Bring Back My Baby

They were heartbreakingly lovely. Each a miniature world, round and complete, bobbing and shimmering against the drain wall. What were they? Despite her heels, Keiko knelt over the pavement. Eight of them, staring like fish eyes. She shuddered, picking them up with her kitchen forceps. People gave her odd looks–that quick, curious glance before the embarrassed head-ducking that follows at the sight of aberration. She flushed, scurrying back to the junk-jammed pocket of space they’d lived in since nuclear radiation had blown everyone west.

They’d been hounding her, more and more lately. Translucent white globules that appeared everywhere, even in her coffee; and any attempt to get rid of them just brought them back with a vengeance. One night she’d woken to that familiar metallic tang; they were all over her bed, in her mouth, between her legs. Those that had been squished oozed a red juice that wouldn’t come off. She’d had to get new sheets.

Now she just kept them in a cup, far back in the kitchen cabinet.

“Keiko.”

She jumped, cabinet door banging shut. Her husband stood by the kitchen entrance. His gaze made her flesh crawl. The forceps twisted, round and round, in her fingers.

“We need to ta–”

Her hand flew up, slamming the cabinet door, which had swung ajar.

“Hey. We were merciful. He wouldn’t’ve been happy, growing up like–”

She believed him, she did. But she felt strangely weak. No strength left, to clutch at his words. A rumbling sound had started up in the cabinet and her fingers floated up–stay shut dammit–but already they were jostling out, splatting on the floor like eggs, and in each was a shadow, something wriggling. She shrieked; she didn’t want to look, but she couldn’t tear her eyes away from that thing in front of her.

It was wailing, its hammered-in face glutted with limbs crushed by the doctor’s forceps and spliced back in perverse places, coated in red-tinged slime. Her baby flopped toward her; tiny fingers, tiny toes. He would’ve been lovely, heartbreakingly lovely. She sobbed, shaking. Sorry, Mummy’s sorry.

Her husband tried to stop her. She’d been staring at something invisible between them, and when her arm rose it was as if something had yanked it. The forceps pierced one eye, then the other. 

Eventually, he left her. Not that he minded a blind wife; he just couldn’t stand the monstrous grimace that had grown on her face, as if she had something to spit out all the time. He didn’t know why, but it made his flesh crawl, too.

(about 400 words, written in response to Laura James’ Horror Bites Challenge #6)

Fear

Stumbled on this Free Style Writing Challenge from Kyrosmagica. I’m supposed to write something on the prompt “Fear, An Adrenaline Shot.” This was fun!

Fear is eccentric. A madman, running through my veins. Sometimes he barges through, and sometimes he hides, but he’s always there. In the back of my head, seething. Even in the happiest moments, when I’m wrapped in the blankets of your smile, when the grass breathes and the trees breathe their silk scents over me and I am safe, I know I am safe, even then fear lurks in the underbrush, with his silent warning; that soon it will be over. Tick tock, tick tock. Soon it will be over.

Sometimes I try to reason with him, but madmen feed off a different logic. An alien logic, more closely related to death, which maybe is no logic at all. It rambles on, incomprehensible and relentless and boundless, stretching its tentacles out to every nerve and synapse, invading, even forming new ones. And it fears. Tick, tock, tick, tock. The madman seeks the adrenaline shot that will keep it going, because even fear fears that soon it will be over.

Word count: 179
Time taken: 10 minutes (and 7 seconds, to finish up the last sentence)

I am trying not to be too harsh on myself, but I cringe when I reread what I just wrote. My fingers itch to edit!

Now I’m supposed to nomiate bloggers to complete the same challenge on another topic, but I’m so new to this blogging thing that I don’t know many people, so I just picked a few writers / blogs at random from the blogs I’ve read recently. These are the most memorable ones–you guys rock:

  1. Charli Mills, who has a lovely collection of flash fiction
  2. Enkin Anthen, whose flash fiction managed to move something in me with just 99 words, 99 harshly beautiful words
  3. Gah, whose ‘About’ page charmed me and whose writing struggles I totally get
  4. Isabel Caves, who caught me with this cute little vignette, “Chasing Sleep”
  5. S. S. Hicks, whose short story “Blink” opened my eyes to the importance of overlooking differences
  6. Joy Frida, whose short story “He Texted Me” made me think about the fine line between duty and love
  7. The Darkest Fairytale, which has a nifty little recipe for coffee I should like to try, starting tomorrow morning
  8. Serpentine is Here, which has some pretty cool free writing–I like the blog’s dark tone and that he wants to build a community 🙂
  9. Sophie Ludgate, because I too have a mess in my head (plus I like her writing prompts)
  10. Jade M. Wong, because her heaven looks like mine (well, sort of–mine’s up in a tree 🍃   🙃  )

The Free Style Writing Challenge Rules:

  1. Set a stop watch or your mobile to 5 minutes or 10 minutes whichever challenge you think you can beat.
  2. Your topic is at the foot of this post BUT DO NOT SCROLL DOWN TO SEE IT UNTIL YOU ARE READY WITH A TIMER.
  3. Fill the word doc with as many words as you want. Once you began writing do not stop even to turn.
  4. Do not cheat by going back and correcting spellings and grammar with spell check in MS WORD (it is only meant for you to reflect on your own control of sensible thought flow and for you to reflect on your ability to write the right spelling and stick to grammar rules)
  5. You may or may not pay attention to punctuation and capitals. However, if you do, it would be best.
  6. At the end of your post write down ‘Word count =_____’ so that we would have an idea of how much you can write within the time frame.
  7. Do not forget to copy paste the entire passage on your blog post with a new topic for your nominees and copy paste these rules with your nominations (at least 5 bloggers).

Anyone else who wishes to participate, do so! Just give me a pingback by linking back to this post in your blog, so I can read your works. Can’t wait to see what you people come up with!

And your new topic is …

BLUE FIRE