Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Flash Fiction #7: Two Minutes

It's surprisingly easy getting your hands on a pregnancy test when civilisation has all but crumbled around you.  Pharmacies are one of the first places to get looted - people stocking up on painkillers, bandages, caffeine pills, cough syrup, fucking contact lenses - but nobody's in a real hurry to pee on a stick.

I'd witnessed the end of the world along with a handful of others, fled my house without even a backwards glance.  I'd adapted to a life underground, only returning to the surface on salvage missions with Ty.  I'd quickly schooled myself in the arts of self defense and interrogation.  I've earned, quite rightfully, a reputation among our new community as quite the hard-ass.  But none of that prepared me for the agonising, seemingly endless two minute wait.

Two minutes.  Long enough to ponder what the hell I was going to do if it was positive.  If I was going to be relieved if it turned out negative - after all, it's not like bringing a child into this world would be the responsible thing to do.  I hadn't said a thing to Ty - at this very moment he thought I was fetching more medical supplies, not crouching in a doorless restroom, wishing I still had a watch so I could track the passing seconds.

Could I be a mother?  Before the world ended, I'd always just assumed I'd make the decision when I was older and more mature.  While life had forced me to grow up a hell of a lot faster than I'd intended, I still wasn't sure whether I had what it took.  Kids were hard work, apocalypse aside.

Ty would be thrilled, though.  We've known each other for a year, and been together for less than that.  But I know he would make a great father.  I've seen him protect strangers, horrible people who didn't deserve saving.  But he did anyway.  Because that's who he is.  If they ever do manage to rebuild, to launch an Earth 2.0, Ty would make an excellent blueprint.  Me, not so much.

Two minutes.

Of course, it was positive.  Life just wasn't complicated enough these days.


  1. hi Phil! great story. love the plot and the ending. i don't want to linger over it so much or i'd end analyzing it again so much lol. thanks for sharing! c",)

  2. Thank you! I've had that first sentence stuck in my head for a few months now, so it felt good to take it somewhere :)

  3. Well done. It stands alone, yet could also be a chapter from a novel or even a writing prompt.