We stared blankly at our girl as she stood at the edge of the cliff. We lived on a cluster of islands, and back in my generation, everyone had developed gills and webs growing up before we left our parents to perish slowly on the last island. Now here was our daughter, about to fly off onto the next island with her fellow fowl friends. It was only 20 years ago when we had her swaddled in her seahorse blanket with only her fish eyes peeping out.
Seeing her shed her scales and sprout feathers was traumatic for us parents. Our enterprising neighbor Larry made quite a profit from starting a baby scales memorabilia business. We got our trinkets made and delivered in no time, and all I had to do was blink twice using my iPhone5000sx.
Our respective children shot their individual disgusted looks at us one last time before taking off. We all cried. Not because of the ceremonious taking off of the children, but because from this point on, we had no experience of what was to happen next. All we felt presently was a tremendous guilt that had been absent when we left our parents.
I turned to my partner only to see my reaction reflected back at me. I was only 45. I was only halfway through my lifespan, although optimistically speaking. We had focused so much on the science of excelling evolution that we had overlooked all of the diseases that are prone to each form of animalistic traits. In addition to human disease like heart disease and cancer, we were dealing with anthropomorphic fish diseases like iridovirus and piscine tuberculosis.
After a long period of silence, we started making moves. Some of us swam off happily back toward our newly unburdened lives, some packed up and started swimming back to the last island, hoping to reunite with their parents, some just stood there, like me, unsure of what to do next, while Larry got busy thinking up some crazy mature nightclub industry that was sure to explode.