Multiples

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“Push!”

There was a guttural grunt.

“Come on, honey, push!”

Another grunt and a groan of pain and frustration.

“Harder?”

“Look, I’m trying, OK? Shut the hell up. You want to make this baby?”

She backed up, sheepishly.

“No, you go ahead. I’m just excited…”

He finally got the machine out of the box and plugged it into the outlet in the wall. He hit what looked like the power button. 

Nothing.

“It’s not working. Let me try this one.” Clicking. “Hmmmm.” More clicking. He stabbed at the control panel with his finger over and over again, hitting multiple random buttons in frustration.

“Have your read the directions? Maybe we should ask for some help.” She peered into the box and located the instruction booklet. “There’s a phone number in here…” 

He flashed her THE look.

“Wait! Look. Something is happening!” He turned his attention back to the console.

The 3-D printer was making a soft whirring sound. 

“How long is it supposed to take?”

“I don’t know…”

The whirring continued for a few more minutes. Then there was a gentle coo from behind the panel door.

“Oh, my God.”

She slid the panel open, scooped up the perfect naked baby boy, and held him to her chest. 

“Hello, James,” she murmured into the little ear as she turned, “Meet your daddy.” 

He reached out to touch the soft, newborn skin tentatively. “He’s real.” 

Suddenly, the machine started whirring again.

“Is it supposed to do that?” She looked up, alarmed. 

“Uh, I don’t know…” He shrugged.

They both stood there staring as they heard another coo. He pulled open the panel again. There was another baby.

“Did we order twins?”

“No….”

He picked up the baby.

The machine started whirring again.

“Sean.” Panic crept into her voice. “Is it making another baby?”

“I don’t know!”

“Make it stop. Make it stop right now.”

In short order there was a third baby. The whirring started again.

“Plug. Pull the plug!” She was yelling now.

He was frantically pushing buttons again but stopped to fumble behind the machine and pulled out the power chord from the socket in the wall.

The whirring did not stop.

There was another baby. It seemed to be moving faster with each one.

“You hit something you weren’t supposed to,” she accused, still yelling. “Did you even read the directions?”

She lined the babies up in a row in the floor, including the new fifth one. They were identical.

“Never let a man to do a woman’s job…” she muttered as she grabbed the baseball bat from the hall closet. “…making babies…” She cursed loudly.

Within seconds she was bashing the hell out of the machine with all her might.

“There isn’t a baby inside is there?” He shouted. “Don’t kill it!”

She kept swinging the bat until the machine was a crumpled pile of metal bits and fluids of various colors dripped onto the floor. She finally stopped, out of breath, surveying the damage then stared in disbelief and at the babies. 

What to do next? she wondered, the heavy, wooden bat still in her hand…

Pop over to Teagan’s place and read about her 3-D party/challenge…

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106 thoughts on “Multiples

  1. Not long ago my good friend sent me a photo of her great grandson’s spine. It was a 3-D creation that was to be used to make a real neck for the little fella who had been born with few discs of his own. The next day or so she sent me a photo of him again, this time with the halo he was to wear until his new neck healed.
    I declare this story of the baby maker almost sounds as real as the artificial spine!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey Victo,

    I thought this an excellent read, thank you: amusing, imaginative, hauntingly believable, and broad in scope and depth of thought, as is your style. You allow a reader’s mind to expand readily between words yet keep them engaged to the very last full-stop…and there, release them into the after-glow of your writing to linger still further in deeper streams of thought. Personally, I found it as much a commentary reflecting on social responsibilities and values and the sanctity of human life, as I did it an expression of humankind’s growing subservience to technology, and the uncertainty/fear about what could lie ahead?

    I’d be fascinated to know how this piece of work came about in your thinking: what inspired it? What motivations are bound to its conception, what message plays out in your mind when you read it? What meaning do you place within it?

    You choose your photographs with great care. I enjoyed the symbolic meaning of the illuminated statue. Where was that taken?

    Thoroughly enjoyed. Another crafted piece of fiction. Thank you for publishing πŸ™‚

    Namaste

    DN – 05/03/2016

    Liked by 1 person

    • It actually started by reading two stories over at Teagan’s blog (the link was at the bottom of the post) this morning. Her story about Dracula triggered thinking about 3D printing designer babies. Aldous Huxely wrote about decanting babies in Brave New World. Given that printing is being used to create all manner of replacement body parts, why not a whole human being? Soooooo many meanings you can take from it, but one question I have is if you print a baby rather than give birth to it, is the value of that life any less? AND a farther reaching question, how do you print a soul or a spirit? Are those things inherent in all living things or do they come about by other means?

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Pingback: My Article Read (3-5-2016) – My Daily Musing

  4. “one question I have is if you print a baby rather than give birth to it, is the value of that life any less?”
    Not to mention the issue of what happens when one baby grows up and signs a contract. Are the other identical children responsible and if not why not? Is it OK to murder one if I took a backup? If I emailed you the blueprint and the file gets corrupted do you have an obligation to abort the print job? The mind boggles.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. This story should be read by every student of every science.. And then asked the question, Just because we can, should we ?
    Unfortunately some will look at that from a tech point of view and answer, yes, we can fix that glitch..

    Great story with a greater lesson πŸ‘

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Blogger Spotlight: Victo at β€œBehind the White Coat” – Bonnywood Manor

  7. Pingback: Meet A Blogger: Victo Dolore | That's What Anxious Mom Said

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