'Here I Am' by Jennifer Falkner
Here I am.
Yesterday there was no me, just a man and a woman. Or rather, a barely-man and a barely-woman and a lot of enthusiastic feelings. And now here I am, feeling enthusiastic too. This barely-woman is so young and as I bounce and flip and bubble many-celled in her abdomen, everything feels so fresh. Until last night she was well-rested. Ha! She won't be feeling that again for a while, but she doesn't know that yet. Carys doesn't know about me. Here I am, a secret. She has all these organs just dying to be tried out, taken for a spin, put to the test. I can do that.
Carys hasn't been sleeping. She feels sick all the time and her saliva is permanently dosed with metallic tasting hormones. She's been popping gravol like vitamins, but it doesn't help. It can't be good for me either. Says so on the package. We spend an awful lot of time in the bathroom, one way or another. But I feel great, nestled inside this warm wet spongy place. My arms and legs push outwards and blossom with digits. More cells congealing into flesh. I can kick with these things! I can somersault and cartwheel!
When I push myself upwards, I visit Carys lying awake in the purple night, dressing her disappointment in Adam with arguments and excuses. Adam, with his record collection, his clothes, the small dragon tattoo on his calf he got on his trip to Thailand, his devotion to her, had all added up to a happiness she had never believed in before. But now he is taking the “your body, your choice” line, giving nothing away. She wants him to say he's happy, she wants him to say he will love her all the more for the child she's carrying, that money will sort itself out. But he holds her in bed, in the dark, and says nothing.
He seems to know how weak she is.
Tricky. Deadlines are looming. Neither of us will let Carys sleep.
FlashFlood is brought to you by National Flash-Fiction Day UK, happening this year on 27th June 2015.
In the build up to the day we have now launched our Micro-Fiction Competition (stories up to 100 words) and also our annual Anthology (stories up to 500 words). So if you have enjoyed FlashFlood, why not send us your stories?More information about these and the Day itself available at nationalflashfictionday.co.uk.