“And there’s no way to appeal?” The figure shook its head. Marley fiddled with a lock, licked his dry lips. It had seemed, at the time, the sensible option. Christmas Eve, how many years ago? Too many to count now. Another dozen, another score of links on this chain. He could count them later.
She had lived with the pigeons for so long now she had left behind all memory of her life as a human. All she knew now was the beat of wing on hot summer air, the nervous stuttering grab at abandoned food, the snug reek of the night’s roost. She tended her fellows’ gnarled and broken feet, smoothed their grease-ruffled feathers and reassured them in whatever jabbering language pigeons used.
He looked up, and God answered. The buildings about him spun; his head remained a still spot in the centre of the city’s merry go round. The light of the Sun bore down on him, squinting shut his eyes. God was there, in the sharp light of the frost-pinched winter’s day. God spoke to him, in dousing heat glowing through his skin. The crowds fell upwards, spiralling with the buildings into the blank stare of the open sky.
Dr Henry Wu, geneticist, strolled into the InGen labs. He was fashionably late and everyone in the lab resented him for it.
“Hey team,” he called. “We’re going to make miracles today!” The small crowd of lab-coated scientists barely glanced up from their work. They made miracles every day. Last week they had hatched a stegosaurus from an egg made of genetically-reworked human bone. Not because they should, but because they could. Wu glanced at the noticeboard, with its unofficial lab slogan IF WE CAN, WE SHOULD. He nodded, satisfied.
"Oh, hello. You’re new."
"Yes, I thought it was time to, uh, try to. To take steps."
"Well, you’re in the right place, steps are what we take! But we’ll get to that. Have you got yourself a drink?"
It’s National Poetry Day, for once it’s the actual day for this country so I’m not just using another nation’s day as an excuse. I wasn’t intending to write a poem, but this almost came out spontaneously as a response to an email, so I thought I’d better scrub it, put it here and reply more sensibly. I’m not saying this is the definitive guide to child-rearing, incidentally. Just a facet of how I see it.
Drown me in this awful boredom
Stretch my skin across my desk
Let it dry to leather
Over rubbed-blank keyboard sweat
The Dragonborn returns to Skyrim, having been distracted by other worlds and challenges.