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Click here to read her story "Blood Binds"

Page history last edited by michianawriterscenter@... 6 years, 2 months ago

Blood Binds

            I look at the clock, 5a.m. I sigh and start to roll over. That’s when the pain hits. My entire lower body is on fire. It lit up my legs straight to my center. In between my legs right to the core is where the fire burnt most. I tried to make the connection with my brain. Move, move your legs, get up. There was no point. It was as if everything below my waist was numb to movement. The pain worsened with every second. I wanted to cut off my legs. I imagined all the ways. My body was screaming. It had never felt such pain and did no know how to handle it. Gripping the sheets, I forced myself to sit up. A gurgled scream left my mouth. Sitting only amplified the pain by a thousand. Biting my tongue, I felt my sheets for anything unusual. My hands shook. My bed was soaked with a warm liquid. I did not need the lights on to know it was blood. My mind began swimming. I did not remember calling my roommate, Myra. Light flooded my room when she entered. Poor Myra had a weak stomach. She threw up as soon as she smelt the blood. After emptying the contents of her stomach onto my floor, she called the paramedics.

Everything came as a blur. My screams could no longer be contained and I let them out freely. My body was no longer mine. The paramedics came and took me. My body began convulsing as soon as they made contact with my skin. My screams grew wilder and my body could not stop moving. My legs thrashed out and my foot connected with one of the paramedic. He grunted and fell to the floor. People around me shrieked. Hands restrained me as I kept trying to break free. Myra’s voice came from a distance. Her voice swam through the confusion in my head. I remember a light pressure on my hand, Myra. She was whispering, unheard reassuring words. Everything became dark. My eyes closed and all was black.

* * * *

I woke up in the hospital terrified. I felt if I moved the pain would come rushing back, it did not. I sat up freely and looked around. Myra sat nearby, her eyes closed in sleep. Worry still creased her sleeping face. I tried to remember what had happened last night. My mind was a blank slate. I could not remember a single thing after the paramedics came. My brain had blacked out the night. Even my body was urging me to forget. Nothing made sense. I felt weak and tired. Whatever had happened caused my body great stress. I had no time to dwell on it as the doctor walked in to see me.

            Myra began to stir as the doctor spoke to me. Nothing was wrong. “What do you mean nothing’s wrong? I don’t understand.” The doctor looked worried.

“Despite the amount of blood loss and pain, Miss Newborn, your body shows no sign of trauma.” I was dumbfounded. It was not plausible. I remember how much blood there was on my sheets. I remember the pain before my body lost control. There was no way my body showed no signs of trauma.

“Are you sure?”

“Yes Miss Newborn, my team checked more than once, there is nothing wrong. Quite frankly, you are perfectly healthy.” I was stunned. No longer able to speak, Myra talked for me. The results were conclusive, nothing was wrong with me. I could tell the doctor wanted me to stay longer. The signs were showing on his face, but, since there was no medical proof of an issue, I was released. Myra got her car, a silver SUV, and drove us home. She was silent, an unusual trait. I knew what she was thinking. She was just as mystified as I was. We did not talk about that night, not once. It was clear neither one of us wanted to discuss what had happened. Life went on normally. Work, school, eat, sleep, and repeat. I acted as if nothing had ever happened. Not one part of me wanted to dwell on the subject; yet, in the back of my mind I was terrified. Weeks passed and I begun noticing the changes. My body felt different. I could feel another presence in my head. I hoped I was going crazy.

* * * *

Saturday night, Myra and I were supposed to go out with friends. At the last minute I bailed. Myra went as I kept urging her to go. The truth is I needed to be alone. I felt sick to my stomach. After Myra left I went to the shower. Standing in the hot water calmed me. Relief washed through me as the sickness slowly started to fade. Everything felt at piece and I was enjoying the silence. Five minutes of peace was all I got until the vomiting started. I heaved all over myself in the shower. Black blood sputtered out of me like toxic waste. My body arched in turmoil as I emptied my stomach. Blackness was everywhere. It was murder scene painted with darkness. I slowly washed myself off, and then the tub. I was thorough in my work and made sure not one speck was left behind. After drying off I looked in the full-length mirror hanging on the door. Growing up I had always been self conscious about my stomach. Now it seemed to be fatter than usual. Actually it seemed to be much bigger than I remember being used to. I grew worried; soon my clothes would know longer fit. I tried sucking in and failed. For some reason a sharp pain would not let me suck in my stomach. I rested on my hands on either side of my stomach. Three resounding kicks met my hand on the right side, three kicks. I froze. Somewhere in my head I felt a presence stir. “Mother,” a female voice whispered. I quickly rushed out of the bathroom and dressed. I did not lay a hand on my stomach again that night.

* * * *

Weeks had passed since I had felt the first kick. I tried to ignore it but could not. The presence in my head grew stronger and my stomach grew bigger everyday. Every so often I would feel more kicks. As I got ready to make myself dinner Myra came into the kitchen. I could feel her eyes on my back. I tried to be casual. I lifted a spoonful of Mac and cheese. “Want some?” She nodded.

“Sure.” I got her a bowl and sat down across the table. It was hard to eat as her eyes were trained on me the whole time.

“Can I help you?”

“You’re pregnant.” I nearly choked on my food. She had not even waited to bring it up. She blatantly said it. “Don’t lie to me Aria. Your stomach is growing, fast, and it is not stomach fat.”

“You don’t know what your talking abou-“ In one swift movement Myra had gotten up from her chair and came to my side in seconds. She gently pushed on my stomach. It was not fat, it was hard.

She pushed again.

“This is not stomach fat.” I looked away.

“You’re scared.” I didn’t confirm or deny. None of this started to occur until that one night.

“Myra I can’t remember anything about that night, all I remember is the blood. Something happened and I don’t know what.” She nodded silently.

“You will be okay mother, trust in me.” I jolted from my chair. Myra squeaked.

“Jesus Aria don’t do that you startled me!” I said nothing and started to walk away. Myra grabbed my shoulder.

“Set your alarm. You got a date with the doctor tomorrow. You look seven months pregnant and it is not normal to wait so long to go.” I looked seven months pregnant, seven, and it had only been two. There was something horribly wrong with this baby and I wasn’t prepared to find out in front of a doctor. I did not sleep well that night. My body entered in and out of a conscious state. Moments of darkness came with sleep while I spent most hours lying awake. I did not know what was to come tomorrow. I was fearful. Something was growing in me and I did not know what.

Only one dream came to me. I was perched high on a glass floor. Down below thousands of clawed hands reached for me. Moans came from the pit below. Humanoid voices gurgled my name. I was terrified to move. The glass seemed thin and one movement could send me plummeting into the greedy hands. My fright amplified when a dark figure stepped onto the platform. Its entire body was shadowed and I could not see a thing. The human-like figure drew close and stopped in front of me. It rested a clawed hand on my bare stomach. The baby inside me seemed to squirm with joy. Screams built in my throat as the figure gently stuck a nail in my stomach. Not far enough to harm the baby but far enough to leave a mark, I bit my cheek in pain as the figure began carving into me, tracing some sort of symbol over my right side. A single tear escaped my eye. I thought I saw a flash of teeth from within the figure’s shadow. A steady laughter came from its mouth. The thing was a man. His laughter began to fade as I heard a voice in the distance. Someone was calling my name. My dream disappeared and everything turned black. My body was struggling to reach consciousness. The voice grew louder, Myra. She was starting to sound worried. Her shaking my shoulder grew more sparatic. After what seemed to feel like hours my eyes finally opened. Myra heaved a sigh.

            “God Aria I thought you were dead!” I patted her hand and squeezed it.

“I know…I was trying to open my eyes but I couldn’t. I don’t know what was wrong. It was as if a pressure was keeping them closed.” She shrugged and helped me up. A pain in my right side made me flinch, but I ignored it. I know she asked what was wrong. Something held my mouth closed. Instead I waved a hand dismissively and waddled to the bathroom. Anger seemed to build inside my core. Something unseen appeared to fuel it. By the time I had finished my morning ritual, I was seething. Myra noticed the change in my composure. She did not say a word to me then. Today she had to work and could not go to the doctors. Inside, mu mind understood. It was a perfectly understandable reason, but that fueled my already boiling anger.

            “Tear her head off…” A feminine voice whispered. I began clenching my fist. “Tear it off…go on.” Myra is almost at the door. I send a silent prayer to God, begging her to leave faster. The force was overpowering. I could barely control it. This is when Myra made a grave mistake. She turned from the door and drew close. My palms began to sweat and I close my eyes. Her voice grows fuzzy. A feminine voice keeps whispering in my head. “One move…and she will be gone.” My head starts to pound. Someone else is with me inside my head. I try to tell Myra to leave but all I hear is a gurgling sound in the distance. A throbbing pain builds up all at once. The feminine voice is shrieking inside my skull. “Kill her! Kill her now! Kill her!” I begin screaming and my body convulses. My legs give out and I am on the floor. Myra’s shouting something but I can’t hear. All I see is red.

* * * *

            “Ah, Miss Newborn, you’re finally awake.” Blinding lights force my eyes to close. Someone squeezes my hand. I look to my side and it’s Myra. “Myra told me you fell asleep on the way to your appointment. You are quite the sleeper!” I smile weakly.

“Yeah, I am.” The doctor smiles back genuinely and began his routine. It is something he has done a hundred times. His composure was completely normal until he saw my bulging stomach. Fear flashed across his face, but only for a second.

“Is there something wrong doctor?” Worry leapt in my throat. The doctor laughed. Fake.

“Oh no everything is fine! You’re just so big! Eight months! Are you excited for the baby? My mind freezes over. I look eight months pregnant when it’s only been two. I won’t even reach three months. The baby is coming fast and I still don’t even know what it is. Nothing has prepared me. The child doesn’t even feel human. Mothers are excited. Mothers are happy. Mothers can’t wait to see their baby. Why do I fear mine? A frustrated sigh brings me back to earth. “Miss Newborn, I don’t know how to tell you this, but, uhm, I cannot see the baby.” I freeze.

“What?” The doctor looks at the image before him. My ultrasound was something I’ve never seen or heard of before. A black film covered the baby entirely. I squinted my eyes. “What is that? The doctor was aghast.

“Quite frankly Miss Newborn, I’m not sure. I have never seen this before…” The room grew quite and my baby’s heartbeat filled the silence. Something was off. There seemed to be too many beats. My doctor felt around some more. “Miss Newborn, I believe you are carrying twins.” My eyes nearly popped out of my head.

“Twins?” The doctor nodded.

“I figured at first. A stomach that big usually means twins. And indeed there are two heartbeats in there.” This time Myra had to sit down. She was as shocked as I was. The rest of the appointment went normally. Questions were asked. Questions were answered. All I know is one thing. My babies will come soon. Nothing could ever prepare me for this moment. I still don’t remember that night I don’t even know how I got pregnant. Something is wrong and I know it. I leave the doctor’s office in a haze. In the car Myra lifts my shirt and I squeal.

“What the hell are you doing?” Myra’s eyes are serious when she looks at me.

“How did this get one you?” She rubs my hand over my right side and I feel something sticking out.

“What?” She wordlessly hands me a mirror. I drop it almost immediately. Shock and fear pump my blood.

“You saw that right? Do you know what that means? Do you know what that is Aria?” She’s nearly in hysterics. A red inverted pentagram marks the right side of my stomach. The skin there seems to pulse underneath my fingertips. I have a sign of the devil imprinted on my stomach, right over my baby. My hand begins to tremble. I turn to Myra. A sudden realization hits me and I am left terrified. My hand crushes hers in a vice grip.

“Myra, last night I had a dream…it was dark and I stood on a glass platform. Disembodied hands were reaching up for me. They were trying to get my baby. God Myra voices were calling me and a man came. He touched my stomach and carved something on my side. I-“ Myra lifted up a shaking hand.

“Just stop while you’re ahead Aria. I don’t want to hear anymore. This is…this scares me.” I exhale heavily.

”You think I’m not? I have something inside me and I have no idea what it is! Now I find out there’s two! Whatever this thing is…it’s been touched by the devil.” Myra sighs.

“Whatever your bearing Aria, I’m gonna help you, I promise.” I almost begin to cry, almost. Myra goes into work late and takes a night shift. By early evening I grow restless and go for a walk. Living in an apartment had its advantages. The city was right outside my door. I feel self conscious as I walk. Everyone looks at my stomach as they pass. Do they know my babies have been touched by the devil? Surely they cannot see through my shirt.

The warm summer evening seemed to get cold. Chills followed me as I walked. I felt as if everyone knew. Every glance was a judging eye. The pressing eyes became too much and I ran into the closest building, a church. Discomfort came almost immediately. Kicks rebounded against my stomach furiously. The babies did not want to be here. Was it only one? I felt kicks on the right side but the left was utter calmness. Peace and discomfort merged together in my mind leaving me horribly confused. Two different entities seemed to tug at my sides. I sat down in a back pew and closed my eyes. I rested my hands on my stomach and the baby seemed to calm. It was a nice surprise. For a moment everything was calm. The change was nice and I cherished the quiet. I began to grow weary and started falling asleep. My mind began drifting when I felt eyes on me. I sat up straighter and noticed a woman staring at me. She appeared to be trembling. Narrowing my eyes, I stood and started towards her. The woman started to tremble more as I got closer. “What’s wrong with you? You’ve never seen a pregnant woman before?” The woman faltered for a moment, but only a moment. I did not react fast enough. One swift movement and she pulled out a knife. My body has no time to react. There is a slight pressure in my right side, but nothing else. The woman gasps as the knife shatters. The blade could not penetrate my skin. She crumbles as I bear down on her. “What did you try doing to my baby? You tried to kill them!” My hysteric cries boomed in the church. The woman growled and leapt for my throat. People had gathered and two men grabbed her and pulled her down.

            “Kill it! Kill the girl! Kill the devil’s seed!” A firm hand pressed into my shoulder. I turn to see a tanned woman smiling at me.

            “Let me take you home.” We walk out together past the mass of people gathered around the hysterical woman. I could not stop thinking about what she had said. My child is the devil’s seed? I did not know what was worse. That I could be carrying a devil inside me, or that I don’t doubt it.

“You are dear.” The woman startled me. I had forgotten she was there.

“Excuse me?” She looked at me with great sorrow in her eyes.

“Miss Newborn, you are cursed with the devil’s touch. He left a mark on your side. The child you are bearing are not human.” I tried to keep my composure.

“I have twins.” The woman smiled. She rested a hand on my left side.

“He is good. The Holy Spirit has blessed your son. He is the key to stopping the devil you also bear.” She started to walk away. I tried to run after her.

“Wait! Please help me!” I blinked and the woman was gone. Her voice whispered in my ear.

“You can’t have one without the other Aria…” My face paled. The twins I bear are not human. One is holy and one is a destroyer. I have a boy and a girl inside me. The woman could be lying but I know she is not. My head is always crammed with another presence, the girl. My stomach drops. I cannot tell Myra. I will not. I walk home is full of dread. God and the devil have touched me. Now I carry their child. Something squirms on my right side. The boy’s presence makes the girl nervous. I can feel it. I go home feeling restless. If I have to give birth to the devil’s child I will make sure it comes out weak. I spend the night searching for things that weaken the devil. Nothing could work. It all involves the bible or church and I have nothing. I look through Myra’s things and find a rosary. It is chained along white pearls. I take it and wear it around my neck. My left side feels as if it is glowing. My mind eases slightly. I sag to the floor. The realization of the burden hits me. I am carrying the curse and savior of this world. One cannot survive without the other. The woman failed to kill the girl. Something is keeping these babies alive and I cannot stop it. I am a carrier. What happened when the babies are born? My maternal instinct was in full ride. I did not want to lose them. I will fight to keep my babies. I will.

* * * *

I don’t remember falling asleep. Myra came in and told me to get in my bed and not to sleep on the floor. I sleepily crept into my room and plopped down. Being pregnant sucked quite frankly. I was always tired and felt like a big whale. I know women get pregnant everyday and it is a normal occurrence. Pregnancy is normal, but I am not carrying normal children. No one could understand my situation. It is scary. No one would accept me. In this I moment I knew I could no longer trust anyone. I did not even know what to tell my mother. She would ask who the father is and would never believe my answer. I could never tell her I adopted babies. Alone with twins would be a poor choice. She would never forgive me. The next few weeks I became mute. Myra silently helped me along. She held me up when the pain became too much. If my body began convulsing she’d help stop it and calm me. Body convulsion was not a normal pregnancy thing, but for me it was. Each time seemed to be worse than the last. My body would movement would become more violent. I had given Myra a bloody nose and two black eyes. I wanted her to stop holding me down after that, but, she always came. I felt so helpless. I became Myra’s new chore. She would work and have to come home and deal with me. I was hardly able to move anymore. My stomach was so big ad sucked the life out of me. Myra watched as I became frailer by each passing day. The twins I carried would be the death of me. I knew it. My mind was a crammed place. The boy finally found his voice and joined the girl in my head. They argued and told me things. I had a devil on my right and an angel on my left. I was glad to be frail then, so I could not do what the devil said. She always wanted me to kill Myra, always.

* * * *

Saturday evening, I was supposed to walk with Myra. My frail legs couldn’t muster the movement. I lay on the couch and napped. Everything was calm until the boy’s voice woke me. Someone was whispering and I stirred. “It is time mother, we are ready, and it is time.” A screech left my mouth for a moment. A great pain grew in my stomach. I was having my first contraction. Myra wasn’t home from walking. I was alone. A female voice was shrill inside my skull.

“Get up mother, we are coming to see you.” Without hesitation, my legs moved. They were stronger than ever before as I made my way outside. A force was leading me to the church. I knew I needed to go to a hospital but my legs were no longer under my control. A male voice spoke again.

“You will be okay mother. The church will help you more than a hospital.” The girl voice came back, calmer than before.

“I feel your fear of dying Mother. We will never let you die.” Somehow that did not assure me. As I drew closer to the church, I saw three people waiting for me. A man and two women, he stood dead center, one woman on each side flanking of his tall figure. They did not say a single word to me. They took me and led me inside. Everyone knew it was coming Eve Myra knew for she came through a door at the side of the church to meet me. I looked at her questioningly. Placing a hand on my shoulder she guided me down a hall in the church.

“I will tell you later I promise.” Her hushed tone sent chills down my spine. Inside me all was quiet. My babies were still, as if waiting for a queue. At the end of the dim hallway was a room. It was lit up with candles all around. A bed with white sheets was there. I assume it is for me. Myra lays me down and takes my hand. “Are you ready?” I lay there, confused. Labor lasts hours before a woman gives birth.

“We are special cases mother.” The voices spoke together in my mind. Special was right. My water broke shortly after. My contractions hardly hurt at all. Women feel great pain in birth and I felt nothing. Within an hour it was time to push. I do not remember pain. Warmth seemed to flow through me and I felt utterly calm. Five minutes pass and my son is born. The nameless man hands him to me and I look him in the eyes. The boy has them wide open and I see the ocean. Deep blues eye stare back at me. He smiles and touched my cheek with a tiny finger.

“Mother.” I smile and gently kiss his head before one of the women takes him to clean him off. Pain eludes me still as I push again. My daughter comes just as easy into the world. Looking at her was different. Her amber eyes burned through my core. Her smile looked wicked. My brain wanted to be excited but I was fearful.

“Your mark is gone.” Myra’s voice startled me.

“What?” She pointed at my stomach.

“The pentagram went away when the second one came out.” I looked t my newborn girl and suppressed a squeal. The red inverted pentagram now marked her stomach, burning brighter than ever. The other nameless woman took my baby away to clean her as well. The man stood and patted my shoulder.

“You did well Miss Newborn. Do you know what you want to name them?” It was if a knee jerk reaction was activated.

“Nova and Zeb.” I had never thought of those names in my life until now. Mystery man smiled at me sending chills up my spine. I wanted to take my babies and leave Myra helped me up. One woman came and handed me Zeb. He was swaddled in white cloth and his eyes were closed. He looked peaceful. I couldn’t help but smile. What happened next would leave me terrified of my daughter forever. The woman cleaning her began screaming. A gurgling noise came shortly afterwards, and then the thud. Bite marks had left the woman’s throat slashed up open, her vocal cords dangling on the side. Swaddled in white and blood, my little Nova lay off to the side, a wide grin on her face. My daughter had shark-like teeth lining her tiny mouth. Myra noticed and gasped.

“We have to go now.” Myra took Zeb and I unwillingly took Nova. I thank God for a moment that Myra was perceptive enough to bring her car. My legs were weak and could not move quickly. Myra had to hold Zeb while half dragging me to her silver car. She slid into the front seat and handed me my son. I sat in the back and clung to my babies. I had a very bad feeling weighing down in my chest.

“He is coming for me mother…soon.” I knew it was Nova who spoke and I knew who was coming. When we reached the apartment I did not let Myra out. I gently laid Nova down and looked at Zeb. His blue eyes stared back. I held him close and kissed his head.

“Mommy loves you very much, but I have to go now okay? I’ll be back I promise.” I kissed his cheek and handed him to Myra.

“Drive. Don’t look back just drive. I will find you.” Myra did not ask questions. She nodded and prepared to leave. Zeb reached his hand out and grabbed my pinky with his little fingers.

“Be careful Mother, I need you.” I smiled and let go. I took Nova out of the car and watched Myra drive away. Nova’s voice echoed in my head.

“You love Zeb, and fear me mother. Why? I’d never hurt you, I promise.” Somewhere in my heart I knew that wasn’t true. Nova grew silent and I walked slowly to the apartment gardens. I reached the center and sat on a bench, taking in the flowers and trees. Nova had fallen asleep and I began nodding off. I don’t know how long I slept. Darkness surrounded me when I opened my eyes. Nova squirmed in my arms. Her aura was excited. “He’s coming.” I exhaled sharply and held her tighter. She was sill my baby and I felt protective even though she had killed someone. “Father.” Thus time the voice was not in my head. The word left Nova’s mouth as if she’s been talking for years. I bristled and turned around. A man in all black stood. A hat shadowed his whole face. Nothing could hide his piercing red eyes. Nova squirmed with joy in her eyes and I held her tighter. The man chuckled.

“You think you can really keep her from me? Your job is done, give me the girl.” I couldn’t resist if I tried. Unseen hands thrust my arms forward and pierced my hands open. The man took Nova. I thought I saw a shark tooth smile. “Good girl.” He purred. He walked around me. “I no longer need you. What to do with you now?” My body froze. I was going to die. Nova’s voice came again.

“Do not kill her father. I’m quite fond of the human.” I hated the way she talked. It disgusted me. The man was no better. His voice was somewhere between half human and half demonic. The man drew close and rested a hand on my shoulder. I screeched in pain as a fire lit through my body. The pain left as soon as it had come and I felt blissful. The man growled in disgust. He leaned in close and whispered in my ear.

“Something tells me we will meet again and when we do, you will die.” A moment passes and the darkness is gone. The man disappeared and took Nova with him. I stood in the garden. My dress was marked with blood from birth and from the murder that had taken place. A male voice spoke gently in my head.

“Come home mother, I need you now. At that moment I knew. The devil would come again and bring Nova with him. I do not know when but I knew I would die. Myra called and said she was in the next town over. I went to our apartment before leaving. I changed and cleaned myself off before calling a taxi. When the devil comes the end of the world would begin. I had to raise Zeb as a normal child but I felt inside that he knew what he was meant to do. That will be the day I die, and I accepted it. The taxi ride was long and I was weary from birth. Bliss came over me and I closed my eyes. A voice whispered gently in my ears, Zeb. “Rest mother you are tired. You have a long journey ahead with me. When the end comes I will protect you always.” Darkness fell and I was not fearful. I accepted sleep and went off into an undisturbed slumber.

 

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