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Preview — California by Edan Lepucki
At the store, Frida had so much fun playing with the turkey baster, squeezing its plastic bulb so that the air farted out the glass tip. Frida had wondered if they might use it to try to get pregnant someday: their own ad hoc fertility treatment. It was funny how that had been on her mind even then.
The door was a mouth, and if he passed through it, he would fall into the dark throat of night.
She felt fragile and hard, like a marionette.
Frida thought that the worse things got, the more women lost what they’d worked so hard to gain. No one cared about voting rights and equal pay because everyone was too busy lighting fires to stay warm and looking for food to stay alive.
Frida was shocked by how normal he looked; he didn’t wear a gown of feathers or chain mail or a silver space suit.
It hit him all at once. There were no children. Not one.
He wouldn’t tell Frida any of this, at least not until the plan had been perfected, and maybe not even then, not if keeping it a secret meant she would sleep soundly at night. She needed to rest for the baby. She would be happier not knowing, as long as he had her best interests in mind. As long as he kept demanding information from Micah and was being smart, she’d be satisfied. She could trust him to make decisions for their family. Cal sat down
Thank you to Kiki Petrosino, whose poem “Valentine” inspired the Official Pussy Inspector T-shirt.