Aborted Fear.

Scarlett had approached Brian with the idea of dinner and drinks. She knew he wanted exactly the same thing she did. She suspected it wouldn’t take much more than conversational foreplay and he would be a quick, sure thing. She needed a man to help refresh her body and mind, and then get the hell out of her apartment and her way.

Had she not indulged in that final glass of merlot, Brian would never have slept over. Nor would she be trying her damnedest to not poke her eye out with mascara, as this taxi driver hit every, single pot hole.

If Scarlett didn’t get to the office soon, the day’s top assignments would be given to another reporter. She worked too damn hard to secure her reputation as a front-page journalist, to let a one night stand get in her way of maintaining it.

6 Weeks Later…

“Scarlett, I don’t want to see you back in this building until you look at least three shades darker, than you do right now. You are pale as a ghost and obviously need some rest”, Jonathan, Scarlett’s editor, said with a firm, fatherly tone. He wouldn’t take no for an answer.

Scarlett still felt like death two days later. Between that and the random narcoleptic episodes, she couldn’t take it any longer. She decided to go to the emergency room. She was hoping for some nausea pills and maybe an antibiotic.

As the nurse was taking her blood pressure, she asked Scarlett, “When was your last period?”

“I never get my period with the birth control I take”, Scarlett explained.

The nurse’s eyebrows went up a bit as she asked, “Is it possible that you could be pregnant?”

Scarlett laughed a how-ridiculous-of-a-question laugh and assured her, she was not. The no-nonsense nurse insisted she pee in a cup, then led her to the bathroom.

Scarlett returned to her room just in time to catch a man, reeking of a God-complex, walk in. He looked at the chart in his hand and before even looking up said, “Congratulation.”

All Scarlett could say was, “Huh?”

Obviously annoyed, the doctor said, “Ma’am,  you are pregnant. Do you have any questions?”

Scarlett leapt off the chair, grabbed the garbage can next to the door and vomited the two whole pieces of toast she had in her gut. She heaved and choked on every word she just heard. She thought, How could I let this happen to me?

She went home and poured herself a glass of wine. She found it odd that she was hesitant to drink it, when her mind was already set on terminating the pregnancy. She had to drink it. She needed it to help her not think about Brian or having his baby, only getting rid of it.

Scarlett wasn’t a women without emotion,  just one that was convinced she was too broken, her edges too sharp, to ever be anyone’s mother.

***

Scarlett walked to the clinic downtown, hoping the frigid air would distract her mind from absorbing what was about to happen.

As she briskly walked past an apartment building, the sound of the Bee Gee’s singing “Staying Alive”, stunted her pace. The irony of hearing the chorus, to this particular song, was not lost on Scarlett. She traced the sound to an apartment on the ground level and peaked through a window.

She saw a woman about her age, dancing, with a smile that radiated joy. Her hands in the air, full of chucky, laughing baby. Scarlett couldn’t help but stare. She was caught off guard by the tears streaming down her face. The bitter cold seemed to hold them in place on her cheeks.

Finally inside the clinic, Scarlett was suddenly flooded with the memory of her mother, lying lifeless on the floor, a needle, inches from her hand. Scarlett’s mind bounced back and forth between the memory of her own abusive, addicted mother to the vibrant, joyful mom she watched dancing with her daughter.

With her defenses stripped down, Scarlett had a thought that seemed to re-attach her self to her soul. What if she actually was capable of loving someone else and being loved by another?

She had suspected it would be so easy for her to walk in and out of this place. Now, with the nurse calling her name, Scarlett is torn between choosing the life she chose or the one that is choosing her.

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52 thoughts on “Aborted Fear.

  1. Quite serious. I tell narratives because it’s easy (and I have a lot of narratives to tell). You develop personalities and work them through conflict. I only dream of such writing. Rock on, sister.

    • Thank you, as always. And isn’t a Happy Birthday in order for you today?? lol

      The song was half of the prompt. There was also a line…”it would be so easy”. It’s pretty awesome because I already had this story in my head and even a little bit down on paper before I even saw the prompts. It just fit. Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • Too funny. I’m glad you liked it…did the beginning move too slow? Was the 6 wk time break awkward?

      I finally got the kids down and am headed over to check out the grid. Yours first though!!

      • Definitely no to both. If anything, the beginning could’ve used some elaboration but you tied it up nicely in the end. Looking forward to hearing what you think.

      • The beginning was very elaborate…1,500 words ago. lol…I kept the first draft though. It has a whole other layer to the story I wanted to hang on to.

      • For sure! I’m glad you did because I could see how this could be something so much more. I still love it though!

  2. I love how concisely you laid the story out, it was like the reader could kind of anticipate what was to come, but it didn’t matter because you did such a great job of continuing to pile on the tension. I love this story, and I really loved the fact that you didn’t just make it a true or false, but so open ended and emotional.

  3. Great job unveiling the layers of Scarlett and why she is the way she is. Not to mention leaving us on the edges of our seats! Great use of the prompts! 🙂

    • I’m happy you saw Scarlett’s layers and how it impacted her decision to have the abortion in the first place. This felt like such a big story to me and it was very difficult to tell it in 750 words! The prompts just fit this week.

      Thanks for reading and taking the time to offer your thoughts on it. Very much appreciated 🙂

  4. You’ve done a really great job with this. You manage to make Scarlett a sympathetic character right from the beginning and then take us on her journey with her.

    • Thanks for the quite inspiring comment. It means a lot, you telling me you felt like you were on the journey with her. Made my night hearing that 🙂 Thanks for reading.

  5. I especially liked the use of the sentence prompt! Scarlett is very relatable. I am so thankful I never had to make that type of decision. I think it would be so hard.

    • Thanks so much. The sentence prompt just seemed to fit in place with this one. I’m so happy to hear you say that Scarlett is a relatable character.

      I can’t even imagine having to make this decision, no matter the circumstances. Again, thanks for reading.

    • Is it odd for me to say, me too! I don’t have a conclusion to this story but I’m starting to feel like there needs to be one.

      Thanks for reading and I’m glad you felt the intensity of the position she was in.

  6. You weave a wonderful, complete story and create a believable and complex character in such a limited word count. Though it does leave us wanting more, it’s also great as a standalone. Nicely done!

    • That’s such a gratifying comment. My biggest concern in having to shave so much off the original version I wrote (It was over 2,000 words!) was whether or not I left enough for readers to truly get a feel for Scarlett. So, thank you so much for taking the time to tell me you saw her as the “complex” character I intended her to be and that I managed to tell a “complete” story.

    • “conversational foreplay” was one of my favorite little trinkets from this story 🙂

      Thanks for reading and for the kind feedback. It’s very much appreciated.

  7. Touching with a right mix of emotions. I, too am dying to know what happens next. Does she talk to the baby’s father? Does she go ahead with her decision? I want to know! 😀

  8. Very tough decision. I like the way you built up Scarlett in one way, and then forced her into a very difficult decision, one answer being very contrary to her nature, the next. An excellent piece.

  9. Beautiful! I love the ending. You gave us a way to come up with a conclusion of our own. How very generous.
    This is gorgeous 🙂

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