Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Gift of Ignorance

This is a flash fiction piece I wrote a couple of months ago - I couldn't come up with a poem today :-(.....

Joni was on the hospital bed screaming, as the contractions ripped through her pelvis and abdomen. The pain was intolerable and moved inside her body every two minutes, like rolling waves. It was too late for the doctor to give her an epidural and just as she was ready to pass out from pain; her vagina felt a sharp stabbing ache, forcing itself open. Sweat started pouring down her face, and she could taste its salty beads on her lips. She gasped for air as the throbbing continued, and tried not to think of the only other time she felt this kind of agony.

Over the next ten minutes, the pain continued to escalate, and Joni couldn’t seem to get enough air. She gripped the side of her damp bed, digging her nails into the mattress. The doctor’s voice was mumbled, and all she could make out was the word “push.” She forced herself to press downward every time the wave came, and could feel the baby slide outward as she was torn open below. The last thing Joni heard was a high-pitched cry, and the room went dark.

When the nurse came in twenty minutes later to wake Joni with news that she had a beautiful baby boy, Joni knew there must have been a mistake. There was no way she had wasted nine and a half months to give birth to a child with a penis.

“That baby’s not mine,” Joni insisted, still groggy from labor.

The nurse looked down at the delicate blue bundle she was holding. “Well of course he’s yours, Ms. Kontroy, I helped with the delivery.”

“No! I’m sure you’ve made a mistake, I had a little girl - Cheyenne – with perfect little hands and tiny feet; I heard her cry,” Joni urged, and turned her head to give a vacant stare out the hospital window.

The nurse had seen this before; women who wanted a girl so desperately that they went insane upon discovering they had been mistaken their whole pregnancy. She wasn’t about to let this woman deny the child any longer and walked over confidently, bending towards her with the sleeping baby.

Joni inhaled the sweet earthy scent of her newborn, and slowly turned towards the nurse. Glycerin tears flowed down her cheeks as she looked down at the child outstretched before her. She didn’t anticipate what would happen next: her heart flip-flopped as her soul interpreted what her eyes beheld. He was the most precious infant she had ever seen. His cheeks were plump and rosy, and his dark lashes rested shut against his tawny colored skin. Although the nurse had not placed a daughter in her arms, she realized at that moment that this child was going to change her life forever.


Unknown said...

I am gifted too

Paul Bernard Baker said...

Good stuff. Really enjoyed the story.

"her heart flip-flopped as her soul interpreted what her eyes beheld." Great line. Liked the move from the tension and pain of the child-birth to the sweetness and relaxation of the final lines.

Anyway, just came to say thanks for kind post on my blog.

White Rose said...

Oh, I thought this was beautiful! I love how you described the pain. And how she realized the beauty of her son. Very Poignant!

Thanks so much for the kind comment. A Jane Austen comparison , that is high praise indeed. I am working on more of the Eliza story. So there will be more to come.