Friday, May 6, 2011


by Kat Heckenbach -

Mary curled forward and squeezed with every muscle in her body. Her neck strained. A scream caught in her throat…escaped as a grunt.

And then release.

The pressure eased, and her muscles slid from her bones as she rolled back until her head smacked softly on the pillow. The distant cry of her newborn daughter was barely audible over the ringing in her ears.

Movement appeared, fuzzy, in her periphery. The fuzziness cleared and became a smiling, blonde nurse, with a nametag that read Amelia.

“She’s beautiful, Mary. They’re nearly done with the scan.”

Amelia barely had the words out when another nurse strode over to the delivery table. The woman’s face stretched under the force of severely pinned-back gray hair. She slapped a printout into Amelia’s hand and stalked off.

Amelia rolled her eyes, and then gazed at the paper. Her smile broadened. “Perfect, Mary. Not a single significant genetic fault. Your daughter is going to be smart and beautiful. Your husband…would be proud.” Amelia’s voice quivered, and Mary felt the gentle pressure of the nurse’s hand on her shoulder.

Mary nodded, and choked back a sob. Jax would have been proud no matter what. If only I’d had a chance to tell him he was going to be a father again.