“Untitled”

Sarah Vabulas

All rights reserved by the author

 

2010, March 19:  Her black hair flew behind her, eyes stinging from the brisk wind.   She walked with a purpose toward her goal.  Black briefcase in hand, she checked her shiny silver watch.

            “12:04…shit, I’m late,” she thought with distaste.  She despised being late for anything, especially something this important.  Her pace quickened as she strode through the busy San Francisco streets.  Her sharp brown eyes scanned the shop signs, looking for the Bay Area Health Center.  She caught it out of the corner of her eye and veered sharply left, opening the opaque glass door.

            She made her way through the brightly lit hallway and stepped into the small rectangular waiting room.  The receptionist smiled at her, an older woman wearing too much make up. 

            “Can I help you?” The receptionist pulled open the glass partion. 

            “Yes, the name’s Mia Cartier, I have a 12 o’clock with Dr. Ramon.”

            “Thanks Ms. Cartier, please take a seat, it’ll just be a moment.”  The cheery receptionist nodded towards the cushioned plastic seats and shut the glass.  Mia made her way carefully towards the back corner and sat down, overcome with a sudden case of nerves.  Was this the right thing to do?  The procedure was fairly common these days, but her head still ran with endless possibility.  What if it went wrong?   An accomplished business woman, Mia absolutely hated not being in control at all times.  What if…

            “Ms. Cartier, this way please,” a blonde haired nurse beckoned her. 

            She snapped out of her increasing panic and walked nervously into the office.  She was escorted a tiny triage room where she was prepped for the minor operation.  Her nurse seemed to sense her insecurity and sympathetically patted her shoulder. 

            “It’s ok, hun.  Ovarian tissue freezing is a highly safe procedure.  You’ll be out of there before you know it!”  She unlocked the wheels of the hospital bed and wheeled her into a small but clean operating room.  The doctor entered the room, clad all in the bright blue of his surgical scrubs.

            “Nice day today, isn’t it Ms. Cartier?” he chattered away, making sure everything was ready.  “We are going to use a general anesthetic, Mia, so you can relax and this will all be over with shortly.”

            A stout older man appeared over her face and held a clear plastic face mask over her.  He told her to count backwards from 100.

            “100…99…98…97…96….nine…ty…five…” she abruptly ended, anesthetic having done its job. 

 

*    *    *

2025, June 23:  Mia climbed out of her warm bed, gingerly patting the small white scar on her abdomen.  She looked at the blinking green lights of her clock and groaned.  She was late again!  Slowly, she made her way over to the closet, and threw on some crumpled pants and a plain white t-shirt.  As she combed her hair, staring at her big brown eyes in the mirror, she reflected on the changes the last 15 years had made on her.  She used to be a high powered, ambitious 30 year old. She would do anything to make her way up the career ladder.  She wanted to have children, but at that stage of her life she was just unable to commit. She had decided to her some ovarian tissue frozen so she would be just as fertile as her 30 year old self at the ripe age of 45.  She glanced over at her sleeping husband, deep in throes of some dream world. 

            Mia groaned.  “I’ll just go alone, I guess.  I don’t want to wake sleeping beauty over there,” she grumbled, picking up her umbrella.  The rain had been pouring for the past hour.  She hoped the ominous black sky wasn’t a sign of things to come.  She longed for child these days and was highly optimistic about the surgery. 

            Mia made her way out the big red door and hopped into her little silver Toyota.  With a hum, she backed out of the driveway.  The little hybrid car puttered away, headed into downtown traffic.  She arrived at the very same clinic she had visited fifteen years earlier, noticing little change.  She entered and went to the waiting room.  Feeling the chill of an air conditioner, she shivered and hugged herself.  After signing herself in, she sat down and picked up the nearest newspaper.  The headline, in bold black print read:

Cold War Escalates To Frightening Level!  She shook her head, and scanned the article. 

            “The Cold War has reached its 80th year and tensions have only continued to rise.  Leaders of the Soviet Union continue to increase their nuclear weapons stores.  Chernenko III has been rallying his nation to prepare to fight in an anticipated World War III.  Leaders of many European countries have echoed this concern, with weapon and war supplies being increasingly manufactured all over the globe.  The President Riley of the United States has denied that the so-called ‘World War III’ is imminent.  He urges all citizens of the States to remain calm.”

            Throwing down the paper in disgust, Mia tried to rid her mind of all bad feelings.  A boom of thunder clapped, causing all people in the small office to jump.  Mia’s heart was racing when she was called into the office.  Taking a deep breath, she stepped into the familiar office.

 

*    *    *

 

2026, June 29:  “Push honey!  It’s going to be ok!”  Nate urged encouragingly.  He gripped his sweating wife’s hand, wiping the sweat from her brow with the other.  She was on fire and the labor wasn’t going well.  There was a buzz of activity in the delivery room at St. Andrew’s Hospital.  Nate was getting more worried with every additional medical person that entered the room.  A piercing scream nearly stopped his heart and he instinctively gripped his wife’s hand as hard as he could.  Mia’s face was distorted with pain and she writhed all over the bed.  The doctor called “Push Mia, push hard!”  She thrashed around, uttering small gurgles and little yips of pain.  It killed Nate to see her like this.  He leaned over and kissed her sweating, flushed face. 

            “Hand me the forceps,” the doctor demanded, face scrunched up in concentration. 

            “Her blood pressure is dropping sir!”  a shrill female voice echoed in the cramped room. 

            “We have to get this baby out NOW,” he yelled, grabbing the forceps from a nearby nurse.

            Nate’s heart was pounding in his chest.  He ran his free hand through his short brown hair.  He leaned down over his wife, whispering “you can do it, baby.”  In his heart, he was afraid he was wrong.

            Another ear shattering scream sliced through the room and Nate let out a sob.  Her hand fell limp in his and the nurse yelled “she’s flat lining!” 

            The doctor kept pulling, determined to get the child out alive if they couldn’t save the mother.  With a swift pull the child came out and even the doctor let out a sharp gasp.  The child, if it could be called that, was utterly hideous.  Barely recognizable as human, its head was a misshaped lump on top of a curvy body.  There was one long arm protruding from his right shoulder at an odd angle.  He had two legs with enormous muscles. A boy, he had two eyes, but only one was open.  He had no noticeable nose and large ears.  The nurses all backed away in horror.

            Nate was oblivious.  He rocked back and forth on his knees, hugging his dead wife.  He kissed her hand, begging her to come back.  His body shuddered as he howled in agony.  He was blind to the scene that was taking place in the room.

            The infant, barely out of the womb, pushed itself violently from the arms of the doctor.  Surprised, he let go of the boy.  The whole room remained dumbfounded as this baby of amazing strength stood up on his two deformed legs and ran out of the room.  Everyone rushed the door at once, pushing and shoving against the thick crowd.  By the time they reached the hallway, the infant was no where to be seen. 

            After a thorough search, the doctor and nurses gave up looking and returned to console the distraught father.  They opted to lie about the child and told him that he was simply a deformed stillborn and they had already taken him away for burial.  Nate would never learn the truth.

 

*   *   *

 

2036, August 2: Splash!  A plume of water shot up from the still water as he jumped in to catch the large striped bass beneath the glassy water.  Diving down, he used his speed and strength to grab the fish’s wriggling body.  Gripping tight, he came back up to the surface of the water.  Seeing the immense size of this catch, he smiled to himself.  He waded back to the shore, shaking himself off and settling under one of the deserted docks.

            He was incredibly ugly.  Some would call him a monstrosity.  He had stringy black hair that only grew in patches upon a lumpy and misshapen head.  He lacked an arm but made up for it with immense and powerful biceps on his remaining one.  His body curved in unnatural ways.  He called himself Simon because he had heard the people on his dock talking to a friend named Simon.

            His sharp teeth bit into the thick silver body of the bass.  Living off of the fish of the San Francisco Bay and the scraps of food left in the nearby dumpsters, Simon had managed to remain hidden for ten years under the rotten docks deserted years ago.  Only ten years old, he was as big as any full grown man, with bulging muscles and remarkable eyesight.  One eye had remained closed, but he had never missed a fish he had aimed for.

Simon knew he was different.  Looking at himself in the still waters on a clear night, he knew he didn’t look like the few strangers that had meandered over to his dock.  He was content living by the shore.  He had picked up on enough English to understand how to communicate.  His brain was nearly as adept as his extraordinary body.  Simon remained alone.

            It was just another night for him.  He had nestled up under a mat of seaweed, trying to keep the chill away.  It was a calm evening, and he was beginning to doze off when his sensitive ears heard someone approach.  He backed up as far as he could, trying to make his massive body as invisible as possible.  He was desperately afraid of people and avoided them like the plague.  He stayed erect, barely moving.  All he could hear was the gentle whoosh of air as he breathed in and out.  Suddenly, a face appeared under the dock.   He shuddered and tried to move away.  It was an older man, wearing all black. 

            “Easy now, Simon, it’s ok.”  The man spoke softly and tried to make himself as harmless as possible.

            “How does he know my name?” wondered Simon silently.  He didn’t move a muscle, nor did he give the stranger a reply.

            “It’s ok, I can see you are scared.  I’m afraid I cannot tell you my name but I have important information for you.  I have been watching you for the past ten years.  I know all about you and have heard you talking to your little…friends,” the man continued.  Simon flushed.  He had lived alone for so long, he sometimes conversed with the fish he captured, or the occasionally seagull that was brave enough to come near him. 

            “Simon, you must want to know why you look like that.  I come in the most urgent of times.  The world is about to declare World War III and you are the last of them.”  The man broke off and looked around cautiously, dark eyes darting around to make sure no other people were in the area.  “You are the only remaining experiment.”

            Simon was shocked and confused.  He hesitantly came out of his hiding spot.  Stopping in front of the man, he asked “last…last experi….experiment?”  His speaking was broken and he was hard to understand.

            The black clothed man merely nodded.  “Do you know what a conspiracy is, Simon?”  Simon nodded and the man continued.  “The government has known that fighting was bound to occur.  They knew that with all these nuclear weapons, the US would need something remarkable to win.  It was thirty years ago, boy, thirty years ago they began the tests.  Ovarian tissue freezing was a new and popular method of fertility treatment.  The government has top scientists that had claimed to have created ‘super-humans.’  These were exceptionally strong, smart people who would have made and exceptional army.  But when the babies started arriving, it was obvious that things had gone terribly awry.  The babies were all born horrible mutants.  There were 12,000 in total.  The experiments were abandoned and every child was killed.  No body today knows of these happenings…except for me.  I used to work for them…no longer.  You were the only one who got away Simon.  They haven’t been able to find you.  You are the last mutant.  Do you understand the implications of this?”

            Simon looked at the man in horror.  His eye widened and he shook his head slowly.

            “Simon, with you as proof, we can show the public what the government has been doing.  We can take them down!” the man shouted excitedly.  “The people would be enraged to find out that their own eggs had been the subject of government experiments!  People would be mutinous and then we could win the war…”

            “We?  Who are you?”  asked Simon.

            “We…the Soviet Union.  I have been a spy in America for many years now and now we finally have a way to destroy the United States!” the man’s eyes shown wildly. 

Simon started backing away from the man.  He would have no part in ruining the United States, whether they had destroyed his life or not.  The man, becoming more and more maniacal started running towards him, screeching “you get back here! You are mine!  We will defeat you!”

            Simon turned around and sprinted.  His mind was spinning but he was sure that the man had to be killed.  He picked up a nearby rock and turned and threw it with all his strength.  The man had not anticipated this move and was struck square in the chest.  The rock had lodged itself in his chest and he looked blankly down at it.  Simon could see a trickle of blood run down the mans’ dark overcoat.  The man looked back up at Simon and started to open his mouth.  Instead, he crumpled to the ground with a groan.  Simon was shocked that he had done such a deed.  He picked up the limp body and tossed him into the cold dark water.  With a shiver, he made his way back to the dock. 

            After a restless night, Simon opened his eyes.  He hoped it had all just been a dream.  He made his way from under the dock and stopped in horror.  There were five more men, clad in crisp black suits.  They had large guns pointed straight at him.  The man furthest to the left opened his coat up and flashed a badge.

            “We are from the Federal Bureau of Investigations.  We have been looking for you for ten years and only found you when that lunatic led us to you.  We took care of his body.  We do have one job left, however.”  The man spoke in monosyllables and kept a straight face.

            Simon slumped to the ground.  He knew what that meant.  He also knew that he had to do this.  It wasn’t for himself but for the safety of the country.  His mind raced and his heart thudded but he nodded and turned away from the men.  He kneeled on the sandy ground and held his mutated head as upright as he could.  “It has to be,” he thought.

 

*   *   *

 

            “Nice job, gentleman.”  The big man put away his gun, and they all grabbed a part of the black body bag. 

            “That was a lot easier than anticipated.  He seemed to just give up…I don’t understand,” voiced another man.  “I just don’t understand.”

            “It’s not necessary,” replied the leader.  “The only thing we need to know is that our secret is still safe.  This whole thing was just one big mistake.”

 

© Copyright 2005 by the author

All rights reserved