Offering A Chorus of Complaints
The fever came during the night, warming her tiny face as she slept. The infant remained quiet as the illness hovered. There was a slight ticking coming from the clock on the wall as it was building momentum for the time of despair. The sweat pellets lined her pink skin. Her body simmered while she fought the deep sleep, as fear was preparing to erupt.
The baby monitor couldn't notify the parents because there was no noise to share. It hung by the crib watching the infant suffer in agony. That baby monitor was plugged in and the go light was green. The back up batteries were fully charged and ready to take control should the power go out.
The fever sent tremors, little waves of pain through the baby's torso. She tried crying, but she was much too tired. The fever made her give in to fatigue. It also built so much pressure in her head she really wanted to scream.
The thought of screaming was silenced by the vicious pounding between her tiny temples. She was in a pool of sweat as her face turned red and felt as if it was on fire. Her parents slept while her temperature climbed to 103, and her vital signs began to drift away. Her cradled position kept her chin close to her knees as her flowery blanket continuously dripped with sweat. She felt her body rocking and somehow felt the bedroom spinning. It kept going round and round and there was no end in sight.
With the exception of the baby monitor, there were no other means for summoning help. There were no buttons to push, no emergency cords or intercoms. There was no dialing 911, and because she was hard asleep due to the fever, there was no way to cry out for help. It would have been so easy to cry out, but her tiny mouth was dry and nothing could escape passed her lips. She thought about the hungry nights and how her mother came in quickly for the feeding. She knew her mother was close by, but she couldn't call her. She couldn't cry out to her.
The infant remained a prisoner in the middle of her crib, with a death sentence hanging over her. She was weak, alone, and the spinning room offered no comfort, no focus, no hope. She saw the spinning darkness in her mind and there, death loomed.
To keep her mind off of the darkness she tried to think of happy times. She tried to dream of her mommy. She fought the fever for some space in her mind and won. She thought hard for a second, there she saw mommy's smiling face. She moved in her sleep a bit, trying to keep the image of mommy on her mind.
“I love you,” mommy said with lips barely moving. She knew mommy loved her very much. She saw it clearly in the eyes. There was no mistaken that powerful feeling of love. There was no mistaken that if mommy knew what was happening, she be here in matter of seconds to fight off the fever that was condemning her to death.
The baby stirred just a little, and suddenly there was an angel standing at the side of the crib. The angel lowered her head slightly, closed her eyes, and appeared to be praying. It was a long prayer followed by a brief pause. Perhaps a sigh.
The infant was dead and the angel watched in silence. A stream of souls and spirits came out in a tumble. At first they looked like a ray of light flashing toward the heavenly skies. Then each soul and spirit took on a human form. They stopped briefly to look at the infant. They all stood around the crib staring at the heavens offering a chorus of complaints.
Why so young?
© 2016 Frank Atanacio
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