The Birthing Suite (Short Tale Tuesday)

She was startled awake by the sound of a trolley being pushed through the hospital hall outside her room. It was still dark, but it’s never completely dark in a hospital.  She froze, a dream coming back to her, hard and raw. She glanced over at her twins, wrapped snuggly in their plastic cubes. She smiled, relieved to see they were okay. In the dream they hadn’t been.

Images and sounds rose up in her mind, unbidden. A nurse. A tiny blue tablet.

‘It’s okay, darling. You’ll be in labour tomorrow. We’ll just give you this mild sedative so you can sleep and have as much energy as possible for the birth. You’re going to need it.’

Her eyes squinted. It was weird that she had woken up just as she was in full-blown labour. John was only allowed in the birthing suite after she’d given birth.

Dull pain. A bright light overhead.

‘The babies are stable but we need to get her in the cryon liquid, now.’

‘We might not lose the infants this time.’

More images flashed in her mind, a montage of horrors. Images that filled her with fear. She knew it wasn’t a delusion. The images were too real. Too shocking. She needed to know the truth.

She slipped out of the bed and felt a warm trickle between her legs. Her hand grabbed the bed railing while she let the dizziness pass. She looked back at her girls; she’d be as fast as she could and make sure no one saw her.

After poking her head out of the doorway, she moved cautiously though the empty hall. The hem of her white gown whispered against her ankles as she moved, but her bare feet made no sound against the tiles. Letting the images lead her, she took a sharp turn to the right and then to the left. She came to a door. She knew she’d seen it before but she hadn’t given birth here, so what was this place?

She found the door ajar and slowly opened it. The room was dark except for a red light illuminating a  tall cylindrical tank in the middle of the room. She closed the door and moved closer to the source of the light. As she did, her stomach tightened. It was true.

In the tank was a human.

She already knew who it was.

It was her.

There was no mistaking the shape of her nose, the length of her neck. Everything about the woman in the tank was a perfect replica—except that her skin was transparent. Every organ could be seen working in time with each other. Her eyes moved down from the head but she knew what she would see next. Nestled inside the uterus were twins, healthy looking, hearts beating and ready to be born. She looked closer. Two girls. Repulsed, she stumbled backwards, tripping and landing hard on the cold floor. She gasped for air, like she was trying to remember how to breathe. This was wrong. What on earth was happening?

She ran back to her room, paying no attention to the noise she made this time. Her babies, she had to get back to her babies.  She set her eyes on them and, as though they felt her distress, they woke and started crying. She picked each one up, crooning softly to them until they settled. Thank god.

What had happened to her? Was the hospital cloning her and her babies? What are they going to do with them? She felt a strong urge to flee, get away from this awful place. She knew she couldn’t demand to know what was going on, she would put her babies and herself in greater risk. This was obviously illegal and against her will.

‘Is everything okay in here, darling?’ The nurse pushed her head through the door.

It was so unexpected; she couldn’t hide the panic in her voice.

‘Ahh, yes, thank you.’

The nurse put her hand over her mouth. ‘You know, don’t you?’


‘You do. It’s okay, Melissa, everything is going to be okay.’

She couldn’t hold fear back anymore. Her body went into defence mode.

‘No, it’s not going to be okay. You’re cloning me and my babies,’ she pulled the baby capsule trolley behind her putting her babies a protective distance away from the nurse.

‘Calm down, honey. We’re not doing that. The lady you saw wasn’t you but a different woman. She needed some of your placenta cells, so that we could save her babies.’

‘She is me. She looks exactly like me. She has my two baby girls. Do you think you can play god? What did you do to me?’ she cried.

‘It’s not you Melissa… It’s your twin sister.’

‘Twin sister? But I don’t have a…’

Suddenly she recalled part of the dream.

‘We might not lose the infants this time.’

‘Thank goodness we found her twin. The President will be very pleased.’

‘Yes, you do have a twin sister and you helped save her and her babies last night.’

She felt like a rat in a maze, lost and confused, with no clue where to turn for answers What the hell was going on? How could she have a twin sister? Where did the President come into this?

Would she ever know the truth?

Did she even want to know?


Want to read on? The story continues here.

A Mum in the Wild


I’m also linking up with Jess’s IBOT (Because I blog every Tuesday)

Add your Short Tale Tuesday below.



  1. Blimey Penny, that was a bit intense! here you are writing high drama and I wrote about an old handbag!! I love how your writing is so varied, you have a real talent xx
    Catherine Rodie Blagg @CoTaaB recently posted..The poor neglected handbag (short tale tuesday)My Profile

    • I found this a really hard week to write. I was still finishing it last night! I got this idea from a dream and don’t usually write in a sci fi style. Ever. This was a challenge but the more I write…

      I loved your handbag STT. It was perfectly written and you really had the melody of the story right (that’s the way I describe how it flows when I read it, I’m sure there’s a more professional word for it).

      I hope this coming week will be easier writing. It’s hard to pull a story out every week!

  2. Hi there. Visiting from IBOT. WOW! Really enjoyed reading that. Is this a “to be continued…” or do you write something new each week?
    Julie recently posted..Cute and smartMy Profile

    • Thanks Julie, I’m glad you liked it. I’m not sure if it’s to be continued, although so many people are wanting it so I’m going to have to give it a go i think. Usually the link up is just a story every Tuesday. Stay tuned!

  3. Ooh, scary! But I loved it! :)
    Kim-Marie recently posted..The curse of the cardboard boxMy Profile

  4. wow! I really was wondering what I was reading!! I was getting drawn in!! Fabulous short story!! :)

    You have been visited by a member of #teamIBOT :)

    • Thank you Yvette. It was a hard week for writing this week and I got this story idea from a dream. I couldn’t not try and write it. I just don’t know what happens next!

  5. Wow! I honestly didn’t know where that was going. High drama indeed. Great writing.
    workingwomenaus recently posted..Who are you?My Profile

  6. I’d like to know what happens next, will there be part 2?
    Tat recently posted..Guest post: Gift ideas for teachersMy Profile

    • I’m not sure yet Tat. I’ll give it a go but to be honest I don’t have much time for character development now that I’m writing a story every week. I just write what comes into my head ( or from a dream, like this one). I’ll give it a go though.

  7. Very nice, Penny!
    MsMandie recently posted..Stuff No One Told Me About Being PassionateMy Profile

  8. Love it!
    carmen recently posted..Dear Google…My Profile

  9. Whoa Pen!! That was incredible, I was on the edge of my seat. I just couldn’t read it quick enough. Gripping, intense, a real thrill to read.
    Jacqui (CRAP Mamma) recently posted..He drank poison! {Short Tale Tuesday}My Profile

    • Naw thanks Jac. It’s comments like yours that keep me writing every week. Thank you for the confidence boost!

  10. Wow Penny! I was completely glued.. I think that’s the fasted I’ve ever read lol!! You’re such a talented writer. I’d also like to know what happens next :) :)
    Tubbah @ Organising my Crazy life recently posted..Family Outing – The ZooMy Profile

    • Thanks for your comment Tubbah. I’m not quite sure what happens next yet. But I’m going to try and nut out another episode. Wish me luck!

  11. I so want to know what happens next! Have linked up, wrote my post for IBOT and serendipity led me to you! :D
    Laureny recently posted..Snow White Cotton – A FictionMy Profile

    • Thanks so much for Linking Lauren. Your STT was wonderful! I hope I see you again!

      P.S I’m going to try and write another episode. I think. Eppp!

  12. Far out! That was awesome! I had no idea what was going on!
    What make a great movie! :)
    Jess@diaryofasahm recently posted..Peace, Love and ShoppingMy Profile

  13. Wow !!! You’ve been saving that one for a while, haven’t you??? Totally blew me away! I’m speechless (and that never happens ! :))
    Grace recently posted..The broken clothes dryer that wasn’tMy Profile

    • Huh? I’ve been saying what for a while? Confuzzled. Glad you liked it though Gracie. Yeah, you speechless, never!

  14. Oh my God! I just wanted it to keep going Penny!
    I want to know what happens next!
    Fabulous :)
    Tracey recently posted..Photo A Day June ~ Day 18My Profile

    • I’m going to try and write on with it but I have no ideas where it’s going yet. I just wrote what came into my head!

  15. Awesome read Penny. Loved it! :)
    Looking forward to some more reading like that. ;)
    Me N my Monkeys recently posted..Got a Love for books! and giveaways!My Profile

  16. This is way good writing, Penny! You are a fabulous writer and this keeps readers so engaged! Keep writing yeah! =) Thanks for popping by A Happy Mum!
    Summer recently posted..Happy Father’s Day – BBQ, Sun, Beach and Lots of LoveMy Profile

    • Thanks so much Summer. Your comment made my day, actually a lot of the comments have really made me feel great. It’s hard putting your wrtiting out there. Sometimes, no most of the time, I hate my writing. I still crtique the stuff that is half decent too.

  17. Oooh, chilling! And very intrigueing too, a great read :)
    anniecookie recently posted..Gradual Pink Layer CakeMy Profile

  18. Ok, I need to know what happens ;)

  19. Penny you are barilyang! I envy you! I got no time to write at the moment, plus being sick. This is great stuff woman! Bloody creepy.
    Kristyn recently posted..Wordless Wednesday: For TrishMy Profile

    • Thanks Kris, now I’m worried next week won’t be up to par. Funny, people loved this post but I stugged to write this one. I prefer picture book text but I do want to challenge myself in all areas.
      A dream lent this idea to me when I had none and I just had to go with it! Turns out that was a good idea!
      Thanks for taking the time to read it all.

  20. Wow wow wow! I had no idea what to expect and got quite scared! Yay for a prequel.

  21. Thank goodness it wasn’t your birth story (that was my initial thought!) A little dark and scary for my tastes…I feel quite tense now (go you did a great job I guess). I might read the second part tomorrow :)

    • If you read on, I promise there’s a little release at the end. I know what you mean. I think that’s why I needed to finish the story. It totally rilled me up!


  1. [...] The Birthing Suite – The Ending July 3, 2012 By Penny Leave a Comment Haven’t read part one and two? Start here. [...]

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