About Love Eternal
by Wayne Mansfield
47 pages / 10000 words
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Evan is a man lost in the modern world. He has a job, a house, and a best
friend. He also has a hole in his soul that he hadn’t even realized was
there until one night he meets a mysterious stranger, lurking in the shadows
of a tree-lined lane where men meet for sex.
There is something striking and a little terrifying about this stranger.
Evan’s initial intrigue is soon compounded when he discovers that they have
met before. A long time ago. And that they used to be lovers. When the
memory is awakened in Evan, his ordinary life is transformed. The hole in
his soul is filled. But Evan can’t know how completely his life is about to
change once more.
The Lane was a narrow stretch of bitumen bordered on
one side by the high, ivy-covered walls of the well-to-do who lived in
the great houses behind, and on the other by a row of Morton Bay Fig
trees, whose tentacle-like roots looked almost alive in the half-light
of the street lamps filtering through the sprawling canopy. Hidden
amongst these great monsters, in the shadows, were men whose lustful
thoughts had drawn them there. At the slightest sound, a dozen heads
would peer around the great trunks, inspecting, assessing, and only if
the approaching stranger was desirable enough would anyone show
themselves. But despite having walked this path many times, Evan rarely
partook of the flesh that was on offer.
One night, as spring teetered on summer, Evan found himself at a loose
end. Almost automatically, he grabbed his keys and walked into the
night. Dressed only in a simple cotton T-shirt and denim jeans, he went
down the narrow path that divided his front lawn exactly in half and out
to the footpath. His eyes stayed on his feet and on the cracked slabs of
the pavement. On both sides of him, there were houses shrouded in
darkness, or with living rooms illuminated by the flickering blue light
of televisions. A dog barked at him through the posts of a picket fence.
He jumped. His heart started pounding. He frowned and strode away.
For an hour, he wove his way through the streets of Graceville. These
were streets he knew well, for he had traveled them many times, so his
eyes remained fixed on his feet, his head a million miles away. A
late-night jogger was almost upon him before Evan realized he was no
longer alone. The jogger smiled at him, and by the light of a street
lamp, Evan saw the man's eyes drop to his crotch. Evan looked over his
shoulder as the jogger passed and saw the lean, muscular athlete look
back at him. He felt something stir between his legs. His mind raced
with the possibilities of the situation, though he continued walking.
Eventually, he found himself at The Lane. His muscles tensed slightly as
he turned onto the narrow road, spotted with squashed figs. His pace
slowed to a stroll as his eyes searched for signs of activity. Almost
immediately, someone stepped from the shadows, cock in hand and
seductive smile gracing a lightly tanned face. Evan averted his eyes and
kept walking, though curiosity soon had him scanning the shadows again.
He heard more than he saw. Groans of ecstasy and low,
conspiratorial-sounding voices wafted on the gentle breezes that snaked
past him. A man walked from behind a tree doing his trousers up. When he
saw Evan, he panicked and hurried away. Evan smiled to himself. Married,
he thought. A second man then appeared, wiping his mouth with the sleeve
of his shirt. He smiled at Evan, and Evan smiled back.