MUSHROOM m i n d

By Steph Raymond All Rights Reserved ©

Other / Poetry



She was wide awake.

Wide awake and seemed to be having lower abdominal pain.

She contemplated for hours whether or not she should wake Caleb and decided to get out of bed for a quick trip to the bathroom instead.

Something didn’t feel right, and it wasn’t the usual grievances she’d been dealing with since moving into her dad’s basement; after making the decision that going home to save during the pregnancy and focus on Gemma’s mental health and general wellness for the baby’s sake. Everything had been going well, Gemma was gaining weight back and could manage her psyche better here than she had in the city. But soon after she and Caleb took residence here, so did her younger sister Anne.

Anne who had three cats who stank up the basement with amonia and piss, who exuded negativity onto those she linked herself too...

whose voice caused Gemma’s anxiety to spike beyond measure and comprehension if only because it was used to complain or to hurt.

Gemma had chosen her father’s house specifically for healing purposes, but Anne’s presence and her parent’s need to enable her behaviour was hindering her health and state of mind though she’d been told over and over to simply ignore it all.

That she was just too sensitive.

She opened the bathroom light and sat on the toilet even though she didn’t have to relieve herself. She brought a finger to the space between her legs and gently brushed it up.

There on the tip of her finger was a thick liquid of deep crimson. She proceeded to wrap toilet paper around her hand before bringing it to her opening again to reveal a larger spill of blood.

She did her best to clean herself and put a pad in her underwear before running back to bed beside Caleb.

She lay beside him and began to shake him gently,

“Something’s wrong.”

She whispered,

“I’m bleeding and having pains.”

He opened his eyes slightly,

“Are you sure you’re not just spotting?

That’s normal.”

“I don’t feel right.”

“We’ll see if it keeps happening

and wake me up if it does.”


She said and he rolled over right back into his slumber as though it had never been interrupted

while she stared

w i d e – e y e d

into the darkness,

feeling her cramps subside and checking for blood every half hour or so.

She heard the footsteps of her father and step mother overhead around seven and decided to go

upstairs and warn them about what happened.

“That’s normal.”

They both told her and so Gemma went on with her morning while Caleb slept in. She noticed the return of the stomach pain around breakfast, and a heavy increase while she was getting ready with her sister in the bathroom.

The sharp stabbing pain

v i o l e n t l y

invaded the space bellow her belly button

and she heard herself cry out as she fell forward onto the floor,

catching herself with her hands.

She stayed like that, on all fours, b r e a t h i n g to alleviate the pain.

“Are you okay?”

Anne asked and Gemma nodded,

“yea it’s leaving.”

Anne looks relieved and continues to apply her mascara before saying,

“ugh, I’m so sick to my stomach.”

Gemma ignored her complaint and tried not to focus on her own pain and checked for blood the minute she was alone.

She was relieved when there was none and soon she felt good enough to stand up and walk out of the bathroom and into the kitchen where Anne, her father and step mother were now seated, eating breakfast. Gemma began to poor herself a cup of coffee while listening to her family talk.

“I’m seriously so sick.

I’m so late for my period too,

that’s all I’m saying.”

Anne continued her grumbling and Gemma decided to do her best to tune her out in attempts to enjoy what little coffee she was allowed to drink.

“Oh my god, I’m honestly gonna puke.”

Gemma closes her eyes when a sharp pain raids her intestine for a quick but lasting moment.

“Did I tell you, my doctor told me

I’m allergic to gold now. Doesn’t that suck?

Bad things are always happening to me.”

“So?” Gemma snapped,

feeling her blood boil beneath her skin.

“Excuse me? I’m talking to dad.”

“Does it change your life at all?”

Gemma wouldn’t quit until Anne could see how ridiculous she was ridiculous she was always being these days.

“Well if I wear gold jewellery I’ll get a rash.”

“Those are not real problems Anne.”

Gemma stormed downstairs to cool off when she heard the truck start outside. She ran up the stairs and out the door to jump in the passenger seat before her dad had the chance to back down the driveway.

“You’re going to Ashleigh’s right?

To see the girls?”

“Yea, do you want to come?”


Gemma said, fastening her seat belt.

Her sister had two little girls, and Gemma remembered she had bled herself during her first pregnancy. She’d be best to ask what to do about her pain since no one else seemed to listen to her.

She felt lonely and questioned her instincts because others always did.

The girls greeted Gemma and their pepere with the usual high-pitched laughter and bear hugs before running off to continue their game of house.

“Hey, I was hoping to talk to you.”

Gemma said to Ashleigh once their dad walked over to where the girls were playing.

“About what?”

Ashleigh went immediately serious.

“Well I’ve been having some bad pains

in my lower abdomen,

and I was bleeding earlier

and everyone keeps telling me it’s not a big deal

but I have a bad feeling.”

“Go to the hospital.”

She said very sternly.

“I should eh.”

“You never know.”

Finally feeling supported, Gemma went straight over to her dad,

“can you please bring me to the hospital now?

It’s not going away.”

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