Good morning to you, Pumpkin Pie.
Good morning to you, Mama.
Soft voices vibrate soothingly from the outside, waking the twins. Teddy, the larger and more active of the two, stretched lazily as his foot grazed his wombmate’s head. Tyler’s arms glide towards his head and he pats the ear that was just kicked. His fingers close around Teddy’s foot and he gives it a playful tug.
Are you hungry, my boy?
I want blueberry pancakes, mama. I love your belly, mama. It’s big and pretty. Tyler and Teddy both move towards the sensation of a tiny hand stroking the outside. Teddy greets the pressure with a tiny kick that erupts a giggle from the outside.
He kicked me, Mama! Which one was it?
That was Teddy, pumpkin. He lives right here, and he likes to kick all the time. Tyler lives here, and he likes to sleep.
The twins react to Mama’s hands that guide their brother’s hands to their space inside. Teddy continues to kick and Tyler curls up and falls asleep, covering his ear with his tiny hand.
Aww, thanks’ Pumpkin Lumpkin Pie. I’m glad someone likes my belly. I like that you play with your brothers.
I like my brothers, Mama.
The gentle rocking movement of Mama lulled the twins to sleep after breakfast and during morning chores. Jazz music trilled from the outside, sometimes loud enough to feel, other times dull and nearly nonexistent. The boys slept soundly through one of the three baths Mama would take that day, barely noticing the change in temperature.
An unfamiliar feeling jolts Tyler awake and his tiny hands flutter to protect his ears. Teddy notices and shifts closer to his smaller, weaker brother. The two wait together as a tightening embraces them in a vicelike grip, then releases. Mama notices, and they feel her hand caressing from the outside.
It’s okay, boys. It’s okay.
They fall asleep although they continue to brace themselves for the tightening that came faster and with more force. Tyler wakes up to the soft caress of the ultrasound wand. Teddy stretches and his foot tickles his ear with his tiny toes as conversation continues from the outside.
You’re not dilated yet, let’s wait out the weekend.
But the contractions-
Keep an eye on the little one.
See you Tuesday!
Teddy’s foot grazes the side of Tyler’s face, his hands cover his ears. Mama is upset. She moves quickly, and once she gets into the car she screams, the sound echoing through their bodies for minutes after. The twins fall asleep eventually, feeling as distressed as Mama.
Two days later, Tyler wakes to Teddy’s foot resting on his head. His hands fly to his ears for protection, to bat his twin’s foot away.
It doesn’t move. He wraps his fingers around Teddy’s foot and gives a gentle tug; no response. The toes are curled, frozen.
Tyler falls asleep.
He wakes again to the ultrasound on Mama’s belly. He tries to move Teddy’s foot again, still no response. Terrified, he kicks although it isn’t in his nature to kick, or even move. His hands flail for the body lying stiffly above him. Outside, Mama’s talking to the doctors from her hospital bed.
He’s right there. Put it right there. See? There he is. There’s his butt.
Just relax, Mrs. Hensley. We will find him.
But he’s right there, see?
Mrs. Hensley, I’m sorry, but Baby B has lost his heartbeat. We will have to deliver him stillborn.
Mama’s hands push Teddy’s lifeless body from the outside. From the inside, Tyler tugs his leg and bucks wildly, trying to rouse him.
Can I call my husband?
The hand continues to stroke and push. Stroke and push.
Wake up, Teddy. Please, wake up, Teddy.
Mama’s sobs shake Tyler as he kicks and pulls Teddy’s foot. Mercy arrives when he becomes exhausted and falls asleep with his dead twin’s foot clutched in tiny hand, right next to his ear.
This is an assignment for my Fiction Workshop class. The assignment was to write a short story based on a different perspective or point of view, so this was my submission.