Rigorous
Volume One, Issue 2


On the Mend

Cathy Clay


Judas uterus imploded spawning fake babies and a terrible sea of red. The healers poked and prodded archaic wands, thick and thin, to diagnose my affliction. The cure—suspend my lady parts in mid-air to sever the troublesome masses while I lie in a sleep induced by the anesthetic sister of tequila margarita.

When the projected two hours doubled, Mama demanded and received an explanation: my womb hosted more guests than had RSVP’D. After six hours, I awoke hoarse with a stapled belly and catheter in tow. Three days in, art mirrored life as I beheld a glossy photo of fifteen lumps of flesh posed left to right in descending order on a steel table. Home I went with an image to archive apart from snapshots of travel and girlhood.

The painkillers worked; however, they summoned dreams of black folk who dwelled above an ocean of oil and traveled by chutes and ladders. Prostrate rest was the antidote for a little while. Then gradually, I sat upright which led to virtual shopping. Though stooped and slowly, I walked as needed. Inevitably, came the urge to paint my face.

Recuperation granted time to get my house in order. Sporting hideous gold fabric, the Victorian chaise was project prime. To a warehouse, off I went sifting and searching through aisles of brocades and burlaps. True I stayed: velvet again, crimson of course. By the time the upholsterers returned the relic, I was standing upright and able to recline gracefully.

At last, an open window framed a lovely sun drenched day in March. Trees, lush and green, danced in the cool breeze and their leaves lullabied my prognosis: I would be fine, and death knew I was decorating.


Cathy Clay is a Houston, Texas native. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing from the University of Houston and a master’s in English from Texas Southern University. Her scholarly reviews have been published in the Facts on File: Companion to the World Novel (Columbia University Press, 2007) and her short stories have been featured in literary journals. Her debut novel, Agatta, was published in 2010. Currently her short story, Cecil, appears in Eclectically Criminal, an Inklings Publication.




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