The Irony of It All
(The images from this fictional story have haunted me for over two years. I agree with Stephen King. The horror of reality and life are scarier than anything a writer can craft in his or her mind. But the charge of the writer is to tell the story unflinchingly. But I still flinch sometimes. I also wanted to play around with second person point-of-view.)
Your hospital window overlooks the cathedral-shaped church. Its stained glass windows decorated with open-armed angels. You notice the homeless woman plunked on top of the mahogany bench in front of the church’s doors. Tributaries of blood outline the soles of her feet. Caked dirt highlights her hair, a new twist on the dirty blonde.
Business men and women, Blackberries and iPods extending as appendages, bustle across her path. The woman cradles her Winn-Dixie basket filled with dusty trinkets, faded baby clothes, and aluminum can mobiles. You wonder what happened to her baby. You wonder when your pimp will take your newborn twin daughters away from you, his new additions to the human trafficking game.
Your answer is delivered in a Lexus SUV that screeches to a halt near the curb next to the hospital entrance. He jerks his lapels as he glides out of the passenger seat, his men filing out behind him.
You hover over them. Bubbles of saliva gurgle from their lips. You remember when innocence cloaked you as a five-year-old before your mother traded you for a ten-cent bag of cocaine. You reflect on the thirteen years you have served as a conduit of pleasure. Even though you have inoculated your emotions, your daughters have broken through your shield.
You strip the IV from your vein and gather them in your arms. Your hospital gown reeks of dried breast milk. It gapes with each movement, turning you into a walking peep show. The stitches from the C-section stretch and send jolts of pain throughout your abdomen. You struggle with the door, scan the hallways, and limp towards the elevator.
The Demerol cocktail disorients you. You wander into the emergency room. Tears of frustration cascade down a young woman’s face. She moans and paces back and forth to the courtesy phone. Coughs erupt. She reaches out to a faceless entity. You wonder why the front desk nurse clutches your shoulders, but no one answers her cries for help.
The front desk nurse guides you into the triage area where she discovers the truth. As you wait for security to escort you back to the maternity ward, she switches computer screens and updates her Facebook page. She cocks her bobbed head and announces that she just dumped her boyfriend online. He just signed on, and the argument becomes public. You smirk at how people function behind masks, whether they service one or many.
Surgical equipment, the tools of torture, lay on a metal tray with a starfish base. The scalpel calls out to you. You remember when you had your first son, bathed in the image of your tormentor. Your eleven-year-old palms and a Winnie-the-Pooh shaped pillow returned him to his creator. But your daughters have your spirit. You immediately silence the scalpel’s siren.
Security finally arrives. Your pimp is behind them, a guard dog leading them to the stash. In his tailored suit and shiny Stacey Adams, he rages about your mental state. He urges them to let him take his children home. You barricade your daughters against your chest. They wrestle them from your tightened grasp.
You lunge toward the scalpel and charge at him, as the straps of the straitjacket lasso out from the guards’ wrists like spider webs, as the father of your children strides through the sliding doors cradling profits instead of progeny.