Saturday, 25 July 2009


Dante Mitchell was the best thing that happened to Laura Sykes. Until he turned out not to be Dante Mitchell, and in fact, have no identity to call his own at all. He was a carrier. Not of AIDS, like a girl of her age and generation would fear, or of any sexual transmitted disease or thing like that. He was a carrier of sperm and poison and alpha male drive. Pure animal attraction wept through his pores every Friday and Saturday night as he danced the dance of a thousand weeping teenage girls. Pheromones, she later thought, as she pondered the events that lead to their fucking in that London back alley, the sound of the night life outside driving him on, thrust after thrust, and her, afraid but excited at the thought of being discovered. But he was in fact a preconception, someone made to seduce, and as soon as the seed he carried inside him was delivered he simply vanished, into the night, leaving Laura with something growing in her womb that she hadn’t planned on. A child, yes, but not just a child. Someone, something more than that.

Dante Mitchell had impregnated Laura Sykes with the Anti-Christ.

But, being the responsible girl that she was, she aborted the foetus before her parents found out about it, and after the months and the years passed, it was no longer in the forefront of her mind. It lurked, like a fly in your bedroom at night, on the fringes of her head, but was not important, something that could be ignored for a while at least (before the sound of wings would awaken you from your half-slumber).

So the Apocalypse was put down by a bottle of vodka, a steady hand, and a coat hanger.

Laura Sykes went on with her life. She was seventeen when this horrible event occurred. She was twenty seven, a whole ten years later, to the day of conception, when it came back to bite her on the arse. Twenty seven, living precariously after university (still), surviving but not thriving, in a world that by all rights should have ended by now. Where was the war? Where was the famine? Where was death and where was all that judgement? Where was the end of the world that the religious nuts had all subscribed to in fanatic school?

The apocalypse had been missed because Laura Sykes took her life in her hands and made a decision. That’s all life was, after all, a series of decisions, one after the over, like dominos, like a house of cards that grew and grew until a wrong card was set and it all came tumbling down. But evil, as was in her womb for that short period of time, gestating and growing, was not so easily put down.

She heard it first. Sitting in bed, in her flat, reading the medical journals she needed to make sure she was a valid member of the hospital she worked at, she heard it. The sound of footsteps. The sound of toes caked in congealing blood. The blood was its own. She turned on the lights, tentatively. The sound was in her head, after all, right? But the sound of blood on board got louder. The creak of the floorboard in the hallway outside her bedroom groaned loud and clear, and she jerked out of bed.

Something was in her flat. Four locks on her door, and something was in her flat. She picked up her phone, crept toward the door and locked that too. Safety, as her mother had once told her before she moved out of the family home, was the most important thing a young woman could hold.

Safety, she thought. Safety didn’t come into it when she was milking Dante Mitchell for all he was worth ten years ago in that seedy back alley.

She locked the door, and dialled the police. The line beeped once in recognition of the number going through, and then a connection was made. “Hello”, she said, “hello?”

All she could her was mumbling. The words being said made no sense to her, tongues licking and whispering into the line on the other end. Had her phone line been crossed? Questions flooded her, no answers came to stem the tide. She heard something press its hand on the other side of the door. Flesh cracked as skin had to break to move.

Mmmhhh…” She wretched back, the voice gross and horrendous, heavy and wet and so close to her heart, though she didn’t know why… “Mmmhhh,” it repeated. “Mmmmmother…

“No!” she couldn’t help the sudden ejaculation that her voice had become. Impossible. Ten years. Ten years ago. A back alley, a mistake, and a solution, quick and simple and leaving her empty inside. A flush of the toilet (she gagged at the memory) and then gone. She’d seen it a dozen or so times now, at the hospital, of mothers who had done the same as her, but been less successful. Infection creeping through their bodies, organs dying and wombs filled with blood… she’d been lucky, hadn’t she?

Mmmother…” The door handle turned. Clack-clack, how the noise terrified Laura. Slow, deliberate turns of the knob, but the door held, the locks wouldn’t give. “Lllet me inn…

Tears streamed out of her eyes as she reached the back wall of her room, and collapsed to the floor. Snot fell from her nose as she tried to control herself, she spat and groaned and whispered and begged, “no, no, no, no,” but the door continued to be pushed against.

The door knob ceased to be turned. She looked through parted fingers at the door and squeezed closed her eyes.


“This is impossible, impossible, I’m dreaming, I’m dreaming…” She was trying to convince herself into unconsciousness. She was trying, desperately, to believe the lies her mouth was telling. And then the lock began to move. The bolt lifted itself up, and the metal whined as it slid open. Her eyes, wide before, would have split open further if it was possible. The bolt jutted open, and the door knob turned once more.

And the door opened.

Laura wished it would have ended there.

Outside, the lights flickered. Like a seizure, the bulbs turned on and off, and as such, what was on the other side of the door took a moment to come into focus. So instead of letting her see it there, standing in the doorway, it stepped forward. Laura vomited in her hands, unable to control herself. She blinked hard, but every time she did, it seemed to get closer, but if she kept her eyes on it, each step was taken precisely. Its skin was dark and dead and dry. Where there should have been eyes were empty sockets, seeping with the poison that had replaced its blood. In its mouth were no visible teeth, only black gums, no tongue but a shrivelled piece of flesh where tongue should be. Hands hung loosely at its sides, but the bloody stumped fingers twitched and contorted with every step taken.

Mmmmother…” She didn’t take her eyes off it. She searched the room for an escape. She doubted she could move past it, something about this thing screamed at her to simply curl up and accept what was coming, but she couldn’t, she knew that. “Yyyou… hhhurttt mmmeee.

“You are dead!” she shouted. “You died and I flushed you away like a used tampon!” The bravado came between the sobs and the cries. Spit flecked her words and phlegm flew through her lips. “Whatever you are, you are not mine!”

Hhhhhold… mmmeeee…

Laura would have vomited again, if there was anything left to come out. Instead her stomach turned, nothing came, but she heard the question as true and clear as if it had not been asked by such a thing. “Is that what you want?” she whispered, “to be held?”

Nnnneevvverrrr… hhheldddd…” its head lolled abruptly from one side to another, the poison dribbled to the floor. She noticed its feet, red raw from whatever place it had dragged itself out from, just as the fingers. “Nnnneverrr wannnted…

She had reached her feet, and she realised that this thing, whatever it was, was half her side. Ten years? Was it really ten years since she’d committed that act in her family toilet when her parents were visiting her grandmother (god rest her eternal soul) in Blackpool? This could be her child, son or daughter, its current condition belied no gender, the aborted foetus that had once gestated within her womb, grown a decade, and come back to be held by her.

Would a mother deny her child that request?


Laura Sykes stepped forward. And opened her arms. “C-come… come to mother.”

* * *

This piece was something I wrote after I posted it on DeviantArt:

"God, I don't know what I was doing. Wrote this in an hour, two hours, and it just came to me, and I'm really proud of it. The final line freaked me out, so did early sentences, but I was playing round with the final denouement being the line:

"The world ended ten minutes later. After Laura Syke's child showed it's mother what a terrible mistake she had made ten years ago."

But I don't know, unnecessary? The conclusion might work perfectly fine as it is, and the addition does lead to a conclusion that was left ambiguous otherwise.

Thoughts? "

No comments:

Post a Comment