Archive for May 8th, 2011

8th May
written by amber

The Mother

The mother crouched over her child and snarled.  The large males were near, she could smell them and hear their raucous hoots.  They fell briefly silent at the sound of her snarl, but then they continued toward her.  She rose up agitated, gripping her child by the upper arm and holding one hand over her mouth to indicate that he should be silent.

He was young, just four winters since his birth, but he’d been growling and struggling in her grasp, anxious to meet the challenge of these marauding males.  One of them might very well be his father, but that was no guarantee that he wouldn’t kill her child and attack her.

She had to hide her child and lure the males away, the way the shore birds did to protect their nestlings.  Nearby were the crumbling walls and metal wreckage of an Old One’s dwelling.  She’d already searched it for food but had found only the swollen cans that contained Death.  But there’d been a hidden nest made of ancient fabrics and dry moss, secreted in a high corner atop a jumble of broken wood, with escape routes going up and down.  She could smell that the nest had been used recently, by a female with an infant.  If she couldn’t return for her child, the female might take him in.  At his age, he would soon be a help to her in finding food and defending her from danger.

She herself had been taken in that way.  After her mother died, she’d been adopted by a male and a female.  They fed her in exchange for her help in looking after their two children, two young males the same size and same appearance, like one paired with his reflection in a still pond.  She remembers calling the female, “Mommy,” as her mother had taught her.

The male punished her for saying that word.  After the two young males died, the pair abandoned her.  She’d cried after them, after the female, “Mommy! Mommy!”,  but the female didn’t even look back.

Now, leaving her child in the nest and running silently for a distance, then running noisily to lure the large males away, she also did not look back.

The Story 365 project is a year-long marathon of short story writing, with a new story posted every day on this website from May 1, 2011 – April 30, 2012.  Stories must be a minimum of 200 words.  Please help me by adding first line suggestions in the Comment section.

Today’s story is, of course, a Mother’s Day story.  It also adds to my story of common science fiction themes, so it’s a Dystopian Future Mother’s Day story.  Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!