Rated R. Contains explicit sexual activity.
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By Charles Coleman Finlay
When the bus reaches the corner, they climb onboard, taking seats on
their side and evening out the ride so it doesn’t feel so much like
we’ll tip over. We rattle along past road construction, the men
working behind screens that are consecrated by the priests each
morning as part of the men’s quarter, and resanctified to the women at
quitting time. The sun already pelts down mercilessly and they will
have to leave off working soon.
We enter the government quarter and arrive at the Children’s Center, a
long concrete brick of a building with windows shielded from the sun
by an open grid of deep squares made of the same material. The
morning light turns it into a chessboard of glaring white and dark
shadow. I don’t work with the children, who are on the lower floors
and the sheltered playground of the courtyard, but toil away with
records on the upper floors. Unlike Jamin or Zel, I am permitted by
the job to work alongside women, but only because I completed my
theological studies and am a candidate for the priesthood. My
superiors do not know of the taint on my soul. Do not know yet, I
should say, and when they discover it I will never be ordained or
About the Author
About the Narrator
Serah Eley is the original producer, editor and host of Escape Pod. She mispronounced her name as Steve Eley at the time, but has since realized that life is much more fun as a woman, and came out as transgender in 2015. Serah lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her two spouses (she prefers “spice”), Sadi and Cat.
So if there were ever any betting pools on what happened to Steve: the dark-horse winner is “changed sex and joined a committed lesbian love triangle.” She is, obviously, still Having Fun.