tagNovels and NovellasBy Air Mail Ch.01

By Air Mail Ch.01

byTaLtos6©

I'm posting this in the Novels and Novellas category, largely because it's scope is a little large and odd due to the relationships which are in it. Also, the sex scenes in it occur a little sporadically and they can vary in a few ways, such as in their depth as well as their nature.

Translation: I didn't really know where else to put it.

As far as the regular Literotica categories go, it could go in a couple of them, but not really fit into any one in particular as a whole, so it's frustrating to some extent. Well to me as the author, since at first, until it became a little clearer to me, it seemed to shift under my fingertips as I typed it - which is an alarming thing while writing a tale, to say the least.

This first chapter, which also serves as a bit of a prologue, carries the non-sequential memories of a rather lonely young man as he thinks back over his life. I don't know about you, but when that happens to me, my thoughts don't often flow in chronological order, so that's how they come out of him in this.

Another thing, this is set just after World War Two. Things were a lot different - even in Idaho - at that time. The rationing of raw materials for the war effort was just coming to a close. I doubt that the railroad in this story even had any diesel locomotives at that time, and still relied on steam locomotives on anything other than the big main lines even if they did have diesels.

Electronics wasn't what it is today, and fewer people in out of the way places had land-line telephones. The motorcycle mentioned was a little-known model produced in limited quantities for the U.S. Army's evaluation, though the same engine and drivetrain configuration was used many years later in some Honda touring models beginning in the 1970s.

Hairstyles were different. Clothing - especially women's undergarments were different. And out of the mainstream - in out-of-the-way, rural places back then, it was nothing for kids of fourteen or sixteen to go hunting with small caliber rifles once in a while.

As I often try to do, I've gone for some signposts. For example, I know that there was at least a tower on Iron Mountain, though I don't know about what might have preceded it. All that remains up there today are the remains of the tower.

Life out where this man grew up was more of a contact sport and I've tried to let that come through where I think that it would have shown itself. 0_o


*****

19 September, 1946

Craig walked over to the window for a last look around. His world at the moment measured exactly 11ft X 11ft.

A last look around up here meant walking a few steps, and it was already getting dark. Still, he lifted his binoculars and scanned the mountains out there in his field of view. He knew that he'd likely have only a few more minutes for it, the way that high-powered optics needed a decent amount of ambient light to see through properly. With evening coming on, you had to really look to see if there was a plume or smudge of smoke to be seen on one of the ridges or slopes far out from where he was.

Then again, he reasoned for perhaps the one hundred and twentieth time since he'd been here this time, it ought to make a distant blaze a little more visible as well.

But then it was raining a little so it seemed rather unlikely.

He looked at his watch, since he'd have to note the time in his log. At least he didn't have to try for one more last-minute scan of the skies as well, since with the war finally over, he didn't have to watch for waves of incoming Japanese bombers over the skies of Idaho - as if that had ever been a possibility. But he did as he'd been told until last year when that part of it had been called off at last.

7:40PM.

The days were definitely getting shorter. And that meant only one thing - his time of self-imposed isolation on a mountain top was just about over.

He wasn't a monk or anything stupid like that, he smiled to himself as he thought about closing the place up tomorrow; it was his summer job, after all.

For the fifth year running, Craig found himself ending his last day on watch with a smile, as well as a hope that he wouldn't find himself up here again next year.

So far, it hadn't worked all that well.

And anyway, by the spring every year so far, he'd wanted the money so that he could continue his backwoods learning by correspondence and by then, he'd forgotten all of the times that he wondered if he was going a little nuts out here all alone.

Then again, with a social life as empty as his usually was, what the hell difference did it make? He'd only lost his virginity this summer - at twenty-three years old, for God's sake.

And it hadn't even been with a girl.

Craig then had to fight off the memory of Chance which came to his mind unbidden. Not quite as tall as he was (meaning not very), Chance was beauty incarnate in a thin male body, having almost golden-toned skin, soft, thoughtful brown eyes set in a pleasantly attractive face which was framed in soft medium brown curls. As well, he was possessed of irrepressible drives as far as humor and sexual desire were concerned.

Chance Coulter was a walking, talking summer fling that Craig knew that he'd never be able to fully put behind him. It hadn't been planned or foreseen, and looking back, Craig admitted to himself that it hadn't really been desired - yet it had still happened anyway.

But summer was over now.

Craig listened to the wind outside for a few seconds. Where he was, there was more to the wind than just the sound. Right now, there was also a little bit of sideways rain pelting the vast expanse of glass surrounding him at the moment. There was also the slow creaking and gentle swaying of the fire lookout tower that he was in.

The first year, it had been murder just trying to get used to it, but now, it was just something that happened. Five years, he told himself, and it hadn't exactly been blown down yet.

But he needed to hurry a little now, before it got full dark, if he wasn't careful. Walking down all of those many steps while he couldn't see a thing could be a bit of a nightmare the way that the wind could try to rip you right off the steps sometimes. It would be a hell of a thing, he told himself, to die of a broken neck just before he left to go home for the year. More likely, he'd pitch off the stairs and break his leg. The end would likely be the same; it would just take a while longer.

He closed up the cab as it was called and making sure that the door was securely closed, he hurried down the one hundred and five steps as carefully as he could, feeling the sting of the cold rain which lashed him in light and variable gusts. The layout of the steps and the open construction of the tower itself meant that he had to turn at the bottom of every flight of seven to start down the next one and that turned him around at intervals so that the rain had a fair chance to wet him evenly, once in his face and then once down his neck.

Repeat as necessary.

He reached the bottom and walked toward the slightly overgrown shed which was his quarters and had once been the lookout tower before his time, hurrying more now because he was wet enough to feel the bite of the wind. He thought about his dwindling supply of food; which mouth-watering combination of soups he'd dine on tonight, since he intended to eat them all so that he didn't have to haul them out with him when he left the next day.

And also because they were all that he had left, which had been good planning on his part, he thought.

He got the heavy steel plate covered door open and almost tripped over the threshold as he barreled inside. His glasses had gotten enough rain on them to make seeing a little iffy.

He turned on his battery-powered lantern, noting that it's output looked to be definitely yellowing, so he reasoned that the battery was on it's way out as well. He shrugged; he just needed it for maybe five more minutes, just long enough to get his fireplace lit. Then he'd turn the lantern off for hopefully the last time.

But the lantern was fading fast, so Craig abandoned the fire for the moment and lit his hurricane lantern by the dim illumination of the last of his electric one.

Just in time, he had some light and turned off the battery-powered one. He adjusted the flame with the wick and then hung the lantern up to start on the fire.

Five minutes later, he got up from his knees and sat down on his stool for a minute as the hearth got going and illuminated the rest of the cabin with it's warm, friendly glow.

He listened to the wind as it picked up even more and he could just hear the beginning of it's moans through the many steps of the tower out there. It reminded him that he'd be a lot warmer much sooner if he closed the shutters down over the many windows that the building still had from it's days as a fire lookout cabin. He walked out again and around the deck outside closing the things and trying not to look over the edge, because now it was so dark on the one side that you couldn't see anything at all but one huge shadow, though he knew that it was a long way to fall if you went over the rail.

"My last night," he sighed after coming in and closing the door.

His voice was a little rough from long disuse, since there was nobody around to speak to but himself and he'd worked on not doing that for over a month and a half now when he was alone - just like he did every year before he rejoined civilization. You had to curb that habit, or they'd all think you were nuts, walking around muttering to yourself all the time.

This year was the only one in which he'd had any company at all - and it wasn't something which was supposed to happen. Fire lookouts spend their time alone. And yet Chance had thrown all of that away with a quiet chuckle and that smile of his that made it almost impossible not to give in to the sudden want to kiss him. Craig sighed, knowing that he missed Chance already, but his summer lover had been gone now for a week and a half, since the store where he'd worked had been sold, the new owners not wanting to keep him on and with the war over for a year now, he'd been wanting to go home.

But what the hell, Craig thought, wanting to avoid feeling morose.

"My last night on Iron Mountain," he said out loud in a clearer voice as he looked at the calendar there on the wall with only one day not crossed off yet.

"Lord, get me the fuck off this overgrown pimple, wouldja?"

Dinner was going to be a tantalizing combination of beef barley, beef vegetable, and onion soups all thrown into the same pot to heat over the fire with only half of the water that Mr. Campbell said to use on the label. Actually, he now wondered why he'd never thought of it before, since it didn't sound too bad in a crazy, one man alone on a mountain top sort of way.

He opened the bread box that he'd made last year out of frustration over losing the race for the bread to the mice so many times and he squinted at the last of the rolls that he'd bought on his last trip into town.

He smirked. Some trip.

It was eleven miles of steady, sometimes winding downhill just to get off this heap of rock and a lot more to head into town. Thank God for his faithful old Indian 841. He thanked God for it even more, remembering just how tough it could be to walk up those eleven miles at this altitude for a man like he was, carrying his supplies for at least a week on his back. He'd sure done that enough, back before he'd bought the motorcycle by mail order.

Back in 1941, somebody in the army had figured out that one day, they might just have to fight in the deserts of North Africa. They must have seen the uses that the Germans put their motorcycles to when they fought their blitzkriegs. Troops who were mounted and highly mobile seemed to work for the Nazis, so they must have reasoned that it could work for Uncle Sam too. What they asked for were tough, battle-ready, air-cooled, shaft-driven (if possible) bikes that could be depended on in that harsh climate.

Craig didn't know all of the details, but he knew that both Harley-Davidson and Indian had been offered a whole lot of money to produce one thousand motorcycles each, built especially for desert warfare and submitted for testing. The Indians looked to be the better steed, in his opinion, but in the event, the army changed it's mind and decided that Jeeps were the better way to go for what they had in mind.

Craig didn't know what had happened to the Harleys, but he knew that the Indians were sold off cheap as surplus at the Indian factory and he'd sent off his money and collected his iron horse at the train station when it had arrived in it's crate.

The thought passed and he looked at the bread rolls again.

He selected the only roll out of the last two which hadn't gotten moldy yet. It was as hard as a brick, but Craig didn't care anymore. He'd bust it up with a hammer if he had to. It was going into the pot too once things got going a little.

As the questionable feast began to simmer and the smell of his dinner filled his nose, Craig allowed himself to actually think about home for the first time in months. He did that on purpose, since once you were here and all, there was just no point to dreaming about what you couldn't have, was there?

Well, other than when you played with yourself, he grinned.

He was twenty-three and he realized how much he missed his family.

Not the ones that he was related to, the ones who actually loved him.

He'd been born into a well-to-do family in Portland, but it had only taken a few years for him to be diagnosed as severely asthmatic -almost to the point where his life could be in danger. The many specialists who'd been consulted had only agreed on one thing between them. He had to be gotten out of the city and into a clean, arid climate.

Well they weren't going to move to Arizona for the sake of a lesser son's health now were they? Not when there was money to be made hand over fist in the many companies which comprised the family concerns.

His millionaire father had once had a brother. That brother had perished a few years before Craig's birth. But ...

That unknown uncle of Craig's had married and that woman - also not high enough in anyone's regard - lived in Idaho, in some backwater where about all they had to their names was clean air. It wasn't the desert but one out of two couldn't be too bad.

So ...

Off he'd been sent to Idaho with his governess so that he might be accompanied and dropped off -along with the requisite guardianship paperwork of course - before the governess returned to Portland to resume taking care of the other brats. There was a yearly stipend set aside and paid out monthly until he'd reached eighteen. At the end of that time, the sizable remainder was Craig's and he'd used it and saved on it with his odd jobs to put himself though a technical school long-distance.

Craig never grew much taller than five foot, eight inches and he only weighed about a hundred and sixty-five pounds if he was holding a twenty pound bag of flour these days. He was a touch near-sighted and he was still asthmatic if he wasn't in the clean mountain air, but he grew up to be a fine ...

A fine ...

Painfully-shy, tow-headed young man who had a brain and a heart. He'd never have had the thought, but he was stunningly attractive in his rather quiet and intelligent, unassuming way. He tortured himself as he nurtured some almost silent loves within his breast because they were unrequited and he knew that they'd always remain only that.

His asthma had gotten him a pass at the induction center when he'd tried to follow in his older cousin's footsteps, and he couldn't hack the work at the dusty sawmill which was the single largest employer where he lived. So he worked when and where he could in a little place called Cascade, Idaho.

Where the men are men and the sheep are nervous, as they say.

Until he'd arrived, unhappy and a little fearful as a very young boy, he'd never met his aunt Marjorie. She was a red-haired, blue-eyed fireball of a beauty, but not long after he'd landed in her care, she became more of a mother to him than his own had ever been. He'd almost run smack dab straight into a bear of a man named Deke Potter, who'd laughed to put him at ease and then became what a real father should be to him, raising him like a proper boy - who just needed a little consideration as he got going was all, as Deke would say to anyone who even looked half-interested.

Aunt Marjorie had a really close and dear friend named Rebecca who just happened to be a real live Paiute Indian woman with lively dark eyes and a sassy, effervescent, no horseshit common sense personality. She'd settled his asthma down right quick with a noxious-tasting combination of tree barks, pine needles and assorted other mountain medicines. He came to regard her as his other - other mother and she was as good for his heart just for the way that she loved him as she was at almost snapping his ribs with her hugs.

Nobody ever called them Margie or Becky. There were buck and bull moose heads adorning the wall in prominent places along the back of the Marjorie's café and everybody in town knew that those two girls had tracked, hunted, shot, skinned, butchered, and hauled those things out of the deep forests by themselves, while hunting on horseback too, though you'd never know it to look at them.

If anything, their slightly rough and rustic previous lives had only honed their beauty.

And that had been for fun - as well as the want of the meat. Oh, and because Rebecca had shown Marjorie what a treat moose oysters could be if they were done up properly, the way that she'd learned from her grandmother. If anyone asked her, Rebecca would smile and say they were 'Plenty big and tasty.' And if it had been a man who'd asked, then she'd look at him and beam about having to use a knife and fork to eat them, too.

They never really said anything about it, but they'd met while both were trying to survive alone through one of the longest, coldest, Idahoan winters on record and Marjorie had given birth to Craig's cousin Tad out in the middle of nowhere, and not in any building either, no sir.

Right there in front of God and Renecca out in the snow miles from the cave where they'd lived by that time.

Tad never heard anyone whisper the tale behind his back as it was said about him, but he was something of a legend in Cascade just for that and a lot of the women there regarded the circumstances of his birth as having played a part in him growing up tall, lean, and so good-looking.

So they'd never really spoken of it, but everyone knew that when it came time to cut the cord, neither one had a clean knife, since they'd been butchering a doe when Marjorie's water broke and Rebecca had done it the old-fashioned way and used her teeth.

So nobody ever called them anything but Rebecca and Marjorie.

Craig smiled as he thought of them and he hoped that they were alright as he finished the last of his odd stew - since he didn't really think of it as soup by that point.

He sat back and mentally ran down the list of things that he had to do in the morning.

Shut up the tower, lower the outer storm covers over the wall-to-wall, and right-around the block windows up there, lock the door and remember not to lose the key so that he could turn it in when he got to Boise on his way through.

He had to clean up the shack and pack his gear before somehow finding a way to load it all onto his mechanical mule - making sure not to forget his technical books, since he had to make arrangements to travel to the correspondence school's headquarters so that he could write his final exams on aviation electronics and take his practical tests as well.

Then he could leave for hopefully the last time and Iron Mountain could just fade into his memory like the necessary prison that he'd had to endure to make his money over a few summers.

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