This is one of my first flash fiction pieces, and it’s still one of my favorite.
I identified seven individual forms. They used my uterus for a playground; my own miniature rugby team kicking the shit out of my insides, jockeying for position. They were the size of ping-pongs when I first noticed them, when they first became active. Within a week I had plums. I wondered how thin my skin would stretch before it popped open like an overblown balloon.
I don’t know where they came from or how they got inside of me. Maybe I ate something, or maybe aliens visited and erased every sparkle of memory about my abduction.
I should have gone to the doctor when I first detected movement, but maternal instincts kicked in. My babies terrified me, but they contained my DNA, at least I thought they did. I guess I shouldn’t have assumed. If I went to the hospital they would have been taken out of me, killed, and sliced into sections to examine. I should have let the doctors do their job. I had visions of a melon baller removing scoops of bloody, squirming flesh from my belly. The revulsive thought gagged me and caused me to lay a hand on my massive belly and caress a churning bulge. I had to give them the benefit of the doubt and believe in their innocence.
One of them was bigger than the others and more aggressive, already asserting his dominance. I called him Alpha, my big, baby boy. Twice, his kicks knocked me to my knees and sent the air out my mouth like a blowhole.
My passengers got as big as softballs, which doesn’t sound that bad until you consider seven of them together in my womb. No wonder they fought for living space. They shifted continuously and reminded me of tadpoles worming around in its translucent cocoon. I wondered if they looked like tadpoles or something similar, but mostly I tried not to think about it.
My labor started this morning. Crushing pain screamed across my abdomen and ripped along my spine. I was crazy to think I could do this by myself. There was so much blood. A red streak across the linoleum and carpet marked the path where I dragged myself to the couch.
The first six popped out without much fanfare, slimy with my blood. As soon as they exited, they scampered to the corner, huddled together in a tiny, angry mob. They looked like premature babies, except the teeth, and the fact that they could run as soon as they departed my body. They bunched together staring at me with overlarge black eyes and rows of gnashing razor-sharp teeth.
Alpha came out last. Relief from the contractions flooded me, but my respite was momentary. With a guttural growl from Alpha, they descended upon me, attacked my bloody wound and soft gut, ravenous and insatiable. My babies devoured me; their first meal. I patted Alpha’s warty head lovingly, and he bit off my finger.
What else could I do? After all, kids come first.