by Dolores Tay
This time, the two lines were unmistakable.
“It can’t be” I thought, “I have not missed a single day of the pill for the past three years”.
Yet there it was; two red snake eye slits staring right at me.
Thinking back, there were signs since the rally: the terrible migraines; that nauseating feeling of queasiness and discomfort in the pit of the stomach, and those nightmares.
I tried to shake off that feeling of dread but it continues to cling to me. Its tentacles drawing me back to those visions; the eyes- lifeless black and purple orbs; those cold wet slimy fingers and that smell: fetid, rotting and putrid like slaughterhouse carcasses baked in vomit and black blood.
Long, soft, menacing strokes that leave trails of thick, silvery starch-like liquid; it was warm, almost hot and repulsively comforting. I could not tell how many fingers had their way with me but they were big and thick and bulbous, overgrown sacs that grip and sucked and prod and caressed.
More of them, there were more of them and it was no longer soft and massaging. There was a dangerous urgency, a dead weight that grows heavier by the seconds. Heavier, wetter as my entire body is now drenched with the disgusting secretion as it invades every orifice and slip into every sliver of space in my succumbing body. It was unbearable, I was drowning yet I was still alive. Inexplicable like most dreams are. Yes, it was a dream. It must be –
I did, soaked in my own fear and disgust.
Wake up, love!
The stick fell on to the toilet floor and broke in two, also breaking that terrible vision that still haunts me even when I am awake.
Stop it! Enough of this nonsense, I have to gather my wits about me and tell Matt that he has been right all along: he is going to be a father.
“Hahaha. Fuck off. I knew it,” he said, tearing at the helpless pizza with those big teeth of his. “I know my boys and how powerful they are, honey. When I shoot, I hit target.”
“I don’t think it’s the time to share your victory speech, General,” I said, mildly annoyed with his callous attitude.
“Chill, honey; I’m excited, that’s all,” he grinned and brushed my cheeks with the back of his hands.
“But you have to admit, that I do have bionic sperm.”
“Matt!” I was really annoyed now.
“Alright, alright, just teasing,” and he flashed that irresistible smile and I go all soft on him again. “So,
the baby’s made in Europe huh?”
“I guess so. I was only ever off the pill that one week of the rally as it happened to be the seven ‘rest’ day of the twenty-one days pills cycle.”
“Amazing,” he said, and from the tone of his voice, I knew he was talking about his self-proclaimed fertility prowess.
I guess I could have given him the scientific and medical statistics about the failure rate of birth control pills but I’ll let him have his time in the sun for now.
“I bet we had the little one in the Rome leg of the rally when we got lost. I wanted to jump you every minute when we were in that budget hotel. Every hair on my body just wanted you so bad that night.”
A chill slithered down my neck and found its way into my gut. It was that night; the nightmare. It was in that hotel right after we had one of the most inspired love making session of the entire trip.
Suddenly, I felt sick; literally. The ceiling fan no longer did its job; the air felt still and dense. The smell of fresh pizzas a few seconds ago now reeks of a sickening oily-sweet odour. I had to go.
“Honey, you ok? You look terrible.”
“I – I think I’m about to get sick.” I was. I could feel my insides heave and roll, heading upwards towards the opening. I was not about to regurgitate my breakfast on his lunch at the table, so I rushed to the toilet.
It was unlocked –thank god. And all I could do to keep the rising lump from a premature explosion is to cover my mouth with both my hands until I reached the bowl and then my breakfast hit target – an unrecognizable pool of cereal, milk and grapes. It came out in spurts – lumpy, starchy mess of my stomach’s content. And then I saw it.
A school of thick, silvery liquid that looked different from the rest of the morning’s evidence. It floated above the rest like a shimmery buoy of gelatinous pudding, with a life of its own.
Then the smell hit me; that all too-familiar, sickening scent of putrefied blood and vomit. But this time, I was not dreaming. I tasted it. It was in my mouth. And then it moved, underneath my skin. I felt something roll and turn, and in a daze – wondering if it was all another dream – I lifted my shirt.
And then I heard it – the scream.
The last thing I remember was a familiar voice, far away, calling my name again and again accompanied by the sound of frenzied banging – disengaged, lonely cacophony of madness – as my scream tore at the horror that was kicking in me.
Dolores Tay is a Sigaporean mother of 2 with one on the way.
Richard Edwards has a BFA in Creative Writing and Journalism from Bowling Green State University and an M.S. in Education from the University of Akron. Managing editor of Drunk Duck, poetry editor for Prairie Margins, reporter for Miscellany, Akron Journal, Lorain Journal, and The BG News. He has also worked as a professional writer and editor in the medical publishing industry for several years. For the last 15 years Richard has also taught literature and writing at the secondary and post-secondary levels. He works much of the time with at-risk students.