By Clara Kiat
The outdated woman who lives in my stomach doesn’t have a reputation.
Tonight, I sleep subsequent to a window with a view of the total moon. The moonbeams wash over my face. That sensation might be the closest I’ll ever get to having a spirit caress my cheeks. I’m enveloped in ethereal gentle.
That’s when the outdated woman who lives in my stomach wakes up. Her crimson lipstick is smeared on the corners of her mouth.
At first, she is quiet, peeking up on the moon and soaking in its rays. She, too, desires a glimpse of the moon, and I don’t blame her for popping out of hiding. Moonlight should have nutritional vitamins, too, like daylight. We simply haven’t studied it but. These moonlight nutritional vitamins should be good for outdated women.
However the outdated woman will get bored rapidly, as she often does. She retreats into my stomach. And when she has nothing to do, she takes out her knife. She licks the tip together with her tongue to whet the blade’s urge for food, licking ever so gently in order that the knife doesn’t draw blood.
It’s my blood that she is after.
Buzzing to herself, she slashes round my womb. For an outdated woman, her wiry arms are taut with energy. She is aware of precisely the place to plunge the blade. Maybe she imagines herself as Zorro. She slices her means by.
My screams fall on her deaf ears. Her listening to aids have slipped out and are someplace on the bloodied floor.
The physician tells me that since outdated women like infants, I ought to contemplate giving her one. Infants would maintain the outdated woman busy. She could be calm and fulfilled, doing the types of issues that grannies do, as an alternative of pacing round my vacant stomach together with her knife. I shake my head. Infants should not playthings.
However because the outdated woman runs round my stomach like a crazed ninja wielding a katana, I contemplate the physician’s recommendation. I consider the therapeutic properties of infants, all of the goodness of their squirmy, soft-boned limbs. I clear myself up and summon my lover. I welcome him into my weary physique.
There isn’t a fruit forthcoming. The outdated woman’s roots have embedded deep in my womb, leaving no room for a child to sprout.
I am going again to the physician and demand that he take out the outdated woman from my stomach. He cuts me open and finds the outdated woman on her mattress of scar tissue, portray her toenails scarlet. The physician feeds her a potion to make her fall right into a deep sleep, and with a pair of scissors, he removes the outdated woman and the roots that bind her to my womb.
What follows is a relaxed that I used to assume was unknowable. I dance, climb mountains, dive into deep waters. My stomach—my physique—is mine alone.
However not lengthy after, it begins as soon as extra: my womb thumps towards itself, a hole coronary heart that follows no rhythm. Then I really feel stilettos—her heels are kicking towards the partitions of my stomach. The outdated woman has grown proper again. She is testing her new limbs. After which comes the primary minimize of this new season: a ragged mouth grinning, dripping, spitting brilliant crimson. The outdated woman has a brand new knife, however her grip will not be as agency. The results of the physician’s sleeping potion should have lingered.
Her violence is available in erratic spurts, not in clear thrusts like earlier than.
She is asleep most instances, curled up inside my stomach and hugging the blade to herself. When she wakes up, I hear her murmur within the language of dying desires. With trembling fingers, she flings the knife throughout like a dart. She misses the primary couple of instances, however she repeats her little sport till I’m pierced throughout like a medieval saint.
I climb on the physician’s desk. Minimize out every part, I urge. The outdated woman, her roots, my womb. However what about your infants, the physician says. There can be no infants, I mumble, as heady fumes fill my nostrils. By the window, the very last thing I see is a sliver of moon, and I ponder what the outdated woman would consider this moon.
Later, I get up and press my fingers towards the embroidered pores and skin of my stomach. The physician had snipped away the outdated woman and the roots that bind her to my womb, and for good measure, dismantled her mattress of scar tissue. However he left my womb intact. It was lower than him, he says, to deprive my future infants of a house. I flip away from him and look out on the window. The moon is a watch narrowed right into a slit, obvious on the physician.
The respite is short-lived. The outdated woman rises but once more. She will get on her knees and places her palms on the ground of my womb, the place her mattress of scar tissue was once. A whimper escapes her. Nonetheless on her knees, she grabs her knife and frantically traces a big circle round her, and one other inside it, and one other, till the circles get smaller, and the knife is a mere whisper from her personal pores and skin.
All night time, she weeps, sowing salt upon my wounds. The sting is fleeting, however the ache in my coronary heart will not be. How small and fragile she has develop into.
I’ve come to consider that the outdated woman doesn’t bear me in poor health will. It’s merely her nature. I consider the issues now we have in frequent. My womb. My wounds. The moon.
When the following full moon comes, I’ll have a superb bottle of Rioja prepared for when the outdated woman wakes up from her sleep. A little bit wine won’t damage anyone. And maybe we are going to take up a passion collectively, like fencing, and do it beneath the intense gleam of the moon.