Saturday, May 15, 2010

Meus Culpa



This story has been removed to be polished and submitted into competitions.. wish me luck!



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Story inspired by the [Fiction Friday] prompt at Write Anything and submitted to JM Strother’s #FridayFlash via Twitter.

meus culpa - Latin (roughly) for " My Guilt"

Prompt - “I knew it was a mistake the moment it was over.”


Listen to the first draft on Audio Boo here

17 comments:

Adam B said...

Such a motherly tone that captures the anguish of lost sleep and fractured emotions. Same for us fathers, except the breastfeeding bit :)
Truthfully poignant.

Jen Brubacher said...

This has a very slow, weary and realistic feel. Perfect for the story.

I didn't actually know Michael was a baby until he started shrieking with his "tiny mouth"-- until then I thought he was a lover. Kind of a jolt. Was that intentional?

Walt said...

My initial thought was that Michael was a baby then I started to wonder if he was a lover. The suspense held until the resolution came at the end of the piece. Good work

Shelli said...

I agree with the others' comments. I think the ambiguity works, except with the use of the word ecstasy. To me, that tilted the scale a little too far on the lover side. Otherwise, I think you nailed the emotions of a new mom pretty well.

Jodi Cleghorn said...

I knew he was a baby - only because of another story you'd written Annie with this same ruse! And I agree with Jen about the rambling pace and the sort of disconnected, floating sense.

I disagree with Shelli - there is a definite ecstatic quality to breastfeeding - especially the first flood of oxytocin. Stories like this highlight the fact there is something delightful (and exhausting) about breastfeeding.

This story reminds me of the bittersweet moment of moving my son off my chest a few hours after he was born, and realising all too late what I had done - and bouncing his tiny screaming body for what seemed hours to get him settled again.

Laura Rachel Fox said...

Got me. Like the other readers, I jumped to the conclusion that Michael was a lover, but in the end, understanding the context, it works. Once you reveal the mother/child relationship, I see the whole story in another light. A light any mother can relate to. Why are they so precious when they're sleeping? I think it's to keep us from strangling them in their sleep . . .

A wonderful story with a real emotional pull.

Annie said...

Hi guys, thanks so much for your feedback! and yes - the words and feelings of ecstasy were deliberate - for myself and for many breastfeeding mothers; there is the feeling to wholeness, connection and bliss - followed by the sadness and disconnection when the physical disconnection occurs.
I am also passionate to bringing sexuality and sensuality BACK into the realms of birthing and breastfeeding. All too often - by media and popular culture mothers are de- sexualised and shunned as "a-sexual" beings ; the thought of them being sexual a culturally disgusting thing.

John said...

I, too, thought he was a lover. Great work turning it around!

http://johnpender.net/2010/05/fiction-friday-155/

Jen Brubacher said...

I think you really succeeded in your intention, Annie. I'm not a mother so I can't remark on the issue personally but I'm aware of the de-sexualization of mothers (particularity the polarity of mother vs. whore, anyway.) Kudos on creating such lovely fiction to fight against the trend.

I'm curious. I'm all for allowing women (and anyone) to embrace their sexuality. But the idea of sexuality with regards to the babies themselves... I'm not as convinced. Do you have any other literature about this, on your site or wherever? Or do you know of some explanation about it? I'd just like to know more. My gut instinct is to say "Mothers can be sexual, sure, but not with their children," but maybe that's not what you were getting at.

Hope that made sense.

Annie said...

Hi Jen - its not being sexual WITH their children - its about embracing all that is natural and not shutting off the sexual nature of birth and childrearing. I am pointing out that its the same hormones and sensations utilised when birthing and breastfeeding to being sexually aroused and active.
yes -there is literature about it - but start of with birthing and its (obvious) links to sensuality and sexuality - look up orgasmic birth to start with - a Fantastic DVD about the sensual journey to experiencing orgasm and birth. It will yank chains and completely challenge cultural beliefs.

Jen Brubacher said...

Thanks, Annie! I think I understand what you're getting at and I also think I'll look into it a bit more.

I've had conversations about this sort of thing before-- how breasts are sexual one moment (like, during sex) and then suddenly not at all (supposedly) during breastfeeding. There's a lot to it.

Annie said...

ha ha - you haven't even touched on half of it!! ( and you happen to have nudged me onto one of my soap boxes.

jodi and I wrote a book - check out out website - http://reclaimsexafterbirth.com

about reclaiming sexuality after birthing.

Megan from Imaginif said...

Love it. I must also be mother weary and oh so over the boring sex thing because I recognized the inherent weariness and time despair immediately....I mean, really, how good can an orgasm be compared to a cup cake! I would much rather get up and clean so I could then cook and dirty everything up again! NOT!!!!

The use of the baby's name is interesting though - no name shortening (as in, Mikey) hinted at ambiguity - is it a lover or a loved one? The constant use of his name suggested tenderness but not intimacy.

Great little piece and I LOVED the quick read. You've packed it well with sufficient queues to keep the readers mind active and looking for the next hook.

Carrie said...

Wow, yeah you caught me with your twist as well. Oh man those days...eh. Still going through absurd hours of waking. Great story Annie.

Icy Sedgwick said...

I love this! I didn't anticipate that ending at all...I don't have kids, so I can't relate, but yet you've still written something that I can read and connect to. Lovely story.

ganymeder said...

Loved the ambiguity. Thought he was lover at first also. Had to reread after I got to the 'tiny mouth' part. Great job.

clairegillian said...

It worked on 2 levels for me and therefore succeeded. I loved it. Good job. Your reading of it was excellent too.