Reginald Honeycomb glared. He was good at glaring. Things came naturally to Reginald; power was like gravity, it had a tendency to accrue.
“Nothing you can do, man?” Spat Reginald. “But…but it’s unnatural! Just…just get rid of it, you hear?”
The doctor shrugged.
It was just possible that somewhere behind those sorrowful eyes, a mote of spite burned.
“The law’s the law,” replied the doctor. “My hands are tied.”
“You’re mistaken, then,” he declared. “You must be. Damn it, I’m a man!”
“There’s no mistake,” said the doctor.
Was there a note of triumph there?
Was it possible, Reginald wondered, that the doctor was enjoying this?
“But…but we used protection,” protested Reginald. There was a note of desperation entering his voice now, and Reginald hated himself for it. “We always do. Missy has the implant. And anyway…”
He raised his arms in frustration, as if this simple gesture ought to over-rule seven hundred million years of mammalian evolution.
Somehow, however, it did not.
“Your bloods are quite unequivocal,” the doctor assured him. “Then there’s the matter of your weight. And the scan…”
The doctor trailed off, and they both turned to look at the screen.
The image that started back had the borderline disturbing, alien appearance of an early human foetus.
“Beautiful little mite,” said the doctor, flashing Reginald a smile. “You know, you’re lucky really.”
“Hmm?” Said Reginald, who had found himself preoccupied once again by thoughts of how this must all end. He didn’t understand how this could possibly have happened, but of one thing he was sure: anatomy was not on his side.
“Oh, the vote!” Said the doctor, as if it were obvious.
“Vote?” Repeated Reginald blankly.
“Well, only a few weeks ago, and it wouldn’t have been an issue,” the doctor went on. “A few pills, a few cramps. That’s all it would have taken.”
Reginald stared at the image on the screen.
“And your vote…yours was important,” the doctor went on. “Or so I hear.”
“I…I am pro-life,” said Reginald, trying to muster the ghost of his former conviction.
He stared hate at the image on the screen.
But the thought trailed off, falling into the chaotic turmoil of guilt and regret that his mind had become.
“Indeed,” said the doctor gravely. “I can see that. What you are is very, very clear.”
Several of my stories are available in greetings cards - if you are looking for odd little things to send to odd little people on their birthdays, or for other occasions, maybe have a look. This one isn't on a card yet; let me know if you want it and I will make one!