The Nayslayre's Infamous Carnival


Part I

Chapter I

The Knolves' residence was located somewhere between the town of Hilton and the town of Albion on 31-west in upstate New York. It was on the left side of the road, seemingly isolated from the rest of the world with no neighbors and being surrounded by a thick woods, and its boxy two-story exterior reminded the casual passerby of extreme white-trashiness and sub-intelligence; it was an older house, and whatever color it had originally meant to be couldn't really be determined anymore. The only thing that remained was a rotten brown-black color flowing unevenly across its horizontal siding, connecting haphazardly with the roof in awkward intersections where the gutters were overflowing with decaying leaves enough to actually depress itself under the weight.

There was a simple concrete porch that lead to a simple white paint-cracked door, and despite someone's efforts to establish some sort of foliage around the perimeter, the only plant life that remained was unsightly weeds and more dead leaves. In fact, there were only two real determining factors around the house that lead curious onlookers to conclude that there were indeed people inhabiting the fortress of trashiness, and that it wasn't abandoned: one, a small and rusty albeit functional swing-set in the left corner of the backyard, right before the woods started, and two, the ever-present smoke coming out of the chimney. Why pay for heating when the house came with a woodstove?

The master of the house was Andrew Knolves, a thirty-seven year old plumber. He had two daughters, Maggie – age 11 – and Rita – age 6. But the missus Knolves had long since left, never to return. Instead, Andrew decided to take a rather unusual approach to his need for a wife-like figure: he needed someone to maximize on utility, someone to provide some sort of casual guidance for his children when he wasn't home, while at the same time tending to his sexual needs as the male he was. In the end – and quite by accident – Andrew discovered the best possible solution to his problem was David.

The night that David and Andrew met was sort of fuzzy – the only thing about that night that could be said with any sort of certainty, was that Andrew had met David in a drunken haze, had brought him home for a good fucking, and a good fucking they had. For one reason or another, David had just never left.

After the following morning of that first night, Andrew, Maggie, Rita and David had all sat around the breakfast table and formally introduced themselves in such a way that preceded all sort of awkwardness and successfully solidified their relationship to each other. One week later, everyone was already quite comfortable with the state of mind that David was there for the long run.

He had introduced himself as David Hargraeves: "I know for a fact that my first name is David. My last-name is debatable, but I've long since decided that it should be Hargraeves." He had also made it clear that they were to call him David – not Dave, or Davey – and that he was most probably sixteen years old, since he quit High School two years ago when he was a freshman.

Thus, a certain quaint equilibrium began to form for the Knolves. Since David had no real responsibilities he needed to leave the house for, Andrew found that he could come and go whenever he pleased without much consequence. Also, since he realized that having someone like David living with him might look strange and scandalous to the outside world, he had strictly forbidden David any contact with anyone except the Knolves. True, it made him a little neurotic at times, but it made the sex better so Andrew never considered changing that rule.

To be fair, however, David wasn't a complete tool in the hands of his master. He had laid down some rules of his own – as far as he was concerned, he had no real reason to stay if the current situation didn't benefit him as much as it benefited Andrew. Rule one: If David never gets paid a dime, David never has to spend a dime. Free rent, free rood, free clothes, free cigarettes, free alcohol – the works. Rule two: No bestiality or golden showers, but all else is fair game. He had his limits. And rule three: Remember that David is not your wife, nor is David the mother of your children. Since David has no real emotional connected to neither Andrew nor his children, it would be wise to treat him accordingly.

And so things went for two years. When he thought about it long enough, David realized that he truly did despise himself for the current situation, but found no real alternative to life – and that fact alone lead as his main motivation for never leaving.

It was something that he really didn't care to think about for any extended amount of time. Andrew and David were indeed something of a strange couple, and to go into any sort of deeper level than that was a waste of time; neither of them knew if one loved the other, and neither of them cared enough to ask. Once, Andrew asked David if he minded having sex with someone unappealing and old like him. David simply told him that he loved sex more than he loved beauty, and Andrew was satisfied.

One day, Andrew brought Ryan home. After a torrid night of stupendous gay three-way sex, the morning after consisted of very much the same conversation that it had the day after David was brought home.

Ryan McIntyre was seventeen, had just dropped out of school, and didn't have anywhere to go – and also like David, he just never left.

It became very obvious very fast that David had some keen interest in Ryan that was borderline obsessive. After all, Ryan was the first human in two years that wasn't a Knolves that David was allowed to talk to – not only that, but he was roughly the same age. David was probably eighteen by now, and with Ryan being seventeen, well, it had just been so long since David could really connect emotionally with a person his age that wasn't on TV or on the internet.

Andrew was threatened to some extent. Although he had, on many occasions, made it clear that the only thing he liked more than fucking David was watching David getting fucked by someone else, Andrew began to feel himself becoming a little jealous of Ryan. It wasn't obvious, or even something that he had thought about before bringing Ryan home. But whenever Andy had Ryan fuck David, there would be these brief moments when David would look at him and get these unbearable vibes of jealousy: even if he valued sex over beauty, it wasn't as though he disregarded beauty altogether – and Andrew knew that. In short, Andrew felt threatened by Ryan's youth, chestnut hair, and handsome face, and it only took a week or so for Ryan himself to figure this out.

Of course, Ryan was by nature a very sulky person. This annoyed David, and this annoyance in itself made the sex so much more intense – for everyone. Andrew, of course, noticed this and became jealous, slightly isolating Ryan. Ryan noticed this and became sulkier, which annoyed David even more, which made the sex even more intense, which made Andrew even more jealous. It was a cycle that David couldn't quite explain how to get out of, nor could he provide any solid reason why he should want to get out of it. David liked to justify all things in life to the degree in which they made the sex better: things that made sex a lot better were more valuable than things that made sex only a little better. If Ryan being a little mentally high strung made the sex better, than why not let him be a little high strung?

It was even better if he caught it all on tape. Andrew liked to record Ryan and David fucking, finding perverse pleasure in hearing his voice give a command, and then watching his two boy toys submit to his will. The plumber especially liked to put one of the tapes on while they were having sex, and Andrew would get an intense satisfaction of watching his recorded voice still holding command over both the boys in the video, and the real-time boys in his bed. It made everyone more into it.

Andrew kept the master bedroom to himself. He considered sleeping with another human being one of the most annoying things in the world – his solution? To put David and Ryan in the same room together, in the same bed. It had originally been only David's room, but when Ryan came, Andrew saw no real reason to buy another bed. And so it was that Ryan and David slept in the same bed, every night. Since they had plenty of opportunities to fuck around in Andrew's bed, neither one of them saw any reason to get sexual in their most precious time of sleep – and so that's how it was.

Personally, David really liked never having to be alone at night. Before Ryan came, he would often sneak over to Maggie's room in the middle of the night and stay there until she had to get up in the morning – but with Ryan now in the picture, Maggie could keep the bed to herself, and David never had to feel spontaneously lonely in the middle of the night ever again. As far as David was concerned, he had a really good deal.

About one month into his stay, however, there was something noticeable different about Ryan. David could tell a lot just by watching him: Ryan felt everything in magnifeel. Even though Andrew never said anything directly to him, or was even intentionally cold towards him, there would be a few indirect and subconscious actions that Ryan would interpret and highly sinister and demeaning. David knew that he was guilty of this as well, Ryan's intense gloominess sometimes grating against his nerves.

And there was also the isolation. David had taught himself how to deal with not being able to formally have any contact with 'outsiders.' But he had made due – he would spend hours on the internet's chat-rooms or forums and mindlessly be retarded with other retards, or watch TV until he felt like he knew the characters well enough to invite them over to dinner. The best remedy for the isolation was, of course, to actually sneak out while Andrew was at work, and Maggie and Rita at school. David had become increasingly sly and frequent about his secret escapes into the village of Albion. He had even met a few people, his favorite of which was a 16-year old pregnant girl named Minuet – Minnie, for short – and seemed to hang behind her and deeply wild and delinquent past, however innocent she seemed to portray herself as now.

Ryan, however, had little idea how to deal with the lack of contact. He was well aware of David's methods – even the sneaking out – but was too afraid to apply them himself. He, in his state of magnifeel, was under constant awareness that he was still the 'newbie' in the house. He didn't have the long-term allowances that David had earned throughout the years – even if David was caught, he'd probably only have to endure, at worst, a long night's worth of bondage, and maybe a period of time of extra-careful watch. Or what was more probable was Andrew actually continuing to allow David to do whatever, as long as he didn't mention the name of 'Knolves' anywhere. Ryan knew that he didn't yet have that level of flexibility with Andrew yet – and it seemed that he only thing he dreaded worse than never speaking to another person outside of the house, was being put back onto the streets and fending for himself again. Still, David had tried to reassure Ryan that the worse part of dealing with Knolves and only the Knolves would pass by the next month, and he'd start to fall into the boring routine of things.

Two months into his stay, and Ryan was far more neurotic than David had ever remembered himself as being. He would pace around in the backyard, sometimes listening to music, and smirking to himself in some secret joke. David would just sit on the back stairs (there wasn't any formal deck, just a small platform and some stairs leading from the back door to the mud below) and smoke his cigarettes while watching the boy, trying to figure out how long he would plan on staying out there. Sometimes David would find Ryan just standing in an empty room, looking intensely into a corner as though watching something very specific. When Ryan would become aware that David was watching him, he'd give a little jump and a nervous laugh and leave, but wouldn't try to give any sort of definite reason to his actions. Ryan also began to develop random fears that David swore he didn't have a few weeks prior: he didn't like playing with Maggie and Rita on the swing set, since he was dead-set terrified of the bees that were probably living in the hollow metal bars; he didn't want to eat dinner after seven, because he was convinced that this was when all the spiders came out, and therefore the likelihood that a spider would end up in his food was dramatically increased; Ryan didn't want to do the laundry, because he didn't want sock fuzz and lint to get into his eyes and mouth; and the most annoying of all, Ryan began to demand that David sleep in the weirdest positions, since it was otherwise impossible for Ryan to fall asleep – not that it mattered, David knew that it was a good night's rest if Ryan got a food four hours in, fidgeting all the way.

Three months into his stay, and Ryan was just depressed. He would still stand for long hours in a room, staring intently at something, but when David made himself known, Ryan would just continue on with his staring, barely noting the existence of the other boy. His favorite place to go was his and David's room – it was a small room, and since Andrew had forbid any sort of customization, quite stark. Just a double bed with white sheets, old yellow paint on the walls, a window at the head of the bed, a ceiling fan directly above it, and an old vanity opposite the bed. When Ryan went in there, he would sometimes creep along the walls, as though trying to follow a sound, and always end up in his room. David liked to go in there, sit at the vanity, and smoke a few cigarettes as he watched him – he especially liked how the air in the room was still enough to let the smoke from the cigarettes just slowly and idly float aimlessly around the room, sometimes lighting up in the most interesting ways when the clouds made the light coming in from the window change. Sometimes, Ryan's facial expressions would change – usually from a placid sort of extremely bored look, to a look that could only be described as pure terror, and then finally rest on a face of peace and tranquility before starting the cycle over again. David loved Ryan's hazel eyes, and it made watching his expressions so much more pleasant. At particular long stretches of Ryan-watching, he found himself trying to imagine what sort of conversations Ryan was having with himself, and why he had it over and over again. David fancied that Ryan had about him a ghost – at least one ghost, but probably more than one – that was following him around, talking to him, telling him what he ought to be afraid of, and the only methods of avoiding these evils. David found it all very romantically distressing.

However, there was only so much of this a person could take. Although David did tend to mind a sort of sick enjoyment of watching, Ryan's long stretches of near-catatonia just bothered him to an impossible degree. It bothered him to the point of sometimes going out of his way to avoid coming in contact with the boy – he spent more time on the internet, more time with Minnie, more time talking walks in the woods, leaning against his favorite tree and smoking, trying to lead this thoughts far from Ryan. Some nights, David just became too annoyed at the boy just laying there with his eyes open, not even trying to sleep anymore, that he would just get up and sleep with Maggie. During their times with Andrew, Ryan's sexual performance was very noticeably decreased, and Andrew often had to tell him to do nothing but watch. David knew that all of these actions only lead Ryan further into whatever dark pit he was crawling into, but in his eyes, there was nothing that could be done.

Four months into his stay, it was September. This meant back-to-school for Maggie and Rita. David personally liked it better when the kids were at school – it was easier to sneak out and do whatever. During the summer, even though Andrew worked year-round, David had to make sure that either both of the girls were out doing something or being watched by Ryan before he could go to town. During the school year, however, everything became easier. (Sneaking out became difficult during the winter, because of the wood-fire that the Knolves had – David was expected to watch it and keep it going and not burn down the house, which was hard to do if he left the house too much.)

The first week of complete Knolvelessness during the day, David went out of the house for at least three hours every day. He had from 9 in the morning to three-thirty in the afternoon, and since was usually sleeping with Maggie these days, he took his time in the morning to go out. It was usually to Albion and Minnie, but sometimes he just went back in the woods and smoked. Either way, it kept him away from Ryan – who, by this point, was just too unbearable in his levels of weirdness. David fancied that his ghosts had gotten fatter, and their only food was the fragile mind of Ryan. While Ryan just stood there and seemingly wasted away his brain cells, the ghosts would follow him, talk to him, taunt him, and eat him. There was almost a literal fear in David that if he strayed too close to Ryan too often, the ghosts might transfer themselves onto him instead of Ryan.

Every day when David returned from his random morning-escapes, he would find Ryan sitting at the kitchen table, tapping his foot, and staring off at the oven. David would then go up to their room and smoke for a while. Inevitably, he would hear Ryan meander to the bathroom to take a shower, then return back down to the kitchen for about ten minutes. During this time, David would take the opportunity to take a shower himself, and by the time he would get out, Ryan would be in their room, sitting on the end of the bed, looking blankly into the mirror of the vanity. As weird as it was, David would always sit at the vanity and brush his wet hair and whatever else he felt like doing, occasionally making brief eye contact with the boy behind him, never saying a word. David would then retire to the computer and play around there for a while. Sometimes there were chores to be done, sometimes there weren't. By the time Maggie and Rita came home, Ryan had returned back to the kitchen. By the time Andrew came home, Ryan was back up in his room.

The second week of complete Knolvelessness, things were very much the same. It was about midweek, and David had just spent a particular lovely morning with Minnie. She was still in her first trimester, but since she had left school until the baby was born, she had a lot of boredom and spare time – which she spent baking cookies, eating the cookies, and trying to find another good cookie recipe to bake. On this day, she and David had made some pretty good peanut-butter-apple cookies while watching crappy day-time television in her mother's modest-sized trailer. Naturally, David was in a rather fluffy mood when he arrived back in the Knolves – a little chilly from the upstate-NY September-weather, but otherwise in a very cheerful disposition. It only seemed to get better when David arrived to find no Ryan sulking on the kitchen table.

Still, the lack of Ryan made David a little curious. He took a trip to the main bathroom anyway, making sure that the boy wasn't in the shower; he wasn't. There was, however, evidence that a shower had been taken sometime that morning, and David figured Ryan was just a little bit off his normal schedule. Whatever the reason, it meant that he was currently in their bedroom.

David wasn't in any particular hurry to see Ryan, so he decided to take a shower himself. During his visit with Minnie, she had said something about the length of his hair, and now that he though about it, it had been a good long time since he had cut his hair. Since he wasn't technically allowed to go out and get it professionally done, David had always done it himself, and the result was always pleasantly trashy – a look that he aimed to maintain into the future.

His hair was a light brown – but it wasn't light enough to be considered dirty-blond. Just light brown. Sometime earlier in the year, however, this fact began to piss David off, so he dyed it all jet-black. Unfortunately, he was too lazy to keep up with it, and now the hair is half grown back, giving David's head a strange bipolar kind of look to it. Since he figured he had nothing to lose, he had chopped it off in strange and incoherent angles at random places and the look achieved was adorably chaotic. And now it was time for another chop-fest.

Deep inside, David probably would enjoy growing some sort of facial hair, but Andrew had strict rules about that sort of stuff. So he shaved his face and crotch religiously – since both were mutually interchangeable as far as anyone was concerned.

It was in this state of thought that David entered in his room. About five seconds later, he left his room, closed the door quietly, and began to break down in tears. Ryan was dead. After about ten minutes of crying, David calmed down enough to enter his room again, this time knowing exactly what to expect: Ryan had hung himself from the fan above the bed. But that wasn't all that he did – David also keenly took note of the fact that Ryan's left eye was definitely missing, and a long trail of blood dripped obviously from the empty socket down to the white sheets of the bed.

The chair from the vanity was located a foot or so away from the bed, and David suspected that Ryan had used it to leverage himself up toward the fan and kicked it mercilessly off the bed when he decided that it was time for him to go. Almost delicately, David took the chair and replaced it at the vanity, sitting down facing the mirror. Upon making the motions to take out a cigarette, the living boy noticed something very peculiar at the far right edge of the vanity: a jar that had once been used for strawberry jam was now filled with a strange watery-blood substance, and at the bottom of the jar was something suspiciously eye-ball shaped. David decided not to inspect it right away.

Instead, he went forth with his original goal and took out a cigarette and lit it up, robotically, stealing a few glances at the hanging boy behind him. After taking care of a few post-shower habits that he always managed to fulfill, David finally turned around and studied Ryan more thoroughly. From where he sat, David watched silently as the smoke from his cigarette began to float in the air, and the light coming in from the window reflecting off the walls and making everything yellow; the silence in the room seemed uncomfortable.

After about five minutes of pensive staring, David finally put out the cigarette and turned towards the jar. He picked it up; it was definitely an eye in there – and, if David could put two and two together, was probably Ryan's eye. It was, after all, characteristically hazel. Furthermore, David noticed that under the jar was a solitude piece of paper, torn from a random notebook and folded in half. Taking it, David opened it and read to himself, occasionally sending curious glances towards Ryan – almost as if seeking some sort of encouragement or approval from the hanging corpse behind him. In its sloppy script, it read: Ryan S. McIntyre's last will and testiment. To Andrew Knolves, I leave my body and my cloths. They were yours before and they will be yours now. to Maggie and Rita Knolves I leave my apologes. To David Hargraves, I leave my left eye and watever demons it keeps. eyes are innocent of the desolation we percieve but guilty of its continuation. I don't think I have anything else and it all belongs to Andrew anyway. ps. window sill

As if on cue, David looked up and immediately saw what Ryan had intended: on the window sill, not very concealed, but still a little inconspicuous when you consider the hanging block of flesh in the middle of the room, was a camera. The same camera that Andrew had used to record Ryan and David fuck joyously to his commands. David could just imagine it now – him and Ryan, fucking like bunnies, fuckity fuck fuck fuck – and all of a sudden BOOM the tape cuts to Ryan kicking away the chair and dying that slow strangulation of a death he had set up for himself, his one eye bulging out hopelessly, his body convulsing violently, and blood streaming down with sickening regularity onto the virgin white of the bed-sheets. It was such a shame. David began to cry again.