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Image by Casey Horner

Book of Emily

See below for an excerpt from my upcoming novel. Please let me know ( if you're interested in reading more!

Chapter 2 - Hello Zeke

Day 0




Emily clenched her jaw, her face contorting in an intense full-body effort. 


Her body ached as if she’d just completed three consecutive marathons with a fever of 105. Her reward for  her excruciating work was the pressure of a bowling ball forcefully descending down her pelvis. It was far too big; they’d have to cut it out of her. 


Her focus broke for a moment as she considered the possibility of giving up right here. Relief.




Instinctively responding to the contraction, she flexed with determination. Nature forbade non-compliance so long as blood pumped through her veins. A smirk formed across her face at the memory of handing the lead nurse her neatly constructed birth plan shortly after arriving at the hospital. 


How naive she’d been to think labor and delivery would ever submit to her control.




Her body demanded another concerted effort, tearing something inside her. While acutely aware of sensation, she felt no pain. 


“That’s it Emily!” Doctor Samela, her silver hair visible behind Emily’s left thigh shouted in encouragement. “A couple more pushes like that and we’ll be meeting this gorgeous little boy of yours.”


A surge of energy radiated through Emily’s body. Her eyes met Walter’s and they exchanged a smile. While everything was out of focus, she sensed he was tired too. Even still, his skin glowed with what she could only describe as love. “You can do it Em! Little Zeke is so eager to meet you. On that last push, I could see the little guy’s full head of hair.”


PUSH!!! One More time Emily! PUSH!!!!!!


Her hand wrapped around Walter’s and squeezed with bone-breaking force. The pain abruptly vanished, replaced by an inexplicably pleasurable rush a relaxation. 


Wrraahhh, Wrraahhh, Wrraaahhhh! WRRRAAAAHHHH!!!


In a blur, the blue-robed doctor triumphantly raised the grey-brown child. “Emily, your baby is an absolute treasure! Congratulations!” 


A team of nurses rushed to examine the baby and shout a series of numbers and words that meant nothing to her. The tall red-headed nurse nodded at the doctor before handing the baby over. Turning to Walter, Doctor Samela offered a pair of medical shears. “Dad, did you want to do the honors and cut the baby’s cord?”


Walter excitedly accepted the scissors and cut precisely as Doctor Samela directed. The doctor then ripped Emily’s robe open and placed the baby on her chest. 


Recoiling at the exposure and the sensation of the squirming child, Emily watched Zeke move with unsettling jolts of his misshaped head. In an act of mercy, a nurse latched the baby onto Emily’s nipple. “See momma, this is all there is to it. Just want to gently help him get that adorable little mouth of his wrapped around. Yes, just like that.”


Emily’s chest sank at the importance of this first contact between mother and child, which was said to be the moment their bond would be forged into the ether. Despite the newfound urgency to connect, she felt nothing. It was as if she was watching another woman offer her nipple to a deformed alien in front of strangers. 


The doctor and nurses paid no mind as they raced to clean up the aftermath. They worked seamlessly, exchanging smiles and jokes, desensitized to the messy miracle of childbirth they witnessed on repeat.  


She looked toward her husband who was staring lovingly at their son as he gently stroked her hair. “Em darling, we did good. He’s a handsome little devil, Don’t you think?” 


Tears flooded from her eyes. Tears of sadness. Tears of loneliness. Tears of terror. 


She grabbed Walter’s hand. “Walter, there’s something I have to tell you.” She then mouthed. “In secret.”


Walter understood, solomnly leaning in to put his ear to her mouth.


She whispered. “Walter, I feel nothing. I’m so scared.”


Walter leaned back, palms on her bare shoulders, gently pushing her into the hospital bed like a weighted blanket. With a look of knowing sympathy, he kissed her forehead and whispered. “Em, what you just went through was insane! Let’s not waste a single thought on how you think you should feel. Besides, I’m sure you’ll feel better once you’ve a chance to rest.”


Her stomach hollowed, feeling more lost and alone. “It feels deeper than that Walter.” 


Encouragingly clasping her hands, Walter said. “Em, you grew that little ball of light inside of you! The two of you were paired together for a reason. Little Zeke is so lucky to have such a loving mother.”


“I hope you’re right, Walter, because I don’t feel very loving right now.” 


She put her hands on the baby, feeling his body relax into hers. As he fell asleep on her chest, Emily closed her eyes to join him. 

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