Monthly Archives: June 2015

Ekphrastic Flash Fiction 2


"The Blind Leading the Blind" by Rebecca Slater

“The Blind Leading the Blind” by Rebecca Slater


Pure Science

He says it’s science at its most beautiful, with definitive results every time. It’s beautiful science he says, while wearing his white lab coat. His glasses hold eyes that turn surprised quite easily, and porcupine hair sticks out his head.

But is it comfortable in that…balloon?

The surprised eyes flash at my gaucheness. Wedo not use that word, he says. He says, we prefer the term elium-encased latex womb. The embryo will develop externally, floating above you, and connected to you by this fiberglass cable.

My husband says Darling Dear, look how easy you’ll have it. He licks his wolf-like teeth. You’ve always wanted this! His piercing eyes stab through my reluctance.

Lab Coat and Husband Dear and I tour the breeding grounds. It looks like a county fair
celebration with all the baby balloons floating in the sky. In the cafeteria, there are bloody steak specials, and gleaming knives to cut them. For the celebrants.

In the garden, the pink latex-encased beings bob like bubble-gum balls, or cotton-candy clouds beneath branches that have broken in a recent storm. I worry about the branches. Where is their gardener? Who is weeding and trimming and coaxing new growth?

Nine months go by. I have vicarious food cravings for hard sugar treats. I pull on my candy cane until it’s a Christmas dagger. At night, I dream about wolf-like teeth, biting my foot down to a keen little cuspate. All while my fragile dirigible navigates blowfish fruits, cat’s claws, and
freshly sharpened pencils.

I cradle even my words in pillows.

In the morning, Husband Dear tears his grapefruit from its membrane with the teeth of his spoon.

It is time, he says.

We rap sharply on Porcupine Hair’s door. He blinks in surprise. Oh, you’ve made it this far! He points his finger at my fragile little blimp.

Now what? My Husband Dear asks pointedly.

It’s pure science, he says, with consistent results. Unfortunately, there’s a 100% mortality rate every time we pierce the latex womb. But it’s that purity, that consistency, that makes it
beautiful. Pure Science, he says.