I had really hoped to write something totally new for the site this week, and I was making a good start when I got sidetracked by something that’s threatening to turn into a novel. I may post some excerpts later on, but for now, here’s a light-hearted tale of child abuse. Believe it or not, no trigger warnings this time.

 

John sat at the kitchen table, flipping idly through the local paper on his tablet while Mandy busied herself at the blender getting breakfast ready. “Here you go, hon,” she said, putting the protein shake in front of him. “Um, John? What we talked about last night?”

“Mm, thanks,” he said, reaching for the tall, slightly pinkish shake without taking his eyes from the screen. “Yep, I think it could be a good idea. Doing some research right now.” He raised the glass to his lips, took a swallow, and started to cough and choke. “Ugh, oh god, no-,” putting his hand to his mouth, he shot up, overturning his chair, and rushed to the bathroom, the sound of his retching into the toilet coming clearly down the hall.

“John, what is it? Was it the shake? I know strawberry isn’t your favorite, but they were out of-”

“No, that’s not it.” He emerged from the bathroom, wiping his mouth on a small towel. “The things people will do to their….well, just look,” he said, handing her the tablet and pointing.

“Free to good home, healthy Caucasian baby boy, blond hair, eyes still blue at 6 mos., birth weight-”

“No, down at the bottom. Look,” he pointed, “right here.”

“Circumcised, poor thing, and….oh, no…..Okay Google” she said, and waited for the microphone icon to flash, “Child Protective Services, Monroe County.” As the new window opened, she looked at her husband with tears in her eyes. “The things people will do to a poor, innocent child. I hope they throw those parents and the doctor in jail for a long, long time. Vaccinated?”

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