She Has Decided to Keep Her Baby

The baby is a few months old now. Brandy has carved a hole in her stomach, nobody is sure how she did it without the aid of a doctor, but they have their suspicions. She covers the hole with triangular shaped pieces of plastic, isosceles triangles, cut from heavy-duty garbage bags and held fast with athletic tape. The uppermost points meet in the middle to close the hole. She was careful to do it all right after the baby came out of her inner-stomach, her womb. She was sure to do it before she lost the weight and lost the room for the baby inside her.

Trying to talk with her, about a memo sent down or the weather or your favorite sports team is very unnerving. You can see the baby moving under the plastic bag and brandy is always reaching through the opening, which works like a plastic sphincter, to feed the baby with fingertip-fulls of mushed up fruit or a small bottle of breast milk. The fruit comes from those jars, the tiny ones, baby-sized. The condition of her clothes is also distracting. She is by no means a professional seamstress and so the holes that she cut in her clothing, to accommodate her almost constant need to feed or touch the baby, are erratic and rough. They sometimes show too much of Brandy's flesh and it is obvious that the hole is too big. In these cases she is forced to either tape the plastic directly to her body or to use extra tape to make it reach the jagged edges of the fabric. This is why it is unnerving to talk with Brandy: the plastic bags, the baby's movement, not to mention the crying (both mother and child), and the condition of her clothing. Yes, and the bleeding. The bleeding from the hole that she cut in her stomach, where she keeps the baby.

There is an office pool over who is the father of Brandy's baby. It's Roger. I can tell, although nobody would believe me. Roger never looks at brandy anymore. He used to admire her body. Once I caught them kissing in a stairwell. Kissing with tongues involved. You can tell by the way he won't look at her that he is most likely the father. Unless he was once attracted to her and now is appalled by the state of her clothing and the plastic bags. Yes, and the bleeding.

I work near Brandy. Everyone is always asking me "who's the father of the baby," "what will she do when the baby gets bigger and won't fit under the plastic bags anymore," "what's that yellow and brown goo seeping out from under the plastic." I usually don't have time to answer them, but when I do I say, "I don't know but I think it's Roger," "I don't know but I imagine she'll have to let the baby out soon," "I don't know but I would imagine that it's a mixture of puss and feces from the infected skin around the hole and from the baby."

I was disturbed when I caught them kissing because I'm a homosexual and I'm attracted to Roger. Once, in the company fitness center he grabbed me by the shoulders and kissed me hard, on the mouth. Kissed me with tongues involved. We've never spoken since except for the time I caught them in the stairwell. I caught them kissing and he said, "fag" under his breath as I walked away.

Brandy passes out almost every day now. She tries to hold in the blood with more athletic tape, but it soaks through, taking her consciousness with it. The baby is loud, crying almost non-stop. Some of the people say that Brandy is a bad mother and that the next time her eyes flutter closed and she slumps over to the floor, they are going to take her baby. They are going to take her baby away. The people that say this, that have the plan, are the same ones that told her not to get rid of her baby in the first place. She came to the office and said, "I'm having a baby." She's been crying ever since. That was when Roger stopped looking at her and I knew he was the father. She said, "I'm not going to keep this baby." But they talked her out of it. They said "no, it's wrong to get rid of your baby," and "you're a bad mother to think that," and she finally agreed. "I will keep my baby forever," she said.

Nobody is healthy anymore. They all wander around the office, staring through little slits in their eyelids, waiting. They're waiting for their chance to steal the baby away. They argue over who will do it, who will have to peel back the moist plastic, moist with the puss and blood and feces, the life of the mother and child, and reach inside the hole to get the baby.

About the author:

John Colt didn't sleep very well last night. He was going to call you, but he thought you'd be asleep and he knows how you hate being woken up in the middle of the night. Mostly he just needed somebody to listen.