Distress Signals

This is what I'm currently working on.  Maybe one day I'll actually finish somthing instead of having a billion works in progress...


It was in there.

She felt it when she woke up, before she even opened her eyes.

It was always there anymore, hibernating.  Sometimes she felt it in her stomach, sometimes in her chest.  It was heavy when it was asleep.  A weight she had to breath through.

Today it moved.  It wasn’t awake, at least not fully.  It would be soon though, awake and gnawing, clawing, twisting.  It would burn when it was awake, as it moved up from her stomach, up from her chest, forcing its head up her throat, out of her mouth.

It would happen soon, and she did not feel strong enough anymore to swallow it back down again.  This time she thought it might actually escape.

This time she thought she might actually let it.

Not now though, because somewhere in the house a baby was crying.  Her baby.  Her big boy.

He was always crying.  It wasn’t what she thought it would be, motherhood.  It was louder, wetter, harder.

She hadn’t meant to get pregnant.  She had been happy about i because she thought she should be happy about it.  They had been married four years now, and he wanted a baby.  Her friends said she should want a baby.  She didn’t have a career so she needed a baby.  Child birth would define her as a woman.

So she told everyone she was pregnant and she celebrated it and he had come screaming into the world, and hadn’t quit screaming since.

She thought it would come naturally, being a mother.  It was what women had been created to do after all.  Right up there with cleaning the house and spreading their legs when it was called for.  Motherhood was demanded of women by nature and by society, so it would have come naturally.

It was hard.

Whenever possible she ignored the fact that her body had produced this tiny alien thing that she was supposed to not only know how to care for but also want to care for.  She missed their life before.  She missed her own life before most of all.

And inside her chest it moved again as her door opened, the crying got louder and her husband said, “You’ve got fifteen minutes,” then he and their child diminished down the hall again and she took a deep breath and tried to pull herself out of bed.