“We ought to finish the job, oughtn’t we, precious girl?” he pants, the hand on his stomach curling into a claw. “I’m not exactly the Madonna on the Rocks, now am I? And neither are you, not anymore. But we’ll get there soon. What’s life if not for the delusion of duality, anyhow?” A twist of pain conspires in his gut, as though someone’s shoved an entire bronze caduceus up his…
“Yes, miss!” he says, laughing and patting himself as he groans beneath the weight of a blastocyte’s displeasure. Even his outie is sore.
Then he draws in a deep breath, raises his head up high, and makes another promise to take his vitamins as he ascends to the last dais before the tower room.
The windows ring like a circle of jeweled trees; all is the women. The Women, their Wings. They gaze outward from the arched walls enclosing the dais. But some of the windows are broken. He goes to one, the woman in the middle, a single headless shard of breasts and torso, her white legs standing in red grass. He remembers when her wings were broken off, revealing the night sky beyond.