Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Endangered

Hi. I cheated a bit here and deleted the first two parts to this entry. They are now three parts in one long, long story. Read it anyway. I really did write it because I thought you might like to read it, you wonderful, wonderful people.

Sun-hee is shading her eyes from the raindrops, the slow, fat kind that wash across your face and stay there. Simon looks up too, trying to make out what it is that she’s looking for. There is only one picture in his mind, of a stuffed and top-heavy turkey-like bird that he’d seen in The Natural History Museum in London. The scientists, who clearly were faking their annoyance, opened an oversized drawer and pulled it out in latex gloves, placed it on an examining tray and stepped back. The bird rolled and stopped, its jazz-hands legs jutting rigidly from its body. He looked at its face first, the black glass eyes, the fold on its head like rubber, protecting the thing, he assumed, from the rain. He stared at its curved beak, reaching out to touch, but reminded himself that he couldn’t. He pantomimed the shape instead.

“Pay good mind to its markings,” Cornelius said. “You won’t see its face at all.”

Simon did his best and looked for distinctiveness in the bird, a cluster of dark brown mottles before the tailfeathers, a little bit of shine near the front of the wing, but he could see nothing that would distinguish it from so much as a very large sparrow, and resigned himself to the guidance of his hosts with a nod.

Sun-hee has a worried look on her face, making the rainwater look like tears on her cheeks. Simon suddenly feels protective of her, as if they’re real. “Did you hear it, Cornelius?” she asks.

“I thought I had,” Cornelius says, and sighs.

Love Lost Between the Russet Wadbeaks by Simon Evans

There is, in the political miasma and clashing interests that come with the protection of endangered species, a quiet heartbreak to be found in the small, rainforested island nation of San Jacinto. A male and a female, once simply distanced from one another, now can’t stand to be anywhere near each other. The change has come suddenly. The formerly happy, if cold, couple now calls out to each other but once a year, if they do at all. They are met with silence. They are dying out, and they don’t seem to mind.

They are the Russet Wadbeaks (Caro Cucullati), birds once so common that the first Spanish settlers simply refused to stay on the island for the noise. The legendary lullaby, No Grita began here and was carried away by galleon within two months, its soothing effect more potent on decidedly quieter bambinos of The New World.

Oh, blessed Virgin Mother
Please bestow your gentle
Whisper to the shrieking birds
Make their screams but songs
For you shall be honored with
A choir of angels and not
The crash of iron and
Scraping chains

(Transl. Courtesy Hannah Alexander)


Hannah and Cornelius join Sun-hee in inexplicable sky-staring. Simon looks up dutifully, but sees nothing but dive-bombing drops of water and a tall ceiling of dark green. Finally, his eyes soaked dry from the wet, he faces forward, squeezing the false tears from his eyelids with his thumbs. When they open again, his three companions have started along without him. He lifts boots from muck and catches up slowly.

Hannah, Cornelius and Sun-hee have been on the hunt for the Russet Wadbeak for two years. They talk little, move in a swarm pattern, turning at the same time and at the same pace like a school of fish. Their gestures are a secret twin language to Simon, a flat hand on Cornelius’ part curved down and flattened again, echoed by the women. Though there has been no agreement that Simon can’t speak, he assumes by the gestures that it’s frowned upon, and simply repeats his questions in his head, saved for later when camp is made and notes can be attached to dry paper.

Theories abound as to the sudden divorce, though there are simply not enough scientists to investigate. Cornelius Van Werckhoven of the Antwerp Society for Research and Progress thinks vaguely that it might be that road.

“It’s only the time frame,” he says. “There was no road and there were Wadbeaks. Then there was road and there were none.” When pressed, he confesses in sticky consonants that he’s not sure why. “Maybe it’s the line,” he says. “If you draw a chalk line front of an ant, it will not cross. Maybe this is a border and the birds stay on their side of the box. We cannot say for sure. Who knows how many couples were severed by it?”

When Van Werckhoven speaks of couples, he means it. The Wadbeaks mate for life after a brief but promiscuous period in youth. Once a mate is chosen, copulation ensues for about seven scattered weeks in the year.

This is related to me in the present tense, though Van Werckhoven winces as he speaks. No one wants to pronounce the dead until the pulse hasn’t been heard from in decades.



Sun-hee’s ass scoots across the tarp like a hot sled across ice. Her shorts are made of much the same material, though the wet is insidious enough to trickle inside all the same. She’s eating canned salmon, the pink striking in the blue background of the tarp. An arrhythmic pup pup PUP pup PUP pup pup pup of the rain hitting the canopy above her head lends an agitated tone to their conversation. “I think it’s the disruption, not the physical road, that’s gotten to them,” she says.

“How do you mean?” Simon asks.

“Well,” she says, stabbing a large wedge of salmon with her fork, “with a road, there's construction, rumbling trucks and whining backhoes.” Her voice, a hard-won Irish accent, slows and warbles in strange parts of sentences. Simon feels himself slightly hypnotized by it. “It’s not conducive to sex, is it? They were used to being the loudest things around.”

“When the Wadbeaks mated,” Hannah says, by way of polite explanation, “mudslides took out whole settlements. The noise was said to be deafening, especially out here where everything else is so cowingly silent.”

Cowing silence hits the tarps as the rain stops, the slaps of the remaining drops trivial. Sun-hee’s face turns down and so, in turn, does Simon’s.

The night before, Simon lost a battle against reason and had to get up in the dark to take a piss. Swearing under his breath, he put wet socks on and soaked boots, slid out of the hammock and walked, flashlight at the ground lest he wake his neighbors, to something that was not green and leafy. A whimper touched his ear and he almost leapt. Another came soonafter, but this was clearer, the sound of a woman. Then the sound of a man.

Simon smiled and peed guiltily. Cornelius and Hannah were married, after all. He listened peacefully for a few moments until the sounds peaked and ebbed away. A little naughty reward for his troubles, he thought. On the way back to his hammock, he veered a little and heard more sounds, these just breaths, really. He put a few fingers on the front of his flashlight to dim it and slowly lifted it in the direction of the sound. Sun-hee’s hammock appeared at the top of the grey circle, her eyes closed and bike shorts down, fingers deep in the black fur of her pussy, neck bent in ecstasy. Her mouth burned into his eyes, showed through the mosquito netting, open and dark behind her lips. He slowly lowered the flashlight again and found his hammock, a droning erection in his own bike shorts. He hadn’t really noticed Sun-hee’s lips before.

The last that time the mating cries of the Russet Wadbeaks, described variously as “Plane crashing into steel mill” and “The screech of God’s chalk on the devil’s blackboard” was heard in the jungle canopy of San Jacinto was 1974. They have a life span of about forty years.




Simon, catching himself staring at Sun-hee’s neck as another stop is made, a hawk-gawk, he’s come to call them, begins to pity himself. He longs for a shower, a real one, where the water is clean and warm and you can dry off afterward. Dry skin is a wet dream. Dry, warm sheets. Television. Take-out food. He feels that putting any kind of moves on Sun-hee would be a train wreck. In this state, even flirtation would be interpreted as creepy, some sweaty, mosquito-bitten, grunting, would-be professional colleague making dirty jokes about what the head and beak of the bird looked like to him with a big smile. Yuck. Sun-hee and him should have met in a hotel bar near the Mayan ruins in Guatemala. He could buy her a drink and engage her friend in conversation until she too was compelled to join. But San Jacinto is no place to pick up a girl.

The Russet Wadbeak is, or was, at once normal and silly looking. There is nothing particularly dignified in the wad of flesh that curves around the eyes, almost covering its nose. It is, by all reports, not a particularly graceful flyer. It is said rather to flop from tree to tree, its stunted wings flapping desperately at the air. On the ground, they are said to be jumpy, to lift each clawed foot repeatedly in seeming disgust with the earth.

One wonders what Cornelius Van Werckhoven, Hannah Alexander and Sun-hee Shaolan see in this bird, what makes them give up summer vacations and respectable credit ratings to ensure the survival of an obscure noisemaker thousands of miles away from home. The Wadbeak has not controlled the spread of some insect-borne disease. It feeds mostly on larger, harmless insects a few times a day. It is not the sole source of food for some more beautiful species, an exotic leopard or noble eagle. In fact its only predator was man, who never, before the road, had to tolerate them long enough to make a dent in the population. The Wadbeak, it seems, lives, or lived, to make a ruckus and to make more Wadbeaks.



Cornelius has stepped on a sharp branch which managed to puncture a hole in his shoe and subsequently his skin. It stopped just short of punching through to the other side. He can move his toes and ankle without trouble, but the wound must be monitored for infection. It must be lifted, clean and dry for a few days to seal up again. Hannah stays with him as nurse, promising to switch with Sun-hee tomorrow. Sun-hee and Simon have headed out, GPS in hand, unbearable tracts of green and black ahead. Sun-hee’s hair is wrapped tightly, but long tresses, weighted with water, escape and dangle from her head. Others cling to her neck and shoulders, shiny clumps that mimic the curves below.

“What got you started in all this?” Simon asks, after the hawk-gawk is over.

“Cornelius. Can I tell you something off-the-record? I mean, not that it’s a big deal, but it’s not really pertinent to your story, alright?”

“Of course.”

“Cornelius and I were engaged to be married at one time. He got me into the Wadbeaks.” She isn’t looking at Simon as she talks. He can’t gauge her tension.

“What happened?”

“Hannah.”

“Wow.”

“It was a long time ago. We’re completely different people now, all three of us. But we still share this thing. These ridiculous birds!”

Sun-hee stops abruptly and turns toward Simon again, face in the air. Simon expects that at one time, the look in her eyes was hopeful, that Sun-hee thought all she would have to do is find one, but her look now is simply maintenance. She probably doesn’t know she’s doing it. Probably does it at home too for a few weeks, having dreamt up a scheme that the birds had simply wanted to save her the plane fare. Her face drops and she looks Simon in the eyes as she returns to him. She blinks and smiles. He doesn’t.

“Well, I don’t want to insult your passion, but I must ask…. These birds are ridiculous. Why?”

“Why do we do it, you mean?”

“Yes,” says Simon.

“I think the absurdity is a great big part of it,” she says. “You know how people will seek out little-known artists or bands to love? The Wadbeak is like that. Ours.”

“How do you and Hannah get along so well?”

“We just do. It’s the only way.”

Simon has about ten more questions stacked up in his mental jukebox to play, but he can’t afford to ask them. He leaves Sun-hee to her ritual, enjoys it, watching her conquer the rainforest bit by bit, plugging notes into her GPS, swatting poisonous-looking ants off of oversized leaves. She stops and examines the bark on a tree.

“This could be one of their marks,” she says, poking and scratching it with trimmed fingernails. “But if it is, it’s very old.” She sighs and walks on.

“How do they leave marks?”

“They stand on the side of trees and work the bark in their talons. No one had time to figure out why. Can you imagine? A bird that size on the side of a tree?”

“No.”

“I’m glad you’re not pressing me for details on Hannah and Cornelius. We didn’t want you to come, really, but we did it for the Wadbeaks. It hasn’t been an easy week for us.”

“I haven’t been imposing, have I?”

“No. It’s nothing that you’re doing. We’re just used to being kind of our own people.”

Another hawk-gawk and Sun-hee’s hand holds a vine to keep steady. He stares at her hands, their compact dexterity, the way the wet smoothes them, the bones inside strong and nimble.

“Do you have someone at home?” Simon asks.

“Not really.”

Simon sees his hand reach out to Sun-hee’s and is unable to stop it. Simon sees his fingers stroke at the edges of hers and is mortified.

The Russet Wadbeak has many bad habits, besides the wailing and the tree kneading. The Russet Wadbeak will only relieve itself in one place, and stepping in the pile will end the life of your shoes. It will not only eat at the rubber and leather, but should some small part of the droppings make contact with your skin, your foot will develop an insatiable rash. There have been known cases of people scratching the soles off of their feet to relieve it. The Russet Wadbeak loves to gnaw at mosquito nettings and will use the bits it can remove in its nest. The Russet Wadbeak loves television antennas too, and will bend and pull at them until they are loose. It will build nests in the driver’s seats of open cars. It will steal crops if they’re available. It is in constant, open revolt to humanity, with a bit of Bugs Bunny in its veins.

Until 1974, humanity had been completely outnumbered and outfoxed. The majority of the island nation is uninhabited, the road only used by the San Jacinto military base, one used primarily by the Columbians. San Jacinto has never had a population of more than six hundred people. It, therefore, lends a charming explorer fantasy to the visitor, the feeling that he or she is truly seeing something that has been unexplored, or at least unseen by any of your former high school classmates. One can’t look at a berry on a vine and not wonder if it’s the first one ever seen. The entire island seems fragile and shy. Even touching it will change it, taint it. You walk quietly and slowly, until the mud tries to take your boots off, and then you realize that if you’re the enemy, you’d better start acting like it.



To Simon’s confusion, his fingers are accepted and Sun-hee spreads hers. Her face, the simple and flawless skin, the long lashes and the lips he had watched so dearly, turn to him. Rain starts with a wimpy thunderclap and their faces soak quickly with water. He kisses her anyway, though he’s not sure that she wants it, and tastes the slightly salinated water on her, feels it gather in parts of his mouth. He is constantly swallowing, but holds her close, the sticky cotton of his shirt clinging back and forth between them. His hand trails up her ribcage, shaking over the dips and bumps, until her left breast, braless, is tucked between forefinger and thumb.

“I can’t let you do that,” she says, shaking her head out of the kiss.

“Why?” he asks. The warmth of her body is the only warmth that has cancelled out the soaking clothes, the only warmth he’s felt in over a week.

“Just. There’s a reason, right? And maybe it’s okay, but right now it’s not.”

“That doesn’t make any sense.”

“I know. But it’s still true. I want you to. Believe me, I want you to touch me.”

His face descends to her neck and he digs his nose into it for a few moments, wondering if there is any part of her that still contains its own smell in all the constant rinsing. He puts his hand on her inner thigh. She holds his wrist to keep it from moving, either closer or away.


A Russet Wadbeak appears and lands on a branch about twenty feet above Simon’s hammock. Simon feels like he should say something to the others, but his eyes have been so starved of this sight that he takes it in, slowly, examines its flocks of spots on the back just before the tail, the shine of the front wing.

“Why won’t you look at my face?” it asks.

“I was told not to,” says Simon apologetically. He still can’t look, examines its talons instead, a piece of mosquito netting grinding into the tree under them. There is a knot in the bark under the netting. It looks like the oblong of an open mouth.

“You said you wanted to see my face,” it says. It has an Irish accent.

“I do.”

“So, look at it.”

“I can’t.”

The talons turn into Sun-hee’s hand on the branch, the mouth disappearing.

“What are you hiding?” Simon asks.

The bird does not respond. Instead, it flies down to him. It lands and scurries under his hammock.

“I can’t look at you there,” he says.

“What do you want from me?” the bird asks, louder, as if it’s on his chest.

Simon can’t answer. His body is overwhelmed by an intense, erotic, steam fog.

“What do you want from me?” the bird asks again, this voice completely familiar and right into his earlobe. He feels a tightening, fiery crash in his cock, his voice, suddenly an unbearable screech, howls across the forest.

His eyes open and there is no bird. There was no bird. He lays and gasps for a few moments. The sky is much darker than it was in the dream. The sun is only a lavender hint on the periphery. He puts his hand in his shorts and finds confirmation. He clutches at the parts of the dream that he needs the most, the sight of the bird, the orgasm, the voice, but they slip away in fat raindrops. He is left with a vague happiness and gets up to find a good leaf to wipe himself with. Found and wiped, invigorated, he dresses completely and takes a walk around the campsite to see if anyone else is up. The tarp covering the hanging food is unattended. Sun-hee’s hammock is empty. He walks on, toward where Cornelius and Hannah sleep.

There in their hammock, under the intact mosquito netting, is the mouth of Sun-hee. She lies on her side. Curious, Simon steps forward a little. He sees that her right knee is up, that she’s cooing. That she’s naked. A female hand grasps her right breast. A male one holds her pelvis. Simon notices another set of legs just behind her, thrusting, hairy, and sees an unmistakable set of testicles in movement. Simon is frozen, finding his eyes back at her lips. They are eclipsed by Hannah, naked, but for a sturdy set of boots in the mud. Hannah lifts the mosquito netting and sweeps her hand across Sun-hee’s abdomen before slipping her ring finger between Sun-hee’s pussy lips.

So why the ambivalence? Why can’t the Wadbeaks seem to romance each other anymore? It’s hard not to project human characteristics on a bird with so much personality. It’s hard not to think of Wadbeaks in a fight over the cleanliness of their nests, finally degrading into a volley of excrement projectiles into each other’s camps. It’s hard not to think of the Wadbeaks growing apart, one just not as into the scratching of trees, rather preferring increasingly artistic raids into ships’ cargo, the two of them finding nothing to squawk about anymore, politely ignoring the calls when they do come.

Then, recalling ourselves from our anthropomorphic musings, we find that the birds are as mysterious as they are galling. They are as unknowable as boll weevils and deep-ocean octopi. They are nothing but nerve endings and instincts, complex, but just that. What keeps these animals apart from each other could be as simple as a chemical coating found on newer television antennas or as philosophically knotted as the universe simply not needing them anymore.



Simon and Hannah leave camp after a breakfast of rice and chopped nuts. Hannah is silent for the first hour, and though the journalist in Simon’s brain frantically and angrily attempts to conjure Serious Inquiry into the matter of the Wadbeaks, he finds himself impossible to rope in. His mind is sickness and mad envy, and this, too, incites more of the same through its very existence. He doesn’t give a fuck about the damn birds anymore, would like to wait, swinging in his hammock, for his scheduled pickup by the Columbian navy at the coast and his eventual self-righteous piece, lambasting the greens for their wasteful obsession with minutiae. This possibility opens him up, and he starts a sudden, uncalled-for, loud conversation with Hannah.

“Don’t you have bills to pay?” he asks. He would cross his arms if he didn’t need to clutch at vines when he slipped.

“What do you mean?” Hannah asks, as if it’s never occurred to her that there is such a thing as money.

“Isn’t all of this a little bit expensive for you?”

“We save all year,” she says, unaffronted.

“Don’t you think the money would be better spent on a better cause, then?”

There is a pause as Hannah negotiates a slick dip in the mud after a fallen tree. “Like what?”

“Think of all the species that mean something that are dying out!”

“Who’s to decide—“

“Who’s to decide which are worthy and which are not in this precious ecosystem?” Simon finishes.

“Yes!”

Hannah turns to Simon and looks at him for what, he realizes, is the first time since they met. He expected some hippy sentence about the beauty of it all in some sentence beginning with “Dude…” and ending with “man!” He is met with pointed furiosity under previously heavy, dozy eyes.

“Who the fuck are we to decide? What the hell do we know? We don’t know what we’re doing! We just learned how to hit each other in the head with heavy stones and now we think we’re omfuckingnipotent. Fuck that. These birds may be strange, but at least they’ve got fucking manners!”

Simon, still full of green angst, stares at Hannah until she gives up on his hope to defend himself and turns around carefully before starting off again. He sits through two more hawk-gawks with a perfunctory scan of the canopy before he says “Sorry, I’m just playing devil’s advocate.”

“No, you’re not. You’re mad that you’re not playing with Sun-hee. And that’s fine. That’s a perfectly natural reaction.”

This jerks Simon right back into indignation, and he’s silent for the rest of the morning.

Let’s assume that we won’t find out enough about this particular bag of circumstance and DNA to save it before its almost certain demise. Let’s assume that the Russet Wadbeak has gone extinct and the planet, aside from three concerned parties, goes on pretty much as it had before. Is there anything like a lesson here? Can we contemplate, taking advantage of the measurably quieter atmosphere, the larger worth of these top-heavy, feathery, sexually frigid animals? What did they mean, and what does their absence mean to us?

I think, anthropomorphism aside, the lesson learned is another in the critical and yet widely unresearched field of sexual reproduction, the last and most complicated need, the most basic, the first and most important to sustain life, and we know almost nothing about it. Our own adult lives are aswim with the sometimes conflicting orders of our genitals and our hearts. How much of it is pure pheromone and how much the amount of time that your mother held you as a child? What do we look for and what does it have to do with the emotional replacement of a loved one, or the reenactment of a painful memory? Which sexual fantasy will produce the quickest erection, and do you think of smell or touch or taste? Perhaps you enjoy the mystery, think that it is the last thing we need to codify.

The Russet Wadbeak points us in the direction of research.



Back at camp, Sun-hee sits on the edge of Cornelius’s hammock and swings him a little bit faster than he should be swung. He has a plastic bag on his chest full of broad leaves. He hits Sun-hee’s back with them to make her stop, laughing. Hannah kisses Cornelius sincerely, giving Sun-hee’s hand a squeeze, before pulling back and asking about his foot.

“Oh! The swelling is gone! Look!”

She does, smiles and pats his knee. “What’s that you got there?” she asks.

“A little bit of medicinal aflojar,” he answers, snickering.

“We have a guest,” Hannah says, reproachingly.

“We have a guest who will never get this kind of hospitality again,” Sun-hee says.

Hannah whispers something in Sun-hee’s ear.

“Come along, Hannah,” Sun-hee says. “We’ve been on our best behavior all week.”

Hannah takes a look at me, her thin legs twisted around each other, then untwists them and says, “Alright, hand me one.”

Simon doesn’t need to consider it. He mud-steps over to the hammock and takes a leaf. He tears it into strips as Hannah does and throws it into his mouth to chew. The effect is slow, and takes an hour to kick in. At first he’s convinced that he’s not doing it right, but when it hits, the melting of concern that you get with pot combined with the sharp-edged energy of caffeine, he grins as wide as the other three. They smile warmly at each other for what could be ten minutes or could be thirty seconds when Simon feels compelled to pipe up.

“I saw you this morning,” he says, spitting a leaf clipping into the mud.

The other three look surprised, but pleasantly so. They would be pleasantly surprised by a fifteen-foot snake right now.

“What?” Sun-hee says, giggling.

“In the hammock?” Hannah finishes.

“Yes.” Simon covers his mouth when he talks this time.

“Doing—“ Cornelius starts.

“That, yeah.”

“Guess we haven’t been good all week, then, sweetie,” Cornelius says to Hannah.

Hannah is laughing uncontrollably behind her palm. Her breasts shake with it.

Simon is laughing too, tears in his eyes. “And then!” he manages to get out. “And then! Then I high-tailed it! Right back to! My hammock! And I just got so! So pissed off!”

Sun-hee’s mouth is wide open, laughing loud enough to echo in the canopy.

“Because!” Simon continues. “I wanna fuck Sun-hee so bad! Hey! Hey!”

The other three control their laughter, leaning over the back of their hands for the next punchline. “I had a dream that she was a Wadbeak!” They have a controlled burst of hilarity and return just in time. “And I came in my shorts!”

AH HA HA HA HA HA HA HUH. AHHH ha ha ha HAH HAH. HA. HA. HAAAAAAA!

“I’m dying!” Hannah says, leaning over her knees, her chest spasming.

“I know!” says Simon, clutching at his stomach.

Sun-hee walks surprisingly well to Simon, who sits cross-legged on a stretch of tarp, leans over and kisses him. Joy wells up in his face and he pulls her down. She sits, also cross-legged, beside him and looks up at Cornelius and Hannah. They are kissing, lying down in the hammock, Cornelius’s injured foot in the air. She begins to sing. Simon recognizes the tune. It’s No Grita. Hannah and Cornelius join in Spanish. Simon doesn’t know the words, so he hums loud with big gestures. Their voices are wonderful, and he wishes more than anything for them to find their quarry, to find their clit-headed bird. Two of them.

When they finish, he starts a song of his own.

“Come closer and see
See into the trees
Find the girl
If you can
Come closer and see
See into the dark
Just follow your eyes….”

All four pick up on it.

“Just follow your eyes

I hear her voice
Calling my name
The sound is deep
In the dark
I hear her voice
And start to run
Into the trees
Into the trees”

Simon is pleased to see Sun-hee in a 1984 head-shake, her hair too wet to wave, but her neck thrown in pleasant angles. He kisses it and lets them go on.

“Suddenly I stop”

There is silence and Simon takes advantage by hooking his elbows under Sun-hee’s knees, dragging her back to him on the slippery tarp.

“But I know it's too late
I'm lost in a forest
All alone”

Sun-hee’s shirt is lifted to above her breasts, which jump perkily as she sings. The rain has started again and her skin is pocked with droplets, which run and dip and swoop and fall all over her curves. Her skin is unbearably beautiful. Simon takes the time to look at it by continuing the song.

“The girl was never there
It's always the same
I'm running towards nothing
Again and again and again and again”

The “agains” fade into the sounds of lips on wet skin, the faint, somewhere smell of pussy and fucking. Simon picks Sun-hee up and she straddles his thighs. They are knelt against each other on the tarp, unable to keep their legs up with no friction. They squirm and clutch at each other, charley horses and uncomfortable pokes ignored. He gets impatient, stands up and lifts her, carries her to a tree and presses her into it. The tree shivers but does not bend. Her mouth returns to his. He pulls her plastic pants down. He pulls her bike shorts down. He circles her bare thighs with the backs of his hands, rubbing his erection into her pelvis bone at the hip.

“Touch me, Simon,” Sun-hee says.

He can’t. Just like the dream. He can’t.

Simon hears a rumble across tarp and feels two breasts on his back. A hand descends his forearms and takes his fingers. Hannah guides Simon’s fingers to the hot wetness at the crest of Sun-hee’s thighs. He guffaws, then goes to work.

“She likes it gentle,” Hannah says, and slows his fingers. He feels another hand on his cock. His head throws back. The wet dream was the first orgasm he’d had in a week, too squeamish to go into the insect-ridden darkness for a go at himself. He sees how stupid that was. How even a fucking journalist has got to come every once in a while.

The hot-wet of Sun-hee’s pussy is the butter for his knife. Hannah pulls lovingly at his cock. She drops his shorts, exposes him to the rain, the cool shock moisture on him. It lubricates slightly, but she must stop every once in a while to coat his cock in water again. Agony. Hannah comes around him, wedges herself between Sun-hee and Simon. She kisses Sun-hee for a while, the both of them enjoying each other’s taste, and she rubs Simon’s cock with her ass. She finally bends, drops down, her head at Sun-hee’s lower pelvis. Her ass in the air for Simon’s taking. Simon looks at Sun-hee, her knees bent apart, her head into the tree. She nods slightly. Simon pushes his cock down and enters Hannah.

He watches her face the entire time and Sun-hee watches his. They fuck each other through this living envelope, his cock become a tongue on her pussy. Simon pounds Hannah, his fingers in the bend of her pelvis, her thighs split on tiptoe. Sun-hee moans, watching Simon, and when she does, her oblong lips draped open, Simon gets closer. When Sun-hee comes, clutching the thin sides of the tree, Simon has to stop to watch. Her hands, dexterous as ever, bent in ecstasy. Simon slows and withdraws. Hannah stands on shaky knees and walks to her husband, whose cock pulses in his shorts. Simon moves up, kisses Sun-hee deeply and takes her thighs in his arms. He looks between her eyes, shocked that she’s there, and goes inside her. She yells, loud, louder than he’s ever made a woman yell. He figures it’s the rainforest. That she can yell out here. But then he notices. This is for the birds.

He yells out too, deep, manly, ripping yelps. Guttural and draining. He screams. She screams. The distraction pulls him up, takes his pleasure up one. They’re joined by Cornelius, who, a turning Sun-hee and Simon notice, is having his cock sucked fiercely in the swings of his hammock. Hannah is bent above him, moving him in and out her mouth with the back and forth, pushing and pulling his knees.

“Yeeeeeeeaaaaarppppp!” he yells. Simon laughs. Sun-hee comes up behind Hannah and spreads Hannah’s legs, a stable triangle over the mud in her boots. She bends over, takes Hannah’s ass in her hands, the rain beating down on both their assholes. Sun-hee’s bright pink pussy emerges in the dark fur pubes and Simon, with a yelp, enters her.

Simon, the unavoidable build of fuck in him, begins to compete with Cornelius in wailing. Sounds escape him that his vocal chords have never taken on. He yips, he yowls, he fucks the life out of Sun-hee.

Cornelius’s “Yeeearghs” turn into sincere growling. His body, thin shoulders to wrinkled abdomen move in a wave. He comes into his wife’s mouth in loud, sharp, natural screams. His fingers go to her scalp and pull. Hannah does not want to let go. In a turn of her head, Simon can see Cornelius’s come dribble from her open mouth. She buries her head in Cornelius’s thighs and begins to shriek. This is more what Simon had imagined, a crash of girl-screech, to be heard all over the island, the Columbian military be warned. He screeches back in harmony, ruckus everywhere, until his coming is unavoidable and as omnipresent as the rain. It lives from his neck to his toes, all parts of him in strain. He hits a high note, in his flight-taken zoom, and positively rattles the mud, coming into Sun-hee in the vibration of it. He pulls out of her and falls back on the tarp, his eyes still sucking in Sun-hee on Hannah, still filing the vision away as Hannah herself spasms and screams. Hannah’s fingers grip Cornelius’s hammock in full rip. He holds his foot out to avoid contact.

I close my eyes and imagine the Russet Wadbeaks with a change of heart, flapping their stubby, shiny black wings across the rainforest to each other, found, in the advanced age, what they saw when they first heard their shrieks across the green. Because what is there that can’t be imagined and made real by sex?

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knicksgrl0917 said...
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knicksgrl0917 said...
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