The Harrow: Original Works of Fantasy and Horror, Vol 12, No 6 (2009)

Fatherly Love

Fatherly Love

© 2009 Kevin D. S. Nunn
All rights reserved.

"Mr Haines? The doctor will see you now."

I put down the magazine I wasn't really reading. I pulled my coat over my arm and followed the nurse to the exam room, to wait the nerve-racking minutes for the doctor to arrive.

He flipped through the file as if my son's tests had simply slipped his mind since last appointment.

Perhaps they had. But not mine. It was all I thought about for the past week. Please, please god, make this easier on everybody, and make the second test disprove the first.

"Ahem" the doctor cleared his throat, "The results are in."


"They are important; we ran them again to be sure."

"Of course."

Important was an understatement. The rest of my son's life started here, with that folder in the doctor's hand. Medical coverage. Potential employment. His genetic scan would sit in that file for the rest of his life, and anyone with the slightest pretext will be able to consult it. Like everyone else since the human genome had been decoded, his tendencies, predispositions and genetic shortcomings would hang over his head for every job interview, school application and insurance form. Anything that mattered would be affected by that one test.

"It confirms the first test. All details match exactly." He flipped through the folder again. "Your son is extremely healthy. Markers for cancer, epilepsy, hypertension, heart disease, all of the usual, and even the unusual, rare, and downright strange diseases, are negative. He'll live to the ripest of ripe old ages." He slapped the file shut. "You're a lucky man."

The was a pause.

"But ... what we discussed last time...?"

"Ah, well, there is still a genetic predisposition toward sociopathy. However, it is only a predisposition. With appropriate intervention, psychiatric care, it can likely be controlled."

"Controlled? So there's no need for it to remain in his file, then?"

He sighed. "Mr. Haines, I'm afraid it's the law. The nurse will enter the results into your son's permanent file after you leave. It will allow any doctor he goes to for the rest of his life to determine the best courses of treatment."

"But what about others? How he'll be treated, how he'll be limited?"

"It's true, there are some bigoted individuals out there who will not give him the benefit of the doubt, but treatment is available..." The doctor reached out and patted my shoulder.


I grabbed his wrist and kicked one foot into his ankles. As he fought for balance, I pushed up with my other foot and grabbed him behind the neck, driving his forehead into the corner of the counter. His skull cracked, blood spurted, his neck snapped with a satisfying pop.

"Nurse!" I yelled as I took the file and replaced it with the forgery from my jacket. "There's been a terrible accident!"

No-one will treat my son as any less than another; and Doctor, you should have known — genetics come from somewhere.


The Harrow: Original Works of Fantasy and Horror. ISSN: 1528-4271
The Harrow is published by THE HARROW PRESSSM