Lulling Her Reality
Rock-a-bye baby on a tree top, when the wind blows the cradle will rock…
The thoughts that entered her mind rendered her pale as she began humming that children’s sleep-time song. Beneath the glare of the moonlight, the infant’s face was as white as cream. That infant’s mouth sucked feverishly at his mother’s breast.
“What a happy baby,” the mother whispered. However, she only managed a weak, empty smile. “A happy baby.”
That particular night was filled with loneliness and she could barely form a coherent thought at times, much less engage in a mother and child bonding.
Her mind was still trying to absorb the fact that she had a sickness. She wouldn’t take any medication because she didn’t want to pass it on to the baby. She sat on a day-bed next to the center window of her messy bed room, cradling her baby in her arms. Her mind wasn’t at all sympathetic, and her thoughts were randomly hostile. Sometimes she felt she was on the verge of delirium, and just like that her mind would snap back to reality. She continued grinding on that bit of reality. Something out on the periphery of her thoughts, something that connected reality and delusion tried to take center stage. She was sure of it, but she couldn’t see it clearly.
Her arms and back began to burn with fatigue as her mind fought hard against irrationality. She thought she noticed her exposed breast was gouged, bruised and sore. The child had no teeth, but her delusional instinct was stronger than the lulling reality.
Reality started to cry out as she saw a half glimpse of a demon standing by the bed. It was tall and had stooped over shoulders with wild hair just like a scare-crow. She pulled the child closer to her and it was gone. When she looked around the room, the same image appeared in the mirror. However it wasn’t in the mirror, it was behind her and she fought back a scream. Suddenly a blast of August heat hit her. Just like the heat you get when you open an oven door after baking something for two hours. She grabbed a hair brush and threw it at the mirror as it seemed to have exploded in a hundred shards.
She closed her eyes and hesitated so long that at that moment her lulling reality seemed stretched. She opened her eyes and the image was gone. The room was quiet and there was no proof that the demon was there. The mirror had not been shattered; the reality had not been stretched. However, the fear was emotional as well as physical. It literally stung her in the heart like a wasp.
She looked down at her baby and noticed her thumb and index finger was clamped down on the baby’s tiny little nose and the palm of her hand covered his mouth. The baby was as white as chalk as death found its way into the infant.
Rock-a-bye baby on the tree top, when the wind blows the cradle will rock…
© 2014 Frank Atanacio
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