The Cruellest Month

500wordssq-e1388528458656Juliet felt the baby in her stomach kick just as she was opening her eyes. She lay in the dark for a few minutes, resting her hand on her stomach and feeling her baby shift inside her.

Her eyes were filled with tears which started to run down her cheeks by the time she finally flicked on the small lamp next to her bed and sat up. She checked the time on her small alarm clock. 9am. She’d gone to bed late so it was too early to get up but her baby had made its intentions clear.

She left the bedroom and walked to the bathroom at the end of the hall. The house was still in darkness. It was winter and had been snowing for weeks and she couldn’t remember the last light morning. Her eyes had quickly grown accustomed to a lack of artificial light and she could find her way easily enough. She flicked on the bathroom light when she opened the door and stepped inside.

Despite the inches of snow on the ground and the freezing temperatures, Juliet was burning hot most of the time. Her doctor reassured her it was just her pregnancy hormones but she wasn’t completely convinced. As a consequence, she slept in the nude and rarely wore anything when she was inside the house. She felt so hot most of the time, like her skin was on fire and preparing to peel itself off her very bones.

She turned the shower on, making sure the setting was cold and pushed the curtain aside with one hand. Taking care to shield her enormous bump, she stepped into the shower and let the curtain fall back into place. She stepped under the freezing cold water and sighed with relief as the unbearable heat started to leave her body. She felt the baby shift, settle almost sigh with relief inside her. The baby liked it cold. The one time she’d had a lukewarm shower she’d experienced cramps so painful she thought the pain would kill her.

She washed her hair with shampoo and conditioner, knowing it would never be properly clean with freezing cold water but helpless to do anything about it. The baby wanted to be cold all the time. The baby had to have its way. Every mother or would-be mother knew that. She offered no resistance to the baby’s demands. One experience of the agonising cramps was enough to make sure she got the message loud and clear.

Her bump, after just a few weeks was enormous. She looked like someone about to give birth at any second, not a woman with many months to go. She hadn’t left the house since she’d woken up and found herself in this condition. What would she tell people? She didn’t even know who’d did this to her. Mike had left her for some hot young actress he met on the set of his movie. She’d sort of lost her mind. She’d been drinking a lot and woken up in the beds of many strangers. Any one of them could have left this – this thing inside her.

As if sensing her angry thoughts, the baby started to move frantically around inside her, twisting and curving. The cramps came again, so intense she couldn’t even breathe for the pain. The pain winded her and forced her to her knees. She clutched the wall of the shower, moaning in pain, sobbing while the baby moved. The pain was worse than the last time, much worse.

She looked down at her bump as she started to lose consciousness and saw a hand, a clawed hand try to push its way out.

THE END

Copyright © 2018 by Pamela Scott

This is my piece for My500Words today.

The prompt for the story was from today’s post on StoryADay.

The story also appears on Wattpad and Tumblr.

 

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