It’s already August, the last full month of summer, and many are starting to look back at memories of this past summer. In that spirit I wanted this week’s 60-second read to echo that sentiment of reflection. The following excerpt of Miracle Man takes a look at protagonist Robert James Austin’s tough start, as he dreams about his rocky entry into the world.
Eventually, Bobby fell asleep. It didn’t take long for the nightmares to kick-in with full force and now there was new material with which he could be terrorized. It was as if he were there at his own birth watching it all unfold, his newborn cries echoing eerily through an abandoned factory building in which his mother, a teenage drug addict, lay on a blood stained blanket on the cold concrete floor. His cries seemed so small, so inconsequential, so pitiful as they reverberated through the decrepit cavernous structure. There was no welcome for him. No teary eyed parents, filled with gratitude and wonderment. No doctors and nursing staff officiously performing their duties. No incubator to warm its new occupant. There was only silence punctuated by the urgent cries of a tiny human being thrust into a world that didn’t want or need him.
A nursing student, a friend of the mother, he presumed, did her best to clean him with the paper towels and bottled water she pulled out of a bag from a convenience store. With difficulty, she cut his umbilical cord with a cheap scissor. She triple-wrapped him from head to toe in a too-big bed sheet she had taken from the hospital where she studied. Only his doll-like face remained visible. His mother didn’t want to hold him or even look at him, and she didn’t seem to be in very good shape after the birth. The father—-well who knew who the father was anyway? The bedraggled young man who was standing there, shifting nervously, perspiration pouring out of his pasty face, wasn’t acting like the baby was his.
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