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Dragging her bare feet across the yard making indentations in the freshly fallen snow, Tyger’s toes grew numb. Struggling to reach the servant’s entrance in the back of the house, the frigid winter breeze briskly swept across the lake stealing her breath. The weight of her unborn child pressed against her pelvis weighing her down, Tyger’s breathing became labored. No longer able to feel the baby moving inside her, her heart raced with regret. Stopping to catch her breath, Tyger squatted with her rear end raised and knees bent. With her face almost touching the ground, she leaned down and saw fresh traces of scarlet making spatter patterns in the snow. Tyger reached between her legs and felt the warm blood dripping from her body. Almost blinding her, fresh snow continued to fall clinging to her eyelids forming tiny ice sickles. Treading through the snow squeezing her eyes tight and gritting her teeth, Tyger prayed that she could make it back to the house without passing out in a bed of snow.
Finally, approaching the entrance to the house, Tyger stopped on the steps, looked over her shoulder and scanned the back yard. In an instant everything was covered in a fresh blanket of snow. There were no traces that she’d ever been to the lake dragging her husband Spencer’s dead body behind her.
Entering the house, Tyger stood in the laundry room and stripped down to nothing. She found a washcloth in the hamper and held it between her legs to absorb the flow. She reached in the dryer and grabbed a clean pair of underwear and the gown that she’d washed earlier. The pain was so intense that she could not lift her arms or legs to change into dry clothes. Tyger desperately wanted to scream, but she didn’t want to wake her daughter Nina. She grabbed another washcloth, balled it up and placed it in her mouth. Biting down on the cloth, she tightened her eyes and screamed.
After dressing herself Tyger slowly made her way into the kitchen. Creeping through the house trying not to stumble, sweat poured from her face and flashes of fire rolled through her body. Holding on to the walls Unable to stand, her legs grew heavy and her knees buckled sending her tumbling to the floor. Hitting the floor like a ton of bricks, a sharp piercing pain cut through her spine like a piece of jagged glass. The impact was so intense that she bit through her bottom lip. Lying on her back blood began to pour from the corners of her mouth. Trying not to drown in her own blood, Tyger coughed vigorously. With every cough, her belly burned like fire. She could still feel her flesh stinging from the hard kick that Spencer had landed on her backside earlier in the evening.
At last count Tyger’s contractions were coming every seven minutes. She clinched her teeth and tried not to scream again. All she could do was lie on the floor staring at the ceiling praying that somehow she would make her way to the phone to call the paramedics.
Finally, Tyger raised one leg and pushed herself backward on the heels of her feet over to the telephone. Tyger reached her hand up and yanked the phone from the table. Landing on her chest, Tyger gripped the receiver tightly in her hand and dialed 911. A calm voice answered, “911 what’s the nature of your call?”
“Please help me, I’m pregnant, I slipped and fell. I’m in labor… My contractions are now five minutes apart… I’m bleeding and I can’t move!”
“Ok ma’am, calm down can you tell me your name?”
“My name is Tyger Benedict… My address is 5629 Lakewood Hills Drive… I live in Lakewood Hills Estates… Please… I think I’m losing my baby… Please help me!”
“Ok ma’am we’re dispatching someone there right away… Mrs. Benedict are you alone? Is there anyone there with you?”
“Yes, I have a ten year old daughter Nina, she’s asleep … Just please send someone now!”
Tyger continued to lie there and listen while the lady on the other end asked her one meaningless question after the next. Tyger knew she was trying to keep her on the phone, but listening to the woman’s voice was making the pain more unbearable.
Tyger started to feel cold; there was a chill in her bones. Struggling to breathe, she looked at the ceiling urgently batting her burning eyes trying to stay focused and awake. Suddenly, the 911 operator’s voice grew distant. Tyger could hear the sound of her own eyelids fluttering deep inside her ear canal. Trying to hold on, Tyger could feel herself fading. Tyger closed her eyes tight and begged God to spare her baby’s life. This child, this life growing inside Tyger and her daughter Nina were the only good things that had come from her marriage to Spencer Benedict.
The room started to spin and everything around her was dark. The entire room was shrinking and soon all Tyger could see was a small round space with a tiny beacon of light surrounded by nothing but darkness. Tyger could hear the woman’s voice on the other end of the phone moving further and further away. Suddenly there was nothing, no sound, no darkness… Nothing.
To Be Continued…