This was a spin-off of Joe Brolly's wonderful series, Genie Chronicles.This was written by another person 800ibgorrila in storiesonline.net.I am including it as Genie Chronicles with the same name. Real name is A Beautiful Wish.
Beyond the Cliffs of Torment there was nothing. The sunset cast its dying glow on the seas, crashing against the black volcanic rocks of the cliffs. Large curtains of steam blasted off the meeting between stone and sea, as the waves mixed with the liquid hot sludge cascading down the rock face of distant mount Hatred. Any normal man would have stayed worlds away from this dreadful place, but Sir George of Battlehaven was no normal man. He fought in the biggest wars, climbed the tallest mountain, and drank from the deepest of tankards. But today, he fought not for country, or glory, or fun, but for his love, Gwena, the Lady of the Dawn.
She had been kidnapped by the devil dragon Kalifax, and it had fallen to the most skilled, powerful, and courageous men to slay the dragon and free the young maiden from certain doom. Having reached the monster's lair along the coast, George proceeded towards the giant cave mouth. It bore an uncanny resemblance to the dragon itself. Gnarly fangs, eyes thin and piercing, scales the shape of broad axe heads, were mere details to Sir George. His path was set regardless of the danger. No beast would stand in his way. He would slay them all if they kept him from his love.
He spotted the freshly charred remains of another knight with visions of righteous glory. He recognized the coat of arms on his shield. He had served with this man in a previous battle. The knight had been a good man, better than most. But too young and cavalier to truly have a fighting chance against a dragon. Sir George knew he was better. He would not make the crispy Knight's mistakes.
As he was about to enter the cave he heard a scream from deep inside, followed by a thunderous roar over his ears and a flash of intense heat over his skin. Sir George was immediately alarmed, but managed to catch his wits before they abandoned him completely. That scream was not a scream of pain or anguish, but of fear. No doubt the dragon was torturing her with threats of dismemberment and fiery torment. Sir George knew this was part of the fun. The dragon wanted to hear her beg before he devoured her, to see her cower in his awesome presence.
He proceeded into the enormous cavern. Deeper and deeper he went to where the screams, roars, and heat had their source. He rounded a bend and stopped. On an outcropping above a large bubbling pool of magma was Gwena, chained to two large wooden stakes, her dress torn and singed, her perfect skin exposed and dirtied.
He called out to her, "Gwena my love! Do not fear! I have come to take you to safety!"
Her expression went from hopeless to joyful in moments as she caught glimpse of her salvation. But her happiness was short-lived as she remembered the horror, "No! Run George! He knows you are he..."
It was too late. Kalifax burst forth from the pool of magma and thrust forward with a jagged claw, grasping Sir George and lifting him off the ground. Slowly, the beast lifted him up to better gaze into the eyes of his latest adversary. "SO, YOU THOUGHT YOU COULD BEST THE MIGHTY KALIFAX? YOU ARE MISTAKEN! I AM IMMORTAL! OMNIPOTENT! EXALTED! EPIC!"
Sir George was undaunted, "You forgot Aromatic."
"Yes, thank you. WAIT! YOU MOCK THE GREAT AND ALL POWERFUL KALIFAX! PREPARE TO FACE OBLIVION MORTAL!" The dragon launched Sir George into the air and propped open his giant mouth in anticipation of his next meal. But Sir George was no greenhorn. He had been waiting for this chance all along. As he plunged into the great maw Sir George drew his blade. The great dragon swallowed the knight whole as Gwena wailed in anguish. "YOU SEE, GIRL! NONE KNOW WHAT THEY FACE WHEN THE, erp, wha, GWWWAARG!" Suddenly, from the belly of the beast appeared a large gash. From it sprang Sir George, covered in the blood and gore of the dragon who he had slain from the inside out.
Kalifax's death cries reverberated throughout the cavern as copious amounts of blood spewed from the gaping wound in his chest. When he had finally roared his last, he collapsed in a heap against the back wall of the cavern causing part of the wall to fall away, making a convenient staircase leading up towards Gwena's prison. Sir George wiped the dragon innards off his armor and boldly climbed the mountain of rocks and dragon.
"My hero," cried out Gwena, partly relieved and partly crying with joy, "I knew you would come for me, my love."
Sir George paused at the landing and took in the sight before him. There was the object of his romantic obsession, bound, and partially nude, her shredded dress only covering the most private of areas. Her taut stomach was bare, her gorgeous legs were exposed save for a few pieces of shredded fabric. Her large breasts were dangerously close to spilling out of the once magnificent garment. Only a single shoulder strap remained, the other hung down like dead weight and no longer did anything but give Sir George a tantalizing view of her impressive cleavage. Sir George felt all pretense of chivalric ideals and courtly love melt away, as he gazed upon her helpless yet incredibly sexy form.
Gwena noticed the handsome knight's lecherous stares and began to realize what was going through his mind. Immediately she began to tense up and squirm in her chains. "George? Let me go George," she pleaded. But instead of reaching for the chains he reached for the straps on his armor. He let the pieces fall away until he was down to the cotton shirt and pants worn to make his armor more comfortable. Gwena watched anxiously as the handsome knight approached her, stopping just short of touching her. He looked directly into her eyes and could see the fear mixed with anticipation and lust.
"Please George..." she said in a low whisper.
He reached out and put his hands on her hips, gently, and pulled her close to him. He nuzzled her neck and kissed her soft skin while moving his hands around her back.
Gwena had never felt the touch of a man, but immediately responded to his loving touch with sweet low moans. She didn't struggle as he took control completely. Starting with the small of her back, he moved his left hand up until it reached her bare shoulder. His lips followed his fingertips as he placed small kisses up and down her arm. She tasted of sweat and heat and earth. He savored the taste like a fine wine. As he returned to her shoulder she let out a quivering sigh in anticipation of him dropping down to touch her breasts. Instead he went lower to her flat stomach and continued his gentle caressing.
While outwardly, she made no attempt to stop or direct him, she was at odds with her own mind. A voice was telling her that this was wrong and that she should be ashamed for letting him have such free reign over her womanhood. But her pride was no match for another voice that screamed for attention from this handsome and courageous man who had risked his life to save her, a man who wanted nothing more at that moment than to make her feel incredible.
Gwena watched desperately as his hands traveled slowly from her small ankles up her shapely calves to the back of her thighs. She gasped as he reached under the remains of her dress took hold of her tight butt. His eye's level with her mound, he ripped remaining pieces of fabric away with his teeth. Finally, her pussy was exposed.
She blushed, "Oh George please ... please touch me." But he didn't just yet, there was more he wanted to savor first. He stood up until he was once again looking her in the eyes. She was quivering, and found it hard to stand as she melted into his gaze.
He reached up and took hold of her breasts, squeezing and tweaking. Gwena cried out in ecstasy as he touched her. Then in one swift motion he ripped the remaining fabric away leaving her completely nude. He dropped down and took her left breast in his mouth. It tasted of cotton and goose down. He began to grind his hardened cock against her. She threw her leg up and around him to support herself.
She cried out, "George! Get up George! You'll be late if you don't get up!" Suddenly she put her hands on his shoulders, even though they had been chained just moments before, and shook him vigorously. She looked him in the eyes, "Seriously George you need to get up now! If you're late for work again you're gonna be sorry!"
George awoke in a panic. He tried to sit up, but was quickly stymied by the fact that he was tangled in his bed sheets, the corner of his pillow stuffed in his mouth. He rolled over trying to free his legs from the interwoven sheets, but rolled too far, He fell off his bed, knocking a floor lamp over on top of himself in the process.
As the dream fog dissipated he became aware of his mother, Jessica, laughing from the doorway to his room. "That was quite a show. Are you sure you didn't plan that out ahead of time?"
"Actually, I just really hate this lamp," he said as he clumsily unraveled himself and stood the lamp back up.
She laughed a bit harder but quickly reverted to mom mode, "C'mon it's almost 7:30, Linda is gonna have your ass if you're late again."
"Oh shit, is it really?" his eyes darted to his alarm clock. "Dammit, I'm never gonna make it on time now."
"C'mon now, you really will be late with that attitude. Here, I'll lay out your clothes and get your lunch ready, you take a quick shower and you'll be out the door in ten minutes."
George did some quick figuring, and realized that if the traffic was light he could still make it. He bounded down the hall into the bathroom and jumped in the shower. He washed himself in a frenzy, painfully aware of his raging hard on from the dream which he was beginning to forget. He was tempted to rub it out quickly, but decided against it. He disliked masturbating in the shower because he could never get enough friction to finish quickly. And there was always the off chance that his mom or one of his two younger sisters would walk in on him. He got caught once by his oldest sister, Hayley. Since then, whenever he spent longer than ten minutes in the bathroom he got ragged on.
Instead he decided to hum his song. It was the first song George's father, Henry, had ever taught him to play on his guitar. George was only seven, and his little fingers could barely reach all the strings. But when George's father died a year later, George began to play it whenever he needed help. Just humming a few bars had the power to calm and soothe him. Even now, at nineteen, the song would make him forget, for a brief moment at least, that his life was turning out to be less than ideal. It was slow and sorrowful, but gradually built a hopeful tempo until it exploded into a crescendo of euphoric and powerful bliss.
George finished up as quickly as he could, did everything else he needed to do in the bathroom, then headed back to his room to change. His mom had produced a clean pair of baggy board shorts and an over-sized tee shirt, his standard summer work attire. He noticed that these were brand new.
George was quite a large man. He was very tall, standing well over six feet, and had very large hands. He was also overweight by at least thirty pounds. He sighed knowing that these new clothes would be a size larger than last time. He appreciated the fact that his mom never came out and said what a fat slob he was, but that didn't stop her from making lots of subtle hints. She always made it a point to show him a new diet she had read about or some exercise machine that was supposed to be all the rage or the latest workout fads.
His sisters were much more overt about his weight, calling him every name one could think of involving heft. Their favorite since he became a lifeguard at the local college had been Shamu, after the whale.
George hurried downstairs to the kitchen, where his mom and two sisters were putting the finishing touches on lunch and scarfing down breakfast. His mother was running around in circles trying to keep the girls on task while she made two meals at once. "Oh honey, remember that I'm picking the girls up from camp today to take them to their father's for the weekend, and then I'm leaving for that business trip in Texas. I left you some leftovers but I'm gonna need you to do some food shopping while I'm gone so that we'll have food for the week. I'm leaving you some money and a shopping list. Think you can handle being alone all weekend?"
George thought it wouldn't be much different than any of his other fun filled weekends, "No problem. I'll just call all my buddies, get some hotties over here, maybe throw back a few, we can talk about old times," his voice dripped with sarcasm.
"Well just make sure you get pictures of those hotties so you can make us some money on the Internet," she said without any sarcasm at all.
Hayley piped up, "Don't mention hotties and the Internet in the same sentence mom, or George isn't gonna make it into work at all today." This comment surprised George, both for its bite and its wit. For an 11 year-old she was remarkably knowing; and remarkably annoying as well.
His other sister Corina asked, "What does masturbate mean mommy?"
"Hayley, be nice to your brother, he's the only one you're ever gonna get. And Corina, how old are you now, five? You'll learn when you're older," said Jessica.
Hayley rolled her eyes, and when their mother was turned away, stuck her tongue out at George. Corina pouted so hard that George was sure her bottom lip was going to turn inside out.
His sister's attitudes were tiresome. He ignored them and grabbed his lunch. "Alright you little rotten bundles of happiness, we need to get out of here. See you on Monday, mom." He said as he headed for the door. The girls gathered up all the stuff they would need for camp and scampered after him.
His mom called out to him, "Bye honey, I love you."
Without looking back, George waved.
Despite his best efforts to make it to work on time he still pulled up to the Stafford College Wellness Center ten minutes late. This was partly due to the fact that the traffic was not cooperating, but mostly due to his sisters heckling him the whole time with a new song about his nickname. He ended up missing a crucial turn after they threw a balled up piece of paper at him. With his day already off to such an annoying start, he had trouble imagining it could get much worse.
He walked his sisters to the day camp meeting area where the other campers were already lining up to go off to their first activity. The girls quickly dashed off to their respective groups.
Before George could leave for the pool area where he worked, his eyes caught sight of the Jr. counselor in Corina's group. Her name was Karen. She was so beautiful George: shoulder length brown hair, almond shaped brown eyes, and a mesmerizing figure. She made a habit of wearing really short shorts to work, which accentuated her lovely legs. She always wore her camp tee shirt with a knot in the back to pull it tight across her front, letting it hug her every curve.
Perhaps what was most attractive about her to George was how kind she always was. As one of the Jr. Counselors for the youngest group of campers, Karen always wore a pretty smile and spoke in a sing-song voice. Never once did she join in on the heckling he got from other less cordial coworkers. Whenever he waved hello, she waved back and smiled at him. It wasn't much, but it always brightened up his mood.
Today, however, something seemed to be bothering her. When he waved, Karen didn't wave back, but rather avoided his gaze. George detected a hint of shame in her eyes, which made him wonder what such a beautiful woman could possibly be ashamed of. He found himself sinking lower as one of his few sources of joy was denied. Seeing no point in being any later, he quickly marched off towards the pool area to face the inevitable wrath of his boss, Linda.
Sure enough, as soon as he stepped through the glass door that led into the Olympic sized pool area, Linda assaulted him with a well deserved scolding.
"Damnit George. Get your ass in here," she yelled.
The rest of his coworkers were already in their swim suits and lifeguard shirts for the morning meeting. All the lifeguard stations had been set up and the ropes separating the deep end from the shallow end had been spread across the pool.
"This is the third time in as many weeks that you have walked in here more than 30 minutes late. You are really testing my patience young man."
"I know Ma'am, I'm really sorry."
"What, that's it? You're sorry? You're not going to blame it on traffic this time? Maybe you would like to blame this one on your sisters again."
George just looked at the ground. Or at least, that's what he appeared to be looking at. He couldn't ignore how hot Linda was. She was in her early thirties but she took excellent care of her body and it made her look much younger. She was the tallest woman George knew. He guessed she was about six feet tall. She had a bronze all-over tan and wavy black hair all the way down to the curve of her back. Her breasts were round and perky. Though if he had to guess, he would swear they were fake, due to their lack of bounce and constantly hard nipples. He had heard rumors that she used to be a fitness model when she was younger. But she never talked about it, and nobody ever found proof on the Internet.
"Well?" she asked harshly.
"I don't have a good excuse," he said as he did his best to avoid eye contact. "It won't happen again."
"It better not. Now go sit down."
George took his place in the wooden bleachers with the rest of the lifeguards. He heard a few whispers over the sound of the water pumps followed by some snickers but couldn't make out what was said. Linda continued with the morning meeting.
"Okay, so before that unpleasantness, we were deciding who was going to fill in for Torrie this afternoon. Thanks for volunteering George."
"Wait, what?" said a bewildered George.
"Is that a problem? Or should I find someone to fill in for you. Maybe someone who can get here on time."
Cornered, George just hung his head and nodded. The late shift was the worst assignment because it was incredibly boring. After all the campers went home, one of the camp lifeguards was expected to stay and keep the pool open for the college staff and the students. But rarely did anyone ever use the pool after three in the afternoon. If anyone did, it was either old ladies or drunk college kids. The latter of which delighted in breaking every pool rule there was. The only good part about about being the closer was that he could sleep in, because he didn't have to come in until lunchtime. But George would have to stay until the pool closed at seven. He cringed at the thought of his already long day getting longer.
"Okay, Michelle and Danielle, you're on the diving board. George, Russell and Rocko are in the shallow end. Erica, Beth, Christine, and Eric, you have the deep end. It's Friday so no lessons today, all free swim. Also, Gordon has been breathing down my neck about guards with no guard shirts on. I'm looking at you Rocko."
"Yeah, yeah," said a deep, condescending voice from the top of the bleachers. Rocko lounged lazily, shirt off, his arms behind his head. Even though the pool was indoors he always wore shades. George had guessed they came in handy for quick naps and for ogling the other counselors and guards. George didn't particularly like Rocko, mostly because the guy was a prick, but also because he and Karen had started dating at the beginning of the summer. Though, it would be hard to believe by the way Rocko acted around anyone with breasts.
"I'm not kidding Rock," Linda continued, "I'm really tired of hearing G-man's belly-aching. Put the damn shirt on."
Rocko just sighed and reached for his guard shirt. He muttered something incomprehensible under his breath before finally pulling it out of his bag.
From the stairs leading down into the locker room, George could hear the first groups of campers getting ready for their time in the pool. "Alright everyone, kiddies are here," said Linda, "let's try and have a good Friday."
The day progressed slowly and uneventfully. New groups of campers filed in every hour as the previous groups left to go on to their next activities. Though the pool was olympic size and maybe slightly larger thanks to the diving area. It always seemed to be teeming with children end to end. They reminded George of ducklings. They bobbed and floated on foam noodles, and followed each other around in long lines. It was like they were in a race to see who could have the most fun. He thought about joining them. But that would mean taking off his shirt.
The pool was housed in a large atrium, with windows in three directions and a domed glass roof. They provided a pleasant view of the surrounding pine forests and clear summer skies. Most people enjoyed the feeling of being comfortably inside, but also in line of sight of nature. George thought it looked like a giant fishbowl.
George was a lifeguard, but his real job was teaching them all how to swim. He really liked that part. Even though he was out of shape and overweight, he was an absolute fish in the water. His prowess was immediately apparent to Linda when she had first hired him. Right away, she gave him an opportunity to teach the advanced swimming class. Along with a higher pay rate, he also got to choose his shifts and his assignments. However, his frequent late arrivals chewed up most of his leeway, and he ended up getting whatever was leftover most of the time.
Nevertheless, he was fond of the children and he loved teaching them. This made Fridays tough, because all he could really do was sit there and watch. It wasn't all bad. He had taught most of the kids how to swim, and most of them were fairly competent this far into the summer. Situations that required actual rescues were so infrequent that he felt comfortable in letting his attention slide.
Instead, he shifted his attention to the women sprinkled around the edges of the pool. The closest from his position was Erica. She was the homecoming queen at her high school, for good reason. She had short brown hair, high cheekbones, and great curves. Her hips were always what struck him. She would periodically stand up indulge in a long stretch, which showed off the flare of her hips and her flat stomach. Her bathing suits were usually two-pieces with tube tops which had a habit of falling down when she went off the diving board; much to her chagrin and the guys' amusement. Though George could tell she loved the attention. He knew that Erica wasn't so stupid as to wear a faulty swimsuit unless she liked it that way.
After her was Beth. Beth was slightly younger than most of the other guards, but just as beautiful. She had dirty blond hair, which she usually wore up in a bun, and a tight perky body. Her best feature was her cute face. It was freckly and soft, with a slightly up turned nose. She had a flirty playfulness about her that had Rocko and the other male guards counting down the days until she turned eighteen. There had been many what-if sessions among the male members of the staff about being her first. George never participated in those chats partly because he wasn't really chummy with any of the guys, but mostly because he liked Beth. He didn't want to see her as a future piece of meat. But even George would admit that if he had the chance with Beth, he would take it.
Down the line was Christine. There was no mistaking Christine, nobody had breasts that large. She had obvious Scandinavian features: long blond hair, milky white skin, and a bodacious body. While all the guards where well-endowed, Christine was in a league all her own. No matter what boring one-piece suit she tried to hide behind, her heavy, swaying breasts always seemed eager to make their presence felt. She was known as something of a prude, and wore very conservative clothing outside work. A golden cross hung around her neck; George thought to broadcast her piety, perhaps. But all it ever really did was draw more attention to the two large globes cradling it.
Erica and Beth had made it their mission to bring Christine out of her shell. They had succeeded to a degree, and Christine was learning to deal with the affect she had on men. Though she was still shy, she was beginning to loosen up, and every guy she worked with had taken notice.
Lastly were the twins, Michelle and Danielle. Those two terrors were notorious for their weekend exploits, to the point where half the Monday morning meeting was devoted to what they did. And more often than not, who they did. As identical twins, they were completely indistinguishable and inseparable. Both had long straight orange-red hair and wore entirely too much makeup, even in the pool area. While George thought they were sexy in that naughty sort of way, the twins were cruel and shallow. Much of the grief George took from his coworkers came from them. They delighted in spreading rumors about him. Their favorite being a juicy tidbit they got from his sister about a certain shower incident. Their favorite way of passing the time involved inserting different people or objects into the story to get it sufficiently embarrassing, before distributing it to all the other guards and counselors.
George would cheat quick glances at the women whenever the opportunity presented itself. As he became more and more bored, he took more risks and let his glances turn into full on ogles. Erica finally caught him, and in retaliation, sent one of the campers over to give him a quick accidental splash that soaked his guard shirt. Erica just laughed and shook her head. George got the hint and focused his attention back on the pool.
Corina's group came in just before lunch and Karen along with her. George always looked forward to these times because Karen always went into the water with her campers. She would help them swim or play games with them. All the while she would dazzle George with her beautiful body. But once again, his joy was denied him. Instead of entering the pool with her campers, she went up to the top corner of the bleachers where they intersected the wall. She folded her arms around her chest and scrunched her legs up to her torso, much like she was in the fetal position. George was getting worried. It was clear that something was bothering her. He resolved to ask her about it at lunch time.
At last, the first half of the day ended, and everyone made for their lunches. As the campers scurried downstairs to the locker rooms, Karen hovered in the entry way, herding them towards their gender's proper destination. As the last one entered George made his move and sidled up to Karen.
"Um... , " he began.
"Yes?" she asked quickly.
"Sorry, I just ... you seemed to be having a rough day today. I was wondering if you needed someone to talk to about it or whatever," his face hung low in slight embarrassment.
Any pleasant facade she was clinging to disappeared. But she managed to force a smile for him. "That's really sweet of you George, but I'm fine."
"Are you sure?" he asked quietly.
"Yeah..." she almost whispered it, but recovered, "I mean, yes. I'm really okay." She tried to look at him, but immediately dropped her eyes in shame. "I just had a rough night last night, I don't really want to bore you with the details," she said unconvincingly.
Lacking the confidence to press the issue further, he settled on an open invitation. "Okay, well, if you decide that boring someone is exactly what you want to do, I'm easy to get a rise out of."
She let out a quiet sigh. "Thanks George," she said. His attempt at humor had no obvious effect on her mood. She turned to go into the locker room but stopped just before she made it to the door. "George, can I ask you something?"
"Uh, yeah!" he said a little too enthusiastically.
She paused, like she was trying to figure out how she should ask it. Finally, she looked him in the eyes, and asked, "Why can't more guys be like you?"
He thought for a moment, and shuffled his weight before answering. He had the feeling she wasn't flirting with him, and needed a real answer. Finally, he said, "Because if they were, you wouldn't date them."
It was her turn to ponder for a moment. "Are we really that screwed up?" she pleaded softly.
He didn't know how to answer her, but opened his mouth as he began to try.
"No, forget I said anything." She moved quickly to the door, but turned back as she was about to enter. Her eyes were beginning to tear up. "See you around," she managed. Her voiced cracked a little. She turned and left, with George alone in the entry way.
Feeling stupid for having tried, he made his way into the boy's locker room and grabbed his lunch. However, his stomach ached in failure, and he found his appetite leaving him. He put the lunch back after deciding to spend his break somewhere quiet. He found a secluded seat down the hall from the pool and stared out a window. After making sure that nobody was around to hear him, he let himself try to find solace in his song. It didn't work this time. He couldn't make it past the slow beginning without feeling worse.
The second half of the day progressed just as agonizingly slow as the first half; with the added torture for George in the realization that he still had another half to go after that one. After his lunch time failure, George was so crestfallen that he didn't even bother trying to sneak glances at the other guards. He kept his eyes down at the pool. But his mind was elsewhere. He kept trying to figure out a way to help Karen without hurting her or himself. But every time he came up with a possible solution, it evaporated whenever it inevitably steered him towards direct intervention. He was convinced that anything involving him actually saying something to her or doing something for her was across some line. The only time he broke out of his funk was when Karen's group entered for their second swim period, but he quickly returned to it when she avoided him.
Finally, the last swimming period ended. The campers gathered their towels and left the pool area while the lifeguards put away the guard stations and rescue equipment. All except George, his station would be left up for the late shift. He stepped quickly to the locker room for a quick bathroom break before his third shift started. As he was washing his hands, he heard Rocko, Russell, and Eric enter after all the campers had finally left. Immediately, Rocko began to recount the events of the previous night's date with Karen as the other guys listened intently. George went to his locker on the far wall away from them and listened, despite his dislike of anything that came out of Rocko's mouth.
"So first I took her to that new water park up in Bayside right. I tell ya, that girl fills out a fuckin' bikini. She looked so fuckin' hot and I could tell she was real into me right. So I'm takin her home and I decided to stop at that lookout over the cliffs. We start makin' out like crazy. I'm tellin' you guys, those tits are amazing!" He made hand gestures indicating a set of breasts at least twice as large as Karen's, but Russell and Eric ooed and awed nonetheless.
"So we're makin' out right. Well I start movin' down to the promised land, and the bitch starts playin' hard to get. Sayin' she wasn't ready or whatever. I played it cool, lay'd a bit of the Rocko style on her. She kept tryin' to act like she wasn't into it, but I got my fingers in there. She was squirmin' all over the place."
"Dude!" said Eric, his eyes wide with curiosity. "What happened next?"
"Well after that she started sayin' she wanted to go home. But I wanted to see how far she'd go. I mean, fuck! I've taken her out three times! She could at least give me a blowjob or something," he shrugged. "She offered to jerk me off, so I let her do that. It wasn't bad, but I'm done with this pussy shit. I'm goin' all the way this weekend."
George was facing away from them, but even a blind man could have seen his disgust. No wonder Karen was in such a sour mood, she had been date raped the night before. And what was worse, Rocko didn't even think it was wrong. He just shook his head.
Rocko noticed this and called him out, "Hey fatboy! You got a fuckin' problem?"
George slammed his locker shut. He forgot his timid nature and said with as much bite as he could, "You raped her you asshole."
"I'm not a fuckin' idiot Shamu. She offered. I just accepted it."
George was getting more and more angry, and struggled not to raise his voice. "And you don't see a problem with that?"
"Don't give me that shit!" yelled Rocko. "All these sluts are into it. They just gotta act like they aren't. It's part of the game. Not like you would know."
"You think Karen sees it that way?" Suddenly, George became aware that Eric was circling around to his right.
Rocko stepped forward, his chest out. "Who's gonna ask her?"
Realizing there was no way out of this without some sort of physical altercation, George raised his clenched fists in as good a fighting stance as he knew how. The other guys just laughed. "Look boys, ol' Shamu here is gonna kick our ass."
"C'mon Rocko," interrupted Russell, "leave the guy alone."
Quicker then George could react, Rocko punched him hard in the eye, knocking him to the floor in the process. Rocko and Eric stood over him and laughed some more. "Fuckin' bitch!" shouted Rocko. Eric snorted deep for a big loogey and spit right in George's hair. Rocko and Eric high-fived each other and made for the exit. Russell looked down at George and sighed. He turned around and chased after his friends.
George sat on the locker room floor for what seemed like days. His head throbbed from the shiner that he could feel forming over his left eye. But that pain was nothing next to the broken slivers of his shattered pride stabbing him like knives. The feeling ran right into his core and didn't allow him to move.
Suddenly, a realization came to him so hard, it almost felt like he was punched a second time in the gut: there wasn't anything he could do to stop Rocko from hurting Karen again, or any other girl for that matter. He felt completely worthless. Apart from his father dying eleven years ago, this day had become the worst day of his life.
Eventually, he did get up. He hobbled over to a sink and washed the spit out of his hair. He examined his new black eye. It was pretty pronounced, even with his longer then average hair, he wouldn't be able to cover it up. With nothing left to do but get back to work, he composed himself as best he could, and headed back up to the pool area.
As he reached the locker room entry-way he almost slammed into Karen, who seemed to be heading in the same direction.
"Oh, sorry George. Um, one of my kids left a towel behind and ... oh my god!" she said as she caught a glimpse of his black eye. "What happened to you? Are you Okay?" she lifted a delicate hand to his face to brush his hair away and get a better look.
George recoiled at her touch, she being the last person he wanted to see him like this. "I'm alright. I slipped on the floor and hit my head on a bench." He looked away from her and hurried up the stairs.
"W-wait!" she called.
George stopped and listened, but didn't turn back.
She hesitated before asking, "D-do you mind if I grab that towel?"
George frowned. "You can do whatever, I don't care."
"Okay," she whispered, her voice cracking again.
Predictably, the 3rd shift was completely devoid of any swimmers, leaving George alone with his thoughts. As the hours rolled by and the sun sank low enough to shine directly into the pool area, George thought very seriously about quitting There seemed to be nothing for him there. But then he thought about what he would do if he left. It wasn't like he had somewhere else to go. The loneliness was profound, and George wondered if it would ever end.
The beauty of the setting sun sat in direct opposition to his mood. The reddish gold rays mixed with the water to create dazzling patterns on the walls and ceilings. He put his arms on the window sill and nestled his chin on his knuckles to better watch the show. He would have liked to have been able to share that with someone. But his loneliness only deepened. With no other recourse, he started to hum his song. He didn't get far. Each time he began, his voice broke. And each time he felt the loneliness intensify. Eventually, he gave up. Not even his song could help him anymore.
He let a few tears escape from his good eye. At that moment he needed someone, anyone, to be there with him, to show him something different. He called out in his mind. There were no real words, only the sound of his sorrow echoing through his being, aching for release.
From the stairs leading down into the locker room came sandaled footsteps. George immediately broke from his perch on the sill, heading instead for a spot on the wooden bleachers. He wiped his tears away and tried to look as casual as he could for his latest charges. Just as he got settled, a man emerged from the stairway.
He was handsome and tall, looked to be in his late twenties, and walked with supreme confidence. He wasn't cocky like Rocko, but dignified and strong. He strode right past the log book that all swimmers after hours had to sign as they entered and left, leading George to believe that this man was not affiliated with the college. He would have to have known at least that much. Instead, the man smiled and gave George a friendly wave. George followed him.
"Sir?" he called out. "Sorry, but you need to sign the log book first. And I need to see your school ID before you can use the facilities."
"Oh. Well, actually, I don't have one. I don't work here or anything. You see my girlfriend and I were driving by and she suddenly got the idea in her head that she needed to go swimming. Do you think that maybe, just this once..." he said imploringly.
George thought about it, but not for long. He looked at the clock on the wall. There was only an hour left, and he decided he could use the company. His boss had gone home anyway. And since he felt like quitting, he found himself having a hard time caring what rules he broke.
"Yeah sure, it's cool, as long you guys don't make too much of a ruckus."
"It'll be like we were never here, I promise," he said with a twinkle in his eye.
Suddenly, George could hear rapid footsteps from behind him. Before he could turn around to see what made them, the most unbelievably gorgeous woman that George had ever laid eyes on pranced up to the man, and kissed him lovingly on the cheek before affixing herself to his arm. Her red gold hair seemed to blend in with the light of the sunset around them and framed her beautiful face. Her eyes, a dark green, were unguarded and happy, almost whimsical. Her hunter green bikini left little to the imagination. Her body was flawless with almost impossible proportions. George couldn't help but stare.
"Who's this Jack?" she asked with a pretty smile.
"Oh actually, we haven't met. My name is Jack, and this is Jennifer." He extended his hand for a shake.
"George," he said as he shook Jack's hand. He then extended his hand to Jennifer.
She took it gladly. She gazed at him thoughtfully, as if she were trying to read his mind. Finally, she smiled and said, "It's so wonderful to meet you." Before letting go of his hand, she turned it over and examined it thoroughly. "Such wonderful hands. Strong, but with a light touch. I bet your girlfriend must love these."
While George got the impression that he was supposed to be flattered by her attention, he found himself not wanting it. He liked her enough to be sure, but he felt like she was trying to tease him a bit. After the day's events, he wasn't interested in being toyed with. Shifting back to business, he took his hand back and continued.
"Um ... like I told Jack, I don't mind if you use the pool as long as you don't break too many rules. Pool closes in an hour..."
"Oh my!" she gasped. "What happened to your eye? That looks so painful!"
Like Karen, she tried to move his hair out of the way to get a better look. He immediately recoiled. He turned his left eye out of view. "It's no big deal really, this deck gets slippery sometimes and I hit my eye on the bleachers after a spill. Happens all the time."
But Jack and Jennifer looked genuinely concerned. Jennifer returned to Jack's side and the two looked at him in silence for a few seconds. Feeling very embarrassed, George just turned away and said, "I'll let you know when I have to close up."
He walked back to his place on the bleachers. Though he liked these people, he didn't want more pity. He just wanted to get through the day so he could spend his weekend alone, in peace. The couple seemed to realize that they had got all they were going to get out of George. They found a place across the pool from him to set down their belongings.
Despite their early enthusiasm, the couple didn't seem to do much swimming. They just waded in the shallow end, staying very close to each other, never breaking physical contact. George envied them. He paid close attention to the intimate way they touched and embraced. They were completely in love and every action seemed to reaffirm it. Eventually, they stopped moving all together, and just held each other in the far corner of the pool. From his angle George could see Jennifer's face as she looked intently into Jack's eyes. They looked like they were having a very important discussion. But there were no words.
George got the impression that what he was witnessing was very private and sacred, that he shouldn't be watching them anymore. He turned away, and shifted his attention to the last vestiges of the fading light. He felt compelled to make a wish, something that he hadn't dared do since he lost his father. He wished that someday, he could find a love like the one they had. He wished someone would look into his eyes the way Jennifer looked into Jack's. Without thinking, George began to hum his song again. This time, it had its intended effect. He still felt miserable, but now he knew what true love looked like. It wasn't much, but it was enough to get him through the day.
Eventually, seven o'clock rolled around, and George announced that he had to shut down the pool. The two swimmers quickly dried themselves off and headed towards the locker room. Before leaving, Jack walked up to George and shook his hand again. "Thanks again for letting us use the pool, Genie here can get a little impulsive at times." Jennifer gave him a playful nudge in his ribs and giggled.
"It's no problem, I'm glad you guys came actually," said George. "This place can get a little lonely in the afternoon."
Jennifer left Jack's side and strode slowly towards George. With grace he had never witnessed, she moved her hands to his face and gazed lovingly into his soul. George was paralyzed, not by fear, but by some enchantment emanating from her eyes. She leaned forward softly and kissed his cheek.
She traveled to his ear, and whispered, "The most beautiful wishes always come true."
She backed away from him until she was at Jack's side. "Good luck, George. I hope I see you again someday." She waved, and the two left quickly and quietly.
George stood there dumbfounded. What had happened didn't feel real. It felt like a dream, and he found himself at a loss to remember everything that had just happened. Details about the two seemed to disappear as quickly as he could latch onto them. The last thing he could remember of them before all memory of their passing was erased, was her eyes. He couldn't forget those eyes. But even as he swore not to, they too were gone. He was alone again, as surely as the couple had never existed.
Feeling suddenly empty but not understanding why, he looked up at the clock and realized that it was time to close the pool. He made his final rounds and as he approached the far corner of the pool, he noticed that someone had left behind a strange stringed instrument. It resembled a guitar in that it had frets and strings, with knobs to tune them. But the odd little guitar had two smaller wooden acoustic chambers instead of one. Stretched across the face was some sort of animal skin that George could not place. At the top was a masterfully carved ivory image of a woman.
Dismayed by the fact that lost and found was closed, and leaving it there over the weekend would by no means guarantee that it would still be there on Monday, he decided to take it home with him. Maybe on Monday he could find the strange soul who would leave such a beautiful object behind. He finished putting everything away and headed home.
His house was dark. With his mother and sisters gone for the weekend, his home felt cold and derelict. Even when he turned on the lights in the kitchen and started making a turkey sandwich for dinner, the house felt like nobody had lived in it for years. He guessed that his mood was influencing his perception in some way and he forced the feeling from his mind. Instead, he got out the strange looking guitar and examined it more closely.
Again his attention was drawn to the carving of the woman at the top. It was almost hypnotic in its complexity. The woman's hair was so well realized that it almost seemed to move. She was at a profile view, her eyes were closed, and her hands were folded together as if she were praying. She wore a heavenly, contented smile. George reached out and traced the lines in the carving with his large fingers and imagined for a second that the woman in the carving was real.
He then examined the different sweeping patterns on the underside of the instrument, which blended around its curves. They rose as one up the frets and melded into the woman's hair at the top. There were no identifying marks from any company, or a "Made in China" plastered on the bottom. He thought that it must have been very old.
Again, he tried to remember who had been at the pool that day. Try as he might, he couldn't remember anyone entering the pool during the afternoon shift. Surely it wasn't something one of the kids brought in for show and tell; a child couldn't really appreciate something so well made. George took a look around to see if anyone was watching him, which he immediately thought to be stupid since he was completely alone, then strummed one of the strings lightly.
It sounded strangely familiar to George even though it was unlike any instrument he had ever heard before. It made a harsher sound than his own guitar, but after he plucked a few more notes in succession it became quite soothing.
He finished his sandwich and took the strange instrument up the stairs to his bedroom. He tried very hard to remember who had been at the pool that day. It wasn't there when he started his third shift, he was quite certain of that. Yet no one had come in all afternoon. Eventually, he figured it didn't really matter. He would surely find whoever it was on Monday.
He ignored the instrument and logged on to his computer. He checked his email (there wasn't any), then went to his favorite video game news site and started checking out the day's articles. He became bored with this quickly and glanced back at the odd guitar as it leaned against his desk. The face on the top seemed to be moving, but when he blinked and looked more closely nothing seemed to be out of the ordinary. He decided he needed to leave it alone, so he picked it up and placed it on top of his bookcase. He sat back down at his desk and played a video game on his computer. Absently, he hummed his tune. A few hours went by in blissful escapism.
During a break in the action on screen, he reached for his desk lamp to turn down the light when he noticed that the little guitar was leaning against his desk again, the woman facing him. He leapt up from his chair and backed away from it. After a few moments of panic, he began making sense of his thoughts. The instrument couldn't have moved by itself, but he knew that he had put it on the bookshelf.
After he was satisfied that it wasn't going to move again, he slowly moved closer. He got out a pencil from his desk drawer and cautiously poked one of the frets with the eraser end, knocking it over. He leapt back again in anticipation of some sort of retaliation, but the instrument just sat there.
He sat back down in his chair and rubbed his aching head. Suddenly, from the corner of his eye he noticed a movement from the woman's face. When he looked, he was sure that it was moving.
From out of nowhere, he had the undeniable urge to play it. He lifted it up carefully and sat at the foot of his bed. He plucked each string deliberately, as he mentally mapped out the notes in his head. Luckily, it wasn't played much differently than his own guitar, though its sound was something completely different. As he fiddled with the notes he felt his mood change with each one. The higher notes made him feel calm and pensive, the lower notes made him feel powerful and strong. Very soon, he felt he had a grasp on what the strange guitar was capable of. And after a few twists of the large wooden knobs at the top, he was fairly confident he had it set at its peak performance.
He silenced the instrument and then thought about what he should play. All the songs he knew were made to be played on a guitar, and he didn't think they would sound right on this particular instrument. But then he remembered his own song and was curious as to what it would sound like.
He began the slow, sorrowful beginning, and watched in amazement as the face began to open its eyes. Startled, George stopped playing, and the carving went back to its original state. He started again, and the face moved like it had before. George didn't stop this time. He kept playing through the beginning and moved on through the hopeful rhythm. The woman became alert and gazed at George lovingly as he played. The strange guitar began to shake slightly as the vibrations from the strings reverberated up the wooden frets and into the ivory carving.
Finally, the crescendo echoed through his room, and the carving cracked wide up its center. A glowing pink vapor sprung forth and surrounded him. It penetrated his nose and mouth and eyes. His vision blurred and started to get black around the edges. He realized he was passing out, but found himself unable to fight it. He fell back on to his bed and dropped the odd guitar to the floor.