Chapter 4: The Pigs (cont.)
[The previous chapters of this long piece of dreck can be found here]
Although the room had suddenly grown brighter, Sterling’s vision seemed to be deteriorating. When he had first sat down, he could make out the patterns on a tapestry that hung on the far wall. Now those colorful patterns were dull and fuzzy.
His sense of smell, however, was keener than ever. He could smell the difference between the pigs. Petunia exuded womanpinksmellingroom, a florid combination of rose water and talcum powder. The Senator’s odor was clean. He too was slightly perfumed, while the Landraces smelled of stale beer and piss.
Sterling’s new olfactory perception was intoxicating. He could smell the distance to the nuts and apples on the table, he could smell the brand of cigarettes Randy was smoking, and, most pleasant of all, he could smell the deep, earthy scent of Shash’s fur. His sight continued to deteriorate until the only things that were clear were about two feet from his nose, which now jutted out from his face at the end of a snout. He must have begun squinting, because the conversation which he had been ignoring suddenly turned back to him.
“I’m afraid,” said the Senator, “Your American friend’s transformation is complete. I don’t think he can see a thing. Do you have pair of glasses he can borrow, Randy?”
Randy went into the drawer of a wooden sideboy and dug through various pairs of glasses until he found some that he thought would fit. He produced a pair with large tortoise shell frames, and crossed the room quickly to present them to Sterling.
“Try these on,” said Randy, “They should correct your skunk vision. You might be more comfortable if you sat on the stool. Your tail must be getting crushed beneath you.”
It was true. Sterling became aware of the pain beneath him as soon as Randy said the words. He had felt it for a while, but mistook the cause. With the glasses on his face, and the room once more in focus, he stood up, unbuckled his pants, and released his newly wrought tail. The pigs were all smiling.
“Hey, now that’s a tail,” said Shash. Randy began to applaud.
And it was a tail! It seemed majestic and beautiful to Sterling and he ran it through his fingers, marveling at its fine softness. It was easily controlled, like a tongue. He found that he could move it with some precision. It didn’t matter to him at all that his pants were around his ankles. He stepped out of them and towards a mirror on the wall. His refection revealed a black face with a singular white stripe running down it, framed with a large pair of tortoise shell glasses, and topped with a brilliant shock of white hair, like some frontman for a an 80’s powerpop band.
“You see,” said Randy to Shash, “I told you this was a good idea.”
“You knew this was going to happen?” Sterling asked.
“Well,” said the Rabbit, “We thought it might.”
“You did this on purpose?” Sterling asked, his new small black eyes focusing squarely on the rabbit. “Why would you do that? Why wouldn’t you tell me?” His new skunk voice was high pitched and barky.
A sub-routine of recrimination was already cycling in the back of Sterling’s head. “Why did I trust these animals?” He thought, “They are playing some kind of horrible joke on me. I may be stuck like this forever. What am I doing? Why didn’t I just turn around when I lost site of the faeries?”
“Being a skunk is fun.” Randy said. “You are still just as you were, except that you are more like us. Don’t you want to be more like us?”
The rabbit smiled. His smile was neither devious nor duplicitous. It was a smile without malice. A goofy smile, but, thought Sterling, maybe not a friendly smile.
“Can I turn back if I want?” Sterling asked.
“What do you mean?” Asked the rabbit, “Are you asking if you can not be a skunk? Sure. The skunkness is temporary. I think it only lasts like…”
“A day at most,” said Shash.
“But if you like being a skunk, you just keep smoking skunk weed and you’ll keep that tail. If you are asking if you can turn back, as in regress, the answer is ‘no’. Now that you have been a skunk, you can’t not have been a skunk. That’s the way maturation works. You can’t go back.”
“But can I go back?” Sterling asked, suddenly anxious at the possibility that he could be trapped in this strange land forever.
“Can I go back to the city? If I can’t, I might lose my job, and I’m supposed to go to my mother’s birthday party on Saturday. It would be a huge deal if I missed that. My father would be furious with me.”
The room grew quiet. All of the animals looked at Sterling. Nobody spoke.
The Senator shifted in his chair. He leaned towards Sterling and lowered his snout. His small eyes widened with sympathy.
“These topics, my young American friend, are complicated, and I’m not sure that anyone in the present company is really qualified to state, unequivocally, how or why things are the way they are. We pigs have our ideas, and we take the teachings of the Great Duck to heart, but while Shash here would be most qualified to speak on these matters…”
“I will not,” said Shash flatly.
“He is often reluctant to impart his wisdom, for reasons we must respect. So the simple answer to your question of “can you go back to the city” is ‘no’, which, I think, is what the Rabbit was getting at. While it may be possible to get you back to your world, neither I, as powerful as I am in certain circles, nor any of the present company have the skill and agency to make that happen. Rest assured, however, that you will miss nothing. From the world you came you shall eventually return, and time will not be a problem.”
“You won’t miss a thing,” Shash added.
“But where am I?” Sterling asked, and once again he felt a sense of rising panic. “What the fuck is going on?”
Seeing his distress, Randy began to say something but the pig cut him off.
“How much genre fiction have you read?” The pig asked.
“Some,” said Sterling.
“If I were to ask you if Balrogs had wings, how would you respond?”
“The Balrog had wings in the movie,” Sterling said.
A titter of disappointment pulsed through the room.
“Do you know what the Butlerian Jihad is?”
“No,” said Sterling.
“Why is a towel important?”
“I don’t know,” said Sterling.
“What song did the sirens sing to Odysseus?” Randy asked.
“I have no idea.”
“Why was Grendel such a mama’s boy?” Asked the Senator.
“What?” Said Sterling.
“Do you understand the metaphysic of condiments?” Asked the Senator. When Sterling responded with another, “I don’t know,” the Senator sat up straight in his chair and made a “hrrumphing” noise that betrayed his frustration.
“It is very difficult to explain these matters with someone so ignorant. If you don’t understand the importance of mayonnaise, how are we supposed to explain where you are or what happened to Shash’s painting?”
The mention of Shash’s painting made Sterling jump, for he suddenly realized that he had forgotten about the painting. He remembered carrying it, but could not, for the life of him, remember what happened to it. “Did I put it down somewhere?” He wondered, but try as he might, he could not remember where he last had it.
“You had a painting?” Randy asked while turning to Shash.
“Don’t worry about the painting,” Shash said.
“What painting was it?” The Senator asked, “Some cartoon of shitting shepherds staring at their shadows, or perhaps a bunch of dogs playing poker?” He laughed a very piggy laugh.
“Don’t worry about the painting,” Shash repeated.
“Sterling,” said Randy, “You are here now with us. If you insist on going back to the city, we could work to make that happen, but why cause yourself that tsuris? Why not just enjoy yourself? What was it that the priestess said to Gilgamesh?”
“Eat, drink, dance, be happy!” said Petunia.
“Exactly so,” said the Senator.
“Petunia,” the pig continued, “Why don’t you be so good as to sit next to our American friend. Now that he has hair, you might find him worth petting.”
The female pig moved from her spot next to the bear and quickly plopped down very close to Sterling. Sitting so close, her scent was powerfully fragrant and her skin was rough and warm.
“Yes, that’s it, dear grand-niece, show our visitor the pleasures of pig flesh.”
“Here we go,” said Shash.
“Don’t do this, Senator,” said Randy.
“What,” said the big pig. “You are nobody to talk, Rabbit. I understand the bear and his silly Victorianisms, but I certainly won’t entertain any school marmish sex-shaming from you.”
The pig put his forehooves together and his face grew cross. “Now why don’t you get us some more snacks, rabbit? I smelled the olives you are hiding when I first came in. I think there is a pumpkin in your kitchen too. Turn on the TV, serve us some cocktails, and let Petunia do what she does best.”
“It’s not the sex I object to, Chazer,” said the rabbit. His omission of an honorific registered as a slap on the pig’s face. “What is offensive is the fact that you are pimping out your niece.”
Turning to the sow, the rabbit said, “You don’t have to do this, Petunia.”
The female pig was busy kissing Sterling’s ear, but she stopped, giggled, and said in a high, squeaky voice, “I like skunk dick. Nobody’s making me do anything I don’t want to do.”
“I don’t believe it,” Randy said.
“That should be enough for you,” said the pig. “Now put away your jealousy boner and get us those snacks we were talking about.”
While this conversation was going on, Petunia was kissing, licking, and whispering into Sterling’s ear. Her voice husky and low.
“I like your stink,” she said, “Don’t you like mine? I want your skunk all over me. I have six pairs of teets and a pink pig pudenda for you to play with. Don’t you want to play with my pink, pig punany?” She raised her voice into a girlish squeak for the last line. In that same voice she whispered, “I want you to make me squeal.” The high pitch of her words echoed in Sterlings ear, making his teeth ache and causing him to flinch. An electric charge ran from his ear down his spine and into his groin. To his horror he felt his penis starting to emerge from its sheath.
“You want to fuck a pig in the mud, don’t you?” Petunia asked, her voice once again husky and low. “I want you to. I want you to fuck me in the mud.”
Shame and doubt coursed up from Sterling’s groin and into his brain. The red rocket of his exposed penis was now almost fully emerged. He regretted stepping out of his pants and trusting in his fur, for now there was nothing to hide his ever growing arousal. The sow’s breath was hot on his neck, she continued her dirty talk directly in his ear, but his embarrassment and discomfort grew as she began to run her foreleg closer and closer to his groin. The others were ignoring them completely. He wasn’t sure if it was normal for animals to have sex in the open, in front of others. Whatever the mores of Mushamaguntic, he was uncomfortable, and felt that the situation was all wrong. He was so uncomfortable that what had been a warm sensation in his groin suddenly felt like as an attack of diarrhea.
His dyspepsia grew as Petunia ran her foreleg over his groin. His erection began to ebb. Petunia stopped talking into his ear. She pulled away, looked at him, and said in her regular voice, “Is something wrong?”
The riot of malaise in Sterling’s innards continued to swell. The tide was still rising despite the fact that Petunia had ceased her ministrations.
“I feel sick,” He said. “It feels like everything is boiling back here.” He pointed to his bottom.
The pigs jumped up from their seats. Peturnia began a long, high-pitched squeal. One of the landraces made a break for the door.
A panicked Randy was suddenly directly in front of Sterling, grabbing him by the shoulders in an effort to bring him upright. “Sterling!” The rabbit screamed, “Stand up and don’t go to all fours. DON’T GO TO ALL FOURS.”
A burning sensation overtook what felt like Sterling’s asshole. Senator Chazer began to scream “OH MY GOD” and suddenly there was a burst of quick and powerful movements. Sterling felt himself seized around the waist by an arm of tremendous strength. His feet were lifted from the floor. There was a sound of crashing and impact thuds as he and the creature that carried him wheeled through the house and out the door.
The outdoor air felt fresh. It smelled of darkness, grass, and dragonflies. He was carried at great speed through the woods until the canopy of trees above him opened up, and then he felt himself flying. He was airborne, the stars of the night sky cartwheeling through his vision as he flipped over and over in a high arc through the air. He landed with a crash on the moist ground of a vernal meadow. Wet ground splashed around him. Though stunned, Sterling immediately rolled over, planted all four feet squarely on the ground, and gave release to the urgency that had pressured his entrails. It exploded in a semi-orgasmic rush of confusion and rage. The air filled with an odor of satisfyingly acrid mustiness. He knew what he had done. It felt rich, powerful, and organic. The sulfur cloud that enveloped him was a cocoon of safety. He only wished he could have planted it on someone else.
Oh, what a wonderful mustiness! He breathed his own skunk fog deeply. There was a great emptiness inside of him. A fulfilling hollowness. The spongy swamp grass beneath his feet was cool to the touch. He sat down, letting his rectum sink into the muck. The mud offered great relief.
The air was dark and moist and filled with a riot of smells, but most prominent among them was the smell of him. It surrounded him and began slowly wafting off into the darkness. Issuing forth. Announcing his arrival in Mushamaguntuck.
Continue on to the next chapter.