to turn off the water, the knob responding with a squeak. The stream wilted
to a trickle, then was gone. Pushing the vinyl curtain aside, the shower
steam escaped, racing to fog the mirrors. He stepped from the shower, reaching
for a towel, and caught a glimpse of his disrobed form in the hazy mirror
on the back of the door. Slowly the condensation lifted, revealing a true
reflection of his muscular, tan body. He studied the lines and forms, muscles
and sinews. The contours of his hips, melding into his thighs, and narrowing
to his ankles, were nearly flawless. Tight, rippling abs rolled into hardened
pectorals, smoothed into rounded shoulders.
Why would this be wrong? Being naked. The human body is beautiful, ever
present in art and literature. He tilted his head to one side, watching
as he shifted his body into the pose of Michelangelo’s David. The
contraposto curving from shoulder to hip of classical sculpture pulled
a DSA image to his mind.
Jarod -- 2/9
For Centre Use Only
”Jarod? Jarod?” an accented voice called from just outside the open door.
“Jarod, come out now.”
A young Jarod, about age twelve, listened to the voice, but made no effort
to move. He was transfixed, amazed, at the realism of the biology he had
studied. His body looked similar to, but not exactly like, the drawings.
He was confused and intrigued: confused by the inaccuracies; intrigued
by the discovery.
The accented voice drew nearer, but Jarod was oblivious. He did not even
hear the gasp that preceded the heavy robe that fell across his shoulders.
“Jarod, you must never reveal your body to anyone,” the accented man calmly
”But why, Sydney?”
A slight wheeze accompanied the remark originating from the exterior
door, “Because it is evil. You must be punished for your wrongdoing.”
Two large sweepers entered the room, grabbed Jarod by the arms.
”Sydney!” the boy called.
”Raines, he’s just a boy. He doesn’t understand.”
”Sydney, you know the rules,” Raines spoke around his cigarette.
The rest of Sydney’s pleas were left unnoticed as Raines left the room
behind the boy and the sweepers.
* * * * * * * * * *
”Jarod, what’s wrong?” Sydney asked of the solemn boy retreated into
”We have work to do.” He coaxed Jarod from the corner and into the hall.
Jarod pulled the blanket he had dragged from the bed tighter around himself.
Only his head and feet exposed.
”I think we can leave this behind.” Sydney tugged at the blanket, but
Jarod would not relinquish his thin film of security. “All right, but
only for today.”
A blank stare met his words. What had Raines done to Jarod to cause such
withdrawal? Now he would have to spend time returning Jarod to his previous
state, which could have been spent on other work.