There’s a flash fiction weekly competition which, oddly, I have won. You are given a character a setting and a genre with a word limit. This is my winning entry for Microcosms
horror, midwife, fortieth birthday
With heavy heart Mildred knocked. The party sounds surprised her, but she plastered on a professional smile when Ned Joy threw open the door. ‘Milly. Thank God.’
‘How are they?’
Ned’s face managed to convey excitement, anxiety and bemusement.
‘I’d better see them. Upstairs?’
Ned didn’t reply. He led the way past an open door where people wearing fox masks danced while a topless man beat a large drum.
‘The twins will come of age tomorrow. 21 each. We’re celebrating their end of aggregate fortieth.’
Mildred looked surprised. ‘You’re having a party while they give birth?’
Need shrugged. ‘It’s one of his funny ways.’
‘You’ll see.’ Ned pointed at the basement and left Mildred.
Mildred stepped inside. ‘Halloooo’.
The reply was deep and sonorous. ‘HELL AWAITS YOU.’
‘It will, young man if you don’t stop this nonsense. Are you one of the fathers?’ When Mildred met the twins their claim to have conceived at the same time surprised her. When they said it was the same father she thought them delusional. She wasn’t surprised when he never showed at antenatal classes.
‘I AM THE FATHER.’
We have a right one here, she thought. As she descended the steps – there were more than she imagined – the temperature rose and the smell of burning and sulphur grew. She turned a corner and stopped. It was Hell. The two twins writhed while an extraordinary looking character, like Lucifer, stood over them. Even at a distance Mildred could see they were both on the verge of giving birth. Mildred – who had helped two winners of Big Brother and one TOWIE star give birth – wasn’t going to be fazed by a Devil; she held his gaze. ‘Well clearly we’re not short of hot water so how about you find some towels?’