When Megan miscarries her first pregnancy it feels like the end of everything; instead it’s the start of a curious between the grieving mother and an unborn child who hovers somewhere between ghost and angel. Angela, Megan’s “little angel,” has character and dreams all her own, friends who may or may not be real angels, and a little brother who brings hope to her mother’s world. But Angela’s dream-world has a secret and one day Angela might learn how to be real.
Excerpt from Flower Child:
This excerpt from Flower Child takes place as Megan, delightedly pregnant for the first time, realizes something might be going wrong.
I carried her inside me. I watched her grow. I imagined a future, school, college, marriage; had it all planned out. I hoped one day to be mother of the bride. Do you think that’s crazy? I’d been pregnant only three-four months or so; only just begun to believe I could feel the babe move. And then I woke in the dark of night to a pain that shouldn’t be there. It’s too soon, I shouted to myself. I told myself turn over and sleep and hoped the growing ache would go away; convinced myself it was just a new mom’s panic making me neurotic. It was bound to be okay.
As the pain grew worse I told myself it’s your own stupid fault, imagining a future for a child not yet born. It’s your punishment for wishing her life away. I believed it was true.
The night was dark. The sound of traffic was muffled through layers of curtains and bushes and air. The whisper of insects was almost still—that empty, midnight place. And the fluttering in my belly felt like razor blades. A sticky dampness pooled between my legs; my baby’s life-blood draining away.
In the end I couldn’t keep quiet anymore. I rolled and screamed in agony at the motion; reached out for David where he lay beside me, totally, irrevocably asleep. I remember his shoulder was bare—summer’s heat—slick and soft against my hand; the shoulder I clung to when we made love; the shoulder that leaned against my cheek while we made a baby.
I hear my voice saying his name still in dreams, heard its strangled awkwardness. “David. I think it’s the baby. I think something’s wrong.” But David slept on. I prodded and poked him then ‘til at last I’d forced him from his dreams. He grunted, sat up, something I wasn’t quite sure I could do, and switched on the light over my head. I remember its blinding, clinical whiteness, as if he’d magicked me from our comfortable bed to a hospital ward. Closing my eyes, I saw red.
“What’s wrong, Megan?” David’s voice whispers still in my memory. His breath blew the hairs like fragile tendrils of loving over my ear but I felt no desire. My eyes leaked wetly on the pillow and I couldn’t raise my head. “Megan. What?”
About the author: Sheila Deeth grew up in the UK and has a Bachelors and Masters in mathematics from Cambridge University, England. Now living in the States with her husband and son, she enjoys reading,writing, drawing, telling stories, running a local writers’ group, and meeting her neighbors’ dogs on the green.
Sheila describes herself as a Mongrel Christian Mathematician. Her short stories, book reviews and articles can be found in VoiceCatcher 4, Murder on the Wind, Poetic Monthly, Nights and Weekends, the Shine Journal and Joyful Online. Besides her Gypsy Shadow ebooks, Sheila has several self-published works available from Amazon and Lulu, and a full-length novel under contract to come out next year.
Click here to read an interview with: Sheila Deeth