up, and he couldn’t. Kasan couldn’t afford for Max to be a screw up this time.
Kasan was counting on him to get back in time to take it in the ass.
“That is so dumb. Who goes to rescue someone and does that?” His ass felt so completely empty though. Like it needed Kasan just to fill up the hollow place inside his body. He bit his lip. “Yeah, bet that one’s never been on the jacket cover of any action movies. Hero comes just in time to bend over for his boyfriend and save the day.” His muttering startled a few insects near him and they flittered away in a swarm of iridescent yellow.
An enormous swarm of iridescent yellow. Crap, these were the kind of bugs he’d been worried about. They were like fat dragonflies, but almost as long as his forearm. For the next few minutes, he walked with a bad case of the heebie jeebies, whipping around every time he thought he felt something brush against his back or arms. It made him step on thorns even more frequently; his feet were giant hot knots of pain now. They’d been stinging ever since the first poke, but they were starting to feel swollen, and scarily numb in a couple places.
What did that? Poison? Venom? Was something…oh god, was something getting into him? Max sat down on a giant coiled root and examined at his feet more closely. It was hard to tell in the shade, but he thought that a few of the punctures were already turning red. Max poked at his feet. Definitely puffy. But nothing seemed to be moving under his skin or something terrifyingly awful like that.
Max glared at the trickle of vine along the path next to him. This was so typical. He wasn’t even being stopped by the big-ass cats, but by a damn plant! How lame was that? Max bit his lip and looked ahead. The shadows under the trees were gray and dim – creepy almost – but he could see the bright pink tree that he’d picked to help lead the way. If he could make it there, maybe he could rest his feet for just a minute.
“I am not going to screw this up.” Glancing at his feet, he stopped to look at the ground more closely. No feet-harpooning vines grew around the roots. He thought a moment and checked the ground next to the trees on either side. No vines. Actually, the vines didn’t grow near the trees at all. They were all on the open ground where the walking was easiest. If Max tried hiking over the roots of the trees, maybe he could avoid them.
“As long as I don’t have to keep taking the stickers out, that’s gotta be faster.”
Max’s feet were clumsy with pain, making him trip constantly over pebbly shallows, roots emerging from the ground, and uneven humps and furrows. The rougher surface felt like someone was scraping the soles of his feet with a cheese grater every time he touched the ground. But he made it a few feet without stepping on a thorn, and then a few more, and after a dozen more he began to think that he’d finally figured it out.
Not in time to keep his feet from resembling a pincushion, but if Max could keep going, he could get to Kasan. Say he was sorry for…for whatever it was that had happened. Seeing Kasan’s withdrawn expression had felt so freaking awful. It was hard to remember what it was like, not feeling the warmth of that broad palm over his head when Kasan messed with his hair. Or what it had been like to go to sleep without all Kasan’s warmth right next to him.
It was so hard to remember what it had been like, before Kasan. But what he did remember felt so damned alone.
“I’m coming Kasan. Just wait a little longer.” Max stumbled against a tree as his body… he wasn’t sure what to call it. The slight emptiness inside doubled. Tripled. He felt utterly, painfully hollow. What did that…did that mean that Kasan needed sex now? Was…was Max already going to be too late?
“No. No. Aosh and Androcles and…no. Not Kasan. No fucking way!
Max pushed away from the tree and started to run, whimpering between breaths at the hot pain stabbing up his legs but still running. He couldn’t be too late! He had to make it back to Kasan. Kasan wouldn’t know where he was, or what had happened, and he thought Max didn’t care about him. He thought…
Shit. There was no way Max was going to let him die because they couldn't have sex! That was stupid way to die. It shouldn’t be real, to die from lack of sex. Just stupid, stupid, stupid. And he wasn’t going to let it happen to Kasan, or himself, or either of them.
Passing the bright pink trunk, Max hunted for the next road mark. And he could see it, up ahead. Two sinister freaking trees curling together right in the middle of a huge patch of the vines. He ran towards it as fast as he could, starting to feel the strain in his legs, then stopped dead as something slithered out from behind another tree in front of him.
Three glistening, putrescently pink blobs, nearly twice the size of the one in Kasan’s garden. Max flung himself to the side against a bright pink sapling, scraping his ass on the bark. A citrus scent wafted around him from the tree at his back, a strangely familiar smell that his mind noted even while he was frantically trying to figure out what the hell he could do. If he was really still, maybe they couldn’t see him. They didn’t have eyes, right? Maybe?
Max didn’t know what the hell they had to see with, but he was sure they’d spotted him when they stopped quivering for a moment, and then the outrageous, ridiculous spikes emerged and they glided right at him.
“Shit!” Max spun around, sprinting back the way he’d come, and tripped over a root. He would have yelled but he was so frantic to get back up and see how close they were that he didn’t make a sound until he made it to his feet. Max looked behind him and they’d already covered half the distance, leaves crunching underneath with a rustling woosh.
Max turned and ran. “Shiiiiiiiiiiit!”
Watching his feet, leaping over the roots and rocks and trying to keep ahead of them, he tripped again and nearly went headlong into a tree trunk. Max shoved away, dizzy with the agony lancing his feet, and glanced back. They were even closer. The thorns on the path didn’t seem to bother them at all. The freaking things were going to catch him!
Could lose them in the forest, away from the flat ground? Big and blobby and fat, they couldn't move as fast where the trees were thicker, could they? Max turned, leapt off the root into the heavier shadows of the forest, and fell right into a bush. Swatting the leaves and twigs from his face, he scrambled through them, turned to look back again, and stumbled out right into a patch of the damned vines. Three thorns went into his feet as he fumbled through them and he collapsed against another tree.
“Get out get out get out!” He tried to pull the first thorn free, sobbing as the it came clear, but the blobs were almost on him. One was oozing through the bush, some of the branches sliding through the damned thing and back out like it was made of jello. The other two were coming around on either side of it, slipping over the ground. They made no noise other than the rush of their bodies over roots and pebbles.
Scrabbling backwards on his ass, trying to yank out thorns at the same time, Max looked around frantically for a weapon, a branch low enough for him to climb, anything! He ended up backed against a hollow in between ponderously huge roots, throwing handfuls of pebbles at them and shouting obscenities. They flowed over the ground until they had him penned in. All three slid down into the hollow.
He could see his own reflection off the glistening flesh of the one in the middle, in between the spikes. The sound of its body was a smooth boulder rolling down to crush him. Max’s voice stuck in his throat, a low pathetic whimper barely making it out. “Kasan…”
Something huge and brown lunged out of the tree above him and Max screamed. His eyes couldn’t track what happened next, blurs and streaks of motion whipping around the ground in front of him. Max’s body jerked when the ground shook from another enormous creature landing next to him and suddenly he was in the air, pressure around his middle and hot breath over his skin. He screamed again.
The forest swayed dizzily underneath. Max got an impression of pink blobs torn apart by a swarm of enormous caramel and cream animals the size of small elephants before the thing holding him took off through the trees. Max dry heaved every few leaps. He pounded at the muzzle in between heaving, kicking wildly and squirming inside the thing’s mouth.
“You stupid, freaking, alien…monster!” He twisted and scratched at its nose, a black leathery thing the size of Max’s head. The animal made an odd snuffling snort. It leapt down through the trees, gaining the ground and spitting Max out just before it let out an enormous sneeze. Its teeth clicked together audibly.
Max landed with a thud, rolling ass over heels in a pile of soft dirt. He tried to stand before remembering the thorns still in his feet and cried out. The animal sneezed again and he huddled against the ground, then slowly turned his head an stared up at…Androcles-zilla.
“Holy crap.” For a bright moment he thought it was Androcles after more growth, before he remembered the cat’s spear gutting him. Androcles was gone, just like Aosh, or so damaged they’d need months to recover. The stupid wild Androcles wasn’t even the same color, a completely different pattern over its fur. And it had to be nearly five times as big, too.
A shaky hand began to slide one of the remaining thorns from his foot. He needed to be able to run, and even if his feet hurt so badly he didn’t want to so much as walk, he’d better freaking fly out of this place and away from the huge muzzle that was sneezing again over his head. His heart beat painfully fast. The intensely musky smell and huge teeth scared the crap out of him. It could probably leap thirty feet at once, with its size. How the hell was he supposed to escape a wild Androcles the size of a…a triceratops?
Max yanked out the first thorn successfully, biting his lip as hard as he could to hold back a whimper of pain, and then pried free the other just as the animal looked down. Max yipped as the thorn came out too fast and then stared up into huge, orange and black eyes and tried to see it as something he could escape instead of something that was soon going to have him for dinner. It wouldn’t even have to chew.
“N-n-nice doggy.” Max scooted away on his ass, hoping some kind of weapon would be visible out of the corner of his eyes, which was all he felt he could use. He didn’t want to look away from the thing looming above him like a furred mountain. “Why don’t you go and eat some more pink blobs, huh? They t-t-taste m-much better than m-m-me.” Max scooted back a few more inches and the orange and black eyes narrowed. Elephant-dog took a step forward and lowered its muzzle.
Max held up his arms defensively in front of his face, swinging out. “No!”
The enormous nose snuffled over his arms, ignoring the smacks against it. Its mouth stayed closed; no teeth. Max opened his eyes only when he realized that he’d closed them. The furred face was right in front of him, a huge frightening muzzled face that was nearly as broad as Max’s arms were wide. The thing’s breath stank of something meaty and moved the hair on his head with every exhalation. Trembling, Max slithered back with shaking legs that could barely push him along in the dirt, sure the mouth would open and bite down over his head. The animal’s eyes narrowed and there was more sniffing as its head followed him. The noise of breathing was loud and heavy in Max’s ears.
Unable to stop shaking, Max leaned back again, turning his head to the side when it followed and its nose made a wet path over his chest and down his legs as it checked him over. “Oh god, please let me smell boring and like something completely unappetizing and disgusting.” He yelped and scrambled away as it moved back up his legs and paused for a second at his crotch.
Max backed into something warm and solid. Stumbling to his feet, he tumbled around and stood face to face with another enormous Androcles clone on steroids The breath stunk even worse. Max’s feet and the empty need in his ass were dull aches in the back of his mind while knee-shaking terror swamped him. Panting in high-pitched wheezes, Max shifted to the side, unable to take his eyes away from the dark amber eyes. He stopped when he hit something warm and furred with his shoulder.
God, no. “No. No, please don’t be another one. I just want to go home. I want Kasan!” Max finally turned his head and stared directly into another giant’s gaze, this one flatter and freaking scary. Spinning around at a sudden crash to his left, he wanted to cry as two more jumped from the trees. He was totally surrounded, and there was the sound of more leaping to the ground around him until he was in the middle of a freaking herd of vicious wild giant mutant alien dogs.
His throat tightened up too much to keep his voice. “I just need to get to Kasan,” he whispered miserably. Why weren’t they killing him yet? They didn’t…god , they didn’t play with their food like a cat, did they? His head swiveled from side to side, not wanting to see the one that crushed him between its teeth but unable to look away. None of them encroached on his small bubble of space. The ones directly around him looked at each other silently, not even a growl to break the tension, and then every head turned to stare at him in unison. He shivered.
Max swayed on his feet as the hollow feeling inside intensified again. God, Kasan. They were going to kill him and Kasan would never even know what happened and he’d die and… “How ab-bout if I j-just move p-past you all and you p-pretend I’m not even here?”
Nothing jumped him as he spoke, although a few looked away to stare at each other again. Maybe…maybe they really might let him go? Did they just hate the pink blobs and now they’d just…let him go?
Max took a step towards a small gap between two of the dogs and nothing happened. Another step, so he was standing directly between the teethy muzzles of two of the huge animals. But when he turned to sidle through, holding his breath and clamping his teeth together to keep them from chattering, one dog shifted and nudged him back to the center of them all with his head. Max tripped backward and fell over onto his ass. One of the dogs opened his mouth, panting…laughing just like Androcles.
“It’s not freaking funny!” Max’s entire body felt bruised and scraped and aching and he was scared shitless and the stupid monsters were just laughing at him! “Shut up!” He rubbed at his face furiously. “And I’m not freaking crying, either!”
The dog that had knocked him back – his fur so dark brown it looked like burnt chocolate – padded over and crouched down. The mouth opened as Max stared, frozen. The tongue came out and –
“Stop!” Max turned away to keep his mouth free of a tongue the size of a life jacket and yelled as he was picked up again in a giant mouth. He tensed, expecting to feel it crushing him the next second. It maneuvered him around in its mouth, holding him around the middle, and the tongue slithered against his side. But as terrifying as it was to have all the teeth up next to him, it wasn’t biting down. But it might. Any moment now and it was going to clamp down over his bones and slurp him up and…jump into a tree?
Max’s stomach lurched as it climbed up the trunk with him in its mouth. “Huh? Let me go!”
It completely ignored him and started moving along the heavier trunks of the trees around them, leaping from one to another. Max could hear the others following, flowing around them on other trees. The spots where the teeth were touching his stomach were digging in a little but he barely noticed. He was too busy trying to control the urge to heave as his head swung every time the dog moved. Max’s view shifted from the ground to the trees to the other dogs over and over and he knew he was going to barf over all of them if it didn’t stop soon.
Max closed his eyes. “Don’t be sick. Don’t be sick. Don’t be sick.” As nauseated and terrified as he felt, he couldn’t get rid of the feeling in his ass. He needed Kasan so freaking much.
By the time the dogs actually came back down to earth, Max was limp. He felt wrung out, aching, and ready to hurl, although he’d managed to keep down his lunch. And he wasn’t dead, not yet. He could still get away and get to Kasan, if he knew where Kasan was, or where he was, or where any freaking thing in the damn forest was.
Max’s breath wooshed out of him as he was suddenly dropped on his ass. “Dammit, will you stop that!” There were a few seconds to flinch in case they were about to stomp him, and then a few more when that didn’t happen, and then he had a moment to look where he was. A sandy hollow, similar to where he’d been trapped by the blobs, with roots forming a wall around three sides that was so huge it was almost as tall as Max. What the hell were they doing with him?
Max looked up at the number of dogs ringing the shallow pit, lounging above him on the sides of the heavy roots. There was a sudden chorus of whines behind him – whimpering, high pitched, and growing louder.
Max whipped around, grinding his ass into the dirt as he did so. What he’d thought was a shadow in the base of the tree roots was actually a large den. A small herd of dogs, smaller than Androcles when Max had first seen him, came charging out. He stared at them, only enough time to think he’d been brought to feed them, and then they were on him. Knocking him over and…licking.
“Aaaagh! Stop it! Enough…ha, no, stop that tickles! Aaaaah, stop!” There had to be at least twenty of them, little fuzzballs clambering all over him. Max couldn’t get up without hurting some of them – and he was sure the adults would kill him for that – so he finally gave up and let them assault him with their tongues.
By the time they calmed down and were squirming happily near his body, rolling over as he tried to pet them to keep them from attacking him with their slobber again, Max was feeling safer, but he wished he knew what the hell was going on. “Just once, just freaking once, can’t something make sense?”
He stood up slowly and the puppies scattered, running around his legs with happy little yips. One of them went tumbling head over heels towards the sloping entrance to the sandy den, where a few elephant-dogs stood guard. One enormous bastard that would have given T-rex a run for his money very calmly pushed the puppy back towards the rest of them with its paw, licking it once before the little one scrambled back to the others to play. Once that started, however, the puppies went tumbling around in a giant ball of small teeth and ears and pudgy bellies.
The dogs lounging at the top of the roots and the ones that blocked the entrance were all watching the area outside of the hollow or watching the puppies. Maybe they wouldn’t notice if Max tried to leave? If he wasn’t food and he wasn’t…well, he didn’t know what he was or what he wasn’t, but if they weren’t going to eat him, they’d let him leave.
They had to let him leave. Kasan needed to have sex, and he needed Max.
Max walked slowly toward the one side not blocked by the coiled bulk of the roots. He couldn’t help talking as soon as he got near the three dogs lying in front of him. “So, I…I appreciate the rescue and all, and, uh, you have a lovely home, but I need to get back now. I need Kasan, and he needs sex, so I’ll have to be leaving now, understand?”
He smiled and tried to ease by one of them, a female, he thought, if only because the other one was really obviously not a female. Rather obscenely obviously not a female. A non-male felt a bit safer to him, even if she was a little bigger.
Max walked up close to her, his feet stinging fiercely with each step. She turned her head to watch him but didn’t move. That was good. That had to be a good thing. “If you could just excuse me.” With a close-lipped smile, he took a step to the side of her to walk by. The female snorted and batted him gently back into the clearing just like she had the puppies.
Grunting under his breath, Max tried to smile again. “No, that’s not where I need to be. I have to get to Kasan.” He tried again and got batted back into the clearing another time. And a third time. Each time she was gentle; her claws never came out. But he had to get by! He glared at her. “I am not going back in here – I need to leave!”
Max moved to the side and tried to get past the male and got the same treatment, although this time the paw smacked him a little harder.
“I need to go!” He stood glaring at them and realized that they weren’t going to let him out this way. Dammit!
Max turned and headed across the clearing, dodging puppies this time – they ignored him anyway, too wrapped up in wrestling to care – and tried to see if he could find some way over the roots. They weren’t as tall as his head, he just needed to scramble up over one, in between some of the dogs around him.
He made it to the top and then yelled as a mouth clamped around him and another dog jumped down and dropped Max back into the dirt on his stomach. Max rolled over and he stared up at the thing, this one looking, well, he would have said amused, if it was a person.
He would freaking swear it rolled its eyes at him.
Max scooted back and stood up. The dog wasn’t even looking at him. The puppies had quieted while he was climbing out, and he glanced around as the lack of noise finally made an impression. More of the dogs had moved into the hollow and many of the babies were resting on the adults’ paws while they were being groomed.
The one who’d pulled him off the side settled down and Max startled, whipping back. It knocked Max over, holding him down on the ground with his forepaws, ignoring his yelling. And then it started licking him all over as well.
“What the- Hey, cut that out! That’s not- I’m not a dog! Stop cleaning me, and don’t lick there! I do not need to be licked there at all! There is a sacred, non-licking place for dogs! Will you stop-”
It flipped him face down and kept on licking.
He could just barely make out more dogs slowly cleaning the other puppies and it suddenly struck him exactly what his situation was.
“You think I’m a puppy? Are you freaking insane? Do I look like a damn puppy?” It continued to clean him, grunting as it reached the end of his legs and began laving the wounds with a tongue bigger than both his feet put together. “I am not a puppy!”
Max squirmed wildly and the dog pressed down on him to keep him still. “I am a person! I need to leave, not stay in this stupid….” Max felt like a useless idiot, face down, naked, and getting a tongue bath from Dinosaur Dog. “Look, I’m glad you’re not eating me, okay? But you don’t want me here. Seriously. I’m boring as hell and I’m much, much uglier than real puppies and cats and dogs don’t get along anyway and I’m an honorary cat now, understand?”
The bath continued to slime him all over his body. “Come on, we’ve gotta have something else you can look at me as, right? A friend who can go off and visit Kasan on his own? You could do that, right? Tarzan was like that – he talked to the animals and they didn’t eat him or hold him hostage.”
The dog licked over Max’s back and the slurping sound of it completely grossed him out. His body twitched inside, feeling as open as when Kasan had just climaxed inside of him, but without the deeply satisfying feeling of fullness that went with it.
“Dammit! Let me go! How am I supposed to rescue Kasan if I can’t get out of here?” The dog’s only answer was a grunt and a bit more pressure from his paws as he continued to hold Max down and clean him.
|Previous Chapter||Fiction Index||Next Chapter|