'Family' by H Anthony Hildebrand
The man and the woman met. Socialised. Fornicated. Married.
They made a baby. A girl. Shit like fine paste. Complexion to die for. And cute!!! Everyone said so. Super cute. Just the cutest.
So the man and the woman made another baby. Another girl. Just like her sister. Shit. Skin. Adorable. Baby-like.
A gorgeous family. Man and woman and girls. 78 people like this.
The man and the woman made another baby. A boy. The scans told them.
The boy grew inside the woman. The man and the woman were happy. They wanted a son. Two girls and a boy. Perfect.
The woman had a healthy appetite. Eating for two. Craved pastrami.
The due date drew nearer. But the woman’s belly stopped growing. Her clothes felt loose.
The man and the woman went to the doctor. Nothing to worry about, he said. Sometimes happens etc. Results unlikely to be affected.
Reassured. But still.
The woman glowed. She looked beautiful. Never better. But slim. Too slim.
The baby never came.
It was just gone. He was just gone. With no fuss. No blood.
Just a cruel conjuring trick.
The man and the woman mourned an idea. The concept of a boy child. They stared at ceilings. The girls played around their feet.
The girls were real. Endlessly, helplessly real. Sometimes they reminded the man and the woman of the lack of a boy. But mainly they ate and they shat and they cried and they laughed and they lived.
The man and the woman lived too. Reluctantly, at first. Straining against.
And life swirled around them and washed over them and sucked them in and they were too tired to resist and so they lived.
Time passed. Children grew. Schooled. Toileted. The man and the woman worked. Parented. Drank wine after University Challenge. Laughed.
One day the man looked at the woman and saw the eyes of their son. The act of noticing changed things.
The parts of her that were woman began to fall away. She shed flesh, lost breasts and hair and hips. They stopped sleeping in the same bed when she started to piss standing up.
She shrank. Her skeleton was fizzing and creaking and agony but they didn’t go to a doctor. Growing pains, they knew.
The man and the woman would soon be the man and the boy and there would be forms to fill and teams to sign up for and statuses would need to be updated.