Snippet of a parasite

Still Untitled

Grace put Doris in a large, empty mayonnaise jar, the kind they only sell at the bulk stores where everything is cheaper, but more than you ever wanted in the first place. She had cleaned the jar out a week before the procedure to be ready, and now, Doris sat, or floated rather, in the cloudy water of the mayonnaise jar on Grace’s bedside table. Grace liked to watch Doris drift in the soft light of the lamp behind the jar that illuminated the milky water as she drifted off to sleep.

Grace’s doctor had advised her against keeping Doris.

“It’s a cestoda, Miss Henry. A regular Taenia saginata. Do you understand?”

Grace understood. She understood very well. It was a tapeworm. A common tapeworm that ran through over fifteen feet of her small intestines and had grown inside of her for almost three years. It was the parasite that had made her sick. It had made her nauseous in the mornings and just before bed. It had robbed her of so many vitamins and calcium that the doctors warned her of early osteoporosis. It was the doctors who didn’t understand.

Grace had come to them because she thought she was pregnant.


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I graduated from Knox College with a BA in Creative Writing and Psychology. I currently attend the Chatham University MFA program in creative writing. Right now, I am trying to discover how to be a writer even outside of school.