A Suitable Case


I took care of three prompts in one today, including 3 WW and a photo prompt! I did a prompt very recently which was about an imaginary friend (Black-eyed Soul) so I went with the idea of having a second ‘you’ to fit in with the prompt as best I could.

Hannah let the train motion lull her, staring into the middle distance whilst her brain raced. She was faintly aware of the overpowering aftershave from the guy on her left and the constant clicks and blips from phones on all sides, but her thoughts were circling around the news from the doctor. She’d gone to the clinic under protest, her stance defensive at the least suggestion that their problems stemmed from her uncooperative womb. The barrage of tests had felt invasive, the onslaught of questions more so. Returning today, after a week of tension and barely controlled fear, she’d been prepared for anything but those bald words which had taken away her last hope.

“I’m sorry to have to tell you, Mrs Cooper, but there is no hope of you conceiving.”

Not ‘You aren’t very fertile’ or ‘There is very little chance’; just a single word, just two letters, no.

The train rocked unsteadily around a bend, throwing her against the man on her right as he started yammering into his phone, apparently unaware that he was talking at max volume. She had an irritable urge to elbow him in the ribs, but she knew he had three more stops to go – they usually travelled the same route every day, returning from work – and she didn’t need the hassle. Her thoughts circled back to where they had begun; how was she going to tell Trevor? He wanted kids so much and she could never provide them. Maybe he’d want a divorce? Perhaps he’d want her to carry his child made from another woman’s egg, a child that would be in no part hers, or theirs.

The train jerked into the station, Hannah only realising she had been absent through the intervening stops when her fellow passenger rose and kneed her hip. She followed him, stubbing her toe on the huge suitcase of a man she hadn’t noticed before, his case blocking most of the aisle. Stepping onto the platform she returned to her fuddled haze, unaware of suitcase guy stepping in behind her. Her heels clacked rhythmically over the iron bridge, down the stairs and rattled out of the station, drowning the low rumble of luggage wheels close behind.
Hannah had reached the stage of wondering if she should simply offer Trevor a divorce and have done with it all rather than appear needy when she entered the pedestrian tunnel under the bypass. At any other time of day it was heaving with people scurrying to and from the apartment blocks to the offices, but at mid-afternoon it was empty, echoingly silent. It was then she finally noticed the constant rumble at her heels, glancing over her shoulder, surprised to see suitcase guy so close. She began to speed up.

Jason watched Mrs Cooper elongate her stride, hoping to lose him and decided he couldn’t wait any longer. He’d received word on the train, muttering his acknowledgment into the receiver in his glasses. He always felt a little sad for these women, even though he dealt with at least one infertility case each day. He drew the hypo from his pocket, set the case down and sprinted, efficiently pressing the needle into Mrs Cooper’s neck and depressing the plunger. He caught her as she crumpled, scanning back and forth, aware someone could enter the tunnel at any moment.

He leaned her against the wall by the suitcase and unzipped it quickly. The second Mrs Cooper tumbled out, inert, no more than a puppet. He propped her against the wall, stuffed the original into the suitcase and zipped it quickly, the dangerous part over. If anyone came through now he could readily claim to be helping the lady who had passed out. He slipped a second hypodermic from his jacket, injected the new, and extremely fertile, Mrs Cooper with the formula which brought her to life and helped her to her feet. For a second she was blank, then her programmed memories kicked in and she smiled thanking him for his help before heading home to Trevor.

Trevor Cooper who had contacted ‘Second Life’, Jason’s employers, and asked that they grow a clone of his wife, a clone capable of reproduction. Since the mutated flu epidemic of 2125, when so many millions had been wiped out, the need to repopulate had been deemed urgent, leading directly to the birth of Second Life. At birth, every woman had cells taken and stored. When needed, for whatever reason there was infertility, a clone was grown and replaced seamlessly, by men like Jason.

He turned now, wheeling the comatose ex-Mrs Cooper to the station, ready to face the hardest part of his work. She was to be returned to Second Life and turned over to the research department, a new guinea pig for the scientist experimenting to find all the causes of infertility .

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