Blown Out

Matt drove in and parked the car in the empty parking lot of the prison.  The entrance was empty except for a few prison guards. 

He emptied his belongings into a plastic basket and handed it over to a guard who gave him a numbered token. 

After checking him thoroughly, Matt was finally let in through the metal door. The hallway was dreary, the floor and walls covered in the same grey coloured tiles. The dimly lit room was cold and dusty.

The prison was more like a bank that safeguarded the intersex people, the only hope for humanity. They were well-cared for within these raw concrete walls.

Some of them had semi-functioning uteri, which was inexplicably rare. Matt was here to meet one or two of them. He was hoping to get some vital information from them for his research. 

There were two impersonal cubicles for the inmates to meet people. Matt entered the first room and waited until someone appeared. 

CASE ONE.

“Hi, my name is Matt. May I know your name, please?”

“I don’t have one.”

“Oh, that’s alright. How have you been?”

“In m*****f*****  pain.”

“Would you please describe it?”

“Will that get me out of this s***hole?”

“Um…”

“Humph, I thought not.”

“I know you must be tired of these walls, but you know how important you are to society, right?”

“I don’t give a f***. I just want my freedom.”

“We all want that too. But it is not that simple.”

“I get sharp pains in my abdomen. It’s unbearable.”

“How often do you get these pains?”

Matt was mentally recording this conversation as he could not record anything from within the walls of the prison.

Matt was driving with a deep frown. The car turned off along the freeway towards Whitefield, leaving the lights of the city behind.

There was no joy in his surroundings, only a deep emptiness and sorrow at the thought that the two people who loved each other so dearly would not be able to have children of their own to complete their family.

The car swept through the gates of the Bluebird and up the long avenue of cypress trees towards the two-storied, gabled house which was spacious. 

It was an impressive home, with its park-like gardens and its splendid view of the wine-producing valley, an ideal setting for a child to grow up in with her beloved parents.

It was all designed and maintained by his wife Robby. The wife was an odd term nowadays. Marriage was no more necessary or believed in. Matt didn’t have faith in it too, but he did it for Robby.

They had had an elaborate wedding on a Greek island with some close friends. It had been an all-day affair with bathing in the marble pool, gallons of alcohol and pot.

Matt walked up the shallow steps leading up to the double oak doors, and moments later he was in the Bluebird’s large entrance hall with its black-and-white marble floor. Small rugs lay scattered decoratively on the floor, while a plush sofa and a carved antique rosewood table were the only other objects in the hall.

Robert came out of the kitchen; he had his baking apron on. He was a well-built man with a great sense of humor and loyalty that other men would kill for.

He looked at Matt and sensed his thoughts in that uncanny way of his. “So it didn’t work out.”

“Yes, still no uterus.”

He walked over to Matt and hugged him warmly, “It’s ok sweetie. You’ve tried enough. We can be happy you know, just the two of us.”

“You know that this is not just about you and me, right?”

“Yes, but what else can we do Matt?”

There was a big crowd standing in the middle of a dusty road. Matt was curious so he joined the group of men too. 

They were all ogling at a statue of a voluptuous woman, now a mythical creature. The sculptor was proudly displaying his work; one of the oldest men from the group paid a fortune and bought it.

Matt was annoyed. He knew that the statue would cause further violence amongst the bestial men. The countrymen were always sexually frustrated. Some of them had male partners; the others were just not satisfied.

Matt’s great grandfather told him stories about how the girl babies were killed as soon as they were born. The villagers had followed this practice as a ritual until one day they were no more babies left to kill.  

Now the town was filled with aggressive old men who were mostly drunk and watched cross-dressed young men dancing provocatively.

But Matt was different. He was not interested in sex or in alcohol; he was more intent on restoring a balance in the universe.

—————

Matt had gone into the lab earlier than usual; he had hoped to work alone in peace.

Their research was around recreating an artificial female uterus. The prototype has been giving birth to male babies only. Also, they did not know the long term implications of this birth.

The eggs were taken from the intersex people. The doctors had tried various methods of fertilization on the intersex  with a healthy uterus. But all their efforts went in vain, for some reason the intersex could not carry the baby to term.

So a lot depended on their research. Matt was insistent on birthing a girl child using the prototype. He thought that it was the only solution to the crisis faced by humans.

But there was something amiss. He did not understand why the prototype produced only male babies. So he kept working on the possibilities day and night.

The Chief walked in, “Matt is that you?”

“Morning, Chief. You’re in early,” Matt greeted the older man with a smile.

“What brings you in so early?” he demanded.

Was Matt imagining it or did the chief look rather irritated to find him in here?

I’m trying to figure out why the prototype only makes male babies?” Matt replied honestly.

The chief suddenly looked very interested. “Oh good, I’ve been wondering about the same too. So have you found out anything?”

“Not yet chief. But I will find out a way to produce a girl. I’m sick of this world overloaded with testosterone-driven egomaniacs.”

“Hmmm. I’m tired of everything too Matt. A girl baby would be a wonderful change,” he said smiling warmly. 

It was almost two years since Matt started working on Project Lily. He successfully made one embryo with XX chromosomes. 

He was really excited about the baby girl and so was every other staff in the lab. The chief was absolutely thrilled and congratulated Matt on his major breakthrough. 

Matt had brought Robby in along with him to work to look at the embryo. They were all excited about her. But she did not make it past the thirtieth week.

Ever since then Matt became a mad man. He had lost most of his hair in the last year. Things were not great with Robby too. Their relationship was strained and on a verge of separation. But he didn’t care. Sometimes he didn’t go home for weeks on end. 

Matt had an inkling that there had been a conspiracy against PROJECT LILY. But the chief waved it off, telling Matt to take a break from work and go on a holiday.

Matt was hell-bent on proving this. He quietly did a background check on every staff member who worked in proximity to the embryo. 

The chief soon learned about Matt’s underhanded work and was furious. He had called for a meeting with him.

Have you lost it Matt? What the fuck made you do this?”

“I don’t know Chief. I feel like I’ve been a blinded fool for too long now.”

“For fuck’s sake stop with this nonsense now. It’s been more than a year now. Get some help.”

“Yes, I should stop being human and become a crazy killer like you.”

The chief had gone red in the face and asked in a low threatening voice, “What the fuck did you mean by that you double-faced sneaky asshole?”

“You bloody well know what I meant,”

Matt thundered, “You have been killing the girl babies in the womb itself.”

“So what are you going to do about it?” the chief mocked.

Matt was incredulous at his ruthlessness. “The fuck man we are literally becoming extinct!”

“Extinct? You fool we still can make babies. We don’t need a p**** to do it for us anymore.”

“Is that all? Can’t you see that the world is becoming colder and colourless?”

“You think that they care? No. the world is thriving without women to destroy it,” the chief jeered, “there’s no need for those whining bitches.”

“Men are raping other men. The weaker built are being beaten up. The teenage boys are forced into the sex industry. If, you men don’t need women then why dress up hairless teenage boys into girls?”

“The sex industry is the largest in this world. It is government-aided. So, your research is pretty much a joke. If you give up now and leave things as they are, you’ll live.” The chief warned.

“Sex dolls huh? What happens when you people are tired of the dolls and toys?” Matt challenged.

“Then we’ll boost the drug industry,” the chief retorted remorselessly.  

“You men never change, do you? You brutes are still misogynists years after the women are dead?” he mumbled to himself,” you sex-crazed, power-hungry beasts!”

FIVE YEARS LATER

The snow was slowly melting and soft sunlight streamed through the clouds  warmly. It was springtime in the valley. It was a beautiful little town nestled near a creek.

The pink cottage was the prettiest in town, with blooming fences and countryside dew.  Matt stood on the porch with a cup of freshly ground coffee in his hand. 

He was happy here, felt closer to nature. The townsmen were warm and loving. They were not as coldblooded as the men from barren cities.

Matt was slowly learning to run a farm with Robby’s help. Their farm was quite far off from the town, almost at the foothills. It was quite a secluded place.

They reared sheep and cows for their milk. Most of their income came from this. Also, Robby baked goodies to sell it off locally.

On rainy days, Matt spent his hours reading books, while Robby went into the farm. Unlike the city, there were a few other gay couples here. They had visited the other couples on weekends and also had visitors over for dinner. It was rather fulfilling to live like this.

“Finally, spring is here! It was too long a winter I’ll tell you.” Robby kissed Matt on his lips, “Mmm, the coffee is good.”

“Is that so?  Want another taste?” Matt pulled Robby in for a lingering kiss.

Robby pulled back with a smile on his lip, “Are you not coming into the farm today?”

“I will go later. I’ve to go into the city for a few supplies.”

“Okay then. I’m leaving early today have to stop at David’s farm for a while. You know where to find me.” Robby kissed matt lightly on the lips and left for work.

LATER THAT EVENING

Robby was done prepping the room for the operation. He was anxiously biting his nails. They had been waiting for this day for too long now.

Matt had parked his car and started walking towards the farm with firm strides. He had it all planned. His penchant for baby girls made him a criminal.

At the farm, he double bolted the door and turned off the lights. Robby had left the door of the soundproofed basement opened for Matt. 

On a metal table lay CASE ONE bound by chains and straps. The intersex was heavily pregnant and crying in pain.

“Shush, it’s almost over. Just a few more hours and you could be free as a bird,” Robby soothed her.

“Fuck you bitch. You promised freedom three years ago.”

“You got your freedom, right?” Matt barked. “I will let you go as soon as this baby is out.”

“Freedom? Are you fucking nuts? You kept me locked up in this dungeon for three full years and experimented on me like I was a fucking rat.”

“I was not experimenting on you; I was preparing your body for a pregnancy you jerk,” Matt retorted.

Matt had the drugs ready, he had read as much as possible about this. Even practiced the procedure on a cow. Still, he was nervous.

He slowly induced anesthesia and cut open the belly. It was an exhilarating experience. He felt so powerful. With one neat cut, the baby was out. 

Matt held her in his hands and finally understood why artists, sculptors and poets obsessed over these magical creatures. 

But his happiness was rather short-lived. He saw a tiny protrusion in the baby’s groin. 

Is that a p****? He thought to himself. After all the scans and tests it turned out to be a boy?

The baby was an intersex. It was some kind of mutation. So this was it. The world was permanently cursed. 

It was bound to be full of cruel, selfish, loveless, and frustrated men. And, he was one of them.

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