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A Walk on the Wild Side
Written by Charles E. Magness
Cover Artwork by Moira Nelligar
© 2013 Boruma Publishing, LLC
Chapter 1 – Saturday & Sunday
Chapter 2 - Monday
Chapter 3 - Tuesday
Chapter 4 - Wednesday
Chapter 5 - Thursday
Chapter 6 - Friday
Chapter 7 – Saturday
Chapter 8 - Sunday
Epilogue – Monday
About The Author
“Charlie, that was Dave,” Mindy said, as she hung up the phone. “Their mother broke a leg in an auto accident this morning. The doctors say she’ll be okay, but she’s in the hospital. Dave and Carol want to be with her, so they can’t make it tomorrow.”
It was about lunchtime on a Saturday in early August of 1987. My little sister Mindy and I had spent the morning inventorying food and gear. David, Carol, Mindy, and I had planned a week-long backpacking trip into the Wind River Range, with the next day as the date of departure from Fort Collins, Colorado, for the Meadow Lake trailhead near Pinedale, Wyoming. We had planned a meeting that evening, to finish our planning and go over our gear. This could mean canceling the trip.
“I’m glad she’s going to be okay,” I said, and I was. “But I don’t think we should go to the Winds without them.” About that, I wasn’t glad at all.
“Well, there’d be just the two of us. If one of us should get hurt and need to be taken care of, there’d be nobody to go for help.”
Her lower lip stuck out. She was 18—a bit more than a year younger than I. She’d been looking forward to this trip—her first into real wilderness—for quite a while. “You said that the part of the range where you’d be taking us was pretty well used. So there should be people around to help in any emergency.”
“It’s pretty risky—we couldn’t be sure of help if we needed it.”
The Island Lake area where we had planned on going was heavily used—for the Wind River Range in 1987. But it was possible, then, to spend a week there without seeing anyone but members of your own party.
“Well, nothing’s sure,” she allowed. “I think we’ll be fine, and I want to go.”
I wanted to go, too. I’d been on several long trips into wild country, not least of which was a month-long Mountain Odyssey Learning School course I’d taken two years earlier. I loved being in the backcountry.
And Mindy was determined. So I was doomed. I’d long since learned, the hard way, that when Mindy takes it into her mind that she’s going to do something, she will do it. She had decided that she was going to go for a week-long hike in the Wind River Range—with me, or without me.
“I think you’ve talked me into it, Little Sister. But we’ll have to be extra careful,” I finally said, knowing that however dicey it might be for two people, it would be a lot worse for just one. “And we’ll both have to work on convincing Mom that we’ll be safe, so she won’t change her mind about lending us her car.”
That earned me a big, front-to-front, full-contact oh-big-brother-thank-you-thank-you-thank-you hug. Feeling her trim little female body against me made the risk seem worthwhile.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
It was a body I knew well—almost as well as I knew my own. Because we’d lived in a very small home, the two of us had shared a bed until I was ten. Beginning when I was about six or so, we’d taken the opportunity to satisfy our childish curiosity by exploring each other’s bodies. Late at night, we’d use flashlights under the covers for visual exploration. We didn’t need flashlights to explore each other by hand.
By the time I was eight, each of us was very familiar with the anatomy of the opposite sex—at least, as it is found during childhood. I think it was about then that we started calling our mutual examinations “body checks.”
It was all pretty innocent. We knew, somehow, that Mom would disapprove, but we didn’t really know why—so we were very careful to keep our “hobby” a secret. That it was a shared secret made it even better.
In spite of the way we checked each other’s bodies out, we never slept without our pajamas on. Mom had impressed upon the two of us that it was “uncultured” (one of her most disapproving words) for a person to sleep with nothing on. To this day, I’m not sure whether she intended to keep us from sleeping naked with each other—or if she simply intended to keep us from sleeping naked. At any rate, she certainly got a message through: I now sleep naked, though never without remarking to myself how uncultured I’ve become.
In that shared bed, we often slept in each other’s arms, or “spoon” fashion. Mom probably thought the way we snuggled together in our jammies was “cute.” I am sure she was right because, at our ages, it was, could have been, nothing more than an expression of our childish affection for each other. Moreover, the family finances being marginal at best in those days, she unwittingly encouraged us by turning the thermostat down to 55° during those cold Colorado winter nights.
It was during those years of childish love and intimacy that we invented a secret ritual—our private, sacred litany. It was how we expressed our love for each other, how we cheered each other when one or both were sad. One of us would say to the other “Big Brother and Little Sister,” to which the other replied, “Best friends.” And then, in unison: “Now and always.”
And during those years, too, we made a solemn pact with each other, our own Code of Honor: We could lie for, but never to, each other. We simply called our agreement The Code. If either of us invoked it, each of us was bound to tell the truth and, maybe more importantly, to believe that the other was telling the truth.
For reasons Mindy and I did not understand, our father was not a part of our family picture—and hadn’t been at any time either of us could remember. When I was ten, Mom found a man who loved her. He was a successful attorney, and, when she married him, our standard of living improved immensely. We moved into our new stepfather’s large home, and Mindy and I each got our own bedroom and bed.
Initially, Mindy and I didn’t think that was an improvement. For a few weeks, Mom frequently found one of us in the other’s bed late at night, both of us fast asleep, snuggling with each other. There was nothing sexual about it. Nor was body checking the issue; we were just lonely trying to sleep apart from each other. After all, we’d spent most of our lives sharing a bed.
Slowly we adjusted, and after several weeks we were able to spend the whole night alone in our own beds.
Nighttime body checks were then pretty much out of the question, as was sleeping in each other’s arms. But we still could avail ourselves of daylight opportunities. Our new stepfather had gotten our mother a secretarial position in another attorney’s office, so both of them were usually gone during the days. They thought us mature enough to handle being without adult supervision when school was out.
You must understand: We regarded our bodies as mutual property, but we weren’t obsessed about our body checking. It had much the same place in our lives as any other childish hobby might have had, being something we might choose to do when we weren’t otherwise occupied. It was driven almost entirely by innocent curiosity, with, maybe, just a little of the spice of the forbidden thrown in.
Before the man we soon came to call “Dad” joined our family, the three of us had never been very private about our bodies. I think that made it easier for Mindy and me to share our bodies with each other. In our little home, Mom had almost never closed the door when she used the bathroom, and in consequence neither did we. If Mom happened to be naked when she wanted something, she had no reservations about going and getting it without first covering up. So we had none, either.
As our new family integrated, Dad, too, stopped concealing his body around the house. So we were used to seeing the naked bodies of all four members of our family. Mindy and I just carried it a little further.
We did know what people do to make babies. We knew what it was called—a word we knew to be very uncultured (and which we used between ourselves for that reason). We didn’t know, though, that there was any reason to do that unless you wanted a baby. And back then, we thought that a baby would always be the result of that activity when grown-ups engaged in it.
We tried it several times, to see how it worked. At least, we thought we had. As far as we knew how to be clinical or scientific, those trials had been clinically scientific experiments, which we’d carried out in dispassionate quest for knowledge. This is supposed to fit into that. We’ve got one of each here; let’s see how it works. In retrospect, I see that all of those efforts were pretty lame—or, more precisely, such was our knowledge of sexual matters that most of our efforts were pretty limp.
There was one exception; the last of those experiments was different. As we approached puberty together, we each took a deeper interest in our bodies—and our sibling’s. We knew that soon those bodies would change; determined little scientists that we were, we wanted to follow those changes. And each of us wanted to follow them in both bodies. Our growing determination extended, as well, to trying to pierce the mysteries of adult sex.
We performed our last experiment on a snowy day in February of 1980. Mom and Dad had to work, but our school was off. Late that morning, after the children’s television had turned into boring game shows, we engaged in a daylight body check and in another experiment. Unlike our previous experiments, this effort was not limp, and we achieved partial success. It was only partial because it hurt her, and we didn’t carry the experiment past her pain. But it is worth noting that neither of us experienced any hint of the compelling urgency so characteristic of adult sexual activity.
Why didn’t we try again? To begin with, we thought it would hurt her again. And we were slowly becoming aware of the meaning that the grown-up world attaches to putting this into that—especially where siblings are involved. Most of all, probably, we worried that we might be old enough that she would get pregnant.
On the other hand, we were also gradually learning that people had sex all the time because they liked it (even the women, for whom it must therefore not be painful), and that pregnancy didn’t result every time. We weren’t sure what had caused Mindy’s pain during that long-ago experiment: youth, perhaps, or lack of lubrication, or both. So our “knowledge” of this subject, like so much childhood knowledge, consisted of many isolated, sometimes mutually contradictory, “facts.”
Shortly after that last experiment, we both entered puberty for real. We continued our body-checking hobby, which was made even more interesting by the accelerating (and fascinating) changes in both our bodies. We gained height. Acne troubled us both—her in particular. We saw whiskers begin to sprout from my upper lip, and then from my chin and my cheeks, while the hair on my chest, arms, and legs changed its quality from fine and downy to coarse and dark. We watched the boringly parallel lines of her body change, ever so slowly, into the alluring curves of womanhood. We also observed, in detail, more intimate changes.
As we matured physically, we each learned—from peers of our own sex—about orgasms and how one brings them about for oneself. We traded this information and we practiced industriously, often watching each other out of curiosity regarding both structure and technique. But for some reason, it never occurred to us that we might do each other.
Her first period came in early 1982, when she was nearly 13. Late one afternoon, when Mom and Dad weren’t home, she proudly displayed the bloody wreck of a Tampax she had just drawn from her body. I could’ve done without that. But it was all part of watching ourselves grow up together—and I now know that, much more than I, she could have done without that—as it recurred again and again in her later life.
When I was sixteen, she started calling me “The Big Person With The Muscles,” and in return I called her “The Soft Little Person.” Not that she was weak; she packed a lot of strength into her little body. But still, she was small, and she was female. Small people aren’t generally as strong as large people, while girls aren’t generally as strong as boys.
We’d both been looking forward to this trip into the Wind River Range as a way of reconnecting with each other. For most of the last year, I’d been away for my first year of college at Mom’s alma mater (where Mindy was to begin her freshman year in a few weeks). And we’d both been busy with summer jobs—which we’d quit early in order to make this trip. I’d had a good first year away from home. But I had missed—really missed—my little sister, who was still my very best friend.
That August, at the age of 18, The Soft Little Person was as tall as she was ever going to be, although, of course, we didn’t know that. She was about 5 feet tall, and she weighed 100 pounds when she was fully clothed, dripping wet, and someone put a couple of rocks on the scale beside her. I thought that her breasts were just right for her small body, and they were so firm that she rarely wore a bra.
Her feminine curves were gentle and subdued, and she had a cute pair of tight little buttocks. Her figure was slender and athletic, without being either bony or skinny. She had blue eyes, a pleasing face, and she wore her dark brown hair in a short bob. No one would ever think of her as a stunning beauty, but she liked living in her own skin.
For the most part, she enjoyed being what she was—a pretty, sexy, intelligent young woman. She wasn’t so fond of being small, though; in fact, she was a little bit sensitive about it.
The Big Person With The Muscles, on the other hand, then stood 6 feet tall, and weighed 190 pounds. I’d thought I was a little overweight, but the doctor said I was pretty solid and I shouldn’t worry about it. I didn’t know it, but I had the broad shoulders and muscular body that attract women. I had another inch or so to grow, and I would put on more muscle mass as I filled out during the next few years.
As we prepared for this trip into the wilderness in each other’s company, we had last practiced our hobby about a year earlier. I’d been away at college, and then we’d both been busy with jobs and other summer activities. But old habits die hard, and so we’d often seen each other around the house in various states of undress—including complete nudity.
We knew now that body checks reliably produced, in both of us, the sense of compelling urgency for union that I mentioned earlier. We’d successfully defused that urgency. But it had frightened us, because we thought ourselves “good” kids—and we had gotten the message. We knew that it would be wrong—deeply wrong—for brother and sister to satisfy that urgent need with each other. And so, by unspoken agreement, we’d put aside our old hobby, though we both now found it more interesting than ever. But I don’t believe that either of us meant to give it up for good.
It did not occur to us that opportunities for renewing it might await us in the Bridger Wilderness Area. Nevertheless, we were exhilarated by the knowledge that we would have no company in the backwoods other than ourselves—big brother and little sister, best friends, now and always.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
The drive to the trailhead took about eight hours. We’d gotten up early, but we’d spent more time than we’d expected bagging our food and getting everything into our packs. So we’d gotten a late start—and then we’d taken our time.
As we traveled, we chatted. We talked about my just-completed first year of college—including my failure to get laid for the first time. I hadn’t failed for lack of trying, but because I hadn’t found a willing partner.
Mindy would begin college in a few weeks; she talked about her hopes and her fears. And she confessed that during her senior year of high school she, too, had failed to lose her virginity—though not because she hadn’t tried, or because she hadn’t found a willing partner. She’d kissed a few boys, she said, and a couple of them had touched her breasts through her shirt. But she hadn’t liked any of them enough to go further with them.
I realized that she took it for granted that she would really like a guy before she would consider Doing It with him. That was foreign to me, and it gave me a new perspective on the female mind.
Otherwise, we touched on nothing of any real importance, beyond the joy we shared at the prospect of spending some time together.
It was late afternoon when we arrived at Meadow Lake. We saw little traffic after we left the interstate in Wyoming, and we saw none at all once we turned off the two-lane highway. In the parking lot, we found only a couple of cars, and a pickup with a horse trailer hooked up to it.
I had been there just two years earlier—Meadow Lake had been the pickup site for my MOLS course—and I knew of a good campsite about three-quarters of a mile from the trailhead. We double-checked that we had all the gear we needed. Then we tied our sleeping bags and our daypacks onto the main packs, in the configuration that MOLS had taught me.
My pack was lighter than the one I’d carried on other, longer trips—though it was still heavy enough that Mindy could barely lift it. Hers was much lighter, but still heavy for her petite frame. I was The Big Person With The Muscles, so I carried a lot more than she. I’d made sure that she had copies of all of our maps, as well as food for a couple of days. If we were accidentally separated, she would need those things.
We had both worn jeans and good shirts for the drive to the trailhead, and we didn’t want to take them with us. And, following MOLS’ recommendation that all hikers, including women, should wear men’s cotton boxer shorts, we both wanted to change our underwear. We were alone at the trailhead, and we would hear anyone approaching by way of the deeply rutted road long before they could see us. It was very unlikely that hikers would approach from the other direction, so we stripped—right there beside our parked car.
I recall admiring her pert little breasts (she hadn’t even brought a bra with her on this trip). Her cleft, and the little dimple at its top, peeked out at me from between her bare thighs and below a small, brown, downward-pointing triangle. (I recall thinking of that triangle as her “electric fur,” and complimenting myself for remembering that phrase—even though I couldn't remember where I'd seen it.) She looked me over, too. I thought to myself that this was a body check, if a superficial one.
We were intent on getting to our campsite, so we dressed quickly. We put on our boxer shorts (hers were some I’d outgrown), cotton hiking shorts, and sturdy long-sleeved cotton shirts. Then a pair of knee-length heavy wool socks, and over those a shorter pair of heavy wool socks. We followed these with hiking boots.
Then we took a last long drink of water from the jug we’d brought from home, locked it in the car, hoisted the packs onto our backs, tightened waist belts, and set out for the campsite.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Once there, we pitched our tent. We’d borrowed it, along with a pair of sleeping bags, from Bob and Sally, a young couple who lived down the block from our house.
We’d brought some rolls, some ham and cheese, and a couple of apples for our first supper on the trail. When we had finished and cleaned up, it was still early evening. We were each carrying a couple of sturdy, soft plastic, one-liter water bottles. We’d each about emptied one of them with dinner, so we refilled them from the nearby stream. I showed Mindy how to use tincture of iodine for purification. Twenty minutes later, the water would be drinkable.
There was still an hour or so before sunset, and we sat together on a log, our bodies touching more or less lightly, for most of that time. We alternated between enjoying the peaceful beauty of the woods in mutual silence and chatting quietly about who-knows-what. The evening wore on and, as would become routine, we found ourselves putting on mosquito repellent. We found also that we needed to add a layer of clothing—wool sweaters and wool pants—to stay warm in the growing evening chill. The daylight slowly failed, and we got out our headlamps, Ensolite pads, and sleeping bags.
The sky was clear, without a hint of bad weather. Our campsite was about 8,000 feet above sea level, so it would get even cooler before long. But it was August, and it wouldn’t get cold enough to cause us any discomfort in our sleeping bags. We decided we’d sleep outside the tent.
As we laid out our Ensolite pads and borrowed bags, I noticed out loud that the bags were a matching pair that could be zipped together.
Mindy had not known there were such sleeping bags, and she was entranced: “That’s great. I’d really like to zip them together and snuggle, Charlie. It’s been so long since we’ve slept that way—nine years.”
I, too, missed the sense of physical intimacy we’d shared as kids, so we did zip them together. We discovered that we were tired, both from getting up early and from the drive. The sun, by then, was down—though we had not been able to see it set owing to the trees that surrounded us. We knew that it would rise a little after six. And so, even though it wasn't dark yet, we prepared to go to bed.
Before we climbed into the sack, we removed the extra layers we’d put on in the evening coolness; otherwise, we remained fully clothed in cotton shirts, hiking shorts, and knee-length wool socks. And then we both crawled into the doubled bag, leaving the upper zipper partially open.
We’d arranged ourselves so that Mindy was on my left as I lay on my back. We loosened our belts and undid our hiking shorts’ waist buttons. As I lay there, drifting pleasantly between awake and asleep, Mindy’s warmth and natural scent had their effect, and I felt some stirring in my groin. So I rolled away from her onto my side—not wanting her to know what effect she was having. We would be spending a week in each other’s company, and I didn’t want her to think I’d brought her here for any reason other than to share the wild country with her.
In the roominess of the doubled bag, I lay there on my side with my lower leg extended and my upper leg brought up a little, so that my thighs formed a “V” that had its corner at my crotch. Fatigue caught up with me and I began to drop off to sleep. I was vaguely, and pleasantly, aware that Mindy had turned toward me, wormed an arm under my neck, draped the other over my waist, and pulled herself up against me—slipping her leg over mine. We had often reposed together like this when we were children.
But this night, there was a difference: I distinctly recall the pressure of her small, firm breasts against me, and of her genital mound against my thigh, as I slipped off into a young man's sound sleep.
Neither of us had slept on the ground for a while, so both of us flipped and flopped some during the night. I recall getting up to empty my bladder—probably an hour or so after midnight. The moon, a little past first quarter, had already set, and the stars shone brightly in the clear, dark sky. The Milky Way formed a broad highway across the sky. I also recall pulling the top zipper all the way up as I climbed back into the bag. Nevertheless, we slept reasonably well.
When I awoke again, the sky was blue, though the sun had not yet risen. We had rolled so that Mindy had her back to me. She was sleeping on her left side, with her knees together and drawn slightly upward. I was also on my left side, my legs drawn up against the backs of hers, one arm under her pillow (which we’d fashioned from a stuff-sack and sweater), and my other arm draped around her. We were in the classic spoon position.
During our sleep, she had clasped my hand to herself, so that it cupped one of her breasts through her shirt.
The firm rounded flesh felt wonderful.
And, as happens almost every morning with a young man, I had a raging erection. My hiking shorts confined it, but it pressed nonetheless into the cleft between her buttocks.
Groggily, I considered: If I moved, she would wake and catch me feeling her up; if I didn’t move, she would soon wake naturally and catch me feeling her up.
I had just about decided to remain in place, sleepily enjoying her body, when she did wake up.
“Are you awake, Big Brother?” she whispered.
Still half asleep, I mumbled assent. In response, she clasped my hand more tightly to her breast, causing me to give it a little squeeze. That caused a throb in my pants—which in its turn caused her to wiggle her rear end against me. I felt her nipple stiffen in my hand; almost automatically, my thumb brushed it. She wiggled again; I throbbed again.
Embarrassed at my seeming forwardness, I started to mumble something—anything—in an effort to excuse it. Even as I began, I realized that my bladder was full—really full; it was a ready-made escape from my predicament. I turned my incoherent mumbles into a fuzzy “I really have to pee,” rolled away from Mindy, unzipped the bag, and stumbled 10 or 15 yards into the woods.
But upon unzipping my pants and pulling my penis out, I encountered another difficulty: It isn’t possible to urinate through an erection. But this difficulty usually resolves itself; once you recognize the urgent need and concentrate on satisfying it, your erection softens quickly and flow begins. Thus, after 45 seconds or so, I urinated merrily away.
As my flow ended, I belatedly saw that Mindy had stumbled into the woods a little behind me and was several feet off to my left, facing back the way we had come. She had dropped her britches and, having gathered them at her knees and squatted, was finishing her chore as I finished mine. I had never seen a woman urinate in the woods before, and I’d wondered how they did it without getting their clothes wet. I’d just found out.
She looked at me as we buckled our belts. “Is something wrong, Charlie?” she asked. “It took you quite a while to start peeing.”
I hemmed and hawed for a moment and finally blurted out, “Well, Mindy, men can’t urinate through an erection.”
There was a significant pause.
“Who can’t what through which?” she asked, giving me a look I knew and dreaded. “You big jerk! Who do you think you’re talking to? This is me. Mindy. Your little sister. The only person in the world who knows your body almost as well as you do. The only person in the world whose body you know almost as well as she does. Do you mean that you can’t pee through a hard-on? Then say so, dammit.”
I mumbled something, trying not to shrivel up and die of shame, while shriveling up and dying of shame—not just because she might’ve thought my body had reacted to hers in the sleeping bag, but also because I’d tried to pretend nothing had happened.
As I suffered, I saw a light bulb turning on in her head. She looked me in the eyes and said: “I get it! You’re embarrassed!” She’d always been more perceptive about feelings than I, and she’d busted me, fair and square. I shriveled even more. Death seemed close—and desirable.
She rubbed it in: “Charlie, you really are a dope. Maybe even an asshole.”
“Asshole” was the worst thing we ever called each other, and it does sound harsh. But it was just how we said that we thought the other had done something really dumb. Sometimes we used the word in fun, but this wasn’t one of those times.
There was more coming: “A hard-on is nothing to be worried about. Guys get them all the time, and a girl kind of likes knowing that she can make a guy get hard. And I’ve seen lots of your boners. Do you really think I didn’t know you had one when we woke up? I probably shouldn’t have put your hand on my boob. But I woke up a while ago when we turned over onto our sides, and I knew it would feel good. So I put it there, and it did feel good, and I went back to sleep with it there.”
I was thunderstruck. This wasn’t the reaction I had expected. And the hand-on-the-boob business hadn’t been an accident. She’d done that herself, on purpose. So she couldn’t possibly have been thinking that I had slyly copped a feel while she was asleep.
Still processing this information, I said something brilliant, like: “Uhhh… You…put…”
“Yes, Charlie, I put your hand on my tit. And I’m glad I did, even if it gave you a boner. I should’ve known it would, but I didn’t think. I hope it didn’t make you angry.”
I still had to think about things, but I knew that giving me a boner wasn’t something that made me angry. And I said so. (It did occur to me that, in fact, neither her closeness nor her boob had caused my boner at all—that it had been simply an ordinary garden-variety morning hard-on. But she seemed happy thinking she’d caused it, and who wants to argue with someone whose forgiveness he’s seeking?)
Learning that I wasn’t angry mollified her somewhat, and I knew she’d forgiven me—though I could tell that she still thought I’d been a dope, or even an asshole. And I had been—though I didn’t see quite how, then.
And then she gave me another front-to-front-full-contact hug. I know that I hadn’t yet digested what she’d said, because I wasn’t sorry when we broke that hug before I got another hard-on—which wasn’t just a simple morning boner. I was sure, though, that I would never again use the word “erection” in a one-on-one conversation with her.