The room was silent but for the sound of Achilles’ ragged breathing. The uniform rising and falling of her chest as she lay on her side the only reminder that she was, in fact, alive. She’d been in this state for days following her encounter with Mari, and the small woman had almost become accustomed to the piercing silence and the chilling absence of another’s body against hers.
There was no use in dwelling upon heartache, after all. It wasn’t good for her, nor the tiny creatures residing within her. Emotions bottled deep inside, her expression remained stoic in nature. There was no sadness. There were no tears. Only a cold, agonizing numbness and the crippling realization of her loneliness.
She wasn’t as alone as she seemed, however, for the children were becoming more and more active by the minute, and it wasn’t long before the acrobatic creatures tumbling about within her overtook every bit of numbness she felt. A strange feeling welled up within her, and Achilles knew that it must be time.
A brief bark for assistance was all she could muster before the contractions started. It took her by surprise, making her pant and whimper at the sudden spike of horrific pain shooting through the lowermost part of her body.
It wasn’t but a few moments until her first child made its way into the world. Achilles’ breath hitched as she looked down at the thing, its fur a striking mirror image of its father’s. Her heart filled with both that of love and dread, and she leaned down to groom the whelp. Only, something was wrong.
Why was it so cold?
Why wasn’t it breathing?
Realization hit the woman like a ton of bricks and a strangled sob escaped her lips. Dead. Achilles hastily shoved the thing away. Refusing to look at it. Refusing to acknowledge it’s brief existence.
It was better this way. Better to ignore the corpse than to come to terms with what had just happened.
She hardly even had time to calm herself before the pups began rolling about inside of her once more, fighting to see whom would get to witness the world first.
Oct 05, 2017 08:07 PM
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