Chapter 2 – El Palacio de los Sueños (The Palace of Dreams).
It was no less hot when I woke up, but the sun had moved further west and a few hours had passed. I had noticed a bathroom at the end of the hall when I arrived so I decided to go freshen up but taking my bag with me just to be safe. After all, I had everything I owned in that little bag, it wasn’t much, but still I didn’t want to lose it. Worse, and it had already happened, is to lose your passport, then you pretty much have no alternative other than to head to the capital to do what’s required to get a replacement.
I looked around the room as I got up to put my clothes on, it was not the same. The walls and floor were shiny white, a brilliant polished marble veined with thin dark lines. It was a much larger room. I blinked to clear my sleepy eyes, was I awake? I ignored my clothes and walked over to the window, there was no grubby curtain or lopsided pole hanging there, but a white lace with a delicate, very intricate symmetrical design. The window framed by the white lace was an opening, there was no dirty glass. This was not the room in the upstairs of the bar at Aramberri.
Leaning on the window sill with both arms stretched I looked down on a large courtyard with green shrubs and a fountain. Speckled shade was occasionally pierced by beams of bright sunlight. A faint scent drifted upwards and I noticed the little white clusters of frangipani. The only sound came from the cascading water overflowing a small basin and falling down in sparkling droplets to the pool below.
I turned at the sound of a door and looking back into the room I saw the large ornately carved heavy wooden door. It opened slowly, and standing in the doorway was a dark skinned boy carrying something in both arms. He smiled, a beautiful smile, he wore a sort of white toga tied with a golden cord around his tiny waste, on his feet were thongs. I stared, watching him enter the room. It was Jabez, I recognised the candy seller, the boy everyone called John.
He stood just inside the door and extended his arms, he averted his eyes from my gaze and looked down at his feet. Now I remembered I was completely naked, I hadn’t got dressed, suddenly I felt embarrassed. “Señor,” Jabez spoke to me, but kept his head bowed and his eyes fixed on the floor. “I am to take you to wash, I have clothes.”
I moved to find my pants in the dirty, dusty clothing I had left on the chair next to the little dresser in the room in Aramberri. They were still there, on the chair, but it wasn’t the same chair. I put them on so as to cover my modesty although I really felt no need to do so.
“Where are we?” I asked the boy.
“Will you follow me please?” He looked up, directly into my eyes.
I took the bundle of clothes he held out and followed him out into a long corridor. Walking behind him I glanced to each side seeing only occasional doors, similar carved wooden doors to the one on my bedroom. He opened a door on our right and a spiral staircase appeared, it was quite narrow, you could not walk two abreast. At the bottom we went through an archway into a room with a large square basin which was filled with water.
Jabez indicated by a gracious movement of his slender arm that I was to enter the basin. I discarded my pants and climbed over the small wall, there were two shelves running completely around on all sides. The light was dim, spots of sunlight bounced on the water as I entered, it was cool. I immersed my whole body just to my head, crouching down under the water, enjoying the sensation. Jabez had fetched some soap, a bottle containing some red liquid and a sponge. He handed me the soap and I got down to cleaning off the days of accumulated dirt. This was the first time I had washed in maybe four days, I must not have smelt too good.
I couldn’t understand how I had got here and Jabez had not answered my question. Still I decided to relax and enjoy the moment, to get clean, it felt great. Jabez got me to sit on the highest shelf, half in half out of the water. He filled a jug with water and poured it over my head, he took the bottle of red liquid and dropped a little trickle into the palms of his hands. Gently he massaged the liquid into my scalp, working his hands across my head, it was blissful.
I had closed my eyes to avoid getting any soap in them, but was jogged out of my revelry when he poured a jug of water over my head to wash away the soap. When I looked at Jabez he was telling me to get out of the water and he had fetched a large white towel. Everything in this place was white, the floors, the walls, our clothes and even the frangipani I had seen in the courtyard from my room. The only colour was the green leaves of the bushes.
As I stepped out of the water he was looking at me with a huge smile whilst he wrapped the towel around me with both his arms. I realised at that moment that I was hard and of course he must have seen that too, was that why he was smiling. Perhaps, because as he finished wrapping me in the towel and I took hold of it, his body pressed closer and I felt my manhood touching him through the thick material of the soft white towel. I quickly turned away from him because I was getting harder with that touch and it was I felt not appropriate.
He left the room after telling me to get dressed and wait for him to come back, he told me he had somewhere to take me, something for me to see, he disappeared taking with him my pants. What was it he wanted to show me? I could very easily have believed I was in a dream, it was so beautifully unreal. Had I been the victim of some dreadful attempt to steal my belongings, something that had gone badly wrong? Had I been killed because I woke up when the assailants were in my room? Am I dead? The only link with reality was Jabez, the boy everyone called John.
I dressed in the white toga and put on the thongs to resemble exactly an older version of Jabez. What was the difference in our ages I wondered, he was small, with delicate slender limbs, but I don’t think his physique gave many clues to how old he was. No I guessed he was fifteen, he may look like twelve or thirteen, but there were hundreds of boys like him, malnourished, always hungry, poor children from poor families, if he even had a family. It was the food, or lack of it, the living conditions, it all affected their growth.
I followed Jabez along another long white marbled corridor through an entrance to a similar spiral staircase. The only difference was that along one side of this corridor there were tall narrow openings through which I glimpsed another inner courtyard, darker than the one I looked out on from my bedroom, less sunlight penetrated here. There were no plants, no fountain, but what appeared to be a raised platform across one end, a bit like a stage, but it was hard to see clearly, there was no time to stop and look.
This time we climbed the stairs, turning around and around, following the spiral as it twisted upwards. Finally we arrived at a small landing with a wooden door, quite narrow and small, it was like an entrance to a belfry, not that I can remember visiting a belfry, but that’s how I imagined it to be. Jabez reached into his pocket and withdrew a large old silver metal key which he inserted into the keyhole. He turned the key and pushed the door which creaked and groaned, but opened revealing a light circular room with domed ceiling.
There were no windows, but three very narrow openings in the wall on the left, opposite was another tiny door and most significant, in the middle was a chair not unlike those you find at the dentist. I say that because the chair formed a wide V pointing up to the centre of the domed ceiling, if you sat in it your legs would be raised at roughly the same angle as your back, you would in fact be lying more than sitting and looking upwards. More than the position in the chair, it was the mechanism hanging down from the ceiling that reminded me of the dentist. This device though, rather than being the light the dentist positioned by moving the articulated arm, was more reminiscent of a periscope. I think it was, now that I looked more closely, it was a long tube ending with two handles and what looked like an eye piece that you would look into.
Before Jabez got me into the seat I walked over to look through one of the openings. We were very high and the view was extremely restricted, but way down below was the inner courtyard I had seen from the corridor.
Once installed in the chair Jebez fussed around demonstrating how the thing worked, it was what I believe is known as a camera obscura. You rested your hands on the grip bars each side and could turn left or right to view the courtyard below. With the right hand you could twist the grip to zoom in and with the left you could twist to focus. It was genial, you could view everything down below, but from the perspective of an aerial view, looking down on the scene.
I was startled by a drumming which sounded as if it was in the room next to me, but I was still looking in the periscope and I saw a boy had walked on to the stage banging a drum that hung down in front of him. I zoomed in to see and could clearly see his arm moving up and down holding the drum stick. There must be some unique acoustics that made it sound as if the drummer was in this little room next to you.
I watched fascinated as the scene below began to unfold. Another boy was lighting torches that project from the wall at the back of the stage and two men were being led into the courtyard. I might not have noticed that had not the boy pointed when he had finished lighting the final torch. Pointed is not exactly correct, he gestured a sort of welcome opening wide both his arms.
The two men had black hair and white togas they were led to two chairs in front of the stage where they took there seats, presumably to watch and be entertained. I found three buttons on the right hand of the periscope and these allowed the view point to back up in three tiny steps. So instead of being directly overhead it was like taking one, two, three tiny steps backwards. Focusing on the stage, whilst the view was of course still from above, the angle was better, it was like looking at a theatre stage from way up in the gods.
The rhythm of the drum beat changed and two small boys and two taller, older boys walked onto the stage from each side. These were not native boys, they had fair blond hair and pale skin, but more importantly they were all completely naked. My thoughts returned to the barman in Aramberri selling sex to his degenerate customers, but even whilst thinking about that, the scene unfolding was somehow compelling.
The boys formed a line along the front of the stage, the older boys outside, the younger in the middle, in between. As the drum beats became faster the boys moved their hips, they changed positions and turned, continuing their hip thrusting in time with the drumming, but now the older boy on the end was thrusting his hips towards the back of the boy in front, who in turn was thrusting towards one of the younger boys, and so on. It was strangely hypnotic and also exciting.
The drumming stopped, the boys ran off each side of the stage. A prop resembling a sort of double bench was rolled out on to centre stage. Upholstered in thick gold coloured material the bench or double seat was divided in two by a tall back, you could imagine two people seated back to back, facing away from each other, but that is not at all what happened.
The drum was replaced by a flute, a beautiful melody played as two of the younger boys came on stage, one from each side. One boy lay down on the rightside of the double seat, his legs dangling over the edge, he was looking up to the ceiling. The other boy knelt on the leftside seat his head looking over the back, looking down into the face of the first boy. As the flute played on, a soft drum beat started to accompany it in the background. Two of the older boys danced onto the stage and hopped around the seat in the centre, circling the younger boys. They stopped dancing and stood one at either end of the seat, each facing the young boy in front. The tempo of the drumming picked up as the older boy on the right took hold of the younger boy’s ankles and raised his legs up and back. At the same time the older boy on the left moved behind the other boy to take hold of his hips and pull him backwards.
The scene being portrayed needs no further description, it was sensual and erotic, but there was no actual sex. When it was over, the music had stopped I was only too aware that I had a hard on.
The boys carried on with more set pieces, each one intensely erotic, I doubt anyone could have watched those performances without being excited. It made me consider two things, was I just as degenerate as the passing customers in Aramberri and did the stage performance end there or would the two men who made up the audience have their sexual appetites satisfied after the show.
Jabez entered the room and took hold of my hand to pull me out of the chair and lead me through the other door into another room. Once inside I had no time to look around before Jabez started to untie my toga. “What are you doing?” I asked, even though it was obvious he was undressing me.
“Don’t think,” he replied. “I have to do this. Just enjoy it.”
He took hold of the bottom of my toga and pulled it up over my head. I could easily have resisted, but I didn’t, I raised my arms and let it slide off. I kept his words in my head ‘I have to do this’ it was as exciting as it had been watching the boys on stage. For some reason I can’t explain I had made up my mind to let this happen.
I stood there in the middle of the room, naked with an erection, I didn’t object, I didn’t move. I watched Jabez untie and remove his toga, now he too was naked, and he also had an erection. I couldn’t help thinking he must enjoy his work, at least he was now, here with me.
He moved around to stand behind me, his skin touched mine, his hard on brushed the inside of my thigh just below my balls. He reached around with his right hand and gripped my penis, he touched the very tip with his finger which he moved around spreading the seeping juice. He started to rhythmically pump my hard cock, gliding his hand up and down, he brought his left hand between my legs from behind and lightly touched my balls, they were tight.
I hadn’t had sex in more than a week of being on the road, the pleasure was intense, I could feel myself building to a climax, but suddenly he stopped. I had to catch my breath, I was on the edge and he stopped. “What’s wrong?” I said, watching him open a cupboard drawer.
He was back in an instant holding a large cylindrical object. “You will like this,” he smiled, and he pushed the object over my penis. It was well lubricated, I felt my cock gripped gently by a soft material, I pushed forward with my hips until I was completely inside. He did something and the cylinder hummed and squeezed, vibrating around my cock, it increased slowly in speed and pressure. What a great sex toy, I thought, but at the same time it was driving me crazy, because however good it was, and however degenerate it would be, I had the overwhelming desire in that instant, to grab hold of Jabez and fuck him.
Instead he must have turned the toy up a notch, he was playing with my balls again, touching them, squeezing them. He rubbed my chest, touched my nipples, I couldn’t stop it now, I murmured quietly, then louder, I thrust out my hips, he leaned around and kissed me, looking up into my eyes. His tongue pushed into my mouth, his hand tapped and held my balls, I ejaculated, jet after jet, he held his hand tight around my balls. The sex toy didn’t stop, or he didn’t stop it, until I had spent myself completely.
“What is this place?” I asked him.
“El Palacio de los Sueños (The Palace of Dreams),” he replied.