By the River by AJ Aguilar-van der Merwe
Some nice storytelling. This deserves to be read around the campfire!
Another Round at the Fox and Fowl by Bill Engleson
Lots of fresh simile and imagery. The second read through delivered more depth.
Siren Call by Ronel Janse van Vuuren
Beautiful descriptions of the mature and emerging sirens. Unexpected twist at the end-- I always love those.
Wicked Runs in the Genes by Anjela
Hilarious! Reading that line surprised and delighted me. I wasn't sure where you were going to take the story after the zinger of a first line, and you didn't disappoint. Your narrator is genuine and likeable. You took on an edgy topic and kept it real for general audiences. The curve ball into a more personal tone at the end works too.
257 words (Scrivner)
Wicked Runs in the Genes
Only the very oldest people remembered the old-fashioned way to make babies.
Grandma would sometimes drink wine and tell me wicked stories about how, once, humans were born with external sex organs. This was before the Government Omniscience Directive, the G.O.D., gained control and thought to mutate the human genome to prevent over-population.
With the number of people on Earth having reached critical mass, many died of starvation. More died from the resulting Hunger Wars that broke out when the strongest survivors attempted to claim Earth’s few remaining resources. Fearing the loss of power, the G.O.D. chose to intervene then and enforce government rule.
Forced to undergo sterilization, many of the elders escaped underground and continued to fight for humanity. My grandmother was one of the leaders, a former government genealogist and medical doctor. She rescued me—her only living genetic descendant, despite my lab beaker origins—and went on to build the resistance into what it is today. To honor her memory, I continue the fight and lead by example.
Having both endured years of sexual reassignment surgeries, my partner and I will be the first “beaker-babies” to attempt procreation in a manner in which humans were intended.
I’m neither a criminal nor the sexual deviant that the G.O.D would have you believe. I’m just a human being in love, who wanted dearly to have a baby with the person I chose as my mate. I could lie and say I wasn't looking forward to it. But, I guess "wicked" runs in my genes.