The word had spread like wildfire. The annual ‘gasm’ was coming, a momentous event in the lives of the villagers.
The ‘gasm’ was something all villagers aspired to. So when the news came that it was coming there was mass preparation.
Every eligible male and female set to work to make themselves a worthy candidate. Families suddenly found themselves pitted against each other.
Squabbles that had long sat unresolved were once again brought to the fore as an advantage of any kind could mean success or failure.
The older members of the community looked to the horizon for signs of its coming. A cloud in the distance, an unexpected wind shift or even a sense of unseasonable rain might be indicators of the impending ‘gasm’.
In the households of the male candidates, the preening and cleaning went on vigorously. The best outfits were assembled, and arguments erupted as to which might bring the most attention that would lead to ultimate selection. Their loads were tested, muscular strength; hardness and resilience came under scrutiny as the day came closer.
For the males, the eventual winner would be revered by the village for the coming year.
In the female households, the choice of costume was crucial. Should she be too bright, all in white, dressed too perky or all natural? The debate of such matters raged day and night. For the female selected would also be revered all year, bowed to in the street and honoured by every family.
On the fourth day, a trumpet sounded the arrival of the ‘gasm’, and the village dutifully gathered in the town square. On either side were the eligible males and females.
Breaths were held as the ‘gasm’ inspected the males first. There were gasps of disappointment as the ‘gasm’ rejected one male after the other. Finally one survived, a tall, muscular male who stood proudly before his village.
Next the females were subjected to the same perusal. In their case, the ‘gasm’ would hover over each candidate and shed light on them. Like with the males there were sighs of disappointment with the rejection of one female after another.
In the end, one stood out, a small strongly build female dressed in white and blue tulle.
The selected couple were then taken to the ‘gasm’ room and locked in. The village would wait expectantly for the couple to emerge holding a red sash to pronounce their successful ‘gasm’.
The woman would be with child, the male triumphant as the giver of seed strong enough to ‘gasm’ with the female.
There was never any jealousy from the unsuccessful males or females, as they believed their day would one day one.
Over the next four months, the village would watch with fascination as the woman grew in size until the day arrived and she gave birth. Once the child was born, the ‘gasm’ was considered complete.