Fiction: Passing on the Genes (441 words)

17 Mar

“I don’t think it’s fair for me to have kids,” Maggie confessed quietly to Arthur. Arthur tired very hard not to look disappointed by that.  He knew how hard it must have been for Maggie to admit it, how long it must have taken her to build up the courage to tell him, and he didn’t want to seem ungrateful for that work.

“Why unfair? You’re a genius and the kindest heart I’ve ever known.  I think that’s worth passing on to the next generation.” Arthur said carefully, kissing her on the forehead.

“I’m a borderline alcoholic, agoraphobic, hermit, who once literally decided to be sliced across the back by an off balanced hunter with a fishing knife rather than leave my house.  It’s not fair for me to be a mother.” Maggie laid out, not telling Arthur anything he didn’t already know.

“Well, when you put it like that,” Arthur sighed, trying to keep it light even though he knew this conversation couldn’t stay light.  “I just…” Arthur trailed off, opting to ignore the bigger issue, just for a second longer.

“To be perfectly honest, I don’t think I could go a full forty weeks without a drink.  My genius might be worth passing on, but I don’t think the rest of it should go any further than me.”

The silence hung between them, getting heavier by the second. Finally, Arthur voiced the problem, the real issue with Maggie’s reveal.  “I have to have a son,” he whispered.

“I know,” Maggie sighed.

“I mean, eventually it becomes a biological imperative. It will consume me if I don’t. My dad told me how bad it got when he tried not to.” Arthur continued.

“I know the lore, King.” Maggie snapped with a little more fire than was strictly necessary.  “ I know what you are, and I’ve probably read more and retained more about you than you have.  I know what happens.”

“I  know,” Arthur resigned, verbally retreating from Maggie’s anger, “I know that you know but—We’ll figure something out, right?”  Maggie didn’t like how desperately Arthur was looking at her now. She didn’t know the answer, and that made it all so much worse.  “You’re the genius, right? We can figure something out.”

Maggie’s anger dissolved. He hadn’t meant to piss her off.  No one had asked for this situation.  “Of course we will, King. We’ll figure something out.”  But all Maggie could think of was she needed a stronger drink.17

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Posted by on March 17, 2015 in Maggie's Stories


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