Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Choosing life


Choosing life

She watches shadows play on his tiny, chubby cheeks, his eyelashes fluttering slightly as the wind breathes out through the window. His left eye is more closed than his right. It remains open just a bit; a general malfunction, a mild distortion that he would grow out of. For now she has the salt-water drops the doctor had given her, so that she could keep her baby’s eye from drying out — three drops every hour, on the hour, never forget.

His small, pearl-like toes twitch inside his oversized woolly socks as something resembling a yawn flees his pink lips, his brows crunched together as though sensing the pillow floating above his head.

She hesitates. 

Her hands are sweaty as she grips the sides of the pillow tighter, inching toward the perfect little face.

He opens his eyes, one still slightly closed but the other wide open, inspecting, scanning the weird cloud-like mass hovering right above his nose. He opens his mouth, his tongue wagging helplessly as a minuscule noise seeps into the air, like a wordless plea.

She closes her eyes, turning her head away just in case, lowering her hands. She feels his ears press against her hands through the pillow; his cry too far away for her to sense it within her heart, for this is not her child. No — three drops every hour, on the hour, never forget…

It is not her child.

She presses down harder as tears trickle down her neck. She glances at the feet with the pearly toes scrambling about the air.

Stop.

She starts lifting the pillow, making sure the little feet are still moving.

“Don’t cry, darling. Don’t cry, Mommy’s here,” she stutters, throwing the pillow aside, cradling him close. She takes the salt-water drops from the bedside table.

“Three drops every hour, on the hour, never forget.”

15 Comments So Far:

  1. Wow. You take the reader from what they think is a woman admiring her baby to a dark and disturbing place. I sense a metaphor in there, the one eye always open...watching her.

    Well done.

    visiting from TRDC

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  2. I hope there is definitely more. This is quality writing because it draws to a sweet place of motherhood then takes you to a place you have never been or want to go.

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  3. Wow. Thanks so much guys! =)

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  4. tried to comment earlier, but am afraid I closed the browser by accident.

    Was intrigued by the "it is not her child" line ... especially because it was repeated ...

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  5. Thanks for commenting, Delhibound. The line was repeated cause that was how the woman felt, that the boy even though he was her own wasn't hers, that there was something foreign and it puzzled her.

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  6. I love stories like this...that on the surface should be sweet and happy, a moment between mother and child, but beneath the surface are dark and disturbing. I'm so intrigued by your main character and her motivations. I'd definitely read more of this story. Great job in taking your readers from that sweet place to a dark one so seamlessly.

    stopping by from TRDC.

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  7. Thank you Katie =) I'll see if I come up with more to this story ^__^

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  8. Ugh, this left me a little sick to my stomach, which means you did your job as a writer. You really took the tiny, perfect details of a new baby (pearl toes, a lovely image) and twisted the mood into something sinister and awful.

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  9. Wow. Shocking, surprising, gut churning perfection.

    Loved this part: "She presses down harder as tears trickle down her neck. She glances at the feet with the pearly toes scrambling about the air." and all that followed- for the beautiful writing and, of course, the twist.

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  10. Oh my. I hope this lady gets some help. Today. Or maybe she's saving him? We don't know what the reality is, maybe life is much worse that eternal sleep?

    Please tell me more!

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  11. Thanks for commenting. I'll see if my mind has something more to add to this... =)

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