HIEROPHANT OF MIN
Cole woke up in his bed the next morning, slightly sore and confused. He had no memory of getting home or what had transpired after the events of the forest. He wasn’t even entirely sure if it had happened… It seemed like a crazy dream! He had flashes of the trees, the sun shining through, and the time he spent with Johnathan. But everything else… He couldn’t quite put a finger on what he was missing.
He reached over to his nightstand and grabbed his phone. He pulled it off the charger and saw one text message.
Johnathan: ” Text me when you get this… We need to talk.”
Cole shot up in bed; the abruptness of the message put him on edge. It wasn’t the usual, “good morning, beautiful”, nor an “I miss you.” That phrase didn’t usually imply talking about good things. Cole felt his heart begin to race as his chest tightened. He didn’t understand what was going on! Between the day before and the morning he was waking up to, he was losing a sense for the ground beneath his feet.
He quickly got up, showered, dressed, and headed out the door to Johnathan’s place.
Cole: “I’m coming over. What’s going on?”
As he was walking toward the train, his phone started to ring. Cole saw Johnathan’s caller ID appear on the screen.
“You can’t come over,” Johnathan said abruptly. “I’m not home.”
Frantically, Cole replied, “Where are you? I can come to you! You said we needed to talk… ”
Johnathan paused. He was trying to find his words in a silence that made Cole nearly break down in tears. Then he continued, “… Cole, we can’t keep sneaking around and acting like everything’s okay.”
“What do you mean?”
“You know what I mean, Cole. I’ve given you time and space, but you need to start being honest with the people in your life.”
“I will! I swear, I just — I need to see you!”
“You can’t! Not right now… I can’t explain — sorry, I’m a bit tied up right now. But I need you to tell your parents about you… And about us. That’s the only way this is going to work!”
Cole tried to interject something, but he was at a loss of words. He felt his face flush, completely overwhelmed and panicked by the idea. He and his parents weren’t exactly close, and he knew this was going to be hard.
“Alright,” he said, feeling his throat practically close up with fear. “I’ll do it! I’ll do whatever it takes… I love you.”
“I love you, too. Sorry, I have to run… Let me know when you’ve done it.”
The phone call ended as Cole stood on the sidewalk. Sweating profusely at what just happened; he stared at his phone, wishing it would ring again. He wanted to see Johnathan. He was still confused by the woods, the lost time, and the way his body felt ever since… But now all he could think about was keeping Johnathan in his life.
Cole headed back home. As he walked in the front door, he saw his parents sitting at the table; eating breakfast. They were surprised to see him coming in the door. It was pretty early for him to be returning home and they didn’t see him rush out earlier.
“Late night, son?” his dad asked, sipping his coffee and looking somewhat amused. He was a short, squat man with white hair and a bald spot on his head. His thick neck held up his round, pink face. He held himself like a man of great discipline, even in his relaxed moments.
“Yeah… I mean, no, sorry. I got up early to do something.”
His mom turned around from the kitchen counter, finishing buttering up some toast. “Do you want something to eat, Cole?” She was a lean woman with very pinched features. Her eyes were kind and her lips pressed. She didn’t have any makeup on, but she was still very beautiful.
“No, I’m not very hungry…”
His parents had no idea that he was gay… Or that he was seeing anyone! They were happy to have their son living at home, but they didn’t ask too much about his personal business. He was a good kid, quiet, with a less-than-great job trying to save up money to move out. They were generally supportive and helpful, albeit a tad conservative about things. Cole wasn’t sure how they were going to react to the news, but he knew he had no choice. He had to keep Johnathan in his life. Deep down, he also knew it was inevitable that this day would come. Waking up that morning, he just didn’t think it would be today.
“Dad, mom… I — can I talk to you guys for second?”
“Sure, hun,” his mom said, sitting down beside his father. They looked up at him, seeing their beautiful boy standing in the doorway of the kitchen. They didn’t seem to notice he was upset and sweating.
Cole stepped closer…
“I’ve been seeing someone. Someone really special.”
“That’s great, kiddo!” his dad perked up. “Someone from school?”
“No… They’re not from school. It’s just — well…” He trailed off. He’d imagined this moment so many times. He thought about every possible thing he could say to make it go smoothly, but nothing played out right in his mind. He’d hoped he’d solve the puzzle in his head before ever having to utter the words. Unfortunately, the time ran out on him without him knowing. He struggled to put vowels and consonants together. Just simply making sounds began to fail him. He felt a lump in his throat come up. He took a deep breath and swallowed it down and decided to rip it off like a Band-Aid.
The simple phrase echoed in the air. He saw the expression of his parents change almost in slow motion. Their jubilation melted away as their mouths went slack. He could practically see each stage of emotion wash over them. Surprise. Confusion. Concern. Hurt.
Cole’s dad got up slowly and brought his mug to the sink. He stood there for a minute before walking out of the room. He looked at him, waiting for a response, but none came. His mother followed his dad, giving Cole a quick look of worry before scurrying out of the room. Cole felt cold and scared, unsure of what he’d just done. He looked into the empty kitchen, somehow colder and darker than it had been when he walked in, now containing nothing but him and the uneaten toast on the table.
Cole felt like he was going to be sick… He wanted to go to his room, but he didn’t want to face his family again just yet. He needed to get away, give them time to process it. He walked out the door and went for a walk.
As time dragged on, he felt himself getting hungry, so he stopped at a place to get a breakfast sandwich and coffee. He sat on a bench outside while he enjoyed his breakfast, trying to imagine what was going to happen next. Perhaps his parents just needed time to get over the shock. They had no idea it was coming, of course they’re going to react that way. It was all going to turn out alright. He’d go back, they would be understanding, and eventually come around to being okay… And then it’ll be done! This painful moment will pass and it will become a part of history. Then he could move on, live his life with his family — and Johnathan.
He sat on the bench for a long time, thinking out his next moves, piece-by-piece. As time went by, he noticed the sun was high in the sky. He had apparently sat on that bench for hours, waiting for his strength to return. He had to be ready to go back home for round 2. It was at least noon now, and he’d been stuck on that bench like a statue. He knew he had to get up and go back. He threw his empty cup and sandwich wrapper in the nearest trash can and headed back home.
When he went through the door, he looked in the kitchen. The toast was gone. He went further in, calling out to his parents. He looked around and didn’t see them. He looked out the window at their parking spot. The car was gone. He was a little concerned, but realized that it was the middle of the day and they must have gone to run errands… At least that’s what he hoped. He wanted things to be normal again, trying hard to convince himself that all was alright. He went into his room and on his bed, he saw a note.
His stomach sank and his face went pale. His hands felt heavy as he reached for it. It was clearly from his parents and it was the first response he was getting since he uttered the words, “I’m gay.”
As he picked it up, his eyes had trouble focusing on the words, as if his brain was trying to protect him from what it might say. He forced himself to look, and as the words became clear, so did his fate.
In a clean, controlled handwriting, the message read:
Your mother and I love you. We have raised you to be a strong, capable young man. We’ve raised you to be good and righteous… But it seems you’ve chosen a different path. We cannot tolerate this lifestyle of deviancy. We would not be good parents if we did! We’ve raised you to know right from wrong, and now the decision is yours. We’ve gone out for the day to seek out Pastor Jim. We need to pray for you and to seek God’s guidance. If you’re willing to change and to seek the Lord’s forgiveness, we’ll be here to help you. But if you continue to live this wicked life, we ask that you be gone when we return.
— Mark & Linda”
Cole couldn’t breathe. The words he read were hard enough, but seeing “Mark & Linda” at the end, and not “mom & dad” cut him like a knife. They were already distancing themselves from him, even in this note. He ran to the bathroom, holding his head by the toilet as he began to cry. He felt his stomach twist up, thinking he was going to vomit. Instead, his lungs and eyes poured out a flood of tears and wails. He sat on the floor, holding his head in his hands as he wept.
What had he done?!
As he composed himself, he went to his room and began to pack up some things. He had a gym bag that he emptied out and filled with some clothes and personal items. It was barely big enough to fit a second pair of shoes, let alone a life’s worth of belongings. He looked around frantically for what else he might need, hoping he could go to Johnathan’s afterward.
He couldn’t think. He stuffed the bag as full as he could and headed out the door, wiping the tears from his eyes as he walked away from his home. With each step, he felt the pain of leaving his family, his memories, and his sense of comfort behind. He hoped one day they might come around, invite him back, and be his parents again. But he knew them well enough — they weren’t going to change… Not even for him!
Cole grabbed his phone and texted Johnathan.
Cole: “I did it. I told them…”
He hit send, but instead of the usual delivery notification, he only received an error message. “Error: Invalid Number”. He checked his connection, but he had full bars. He tried again, thinking it was just some SMS glitch. “Error: Invalid Number”.
He stopped and put his bag down. He dialed the number from earlier in the day, but it refused to connect. He texted once more, and again received. “Error: Invalid Number”. How could this be? He was just talking to Johnathan this morning! What’s going on?
Cole felt like his head was spinning. He had Johnathan’s address and decided to head there. He couldn’t reach him, but maybe it was just some technical issue. He’d go there and wait for him. Then he could tell him what happened… And stay with him. He needed to feel safe. He needed a home!
He put his phone in his pocket and headed to the train with his bag, desperate to see his boyfriend.
When he got to Johnathan’s apartment, there was no answer at the buzzer. He tried again and again, waiting for someone to answer the door. Johnathan lived alone and there was no one else to let him in. With his bag in hand and his phone battery dying, he continued to try and reach Johnathan; only to see the same repeated error message.
Hours went by and the sun went down. The day seemed to last forever, it had been a painful and emotional sequence of blows. Realizing Johnathan might not be coming back to the apartment, he returned to the train station, hoping to sit and charge his phone while waiting for what he could do next.
The orange light of dusk turned purple and dark, bringing on the night as he sat in the glow of his phone. He had no one to call and no one to turn to. He only had a little money in his account, and it was definitely not enough for a hotel.
Soon the trains stopped running, and he realized that he was spending the night by the tracks. He put on some warmer clothes and settled in to rest until morning. As he did, he noticed a man walking toward him from the end of the platform. He was tall, lean, and smoking a cigarette in a long raincoat. The red glow of his cigarette stuck out in the indigo night like a beacon. Cole couldn’t tell what he was doing there as the last train had left about a half hour before. He seemed to be looking right at Cole and not the train schedule — a fact that made Cole a little uncomfortable.
“There are no more trains tonight,” the stranger said, gesturing to the tracks with his cigarette as he flicked it off some ash. Cole looked at him, trying to figure him out.
“I know,” he began, trying not to reveal too much about himself. “I took a nap and missed the last one.”
“I’ve got my car if you need a ride. I’m happy to take you where you need to go.”
“It’s okay — I can get a Lyft if I need one.”
“Do you have one?”
Cole didn’t answer. He knew that if he said yes, he’d be telling an obvious and transparent lie. He paused to think of something to say, but the man looked at his full gym bag and continued, “do you have a place to go tonight?”
Cole didn’t say anything again. He was ashamed and embarrassed, he didn’t know what to say. How did he get to this point? When he woke up the previous day, he could have never imagined the events that transpired in the last 24 hours. He felt his eyes well up with tears, his chest felt tight, and he began to cry.
“Hey, hey, hey…” the stranger said, squatting down to get closer to him. “… It’s okay. I know things might be tough right now, but it’s going to get better!”
Cole kept crying, unmoved by the stranger’s consolation. He didn’t know him or what he was going through. How could he know anything? Sensing he needed more, the stranger surprised Cole with an offer.
“Look, how about this; I drive you to my place and you spend the night. I’ve got a big place and a spare bedroom that’s yours if you want it. No funny business, I don’t need anything in return… Just a place for you to get some rest and maybe think about your next move in the morning.”
Cole’s tears broke when he heard this. He thought it was odd for this good Samaritan to be inviting him into his home after talking with him for only a couple minutes, but what else could he do? He was probably safer in a stranger’s home than on the side of the train tracks, anyway. One night… He could use one night. Wiping tears away, he nodded and thanked him.
“I’m Alex,” the man said, reaching out his free hand to help Cole off the ground. Cole took his hand, rising to stand. Once they were at eye level, Cole saw just how strikingly handsome he was. His hand tingled as he pulled it away, as if it had just touched some kind of a pleasant spark. Something seemed unusual about him, but yet unbelievably desirable. Cole picked up his bag and headed with him to his car.
The car ride was fairly quiet. The radio gave Cole permission to look out the window without really having to talk or answer any questions. He watched as the city lights dimmed over the horizon, becoming smaller and insignificant. Trees appeared more and more as they made their way to Alex’s place, giving the journey the feel of going on vacation rather than simply running away. He needed that… A chance to relax and unwind. He was lucky that Alex found him and was so generous to take him in!
Arriving to the house, Cole couldn’t believe how beautiful it was! Surrounded by trees and a stream, the tall building was an architectural delight. It was big and bold, but without feeling like it was interfering with the environment. Tall glass windows paneled almost every side, with stone walls accents. It was seemingly open, but incredibly private with all the surrounding greenery.
Alex parked the car in front and helped the wide-eyed Cole inside. Whenever Alex got close to him, he felt his body get hot and his breath begin to change. His skin felt sensitive and his heart would race. He was getting turned on! What was happening? With all that he was dealing with, it seemed strange that he would be getting aroused by the kind stranger.
But in some ways, why not? He was handsome, friendly, and inviting. Although, he had only just met him. What was it about this stranger that he found seemingly irresistible?
“Bathroom’s through there,” Alex pointed down a hall, giving him a brief tour of his house. “Kitchen’s stocked, so help yourself. Can I get you anything to drink?”
“Um, sure… What do you have?”
Alex smiled, looking at the boy’s big, beautiful eyes. “I think I can come up with something. Make yourself at home and I’ll be right back.”
Cole put his stuff aside and went to the bathroom. Everything was clean and beautiful. He washed his hands in the sink, wanting to get rid of the dirt and grime of the train station. He didn’t want to ruin any of Alex’s nice things when he touched them. As he dried his hands, he saw himself in the mirror. It was like he was looking at someone he didn’t know. Living a life that was unknown to him. For the first time, he was out alone, with no one to turn to. He didn’t know what he was going to do next. But thanks to Alex, he didn’t have to figure that out just now… He cleaned his face and headed out back into the main room.
He saw Alex coming back from the kitchen. He had taken off his long coat and street clothes and had changed into a pair of linen pants and unbuttoned shirt. Cole could see his toned, lean body as the pants hung off his hips, giving a view of his abs and the lines of his pelvis. Cole realized the man was more attractive than he had first realized! He felt a rise in his pants as his cock began to get aroused. He didn’t know what to do… He was embarrassed that he might offend the man’s hospitality with his unexpected erection, but he couldn’t control it. Something about Alex made him want him more!
Alex approached him in his afterglow. He was holding two glasses, one in each hand and offered one to Cole.
He couldn’t tell what the drink was, but it smelled incredible. It filled his lungs with an incredible, appetizing aroma that shot fireworks throughout his body.
As he took a sip, he felt himself become awash in an intense sexual desire. His cock grew even harder than it had been just moments before as he became unbelievably aroused once again…
Cole couldn’t believe he’d just been fucked by Alex, breathing heavy as he sat in the post-coital glow of their lovemaking. It felt so sudden and fast, but he couldn’t get enough of him. Even now as cum slid between his cheeks and his cock dripped the last of his jizz, he wanted more. He needed more. What was it about him?
Alex looked at Cole and kissed him on the forehead. He could see the amorous state he was in, relishing every second of it.
“Cole,” he said softly, “there’s something I want to show you.”
“Anything,” Cole replied, eager to experience more of Alex’s world. He would have gone with him anywhere if it meant there was another chance to taste his cock, to feel him inside, and get fucked hard and raw again. He took another sip of his drink, feeling a rush of emotions flood through his body once more. Alex was pleased, watching Cole become affected by the mysterious substance he’d given him.
Alex got to his feet, helping Cole as the freshly fucked boy struggled to get back up. He was still in an erotic haze, unable to completely master his motor functions. He couldn’t tell if it was the drink, Alex, or his post-ejaculate malaise. Either way, he was happy to take Alex’s lead.
Alex put his clothes back on as Cole slipped on his underwear. He didn’t know where they were going or if it was even still in the house. He waited for Alex to tell him what to do, but standing there in his underwear, he was simply grabbed by the hand and led through the halls of the house.
One room went into another, again and again, until they came across a dark door. Alex pushed it open, still leading Cole through. Cole was amazed to see an earthen room. It was older looking and lit by torches. The room was breezy and cool, as if it was ventilated by some deep down cellar or cave. The room was circular, containing only the lights and a spiral staircase. Each stair was made of a large, stone slab. The slabs were surprisingly smooth and even, yet clearly not cut by any modern equipment.
The path seemed old… Much older than the surrounding house; worn by time and use, not by technology. It was hard for Cole to see, but on the walls of the chamber their appeared to be some strange etchings and carvings. The flickering shadows of the flames made it harder to discern them completely, but they reminded him of Mayan or Egyptian wall art. They, too, seemed to have been there a long, long time; faint as time softened their presence.
Cole wanted to speak up, but he was still too hazy to conjure the words. Alex carefully guided him deeper and deeper down the stairs, leaving the familiarity and modernity of the upstairs world behind them.
At the bottom of the stairs, the two walked down a narrow corridor that continued to an opening with a pale, cool light. Cole couldn’t make out much, but it seemed as if moonlight was breaking in from the outside. He had no idea how far down they were, but it was mesmerizing!
They walked through the archway at the end of the hall and into a large, open room. The ceiling was domed and the room was vast. He could hardly tell how big it was, but seemed like the size of a gymnasium. The only thing he could see was some sort of structure at the center, bathed in the light that shone down like a spotlight. It seemed some sort of table, but he couldn’t be sure.
As he got closer, he could see more of what was being illuminated.
Cole could see some sort of large chalice on the table. It had a strange ornamentation to it, like many snakes coiling around it, forming the stem and handles. A slight sense of unease came to Cole, sensing something off about this entire scene. There was a strange, ritual nature that was foreign to him, making him begin to question his surroundings. But the substance he drank was still in his stomach, working through his body and affecting his judgement. The doubt he had that should have sent him running was clouded by an overwhelming desire to be in Alex’s possession.
Alex let go of Cole’s hand, continuing to walk forward as Cole stood still. Cole felt stuck in place, unable to move, and focused on Alex as he headed to the strange altar. He watched as Alex lifted the chalice off its platform and lifted it up toward the light. He tried to study him, taking in everything he was doing, but it was hard to make out all that was happening. He could see Alex’s mouth moving, as if he was uttering some kind of chant or prayer. It was too quiet to hear, but he could see Alex was taking it very seriously.
Alex placed the chalice back down on the altar and began to pull down his pants. Cole was surprised to see this, not sure what this would lead to. But Alex’s cock was so beautiful and majestic in the moonlight that all he wanted was to be back on it. He watched as Alex stroked himself, getting harder and fuller in his grip. His balls were still heavy and low, unaffected by the load he pumped out just a little while earlier.
Cole stood still… He was stunned, watching in awe as Alex milked his cock once more. He could see his legs tense and relax as he worked himself, tugging on his giant shaft, edging himself closer and closer to climax. Then, just as casually as he started, he came into the mysterious chalice; pouring out his seed like it was sacramental wine.
Cole watched as Alex lifted the chalice up, letting it hit the light. It let out a fragrance that made Cole crazy. It was just like the substance he’d drunk before. He wanted more of it… He wanted to feel it on his lips and swallow it down his throat.
Alex stepped toward him, presenting the chalice to his lips. Cole opened his mouth as Alex tipped it toward him, taking in his freshly sprayed substance. The moment the fluid hit his tongue, he recognized what it was — the mysterious liquid he’d been imbibing all evening! It gave him the same rush of energy and sexual desire as it had each time, only now he knew that it came from Alex’s own body. It came from his loins… His full testicles! The source of this magic potion was Alex himself.
He felt himself vibrating, as if something within him was awakening for the first time. His eyes began to glow with a mystic light as it made its way through his body, triggering every muscle and nerve to awaken. As it did, he could see the once dark walls of the cave easily illuminated now.
As if some extra perception had been turned on, he could see the walls covered in carved faces, each looking old and powerful. Men with long beards and powerful horns, each of their mouths positioned opened. Inside each mouth, there was an open hole. Their carved eyes became bright with a golden light, emanating from an unknown source.
Cole looked around, watching each face appear to come alive. As he took in their awesome presence; Cole saw long, shiny beings slink out from the walls. They were like long tongues emerging from their faces! The tentacles seemed to move as if they were part of a single unit, making their way down and ever closer to Cole!
Cole didn’t know what to make of it. It was strange and scary, but he was so buzzed off of Alex’s jizz juice that he couldn’t think or move. He watched as they inched closer while Alex stood still and focused. Cole could see that Alex was not scared or surprised by their presence. Rather, he seemed to be guiding them with his eyes to his guest…