September 22 2012 – Everything You Wanted in the Worst Possible Way: I

SHOUT OUT to the Fantastic Miss Jen Fox for the suggestion that sparked this one.

Everything You Wanted in the Worst Possible Way: I

Empty room, a chair. Baby crying off stage. Full, violent alarming, top-of-lungs. The air is thick with days of nearly uninterrupted crying.

MOTHER enters from direction of crying, hollow-eyed, slack-jawed.

Excruciating cross done in a small, exhausted zombie shuffle, the whole time, the crying.

MOTHER finally arrives at chair stands in front of it, hovers in a fog. Wonders if she’s really hearing the crying, or if her ears have just gotten into the habit of hearing it.

MOTHER standing, baby crying.

Slowly MOTHER turns her head in the direction of the crying, her face twisting into a grimace of desperate frustration. For half a second she stares awful daggers in the direction of the crying, but then wrenches her head back around, forcing her face into the slack composure it had before.

MOTHER standing, baby crying.

MOTHER gradually deflates into a sitting position on the chair, leans forward in slow motion, rests her head in her hands, elbows on knees.

The crying, impossibly, intensifies. MOTHER digs her fingers deep into her hair, clenches fistfuls of hair. Grips so tight her fists are vibrating.

The crying suddenly stops. Completely, mid-bawl, it just cuts off unnaturally.

An involuntary relaxation and exhalation of relief for the MOTHER for half a second, which she interrupts by gasping and shooting to her feet.

She stands utterly still, breath suspended, eyes locked on the absence of crying offstage.

Long absolutely still moment.

MOTHER (An unbearable edge)

Creative Commons License
This work by Ryan F. Hughes is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.


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