Bartleby Snopes
A Literary Magazine

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deathbirth  (November 2008 Story of the Month)


               by Christopher T.Dabrowski (translated from Polish to English by Monika Olasek)

 

I remember a bright, blinding light, the feeling of immeasurable happiness and all-embracing love. I was awaked from that state. Sucked into a dark tunnel. Grasped by two luminous creatures. The wonderful light was further and further away until it completely disappeared... paradise lost. I did not feel any fear, everything was delightfully neutral.

When we flew down to the ground the creatures released me. I was next to my own body. I just stood there and watched. At first I did not care at all – as if I was watching some boring museum piece – but then something made me enter that body and my feelings changed completely. I woke to life. I was lying on the pavement, feeling as if I had a big weight on my chest. I slowly came to my senses. It was my deathbirth – I appeared to this world with a massive heart attack.

 

In one moment I saw the whole life in front of me. The strangest thing was that I knew every detail of it ever since I was a little child. I knew that for some forty or fifty years I would be a librarian and my dreams of being a real writer would never come true. What a cruelty – a man appears to this world and knows that he will be nobody, that his future will bear a lot of boring years full of disappointment and the feeling of unfulfillment.

The worst thing is the knowledge that everyone has to live to his unbirth; mine will be in 78 years, three months and five days. For some period in life the passing of years is a blessing. You are still stronger, affected by less and less diseases. You get more and more fit, both corporally and intellectually. Unfortunately, when you are a bit over twenty the first symptoms of what is still in front of you are beginning to show. You make more and more stupid things. You have less and less life experience and money. Finally you end up totally financially dependant on your parents. You go to a university and get still more stupid. The maximum of dumbness is at the beginning of the primary school. You get juvenile dementia. You cannot read or write. The state of your mind is disastrous.

 

When I recall the youth that is still before me, I remember the family dinners. It will be a real, everyday rite. It begins when a mother smudges plates and cutlery in a sink and then goes backward towards the table. She puts all the dirty dishes on the table and then in various order we sit down and begin our meal. At first I unchew food coming out of my guts. At the end of this unchewing a piece of pork chop comes out of my mouth. I immediately stick my fork into it and put the meat on my dirty plate. After a while I add another piece into that bite and within a quarter of an hour I have a whole, hot and fresh pork chop!

After dinner, when everything is on the plates, my mother takes it to the kitchen to put our dinner divided into various parts into the fridge. What happens next with the meal? After a few days the mother takes it out of the fridge, puts into bags and goes with my father to take it back to the store. They come back with a lot of new money in their wallets. The only problem with the dinners is that afterwards you are usually hungry for a while...

 

Childhood is a nightmare. You shrink, lose your mind. You spend more and more time playing silly, careless games like unbuilding block houses or sandcastles. As time passes by, you know fewer and fewer words. Then you start emitting strange sounds and cannot even poo on your own. These are the symptoms of infancy, when you shrink drastically and don't have much awareness. It has, however, some advantages – including the fact that you are not aware of the coming unbirth. And it is the end of your way down here. It happens when you are as dumb as a bowl of pudding. You go with your mother to the hospital and her organism absorbs you. Then you are carried around in her belly for 9 months until you completely disappear, but you don’t care – you don’t exist.

 

Back to my life. Now I am 78. In three years my lovely wife, Anne, will be deathborn. Now my memories of her are a bit pale because of the passing of time but I know that they will come back with a blaze of colors and sharpness at the moment of her deathbirth.

Before the moment of deathbirth and before the soul steps down, the body must mature in the insides of the Mother-Earth. A skeleton is created from the dust, and then it is covered with guts and muscles, and with epidermis. A few days before the deathbirth, the body is cold and pale. We take it out of the ground at a place called the cemetery. As time passes by, the soul penetrates into the body and a new life begins.

After my wife was deathborn I felt as if somebody turned something on in my head, starting a new way of perception of the reality. It was the end of my solitude. Now she was a part of my life. I felt a deep friendship and connection, as if she was a part of me. In a moment I realized all thick and thin, that will be a part of our life. In 54 years we will have a passionate, full-of-ecstasy romance, which will precede... her disappearance from my life. It is horrible, that I will have to lose her one day. One day I will forget that she ever existed. It is so depressing that words can hardly describe it; unfortunately, everyone has to go through this.

   

Soon my parents will be deathborn, only a few years after the deathbirth of my wife. Their souls will enter their bodies during a terrible car-crush. They will be the ones to accompany me in my last moments.

 

It is funny how mankind is going dumb. Something exists and then it doesn’t. People use inventions that disappear – the scientists forget about them. And so we recede in an unexplained way – and it is natural. Our civilization fades away.  I don’t know what happened before my deathbirth. Unfortunately it is so, that with every moment we forget what happened a while ago. We lose it irretrievably. I imagine that as humankind we were far more advanced. From different sciences I will be taught at schools when I will be young, I will learn that our civilization is on the decline. There will be two cruel world wars. The computers, television sets and cars will disappear. We will end up as wild ape-men with clubs but... but it is not my problem. I have 78 years of dull, predictable life and a few moments of joy. I will long for them before the end of my life comes.


BIO: Krzysztof T. DÄ…browski was born on 9. November 1978, in Lodz, Poland. He currently lives in Krakow, Poland. He has published his stories in the following magazines: "Grabarz Polski", "Trismegista", "Twój Dobry Humor", "Kozirynek", "Tygiel Kulturalny", "Witchersin"(USA),"Navychod" (Czech Republic) and "Juvenatrix" (Brasil), and in Web portals "Carpenoctem", "Arenahorror.pl", "Horror.com.pl", "Outpost", "Portalkryminalny.pl" and "Fanstazie.sk" (Slovakia).

In October 2008, he was awarded in a "In the circle of sensation" literary contest organized by Portalkryminalny.pl, and a collection of his stories entitled "Deathbirth" was published by Armoryka publishing house.

He studied direction, but just as many of this specialization's graduates, he did not become a director. His main interests are literature, music, psychology, parapsychology, erotics, cinema and history. He likes traveling and healthy living.