's 2016 Horror Write-off:


Submitted by Retro

When the elections came around, we crowded around smart phone screens, TVs, computers, waiting, hoping. The lobbyists had gotten stronger in recent years, wanting to filter out anyone who didn't "belong" in their country. The Birther Movement, they called themselves. They'd gone after another leader before, testing his credentials, making the poor guy sweat bullets until he almost left office. And now, their candidate had made it. My heart sank into my stomach, my family and neighbors muttering quietly.

Sorry, it's hard to talk in here. It's cramped.

My mother barked a laugh, shaking her old head. So they finally won, she sneered, rubbing between her eyes. As soon as the man on the news channel came into office, his plan would begin. No one in the country who was not born here, even everyone who was here legally! One of the little kids started crying; he had been born here, but now he would have to leave? There had to be something we could do.

Movement outside. She's telling me to be quiet, her tone soothing.

A year or more of hiding, and we had a solution. The key to the new laws was to be born on this country's soil. Religious groups tried to circumvent the new idea at first, claiming that anyone born again under their faith would be a citizen.

Ok, it's quiet again. I'll keep talking. It's hard to breathe, the walls are close.

Sadly, the government shut them down on some claim of law versus religion that should have never happened! But oh, we had a solution. We still do! And it's one they can't touch!

I shift, my limbs cramped. How much longer do I have to stay here? It's been so long, so lonely.

Our best scientists and innovators came together in secret, and their plan was brilliant! Our lawyers pored over the specifics, and no one could find fault in the new protocol. The doctors took volunteers, and...changed them. No one wanted to ask about the process, and we only heard rumors. But months after, our friends came home. Really home! They were citizens and everything! We celebrated in the streets til dawn, hugging, crying, partying.

She's talking again, sorry. I'm being too active. And I'm not really alone, but sometimes I wish I was.

I was called for the next group, to be ReBorn. They drove us out in buses, out far, far into the country. Plains and grasses rolled by, and the sky was so huge I swear I'd be sucked into it if I wasn't inside the bus. And when we arrived, the buildings were beautiful. White, pristine, like something out of a movie! They led us inside, tested our health, got our names, then called us in groups.

I'm getting tired, but I'll tell you the rest. She's petting my head, soothing me to sleep.

When I walked in, I was so confused. I guess I was picturing giant test tubes and tanks, or tables, or something! I guess I'd read too many scifi novels. A man in a white coat greeted us, then ushered in a group of women.

Tired, so sleepy...I'm almost done, so you'll know. So you won't be afraid. It's not bad once you get used to it, just cramped.

My eyes went wide when I saw them. They were all colors and ages, and sizes, all wearing white gowns that parted under their chests. And their bellies...they looked pregnant, but much, much too big! Most of their stomachs were sagging, like empty sacks. But the one in the middle, petting her impossibly huge friend, smiled at us, her eyes glazed. She welcomed us to being ReBorn.

Sorry, she wants me to sleep. I'm gonna turn over, it's more comfortable. Well, as comfortable as it gets, at least.

A woman gasps, her eyes lighting up as she points out the bulge under her taut skin. "Look, he just kicked!"