Janet felt the contractions while cleaning cages in the animal shelter.
The ambulance took her to St. Mark’s Hospital a mile away.
Seconds apart in an emergency room bed, identical twins, Brittney and Bethany, were pushed out of Janet’s womb, both lacking vocal cords.
While being held by their mother, they grabbed at each other’s necks like feral cats.
Dr. Gomez, first day in practice, realized they couldn’t breathe and scheduled emergency surgery.
They died on the operating table.
At the funeral, Janet watched two tiny black coffins lowered in their respective holes.
Now, the graves speak on their behalf.
* * *
John Lane has been working in the aerospace industry for twenty years. He has been published in Boston Literary Magazine, Fifty Word Stories, Mad Swirl, The Drabble, Trembling with Fearm CommuterLit and elsewhere. John has also been published in forthcoming anthologies by Christopher Fielden and Pure Slush. Currently a volunteer editor for 101 Words, he completed the Fast Flash Workshop with Kathy Fish and Embracing Uncertainty with Tricia Park. He is also an Army and National Guard Veteran.