Thursday, March 24, 2011


Gathka said she wanted a normal daughter-one who was without physical perfection. A scientist would call it a genetic mutation; the regular population called it something else, they called it Normal. The word itself has been around for more than two thousand years; it was only in the last five hundred years that the definition changed. Gathka supposed aliens had something to do with it. Aliens had been visiting the Earth for hundreds of years, even before the birth of Jesus; they’d made claims of the cavemen, the dinosaurs, the wooly mammoth. They even admitted having something to do with global warming. Their ships ran on fossil fuel. Gathka supposed other races lived in the universe, but the kind they met were intelligent, smart, fast, their minds were faster than any computer. It was amazing to watch. Gathka sat behind the desk, nervously stroking her fingers. She always did that when she was nervous. She was a tall, blonde woman and had large, blue, cat-like eyes. The human race mutated after seven thousand years; the only things that changed were the length of their earlobes, and their eyes, which was more cat-like in appearance. Gathka was an anthropologist major in college, and had studied ancient humans-humans from the Electric Age; the Golden Age; etc. 10,000 years before that, the saber tooth tiger and other animals roamed the earth. Gathka highly suspected a meteorite did not kill the dinosaurs after all, but it was simply a genetic mutation that span over time.
She turned. A whisper of sound. The doctor entered the room. He was tall, muscular built, and had broad shoulders and thick, brown hair. Gathka couldn’t help but stare. He looked almost identical to her husband, except he had blonde hair and was much taller. He ran a business in New Jersey. They were from New Jersey. She smiled thinly and rose to her feet. She straightened her dress nervously. “Hello,” she said. “It’s nice to meet you, doctor.”
“You’re one of the few,” he began.
“One of the few, what?” She raised her eyebrows questionably.
“One of the few who aren’t going to go by Artificial Insemination. We have a huge sperm bank. We even have some celebrities, some politicians. Quite a few writers. Still no?” he asked.
“I promised my grandparents,” she explained. She hesitated. She thought it was silly explaining this to a doctor. She didn’t have to explain anything to a doctor! It was her body! It was her decision-and her husband’s, who was eagerly awaiting their first child.
“You promised your grandparents what?” he asked. He wasn’t being impatient or condescending. He was being kind, generous, and offered input on the best way to take. She had made up her mind. She was firm in her revolution, in her decision.
“I promised I would be a Norm,” she replied. It was a strange thing, to be a Norm when everyone else wanted to be Abnormal. It was weird. It was ludicrous. It was hard to imagine, but it happened, very rarely, every so often. In society, being different was wrong. She knew that now. She suspected it for a long time, but humans were conditioned to think and feel a certain way, and everyone went with what everyone else was doing. If someone did it differently, they were considered a Normal-or, a Norm, for those who wanted to know. It was something that happened, changed over time. It was ridiculous. It was absurd. But, it was how society had changed. They were different. They were a lot worse. The crime rate, especially, was ridiculous. A few murders among the Abnormals; the Norms had good behavior, but there were few of them left in the world. Few and far between.
“I want to have my baby the normal way,” she told her husband the next day, over tea. He had come home, and he stroked her shoulder. He was home after a dozen meetings at the office. He was a lawyer, one of the best in the state.
“I know, dear,” he answered. “I do, too. I’ve been doing research. Many couples gave birth in hospitals. Can you imagine such a thing? That’s where they performed surgeries on people! Can you imagine!”
Gathka could. “What about their genetics?” she asked. “Their genetics just appeared out of nowhere, like magic.” She shook her head. “I can’t believe people lived like that. It’s so funny, seeing how they dress, and what they wore-”
“How they made their food,” he finished, giggling.
She nodded. The Norms ate food, still; the Abnormals lived off of energy from the sun. The sun was a large thing, and radiation was recycled. Always recycled.
Gathka gave birth to her daughter on September 8th, 3443. It was midnight. She decided to give birth at a hospital. The building was virtually empty, save for a few Abnormals who were having their regular check-ups. Some Abnormals liked to act out their lives, and pretend they were something they were not-many Abnormals begged to have a disease, even though disease was wiped out 900 years ago. She sighed. Being human was very difficult work. A lot of thought went into every day activities. Her thoughts were slow, muddied. She had trouble breathing. She brought home her daughter after being three weeks in the hospital. The doctor was puzzled because the baby had come out of the womb. Most mothers who were brought in to the hospital born babies in a test tube. It was how it was, how it shall be-she suspected he thought she was slow, numb, dumb. Maybe all three.
Her husband was gone again; gone to a business meeting. They decided to revive businesses after the last of the wars, due to the wishes of the government. Her husband laughed every time he heard the word, government, like it was some kind of great, colossal joke. One of his ancestors had died in Vietnam. That could be the reason for his case of the giggles. Maybe it was genetic.
“Hello, sweetie.” Gathka sat on the floor next to her daughter. She was broad, bold, insidious. She was eager to learn more about her Norm daughter. She would take it one at a time, however.
“Hello, Mom,” she said, smiling broadly. “Look what I’m doing.” She pointed to the toy animals spread out on the floor. “It’s Noah’s Ark, Mom. But, I don’t have a boat for them. Can we buy a toy boat next time?”
Mom was an old-fashioned word. The Abnormals called their parents “rent” or “rents.” It was an old trend that span generations. She smiled at her daughter and watched her play.
“Sure, honey,” she said, smiling down at her. “We’ll see.”

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