March is the month of monologues. I’m using monologues as character development for the six characters of my birthpunk novellas. Here we see Sylvie, a young midwife, who wants to escape the world she no longer fits, alone in a darker, starker, more dangerous landscape.
One. Two. No…it can’t be. But yes…there it is: the second heart beat. How easy it would be to miss it behind its sibling.
Keep a straight face. Hold it close and work out what twins mean here where all the talk is of a chosen child. A child. Just one.
If you want one, you, glaring down at me, which one do you want? And what will you do with the other? I have never lost a baby. I don’t plan to. Not out here where there is nothing but death pressing in through every crack and crevice. Death might be your handmaiden but it is not mine.
The girl’s fingers are hot, wrapped around my cold ones. Always so cold, especially under Daniel’s hand in the back of the car. His hand jerking away from mine. Rejection, betrayal or survival? Or my will to push him away.
Doesn’t matter now. You’re far away Daniel. So far it doesn’t beg thinking about. I close my fingers around this girl who needs me. I squeeze hard enough to assert my presence, my belief in her ability to birth twins, but not too hard. I’m only here to support, not to control…not like the woman around us. Those who hold us against our will.
I’m so awfully afraid. But you are afraid too. Terrified.
What have I done?
The crone looks at me.
A piercing glance and the hairs on my neck bristle like a cliché. Everything is wrong about this. About her. About the girl. This room and me in it.
Where is Sophie? Is she safe?
If only my beeper worked. I’d be able to let her know I’m still here. I promised her I would be there. And I will. I will Sophie. You believed in me. And I believe in you. I don’t go back on my word. I know you are scared. I’m scared too. If only the beeper worked. I could ask for help.
The crone looks at me, her gaze penetrating me like a rusty metal blade. Violent and deadly.
The pinnard is heavy in my hand. Not as heavy as the sentence I let go as I struggle to work out what to do. The words catch in a choking cough as though I’m not meant to say anything. They bounce off the crumbling walls of the room.
The crone nods. Oh my Goddess, she nods. And I have time.
The cold, sharp air… ahh, after the closed, stinking interior of the birthing room it’s a relief. Colder than the water I’ve just asked to bathe under. Colder than the glare Marcus, the man could as easily undo me as save me, gives me when I tell him what I want.
Are you for me, or against me? Tell me?
Your back is the only answer I get because, I can’t ask. The black cotton sticks in weird contours that defy anatomy.
One foot after another, after another, in the dusty tracks, leading me away from that building.
Lead me anywhere, away form there, deeper into the Dead Zone. It makes no sense, but I trust you. I shouldn’t, but I do. Keep me safe please, Marcus. Please.
I need to get back to Sophie. I gave a promise and I will do anything to keep it.
PS: Happy 500th post here at 1000 Pieces of Blue Sky!