Chapter Eighteen: Hi! Cool Temple!
"Oh, my- fuck I'm sorry-" I sputtered, trying to cover my bare tits.
"Hey, really- it's fine," said the man in black, "I literally don't care at all. I just want to-"
I started backing away stiffly, hunched over with my knees pressed together as I tried to cover my tits and my dick while holding in a fart. The man in black gave me an offended look.
"H-hey, do we have to do this right now?" I asked, "Could you send me back to the bathroom real quick so I can deal with, uh, the stuff? The stuff that you kinda made me put in my butt, and stuff?
"What? I didn't make you put that dick in your butt. I was just going to test how long you could survive in a room haunted by the sight of your lover's disembodied penis!"
"Oh," I said.
The man in the black peacoat shook his head and looked toward his wagon, pulling on the handle slightly. I blinked and found myself on the cliffside of a soaring mountain. Behind me there was endless unspoiled sea and before me a sprawling untamed forest. There was no hint here of man's destructive influence, only nature's raw beauty. In the distance I could hear the noises of some prehistoric creature and I saw the silhouettes of pterodactyls, like ancient birds in their flight pattern. I breathed in the clean air.
"Look!" I said, spying a huge feathered biped below, "a Pachycephalosaur! It looks like a giant chicken!"
"That's a T-Rex," said my tormenter.
I frowned and then motioned for him to turn away. I backed myself toward the edge of the cliff and squatted while I stared out at the churning blue waves of the ocean to relax myself. It worked and soon I expelled the remainder of my dead lover's seed. I stood up and was about to tell the man he could turn back around when I heard a voice yell from far down the mountain.
"Agh! What the fuck!" came the voice.
I peered over the cliffside and saw a head of dark gray hair now besmirched with a large splatter of white. Next to the crouched and sullied man was a resting triceratops. I was confused, and then saw several more men surrounding the scene, all in modern garb. One was wielding a giant camera from the late 20th century. I noticed neither the triceratops nor the T-Rex were moving and the T-Rex had an exposed wire skeleton. It seemed the men were filming some kind of fake movie about dinosaurs in dinosaur times on this island. They started scuttling about and looking up towards the cliff and I hurried back to my tormenter.
"Yeah," he said, "I think we can leave now."
I nodded frantically and we were consumed by whiteness. I expected it to remain and yet it gave way, this time to massive limestone columns and a checkered marble floor. Before us was a meticulously sculpted statue of Zeus on his throne. His figure was almost obscured by the darkness on that side of the room, but the brightness of the marble shined through. Behind us bronze firepits by the entrance to the temple glowed in the night. We were alone in the emptiness of this grand structure.
"Now we can chat," said the man.
Still naked, I looked around for a place to sit. With no sign of a cushioned seat available I did as I supposed the ancient Greeks did and reclined on a short set of marble stairs leading toward the area with statues. I thrusted one leg out to steady myself and curled another one under my bare buttocks for comfort. I splayed my arms out in mock ease and confidence. In truth I had already been humiliated so thoroughly it was all I could think to do.
The well-dressed man seemed to appraise my form for a moment and then pulled on his wagon again, manifesting a lengthy plush couch which he reclined on, pushing the wagon away. He unbuttoned his coat and quickly seemed much more comfortable than me. We were almost level now, and my eyes met his expectantly.
"Well, you passed," he said, "You have to understand, I wasn't trying to torture you. This week was pretty fucked up, but once you process it I think you'll see I wrapped things up for you neatly. I just had to be sure you were as serious about your plan as I was about mine. Every generation or so someone with a crazy powerful will comes along, and I have to pay attention to them. It turns out, your will matched his. I can't say I'm not a little happy."
"...Most of the time I was just really confused," I said.
"I know. But you didn't let that stop you. I usually pay more attention to the ones that think they have it all figured out. But, well look where we are-" he motioned to our surroundings, "-sometimes it's worth listening to the ones who know they know nothing."
"I know... things! I know how to beat the Ender Dragon in Minecraft!"
"Shut up. My question is: what are you going to do now?"
"So... you'll send me back? I, uh, think I need to find where Joyce went."
The man in black stared at me, tense but reposed.
"I mean-" I stammered, "-maybe I should try to find Ashe first? They're probably out looking for me, how long has it been? But then I need to find Joyce. She could be-"
"Shut up, Riese. I gave Joyce a gift. A curse, whatever. She's got her own path to walk now, and it's a really fucking long one. If she ever needs you again, she'll know how to find you. You just have to let her walk it. She'll find someone else."
"...and Ashe?" I asked, shifting uncomfortably as a tear began to well up in my eye.
"You're right, she is looking for you. But she's still at the beginning of her journey, and in the end the destination doesn't really matter. But she will find you, when she's ready."
"...Okay," I said, and wiped my tear.
"I think you know someone who does need you to find them, though."
I lowered my head for an instant and then nodded. The man in black smiled, a small but genuine smile. I smiled back. We both looked towards the wagon, and I stood up, naked and mentally renewed on the marble floor. The man looked back towards me.
"Before you leave," he asked, scratching his stubble, "You wanna fuck?"
"N-no," I replied, "I've probably been doing too much of that lately. And it wasn't that funny."
"Or hot, either," he noted.
"O-okay..." I said, and the man reached for the handle of his wagon. Before he reached it he tugged on the collar of his shirt and stretched his arms in that way guys sometimes do that I found so attractive. It was like he was hot but didn't give a shit, you know? Anyway...
"On second thought," I faltered, my exhausted and estrogen-addled dick rising again predictably but perplexingly like the sun after the darkest night.
"That's what I thought," he smirked.