Lodestar Quarterly

Lodestar Quarterly
Figure reaching for a star Issue 10 • Summer 2004 • Fiction

Gerald and the Beast

Jim Tushinski

Gerald was 17 when he first saw Disney's Beauty and the Beast. He reasoned his attraction to the Beast stemmed in part from knowing Robby Benson had supplied the Beast's voice and that Gerald had seen One on One and Ode to Billy Joe on television and developed a crush on the athletic young man with dark wholesome looks and thick eyebrows. Eventually, though, Gerald admitted to himself that he was fantasizing about a cartoon character, a two-dimensional fictional creation, and not even a human one at that.

Thin and smooth with closely cropped red hair, Gerald was physically the opposite of the Beast, which seemed to fuel his desire. Sometimes he sought out big, burly, furry men with powerful arms and chests. They barely spoke, plowing into Gerald with fierce power, but the experience was never quite satisfying.

Most nights, alone, Gerald exhausted himself with an elaborate, vivid fantasy. It changed details according to Gerald's whims, but the events remained the same over the years. In Gerald's version, he wandered the dark halls of the Beast's castle in a white silk nightshirt, holding a candle. The shadows were alive with the scrabbling of unseen creatures -- brooms and books and tea sets that watched him move toward the west wing, past broken mirrors, to the Beast's boudoir.

Without a sound, Gerald entered the room, moved past the withering rose in the glass case, and approached the massive canopied bed, listening to the growl of the Beast's breathing. He lifted the candle, the weak light transforming the Beast's brown fur into glistening gold. The Beast wore no clothes. He laid on his side, facing Gerald, the covers on the bed thrown back, and as Gerald moved the candle, he saw the Beast's face, its horns and muzzle, its blond, bushy eyebrows and goatee. Then Gerald looked at the powerful chest raising and falling, at the graceful tapering of the waist. Lying between the Beast's haunches was a penis larger and darker than any Gerald had seen before, the foreskin barely sheathing the glans.

He moved closer.

With terrifying swiftness, the Beast opened his eyes and grabbed Gerald's arm. The candle fell to the floor, extinguishing, as the Beast pulled Gerald to him and began to cover his neck with hot, wide, inhuman licks. At first, this was as far as Gerald ever got before he climaxed, but later, he pictured the Beast taking him from behind, riding and scratching him, then cumming inside him with a howl.

When he was 22, Gerald found the costume. Until then, he never considered moving his fantasy into three dimensions. He had walked past the costume shop a few times before, and one afternoon, his mind on something else entirely, Gerald happened to pass the shop again, happened to turn and look in the window. Brown fur and a muzzle stared back at him. It was Chewbacca's head, not the Beast, but it gave Gerald an idea.

"Haven't seen one of those, but I can track down all kinds of things," the clerk said. "Leave your name and number. You never know."

About two weeks later, Gerald got the call.

"I got the head. Fifty bucks."

"Just the head?" Gerald asked.

"Yes, but I think we can figure out something for the rest. You want the head, come by before 5."

For another $25, the clerk threw in a full-body gorilla suit.

Gerald kept the costume in his closet -- head, gorilla suit, and a hand-sewn red velvet cape assembled so the Beast seemed to stand among the coats and shirts and pants. At night, when he was in bed and the closet door open, Gerald could see the costume propped up, looking at him. It aided him in his fantasies, but eventually, Gerald longed to hear the costume growl and to feel its claws drawn slowly across his back. He took to frequenting a local bar known as a hangout for larger men. There he sat and watched and waited.

Then one night, Gerald saw a tall, muscular man who looked quite out of place in the bar. He might have been a model. He had a Hollywood handsome face with pouty lips, a day's growth of perfectly distributed beard, and brown hair pulled back in a stub of a ponytail. Soon, the man gave Gerald a shy, inviting smile and approached. The man's name was Cal.

"What are you into?" Cal asked.

Gerald paused. "I want you to wear a costume during sex," he said. "I want you to dress like the Beast, from Beauty and the Beast, and fuck me."

For a moment, Cal's eyes and face told Gerald nothing, then his lips quivered and a nasty little smile appeared.

"You're serious, aren't you?"

Gerald tried to swallow, then nodded.

"And you have this costume?"

Again Gerald nodded.

Cal cocked his head and Gerald couldn't tell if the smirk was one of excitement, curiosity, astonishment, or disgust. It could have been all of those feelings at once.

Gerald looked right into Cal's eyes.

"Cocteau's Beast or Disney's?" Cal asked, not looking away.

Gerald noticed Cal's eyes were the same sad brown as the Beast's eyes.

"Disney's," he said.

"Well then," Cal replied, leaning in and brushing his lips against Gerald's ear. He growled. "I'm your Beast."

Jim Tushinski is the author of the novel Van Allen's Ecstasy. Jim's short fiction has appeared in the anthologies His 3 and Quickies, as well as literary journals including Harrington Gay Men's Fiction Quarterly, Blithe House Quarterly, and The James White Review. His short video, Jan-Michael Vincent Is My Muse, has been screened at over 30 film festivals on three continents. Jim is currently working on a new novel and a feature-length documentary on 1970s gay porn icon Peter Berlin. For more information, visit www.jimtushinski.com.

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