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She Vomited Lost Things

So much blood when it happened (but so much it couldn’t possibly be all hers).

At first, it was only simple misplacements: lost letters, single socks, missing car keys, couch change in the form of hay pennies and rare silver dollars. Then it was things our family had wondered about for years: lost photos, deeds to shotgun houses, records from Ellis Island, books of poetry grandmother wrote, bayonets used by cousins in the war. A great many things thought gone forever pushed their way up her esophagus, straining her throat muscles to the point of near tearing. So much blood when it happened (but so much it couldn’t possibly be all hers). When another thing came up she would stumble gagging to the bathroom, her throat a froggish bulge, her body heaving in great labor, and we all thought surely, surely it wasn’t our fault. No, it must have been someone else’s curse, something she did to create such a void in her innards that summoned things from a shadow world. It could not be, our family whispered, as the wet sounds echoed from the bathroom, it could not be because we had forgotten we put those things inside her. Our family whispered many things to themselves, muttering as they searched for mis-addressed letters, their broken car keys, their rare change. They whispered many things, but then they quickly lost their train of thought.

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