Smoking With Elspeth Graty

Read the Story March 15, 2005

Everything in this story fits so perfectly. How do you do it?

Thank you! I guess the feelings were close to my heart – I remember worrying about being a good mother before my first child was born. You do a lot of thinking before the birth and after you have to just get on with it.

Tell me more about the title and the image of the jelly babies.

I wrote this story for a frantic flash competition using the prompt, Pink, Stink. I thought about the colour of the baby and the unborn child in the dream, and then a Jelly Baby came to mind (do you have them in the US?) They are much pinker than real ones.

A line that means so much to me: “I keep this one.” Am I wrong to love it so?

The narrator is afraid that she won’t be the perfect mother, that she would be punished for aborting a baby. Finding the imperfect Jelly Baby reassured her.

Stories sometimes don’t know when to end. Yours does. “Candy-sweet.” How’d you know this was the ending this story desired?

I wanted to end on a slightly unreal note. Would everything really be OK, or was this woman on the verge of losing touch with reality.

So, you teach English in France. What are the French feeling these days toward the good ole’ US of A?

Oooh, difficult! I think the French have stopped believing in the American Dream. They are perplexed by the political decisions that are made, but also know that a lot of Americans are too.

About the Author:

Elspeth Graty teaches English in France. She has recently had her first short story publication in Aesthetica.

About the Artist:

A native of Ohio, Marty D. Ison lives with his wife transplanted in the sands of the Gulf of Mexico. He studied fine arts at Saint Petersburg College. In addition to the visual arts, he writes poetry, short stories, and novels. See more of Ison's work here.