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Edition 31: My Son the Afterbirth by Craig Stewart

Travis is deeply unsatisfied with what his life with Doug has become, and yet Doug is increasingly insistent on becoming a family. This deeply disturbing piece is a finalist from the 2016 Story Quest Contest. – SY

He walked in the door that day with a handful of tulips and a grin to match. They were my favourite flowers and he knew it. He wanted something. That schoolboy mischief living behind his smile was no coincidence.

I put my trashy romance novel to rest and rose from the squishy comfort of the love seat to greet him and receive his offering. I took them, smelled them and planted them into a vase, all the while keeping my trepidation safely tucked away where he couldn’t see.

“Thanks, they’re great,” I assured him. “Is there a reason for your sweetness today?”

He was still a little out of breath and smelled hot from his bike ride home. I liked that. I liked that a lot.

Before he answered me, he brought his lips to mine for a quick meet and greet. They met and then parted, but not before a few of his laboured breaths titillated my lips and neck. I liked that too.

“You’re reason enough.” Doug was certainly a romantic man, the kind of man who would earnestly tilt his head and swoon over a mass-produced card from the dollar store about the healing power of kindness.

I, on the other hand, was not that kind of man. Not that I didn’t have my own weaknesses, sentimentality just wasn’t one of them.

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