a little warning, chapter 1 may be a little dry, because of exposition. But I hope that can be fixed in the next chapters.
Also, I love comments, and am very nervous - since this is my first time putting anything out for review or critique. Also, if you want to play in my Rutverse sandbox, feel free to drop me a message with questions before you write your story.
Stuck in a Rut.
By Rosalie Redd
Casey Church was a normal 13 year old boy, full of hopes and dreams and fears and anxieties. But in a world where there hadn’t been a girl born in over a century, what was normal?
Of course I’m nervous. First day of school and all. But it’s not just that. Not that entering 9th grade isn’t a major milestone in life. I’m a high-schooler. Yay me.
No, the uncertainty isn’t about that. All summer, I tried to avoid the inevitable. I stayed in and did a lot of reading and playing video games. I know mom was concerned, but I just can’t face it yet. So here I am, in class, waiting for the bell to ring. Looking around, I look for faces I know, and I study those that I don’t. There are 25 of us, myself and 20 other boys make up the front of the classroom. In the back of the room, huddled together sit the girls, four of them. They look around nervously, I wonder if they are afraid of us, or afraid of being recognized.
Snapping me out of my funk was the fact that the teacher entered and slammed a book down loudly on the desk. We all looked up, as he started to write on the chalkboard.
“My name is Mr. Hedges”, He said.
Mr. Hedges wasn’t a very big man, perhaps my height, at about 5’7”. He was balding, and had a rather substantial paunch. His brown hair hair was thinning, and speckled with gray. He started roll, and I really didn’t pay attention until I heard my name.
“Casey James Church?”, He inquired looking around the classroom.
I held up my hand and responded with a half-hearted “Here!”
As soon as he moved on, I was back in my head. I glanced around, thinking. There were the 4 girls, still looking nervous. I noticed that I wasn’t the only one looking their direction. The other boys were glancing around at them. Some with interest, some, like me with anxiety or nervousness.
Concluding the roll, Mr. Hedges looked up. “Welcome to World History 1, we will be getting to the normal curriculum tomorrow. For today we will be discussing a matter of great concern to those of your ages. Some of you have already experienced the results.”, He said looking towards the back of the class at the girls. “For those who haven’t, The school board insists that we take the opportunity to discuss with all incoming freshmen the history and the ramifications of the ‘Occurrence’ and the resulting impact on humanity.”
Oh great. I tuned Hedges out again. I knew all about the event that was dubbed the “Occurrence”, we all did. Nobody knows the cause exactly. Some blame a meteorite strike that happened in Siberia in 1908, others say it was the Earth passing through the tail of Halley’s Comet in 1910. All that’s really known is that in the first decade of the 20th century birthrates took a sudden decline. Eventually the birthrate fell to zero, and there was global panic that it was the end of the world.
The major religions declared the end of days, and that it was divine punishment for humanity’s sins. There was mass confusion and talk about the Rapture. It wasn’t until much later that it was discovered that the cause of the decline was the mass sterility of the entire female population of the world.
It was only a couple years later when the strangeness began. Globally teen males around the world were exhibiting strange behavior. Boys around the ages of 13-16 were suddenly exhibiting homosexual pairing. Even the most staunchly heterosexual males would suddenly ignore the females in their community and go out of their way to seek a same-sex mate. After having sex, one of the pair would begin to show physical changes, usually beginning 5-7 days later.
Within a few months, the individual would be completely female, and able to get pregnant and bear children.
Of course back then science hadn’t yet discovered the reasons for these changes. The fundamental nature of the change mean that many religions were starting to lose credibility. After centuries of spouting propaganda about how “homosexuality was evil”, they were faced with the reality that now homosexual acts were now required for humanity’s survival.
I looked up to see what Hedges was talking about, he was droning on about the wars that the change had caused.
“When Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated in 1914 by Serbian conspiracy theorists that purported Austro-Hungarian scientists had released a virus that caused the changes, war broke out. World War I lasted for almost 4 years, and decimated the economies of many nations.
With conflicts simmering around the world, and countries trying to grab back territory lost to the m in WWI, a new presence on the global scene would once again stir things up in 1939. Adolph Hitler, leader of the Nazi party, declared that humanity was now impure, and that along with what he deemed ‘lesser races’, anyone that embraced the new biological imperatives were an ‘abomination’, needing resources and test subjects for his researchers, he invaded Poland, setting off another World War.”
I tuned him out again. I know all this. We ALL know all this. But the grown-ups have to be grown-ups and tell us how it is.
It wasn’t until the 1950’s when a team of French scientists discovered the catalyst for the transformations. They won a Nobel Prize for it, even. Apparently when you hit puberty, you start to produce strong pheromones. No, you don’t stink. You don’t even smell it. But a potential mate will, on some subconscious level.
Then their unique scent changes in response. Oh god oh god oh god… I don’t want to think about this.
Not about the mating frenzy that follows, or about the uncontrollable desire to have sex. I’m afraid. I don’t want to end up a girl. I don’t want to change. But it might happen. If I’m the one that ends up um… taking it in the end, I’m the one that’s gonna be changed. I’m so scared. I’m not big, If my … if he’s bigger, he’ll want to be the man. So I’ll be the one helpless as he fucks my ass. I’ll be the one taking in the enzymes in his cum. He’ll be safe. When he does it to me, his DNA will lock and keep him a boy. I’ll be the one that’s stuck.
Nearing panic and almost hyperventilating, I almost miss that the bell has rung. Wobbling out of the classroom, I stop and lean against the wall. So far, so good right? I mean why am.. am I panicking?
I won’t be 14 for another 5 weeks, I could hit my growth spurt, and I could be safe. I mean Mom is tall. Maybe I won’t take after Dad. I hope I don’t take after him.
The next couple periods passed by in a blur, and I managed to calm down. Maybe it wouldn’t happen today, and if not today, maybe I was safe for a while. Being a freshman, I knew I was at the bottom of the food chain. I wasn’t a jock. I was 5’7”, and scrawny. No muscle mass to speak of. I was plain. Brown eyes and hair, a face that was a little too angular to be attractive. I wasn’t geeky enough to fit in with the geeks or the nerds. Yeah, I enjoyed the usual teen activities, but I wasn’t good at any one thing to fit into that clique. I was resigned to sitting by myself. Maybe that was a good thing.
I looked at my sandwich and sat, concentrating on the peanutty goodness. I noticed the shadow cast over me by the person that came over, but I pretended to be enthralled in the smooth creamy texture, and the crunchy pieces of peanut. That’s when she cleared her throat.
“I’m sorry to disturb you, I saw you sitting alone. Would you like some company, Casey?”, she said in a quiet voice. I looked up at the girl. She was kind of cute. Freckles dotted her cheeks and the bridge of her nose. Her dark blonde hair was short and kind of shaggy, like she was growing it out. I looked at her soft, round face, and big blue eyes. She knew me, and I apparently knew her from somewhere.
I looked up at her, and stuttered. “I...I’m sorry, do I know you?”
She blushed and smiled wistfully. “I’m sorry, I should have introduced myself. I’m Janie Bond.”
The hamster in my brain hopped on its exercise wheel and got to work. “Wait, Bond.. as in...”
“Yeah, well at least I don’t have to put up with all the 007 jokes any more”, she said with a slightly sad smile.
I motioned for her to sit down. I had known James casually since third grade, we were friendly, but not exactly best friends. I looked her over as she sat down. She was slightly shorter than I was, whereas James had had a couple inches on me, the last time I had seen him. I tried not to notice too much, but I’m a warm-blooded teenager, you look at these things. She was starting to come into her curves. Not a beanpole, but not exactly an hourglass figure either.
“When… how… who?” I stammered on like an idiot, apparently. She didn’t seem to mind too much. She just sighed in a sad way.
“You know Paul Bettany, right?”, she admitted. Everyone knew Paul. Already over 6” tall, Paul had been a local terror and bully to all the kids in the neighborhood, me included. Many was the time he had extorted money from me, or picked me up and dropped me in a dumpster.
She sighed and continued. “It was this summer. I ran into him one day, just after the end of school. I thought he was going to threaten me, so I ran from him, but when he got close, he started to act strange. I didn’t understand at first, but then I started to feel funny. He caught up to me, and I didn’t want to run away any more. We snuck off together to the orchards near McCurry Park. It was so intense, we couldn’t keep our hands off each other.. or our lips… It wasn’t like anything I’ve ever experienced. When we finished stripping each other, he… he did it. I couldn’t get him to stop, but I also didn’t want to stop. I begged him to be gentle, and to not do it. But he laughed as he pinned me to the ground and did it.”
I handed her my napkin, and she wiped away a tear.
“Afterwards, he left me there alone. I was so ashamed. Why did my first time have to be him?”, she lamented.
I gave her a little hug and offered her my oatmeal cookie, which she happily accepted.
“I ran into him a few days later, and questioned him about it. He told me that ‘He was a real man, and that he had hoped he would get someone like me, so he could stay a real man’. After that, I went to visit my aunt in Colorado, and stayed until my change was done. I only got home a few days ago.”, she smiled at me.
“Thanks for listening to me, it actually helped”, she said in an appreciative voice. The rest of lunch went by as we sat and talked about more mundane things. I was glad that Jam.. er.. Janie felt better, but my own fears and apprehensions crept back to the surface.
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