Terror grips me as pain tears through my abdomen. This isn’t natural.
Two months ago, I’d lost two days – no memory at all. Someone did something to me. I know it. Tears of anguish stream down my face.
There’s a hand on my shoulder. I turn my head and meet the gaze of a nurse.
“Can you stand? I have a wheelchair.” she says, “I’m Annie. What do I call you?”
“Sally… Lomax,” I gasp.
“Can you tell me what’s wrong?”
“They did something to me two months ago. Now I’m dying,” my voice breaks on a sob as I bend forward, gripping my abdomen, the pain once again peaking, worse than before.
The wheelchair abruptly changes direction. “When’s your baby due?” asks Annie.
“Baby… what baby? I’m not pregnant. I’m dying.” I wail.
“That’s what most first time mums think,” Annie’s voice holds a hint of laughter.
“There’s no way I can possibly be pregnant. I’ve never done anything – well, you know?”
“Whatever you say but, judging how close together your contractions are, you’re going to be a mum really soon. You must have known.”
Time’s a blur. I’m helped into bed, attached to machines and hear, for the first time, the heartbeat of a baby that can’t possibly exist.
“You’re already fully dilated. When you feel the need, it’s time to push,” says the midwife.
Everything happens very quickly. I refuse to have it delivered onto me. I don’t know what it is – where it’s come from. The midwife finishes cleaning and wrapping it. “Time to see if she’ll feed.”
“I don’t want to see it!” I shout.
“Miss Lomax, you’re just… tired.” I can hear the inferred ‘being ridiculous’ in the midwife’s tone. “Your daughter’s perfect.”
“You don’t understand… “ My heart races. “I can’t be mother to a child I haven’t knowingly conceived.”
The midwife snorts. “What? You were abducted by aliens?” She reaches for the bundle in the bassinet and shrieks, backing hurriedly away.
The thing turns reptilian eyes towards me, forked tongue flicking out, tasting the air.
“Told you,” I rasp to the empty room.