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Egg Sharing

by Jubbly 

Posted: 10 October 2006
Word Count: 563
Summary: Just an experiment really, wonder if it works.


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Billy ordered his breakfast then took his seat at one of the sparse cubicles in the cafť. While he waited for his food he checked for news updates on his mobile bulletin.
Freak tidal wave wrecks havoc in Hawaii.
The war on terror enters its 26th year.
Brooklyn Beckham resigns as Englandís captain.
At last, the USA TV series, Lost, finally ends.

As his truffle omelette and toast are brought to the table along with his Soya protein dairy free latte a man joins him at the cubicle. Billy does not look up, he doesnít like sharing his meal space with strangers, in fact heís not very happy eating amongst family and friends either.

Just as well really as Bobby also loathes sharing tables. Sometimes it puts him right off his food and even causes him to gag. But this cafť has a very good reputation; the food is fresh and the service excellent. Bobby, unwilling to acknowledge Billy, presses up against the wall of the cubicle as though creeping along a cliff edge at a great height. He checks his mobile bulletin for news updates and waits anxiously for his truffle omelette and toast while sipping his Soya protein dairy free latte.

Billyís phone trills.

Hi Mum, just having breakfast, yep, havenít forgotten, see you Sunday, love you.

Bobby looks up for the first time, he clocks the sudden comfort Billy has sunken into. A motherís love can do that in the strangest of places. Bobby not for the first time in his life, feels that all too familiar bleakness settle on him. He takes his medication and wills it to work. Happy pills he calls them, but sometimes they donít always do what it says on the tin. Bobby knows heíll call in sick, not again, theyíll bitch. Bobby will go back home and lie down in a darkened room until the sorrow passes, then heíll begin again.

Neither man speaks; they finish their breakfast without any interaction each leaving a small portion of toast and a bite size slice of omelette. They mop their mouths from left to right then left again and leave the table.

Though one is blonde and the other dark itís easy to see a resemblance between the two. Thick sensuous lips, light hazel eyes, that so often talked about Grecian nose. They leave and go their separate ways not noticing each other at all. Perhaps thatís for the best, what good would it do either of them after all these years to find out the truth?


Why should they know that they share a mother, Caroline, a woman so eager to have a baby she volunteered in the then revolutionary egg sharing scheme. She held Billy n her arms and told him over and over how loved he was. Her other eggs went to work to create Bobby whoís forever grateful parents were killed in a car crash when Bobby was just three, his grandparents did their best to love him, but they were from a different generation and he was never fully accepted or trusted.

Still Bobby has his life and Billy has his and off they go, into the world to make their way, one will live till heís 94 the other will die at before heís 40 and so it goes on and on and on and we define it as progress.








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Comments by other Members



crowspark at 12:02 on 10 October 2006  Report this post
Hi Julie

This really drew me in.

Loved

Freak tidal wave wrecks havoc in Hawaii.
The war on terror enters its 26th year.
Brooklyn Beckham resigns as Englandís captain.
At last, the USA TV series, Lost, finally ends.


Should that be wreaks?

Really liked the breakdown of social cohesion. In fact I guessed part of the ending and half hoped that when Billy hung-up his mum would phone Bobby, and they realise they were related.

Not sure about that exposition at the end, although I am a fan of the "man in black" Creepy Worlds style of fiction.

Thanks for the read.

Bill

sazzyjack at 13:43 on 10 October 2006  Report this post
Julie,
I really enjoyed this, there is so much poignancy in the lonliness and isolation that Bobby feels, and irony that this is heightened when he is confronted by the brother he is not aware of.
You have captured this scene very well.
Two things:
She held Billy n her arms and told him over and over how loved he was

in her arms

And I personally feel that the line
At last, the USA TV series, Lost, finally ends

would be more effective if it read simply USA TV Series Lost draws to a close or something like that. Only because this is a news bulletin and therefore we wouldn't expect it to express an opinion, and (in my opinion) it is more humorous for the reader, who is already aware that this is set some number of years in the future to read this and smile to themselves that it is only in the imagined distant future that it will ever end. I don't know, just a thought, and obviously not a very important thing in terms of your story.
Best,
Saz

MarkT at 13:57 on 10 October 2006  Report this post
poor old Bobby - you just never know do you.

Excellent stuff!

M

tiger_bright at 18:52 on 10 October 2006  Report this post
I loved the line about Lost, Julie, please don't change it! And the descriptions of the two men. For some reason the wiping of their mouths on the napkins stayed with me most clearly.

Tiger

Insane Bartender at 08:37 on 12 October 2006  Report this post
Hmmm. With the exception of a little editing required in the early paragraph or so, this is well written.

Unfortunately, sharing a mother isn't enough to instill identical habitual routines (wiping mouth, etc), as these will have been inherited by observing the actions of the parents. Genetics counts for a lot, but more in the arena of tolerance and emotions etc. Even then, observation and experience often tend to overrule.

But that's just me being pedantic. Don't let real life get in the way of a good story.

The last paragraph got me though. Why should they die at these ages? Is this story written from the perspective of even further in the future looking back on this event? If not, then why include it?

Jubbly at 13:44 on 12 October 2006  Report this post
Thanks everyone for commenting on this, it was written very quickly after reading an article about egg sharing in one of those crap waiting room mags, only I bought mine. I think I will change the Lost line, sorry Tiger, I was inclined to be more 'journalistic' when I wrote it , but backed out. I agree Insane, and it's great to have you back by the way, the last line is simply there because I couldn't find an ending I was happy with. Not happy with that one, but more so than the others. This is a work in progress and could be the start of something else, maybe a script, not sure yet.

Cheers

Julie
x

crazylady at 07:25 on 13 October 2006  Report this post
This dystopian future is scarily realistic.
Are we already half way there? Unable to engage with others even though they may actually be related.

For some reason it made me think of the North/South divide. After growing up in the North where after a few minutes talking to stranger you are almost showing your operation scars, I moved South and found the insular attitudes very difficult to come to terms with.
There appeared to be no 'banter' and I was often dismayed when a chatty remark to a shop assistant was met by a blank, superior stare. Now after over twenty years 'down South' I've almost become as taciturn as the locals.

Oops! too much information.
But what I wanted to say is - Julie this piece is thought provoking.
It certainly got me going anyway..
CL


Prospero at 04:16 on 15 October 2006  Report this post

At last, the USA TV series, Lost, finally ends.

You mean they finally ran out of utterly specious plots? That has got to one of the daftest programs I have ever seen. A good idea utterly squandered by some of the worst writing in history. The Bold and the Beautiful was positively Kafkaesque by comparison.

Isn't it strange how we all tend to create a dystopian future as if we are trying to convince ourselves our lives could actually be worse than they are. I wonder why that is, and when that trend began.

Interestingly I am taking part in an experiment to view the world as it will be in a hundred years from now. I will be intrigued to see if I am actually alive and who I am. I can extend that idea of leaving a message for my future self.

Best

John

lrera at 16:29 on 18 October 2006  Report this post
This story rings true for anyone who wants or has withdrawn at some time. The tragedy of never knowing, passing each other in a happenstance of perfect timing is poignant.

The ending with the negative or positive benifits of "advances in science" leave us with a place to point a finger at.

Very well done!

Lou


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