En Caul

Bayveen O’Connell

A mighty grunt, then a smooth slither out. The midwife gasped and in the next breath, giggled. “In all my years!” She cradled the glistening bubble, gazing into the newborn’s eyes within.

“What? What is it? What’s wrong?” The young mother, still panting, tried to crane her neck over her belly.

“Quite the opposite, my darling. You rest, I’ll come to you,” the midwife said softly, lifting the sac up for the mother to see.

“Is that my baby? Inside a balloon?” The mother stared at it, sweat dripping off her furrowed brow.

“Yes, you could say that,” the midwife nodded, holding the package as she would a piece of porcelain.

“But it’s not normal, is it? Oh Lord, no. Himself will leave me,” the mother’s eyes darted from the bubble to the midwife.

“Don’t fret, my darling. This little prize, one in nearly a hundred thousand,” the midwife paused with her finger poised to pop, “why, she’ll bring luck to all and sundry.”

Bayveen O’Connell is based in Dublin and is inspired by myth, folklore, history and art. Her flash fiction has appeared in The Forge Lit, Splonk, The 2020 National Flash Fiction Day Anthology, The 2019 & 2020 National Flash Fiction Day Flood, From Whispers to Roars, Ellipsis Zine, The Cabinet of Heed, Molotov Cocktail, Fudoki, and others.