Title: 1 year, 8 weeks
Type: Short Story
Date: 2011

This thing of darkness
I acknowledge mine
-Prospero The Tempest

Dear 1 year, 8 weeks,

Today, had you made breath upon this earth, you would be one year old. The day you abandoned the quiet serenity of your watery camber I, your organic life-support machine, allowed you to take with you a piece of my shallow and worthless soul. You scraped it away as if you had broken a mirror and used its jagged edge as a hand shovel. The crackle and drone of the medical machines vibrated like a stadium of forty thousand audience members choking on air bubbles. The voices of the sparse company surrounding me took on the foreboding hisses and squawks of predatory birds.

The surgeon was young, inherently judgmental, and overly exact in all of his movements. It was as if he were some sort of product of artificial life, only able to accomplish the task at hand, never straying from his orders, which he neither desired nor despised. He was not at all the loquacious type. He lacked all passion and spontaneity. His hands were sterilized and wreaked of ethanol. He was taking you from me at my own request and I could already envision the large titanium biohazardous waste bin that would be your final resting place. A skull and cross bones would mark your gravestone in harsh crimson. I had one of the more friendly nurses put a small teddy bear in your icebox. However morbid, I found it to be necessity.

The uncomfortable pressure and overwhelming nausea that accompanied the procedure were like the cross I was forced to bare. I felt like my insides were flowing into Alph, into an abyssal wasteland, never to return. This was my own natural disaster.

There was a drum of a vacuum off in another hospital room and a copious amount of blood. My feet were in leathery stirrups and my heart was threatening to break through my ribs and free fall from the barred window.

I think about your curls, and about your first tooth, the funny half-grown canine. I wish I could make you understand the tragedy and despondency that consumed me upon my discovery of your tiny, fish-like existence. It would be impossible to enlighten you, or to provide you with any cohesive recognition of my state of mind.

Only another year or two and I could have loved you. The dark and ominous barrier between us would have at least been lifted enough to have kept you, and I might have been able to humanize you. I accept that you rest on another plain.

Happy Birthday,

Your Mother

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