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SmokeLong Quarterly

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I Am Born

Story by Grant Bailie (Read author interview) December 21, 2009

art by Robinson Accola

I am born. The doctor shakes me gently, the nurse clears the goop from my nose and mouth. I laugh instead of cry. The doctors and nurses are amazed, worried even. They exchange looks. Is that normal? my mother asks when she has found her breath and voice again; I had been a long labor.

It’s not usual, they say, as if this is somehow the more gentle answer.

It’s not usual, she repeats.

But that doesn’t mean it’s not normal, they say.

Actually, my mother says, I think that’s exactly what it means.

And meanwhile I am laughing and laughing until my round head is the color of the morning sun and giant tears swell and spill from each eye.

About the Author

Grant Bailie is the author of the novels Cloud 8, Mortarville, New Hope for Small Men, and TomorrowLand, as well as numerous short stories and articles both in print and online.

About the Artist

Robinson Accola creates artwork for SmokeLong Quarterly as needed.

This story appeared in Issue Twenty-Seven of SmokeLong Quarterly.
SmokeLong Quarterly Issue Twenty-Seven
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