I touched the gash in my belly, felt the warm blood oozing out slowly. “This is all for you”, I said to myself, and pushed my fingers inside my body. Sitting on the ground, sweating and breathing heavily, I was shaken by painful convulsions that threw my back against the wall. The change hadn’t started yet; just the slimy feeling of intestines mixed with the gel I constantly applied to the cuts all over my body – blue smeared over pink and red sores and bruises. I thought of you whilst smearing the gel around the gaping wound; your eyes, your skin, your skeleton, your prickly dark hair. A cold sensation with a minty smell, first around my belly then over my arms, legs, crotch and neck. “This is all for you”, I repeated; all so you could get another chance at this world. Your rattling laughter, your whimpering pain – the silence, oh, the silence at the end. Your half open dove eyes, the tired little hiccups that grew fainter and fainter until your body did not move. My wounds burned.
The mobile rang, I answered the call. “Hey, what’s up?” The lullaby of gel and blood, one day you’ll grow up and be a beautiful thing. “Oh, nothing much. Waiting.” For I will reform your inward parts and your outward parts; I will weave your new existence in my womb-to-be. “Yeah, it’s a bit painful, but, you know, it’s fine. It’s worth it.” Suckle down the milk from my bearded tit, for its flavour is more delightful than wine. “Ha ha, cheers, love you too.” My dove, my perfect one, you are unique. “Don’t cry, I’ll miss you too.” We were pieces of faulty meatware hacked together in a rush. “It’s for the best.” My dove, my flawless love: we were not worthy of you, and that is why you left us. But, when you return, you shall find techno-milk flowing in my modified blood vessels: you will drink it and rejoice at the sweet, life-giving flavour of human-machine juices intermingled with wireless signals and sublimated meat.
A bit more gel, a bit more gel; it shouldn’t be too long anymore. The wounds were now softer, their borders distended but also airy, bubbly and sticky like cotton candy. I felt the stirrings inside my open belly, knowing they would quell my want for love; and as I swooned from all that swelling, I held the thought of you close to my heart. The blue of the medicine around the open wounds became more intense: glowing, breathing, beckoning. My arms trembled and I could not stay still, though it hurt to move. You, myself, the birth-inducing creams; the dormant snake-cables nested inside the walls, my DNA being defiled and destroyed to become a vessel for you — it was all coming together, finally. It could not come quickly enough.
Slithering wires sprang to life – green dots of light in the dark, watching me hungry and wide-eyed. They crawled out of every corner of the room, stretching with slow and inviting movements, like animals in heat waking up to the smell of willing partners. The cables rose in the air like snakes and continued moving towards me, poking at my feet, sliding through my toes and scurrying around my crotch, smelling the blood in my belly, smelling the blue, smelling the change. I knew then that the cables were not just a biotechnological tool, but more like angels delivered to you and me by the grace of a benevolent digipharmacopornographic demiurge. You would be forgiven to think that was the blood loss talking, my prettiest dove, but nothing could be further from the truth: I was at my most lucid, in my most wide awake state. Muscles all around my body were innervated by a cybernetic umbilical cord that started at the informational ether and penetrated my orifices and pores and soft pink spongy wounds. I was soon covered in the all-nurturing cables and wires that were about to bring you within this world again.
Once I was almost completely submerged, the cables stopped moving. Ten, twenty, fifty green lights stared deep into my eyes, infused with a certain robotic dignity and grace. A voice echoed in that small, dark room that smelled of circuitry and sickly flesh: “Requesting permission to initiate final genetic rearrangement process.” I cried tears of joy as I yelled “yes!” at the top of my lungs. Without any delay, the cables entered my belly through the open wound, eating my intestines, stomach, bladder, prostate to carve a new space for a womb. I felt as it drained my blood and bones and deflated most of my body until I was a barely conscious husk of a man. My perception of time had evaporated and suddenly I was a thin bubble of overstretched and translucent skin almost as big as the room; I housed a pair of lungs, a mesh of cyber-organic wiring, blinking lights crowned by a desiccated head and, in the farthest recesses of my entrails, an embryo that would become you. I began to feel the stirrings of your renewed and not-yet-reborn self, my dove. I had lost control of my eyes – by then I was just a passive conscience and did not need nor want to move, I was afraid too hurt you – but I knew it was you. I imagined your tiny limbs, your coarse hair and would swear I could feel them grazing against my body-uterus whenever you involuntarily stirred in your yet-unconscious new self. I slept because you slept; I dreamt of you and was sure you dreamt of me.
A loud ringing stirred me awake and was followed by the same voice from moments or ages ago: “gestational period completed. Requesting permission for birthing protocol.” I voiced sounds I hoped were close to a positive reply. “Birthing protocol will drastically reduce life-support capabilities. We will be able to provide you with approximately ten seconds of consciousness after birth. Confirm permission to initialise birthing protocol?” My dove, I was exhausted, but, from the depths of what was left of my deformed body, I conjured up enough energy to say yes once again. The whisper came out of my parched lips and almost immediately after the cables detached my head from my spherical body. It deflated like a popped chewing gum bubble and revealed a mesh of plastic tubes and flesh-coloured tissues intertwined and sculpted in the shape of a flower bud. The bud opened and revealed the reborn you covered in brown mucus and black wiring. I wanted to cry, but my body had long been drained dry. My vision slowly faded away as I saw your perfect arachnid frame: your pear-shaped body, your six legs tightly folded against your idiosoma, the long fangs protruding from your mouthpart, the adorable shiny eyes on your sides. Just like I remembered you, but bigger, brighter, healthier. My dove, my prettiest, my softest little dove: I wished you a joyful life.
Originally published on NXS #3 – Viral Bodies.