_Readers discretion is advised_
A short story
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED_
My bathroom is the coldest place in my house. Sometimes it's so cold that I can see clouds escaping from my mouth. As soon as I enter this freezing place, I finish my business and leave quickly.
However, today I was forced to stay in this bathroom, squashed into this tiny bathtub, for god knows how long.
The single window ahead of me is mildly dirty. There's woodlice scattering against the window ledge, completely ignoring my cries of help.
Throwing my head back, I let out another ear, piercing scream. Dust swirls around me frantically, while my fingernails scratch and peel away at the skin of the wall.
I'm trying to focus on the window only. That small, dirty window, where he likes to smack my head against.
That frosted window, where he squashes my face against the glass and he repeatedly calls me 'Crack Head', as he abuses my weak body.
That little window where I look outside and pray that someone - anyone - will see me, but no one does. Even my reflection doesn't see me.
Don't look down, I tell myself. Or else you will drown in your blood.
It's getting dark now. I've been here for over thirteen hours, thrashing around in this unholy water while I'm tearing my flesh apart.
My skin is turning red, as if my arteries and veins are exposed, and I'm shriveling away like an old person's wrinkles.
It's so cold. My wrinkly toes are very, very cold that I can't feel them. I expect the coldness to seep through my legs and punch my guts away, but it stops. Then the ice attacks my fingers.
The rest of my body shivers. The coldness kills every bit of me. My nose. My cheeks. My legs. My arms. My stomach that is exploding with death.
Goosebumps mark my skin, but it's so cold that even the goosebumps don't stay.
Nothing ever stays. Maybe it's better that way.
I'm breathing heavily, fighting for every bit of breath, although I don't know why I bother. I scoop the baby from the pool of blood and I hold it in my arms.
It's wrinkly, like my boiled skin, and it's painted in my blood. It looks like a bald toothless maggot. The skin is gray like the ashes from a lit cigarette.
Its eyes are gray too - like a blue fire that's died and all that remains is a dull smoke.
The baby isn't crying, but I am.
I pick myself up from the suicidal bathtub and my frozen feet touch the muddy, wet tiles. The cabinet mirror is shattered and its glass pieces are scattered everywhere.
The glasses dig into my feet, causing blood to stain the path that I walk. If I'm not careful, I might slip and crack the baby's head open. I don't want to see any more blood.
Viciously, I throw the ugly placenta into the toilet and I flush it away. I would never eat that. Who could possibly eat that? I'd rather hang myself with that hideous, bloodstained rope.
Then I see a lone mouse standing sentry at the bottom of the tub. My only friend. He's looking at me and the creature in my arms with curious eyes.
"This is a gray baby. Isn't it beautiful?" I say, holding the creature towards my little friend.
The mouse scuttles away. Maybe he doesn't like the rotten smell. Maybe he's feeling shy. Or maybe he hates bastards. I will miss him.
I clean the baby with my apologetic tears. I feel its tiny, shaking body -- it's deadly cold. It has been naked for so long, yet it isn't crying.
I wrap it in a blanket that is woven from silkworms. I refuse to feed it my poisoned milk. Instead, the baby is fed dried basil leaves. It chokes on the leaves, but it still doesn't cry.
Soon, it falls asleep in my arms. It doesn't breathe, it doesn't move. It looks peaceful. Maybe it's dead.
"I will find you a mother," I whisper to the gray statue.
For the first time, in a long time, I step outside. The night is completely black. There are no stars in the morbid sky. I feel coldness slapping me fiercely with every step I take.
The arms of the tall, black trees are fighting. The wind whistles fiercely, as if it is cheering over the fight. Maybe the trees will fall and squash me and the baby.
Or maybe not. I'm standing outside a stranger's doorstep. I ring their doorbell frantically - three times - and I set the sleeping baby on their 'welcome' doormat.
There is a note that I've also left behind. It reads: 'This is Z. A gift for you.'
As I'm returning to my empty house, the sky cries. It is nature's best shower. A cold, cold shower. Grabbing the kitchen knife, I head towards the freezing, dirty bathroom.
My most intimate, private place.
I will finally sleep tonight in the suicidal bathtub.