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LK Hunsaker

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The Prevention
By LK Hunsaker
Tuesday, September 19, 2006

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Flash fiction: Historical

Marie knocked on the clinic door. She saw nothing inside. It had to be open. Her baby was old enough now that her husband believed she could start “acting like a wife is supposed to act” again. It was her fourth baby. She didn’t want more; this last one nearly put her in her grave and her husband’s job barely fed them all. What would they do without a mother?

Close to tears, Marie sat on the sidewalk in front of the old building hoping no one from her church would see her at the clinic trying to prevent another conception. Was it wrong as they said? Was it more wrong than trying to stay alive for the sake of the children she already had? Why did her government, that was supposed to care about its citizens, all of its citizens, keep it illegal to buy birth control to stay alive? Were they going to step in and care for her children when she was gone? Four babies in seven years was too much. She couldn’t risk another.

A woman approached. Marie started, rising to her feet. “Please don’t let it be someone from my church,” she prayed silently. “Please don’t make me an outcast in my community. I have done my duty. I am faithful and I care for my family the best I can. Please help me to live.”

“Hello. Do you want to come inside?” The woman smiled into Marie’s eyes. “I am sorry I’m late. I had an emergency to tend to.”

“Do you work here?” Marie managed to sputter the words.

“Yes, child. Come inside and we’ll talk.” The woman unlocked the door and led Marie inside, explaining how she was there to help women like Marie, that she didn’t believe it was against God’s Word because the men in charge of the Church said it was. Miss Sanger comforted her, giving her protection against a conception Marie’s body couldn’t handle.

Drying her tears, she went home, to her children and her husband, ready to be the mother and wife they needed.

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