Fiction: Chance Encounter on the Ben Lomond Track
By I. Hodgeson
Hunter McPherson came around a bend in the Ben Lomond Track, where there was an outcropping of granite, allowing him to see the trail up ahead, maybe two or three hundred meters above him in elevation, two specks of mauve and purple, two women, as their colors would indicate. The Ben Lomond was a tough track, fourteen kilometers long, with a rise and descent of more than fourteen hundred meters in elevation. Seeing these women, Hunter thought that either one, they had taken on more of a trail than they should have, or, two, were up for the challenge. He hoped the later, because he hadn't gone on this trek to rescue anyone, man, woman, or dog. His loyal companion Chester, a black Lab, was puffing along beside him, carrying his own dog pack over his shoulders, slobber dripping from his mouth.
Hunter, seeing the mauve and purple, thought of the women as alpine flowers he wanted to admire, not only for their beauty, but also for their stamina, challenging the Ben Lomond Track. He pressed on, planting his staffs ahead of him, click, click, click, rising up the trail toward the pass.
The two women were now resting below a pass. Perhaps they were having tea. It would be nice to join them for tea, he thought, but that would have to wait. They were too far away. He'd catch up with them on the backside of the pass in the afternoon. That would not be so difficult, considering, he was a geologist with an expertise in plate tectonics, and spent most of his weekends and holidays on trails along the Rim of Fire--New Zealand, Indonesia, the Philippines, and, of course, Japan, photographing fault lines and marking GPS locations, to see if there had been any shift in the plates which might indicate an impending earthquake, such as the one that had devastated Christchurch, not so far away, over a mountain range to the east, back in February of 2011.
Seeing these two women more distinctly now that he had narrowed the distance between them, he saw that one was taller, thinner, with long black hair, and the other was stout, her hair cut short, he wondered how he would pass the night with them. Two women always brought challenges. Often his love affairs overlapped in time, the ending of one fading off to memory as the beginning of another took hold of him.
Hunter came to a mark on the trail, a concrete stake on which there was a metal "X" stamped into a plate of brass. It was there to check the position of the Pacific Plate in relationship to the Australian plate. He quickly took the GPS coordinates, as Chester lapped up some water melting off a bank of snow up above him, and then he moved on.
The two women stayed before the pass for more than thirty minutes, and then, as he narrowed the distance between them again, he noticed they had packed up something that flashed in the afternoon sun--a kettle, probably--and hoisted their packs onto their backs and moved on up the mountain, staffs in hand, apparently unaware that he was on the trail. That was fine. He hardly wanted for them to entertain the thought that he might be, well, a stalker. He just happened to be there on the trail.
He continued on. One of the women, he was close enough to see now, was much younger. She was the one wearing the mauve… whatever it was. They were probably mother and daughter, a disheartening realization, considering that he'd never fucked a woman while her daughter or mother was nearby. But then, there was always the unexpected. He'd learned that about women, how unpredictable they were at times. He recalled fucking a girlfriend when he was a university student in her home, as her mother and father watched TV, and that, just before she came--she was a screamer--he'd had the good sense to hold a pillow to her mouth. "Good idea," she whispered to him afterward, "but I think they know we're not in here preparing for exams. They may be stupid, but not that stupid."
Hunter hurried on up to the summit of the pass, his heartbeat increasing only ever so slightly. Now at the summit, he saw the two women three or four hundred meters below him, on a tongue of land that overlooked a deep blue lake. They were preparing a campsite. He decided to take a break and watch them, to see how experienced they were at setting up a tent.
He took off his pack, dug out some dog biscuits for Chester, fed them to him, filled his bowl with water, and then proceeded to take a propane bottle and a kettle and two bags of green tea from his pack. He lit the stove, set the kettle on the flame, and poured in some water, and waited for it to boil. The daughter was the taller of the two, a bit gangly. She had the wiry physique of a long-distance runner. Her mother was broad-shouldered and shapely. She was probably near his age. She and her daughter got their tent up, an expensive North Face with a vestibule, which showed that they were definitely experienced hikers, and pulled out what looked like several packages of freeze-dried dinners from their packs, going through them and tossing them onto the windswept grass.
At one point the daughter looked up the pass, saw Hunter, but didn't wave to him, a bad sign, and then the mother looked at him and waved very demonstratively, which might have been seen as a distress call if they weren't so near.
Hunter said, "What do you think, Chester? Am I going to get laid tonight?"
Chester nuzzled up beside his knee. Hunter patted the big-boned Lab on the head, scratched him behind the ears. "Too bad there's not a bitch for you," Hunter said. "But then, you've sired more puppies than you know. It's all procreation with you. No fun."
The water came to a boil. Hunter shut off the stove and let the tea steep. He poured it into an aluminum mug and drank. When the mother looked up at him again, he held up the mug and smiled. If she only knew what I'm thinking? Or maybe she does?"
He put away his stove and kettle in the pack and got it onto his shoulders and made his way down the trail. As he neared the women, he saw the mother grin; the daughter pouted. She was probably troubled by something, perhaps being with her mother and not a boyfriend. It couldn't be too much fun to go hiking with one's mother, not if the girl was as attractive as this one. She had on black Lycra, thigh-hugging hiking pants, ankle-high boots, and a fleece mauve vest. Her lips shined pink from gloss. Her shiny black hair was a bit windblown and knotted together. She was brushing it out. She had green eyes. A woman with black hair and green eyes was striking, to be sure, but what really separated her from other young women was her nose. It was sharp, like an eagle's, and crooked, giving her a distinctive quality that few girls her age had, if she even knew this. This quality of hers was reserved for women much older, who had grown into their beauty. Few women as young as her were aware of it. She was perhaps in her twenties.
Her mother was more of an artisan type, having rough hands, a broad face, chaffed by the wind, and that short brown hair. She was like so many Kiwi women, Hunter thought, whose roughness provides them with a peculiar degree of smug satisfaction.
"Good place to pitch a tent," Hunter said. "Do you mind?"
"Please join us," the older woman said.
The younger one had gone over to sit on a rock, her back to Hunter, and was looking down into the valley at the lake.
"Don't mind her. Girls. They live in a different world."
The mother's name was Primrose, the daughters Grace. Hunter liked the simplicity of the daughter's name. It was a call back to a previous era when women embraced their beauty. Talking with Primrose, Hunter learned that they both lived on the North Island in windswept Wellington.
Hunter quickly set up his tent. As he was doing so Chester went over to Grace and put his head on her thigh, as if he knew exactly what to do to disarm Grace's defenses. Chester had served Hunter well in his quests, helping him to strike up conversations with women in parks, on walks around Wellington Harbour, and even on the ferry that ran between the South and North Islands. He'd met a married woman from Taiwan on the ferry, very petite and fiery, who had come to New Zealand alone to hike. They'd spent three days together. And then she flew out to Singapore, leaving him with good memories, as all affairs should end. The limitations of a set itinerary had its benefits.
Hunter took out some freeze-dried foods and tossed them on the dry grass.
"Maybe we could combine our dinners," Hunter suggested to Primrose.
Hunter heard footsteps coming up from behind him, and the unmistakable panting of Chester.
"You've got a nice dog," Grace said. "What's his name?"
"Chester. And mine is Hunter."
"I could do with a dog."
"How are you going to manage a dog when you're at university?"
"I can think about it, can't I?"
"I know what you need."
"Please, mother, don't start!"
"Hunter offered to share his food with us. We're going to have a fabulous dinner while watching the sunset."
"Right," Grace said, "just fabulous."
"What would you like?" Hunter asked Grace. They decided on the Kathmandu curry, New Orleans beans and rice, and banana pudding. Unlike her mother, Grace's complexion was as soft as eiderdown, a startling contrast to her shiny black hair. She now and then took a tube of sunscreen from a pocket on her jacket and rubbed the cream onto her white face, which was broad across the eyes, emphasizing her cheekbones. She had a strong chin in which there was just the hint of a dimple. A green tattoo was etched across the back of her right hand. It looked as if it were in the process of being lasered off. Then there was that crooked nose of hers that Hunter wanted to touch, run his forefinger over, feel it’s boniness. All men had their, well, fetishes, and noses was one--he had others--of his. Hunter noticed that Grace was wearing perfume, how odd but enticing on a trek. It was a clean-smelling lilac, maybe, that had a girlish sweetness, not meant to be sexual, but, because it wasn't meant to have that very effect, actually did.
They prepared the stoves and pots and boiled the water and simply poured it into the envelopes that the freeze-dried meals had come in and passed the envelopes around while sitting on a shelf of granite, from which they watched the sunset behind the snow-capped peaks to the west. Stars formed. It became cooler.
They stayed outside for another hour or so, looking up at the stars, finding the Southern Cross, which made them all feel proud of their nationality. Now and then there was a shooting star. "Look at that!" they'd all say, and point at it.
After a while Grace said, "It's too cold for me," and got into the tent.
"She's getting over a breakup," Primrose said.
"Happens to all of us."
"You don't have a partner?"
"Chester." He patted Chester on the head.
Primrose laughed. "If he satisfies you," she said. "I think I'll turn in, too. Good night. Coffee in the morning?"
"Delightful," Hunter said.
Primrose went off to the tent.
Hunter heard her talking with Grace but couldn't make out what they were saying. It didn't matter. He couldn't stop himself from thinking, though, of being younger, twenty-three or four, and meeting up with Grace at university and bedding down with her. But those days were over.
He finished his tea and went into his tent and turned on a light and read for a while from his Kindle. He couldn't read more than a few pages before his mind started to drift, and then he heard what was the unmistakable sound of footsteps outside his tent.
It was Grace.
"Come in," he said. He unzipped the fly, and Grace came into his tent and sat beside him, the sweetness of that girlish perfume filling him with an uncontrollable desire, exactly what a good perfume was meant to do to a man. He began to get an erection.
"The stars are beautiful," he said. He put a hand on the side of her neck, pulled her lips to his, and kissed her, first gently, to judge her reaction, then more deeply, their tongues touching. She had lowered a hand to his crotch. She unzipped his fly and slipped her hand inside his pants, to grasp his now erect cock.
"Wonderful!" she said. "Better than those damn stars. Just Wonderful! I'm shaking. Hold me."
He held her for a few minutes, and then he did what he was certain she was expecting and drew down his pants. She went down on him without hesitation. He placed a hand on her head, feeling the rising and falling of it.
She stopped once and asked, "Do you want to come?"
"Only with you, together," he said.
"I was hoping you'd say what. I want to suck you some more first. Is that okay?"
"As long as you want," he said, "as long as you want."
As she sucked him he let a hand fall to her face and felt for that nose and, when he found it, rolled a finger up and down over it. "You don't know what your nose does to me," he said.
"I hate my nose."
"It's beautiful. You're beautiful."
"I look like a witch."
"Stop it! You're beautiful. Honestly."
"This is what's beautiful," she said.
She went back down on him, and as she sucked him she now and then stuck out her tongue to lick his balls. That was talent, learned from watching porno movies, probably. Not too many girls knew that trick. She took a hand and coddled his warm, firm balls, squeezed them, right up to the point that he could not distinguish between pleasure and pain. That was when sex was at its best, the mysteriousness of its pleasurable providence.
"Enough," he said. "Let's fuck."
He rolled her over onto her side and pulled down those Lycra pants, one leg, along with her panties, together. He took off his shirt. She was by now out of her trekking shirt as well, and he was feeling his way to the clasp of her sports bra, which he snapped open. It fell away. He crossed his arms and cupped his hands on her ever-so-small breasts, the size of ripe plums. Then he withdrew his hands and licked his fingers and put them over a nipple, already erect, and rolled his finger around it, as if it were her clit.
"Damn!" she said. "So nice. Perfect. Older men. I've always fantasized about them."
He lowered his hand and found her pussy and spread her legs and rolled his middle finger around those wet lips, then into her pussy, deep, deeper, until he had his palm pressed up against her clit. She groaned.
"Bite my neck," she asked.
"Fuck me. Please. Please. I need to be fucked."
He put his cock between her legs. She reached down and guided it inside her and he, feeling her warmth and wetness on the head of his cock, became even harder. He pushed his cock in slowly. She sighed. He went in deeper. Then in all the way. He humped her back and forth, back and forth, slowly, and as he did she issued a moan with each thrust.
Then she grasped his arm and pulled it up to her mouth and bit it, to muffle the roar of her orgasm. He came too, an eruption like the sudden shifting of plates deep in the earth, a place that he hoped those couples who had been fucking on the doomed Titanic had found before the ship sunk below the waves.
# # #
About two weeks later Hunter got a What'sApp message from Primrose. "Are U busy? What about we meet up for a drink?" she asked.
Hunter wasn't too sure how it would go with her, considering she must know that he had fucked Grace, but he was curious enough to find out, and so he made a date with her to meet one Friday afternoon at a cafe on the waterfront, not far from the Wellington Museum. She was wearing what he'd expected a Kiwi woman to wear, a dowdy black long dress, mid-calf. Her hair was unkept, tossed around by the wind. She seemed, unlike Grace, to take pride in her back-to-nature lack of femininity. Hunter thought that a woman didn't have to be this way to be a woman. Being feminine, the way Grace was, was not a submission to the desires of men. It was something that was in the natural order of things.
They ordered a bottle of Chardonnay from a winery up the coast in Napier.
The ferry entered the harbour from the South Island. They watched it while sipping the wine and talking about the weather and recent movies. Seeing the ferry, Hunter couldn't stop himself from thinking of those three days with that Taiwanese woman.
"I just wanted to thank you," Primrose said, after bolstering herself with half a glass of wine.
He wasn't sure what she'd meant, and it must have shown on his face.
"For teaching Grace a lesson, of course," she said. "She was thrown over by a boyfriend, confusing sex with love. Now she knows better."
"Many of us were that way once."
"I doubt you were. You sorted it all out at a very early age."
Hunter drank some wine. He had no intention of allowing Primrose into this part of his life. "Where do you live?" he asked.
"Just down the street, up on the hill there." She fingered the stem of the wine glass.
"And Grace is off to university?"
"Only me in that big house."
Hunter paid for the wine, and they walked off together.
I. Hodgeson is the penname of a writer of fiction whose work has appeared in several genres. He is also in the process of building a collecition of ten stories to fill out his collection, Erotic Adventures: Ten Tales of Men Enjoying the Pleasures of Beautiful Women.
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