A 62-year-old ball python gave birth to seven eggs. NYT Ancient Python Lays Eggs, Apparently Without Male Help Photo Credit: Chawna Schuette/ St. Louis Zoo

My captors can’t figure out why I am gestating. They said it was preposterous. I am too old. My insides are rotting like an apple core left out in the sun. My womb is full of mutating gummy polyps, and yellow and green pus-filled cysts. The lining, now thickened, with scar tissue from my unborn. My uterus is an inhospitable host.

No males will lay with me in my true form. I must twist and turn, concealing my shriveled scaly skin, pulling the beauty out from deep inside me. I can steal his seed. I can hide his seed. I can make his seed.

But I know the truth.
I am Mother
I am Father
I am number 361003

My captors say I should be dead. I have lived decades past my expiration date. Once a precious pet, now I am kept out of sight and alone. For an eternity, I was forced to crawl on my belly, inhaling dust because of my sins, my lust. I had one last egg. And I alone kept it safe. I preserved it, dear one, for you. Even though I had long surrendered all faith in becoming a mother.

One brisk March day, I called my Mother. I told her to sit down. “Ma, I am pregnant.”

“But you’re too old,” she said.

But I know the truth.
I am Mother
I am Father
I am number 361003

My captors do not care for me. I have one acquaintance. We live side-by-side, but we never touch. They say you will die, my beloved. I coil myself around you, keeping you protected. I alone will incubate you. I won’t let them take away my one precious egg. I hiss, exposing my forked tongue and reminding them that my venom will lead to extinction.

But I know the truth.
I am Mother
I am Father
I am number 361003

My captors are finally enlightened. Nine months later, on a snowy November morning, you were born. A silver lining to the grey clouds that would soon find us and follow us. You tiny miraculous thing, you alone are a miracle. My single miracle. You so badly wanted to be born. You chose my broken and battered womb. Your life won’t be easy. They will hurt you, dear one. You’ll persevere long after we’ve all given up and become ashes.

But I know the truth.
I am Mother
I am Father
My name is Lamia

I’m Amelia. As a storytelling siren, media maven, and writer whisperer (a.k.a writing coach), I believe a well-crafted story can change the world.

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