How It Was Done
Sonja wanted to meet her donor, Bon Tra, in person, much to his surprise. All seventeen of his children and clones had been initiated with him flashing his information and genetic code to their lab in a copyrighted, encrypted ion-packet via Introm. He was lucky to have disease-free genetic markers and a high IQ, so, gladly helped. Bon didn’t think a face-to-face was really necessary. Former ways were officially frowned on.
It was prohibited, but Sonja suggested doing it the outmoded, messy, dangerous way and flashed him a shocking, black-market, 180 year-old YouTube hologram to show exactly what that meant. Although it made him queasy, he gaped at it four times with barely a breath as though he was on a new planet.
Bon agreed to meet her at the feeding hoses in their office building’s atrium. He had been formulating his refusal speech. The least he could do was tell her in person. Sonja, a fertilization lab technician, had a half-liter of the primitive Gray squirted in. Boy, she was old-fashioned—all the way. You can tell a lot about a person by what they allowed into their body. He had the latest Indigo puree pumped with a Droom 55 algae-biobeer chaser. Twenty-four year old Bon, the nutritionist, was supposed to set an example.
Just as he was about to blurt his rejection, Sonja wiped her mouth, smeared a putty-colored, antique streak on a napkin and smiled at him. She reapplied coral-colored lipstick, pursed her lips and smacked like they did in the golden oldie movies. He’d never seen lipstick for real. He didn’t think it was allowed.
Those lips! The smile froze Bon. She asked, “Did you watch the holo of the old way?”
“Uh... I…I really didn’t get much of a chance….”
“We had to watch it during my training and I stole a copy. It was supposed to disgust us and show why we’re so safety conscious now. Some people in my class threw up. They made us look at our fingernails and cuticles under a microscope too. We washed our hands a lot better after that.”
“Well, I’m surprised you’d be so retro and go against….”
“Guess it’s my family. I was raised by my Grandparents.
“You were raised by relatives? Unprepared?”
“Yes. They were fined but didn’t care. Grandpa was an English professor and, after it was banned from the school, recited poetry around the house. Grandma and I thought it too beautiful to let go. His favorite was Shakespeare:
What is love? ‘Tis not hereafter;
Present mirth has present laughter;
What’s to come is still unsure;
In delay there lies not plenty;
Then, come kiss me, sweet and twenty,
Youth’s a stuff will not endure.”
Three nearby scanners mechanically turned fisheyes toward them and made him self-conscious. He whispered behind his napkin, “It sounds impatient and impetuous.”
“That Spear-shaker is anti and your Grandpa’s the type that would have hidden books from the scanners.” She winked and moved her eyebrows up and down. Bon blushed but couldn’t take his eyes off of her. Whatever she was going to do next, he might be a part of.
“I’ll be ovulating for the next three days. Will you come to my pod tonight about nineteen hundred?”
Her coral-colored lips consumed him. Bon flashed his genetic packet unencrypted, sans Introm. There was an indigo smear on the sheets. In his memory three nights melted and ran together like a hot candlewax rivulet. Maybe that much power should be controlled by a panel of staid, un-impetuous judges.
At work thought-waves of those nights swept over him. He couldn’t concentrate for long and kept staring at a wall as though it was a picture window. Through it Bon saw himself swimming at the beach in Phoenix years ago when Pacific swells moved him and he felt tiny and huge.
They paid the fine. Raised the twins. Cleopatra and Scarlet learned Shakespeare from secret books.
Bio: Connley (Lee) Landers suffered a skeet shooting head injury and lost his cerebellum. Afterward, he wrote and won an award for his novel, Catethics, which proves he’d overthought previous work. Using only his medulla oblongata, had stories published in Rope and Wire Magazine, Darkest Before the Dawn, The Horror-Zine, Houston Literary Review, Metazen, Static Movement, Perceptions, Nexus, and Slushpile. Lee is looking for representation for his story collection, novel and his new memoir, Gray Matter, Don’t Matter. Can be reached with simple, large print words at email@example.com