Flash Fiction: Ruby Mothers a Claw-Child

Ruby tilted her head as she felt her stomach turn in the opposite direction inside her.

Her captor unlocked the cold metal cuffs around her wrists only to tighten them further.

She coughed a few drops of blood on his shoulder.

“That’s not very nice,” he grumbled, putting on a pair of latex gloves.
“You’re not allergic to latex, are you?”

Ruby clenched her fists and bit her tongue.

She really was allergic, but refused to address this sorry excuse for a man that had betrayed her.

She had fallen for Dr. Reynaldo two months earlier while interning at the clinic’s lab.

Another phlebotomist had introduced them on a rainy spring afternoon.

He took the blame for her when she mixed up two urine samples two weeks into the job.

Little had she suspected that Dr. Reynaldo was really a mad scientist hired by a South American socialist party to conduct evil experiments on cute white American middle class redheads.

Dr. Reynaldo put a pin sized flask on the tip of a screw-shaped set of rubber tonsils.

Ruby tried to kick her legs up but couldn’t move from the waist down.

She still cringed however as he flapped her robe up and put his cold bony hands between her hips.

“Don’t worry!” he snickered. “It’s nothing you haven’t felt before.”

She let out a cry as he jolted the device inside her.

She was, in fact, a virgin, though the experience brought back a repressed memory from her childhood… Something to do with her uncle Dale, perhaps?

Ruby fainted.

Seven months later, in the basement of an undisclosed location, she gave birth to three baby boys, all with football-shaped heads and scales along the spines of their backs.

The Russian midwife placed two on Ruby’s bosom while holding a syringe up to the third.

“No good,” she said, pointing to a claw growing out of the babe’s left leg. “Baby X.”

Then she made a hand gesture indicating some type of induced suffocation.

“No!” screamed Ruby, putting both infants into a glass crib and reaching out for the third. “Don’t touch him! Leave him alone!”

The midwife sounded the alarm.

Red flashes filled the dark operating room.

Ruby clutched the boy in her arms as the sirens induced all three into wailing.

The midwife turned around for the phone and Ruby stealthily reached for the syringe.

“Ruby? Are you ready to go home so fast? Stay and you can watch your sons’ contributions to science through a two-way mirror.”

It was Dr. Reynaldo- his dark stringy hair swept up and under his goggles as he pushed them over his head.

“Look Reynaldo! Look what we have made! You have made me a mother.”

She reached out her hand toward him beckoning an embrace.

As he reached for the claw-child, she pressed herself against his unsuspecting chest, emptying the contents of the syringe into it.

“Durak! What have you done?” exclaimed the midwife.

Dr. Reynaldo’s falling body coughed up blood on Ruby’s face.
She drew his pistol from inside his lab coat and pointed it at the angry woman.

As if collating her every move, the robust Russian drew her own gun, cocked it, and pointed it toward the cradle.

“Let us go,” Ruby pleaded, trembling. “You have done your job. The children are born.”

“Leave,” demanded the midwife. “Leave or I shoot!”

Ruby took two steps back.
She looked at her two children- the ones that were out of her reach- the ones she had feared loathing and for whom she would now do anything for.

She stood there like a headlight dear, holding on to the one child- the one she had saved, sacrificing the other two.

From outside that undisclosed location, some passing radioactive hamsters heard a demanding voice shake the structure.

“Leave!” shouted the voice, immediately followed by three deaf bangs.

The hamsters scurried along, leaving a streak of tiny red glowing footprints behind.


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