“It’s a complex issue because one has to think, well there’s a host body and that host body has to have a certain amount of rights because at the end of the day it is that body that carries this entire other body to term.” — Republican Florida State Rep. Jose Oliva talking about his support of abortion legislation dictating a “cooling off” period.
The Host Body sat in the meeting, its face impassive, as the HR manager went through the options, his voice trembling. Finally, its parasite-stuffed stomach straining menacingly at the seams of its dress, the Host Body spoke. “So you’re only offering the standard twelve unpaid weeks under the Family and Medical Leave Act? That’s not what I was expressly told in my interview last year. I’ll find the hiring email confirming three months of paid parental leave and then we can discuss better options.” Shaking, the HR manager squeaked out an “OK" as the Host Body smiled in a way that was professional, yet evil.
As the Host Body turned in the sheath of printed papers to the esteemed professor its gleaming eyes locked onto his, rendering him powerless to look away. “As we discussed with the Academic Affairs Department at the start of the term, I’m completing all my work in advance because my due date falls during finals week. I trust that I won’t be marked down because of that.” The professor felt his blood run cold as he nodded and accepted the papers, his hands working completely against his will.
“No,” the Host Body snarled in an ear-splittingly high register. “This is a closet full of cleaning chemicals. I won’t be pumping here when I get back from parental leave. You’re required to provide me with a clean, private space with a lock in order to meet federal regulations.” The facilities manager covered his ears and shook his head frantically as the Host Body attempted to force the clear, legal guidelines straight into his brain.
The Host Body handed over a note scrawled with frightening incantations. “Here’s a note from my doctor. I’m two months pregnant, I can’t lift heavy boxes because of increased risk of a miscarriage.” The shift supervisor backed away trembling, hands in front of him, trying to refuse the terrifying workplace regulation spell the Host Body was calmly casting upon him.
The Host Body stared at the woman, eyes completely blank, “I’m ready for my annual review,” it said, in such a reasonable voice it was hard to keep from screaming. Its manager could see that the Host Body was carrying a parasite, but the Host Body was acting like everything was totally normal and not even addressing it! “Is, there, um, anything you need to… tell me?” she asked, finally, praying that the Host Body would break the charade once and for all. “Only that I met my goals by 130% this year, and I would like to discuss increasing my compensation going forward.” Was it possible the Host Body… wasn’t going to reveal it was a host?? The thought of having to treat the Host Body like every other employee brought the manager to screaming tears.
The man ran as fast as he could, trying to escape the heavy breathing behind him on the subway platform. As he dropped into the only open seat, heart slowing, finally, his eyes moved up to comprehend a truly appalling sight: the Host Body, looming above him, seeming to… expect something from him. He felt his limbs rising, against his will, as the Host Body mind-melded with him and forced his mouth to croak, “Would you like my seat?”
“Yes,” the Host Body responded immediately, dropping down into the seat with a contented sigh of domination.
A Host Body disappeared into the building to receive the medical care that was best suited to its body, its life, and its rights as a person. Appallingly, when it came out after no waiting period at all, no one knew what the Host Body had done. It’s the most horrifying thing some people had ever seen.