GIRL PARTS by Phyllis Green
I am a lab tech. I know all about beakers, scalpels, test tubes, suction cups, pipettes, collecting samples, keeping life in freezing temperatures, tying my long hair back, wearing safety goggles and lab coat, gloves, long pants. My lab contains clamps and occluders, dilators, fiber optic endoscopes, ultrasound tissue disrupters, among many other items. I keep eyewash available. I frequently wash my hands. I am careful with chemicals and waste containers. I keep accurate data in my lab book. My lab is pristine. If mistakes are made, do not blame me. I am very careful.
I traffic in girl parts. My store is in my home which is filled with freezers. I collect and have collected aborted female fetuses. I refuse to say the place of my outside employment but it could be a reputable hospital that services the wealthy, or it could be an abortion factory, or it could be a country doctor who helps out pregnant girls. I don’t judge the women and girls; in fact, my heart goes out to them because, when it’s all over, they’re as pitiful as what they’ve left in the basin. They have to reconstruct themselves and that’s not easy. I am consumed with repairing or replacing parts and shipping them to Elizabeth who takes them all over the world. She is the mother ship of these activities taking these molded together parts and implanting them in sterile women who would never abort a baby girl. They will love and be grateful for this girl child I have created from virtually scratch.
My parts store is not in a commercial area. It is in a neighborhood community with tall trees and clean sidewalks, a place where people go to church and to the grocery store and say “hello” to each other. You cannot tell by looking at my gray and white-trimmed Dutch colonial style house that it is a girl parts factory. No one can see inside my home—the supplies in my lab—the forceps, retractors, lancets, dilators, Tyndallers to wedge open damaged tissue in the brain, the calipers, the fiber optic endoscopes—nothing is visible. The only thing you might notice is that I do not have neighbors over for coffee. I do not associate with them. I am friendly with my hellos but I am closed to intimate conversations or gossip. If asked, they’d probably say, “Alma is standoffish.” But that’s okay. When you have a mission, when you believe in something, you don’t give a rat’s ass what neighbors think. I keep to myself not because I am strange or creepy, but because I have important things to do.
My freezers are labeled: eyes (colors all together as I don’t worry about matching), hips, left toes, right toes, brain (several brain lobes so I require quite a few freezers for brains plus a freezer for brain stems), hearts and aortas and valves, livers, spleens, bones (again, several freezers), fingernails, hair, right ears, left ears, vaginas, uteri, buttocks, knees (right and left; do not confuse the knees or the legs won’t look good), eyelashes, lips (upper and lower), eyebrows, foreheads, intestines (large and small), chins, unformed breasts, tailbones, ankles, skin, jaws, unformed teeth, noses.
I am quite careful in putting proper noses to faces. As proof, I take numerous photographs and if the nose seems wrong for a face, I change it. Noses are important.
I have cohorts in many countries, especially in countries like China, India, and the Koreas, where girls are not considered advantageous. The girl parts business actually started in China when they only allowed families to have one child and mothers aborted female fetuses in hopes of having sons in the next pregnancy. Millions and millions of girls worldwide have been extinguished.
We in the girl parts business communicate by email and texting. We have a website with a name that would never let anyone know what we are all about (I cannot reveal it). We must keep our secrets because many nations would pounce down on us and put us out of business. Still there have been rumors and investigators are rummaging through the internet, through garbage cans, checking electricity bills, anywhere they can to find out about our mission.
Journalists, who are simply fishing for exotic information, have nefariously accused us of making the brains of these patched together girls more brilliant and sophisticated than boys. They say we are trying to manipulate the nations and the world and have women take over world power from men. I plead complete innocence to this charge.
I am just Alma, a simple lab tech. I am only doing my best to build a girl from parts.
A Pushcart Prize nominee, Phyllis Green‘s stories have been published in Epiphany, Parting Gifts, Prick of the Spindle, The Blue Lake Review, Bluestem, The Sheepshead Review, Paper Darts, The Examined Life, Hospital Drive, The Greensilk Journal, a drama in Mason’s Road, and an upcoming story in The Cossack Review.