(Climax Speciation was published in Alien Skin Magazine in August 2007. Enjoy this excerpt.)
Daniel watched his wife insert the needle under her eyelid. The color of her skin began to change almost immediately, as did the color of her eyes. She shook ever so slightly.
“There,” she said, pulling the needle out and blinking twice as if she’d just put in her contacts. “Your turn.”
“Yeah, in a second.” Daniel took the syringe and put it down on the kitchen counter. “I have some bad news.”
Margaret seemed distracted. She looked around the kitchen, still blinking. “Where’s Hanna?”
“That’s what I’m trying to tell you. She’s not here.”
“Not here?” Margaret was suddenly angry. Daniel hated it when she got this way. She was capable of anything. “But it’s today. They’re all coming. We’ve waited a long time for this and we’re not going to hold things up just because Hanna’s decided to act like a spoiled little girl.”
“She’ll be here. She just has some issues.”
“Issues? Could there be anything more important than this?”
Daniel walked calmly over to the breakfast nook and picked up a pink card off the table. With deliberate slowness, he handed the card to Margaret. She took it, but it was clear from the redness of her eyes and by the way she was squinting that she could not read the words that were scribbled on it. The catalyst had spread too quickly through her blood vessels.
“It’s a going-away-card from Hanna’s kindergarten class,” Daniel said with quiet solemnity. “She told them she was leaving for a faraway place – Finland, I think – and they gave her this. All the children signed it and some of them even drew pictures.”
For a second, something like a human expression passed over Margaret’s graying face, but then it was gone and she crumpled the paper card in her claw-like hands. “I’ll kill her,” she said reaching for the needle.
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