“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”
My earliest memories were from the nursery. I might have been four or five years old at the time. Guards had come into the building. They were men, big tall men, I don’t remember ever seeing a man before in my life. They came for Mariam, one of the nursemaids. I remember them dragging her kicking and screaming out of the building. Then one of the guards punched her in the face. Her slender frame crumpled to the floor started jerking convulsively. She was silent from that point one. They just dragged her out. I wouldn’t see her again until my first thorning years later.
The other nursemaids gathered us together in the main play room. They gave us children a lecture about the dangers of favouritism. Mariam had been guilty of treating some children better than others. I don’t remember feeling any guilt at the time. Years later though I felt horribly guilty when I realised that I was definitely one of Mariam’s favourites. She used to sneak me in extra biscuits and cuddles at night through the bars of my crib. I would eventually conclude that I was the reason why the guard had punched her. That it was my fault she was gone. Continue reading “Thorns – Part 1”