True Perception by Ashlea Naeth. Illustrations are by Richard Bartrop.
Ashlea Naeth was the winner of a story contest for the teen writers group at the Prince George Public Library judged by ORU contributor and teacher Elizabeth Woods, in the fall of 2012. Reality Skimming agreed to publish the winning story with illustrations by Richard Bartrop.
A man entered the room. Through my blurred vision, I couldn‘t see him, but I could hear his footsteps, gradually getting closer to my broken body. Silence followed, as though the man had vanished. Then his fingers brushed ever so gently against my cheek, radiating warmth over my cold skin.
"Maybe you'll get it right next time," he whispered to me, his voice soft, angelic. He brushed his fingers lightly over my eye lids, the last gentle, almost caring feeling I received before the ground gave out from underneath me.
I was falling. No matter how much I clawed at the air as I plummeted, I couldn't break my fall. The pain was gone, but it was quickly replaced as I felt walls around me squeezing my body, tightening their grasp and holding me still.
I struggled, squirming and writhing in the tight bonds. Then my foot was seized. A strangled wail escaped me as I was pulled from the dark hold of the walls.
A man looked down at me once he had pulled me out, a wolfish grin spread across his features. With his back turned from my new mother and father, he leaned close and softly hissed to me, his eyes flashing red.
"Welcome to hell. Enjoy your stay, again."
I screamed, filling the hospital room with the cry of a new born.