Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Write CONTEMPORARY FICTION (10/30/14)
TITLE: Love Falters but Never Fails
By Jo Wanmer
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'It’s the only way. The sooner the better. The cost is too high.'
Familiar voices filtered through. A shiver trickled down Amy's spine. She flipped a cartwheel but flopped into a somersault. Everyday there was less space.
The voices grew louder. She pushed off one wall bouncing against the next. Nothing could touch her little world...could it? But her heart raced until the harsh voice faded.
The walls of her world vibrated as though shaken from above. Her favourite sound, voice of the one she called Love, sounded sad, broken.
‘No... I can’t...I won't abort.’
Amy shivered. Grief seeped in like cold rain. She quit bouncing. The walls tightened. Angry, she kicked back. The action warmed her. She kicked harder and harder, one foot after the other.
Something pushed back. Delighted, Amy booted the wall.
‘Oh, bubby. I know you're there. They say you're not alive, but you are. We...we're going home. Maybe Mum and Dad will help us.’
‘Abort. It’s the only way. the sooner the better. The costs are too high.’
As the voices grew louder, Amy was still except for a shudder as cold flakes of grief settled around her.
‘Abort before you lose everything.’
‘If I abort I will lose everything.’
‘I’ll organize it today.’
The flakes of grief intensified into icy shard. Amy made herself move, jump and leap. It warmed her, but the chill still invaded the depths of her soul. She retreated to her favourite corner, under Love's heart. The familiar thump brought some peace. She sucked her thumb but a dark cloud of fear circled around her heart.
‘No! Not tomorrow.’
‘The sooner the better.’
‘I’m not ready. I need time.’
‘Nine o’clock. I’ll take you.’
Amy liked the car. The gentle movement lulled the nameless dread. But Love was silent. Where was she? Had Love abandoned her? An older male voice droned on intensifying her fear. Amy tried to hide under Love's heart, but she was too big to hide.
‘Okay. Let's begin.’
Amy's world tensed. She beat against the tight walls with her fists. The icy water heaved, flipping her over. Heart racing, she tried to get back to Love's beat. The water yanked her down. Pain shot through her body as her head hit the bottom, plugging the water’s escape.
Body trembling. Blood throbbing. Walls closing in. Pounding in her head assailed her. Unrelenting panels of pressure squeezed over and over. Was this the end? Or was it the beginning? Far in the distance, Love's heart still pumped. All would be right, must be right.
Love's voice cried, distressed. ‘Help me! It hurts...’
‘Silly girl. You should have aborted months ago. The longer you wait, the higher the price.’
‘The foetus feels no pain.’
They weren't talking about her, surely? Intense pressure caused Amy’s heart to waver. Her legs kicked in panic. She was too far from Love's heart beat. But her hands were pinned. A monster trapped her, squeezed her.
Just before her head exploded, the monster expelled her. Bright lights burned. Noise exploded. Her familiar world gone, Love's heart beat silent.
She skidded across a hard, cold surface. No soft, bounce, or comfort.
Her life source broke off. Life fled away. Her feet chilled. Her fingers numbed. In panic her legs and arms pumped. She must...she must do...do something.
Mouth opened. Gulp. Sharp floods of air rushed down...down...into her. She gulped again and wailed. More a whimper than a cry. Try, try again.
‘Oh, no.’ It was only a whisper.
Her new world tipped. Arms flailing, her body banged into a steel wall.
‘Is the baby alive?’
Love's here! Where? She tried to call.
‘Sometimes the foetus lives a few minutes.’
‘Give the baby to me.’
‘No. You're heading to recovery.’
‘Give me my baby.’
‘Can't. It's against policy.’
They tugged back and forth. She was banged from wall or wall. The hard surface catapulted into the air. Amy flew up...up.
Then she dropped... down...down...faster...faster. No soft walls or hard cold surface. Tiny fingers grasped for something, anything.
She jerked, suspended upside down. Fingers caught one foot. Soft hands cupped her, cradled her, pulled her to the familiar heart beat, thumping loud and fast.
'Oh, my baby, my beautiful baby. I’m sorry, so sorry. Mummy's here. I love you. I love you.'
Amy nestled into the softness, mouth open. She knew Love would never fail.
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