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A Conversation With Best Debut Short Stories 2020 Author Valerie Hegarty
“Some studies have actually found that a cat's purring can help mend broken bones.”
New England Review
I throw the bandage in the trash can with the clumped kitty litter. I ask the kitty lying with me on the bed on top of the covers, “Did you do your best today? Did you show up and do what you needed to do today?”
The kitty rolls lazily onto her back and stretches out her arms and legs like she’s in rigor mortis. She was recently neutered and I rub her shaved belly and mending incision line. She is purring. She is black with long white feet and white front paws, a white chin and half a white nose.
“Kitten mittens!” I say, rubbing her belly. “Cat jammies! You did a great job today, kitty!”
I adjust the ice pack under my bra. When I lifted my bra up in front of the mirror earlier, there was blood on the outer surgical bandage. I remember the nurses said if I see some blood, that’s normal.
The New England ReviewThe Bed Moved
One Story New England Review.
More by this author
“Speculative fiction at its best is outlandish at first glance, but ends up feeling immediate. That challenge is often what gets me writing—I want to take an absurd premise and see how deep it can go.”
“Like any career, task, or pursuit, writing is laborious. You have to show up to work every day. Often you have a bad or uninspiring day at work and that’s fine because you get to work again tomorrow.”
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“I started thinking about immoral women, women who are not merely complicit counterparts to A Bad Man but active participants in cruelty.”
“I feel any person who has to deal with losing the one person who is their world has every right to do whatever it takes to self-preserve, even when that includes deflection and denial.”
I just can’t stop coming back to this idea of human migrations, family migrations, and plant migrations.