Stillborn by Steven Bradley--An Excerpt
Topic: First Chapter
Today I'd like to share with you a third excerpt from Steven Bradley. Tomorrow, I will be sharing more information on Steven's upcoming book and share with you some places where you can read even more of this wonderful author's work. Now, onto the excerpt....
April 1, 1988, 2:03 AM
She had insisted upon hating it but there was no denying it any longer. The blowing night breeze gave a false sense of serenity to a tense evening with the growing thing inside her always bringing her back to reality. The moonlit night sky above caused a glimmer of misty light through a window into the land of the so-called living to expose the sleeping silhouette of a beautiful woman. Her restive eyes shifted radically behind her closed eyelids. She saw it all so clearly; that same evil nightmare that had plagued her since the thing had begun to sprout within her. She had purposed in her heart to abhor it because she was sure that would be the only way to survive the inhumane measures the thing's appearance would unleash.
The dream was like a night in some evil cavalcade of misfits that always seemed to leave the taste of hostility on her tongue. She couldn't see it, but she felt it. There was a sense that she had to walk the length of the environs and that she could feel arms pulling at her to compel her. It didn't feel like she was heading toward anguish, but was actually being invaded by it, almost surrounding her! She ran into a pavilion as though in slow motion, with her feet moving as though they were treading upstream in a fast flowing river and traveling in the opposite direction! It was gloomy, sinister even rancid. She saw no one but heard the wailing hideous cries of babies in some hidden away place that made her blood crawl. She grasped her abdomen and followed the shrieking sounds to a hallway. She tried to open several doors and found the third one on her left unlocked and slowly slid it open. This had been the farthest she had ever ventured down the lingering hallway that had so often occupied her dreams. The weeping sounds stopped, but a vista appeared before her; a landscape she had seen before. There before her own eyes she saw herself sitting handcuffed in front of a police officer's desk. As she watched the scene unfurl before her eyes she spoke the words out silently to herself in unison with the man seated in front of her in this obscure panorama before her dreaming eyes!
"Susan, Susan, this is the third time this week! Can't you spot a cop from a John anymore?"
"Mr. Policeman, I got no job but this one, no money, no family except back in Mexico. Me? I have only this beautiful body Mr. Policeman, and it don't last too long either, so..."
The young beautiful sleeping beauty saw two officers walk past her and it was clear to her in the dream that they could neither see nor sense her presence. She was startled at the face of the tall one and grabbed her stomach and scared to death by the short older one and it made her hug the contents of her expanded belly. She saw both of them look at her image shackled to the chair in front of her in the dream, the short older cop in front of her had an inquisitive look on his face. As the shorter, older cop talked with the tall officer, the short one turned and looked at the woman in the chair and shook his head up and down slightly while scratching his chin and smiling slightly. The tall officer waved at the short one; both with perverse smiles on their faces. The sleeping treasure began to stir as behind her closed eyelids, suddenly, the lights went out in the room she was in while watching herself in the dream and she had to stumble in the darkness!
The dreaming woman again clutched her abdomen! The thing within her was kicking, moving, heaving, and pushing her almost to the ground each time the woman's insides received blows from the product growing and protesting within her! She turned around and painfully walked out the door. The pain was taking her breath away. It was kicking her on all sides and without mercy! As her foot touched the hallway again the wailing cries of the babies blasted out again and her pain subsided. She turned in an almost frantic, maternal manner to rush over to the door from where the cries were coming. She looked down at her own stomach and the thing was gone! Suddenly, she tuned her ears to the sounds of the babies' cries at the end of the hall in front of her!
"My baby! I am coming baby!"
The woman lunged forward and ran at top speed to the door and saw it was partly open and the light inside the room was escaping out into the hallway. She aggressively pushed the door open. This time there was a background that she actually remembered from the previous times she had been there in her night visions. There was the short pudgy cop seated behind his desk. He leaned back in his armchair and looked her over. To the right was a man who had a face that looked like a mosquito. She recognized him! Best pimp she had ever had! The woman in the scene, of course she knew the insect looking thing.
"Richie, thought you were my pimp, not a pig!" the woman shouted at the bug-like man. She watched the vision unfold.
"You know you have become somewhat of a public nuisance!" the officer stated.
"Ah, business has been good and I feel quite well received, know what I mean sir? The public seems to like me very much, including several of Chicago's finest." The woman was smiling slightly.
The officer stared at the woman for a moment. His piercing look made the woman very uncomfortable and she began to look around the office to get a grip on her fear. As the woman in the dream and the woman watching the dream behind her closed eyelids surveyed the room, they both participated in on the eye parade. Together, they both noticed the diploma on the wall behind the dumpy old officer. It was too far away to read much of it but the part she could make out read, "Degree of Doctor of Forensic Medicine." Somehow the paper made the woman calm down knowing that his looks were misleading and that in reality he was a doctor. She wondered though,
"What kind of doctor becomes a cop?"
The sensuous street woman's eyes slid down the wall behind the doctor-cop and finally met those piercing eyes in the head of this elusive doctor-cop seated behind the desk. He leaned forward in his chair. The sound of the old rickety chair thrusting forward to draw the man's face closer to the woman in the dream alarmed the dreamer as she gasped.
"You know, I can have them throw the book at you. It's not exactly my purview here, but put in the years I have here and you can pretty much have anything the way you want it, just touch the right people, if you know what I mean sweetie?"
The woman in the chair was afraid, but she didn't dare let on!
"Just listen to the man, darling." the mosquito man pleaded.
"I just do my service to humanity senor. What you call it here, um, a free-market system or something like that?"
The dreamer thought that was a gutsy thing to say and felt proud of herself. In fact, she seemed to remember having said it herself at some point. The officer laughed, seeming to have appreciated the dexterity of the whore seated in front of him.
"She is perfect!" he thought.
She would be excellent and he could put up with her for 9 months anyway. She needed the money, wanted the cash, so why not go for it? He softened his facial expression and looked calmly at her. The woman watching the scene began to remember parts of the image before her and grabbed her stomach again!
"I have a proposition for you, Miss...?"
"My name is Susan," the woman informed the officer.
Suddenly, the observer remembered it all! She remembered the contract, the money, the treatment and the thing developing inside her and her inability to hate it! She remembered the officer!
"Tell him NO!" the dreamer screamed at the woman.
She knew who the woman was! She knew her well! She was this woman seated in the chair in front of the police doctor-cop! She ran up and tried to shake the image of herself in the scene and her hand simply reacted as if it was touching the nothingness of a cloud and the image disappeared into a hazy fog and the sound of the crying babies again filled the shadowy and eerie atmosphere of the dream. She ran out of the room, and back into the hallway, which had gone black. As she ran down the hallway, she realized again that the heavy load she had been bearing in front of her was gone and her abdomen was empty. She panicked but kept running to open door where the sounds were so piercingly throbbing at the night air! She threw open the door and was shocked to find two infants lying in the corner of an eerily lit room. They were wrestling in a pool of mud and were crying out for their mommy! Abruptly, they ceased their wailing and turned their heads towards her and stared at her. One began to reach out for her crying while the other one screamed, "I'll kill you! I'll kill you!" The dreaming woman began to scream and ran out of the room.
Suddenly, the dark haired beauty opened her eyes! She felt tremors at her insides forcing her to grab her abdomen.
"Oh God!" she prayed.
She turned and punched the man who was asleep next to her with his mouth gapped open.
"Wake up! Richie! Wake up, it's coming",
The body next to hers roused and suddenly sat up in bed.
"Ah, you ready to go?"
She looked at the man who had a bug-like face and shook her head in exasperation. "Ah! It lives!" she grunted and pounded on the man's shoulder. He instantly lit a half-smoked cigarette. They sat up. She did so slowly because she knew her insides were very tender at the moment. The man took a cell phone and speed-dialed a number.
"Yea, it's Richard. Your product is on its way!"
"One second please" the voice at the other end ordered. "Be there in five!"
"Uh, Good!" The man closed the cell phone.
"Let's go Suzy Q. They'll be right here! Now come on!"
"Sometimes you are Mr. Sensitivity himself, you know that?"
She picked up her suitcase and tried to give it to Richie to carry. He paid no attention to her so she lifted it and walked down the steep stairs from her apartment to the street down below followed by the bug-man. When they reached the bottom, a car pulled up in front of them and the back door swung open. The bug-man nudged her into the back seat and the car sped away. She remembered her dream. What did it mean? Soon she would learn. People will always do for money what they would never even dream of doing for food. She was not exactly a whore. She had a pitiful ability to be a beautiful, soft woman when she wished to. A reason or opportunity simply presented itself so rarely. Now, here she was just gasping for breath in the back seat of a stranger's car ready to throw away the fruit of her loins. She had insisted upon hating it. The problem was that it had made its presence so well known in the last eight weeks. Against her own better judgment, she had allowed herself to commune with it. She had taken it as her own. She had finally found something she could not prostitute! She wanted it. Perhaps she loved it? Giving it away was such a vicious type of suicide. Giving it away would end her life! Some things were simply known far too deeply in the heart.
"How many minutes apart are they?"
"AH! Diablo! I think about three minutes. Richie, it feels like there's an army in there or a mighty big one." She clutched her abdomen and began to wince from the pain.
"Hey Suzy Q, you got to hang in there. We can do this."
"The father was a big man. It was good!" she thought to herself.
"This kid will be the same."
"I'd swear there are four arms and four legs in there." She informed Richie, grunting and moaning as she spit out her words. She looked down at her baby's soon to be abandoned shelter. She rubbed her belly and said, "You will be ok. Oh God, let us be ok!" She was not at all sure about that herself. The car pulled into an abandoned industrial complex.
"What is this? Where are we? This is not what I agreed to!"
Susan began to panic. She was told that she would be in a hospital. She wanted to leave. It was out of the question! It was not the way it was supposed to be. The car stopped. This beautiful woman reached for the door handle! There was none! She was about to enter her own self-made hell and this was no dream!
Posted by joyceanthony
at 12:38 AM EDT