“Honey, I have a surprise for you,” the husband bellowed from downstairs.
“What is it,” she said.
“Come down here and I will show you,” he hollered, and she could hear he was smiling. She put away the hair brush and came down the stairs.
He was standing in the lobby with a silly grin on his face, waiting for her to ask.
“Well, what is it?”
“You know how we’ve been barren,” he said, grinning, “Or, more precisely, how you’ve been barren and we could not have a baby?”
“Why would you say something like that?” she hung her head.
“Oh no, honey. It’s okay now, see? I found a solution.”
“Solution?” she said, “What is it?”
“Ah,” he said, with his finger high to indicate a great idea, “It is something we should have done a long time ago, but now I just went ahead and did it.”
“Did it?” she said, “Did what?”
“Wait,” he ran into the living room and came back slowly, pushing a black pram in front of him. An old-fashioned lacy pram, as black as a widow’s dress.
“What is that?” she said.
“It’s our new baby,” he said, smiling like a sycophant.
“Where did you get it?”
“The factory. It’s simple, they have lots of these. Frank put me onto this. It’s all the rage these days. It’s not the same as a baby you would give birth to, but it’s still ours, and we will love it forever.”
She turned pale and took a few steps back. “Honey, what are you talking about?” she said.
“Come, take a look at it. Just look, and you will love it. It’s modern, it’s shiny, and it’s amazing. It can live on land and in water.”
“Just come and see.”
She came over to the pram and lifted the lacy curtain. Inside she saw tentacles shiny grey skin, and weird organs slithering like snakes. The smell of seaweed and dry desert sand reached her nose.
“Honey,” she said slowly, “This baby is beautiful,” she smiled a wide, radiant smile, “I love it.”
He put his arm around her and squeezed her with affection. She rested her head on his collarbone, looking at the beautiful shiny baby and its primordial modern glory.