Aurora Borealis –short story in Masque & Spectacle

My left hand, raised above me holding a paperback novel, is missing my wedding ring. An indentation remains, ghost-like, on my skin, a reminder of allegiance and duty. My hands swelled at eight months, and by the ninth, the ring’s gold edge cut into my flesh. I smeared my finger with butter and tugged off the ring. It sits safely in its box in my top drawer waiting for my body to return to a normal state.

I’ve given up pacing the labor room corridor, bent in half, clinging to the handrail until each new pain subsides. Reading Dostoevsky’s The Idiot between contractions, I realize I’ve lost my sense of irony. Words are dots I follow across the page. They lead nowhere and mean nothing. I shake my head at my own lunacy.

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