Content Warning: Death, grief, labour complications
They name me a god, and I wish I was worthy of the title.
My chambers are filled with supplicants. The sick and suffering are brought into my rooms of flesh and laid on beds of viscera, sequestered down sinewed corridors dim with blood-tinted light.
A screaming, sweating, shuddering woman is manoeuvred inside by blank-masked priests. She is not quite consenting, not quite understanding, lost in pain and contractions; her world has shrunk to the pressure inside. She is pliant in their insistent grip: they lay her down on a slick-soft-grey coil, one portion of my convoluted gut. The priests back out, leaving her alone.
I hate the priests. I reach out with my veins before I catch myself, recoil--
Read the rest at Translunar Travelers Lounge, Issue 4 →
(exclusive until 18th May 2021)
The first lines of this were written by my father-in-law's bedside, as he lay dying in a hospital. The tubes and wires stretched down from the ceiling and into his arm, and the story slowly, tortuously came out from there.
If you got something from this story, and you're so inclined, I'd appreciate donations to St. Barnabas Hospice, whose nurses were an absolute godsend through Bill's final weeks at home.