The Birthing

Her belly, it moved. It was swollen and she was tied to the chair. Newspaper was pasted to the windows in a tinged yellow sick. An inch of water soaked her feet making them pruned and cold, despite the sweat leaking from her pores. Her belly shuddered again, she felt bile in her throat, tasted something climbing the esophagus lining. She rocked in the chair, but her legs were tied too.

She was alone. The flower dress was brown from puke stains. Brown from other stains. Something was crawling, crawling inside her. It moved and she vomited on herself, choking out an unmentionable. It was the first but there would be more. She’d swallowed the egg sacks. She was perfect they said. It plopped in the water and began floundering around, then went straight for her over saturated feet burrowing its pincer in her souls and eating out the meat. She screamed but her air passage was blocked as another clawed its way up and gagged her. Ejecting it from her mouth, she screamed because she could feel the rest of them hatching, moving , eating her insides as they hungrily declared life in her belly.

Some kind of pregnant she was. Pregnant of putrid insects, maggot-esque children feasting on her digestive tract. She felt herself being eaten from the inside out, carved out by their sucking mouths. They were dissolving her.  And the other two had started at her feet. Blood seeped through the brown dress spreading as silent tears moved down her face, leaving tracks in the grime. The hatchlings began to spill forth from her ruined cavern and she mouthed the word ‘mother’ as their sectioned bodies and sharp legs started scratching off the flesh from her thighs. Bony stumps were her consumed feet and her calves had their mouth marks moving upwards. No one would know, eventually, what had been tied in the chair.

By Emily Smith-Miller

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