The frigid November air cut through the teepee like a field-issue RaptoRazor.
Beneath its canvas walls, support poles and smokehole, the erected tarpaulin sheltered three sweat-soaked bodies at rest: Two comely Spanish exchange students from the local university, and one hardened student of life—Todd Doyle.
The night was serene, the lovers tender, though sleep did not come easy for Todd Doyle. He tossed and turned atop the sustainable forestry-oriented futon, shooing away pairs of boobies and buttcheeks in favor of a moment’s respite from the waking world.
After what seemed like hours, Todd Doyle dozed. And, just as they always did, the visions began almost instantly; Todd Doyle’s dreams manifested as flickering scenes of death, combat and complex carbohydrates.
There was never escape from the night terrors. Their intensity as fierce as Todd Doyle’s lovemaking—their frequency as predictable as his patented double climax.
Todd Doyle could almost touch the past as it splayed out before him. The Long Island estate he knew as child faded into the training exercises that forced him to kill, or be killed. The innocents he slaughtered during combat dissolving into the flag under whose stars and stripes he killed.
And then he saw her. That angel who extracted him from a dreary world of death, suffering and sodium. Her face filled with genuine kindness, an irreplaceable warmth…and a pool of dried blood!
Todd Doyle leapt awake. His hands clutched hold of his Glock .45 from beneath his pillow, his eyes darting from one corner of the teepee to the next.
His ragged breathing shook his entire torso, as though he’d just witnessed a veggie burger being cooked on the same grill as a sirloin. Finding only shadows cast against the moonlight, Todd Doyle exhaled.
Beneath the futon’s sea of pelts, the two paramours stirred, inching closer to their startled lover. Todd Doyle rebuked the eager hands and drifted from the sheets. He stood, naked, waiting for the sharp pangs of the past to subside.
It would be all right, Todd Doyle thought to himself. He was safe, here in the arms of mother nature. Here in his teepee—his safe haven. The sun, that glorious provider, would be up soon, and with it the harvest would be there to greet him.
Todd Doyle walked the two steps from his bedroom to his kitchen. His only interest now was the fresh roasted Colombian beans located in his coffee sack. Taking great care, he fished out a fistful of grounds, rolled them into a tight joint and lit the dank java.
Coffee J pinched between his fingers, Todd Doyle took another step from the kitchen and now stood beneath the frontdoor-flap of his teepee.
Todd Doyle lived on the outskirts of a repurposed whiskey distillery. His only amenities were the teepee in which he rarely slept, the prototype iPod 1 he’d received as a gift from Steve Jobs (after he thwarted the Apple CEO’s assassination in 2001), and a hot plate.
His distillery encompassed miles of fertile land: Fields of fresh produce, orchards and livestock alike. Though nature alone was this land’s only true resident. Todd Doyle was merely a guest.
“Señor Todd… where are you going?” one of the two Spanish students asked from beneath the bed’s many pelts. Mercedes? Todd wanted to say. Mercedes or Adelina. Or possible Joan.
“To greet the day of course,” Todd Doyle said, “…you.”
“Aren’t you scared?” she asked
“There’s nothing that would scare me here. This fertile land is the bosom on which I rest my penis.” Todd Doyle paused, his smile quickly turning to a frown. “Though you’re probably right, most likely there is some dark plot afoot that would see me dead. Some phantom foe from my past that lingers in the morning mists. But if I am to be struck down, let it be here, on this fertile land.”
“I mean aren’t you scared of catching a cold?” the slender figure asked. “You’re completely naked.”
“My thick thatches of body hair will insulate me against nature’s frost,” Todd Doyle smirked. “Perhaps you would join me, once you surrender to your natural hormones.”
“I told you I’m not growing out my leg and armpit hair.”
“Then I venture alone to greet the sunrise. There’s some kombucha drink fermenting near the icebox, should you want for thirst.” Todd Doyle gestured to the wet burlap sack in which he placed all his refrigerated items.
“That’s all right.” The woman rubbed the sleep from her eyes. “When can you drop us back at our dorm?”
Todd Doyle paused, his dong halfway outside the teepee flap.”I don’t plan on hiking the 20 miles back toward your university for the next few days. That is, until I run out of Tom’s of Maine natural toothpaste and must venture to market.”
“Can’t you drop us off on your bike?” the woman sat up to light a menthol cigarette. Todd Doyle did nothing to mask his wince. “I have class at 2:30.”
“That ‘bike’ is a super clean motorcycle that runs on H20 from nearby polluted rivers,” Todd Doyle said, tightly crossing his arms. “That ‘bike’ can travel 310 miles on a single liter of waste. But I’ve extracted 99% of this region’s pollutants after my latest trip. It’ll be some time before I detect enough toxins to start the girl up again.”
Todd explained the mechanics of his sustainable cycle, then detailed the day’s routine to Mercedes (it was definitely Mercedes): There would be an hour of yoga illuminated by the rising sun; checking in on the pomegranate crop and dry hops; feeding the chickens, cows, pigs, bees, domesticated free-roaming dogs and cats; and finally wheting his own feral appetite.
“I’m not doing it with you again,” Mercedes said, rising from the sheets and expanding with a shapely stretch. Totes naked.
Todd Doyle raised an eyebrow.
“In fact, Mr. Doyle,” Mercedes stood erect, shoulders back in a strangely serious stance. Her voice suddenly altering from a Spanish accent to a heavy Russian. “Vun might say, Mr. Doyle, you’ll never do it vith anvone ever again. Forever.”
Todd Doyle caught the glimmer of the woman’s pistol glinting in the moonlight. It afforded him just enough time to strafe out of the way. BLAM! The bullet whizzed a stray hair off Todd Doyle’s beard, passing his head and striking a mason jar hanging near the teepee’s exit.
“You’re a fool, Todd Doyle, to think you would outlive the Czar! Now, Sofia!”
Without warning, the second sexy assassin leapt from the sheets. Springing into action, she wrapped her legs around Todd Doyle’s face. As the second assassin wrapped her naked thighs around his mouth, the first swept Todd Doyle’s legs from under him. He crashed to the teepee’s floor, his breath quickly leaving his lungs.
“Das vidana, Todd Doyle…” One of the women said. Sofia, maybe? No, it was the first assassin. No longer Mercedes though. Sasha? She looked like a Sasha, Todd Doyle thought.
Three toned bodies rolled about the ground, naked. Three sets of arms clawed and tugged for leverage. Three sets of legs kicked and kneed. And three sets of privates were dangerous close to doing stuff.
It wasn’t Todd Doyle’s worst Tuesday morning.by