…it all fell silent.
And the gasping below the dirt quieted, and the flower was gone, and the hedge was still tall, but not full of fingers, and the radio had shut up under the glare of the two suns. And kneeling to the grass near where the mound of dirt had lain, he ran a finger over the still face of his wife, pale and still; brushing the single tear that stuck to the side of her face.
And from the other side of the hedge he heard the neighbors that were the doctors, mutter that the NICU wasn’t needed, and they uttered a time of death.
And he felt a hand on his shoulder and…
…he woke in a jolt, gasping and confused, like all who dream are, and he look about, blind in the dark, and he was scared so he reached for her side of the bed and felt the emptiness. Brow crinkling, he listened for the crib where the baby should be making noise, and heard nothing, and he looked to the door, with exhausted eyes and saw it propped open, just as he left it.
But he didn’t remember that, and thought
“Couch,” as he fell back to the pillow. “She’s taken him out to the couch.”
And he fell back asleep.