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maternal whispers

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posted on Jul, 13 2009 @ 12:34 PM
Wrapped in a wet, transparent, membranous bloody shawl, a newly born baby hung from the light fitting directly above, a telephone cord coiled and wrapped around its tiny neck like a restricting snake. Lying paralysed on his bed, powerless to fight it, David looked on as the baby screamed and kicked its podgy legs, as it struggled only inches away from his face. The cries increased to a crescendo of cacophonous terror, echoing like the howls of a lonely wolf.

David's eyes snapped open and a dark room greeted him. His heart raced, beat so hard that he could feel its pulse in his fingertips. Rolling over, aware that he had just suffered his recurring nightmare, David wasn't at all surprised to find his wife's side of the bed empty. He pulled back the duvet, wiping away the sweat from his face with the corner as he shifted himself upright. These nights were hard on him, were really wearing him thin; as if it was just his wife suffering a loss and not him.

Climbing out of bed, he ambled towards the hallway, listening for any movement that was a clue to his wife's state of mind. Gina was either quiet, sleepwalking, living out her fantasy in the nursery or, awake, likely to be hostile and upset, crying and clutching at a yellow teddy bear, which was to have been baby Liam's first toy.

It was silent except for a muted whisper, a gentle breeze that teased the window frames, and the occasional creaks from the old oak beams as they shifted with the ever changing temperature of the house.

David pulled on an old jumper and headed downstairs to pour a brandy to help him sleep. The same old routine: brandy, cigarette, help his manically depressed wife back to bed after which she would either try and return to the nursery, or just cry herself to sleep.

Approaching the top of the stairs he paused, looked to the room at the end of the landing and listened again. Still quiet, a sure sign Gina was in one of her nightly trances. He never tried to interfere with her when she was in this state. Holding his breath to hear with more clarity, he could just make out the faint whispers Gina made, whispers that a mother would use to comfort an agitated child. He could now hear his heart thump in his ears, could see his jumper twitching as it pounded away in his chest. If he was lucky, by the time he had finished his nightcap and returned, she might well be in a deep sleep on the nursery floor. That would be too easy, just to be able to carry her back to bed without any conflict.

It tore his heart to see her this way. He wanted so desperately to eradicate her pain, banish the hurt that had changed her; let her sleep, rest, regain some mental stability. The sleepwalking chilled him; finding her sitting up in bed, staring at him with soulless eyes frightened him. She was such a colourful, lively girl before their son's birth; always laughing, teasing, and challenging everything life had to throw at her. Apart from this; this had stolen a part of Gina, the part that shone, a multicoloured aura that danced within her hazel eyes, beamed as she smiled, radiated from her skin in an abundance of joyous emotion.


Having taken a large swig from the tumbler, David eased back into a chair and lit a cigarette. The brandy felt hot inside his empty stomach; the nicotine gave a brief reprieve from the trauma of having to face the woman who now scared him witless. The house felt empty, the massive presence that was once the girl he adored now extinct, gone, leaving an ominous hole in the ambience of their home. He listened to wind, whispers straight from the mouth of Mother Nature, her words sweeping through the tall ferns outside. Upstairs remained silent, Gina most likely in the nursery feigning her son's presence, pretending he was in her arms and not laying in a tiny white coffin buried in the cemetery. In his mind's eye he could see her cooped up in the darkness sitting beside the cot, her arms empty but rocking to and fro; her gentle words an incomprehensible slur.

Exhaling a cloud of smoke, David thought back to when they had both decorated the little room upstairs. Gina was so excited, so overwhelmingly happy, it was like nine months of Christmas to her. When choosing the nursery's décor, she had literally danced around the shop, picking out fittings and wallpapers, lampshades and curtains, mobiles and finally the cot, the last piece that now seemed to dominate all that was left of her life. When decorating the room, Gina had insisted that she do it herself, mocking his abilities at D.I.Y, showing the side of her that he now missed the most.

The poignant memories felt as though they were feeding from his heart. Parasitic leeches, supping and gorging on everything that was beautiful. He grasped at the brandy and drained it, causing a deep burning in the centre of his trachea. It felt good and he enhanced the flash of calmness by inhaling a large drag from his cigarette. Closing his eyes, he slowly exhaled, savouring the moment.

Stubbing out the cigarette with trembling fingers, preparing to face the empty shell that was once his happy girl, he heard a soft moan sound down from upstairs. David froze, the thought of Gina walking around in a sleeper's trance causing his lower extremities to shrivel, to shrink as though they sought a place to hide inside. The weak cry echoed down again, and he was sure it was just the breeze outside testing the old window frames, whistling through the weathered cracks.

The sound injected a chilling concoction of ice and acid into his chest and bladder. It made his skin feel as though a mild dose of electricity ran through it, a tingling that ran over his scalp. It took him back to the night of Liam's birth. Everything had gone so well, the doctors predicting a swift and successful delivery. Although Gina felt pain, through her tears she was smiling; laughing ecstatically when told the top of their baby's head had appeared. It had happened so damn fast. He looked on in total awe of human creation, the birth of another being, something they had both created together. Through all the chaos of the doctors and nurses going about their business, the mid-wife encouraging Gina to push and the feelings he never thought existed, he didn't at first register when all started to go terribly wrong. He watched his wife pushing, panting with a new determination, a new pain faltering her smile. Instead of their son's head completely emerging, it slowly disappeared back inside. At this point Gina was crying out, her shrieks sending the nurses into frenzy. The baby had turned inside; was now trying to come out feet first.

Leaning forward, his head in his hands, and his elbows resting on the kitchen table, David struggled with the memory, the night of their son's birth draining his energy. He couldn't shake the images in his head; even with his eyes open, staring through his fingers at the table, he could see his wife's contorted, agonised features as the nurses manipulated the baby to take the correct course. Their son had eventually come out the correct way and there was a moment of relief, a break in the horrifying chaos that was the not knowing. As baby Liam was finally given the gift of life, it was cruelly stolen from him. He lay silent, motionless in the nurses' arms, the twisted, umbilical cord wrapped around his face and neck. The mid-wife started to wail as the nurse pried at the bloody cord. The sound reminded him of a whining dog. Gina was still unaware of the problem. Her face was a picture of relief; her arms held out to receive the son that she had so desperately and patiently waited for.


posted on Jul, 13 2009 @ 12:34 PM
David squeezed his eyes shut. The look that had crossed Gina's face when little Liam was rushed off to Intensive Care was too much to relive. He could hear the screaming, the high pitched screeches only a mother losing her kin could produce. He heard it in his dreams, when he was awake, a maelstrom of wails that never ceased to remind him of their loss. Sometimes he thought he was going mad; could actually hear a baby's cries, the screaming terror that was his recurring nightmare following him into reality went he jumped awake.

Tears started to well. He had wanted a son too. For the nine months leading up to the birth, David hadn't stopped thinking about being a father, what a father would do with his son. Playing football, teaching him to ride a bike, to fish, help him with his homework, to be responsible for a tiny human life, a little person that represented the love between him and Gina, a part of them both. He clenched his fists and rubbed them at his temples.

He had lost a son and he had thought he was doing well to get over it. Although the pain couldn't match what a mother felt losing her child, the feeling cut him inside, caused his stomach to sting as though a malignant tumour expelled and dumped its toxic contents there.

Lashing out, frustration and anger coursing through him, he knocked the glass tumbler across the kitchen, smashing it against the fridge. He was scared, terrified, not at just the loss of his little boy, but the thought of losing his wife too. She wasn't getting over this, was far from recovering. She spoke as though Liam hadn't died, wasn't buried in the cemetery. She had attended the funeral in a drunken haze, totally unaware of what was happening and what the black day actually meant. If it wasn't for his relentless nightly vigils persuading Gina back to bed, she would sit on that nursery floor all night with a son that no longer existed. During the day she remained drunk, drugged up with the pills the doctor had prescribed. The G.P had given her a pump to relieve the body's natural production of milk, and bra pads to prevent any leakage. Tablets for breaking down the production of milk were also prescribed and David had to grind these up and disguise them in the little food she ate. In the beginning, Gina had refused to use the pump, and her tops were usually damp. If it wasn't for the situation they were in, it would have looked comical. The pills appeared to be doing their job now though; Gina's clothes weren't showing the usual signs of leakage and her side of the bed remained dry. She did, however, remain tired; it was as though Liam's death had taken a part of her too. Whilst in this state, he didn't dare speak of Liam's death, for her violent outbursts weren't the answer to recovery.

Deciding to clear up the broken glass in the morning, David left the fine splinters where they were and headed upstairs to see what state Gina was in. He was hoping, praying she had fallen into a restless sleep, was just lying out peacefully on the floor.

Ascending the stairs he was aware that his heart had picked up its pace again. The girl he had once looked after and cared for like a child of his own now rendered him fearful; his heart rate was proof of this no matter how hard his pride tried to deny it.

Now on the landing, he approached the nursery with caution, taking steps like a lone knight nearing the entrance of a cave, its sole occupant a sleeping dragon. He made it to within a few metres of the door before pausing, feeling up the wall and switching on the landing light. He had learnt from experience not to startle her with the nursery light. To experience someone startled out of a sleepwalker's trance is enough to leave you with the memory for life, as though it were branded there in the fiery moments of their awakening.

The landing light cast just enough to see into the nursery. Gina sat upright against the cot. In her arms she cradled the empty air she thought was her son. The hanging mobiles cast long shadows up the walls, fingers that stretched further up and along the ceiling, vanishing before they were able to reach him.

David stepped into the doorway. 'Gina,'� he mouthed. She looked up at him, registered his presence within the realm of sleep with those soulless eyes. Eyes that had the power to render you motionless, much like the eyes of Medusa. Gina smiled as she cradled nothing, her unblinking eyes reflecting the light from the doorway. To David, Gina looked vulnerable, innocent, lost, and she reminded him of when they had first met in their teens. Although she was full of life, David had always thought of her as shy until he had got to know her properly. He wanted to shout out her name, shake her until she understood that their son had gone; wasn't ever coming back. It wasn't just her that suffered. Why couldn't she see that!?

Anger gave him the courage to venture further into the nursery. As he neared Gina and the cot, he witnessed something that staggered him, left his heart sitting motionless in his chest like a useless, solitary piece of meat. One of Gina's breasts protruded through the top of her pyjamas. The light that shone into the room was enough to make out the silhouette of her pert nipple. Looking closer, Gina pulling away her arms from her chest, he saw a small amount of liquid spurt out from the nipple, a white substance that ran down the arc of her breast and was absorbed into the material of her top.

Gina returned David's look of incredulity with a giggle. 'Our baby,'� she whispered, before turning her attention back to her cradling arms.

David remained a statue in the middle of the nursery, his face a picture of dumfounded idiocy.

Outside, the wind continued to taunt the trees, whisper through the ferns, whistle through the cracks in the old house. Still frozen to the spot, his heart still failing to summon a beat, David listened, not sure if the moans he heard were the teasing winds outside or the whimpering cries from his son, baby Liam.

posted on Jul, 18 2009 @ 01:12 AM
reply to post by ronishia

Very haunting and sad. I love how your stories really make me feel what's going on in the head of the characters. I see expressions on peoples faces who I do not know, but I do know them. This is great stuff.

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