A Boy's World
First, I want to say that this story was inspired by another story that I read online, called "A Rent-Boy Named...," written by "Tristan Strangebrew." His was a story about boy prostitution and a boy who inevitably becomes entangled in it, while at the same time, trying to protect a younger boy from it, on Hollywood's Sunset Strip, circa 1968. It's written with such flair and description that I suspect he may have experienced some of it himself. (If you find his story anywhere on-line or in print, grab it and read it; it will deliciously devour you, as it did me!)
In an effort to show some individuality, yet being so moved by Tristan's story, I chose to set mine about 300 years in the future, when mankind is beginning to move out among the stars, to colonize worlds far from Earth, and far from the well-established laws and statutes that bind our civilization here. I also tried to capture some of his descriptive flair in making this world come alive.
As in all the previous ages of mankind, sex sells, and the more forbidden, the greater the demand. When sex with women becomes boring, sex with boys becomes more enticing. On the world I've created, whore houses featuring women are part of every big casino and hotel, leaving the streets, and the Starlight Strip in particular, to the boys who run in the night and who satisfy the needs of men in secret, without endangering marriages and family relationships.
The main character, Logan, is a fourteen-year-old boy who finds himself suddenly orphaned on a neglectful colony world, called Mandalay 2, where gambling and prostitution are big business. Logan is a healthy, strapping teen, who's potential is quickly recognized by those who prey on the throw-away kids of a neglectful society. Logan must adapt to this new life while finding himself the unwitting leader of some younger boys, and dealing with the murders of his own parents and grandfather.
I write this story, also, as tribute to all the sweet, beloved young gays out there, the faggots and queers and freaks out there, who endure daily teasing, ridicule, bullying and beatings, who hide and closely guard their most secret desires, and who live in fear having their lives ripped apart for loving another of the same sex. I know what you're going through; I've "been there, done that!" And I'm here to say, DON'T give up! Don't let the bastards win! What doesn't kill you, only makes you stronger! Get up, shake it off, look up and move on! It really does get better!
As with my other stories, I must warn the reader: this story contains explicit descriptions of boy-on-boy and man-on-boy sex, with a smattering of boy-girl sex thrown in for good measure, so if this offends you, read no further. If you like these things, by all means, continue. If you are under-aged, or if this material is forbidden to you for whatever reason, I know this warning won't stop you, so just be aware: this kind of thing will rot your brain. If you think you may be gay, this will make sure of it! Just remember one thing: Love is the only thing that really matters! Enjoy!
Planets were being discovered by the thousands and, in the absence of evidence of indigenous civilizations, whole star systems were being offered to the highest bidders; the only rule was that you could only own one star system at a time, to prevent monopolies from forming.
Grandpa had bid on a system that looked promising, though his meager bid could not compete with those of the big corporations that bid on most systems. But his excitement grew when, by some quirk, a bidder was disqualified, leaving him the proud owner of a binary system with sixteen planets and at least a hundred-forty moons! He'd sold his house and business on Earth to pay for it, then packed up the whole family to go claim our prize.
Mom and Dad sold their house, too, in order to buy the materials, supplies and machines we would need to transform rough, raw planets into habitable places where people might want to settle. We immediately began getting offers from miners, explorers and people looking for a fresh start.
We were learning about terraforming and planet development as we traveled out toward the rim of explored space, and as we got closer to our new home, we were also learning that we were woefully unprepared for the environment the surveyors were reporting. We needed a lot of new equipment to process the atmosphere into something a bit more pleasant than the carbon-dioxide greenhouse that it was.
Fortunately, we learned that much of the equipment we needed could be found on Mandalay 2, a stop-over that was right on the way; the equipment had been used there to adjust that environment, but since then, was just laying around, unused, waiting for somebody to need it. There was even an expert there who was willing to come along, for a small share, and help us use it!
Our ship set down at the spaceport and our containers were off-loaded to another ship that would take it the rest of the way; we would follow later, when the terraforming equipment was secured. We got a room at the local SpacePort Inn and watched as the ship that had brought us this far lifted off for another colony world, six lightyears in another direction.
I saw that the primary city on Mandalay 2 was a little larger than our home town on Earth; it probably had nearly a million people. I saw several clusters of tall buildings and floating towers and disks; I wanted to explore it, but Mom said we wouldn't be here very long.
As we got settled in our room, Dad made a call and talked to the engineer who owned the terraforming equipment we needed. He said he would come over this afternoon; Dad told him our ship was scheduled to leave early the next morning.
Mom told me to go down to the hotel arcade for a while and she would call me when their meeting was finished. I left the room and took a travel-pod back down to the lobby. I spent the next few hours playing nearly every holographic game they had, even a quaint old two-dimensional chess game!
My stomach began to growl and I noticed it was getting late. Mom hadn't called yet and I wondered how their meeting was going. I took a travel-pod back up to the room and the doors opened onto a scene of horror.
My Dad's body lay on the floor in front of the door, a great, blackened hole in his chest. My Grandpa's body lay a few feet away, burned nearly in two. Mom's body lay just inside the bathroom, her right hip burned away.
All our luggage had been opened and ransacked, my Dad's papers were scattered across one of the beds; I was sure the titles and deeds to our system would be missing.
I didn't even enter the room, but let the pod doors shut and rode it back down to the lobby. I went to the front desk and leaned on the cool, black-marble surface. My stomach clenched up tight and it took me a couple minutes to tell the girl there what had happened. With glitzy professionalism, she contacted the police and told me to wait in the lobby. I walked shakily to a plush sofa and sat down to wait. I put my head between my knees as my face crumpled into tears.
I've always had a problem with stress. Since I was a little boy, when I would get upset or under pressure, and sometimes for no apparent reason at all, my vision would do strange things: shapes and colors would run together, twist and merge, and float around randomly. The doctors had a long, fancy name for it, which I could never seem to remember. As I sat there, crying, my eyes already blurred with tears, the lobby began to slide around. A large vase beside the sofa turned pink, melted and sagged back against the wall; the lines on the marble floor moved like a spider's web in the wind and the whole floor swirled with brilliant colors; other furniture bent and twisted, changed colors and flowed like melted wax. Sometimes this condition would last only a few seconds, sometimes hours.
Minutes later, three police cars glided up to the front doors of the hotel and settled onto the concrete pad. The silver-haired girl at the desk pointed at me and two of the officers stood before me; I saw them as wavering forms in pink and gold. The others went directly up to our room.
I told the officers everything I knew, my strange visionary distortions fading away slowly as I answered their questions. One of the officers went to the desk for the comm records and surveillance vids. The spaceport control was contacted, but the perpetrators had already warped out of the system. Notices were sent out to neighboring systems, but I knew that wouldn't bring back my parents and Grandpa. The police offered to contact my family back on Earth, but I told them there was nobody left back there that I knew of.
Other emergency personnel arrived and went up to our room. Several minutes later, the emerged from the travel pod with stretchers baring the bodies of my parents, then from another pod with my grandpa's body, all wrapped in crinkled silver sheets. The floating stretchers were loaded into an ambulance and whisked away, to where, I didn't know.
An officer brought our luggage down to the lobby and told me that, yes, just as I thought, the titles and deeds to our system could not be found. The officers left a short time later and I was alone.
Without being able to pay, the girl at the desk told me I couldn't stay there. I didn't have money for food, let alone a hotel room, or passage back to earth. I asked if I could work for a room and food, but they didn't have any openings. I found myself alone and penniless on a strange world.
"You need to go down to the Strip, honey," the lovely girl at the desk said. "That's where all the orphans go." Her glossy, silver hair framed her young face neatly, contrasting with ivory skin, dark brows and red lips.
"The Strip?" I asked. "What's that?"
"It's one of the main streets through the city," she replied, filing bejeweled nails. "You can probably find work down there."
"How do I get there?" I asked.
"Bus," she said, pointing to the doors across the white-marbled lobby.
I picked up my rucksack from the pile of my parents' luggage, the only thing I had use for, and started for the doors.
"Hey!" the girl called.
"The police transferred your parents' accounts for you," she said, sliding a credit chit across the black marble counter. "At least you're not quite flat broke!"
That was a comforting thought, I suppose, but it was about as close as she came to expressing sympathy. I walked back and took the chit, sliding it in my pocket as I again headed for alien streets.
As the boy stepped out of the hotel lobby and the broad, sliding doors tapped shut behind him, the girl at the desk made a call.
"Hey Ricky," she said.
"What's up?" came the soft male voice from the other end.
"Got a cutie for ya," she said. She accessed the hotel security recorders and forwarded him the images. "Check him out! I think you'll like him."
Some distance away, a dark-haired teenager sat on a multi-colored cloth couch in his small apartment. A ring in the middle of the floor came to life, spraying light into the air and forming the moving image of a sandy-haired fourteen-year-old boy standing in front of the hotel desk. "Mmmm, yeah, nice!" Ricky said. "Yeah, he is cute!"
"He'll be on a bus for the Strip in a few minutes," the girl said. "I tagged his chit, so you shouldn't have too much trouble finding him."
"Thanks, Lisa," he replied. "I'm on him!" The hologram snapped off and the naked teen went into his bedroom. He pulled on a very short pair of denim cut-offs and a tight, slightly holey tank top. Cream-colored knee socks pulled only a third of the way up his calves, and soft swede shoes completed his outfit; he grabbed a phase-pen and a credit chit on the way out the door, ready for business on the Strip.
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