The Blazing Void

Debashree Basak posted under Flash Fiction QuinTale-52 on 2023-05-21

Trying to tuck Aaron into bed, new mother Aida started to hum lullabies. Motherhood for sure was overwhelming! She barely has time for herself. For the umpteenth time, she combed the hair of the soft toy, which became Aaron’s treasure during his growing-up days. A furry Labrador soft toy was his absolute favorite. Aida had made it using recycled clothes putting her creative skill to use during her second trimester much before the onset of a complicated third trimester. *** “Mamma, how did ya know my choice, even before I was born?” three-year-old Aaron would ask his mom with wide eyes but a tired face. The question was such a regular one, that Aida would answer it just out of reflex, even if her mind was mulling over some other issue that needed her attention. “I knew, that my li’l boy would love anything soft and cute,” was Aida’s mundane answer. Aaron would continue playing with his favorite soft toy until the crippling tummy ache impeded his movements on a routine basis. Innumerable visits to leading neurologists, gastroenterologists, and all other forms of specialists suggested it was nothing that serious. Only prune juice and other home remedies would help Aaron to keep these tummy aches at bay was what the majority of doctors had to say. Aida always had a copious stock of prune juice as prescribed. Despite that, most nights she’d be wide awake by his bed emptying bottles of prune juice but in vain. “Mamma…. Why am I not going to kindergarten this year?” “Because you are special, and Mamma misses you so much when you’re away, so she home-schools you.” An inevitable session of hugging would ensue after that, sprinkled with the most pristine and opulent dose of emotions. Aida would let out a forced smile, trying to camouflage her stifled sob now and then. *** With wide eyes, an intensely wrinkled and tired face; Aida still combs the scanty fur of the unkempt soft toy. The soft ends of once furry ears are now frayed and rugged. Motherhood for sure is overwhelming. Aida’s forced smile is not of importance now, neither is her handmade soft toy. The soft, furry, cute Labrador has found his perennial place on Aaron’s bed. The molded bottles of prune juice stood firm on the bedside table unperturbed. Aida would sit by Aaron’s bed and sing lullabies holding the soft toy, (if one can call it so) on every birthday of his. She has so much time for herself now but lacks the desire. Home school is a thing of the past now and missing Aaron has been deeply embedded into her present. Sitting by Aaron’s bed, most nights Aida spends her time making soft toys out of her massive stock of used and unused toddler garments for donation at a nearby orphanage. The only way to alleviate the burning sensation that has been intricately interlaced with her since the inception of motherhood!     Penmancy gets a small share of every purchase you make through these links, and every little helps us continue bringing you the reads you love!