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It was a sunny weekday in June, and any unsuspecting hiker traveling down the Peterson-Gobaz Trail would have caught an earful. Luckily, the forest was deserted as it usually was at this time of day: a major reason why Joey and Lilia chose the spot for their lunch hour rendezvous.

"Fuck me harder! Harder!" Lilia demanded, breathlessly.

Joey's ego, and other things, were inflamed. "Yeah, you like that, baby?"

"I fucking love it!" Lilia exclaimed.

No sooner had Joey announced his impending climax when he tensed and then released into the thin latex that served as the only barrier between them. He fell against her back and lightly kissed her neck. A lunch well spent.

A moment later, the pair unlocked from each other and began to collect the articles of clothing they'd strewn about the forest floor. Joey removed the condom, now heavy with seed, and cast it unceremoniously to the ground. This caught Lilia's attention.

"You're just going to throw it on the ground?" she asked, tilting her head, causing a strand of golden hair to rest on one of her still-exposed breasts.

Joey was almost too distracted to parse the question properly, but he replied, "Well yeah. I'm not going to carry it around with me."

"But that's littering," Lilia said, slipping back into her blouse.

Women, Joey thought as he did up his fly. It seemed to him they always worried about the strangest things. "It'll be fine," he said.

Lilia sat down to put her shoes back on. "Well, what if a child finds it? Or what if an animal gets hold of it?"

"You worry too much," Joey said, tucking his shirt back in as neatly as he possibly could. "Now come on. Let's get back to the office."

As they headed back toward the nearby road where Lilia had parked, neither of them noticed the curious squirrel that had come down from the tree to inspect what they had left behind.

The rest of the day went as it normally did. Joey and Lilia returned to work, oblivious to the stares and whispers. Each went about their business and, at five o'clock, each went home: Lilia to her cats, and Joey to his wife and children. He sat at the dinner table, feigning interest but barely registering anything his family had to say. The only thing on his mind was Lilia or, more specifically, her body. She, of course, was not his first office conquest, but she was so far the youngest and, by far, his favorite. She was his first blonde, too, now that he thought of it. She was perfect.

After dinner, Joey headed straight for the shower. He'd tried to resist his natural urges, wanting to save up for tomorrow's "lunch meeting" with Lilia, but instinct took over and he treated himself to a one-man preview. Afterwards, completely exhausted by such a full day, he crawled into bed and passed out before his wife could even make an unwelcome proposition.

It was some hours later when Joey was awakened by a light, but persistent tapping. The first things he saw when his eyes opened were the garish red numbers displayed on his clock radio which read "3:42 AM."

What the fuck? Joey demanded silently. He shut his eyes tightly once more, but the tapping came again.

Annoyed and awake, Joey sat up in bed and surveyed the darkened room. In the pale moonlight, nothing seemed to be out of place. His wife lay beside him, snorting softly from time to time, but it was clear to Joey that she had not produced the offending noises. The tapping started up once again, and this time, Joey followed the sound to its source.

The window nearest the bed sat closed, but bare, giving Joey a clear view of the outside. There on the ledge sat a tiny figure. It moved constantly, skittering to and fro, its beady black eyes fixed on Joey the entire time. A fucking squirrel? Joey was nearly beside himself. They'd just removed a family of raccoons from their attic the summer before, and now they had to worry about squirrels making noise in the middle of the night? Weren't these things supposed to be diurnal, anyway?

Joey rose and staggered toward the window. He threw it wide open and sent the animal scurrying. There, he thought. That'll teach the little fucker. He closed the window, and had just laid his head back down on the pillow and closed his eyes when the tapping started back up.

"Oh, come on!" he said out loud. Sitting up, he saw that the creature had returned, and this time, it had brought a friend. Two squirrels now danced eagerly outside his window, clicking and knocking against the glass. Feeling the rage rise within him, Joey grabbed one of the pillows from the bed and hurled it at the window. The squirrels scattered, but now Joey had another problem.

"What's going on," his wife mumbled groggily, propping herself up on her elbows.

"Nothing," Joey snapped. "Go back to sleep." He laid back down, hoping that would be the end of it.

"You know, Joseph," his wife said with a lilt. Joey knew the tone and sighed internally. His wife continued, "We haven't made love in a while...."

Joey decided the best thing was to just get it over with. Besides, he was awake now and nothing quite put him to sleep like having sex with his wife.

Joey's workday seemed interminable the next day, not just because he was exhausted from losing sleep, but because he eagerly anticipated his moment alone with the delightful Lilia. At last, it was half past twelve. As if they couldn’t move fast enough, the pair climbed into Lilia's car and headed off for their favorite woodland trail.

Once there, they made a beeline for the same spot they had found the day before. They wasted absolutely no time. Kisses, bites, and fumbling hands all went straight to work. Joey and Lilia were so wrapped up in each other that they never noticed the tiny black eyes watching them from the branches overhead.

Things were just beginning to heat up when Lilia let out a heart-stopping scream. Her hands flailed and swiped wildly at her head where Joey could see that something had landed. At last, she knocked the object loose and it tumbled to the ground. There, it rolled for a bit, gained its bearings, and sat up on its hind legs.

"A fucking squirrel?" Lilia spat. "Oh, fuck no! I'm getting out of here." Without even buttoning her blouse, she charged back down the path toward the road.

"Baby, wait!" Joey pleaded, following close behind. "It's just a---"

He never finished his sentence. Another squirrel descended on him, grabbing his face with all four of its limbs and muffling his frantic cries. He heard Lilia scream once more and run off into the distance as he clawed pathetically at the animal that assailed him. In his panic, he stumbled backwards and lost his balance. With a sickening smack, the back of his head met an unfortunately placed rock that protruded from the forest floor. There was a sharp pain, and then blackness.

Slowly, Joey's senses began to return. The first to arrive was the pain. It consumed the whole of his head and throbbed in his temples. Finally, light began to trickle in as he blinked and squinted at his surroundings. Trees towered over him, weaving a network of branches and leaves. They reminded Joey of where he was and, finally, of what had happened.

That was when he realized that he wasn't alone. He lifted his aching head just enough to see that a squirrel sat on his chest. It looked at him, first with one eye and then the other. Not yet able to move, all Joey could do was stare back at the animal.

Just then, movement entered his peripheral vision. He turned slowly to see another squirrel, and then another, and then another. It was the same on his other side. He began to shake as he realized that he was surrounded by them. Even in his groggy, injured state, Joey knew something was very wrong with the whole situation.

The squirrel that sat on his chest seemed finally to have its fill of staring, and so it turned and hopped onto Joey's stomach, and then lower, and lower, until finally, it sat between Joey's just-parted thighs. There, it turned to look him in the eye once more. A sense of dread washed over him as the other squirrels seemed to close ranks around him.

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This is a nightmare, he said to himself. It has to be. He shut his eyes tightly and laid his head back against the rock. It has to be a fucking nightmare. This doesn't---

His thoughts were interrupted by the sharp pain of teeth cutting through the fabric of his pants and sinking deep into the tender flesh that lay between his legs.



Written by Jdeschene
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