There once was a time when there were too many people. It was a time when it wasn’t hard to have a baby. Nature tried to solve this problem. There was famine. Drought. Disease. But there were also too many doctors trying to save the babies; a noble, if not self-defeating, endeavor. It was a time when you could choose your lovers. You could even choose to have just one.
This is the current opening to a concept story I’ve been hashing out since sometime in the 1980s. It takes place in a dystopic future when it is very difficult to conceive a child and the population is rapidly shrinking to genetic bottleneck. No one can figure out why this is happening so the government has instituted a program of random pairings. Everyone is assigned five lovers who they are duty bound to be with for the span of a few months. If, after that time, a pregnancy is not started, the lovers are reassigned.
This process has helped a little, but pregnancies are still few and far between. So, when Rose gets pregnant with twins she is hailed as a hero. But things get very complicated when it is discovered that these fraternal twins have different fathers.
I’m still working out the details, but am struggling a little bit with making the challenges believable and tense at the same time.