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aybe cutting off my son’s entire little toe is unnecessary, but I’m not a scientist; I’m not sure how much of him is needed, so I cut. He thrashes and screams. I know it must be painful. I try to hush him, to settle him down, but he won’t take any of it. He’s no longer the old man dying of cancer that he was just a few minutes ago; the pain has brought back his old self, his fighting self. So much blood from such a small wound, and so much struggle; but at least I have his toe now. His decrepit, crude, diseased, little toe; all wrinkled and hairy, it curls up on the palm of my hand like an ugly embryo. Should I keep it on ice? I’m not sure, but I rather be safe than sorry. I’m sure I’ll find a container in the kitchen; maybe some ice in the fridge. I only wish he would stop crying, but he doesn’t listen to a word I say; I was never very good at consoling him; that was his mother’s gift. When he was a child he would wake us up in the middle of the night, crying his lungs out, terrified at some nightmare and the darkness he woke up to; and no matter what I did, no matter how much I held him in my arms, or kissed him, or turn on all the lights to show him that nothing bad was hiding in the shadows, he would keep crying until his mother entered the room and, with a single gentle

hush, erased his wailing almost in an instant, turning it into a sobbing that soon would become silence.

Fig A.

That always made me jealous. Not the control she had over his fears, but the response she always got from him, the assurance that he knew how much she loved him. I too loved him very much, and I knew that he loved me back; maybe he was better at demonstrating his love to his mother, but I knew that there was also love for me in his little heart. We were always great friends too, there never was any doubt about that, but his mother got to be his confidant. Yes, I was a jealous father, I can admit that much. Jealousy is a stupid sentiment, especially within family members, but, like my good physician always says: “You can’t control your feelings the way you can

Profile for Conjectural Figments

Conjectural Figments Feb 2012  

ConFigs, the first issue. Transhumanism. Interview: Simon Morden. Poetry: Jhon Z. Baker, Dale Herring. Short Fiction: Richard Thomas, Simon...

Conjectural Figments Feb 2012  

ConFigs, the first issue. Transhumanism. Interview: Simon Morden. Poetry: Jhon Z. Baker, Dale Herring. Short Fiction: Richard Thomas, Simon...

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