“Set Fire to the Rain”

2011 © All Rights Reserved


September 16, 1993

     Seventeen and alone.  It was dark and it was raining. The clothing Amari had worn  was just a little more than rags and she was soaked clean down to the bone.  Her conditions were miserable and she was in pain, but her only concern was for the safety of the child that she carried in her stomach.  Her baby girl was coming.  Coming right now into this cruel world whether Amari was ready for her or not.

     “Ow, Ow….Oowww,” she whined pitifully while squatting by a stump when another pain struck her unaware. “Breathe Amari,” she reminded herself barely above a whisper, “Breathe.”

     Her breaths were now coming in short pants as she tried to remain calm and count her way through the next contraction.  They were coming closer together and getting stronger by the minute.  Amari started to feel an insurmountable amount of pressure bearing down and she knew that it wouldn’t be long before her baby girl made her initial debut.  

     The sound of dogs barking was growing louder and had Amari looking behind her, cursing knowing that the soldiers were getting closer.  They were gaining on her and there was no way that she could let that happen.  Not until she was able to birth her baby and get her to safety.  Amari swore that she wouldn’t let them take her baby girl, not as long as she had breath in her lungs or a drop of blood left in her body.  She wouldn’t give them a chance to even lay a finger on her.

     Knowing that she needed to get moving she made an effort to stand up and took a deep breath in preparation.  She had to use the stump beside her to force herself into an erect position.  It was imperative now that she find a safe place to have her baby, away from the soldiers and away from the dogs and even more than that she was also well aware that time was definitely no longer on her side.

     “Come on Amari, you can do this.  You have to do this,” she told herself more determined now than ever while forcing her feet to trudge forward.  She had only gone no more than five feet when the next contraction suddenly struck her.

     “Damn!” She fiercely cursed holding on to her stomach.  Amari  made a move to squat down again and made her self breathe through the contraction.   Digging her hands into the mossy soaked ground she squeezed with everything that she had in her as the pain reached it’s peak.  

     “One, two, three…” Amari forced her self to count aloud until the pain finally started to recede.

     Feeling so helpless she could only look up to the night sky and let the rain wash away the hot tears from her face.

     “Please, if there is truly a higher being out there, please help me,” she pleaded aloud.

     Suddenly a sharp crack of lightning flashed in the sky illuminating the forest around her.  Everything that was black was not outlined with the bright white light of the lightning strike.  

     She dropped her head and wanted to weep.  Amari’s prayers had been answered.   A cave just feet from her appeared as pretty as you please and in that second she knew that was going to be the birthplace for her child.

     Her head suddenly whipped back around when another round of terrifying barks and snarls reached her ears signaling the that the dogs were hot on her tail.  There was no more time, she had to move and she needed to do it now.  Without thinking Amari used what strength she could muster and crawled towards the cave.