Pregnant Widows Club, a novella, chaptella six

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The Dreaming

She dreamed of an odd fear she'd had as a young girl. There were certain fabrics that she could not stand to have against her skin or rubbed against any surface, including themselves, within her hearing. She thought of them as big flat snakes, that would wrap themselves around her and cover her face and she would have to breath through the lint and the loose threads and smell that cheap flowery stink that her mother called "enticing".

In her dream, she was in her early twenties and eating the fabrics as tiny squares floating in a bowl of milk. They tasted just like wrinkled note paper. As she chewed and swallowed, they made defeated noises and she revelled in her triumph.

The car she was riding in accelerated and the closet door swung closed behind her. She had her face buried in her father's suits. Tobacco, throat lozenges and aftershave, mixed with vague food smells and something like motor oil.

The turnstile rotated and she was back on the street, clutching a large stuffed koala bear and trying to not focus on her nakedness. Her breasts scuffed against the plush fabric of the bear and she had the urge to pee right there.

The turnstile sucked her in, and she spun out into a lingerie department full of fat men trying on thongs. Bits of dangling this and that everywhere.

She stepped back into the elevator and the boy in his stiff uniform backed away from her buttocks, saying something about being a good Druid.

The priest next to her got into an argument with the boy about whether a good windmill could inspire lust in a jet plane.
The theatre crowd applauded. The bear was gone. She stood in the limelight on the stage, naked, aroused and needing to pee.
Three tall midgets rolled out a square rack with a curtain, and a bucket with an oaken lid. She stepped behind the curtain with the bucket in hand and did her business.

The motorcycle seemed to be out of gas. It was making a strange noise... like a baby...

She bathed her son carefully, fearful that some bit might fall off if she scrubbed too hard...

then her leg grew numb and fell off and she had to kneel on the remaining knee, clutching the side of the tub while the child blew bubbles in her face.

The mouthpiece of the french horn was cold against her lips and fluid seemed to flow from it... cold tea.

She felt a stabbing in the crook of her elbow and the music suddenly became softer, the violins increasing their tremelo and the harpist using some sort of spoons...

while the oboe player grinned at her around her reed and spread her legs to display a plastic tub of fake margarine.

The manicurist with the velvet mohawk continued to rub jam on her fresh tattoo of a robin feeding her young in a nest built in an up-turned bowler hat. Her skirt was soaking and her shoes hurt. She could smell the shoes of everyone who had ever crossed the furry carpet.

Her hair had crept out of it's bun and was caressing her face.
Tiny pasteboard men began to dance the cancan to the tune of "It had to be you". The floor vibrated under their steps and the walls fell inward, taking the chandeliers with them. Fire engines split in two, right down the middle, and fell, impotent. A ship rose out of the water, flipped and went back in. A bubble rose from the depths, popped and emitted a yell of satisfaction. She saw Ibat's face close up, every wrinkle and pore and sutured scar. His eyes were closed. His pants were open. A vine grew and snaked across the floor to pass up her skirt. She felt full. She burped and the baby on her shoulder spit up a bit. She could smell the diaper. It smelled like day-old oatmeal.

It was time to take a nap.

She laid the child in the bassinet with three other sleeping babies and went to lay down with the mothers. They moaned and shifte to accomodate her on the narrow bed. She pulled a blanket over her face and drifted off.

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