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He wrenched me from my home, my people, my community, and my parents. He flayed me. Oh how the man pried into my flesh, twisting and lifting the blade. He scraped away my skin with knives so rough and jagged that much of my flesh ripped off. My thick sticky blood leaked, and I bled like I’ve never bled before, and never will. I was skinned white and stood thin and shivering in the sun until my flesh turned a deep brown. Using a blade, which had a fine edge, he scraped off all the tags and knots on my slender body. I was smooth, utterly naked and blemish free.

The man said, I was a beauty. He meant, I was perfectly round, symmetrical and deadly straight. He coated my body with some foul smelling resin but it worked like magic. And in time, my wounds healed, my scars vanished, and I actually liked how I looked and felt.

Then, he took his knife to me again. Bejesus! I knew I should never have trusted him. Why? Why this torture? When will it ever end? I wept little globules of fresh sticky blood and the memory of my earlier torment flooded back.

He scrapped my top and cleaved my bottom. I was a bald eunuch. My family tree will stop branching. No more seeds will I scatter. And something told me – call it a premonition – that women will cry.

Then he placed a pointed metal hat on my head. A crown? And wrapped a skirt around my waist. A feather skirt. I was a eunuch king in female clothes. I wanted to die.

The man was satisfied with his handiwork and admired me. But the adulation did not last. He shoved me into my new home.

I was plunged into darkness but by carefully groping—

‘Hey, keep your hands to yourself!’

Did someone just smack me?

‘Touch me there again, wise guy, and,’ said a gruff voice.

He did not have to complete his sentence. I got the message. I was trapped in a room full of eunuch kings wearing identical metal crowns, and feather skirts.

‘It’s okay, newcomer, ignore him,’ said an older gentler voice.

‘Hello there, my name is…what is my name?’ I wondered as the question turned on me.

‘It’s okay, newcomer, you don’t want to know me and I don’t want to know you,’ said Old Voice.

‘Where are we, what are we all doing here?’

‘Oh, god,’ said Gruff Voice, ‘another one.’

‘If I told you a secret, will you promise to shut up?’ said a third voice, a squeaky one.

‘Well, I—.’

‘It’s not the darkness in here you need to fear,’ said Squeaky, ‘but the light of day out there.’

‘Now, shut up!’ yelled all three voices.

Okay, okay. I got the message. I didn’t ask to be stuck tight in a place full of skinny shaven men.

Then one day, I felt great agitation. The room moved this way and that. I heard shouts and cries. The world had gone mad. I wanted out. I can’t handle this motion sickness. Get me a bucket! I’m going to throw up!

Suddenly, bright light and fresh air. I shut my eyes to keep out the glare, while gulping down great buckets of cleansing air.

‘Hey!’

Did the man just lift my feather skirt and lick me? Pervert!

I’ll write a tell-all book, appear on Oprah and become a millionaire celebrity. Wait a moment – that only happens in the future. I’m stuck in the Dark Ages. Damn!

I opened my eyes and stared.

‘What the—?’

Before I knew it, I felt a sharp whack to my nether regions and the man sent me flying. I was a bird. I was a plane – Nope, that’s in the future. I’m superman – Nope, that’s in the future too. I was free. That’s better. I was—.

‘Oh-oh!’

I was a (expletive deleted) arrow—and had only one shot in life! Now, that really sucked!

The worst was yet to come.

And here it came, right at me!

‘Oh, no, not armour – give me flesh anytime!’

*** Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2018 ***