An Avalanche of P’s by L.A. Craig

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

When she announces the due date he has a vague memory of some trick with a pin and an


He wants to say, let’s keep it to ourselves, this thing he never asked for, this thing he’d

agreed to go along with sometime in the future, but she’s grinning like a stupid thing,

can’t keep her hand from her stomach.

“I hope he has your patience,” she tells him.

She’s saying it’s a boy, an heir, as if it will wake some deep-wired instinct.

“…She’d burrowed her desperation into the bones of him…”

She’d burrowed her desperation into the bones of him, and for an easy life, he’d agreed

that, one day, he’d also want children. Was it foolish to assume he’d be consulted before

she got off her marks? Is it this bit that’s rankled him, or his own hastiness to keep the

peace? That one remark, that fob-it-off-for-later, that tiny non-committal comment that

she’s taken so much to heart, is about to start a mighty avalanche.

Names. Already she wants to talk names. Too soon, he at least has the courage to tell her,

but what he wants to say is a due date doesn’t mean certain. It’s only five weeks. She’s

still vulnerable. No, he didn’t just imagine her tumble down the stairs.

Vulnerable. Shouldn’t that make him feel protective, paternal, possessive even? If it’s

your own child, aren’t they meant to pull the love from your very gut?

“Does he feel different?” She wants to know. She’s certain a life with children will have

more purpose.

All he knows for certain is he’s never felt so vulnerable in his life.

L.A. Craig’s work appears online at Molotov Cocktail, Everyday Fiction, Pygmy Giant, First Stop Fiction, and in Writers’ Forum magazine and the National Flash Fiction Day anthology, Jawbreakers.

© 2012 – 2013, Metazen.

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