"THE BLACK CLOVER" is a gay story, with some parts containing graphic scenes of sex between males. So, if in your land, religion, family, opinion and so on this is not good for you, it will be better not to read this story. But if you really want, or because YOU don't care, or because you think you really want to read it, please be my welcomed guest.

THE BLACK CLOVER by Andrej Koymasky © 2018
written on 3rd of April, 1986
Translated by the Author
English text kindly revised by an Australian friend


A soldier of the Shaikh came to take me: he was an imposing man and I felt small and frightened. We went out of the Masjid, crossed the square in front of it and, driven by this man with a surly aspect, I was shown inside the walls of the Shaikh's Palace, then taken to the court of the guards barracks. Here I was entrusted to an official who inscribed my data in a big logbook. Then I was taken to the dormitory where I was assigned a place to sleep. After that I was entrusted to a guard so that he could commence teaching me the rudimentary knowledge of weapons handling and to explain to me the orders and signals I had to obey from then on.

Within the year, the soldier explained me, the little Prince would be taken to the Great Masjid to be circumcised. He would then become fully a man and he would be declared Hereditary Prince. Before that day, the squad of selected guards appointed to his person must be ready: they all had to be young but skilled and trustworthy.

Besides me, there were many other youths that were trained so that the guards could make their choice - only the best ones would constitute the Prince's guards. The mediocre would become ordinary guards for service on the wall, and the worst would be declared unfit and at most become low level servants.

I immediately decided I had to distinguish myself, because I wanted at all costs to become part of the personal guard of the young Prince. I wouldn't have been satisfied with becoming a servant and much less to find myself to be on the streets with neither skills nor share.

In that place we didn't spend our time reading, writing, discussing Al Qur'an or disputing about the law, but we did mainly physical activities and I enjoyed that. In the little free time, moreover, we were allowed to jest and to play. I immediately liked this new life, even if it was rather tough. My skill in climbing and my agility were at once appreciated and praised, or better still I was pushed to perfect more and more. I learned to handle the sabre, the bow and the lance. I was taught horse-riding and I loved to execute acrobatic feats on a horse running at full gallop. Soon I learned all the tricks and the rules of fighting hand to hand, of horse riding and of weapon handling.

When the Guards Chief came to observe the progress of us last-arrived boys and to do a first selection, I was in the two thirds that could remain to continue their training. We received our first uniform and we started to be placed on some of the duty shifts: we started from the easiest one, from the less honoraries: I still had not had the chance to enter into the second precinct, the one of the Official Palace, and less than less into the third precinct, the Private Residence of the Shaikh and his family. It could be amazing if I say that I had not yet seen the Little Prince, but you should understand that he was still living in the harem with his father's concubines and his mother, therefore it was virtually impossible for us to see him. But amongst us young guards we talked a lot about him, because everybody hoped to pass the second round of tests and to become the selected ones.

Among the Shaikh's selected guards, there was a certain Ismail, a strong and valorous man, that had a liking for me and that was for me more a teacher and a guide than simply an older comrade. Every one of us young had found among the selected guards a guide and a protector. That men, besides teaching us many things, took us often in service with them to train us, but above all they instilled in us the sense of honour, of pride for our duty, the corps spirit. In exchange, we served to them their food, we kept in order their belongings and performed for them hundreds of small services in our free time to repay them, at least partially, for the care they took of us. I was proud to have been chosen by Ismail and he soon became my model to imitate. I dreamed to become one day like him, big and powerful, selfconfident, strong and handsome, passionate and proud. Sometimes, when I went with him to the hammam for the bath, or in the evening when we were in the bed, he told me his adventures and I literally learned from his lips.

"Remember, Nadim, you must always be ready to give your life for your Lord. His life will be for you more precious than what you have most precious, more than your own life. Your Lord will be for you more than your father and your mother, more than a spouse, He will be the same as Allah himself. You have to honour Him and serve Him all your life long, doing always your best, or better, more than that," he often repeated to me.

I remember also that once he gave me an order and that I had tried to discuss it because I didn't think it was right, he said to me with some harshness and severity:

"I tell you now and I will not repeat it a second time, Nadim: a soldier obeys orders and after, if there is time and a way, possibly discusses them. At war, in danger, there is no worse enemy than discussion, wavering, thinking about your orders. He who gives you orders, normally, knows what you don't know and he has neither the time, nor the duty, to explain to you. Do not ever forget that. And now, obey!"

These teachings of his have been precious, I never forgot them, as I will never forget that mixture of tenderness and harshness Ismail used with me. I am sure I owe him more than gratitude, as when the last selection for the Selected Guard of the Prince was done, if I was one of the elected - between them I wasn't one of the best, but neither one of the least.

We were left in twenty four and were divided in four squads of six, each squad with one of us as leader and a Selected Guard of the Shaikh as our general chief. I had hoped that the Senior Guard, our chief, would be Ismail, but instead was chosen Ali el Ramad, just ten years older than us that were between fifteen and seventeen years old. He was the protector of my squad leader, Habib, two years my elder, the son of a court scribe.

New uniforms were made for us to distinguish us from the other guards, as belonging to the Prince, then we were introduced to the Visir. This man, after making a long speech and after examining us one after the other, introduced us to the presence of the Shaikh. This was my first time to see him close by: he was a man in the vigour of his years, tall and lean, with a well trimmed short beard and sharp eyes like a hawk. He was wearing brocade clothes and he had at his side a scimitar whose sheath was scattered with beautiful gems.

The Shaikh said that he entrusted us with his son's life, to our swords and to our lives and ordered us to protect him always and everywhere, all our life long, with our own lives. We all took the oath, then we were taken to another wing of the Palace that soon would be assigned to the Prince as his private quarters.

They were just restructured rooms, really beautiful, shining of marble and majolica, decorated with scented and rare woods, situated all around a garden with a small fountain of white pure marble from which gushed fresh crystal-like water that spouted day and night, never stopping, in a sweet murmur. There were also two courtyards, one for the servants and the other, wider, for us of the guard corps. They made us visit carefully that wing of the Palace, in order that each of us would know exactly where each door led and what were the places to be vigilant for the safety of our Prince. We met all the persons that could have free access to the Prince's quarters, from the servants to the dignitaries. And at last we were received by our Little Prince who, in a few days, would be circumcised and would be elevated to his rank and his quarters.

Prince Amin, may Allah always bless him, as I said was then near to eleven. He was yet a proud boy, lean and elegant, really handsome and had the manners and features of a real lord. His look was earnest and straight, his voice firm and confident, and it was possible to foresee in Him the abundance of gifts Allah had bestowed profusely upon him. I was really proud to be at the service of such a Prince and in my heart I swore that I would given my life for him if need be.

We started our duty waiting for the Prince to move into his quarters. Those first days we kept watching on yet empty and silent rooms, besides the coming and going of servants putting in order the last things in the rooms so that all would be in order in the appointed time. We had at our disposal four rooms to sleep, in six per room, a hall to eat and spend our free time, a weapon room for weapons and training, a stable with horses and a little hammam: all these rooms surrounded the training courtyard. In my room, besides the boards with the six straw mattress, there was also the bed of El Ramad, our chief.


Finally one day we were summoned, we were made to wear the new parade uniforms, we were set in rows and columns (6x4) and we went in formation to the Great Masjid where in a short the Prince would be brought for the ceremony. He arrived: he was dressed all in white with marvellous jewels adorning him, emeralds and diamonds, green and white as his banner, and a soft white plume on his turban held in place by a big emerald. His face was serious, perhaps also a little worried, for the imminent ceremony and then I remembered my trouble following my circumcision ceremony and I understood that perhaps he was feeling now the same emotions I felt. But he proceeded proudly at the side of his father, escorted by the Shaikh guards, between the two wings of the throng.

When everything was over and the Price went out, we went to escort him and stood around him, while from the crowd gathered in front of the Masjid rose a long, enthusiastic ovation. Then we escorted him to the Palace, to the throne hall, where his father decorated him with the kingdom's honours and proclaimed him his heir to all effects. At last we escorted him to his new quarters. Before withdrawing to his rooms, the Prince presented all of us with some gold coins.

I was in the first shift, so I was, together with Habib, on watch at the Prince's room door. I was standing there, straight and solemn, all intent on my duty. Our service consisted mainly to watch the doors, to control who was entering or coming out, and to escort the Prince during his movements around the palace.

With the other guards, little by little, had begun a certain familiarity and also friendship. I liked Habib especially: he was a handsome and strong boy, clever and quick witted and as our leader was really skilled and able. I must confess that I was a little jealous of his familiarity with El Ramad, but this did not prevent me from admiring and appreciating him. Also because he didn't take profit of his position.

Amongst all our duties, the one I loved most was to horse-ride with Prince Amin. He was learning to ride his horse and I must say that he showed immediately a certain skill: under the guidance of able teachers he trained also in weapon handling and sometimes he came in our yard to train. So he would choose one of us and, under the watchful eye of his master of arms he trained for hours. He was really tireless. When it was me to be chosen for the Prince's training I was really proud of this duty and I always did my best to accomplish it well. The Prince, besides training to become a brave warrior, also regularly received lessons by many teachers: of Al Qur'an, of Science and Arts. The most skilled alchemists, astrologers, grammarians, mathematicians took care of the Prince's training. Before now, in the harem, he had been always spoiled, cuddled, let to play, but now he was subjected to an iron discipline and had to train or to study all day long. Moreover, when his father had to carry out official ceremonies, he had to be always at his side, in order to learn to become a good sovereign. I did not envy the Prince's life: he had almost no time to enjoy himself. Sometimes, after training with us, he remained for a short moment to play some of our simple soldiers' games. Then I could see a transformation - he became again, in some way, a normal boy of his age. But soon he had to resume his role, so his face became solemn, serious, grave and he was again like an adult. I watched all those expressions passing across the face of the Prince, and often I thought that, all things considered, I was lucky not to be in his place. My life was much more simple but probably much more agreeable. It was enough for me to obey my orders and I had no other worries. And I had also time and way to enjoy myself.

Months elapsed and the Prince had his thirteenth birthday. As the time flew, I saw him become more serious, more silent. His voice was changing, his body was developing, adolescence was giving way to youth. Little by little he lost completely the carefree and mischievous air he had in the first days. I saw him smile less and less and it was a pity, because his smile was very beautiful, bright, fresh like my mountain air. Also he no longer stopped to play after training and exchanged less and less words with us. And yet I have to admit that he never gave me the impression that he was sad, partly because he received from his father love, attention and regard: the Shaikh was in fact really proud of his son and he had full reason to be.

I believe that in reality the Prince just was starting to feel alone, as often happens to one who has to hold on his shoulders a heavy responsibility. To be a sovereign, to prepare to become a sovereign, I think is one of the heaviest burdens a man could have to bear. The more important you are, the less you have friends, and without friends life is really desolate. Yes, sometimes his contemporary relatives or the sons of high court dignitaries came to visit him and to keep him company, but I noticed that the Prince remained aloof from them - he had with them a relation little more than formal. And more, he ate alone, slept alone... he did not have my luck, to spend a great part of my day with my contemporaries and my peers. But those were just my thoughts, perhaps the Prince felt good that way...

The fourteenth birthday of the Prince came. On this occasion we of his Guard performed for him a carousel on our horses, which we had prepared for a long time. The Prince seemed to appreciate our efforts very much, and that made us very proud.

A few weeks after that of the Prince, my birthday also came. That day, not being on duty, I went to the Great Masjid to pray and to give my thanks to Allah for keeping me in life for all those years. To thank Allah for this, particularly on the day of my birth, was an old habit learned from my father. I was praying in the sweet dim light of the holy place, when the muazzim approached me:

"The Imam would like to talk to you. Would you please follow me?"

I went: from the day I became a Prince's guard, I had not had the occasion to meet him in person and I was pleased to see him again and that he remembered me. He greeted me and pointed out that I was grown up and ripened from the last time he saw me. He talked for a long time and every so often he asked me questions: as he was in habit of doing, some seemed to me clear and logical, some others, instead, were absolutely incomprehensible to me; but I was no more astounded for that. Yet at a one point, he asked me a question that stunned me:

"And... tell me, Nadim, is it true that some of the Guards have commerce between them?"

"Commerce? What commerce? We all do the guard and that is all; we are not allowed other kind of work..."

The old man shook his head and seemed amused, but resumed: "You all are young, in the vigour of your age, and in the quarters of the Prince no woman is allowed, not even amongst the servants, as is right. How do you do to spend your virile, manly energies?"

I felt embarrassed but honestly answered: "I do not know for the others... but I think they do as I do... When I am alone, at times, I try to give myself relief with my hand..."

"Not, rather, mutually in the night? It would be easy, in the darkness, to slip into a colleague's rug, of a faithful friend, to look for reciprocal... relief, as you say, with the comrade. Is it not so?"

"I do not know. I do not think..."

"And yet a voice came to me that it happens. Think about it for a moment, it is something of great importance..."

I thought for a long while, but did not succeed in remembering anything that could be as the Imam was saying. I saw that the occasion could have existed, and not only during the night but also in our hammam for instance, where at times we were just in pairs and for a sufficiently long time and where we were practically nude... I sometime enjoyed seeing the bodies of some of my companions and indeed I tried to go to take my bath so that it could be with those of my comrades with more well shaped, pleasurable bodies... But I never caught anybody in an intimate attitude and neither had the faintest suspicion. So quietly I said that to the old man. He listened to me then said:

"Better that way. I hope you are right. Watch so nothing happens: the Prince must grow in a serene ambience... Male has to couple with female: for that, Allah created two sexes. Nevertheless there are not a few males having commerce between males. If it happens that you succeed in discovering that this happens also amongst the Prince's Guards, you must come here and tell me, and tell me also their names! You promise me that you will do so if it happens? Will you come and tell me?"

I nodded yes. Then the Imam changed the subject. After a while he dismissed me, giving me his best wishes. I went back from that meeting with the idea in my head - all things considered, what the Imam was suspecting could also be true, occasions were absolutely not lacking. I started to think about the relationship between El Ramad and my group leader Habib. Sometimes they withdrew... and they had a very close relationship, very friendly, even intimate... But such relations had existed also between me and Ismail and nevertheless we certainly did not have sex, we two.

In the following days I paid attention and realized that indeed the occasions were not lacking. I started to notice that amongst my comrades there existed some steady couples, but it could have been just a strong friendship... People always think ill about something, perhaps even the Imam? There is nothing wrong with being intimate friends, to feel well, to be close together. And then, if two close friends felt the need to demonstrate reciprocal friendship in that way, why did the Imam care about it? What menace would they ever constitute for the Prince? I really could not understand it. So, after a while, I did not think any more about that problem that, in my opinion, a problem was not.


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