Vestigial ~ fiction by Coleman Bigelow

Wednesday, May 11th, 11:30

I appreciate you seeing me on such short notice. You came highly recommended. It’s just … well, you won’t believe what’s happened. I almost didn’t believe it myself until she popped out. I call her Calvia—because she came from my calf muscle. And I’m not trying to look a gift horse, or a ‘gift mini-girlfriend’, in the mouth, but, you know, when I prayed to God for a companion, this wasn’t exactly what I meant. Plus, I’ve never been much good at relationships so I’m hoping you can talk me through this one before I screw anything up. Or before I accidentally step on her. Just kidding. I’m being very careful about that.

Sure. I understand. Begin at the beginning and all.

There I was, a decent-looking guy, getting more and more fit with all the jogging, but I was still single. Every date I went on was fine. No women were running for the exits. And there were occasional sparks … just never any fire. Do you think it’s because I’m too tentative? Do women like more of a take charge kind of guy? I’m starting to think so.

Anyway, I’d almost resigned myself to a life of solitary success. I’d run faster miles. I’d climb higher on the corporate ladder. I’d be a good uncle and a loyal son, but there would be no pot for this lid. Or so I thought … until Calvia sprung forth.

I can still picture her little hands with their manicured nails scratching their way out of my calf. I was so shocked I didn’t even register the pain until after she’d stepped out, like a Kardashian exiting her limo, complete with stilettos and a sleek black cocktail dress.

Monday, May 30th, 11:30

No, I’m not ashamed, but you don’t understand how sad it is to hide your girlfriend in your coat pocket. Calvia wants me to show her off, but it’s tricky. I’m not sure what’s worse: talking into my coat all the time like some fake secret agent man, or never being able to introduce your girlfriend to any of your friends. And then, when we are together, it feels like we’re always bickering. I know I should be thrilled with Calvia, but she’s just so moody and her voice is so high pitched. She’s always complaining it’s too cold in the apartment or I don’t cut the meatballs into small enough pieces.

I already suggested we meet with you together, but she doesn’t trust shrinks.

Monday, June 6th, 11:30

I took your advice. I brought Calvia running with me, but then she got motion sickness. You would be shocked by how much vomit such a little person can produce! So, I’ve been running without her but now my other calf has been hurting. Calvia says it serves me right for leaving her behind. She loves the park this time of year.

Monday, June 13th, 11:30

I went for my usual run two days ago, but then the pain in my right calf became excruciating. My calf was swollen, pink, and throbbing and I could tell if I didn’t hurry home, it was going to burst right there on the sidewalk.

As soon as I got into the apartment, I grabbed a steak knife and sat right down, but before I could even finish the first cut, a pair of hands were pulling back the tiny opening I’d created. Ripping open the skin like Hulk Hogan bursting through a paper barrier. I felt lightheaded as I watched these thick fingers peeling back my flesh. Then I got the shock of my life when a man in slim cut jeans and a red and black flannel pushed his way out.

I mean, can you believe it? First my left calf gives me Calvia and now my right calf had produced a little man. And a pretty stylish one at that. Like he came out wearing the exact chukkas I’ve been eying all season. He looks rugged, but also sophisticated. You know that balance of a guy you could do business with, but then also go for a beer with afterwards.

Well, this handsome little dude pops right out of my calf and I’m feeling faint from all the blood gushing down my leg. Then I hear him calling over to Calvia: “Hey, babe, could you give us a hand?”

I remember being struck by how confident and surprisingly deep his voice was. By the way her mouth was hanging open, I could tell Calvia was struck, too. Anyway, I’m just lying there bleeding out while the two of them are making eyes. Then the little action hero, with his slicked back hair and sculpted beard, asks Calvia if we have a needle and thread. And before Calvia can respond, he adds, “Oh, and Hey … I’m Calvin.

When he said it, Calvia got all flush and replied, “Pleased to meet you,” but in the thirstiest tone you can imagine. Then she ran over to our bedside table to fetch her sewing kit, because sometimes she darns my socks when I’m at work.

I passed out after that but, when I woke up, I heard CONFIDENT Calvin directing her: “If you hold the skin together, I’ll stitch him up.” I looked down to see the two of them kneeling on either side of my sunken calf. And Calvia’s leaning across me so her little breasts are practically spilling out of her dress and Calvin’s ogling her while absentmindedly holding a spool of yellow thread, even though we have white thread, and all this time my blood is just leaking onto the mohair carpet because Calvia didn’t think to bring towels. Then I was well and truly gone.

And when I regained consciousness … so were they. They were just gone.

Can you believe it? Now I’ve got two empty calves and no girlfriend.

I mean what’s Calvin got that I don’t?

We need more time for that? You can’t give me a little hint?

OK. OK. We’ll talk more next session.

Coleman Bigelow’s stories have appeared recently or are upcoming in Abandon Journal, Bending Genres, Corvus Review, Hyacinth Review, Idle Ink and The Dribble Drabble Review. Find more at: or follow him on Twitter: @ColemanBigelow and Instagram: @cbigswrites.

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