PAM - excerpt
To Hull and Back Short Story Competition 2017 - Highly Commended
Published in the To Hull and Back Anthology 2017
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. . .