I paced, paced a narrow grey room, the only light
glancing in through a barred window, timidly landing on a
splintered wooden cross. I barely fit in the cell. Surely,
you must understand, my dear lady, (the pastor hesitates, his
twitching eyes trying to avoid my most unladylike stomach)
you simply cannot ask me to perform this (pause) service. The
Church cannot sanctify an (pause) unnatural death.
It hurt to laugh, and Quentin kicked in retaliation
against the rolling waves. This, father (slowly and loudly
drawing out each syllable) was the most natural death possible,
the only death possible. Since when has my church called
sensitivity a sin?
Now, now, that's enough of that, the midwife chided
sharply, pushing me back on the bed. We'll just save our
strength, shall we? Her mouth flapped open, exposing wet
pink gums and yellowing teeth.
The pain suddenly focused downward, deep and low,
blocking my reply (Our strength? I wanted to know. Woman,
you sap my strength with your chattering and your stinking
camphor.) The clock was continuously snaking forward, and
when it reached the top I released a loud breath.