My buddy, Nathan, runs a Flash Fiction challenge each month. He picks randomly from a selection of genres, objects, and locations and the results for March were: a Romance, with a VHS cassette, in a fire watch tower.
So I kind of played fast and loose with those guidelines because that’s how I roll.
Also, the stories are supposed to be within a 1000 word limit. Mine’s about 1500 words but I couldn’t bare to edit it down very much ’cause I like it the way it is.
I wasn’t sure what I was going to write but while researching fire watch towers I came upon this article about a guest house built as an authentic replica of a fire watch tower in Montana and my idea progressed from there. Especially when I read that it is occasionally used by fire fighters as an actual fire lookout.
After an intense hike to the top of Lion Mountain in Whitefish, Montana, I surprised my boyfriend, Michael, with the place we would be staying for two days and two nights to celebrate being together for six months.
“They wanted to recreate an old fire watch tower and went to pretty extreme lengths to make it authentic. And I found it on Air B&B. And now we are here.”
The wood-framed platform and cabin were perched securely on top of four wide flights of stairs that I had to force myself to ascend with the occasional encouragement from Michael who wasn’t afraid of heights.
The door was indeed unlocked and I was relieved to see the place looked just like it had on the website — the décor rustic and cozy. There was a small kitchen area, a tiny table with two chairs and a living space. I hadn’t yet told Michael that we’d have to climb down those steps whenever we needed to use the composting toilet.
“Wow,” Michael said as we looked at the panoramic view out the windows. The green and brown wilderness of Montana spread out in all directions. “This is beautiful.”
After staring for several moments we shucked our backpacks and collapsed on the banquet sofa, breathing heavily from the hike and climb.
Michael looked around the small cabin, taking it all in. I’d already seen the photos online but it was wonderful to see the place in person and know it was ours for the next forty-eight hours.
Finally, he turned to me. “But where do we sleep?”
I raised my eyebrows. As far as I was concerned, there would not be a whole lot of sleep going on this weekend.
He must have seen the desire in my eyes because he grinned and leaned closer, brushing my cheek with his nose and murmuring into my ear. “Let me rephrase that. Where is the comfortable but firm surface I can throw you on to have my depraved way with you? Please tell me there is one.”
His warm breath caused goose bumps to rise on me everywhere and my cock to thicken in my shorts. I almost couldn’t reply but when I found my voice I said, “There’s a pull-out bed in here.” I pointed down at the sofa we were sitting on.
“Oh good,” he said, nuzzling my stubbled cheek and nipping at my chin, which caused my mouth to drop open and my breaths to come more quickly. “Because I thought we might have to do it on the balcony.”
I pulled back and stared at him, eyes wide and my dick a steel rod.
“I think we may just have to now that you’ve put that idea in my head.”
He laughed softly and kissed me with increasing ardor, his hand finding its way past the waistband of my shorts.
Later, so much later, after we’d fucked on the pull-out bed AND on the balcony, and then again with me bent over the kitchen counter, we relaxed on the tangled sheets and enjoyed the peace of the dark forest surrounding us. It was so quiet but for the sounds of crickets and night birds and it made something deep inside me relax for the first time in a long while.
“This reminds me of something,” I suddenly realized and the words were out of my mouth before I could stop them.
I nodded, snuggling into Michael’s side and enjoying the smell of him and the lingering scent of our adventures. “This old movie I had way back in the day of VHS players. I can’t even remember the title of the thing and the cassette always came unwound but I remember there was this one scene where the lovers — they were straight of course— were chatting like us in a cabin in the woods with darkness all around, just like this, and it was so, I don’t know, evocative of something. Something important and valuable and beautiful.”
Michael stared down at me, breathing softly. “I like the way you say things, Mattéo.”
“Yes, I do. And I think that you are something important and valuable and beautiful.”
I swallowed, too overcome by what he’d said to reply. All I could do was lock onto his gaze and lose myself in the truth of his words.
A sound outside made me jerk in his arms.
“What the fuck was that?” Michael said as our quiet lover’s chat was interrupted by sounds of movement and talking below. We froze and listened.
A man’s voice, confident and deep: “I know. I just want to get a better look. Wait here.”
Soon we heard the sounds of booted feet on the steps below.
“Oh shit,” I cried out, scrambling to find my clothes. Michael did the same. But before we could get completely dressed the door to the cabin opened and a man stepped inside.
“Oh shit!” He exclaimed, his eyes flying over the scene of our debauchery with confusion and surprise. “I didn’t realize there was anyone in here.”
“Oh shit!” I said again, staring at the fully uniformed firefighter in his coveralls, boots and fire hat. “Is there a fire?”
The man stared at me, then at Michael as we continued to frantically dress ourselves.
He gave out a soft laugh and smiled. He looked back and forth between us again and I suddenly noticed he had the bluest eyes and a handsome goatee. “That’s what I’m here to find out. But nothing close.”
His eyes sparkled as he took off his fire hat and held out his hand. “I’m Officer Markholm. I’m so sorry to intrude but the owner lets us use this place as an actual fire watch tower when we need to. Unfortunately she neglected to tell us it was being used this weekend.”
Officer Markholm’s black hair was wet with sweat and curled charmingly around his ears. I didn’t realize I was staring until Michael told me to close my mouth. Officer Markholm laughed, apologized again and asked if he could just have a look out the back windows? He was just making sure a small fire that was miles away had been successfully extinguished.
Of course we said sure and moved aside, hoping the smell of the sex we’d had all over the place wasn’t as strong as it seemed. I suddenly noticed Michael’s jar of Boy Butter lube on the table by the window where Officer Markholm stood looking out. I nudged Michael and nodded toward it. He paled slightly. He moved quickly to the window beside the firefighter, blocking Officer Markholm’s view of the table.
“It’s so dark, what can you possibly see out there?”
I darted to the table and grabbed the bottle, whisking it out of sight. It was slippery, as lube bottles tend to get, and slid from my fingers, clattering onto the floor and rolling under the pullout bed as Officer Markholm said, “Fire. If there’s even a tiny fire, I’ll see it. But if we could switch the lights off in here, that would help.”
“Sure,” I said, backing up to do as he’d asked. At least the lube was out of sight.
We all stood there then, silently looking out the large windows, watching the forest for any signs of red or yellow or orange.
Officer Markholm scanned the distance and I tried not to imagine how hard his muscles probably were underneath that brown coverall. How it might feel to be picked up in his strong arms and carried down the steps. How comforting it would be to hear his voice in the middle of a crisis.
I noticed that Michael was watching him too. No doubt thinking the same thing I was. I grinned but I don’t know if he saw it in the darkness.
Finally, Officer Markholm turned and said, “Looks like it’s all clear. Thanks for letting me invade your love nest, boys.”
My breath caught in my throat. “Wh- what? We were just, uh, playing scrabble.” It was all I could think of.
Officer Markholm switched the light on and I could see his wry smile. “Okay. Sure.”
The blood rushed to my face. He obvious didn’t believe me.
“Him,” Michael and I said together.
“Uh huh. And where’s the board? Same place as the lube?”
We were so busted. We said nothing, just stared at the handsome firefighter and choked.
Then his soft laugh floated through the small space again. “Anyway, looks like there’s no fire anywhere but in this room. Just play safe okay?”
And he was gone, closing the door and clomping down the wood steps, while Michael and I stared after him.