by Davian Aw

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Maggie McCain via Creative Commons

Tom finished the injection and watched her face with bated breath, searching Mara’s lifeless eyes for a flicker of awareness. He grasped her hand, hoping for warmth, but his wife’s body remained as cold and still as it had been since the day she died.

Five minutes passed. Ten. Thirty-five. Rain pattered on the tent of the makeshift laboratory standing stubbornly amidst the sleeping graves.

Tom pulled away with a wretched sob. Fifteen attempts. Fifteen failures. He let out a yell and swung his arm at all his useless, useless science. Test tubes and beakers crashed to the ground. Solutions bled into the soil. A year he had worked, since they’d got the diagnosis; a year, and all of it come to naught.

He collapsed by the coffin and gripped its edge in trembling desperation.

“Mara,” he begged. “Wake up. Please. Come back to me, Mara, please, please…”

She did not respond. Tom swallowed down tears. He touched her face in final caress and left a quavering kiss upon the cold skin.

He pulled the heavy lid back over the coffin and picked up the shovel to bury his wife.

Mara still did not move nor make a sound.

She couldn’t. But she was trying.

She was trying very, very, hard to scream.


Davian AwDavian Aw’s writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Strange Horizons, Daily Science Fiction, Stone Telling, Star*Line and Plasma Frequency. He lives in Singapore, and is the proud owner of a tomato plant with no tomatoes on it. Some of his published writing is linked over at https://davianaw.wordpress.com/writing/