“After Drinking It Up”

Who’s to say the dead whale wasn’t seeking what it swallowed? The necropsy revealed 64 pounds of trash in its intestines — plastic straws, polypropylene bags, and a Sponge Bob Square Pants soap dispenser, worn clean from digestive fluids and salt, and even though the mashed bottles had lost their clarity and looked nothing like the bottles you once held, sometimes you think of your previous marriage and say “I’ve lost fifteen years of my life” with your gentle face becoming unfamiliar.  

Swallow it, then, like I swallowed the shame of my childhood that became a part of me like BPA because my mother’s dream of me grew like my own memory without understanding it all my life. And beneath the words she murmured: Accept this now; make it a part of you because I have decided you are the creature from my own depths.

 But they say the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is twice the size of Texas now. And since there are styrene monomers in my coffee, I know it in my veins: the inheritance of the scapegoat daughter, those lost and irreplaceable thirties, the microplastics that became a part of our evolving selves, the juice straws that my own son touched alongside the sandwich bag that drifted like a jellyfish and protected but could not conceal what’s beneath.


Related Posts
Filter by
Post Page
Featured Fiction New Fiction Advice / Suggestions Essays/Articles (all) Novel Flash
Sort by

“Man with Self-Proclaimed Drinking Record Shares at his Second AA Meeting”

My name is Joe and what else am I supposed to say? I drink too much. Actually, the problem is I drink too fast, if
2012-10-04 16:19:20


“Fly Season”

In a room without furniture, the flies have nowhere to land. They flit from wall to wall, winged dirt, smearing the
2019-08-16 23:38:07


“Baby Lanes”

“Excuse me. I’m over here in the lane next to you and noticed you’re bowling very well tonight.” “That’s quite
2019-08-07 09:34:00


“There is Always So Much”

What we did that summer: we hung around torn-down barns and took photos of each other with that old camera and
2019-07-29 23:33:44



The bluebird perched on the fence facing the neighbors’ bedroom window. Ann relaxed, drinking her morning tea, w
2019-05-29 09:20:14



Tess walks from the Met through Central Park. It is Saturday morning and the park is crowded with a fun run. The
2019-05-15 09:22:42



The ranger pulled into Patcher Woods, parked on the shady side, and wrote the time into his notebook. 1102 hours.
2018-12-21 07:45:46


“Death of the Short Story”

The other day I was at a coffee shop with a fellow writer and we were discussing the current state of American
2018-12-19 09:24:05


“Lost and Found”

Technology is great.  When it works. When it doesn’t, blood pressure goes up.  Angry words are s
2018-11-23 08:32:00


Novel Flash: My Real Name Is Hanna

It is a good thing for us that it is October and there is no snow on the ground to show our footsteps. It is an
2018-10-01 07:00:46


About Natalie DeVaull-Robichaud

Natalie DeVaull-Robichaud has an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College and lives with her husband and son in CT, where she teaches writing. Her work has also appeared in Unbroken Journal, The Dying Dahlia, Helen Literary Magazine (forthcoming), and Flash Fiction Magazine (forthcoming). She was also a Wilda Hearne Flash Fiction Contest winner.