Pig-Boy and the Insectorator

by Biff Spork

Chapter 23

Pig-Boy and The Insectorator

David saw the truck camper as he came around a curve on the logging road. It was sunrise, but it was already so hot that drops of perspiration were running down his forehead. Hector was sitting on the fold-down steps that led into the camper.

"Hi David."

"Hi Hector."

"I thought we might have a little talk."

David looked at him but didn't say anything.

"David, I want to help you. I don't know what you're doing, but I just want to offer help, any kind of help you need."

"I don't know what you're talking about. I don't need any help, thanks." David began to move away.

"Let me tell you what I think. You and your friend have discovered something so beautiful, it could change the world. It has some connection with animals and with the way animals are acting these days."

David stopped and looked back. "Me and my friend, River?"

"No, your other friend, the blonde boy who rescued the pigs." Hector gambled. "The blonde boy I saw you with yesterday, on the plateau — that blonde boy who's more than a brother to you." Hector held his breath and waited for David's reply.

River's father answered the door.

Jude smelled alcoholic fumes on his breath. "Hi Mr. Jameson, is River here?"

"No, he ain't here." Bleary eyes focused on Jude. "Ah, Jude, isn't it?"

"Yessir, that's me."

"How'd ya like to do me a favor?"

"Sure, Mr. Jameson. What kin I do you for?"

"I'm outta supplies, and I need some food and stuff, but Nicky's home now, and somebody should watch him. You don't need to do nothing. He's like a vegetable. Just see he doesn't fall offa the bed."

They stood at the foot of the bed where Nicky was lying, comatose. A tube connected his arm to a clear plastic bag hanging from a stand.

"Sometimes he makes noises, but don't worry about that. You know, Jude, Nicky's gone." Art's voice cracked. "That ain't Nicky there. Can you stay with him while I run into town? I won't be more than an hour."

"Yeah, sure, Mr. Jameson. No problem." Jude gestured toward the bed. "I'm real sorry about that."

"Yeah. What the fuck! It doesn't matter what you do, how hard you try. It all just turns into shit."

A few minutes later, Jude heard Art's truck drive out of the yard.

Jude stood beside the bed and said, "Nicky?"

There was no response.

He put his mouth to Nicky's ear and shouted, "Shithead!"


Jude poked Nicky in the chest. Nothing happened. He stabbed a finger into Nicky's cheek. He pushed hard. There was no reaction. He punched him in the belly, a good solid punch. Nicky lay inert. Jude pondered. He threw the sheet back and walked around the bed. Nicky was naked except for a disposable diaper. Jude tickled the soles of Nicky's feet. They were warm but immobile.

The diaper had Velcro fastenings, so it was easy to undo. Jude's eyes widened. Nicky's eight-inch penis lay between his legs. Jude straightened it up, so it was lying on Nicky's belly.

"Well, Nicky, does this thing still work?" Jude flicked it with his finger, then grabbed it and yanked it upward. It started to stiffen. "Oh! You like that, do you?" He bent it down and let it snap forward onto Nicky's stomach. Then he slapped it. It stiffened more and throbbed. He slapped it again, as hard as he could. Jude wrapped his hand around it and stroked it up and down. He squeezed it hard until the end got purple.

Jude dropped his shorts and got on top of Nicky. He loved the feeling of Nicky's big hard penis poking into his belly. He lay with his erection between Nicky's legs and rubbed back and forth. It only took a minute.

"Thanks, Nicky. That was real nice."

Jude wiped away the evidence with some tissues, flushed them, and re-fastened the diaper. Then he sat and studied the body. When he heard Art's truck pull into the yard, he quickly stood near Nicky's feet. He selected the long thin toe next to his big toe and bent it backwards until he heard it crack. He twisted it to make sure he had broken it. Nicky lay like corpse. The toe lay off to one side of the big toe in an impossible position. Jude pushed it back, so it looked normal. He covered Nicky with the sheet and went down to greet Art.

"Thanks, Jude. It's not everybody who could stand to watch Nicky. I mean, seeing him like a vegetable just makes some people feel weird."

"It's no problem for me, Mr. Jameson. Any time."

Art carried a case of vodka into the living room. Several empty bottles lay on their sides on the coffee table.

Jude unpacked the box of groceries onto the kitchen counter. It was mostly bacon and eggs, sausages, cans of beans, boxes of macaroni and cheese, bread, butter, and bags of potato chips.

"You wanna stay for lunch? I was just gonna whip up some mac and cheese."

"Thank you, sir. I'd like that."

Art opened a bottle of vodka and took a long drink. He set it down on the kitchen table and slumped into a chair.

"Do you know where River is, sir?"

"I do believe he said he was going into town. He wanted to buy himself a new bike, one of them electric ones, and I said it was okay." Art took another swig from the bottle. "I remember when I got Nicky his first bike. Him and Ricky. New bikes! They were so happy — spent the whole day doin' wheelies in the yard! Back and forth, until it was too dark to see. They musta drove twenty miles, without ever leavin' the yard." He wept, gasping and sobbing.

"Should I put some water in a pot to cook the noodles?"

"Yeah, go ahead. Sorry for blubbering. You're right handy to have around. Yeah, River's gone to get a new bike. Jude, let me tell you. You should always treat your kids right, 'cause you never know when you're gonna lose 'em."


"Which reminds me," said Art as he pulled out his wallet. "Here's twenty bucks for looking after Nicky while I was gone. That was real kind of you."

"Thank you, sir. It was no trouble. I'm always happy to help."

Hector parked outside the library and sat in the camper with his laptop. Messages from his news-feeds jammed his mailbox. There were an increasing number of incidents across the USA and many more in Mexico and Canada as well. In the arctic, black flies and blowflies had become much more aggressive. Several narwhals had speared an Inuit hunter's kayak and sunk it. Similar reports were coming from Central and South America. It was becoming increasingly dangerous for humans to be outdoors. Hunters, loggers, fishermen and farmers were particularly at risk.

It wasn't only attacks on humans by animals. It was also the withdrawal of helpful insects like bees. While the numbers were small, domestic animals were also affected. Pets were turning against their owners in ever-larger numbers. Veterinarians across the country had been injured while performing routine surgical procedures. Dogs, rabbits and chimpanzees had revolted more fiercely than ever before against workers and scientists in vivisection labs. White mice had become vicious.

Crop failures all over the continent mimicked the imminent failure of the local almond crop. Scientists were hard at work developing self-pollinating varieties, but that didn't solve the problem of the absence of insects from farms. Birds, many of which had been feeding off insect pests of food crops, were also disappearing. The 'Silent Spring' had come to some locales where birds and other animals had fled to nearby wilderness areas. As food shortages loomed, supermarket chains were quick to raise prices.

The shelves of distributors stocking biohazard protective gear were empty. The same was true for Apiarist supply stores. No protective clothing was available. Manufacturers were rushing into extra production, but it would be months before supply could meet the growing demand. Handgun sales were up.

At ten, Hector got a call from Pete.

"Hector, we need to meet. The governor's office been on the phone with the sheriff again this morning. They want to see this task force happening. Yesterday, if possible. I don't know what kind of information you've got today, but I'm hip-deep in reports over here."

"Same here, Pete. I've got a couple hundred news items at least, but I don't want to share what I'm thinking yet, not officially. Part of the reason is that it involves your boy, but there are other good reasons for some discretion right now. We're sitting on a bomb. You know that, don't you?"

"Feels like it's already exploding."

"Yeah. I'm at the library in town. There's a fast-food joint across the street with outdoor seating. We can talk there. How about around noon?"

When River left the e-bike dealers, he was happy. They promised they would charge his new e-bike battery by two o'clock. That would give him just enough time to get to his meeting with David that afternoon. He decided to go to the health food store and have a vegan lunch in their deli. The same hippy girl was there. She recognized him, and they introduced themselves to each other.

Her name was Melissa. She said she was on her lunch break, and if he liked, they could eat lunch together. She offered to give him more tips on how to be vegan.

"I'm not doing too bad," said River. "I've got some good friends who are vegan, and I've been eating with them a lot. I also help my friend's mother when she's cooking. She's a great vegan cook, and I'm learning a lot. We made baba ghanoush together last night."

"Hey, that's great." Melissa smiled. "You've got an interesting name, even a famous name. Do you know why your parents decided to call you 'River?'"

"My dad told me it was because my mom had a crush on an actor. He's dead now, but she really liked him, so she said they should give me his name, because she wanted me to grow up like him."

"Do you know anything else about him?"


"He was pretty famous. He always spoke out for animals, and he was vegan too, at least for part of his life. River Phoenix was his name. I've seen pictures of him. You even look a little like him."

River blushed.

"His brother's pretty famous too. Another actor. Joaquin Phoenix — he's "The Joker," but he's in lots of other movies, too. He's a vegan, animal-rights activist. He's woke."

"Wow, I didn't know that."

"Yeah, maybe your mom knew something when she named you River."

"Yeah, maybe she hoped I was gonna be a vegan."

"What I'm worried about, Pete, is that this is gonna get away from us before we're ready. What you say about the governor talking to the governors of neighboring states is scary. So is the rumor that the White House has noticed what's happening. That could mean Homeland Security and the National Guard get involved. Those guys are not noted for their gentle or sensitive handling of issues."

Hector paused. Then he continued in a lower voice. "They don't know yet that there are two young boys at the center of this. The boys are not at fault in any way, but they're in the middle of what's shaping up to be a national, maybe even an international, disaster. They're probably the only people on the planet who actually know what's happening, but as soon as the political-military establishment get hold of it, it's gonna get warped out of shape. And those boys, those good, innocent, brilliant boys, are likely to get crushed in the process. We've got to find a way to explain what's going on that minimizes their involvement."

Pete drummed his fingers on the table and sipped his coke. "You said, 'two boys'?"

"Yeah. Your boy, David, and the pig-boy, Sol Mundy. I saw them together, up on Jana Mountain. They didn't know I was watching them. Pete, it was wonderful. They were sitting there in a grassy meadow. It was peaceful. Dozens of animals of all different kinds came and sat nearby. There was a cloud of butterflies fluttering around them. Animals came up and greeted them — pigs, horses, deer and even a wolverine and a bear."

Hector cleared his throat. "It was like a dream. We have to protect those boys. They're the key to a whole new way of being, a new way of relating to all life on the planet."

"Do they know you saw them together?"

"David does, now. I met with him early this morning, on the Jana Mountain road. Don't get angry Pete. I'm on your side. I'm on David's side, but we have to share everything we know with each other. If I'm to help, I need to know. David told me a lot this morning."

Pete sat in silence. Then he traded a long look with Hector, and his fists unclenched. "Yeah, you're right. This is too big to keep between us."

Zhiv and David embraced.

"Do you wanna tell me about the guy in the camper truck?"

"I'll tell you everything, but let's go up to the cave first. I'm tired of talking. It seems like all I do lately is talk, talk, talk."

The peace of the forest descended on David as he followed Zhiv's lithe, tanned form. By the time they reached the cave, he felt loose and happy once again.

Zhiv took his hand and led him into the cave, to their ferny bed. "I know what you need," he said. "I need it, too."

Later, David rubbed his nose against Zhiv's earlobe. "Okay, last night I had a little time in the mara with River. You were there, too."

"Yeah. I saw him, a boy sitting under a big pine. He's good. I had a feeling from him that's he's young, almost a baby, but he's a good baby. I feel we can trust him. I'll ask Kek and Lilili to look him over."

"Yeah, I'm meeting him again this afternoon."

"You had a meeting with some wasps."

"Yeah, the wasps. There was a woman at our house having supper with us. She killed a wasp. Then hundreds of them came. I talked to them in the mara until they agreed to fly away."

"She was lucky you were there. They wanted to kill her."

"Then River and me went for a ride. You'll like him. He's funny. He likes to play. He's given me a superhero name, The Insectorator!"

Zhiv laughed. "I wonder if he'll give me a name."

"Oh, you've already got a name. The whole world knows you as 'Pig-Boy' because of that video."

"Pig-Boy! I like it. Pig-Boy and The Insectorator!"

"He says he's my superhero sidekick and wanted me to give him his nickname. I said I was going to call him 'Asshole!'"

Zhiv guffawed. "Yeah. You've got to bring him up here. I think we're gonna have a lot of fun together."

"Then, just before I went to bed, my dad came up to my room and did a good thing."


"Yeah. You know I told you about when he took me fishing, and made me watch that fish die?"


"He said he was sorry he did that. He was sorry he killed the fish, and he was sorry he made me watch it die. I could tell he really meant it. He's a great dad. That made me want to tell him about the mara, and us and everything."


"Well, not the wiggling — that's for you and me — but all about the animals, and how you got to be here. My dad gave me a message for you."

"A message for me?"

"Yeah. You had some foster parents, Evan and Marie?"

"Yeah, they were nice."

"My dad said he was talking to Evan. Evan was real sorry he took you to the pig barn. Evan wanted you to know he wished he never did that. He wished he didn't make you go to the pig barn with him. He didn't know it would hurt you. If you ever want to go back, he and Marie want you live with them. They miss you. They want to adopt you."

"Nobody ever wanted to adopt me before."

"I want to adopt you. You can come and be my brother any time you want."

"Hey, thanks. But I'd rather have you as my… I don't know what you are. You're my everything — father, mother, brother, sister, auntie, uncle, husband, and wife."

The boys exchanged kisses. Zhiv kissed every freckle. David kissed Zhiv's eyelids, the tip of his nose, the dimple in his chin and up and down his neck.

"I told my mom and dad about the mara's decision. They didn't say anything, but I could tell it worried them."

"It worries me, too." Zhiv shook his head.

"Okay, now, about the guy in the camper — his name's Hector. He came to supper at our house last night. He's working with my dad on the animal attacks on humans. They're happening all over the place. The police and the government have started to notice. Hector's a university professor who knows all about that kind of thing. What's more important, though, is that he knows about us. He saw us, yesterday. He was up on the mountain overlooking the meadow."


"So, when he met me this morning and told me that, I decided to tell him everything. I think he's okay. He says he's on our side. He thinks we're wonderful."

"He said that? We're wonderful?"

"Yeah, that's exactly what he said. 'You boys are wonderful.'"

"Well, I've always known you're wonderful."

"Anyway, I think he's okay, and he's got some good ideas. He's also talked to Melissa, that video girl, and he thinks you need to make a video with her sometime soon."

Zhiv pulled him closer. "I don't know if you've noticed, but our aerials are sending out signals that we're wonderful?"

"Do you think we can do it again? So soon, I mean?"

Zhiv chuckled. "There's only one way to find out!"

River grinned. "Insectorator!"

David wheeled into the driveway and passed him. "C'mon, Asshole!"

David began shucking his clothes as soon as they had leaped upstairs to his bedroom. "I'm gonna take a shower to get cooled off. Get those duds off and let's go."

"We're gonna shower together?"

"Asshole! Stop thinking. Just do what I tell you, please. We've got a lot of ground to cover and not much time. Mom'll be home in about an hour and a half."

They stood together in the shower while tepid water cooled them. David pulled River into a tight hug.

River blushed. "I've got a hard-on."

"Oh! Is that what this is?" David laughed and grasped River's erection. "It feels nice, kinda hot and hard. I mean, I haven't felt many dicks pushing into my belly like that, but yours feels okay, friendly." David giggled. "You got anything else?"

"Uh. Balls?"

"Good." He groped. "Yes, there's two. Excellent! Standard equipment! Now I'm gonna turn the cold water on a bit more, to get cool. Then we're gonna go lie down in the mind-meld for a little while, and then, I'm gonna tell you about all kinds of stuff. Okay?"

"Maybe I should check out your equipment, too? Just to make sure it's all there. I mean, as your official sidekick, I should do that as one of my duties!"

"I think it's all okay, but go ahead."

"Your equipment meets specs, also. One long thing, quite stiff, and two little round things. You're definitely good to go."

They lay on David's bed on their sides, face to face. David said, "Now we're gonna hug each other real tight and do like we did last night. Don't worry if you feel like somebody else is with us. I invited some friends to join us. They want to meet you." He kissed River's forehead. "Riv, Don't try to make anything happen. Just let it happen, and watch. Don't worry about your boner. Don't worry about my boner! We have boners! Get used to them! If you see a clear picture of someone or something, keep looking at it. Okay?"

Melissa and Hector sat opposite each other in the mall food court. She was happy to see Hector again. She was in an accelerated program at her high school and planned to graduate soon. Her consuming passion was animal rights. She wanted to devote her life to improving the lives of animals.

When she discovered that Hector was an expert in Animal Rights studies and shared her ideals, she was eager to spend more time with him. He complimented her on the pig rescue video. He was one of the few who recognized its importance and the work she had put in to make it a powerful document.

"We can learn a lot from that video about what interests people, what questions they want answered. It's important to go through the comments and e-mails and find out people's main concerns. When I interview Zhiv, I can ask him about those things. That will help me structure the interview. I talked to David about this. I asked him and Zhiv to think about what they can say to the world about the animals."

Though Melissa had wanted to, she had resisted the temptation to talk to him about Zhiv and David. She was happy now that he had revealed he was also aware of their secret.

"So, you know about David and Zhiv?"

"Yes, I met with David this morning, and we talked about Zhiv. I've seen Zhiv from a distance, but I haven't met him yet." Hector looked down. "To tell the truth, I'm almost afraid of meeting him in person. He seems like someone out of a fantasy or a dream, like an angel or a god."

"Yeah. I feel the same way. When we were watching him rescue those pigs in the river, we all felt better about being human. It was like he cast a spell over us. It was an amazing experience."

They sat silently for a minute, lost in their memories of Zhiv.

Hector looked up and smiled at her. "Something David warned me about is nudity. Do you know we have to be naked with Zhiv and the animals? Are you gonna be okay with that?"

"Really? Like completely naked?" Melissa blushed.

"Yes. David said the animals decided that nobody wearing clothes can get close to Zhiv." Hector laughed. "David said, 'You have to be naked, like the animals. They're naked all the time, so it's not like they're asking anything special.'"

"And Zhiv's always naked, so I guess it's only fair. It'll take a bit of getting used to, but I think I can handle it."

"David also told me about meeting with you at the library. You and I need to think about what kind of video we can shoot. I don't have much technical knowledge, but I think your last video was very good. It looked good, but the next one has to be even better. I'm thinking 4k or even 8k — can your camera do that?"

"No, it's pretty good but not that good. Same with my lenses."

"Okay, I'm imagining a video that has a lot of visual impact. We'll have to upgrade your equipment. We need to get Zhiv together with a bunch of different animals. If we can show him interacting with them while he's talking to us, it will be a powerful message. Do you have a gimbal, so you can move around with him and give a feeling of his life in the forest?"

"No, I have a tripod, but that's all."

"I've seen him interacting with wild animals, and it's incredible. It brought tears to my eyes. If we can record him like that, we don't need to worry so much about the script." Hector described what he and Celia had seen when they were watching the boys in the meadow.

They continued to plan the video and the camera supplies and accessories they needed.

"I've got an equipment and supplies budget for my sabbatical, and I've hardly touched it. Let's go buy what we need in the way of camera gear. That'll give you some time to play with it and figure out what works and what doesn't."

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