Emma sat on the thread bare cushion of her seat with caution. She immediately wished she had purchased a nosecone at the station as the majority her fellow passengers had done - the overwhelming scent of the train was lingering in her throat the way a decaying rat clogs plumbing.

Two children were crying: one of them was screaming and pulling at the white filter covering the lower half of his face, the other was sobbing softly and pressing her palms to her eyes.

A man took the seat in front of Emma, dressed in the rags of an inner-city vagabond. His hair was slick and white, braided into a tail that rested on both of his shoulders like an exotic snake. His face was obscured by a crumpled white nosecone and a pair of shades identical to Emma's. He slipped one pale and spotted hand into the split of his undone fly, and Emma watched with shielded eyes as the fabric of his pants began to undulate. As the train lurched forward, his hand began to move frantically, a writhing heap of worms. Emma pulled the hem of her black dress down over the white flesh thigh and turned away.

She resisted the urge to cough, knowing that the blood splatters would put the travelers in a panic. Her half exposed bosom heaved with the effort, and her eyes focused on the flickering of the train's dim lighting.

Her own heart was flickering, her bones were growing rigid, her smooth muscle was turning raw.

She could almost see Nancy Cobden's flabby white face, clenched white teeth, and cold white pearls swimming in the florescent light. Sin her mouth would spit, and Emma would recoiled with shame.

There was shame in her mothers doing, shame in her undeniable sin. She could feel that sin in her creaking joints. She could feel it in her marrow. She could feel it festering beneath her healing scars.

Misery and dread pulled her sickly heart to her gut. She knew what she was. She was the fruit of an insalubrious passion. She was lust's forgotten child. Her inner deformities were a result of her true father's indiscretion and of her mother's lies.

She should be dead. Her mother should have had to mourn her loss, and know it was her fault. Instead, they kept her alive. Each ablation was a direct defiance against a heavenly mandate. Emma lived longer, but the aperture in her soul only grew wider.

She was ill. She was ill of heart and mind, of soul and vessel. She was tired. She was damned.

But she could right her parents' wrongs. She could make the score even.

Emma turned back to the man across from her. His hand was back at his side, legs crossed and his body relaxed.

Emma wondered if he was smiling under his mask.

AN: Well that was weird. Because of Atwood, whenever I think of public transportation in the future, it's always gross and requires some sort of filter if you don't want to hack up a lung.