A Short Story
Francis J. O’Brien, Jr.
© 1991, 2004
DR. Francis J. O’Brien, Jr.
12 Curry Ave.
Newport, RI 02840-1412
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
F. O’Brien Mary’s Baby 2
Mary’s Baby was written while I was a student in Suzann Ashenar’s Introductory Creative
Writing class at the Swinburne School, Newport, RI. I am grateful to Suzann for her patient
and detailed assistance with the character development and mechanics of the story as well as
F. O’Brien Mary’s Baby 3
The rocks are dead;
The water is dead;
The trees are dead;
And all the animals are dead.
They even see their own people
From Moondancer Wampumpeag. ©1996. Newport, RI: Aquidneck Indian Council.
F. O’Brien Mary’s Baby 4
The IRT #1 subway was clanking along tossing Mrs. Mary Sweetwater from
side to side. Only a native New Yorker knows that trying to read on the subway is next to
impossible. Mary slid up against the wall adjacent to her seat to lessen the vibration.
Casually leafing through a discarded copy of Moonbeam, a national scandal newspaper, she
came to a story that caught her attention. "LAWYERS BORN IN THE ASS (a bum rap for
all)" read the headline on page 13. Mary dipped into the lead paragraph and read:
Dr. Hugo Handemuck, a nationally prominent gynecologist of Northeast West
Virginia University Medical School, reporting on his year-long government-
funded research project, states that since 1900, one in every four American
lawyers has been born through a process known technically to doctors as
‘anogenesis'--birth through the terminal aspect of the alimentary tract or anus as a
result of anal fertilization. The fetus is known as a 'geldophagus magnus' fetus, a
word of mixed origins which means 'consumer of large quantities of money'.
The term 'geldophagus magnus' is Dr. Handemuck's. He has found a significant
statistical correlation between salary and anogenesis in a national survey of 1
million lawyers willing to talk about their birthing process. The 25 percent of
anogenetic lawyers made over 10 times the salary of non-anogenetic lawyers.
Mary looked at the picture showing a woman carrying a lawyer-baby. She
was leaning over a 4-legged walker and appeared to have an enormous lump on her back just
above the rump. The expectant mother was scowling at Mary. Although reported to be only
21, she seemed to be twice that judging from her haggard appearance. At Mary's stop, she
tucked the thick paper into her purse and left.
Two weeks later, Mary arrived at Dr. Hyman’s office 15 minutes early for her
appointment. She needed a few moments to prepare her words.
I'm his wife, after