This eight-chapter novella, inspired by Thomas Wolfe’s Look Homeward Angel, is set at inception in Asheville, North Carolina, in the second decade of the twentieth century. Posting of the work will be completed within three weeks chapter one posts.
“It won’t be long now.”
The young man had a booming voice—a surprise coming out of his frame, which wasn’t small. But he was trim and not more than average height, and was made to look smaller than he was by the soaring spaces around him. The light hit him just so as he hunched over the centering writing table, leaning over the top of the table from the straight-edged chair and just laying his pen down from having been writing intensely. The lighting, focused on the table, picked out the red highlights in the unruly golden curls framing his almost angelic face.
A moan and something close to a menacing rattle was heard from the shadows beyond and to one side of the table, and the lighting expanded to pick out a narrow brass bed with a thin mattress and, one became increasingly aware, the figure of a man, on his back, bare torsoed, but with blankets covering him to half way up his chest. He was dark headed and had an arm thrown across his face. Nothing could be seen of him except his broad, deep chest, covered in curly black hair and slowly, laboriously rising—and holding—before it contracted with a moan twisted into a hollow rattling sound.
“Confession finished—leaving nothing to conjecture—and bound for home at last.” It was the young man’s voice again—loud. Spoken as in self-contemplation, but delivered as if for the ears of the many. “One last promise to fulfill, and then freedom. Release.”
The young man stood, and his hand picked up the pen again. He stared dramatically down at what he’d written. He paused, and then noticeably shuddered. He wiped the back of a hand across his eyes and heaved a great sigh. He stood there, transfixed—but was then set in motion by the hoarse, deep-chested rattle from the gaping mouth of the man prone on the bed.
The pen descended to the paper and there was the flourish of a signature before the pen was dropped, with a thud, on the desk top. The hand moved to another object on the table, just now becoming the focus of attention. The young man picked the object up and held it at various angles, allowing the light to reflect off the metal of the pistol’s barrel.
“Two bullets. Enough,” his voice boomed forth. “And then bound for home.”
He gave a mournful look to his side, the side away from the bed, and then he turned, facing the bed, pistol held up and shoulders squared—as the scene went to blackout.
The hollow sound of six hands clapping, two pair slowly and perfunctorily, and one overenthusiastically as if trying to make up for all that weren’t there, echoed through the nearly empty hall and was quickly muffled from the stage by the sound of the curtains creaking shut with a loud rustle. Then, more timidly they slowly began to part again.
“Good, good, Tom. No, you can leave them shut I think. That running was fine. The curtains need not be rung up again until tomorrow’s opening. Thank you, Tom. You can go home now. We’ll close up. Yes, yes, that will be fine.”
The voice was deep and cultured, each word enunciated perfectly. It was muffled by the thickness of the curtain, but had grown louder as its owner continued up the apron stairs to the front of the stage. The last “Yes, yes, that will be fine,” was clearly heard as the play’s director, Stanford Dane, had then reached the wings at the edge of the Avcılar Escort curtain and was speaking directly to the stage manager, who had drawn the curtain.
Simultaneously, a young woman, her eyes big with awe and admiration came around the edge of the curtain at the other side of the stage and latched her worshipping gaze on the blond actor who still stood, holding the pistol, but who had turned back toward the front of the stage when he’d heard Dane start to speak.
All ears were on Dane when he spoke. He had a silky, rich, tone-perfect voice that commanded attention and fostered an immediate wish to be with him and to do whatever he asked of you.
It was the young woman who had been clapping enthusiastically. She had stopped when the curtain was fully drawn, but she started up again as soon as she stepped into the area of the stage behind the closed curtain. “That was wonderful, Charlie,” she gushed. “You are a natural dramatic artist. And to think, grown right here in Asheville. Who would have known if Mr. Dane hadn’t found you here? He is a natural, isn’t he, Mr. Dane?”
“Yes, yes. A natural, you sweet girl,” Dane condescended to her with an indulgent smile. “Ed will take you home, Betsy. The costumes are fine. He should be finished taking care of the lights now. He’ll be waiting for you out in the lobby.”
“I thought . . . Charlie said he’d take—”
Her eyes were turned to Charlie, almost pleading, her voice almost a whine. Her stance dripping with the signaling that she had endured the entire last-minute, hours-long practice in the drafty theater hall before tomorrow’s opening night in anticipation of the walk back to her boarding house that Charlie had promised her—and perhaps more.
Charlie looked at her, eyes full of apology, but also with the reality that he would not say a word to challenge anything Stanford Dane wanted to direct or orchestrate.
It was Stanford Dane who didn’t let Betsy finish her sentence and complete the bald shame of her declaration for Charlie.
“Charles will be staying for a while longer, Betsy. I have some director’s notes for him and for James. You must leave now if we want to be sure that your Mrs. Porter won’t lock you out of the house. We have gone quite late.”
Betsy stood there for a few minutes longer, her jaw working, but no sound coming out, her fists clenching and unclenching at her side on stiff arms. But at the muffled cry from beyond the curtain of “Ready to go, Betsy? I’ve finished out here” from Ed, her face and body seemed to implode upon itself and she turned and disappeared beyond the curtain into the front of the house.
The three men on stage behind the curtain held position, as if for a photograph, Dane’s ears tuned to the stage door to the street, in one direction, for sign of the departing Tom and toward the front of the house for the sound of the main street door closing behind the bustling figure of Ed and the reluctant one of Betsy.
Charlie’s eyes were on Stanford Dane, impressed, as always, by his commanding presence. Dane was a tall, large-boned man. Robust, but elegantly clad and holding himself like a monarch—knowing he was extraordinarily handsome, with his wavy black hair and finely chiseled face, and straight back, with barrel chest held high.
As for Jim, his eyes were on Charlie. And they were slitted, in anticipation of something promised, something he’d looked forward to for the hours of the rehearsal, much of the last hour laying on his back on the bed and taking deep breaths and slowly dying Avcılar Escort Bayan on tortured cue.
“Ah, I’m not sure of the front. Let me check,” Dane said and then he disappeared around the edge of the curtain.
At a deep-throated sound from the bed, Charlie turned his eyes on Jim. Jim had thrown the covers off. He was laying there just in his undershorts, and his hand was encircling an already-engorged cock that emerged from the fly.
Jim was young and athletic. A dark-headed lad with curly black hair on his chest and arms. He was possibly a couple of years older than Charlie, and he spent much more time on his body than Charlie did. He was well muscled, and tense, and tightly wound. And ready to go.
“Come here and sit on this, my lad,” Jim said in a lust-filled voice. “I could hardly wait for practice to be over.”
“Jim!” Charlie exclaimed in a covered, but firm stage whisper. “Not here. He’ll be back. He’ll see.”
It wasn’t that Charlie was averse to sitting on Jim’s cock. Jim had already had him three times in the dressing room in the last three days. And Jim paid for it. He didn’t have to, but Charlie was grateful for the money. He was grateful for anything he could get. He was anxious to be out of Asheville and on to his dreams.
“I was meant to see, Charles,” Dane said, already back at the edge of the curtain now. “I have wanted to see the two of you together. I am ready for Act Two of the evening.”
Charlie slowly put the pistol down on the table and turned toward the bed.
“It’s getting late, Charles,” Dane cut in. “We don’t really have time for false theatrics. I know that Jim has already had you.”
Dane walked over and pulled the chair out beside the table, the back facing the bed, and straddled it with his legs as he sat down.
“Please, disrobe slowly first, Charles. And toward me. For me, please.”
After shrugging with resignation, Charlie slowly did as he was asked.
“Yes, yes, well done, Charles. Now slowly walk to the bed.”
Charlie did so, into the rhythm now of following the directions of his stage director.
“Up onto the bed now, your knees straddling Jim’s hips, please. Yes, like that. Look down into his eyes, while Jim cups your buttocks and finds you with his fingers. Yes, Jim, yes, like that.”
Jim and Charlie were both breathing heavily now as Jim’s finger invaded Charlie’s channel. Dane was breathing heavily now too, and Charlie turned his eyes briefly to see that Dane had unbuttoned his fly and unfolded a prodigious cock and was fondling himself as he gave directions.
“Lower your head and kiss Jim on the lips, Charles. Yes, beautifully done. You are angels, both angels. A dark, forbidding angle of darkness and my sweet golden angel of innocence. The purity of the world held in balance. Will goodness fall to evil? Yes, I do think it will.”
Moments of heavy breathing in triplicate and then the stage direction came. “Reach for Jim, please, Charlie. And position him, and lower onto him. You are offering yourself to the angel of darkness. Yes, yes, like that. And now I will be silent. Do what you are well positioned to do. Give over all of your innocence to him.”
Later, the two of them, Charles Bairr and Stanford Dane, walked silently, in the large-flaked snow that had started while they were practicing, to the Swannanoa Boarding House on North Market. Dane had been so introspective and quiet as Charlie fucked himself on Jim’s tool at great length—and then afterward as well—that Escort Avcılar Charlie wasn’t sure whether his performance had pleased Dane. It had been embarrassing for him to do that at Dane’s instruction and under his close gaze. But he was anxious to please Dane in all things. He just didn’t know if had done so. Dane could be so fickle in these matters. Dane hadn’t said anything since he stopped giving instruction. When Jim and Charlie were finished, he’d just stood up from his chair, pushed his cock back into his trousers, buttoned his fly, and glided back around to the front of the house as if nothing had transpired.
He was waiting for Charlie in the lobby of the theater. They walked together, because they were lodged at the same boarding house. Dane was there for the theater season. Charlie was there because he worked there—and had done so since his mother had died and her own boarding house had been sold at auction to cover the family’s debt.
“Hello, Mrs. Childress,” Dane said with a grand flourish and a smile as he and Charlie mounted to the porch and entered the door Mrs. Childress was holding open for them. “So good of you to keep watch for us and not to lock us out this evening.”
“Anything for you, Mr. Dane,” Mrs. Childress said in a giggly girl tone. “I hope the practice went well.”
“It did, indeed, Mrs. Childress. It went very well indeed. We are quite well prepared for tomorrow’s opening.”
“Oh, I’m so glad to hear that,” she said in a small-girl’s voice, and then she turned to Charlie and in far less dulcet tones said, “Mind you lay out the linen for tomorrow before you go to bed, Charlie. We’ve all had to cover more of your duties than we can even remember since you signed on for this play. If Mr. Dane hadn’t—”
“And I’m ever so grateful you’ve loaned him to us, Mrs. Childress. We were ever so needful of another actor in this play. And he is doing well. I promise, I’ll return him none the worse for wear to you at the end of the run of this play.”
Mrs. Childress was all girlish smiles now, as Charlie turned toward the dining room to lay out the breakfast linen.
“Good night, Charles,” Dane said to Charlie’s back, and Charlie turned and smiled at the director, the voice having given him assurances that Dane was not disappointed or upset at him for some reason.
Later, in the dead of the night, as Charlie lay in the narrow, brass bed accorded him in a room created by blocking off the end of one hallway, he watched a sliver of light from the hall expand as his door slowly creaked open and then shut. Charlie joyously turned on his back, and spread his legs while he moved a pillow down to the small of his back, elevating his hips.
The springs of the bed complained with a grinding metal sound as the bulky weight of a giant of a man settled on the bed between Charlie’s spread knees, and meaty thighs worked their way under Charlie’s buttocks. Charlie’s torso was being encircled by well-muscled arms, and Charlie gave a little cry and arched his back as the large-bulbed, powerful cock pushed inside him. He gasped and groaned and moaned as it invaded ever deeper inside him.
He felt the breath on his neck and then the low, rich voice in his ear. “Act Three.”
“Was it . . . did I . . .?”
“Yes, Act Two was very nice, Charles. Now show me how much you want me.”
Charlie closed his legs around the small of Stan’s back and drew the director’s cock ever deeper inside him and began to move his hips and moan his want and need.
On the other side of the wall, Mrs. Childress both heard the thumping of the headboard of the brass bed in Charlie’s cubicle of a room against the wall of her own bedroom and felt the vibrations of the rhythm of the fuck on the other side of the wall. She smiled and her hands moved down her belly and into her secret channel.