This story is by Mahlon Smoke and was part of our 2019 Summer Writing Contest. You can find all the writing contest stories here.
It had been months since her imprisonment. It was her Father’s will after all. He had the power and influence to keep her here, restrained. Once he found out about the thing growing inside her, she stopped being his daughter and became an incubator. He was especially irate when he found her trying to escape with a friend to her appointment to get rid of the thing.
He stripped her of her freedom and demanded that she stay put until the thing crawled out of her, screaming and bloody, tearing her body apart, she could see her father taking the baby and leaving the room with it, leaving her, dying and forgotten. The thing would be his new pride and joy.
It didn’t help that the walls of her padded room mocked her, their faces peering behind the fabric as the coo-ed and awed at her growing belly, where the baby would emerge. She hated the faces and their reaching hands for her stomach, if her hands weren’t restrained she would again tear the faces from the walls, clawing at them and finally shutting them up.
Each face seemed similar, but as time went on she could see different and distinct, some familiar and some not, all of them were looking at her stomach. Every time her eyes would shut, she’d awaken to see it grow. She hadn’t slept in so long because of it. Afraid that if she looked away too long, the things would swell and crush her pelvis. Or tear its way out of her.
She had long since given up trying to move. The only release she would get is when they sedated her before changing her sheets from the day’s piss stains and change her. She hated it but she knew that if they trusted her enough to let her go. She would run and figure out a way to rid herself of the thing inside.
Every so often she would see freedom’s light shine outside her door and it enraged her. Right there. Teasing her with shadows of movement outside. Flickering and reminding her that she is a few feet away from freedom. Right now, freedom only meant separating the thing from her body. But she wasn’t sure when that would be.
The doors opened and she jumped, looking at the Doctor as she rolled in her equipment, ready for the examination. To see it move and feel the heartbeat, making her sick at their enthusiasm for it. They’d ask what its name would be and she couldn’t answer. Remembering her Father once telling her that once she names something, she’d get attached. So she wouldn’t. The doctors would give her ideas, all boy names, despite that fact it wasn’t a boy.
Then again Father always did want a son. So it was clear they were only telling him what he wanted to hear. It would be born and he would have to face the truth of the matter. After that, once she was free. She’d leave them with it and never return.
The faces along the padded walls laughed and mocked her for her resilience. Not even her thoughts were safe from them. They laughed as the doctor did all the normal check-ups. A glance at their eyes showed immense and worthless sympathy for her situation. The Doctor pulled up the mask to hide their lips as they spoke.
“What they’re doing to you is sick.” They sounded new, all the doctors that have come would change many times. The last doctor was a red-haired man, who also expressed disgust with her situation. But like the rest of them, the money was too good to set her free.
The Doctor kept muttering to themself “this isn’t right, this isn’t right,” while still performing the routine check-up.
“Let me go,” was all she could say to the doctor. Her voice was long since gone hoarse that even her voice box burned from just those three words. Like acid being poured down her throat. The Doctor, taken aback by her sudden words, kept doing their job. Checking her blood pressure, temperature, and the thing’s heartbeat.
The Doctor pulled down their mask and smiled at her, a half-assed sympathetic smile. She glared at her in response, nothing but contempt for these Doctors and their complacency in her Father’s plan.
“You’re going to be a mother. Isn’t that exciting?” They’re words positive but their tone numb. Even they didn’t believe what they were saying. An act they kept up for the camera. She said nothing but kept her unblinking glare on them. The Doctor packed up they’re things, wiped up the gel off her bulging stomach, and looked at her one last time. Sympathy still in her eyes, meant to comfort her but only made her imagine freeing her hands and crushing The Doctor’s neck while she watched the life flicker out of their eyes.
The faces laughed even more at that image. But The Doctor didn’t seem to notice them, they never do.
She said within a month the baby will be born and She scowled at the idea. The Doctor left and all She could hear was the cheering of the faces about the soon-to-be baby. Their laughs and cheers overpowering the calming music.
As it would seem the baby just couldn’t wait enough. Just as She closed her eyes, it seemed the entire lower half of her body being crushed all at once by an otherworldly force. The face became excited as they chanted for the baby. Her already hoarse voice crying out in agony as the water turned red. Everything around seemed to blur together as the faces laughed and masked faces inclosed on her. Their shouting words colliding into unintelligible nonsense. But the first thing she felt was the release of her restraints but the pain swelled even more.
The only sensation she could focus herself on was the pain of the oncoming child. A rough hand held onto her as she screamed, she didn’t know who it was but she wanted to bite it, get it away from her. But the blurring increased until her vision went dark and she fell into a numb state.
The void was comforting in a way, no sounds, no faces, just an ocean of black nothing to wash over her so she could forget. If only for a moment she could feel at peace. No fathers to make demands of her, no babies being forced onto her, and no white padded room for her to suffer in. She inhaled and embraced the void, never in these long months had she’d ever felt so happy.
As the heart monitor let out a long and continuous beep, no one seemed to even try and help her. Not that she would have wanted it. Instead, everyone looked over the baby girl, yet the, now, grandfather smiled at his new grandson, but the eyes of the baby were not on him. Instead, her eyes were on her mother, who face was obscured by a blanket and looked up at the surrounding faces, laughing and suffocating her. These faces never once looked away from her and it scared the baby, who called for her mother.