The Pecking

Order

So. This one needs a preface. And content warnings. It is likely going to be re-written so that it's a bit more subtle. Reading it over, I'm not happy with it — fever dream or not.

This one is incredibly graphic, misogynistic, sexual, bizarrely homoerotic, and all around vile people and vile circumstances. Needless to say, there is a content portraying of explicit sexual assault, descriptions of sexual violence, graphic language, and unsettling themes.

If I'm being honest. I have no idea what this story is actually supposed to mean. All I have is my own interpretation of events that were projected at me. This is such an... off-putty story that I've been putting off on putting it out into the world for some time because I'm so shocked that something like this came out of my heard?

Almost verbatim, this is a dream I had while I was falling asleep. From start to finish — jumps, cuts, and all — this narrative played out in my head. I'm not dumb (not completely) I obviously made it, but on a subliminal level. I'm a little upset that this even came from me in the first place...

What are the towels supposed to mean?

...

Seriously, I'm asking for help with that one.

I feel as if my subconscious was trying to articulate thoughts that I openly have about masculine conformity, as well as causes and manifestations of toxic masculinity. Or maybe I was just going through the motions of deconstructing media that I had consumed over the previous few days? Or is it a matter of internalized toxic masculinity, gender-violence, and societal misogyny? But in no way am I trying to humanize the antagonistic elements portrayed in this story.

However, this story is so bizarre and crystallized that I am uncomfortable ignoring it.

Standing out on the grounds with  the rest of them. Ian didn’t belong there, he was far too well-mannered and reserved; he stuck there because there wasn’t anything else to do with him, given the circumstances. He didn’t think or talk or act at all like the boys. While he stood to the side, close enough to overhear, though by no means were the other boys making any attempt for subtlety, they huddled close sharing a cigarette the warden knew about because he was the one selling them for favours.

 

“Can you imagine holding yourself in there while you stick a knife in with—”

 

“No, jam in one of those thing you keep them sharp with.”

 

“Huh”

 

“The long poles.”

 

“Give you a long pole…”

 

“Sharperners?”

 

“Yeah."

“Like a fish skewer.”

“Haha. Yeah!”

“Wouldn’t need lube then.”

 

“No, you do it while you’re already inside her.”

 

“That’s literally what I just said though—”

 

The black-haired short one grabbed his junk. “Wouldn’t need anything more than your cock to crack her open, if you were a real man.”

 

Ian had seen him. And the black haired boy was not that impressive. Was also below most of the others on the pecking order. Word is he actually liked being further down. How could you like that?

———

The laundry room. Do the laundry. Ian hated it. It was the worst room to be in. Cold and too warm. Creepy. The scaffolding ran above the concrete floor, where where chutes brought linens down from the upper floors. The trains of fabric collected themselves with big, gloved hands. Cartoon eyes that sat atop the large roll that made their body.

 

“I like silver, I like velvet,” they sang, to themselves, like a Disney chorus. But a chant. One you couldn’t really hear over the machines but you felt their voices vibrating. “I like cigarettes, I like vinegar.” Ian did the laundry, but he always felt like they were going to come up behind him. The other boys talked about how their song was sometimes the last thing anyone ever heard.

“I like woollen. I like coffee.”

 

———

Night times were difficult. Ian roomed with Duncan. Big guy, been here a while. Chest like a heavyweight boxer. A year older than him. Not being able to get to sleep the moment they turned lights out meant Ian had to hear the snoring of other boys who did; vocal noises from guys who didn’t give a shit if you heard them. Maybe knowing they were heard helped them get off.

Duncan went to Ian’s bed while the latter was half asleep. He was bare naked; so was Ian. You slept naked. You were supposed to. Now Ian knew why.

It was the inaugural invasion of his body. So long spent on the sidelines, now he had a place in the pecking order. Duncan pushed and rolled his hips; held Ian down and groaned and growled into Ian’s ear. Ian tried to push up at first because it hurt, but then his body gave up. It still hurt but he wanted it to be finished. Duncan breathed into Ian’s ear and Ian hips began to match rhythm. Lent his face towards the other. His eyes closed, his chest crushed Ian’s shoulders into his bed.

 

———

While they laid there, Ian felt every heartbeat from Duncan’s arms. Holding each other so close nobody could see their crying faces. This was all of them, they held each other and kissed each other and wept to each other.

No one would ever say this happened, and everyone knew it happened to everyone. It happened with a body, who could have been a woman. They fell asleep and acted like the only thing that happened at night was pecking out an order. Everyone acted like that. You could never prove that anyone else did, but you knew because you did it.

 

———

Ian went to Duncan for closeness the next night. But Duncan got mad and threw himself up and pushed Ian off his feet. He beat the shit out of Ian against the concrete floor. Duncan was on his bed in the morning. At the nurse’s room, Ian was bandaged up and told he had pneumonia.

———

 

Ian woke up and Duncan was sitting upright. He was hard, and shone wet in the moonlight. Ian was hard too, looking into the eyes of the balloon fox mask. He looked back, then came over to me, pushed me down gently, pressing his bulbous mask against the the similar one Ian wore. Duncan gave his body to Ian, sacrificing his place in the order to Ian instead. For what?

That was stupid. I didn’t know why he would do that. Control given away willingly, in a way Duncan wouldn’t get back. He still cried when it was all over, but now it was Ian’s secret to keep instead. After Ian had already resolved to be under Duncan. Foolish.

———

 

As normal, the pretty girls were trailed by. Heels, and lipsticks, and pin-up military uniforms. The forest green doublets and skirts. The boys could see up the skirts, and gave fingers to the prudes who wore underwear. The girls chortled and smiled and whispered to each-other, blowing kisses. Hair and perfume, the boys could smell it as they drove by. They were safely kept behind a barbed wire fence so they couldn’t be got at. It wasn’t to protect the girls, it was to torment the boys. Protecting them would be keeping them away.

So they engaged the torment. Grabbed their cocks through their trousers to show the imprint of size. Told them that all they were was beautiful, though in more vulgar terms. I leaned over to Duncan's ear and joked about fucking him so they could all see what I would do to them if it weren’t for the barbed wire. He got hard, but nobody saw.

Ian liked that.

“Think it’d be hot if we cut off their tits?” said Cole.

“No. Cut bigger tits into them,” said Arthur.

“How does that even work?” I said.

Arthur shrugged. “How could you rape two at once?”

“Get a buddy to hold her down,” said Freddie.

Ian passed the cigarette to Freddie. “What if your buddy wants to take the available one too?”

“Get another buddy to hold her down while the other one rips her open from the inside,” said Tom.

“What if someone wants to fuck your buddy?” said Rick.

They all coughed and gagged and roughed up Rick until the guards broke it up. Took their cigarettes, too.

———

 

Rick was dead. Had a screwdriver through his neck in the laundry room. He wasn’t raped to death. The bolts of fabric had gone red, but the bloody fabric vanished inside of them. They didn’t mind cleaning up the mess. They sang, half-smiled as much as their textile bodies permitted, and enjoyed their jobs.