Before It Dies by Benjamin Imamovic

It will stop the stretch-marks and give you a chance to bond with the little one, his wife said and passed him a bottle of coconut oil. He turned off the TV. He said, Sure, I’ll give it a go. He knelt on the floor before her. At first his wife’s stomach was half a beach-ball, then a swallowed balloon, then a watermelon, then his childhood dreams. He kept at it and said, Nice. After she gave birth, he oiled that stomach, when she was asleep or when they would shower or when they made love his hands kneaded and stroked the woman’s skin. Very nice, he said and the baby cried and the woman giggled at his touch. He bought a calendar and crossed off the days in red pen. He waited. So nice, so nice, it’s still growing, he said. Soon the baby stopped crying and the woman stopped moving. When nine months came the woman was as big as his whole world and he was still there, still kneeling in front of her. Eventually, the neighbours called triple-zero and the ambulance needed a crane to remove the obese woman and the man who wanted more oil, please, just a little more of the coconut kind before it dies.

Benjamin Imamovic was born in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. When he was three his family escaped the Balkan war and he lived in Moscow for seven years before moving to Perth, Western Australia. He is currently studying Professional Writing at Curtin University.To get in touch, visit his Facebook page:

2 thoughts on “Before It Dies by Benjamin Imamovic”

  1. Sick, sick, sick, my friend. Brilliantly sick 🙂

    Loved how you depersonalised the baby and the mother and the man. Love how you kept that detachment alongside bringing us the man’s innermost desires.

    And I loved the humour at the end. Top stuff.

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