Here is the twenty-fifth droplet of my novel Biotime.
As Jake Moonrath cautiously approaches the termination contract he is seeking to enforce, his friend and fellow Home Security Bureau Informal agent Ed Zipper is preparing for the end of life as he knows it. He’s about to become a father. Is that why he’s feeling so uneasy? Or can he sense an even greater catastrophe is about to happen?
In the following episode, Athena will enter his life. But not in a good way.
Ed Zipper was delighted with the birthing room at the Hughes Procreation Center. A picture window framed a band of glittering ocean above a row of palm trees. The ceiling was awash with sea-reflected light. Ed forced a smile as Abigail settled back amidst the crisp white sheets, her hands clasped over her taut belly. He could hear music drifting in from the cafés along Santa Monica Beach.
Why did he feel so nervous? The staff at Hughes were professionals. The midwife had been in at nine a.m. to start Abigail’s contractions. The Senior Obstetrician, Dr Alan Beasdale 110, was booked for 11.45. Their baby boy would be born a few minutes later. What could go wrong?
Abigail smiled up at him. Her face was pale but beautiful. ‘Is something the matter, honey?’
‘In a couple of hours you’ll be a daddy.’
‘Yeah.’ Ed stepped towards the window and looked out. Something was wrong. But what?
Abigail took a sip of water. ‘It’s not the birth you’re worried about, is it?’
‘These guys know what they’re doing. Our baby will be wonderful.’
‘Sure he will.’ Abigail’s eyes were warm. ‘All new daddies are nervous, honey. It’s nothing to be ashamed of.’
‘Who says I’m nervous?’
‘Every new daddy thinks it’ll be diapers and nights in and no more wild and crazy times. It doesn’t have to be that way. That’s why I asked Jake to drop by at 12. To see you, I guess. Not the baby.’
‘You fixed up with Jake to come down here?’ Ed’s mouth twisted into a crooked smile. ‘Thanks, sweetheart.’
‘Maybe he can take you to the Feeding Frenzy for a beer. You’ll need one by the time the baby’s here.’
‘Sure will. Though Jake doesn’t drink alcohol. Says it shortens life expectancy. You know, underneath that tan he’s as ambitious as hell.’
‘No wonder you guys get along.’ Abigail lay back. ‘Anyways, he can take you out for a little R&R. Why not call him?’
Ed shook his head. ‘He could be on an operation. Jake is never late. He’s practically obsessive.’
‘Call him. You know you want to.’ She closed her eyes. ‘It’s going to be hard enough for me caring for the baby, honey. I don’t want to be looking after you, too.’
[Excerpt ends][Next excerpt]
I hope you’ve enjoyed this excerpt from my novel “Biotime”. If you’re interested in hearing about further episodes, follow this blog by e-mail (top right, “click here”); or follow me on Twitter @RobertPimm (left hand side). I can promise you a fun ride.
If you’d like to read some complete fiction by me, see what you think of my “wonderful, feminist and dark” Hotel Stories.