I had a dream that I was giving birth. I was in horrible pain. I wasn’t just having contractions, I was having seizures. I arched my back and shook, my arms splayed out to either side, fingers twitching and clenching. Boils bubbled up on my skin, leaking blood and pus into the already sweat-damp sheets. Froth dribbled over my cheeks, into my hair and into my ears.
My belly wasn’t terribly large, and I didn’t feel the baby emerge. Hands, grown hands, reached up over my thighs and grasped at my torso, pulling arms and a body up over me.
Covered in chunks of white vermix and shredded pink placenta, a slender woman clawed her way out of me. Her long blondish hair hung in wet ropes over her back. Her body tapered to a sharp point, as though the rest of her body were narrow as a snake and inflating to human-size once she was out of me. Her eyes were full of hate. Whether they were black or blue, I can’t remember.
She loomed over me, still emerging from between my legs. Long, wiry arms pawed up my stomach and over my chest. Her fingers slid over my neck, and with both hands, she gripped my throat and squeezed.
At some point, I can’t recall when, it was as though our torsos merged at the waist, like Siamese twins with two spines. Two women growing from the same trunk.
Her teeth clenched, and her lips drew back in a snarl. Her fingers squeezed harder and harder. I tried to reach for her hands, to pull her fingers off me, but my arms were too heavy to lift. They hung off the bed, limp as a tablecloth. Her fingers didn’t hurt, the sense of pressure was vague and distant, but her hatred pressed down on me like a boulder that was only held in place by one pebble. She wanted me to die. She wanted me to feel nothing but hate and rage and resentment so that I would want her to kill me. So I would let her kill me. I was weak from seizures; I’d lost so much blood and water.
Just die already, her eyes seemed to say. It’s so much work to get better. Just die. This is easier. You made me. You made me to fulfill this purpose and you’d better believe I’m going to do what I came here to do.