Short Story|Sweet Little Parasite

Sweet Little Parasite is a short story by Julia Mary. Julia is a Drama graduate from Portsmouth and all round creative dabbler, at the current time, as theatre is now the least accessible way she can express herself. She describes this story as ‘a dramatisation piece of lucid dreaming’.

This story continues our Short Story Month celebrations. As a platform, we’re passionate about short fiction and the importance of this beautiful art form.

Content Warning: This story deals with the subject of abortion which may be upsetting for some readers, and so reader discretion is advised. At Bits Bobs & Books, we recognise the importance of casting light on difficult subjects. We hope that we can work towards a better future through frank, honest and open discussion.

Sweet Little Parasite

In walls where no light shines, my eyes cannot register anything. There are no shapes, nothing which allows me to gather information yet. Nothing except lying in a bed of humid, wet substance. 

Mumbled voices emerge closer and clearer but the lack of light barricades me from physically investigating it. Still I’m not reassured, so wading through this coagulated flood seems to be the only way to make sense of the talking. A wall. Try to get a response, and kick. Just kick it. 

They stop. I stop. Did it work?

A handle carefully and cautiously squeaks. The warmth that one encased me rushes and a shrill air replaces it. Fast, the whiteout blankets my eye, then patterns slowly emerge from the blur. I can make out a little of where I am. For how long I have resided, I am yet to find out. 

Sadness and relief escapes my breath at an intense rate. Only after a quick sharp blow to my cheek and lower jaw do I realise that I was emitting screams and cries. 

A shifting, sharp pain swells in my stomach. My mouth is flooded with acidity and soon I fail to contain this hot projectile. It spurts out and, from what I can tell, lands on top of the visceral bed I have been sleeping… or passed out in. It shows itself, a floor of what seems like discarded muscle, tissue, blood. On collecting myself, the area of impact on my face slowly burns, knees crumpling and burying. Lifted from under the armpit, I’m urged to stand. 

‘We haven’t got long. You need to make this decision today.’

Again, the shooting pain erupts from the lower part of my spinal cord. Pelvic bones rattling, my ribs feel as though they’re about to sever the surface of skin, like time-lapse footage that observes fruit emerging from the soil. Rolling downwards, the heaviness closely gravitates towards the entrance of my vaginal canal. 

Whatever is happening, I want it to stop. 

In desperate efforts, I widen my thighs. My own batch of fresh tissues seep and a larger one falls onto the collection of others. 

My own. This thought.

I felt burdened and in danger before. But now I can see it, I’m drawn to this sack, covered with my own secreted fluids. My hands cup and, carefully, my fingers glide underneath in an effort not to damage or cut through. In bringing it closer to my face, its fingers delicately coil. Its arched back attempts to straighten. How am I so afraid? How could I have felt threatened by this thing which does not yet know anything? But whoever is responsible for this, I will kill him. 

‘Now is the time to decide. Now that you hold the sack you have expelled, will you flush? This is the route you cannot turn back from. Or will you incubate? Where you will still race against the maintenance of its upkeep and health. Fail, and the inevitable guilt you suspended will eventually catch up with you.’

In the room’s left corner, a lavatory. On the right, a makeshift box insulated with an oxygen mask.  

I only now wish to go back to the sightless humidity, where the unknowing, responsibility and choice was not mine. I was free. 

What should I do, sweet little parasite of mine?  

In walls where the light shines, my eyes take in so much. There are no shapes, not yet. Only my eyes, weakened and leaking from this overwhelming event which turned out only to be a dream. For a few moments, I am paralysed. Crying is the only motion I can perform for the next five minutes. I have been lying in a bed of humid, wet substance. 

Sweat and tears.

A tingling rises hot in my feet. I need to get the duvet off. Of course, just kick it. I wish I had help sitting up and getting out of bed, my neck hasn’t quite supported my head at this point. Too fast, maybe. When it comes to, I shuffle aimlessly to the dresser, carefully picking inside the drawer and find what I’m looking for.

I remember the feelings of both completion and dread the first time this little plus was presented to me. This is a form of identity, this symbol of existence.

We haven’t talked in a while. Every time we do, I am comforted by the knowledge that in the end I made the right decision.

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