by Madeleine Swann
A mother wheeled a very large pushchair through the entrance of Pod Pals Cor. They passed the factory floor where rows of green plants were watered or inspected with checklists. Some were having ripe pods removed – cut at just the right point above the sleeping inmate.
They arrived at the doctor’s office, knocking before heading inside. Though he looked worryingly young he had an air of knowledge about him. “Ah,” he said, “It’s a progress check on Albert here, is it not?”
“Yes, doctor,” said the new mother, taking a seat beside her ward.
“Now,” the doctor addressed the gentleman in the pushchair, “how do you feel we’re getting on?”
“Well,” Albert removed his pipe, “I must say this process is damned irritating.” The doctor held up his hand.
“I absolutely agree, if there was a way to bypass it we would. Now, have you managed to take any first steps at all?”
Albert adjusted the zip on his jump suit and thought for a moment. “I did manage to pull myself onto the sofa after crawling for a moment or two.”
“Very good,” the doctor sat back in his chair, appraising the six foot man bundled in blankets. He proceeded to check ears, throat and nose while Albert not so patiently let him.
“J-just one thing,” said the woman in a mousy voice, raising a hand slightly. “Well, it’s sometimes hard to get him to eat and he complains non-stop.” Albert sighed in irritation.
“I know rusks and milk aren’t ideal,” said the doctor gently, “but your system just can’t take solid food yet.”
“Well it’s damned humiliating.” Albert sulked in silence while the doctor continued his checks. “Tell me doctor, when can I start applying for managerial positions?”
The doctor pursed his lips, unwilling to say his next words. “I really wouldn’t apply for anything above a clerk until you’ve been toilet trained, Albert.” He placed an understanding hand on the pod man’s slumped shoulders. “Just a few more weeks and you’ll be raring to go.”
Albert nodded in defeat, meekly allowing the doctor to finish his checks before his mother/partner wheeled him back out the door, past the plants and onto the streets.
She also has surreal comedy and horror in American Nightmare, Polluto magazine, LegumeMan Books, Black Petal magazine, The Strange Edge and Bizarro Central. She also has erotica published on the Forbidden Fiction website, The Darker Edge of Desire anthology and the ‘Big Book of Bizarro’. She blogs here: http://madeleineswann.wordpress.com/