November Flash Fiction: Buttermilk Sky by Catori Sarmiento

Buttermilk Sky
Catori Sarmiento
Any chance to change her mind evaporates once she sits on the exam table. Achromatic walls impose cleanliness onto her fetid flesh.  She squints against the piercing fluorescent lights, fearing that their rays will bore into her pupils and burn the back of her retinas. A film of sanitary paper wrinkles each time she shifts her weight in anticipation, catching sight of herself in a mirror.
A foreigner in possession of her carcass.
Those eyes, dark and heavy, are not hers. A creature she had not wanted to become. There is a single tap on the door before the nurse enters, smiling sweetly; a wordless reassurance.
To speak will be an affirmation that she exists in this space.
The nurse’s palm is warm when she wraps a plastic band around the arm, a steel thermometer under the tongue. The door shutters open, a doctor emerging from behind it, rounded belly pushing out from under blue scrubs in a gratuitous way. She does not look up when the doctor asks how she is feeling, if the patient is ready, if she needs some time to think.
She was spread open like a dead frog awaiting dissection.
Blue paper blanket covers her lower body, a shield from the secret act they were about to perform. A cold slime on the inner skin of her thighs, gradually intoxicated from core to extremities, so that even her fingernails are numb.
Scraped with spoon like the inside of a pumpkin.
There is a twisting of her innards as if ripping out her bowels to divine the future. Her thoughts are a carousel in a fog of bright lights and pastel colors. A soft glow filling the room to warm every membrane.
And a stillness like the rains from a buttermilk sky.
Catori Sarmiento is an author who has contributed fiction to Nothing. No One. Nowhere. by Virgogrey Press, The Citron Review, Brick Rhetoric, Foliate Oak Magazine, and Crossed Out Magazine. She has also contributed non-fiction to Her Kind and This Boundless World and several academic essays published by Student Pulse. Ms. Sarmiento also has had poetry in numerous publications including serving as a featured author in The Fukushima Poetry Anthology. Professionally, She is an English and Writing Professor in Tokyo, Japan.
Her author website can be found at