He would remember two specific things for years: the key ring Jamal tossed on to the glass topped coffee table in Kurt’s apartment, and the smell of lemon. He had his own key, but Kurt had given Jamal a key so he could collect a few personal effects Kurt needed for the hospital. Unlocking the door, Jamal had pushed him into the room, threw the key ring down, and bolted the door. The key ringed jumped and clicked twice on the glass. A clatter and ping, and Terry remembered following its movements until the keys settled in a hump. Jamal favoured a strong lemon-scented fragrance. Terry smelled it with every breath, especially overwhelming when the soldier stood close behind his back.

“Kurt needs his shaving gear, a couple of T-shirts, and clean socks. He says his feet are cold. And I want a beer.”

The statements were commands. Terry complied, gathered together the various items, and placed them in an army-issue, khaki knapsack. Although smoking was forbidden in the hospital, perhaps Kurt would be able to go outside and enjoy a cigarette if Terry wheeled him to a terrace, so he found an open package and threw it in, along with a couple of military and hunting magazines. Without Jamal around, he might have a better chance of getting to see Kurt, despite the latter’s insistence that he stay away. The guy couldn’t very well keep guard outside Kurt’s room 24/7.

“You can’t go in. Kurt’s strictest instructions. He doesn’t want to see you here.” Jamal had grunted on the threshold, his arms crossed like a giant Nubian guard, stepping aside only for a nurse exiting the room with a towel-covered pan.

“What? You’re joking. Kurt doesn’t mean that. I want to see him. You can’t keep me out.”

“You willing to bet on that, bitch?”

He didn’t think the nurse or anyone in the corridor paid attention to Jamal’s loud voice, and Terry immediately resented both Kurt’s “strictest instructions” and Jamal’s threat. He couldn’t get a very good look into the room given the soldier’s girth blocking the view, but he noticed a screen of blue curtains surrounding one bed, which he assumed was Kurt’s. Either he protested verbally to no effect, or grappled with Jamal physically, or shouted to Kurt in the room to rescind the order. A head shorter than Jamal, and probably 70 to 80 pounds lighter, not to mention a soft body to Jamal’s steel, he’d lose any struggle. He considered it good policy not to antagonize Jamal who, ever since they had first met in the apartment, stared at Kurt’s friend like a panther eyeing a gazelle and waiting to pounce. They had only been together a few times, never alone, and nothing happened between them, despite innuendoes. Protected by Kurt, he needn’t have felt anxiety. Jamal’s smirking, his obscenities and provocative gestures when Kurt wasn’t in the room, unsettled Terry, even more so when he became aware of a strange kind of satisfaction in the soldier’s persistent attention. He silently whistled relief when Jamal stopped paying attention, or Kurt entered the room and issued a command of one kind or another.

Jamal said that Kurt had given him a key to the apartment, and they’d both go to Kurt’s place in Terry’s car. Wanting to express some sense of his own dignity and importance to Kurt, Terry fidgeted under the man’s gaze and proximity to his citrus-scented body, uneasiness surging in his blood as palpable as the thick black belt looped around Jamal’s waist. Not Kurt’s real friend at all, but something tolerated for amusement purposes, a mere toy or joke to pass away the time until redeployment; that was how he saw himself in Jamal’s eyes. Not that he could see the man’s eyes, for Jamal wore black shades like a bodyguard in a movie, like a black phantom, only corporeal and citrus-smelling.

Why wouldn’t Kurt let him in? He needed to see his soldier who had phoned him at the college, saying that he had been admitted to hospital for various tests, nothing to worry about, and he’d be out in a few days. No, Terry shouldn’t visit; Jamal had everything under control. Jamal knew what to do. Terry was disappointed. Before calling him, Kurt had already phoned Jamal who took command of the situation. Kurt would be released in a few days; nothing to worry about. He, Terry, could stay in the apartment…in fact, a pile of dirty laundry waited for washing, and Kurt mentioned a few other chores he expected done during his absence. Terry, though, was forbidden to come to the hospital. Understand, cunt? Yes, Terry understood, but he also didn’t believe Kurt meant what he said. Immediately after the end of his classes Friday morning, he had driven to the hospital, where he confronted Jamal.

In the apartment, the soldier clomped from living room to bedroom, poked his head into the tiny kitchen, commented upon Kurt’s untidy habits and how a soldier had to keep his gear in order, and plunked down on the bed. Following Jamal like a trained dog seeking approval, Terry wished he hadn’t returned with him. The soldier’s cologne snaked its way through the stale air of the bedroom and Terry thought of opening a window. Maybe scour the washroom and kitchen. He needed to get busy and escape Jamal’s gaze. The soldier unbuckled his belt.

“Now that Kurt’s out of commission for a while, we need to do something to keep his bitch happy and occupied, don’t we?”

He ignored the words, just Jamal being playfully offensive again, but Terry didn’t like the implications and opened the top dresser drawer, looking for the change of shorts that Kurt would need. Hearing the false camaraderie in his own voice, he asked:

“What else did he say he wanted, Jamal?”

“He said I could fuck you.”

“Yeah, right, I’m serious. He needs his stuff. Shaving cream, razor?”

“You really think you’re something special to Kurt, don’t you?”

Judging the question to be more rhetorical than real, Terry didn’t answer, but opened the closet and pulled down Kurt’s army knapsack from the shelf. His skin prickled as it often did when nerves got the better of him, and the sooner he gathered Kurt’s things, the sooner they could go back to the hospital. He heard every movement Jamal’s big body made on the bed.

“Let me tell you something, bitch. You don’t mean shit. You don’t have a clue about what’s going down. Kurt, him and me go way back. He’s told you a few stories, I know, no man I trust more than Kurt, no man he trusts more than me. You weren’t in the sandbox with him, not like me. You don’t mean shit to him.”

“He trusts me.”

“Yeah, right, I forgot, you’re his bitch, pardon me.” His laugh erupted from the hard belly and he stretched out on Kurt’s bed, placed his arms behind his head, causing his biceps to bulge, belt undone and pants loosened. He snapped at Terry to light him a cigarette.

“Light it yourself. I’m not your slave.”

Without a word, Jamal jumped off the bed and smacked Terry hard enough across the side of the head to send him sprawling on the mattress. Terry cried out, Jesus fuck, but Jamal straddled his chest and smacked his face over and over, one side, then the other, one side then the other, with the back of his hand until Terry’s cheeks flamed and he bellowed with pain, but the more he cried, the more Jamal pressed down on his chest with his big body and slapped his face. Too stunned to move, his voice garbled, Terry begged, please, don’t, please, no more, even as Jamal pulled his pants and boxers off, hoisted his legs, and still wearing fatigues and boots, his cock sticking out, mounted him, face to face.

“No, please, don‘t…” What defense could he possibly have at this moment?

“If Kurt knew…”

“Shit, you think Kurt don’t know what I’d do when I got his bitch alone? But he’s not here now to protect you, is he?”

Then, as if to emphasize his freedom and determination, Jamal whacked Terry again and again and again, Terry raising his arms to ward off the blows, but Jamal pushing them aside, warning him to behave, to co-operate or he’d yank the arms out of their sockets.

If Kurt had stood by the bed, watching, then he would have understood and accepted Jamal’s attention without too much resistance, for Kurt would have approved and made everything cool. He would have been doing it for Kurt, even imagining Kurt in Jamal’s place, so, really, his body would not have jerked in protest. His mind would have been clear with understanding, but now, the pain darting and sticking in all parts of his head and brain, his mind began crumbling, piece by piece, like fine parchment roughly handled, crinkling, cracking, fragmenting beyond hope of restoration, the words imprinted already faded, almost indecipherable, and now forever lost. No story remained for him to tell, no story except the certain knowledge of extinction like the precious manuscript blown about like dust in a wind. Screams proved pointless, and with the huge hand smashed against his mouth, his voice stifled, he could not even bite a finger. He sent his mind on a quest; locate one centre of one pain to deflect from another. He remembered reading that you couldn’t feel two pains simultaneously. He tried not to focus on the pain of Jamal’s stone-headed cock cracking through the delicate glass of his sphincter.

Jamal could break his legs. Having separated and hoisted them over his shoulders on the bed, he penetrated fully and fiercely at one powerful thrust, up to the hilt, ravaging Terry’s ass, tearing at the sensitive tissue therein, and ramming, yes, ramming was a word Jamal used, “gonna ram your hole, cunt,” and so he did. Terry screamed. Jamal smacked his face so hard blood squirted out of his nose, and he slammed a big hand, a hand that had carried army gear and bazookas and dragged wounded soldiers off the road now slammed down on his mouth.

“Just a bitch, you fucking cunt…you want Jamal’s big black cock, don’t you, cunt?”

Well, no, he couldn’t say that he did, but, yes, he had fantasized about black cock and about Jamal even in the midst of his anxieties about the man. Soldiers possessed an extensive lexicon of sexual abuse, and he supposed Jamal, in the throes of abuse, was going through the alphabet. Deeply connected with their buddies in the army, that enviable and passionate bond Terry admitted that he had long hankered after, but odd, really; Jamal despised him because he also loved Kurt, and even they did the same things Kurt did, but somehow it wasn’t the same; it wasn’t the same at all. They didn’t understand the nature of his love. In the future, if he survived, perhaps he would ruminate more on the topic. The moment was not opportune. His body bounced on the bed from Jamal’s repeated and pneumatic riveting, his ass seared beyond endurance, blood leaking down the back of his throat, and his arms inert as if the bones had dissolved. Not that he could have pushed the giant Jamal away. The pain in his pelvis, Jamal’s cock an iron wedge hammered into tender flesh, howled among the fragments of his mind, and his voice died in his throat as Jamal ripped through his lower body, cut across the prostate gland, pulled him apart, pounded against resistance, expanded the narrow channel, splintering and hollowing him out, until his mind emptied itself, and nothing existed down there except fire and agony, iron and sweat, the smell of the forge…iron and cock, utter lovelessness and the smell of lemons and sweat: oh Kurt, help, help me.

Then Jamal delved deeper, dug into his flesh, the soldier’s teeth biting into his neck, biting like a vampire sucking out sustenance, and a new pain shot into Terry’s head, the pain of teeth ripping skin, his legs so numb that he could not feel them around Jamal’s neck, as if they had become detached and no longer belonged to him. A stream of obscenity flowed out of the soldier’s mouth as he blasted his seed in the depths of Terry’s body, as if he were impregnating a womb, get fucked cunt, beg for my big black cock, pussyboy, you know you need it. Jamal jerking in spasms, grunting and swearing, expletives not specifically directed at Terry, but not letting go of the fucking white soldier loving cunt. And pain as tangible as the soldier’s biceps, guns Kurt and Jamal called them, big guns meant big arm muscles, which Terry had always thought a peculiar use of the word, spread itself evenly throughout his body and he was getting used to it. Despite tears and a bone-deep whimper, he could, in the end, endure.

Terry turned his head, feeling like Humpty Dumpty, his brain putting itself back together again, heavily overlaid with fractures and missing pieces, to be sure, but able to function. As if he had stepped outside of himself, a spirit rising from the tortured bed, he noticed how dirty the sunlight spread against the window. It really needed washing and he wondered if that was one of the chores Kurt had mentioned. He could have spent the weekend here, cleaning the apartment from top to bottom, maybe even painting the ugly walls, although he doubted if he’d have time for that. Kurt didn’t much care for the look of his civilian quarters in any case. The curtains had not been drawn. He had gone to the hospital in the morning after his one and only class of the day, although he did not know what time it was now, how many seconds passed before Jamal’s thick spunk stopped flooding his ass.

Jamal released his legs, fell on top of him and panted, whispering cunt and bitch and cocksucker and I own you now in his ear, you know you want it hard, threatening to fuck him again, to fuck him to death and to fuck him again. Terry’s mind began to assert itself as he stared at the window. He considered Jamal’s remarks redundant. Fucked to death once, yes, many fuckings required perhaps, but the dying could only occur once. He’d be fucking a corpse. Fucked to death, the ecstasy of extinction. Did the soldier want to murder Kurt’s bitch? Death by inappropriate intercourse. The thought wrapped itself around the agony, and maybe it would be good to die, this very instant. Jamal was not the most adept verbally, and already the cock stirred between his buttocks and Terry, wanting relief, not really wanting to be fucked to death, began begging, please, please, Jamal, please, God, no more, but knew it pointless to seek divine intervention or ask for Jamal’s mercy.

What on earth did the hunky black soldier see in this soft, attenuated middle-aged civilian? Just an oddball friend of Kurt’s. A hanger-on. A military groupie, so to speak, a guy who liked soldiers, living vicariously through their adventures and manhood. A submissive cunt. Nothing more. Like the whores who visited barracks and tents erected on the Afghanistan sands. Shack rats, they were called. He, Terry, had become a form of shack rat. Their sole purpose to service a soldier’s cock. Really, Terry sometimes thought, given his looks and age and position in life, he did not qualify as desirable fuck meat. Once Jamal had told him that he didn’t know shit about a soldier’s life, didn’t care what stories Kurt told; he could never know what a soldier felt about his buddies in the army.

Yes, he had to agree with Jamal, although in return, Jamal knew shit about the connection between himself and Kurt, if not superior to what soldiers felt for each other, then perhaps equal to it, a different dimension altogether. More than being a cunt in Jamal’s contemptuous use of the term. Jamal lacked the ability to make distinctions. What he didn’t understand, he merely despised or fucked as an available cunt. Well, maybe it was a kind of black man’s revenge against the white race, fuck as many of them as they can, breed them, one of the words Jamal had used in the throes of ploughing Kurt’s cunt; I’m gonna breed you, bitch, fill you with my sweet jism, and make them submit to the black god. Maybe Jamal was jealous, also. Terry realized that he couldn’t tell Kurt about Jamal, not only because Jamal had threatened him if he so much as said a word, but also because Kurt would blame him, accuse him of betrayal, and maybe flog his back to bloody shreds. But Jamal said Kurt knew what his comrade-in-arms wanted, and Kurt had given permission. This Terry refused to believe. Fucked to death or beaten senseless: the devil and the deep blue sea; out of the pan into the fire; six of one and half dozen of the other; between Scylla and Charybdis. He gained some comfort from remembering that Odysseus had escaped dire circumstances, and he believed that Kurt had not given Jamal permission to rape his civilian bitch.

“Stay there, cunt. I need to make a call.”


For all installments of “Shack Rat,” click here.