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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 14: August 2022
Microfiction: 192 words
By Eva Eliav

Carrying a Baby


“Look at the way that woman’s carrying her baby! No softness. No support. Her arm’s hooked around its middle. No wonder it’s bawling.”

Jill’s drinking iced tea through a straw. Her chin moves in an inconclusive nod.

“Those are formative experiences,” I say. “She’s ruining that kid’s life.”

Jill glances up. “You love to exaggerate.”

“I know what I’m talking about,” I say, scowling.

But Jill’s back to focusing on her tea.

“You never validate anything I say,” I fling at her. “I might as well be talking to a shrink.”

A little life seeps into Jill’s expression. She looks offended.

It’s shaping up to be one of those conversations: murky, pointless, flooded with emotion. I need to stop before the guilt begins, before I start begging to be forgiven. Forgiven for what? I wonder. Forgiven for seeing that baby? Forgiven for caring?

I look back at its unprotected limbs dangling like small pink twigs. A burning tear trickles down my cheek. I hastily wipe it away.

Jill is back to communing with her tea. Noisily, she sucks the last few drops. “Hits the spot,” she says, sounding happy.

Eva Eliav
Issue 14, August 2022

received an honours BA in English Language and Literature from The University of Toronto. Her poetry and short fiction have appeared in numerous literary journals, including Room, The St. Ann’s Review, Emrys Journal, Ilanot Review, Flashquake, The Apple Valley Review, Horizon Review, The Enchanted Conversation, Stand, Constellations, Minyan, One Art, Gyroscope, and Fictive Dream. She is the author of two poetry chapbooks: Eve (Red Bird Chapbooks, 2019) and One Summer Day (Kelsay Books, 2021).

More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond

The War Zone, microfiction by Eva Eliav in Reflex Fiction (19 April 2018)

Chocolates, microfiction in The Ilanot Review (Volume 3, Number 2, Autumn 2011)

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