Contains: Strangers, Sex Outdoors. All characters are consenting adults
B plunges the stick deeper in the mud, they can’t take their eyes off the tip sinking deep inside the oozing ground. B doesn’t look up, they barely pay attention to the conversation around them. Every year their family goes on a camping trip together, and every year B dreads the trip more and more. The incessant clattering, chatter, and mundane questions - barely scratching the surface of how anyone is feeling deep down. They know they should be thankful, not many families would get together like this, but it fills them with a sense of emptiness. A sharp existential dread and guilt for not smiling and laughing along.
B lets out a sigh and finally tunes in to hear talk of a long hike. B slowly rises off the log, they drop their sick and begin to slowly back away. B crotches behind the tent, out of sight, until everyone has entered the RV. They know this is their chance and they take it. B is on their feet, running through the bush faster than they have ever run before. The trees are getting thicker but they don’t look back. Branches scratch their arms and knick their heels but they are filled with an incredible sense of freedom, of giddiness. Finally, B turns to see if they are being followed and at that moment they trip over a rotting log. Oomph! B slowly opens their eyes, under their fingers they can only feel the soft, moss bed below them. Like a blanket of deep green lusciousness. They roll over onto their back and let out a loud laugh. Running away from the family like a child… who knew it could give someone well into their 20s such joy? B looks over and a cluster of mushrooms catches their eye, still wet and dewy from the night before. The mushrooms shine and glisten, B has an uncontrollable urge to sink their teeth into their velvety tops but they look away instead. The sun peeks through the canopy of trees above, B closes their eyes and feels the plush moss under their body.
Suddenly, B hears the crack of wood, like footsteps approaching on the forest floor. B shoots up, alert. Who could have found them? B tries to stifle their short breaths, being caught at this moment would almost be as embarrassing as running away in the first place. A tall figure emerges from the woods, but it’s not a family member. B has seen this person around the campsite, they’ve locked eyes but never spoken. B thinks they are around the same age, they seem to have an unspoken bond - like this person knows B better than any of the people they left back at the campsite.
“You found my moss.”
“Your moss?” B asks.
“Mind if I sit with you?”
B moves over on the bed of moss, making room for this mysterious stranger.
“I come here every time I need a break but I’ve never seen anyone else here.”
“I hate to break it to you but I don’t think you can really own a patch of moss.”
B bites their tongue, a week with their family has put them on edge. The sun shines on the top of the stranger's head, their dark hair radiates heat. The stranger looks up and directly at B, B adverts their glance, shy they’ve been caught staring.
“That’s not what I meant, I just mean, I’m glad you found it.”
The stranger's voice is slightly raspy, a characteristic B always found attractive in a person.
“I don’t mean to be rude,” B explains, “I’m glad I found your moss too.”
B finally looks back up, ready to meet the stranger’s gaze again. The stranger has a smile on their face, like they knew B was working up the courage. The stranger’s lips are glistening and dewy, the cluster of mushrooms flashes in B’s mind. B finally locks eyes, determined not to look away. Suddenly, B’s lips are on the stranger’s, how did this happen?! B backs away, embarrassed, not knowing what came over them.
“I’m so sorry, I don’t know why I did that.” B stammers.
B plants a hand on the spongy ground, determined to flee once more. But they feel a soft hand pull them back into the bed of moss.
“I’ve wanted that ever since I laid eyes on you.”
“Me too.” B admits.
The stranger is on top of B now, B’s fingers are tangled in their hair, frantically pulling them closer and closer. B wants to make their bodies one, being close isn’t enough. The stranger smells like the forest, like the moss, like the mushrooms. The stranger's mouth moves along B’s neck and up to their ear, they give a playful bite and B lets out a sharp gasp. B reaches and finds the bottom of the stranger’s shirt, they pull it off over the stranger’s head. Pressing their lips to the skin they are filled with an immense craving - the skin is hot and cold all at once. B gently caresses their nipples, making them stand up, excited, and then squeezes them between their fingers. The stranger’s head is back, moaning in pleasure, their raspy voice only encourages B. B slips out of their oversized shirt and their bodies embrace, the sun shines down on their naked torsos. The stranger’s mouth is on B’s breasts, with each soft bite B can feel the wetness grow between their legs. B reaches down and tastes themselves, like an ocean crashing against the bed of soft moss. The stranger takes B's fingers in their own mouth, sucking the juices off, unabashed. Both reach for their bottoms at the same time, the ground grows warm and wet underneath them. They are inside each other, B’s cheeks grow a fiery red, they have tried to stifle their moans but it’s no use now. B can feel the stranger’s soft fingers deep inside of them, the stranger laps at B’s clit with a wide and drenched tongue. With blurry eyes, the mushrooms catch B’s eyes once more, and with a frenzied passion B bites gently down on the stranger’s inner thigh. B sinks their face deep into the wet sex of the stranger, determined to devour every last drop.
Illustration by Ohara Hale