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RotW&AotS Issue #2: The Shadows Over Hammerhead Cove

Ellio Lee

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Soooooooooooo... there's still the first part of another story to appear in Issue 1 (next Thursday I think) but I had hoped to have submitted Issue #2 by now.  However as I've been writing Issue  #4 I've found myself returning to "Shadows..." to re-edit and re-edit and re-edit again.  With any luck I'll submit for approval next week but until then or indeed after, I thought that for interested parties I'd throw out the first page and a half...


The road from Halpin Hope to the the Ricks Observatory was the best tended strip of asphalt on the Island.  Government grants and NASA funding kept it smooth and oily black – often times seeming to glisten beneath the baking sun.  From the northernmost end of town it breached the ocean like meadows of golden Feather Reedgrass, passed through the Black Forest for a stretch of thirty miles and over the Dean River to the south.  It wound under the thick green canvass cover of the Mucklemood Wood for a little under two miles before it intersected the private road to the Baxter Brothers farm twice and crossed the Korra Dam on a portable steel ACROW bridge, erected by the United States Army Corps of Engineers.  The fifty six mile expanse of road that climbed Norden Hill ran like a river - bisecting the eastern side of the island into north and south. 


Due to it's smooth surface and relative softness - the short stretch from the northern mouth of Halpin Hope to the beginning of the Black Forest was popular with the skateboarders and the BMX riders of the island's largest town – and apart from the roll of plastic wheels and skid of bicycle rubber it only really ever saw five cars gliding over it's surface day to day.  Doctors Benton White and Ichihara Yuya and the small team of engineers and programmers, that kept world’s largest optical telescope in top condition, could claim this road for themselves and few would argue with them. 


A few hours past midday and the sun burned bright in a cloudless blue sky.  Sitting atop the waist high wrought iron guardrail – his back to the meadow of three ft gilded grass – Sixteen year-old Takeru Yuya wiped the sweat from his forehead and blinked at the sun.  He pulled his yellow T-shirt over his head – removed it and dabbed it across his sweat dappled chest – wiping beneath his arms at the traces of hair glistening with perspiration before lifting it to his nose.  He breathed in – inhaling two days worth of his own unwashed teenage hormonal funk and smiled broadly to himself.  He had come to appreciate the smell of his own body – the odour of his sweat perfumed with his raging onset impulse.  It aroused a feeling in him that he always found difficult to ignore.  Not that ignoring that feeling was ever high on his list of priorities. 


Takeru, with T-shirt still in hand, gripped the railing and flipped himself backward landing successfully on his feet.  He allowed himself a moment of triumph – raising his hands into the air and bouncing like a prize fighter before he spun around and began walking into the two acres of meadow.   He tucked his t-shirt into the back of his loose fitting black basketball shorts and raised his arms above the Feather Reedgrass – enjoying the pleasant sensation as the soft golden tipped plumes tickled his forearms and the palms of his hands.  This feeling as the grass’s crests tickled his skin combined with the sun's warmth beating on his bronzed bare shoulders and chest afforded Takeru a moment of almost meditative peace


He walked a short way into the meadow – and craned his neck upward closing his almond shaped eyes against the brightness of the sun and allowing his vision to swim a sea of crimson – spots of light that rippled beneath his eyelids - creating rings that reverberated outward in time with the beat of his pulse.  Takeru checked to see how far he was from the road, satisfying his desire that the distance be great enough, before he sat down in the tall grass – laying his bare back flat against the long stems.


With one heel to the ground he kicked off his left sneaker and curling his toes into the back of the right – pushed that one from his foot too.   The boy stretched out his arms and smiling widely to himself waved both arms and legs against the grass – flattening the crude shape of an angel into the pliant meadow. 


From the Thursday of the first week of summer break Takeru had waited until his father had left for work at nine – ate whatever breakfast his mother had prepared for him (that morning toast and marmalade with white rice and nato) – shook his twin brother Hinata from his sleep and grabbing his skateboard rode the road to the meadows just outside of town.  He'd hook his board into the branches of the weeping willow tree by the the town's Welcome sign and sit on the barrier – waiting for the sun to reach peak by midday.  This little routine was into it's third week and served multiple purposes.  It kept him away from his brother in the morning - who was of notoriously evil mind upon waking and for at least a couple of hours more into the day – it also allowed him to be out of the sight of his mother whom he had convinced that he had taken a summer job helping to clear the fields of stones at the Mackintosh farmstead a few miles out on the other side of town.  Most importantly though it gave him a portion of the day to himself – with no distractions while his friends were either on holiday with their families or working actual summer jobs of their own – away from the bustling noise of the house while his mother turned their kitchen into a noodle factory for the small noodle bar cum shack she ran in the evenings for tourists on the esplanade – and away from the room he shared with Hinata.  Most importantly this quiet time – being able to get lost in the long Feathered Reedgrass – allowed him the time to masturbate in peace.

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