A woman gave birth to a girl. That hurt. Her coworker gave birth to a book. That really hurt.
Baby Mommy spent a lot of time playing with and nurturing Girl. Book Mother did the same with Book.
Baby Mommy went to parties with other baby mommies. There, they would compare their babies’ strengths. Sometimes, Book Mother attended these parties, but none of the baby mommies were interested in Book. And Book Mother wasn’t really interested in babies.
Baby Mommy often left work early or missed work altogether: Girl was sick or had something at school or a sports outing. “Take as much time as you need,” said the bosses. “Babies are important.”
Book Mother stayed late at work and only took off for vacations. “You have work to do,” said the bosses. “Books aren’t important. You have to fill in for Baby Mommy.” Still, Book Mother spent whatever free time she did have with Book.
Eventually, Baby Mommy stopped working. When Girl was at school, Baby Mommy put on makeup and bought designer purses and met other baby mommies at expensive coffee shops, where they talked about their babies’ accomplishments and talents.
Book Mother kept working at her job and she kept working with Book. She did not wear makeup or carry a purse. She drank good coffee, but not nearly as good as Baby Mommy’s. Book helped lots of people, but Book Mother did not talk much about that.
Baby Mommy sent out many photos of Girl holding various things: a blue ribbon for clarinet performance, a medal for dancing, a trophy for gymnastics, a plaque for academic excellence, and eventually, an engagement ring that had a big diamond. People loved these photos.
Book Mother did not send out photos of Book—that would have made people angry.
One day, Girl had a baby of her own. Baby Mommy had a grandchild! Baby Mommy watched and drove around her grandchild while Girl went to concerts and games and dinners and stores. Girl had more babies and soon, Baby Mommy spent most of her time with her grandchildren. And when she wasn’t with her grandchildren, Baby Mommy would meet with other baby mommies with grandchildren. They would talk about their grandchildren’s talents and achievements.
All this time, Book Mother kept working on Book. And many people had better lives because of Book.
Eventually, Girl and her family moved away from Baby Mommy.
One day, Baby Mommy sat alone on a bench. She looked at her hands. They shook and ached and had many spots and wrinkles. Then she saw another pair of shaky hands with spots and wrinkles. It was Book Mother.
Book Mother sat down beside Baby Mommy and the old women talked for some time. Soon it was time for Book Mother to go. She pushed herself up and shuffled away, but not before she gave Book to Baby Mommy.
Douglas J. Ogurek, the pseudonymous and highly unprofessional founder of the unsplatterpunk subgenre, thinks he’s changing the world … one intestine at a time. Unsplatterpunk uses splatterpunk conventions (i.e., controversial/gory/gross/violent subject matter) to deliver a positive message. Ogurek guest-edited the wildly unpopular UNSPLATTERPUNK! trilogy, published by Theaker’s Quarterly Fiction. These anthologies are unavailable at your library and despised by your mother. Ogurek reviews films and fiction at that same magazine.
Publications have rejected Ogurek’s work more than 1,500 times. However, The Paris Review, considered one of the world’s leading literary journals, thanked him for submitting a manuscript in one (form) letter. Another highly respected journal, The Yale Review, stated, “We want to thank you for your kindness in letting us see your work.” More at www.douglasjogurek.weebly.com. Twitter: @unsplatter
Pregerature was originally published in Dime Show Review.