Chapter 1: Asserting My Masculinity - part 1
Looking down to avoid Aleph’s accusing, red glare, dizzy, nauseous and weighed down by a suffocating, invisible, black cloud; clutching my bag to my chest, I watched my feet drag their way along the path through my front garden. I was fairly sure I was psychic and, like all psychics on Midbar, could feel the slow, ominous approach of the Prophesied Ruination but what had just happened to me was immensely worse. I didn’t want to raise my hand to the lock so it would recognize me and open but I couldn’t think of an alternative. White electric light spilled out into red night as the door opened and I reluctantly staggered into the house.
“Here he is!” said Mum, standing right inside the front door with Dad, raking her hand through her long, dark hair. “Where were you Clindar? What happened to your clothes?”
“Did a girl turn you down?” asked Dad, tapping my arm with a hint of a smile.
It occurred to me that I can’t have been very late so I’d probably only lost a day’s memories. I didn’t want to tell them what had really happened. I was sure people would just dismiss it due to lack of evidence anyway and the last thing I needed now was to deal with something like that.
“The girls won’t have sex with him,” jeered Attan, my thirteen-year-old brother who I felt was my mother’s favourite and most people seemed to like him more than me, “because he’s weird.”
That did it! I was sick of this constant humiliation and I decided I had to do something about it. I had to prove I was a heterosexual boy, nearly a man. Starting now! “All the other boys at school have had sex with girls! Why won’t they do it with me?”
“Just try some charm,” said Dad.
“You think I don’t? Whenever I think I’m getting somewhere with a girl, she suddenly goes all fornicating weird on me and won’t talk to me.”
I realized there was only one way to prove I was a heterosexual boy, nearly a man.
“That’s because you’re weird,” said Attan with an evil smile
I looked very crossly at him smirking at me. Mum and Dad were between me and him or I’d have hit him.
“Probably just the time of the ten light cycles,” said Mum.
“No! It happens every fornicating time! That should only last a few days. They stay that way for fornicating ever! All the other boys at school have sex! The girls will have sex with them. Even the stupid, ugly, evil ones, even the homosexuals, the quadriplegic and the Winemakers and Nuharas, even complete feces like Ifrac who’s hardly worthy to be classified as a fornicating chordate!”
Yes only one way to prove I was human and at least as good as the other boys.
“They’re probably exaggerating their success with girls,” said Mum, twirling a strand of hair around her finger.
“Boys lie about these things,” said Dad.
“But I’ve fornicating seen them! They’re doing it all over the fornicating school! Somebody told them sexual morals were outdated and just a hangover from when we lived on starships! As sexual morals are religious, the school isn’t allowed to enforce them.”
Attan went to a different school because he hadn’t wanted the stigma of being my brother.
“Don’t swear!” said Mum. “I don’t think that can be right. You really should stay a virgin until ...”
“One of the local rabbis keeps telling everybody sexual morals are old fashioned and it doesn’t matter if you have sex before marriage as long as you use a contraceptive spell!”
“Don’t blame this on me,” said Dad.
Yes, I had to have sex with a girl, by which I mean a female human who had boobs, I’m not a pedophile!
“But it’s your fornicating fault! And when Svindac complained his father had stopped him when it looked as if he was getting somewhere with his sister’s friend, you said his father was wrong because a boy of that age needed to have sexual experiences to develop self confidence and good social skills.”
Svindac was a friend who went to a different school. He was sixteen, a year younger than me!
“Language!” said Mum.
“Is there anything to eat?” I asked. I wasn’t hungry, I actually felt a bit sick but I wanted to get out of this conversation.
“It’s in the kitchen,” said Dad.
I went into the kitchen, thumping Attan on the way. It occurred to me they hadn’t asked why none of the girls would have sex with me. I suspected they knew but didn’t want to say. My father preached that korbarim, like gods, were merely symbolic and not real. Narblo, the school counselor, although he mostly agreed with Dad’s teachings, did believe in korbarim and had told me he thought korbarism was part of my problem.
In case you don’t know, most humans believe almost all humans belong to one of four korbarim. People in the same korbar tend to like each other and find each other sexually attractive while people in different korbarim tend to dislike each other. Which korbar you belong to is decided by your psychic powers, which are determined by your genes.
Clindar wrote this in Faharni and assumed a fair knowledge of the planet Midbar in his readers. Therefore it will be necessary to explain a number of things to those who aren’t familiar with Midbar. This will be done as things are raised which need such an explanation.
Midbar is the planet that Clindar lives on (the one he’s on currently).
Aleph is a red dwarf which provides most of Midbar’s natural light.
Red night is when Aleph is the main source of light.
Nuhara is a minority religion which is notoriously intolerant, violent and boastful about its superiority. It’s followers, called Nuharas, tend to be unpopular.
Winemakers are followers of a minority religion (Winemakerism) which is even more unpopular than Nuhara.
The word translated ”rabbi" is Semic (ancient language associated with the religion Yohoism), and originally referred to a Yohoist religious teacher. However it’s now almost always used for a Trulist lay preacher theologian, and that’s what’s meant here.
Trulism is the main religion on Midbar, it’s ancient and polytheistic and is very concerned with fairness and equality.
Korbarism is unfair discrimination based on korbar. Unfortunately hipsickim (non psychics) tend to discriminate against psychics but aren’t capable of consciously identifying korbarim.