The moment I regained consciousness, there was nothing.
See nothing, smell nothing— But strangely, wherever I was, there was a peculiar lightness to this place. It was as if I was embraced inside a warm cocoon of darkness.
Badump. Badump. Badump.
Although I was deprived the majority of my primary senses, hearing was an exception. I could clearly pick up the distinct thumping rhythm like that of a heartbeat and a small muffled hum coming from outside.
But outside, where? Just where exactly am I? What is this?
“I hope you’ll come out healthy and strong my child,” a soft muffled voice came from outside again.
When was the last time I felt this peaceful?
The unfamiliar hum continued and soon lulled me into a strange state of tranquility as I was shortly pulled back into the void.
“Madam! Madam!!!” a shrill nasally voice panicked.
In a flash, the veil of serenity was cut short.
“Hurry! Call the midwife,” a deep authoritative voice commanded as he tried to keep his voice calm.
“Take slow and deep breaths, dear.”
Sensing the panic and commotion outside, I was jolted awake, only to be greeted by the familiar darkness.
“Madam, I think it's about time for you to deliver your child,” someone prompted.
I did not know who spoke those words, but it sounded alarming. When I tried to speak, no words came out— to be precise, there was an absurd amount of fluid that had encroach my mouth preventing me from even making a sound. It was strange. I wasn’t drowning. It was as if I, a human being was naturally inclined to breathe in water.
Just what the hell is going on?
The chaos outside seemed to also reflect my inner turmoil and confusion as if my brain short-circuited. Floundering for answers that certainly would never be satisfied, deducing events prior to this, it provoked a vague restlessness.
What does she mean by delivering a child? A child? What child? I don’t remember—
Within my fuzzled headspace, the freed chains of freethought and the recollected pieces of identity slowly began to form a convoluted web of sentience. I struggled internally to process the sudden deluge of information that seemed to endlessly pour out of nowhere.
Then, a lifetime of memories registered.
A clear answer dawned on me as I released an unnerving speculation:
Am I inside someoe?
After narrowing every possibility accompanied by the newfound awareness I was left with an existential dread at the thought of being born. That damned god placed me in a fully conscious fetus. Not even giving me a chance to enjoy being a blissfully unaware newborn.
With no choice but to supress the feelings of unease after knowing what was about to happen next, I tried not to think too deeply about it. Afterall, it didn't make it any better that I was fully immersed consciously inside of someone.
Pressure builds around me as I brace myself for what’s coming.
They say childbirth is the most joyous occasion… I wasn’t looking forward to celebrating the beginning of my life’s adversity.
After what felt like an eternity had passed, I felt a forceful squeeze and soon my tunneled vision approached a bright light.
There was a brief moment of repose before my mind registered the crisp cold air. I flailed around to look for a source of warmth. Suddenly, as if my life support had been cut, this body violently thrashed in distress, an uncontrolled limbic behavior as I desperately craved oxygen. With only a newborn’s primitive reflex, all I could do was struggle to get free.
Finally, overwhelmed by the change of environment, this body could finally adapt as I cried my first breath.
The people around me rejoiced and sighed in relief.
Everything was blurry even in the womb, but now I could only see nothing but figures of distorted shadows.
A monochromatic world.
I was startled by the lack of colors as I perceived my surroundings. Everything felt surreal like a badly made grayscale film.
"My! isn't she so calm?" A hoarse voice of a female, probably the midwife spoke, carefully cradling my newborn self in a soft blanket.
I was, on the contrary, not calm, lady.
Perhaps I might have stayed frozen throughout my mother's birthing process while silently wishing for it to end soon. But despite this body’s inability to see, I still had unbelievable perceptions.
My instant ability to comprehend what the people in this room are saying with such clarity and understanding was by no means normal.
There was a brief moment when I felt a little grateful to Saklas for allowing me to understand this world’s native languages.
It wasn’t long before the overwhelming fatigue rushed into my system as if the previous rush of adrenaline had died down.
"Agu... Uwa..." I shifted uncomfortably, only faint coos came out.
The desperate attempt at survival had died down and hunger settled in. A blind desire for nourishment that ignored my higher wills. I couldn’t rely on sight as everything was murky and dark, however, there was this scent.
Feeling that I was placed atop the woman’s belly, my newborn body carefully followed the stimulating odor, only to find someone’s breasts.