by Carly Berg

Rush had a black eye and a bucket of dirty water. Look, a baby turtle he said, like that explained everything. Yes, I did lack a turtle so thank you for disappearing for three months and returning with a goddamned turtle. His weird homecoming gift took my focus off him while he slipped back into my life. Last time he brought me a box of brass kaleidoscopes.

This was no aquarium slider but a giant sunflower seed with a large head and large flippers. He called it a leatherback. Google search: Endangered sea turtle. Average adult size 850 pounds. Exhaustion overcame me.  I said I need a nap.

What about us he said as if I was the one who.  I rose from the table. You're pregnant! His eye opened wide, just the one. The other was swelled shut and even darker when he went pale. For once I got to be the one to drop a bomb on him. If you could call it that considering. Still I said how do you like it. He said huh?

I woke to: This way, that way, over, and oh my god not that yes that. I had to get rid of him for good again. But his thick motion floated me on hot clouds screaming for mercy don't stop. He slammed the bed  'til the bolt popped, tipping that whole corner to the floor. The rest of the bed slanted ceilingward. He didn't stop.

The next time I woke angled, head down on the sweaty Rush-ravished sheets. He wanted to go to the beach. I grabbed the bucket and glared when he opened his mouth. Once freed, the hatchling struggled through the sand toward pink sunset and silver waves. A hawk circled above, pounced, soared. The oversized flippers swam in the air.

Someone played "Papa Was a Rolling Stone" over the surf's white noise. Our baby kicked. Rush watched a beach-ball colored kite sail the skies. Do you wish you were up there dear, do you want to fly?  More than anything he said.

BIO: Carly Berg lives between Houston and the deep blue sea. Her stories appear in a few dozen journals and anthologies, including PANK, Word Riot, and (woot!) Bartleby Snopes