(dedicated to Chris Vannoy)

The incandescence of eggs being harvested intermingles
with sporadic genetic codes of unknown and indeterminate
origin as Subject 34962 studies the ceiling’s pores so as
not to wonder what lies beyond those security doors, as the

gods descend, their lab coats unfurled like wings, and
some human whose name isn’t Angel says she is one, applies
suction again and again as Subject 34962 is splayed further
apart, stretched taut for the implantation of Subject 22579’s

virtually-enhanced sperm. She hears someone shout, “clear!”,
feels the paddles press down on her over-sensitized skin, the
result of excessive hormone treatments, she realizes, losing
track of the number of pores in the third row of ceiling tiles,

losing track of the number of attempts to get pregnant, losing track
of the number of Subjects before her as the coats flap away and the
human who isn’t an Angel says: “tsk-tsk—such a shame—this one
would have made a perfect host”…and then Subject 34962 knows

that the hand reaching across her shoulder is not destined for the
reboot button, is not destined for the reboot button, is not destined
for the reboot button, but for something else entirely…and she
never got to even touch Subject 22579 or his virtually-enhanced sperm.

# # #

Subject 34962 by Terrie Leigh Relf
originally published August 14, 2009



Terrie Leigh Relf lives in Ocean Beach, which is in San Diego, CA. She is on staff at Sam's Dot Publishing, where she edits Hungur Magazine and The Drabble. Recent releases include Blood Journey, a vampire novel co-authored with Henry Lewis Sanders; The Poet's Workshop--And Beyond; and two poetry collections, Jupiter's Eye and My Friend, The Poet, and Other Poems About People She Thinks She Knows.

For more of Terrie's work,
visit her Big Pulp author page


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