Short Story Tuesday: 22 weeks


The ground was slippery as I rushed into the building. The rains from the night before had finally abated, so at least my head was dry. The Catholics were praying at the corner of the street, holding their rosaries. At least there weren’t any of those crazy protestors this morning. I had called the clinic to ask if they would be. The women had assured me they only came two days a week, so I chose a day that they wouldn’t be there.

The baby kicked my ribs. I had just started feeling those little movements a few weeks ago. It always made me nauseous. It didn’t help, because my stomach was already in knots. I’d argued with my boyfriend for weeks about this. He wanted the baby. I didn’t. Yet there was something about the decision that seemed…off. If it was true that this procedure was no different than any other minor surgery, like a gallbladder removal, why did I feel the baby inside of me? I didn’t want to know the gender. Yet…why was there a gender? Boy or girl? No one ever asked if your appendix was a boy or a girl. Those had been my boyfriends arguments. And now, they resurfaced as I adjusted my coat in the waiting room.

The room was full already. The baby bumps were obvious, and the mothers kept their eyes down. I took it all in. Their scared faces. Their bored faces. Their faces that scrunched up as they patted their bellies, as if in pain or discomfort. Maybe their babies kicked them, too.

Baby. Babies. Why did I think of it like that? I edged toward the door. Maybe this had been a bad idea. It wasn’t like I was completely incapable of caring for another being. I’d been taking care of my drunk of a mom for years. Yet finally I was doing something for myself…going to school. And then I got impregnated by Cole. Jerk. Didn’t want to use protection. “Just once!” he had said.

I was almost out the door before I even realized it. The baby kicked again.

“Hello.” I jumped and turned to look out the door. A woman stood in the cold, breath visible in the air as she exhaled. “I’m a sidewalk counselor. I’m here to help. Please, don’t kill your baby. Have you thought about adoption instead?”

I hesitated. Yes, I had thought about it. But the process seemed so…daunting.

The baby kicked again. I stepped out towards the woman as she smiled gently at me. “Don’t worry,” she said. “I’ll help you along the way.”



Within the last two weeks, Democrats have blocked legislation that would prohibit abortion after 20 weeks. Whatever your thoughts on human life, the United States remains only one of seven countries that have not passed such laws. The other countries are Vietnam, China, North Korea, the Netherlands, Canada (most provinces don’t allow it after 12 weeks), and Singapore. 191 other nations have abortion restrictions for under 20 weeks. This story was inspired by Baby Rowan. Read his story here, if you dare.

Want to make a difference? Volunteer at your local pregnancy center, or stand on the front lines to help scared mothers. Can’t do either? Perhaps donate to a center, or support a full time abolitionist.

Short Story Tuesday: The Happiest Place on Earth

The challenge: Write a short story every Tuesday in 500 words or less.  Post on your blog, share on twitter with the #shortstorytuesday hashtag.  Tag two friends to do the same.


The whispering wind flicked her hair from her eyes.  Looking up, she watched as a flag blew merrily in the breeze. The distinct shape of Mickey Mouse flapped on the yellow canvas backdrop.  The happiest place on earth, they say.  The place were tears aren’t allowed, where children can be children.

What makes it different for me? She wondered.  Am I just that separate from other children?  Deep thoughts for an eight-year-old, she knew.  But she wasn’t like other children.  Not in the usual kind of way.  Other children laughed and screamed and ran amuck while their haggard parents tried to keep up.  She watched as even now, a small boy attached to a backpack with a leash pulled against his restraints, reaching grimy hands for Donald Duck.  The mascot waved at him, bending down to hand him a signed picture.  The little boy squealed with delight.

disney castle

I like to watch, she thought.  I like to observe what families do.  How they act.  What makes them…well, a family.

“Jade!” The voice snapped her back to reality.  Above her head, the flag snapped against the pole.  She hurried under it towards the other children dressed in bright yellow.  Some smiled, some stared in wonder around them, but mainly, none knew what to do.  Shuffling feet, shifting eyes, they huddled like puppies afraid to make a wrong move.

Miss Kathy grabbed her shoulder.  “Pay attention, Jade.  Don’t dawdle.  Sometimes I wonder what goes on in that head of yours.”

Nothing that would interest you.  She dare not say it out loud.

“Leave her be, Kathy,” Miss Margie said gently.  She was Jade’s favorite.  Always sticking up for her, trying desperately to find her a family to call her own.  Organizing things like Disney trips for the kids.  But really, it almost made the pain worse.  So many happy families.  So many children with Moms and Dads.  College in their futures, a bed of their own, more belongings than could fit in a backpack.  Parents who weren’t in jail, or dead.

Or Moms who can get out of bed every day without chasing another fix.  Who don’t give up their kids because she would rather get high instead.  Jade knew she shouldn’t think that way.  But she preferred to live in reality.  Maybe she was too young, or too vulnerable, or whatever adults always said when she dared speak her thoughts out loud.

Really, what did it matter?  Jade found herself looking back at the waving flag as the children followed behind each other, marching to the orders of Miss Kathy. She shouted them like a drill instructor.  Jade filtered out the noises around her and focused on the Mouse.  The happies place on earth.  Maybe, just maybe, if she was good enough, quiet enough, obedient enough…someone would want her.  They would see her here, and instead of seeing an orphan, they would see a daughter.

She turned her face from the flag.   



Today, there are more than 400,000 children in foster care. More than 100,000 of those are awaiting adoption.  In reality, that isn’t a large number compared to the amount of families who have the means to take in these children. If one family, from every three churches in the United States adopted a child in foster care, it would eliminate the adoption need completely.  Check out your States requirements.  There should be no such thing as an unwanted child.