Publish Novellas 3 December 2023
EPISODE 2 – MISADVENTURES
As two women discover more commonality between themselves, they explore options to prevent surmounting catastrophes.
Did you skip an episode?
Months later, Colette rings the doorbell. McKenzie opens to find a pregnant neighbor.
“Colette, it looks like congratulations are in order.”
Without expressing gratitude, she responds, “Can I come in?”
“Sure. Have a seat while I make some tea.”
Colette confesses, “I think I have what you have.”
“Do you mean the tea?”
“No, I’m talking about the pregnancy.”
“We both know that I wasn’t pregnant. I’m at peace with that now.”
“I mean that I appear pregnant without intercourse.”
“What are you talking about?”
Colette then describes events identical to McKenzie’s experience with the crop circle. “Perhaps you should give me the contact number for your doctor. This pregnancy thing feels so real.”
“Just a minute.” McKenzie gets up to gather her secret story. “Read this. Then tell me if you still want the number to my psychotherapist.”
McKenzie sits back, sinking into the plush sofa cushions, sipping tea while awaiting a reaction. Colette gasps. “How? When? Wait, I never used a basting syringe. What are you saying?”
“I don’t think you’re crazy, because I had the same experience.”
With their pupils ascending toward the ceiling, they both pause at the thought of alien abduction.
“Are you telling me that some alien substance is inside of me?” While hyperventilating, she screams, “I want it out!”
“There are two ways to handle this. But first, you must calm down. Drink some chamomile tea…. That’s better. What do you think will happen if you rush to the hospital?”
“Hopefully, they’ll get this thing out of me!”
“Think it through. A triage nurse will ask many questions about your pregnancy that you can’t answer. Then the emergency department will perform an ultrasound. I don’t know how similar an alien embryo is, but suppose it differs.”
“Then they’ll take it out and see!”
“More than likely, they will explain that your baby has neonatal defects and that you’re too far along to terminate the pregnancy. You’ll go full term anyway. During delivery, they may assume that you’re the alien. You might not make it out of that hospital alive. If so, you’ll be an anomaly kept under observation in a private hospital indefinitely in some secure location.”
“What do you suggest?”
“It sounds insane to say this out loud. But I believe I gave birth to a shapeshifting alien. One likely also seduced you without your knowledge. Perhaps what you bring forth will seduce someone else.”
“That’s just… really… too much…. I think I’m gonna puke!”
“Hurry to the bathroom.” McKenzie holds her hair back while Colette spits up into the toilet.
After rinsing out her mouth and washing her face, the discussion continues. “So, like you, I should wait until my water breaks and give birth to whatever this is, by myself on my living room floor?”
“There is a slightly different option.”
“Tell me. Anything has to be better than this.”
“When it’s time to give birth, call me. Having seen it before, I won’t be as grossed out. I’ll bring a large butcher’s cleaver and end the cycle as it exits.”
“You want to hack the squid while I’m giving birth to it? What if it dies while half of it is still within me?”
“Just keep pushing until it’s all out. Ending the cycle is new territory for me. What do you want to do?”
“You gave birth without any pain medication?”
“I didn’t think it was real, so I was unprepared. While blasting music, we can have plenty of hot towels and ibuprofen for you.”
“I’m terrified that while I’m sleeping or using the toilet, tentacles will begin slithering from within me.”
“Now you’re the one imagining things. That never happened to me. Your cervix cap should keep it intact. The only way for it to reach out is for your water to break. But you’re welcome to sleep over here as often as you like if you’re afraid.”
“You’re too kind. Perhaps this means that we’ve become friends. I admit keeping a social distance because of your frequent hospitalizations.”
“That’s interesting because I always thought of you as my closest friend.”
“Now you’re gonna make me cry. It’s probably the pregnancy hormones, but as a friend, I accept your offer to spend the night. Give me as many tips as you can think of to get through this ordeal.”
“I’m here for you, girl.”
“Hey, what if all the babies they’re running through us take over the world or something?”
“Then that might make us queens, I guess.”
When the time comes to give birth, McKenzie has an inflatable pool in the middle of her hardwood floor. After disrobing, Colette wades herself within the water, getting in position to deliver.
“You could have left your top on. You’re not going to nurse this thing.”
Gripping her hands on the rim of the pool, she replies, “Let’s just get it over with. I don’t want any residue on my clothing.”
Wrapped within many hot towels is the large cleaver. McKenzie exposes it for the appropriate time. “I don’t see a head. Wait. It’s partially out, now sliding back and forth. Here it comes again, slowly, slowly.”
“Oh my! That, just happened. Is it a normal baby?”
“Keep breathing. Push harder, Colette. You can do it…. It looks like a squid is coming out! Spread your legs as much as possible.”
When one meter extends from the woman in labor, McKenzie parts Colette’s legs wider, as fluids splash in her face. McKenzie begins to swing the knife, hacking the head of the squid from its body. In the commotion, she accidentally nicks a femoral artery, causing blood to squirt upward, reaching the ceiling.
Like cutting off a reptilian tail, the alien head wiggles free and shape shifts into the form of a seven-foot tall man. It then reaches deep within Colette’s uterus, as she angles her pelvis upward. Out slides a twin, which dynamically appears as a full-grown man. The shapeshifting amputation also stands erect above them.
Both women sit in silent amazement on the floor, as pain, blood, and water drain from the punctured pool into a large puddle of fear. There’s a sudden high-pitched sound. They raise their arms to shield their eyes from a bright light.
Grimacing as their pupils react slowly to the sunrise piercing the clouds, they each are laying in the center of adjacent crop circles. A ride-share service they summon drives them back home. There is no sign of water damage or even the birthing pool. But they both feel a tingling within their abdomens.
Colette, wearing garments she doesn’t remember putting on, asks, “I don’t want to think about what may have climbed within me. Do you have any more ideas about how to stop this alien cycle?”
McKenzie replies, “I have none. It seems we’ve become their surrogate mothers. So this won’t be the last time.” She leads Colette to the bedroom, where she partially disrobes. While arching her back, she lays supine and continues, “Hopefully, all the activity hasn’t stretched my tender bits too far out of shape. As my perpetual doula, if you don’t mind, can you take a peek?” McKenzie asks while removing her underwear.
Colette approaches the patient, spreading her bended knees. “I don’t have any medical tools. But everything looks fine to me—no exposed tentacles. So far, no stretch marks either. You actually look really good. Sorry if that sounds inappropriate. With a hand mirror, you can see for yourself.”
“Reach within the nightstand…. Thanks. Wow! Is that me? It’s like a cosmetic makeover. What about you? Your laceration from the knife healed, hasn’t it?”
“Let me borrow the mirror. McKenzie, you’re absolutely right. I’ve had a makeover too! Continuing your examination, how’s that feel when I press gently here?”
“Perhaps you should ease up. It’s a little tender. Are we close enough friends that I can confess my birthgasm to you, or is that inappropriate?”
“My immediate reaction is—too soon, and too personal. But considering how much we’ve been through together, you deserve an answer. Even with all the commotion, I must admit, it happened to me too, right in front of your face. But there were a lot of simultaneous emotions.”
”It can’t be a coincidence. What if it’s, you know, intentional on their part? Maybe it’s their way of thanking us. During my next birth, I will not try to hide it from you.”
“You could not possibly look forward to this, right?”
“There must be a reason for our makeovers. If I can’t have a shapeshifter manifest a handsome human appearance beforehand, I might as well let the tentacles linger on the way out. Whether during ingress or egress, it’s consolation for beaming me up on a ship and wiping my memory, before abandoning me in a field.”
“Be careful what you wish for. They may be listening.”
”I hope they can hear me! Knowing this is not just in my head is a relief. We are really carrying offspring with accelerating gestation. These pregnancies are far from my hysterical ones.”
“You’re right about that. This is some frightening conception.”
The sci-fi story skyrockets to a best seller, giving birth to a close friendship. McKenzie shares some of the proceeds with Colette, who quits her job and becomes McKenzie’s zealous writing agent. As a testament to the story’s success, together they enjoy calamari while sipping sweet red wine.