Psychopomp Magazine Summer 2015 - Page 9

Jaclyn Watterson | 9

One blizzarding Wednesday, Baby Grace and I set out for the mall and began to wander in the prairie. We could not tell a brick wall from a sidewalk for all the snow, and to our surprise it was Charlie Habsburg who rescued us. We saw his silver car approach, and then he himself, Charlie Habsburg—he wasn’t even wearing boots!—climbed out the back and tied soft rope from our waists to the bumper of his car. He gave instructions for the driver to take it slow, and he dragged us back into the city by way of the park. We didn’t know Charlie had at his command such physical strength, and after that we were each a little less keen on becoming Mrs. Charlie Habsburg.

This scrape gave us the desire not to speak to anyone, and the desire often manifested in the coming month. Yet we had pledged ourselves, and we would wed.

Toward February, a very popular suitor called Deirdre proposed a party, to cheer us and force his hand to proposal. Baby Grace did not want to attend, and I did not want to attend, but to admit defeat would be to call certainty and mistrust misguided.

They weren't.

IV. The kidney won him

I don’t know why he gave it, but the night before the party Charlie presented his kidney, wrapped in tissue and smelling fragrantly. It was a beautiful, weak, inbred kidney—and it was mine.

Of course, I placed his kidney beside my own.

The surgery was a little difficult, but sweet Maxine helped, and we used name-brand floss to stitch me closed. You may say three kidneys are too many, and I say, Two were not enough.

I wore the wolf costume and carried Charlie’s kidney inside me to the party. The others were dancing a quadrille when I entered, and just like in the movies, that ended abruptly upon their perceiving me.

Certainly I bled, and unquestionably I bulged with kidney—I was a little unsteady on my feet and with my words, but I think the wolf costume, dripping, spelled everything that was to come.