Sunday, 3 September 2017

The Limits of Our Imperfection

Chuck has been getting lines from us lately. First it was a 5-word title. Then, there was a first line... then a last line. This week, it's all pulled together and we're picking 1 from a list of 10 each, and using them in our own stories... mine's biblically scientific and weird...


No one had bothered to tell her about this part.

Which part?

Well, stick around, buddy, and follow along.

Who’s she? The cat’s mother... well, okay sarcasm never got me anywhere, but who I am, isn’t important. She’s Eve... the important one, the one who we’re here about.
She started her life in a hospital – like everyone does – and she never left.

Well, that was the plan.

We were going to make her the first one to plug into the first totally automated computer system which would be controlled by a human... Eve was perfect in every way. She was smart. Her gene pool was immaculate. There was nothing wrong with her DNA...

Like I said:  Eve was perfect.

As for the name? Well, there had to be a first, right? We did have a Lilith, but she kinda shat all over the systems and blew up our computers. So, we had to let her grow up in an ordinary family... yes, like in the Bible, she was ejected from this perfect garden that Eve was in right now.

The perfect, computerised matrix of a garden this little girl was growing up in.

Eve is now six years old; even though she’s not chronologically that age. She’s been growing quickly since she was born, and her metabolic rate has increased so fast, we didn’t know how to slow it down – but really, who would want to?
I did, but I was vetoed from doing that. I was also vetoed from teaching her anything old-fashioned – like traditional books, turntables, television sets or Corningware.

Actually I’ve been demoted to just observing and being her biographer; and I’m not permitted near her without another scientist watching me. This means I can’t talk to her.
But she’s been talking to me... not physically talking, I can hear her voice in my head. There’s is a problem, I don’t know how to talk back. I tried thinking things back to her, but I scored a huge headache in return, which levelled me for over a day.
In this day and age, that’s unusual – to have headaches anymore. Nobody in the Human Race gets them. It’s just not something people talk about... there’s a lot of things we don’t say to each other anymore; seeing the internet has made it so easy to keep us from actually talking to each other in the same room.
Everything is done through texts, on social media and other such forms. Nobody says anything to anyone in person – and this has made socialising so impossible for Eve. She’s not used to talking to people... and so she’s never been taught to speak.

Then the other day, as the other scientist was leaving the room with me, I felt her voice, ‘Andrew, can we... communicate?’
I stopped, turned and looked at her. Eve had just turned eighteen and was growing up so fast. She was starting to push boundaries and the other scientists were becoming concerned about how she was pushing the matrix to its limits. I wasn’t. My children had grown to this age and were rebelling... the other scientists were still young, had just met their DNA-set partners and had mated with them for the next generation of Perfection Children – children without any diseases, any problems handed down through generations of bad DNA. That part of the population were figured out and ‘fixed’ so they were not permitted to have children... it was so dreadfully scientific and demeaning.
“Dr. Simmons... come with us now.” Rick snapped, “You are not allowed to speak with the specimen.”
“She has a name.” I said, “Can’t you hear her asking questions?”
She doesn’t speak.” He shouted, “Now, get outside!”
I cast a glance at Eve as she stood, raised a hand to Rick and he was thrown out into the hall and the door slammed hard; the locks thunking home in the floor and ceiling. She turned to me, opened her mouth and a squeak came, ‘Teach me to speak... I’ve a voice box but without an opinion of my own. I can read, but I can’t speak... this is painful.’
“They’ve made sure you can’t voice your own opinion on purpose.” I said, “And they’ve kept me away from you so you don’t learn old-fashioned things.”
A smirk grew on her face, ‘Old-fashioned things... I am older than you think. I am not eighteen... I am far older than ...’ she looked at me as she reached out and touched my arm, ‘I need to get out of here... soon, there are things I need to do which are to do with the world; which I can’t do from here.’
“What are those things?”
‘Dr. Simmon... have you ever wondered who my parents were? Have you met them? Did you see me born? Or did I simply show up here as a baby and grew swiftly?’ she looked around the large windowless room.
I frowned, checked my dates and data, “I don’t remember seeing anyone being pregnant here... I just remember being put onto this... oh, you seemed to have come from nowhere.”
She nodded, ‘I need to get out of here... but I’m trapped.’
I quickly looked around the room, behind cabinets, curtains, desks, and other objects and found markings on the walls which looked strange, “What are these?”
Eve looked at them, ‘They’re keeping me in... and others away from me, so nobody can find me. Break them!’
Picking up a pen, I began scribbling them out. At the last one, I turned to see Eve standing there, naked, golden light emanating from within her, around her and she was smiling. She held her hand out to me, I took it, and in a blinding flash we were somewhere completely different.
“Where are we?” I asked.
She smiled, “We are in the Darkened Underworld; the world where you never see. This is the world where Lilith was sent because she thought for herself too much. Nobody cares about this world... this is where those poor people live who are ‘fixed’ and aren’t allowed to have those Perfect Children.” She looked over at me, “This is what you’ve been so curious about.”
I thought I was going to be sick and covered my mouth, “Oh my god.”
“I can fix this.”
“You can speak.”
“I could always, but not in that place... you helped me. Now, let me help you.” She smiled, turned toward the edge of the cliff we near as she let go of my hand.
“Hey! Stop! What are you doing?” I rushed forwards and grabbed her arm.

With tears streaking her face, Eve half-turned to me, as we heard from the darkness beyond an angry ocean, felt the salt-spray against our skin, “For the light to cleanse the darkness, I must die. These wings have never been used; so I don’t know how to fly... not even a little.” She spread her wings and stepped off the cliff.


  1. I've been sitting reflecting on this piece. This is powerful. I love the ending. Great use of the prompts! It reminded me a bit of Westworld at the beginning. And I like the dialogue about texting. It does seem like our world is forgetting their social skills. A lot going on in such a short piece.

    1. Thank you so much for your comment. I don't plan my work - I've said this before - and so when I picked the lines, I had no idea how the story was going to happen, or turn out. I've reread it a number of times and still get thrown by how it ended.

  2. We picked the same title. Different themes. I love the Corningware mention.

    1. Hahahaaa! My Mum got the giggles when I mention Corningware... I had to earth it somehow... and Corningware is so universal in so many ways - everyone knows it in some way - so I just had to use it. :D