October 23, 2013 by Lyn
To Rix’s Prompt
Some time just before Year 10 of the Addergoole School; August 2004
“Have they hatched?”
Curry was standing nervously in the doorway of Valentina’s greenhouse. He’d been gone for a couple weeks for summer, but, now, it appeared he was back.
“They’re not eggs, Curry.” She tried not to sound too amused at him. He was trying so hard.
“Have they… sprouted?”
“Not yet. But they’re almost there. Come on over, if you want.”
“I don’t want to hurt them.” He was leaning in, his feet planted firmly on the other side of the doorway,
“I won’t let you. Come on in, hon. They’re your kids.”
“I mean.. yeah, but not really, really?” He got one foot over the threshold.
“Really, really.” She lifted one pot carefully – she’d had to transplant them, as they had a very robust and hungry root structure, and their pots were wide and heavy. “Come here.” She shifted the pot to a closer table. Maybe just one baby at a time would be easier for him to handle. “This is your child. She came out of your body.”
“She’s your clone, Curry.”
The seedling – which was now closer to a sapling – writhed and squirmed. The “baby” portion of the tree was low on the trunk, a round and ever-growing lump that pulsed with a heartbeat-like rhythm.
“It’s really… he’s really mine?” He looked up at Valentina defiantly. “I’m a guy. I don’t care what you say. So if he’s my clone, he’s a guy.”
Valentina suppressed a sigh. “Okay. Yes, he’s really yours.” She took Curry’s unresisting hand. “Here, touch him like this. Feel the bark. He’ll sprout soon.”