Kinua’s son is beautiful except that where his eyes ought to be there are two tiny, useless hands, unmuscled and flaccid but otherwise perfectly formed down to the nails. It’s all Kinua can do to hold him; when she lifts her shirt to feed him his extra hands brush against her breasts like seaweed. She clamps her jaw against nausea and doubles numbers in her head until he’s done eating, starting over every time she loses track.
“What do I do?” she asks the doctor outside the nursery, her eyes squeezed shut and her back turned to the long window. “Can we – should we – that is, what do we do? My god. My god. Can’t you operate? Isn’t there something you can do? He’s a freak. My son’s a freak. My god, what have I done?”
The doctor speaks coolly, reassuringly. Inside the nursery, Kinua’s son raises his head and blinks his useless hands. Through the soft, sensitive pads of his fingers he traces the lights of the room and sees.