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by scriever 

Posted: 10 February 2017
Word Count: 485
Summary: For the challenge. Not just one, but all five senses!

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Everything was changing. The warm, cushioning surroundings, the muted sounds and light, had, without warning, become threatening. The soft, rhythmic, steady noise that had been his constant companion, a constant presence, all his life had become fast and erratic. The limits of his world, the world that had nurtured him, kept him safe, now pushed against him. He was uncomfortable, tried to move, regain his equilibrium. Surges pushed at him, trying to force him to go where he didn’t want to go, softly at first but increasing in power and intensity. The walls were, quite literally, closing in. He pushed back, but they kept squeezing him. Slowly, he was forced towards a narrow, constricted area. He was being crushed. Then he felt the walls of the constricted area above his head give, ever so slightly. Then more; the movement became constant; he sensed an opening widening above him. The surges kept coming. He was being forced, squeezed towards a hole much too small for him. He felt as if his head was being squashed flat. Then a surge pushed it through, into a place so alien that he was petrified with fear. What was happening? All warmth, all comfort, was gone.

Light; so bright it actually hurt, making him screw his eyes tightly shut.

Noise; sharper and louder than he had ever known, so loud that it seemed to be inside his head. His senses rebelled.

Something clamped on to him in a new, horrible intrusion. His skin reacted at the harsh sensation. Whatever it was pulled at him, hard. In a rush he slithered through the hole. His body was horribly exposed. All at once everything around him was too rough, too cold, too noisy, too bright. Something else grabbed him and he felt himself moving. A short, sharp pain. In his confusion and fear he called out. He heard a crying noise. It was very loud. He was aware of his skin, his eyes, his ears, of sharp, raw sensations. He was overwhelmed.

Something else grabbed him. His world revolved again and he was on his back and something was being  wrapped around him. It felt harsh against his sensitive skin. He was moving, then laid down again. At last, a new sensation that calmed him: a smell he somehow knew, without thinking, without knowing how he knew. As soon as he became aware of this other new sensation, as incredible as all the other new sensations but not threatening, not as strange, he sensed that he was safe again, and stopped calling out. He was exhausted. His eyes still tightly closed, his body relaxed and he slipped into the oblivion of sleep, to dream of being inside the womb.

In the hospital bed, his mother, exhausted, sore, looked down at her sleeping child. He had stopped crying the moment he had been placed in her arms. ‘Happy birthday, little man,’ she whispered.

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Comments by other Members

Desormais at 14:08 on 10 February 2017  Report this post
Aww, lovely.  That's a very graphic account of something that we must all have experienced at some time or another.  Beautifully paced, and the tranquility of the conclusion was well-rendered.  Nicely done.  And thanks for participating.

TassieDevil at 16:25 on 10 February 2017  Report this post
A great piece of wring, Ross, taking us through an emotional journey to reveal the clever twist. Succinct too.

Bazz at 16:52 on 11 February 2017  Report this post
Great use of all the senses, Ross, a really interesting take. Must have been quite an overwhelming process, and none of us remember it! I like the way you capture the journey, it's distressing, unnerving, raw, but ultimately leaves us feeling safe... Great piece of flash that depicts an extraordinary yet ordinary journey.

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