This is intriguing and very well written. I have a question: The young woman is a clone of the mother? Or was created from her genetic material and is her daughter?

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I'm so pleased you liked the piece, Claudia. Thank you for taking the time to read it.

You've astutely spotted my deliberate vagueness regarding the visitor's origins - and now I've been put on the spot!

But I'm going to stay on my writer's fence and say both your options are possible. I think the influence of either on the mother's eventual decision would be similar, and the story's ending therefore isn't impacted. So I'm content for readers to decide on which applies for themselves (and who am I to argue with their decision? 😛).

Technically and speculatively, the possibilities you pinpointed could relate to both a birth's timing and genetic inheritance. Consider, for example, if the visitor has, or even requires, a genetic father? Are they gamete or stem-cell derived? How many gametes if the former? Fused in what X±Y permutation? How long were they frozen? Would the sets of parents mentioned be just donors or actual carers?

In the near future, I think engineered relatives and clones might be assigned family names and roles by age and 'inception date', as much as any complex genetic relatedness. A 'Brave New World', indeed...

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