Author: Jaryd Porter
I gripped my reclining chair’s arms.
She hopped up and down, hair cascading across her shoulders–a happy dance.
“It’s almost time,” I said. I bit into my bottom lip. Blood.
Our apartment door beeped and shifted upwards. A four-legged drone entered and made a loud buzz before addressing my wife and me.
“Delivery for Mr. and Mrs. Pennyworth. Please send feedback to BirthLIVE.com or using the BirthLIVEapp. Have a pleasant day,” the drone droned.
We ignored the babbling machine. I jumped up from my chair and grabbed onto our little cardboard package. With a little boxcutter, I severed the tape and opened the vacuum-sealed bag. It had a little white sticker: “Scott Pennyworth, Male, Healthy, 121 IQ….”
Through the white bag, a hefty little shape stirred in a golden fluid. All that glitters is not gold, for this present did not glitter at all.
We followed the instructions we’d received through our email accounts. We took the bag to the bathroom, ran lukewarm bathwater, filled the thing. Sarah couldn’t stop grinning and crying, so I held her hand to remind her “yes, this is real.”
We submerged the bag in the lukewarm water. She held it with her left hand and I held it with my right. Gradually, the bag’s water soluble material began to disintegrate and create a slimy, thick substance in the bathtub. To think, a couple with less money might have to use a bucket or a public facility to receive such a gift.
“Do we still like Scott? Or did you want to name him after your dad?” Sarah asked. She wanted me to name him. She wanted us to have that between us.
“Don’t be so old-fashioned, honey. Scott is a perfect name. It’s the one we agreed on,” I said.
We held hands, while Scott emerged from the slime, buoyantly brought to the surface. He emerged bawling and carelessly making fists. Sarah released me and quickly grabbed a nearby body towel and held Scott in her arms. That was our baby boy. And for ten more payments of 15,000 a month, he’d grow to be the child we always wanted.
I saw all the traits we’d selected: my blue eyes, Sarah’s broad nose, Sarah’s dark skin, my straight teeth, my lobeless ears, Sarah’s birthmark on the back of her neck…. The rest, we left up to “god.” From our genetic material, in a lab somewhere unknown to us, our son was molded. But he was born in the bathtub and into loving arms.