For the baby

via Daily Prompt: Uneven

It was uneven. Hanna hated it when things were uneven. She didn’t think of herself as OCD, but some things just had to be right. This was not right.

“Are you fucking kidding me?” She growled.

Roo, glanced up from his book as he flicked the page.”A little to the left, darl.”

Hanna stomped her foot. The low wooden chair atop which she stood, tipped, the legs lifting slightly. She scrambled to regain her balance.

“Do, you have any idea how long I have been trying to get this right?” She demanded.

“Not terribly long, darling.” Roo cast his eyes through the open doorway to his right, checking the hands of the faux art deco clock hanging above the kitchen sink. “About four minutes… including the time you couldn’t find the hammer.”

Hanna let out an anguished, rumbling, throaty groan that resonated off the walls. “Why isn’t it cooperatiiiiiing.”

She had found the print in a garage sale. It was long and rectangular. A horrendous, rocky landscape of scrappy gnarled trees, dotted with crumbling, burning buildings and a mass of naked, writhing humanity in the foreground. The frenzied heap of mortal flesh sloshed about in a mess of copulation, murder, and what appeared to be public defecation.  The artist was unknown,  at least to them, but it looked medieval. Roo had thought it a little bloodthirsty to hang over the space where the cot was to be when the baby finally came along, but it appealed very much to Hanne, so he did not complain.

The piece was framed in a long thin, shiny black metallic frame. A white cardboard border held the print in place, which was then protected by a shiny panel of glass. Hanna lifted the frame with both hands and shifted it a touch to the left. Roo eyed the frame. It held even for a moment and then eased lazily to the left.

“Jesus fucking christ!”

“Darling, do you think you should be getting so worked up… with the baby and all?”

Hanna spun around on the chair, finding it hard to stop with eight months worth of momentum in her belly.  She raised one eyebrow while the other dipped. Her front teeth clasped her lower lip so hard, it was unclear whether she was trying to eat it. She didn’t say anything. Her head vibrated as her arms rose, palms up, a posture so tightly wound with invitational violence that Roo had to look away.


“Don’t umm me. Why aren’t you helping me.”

“I know better than to offer to help you, lest I undermine your capabilities.”

“I’m pregnant!”

“I know. And you probably shouldn’t be conducting an argument from on top of that chair.”

“Well, are you going to fix this?”

“If you wish.”

Hanna eased herself down from the chair.

“I just want it to be even… For the baby.”

“Sure darling, we all want what’s best for the baby.”


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