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The nurse consulted her clipboard and smiled at the waiting room.

“Mr and Mrs Hodgson?”

A young couple smiled back and stood up.

“This way please,” she said. “Consulting room three.”

She led them through clean wide corridors to the consulting room.

“Good afternoon,” the doctor said, standing up to greet them. “And congratulations, of course.”

They smiled, and Mrs Hodgson laid a hand on her gently swollen belly.

“Please, take a seat and we can get started.”

They settled down into the two chairs beside the doctor’s desk.

“So,” he said. “Have you decided what you’re having?”

The couple looked at each other lovingly before Mr Hodgson replied.

“It was a tricky decision, but we think we’d like to have a boy, please Doctor.”

The doctor smiled approvingly and tapped at his keyboard.

“Excellent choice for a first child. Now, I have some simulations of the child’s appearance based on your own, so here we have the infant, six years old, twelve years and eighteen. What do you think?”

Mrs Hodgson leaned forward. “Oh no,” she said. “His eyes are too small!”

“That’s not a problem,” the doctor said. “Let me just adjust that for you there…”

Mr Hodgson sniffed and leaned in. “Actually, Doctor, I was thinking of perhaps using a different template. Have you seen that film, ‘Lost in New Manhattan’?”

The doctor’s smile froze on his face. “Ah yes, very popular. You’re thinking of the lead actor, aren’t you? Oh, what’s his name…”

Mrs Hodgson smiled enthusiastically. “Lance Black. Yes, we’d like our child to look like him, but with blonde hair.”

The doctor nodded, and tapped the details into the system.

“There we go. If you’ll just step into the calibrator, Mrs Hodgson, we can get these set for you straight away. And if you change your mind at any time before the last trimester, we can make adjustments, for an additional charge of course.”

He waited until his patients had left before burying his head in his hands. He dreaded the day, just five or six years away, when all the children starting school would look like Lance Black, but with blonde hair.

© Kari Fay

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