Nana’s ecstatic SHRIEK, unleashed with abandon, shatters the predawn silence, oblivious to all except its impetus; inseminating / inseminated—her loins erupt / constrict; penetrating / penetrated—she discharges / she absorbs, the sap ejected mimicked by the sap imbibed, her double climax triggering an aftermath of euphoria; sated and serene she feels depleted and fulfilled…

…while he, whose member likewise has ejaculated, vibrates with sensations unfamiliar; The Prince's anus, though alien to intrusion, is enraptured nonetheless, the infiltrating organ's stiffness, sudden spurt of semen, and throbbing detumescence keeping pace with the telltale cadence of his own accelerated pulse—waxing, waning, dual insertions draining, Nana's into him, and his into her, spent yet jointly bent on savoring  their unorthodox connection.

Contorted as they are to achieve this topsy-turvy coupling—she below, knees flexed, he above, squatting astraddle—their muscles tire, their limbs go numb; they long to shift face-forward. Doing so, at last, their genitals disengage.


First light. Through the panoramic sweep of wall-size picture windows (engineered for maximal view, minimal distortion), snow-crowned peaks, at the world’s reputed rooftop, thrust up to impale a quintessential sky. Frozen in time, or rather set to the clock-before-clocks of geologic intervals, glaciers creep under veils of blue-grey mist centimeter by centimeter, season by season, imitating stillness throughout a realm in constant flux, distance so deceptive that the foreground and the background seem equally distinctive:


gooseflesh rising on contact
with thin air so spare of oxygen
that breath becomes laborious,
laughter leads to panting,
lungs expand in vain,
grateful for the rarefied gasps high-altitude affords;

warble, twitter, whippoorwill, chirp, and coo regaling ears
as feathered residents gaily herald
the fast-approaching daybreak,
their separate songs comprising one melodious choir;

heather, mountain hyacinth, poppies, jonquils
pollinate nose hairs,
every whiff a sweet infusion,
seductive as nepenthe,
transient qualms perfumed by mix-'n-match bouquets;

while taste buds,
in anticipation,
yearn for fresh-brewed coffee,
the elixir giving alpine life its boost, its zest, its flair,
the caffeine-rush making isolation (for the most part)
otherworldly pleasurable.


Nana re-examines her cloistered situation:

procured, if truth be told, by a wealthy philanthropist, whose benevolence, without question, has done more good than ill—having furnished her a livelihood (plus a first-class education, not to mention room and board in the lap of ostentatious luxury) two vocations, in fact, her skill as a sculptress no less expert than her skill as an in-house paramour, Nana feels obliged... albeit a trifle disconcerted.


Accidentally or intentionally? For most people, this means, ‘did my parents conceive me on purpose?' Yet even when the answer is yes there remains an element of 50/50 chance: 23 chromosomes from mother plus 23 chromosomes from father, gender a virtual coin toss. Results are always heads or tails when the reproductive method is copulation, luck the overriding principle, parents only 'half' responsible for their offspring (many disclaiming that). When I first came into being, such was the norm—a norm from which I must have deviated, radically, to have formed the way I did... either accidentally or intentionally; I might well ask myself—though, unlike most, I have to add: ‘conceived by whom?’


Back inside her quarters—bathed, groomed, and breakfasted—having chased away the twins upon delivery of demitasse and samovar, Nana alternately sips virile coffee and commits thoughts to ink, the crow quill pen she uses as out-of-date as her journal’s handmade parchment, both endearingly tactile, and much preferred to her Module's ergonomic keyboard, despite the latter's capacity for high-resolution V.R.


Not that lacking parents, in the usual sense, is all that troubling. Those of us manufactured are nonetheless human, are more human, in a way. Choices typically left to kismet are deliberate choices when one is manmade, as in manipulated. My genes are your genes are everyone—everything—else’s genes, simply rearranged. The bond I feel is to life, not to life’s most celebrated species. Who we are is connected to all the biomass ever created. By God, for those so inclined. I, for one, have focused on a creator less enigmatic, more immediate, and unequivocally mortal. Someone, for instance, living in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, almost a quarter century ago who worked at the hospital where I was born. A doctor, perhaps—though I have ruled-out most. Or a nurse? There were a few male nurses on staff at the time; but none of them seem likely. Or an intern? Harder to trace, yet several remain possibilities; one in particular was enrolled as a graduate student at an affiliated university. It is upon this shady character that my inquiry now is fixed.




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