Fiction: Where’s the Baby?

Read More: A brief interview with Kelly Fordon

Sharon didn’t answer when she felt the first vibration in her jeweler’s apron, or even the second one, but when she pulled out the phone and saw it was her older sister, Evie, calling for the third time, she put her brass brush down on the table.

“I’m teaching,” she whispered, trying not to put any inflection on the word teaching. She shouldn’t have to give a reason for ignoring her sister, who up until this illness had never offered any excuse herself.

“Have you heard about the baby?” Evie asked. It sounded like she was crying.

Sharon could hear a car going by in the background on the other end of the line. She had turned away from her class to take the call, so she turned back to smile at the seven middle-aged women in her jewelry making class. They were all in the final stages of creation, sanding off the sprues and brushing down the metal, and they appeared to be ignoring the phone call, though plump Tina at table one had started humming, a sure sign she was listening.

“Where are you?” Evie was not supposed to be driving. Sharon had hidden her keys in the cookie jar before she left for class.

“The street signs say Broadmoor and Thrush? It’s spelled t-h-r-u-s-h.” Evie sounded it out like a child.

“How did you find the keys?” Sharon said. Evie loved cookies. It had been stupid idea to hide the keys in the cookie jar. “Can you make it home?” Sharon asked, although the answer seemed obvious.

“I think so?”

“OK. Stay put. I’ll be right there. Just wait for me.”

“But what about the baby? There’s a dead baby here. Should I call someone?”

“A dead baby?”

Plump Nora stopped humming and looked up at Sharon. A couple of the other women also appeared startled. Sharon shook her head and put her hand over the phone. […]

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Kelly Fordon’s work has appeared in The Florida Review, The Kenyon Review (KRO), Rattle, The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, and various other journals. She is the author of three award-winning poetry chapbooks. Her novel-in-stories, Garden for the Blind, was chosen as a Michigan Notable Book, a 2016 Foreword Reviews’ INDIEFAB Finalist, a Midwest Book Award Finalist, an Eric Hoffer Finalist, and an IPPY Awards Bronze Medalist in the short story category. Her first full-length poetry collection, Goodbye Toothless House, was published by Kattywompus Press in 2019 and her second short story collection I Have the Answer will be published by WSUP in 2020.

Read More: A brief interview with Kelly Fordon