With Child With Child

Russian Nesting Doll: So, doctor? Am I...am I, you know?

Doctor: (looks upset) Yes. Yes, you're pregnant.

Doll:  Oh, that's just wonderful! That's just the most wonderful news. What’s wrong?

Doctor: (glances at his chart) Well, there's more. Would you like to have a seat? 


Doll: I can't. I can't sit down.


Doctor: Oh, right. Well, I want you to brace yourself.


Doll: Oh God.


Doctor: I don't quite know how to say this.


Doll: Oh God.


Doctor: So I'll just say it. Your baby is pregnant, too.


Doll: Excuse me?


Doctor: It's mind-boggling.

Doll: Doctor, what are you saying? I’ve heard of teen pregnancy, but...

Doctor: There's more. Dear Lord, there's more.

Doll: Oh goodness.

Doctor: Your baby's baby is...well, pregnant, too.

Doll: If it could, my jaw would drop.


Doctor: It's truly mind-boggling!


Doll: <Russian expletive>!


Doctor: Exactly. Before we can know anything for certain, we must unscrew your waist and empty everyone out until you are completely hollow.

Doll: (small voice) Will there be pain?


Doctor: Of course.


Doll: Will there be side effects?


Doctor: (nodding) Absolutely.


Doll: Will there be drugs?


Doctor: There is always vodka.


Doll: My husband is in the waiting room. He needs to know about his child, and his child’s child, and his child’s child's...


Doctor: Yes, I think he should come sit down and talk with us about the situation.


Doll: But he can't...


Doctor: (opens door to waiting room, takes a good look at husband) Oh no!


Doll: Sit down.


Doctor: Okay. I'll sit down for the both of us (collapses on exam table). 


Doll: And my three sisters are parked outside with their kids, waiting for the good news.  


Doctor: Good God -- it must be a clown car!


Doll: Actually, it's a hybrid. They're all very compact. My mother fits in the trunk. Should we write that down?


Doctor: I think you need to consult a specialist.  


Hilary Leichter teaches in the undergraduate creative writing program at Columbia University and lives in Brooklyn, N.Y.

April 24: "[The HST] lifted a curtain from our view of the universe, changing it so profoundly that no human can look at the stars in the same way..."

Kenneth Calhoun (Black Moon) and Lysley Tenorio (Monstress) of the Discover Great New Writers program on B-movies, heritage, and finales.

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
In the Light of What We Know

Zia Haider Rahman's mystery of a brilliant Bangladeshi mathematician's past barrels through the Ivy League, London high finance, and spy-haunted Afghanistan in a page-turning tale of exile, intrigue and the price of friendship. A Discover Great New Writers selection.

The People's Platform

Once touted as the foundation for tomorrow's digital democracy, the Internet is increasingly ruled by a few corporate giants, while millions of contributors till its fields for free. Astra Taylor looks at why the web has failed to deliver a communitarian cyberscape, and offers a compelling case for restoring its original vision.

A Private Venus

Dubbed "the Italian Simenon," Giorgio Scerbanenco (1911-1969) began his crime-writing career with books set in the USA, but quickly shifted scene closer to home, the city of Milan.  In this adventure, appearing in English for the first time, his underdog hero Dr. Duca Lamberti finds himself in the middle of a seedy, scantily clad criminal racket, where the presence of an outsider could result in death.