60 seconds in a minute. 60 minutes in an hour. 24 hours in a day. Just 1 day of 24 hours to go. Just another 86,400 seconds left and then, our days of comfort would be over. And we would be thrown out into a whole new world.
For 9 months (I think that’s what the familiar voice said), we had been in here; our safe haven, where all I had to worry about was not kicking too much, or my friend would get hurt. I hadn’t ever seen them but I could feel them. Their heart beating against mine. To be honest, I didn’t like them very much at first. They would always steal my food and they would take up my space. I couldn’t trust them either, they promised me once that they would move over but instead they just kicked me! Eventually however they grew on me. Literally. They grew on top of me. I felt the little buds on either side of their body grow into long skinny appendages, nudging into me, and the ball balanced on the top of them, grow 4 times as large. And as I grew with them, our friendship did too.
These changes concerned me at first. We were getting too big for our home and I feared we would eventually have to be evicted. One day as I wondered of what fate awaited us, a strange smell wafted towards me. I couldn’t place it but one thing was for sure; it was horrible. Confused, I tried listening out to what the people outside were saying, and they mentioned something like “meconium aspiration”, which didn’t help ease me very much. So, I turned to my friend and started to ask them, when I heard… choking? But that couldn’t be right. I tried speaking to them but they didn’t reply. Were they playing with me? I told them it wasn’t funny but they still said nothing.
So it had to be true. My friend, they wouldn’t lie to me like this. And that meant, they were choking. No, they were dying. And what was worse, I couldn’t do a thing. I felt something running down my cheeks. Something cold; the first cold I had felt. And I hated it. I tried to cry out… but all I could do was gurgle. I cried louder, but, yet another gurgle. I was running out of options, and fast. I felt like I was drowning in the very fluid that gave me life. My head was reeling, my eyes were saturated with that cold, icy liquid. I kicked out, unable to understand what was going on. I kicked out as hard as I could, begging for someone, anyone to help. I didn’t care if I hurt someone, I just had to help them. I had to help the one friend who had been with me since I first came into existence. But the truth was clear.
I couldn’t.

By Saanya

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6 thoughts on “Countdown – A short story by Saanya

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