A Short Story: Dealing with Tragedy….

I don’t write short fiction. I don’t write straightforward stories. So… this is a departure for me….

I usually write Science Fiction. This is different. This is a work of Speculative… Spiritual Fiction, I suppose….

Over a year ago, I had an idea for a story. A different kind of story. About a difficult topic. About Abortion. From a different angle. Two different angles actually….

Again… the formatting is off…. Italics are represented by underline….

All rights to this work are retained exclusively by the author. This story may not be reproduced or reprinted without giving appropriate attribution. The copyright belongs to the author. Any praise belongs to God….

Unintended Consequences: My Daughter I Never Knew.

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By Verruca Vulgaris, M.D.

8 December 2014 0900-1130

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     Still…. I don’t know…. If she is real…. Or… just some dream…. An apparition…. I don’t know…. Still….

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     Suddenly… I became aware…. Of whatwhere…. I have never been sure…. Even now…. Except of… a vision… of HER….

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     Bright… piercing light… seemed to emanate from… everywhere…. Everything….

Except…. There really wasn’t much… of anything….

But light….

The ground… the floor… the surface… was… pure white…. Like fresh snow…. And it was… covered… shrouded… in thick white mist…. Obscured… by a haze…. Like a cloud…. Like fog…. Dense… white… fog….

And the air… was clean… and crisp… and cool…. Pleasant…. Like a brisk Fall morning…. Or the most beautiful Spring afternoon you’d ever experienced….

And… I felt… an overwhelming… an uplifting… feeling… of peace…. Intense joy…. Immense Bliss…. Plethoric happiness filling my soul to overflowing….

And then… her….

A vision…. An angel….

Standing. Silent. Stunning.

Demure. Head turned. Chin resting on her shoulder. Face hidden. Twisting…. Rocking…. Rhythmically…. From her hips…. With her ankles crossed….

She was beautiful.

Young. Late twenties. Early teens. Something like that. Blonde hair hanging past her shoulders. Thin. Athletic. Just like….

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     No. Can’t be. Impossible….

She’s dead.

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     She looked up. It looked up.

The vision. The angel. The young woman.

Looked at me. Looked through me….

As if… she knew me….

Lustrous blue eyes. Sheepish smile. Or rather… impish grin….

And… then… she spoke….

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     “Father…?”

Me…? Was she speaking to me…? How could that be…?

Or… someone else…?

That phrase…. That word…. Struck me like a stone… from a sling…. Struck me as exceedingly formal…. Struck me… as from afar…. As though… from someone….

What is this place…?

Maybe…. She is speaking to….

But…. No….

She was looking at me…. She was speaking…. To me….

And… then it hit me…. This wasn’t really as much of a mystery as I initially thought.

There… before me… stood… my daughter… I never knew….

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     Maybe at this point… you’re starting to judge me…. Think I’m a cad. Abandoning my beautiful daughter….

I agree. I am….

But… I assure you….

Your judgment… does not concern me… in the slightest….

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     We were living in Saint Louis at the time. In a small condominium close to the Medical Complex on Kingshighway. We were both doctors. I was in the middle of the worst part of the worst Neurological Surgery residency in the whole history of the world. And my wife, who had recently graduated from a very prestigious Medical School, was working her way up the rungs of the ladder to the life of her dreamworld…. Academic Medicine….

She went away to a conference in D.C. Presented a poster or something. I don’t really remember on what. Something inconsequential, I remember thinking at the time.

Didn’t really matter to me.

I was going to be a Surgeon. I already had the Surgeon’s Mentality. And a bulletproof ego….

And… I was on call all the time….

And when I say all the time… I mean ALL the time….

As in… around the clock….

And that was a bit of a strain on our relationship…. Because… long hours… and lack of sleep… lead to a little known phenomenon I like to refer to as… Testosterone Storm….

So when my wife came home from her trip….

Well… let’s just say… I missed her…. Parts of her anyway…. Some parts… more than others….

And then… a couple of months later… she missed her period….

And we were at the clinic down the street….

And she was filling out paperwork….

And I was trying to be supportive….

And not too terribly successfully….

And protesters were marching and shouting and blocking the door and snapping our pictures and carrying signs depicting dead fetuses… and it was a bad scene…. A really… horrible… confusing… emotionally destabilizing… gut wrenching… bad scene….

A bad dream…. A nightmare….

Revealed to be stunningly… starkly… unforgettably… unforgivably… real… in the harsh light of hindsight….

And in my experience… hindsight… the unflattering light of inescapable reality… sometimes makes one look like an ass….

I never knew the sex of that fetus.

I never bothered to check the sex of that baby… because I never cared….

Now… I know….

That child of my loins…. That child of my lust….

That… child.

Our child….

MY child….

I never knew her…. Because I never cared….

Until I met her… face to face….

In whatever….

In wherever….

In THAT place….

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     I expect that what I’m about to say is going to make an enormous number of people enormously mad. Some people will be shocked. Some people stunned. Some people will judge. And some people will just dismiss my statements as the calloused musings of a Madman….

And some… will know… that every word I speak… is absolute… unabridged… unmitigated… incontrovertible… TRUTH…. Those folks will know that I’m talking the talk only possible by someone who has walked the walk…. Who has descended into some Hell… of his own making… and surmounted the flames of that purifying fire….

A lot of people say a lot of things about abortion. That it’s a choice. That it’s murder. And many… maybe most… of those people speak lies… and recite talking points that someone else made up and drilled into their narrow-minded little brains by unknowing… uncaring… soulless people seeking political purchase to further advance their political purpose….

So… when people scream insults at one other with vehemence… extreme prejudice… while claiming the moral mountaintop and proclaiming LOVE!!! When one side screams “It’s a woman’s choice!” and the other screams back “It’s MURDER!!!”… Brother and Sister… I’m here to tell you… it’s both…. And the carnage… the desolation… doesn’t end whenever that pregnancy is terminated….

No. It’s just beginning….

And it goes on… and on… and on… and on… and on…. And nobody ever tells you that…. Nobody ever tells you the truth….

And nobody ever cares….

About your baby….

About you….

Or about how you really feel….

All they care about is politics….

All they think about is politics….

No one thinks about the real victims… of abortion….

I know….

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     I stared into her bright… questioning… eyes….

I felt… guilt….

Shame….

Remorse….

I blamed circumstances….

I blamed my life….

I blamed my wife….

After that abortion… I didn’t want her… and she didn’t want me….

I didn’t trust her…. And she didn’t trust me….

She didn’t want to have sex with me…. And I… did….

And… I blamed her…. And kept blaming her….

To assuage my own guilty conscience….

I convinced myself that I couldn’t stop her…. I had no say…. I had no choice…. It was all hers….

But really…. I never even tried…. I just told myself it was her decision…. That I really had no say….

Her life…. Her dream….

I shouldn’t interfere….

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     As I looked into her eyes…. They brilliant, cerulean blue eyes of my daughter I never knew….  I cried….

I tried to form phrases…. To explain…. Something…. Anything….

“I…. I…. I…. I…. I…. I….”

I failed….

Suddenly… a flash of insight…. That was it. That was all I had. All I’d ever had. Nothing more… than… I….

“I know. I forgive you. I love you….”

I felt emasculated. Castrated. Impotent.

And finally… I blamed myself…. As I always had secretly….

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My daughter… whom I had never met… loves me….

The harsh reality…? I loved myself… my life… my lifestyle… my dreams… my future… much more than I loved my child….

In my mind… at the time….

And so did my wife….

Tragically… to us… she wasn’t a child…. She wasn’t a life…. She was a choice….

I bought the lie…. She bought the lie…. We bought the lie…. And we went all in….

And furthermore… I realized… as I looked into her bright blue eyes… that… I still love myself….

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     As I stood…. There….

As I stared into the beautiful… pristine… crystalline… pure… peaceful eyes of my daughter I never knew….

As I considered her blissful smile….

As I pondered the serene setting in which she resides….

I realized… wide-eyed….

Realistically….

Reluctantly….

Remorsefully….

That the life my wife and I destroyed when we walked through that throng of protesters and into that Abortion Clinic on that dreary… cold… harsh… Winter day… was not that of our child….

I now know we didn’t destroy just one life in order to save two.

We destroyed two lives. Our own.

And saved one….

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2 thoughts on “A Short Story: Dealing with Tragedy….

  1. Pingback: A Short Story: Dealing with Tragedy…. | Wright-Wang Extreme Mystery, Inc.

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