Kolmanskop. CC photo by Damien du Toit.
Abigail hadn’t set foot in the desert town for years. From the looks of it, neither had anyone else. Just as well. Shifting dunes lumbered up and down the solitary street like herds of wandering bison. They’d bullied their way through doors and windows, filling bedrooms, kitchens and hallways alike with their spawn.
Abigail wound her way carefully through the labyrinth of living sands. She identified her destination—her birthplace—with the ease and assuredness of a wild salmon. She entered the abandoned home, moving slowly toward the nursery. Inside, a half-buried cradle peeked from the dusty lawn like a tombstone. She clutched her belly; concealed within her womb was a mass of rapidly dividing cells—not the child she’d hoped and prayed for, but a hideous would-be child turned malignancy that was eroding her tissues with deliberate patience.
Abigail was patient too. She settled in next to the cradle. Humming a lullaby, she closed her eyes and waited to be born again.