This is a flash piece which I wrote while sitting in a hospital.
George and Mary walked into the hospital holding hands. They’d made a momentous decision, they wanted to have children.
“I’m so happy George.”
“So am I dear.”
One could be forgiven for thinking George looked more apprehensive than happy as they approached the reception. Mary had booked so they were quickly whisked off to see the consultant.
“Children, eh? Jolly good show. Just need to ask you a few things…” His questions seemed to last forever, health, education, jobs, he seemed to want to know everything about them. They were too intimidated by his white coat and over-bearing manner to do anything more than reply.
“Right, sounds like everything should be fine. We’ll just need to take some blood. Then the nurse will be with you.”
They were hustled out, Mary still beatific, and George a little green around the gills. He hadn’t realised they’d want his blood. Mary realised her partner was uncomfortable, “Don’t worry George, it’s just a prick.” She giggled, and he felt a bit better.
She was right, it was just a quick needle in the finger. The nurse bustled about them, “Can you believe we used to take almost an armful? We’d have had to wait for several days for the results too.” She shook her head in wonder at modern medicine, and told them they’d have results in thirty minutes.
Then they were asked in to meet the hospital administrator. He was very forbidding, and asked them a lot more questions, mostly about money, but some seemed about politics. They answered meekly, for they had no savings, or politics for that matter. He scowled a little at the latter, but was unperturbed by the former. They were led out with the feeling they’d failed some form of exam.
The waiting room walls were papered with pictures of smiling babies. George started to feel a little claustrophobic, and Mary became worried they might say no.
Their turn to see the head nurse came, and they walked in gripping each other’s hands fiercely.
“You do realise you will need to get married, this clinic will not help you otherwise?”
They nodded, and tried to explain they wanted to get their compatibility tested first, but she waved that away.
“Financially you will be able to provide for two legal children, but we can only allot you one at this point. You might want to consider becoming active in the defence of the state before requesting the second.” She paused to make sure they understood, they nodded.
“Your results have come through, and are excellent. We will be able to produce a baby which is healthy, and with appropriate support, will become a productive member of society.”
“Did anyone explain what the next steps are?”
“Hmm, I shall have to speak to reception. Anyway, we have your genetic material now. We will feed that into the machine and it will do its work. We will expect you back in nine months.”