Gender Reveal Party
My family huddled around me as I armed the flare gun and shot it into the sky. My wife's stomach was the size of a ripe cantaloupe. Aunts and uncles used binoculars and telescopes, looked at the flame that pushed away and kissed the clouds. “We're so proud of you, honey,” a relative squeezed. “Can't wait to meet the new addition.” The flare gun I shot produced a bright green emission. Like the famous ghost we drank as children. Like the slime poured when entire families failed the challenge. My family looked down at me, confused, and one uncle mumbled, “What the hell?” An aunt shouted, “Well, what does green mean? Is it a fucking boy or girl?”
Benjamin Niespodziany is a night librarian at the University of Chicago. He runs the multimedia art blog [neonpajamas] and has had work published in Pithead Chapel, Cheap Pop, HOOT Review, formercactus, and a handful of others. Back in 2016, Paper Darts was the first literary/art magazine that he ever bookmarked.
Illustration by Zachary Mathre.