The contraction trailed off, and I restlessly tossed
my head, beads of sweat looping defiantly out from my hair,
the red strands slapping back against my face. The midwife
came for me again, reaching with the camphor-soaked washcloth
to mop me down. "I don't need that," I said a third time,
firmly. The pitch of the bellowing shifted, opening into a
choral keening, humming voices sliding deep along my spine.
What do you want on your tombstone, Quentin? You must
decide, you must, he should at least have a decent Christian
burial. I did my best to raise a Christian, and don't I
deserve it? Oh my head - at the least, at the very least I
will bury one. Yes Mother, I said absently, I will handle it.
I will decide. The stabbing flared again, and suddenly my
body bucked of its own accord, and I felt a warm sticky gush
wind its way down my legs.
Your water just broke, the midwife informed me. It
won't be long now. Do you want to walk around a little,
before the next contraction? I was surprised with the good
idea, but hefted myself to my feet (with a MOST unladylike
grunt, Jason mocked from behind the door) and began to pace