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DEFORMED (standard:science fiction, 1075 words)
Author: Danny RavenAdded: Dec 12 2005Views/Reads: 1854/1109Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
Krebbs' first child is born horribly deformed and in the future that is no longer tolerated.

Krebbs brought the car to a screeching halt outside the Hospital and
struggled out the door. 

People on the street stopped and turned to look, thinking maybe there'd
been an accident then carried on when they saw it was nothing. Some of 
the women exchanged knowing smiles when they saw where he was going. 

Krebbs had to take the steps one at a time and he cursed his leg for
slowing him. He reached the top of the steps and limped along the short 
path to the Hospital's main entrance. The receptionist looked up 
sharply as he crashed through the doors but then she too smiled, used 
to this sort of thing. 

“They phoned me at the office,” Krebbs said, panting, as he reached the
counter. “My wife – which room is she in ?” 

The receptionist smiled again. She was really allright. “Perhaps if you
gave me her name, sir ?” 

Krebbs looked puzzled then he too smiled. In his excitement he had
forgotten to give his wife's name. “Sorry, Alice Krebbs,” he said, 
reddening. “It's my first you see. Our first I mean,” he corrected 

“Alice Krebbs,” the receptionist repeated. “One moment, sir.” She swung
round in her seat and started tapping the name in on her keyboard. 

Krebbs wanted to yell at her to hurry but bit his lip instead. One of
the woman's arms was completely withered and it hung shrivelled and 
unmoving at her side. This made her search take even longer. 

At last she turned to him. “Room 306,” she said. “Third floor. If you
take the lift along the --- .” 

But Krebbs was already limping along the corridor to the lifts. The
receptionist smiled and returned to her work. 

Krebbs pressed the ‘down' button and waited impatiently for the lift to
arrive. He squinted through his good eye and watched the numbers light 
up above the doors, marking its progress as it descended. At last the 
‘ground' circle lit up and the doors slid open. He limped in and 
pressed the button for the third floor. 

As the lift slowly ascended it suddenly occurred to Krebbs that he was
now a father. “A father !” he said aloud in wonder and a huge grin 
spread over his face. “I'm a father !” he repeated. Up till now it had 
only registered that his wife had had a baby. Their baby. It hadn't 
really sank in that he was now a father. 

At last the lift reached the third floor and the doors slid open. It was
a long corridor and as Krebbs limped along, he thought he'd never get 
there. When he reached room 306 he knocked and was opening the door 
before his wife could say “Come in.” 

She was sitting up in bed and as soon as he looked at her he knew
something was wrong. Tears were running down one side of her face and 
she was dabbing at them with a handkerchief. 

He limped over and put his arms round her, trying to calm her but this
only made her worse. “What is it, Alice ?” he asked gently. “What's 
happened ?” 

He looked at her and his heart turned over. Despite the tears he'd never
seen her look so pretty. He smiled and she tried to respond. A brief 
smile appeared on half of her face, the other half remaining dead and 
unmoving. Then she remembered and started sobbing again. “The baby,” 
she said between sobs, “it's ---.” 

Just then the door opened and a doctor came in. “Mr Krebbs ?” he asked,
looking at him. 

Krebbs nodded. 

“If you'd care to follow me,” the doctor said. “We must talk.” 

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