By John R. Herrman
Tiffany woke early Saturday morning. She wasn’t sleeping well lately. Her bladder was screaming and she never had heartburn like this before. Truthfully, she never had it at all before she got pregnant. And her skin was so itchy!
Despite the inconveniences of pregnancy, Tiffany didn’t mind waking early since an exciting day lay ahead. This afternoon, Jake’s mom was throwing her a baby shower and everyone was looking forward to her family’s annual holiday party in the evening.
She reached over and felt for Jake. He wasn’t there. Rising from bed, she looked out the bedroom window and saw a fresh blanket of snow on the ground. She loved the first snow of winter. That explained where Jake was. He was driving a plow truck for Chicago Streets and Sanitation. It wasn’t glamorous, but he earned enough so that Tiffany didn’t have to help Dr. Brown take care of sick kids all week.
After breakfast and morning yoga, she did some laundry and tidied up the house. She was flipping through a book of baby names when the phone rang. It was Jessica, her sister, checking in, admitting to feeling melancholy about missing the snow as much as the day’s events.
Glancing at the clock an hour later, Tiffany quickly wrapped up the call, realizing if she didn’t hurry, she would be late.
In the shower, she ran her hands over her body, amazed at the changes she’d been through these past seven months. This was the happiest she’d been in years. This was what she’d wanted ever since she was a little girl.
Dressed in a new green dress and tights covered with Santa hats, Tiffany pulled on her
As she walked the six blocks over and three up to Jake’s parents’ house, Tiffany waved to neighbors shoveling their walks. Her smile was radiant, even if she was a little more breathless than usual.
She saw the light turn green and watched for the white figure to appear on the traffic pole, signaling it was her turn to cross the street. She stepped into the crosswalk just as a CTA bus filled with passengers was unable to make the stop on the slick roads and knocked her to the ground. Her skull cracked as it struck hard against the pavement.
Frank woke with a jerk, sitting upright in bed, covered in sweat. His arms were covered in scratch marks and his stomach ached. This was the third night in a row he had inhabited this woman’s body in his dreams. Awake, and in his own body, he screamed out in terror.
If only he could have swerved the bus the other way.
John R. Herrman is a writer, native of the southern Chicago suburbs and a third generation member of the United Steelworkers. When he’s not working in the belly of a furnace, he is writing and publishing his short fiction at Writing from the Dark on Facebook. His flash fiction has also appeared in Fewer Than 500.