COMPANION PLANTS by Kathryn Roberts

The latest Slush Pile fiction at DigBoston:

THE FIRST TIME I MISSED my period I washed a sprig of fresh parsley and pushed it as far into my vagina as I could reach. At sixteen I was still discovering the capabilities of my anatomy. Every six hours I boiled water and infused it with bunches of the fresh herb and after twenty minutes I gulped five tablespoons of the elixir with a vitamin C chaser. I switched out the sprig every twelve hours and didn’t worry when some of the leaves, softened from hours stewing, tore off the stem and stayed lodged. The website said this was harmless and the bleeding would start within three days.

I wouldn’t be able to hide a protruding stomach or a baby. Miscarriage sounded less deadly than abortion. Danny drove me to Whole Foods to buy organic parsley so I wouldn’t risk injecting my body with pesticides. I spent the weekend moving from my bedroom to the bathroom and back, checking for blood. We never told Jackie. (read more)