Bohemia Village Voice  Bohemia Village Voice

For bohemians everywhere

Mary Dawson

Genes

Professor Silver sat at his computer studying data as usual. He was mapping the genetic make-up of worms.
This was his life work and he was working with a group whose hope was to map the human genome and lead to advances in solving various human conditions. The phone rang; he ignored it but it rang on and he reluctantly picked it up.
“Professor Silver – look out of your window.”
“Why?” Professor Silver asked.
“Just do it!” The voice was harsh.
Professor Silver did as he was told. There was a car with the engine running. He saw his 16-year-old nephew Simon Purser white-faced sitting in the back seat.
“Your nephew is with us and will not be seen again unless you give us all your data. His father the Prime Minister has been informed that he is missing!”
An icy silence settled between the conversations. Professor Silver spoke.
“Very well, when I hear he is at home I will put all the data on a disc and you can collect it.”
The reply came “I will return him when I have the data and have scanned it with my people to make sure it is genuine.”
“Very well, it will be here for you to collect at midnight tonight and I expect to hear from Simon or his father by 1am tomorrow. I will not be here but the house will be open and the disc will be by the computer,” said Professor Silver.
He put the phone down and saw the car speed away.
On the news the next week it was announced that Professor Silver had disappeared and his house had been left just as if he had walked out, a half-drunk cup of tea on his computer desk but no computer.
The Prime minister was interviewed with his son Simon who said they had no idea of Professor Silver’s whereabouts.
Two years later a well-known company released a statement that data on the human genome would be available to be bought in the next 6 weeks. The last test was being carried out and data had been adapted to create a formula for the first ‘perfect human’.
In the lab the data had been fed in to the computers and the material assembled. Every one waited as the ‘GO’ button was pressed. Out of the huge sample bottle appeared:
“A worm!”
“No, no, this is impossible,” the scientists shouted.
At that moment the worm exploded, its guts covering all those present in genetic material that would scar for life!
Just at that very moment Professor Silver picked up the phone.
“Professor Silver, I am the President of the NOBEL PRIZE committee. You have been awarded the prize for Science, for your work on worms and the human genome that has already been used to solve several human conditions. We congratulate you for sharing your findings with others who will use it to the benefit of all mankind.”
Professor Silver smiled – for his reward was that cooperation and cunning had won against commercialism and competition.

 

Eggs

The day was dull, a limp sun hid behind the summer foliage. It was in the sculpture garden where she had met him. She walked into a dream, at the path’s end an egg-shaped shelter made out of fallen tree limbs. Inside the hollowed-out egg shape was a seat with soft moss as a cushion. She slipped into the space as lightness circled her body.

She was walking down a worn path through the trees carrying a basket of mushrooms, a hazy song at her throat. He swung down from the tree, knocking her over. Huge hands grasping her but then there were two of them rolling upon each other, she watched, stiff with fear.
The devil-faced one fled and the other dusted himself down and bowed to her.
“At your service madam, I am Jamelin, who are you, fine maid?”
“I am, actually I do not know who I am,” she answered.
“You are in the King’s garden forest, not a place to be unless you are commanded with a task here.” He wiped his hands on green lederhosen.
“I myself seek a family of golden geese who are rumoured to lay nothing but golden eggs.”

A noise like a creature in pain, they run towards it, just in time to chase off the offender.
The remaining goose is ruffled but intact.
There in the nest is one golden egg, it sparkles and invites the viewer to pick it up.
“There it is!” exclaims Jamelin and he reaches out.
The goose has him by the arm. The woman reaches out and takes the egg and holds it against her breast. It feels like something familiar, like something she has lost, thought never to be able to hold again.
“It is yours because the goose did not attack you,” says Jamelin.
In fact the goose had stepped back and looked with a kind of love at the woman.
“I must take a golden egg to the king or he will punish me,” mutters Jamelin.
“You can have it, I think I am seeking something else, but I do not know what.” She passes the egg to Jamelin. The goose goes back to her nest as if there is no more to be done.

Jamelin cradles the egg and they return to the original path. Now night is drawn in, it is in silence they walk.
“I must leave you here and return to the castle,” Jamelin says, looking deep into her eyes.
“I thank you and my wife thanks you!”

She is cold and realizes she has slept in the egg-shaped shelter.
Her thoughts are all mixed up . . . then she remembers the phone call that morning.
“Hello.”
“Hello Leeann, it is James, I am ringing to tell you Lin gave birth yesterday, and we have a beautiful golden-haired child.”
“Thank you for giving your eggs to us as part of the Gift of Life programme.”
“Thank you, we will call him Jamelin Lee.”

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