Afterbirth by Traci Kenworth

taylorschlades at
taylorschlades at


Traci Kenworth



I could see the end of the tunnel. Light made streaks on the wall, pulling me towards it

and away from the darkness. The water beneath my feet swished, spraying up to soak my hospital gown. I shook my head at its fuzziness. Where had I been? What had happened to me? I glanced down at a large blood stain that covered the front of the cotton fabric. My hands went to the redness and tested the area for tenderness, for some idea of how I’d gotten this way. I felt long stitches over my abdomen and blanched at the pain that spread through me.

            Had my organs been harvested?

            I shuddered at the thought.

            How long would I have to live if that were true?

            Time enough to reach a hospital? To reach the street and shout for help?

            I heard no sound of pursuers and was grateful for that. My feet wouldn’t move fast enough now. I shook as my hand dropped to my side. What happened back there? Surgery by some backstreet butcher? Why couldn’t I remember? Even who I was? What I had been doing before all of this? Because surely there had been something. I racked my brain for the answers but none came. There was only the blood, dripping down now. I tried to increase my pace, to shove on. More brackets halted my progress along the wall I clung to.

            I had to find a way out of here, to freedom.

            Nausea rocked my stomach and I inhaled great gulps of air.

            A low hum came from above me.


            I forced my feet to plod on.

            At last the tunnel ended and I stepped out into the sunshine. Immediately, I covered my eyes to protect them from the glare. Above me, the hum got louder, the traffic increased. I began to climb the concrete sides of the embankment. My hands found little to clutch at but at last I found my way onto the grass overlooking a bypass. I saw a little boy pointing at me from the backseat of a car. His parents paid him no mind.

            I stumbled along the road, waiting for help, for some compassion.

            At last a horn honked and I scurried forward and took the seat offered me.

            “Where you been, Jack?” the man said.

            “Is that my name?” I asked.

            He glanced at me and recoiled in horror. “Shit, what happened to you, buddy?”

            I shrugged. “I don’t know.”

            “Let me get you to a hospital.”

            Twenty-five minutes later, we arrived at the facility.

            The doctors and nurses took things in stride, like they’d seen this all before.

            I heard them murmuring behind the curtain.

            “Third one this week,” one doctor said.

            “It’s impossible, isn’t it?” another asked.

            “Where’d they pick this one up, you think?” a nurse shoved a tray of instruments over to them.

            The first doctor shrugged. “Hard to say.”

            I struggled to sit up and the stain on my gown spread. “Help! Help me!” I cried.

            They sedated me and tried to stop the bleeding to no avail.

            “He’s going into shock,” the second doctor said.

            The first one pursed his lips. “It’s all part of the afterbirth.”

            Afterbirth? What were they talking about? A man couldn’t get pregnant. I shook my head confused.

            “Where do you think it is?”

            “Probably half way to Brazil by now.”

            “These terrorists,” the nurse sighed. “What will they experiment on next?”

            “More importantly, what are they creating?”

            And then I remembered. The thing that had crawled from my stomach, oozing with blood. Screaming for its Daddy. The men that had held me down. All in the name of warfare. How quickly the creature had grown and eaten. All five men had died. The baby left me alone alive. Gratefulness, perhaps? A bonding? None of it appeared real but I was sure of something. The world could not overcome it. Perhaps not even the enemy. For it was uncontrollable, a new species. An abomination to mankind.

            And my child.

            Paternal pride blared within me and vanquished with the coming darkness of death.

The End

©Copyright Oct. 23, 2010, tlc.



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