Gemini Genocide

“Hold back!
You must hold back!”
the doctor cried
she was a sympathetic sort
rare now
in the field of obstetrics
the large plain faced clock
on the wall read
four to midnight
below it
the countdown
in days, minutes and seconds
“I can’t,”
the mother sobbed
“It’s coming.
It won’t stop,”
and the little head crowned
out of the shadowed corner
stepped a skarpretter of the state
his eyes widened
beneath the hood’s slits
protocol at this stage
was precise, crucial to Law
punishment for deviation severe
once the shoulders cleared
the newborn had to be swiftly withdrawn
“No,” the mother howled
it was like a lone, lost wolf
the skarpretter thought
“I am so sorry,”
the doctor said, resigned,
and the baby was pulled
into this world
the cord was cut
Mother reached out
“Please,” she begged,
but knowing the time
the doctor passed infant
to skarpretter
who grunted
a frown concealed beneath his mask
and also a tear
it had been so close
so damn close,
but the law was the Law
“Time of birth,”
the doctor stated flatly
“June 20th
Eleven fifty nine
and…”
the doctor paused
needing a moment
to get her emotions under control
“… and forty seven seconds,”
the baby’s arms and legs
twitched about
in that involuntary way they do
the last one
he told himself
for another year
cursing the damnable stars
he said
“By the power vested in the state,
thou shalt not suffer
a Gemini to live,”
and with a quick deft motion
the skarpretter twisted the neck
the light crunch
of the babe’s weak spine
was almost inaudible
under the raspy breath
rising from the bed

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