First a little explanation. The Costa Coffee Short Story Award has recently revealed it’s finalists. You can read or listen to all the entries via the link. One of those finalist stories is one called Still Water, BC. Which I read today, I have to say it wasn’t my kinda thing. Not that I’m saying it’s bad, it’s a finalist which is more than I have ever been. I thought it might be fun to write my own version of it. I hope you (and the person who wrote Still Water BC) like my version and take time to read the original. Of course this is not my idea.. nor am I claiming it is. So don’t take me to court! Good Luck to all the Costa Coffee finalists.
She fell rather like one of the Doug Fir trees. That surrounded the logging plant.
The familiar faces around expressed a helpless horror as they watched. Olaf seemed to realise what he had done, a second too late to have stopped. Remorse realised on the face of the youngster as tried to avoid his falling Mother.
She landed on her hip. Missing the scrabbling Olaf by centimetres. Shopping bags splitting upon impact with the floor and adding their own explosions of colour and noise to the scene. Thorvald looked on, moving, his actions like those of his son a mere second too late.
“Eva.” He said speaking calmly despite racing heart. “You OK?”
“Yes.” She replied instantly, despite not being at all sure. She felt the embarrassment of being rather unceremoniously felled by her son and wanted to get up ‘OK’ or not.
“And my little minnow?”
“Yes, safe as houses.”
“Yes I fell on my hip” Eva replied confidently, denying her own doubt. “Bump was spared.”
“Good.” Said Thorvald helping Eva to her feet.
Eva cradled her swollen baby bump, containing a “little minnow” as it had for the previous 7 months, she was sure it was a girl. The baby moved differently than Olaf had kicking with the strength of a mule with no regard for the day or night regulation of the outside world.
Thorveld led his growing family home, Eva protesting that she was “fine” despite limping like someone who has had Cerebral Palsy for the last 33 years. Olaf, a little more than subdued, held his fathers hand tightly as he made it his mission to kick, even if only gently, every rock on the trail.
Eva managed to prepare that evenings meal for the family. Thorveld, although not the most new age of men, had for his part offered quite firmly to chop and dice the meat. Eva shooed him successfully and after the meal was done she went for a lie down.
This was the time where she would notice movement inside her. During the dimming of the day, baby would usually get a good few kicks in.
Eva didn’t panic initially. Although the impact of the fall earlier was taken by her hip she had been pretty shaken. She guessed baby was too. Olaf had been a very still baby. Eva thought he was making up for it now, tripping her up like that. Mind you those bags were all her own fault.
“C’mon baby.” She said quietly.
Eva got up and began to pace around the room.
“Calm down” she said more to herself than the baby. As she cradled her bump, protecting it retrospectively from the stresses of the day.
Eva felt an uneasy stillness within. She stopped pacing and sat on the edge of the bed. Although she tried to remain calm. Her eyes welled up and tears began to roll down her cheeks. She shook and sobbed uncontrollably.
Inside everything was still.