Today’s short story came to me whilst listening to one of my favourite singers. Her songs often transport me to other places. Long ago this one affected me deeply with its apocalyptic lyrics but I wasn’t writing back then.
Today the story formed in my mind and I transferred it to the page. I hope you like it, and that you’ll leave me a comment. After all it’s knowing how my work affects others that gives me the greatest pleasure.
Each time I go on one of these missions I promise myself it will be my last. Then after a few months home I agree to come on another. I guess the benefits must outweigh the pain I go through every time. And this time it was more important than the last times. I didn’t want to go, but the consequences of my not going could be dire.
The first few months are basically an unconscious blur, I’m not even sure I exist for most of that time. Then things develop rapidly during which time I am conscious of everything around me, both inside and out.
Once again I am here, l am ready, I am hugely aware, and having come this way before I know what’s coming next.
This time round I think I’m ready for anything, for everything, then my life sac breaks and all hell let loose. We’re all told about this, but its always a shock when it happens.
There was so much activity around me, but I was in the dark. People were getting way too excited, I was worried, as I always am, that they could compromise my mission. I knew that most of them were professionals, that they had done a similar mission before but its never sure until its sure.
Finally I can see a light at the end of the tunnel, and I meant this literally, not figuratively. I knew which way I was headed, and that too was literal. The only way out of this situation was to be head first. I just hoped someone was ready for me in that light.
Holding my breath I hear my team cheering me on, in my head or literally I’ve never worked that one out.
“Go on push. If you’re ready just push, “ one voice tells me. I was sure it was in on my head.
Then little by little I move closer and closer to that light as the tunnel gets wider and wider to accommodate me.
For a moment I taste the goo that coats the tunnel and my body. Throwing up at this point would not have been a good idea, just as well my diet hasn’t consisted of any real food for so long.
As I push towards the light I can feel the tunnel constricting around me. It is at this point that I needed to control the panic I usually feel, knowing that I’m almost there.
“One last push,” shouted one of my team, a voice so familiar to me already.
“I’m coming,” I want to shout, but know I won’t be heard.
Finally I push through the tightest space I’ll ever experience during this lifetime and into the light of this new place.
“It’s a boy. You have a healthy boy, “ someone confirms something I’ve known for an age.
“Samuel,” I hear the voice of my father clearly for the first time.
“Samuel,” the voice of my mother.
“ Your grandfather would be proud,” my father again.
“I am,” I want to tell them. Finally I am back. Finally I am born.
Inspired by Kate Bush’s “Breathing”.