Bezoar’s Children

Kidney stones, that’s what the doctor thought they were, stones the size of peach pits. “You need an operation, right away!” Only he wasn’t in that much pain, and an operation sounded serious. He didn’t have time for serious. He had work to do, and his garden needed weeding, so he didn’t check in to the hospital the next day, or the day after, or any day, at least not for the stones.

As he became more involved in the day-to-day, he forgot all about the operation, and the stones continued to grow, although they weren’t in his kidneys, just inside his torso. When they got to the size of silver dollars, he could feel them moving about, seven distinct rolling objects. At times, they almost tickled. At other times, if they caused discomfort, he’d poke at them a bit until they shifted to a more comfortable position. Really, they were no trouble at all.

One morning, he felt quite ill, and ran to the bathroom. He felt like his bowels were exploding, and his gut cramped like a clamp rusted into place. As he passed each of the stones, he thought everything was normal, that he’d survive, and then the next stone would roll along, ready for birthing. After the last stone dropped, he collapsed onto the bathroom floor, unconscious, but alive. He dreamed of hail, monoliths, and Stonehenge.

When he awoke, he heard the sounds of children splashing in the water.

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