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PAM - excerpt
To Hull and Back Short Story Competition 2017 - Highly Commended

Published in the To Hull and Back Anthology 2017

ISBN: 1977760708


At 20 000 rosaries per second, Pam should be finished in plenty of time for my presentation at work. Pam’s a real life-saver. I don’t know where I’d be without her.

It was Pam that got me through the cancer. I had one of the best kinds of malignancy, apparently. A 98% survival rate, they told me, with the cheerfulness of a pristine meat cleaver.

Orchidectomy – an enchanting word. It smells of exotic flowers and Caribbean yachts. What it actually meant, though, was that they wanted to lop off one of my balls. I imagined myself with one testicle, perhaps leaning a little to the left.

I was handling things pretty well until Kate, the specialist nurse, put a soft silicon ovoid in my palm with the flourish of a judge presenting a trophy. For the first time, I contemplated the magic of my testes, universes of potential. I squeezed the prosthetic testicle like a stress ball; it was as inadequate as a water balloon.

Kate told me that complications of the surgery were extremely rare. But how could they fiddle around down there without risks? Incontinence. Infertility. Erectile dysfunction. I worried about these more than death.

I let them take my ball, in the end, though. And I let them pollute my veins. But I wasn’t going to leave it all to them, to chance. . .


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