17 June 2011

6: The Snake Pit

The Jack And Danny Chronicles

6: The Snake Pit

“Where are we going, Al?” Wherever it was I hoped it was close. My nerves couldn’t take much more of her driving. I closed my eyes as she kangaroo jumped the car through a junction causing other traffic to brake and swerve.

“To a place I used to know called The Snake Pit. Call it a trip down memory lane. A journey of rediscovery, at least it will be for me. You can come along for the ride. You might even enjoy it. Jack’s a grand man, he’ll always be there for you, but don’t forget you’re only a kid. Enjoy yourself while you can, cos one of these days, brother of mine, it all ends and you realise that in the great scheme of things you’re a nobody who’s done nowt with their life except get married to the first man that asked.”

She sounded suddenly bitter and I felt some of my excitement die. “Is everything all right with Den?” I asked, unhappy with this continuing rift in their relationship.

“Yeah, he’s as perfect as ever, at least in his own and his toffee nosed cow of a mother’s estimation. Whereas I, apparently, am a bad influence on my own children.”

I winced as the car engine made another noise of tortured protest. It would never recover from this excursion, I was sure of it. Den would have to have it shot. “Sounds like Sunday lunch was as eventful for you as for me. I’ll tell you about mine, if you’ll tell me about yours.”

She mercifully parked the car in a pub car park and we traded sympathies about humourless, overbearing partners. Al heard me out and agreed that indeed Jack should not have forced another run in with Tristan so soon after the last. I didn’t mention the hairbrush, not wanting to believe it myself. Jack had never used anything but his hand to chastise my bottom, and that stung more than enough, thank you very much.  Now thanks to that interfering prat Tristan my chances of being able to sit comfortably for Christmas looked slim.

Al told me her grievances…

“.... and I mean, kids love those kind of rhymes don’t they? How was I to know she’d invited the vicar, as well as us for lunch? I didn’t tell Adam to recite the flaming poem at the dinner table. She really upset the poor baby with her carrying on. The vicar wasn’t much better. He looked at Adam as if he were the Anti-Christ. He’s only four and a half for God’s sake; he was just sharing something he thought was fun. It was a silly rhyme about a bogey and that straight-laced old bat acted as if he’d pissed in the gravy boat.”

We had stopped outside a pub called The Talbot. It looked fairly ordinary, if not downright dull. There was little sign of life. “I didn’t know you got off on playing dominoes and darts,” I stared at the pubs dowdy exterior in disappointment, “and I thought you said it was called The Snake Pit?”

“I don’t and it is.” Alison dragged me through the door and thrust me towards a flight of stairs, “we’re heading for the basement.”

I sniffed as we descended the steps, neatly side stepping a pool of vomit that someone had carelessly left lying around, “what’s that smell, Ally, apart from sick?”

She gave me a slightly withering look, “you are such a child, Danny.”

Charming I thought, and that from Madam Maturity. What is it they say, childhood is but a passing phase, but childishness can last forever? We reached the bottom of the stairs and she pushed open the black double doors. An incredible wave of noise rolled out to greet us. The place was heaving. I felt immediately self-conscious as dozens of eyes swivelled in our direction. Jeez, these people were not pretty. I’d never seen so much iron mongery dangling from so many different parts of the human anatomy. I was, I confess, a bit scared and pressed closer to my sister, whispering, “it’s a bit of a dive, Ally?”

“Actually,” she gazed through the blue smoky atmosphere with a practised eye. “They’ve smartened it up since the last time I was here.”

Oh God! I gulped as a biker, a huge specimen, slowly detached itself from the throng and lumbered towards us. Panic surged through my veins. We were obviously trespassing on the local Hells Angels hallowed turf. We were dead! I did my noble and manly duty, stepping in front of Alison to protect her.

“Back off, Danny,” she shoved me roughly aside, her eyes fixed on the leather-clad mountain that was bearing down on us with increased speed.

“Alison? Ally Macintyre? My God!” The giant whooped, plucked her off her feet and swung her round. She flung her arms around his neck and kissed him.  Dennis would not have approved. They finally broke for air and he set her on her feet again. He held at her arms length and stared at her hard. “It’s so good to see you. I thought you were dead.”

Alison gave a snort of laughter, “not dead exactly, just ex-directory. I felt a sudden yen to be listed again.” She grabbed me and dragged me forward.  “Georgie, I’d like you to meet my baby brother, Danny. He’s one of your lot.”

I winced and tried not to stumble as a huge paw gave me a friendly slap on the shoulder, wondering what she meant by ‘one-of-your-lot.’ I had never even ridden pillion on a motorbike, let alone owned one. Then I took a proper look round. “Ally, Ally,” I plucked at her sleeve, hissing in her ear, “this is a gay bar.”

She gave me a scathing look, “duh, nothing escapes your razor sharp intellect does it?”

She can be a right bitch my sister.

The giant was looking me up and down with renewed interest. I blushed.

“Cute, very cute,” he playfully patted my head, and then turned back to Ally. “I’m with someone now though, come and say hello.”

Tucking Alison’s arm through his with a touching courtesy that was slightly at odds with his appearance he escorted her across the packed room. I followed in their wake trying not to stare too hard. The pubs and bars I usually frequented were nothing like this. It was the gayest place I’d ever been to outside of a Pride March. It was a cross between The Rocky Horror Show and the bar scene from Star Wars where Luke meets Han Solo for the first time. There were some odd-looking creatures here, male, female and whatever.  How the hell was my straight sister acquainted with it? Dennis definitely wouldn’t approve. I’m not sure I did.

Georgie’s boyfriend turned out to be a quiet willowy blonde called Peter who looked as if he might be more at home in a church than this den of iniquity. He obviously adored the big biker. His eyes barely left the man’s face. Alison seemed perfectly at home. In fact she was like a queen holding court and thriving on it, cheeks flushed, eyes sparkling as she renewed acquaintances from the past.

My curiosity grew and grew. No wonder my announcing (at the age of sixteen) that I suspected I was gay had not fazed her. Actually, I’d been bloody disappointed with her reaction. I’d struggled with the whole thing for over a year (yeah, so I was a late developer) tortured over my inability to be sexually attracted to girls. I’d tried, I’d really tried, buying lad mags full of busty beauties to try and encourage the man downstairs to take an interest, but he just looked with his one eye and then turned away. Danny, you daft bugger, she had said as I wept and agonised, get a grip, you’re gay not terminally ill. 

A shattering scream in my left lug almost made me loose bladder control. I was shouldered roughly aside as something in pink leather launched itself at Alison and clamped its mouth to hers. Dennis would have died. I was a bit agog myself.

“Darling,” the apparition released its suction hold on Ally’s tonsils and spoke in a breathy voice, “I knew you’d eventually realise where your true leanings lay.”

Alison recovered her breath, rearranged her clothing and grinned, “Libby, you lunatic, it’s good to see you, and no, I haven’t come out. I was never in to come out. My brother is out thought –Danny-Libby, Libby-Danny.”

The pink apparition looked disappointed.  “Bummer, haven’t you got any sisters waiting in the closet?” Then she smiled and held out her hand, “only kidding. Nice to meet you, Danny.” She turned back to Ally, “what brings you back here after all this time? Rumours were...”

Georgie interrupted, “trust you to get straight to the point, Libby. I was hoping to work up to it a little more subtly and we’ve already done the heard you were dead bit.” He turned to his boyfriend,   “Peter, why don’t you go and introduce Danny to some of the younger crowd. I’m sure he doesn’t want to sit listening to us oldies all night.”

“Speak for yourself, darling,” Libby tossed back her pink and blonde hair, the dozen or so earrings in her left ear tinkling musically, “age is a state of mind.”

“Which makes you about six, Barbie girl,” Georgie smiled at her sweetly.

 “Hark at mister time warp man. Rebel without a clue.”
“Nice to see you two getting along better,” said Ally.

Peter dragged himself from his lover’s side with obvious reluctance. I looked anxiously at Ally. “Go and have some fun, Danny. I know they look a weird crew, but they’re okay when you get to know them. Put a block on the Jack wouldn’t approve thoughts. I’ve got my Dennis shields up.”

She obviously wanted some space of her own so I cleared off.

Peter introduced me to a few of his friends and after a pint or two I began to relax. A wiry, bearded guy with more piercings than a colander requested the pleasure of my company on the dance floor. Actually, he just grabbed my hand and said, ‘we’re dancing.’ I didn’t like to dissuade him of his intentions. Besides, it had been ages since I’d had the opportunity to dance. Jack was not one of life’s natural movers and shakers. He was much too reserved. In fact I suspected that Lily might well put in a better performance than him on the dance floor. He would not approve of this place that was for sure, in fact he’d hate it. He wasn’t a scene kind of man at all.  Banishing a mental image of a hairbrush contacting milky white buttocks I threw myself enthusiastically into being nineteen and having fun. Play now, pay later had always been my philosophy, hey I’m one of the credit card generation.

In the conversation stakes, Simeon, as my dance partner turned out to be called, was a cross between the naked chef, Jamie Oliver: (awrite mate, yeah, pukker) and Trevor MacDonald without an autocue (umm, err, are we on air?) However, he could dance, boy could he dance. I gave myself up to the moment. I love to dance and even if I do say so myself, I’m good. My smaller stature was an advantage on the dance floor, short people move better, look at Wayne Sleep. It felt good to expel some energy.

After a handful of songs I decided a break was in order, moving back to the table where Alison and her friends were sitting. She looked suspiciously as if she’d been crying. “Are you okay, Al?”

“She’s fine.” Libby and Georgie (slightly impeded by the lover entwined about his person) spoke in unison, moving protectively in towards her.

“Fine,” she smiled weakly, “are you having a good time?”

I nodded. I was having a good time. No deep and serious conversation, plenty of loud music, and not a hairbrush in sight.

Georgie undraped his boyfriend and sent him off to get a round of drinks in. Alison nodded after him. “He’s sweet, Georgie, at ease with himself, entirely the opposite of Michael. I’m glad you found someone else. How long have you been together?”

Libby answered for him, “nearly two years, darling and he’s been a complete bore the whole time, absolutely no fun at all.”

Georgie pulled a face at her, “you’re just jealous because your relationships never last longer than a few weeks.”

Simeon nudged me. “What is it?” I reached out to take one of the small white pills he was offering me. Suddenly a huge paw shot past me, and Simeon gasped with pain as his wrist was viciously gripped.

“He doesn’t,” growled Georgie menacingly. “ You understand me, boy, he doesn’t and while you’re in his company neither do you. Am I making myself clear?”

Simeon quickly nodded. He got up and mumbled something about going to the lavatory.

Georgie glared after him, a look of real fury on his face, in fact he made as if to get up and follow, but both Peter and Libby pulled him back down. I hastily tried to diffuse the situation. “I’m not into drugs, I wouldn’t have taken them. I just wondered what they were. Besides, judging from the way he dances I’d say it was harmless; probably only E.”

“That’s besides the point,” snapped Georgie, turning blazing eyes on me, “and for your information, kid, when it comes to drugs there’s no such words as ‘only’ and ‘harmless.’ Drugs, whatever they’re called, are bad news.”

“What about alcohol?” I asked, slightly needled by his tone, “that’s a drug and I don’t notice you being too righteous to refuse that, and half the people in here must be smoking Ma...”

Peter suddenly metamorphosed into a real person instead of an extension of the biker. He grabbed my hand, “let’s dance, I like Travis.” He hauled me towards the dance floor. I was too surprised to protest. He glared at me. “You got a death wish or something? Don’t talk back to Georgie, specially on the subject of drugs, not unless you want an anti drugs message branding onto your person in the form of a boot print on your arse.”

“He doesn’t look much like the keeper of the public morals,” I was still bristling.

“He isn’t.” Peter pulled me to one side and hissed, “he’s an ex junkie, like...” he bit his lip. “Anyway, he knows from experience that drugs fuck you up. His first serious boyfriend, Michael, your sister’s best friend incidentally, died from a heroin overdose. So, go easy on him.” He smiled faintly, adding in a dry voice, “what is it they say? Hell hath no fury like a junkie converted.”

I warmed to Peter properly for the first time, the little quip of humour giving him a personality that had hitherto been hidden under his quiet, biker-besotted demeanour. He was about my own age I guessed, maybe a year or two older.  It turned out he was twenty-three and he’d met Georgie in very inauspicious circumstances: unconscious and face down in a pool of his own vomit. Georgie had fished him out of it and taken him under his wing and straightened him out, so to speak.

I plucked up nerve to ask the question that was occupying the back of my mind.   “Was my sister a user?”

Peter gave a shrug, “from what Georgie has said about that time in his life, which isn’t much, I would say that the whole group of them were heavily into that scene. They didn’t have much going for them, so they compensated. You’ll have to quiz her. Maybe she doesn’t want to talk about it. I know Georgie would rather pretend it didn’t happen. From what I can glean, she was the youngest in the squat they shared and exceptionally close to Michael. They’d been brought up in the same children’s home, didn’t have an easy time, and turned to each other as well as other stuff for support. Kids like them are easy targets for the pushers.”

We returned to the table and I sat quietly drinking, only half listening to the conversation, my mind busy dwelling on this unknown portion of Alison’s life. Had she really been a heroin addict? I couldn’t believe it. Suddenly the magic mushroom incident, when I was fourteen, made sense. I read up about them and persuaded a mate to experiment with me. We got stoned out of our heads. It was the weirdest experience and I bragged about it to Alison. She betrayed me to Dennis. I had been devastated. I thought she’d laugh it off, but she didn’t. He was a very strict surrogate parent was Dennis and he expressed his disapproval of my behaviour in a way that left me unwilling to sit down for some while after. I’d been angry with her then and I was angry with her now. Why hadn’t she told me? I was hurt that she saw fit to withhold things like this from me, things that I had a right to know. At least I thought I had a right to know them.

Alison nudged me, saying, “you’ve got a face like an undertaker’s dog. Cheer up for God’s sake.”

I made a non-committal noise. She reached for my hand and squeezed it, “I’ll tell you a story sometime, but not here, not now. It wasn’t a good time, Danny and at the moment I just want to have fun. Let’s both have fun while we’re still able.” She winked, and I smiled. Jack was right, it was her past and it was for her to decide how much of it she shared.

Travis once again blared from the loud speakers singing a refrain about time running out and wanting to stay alive. Everyone at our table joined in, singing along with the chorus. I couldn’t help wondering how long I was likely to stay alive after Jack got his hands on me.

Simeon made a fresh appearance and I went off to dance with him. It was fun, and then he spoiled it. “No-Simeon-I’m sorry,” I backed off as he tried to kiss me, while brushing an exploratory hand against my crotch. “I’ve enjoyed dancing with you, but I’m with someone. I didn’t mean to give the impression...”

“I don’t want to marry you, I just want a fuck. We can go in the toilets.” He pulled me harder against his body and I struggled. He was a lot stronger than he looked and I began to panic slightly.

Pushing him off was an effort. “I said NO. Fuck off, Simeon, I mean it!” Anger suddenly flashed across his face. He snarled some unattractive names at me then lashed out. If I’d drank less my reflexes would have been better, as it was the punch caught me hard in the face and I flew backwards with blood pouring from a split lip.

Georgie stepped into the fray, grabbing Simeon by the scruff of the neck and shaking him like a rat. I managed to deter the angry biker from turning him inside out.

“Partly my fault,” I mumbled, pressing the back of my hand to my lip to stem the flow of blood. “I probably did give the wrong impression, didn’t mean to.”
“Listen, kid,” said Georgie as we headed back to the table. “No means no, in any circumstances and that hyped up little shit is just going to have to learn to take disappointment in his stride.”

The night had turned sour, my lip throbbed and I felt suddenly unwell. Drinking pint after pint on an empty stomach had done me no favours. I suddenly felt as drunk as a skunk, absolutely stinking! Alison was as slaughtered as I was, certainly in no state to drive us home. Georgie demanded her car keys and Libby got Den’s number from her and went outside to make a telephone call. Peter got me some ice from the bar to put against my lip.

“You’ve been blooded,” he smiled, “you’re a fully accepted member of The Snake Pit now.”

I tried to smile back, but it hurt too much.

Libby returned and informed Ally that she’d contacted Dennis and he was on his way. “I can’t wait to see what manner of man distracted you from my charms, darling.”

“Give it up, Libby, it was never going to happen,” Alison blew her a tipsy kiss.

I slumped against Alison, the conversation floating above my head, or was I floating above my head? She suddenly stiffened. “Jesus,” she slurred, “it’s the Blues Brothers-only they ain’t singing and dancing.”

I managed to persuade my eyes to focus in the direction she was looking. It hadn’t occurred to me that Dennis would contact Jack. The two of them were marching across the bar with the air of men about to invade a small country. Jack’s face, as he took in the scene around him, was a picture of bemusement. It didn’t help that the music playing as they came in was ‘Chop Suey’ by System Of A Down. Definitely not a song for the faint hearted or ballad inclined. He winced as if he were being assaulted with a blunt instrument. I mentally echoed the raucous, yet strangely melodic, singer’s sentiments. ‘Father into your hands I commend my spirit.’
“Nice,” Peter gave me a nudge, “which one is yours then?”

“The one with a face like the wrath of God.” I swallowed and intoned solemnly, “if I should die think only this of me, that there’s some corner of a foreign bar that is forever Danny.”

Peter nodded appreciatively, “ah, I too used to romanticise about Rupert Brooke.”

“Who’s this Rupert Brooke then?” Georgie looked indignant, “you’ve never mentioned him before.”
“Don’t worry, sweetheart,” Peter kissed his boyfriend’s cheek, “he’s no competition. He’s been dead since 1915. He’ll be a bit rank by now.”

Georgie looked baffled and we collapsed into giggles.

I had a vague impression of introductions and then the cool air of the outside world as we exited the building. Dennis recovered the keys from Georgie, carried my already sleeping, possibly even unconscious, sister to their car and then I was alone with a tall dark handsome...iceberg. The outside air wasn’t the only thing that was cool. “I lub you Jack,” I tried to reach up to hug his neck, both of them.

“Save it, Daniel,” Jack lightly swatted my bottom, unwrapped my arms, ducked my head into the car and closed the passenger side door with a brisk note.

My bubble burst completely as we headed home and the alcohol I’d consumed stopped romancing my, ‘isn’t everything a lark,’ nerves and starting poking at my, ‘you’ve drank too much, you idiot, and you’re going to be really ill,’ nerves.  “Jack. I’m gonna be sick!” I felt obliged to state my position.

“Not in my car, Daniel, not if you want to live to be twenty.” His voice held no trace of sympathy.

I stated the obvious, as drunks are wont to do, “you’re cross with me aren’t you?”

“Be quiet.”

“Aaah dooon’t feeel too good, Jack. Ah’m not well at all.” Once home I embraced the toilet bowl like a lover, mainly to try and stop it spinning around. I then began barphing a symphony into the receptive ear of armitage shanks. Those operatic associates of drunks everywhere, Hughie (soprano) and George (bass tenor) made their appearance. “HUUGGHHIIEEE,” my stomach rose majestically into my throat, “geooorrrge,” I rammed my head down the U-bend as the contents spewed out through my mouth.  They performed a few more Arias each before leaving me whimpering miserably on the bathroom floor. “Oh God,” I moaned as Jack patiently wiped my sweating face with a cool cloth. “I’m dying, Jack, I’m dying.”

“Believe me, Daniel, you’re far from dead.” He made me drink copious amounts of water, carefully tended to my lip that due to the antics of my stomach had started oozing blood again, and then began stripping my clothes off.  “We’ll discuss, in very close detail, the exact terms of your demise when you’ve sobered up.”

He administered an extremely sharp smack to my bare backside, one that even my alcohol-numbed nerves acknowledged as painful. Then he scooped me up into his arms and took me to bed, where I fell at once in to the sleep slept only by the innocent and the totally paralytic.

Copyright Cat/Fabian Black

No comments:

Post a Comment



My stories focus on M/M relationships, the main slant of which is on consensual discipline between loving male partners. It’s quite difficult to define this kind of fiction. It doesn't quite fit into the category of straightforward M/M erotic romance and nor can it be regarded as BDSM fiction in a classic sense.

Domestic Discipline Romance might be a fair description with still more sub categories under that umbrella with keywords such as: original character slash, domestic discipline, discipline partnership fiction, romantic fic, hurt/comfort fiction etc.

To be honest I don’t really think it’s necessary or even advisable to attempt to classify and define it too closely, because to do so is to risk confining both writers and readers by binding them with rules and regulations about what’s right and what’s wrong in a story that features any kind of power exchange.

I don’t personally think there’s a right or wrong way to write this kind of fiction, it all depends on personal taste, need and interpretation of interest, one size definitely doesn’t fit all and that’s how it should be, we’re all individuals and variety is a good thing.

Some of my stories are written from a tongue in cheek perspective and have elements of madcap humour and parody while others take a more serious look at the role consensual discipline might play in adult relationships.

Cat/Fabian Black


all material copyright Cat/Fabian Black unless otherwise stated.

Please note: I'm British so my stories are written using U.K. English and grammar. Please check the default setting on your reader devices.

None of the stories on these pages are public domain works. They are the intellectual property of the indie writer known variously as Cat, Fabian Black, Tarn Swan, Ester Phillips. They are not to be copied, passed on or reproduced in any way without the prior written consent of the owner and copyright owner