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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 21: 1 Jan. 2024
Micro-CNF: 102 words
By Bella Mahaya Carter

Bad Genes


In the early years of our relationship, I turned down dinner invitations from Jim’s grandmother. Once, when he told her I wasn’t feeling well again, her response was “Roberta is sick a lot.” She paused and then added, “I’m afraid she has bad genes.” He didn’t mention my diagnosis: “honeymoon” cystitis.

A decade later, during pre-amniocentesis counseling, we learned our odds of having a healthy baby were in our favor, despite my advanced age.

When the counselor left the room, I said to Jim, “See? My genes aren’t so bad after all.” But by then Grandmother Helen was long gone.

Bella Mahaya Carter
Issue 21 (1 January 2024)

is an award-winning author of three books, most recently, Where Do You Hang Your Hammock? Finding Peace of Mind While You Write, Publish, and Promote Your Book. A devoted wordsmith and spiritual psychology practitioner, Bella facilitates online writing circles for writers, artists, healers, and seekers. Her work has appeared in The Sun Magazine, Lilith, Literary Mama, Calyx, The Dribble Drabble Review, and elsewhere. She’s currently working on an intergenerational family memoir in flash.

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