turning into my mother

“Well,” you say. “I guess I’m finally turning into my mother.” Little did you know that uttering those exact words would trigger an irreversible physical transformation into the woman who gave you life! If only you could take them back. You’d do anything to take them back. But you can’t!

Oh my God, you’ve started turning into your mother, literally! Immediately you notice the first of the changes radiate across your skin. You’re struck with a cold, clear sense of recognition: this is actually happening. Your body is beginning to age at an alarmingly rapid rate! What are you going to do? What will happen to your actual mother? Will you lose even your own mind as the metamorphosis continues? There is no way to tell. These are truly uncharted waters.

Your hands! Your beautiful, beautiful hands! Your knuckles pulse into red, swollen knobs. Your nailbeds crack and grow yellow. Your veins erupt and boil along the surface of your hands, leaving deep and rutted scars. Dark spots bleed into existence with terrifying speed as you realize that your skin has puckered into hopelessly soft folds, ready to snag and gape open at the slightest provocation.

Your ruined hands fly up to your neck and face as you realize the transformation has washed over them too. Your nose elongates, your earlobes droop, your hair thins and crisps into grey fragments while you paw at your crumbling, shattered visage.

You try to speak – to choke out something, anything that might halt the process – but your vocal cords have grown loose and old – it is not your voice that you hear but the harsh rasp of the crone! “No,” she croaks. “No, please. My face. My beauty. My youth. Give them back. I wasn’t finished. I wasn’t finished.”

Your uterus crumples and deflates along the inexorable route to decrepitude and obsolescence. The fetus you did not even know existed within you enacts a hurried life in a microcosm of your own. She grows fingers, kidneys, a face; opens her eyes, develops total self-awareness, knows you as her root and home and grave; develops her own crude and rudimentary language; loves and walks alone and speaks to no one. She writes the story of her life on the walls of her tomb; she withers and dies, a tiny, motionless corpse; she is reabsorbed into your thin uterine lining and is gone.

Somewhere in the night, your own mother turns over in her bed and cries out suddenly, as a knife enters her heart. The transformation is complete.