Author: Hari Navarro, Staff Writer

The woman, who’d run to the farthest edge of a star system to find who she was, contracted into herself as she read the message and discovered that, perhaps, she had not.

Renfield Station/ Pluto/ Transmission Incoming: “You don’t know me and this may come as a shock, I’m your father…”, it said.

And with that short sharp jolt so began a long and, as it turned out, rather pointless game of interplanetary hearsay ping-pong. Her first volley was returned by the man with a long and surprisingly candid message regarding his supposed baby-making escapades years before with the woman’s mother.

The man offered no further proof to his claims, bar, for an old photograph of the woman as a baby. A photo of innocent issue that she’d seen many times before. How did he come by this? And, how would she now settle the shrapnel doubts that did dice and slice in her head.

At this point, egged on by an incessant nagging doubt, she did the unthinkable – she contacted her dear old mum. For years she’d savoured her loneliness, withdrawing even from this wonderful lady. Why?

Her mother was a proud woman who’d raised her alone. This story made her sick. Physically ill at the notion that this man would claim paternity when – again as it turned out – it was impossible for this to be true.

In fact, as this truth became increasingly evident, the man curled back into himself and fell all but silent. Tucked up warm in the world he’d knitted; his obsessive attraction to the woman’s then-teenage mother, a proclaimed shy and delicate disposition and the litany of lies that he’d told his parents, siblings, and children – lies that he’d now stuffed into his cocoons walls as insulation.

The woman had always known who her biological father was. He was never a secret, though, he was never there. He’d been a very young man at her conception. He got married, to a woman who was not her mother, and had children. This was something that had eaten at her, most especially as a teen when she’d felt she was suppressing a vital part of her being. Something wild, screaming and begging to be filled.

She never disbelieved her mother, but, there was something in just how adamant both sides were that they were telling the truth. This something picked and played with her mind until she decided to pull a few strands and obtain a digital sample of her biological father’s DNA.

“Thank you. For I know now who I am. Why I was drawn to travel to this darkest corner of space. Why I’m so dark and why I so love it here with only a damn synthetic for company. He who looks, acts, smells and even makes love like a human. I know that nothing pumps in his veins”

The shuttle is due to dock in a week. She will not speak to her replacement and he’ll think her a bitch. But she must tread carefully, for it is not his blood that she lusts.

“No, I must save myself and pay no mind to this beat that throbs in my teeth. I’ll hold back until I walk of your street. I’ll climb through your window and stand beside your bed. And, as my bite sinks as rapiers into your skin, you will plead through the red bubbles that pop at your lips…”

And the liar, he who’d rob away her heritage, will know what he already knows well – She is not of his flesh.