The conclusion to Life…short story, unedited…

Daisy was on the phone when Annie began screaming. She rushed to the living room, and saw Annie contorted on the floor, her hand over her stomach. Tears ran down Annie’s cheeks. Daisy rushed to her friend and tried to calm her.

“I’M A MURDERER,” Annie yelled.

“Sssh, it’s okay Annie. I’m here.”

“My baby, oh my God, I’ve killed my baby!”

Daisy grabbed a pillow and helped Annie to the bathroom. Annie sat on the commode, while Daisy put the pillow behind her back. Annie leaned back against the pillow and sobbed. Her friend grabbed a phone and dialed the clinic.

“Who is your doctor, Annie?”

“Dr. Thornton,” Annie cried, as the cramps washed over her.

“I need to speak to Dr. Thornton now!”

The line was transferred, and Dr. Thornton said, “hello?”

“I’m a friend of Annie Whitmore. She’s in a lot of pain and screaming she’s a murderer.”

Dr. Willa Thornton laughed. “She’s a murderer? Tell her to stop being so dramatic. It wasn’t alive.”

“Excuse me?”

“Give her some pain medication, you know, Tylenol or Advil. She’ll pass it and be fine.”

Annie screamed as pain tore through her body. She groaned and cried, Daisy stood in the door frame and realized the pain medication wouldn’t touch the pain.

“Here,” she said handing the pills to Annie. “Doctor Thornton said to take these for the pain.”

“Don’t hate me,” Annie cried, “I’m sorry. Don’t hate mommy.”

Daisy ran from the trailer and left. I can’t take it, she thought as she started her car. I can’t listen to my friend talking to her dead fetus like it is alive. She flew down the road, tears streaming down her face.

Annie felt the pain subside and slumped to the floor. She was bloody from passing the fetus, and after cleaning herself, she looked in the toilet. “God,” she cried, “why did I kill my baby?”

She leaned her head back, and hot angry tears rolled down her cheeks. Somewhere amid the tears, Annie fell asleep. She dreamed of a healthy baby boy, and running through the clover chasing him, of him with squash baby food on his chin, and the sparkle in his eyes when he uttered ‘momma’ for the first time.

Alas, it was only a dream.

The consequences of her choice lied in the toilet. He, if it was a boy, would never tell her how much he loved her, he would never kiss her forehead when she was sick. Her right to kill him had ended the life of an innocent child.

Annie wanted to die.

She woke to the horror that she’d inflicted upon an innocent fetus and the most god-awful smell. What is that? She continued to bleed heavily, and her tears began anew. Her pregnancy material was still in the toilet. Annie closed her eyes and pushed the handle down.

Pain washed over her, causing her to sit on the commode. Her tears became heartbreaking sobs. Her thin shoulders shook as she screamed. Since she was a small girl, all she had wanted was to be popular, to excel and reach the heights of her chosen profession.

“It’s not a life,” Dr. Thornton had told her. “It’s a parasite. Pregnancy material. It’s best to get rid of it until you’re sure a child is what you want.”

Annie knew better now. The purplish grey husk of what would have been her child lying in a pool of blood in her friend’s trailer was a reminder that she’d killed her own flesh and blood.

Pain mixed with the heavy bleeding reminded her of her choice. “Benji,” she muttered as she stretched out on the floor. “I would have named you Benji.”

Annie fell into unconsciousness and dreamt of drowning in the blood of murdered babies.

Daisy drove until she was miles from her friend, and even then, Annie’s screams haunted her mind. She sat on the side of a dirt road and tried to calm herself. Daisy refused to close her eyes. Every time she closed them; she saw Annie writhing in pain.

“It’s not alive,” the doctor had said.

“Well, something was alive,” Daisy muttered. “I’m not going back. Adam can go pick her up.”

She dialed Adam’s number. He didn’t answer. So, Daisy left a message.

“Annie is in pain. Screaming she’s a murderer. You need to go pick her up and take her to the hospital now.”

Daisy hung up. This isn’t on me, she thought as she started up the car. This isn’t my mess, and I shouldn’t have to clean it up.

Annie woke to severe camps, heavy bleeding, chills, and a fever. She crawled from the bathroom to the bedroom. Annie struggled to climb onto the bed and groaned when she stretched out.

Her normally tan complexion had paled. She studied her face in a mirror sitting across from the bed. So, this is what a murderess looks like. Pain washed over, then nausea. Annie didn’t have the strength to leave the bed, so she vomited onto the floor.

My phone, I need my phone. Annie began to cry again when she remembered she’d left her phone in the car. Surely Daisy would return with help, she thought.

On Sunday afternoon, Annie woke to the sound of the front door opening. “My God, what is that stench. It smells like something died in here!”

Daisy’s mother, Sara, came down the hall into her bedroom. Her mouth dropped open when she saw Annie on her bed.

“Oh my God, child. Ricky start the truck!”

Sara, a lifelong waitress for over thirty years, lifted Annie and rushed out of the trailer. Ricky watched as Sara cradled Annie with one hand, like a mother holding her newborn, and opened the door with the other.

“Drive! Take us to that damnable clinic!”

On the way out, Ricky almost plowed into Daisy. He swerved, ran off the road and brought the old Dodge to heel. The 440 Magnum roared as Ricky pushed the accelerator to the floor.

Daisy spun her sedan into a tight turn and raced after Ricky and Sara. Ricky raced to the clinic, not stopping for anything, and jammed on the brakes coming to a stop in front of the door.

Sara kicked the truck door open and exited with the grace of a bulldozer. “Get the door, Daisy,” Sara yelled at her daughter. Daisy snatched the door open and began cry saying ‘no, no, no, Annie. Don’t go…”

“Look what you animals did to this girl,” Sara snarled. She turned to the scared teenagers sitting in chairs waiting for their procedures and growled, “look what they did!”

The receptionist picked up the phone and called 911. Dr. Thornton came out of the hallway, clipboard in her hand, and looked at Sara. Without a word, she turned and walked down the hallway.

“Daisy, call Annie’s parents. Tell them to meet us at Saving Grace Hospital. They need to know what is going on.”

Two paramedics rushed into the clinic and put Annie on a gurney. “She’s septic. Start fluids and get antibiotics in her now! How long has she been like this?”

“I don’t know,” Sara snapped. “I just got home from a weekend trip and found her on my bed. My house looks like a slaughterhouse.”

“Friday,” Daisy sobbed. “She took her second pill at lunch on Friday.”

“She’s going into septic shock,” the other paramedic shouted. “Nothing’s working!’

The ambulance raced off toward Saving Grace Hospital. Annie died enroute. Ricky, Sara, and Daisy watched as Annie was rushed into the hospital.

It was too little too late.

Daisy put her hand on her stomach, hot tears burned down her cheeks. She wouldn’t make the same mistake as Annie. She would give birth to her child and live with the consequences.

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