Contest Entry by Madiha Akhtar: ‘Voices’

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Contestant Name: Madiha Akhtar

Topic: Voices

“What was ambition? A gilded misery or a secret poison? A harvest of regrets or a crop of disappointments?” She mused, staring at the petals torn off daisy held in her hand.

Suddenly her mind started drifting in the darkness of the past.

“Is it safe?” Aleya inquired nervously.
“Don’t you worry!” The doctor responded mechanically.

With doctoral study at it’s final stage, a high profile job, and two growing kids, her unplanned pregnancy seemed nothing but a burden, an intrusion, creating a host of challenges for her. She wanted to get rid of it as quickly as possible.

The abortion was a short procedure that ended with heavy bleeding and severe pain.

It was all she wished for yet something went wrong. To Aaleya’s surprise, a queer depressive feeling started invading her peace.

The gay exuberance of ambition was suddenly lost in the dark, relentless abyss of pain.

Remorse, guilt, shame; she felt scarred for life.

“Owh..,” an abrupt cry of a baby jolted her out of her reflections. “The Lighthouse”, Her shelter home for abandoned babies was currently inhabiting fifteen infants. This one came last week. Aleya lifted him from the crib and kissed his forehead. A tear rolled down her cheek.

“Mommy it’s alright!”

“Mommy don’t cry!”

Tender voices of forgiveness and healing started playing out in the quietest chambers of her heart. The voices of her own baby that she was still carrying with her.

Total words: 239

This is a short story entry by PLB member Madiha Akhtar.

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Mehreen Farhan

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