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Diary of a Midwife

Submitted to NYC Midnight micro flash fiction contest. 1st place in its category.

By Cathy SchieffelinPublished 7 months ago 1 min read
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Photo courtesy of the Frontier Nursing Service Archives

I dig my heels into Chester’s flank, riding the Upper Creek, saddlebags flapping. Hazel had a rough delivery two nights ago. Twins. Bitty things. They’s sucklin’ when I left. Not no more.

Her husband takes Chester as I rush inside, to caterwauling. The babies fuss, screamin’ themselves purple. Lucy’s soaked. I change nappies, then glance at Hazel. Pale, eyes droopin’, metallic tang... scarlet bleeds through the sheet.

“Wyatt, get that wagon hitched!”

I return weeks later, babies in tow. They’s thriving and tolerate the formula. Sorry Hazel ain’t here to see ‘em.

The cabin sags, forsaken.

No Wyatt in sight.

Postscript: This story is also imbedded into the story Kestral in Waiting where I imagine the lives of Wyatt and Hazel before this fateful day and what happens after.

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About the Creator

Cathy Schieffelin

Writing is breath for me. Travel and curiosity contribute to my daily writing life. I've had pieces published in Adanna Lit Jour. and Halfway Down the Stairs. My first novel, The Call, comes out in 2024. I live in New Orleans.

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  • Judey Kalchik 4 months ago

    Congratulations on the first place with this piece

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