This is pre-Fighting Gravity from Marissa's point of view of her household. Sorry if you saw this yesterday too. When I pre-scheduled it, I must've clicked the wrong day. Oops. Oh, and how do you like the new #fridayflash symbol?
A Full House
Her mother’s scream shattered the children’s cries.
The twins, Cari and Lyn, tugged on Marissa’s ratty shirt. “’Issa, is mommy okay?” they asked in unison.
Marissa leaned over and kissed their foreheads. “She’s just bring our little brother and sister into the world. Farah, get down from there.”
She snatched her other sister from the dresser. “All of you settle down and eat your soup. I need to check on Mama.”
Cari, Lyn, Farah, and Caleb settled around the table and their meager meal. They didn’t even have a bouillon cube to add to the soup this time. Just some mashed vegetables and the last of their tomato cans.
“Where’s daddy?” Caleb asked, his blue eyes ripped into her heart. Would he one day leave them like the others? He was still young enough to remain here.
“He’s getting the midwife. He’ll be back soon. Eat up.” The fourteen-year old checked her siblings once more before she entered the back room.
Sweat poured from her mother’s temples. The sheet bulged over her rippling belly. The contractions had started hours ago, but their father still wasn’t back with the midwife. Would she have the baby here? Marissa hoped not.
She never wanted children.
“Mama, are you okay?” Marissa soaked a cloth in the melted snow water and dampened her forehead like her mama used to do when she was ill.
Her mother’s hands clutch the sheets as another contraction stole her breath. Then, she collapsed back against the pillow. “Is he back yet, Marissa?”
“Not yet, but it won’t be long.” Marissa looked at the battery-operated clock. The contractions were coming closer. It wouldn’t be long. One way or the other.
“I’m glad you’re here, Mari-bee. I don’t know what we would do without you.” Her mother kissed her daughter’s hand. Wrinkles and dry skin touched her mother’s hand. She was too old to have another child. Would her father take a young wife in time?
Guilt inched across her chest at the words, the gesture. Marissa wanted to be anywhere else, but home is where she would remain as her sixth sibling would soon be born. Her gaze flicked toward the window. Hazy lights robbed her view of the evening sky. Were the stars out? The outline of hills loomed in the distance. Far enough away would be St. Louis and the New Atlantic Ocean. One day she would leave and go there perhaps. Things were better south where the air was warmer. There would be enough food.