There once was a boy that stood hip-cocked and inviting at the sharp corner of Hustler and Whore under the glowing XXX signs of the porn district. With lips that glistened from an excess of lip balm and a touch of lip gloss for extra sheen, he sipped from a can of coke. His sky-blue eyes hung heavy from the weight of countless late nights, peering through a mop of spiraling black hair. Like all other salesmen of the night, he strode slow and seemingly aimless along, watching the passing cars.

Every night at about one a.m., when insufficient wives and chubby children were safely tucked in their suburban beds like happy secrets, the boy opened his legs and engorged himself with the starved, burgeoning organs of husbands and fathers for cash. Towards this incandescent speck of sex, the men's cars came from all corners, from the ranches up north to the penthouses downtown. All were desperately thirsty for the glabrous hump of his backside, the tight pink hole pulsing in the hollow, the taste of creamy climax. For hours on through the night they came, and came, and came again until the sky broke in red ribbons across the hotel window. This sky always reminded the boy of the stains on the sheets from when the passion got too great, when fingers clawed in and teeth bit down. He had souvenirs along his back and neck from such moments, and while other salesmen griped on how much of a pain it was to cover their scars up, the boy wore them with pride. To him, the pale cuts were like prizes, gifts for saving the men from their restrained, plastic lives, if only for a few sweaty hours. But like being awake early enough to see this sky, those gifts were very rare, too rare for his liking. He hoped for another gift with every slowing car.

There once was a Sunday night in December when business was slow, and the boy stood at his usual spot with his usual can, staring down the snow-frosted road. Not a rickety pickup or polished Jag in sight. Usually by now he'd made at least two-fifty from the early night churchgoers looking for a quickie behind the gas station. They'd watch the boy amble near the alley from across the street, sometimes fumbling with concealed rosaries, and after an eternity of debating, come over and proposition him in stuttered whispers. Those shaky, god-fearing men always reminded the boy of his junior year in high school, after an unedifying assgrab with a security guard got him banned from the strip-mall, and his profession was limited to house calls. He'd made chump money in those days, and wouldn't discover the glimmering allure of the porn district for another four years. He used to visit the condo of a lanky, golden-haired altar boy that would tell his mom they were having private bible lessons. With those somber eyes, pale skin, and the devil's coal-black curls, he was sure the mother thought he fit the profile of a courting sinner to a cross-shaped T and was thus in desperate need of scripture. She let them study in peace with the door closed.

At the end of each lesson Altar Boy would stand against the wall pulling up his robe, his freshly-ironed dress pants bunched at his ankles. The boy knelt before him as if praying, taking him into his mouth. Altar Boy especially loved it when the boy would take it all the way to his throat. He'd clench his teeth and give a long, low hiss, like a serpent in forbidden pastures. From above the door, a paper maché Jesus watched over them. Nearing the end, Altar Boy would pull off his robe and let it fall. All caution seemed to leave him, and the hisses grew louder. When he came, he’d throw his head back and grind against his signed
poster of Joel Olsteen, digging his fingers in a spirally mess of hair, whimpering over and over, “Oh Jesus Christ...oh God...Oh Jesus.”

The boy would smirk faintly as he swallowed, thinking to himself. Oh Jesus Christ, shut up.

But tonight there was nobody and nothing but the sound of wind sweeping across a carless street. Halfway through the night, the XXX signs abruptly shut off, and the street was cloaked in darkness. In the distance, the boy thought he heard the raspy voice of Dave, the beer-bellied sextoy shop owner bellow “Aww shit, the power's out!”

“Aww shit” was right. No one would come up now. They'll notice the lack of lights, assume everything was closed and turn away. This fuckin' blows, the boy thought. He shoved a hand in his pocket, counted his change, then started home, throwing his half-empty can in the street.

The bus stop was a block out of the porn district, and walking through the dark alley the boy heard the other salesmen complaining about how slow the night was. They started to beg each other for fifteen dollar blowjobs. Some of them even called out to him. He walked past without a word.

He rose from the back alley onto the street by the highway. The buildings had ended, and the boy could see his surroundings more clearly. Aside from a metal rod with a bus sign, the street was deserted. He sat in the snow and waited. Behind him, he could hear the other salesmen fooling around in the darkness, and occasionally on the highway, cars would zip by.

One seemed to break down a few lanes away. After awhile it was apparent that it broke down. The boy thought to call out to help. When he stood up, the car sped off.  In the driver's seat, the boy could only make out a tuft of dark hair.

Soon the cars stopped passing and the giggling in the alley died away, and there was still no bus. He rose restlessly, swatting the nipping snow off his legs. The white-striped gravel went on for miles undisturbed. Where the hell was the bus? Then the boy remembered: No buses after eleven on Sundays. Shit.

On the other side of the highway, above the dead streetlights, was a billboard of Santa and a multi-ethnic group of children wrapping presents. As Santa hands a pile of ribbons to an Asian girl, above his goofy smile a speech bubble read “Make a gift to make someone smile this Christmas.”

“Hey you fat fuck,” the boy screamed across the way, “all I want for Christmas is a fucking bus. Think you could you handle th –”

Before he could finish, the headlights of a bus beamed down the road. The boy winked at the smiling man, “Thanks.”

When the doors opened, the music from the driver's radio blared out. Amongst a crescendo of trombones and cymbals, a woman's deep, velvety voice sang about missing her ex-lover, and wanting him to want her too. Though the boy couldn't remember the singer's name, he remembered the melody. He hummed along as he got on.

The bus was peppered with the usual supply of late night freaks. In the very back, a man who seemed to be covered in mud slept against a monstrously large garbage bag overflowing with plastic bottles. Near the front an elderly woman stood despite the abundance of empty seats mumbling to herself. By the window under a flickering light sat another salesman, an acquaintance from the boy's strip-mall days. When their eyes met, they both gave a ghost of a nod. Even on a scarcely populated bus of displaced nightcrawlers, it wasn't too good for them to be too friendly. Death could follow them home, muttering words like “fag” and “bitch” if they weren't careful. Suddenly remembering where he was, he raised a hand to his mouth and, as casually as he could, wiped off his gloss. It was then, in the corner of his eye, that he saw the man sitting near the back, watching him.

His face was Buddha-like: Saggy cheeks, tiny, slanted eyes and shortly-cropped, gray-speckled black hair that was starting to thin. He dressed the way they all did: blue buttondown, crisp khakis, brown loafers. The boy shot an extended glance at the man's eyes. Looking at a magazine that read Windows 8, the man's eyes were opened slightly too wide, clearly unfocused. The boy kept staring. Soon, the man's eyes perked up again and returned the gaze, and the forbidden nocturnal message passed between them: I want you, and I want you to want me too.

All robes of caution fell to the wayside, and the boy went up to the man.

The man's hand dropped into the boy's lap as he sat. Callused fingers traced the skin poking through the rip in the boy's jeans, squeezed the thin thigh. The boy responded with a leg graze, soft but deliberate across the man's pudgy lump of a leg. The leg shook, the man grinned, and the boy pulled the rope to signal a stop at the first lit streetlight. Til the end of the bus ride, the man's leg kept shaking.

The business proposal was the usual. The boy lay facedown across the hotel bed, completely naked save for a pair of dingy white socks. He arched his back and pushed his ass, unusually plump for a body so thin, into the air. He swayed it side-to-side, spread his legs. He could feel the man’s gaze on his hole – the lubed, pink skin clenched tight like a baby's fist. The boy turned over and saw the man backed into the corner, his hands shivering. He took a step forward and the boy's face went rigid. His next words were well-rehearsed, coming out almost robotic.

“Cash up front. Fifty for a suck, two-hundred for a fuck, three-hundred for a night. I can top, bottom, swallow, rawdog, repeat visits, and repeat clients. No house calls. No mushy talk. No strings.”

“You got it, buddy,” the man said quickly, obviously not listening or caring. He started to fiddle with his belt buckle, and the boy noticed him swallow hard; he was drooling.

“Well then,” the boy said leaning back, putting his hands behind his head, “come and get it.”

Cash hit the nightstand, clothes hit the floor, and they fucked into the night. The man's flabby legs wrapped tight around the boy's waist, the coarse, curly hairs scratching the boy’s sides with every thrust. Braying and gasping, and with an occasional guttural growl, the man clutched hard onto the boy's shoulders. Under the dim light, his skin was the color of rotting banana peels, his stomach flopped around like loose blubber. His hole was unnaturally loose, probably from too many nights with an over-sized buttplug, the boy thought. The boy tried to fake a moan or two but quickly grew tired of it. Nothing about this was enjoyable. How he came he'll never know.

Not five minutes after it was over, the man slid off the bed, grabbed his khakis off the floor, and threw two more hundreds on the desk. “I wanna go again. I'll fuck you this time.”

The boy nodded, scratching his sides. He'll gladly bottom, any more topping tonight and he'd end up with rug burn. The man went into his pocket again and fished out a small black box the size of an eyeglasses case.  “A little extra fun,” he said with a sniff. He holds it out. “Want some?”

“I will if you want me to,” the boy said, trying to sound seductive through his itching fit.

“You don't have to if you don't want to,” the man laughed.

“No, thanks then.”

And with that, the man went into the bathroom. The door locked with a loud click, followed by something clattering on the sink.

The boy plopped on his stomach by the edge of the bed and grabbed his jeans off the floor. He stuffed the hundreds in the back pocket. The man'll probably last all of five minutes so he needn't waste time with getting ready to leave. Once he flailed his pencil-dick from his ass he was outta there. When he pushed the money in, his tube of lube fell onto the floor and “Great moisture all night!” stared up at him in bold purple letters. Christ, he was itching bad. He picked it up and shrugged. It couldn't hurt. He squeezed a more than modest amount of the clear liquid in his palm, rubbed his hands together, and massaged it over his chest and sides. It dulled the itch a bit. The boy gave a heaving sigh and fell back on the bed satisfied, almost forgetting about the man until he reappeared in the doorway, his lips looking slightly swollen.

By the time the man climbed on top of him, the boy was already eyeing the door. He spread his legs, and the man shoved himself in. The boy let out a bored groan. The man must have mistaken it for a moan for he snaked his hands up the boy's arms and laced their fingers, whispering into the nape of the boy's neck.  “You like that baby?” he said, “I know you like that. Oh yeah, I know you like that.”

The voice gave the boy images of Altar Boy talking with his retainer in, and he had to bite his lip to keep from laughing. The man thought the boy was enjoying himself, why destroy the fantasy? He was a good change from the other fidgety bible-huggers, and the boy relished in the man's enthusiasm as he plunged in harder, his face still buried in the boy's neck, breathing loudly against his ear. The boy hoped somewhere beyond the cracked ceiling, Jesus was watching them. He was pleasantly surprised when the man started to bite down. It'd been too long since he received a gift, let alone a biter. He leaned back and kissed the man's hairy ear.

“Bite me harder,” the boy whispered, “much much harder.”

The man bit down again, and the boy winced as he felt his skin break, the man's oddly sharp teeth stinging as they scraped against the swelling muscle. The man's fingers slivered around the boy's wrists and pinned him to the bed. He rammed harder into him, his muffled moans beginning to sound like scared yelps. The man bit down again and the boy gasped loudly. He felt the blood slide past his collarbone, mixing with sweat. Then the man pulled out, warm come oozing onto the boy's thighs.

Once his wrists were free, the boy clasped both hands to his neck. The gashes were soft and moist on his palms, soaking his fingers. He lay in silence, tears welling in his eyes, too stunned to speak, his mouth hanging open; this didn't feel like a gift anymore. The man's body seemed to shimmer above him, the dripping sex still erect, his round frame casting the boy in shadow. His swollen lips spread into a smile, and the boy saw the thin flaps of skin hanging from the man's teeth. It wasn’t until the mouth opened again and descended upon him that the boy began to scream.

Luke could always ordain the turning points in his life with an orgasm. The sweaty night with a rickety French professor that thrust him into college, that bad blowjob from Bobby that marked his last mass, the solitary quickie in grandpa's basement; his first squirt in the dark. It was all there – a sultry, sodden existence. From his first toddling steps, deep voices above him told him to be an obedient child, especially to the big man in the sky. As such, his time as an altar boy seemed to be natural, predestined. Especially when he met Bobby. Lovemaking after service always seemed to shave off their seemingly unshakeable sin, and after the two hours of cleaning after mass, they would grow more tender; the deep voices Bobby made for him moved him more than any high-volume sermon. One day, without warning, Luke ceased to buckle at Bobby's touch, the lips lost their lustrous allure, his chestnut hair dulled in the Sunday sun. Luke fell from the church and from Bobby all in the same day.

After Bobby, he'd resolved to pleasuring himself again. Every time he peaked, he felt something inside break apart, images pushing, oozing through. A few years later, he came to call one of them Monsieur Bresson, the velvet moans that made Luke grow crazed, mad with revelry. After a semester of this, before swaddling him as he always did in beige, Italian sheets under the dimmed lights, he whispered in Luke's ear “ 'Profond! Profond!' 'Deeper! Deeper!' Always go deeper, bebé, always go deeper.”

Luke knew then to break it off with him. The following morning, he went back to his dorm and took a pair of scissors to his bowlcut. When the last of the blond hairs fell, he dyed what remained an auburn brown, gelled it to spike. He stripped down to his socks, ran his hands up and down his torso, marveled at the olive skin, the bulging neckbone, the v-shape his hips made. When he opened his mouth his body, fully bloomed, spoke through him: “You're having a threesome. Tonight.”

He'd become a different kind of religious devotee, kneeling instead before a resplendent altar of man-chested gold and masculine ivory every night, cradling visions of spunk-scented jockstraps and coarse chest hair. He'd ordained a belief in fucking; a mission to go deeper.

On Christmas break back at home, it was this belief that led him to The Gift Party.

Under a piss-and-whiskey-stained alley near the less-booming bar strip, a ballroom dwelled, warm yet sepulchral, at the bottom of a spiral staircase. From a manhole cover that no one noticed never steamed, music echoed. Luke ambled through the people, reveled in the leathered outfits and lurid hairstyles, the painted faces mimicking sullen ghosts. So far, gift parties here weren't too different from the ones near the university.

He found himself in a corner with a green-haired and corseted girl who kept eye-groping him. (He was, naturally, more in the mood for a tall, lanky blond with a slight lisp tonight but supposed she'd do for now. He'd done it with girls before, and planned to be gifted at least three more times before sunrise. Whichever he got it he didn't care.) The girl wasn't the best of kissers, her breath smelled of roadkill, and her nails seemed to pinch or scratch his groin in all the wrong ways. Right as his fingers disappeared up her skirt, the music stopped.

Fuck this no power shit. It would've made for more squirts in the dark, man! Why the hell is everyone leaving? What the fuck? What the FUCK?

Turning onto the highway, Luke cursed the city again, especially it's short-sighted denizens (“Sorry, babe,” the girl yelled over the crowd, “maybe next time we'll get to know each other better. I can't do it with no power.”).  Some of the cars were clearly of some of the partygoers, pelted with skull-stickers and gothic-lettered band names. He pressed harder on the gas. The engine coughed, and the car began to slow. Shit.

He turned the key again. Nothing. One more time. Nothing. Again. Again. Again.

When he noticed the guy at the bus stop across the way watching him he started to panic. Suddenly he remembered the homeless man that jumped out of the darkness and smashed his windshield last year. Ever since, the car was cursed with breakdown spells.

“Damn this car. Damn this car. Fuck, goddamn this car!”

Again. Again. Again.

When the guy stood up, shaking black curls from his face, the engine sputtered back to life. Luke slammed on the gas without another look back. These crazy fucks in the street, another reason why he hated coming back home for Christmas.

It wasn't until Luke got into bed that he thought about the high school hustler; his interlude between easily accessible porn sites and Bobby. Something about the guy's curly hair triggered the memory. It was the first and last time he felt the clichéd giddiness of first love (Those icicle-blue eyes, those raven spirals!). When Luke felt something twitch and swell in his shorts, he began to smile; he hadn't gotten his gift yet. Slowly, he let his hand slide beneath the sheets, slither under the elastic band. Luke didn't know where the boy had gone before or since, but he sure brought back fond memories, all tied up in a moist white bow.

There once was a man named Darien Walker that loved the taste of flesh swelling in his mouth. For a long time, he'd wished he could to carry pieces of it in his pocket to chew at his leisure, a lollipop- shaped limb or slice of fresh viscera to keep the days a little less awful, less starving. He'd wished he could wear his special dentures out in public, that the spike canines or metallic shine wouldn't set people on edge. Maybe then it'd be easier to get off at least once in a night. Enticing beautiful youths wasn't particularly easy for a man his age and weight, and those few compassionate souls that took pity on the man were very rare, too rare for his liking. He was just on his way home from a dreadfully slow night around Christmas when the boy came on the bus. The man immediately identified him as one of the fortune-driven wraiths that kept vigil over street corners. For hours into the night, this boy would stand in the crowded alley or in a secluded lane under the XXX sign by Dave's Dildo's, waiting for cars to trudge up and swallow him. This was certainly not a kid on Santa's list, and as he came to sit next to him, the man's mouth began to water.

At first he'd decided not to do it. He would just get a quick drive-by fuck to appease his starving nerves, and so far it was going great. The boy had plunged so deep inside him the man thought he'd impale his intestines. When the tip grazed against his special spot, the boy gave the man visions of iridescent flashes of white; the purest of all snowflakes. When the man came, he tightened his grip on that smooth, thin body, never wanting to let go. He wanted to stay swaddled in this white light under those baby blues forever. And by the time the boy stiffened and moaned above him, his liquid fire shooting up the man's spine, the thirst was too much to handle. He'd given in.

He gave the boy one chance to escape when he offered him his teethbox. If he'd said yes, the man would have let him open it, grab his clothes, and run out before the boy had a chance to react. Instead he refused, so the man went into the bathroom, removed his dentures, and reluctantly put the metal fangs in. The boy didn't scream as loud as the others, just a sudden girly screech that was soon hushed by the blood gurgling up his throat. Maybe it was the liquid gag that killed him more than the actual bites. Oh well, didn't matter now.

Sometime during the night, a sweeping warmth enveloped the man as he slept, and he woke up feeling strangely whole. He knew that, no matter how stoic he might have been at first, deep down, the boy had loved him. The boy's special gift, the lurking liquid within him, had told him so. Pieces of it swam freely about his rectum, the others dried happily between his thighs. He longed to be with the boy again, to behold those beautiful blue eyes one last time, but knew it to be impossible.

In the morning the man stepped out from his lonely apartment onto the fire escape, the red taste of the night before still moist on his tongue. He looked out at the buildings that peaked and valleyed beneath him. In the far east, the lights of the porn district burned like a fresh sore against the calm of the city, and the garbage incinerator, a steaming white candle in the distance, began to cough black. On a nearby roof lay a billboard of Santa and a group of kids wrapping presents. It seemed to have fallen overnight.

By now, some immigrant cleaning lady would have discovered the boy, his pale legs poking languorously from the sheets, the corded insides splayed like streamers across the pillows. She'll run down the seedy, beer-stained hallway, screaming in her native tongue or a bad imitation of English. No one will understand her either way, and the boy's body will soon find its way into a thin, plastic coffin and shipped into the bowels of that smoking incinerator amidst whiskey bottles and used condoms. Slowly the wholeness within the man drifted away, and suddenly he was cold. With quivering wet eyes, he retreated inside, giving one last mournful look down at the smiling Santa over his happy feast of children, holding out ribbons under a gore-streaked sky.

The End

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