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The word Starbound can be seen in two divers ways.  It can mean that one is on her way to stardom.  It can also mean one is hopelessly bound to stardom, as an addict is to heroin. So it was with Sylvia Volkov. She left the grubby little antisemitic town when she was eighteen.  It didn’t matter what life had in store for Sylvia, it could never be worse than what she had at home.

You might wonder how a quiet northern mining town could be dreadful.  It wasn’t dreadful to everyone, just to Sylvia Volkov. It was a working class town, blue collar sort of thing. The people there were devoted to their belief in Christ and the belief that the Jews murdered Christ. You can imagine how the teenage community tortured her.  No high school sorority asked her to join, no boys courted her, no friends.  That’s not all. Talk about layers of excuses to hate, as follows:

Her typical Jewish businessman father was the richest man in town.  He owned the biggest gas station, the bowling alley, the Chinese restaurant, the movie theatre, and had an interest in the lumber yard and the scrap yard.  There were several new, three-storey triplexes Abe Volkov had developed.  So there we have the evil Jewish landlord, and he would retain that reputation, even if he never did anything to earn it.  That’s the way people are, as you know. Then there’s his wife – Sylvia’s mother.

Sylvia’s mother, Isa Volkov, was a loud, ugly garish woman who drove around town in her yellow Mercedes Benz roadster, waving at people, shouting greetings, all the time dressed in Versace or St. Laurent or Chanel. She would barge into shops, interrupt salespeople who were in the act of serving customers and demand immediate service while the other customers should wait.  She criticized food in restaurants, produce in markets, everything was wrong and nothing was up to her standards. Her standards, of course, were developed in a mud street village in Siberia.

There was one final layer of excuses for hating Sylvia Volkov: she was gorgeous. By far the  most beautiful girl in town. Her figure was stunning, and her mix of genes had somehow created a creature of extraordinary beauty. She was five foot eight inches, a bit taller than the average girl, and almost the height of the average boy. Her body shape was the kind of natural gift that makes men gasp from five meters away. She had the kind of face, figure and skin that are usually developed in Photoshop. But it was her, in the flesh.

The teen community’s disdain for Sylvia was best exhibited when a football hero asked her to go to a movie with him.  She was suspicious, of course, but was grateful to have at least one Saturday night with something to do. The football hero took Sylvia to a remote country road where he and four other football heroes who’d been waiting there raped her. They promised the  ‘Jewess’ that if she reported this, the five of them would swear it was consensual. They’d claim she was paid ten dollars each because that’s what she asked for when she approached them with the proposition.

The next day, Sylvia got into her dark green Mustang convertible and left town for good.

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