He tried thinking about Kylie at first, but the truth was he did not find her attractive at all. He didn’t like that way she slept with so many different men so often. He liked how Edith had kept to herself and hadn’t shown any sign of wantonness. However, he couldn’t put the idea out of his mind that Edith was actually bald and her glorious blonde hair was actually fake. Why should it matter? He chided himself. It shouldn’t actually matter, she still looks the same! Why am I so shallow? He berated himself. He felt Holda’s slimy lips slide onto his shoulder, then the sharp prick of her yellow teeth as they drew his blood.
At that moment he wanted to scream and punch her in the head. Grab a chair and start beating her with it. How dare she do this to me? He went to speak out, but the thorn in his cheek stifled his words. He went to push her away, but the thorn in his knee made him too weak. He tried to tell himself that he mattered, but the thorn in his heart whispered that he didn’t actually matter at all. Continue reading “Thorns – Part 14”
Holda glared at her husband with her dark little eyes. Elwin wanted to run away, but he was stuck to the floor. Thanks to the generous allocation of food available only for breeding couples, Holda had managed the achievement of being fat in a society where the expense of food meant most people were on rations. She pulled herself up from the chair, the ring of flesh about her middle wobbled as she did this. She moved menacingly closer to Elwin. Her voice was uncharacteristically quiet but every question she asked sounded like an order.
“Where have you been?”
“Just out with Erian.”
“Where were you?”
“At Erian’s apartment,” lied Elwin. He stuttered as he said this, the area around the thorn in near his cheek always hurt when he lied.
“You’re lying, Elwin, now tell me the truth.”
“I was with Erian.”
“I went to Erian’s apartment to look for you. I searched every room, you weren’t there. Now where were you?”
Elwin felt his throat tighten and close over. He gasped several times before he could finally croak the answer out, “I was in the complex next door, in Kylie’s apartment.”
Holda’s fat cheeks flushed red and Elwin knew she was about to start shouting. Continue reading “Thorns – Part 13”
Then the black thread of poison morphed into a trail of crimson blood. Kylie’s body jolted back into life and all her limbs flayed about spasmodically in the water. She gasped hungrily for breath and with the rapid violent movements she brought the warmth back to her body. Elwin helped her out of the water and she shivered uncontrollably. Without knowing why he wrapped his arm about her and cradled her close to his chest as she sobbed.
Elwin was holding onto Kylie protectively for several minutes when they heard the sound of approaching boot steps. Erian was running towards them from the pillar he had been hiding behind. Kylie seemed jolted into wakefulness. She hastily put her clothes on. Erian stopped a short distance off and watched her putting her clothes back on hurriedly, while Elwin was looking away from her.
“What is it Erian?” asked Elwin.
“Groods! At least two dozen of them, they’re marching through the canal.”
The trio quickly moved up the edge of the canal and concealed themselves in the brush. Elwin pointed out the wet marks Kylie had left behind while climbing up the slope. Erian dismissed his concern stating that the Groods were too stupid to notice details like that. Kylie was unusually silent she hadn’t yet spoken a word since waking up. Continue reading “Thorns – Part 12”
Erian cursed, “You’re a disgusting pig of a woman, Kylie. You’ve got no standards.”
Kylie unwrapped herself from Elwin and turned to face Erian, “You’re such a cranky loser Erian. Why don’t you have a wife, eh? You’ve got a cranky face only a nursemaid could love.”
Erian responded in kind and the two started escalating their argument further when Elwin signalled for them to be quiet. The last stray dog had wondered out of sight. Now was their opportunity to go down to the water. They trio clambered down to the water. Kylie looked around at the dirt, mud, and junk strewn around the canal: her face beaming with excitement at seeing such a novel environment. Erian watched her coldly from atop a pile of gravel.
“Well now what? Where’s this thing that allows you to remove thorns safely?”
Erian pointed to a pool of flowing canal water that was deep enough to submerge a human body, “that’s it there.”
“A pool of water?”
“The water cleanses the wound so the loss of a thorn won’t kill you and you won’t get the plague either,” said Erian flatly.
Elwin looked at him from the corner of his eye, but didn’t protest.
“So do I just put my hand in and then you pull it out?” she asked presenting her right arm in the air which was thorned at the wrist.
Erian shook his head, “If we took out that thorn other people would notice, we’re going to take up the thorn that no one can see.”
Kylie’s gaze narrowed, “You mean the thorn ten centimetres below my belly button?”
“Yes,” said Erian coldly. Continue reading “Thorns – Part 11”
Elwin put away his pen and paper, and carefully stashed his work and tools in the various secret nooks on his bookshelf. He checked the time on his wrist watch and carefully slipped out of his apartment. Holda glared at him as he slipped out the door, she demanded to know what he was doing. He hesitated, and calculating that she was not in a sufficiently foul mood to make a scene then and there, he just ignored her and crossed the threshold of the door closing it behind him. He could tell Holda was fuming, but as he had surmised she was not prepared to make a scene just now.
Elwin made his way up several flights to the balcony of the seventh floor and looked down the gloomy funnel of the atrium. Far below was Edith sitting at her usual table sorting through piles of papers. Feeling safely obscured from her sight while up there he allowed himself to lean forward over the rail enough so as to make his voyeurism obvious should she looked up. He admired her long blonde hair and face that was perfectly white like polished porcelain. Her clothes were still made from the same coarse fabric as all the other Delforians’ clothes were made from, yet hers actually fitted her body snuggly. Her clothes had seams in different places and it looked as though her clothes had actually been custom made for her. He started to imagine what it would be like to run his fingers around the orbit of her waist when at that moment her head tilted upwards and her gaze fixated on him. The thorn in his knee burst into a spasm of pain. His knee extended involuntarily and he felt his centre of gravity over reach the balcony railing. Continue reading “Thorns – Part 10”
“Delphorian boys, you have left the sheltered and limited confines of your nurseries. You have been plucked from the arms of soft gentle women and introduced to the harsh realities of the thorn. Our race is a cursed race. We brought it upon ourselves. In the old times we conquered and enslaved the whole world. We were arrogant and in one of our laboratories the plague was created. The plague escaped and rendered as weak and dying. In our moment of humility, our former slaves the Kelites, who were immune to this plague, graciously provided us with the solution to our folly: the thorns.
“Praise be to the Kelites!”
The hall erupted with a chant of praise to the Kelites.
“Give thanks for the thorns!”
The hall answered the headmaster in kind.
“May our debts be paid in full!”
Ready for it this time, I joined in the chant with the other boys.
“With the nursery behind you and your first thorn in place; you are ready to learn how to be useful citizens for the world. Our race owes a great debt to this world. A debt we must pay off. The rivers are dirty, the sky is mottled, and the land reeks of our sin. We have lived in excess, but we will work to make the Earth bountiful and fertile again for everyone. Continue reading “Thorns – Part 9”
Sorry this is a day late, I had an unexpected event last night! Humhyde part three will be up later today as scheduled.
School classes did not start right away. We had a week of orientation left because all the Delphorian children were being collected from around the different nurseries. There were about forty of us and we were all born within the same month of each other. When all the other boys who were born this month finished arriving then we would begin our classes together. Since we had only just been thorned this was the first time we were allowed outside. Because we were born at different times of the month that meant for those of us who arrived before the end of the month we had some time to just wander around the school and play on the equipment.
There was not actually much to do on the playground. There were a few high iron bars and other acrobatic equipment, but most of us were feeling too sore from being thorned. We gathered around a set of monkey bars and all stared at it, there were about twenty-five of us new boys just looking at the bars but no one had the courage to try playing on them first. In retrospect, this was peculiar, because a week earlier at the nursery the children would race to get to the play equipment to climb all over it. Yet something about the buzzing pain in the side of my face was sapping away all my enthusiasm for play. Continue reading “Thorns – Part 8”