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26 September 2008 @ 12:36 am
"Pregnant"  
It's that time again.  :O  What time?  brigits_flame time!  That's right, eight whole hours before the deadline! 8D

So the story on this one is... I was failing to figure out how to take it sideways, and then I thought that maybe I should just do it the most straightforward way possible.  I started trying that the other day... then let it sit a while... and then realized how fast the eleventh hour was approaching and dashed off the majority just now in order to finish. XD

Adoration and gratitude to eltea as always for a wonderful beta and for helping me bounce ideas around in the early stages. :)

“Hurry up, John, I’m starving.”

This is categorically untrue; she was sprinkling cashews and dried cranberries down her throat fifteen minutes ago.

The call winds its way to her eardrums from the kitchen, airy and unconcerned.  “I can only put peanut butter on pickles so fast, sweetheart.  They’re elusive.”

She loves that he still calls her ‘sweetheart’ despite the fact that she’s the most bloated, demanding bitch ever to walk the stained beige carpet of their hallways.  Then again, she can blame a great deal of it on the rather smaller but no less demanding bitch tucked into her belly.  They make a pretty good Bitch Team.

In two months, John is going to be doomed.  The Apocalypse is nigh.

She leans back into the battered cushion of the couch and heaves her sock-feet up onto the tower of magazines—Time, Newsweek, and their shared guilty pleasure, TV Guide—that has recreated Pisa on the scarred surface of the coffee table.  They’re going to have to wrap one of those protective runners around its edge pretty soon, the string-of-Christmas-lights-à-la-Michelin-Man kind.  If their prospective daughter is anything like her, the poor, unsuspecting dear will have a knack for clipping corners with her shins; and if she’s anything like John, she’ll tend to drop things, catch them, and then drop them again.

So if said prospective daughter is like both of them…

Well, that’ll be fun.

Humming one of a thousand lullabies she’s undertaken to learn despite the fact that her voice is better suited to caterwauling, she lays her palms on her vast water balloon of an abdomen and spreads her fingers (long since having swollen too much to fit her rings) as far as they’ll go.  There’s no commotion; perhaps her little Bitch Cadet is sleeping.  Pretty soon, Mommy’s probably going to join her.

But not before she gets her peanut-buttered pickles, damn it.

“John, my love,” she sings—or rather, caterwauls.

“Momentarily, my own,” he sings back, passably, “I shall fulfill your wildest culinary dreams.”

John’s like that.  He doesn’t howl “Don’t rush me, woman!”, because he is always, always, always considering who’s on the other end of his words, to the effect that he crafts them carefully to be soft, and safe, and kind.  This is the warm world of Johnness that she has so gratefully settled into, and she can only hope that he knows how much she appreciates his allowing it to be real.

One of the big reasons she’s in this for the long haul is interwoven into all that: it would be a crying shame if this man didn’t have children.  In that general vein, the universe at large would probably throw a hissy fit if his genes couldn’t frolic in the pool at least a few more times, making sure the other little genes didn’t start splashing each other in the eyes.

True to his word, John sashays into the living room, such as it is, and bows low, proffering a chipped ceramic plate of pickles meticulously spread with crunchy peanut butter.  They are arranged in a smiley face.

“I am unworthy,” she says, grinning, but she almost means it.

He double-checks that she’s got a grip on the plate before he flops down next to her and lays a warm arm around her shoulders.  “Your famishment makes you delusional,” he replies.

That, or it’s the hormones.  Ah, the mysteries of pregnancy.

She snuggles in closer, and he touches his lips to her forehead.  Something glows softly, and she thinks it might be her.

 
 
 
Feeling: cheerfulcheerful
 
 
 
(Deleted comment)
Vitamin Ctierfal on September 26th, 2008 09:43 pm (UTC)
I adore them too. :3 *tilts head, the better to hear ticking, and taps foot in rhythm*

I'm not even sure why I love the sort of happy-domestic stories so much, 'cause I know I'm not even remotely ready to get there. Or maybe it's BECAUSE I'm not ready to get there, but it still sounds so nice, and getting it on a page is much safer than trying to shoot for it, and... Oh, how I love over-analyzing myself. XD

I definitely wrote that bit with a sort of "I ought to work on that little number" in mind. :P
Biancamermaidbia on September 26th, 2008 01:56 pm (UTC)
Oooh, Google advertisements agree with this, there's a pregnant belly on the screen.

That aside...

Then again, she can blame a great deal of it on the rather smaller but no less demanding bitch tucked into her belly. They make a pretty good Bitch Team.

That made me LOL, and when you've got me laughing out loud at something I read, you've pretty much won.

You've got a real knack for cynical, matter-of-fact humour sprinkled all across the writing and still catching the reader off guard, making (*points to herself*) giggle in spite of herself. Too many writers who think they've got a handle on humour overdo it by making every other sentence a punchline and thereby turning things stale after the second paragraph, but you have a wobderful handle on natural humour. I love the relationship between these two, how it's filled with little "rites" you can feel have been established the past seven months or so. It's excellent writing.

it would be a crying shame if this man didn’t have children. In that general vein, the universe at large would probably throw a hissy fit if his genes couldn’t frolic in the pool at least a few more times, making sure the other little genes didn’t start splashing each other in the eyes.

That made me laugh and giggle so hard, it scared the kittens. It's beautiful.
And I love how you threw in a "softened" paragraph about why she loves John, too :)

Awesome.

And: L for president, I love your icon.
Vitamin Ctierfal on September 26th, 2008 09:49 pm (UTC)
LJ's ads crack me up. The only ones that are better are fanfiction.net's, where a banner once encouraged me to click on a test proclaiming, "ARE YOU GAY????"

Anyway. XD

Oh, my gosh, thanks. :3 Humor is my absolute favorite thing, and to know that I'm getting it right is UTTERLY wonderful. :] Thanks very much. x)

So glad you liked it! :D

OMG. My new dream ticket -- L and Near, 2008! 8D
DrippedOnPaperdrippedonpaper on September 27th, 2008 03:50 am (UTC)
You are definitely getting humor right which is really a gift I don't have, so I doubly admire it:)

John does sound a little too good to be true but I remind myself, this is their FIRST child, right? First child pregnancy is a happy little dream time usually, if all is healthy:)

I really like the way you point out faults...yet show that real love is between two imperfect people and that's how it can BE real.

Thanks for sharing!

Do keep writing, I want to read more of your style:)
Vitamin Ctierfal on September 27th, 2008 07:52 am (UTC)
*scuffs feet sheepishly* Thanks! ^_^;;

Yeah, I imagine even John's not quite as patient at two in the morning when their little bundle of joy is colicky. :P

The day I stop writing is the day I lose what's left of my mind. ;)
Innana88innana88 on September 26th, 2008 03:58 pm (UTC)
Wow. I'm totally impressed. You took a rather traditional take on the topic, but flushed it out beautifully and totally owned it. I loved this one.
Vitamin Ctierfal on September 26th, 2008 09:50 pm (UTC)
Aw, shucks! x) Thank you very much; I'm glad you liked it! :)
Innana88innana88 on September 29th, 2008 11:48 am (UTC)
I really, really did!
richelle2972richelle2972 on September 26th, 2008 06:22 pm (UTC)
Now...I don't like children in general and I definitely cringe at the thought of pregnancy, but you did such a great job with this that I love it! :) Wonderful as always!
Vitamin Ctierfal on September 26th, 2008 09:50 pm (UTC)
Oh, you. :P No, actually, that's a pretty reasonable perspective at this point in our lives, I'd say... XD

Anyways, I'm very glad to hear you enjoyed it! :D Thanks, as always! ;)
No Whimsy, Sugar: Meaning of Lifetaste_is_sweet on September 26th, 2008 06:27 pm (UTC)
I have to admit that I didn't think I'd enjoy this when I started, but you surprised me very pleasantly indeed. That was a lovely, happy slice of life, and I really liked it.
Vitamin Ctierfal on September 26th, 2008 09:52 pm (UTC)
I'm glad to hear it! Thank you! ^^
cedarwolfsingercedarwolfsinger on September 26th, 2008 08:35 pm (UTC)
Sweet, adorable, loving, gentle, above all authentic. Good work!
Vitamin Ctierfal on September 26th, 2008 09:52 pm (UTC)
Thanks very much! :)
Ngocorientalblossom on September 27th, 2008 12:22 pm (UTC)
Awwwww....how coincidental though, we're doing preganncy & birth in Human Biol and my friend was telling me about this One Piece fic (what else would you do in class?) that had something to do with a pregnant woman and chocolate-coated fish, or something. ^^

The woman in this story reminds me of Hermione in a DHr fic I read last year, only you can get much more...interesting...food combinations in the wizarding world (i'll leave you to interpret what 'interesting' means xD)

Great job with the drabble, it was nicely written & very sparky, to the extreme!
Vitamin Ctierfal on September 27th, 2008 07:46 pm (UTC)
Haha, chocolate-coated fish... could almost work? Maybe not. XD I am a confessed dark-chocolate-covered soybeans addict -- they sound disgusting, but they're absurdly good. XD

Oh, dear; I can only imagine! XD

Thanks! ^^ I had fun. 8D
merthin: Siegfriedmerthin on September 28th, 2008 07:46 am (UTC)
I didn't like this. . . and then I did. It has a certain ineffable quality which makes it all too real. Thank you for sharing.
Vitamin Ctierfal on September 28th, 2008 07:45 pm (UTC)
Thank YOU! :)
(Deleted comment)
Vitamin Ctierfal on September 28th, 2008 07:50 pm (UTC)
Thanks for a really detailed edit! Wow! :D

Excellent points all around, though I have to defend my wayward grammatical choices a little bit with the explanation that there was a stylistic decision to give Her something of an informal voice, but you're still right. ^^;

Basically, really helpful suggestions, so thanks very much! :]
hwango: hermit crabhwango on September 29th, 2008 07:58 am (UTC)
Heh, I love “I can only put peanut butter on pickles so fast, sweetheart. They’re elusive.” Of course, this might be because I've been known to talk like this myself. I often refer to any inanimate object or food item that's difficult to pick up or acquire as "wily prey."

I also liked ...if his genes couldn’t frolic in the pool at least a few more times, making sure the other little genes didn’t start splashing each other in the eyes.

And finally, it's awesome that the pickles are arranged in a smiley face. = )
Vitamin Ctierfal on September 29th, 2008 07:22 pm (UTC)
They are dreadfully wily, those food things! D:

I randomly had the idea and was just like YES. XD

Thanks! ^^
Jacques: Connectionlacombe on October 3rd, 2008 02:57 am (UTC)
Your Editor reporting for duty!
Heya! I'm one of your editors this week. I'm known for my long edits- if I see something, I say it.



“Hurry up, John, I’m starving.” Given your emphasis, I would end this sentence with an exclamation point, not a period.

she was sprinkling cashews = she had been sprinkling cashews

The call winds its way to her Using "The" in "The call" makes his a little confusing. I would consider using "His".

She loves that he still calls her ‘sweetheart’ despite the fact that she’s the most bloated, demanding bitch ever to walk the stained beige carpet of their hallways. - This is GREAT. ^_^

no less demanding =no-less-demanding

They make a pretty good Bitch Team. By now, I feel that "bitch" is overused. I might cut it out and just say "They make a pretty good team."

and their shared guilty pleasure, TV Guide I believe that there should be no comma there.

one of those protective runners around its edge pretty soon, the This is incidental, but the formatting here is pretty distracting.

shins; and if Technically, you shouldn't use "and" here. More practically, however, I'd just use "shins. If" here.

damn it. = dammit.

He doesn’t howl “Don’t rush me, woman!”, because he is always, always, always considering who’s on the other end of his words, to the effect that he crafts them carefully to be soft, and safe, and kind. This sentence is really long and easy to break up into two sentences. Just do this: considering who’s on the other end of his words. He crafts them

They are arranged in a smiley face. My personal preference is to use contractions whenever possible. Think about how much better this flows: "They're arranged in a smiley face."

she says, grinning, no comma needed between "says" and "grinning", unless you're deliberately making "grinning" into a parenthetical phrase, which I don't recommend.

double-checks No need to hyphenate this. :-)

She snuggles in closer, and he touches his lips to her forehead. Something glows softly, and she thinks it might be her. Best. Ending. Ever.



I was absolutely charmed by this! Excellently done, all around! I love the intimacy you create in such a short piece, and the wonderful dynamic. I love John, and I love that you don't name the female to aid half your readership into directly placing themselves in that situation. It's a beautiful story, it's touching, and I'm so happy I read it! Thanks so much for sharing this with all of us!



Edited at 2008-10-03 02:57 am (UTC)
Vitamin Ctierfal on October 3rd, 2008 06:44 am (UTC)
Re: Your Editor reporting for duty!
Wow, thanks very much for such a detailed edit! :D

Really excellent and helpful suggestions all around -- definitely including some stuff I should work on. XD

Also, I'm very glad you liked it! ^^ Thank you!
Jacqueslacombe on October 3rd, 2008 11:44 am (UTC)
Re: Your Editor reporting for duty!
You're very welcome! This entry was the last I'd tackled last night, and it was the perfect way to wrap things up. Your writing is a pleasure to experience.