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WolfSinger Publications

Don't Write What You Know;

Write What You Care About -- Passionately!

Schrödinger’s Cat
- Eileen Schuh

Chordelia,  straddling two of the realities proposed in Everett’s Many Worlds  Theory of Quantum Physics, has no idea how distorted the line is between  choice and fate.

In one of her worlds, Chorie’s young daughter is dying—a drama that  quickly contaminates her other, much rosier, reality. Before long, the  emotional burden of dealing with two separate lives spawns heated legal  battles, endangers her role as mother and wife, and causes people in  both universes to judge her insane. As her lives begin to crumble, so  does Chorie’s heart and mind.

When Dr. Penny, a man with disturbing, murky, hypnotic eyes offers to  rid her of the life that’s causing so much pain, she must decide if she  is willing to sacrifice the chance to be with her dying child for the  chance to save her marriage and experience happiness.

She thinks she’s planned it well—she’s researched her choices, prepared  herself for the consequences, put everything in place. She makes her  decision. However....

Life, as it has the propensity to do, strikes back with the dark and unexpected.


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Chorie  slipped on her rubber gloves, grabbed the toilet brush, and sighed.  She’d read somewhere that despite today’s technology, she did more  chores than the privileged of the middle ages. In other words...

She  opened the toilet seat, held her breath, and squirted the blue cleaner  around the rim...queens and princesses in the ancient world didn’t scrub  their own chamber pots...or their own floors. Hell, they didn’t even  suckle their own babies; wet nurses did.

She  turned her head and inhaled deeply before leaning over the bowl to  scrub. She thought of cold, dark, stone castles lit only by candles,  smelling of rancid smoke…and mould in damp corners…and un-bathed bodies.  She thought of beheadings and public hangings. Of witches and knights  and dragons…of untreated infections…of mothers dying during childbirth….

Of children dying….

She  flushed the toilet and watched the water swirl down the drain. There  would still be a brown stain at the bottom once the blue left. Probably  some streaks on the side. There always were. A taunt. Because in some  lab somewhere, a man who’d never cleaned a toilet in his life, decided  the cleaner should be a thick blue. So thick and blue those who did  clean toilets, couldn’t see where they needed to scrub. She caught the  sound of a moan over the whir of the water and stepped to the open door  to listen.

Children dying.…

Another listless whimper wafted over the back of the sofa, a soft cry of pain rising from behind a veil of sleep.

She  flipped the lid closed without checking for spots and ripped off her  gloves. She hadn’t planned for her life to turn out this way. She hadn’t  wanted children, but Gus had. So, she’d conceded—on the condition she  wasn’t going to be a stay-at-home mom. She’d keep her career. Hire a  nanny. Maybe a housekeeper. That’s what the deal had been.

She  left the aseptic aromas and cool smooth lino of the bathroom and made  her way to the great room. Her stocking feet whispered against the plush  burgundy carpet. The fridge kicked in with a low hum. The neighbour’s  dog barked.

She  peeped over the back of the black leather sofa and caught the strange  metallic scent of approaching death. The fever spots reddening her  daughter’s cheeks looked artificial—as if someone had brushed dry  tempura over a thin pale parchment.

Krystaline  was too young to realize the injustice of her pain. However, she wasn’t  too young to see the worry etched on her mother’s face and understand  that somehow, she was its cause. Krystaline would never have cried out  had she been awake. So many times Chorie had seen the guilt smouldering  behind the glaze of pain in her daughter’s green eyes. “Mommy,” she’d  smile wanly, “I feel much better today.”

Children dying…

A  wave of guilt brought bile to Chorie’s tongue. Sweat beaded in her  cleavage and trickled into her bra. She loved Krystaline more than  anything in the world, and shouldn’t have been thinking about not  wanting children. Shouldn’t have been complaining to herself about how  her life turned out. Those were evil thoughts considering…

Perhaps,  she comforted herself, as she’d been counselled to do, these thoughts  were simply her way of coming to accept the inevitable, the  unfathomable.

Like  when an old pet starts shedding, making mistakes on the carpet,  smelling bad—so that when, two months later, it sucks its last breath,  relief takes the edge off its master’s grief. Perhaps that’s what it  was.

Or, perhaps, she was just finally going crazy.

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