Thorns – Part 16

As the sun rose over the horizon of the city, thousands of Delphorian workers crept out of their district housing towers and trudged down to the train station. They trudged down the shadow clad streets in pairs; for gathering in the streets in numbers greater than two were forbidden. They all wore the same style of blue working overalls. About half of them wore clothing that was worn and tattered from excessive wear and tear, while the other half were wearing fresh clean pairs of overalls. There was however no pair of Delphorians with one person neatly attired, and the other raggedly so. It was as though Delphorian society were divided into two different sub-species. Along the roads patrolled Groods brandishing wooden maces ready to pounce on any Delphorians wandering too closely to another pair.

Normally, Elwin would travel down to the station with Erian, but this morning, Elwin was traveling alone. The Groods eyed the one lone Delphorian suspiciously, as though at any second he would join up with a pair of Delphorian commuters and commit a public offence: One that the Groods openly relished correcting by pouncing on all three or four offending Delphorians and beating them with their maces. The other Delphorians nearby detected the anomaly and the increased danger the non-conformer presented to them and consciously made an effort to maximise their distance from Elwin. Thus an invisible circle of exclusion surrounded Elwin as he made his way down to the station. Continue reading “Thorns – Part 16”

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Thorns – Part 15

Elwin stopped writing and took out a fresh sheet of paper. He started writing out the calculations for how much social debt a wife could pay off if she didn’t work during the pregnancy. He looked at his results. Blinked firmly. Checked his calculations. The thorn in the side of his head throbbed. He stared at the results. His vision grew blurry. He turned the page aside with confusion. He must have made a mistake, he thought, and dismissed the calculations. It was a good offer the Kelites had, they are after all the savours of the world he recalled. It wouldn’t make sense for them to push a debt system that couldn’t be paid back. It was only a matter of time before the Delphorians atoned themselves into salvation. “I need to have more faith,” he told himself and resumed his writing.

While the $20,000 pay out for me was tempting, I just didn’t want to live alone. I remembered the nursemaids from the nursery and I wanted to live with a woman because I imagined they would be just like Agatha. When I arrived here at the apartment complex I was informed that a new wife would be allocated to me in the following month. For my first month as a freeman I explored every nook and cranny of my new apartment and apartment complex. I found that my dorm mate Erian from school whom I hadn’t seen in seven years also lived here. But what fascinated me the most was the women. Continue reading “Thorns – Part 15”

Thorns – Part 9

“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”