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Colleen Chen
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expecting.jpg
Art by Brian Beardsley 2012

 

What Not to Expect When You’re Expecting

 

Colleen Chen

 

"Push!" 

Bertha bore down, wailing as the baby finally slid out in a rush of wetness and pain.  She lay there in relief.  "Let me see it.  Is it a boy or a girl?"

Silence. 

"What's going on?  Is it alive?"

"I'm not sure," the doctor said.  "I've never actually seen anything like this before.  It looks like you've given birth to a healthy baby basketball."

He held up a slightly smaller than regulation-sized basketball, shiny with afterbirth and now snuggled into a gender-neutral yellow blanket.

Bertha started to cry.  "What am I going to tell Dirk?  He so wanted to have a boy."

"There, there," the doctor said.  "Don't fret.  We'll run a few tests; it might turn out to be a boy basketball, you never know."

After some internal debate, the doctor determined that the basketball was slightly likelier to be a female.  Even though it had some resemblance to a testicle, it had no masculine protrusions.  "She's tested rather low for cognitive and verbal skills," he said.  "On the other hand, she is predisposed to be a breatharian, so she won't require feeding or diapering.  So you're lucky in that she doesn't need as much care as a normal—I mean a non-consciousness-challenged—child.  And she'll be very good at sports—well, at least one sport."

It turned out that Dirk wasn't upset.  He was thrilled that the joys of new fatherhood meant that he got to go out and play with his new daughter Daisy on the basketball courts every day.  Bertha harangued him about roughhousing with Daisy, but Dirk pooh-poohed her concerns.  "Babies like being bounced and played with."

Bertha hadn't bonded very well with Daisy, and she felt self-conscious taking her daughter to moms groups and playdates, so after a while she gave up and let Dirk do the majority of the caretaking.  Dirk was happy to give up his job and become a stay-at-home dad while Bertha went back to work.

Daisy grew very quickly, and soon she was a regulation-sized basketball.  That was when Jim had the best time ever.  He took Daisy out for hours every day.  When she was three months old and larger than regulation size, he actually found out that her weight made her perfectly balanced for the maximum baskets during his game.

Then, "Hey, your girl's getting kind of heavy," his friend Andy said when Daisy was six months old.

"She's just got a little baby fat," Dirk said.

"I don't mean fat—look!  She barely fits through the hoop now."

Bert was right.  Daisy was starting to get stuck in the hoop at times, and she was harder to dribble.  Then, when doing a layup, Andy tore his rotator cuff.

Dirk tried putting Daisy in a brace at night.  He tried putting her on a breath diet by deflating her a bit.  Nothing worked—she just kept growing.  Soon none of his friends wanted him to bring Daisy along to the courts.  Dirk wanted to leave Daisy in the closet and go back to work.  "You said you'd stay at home and take care of her, so you do that," Bertha admonished him.  "And no drinking around the baby!"  So he was stuck at home with his giant basketball of a daughter.  He began spending all his days sitting with Daisy in front of the television, drinking Diet Cokes and eating pizza, miserably waiting for Bertha to come home so he could have some social interaction.

"I've had enough!" Dirk shrieked one day.  He grabbed a knife and stabbed Daisy a dozen times.  He stomped on her until she was completely flat.  Then he put her down the garbage disposal.

It didn't take the police long to wring the truth out of the sobbing Dirk.  He was sent to jail for six months—a light sentence, as he was a first-time offender and Daisy was, after all, just a basketball.

Bertha picked Dirk up from jail when his term was over.  He gazed in horror at her distended belly—again, high and taut under her breasts like a basketball.  Bertha kissed him.  "I guess you can see my news!  We're pregnant again.  And it's twins.”
 
 
Colleen Chen is a suburban Californian relocated to rural Brazil. By day she lives on a farm taking care of chickens, trees, and children, and by night she writes. Her work has appeared in Sliptongue Magazine, The Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica, and Weirdyear.  Her website is located at www.colleenchen.com.

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