“Please enter a name for your creation.”

Lyla’s skin prickled with a million tiny goose pimples at the simple question. A name. A name?

Her eyes wandered from the translucent screen in front of her to the other screens scattered throughout the alcove, each with creators comfortably engrossed before them. Some creators were alone like herself, but others were with a partner, heads bowed together whispering excitedly over the most profound decisions. Blue eyes or green, artistic savant or math genius, if they had enough credits . . . then both!

A name? Lyla’s head dropped back, sinking into the pillowed softness of the armchair, eyelids drifting shut to sort through the carefully packed and sorted images she had of her creation. She had spent so much time planning everything, choosing each little detail with precision and care. She had thought this final, but most important of decisions, would simply come to her . . . but how did one choose the very thing that would give the creation its value, that would let the world know it was real, that it was a person. That it was wanted.

Her eyes opened with a start and a hushed name escaped her lips.

“Is Myra the name you have chosen for your creation?”

Her stomach fluttered, the corners of her mouth lifted as she saw the beautiful name of her child appear. Her fingers traced the letters one by one.

“Yes, oh absolutely YES!”

“Congratulations Lyla Vastly, you have completed the creation process and your child has been registered as WANTED. You may now schedule your implantation at a time most convenient for you.”

Lyla practically skipped down the steps as she left the creation facility. One week, only one week and her child would begin its new life, growing and developing inside her own body. It wasn’t a choice everyone made but she’d always known she wanted to be a mother. The right kind of mother. She, herself, had not been created. In fact, Mama hadn’t named her until she was three years old. Mama said she’d had a name of course, they just couldn’t afford the registration fees.

Lots of Unwanted said that, no one really believed them. Lyla had sworn to herself she would be different. Her child would be created with care, named, registered, and most importantly wanted.

One week . . . Lyla was ready to celebrate.

Did the lights always dance so swiftly at night? Lyla lost herself in the swirling patterns of purple, white, and green and placed a steadying hand on the reassuring stone of the Lotus’s entryway.

“Miss? Pardon me . . . Miss Vastly?”

Perhaps the lights were dancing a bit more than usual . . . well so be it, she was celebrating after all!  “Yes?” Lyla addressed the anxious looking attendant.

“Begging your pardon, but you seem to have had a lovely evening. Would you like to complete your night with a sober nightcap to ensure the safety of all citizens and yourself, yourself being of the utmost concern?”

Lyla looked at the slightly shaking outstretched hand in front of her and the tiny capsule nestled there. Normally she would have taken it. There was no reason not to, but perhaps it was her roots coming out in her, she wanted to experience the fullness of her celebration, not have it brought to a tidy and safe conclusion. Besides, she was walking home and she enjoyed the sensation of the dancing lights.

“No, thank you.”

The attendant’s eyes widened almost imperceptibly and she stuttered, “Please recite the standard release.”

With slightly pursed lips, Lyla’s eyes searched first the sky, then street, and finally closed, ”Err . . . I release the Lotus from all liability and ensure I will not endanger other citizens by operating a vehicle.”  The words finally tumbled out of her mouth as if released by some secret keyword.

“Accepted. Have a pleasant and safe evening, Miss Vastly.”

Lyla made her way safely down the steps, the evening air setting free several strands of her tightly bound hair and sending a tingle through her skin. Home was just a block away, but she wasn’t quite ready to be home so she took the long way through the park.

It was past 1 a.m., but the city was always alive with people. During the day, this particular park was full of parents and children. Most days, Lyla found herself taking a detour through the park on her way home, imagining herself sitting here one day keeping watch over a small, olive skinned, green-eyed artist. At night though, it was a place for lovers.  The overarching trees and winding paths that would one day provide the perfect inspiration for her budding Monet, transformed into luxuriously hidden alcoves enticing visitors into seeming seclusion.

As she walked along, Lyla’s eyes were transfixed by the glittering lights which flickered, magically guiding her effortlessly from path to path. Whispers occasionally reached her ears and she’d move away, leaving the couple in blessed privacy. The lights took her to the edge of the river in a tiny alcove, and she let her knees sink into the soft sand next to the crystalline water. Her fingers cupped the water, let it run slowly through and then splash up onto her face. Cool droplets clearing the last of the night’s effects from her dazed mind.

A hand grasped her shoulder. Lyla turned and saw a man, half in shadow, kneeling next to her. His mouth spread into a breathtaking grin and his hand slipped down her shoulder to cup her elbow.

“I am so thankful I found another lonely soul this evening.” He looked at her. No, he looked through her . . . and his grip on her elbow tightened.

Lyla placed shaky hands in loose sand. “I . . . good evening . . . I was just leaving.” She moved to stand and the ground betrayed her. Sand at her back. Magical lights floating overhead and then the dark shape of him.

“I’m so glad you’ve decided to stay.”

“No . . .” The barely audible word slipped out of her lips and then the lights were gone. There was only darkness.

The door to the exam room opened so silently Lyla wouldn’t have even heard it, but a chill from the corridor swept in with it, announcing the arrival of some doctor, nurse, or attendant as it slipped under the loose edges of her gown. She didn’t shiver.

“Ms. Vastly,” Dr. Sortia’s voice broke through Lyla’s thoughts. “We will not be able to complete you implantation today.”

Lyla’s eyes narrowed and her fingers whitened as she grasped the edge of the exam table.


“Well, Ms. Vastly, it appears you have a NBF implantation already in progress.”

“An NBF?”

“A naturally occurring biological fetus implantation already in progress. This is not abnormal, though, of course, we do strongly advise the prevention of such occurrences. We can easily remedy it though and proceed with your implantation in a month.”

“Remedy . . .?”

“Yes ma’am. I am assuming the implantation was unintentional and so we have many solutions to such a problem. You have several options and can choose the one which works best for you. Assuming, however, you want to proceed with the implantation of your creation as soon as possible . . .”

“I do . . . of course I do.”

“Of course you do. Then you need to make your choice quickly. I will send you home with some information, and you can schedule a follow up tomorrow.”

“Yes that will work. I can do that. I think . . .”

“And Ms. Vastly . . .”


“Please be cautious in the future. While naturally occurring biological fetuses are not illegal yet, and some such as yourself go on to become highly productive Wanteds, this is not the norm. Most simply drain resources until they are eliminated and their producers are fined for the drain. It’s an entirely unnecessary strain on the system.”

Lyla felt the bile rise in her throat and she simply nodded her head and shivered and he turned and walked out the door.

“ . . . An entirely unnecessary strain on the system . . .” The echo of the doctor’s words kept blurring the words on the small screen in front of her.  He wasn’t wrong. She had always known that to be true. Creations populated the world with beautiful wanted children who would, without question, benefit society. Naturally created biologicals, well that was a crapshoot, and statistics showed the odds were not in their favor. It’s why Lyla had made the choice to create, and it’s why she rarely went home.

Her parents lived among a group of traditionalists, a dying breed to be sure. They had their charms but she could only tolerate them in very small doses. They couldn’t see the world for what it was, for what it could be. They only saw it for what it had once been. They were dinosaurs who didn’t yet realize they were extinct.

Her mother would have been thrilled to know she had a natural . . . pregnancy . . . until she found out how it happened. Then she would have made a big commotion about the whole thing. Anger, outrage, tears, hugs . . . Lyla’s throat constricted and she made herself focus on the screen in front of her.

Solutions to NBF (Naturally Occurring Biological Fetus) Implantation


Implantation removal and disposal (FREE)

Implantation genetic testing, removal, and donation (Charitable or Profit)

Donation Options & Profit (Must pass genetic markers)

■     Low income couple, desiring wanted child (Charitable)

■     Medical research facility ($$)

■     Organ transplant facility ($$$)

“Are you ok ma’am?” the slow strong voice took charge of her disjointed thoughts. Her eyes were drawn to the owner of that voice. It was attached to a hulking man, sitting next to her on her favorite park bench. He should have terrified her but the look of overwhelming concern in his eyes and the awkward smile that he directed her way counteracted his size. She wiped the tears from her eyes and used her shirt sleeve to clear the scattered droplets from the screen.

“Ok? Oh yes, of course I’m fine, I just I have to make a decision. It’s not really a difficult choice, you see. I’m not certain why I’m crying. I’m so sorry. It’s been a long day  . . .” And just like that, she spilled the entirety of the last week to this stranger.  She told that awkward smile the entire story, even the parts she was not supposed to talk about.  She told those concerned eyes the parts that made people uncomfortable, the parts that made her throat tighten and the tears come to her eyes unbidden. And then she was silent and the little screen in her lap lay dark.

“You’re going to have a baby, Lyla. A baby.” The words slipped out of his mouth in an excited whisper, and the awkward smile became radiant.

“Oh no, I was going to but now it’s just a nat . . .”

Two big calloused hands reached out, cupped her face, turning her eyes to face his own.

“Lyla, you are going to have a baby. There is a baby inside you right this very instant. A wonderfully created baby.”

“NO! I created a baby who was perfect, precious and wanted. Now I can’t have her until I get rid of this THING!”

She jerked her face away from his hands. Her eyes looking anywhere but into those eyes.

“Do you understand that I didn’t even choose the moment that created this implantation? I didn’t choose it. I don’t know . . . the man that chose it. I never will. I don’t know him. Why would I consider something produced by that union a baby, a creation? Why would I choose that? You are crazy.”

“Oh sweetheart, you’ve been through a terrible experience. Terrible. But that experience did end in something beautiful: a creation, a baby.” He paused for a moment, closed his eyes and then once again took her face in his hands.

“Lyla, why were you crying? If this is not a baby, the choice is easy. Why were you crying?”

Her voice shook, her hand drifted to her belly and images of tiny figures being thrown out, poked and prodded, and cut apart crashed one by one through her head. She remembered Rynel, her best friend as a child. She’d had a little sister for all of one day before the van arrived. Her family couldn’t afford a second Unwanted, uncreated. Lyla had held that naturally occurring biological in her own little arms. Everyone had said it wasn’t a baby. It was disposable. They were all disposable. They couldn’t be babies because if they were, they wouldn’t be disposable and the system would fall apart.

But she had held the tiny squirming, kicking creature in her four year old arms and watched her smile. She had watched the scans of other fetuses as they squirmed and kicked inside the warm cocoon of the belly. They didn’t seem so different from that little squirming creature in her arms.

That was why she was crying but she couldn’t tell this stranger that. To do so would be to admit something far worse than the fact that she was raped and pregnant.

“I don’t know. It’s not a baby.”

“It is. You only have to choose whether it will be wanted or unwanted.”

And with that he turned and walked away, leaving Lyla alone with the tiny screen promising her painless and even profitable solutions to her problems.

A grin spread slowly across her face as she passed  the narrowing eyes and whispering voices of the nurses. She’d left the doctor standing speechless at the exam room door and now she was headed downstairs to finish her task.

“Please choose a name.”

A hushed name escaped her lips.

“Is Myra the name you have chosen for your NBF?”

Her stomach fluttered, the corners of her mouth lifted as she saw the beautiful name of her child appear. Her fingers traced the letters one by one.

“Yes, oh absolutely YES!”

“Congratulations Lyla Vastly, you have completed the registration process and your fetus has been registered as WANTED.”

“Of course my baby is wanted.” And with that Lyla turned and left the facility. It was time to tell Mama the news and go get a much needed hug.

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Citation Information

Korine Martinez. “Wanted.” An Unexpected Journal 2, no. 3. (Fall 2019): 235-249.

Direct Link:  https://anunexpectedjournal.com/wanted/


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