I wrote this on a day I heard a news story about a baby being found down a drain in China and it kept bouncing around in my head. It isn't the first story of this type I have heard and is unlikely to be the last but it still stuck with me all day until I wrote this little story and shook it out of my brain.
If you are interested in seeing the winning entries they can be found here special issue of Flash Frontier with the top stories from National Flash Fiction Day, worth a look if you have the time.
How Do You Fit A Baby Down The Toilet?
Baby won't stop crying so I turn the TV up to block out her sobs. A girl in China has flushed her newborn down the toilet, didn't even know she had given birth or so she says. I sure as hell knew I was giving birth. Is it possible to have your lifeblood slip out of your body unnoticed?
Laundry shuffles to and fro, meals are half started, the bawling doesn't falter. There are moments of calm when we settle on cushions and the sucking begins, feeding exhausts us and we nod off in blissful harmony making the nipple pop out. The unpugged gap fills with a bellow so we try repeatedly, in, out, in, out, until it sticks. Surely flushing a baby down the toilet would block it?
I carry her around until my arms go numb and finally we have a bit of peace. I put her down so the blood can circulate around my arms - she hitches in her breath, we are back on the merry-go-round. Wouldn't you notice the blood and wonder if you were dying?
We stutter through the chaotic routine, nappies, feeds, housework, catnaps. Constantly moving from one chore to the next yet never achieving anything memorable. Are the sewer pipes bigger over there, just right for stuffing with babies?
Daddy arrives home wrapped in the freshness of the outside world. My voice is hoarse through lack of use but his is well lubricated with the chatter of grown ups so he speaks first.
"Hi honey, how was your day?"
" The usual, yours?"
" Nothing special, and how's our little princess?"
"Just nodded off, she's such a sweetie."
And just how do you do you fit a baby down the toilet anyway?