- Campers are not permitted to leave the campsite unattended.
On Gabriel’s bed the moth lies on its back,
its broken wings curling at the ends.
I’m fully awake and wondering where
Gabriel has been the entire night.
“I wouldn’t worry about that one if I were you, honey; he’s long gone by now.”
Carmen, draped in dirty yellow,
promenades around my bed. The gay that was confiscated yesterday has returned, their ambivalence back, less refined but more defiant.
Cutting and stitching, Carmen had taken their sheets
and turned them into an ugly sari.
“Oh, you like my new outfit?” Carmen says, giving me a twirl to show of every inch of their creation, “Mum always says to keep a needle handy at all times. I just didn’t feel myself in those shapeless sacks they gave me before the bonfire ceremony. Basketball shorts are so early 2000.”
“But you’re supposed to be wearing masculine clothing. Like Trevor said: to be heterosexual—”
“You must look heterosexual. Yes, honey, I know. I am trying, believe me. I just need a little more time. Trying to change what you are is difficult.”
“Even if that thing you are changing is revolting?”
Carmen looks at me, “You’d better get ready, breakfast is soon and we have therapy straight after.”
“Your life is illegal. Being gay is wrong. Homosexuality is an unnatural occurrence. To love another man is disgusting. To love a woman is beautiful. To love a woman is correct. Your bodies are dangerous and will cause the extinction of the human race. Sexual intercourse with another man is a sin; those who do will catch HIV and die, alone, unloved.”
I sprinkle these words onto my porridge, spooning them into my
The monotone mantra slides down my throat with ease where it digests inside my
From the other end of the long mess cabin, Gabriel is escorted in by Trevor.
They disturb my concentration
as Gabriel shuffles to my table and is forced down opposite me.
His black hair sticks limp against his forehead. He smells of
“See you at therapy, Gabriel,” Trevor says.
“Can’t wait, gorgeous.”
Trevor walks away, clenching his fists.
“Mornin’ number ten, sleep well?” Gabriel asks me with a weak smirk.
“Where have you been?”
“Oh, you know, just went for a little walk in the moonlight. Why? Did you miss me? Wanted me to cuddle you in bed?”
Inside the castle, Gabriel’s golden
flames paint my body naked, his arms hold strong around my
Inside the mess cabin, I get an erection under the table.
All the sympathy I have for Gabriel drains from my body. Why did he have to make everything so sexual? And why did my body have to find it so attractive?
Looks like it’s going to take more than bonfires to kill off
“Oh sweetie, you look terrible! What did they do to you?” Carmen says.
Gabriel bends under the table and is sick on the floor.
“Tried to cure me,” he replies, lifting his head back up and wiping his mouth with his sleeve.
“Didn’t work though, still as straight as a roundabout. Love the outfit by the way. A sari really flatters your figure.”
“Oh stop it, you flirt.”
“Tell me, what is this shit they’re playing?”