THE BAD HABIT


Written by Isabella Thermes
Edited by Hassan Morsy

“Be careful not to swallow the fruit’s seed”, warned the Mother.
The Boy cheekily grinned and made a grimace behind her back.
Over time he had in fact developed the habit of eating the fruits and swallowing their seeds.
From grapes seeds to watermelons, apricots and cherries, the Boy took a real enjoyment in doing what he was not supposed to.
He wondered if the seeds really were dangerous, or whether they were forbidden simply because adults seemed to delight in being obnoxious.
One day however, the Boy felt an odd motion towards the pit of his stomach.
He felt nauseous and for the rest of the day he was unable to eat.
His Mother thought he was suddenly falling ill and put him to bed.
The following day however, the Boy’s condition seemed to get worse.
Several more days passed and his mother, who was growing with concern, finally called the doctor.
While waiting for the doctor, the Boy looked at himself in the mirror: he was growing pale and emaciated…but the extraordinary thing was that something was beginning to emerge from what seemed to be inside of him.
Before anyone knew it, branches were sprouting out of the Boy’s ears, nose and mouth as everyone looked on in astonishment, even the dog. It was becoming increasingly apparent that a tree (or maybe few of them) had begun growing inside the boy’s stomach.
The Doctor took a swig from his whiskey flask.
The Mother, feeling dizzy, fell on a chair.
“What will happen to me now?” asked the Boy on the verge of tears.
The Doctor didn’t quite know what to reply: in his long experience, he had never seen anything like that.
However, he thought that any answer he could give would have scared both the Mother and the Boy.
To avoid a sad situation, the doctor said: “I need to gather a few instruments to study this singular occurrence from a closer perspective”, and leaving his anxious words lingering in the air, made it through the door before the Mother could overcome her shock.
“If the tree grows inside my stomach, will I have the room to grow too?” pondered the Boy out loud.
Then it quickly dawned on him what the answer was going to be, and he began to weep as the stark realisation of what his habit had cost became clear.













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2018 All images and content copyright Isabella Thermes