A quiet student makes a life changing discovery in the Costa Rican jungle
The sunrise crept up over the jungle. The village was asleep except for a pair of coupling itzcuintli, the domesticated dogs kept by the people of Central America for centuries. A strange smell wafted from the nearby jungle, inciting the dogs bark a warning. While this was a peaceful Brunka village one hundred fifty men, women and children, generations removed from the last attack by raiders, the men were accustomed to the dangers that living on the edge of tropical jungle presented. Jaguars were the largest predators brave enough to venture into the village in search of a desperate meal. The village men rose quickly, grabbing spear and bow, prepared to repel the invading cat. As they gathered on the edge of the village facing the danger in the jungle, what appeared was no majestic cat. It was an army of men made of shining metal with fair skin and dark hair covering their faces. They made noises when they moved and many were mounted on the backs of great metal beasts. The intruders on foot had strange metal heads with a tall central fin that reached from brown to nape. The villagers froze in fear and awe. Were these the warriors of Tlatchque, come to reward or punish them?
The chief of the village, flanked by two elders and the shaman appeared from behind the line of fifty armed hunters. The chieftain was adorned by his traditional garb, leather and feathers and bone. The holy man was covered in tattoos; the most prominent was a black jaguar that wrapped his body climbed over his shoulder and growled from his chest. They approached the line of Spaniards cautiously, but without guile or intent. To them, the intruders were creatures of wonder, not men like themselves. The first shot rang out, sound of thunder echoing in the jungle. The chieftain fell. The shaman raised his arms in subservience and the invaders closest to him took note he carried no weapon, but his wrists and ankles were adorned with stone bracelets and around his neck he wore a stone sphere. For the briefest moment these appeared to glow before the acrid smell of gunpowder signaled the volley that cut him down as well.
It was a slaughter after the initial salvo. The steel men killed all in their path save a small group that disappeared in the tall grasses that stood between the village and the sea. Then they scavenged what puny riches the village contained and rode north, looking for another village to plunder. The chieftain and jaguar shaman were left were they fell. Neither man had any adornments of gold, silver, copper or tin. Their stone necklaces were objects of scorn to the invaders, not worthy of even being cut from the necks of the fallen. One of the halberdiers, who had thought he had seen the shaman’s stone glow, thought maybe they had caught the reflected light of the morning. He took the time to examine them closely and also left them be as uninteresting and not worth their weight in the bother it would be to carry them away.
The next morning thirty women and children appeared from the grasses. They gathered the corpses and arranged them in a ceremonial pile. The shaman was laid to rest at one end, the chieftain at the other. The survivors buried their friends and family members in a simple earthen mound. When they finished their job, they laid two dozen stone spheres on the mound and slipped into the jungle. Where they went and what came of them has been lost to time. But the mound they left would become a place other men sought five hundred years after, so at least one of the survivors would tell the tale.
It was a hot, dry Friday afternoon. To the dozen graduate and undergraduate students and two professors, it was a welcome change. They were dispersed around the two acre compound, paired off under canopies that kept the sun off their backs while they turned their faces to the ground, always digging. Even under the shade of the canopies, the heat was stifling and the undergraduates had it the worst. Being unused to the relentless heat, they were sweating profusely. The graduate students and the professors had been to Costa Rica before and were somewhat accustomed the tropics. They only sweat heavily.
When the group had arrived at Farm Three, the eight month wet season was winding down. Still, it four weeks of hot and humid days, punctuated by frequent warm downpours that did little to bring relief from the relentless Costa Rican fall heat which is indistinguishable from the relentless Costa Rican spring heat and only slightly more bearable than the even more relentless Costa Rican summer steam furnace. The daily rains were followed by hours of agonizingly humid air that left the skin prickled from the heat. The only let up came when the sun went down and the cooling offshore breezes bathed the coast and turned the western Costa Rica from purgatory to paradise.
But this Friday afternoon marked the end of the first week of the dry season. There was a noticeable improvement in the spirit around the camp. The ground was dry, the chaffing of personal areas had lessened, and the weather was slightly cooler. In the preceding seven weeks, beginning the first of October, the cadre of America students from five different universities had been digging at the Punta Llorona site south of the Diquis Delta. They would be on site another five weeks, until just after the New Year.
The students called this location “Farm Three”. They called it Farm Three because it was half the size and half as well-known as Farm Six, and it was on part of an old jungle plantation that had played out early in the 1800’s but the similarity ended there. So far it’s only significance consisted of one ceremonial burial mound and even that was of no remarkable size. For the past ten years, under the authorization of the National Museum of Costa Rica, American students and their professors have been trekking to the Pacific Coast of southern Costa Rica to delve in the mud and revel when it turned to dust. For the next three months the digging would be good. They searched for the famous Diquis Stones, nearly perfectly round stones from centimeters to meters in diameter, weighing anywhere from ounces to fifteen tons. This site had produced at several stones per digging season, but so far this season they had discovered nothing.
The origins of the stones were as shrouded in history as was their creators. The Diquis people disappeared entirely shortly after the arrival of the Spaniards. Perhaps they fled but more likely they died from diseases carried by the Spanish or perished at the hands of the invaders. A few Diquis may have survived as slaves to other villages, while a few may have been taken back to Spain and into slavery there. Little oral history existed from the region and less remained in written form. The priests that traveled with the Spaniards were relentless in removing native iconography and anything of quasi-religious nature. It made their job of converting the natives to Christianity that much easier.
In the 1920’s, an obscure professor from the University of Chicago doing research in the National Library of Mexico City found a Mesoamerican codex of even more obscure origin. It was singularly remarkable in that had been translated to Latin by the invading Spanish who had several priests in their numbers. This obscure document had never been translated again, but this particular professor was searching for something groundbreaking to publish and leave his mark behind. He thought the translation would be his ticket to having his name known in every household in America, like Einstein, Curie, Planck and Pavlov.
The codex had described a people of somewhat mystical origin who had inhabited the region that would become southern Costa Rica. They regulated their lives entirely by their own calendar, which celebrated monthly feasts to honor Tlatchque, the God of Thunder. In homage to Tlatchque, they crafted stone spheres and aligned them in a pattern only they understood the significance of. The professor from Chicago was failed to unearth any great archaeological find and after twenty fruitless years, he and his quest faded into obscurity and his name faded with him. He retired to a ranch straddling the White River in northwestern Nebraska. He had a single small round artifact to remind him of his fruitless career. He led local excavations when they turned up dinosaur bones or native America sites, but mostly he raised cattle and horses and thought about the jungle in Central America.
In 1985, an inquisitive University of Chicago undergraduate, Wayne Eschelmann, had come across the archival remnants of that same obscure professor buried deep in the library archives. There was something about the story and the two decades of futile searching that piqued his curiosity. By the time Eschelmann had discovered the dusty archives, the first of the great Diquis Spheres had already been discovered, but no one had ever dug at site first opened by the obscure professor. It was hard to reach, it was deep within Corcovado National Park, and there were no roads. It was approached by sea the first twenty fruitless years of early digging. Eschelmann and Lowe also came by sea their first year, but their discovery of the first spheres of any size had prompted the Museum Nacional to fund a crude road that stretched east and west from Highway 245 to the dig site. It was fifteen miles as the crow flies, but closer to thirty miles as the van travels.
The original Diquis Spheres ignited a great deal of curiosity in the archaeological world. It was an easy matter for Eschelmann in his doctoral student years, to obtain initial funding for a six month dig at his proposed site. In the summer of 1990 the first group of six undergrads and two graduate students, Eschelmann and Curtis Lowe, began their dig in weed covered clearing that was part of the defunct banana plantation on the southern peninsula. They discovered their first two spheres by happenstance. They weren’t unearthed in the initial excavation; they were noticed on top two alabaster plinths that marked the entrance to the former plantation great house. While the house had long been reclaimed by the wild forest, the two plinths remained spheres intact. Each was nearly meter in diameter and weighed close to a thousand pounds, much too heavy to load on the expedition boats. With the permission of the National Museum, they were removed, photographed, weighed, measured, x-rayed and tested for radioactivity. When the new road was completed, they were taken out on the same heavy equipment trucks that had built the road and delivered to the Museum Nacional where they were put on permanent display by the national museum. Eschelmann and Lowe co-wrote a paper on the spheres and subsequent funding was even easier to obtain. Before the end of the following academic year, each had defended his dissertation and both were young professors. The University of Chicago extended and offer to each to join the faculty which they accepted. Now, twenty-five years later, Eschelmann and Lowe seldom left the conditioned air comfort of their offices in Chicago, and left the digging to trusted graduate students and adjuncts that fought to get on their exploration team.
One of the undergraduates for this season was a typical appearing archeology wonk named Paul David from the University of Nebraska. He was paired with Kari Hatfield, a dedicated doctoral student from Duke who was anything but a typical looking archeology wonk. It took weeks for Paul become accustomed to working with the gorgeous Kari long enough to stop being tongue-tied and look Kari in the eyes when she spoke to him. Kari knew Paul had a crush on her, but she didn’t tease or flirt with him. She let him work through his feelings as best he could until he could come to grips with the fact he was working with a former Miss America contestant from North Carolina and focus on his digging. Now that Paul was nearly immune to the physical attractiveness of his partner/mentor, they were getting along like old colleagues and good friends. Kari was impressed by Paul’s work ethic. He dug without complaint or any chauvinism toward Kari. He asked the right question and listened to the answers. Occasionally he followed up with another question that would impress Kari. He was listening to her and taking her seriously. She thought of him more like a kid brother than peer or student. Kari grew attached to this bright and shy farm boy. They ate nearly all of their meals together and frequently sat on together after hours to enjoy the stillness of the tropical nights and regale each other with stories of their families and hometowns. Each of the other male students had taken a shot at attracting the Kari’s attention, but she was as driven to be a successful archaeologist as she had been to be a pageant contestant. She was used to the attention and paid it no mind. She was gentle and kind in her rebuffs and they all went away wistful, not resentful or with wounded pride. She wasn’t interested in romance but she was interested in friendship and learning.
“Hey, look at this!” Paul exclaimed, uncovering what he thought was the top of a small sphere about seven inches in diameter. Kari knelt in the dirt beside him and the two put their heads together over the depression Paul was excavating. “I think we may have found one.”
The pair was working on the north end of the burial mound pit. They had spent five weeks slowly removing layers of dirt hoping to find that the mound extended further than was originally mapped. The use of ground penetrating radar had given indication that there was something worth digging for.
“I’ll get the camera and the tape,” Kari replied. “We need to document this properly.” She gave him a kiss on the forehead. “Good job Paul David! You may make a decent scientist yet.”
She got to her feet and climbed from the covered pit and crossed the site to the cataloging tent. She came back with a digital camera and steel measure tape that would be used to pinpoint exactly where the newest sphere was uncovered. A few of the other teams heard the commotion and climbed from their own excavation pits to look down on the new discovery. After a time they went back to digging. The other teams had found spheres before and weren’t impressed any longer. This sphere didn’t appear to be of any significance.
Paul and Kari took turns slowly shaving away the dirt around the sphere until the top third was exposed. “There’s something else here,” whispered Kari as she attempted expose more of the sphere and found part of it missing. “Get the sat phone and the laptop.” Paul felt his pulse quicken by the tone and urgency in his partner’s voice. He scrambled out of the pit and dashed to the cataloging tent, returning with the IBM ThinkPad and satellite phone that would connect them to Eschelmann and Lowe. Kari tapped a few keys on the keyboard and three thousand miles away, a different laptop chirped and twittered to get the attention of anyone nearby.
“Good afternoon Kari, it’s always a pleasure to receive a call from you. You must have something special to call during digging hours,” smiled Wayne Eschelmann. Kari McCoy’s reputation for being all business was well-earned.
“I think we have something to show you,” she smiled in acknowledgement.
“Have a look.” She moved the laptop to the work area, adjusting it until the sphere filled the screen. What became apparent was that this was no sphere. It was stone bracelet made from a sphere and it had the last wearer still somewhat attached.
“Is that what I think it is?” Wayne whispered hoarsely. Kari didn’t answer, she turned the camera to her face and nodded, big grin splitting her face. “I’ll be there by Sunday evening. I’ll bring cold beer and other goodies. Tell no one. I want this to be a surprise. Does anyone else know?”
She shook her head but held up one finger. She panned the camera over to her dig partner.
“Paul David, isn’t it? From Whitney, Nebraska, correct?” asked the face on the computer.
Eschelmann knew the names and bios of every person on his site. Eschelmann and Lowe argued and fought constantly over who would be on the handpicked teams were permitted access. They had agreed early on that both had to endorse a candidate before he or she was invited to join. Paul David received an immediate endorsement from both men when they read his name and hometown. It was made easier because of Paul’s family history and made easier because had all the correct characteristics for being an excellent archaeologist including the ability to maintain his silence.
“Yes sir, professor.” He was a little impressed that Dr. Eschelmann knew his name and hometown.
“Excellent work. Excellent. This may be a find of startling significance. I must ask you to keep it to yourself for the time being. I am flying down there on Sunday to examine it myself. Can I count on you both to keep it quiet until then? Tell no one. Not even the other members of the dig. I don’t want to get anyone else’s hopes up if this isn’t the Jaguar.”
“Of course sir. We can keep a secret.” Paul asked no questions. He wasn’t sure what questions he should ask, so he kept his mouth closed.
“Don’t worry son. If this is what I think it is, you will get full credit for its initial discovery. You will have your pick of graduate schools, I suspect. Quite a coup for a Cardinal turned Husker.”
They closed the laptop and disconnected the cellphone and Paul returned the equipment to the main tent. When he returned, Kari was bent over the stone bracelet and the arm that it adorned was being freed from the earth bit by bit. Paul looked at her from behind and a flood of lusty memories came back to him. She was an incredibly attractive woman, no doubt about it. She was made all the more beautiful by her natural ease and confident nature. Now her khaki shorts clad ass was pointed at him and Paul felt a rush of blood in his face and groin as he reacted to her form in the genetically preprogrammed manner. He shook his head to clear those sexual thoughts and bent down next to her.
“Paul, what we may have here is The Jaguar. The last Brunka Shaman.”
“Brunka? You mean Boruca, right?” He was familiar with the known history of this region, recorded after the arrival of the Spanish. The Boruca people had inhabited this region from the time of the Conquistadors until today.
“No, the Brunka. There is evidence that the Boruca immigrated here after the Spanish wiped the Brunka from existence. There is also an obscure legend that the Brunka had a spiritual leader, a shaman with mystical powers, who was slain in defense of the village against the Conquistadors. The legend also describes the attire of the Jaguar Shaman including four stone bracelets worn at the wrist and ankles and a stone sphere necklace. They were described as combining to have other-worldly powers. They had the ability to change men and objects, influence winds and tides, even alter the weather. Eschelmann and Lowe have theorized that they hold the secret to whom or what created the Diquis Spheres, or at least a key to finding out more than we know now.”
“Why haven’t I you said about the Jaguar Shaman before?”
“It’s just a crazy theory that Professor Eschelmann dug up in the University of Chicago archives. It was first proposed in the mid-twenties. Back then, the professor who found the original Latin translation of a Mesoamerican codex explored twenty five years on this very site. I can’t remember his name. He didn’t know how close he had come to finding the prize he sought. Docs Esch and Lowe used that early work pinpoint a location to start their own dig. This site is so far from all the other digs, there has to be a reason. And here we are, ninety years later, maybe finding the pot of gold they were looking for.” She grinned excitedly.
“His name was Dr. Leonard David,” stated Paul quietly. “He was my great-grandfather.”
“What? Are you serious? You are related to the originator of this site?”
“It appears so. Now what do we do?” Paul asked finally.
“Do? We dig. We excavate. We expose. We document. We WORK, Paul David. We work. Let’s see if this is the Jaguar and if the stones are all here. Get your knife and let’s get busy.”
The two of them spent the rest of the afternoon using artist pallet knives to scrape blade after blade of dirt from the skeleton; the victim of barbaric violence from five centuries previous. By the time the dinner bell rang, the sun was approaching the ocean in the west. The rest of the diggers had given up their efforts for the day when Kari and Paul emerged from their hole. They had covered the skeleton with a sheet of dirty canvas and with a look they each knew the other would keep their silence. That evening, no one noticed anything unusual with Kari and Paul’s behavior.
Saturdays on the location are usually laundry and town day. Everyone would pile into the three camp vehicles to cross the Oso Peninsula for work-free day of entertainment and a meal and partake in the limited shopping the small towns offered. Most went just to get away from the dig site and to soak up some of the local liquor. Paul and Kari stayed behind, unnoticed by the others who would have assumed they caught a ride in one of the other vans for the bumpy ride into town.
The pair of diggers descended into their pit with more excitement than ever. They were more excited than their first days on the location when dig fever ran rampant. The sun rose high into the sky before they took their first water break. When they finished, Kari removed the long sleeved work shirt she customarily wore and went back to work wearing just a white tank top, already soaked with sweat, and her black sports bra. Her short blonde hair was tucked behind her ears and held in place by a floral bandanna folded into a headband and tied in place. Paul followed her lead and removed his work shirt. Underneath he wore a black t-shirt with the football symbol of the Cornhuskers from his home state. With a glance Kari could see that there was more to Paul than she originally thought. He was no mushy digger nerd. He had the well-defined muscles of a young man accustomed to hard work. While not overly large, he was sculpted and toned. He had lettered twelve times in high school, for football, wrestling and track. He could have gone to the University of Nebraska on a track scholarship, but he accepted the academic scholarships he was offered instead. Kari considered his manly qualities for the first time. She appreciated what she saw. For the first time a fleeting thought passed through her mind that moved Paul from the friend zone to the danger zone, if only for a second.
They both went back to work and continued without a break until hunger overcame them and they stopped long enough to raid the camp refrigerator for the tortillas and the rice and squash casserole left from the night before. After eating they provisioned themselves with several additional bottles of water each, they descended back into the excavation. Resuming their work, the knelt on opposite side of the partially exposed skeleton, heads nearly touching, seldom saying a word. Paul noticed that they were breathing in unison but said nothing. As they scraped at the skeletal remains it was clear: they had discovered the remains of a man with stone bracelets and stone anklets and what was probably a stone pendant necklace, though the leather bindings had deteriorated centuries before, leaving the sphere perched on the center of his ribcage. Paul lightly grazed the sphere resting on the skeletons chest. The sphere felt rough and slightly warm to the touch. It felt somewhat familiar to Paul. His great-grandfather had let him handle his treasured artifact several times as a child. He told Paul stories of the Jaguar Shaman, and how he had spent 25 years digging to find his remains, and finding only the one small sphere for his troubles. Paul’s focus returned to the dig.
The broad hole in his forehead gave an indication as to how the Shaman had met his end. Most likely it was the projectile fired from a Spanish harquebus, a heavy precursor firearm that made the natives think they were the source of all thunder. The Jaguar was a short man in his lfe, no taller than five feet two inches, and shorter yet in his death, typical for the other skeletons of the region. They had unearthed his upper hemisphere from top of skull to the soles of his feet. The skeleton appeared to be laying in a dirt bath. They had also unearthed the tops of two dozen smaller stone spheres and two dozen clay jars that surrounded the shaman’s remains. Whoever had placed him here had taken special care to adorn him properly for the next life. Each of the spheres probably represented something to the shaman or to the village and each of the jars probably carried herbs or medicines the shaman would have used in his sacrificial ceremonies. They paused frequently to examine, measure, catalog, photograph and share each discovery before they went back to work.
When darkness descended again, they reluctantly covered up their work and climbed from the pit. They were tired and exhilarated at the same time. They still had camp to themselves. The first vehicle wouldn’t return until close to midnight. The last vehicle wouldn’t arrive until closer to dawn. Kari and Paul started a fire in the half-barrel that served as the camp barbecue. There was fresh fish in the refrigerator and fresh fruit and vegetables. They would grill the fish and make kebabs from the fruits and vegetables. While the fire burned down to cooking embers, the pair decided to clean up before finishing dinner.
The camp was equipped with two showers attached to the water tower not far from the sleeping tents. They were made of canvas panels surrounding slat wood flooring with overhead plumbing. The small water tower was filled from a modern windmill up the hill from the dig. The water was usually tepid but tolerable. Ordinarily the showers were either used by the men or by the women, but tonight Kari suggested they each take a side to save time, trusting the other to maintain their modesty. Paul tried not to stutter while he agreed to the arrangement. He slipped into his tent and slipped out of his dirty digging clothes and slipped on a favorite pair of short and sandals for the short walk to the showers. The tents were erected above the ground on wooden platforms and all of the quarters were connected by plank walkways to keep the students out of the mud. It was the first line of defense against the jungle rot that would eat at the feet of the students who were unaccustomed to the constant wet conditions of the rainy season.
Paul carried his towel over his shoulder and his clean shirt in his hand as well as his dob kit of toiletries. He was first to the showers and took the one closest to the tents. Inside there was a small wooden bench and hooks in the frame of the water tower to hang his clothes and towels. A pair of chains worked the valve that controlled water to the large shower-head at the other end of the enclosure. Once nude, he pulled the chain and enjoyed the feel of the somewhat cooler water as it washed away the sweat and grime from his day-long efforts. He heard Kari approaching on the board sidewalk. Paul turned his head to the sound of her approach and realized that the breeze had stirred the modesty flap open and if she turned her head as she passed, Kari would get a full look at him in the shower. Instead of fear, this gave Paul a feeling of excitement. His cock stirred, filling with blood.
“How is it?” she asked lightly, still approaching.
“It feels really nice. I had no idea how dirty I had gotten. I’m sorry if I stank you out of the pit,” he replied, trying gamely to make harmless conversation.
Just hearing her voice was causing a reaction to his involuntary systems that controlled his arousal. He imagined her looking through the gap in the canvas, entering the enclosure with him, removing the last of her clothes, loosening her headband and releasing her short blond hair. He could see her firm breasts and taut stomach as she joined him, the water cascading down her body. He closed his eyes to enjoy his fantasy and missed noticing if she had peeked or not. He could hear her in the next shower, the boards and bench creaking with her movements.
If he stood all the way to the far side of his shower, he could make out her feet to the ankles underneath the canvas separating wall between them. He was painfully aroused when he shut off his water and began to dry off.
Would you mind if I borrowed your shampoo? I thought I had grabbed mine but I grabbed the creme rinse instead,” she asked through the wall.
Paul grabbed his bottle and held it under the divide, lifting the wall slightly. When she grabbed it, her fingertips closed on his. A surge of energy passed between them and they both dropped the bottle.
“I’m so clumsy,” she apologized. “Sorry about that.”
He could see her hand reach partway into his shower and grasp the bottle. It quickly disappeared. Paul sat down and finished drying. He gave up on his erection subsiding on its own while in such proximity and gathered the rest of his stuff and headed back to his tent.
“I’ll go start the fish,” he said as he left. “Come whenever you are ready.” It will give me a chance to get you out of my mind.
I could come right now, thought Kari McCoy. She had peeked as she passed and seeing her digging partner nude had begun to work strange changes in her. In her six years of digging on this site, she had never found another student to be attractive, let alone been involved with one. Other students had hot, steamy jungle affairs, but not Kari McCoy. Now she felt like she was long overdue. Her hand wandered down between her legs and lightly grazed her sex. She imagined her hand was Paul David’s and she was rewarded with an electric orgasm that shivered her even in the tropical heat. She felt a little sheepish when the orgasm subsided, but she considered what it meant. She felt more than a passing interest in her young digging partner. She shut off the water, toweled her body dry, and got dressed. She wore a light long sleeved shirt, as protection against the mosquitoes. But tonight she opted not to wear a bra. Kari hadn’t realized her wardrobe decision until she left the shower enclosure with her bra in hand. Instead of putting it on, she felt like it was a sign of something that was supposed to be.
When Kari approached the cook shack, Paul noticed right away she wasn’t wearing a bra. Her nipples protruded against the white shirt so firmly that he could see their color against the white. His half-subsided cock stiffened again. It’s going to be a long hard night, thought Paul. They ate dinner under the star deep purple of early nightfall. The lantern in the shack threw a orange yellow glow out the windows, but they were far enough away to not be bothered by its light.
“Have you noticed, there are no mosquitoes this evening,” said Kari. “This is the first time I can recall not having to constantly swat away bugs while I ate.”
“No I hadn’t noticed, but you are right. I don’t even hear any insects in the trees.” It was odd to hear nothing at all. “I wonder if a storm is coming.” David had been too busy imagining Kari nude and lying next to him to think about bugs.
“I don’t think so. The sunset was crimson tonight. High pressure for at least a week,” she offered.
She had almost missed noticing the absent bugs as well. Her mind kept replaying the sight of Paul’s stiff manhood. She stole sly looks at him and imagined him naked, his body pressed against hers. She wondered if he was still a virgin or if some lucky cowgirl in western Nebraska had made a man of him already. They picked at the remains of their dinner long enough. They both rose and entered the cook shack, busing their own dishes. Together they cleaned the cook shack, including the dishes left from the morning by the departed group that went to town. When they finished, Paul screwed up the courage to ask a question.
“Would you like to walk to the beach or the overlook and view the stars? There is no moon tonight, the sky will be filled.”
This was the first time Paul had ever asked Kari to do anything that remotely resembled a date. He steeled his pride to be let down.
“That’s a great idea. Let me get something first. Could you grab us a blanket and some flashlights for the trip back?”
“S-s-s-sure thing,” he stuttered through his nerves.
He went to his tent and grabbed the clean summer sleeping bag he kept as a spare. He also grabbed two headlamp lights and two handheld lights. For good measure, he grabbed his backpack, which he always kept filled with bottles of water, matches, a survival knife and toilet paper. In the tropics you need to be careful what you wipe with. He met Kari back at the cook shack and she was carrying a small pack herself. She had changed out of her long pants into a pair of tight shorts that made a work of art out of her ass.
They headed toward the path that led down to the ocean. Where it was wide enough, they walked side by side, discussing The Jaguar legend and what supposed powers those stones might contain. Occasionally their hands brushed against each other, each time felt like an electrical current passed between them. Neither mentioned it, fearing they were imagining it. They reached a rocky bluff overlooking the Pacific. The sound of distant surf rose up from below. Paul opened his sleeping bag and spread it out. They both sat down on it.
“Do you drink Paul?” asked Kari.
“Well, I have….” he replied. In western Nebraska, if you are big enough to hold the bottle steady, your parents would let you have a beer now and again. Paul was no exception. “But it’s not like I drink all the time or anything.”
“I’ve been carrying this bottle of wine down here for six years, waiting for the right time to open it. Tonight is the night. Care to join me?” she asked sweetly.
“I am only nineteen…” he replied. “But we are in Costa Rica and I don’t know if it’s legal or not, and I don’t care. So, sure, I’d love to join you.”
Kari worked the handle on her folding corkscrew and soon the bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon was open and being poured into two plastic cups.
“This is really delicious,” gushed Paul, warming to the flavor of the wine.
They each laid down, resting their heads on their backpacks, taking in the billions of stars. Paul’s right hand rested near Kari’s left. He half sat up to take another sip of the wine and when he laid down again, his hand was on Kari’s. There was no mistaking the current of energy that passing between them. Kari turned her hand over so her fingers could intertwine with his.
“Do you feel that?” she asked.
“Yes,” he replied. “I thought it was only me. It started with the shampoo bottle in the shower.”
“Oh I know!” she answered sitting up. She set her wine cup aside and motioned for him to sit up as well. She never let go of his hand as he sat cross-legged in front of her. “Give me your other hand.”
He did so gladly. It was like a light circuit coming on. They both could feel the charge growing.
“What’s happening?” Paul asked. “I mean, I’ve never felt anything like this when touching someone even girls.”
“So you’ve touched girls before?” Kari asked coyly.
The surging power passing between them coursed right through her pussy, causing it to grow
wetter and wetter. She was so horny she felt on the ragged edge of control.
“Yes, I’ve touched girls before. Kissed a few too, after I found out they didn’t have cooties.” They both laughed. “How about you, have you touched many boys before?”
“No,” she admitted. “Not really. I’ve been kissed once or twice, but that’s about as far as I’ve gotten.”
“Seriously Kari? As beautiful as you are, you’ve only been kissed twice?”
“I know. It’s sad. But it’s true.” She went on to explain, “I was a geeky kid growing up. Not confident or pretty or funny. I lived in the hills and didn’t care. I always loved digging around for Civil War artifacts and didn’t miss having boys chase me around. It wasn’t until I was in high school that I started to blossom. I only did the Miss Hancock County Pageant to make my mamma happy. When I won, that took me to Raleigh for the Miss North Carolina Pageant. When I won that, I ended up in Atlantic City for the Miss America Pageant. I got first runner-up and enough scholarship money to get me into Duke, which brought me here tonight.”
“Wow! That’s quite a story. It’s almost like you were destined to be here tonight with a Nebraska farm boy who loves digging in the dirt just to find out what’s down there.”
“What about you? How did you end up on a cliff overlooking the Pacific with a girl from North Carolina? Did you plan this somehow, to get to this dig and to find the last Shaman?”
“Like I said, I have always liked to dig in the dirt. There were plenty of artifacts around Scotts Bluff and Whitney to discover. I remember hanging out with my great grandfather when I was young. He and I would walk up into the hills and dig for arrowheads and sharks teeth and sea fossils, but he died before I turned ten. My grandfather still tells me stories about him. Maybe that’s why I applied to join this dig. I had no idea that we would be going to the same place my great-grandfather had been; only that it was in the same region. That part was either fate or pure dumb luck.”
The both laughed at the odd coincidences that had to have occurred to get them on this overlook in Costa Rica. The longer they sat together, the more at ease Paul became. He finally felt the courage to ask the question that he wanted to ask since he met her.
“Would you mind if I raised your kiss count to three?” Her smile told him she didn’t object so he leaned in until their lips met. Both jerked back as if struck.
“What was that?” he asked, reliving the suddenness of the shock. While their lips touched, his mind was flooded with a massive amount of information about long dead languages and the people who spoke them.
“I don’t know. But I liked it. Let’s try it again and see if it happens again,” she replied.
Though Kari didn’t see the same kaleidoscope of images, she had experienced instead a symphony of pleasure that washed over and through her. She could feel passion and desire when their lips connected and even now she could feel the residual effects as echoes. She felt a deep longing to repeat the sensation.
He leaned in again and she turned her face to meet him. Their lips touched again. This time Paul maintained control and kept his lips pressed against Kari’s. All the experiences of the every Brunka Shaman filled his memories. It felt like watching a hundred movies at the same time and remembering them all. The combined life knowledge of each shaman poured from the union of their lips and into his soul. Paul now understood his connection to this place, this planet, this solar system, this universe in ways that was hard to describe. It was beyond spiritual awakening. It was a knowing of the universe. It was a glimpse into the mind of God.
As Paul was filled with experiences and knowledge, Kari was filled with pleasure, both spiritual and physical. Every erogenous zone on her body was charged to the point of overload. She had her own awakening. Paul connected to everything that had been; she connected to everything in the living universe, to all life here on this plane and all others. She could feel the life of the entire cosmos, all the sensuality and joy from being. She writhed with pleasure from just his kiss. Every sense was alive and electrified.
Kari McCoy knew Paul David was the man she had saved herself for. Kari knew that certainty. There could be no other man who would make her feel so much life from a simple kiss. She was past the point of turning back. She had fallen into the realm of surrender.
“Paul,” she said finally breaking the contact. “Paul, I can’t believe I am saying this, but I want you to know I have waited all my life to be kissed like that by a man. Ever since I was a little girl, I knew I would find a man that would kiss me like you just did and he would be the man for me. I have been waiting for you, Paul David. If you want me, I will be yours now and always. Please Paul. Please say you want me. Say it.” She kissed his hands to seal her vow.
She had no idea she was going to say those things or why she said those things. She only knew that she was finally a whole woman, having declared her devotion to Paul David. She would be his for the rest of this life and the next.
In reply Paul guided her to her back and leaned over her to kiss her. For the first time, a hand other than her own enclosed her breast. She felt her pelvis get wetter and hotter as a result. His fingertips circled her engorged areola through her shirt. A ripple of orgasm began at her feet and vibrated up her body until her hair tingled. His lips left hers and found their way to her neck. He licked and nibbled and the ripple became a flow. Paul instinctively knew how to bring her pleasure. While she caught her breath, he leaned away. He gave her a long look.
God she is beautiful, he thought to himself. She is so damn sexy and smart and perfect. His hand slid to the center of her chest and deftly undid each button. When he got to her waist, he slid her belt out of its loop and worked it free. He unsnapped her shorts and eased her zipper down. Kari looked up at him with nothing but lust and trust in her eyes. He parted her shorts and slipped his hand down between her legs. She wasn’t wearing panties either.
His fingers felt the curls of her pubic hair. It’s too hot and humid in the jungle to shave your pussy; it makes it a hot sticky and stinky mess. She thrust her groin against his hand, eager to feel his finger part her lips and slip inside her willing cunt. He instead guided her shorts off her hips and over her shoes, leaving her exposed to the cosmos above him. He grazed the inside of her spread thighs with light strokes of his fingertips. She responded by raising her knees up and opening her flower to him. The smell of her arousal intoxicated him. He kissed her belly between her navel and pubis. He kissed down her triangle and just as he was about to finally kiss her clit, he moved his lips the side and kissed the fold of her groin. She bucked and moaned. He played his kisses down her inner thigh, alternating tiny kisses with gentle licks.
Kari’s mind screamed with pleasure and frustration. She wanted him to give her release and at the same time she was desperate for the delicious torture to continue. Paul’s lips moved back up her thigh. He rolled over and between her legs, not breaking contact, but allowing him to center her pussy before his mouth. He stuck out his tongue and tasted her juices for the first time. His hard cock felt like it grew an inch with a jerk. He reached down his belly and adjusted his cock until it stuck straight up behind his fly. He licked her again, this time going deeper, getting a full tongue of her delicious flow. His cock jerked again and now the head was straining to peek out of the top of his waistband. It was painful but he didn’t mind.
He buried his face in her sex and drank deeply from her flower. Her orgasm overcame her, rocking her very core. She writhed and moaned and spoke in a long dead language of earth and creation. She shuddered and bucked; his tongue was relentless, her pleasure was limitless. His cock now stuck out two full inches from his waistband. He could take no more of the pleasure and pain. He got to his knees and fought to release his button and zipper. He pulled down his shorts and with great effort, got his cock out of his briefs.
“I’m sorry,” he mumbled. “It’s getting so hard it hurts! I’ve never been this hard before. Or this big.”
He took a long look at his engorged member. It had to be ten inches long and thicker than he’d ever remembered.
“You inspire me to new heights and widths, Kari McCoy,” he laughed sheepishly and with a little pride.
She said nothing. Her eyes seemed to glow yellow and feral. She rolled to her knees and studied his cock. She had never seen a man nude before. She had never seen a man aroused before. Instead of being shocked or horrified, she felt a burning need to have this cock inside her. She wanted to become one with it. Acting solely on instinct, she opened her mouth wide and buried her face in his groin, swallowing his shaft whole. When the thick bell end touched her tongue, she started to gush. When it slid down her throat, she started to moan. She had never touched a cock in her life and now she was milking his monster member with her throat. She didn’t move. She flexed the muscles in her throat and waited for Paul to act. He did. He overcame the shock and pleasure of his first sexual contact and began to slowly withdraw his cock, fearing he was hurting her. She responded by lunging forward to take him down her throat again. They did this for a time, him pulling and her chasing, until Paul finally had to grip the sides of her head to control the ferocity of her attacks. He could feel his climax building.
“You’d better be careful, I am about to lose control,” he warned her.
“Good,” she mumbled around is cock. “Do it.” He did.
His newly enlarged cock spewed and equally large load of cum. Rope after rope flowed down her throat and into her belly. She didn’t miss a drop. Each pulse brought her pleasure. It fulfilled her purpose. When he finally stopped throbbing, she pulled her mouth from his member. She fell back to the sleeping bag, legs spread lewdly.
“Come Paul. Come to me.”
She reached out to him. He stood up and kicked of his shoes and pants. He nearly tore his shirt pulling it off over his head. His giant cock stood out from his body, bobbing majestically. She spread her legs and pulled her knees to her chest. Paul removed her shoes so they could both be naked under the Costa Rican night sky. He knelt by her upraised sex and pressed the purple head of his cock between her folds.
“Oh God, Paul. That’s it. Push it in. Push it all in. I want to feel you filling me up.”
Paul shifted his weight so his cock parted her lips and found its way into her channel. He continued to fill her with one long, slow stroke. His cockhead met the barrier of her maidenhood and he felt it give way, like iron gates parting. He continued his relentless insertion. Kari held her breath, basking in the pleasure of losing her virginity without the discomfort of being fucked poorly. When he reached the bottom of her sex, he held it there. Her cunt was grasping his cock, milking it like her throat did, only with more strength and great intensity. Paul grasped Kari under the arms and pulled her to his chest while in the kneeling position. She locked her ankles together behind his back, and wrapped her arms around his neck, pulling so tight her breasts were mashed against his chest.
Paul thrust upward, pushing her skyward on his cock. When he relaxed, the grip of her legs and arms allowed him to partially withdraw. Then she relaxed her grip and his shaft pushed up her channel again. Over and over they thrust, each feeling the heightened pleasure of the other building. Finally Kari could take no more and came in a flood of cum juices, bathing Paul’s cock and balls in sweet sticky moisture. Paul responded by jetting hot cum into her pulsing vagina. She nearly passed out from the pleasure. For him, the orgasm only awakened a great need.
After she caught her breath and her heartbeat slowed, Paul laid her on her back and then rolled her on her side, pushing her top leg up to her chest and exposing her slit to him. A river of his cum flowed from her pulsing pussy. Paul took a finger load of their combined ejaculate and rubbed it on her virgin ass. He worked his finger in until he met resistance and then withdrew it and scooped up more cum. He kept applying it to her nether hole until she was well lubricated and he was able to work two fingers partway in. He pulled his fingers from her ass and pressed his cockhead against her last virginity. Kari responded by grabbing her ass cheek and opening her hole wide for him.
The head of his cock popped in, and she gasped at the pain, letting out an involuntary grunt. The awareness that he had caused her pain turned him on to an even greater extent. He grabbed her hip and held her in place, slowly impaling her ass with his straining cock. Kari let out a wail of pain. This was exquisite music to his ears, making him frantically horny. He thrust harder and the pain caused her to sob and cry.
If only her pain caused her the same amount of pleasure it does me, it would make it so much better, Paul thought. As if she could hear him, Kari’s pain turned to pleasure with every thrust.
“Oh God Paul! That hurts SOOO good!” she panted through the sobs. “I can’t believe how much it hurts and how fantastic it feels at the same time.”
He was pounding her ass now, pulling her back to him until his entire ten inches was deep in her bowels. Her breasts swayed lewdly and she had a handful of sleeping bag as she moaned and cried. Paul looked down and could make out his cock in her ass, even in the darkness.
I’d love to be able to see her ass better, he wished. He shut his eyes and rolled his head back, reveling in the sensation of his cock slipping in and out of her ass and the tightness of her anal ring gripping her cock. When he opened his eyes again, they had adjusted to the low light of the twilight. Everything was sharply defined. He could even see into the jungle, under the canopy. He focused his gaze on his organ violating his first sexual partner’s ass. He could see everything. The lewd way her ass stretched to accommodate his engorged phallus turned him on to no end. He wished he was even bigger and he could feel her ass tighten and stretch to accommodate his now jumbo girth. The pain was her pleasure and Kari screamed her orgasm.
“Oh God! Oh God! Oh God! Oh my fucking GOD! My ass feels so fucking good. Oh God Paul, come in my ass. Come in my hot burning ass! Fill me up with your sticky cum!”
Paul released torrent after torrent of cum, filling her over capacity. The excess eased around the girth of the invader and crept down her cunt folds. The added lubricant gave Paul the incentive the thrust deeper and harder. His cock was in no danger of subsiding. Kari’s orgasms were exhausting her. She was on the threshold of passing out. She writhed and moaned incoherently, completely spent. Only Paul’s hands on her hips, locking their union kept her on her knees. Paul withdrew his cock and examined the damage that ravaging Kari’s ass had wrought. It now appeared to be eleven inches long and three inches in diameter. It’s too big, thought Paul and he could see it shrinking as he watched. It’s too small, he thought. He could see it growing. At nine inches he thought, Stop, that’s perfect. His cock throbbed and pulsed like it was a separate living thing.
Paul stood and looked around. With his enhanced eyesight, the starlight turned the jungle into a vista that reminded him of those winter days when the blizzards blew all day and left the sun well behind. He could see perfectly well in what appeared to be only gloom to his eyes. Paul knew something in him had changed but he had no idea why or how. When he asked himself the question, the answer appeared in his mind’s eye: it was the stones on the remains of the last shaman. The shaman with the jaguar tattoo had somehow left his power invested in the stones he wore. That power had flowed from those stones into Paul. His day long proximity to them had given him a taste of the possibilities. He wondered about what powers they had given their previous owners and he was rewarded with a primer course on the stones and what they would help their rightful owner achieve. They would not help anyone but the chosen shaman. Paul had been selected to receive their power by virtue of being the last living soul to discover them. The talents that Kari received came through Paul, not through the stones. The stones were not indiscriminate in granting powers. They had lain dormant for five centuries waiting for the right soul to discover them. Since Paul hadn’t realized he had the powers, he didn’t know how could control how they were perceived by others. He had given powers unknowingly to Kari, and she would possess those powers and others based on her relationship with Paul. Should their relationship fail, Paul knew her powers would slowly fail also. While they were together, Kari would be able to connect the life forces of the entire universe. If she tried she would be able to reach across space to join with any living thing in the cosmos. This included the beings that were the source for all life on earth and the creators of the stones.
Paul knew all this as certainly as if he had read it in a book. The more he contemplated things he did not know, the more the answers came to him. Paul heard the big cat long before he could see him. He could feel the menace of the jaguar approaching. Paul felt no fear. He stood, nude and glistening in the starlight, staring into the jungle where the jaguar would appear. He approached the cat, whose black fur made him nearly impossible to see for a human, but with Paul’s new ability, he could see the cat as clearly as a black animal on a snow white background.
“Hello Father,” he said with a guttural growl. “I am Paul David.” The yellow eyes of the watcher said nothing. “Are you here to teach me or to kill?” The eyes blinked, undecided. “How long have you been watching?” Paul asked.
“Seven hundreds of your years,” replied the cat. “Give or take.”
The cat approached, sniffing at Paul’s nearly hairless form.
“You look so different from the last shaman. He was smaller, harder, darker. You do not belong in the jungle. You are a child of the prairie. How did you become shaman?”
“It was the stones. I uncovered them. They chose me.” The cat contemplated the answer before speaking.
“You’ll do.” The cat turned to walk into the jungle.
“Wait,” growled Paul. “What do I do now?”
“Do?” blinked the cat. “You will do as all the shaman have done. You will use your powers for great good or great destruction. You will help and protect your people or you will destroy and abuse them. You are the shaman, you must decide.”
“How will I know if I am doing good or evil?” asked Paul, worried that this kind of power would change him.
“Paul David, you were born to become Jaguar Shaman, just as I was born to be Watcher. You will fulfill your destiny and just as I have fulfilled mine.” The cat again turned his back to continue into the darkness.
“Wait, don’t go. Can’t you stay with me? What if I have more questions?”
“Would you like me to stay?” answered the black cat.
“Yes I would, very much.”
“Then stay I shall!”
The great cat leapt at Paul, pushing him to the ground. Paul felt the massive claws tearing his skin and the razor sharp teeth entering his chest. He tried to push the big cat away, but he couldn’t. Not because the cat was too strong, but because the jaguar had disappeared. Paul leapt to his feet and looked around for another attack, but the cat was nowhere to be seen. When his breath returned to normal, Paul returned to Kari, still recovering on the sleeping bag. She looked at him with love and lust in her eyes.
“Where did you go?” she asked lustfully. “Oh my God, Paul! Where did that come from?”
She sat up and fumbled for a flashlight. She turned it on and focused it on his nude form. He was covered from neck to mid-thigh with a black tattoo. It was a jaguar with yellow eyes.
“I picked it up over there,” Paul indicated the jungle.
“I like it. But I like this better,” she knelt before him and kissed his dormant manhood. It began to rise to her attention.
Kari tucked her short blonde hair behind her ears and pressed her mouth on his cock until the shaft filled her throat. She swallowed, milking his cock. She slowly slid his cock in and out until he was nearly mad with lust. He pulled his cock out of her mouth and guided her to her back. He positioned himself between her willing legs and slid his manhood deep into her hot willing pussy. She moaned. He moaned. The jaguar growled. For the next hour they made slow passionate love. Kari came multiple times. Paul finally released his seed when the exquisite torture proved to be too much. He collapsed on his new mate, their sweat slick bodies rubbing sensuously in the afterglow.
“We should get back, before the others come back and decide to come looking for us,” Paul stated.
Kari nodded. They got dressed and packed their small camp and headed inland toward the dig site. They didn’t need flashlights; Paul’s vision was perfectly capable of keeping them safe.
The pair of archeology students arrived back to a camp filled with laughter and music. The team was all back from town and had brought the festivities with them. Paul and Kari joined the group around the common campfire that was lit nearly every night. There were bottles of Guaro Cacique being passed from hand to hand, fueling the revelry. Some of the diggers added the Guaro to their cups of punch or Coca Cola to lessen the impact the ethyl alcohol had on their livers. Others took pulls from the bottle before passing it along.
One of the California Berkley students produced his guitar and was doing a passably fine job of a litany of Eagles and Beach Boys tunes. There were two couples dancing and the rest were laughing and carrying on. Paul and Kari joined them and it was a few minutes before their presence was noticed.
“Kari, let’s dance!” urged a stocky young man from Chicago by the name of Mike Tobbe. He had been one of Kari’s unsuccessful suitors.
She looked at Paul and he just smiled and nodded. Kari thought he would object, so his permission was a bit unexpected. Mike grabbed Kari by the waist and pulled her close, intent on rubbing against her. She got her hands between them, but kept smiling as she fought to keep her distance. She glanced at Paul, hoping he would intervene. Instead Paul was amused by the ineffective flailing of Mike Tobbe. Paul’s eyes sparkled with his enjoyment. Kari is strong enough to handle Mike Tobbe, he thought. Suddenly the gap between the two dancers was wide enough that Kari could relax a bit and begin to move to the music. Mike attempted to grab her again but Kari was able to easily push his hands away and smile warmly.
“You’re a very good dancer,” she complimented her drunken companion. “You should dance with Leyla.”
Leyla Martinez was a very nice girl, but she was both socially awkward and remarkably unattractive. She was also Mike’s fellow student from University of Chicago and his digging partner. They could go days without speaking to one another. Mike had never considered her his equal or worthy of his respect or attention. The rest of the party knew that she was a much nicer person and a far better scientist than Mike Tobbe, but nobody wanted to partner with Mike Tobbe so they said nothing. Mike turned his attention to his partner. He left Kari to find Leyla, but Kari’s hand on his arm arrested his departure. He waited but didn’t turn.
“Ask her nicely Mike,” instructed Kari. “Be sweet to her. She’s really a lovely girl. Be worthy of her affection and she will blossom into such a beauty you will count your lucky stars she is yours.”
Mike nodded dumbly and continued on his way. Leyla was sitting with a couple of the other female student when Mike approached.
“Leyla,” Mike asked quietly. “Would you like to dance with me? Please?”
Had she not been sitting down when Mike asked her to dance she might have fallen down. The tone in his voice drew her to his feet.
“Of course I will Mike. I’d be glad to dance with you.”
She followed him to the dirt patch they used as a dance floor and the two drew close, she was molded against his body as they swayed to the music.
“Nicely done,” compliment Paul when Kari joined him.
“You were going to let him maul me, weren’t you?” she replied.
“Of course not. You were more than a match for him. He never got close. No harm will come to you Kari. Not ever.”
He didn’t promise or lie. Paul stated it as a matter of certain fact. Kari knew instinctively that it was true. Whatever had happened to them in that pit, they were changed forever.
As the party carried on, Paul and Kari slipped away. They weren’t drinking and the music of the guitar couldn’t hold a candle to the music of the universe. While in the darkness, they shared a long kiss and each went to their own sleeping quarters to get a good night’s sleep.