August 1961, the summer of my seventeenth year.
The gold moon rose gracefully that night, its silver light dancing on the ponds and pools that dotted my father’s guppy farm. I was packing my bags, set to leave the next day to attend State U on a badminton scholarship. My father had hoped that I might stay on, but the hard life of guppy farming was not for me. Like most boys, I craved adventure. I had just packed my tea kettle and the last of my bath salts when the night erupted in a mad orgy of shouts and sirens. A circus train passing through town had jumped the track, splitting the peaceful night with the moans and squeals of man and beast and twisting steel.
The next morning, I trekked out to where the wreckage lay. In the night, several animals had escaped. A stunningly large-breasted dwarf approached me and asked if I would join the men on the search line. She thrust a poster in my face. It read “Sheeba,” and on it was a dark beast with fangs and furious eyes, her thick black arms straining the chains that bound her to a bright red platform with a gold sign that read “She-Ape.”
Here was my adventure.
Marching through the woods, I quickly lost interest. My pace slowed and I fell behind the others. Distracted, I slipped on some loose gravel and rolled into a mossy ravine, skinning my knee on the way down.
Righting myself, I heard a stirring in the brush and looked to find two deep brown eyes – sharp and curious. Sheeba.
Her gaze was steady. Her body coiled, ready, but her eyes…Her eyes were strong and probing.
I was afraid to move.
As was the fashion then, I wore a banana as a hat. I took it off and gave it to her. She accepted it. Curling her lips into a circle and extending a curious hand, she motioned toward my knees.
“Yes, they do hurt quite a bit,” I said.
Spreading her mouth wide, she nodded her head from side to side, raising her arms high.
“I guess I am a little clumsy,” I said. We both laughed.
Her hands were large – heavy and strong – not delicate, but graceful. Her dark skin gave off a sheen like well-worn saddle leather. I still remember how cool they felt when she passed them across my thigh and brought them to rest upon my red and throbbing knees.
“Not so very different,” I said aloud. She bowed her head and exhaled a soft whispering hoot. Not so very different, indeed.
She stirred and crept closer, crouched above me. Her whispering hoots became steady and rhythmic like a prayer, an incantation, a spell.
Quickly, she was upon me. Her small, pendulous breasts undulating with every move. She shredded my clothes, then pinned me to the moist fertile moss. Briefly, she stood, and I glimpsed her lady-flower, plump and rich like the flesh of a lychee nut. It danced for a moment, then fell on me like a hammer made of honey, wrapped in velvet, and dusted with a wispy layer of confectioner’s sugar.
Her passion was strong and willful. The moments became an infinite blur of sensations: the feel of her taut and hairy thighs clenching and flexing; the taste of her fingers in my mouth; the sound of a distant rock dove calling, kuloo, kuloo.
Thrashing, roiling, grinding, snorting, moaning, panting, straining, sweating, bending, stretching, quivering, and yes, a little bit of crying.
The frothy ecstasy rose and rose until a short and sudden pop.
I saw the dart sink into her breast; watched her eyes as the passion become rage when she saw the men. She stood to fight them.
“Sheeba!” I cried, “No, Sheeba.”
But she would not be swayed. She charged the men, bursting past them and off toward the edge of the woods. I followed her as she ran to the open wheat fields beyond.
Pop. Pop. Pop. More shots. But this time there were no darts.
Kneeling by her body, I held her hand. I, a boy-become-a-man. She, an ape, more man than I would ever be, more woman than I would ever know.
Jamie Buell is a writer, teacher, and comedian living in Chicago. He teaches writing at the Second City Training Center and performs occasionally around town. He has a wife, a dog, and a baby. He is now 132 days closer to death than he was when Cease, Cows first published him.
Lead image: “Hands.” (via Flickr user Martin Fisch)