Dan Hourigan

He drifted weightlessly in infinite darkness stretching in all directions. Something existed to move him, but it provided no sensation or tension as it held onto his arms. He simply knew it was there. It dragged him along on a path through the omnipresent void. It seemed to meander where the undetectable presence pulled him. There were no markings to orient his travel. Eyes open or closed, there was only a view of unending pitch to greet him.  

Onwards and endless, he was carried. Whether there was meaning or a goal behind his experience, he could not know, for all he remembered was the absolution of the abyss. There were figments of when he had needs and desires, but the ageless existence in a state of nothingness was simple. He did not yearn for more. It was unfortunate then that his timeless companion would abruptly halt.  

Confusion filled him. He peered into the black in search of why. An odd pressure thumped in his chest. He had to blink, unfamiliar wetness welling in his eyes. His body trembled, not in his control. It was like an embrace. Something wiped his cheek and drew back with splotches of red. It was the first instance of colour he had seen within the void. The rhythm on his ribs worsened at the sight, further exacerbated as the stain against the darkness grew. 

Slowly, the pitch-black disseminated. He swatted at the scarlet substance overtaking his void, but it was futile. To no avail, his fists ripped through the emerging mire until it was the only sight before him. A crimson ocean where there once was nought. The palpations of his heart were a heavy weight, threatening to pull him down. His eyes scrunched shut, yearning for his nothingness again. He held so tightly to the desire; his vision tinted with hints of white.  

It calmed him. The unseen grip of his panic loosened, and a minute smile lit his face as he returned to aimless floating. He looked at the ivory pinpricks. They seemed to shift through the ebony in a hypnotic dance he could watch if he did not open his eyes. The spots drifted, like he had, but there was a spiral to their movement. It clumped them together into a single bright point. It drew in his gaze and returned the stare. Part of the light stretched towards him. He reached for it, but something held him back.  

He frowned and tried again to grab the light. Resistance held his arm; the grasp of a hand wrapped around his wrist. As he strained, a second hand grabbed his shoulder. When he forced his muscles forwards, a third held his waist. He looked down to see red limbs latching onto him from a hole of colour in the black abyss. He struggled, but it was of no use. With each passing moment, he was squeezed deeper through the pit and the light was disappearing to a wash of colour. He wailed, unable to handle the pressure in his chest as the red passed to blue, and he was held gently.  

“Congratulations, Mrs Johnson,” said the attending doctor. “It’s a boy.”  

Dan Hourigan is a Brisbane based writer. Specialising in fantasy and science fiction, Dan enjoys the alternative perspectives that the genres allow for him to explore the different perspectives of society.