© Lynda Archard 2000
I woke with a feeling of anxiety, certain that something was about to go wrong today. The warm, damp, dark tomb had come to be my home even though I had never seen anything through the darkness. I could sometimes hear muffled sounds from outside. My life is not so much of a quest. More an instinct to survive at all cost. But this feeling of doom is strong today and it is scary not knowing why.
I had no memory of how I came to be in such a predicament, nor did I care, until today. Occasionally, I felt the walls closing in, which didn’t bother me much. I heard the rushing of water and other strange sounds that became louder as my hearing developed over my months here, but I came to know them well. A constant rhythmic beating, similar to a drum, pounded day and night. Still I was not worried by it. On some occasions soothing music would provide me with a sense of calm and my world was without fear.
The long cord that attached me to the soft spongy wall had kept me from slipping out through the tiny gap, which was blocked by a jelly-like substance. I was unsure if it would give way if I knocked it so I carefully avoided it. I slept a lot of the time. It would be nice to have another person here too, just for company. I do get lonely sometimes.
I couldn’t tell what was outside, I could only sense a rushing of unknown things. My senses were heightened enough to know that something was wrong. The beating grew stronger and my heart was filled with fear.
Muffled voices and vibrations had startled me at times, especially loud bangs, but I was safe and warm in my home. I had only experienced this apprehension once before, during a conversation that I over heard while they talked about me some months ago. A distant deep voice had announced, “Its a miracle. The whole thing is amazing. We have the power to create life.”
“But do we really want to keep it? Forever! Are we ready for this responsibility?” asked a softer voice.
“We can’t kill it now its created!” the deep voice was louder now. “Its special, unique, and there will never be another one like it. To destroy it would be murder. We’ll cope.”
“I’m sure you’re right love.”
I listened carefully, keeping exceptionally still. I didn’t want to startle them as they had done so often to me with their loud shouts and occasional banging of doors. I had to have faith, hoping that they would eventually release me from my tomb. But what would happen if they did? Will I survive outside after my time in here? I grew more anxious by the hour.
When I had tried to be still for long periods of time, something would protrude through the wall. Once, after a protrusion, I heard a voice asking, “Is it alright?”
I fidgeted away from the protrusion to gain more space, then heard “Yes. It must be alive because it just moved.”
My arms and legs could only stretch a short distance. If I moved too fast the walls would move and close in again, I had to be cautious. It was better to wait until it was still and quiet. The ideal time to stretch myself was while my unseen creator was sleeping. I did not want to alarm it, what-ever it was. Sometimes I wished that I knew what was going to happen, but it was better not to contemplate too much about the future, I am safer in here for the moment.
Over the past few months the space has become limited. I have no room and it is uncomfortable. I know it is time to break free before I suffocate. I struggle more, until the soft walls could stretch no further. Recently, the walls have become more rigid and less comfortable to curl my body up against. I managed to turn myself around last month, my head has been against the jelly cushion ever since. It is soft and I wondered why I hadn’t done it sooner. I was comfortable again and fell asleep.
Without warning, all hell broke lose. The walls are jolting every few minutes. I have become used to sudden jolts over the last few months but never as often or with such force as this. I am jogged from my comfort and I am frightened. Is this my punishment for disturbing my creator at night? Or for turning to a more comfortable position?
I kicked my legs until I heard a crackling sound. My cushion has given way. My head is jammed between the closing walls and I instinctively struggle for survival. I am being forced into a tube and the walls are shrinking, more restricting, and I don’t want to leave my comforts. Why is this happening to me? I like it in here. I don’t want to go!
I can hear a high-pitched wailing sound, sirens. A rushing sensation and more muffled voices from many directions. My legs wiggle and I resist with all my strength then it stops.
I relax for a few moments then it starts again. This has happened a few times now. The time between jolts are getting shorter and the jolts are more ferocious each time. My head feels like its being crushed and forced upward. I can see a bright light. My eyes hurt, it is so bright. A cold breeze has penetrated my skin and I don’t like it. Oh no! A long metal thing is advancing on me. Its gripped my head. It seemed to be dragging me out. I don’t want to go!
I can hear screams and more muffled conversations but my ears are pressed against the narrow walls. I can’t understand what is being said. Why is it screaming? What did I do wrong to deserve this harsh and brutal punishment?
My head is at last free. I open my eyes to see shadowy figures swaying around before me. I can’t make out what they are. I wriggled my shoulders, they are uncomfortable, and I suddenly shoot through the tunnel into a large soft white cloth. The screaming stops and I splutter into a loud cry for help. It has got me and I have no idea of what is going to happen now. It is traumatic. I have been ripped out of my home, forced through the blackness into a strange world and wrapped tightly in a cloth so that I can’t move. Big eyes stare with a look of awe at me. Then I hear a very clear but familiar voice.
“Hello daughter! Welcome to the world.” She held me up to another pair of eyes. “This is your daddy.”
At last I am free to meet my creators. Somehow she looks kind and gentle, I feel safe in her arms. And he looks kind too. A new adventure is about to begin, only this time I am not alone in my quest.
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© Lynda Archard