Wednesday, October 19, 2022

“Restoration” • by Ephiny Gale

My wife and I go to get scanned every four months; every quark that we’re made up of is recorded as a back-up. Our physical and mental states in that moment put figuratively on ice.

After the third scan I feel unusually cold. My wife has appeared in front of me, her face swollen and pink like she’s been crying for days. “What’s wrong?” I ask. She was fine when we got here.

After the second scan I feel chillier than the first. My wife reaches out to me, her hair greyer and half the length it was thirty minutes ago. “What happened?” I ask, and pull her close.

My wife is waiting for me after my first scan. Somehow she looks years older than when we arrived, and the mixture of emotions on her face is too difficult for me to read. She kisses my hand and says my name like a prayer. Says, “This has to be early enough. Early enough to beat it, because there isn’t any earlier.”

Then she drives me to the hospital, my hand on her knee.



Ephiny Gale is the author of more than two dozen published short stories and novelettes that have appeared in publications including Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Constellary Tales, and Daily Science Fiction. Her fiction has been awarded the Sundress Publications' Best of the Net award and the Syntax & Salt Editor's Award, and has been a finalist for multiple Aurealis Awards.




Made in DNA said...

Oh ho ho ho ho!! Just stop. Stop right there! EXCELLENT. I had to read it TWICE because to make sure I wasn't missing anything. Good LORD, that was good. This has to be one of my favorite short stories/flash fiction pieces of the YEAR! YIKES! Crazy great.

Made in DNA said...

THAT. WAS. EXCELLENT. Chills, pure chills. Easily my favorite story of the YEAR! Again, the whole mystery of what's happening. I had to read the story twice! (I also had to write this comment post twice because the site ate it?)