birth by ajizai


JENNY MOLLING (30’s), short, blond-haired, and noticeably
pregnant, struggles to lock her front door. She clutches her
stomach with her left-hand, jostling with her car keys in
her right. She walks, off-balance, her body shifting from
side to side, to her silver PRIUS parked next to the garage.
She drops her keys and does a step-by-step motion to pick
them up: a slow bending over, with her hand on her back as
support. She picks them up and starts toward the car again.
When she reaches the driver’s side door, she stabs the key
into the metal, scraping the paint. She finds the lock and
opens the door.
Jenny backs out, speeding out of a long driveway.

Jenny recklessly drives, passing motorists on a
double-yellow street and breaking the speed limit by at
least thirty miles per hour.

She bashes at her broken radio, urging it to play.
In her rear view mirror, Jenny sees sirens and flashing blue
and red lights in the background.

A cop car quickly approaches, nearing the woman’s PRIUS and
indicating for her to pull over. OFFICER BOB WHARTON leans
his head out the window and screams.
                    OFFICER BOB WHARTON
          Pull over, or we will open fire.

Jenny stops her car on the shoulder of the road. Officer
Wharton parks behind her. He approaches her car, taking off
his Aviators and his police cap in two slow motions. He
sticks his head inside the window.

All of a sudden the radio turns on. Loud. Ludcaris’s "MOVE
BITCH, GET OUT THE WAY" blares to life out of the car’s
speakers, frightening Officer Wharton. He jumps back away
from the PRIUS.

CONTINUED:                                               2.

The lady turns off the radio, embarrassed and frantic.
                       OFFICER BOB WHARTON
             License and registration please,

Jenny fumbles around in her glove compartment as the officer
leans against the side of the car. He’s a state trooper,
wearing brown suspenders and his badge, gold, across his
chest: OFFICER ROBERT P. WHARTON. His head is far above the
top of the car, and his height is intimidating. He peers
through the window.
                        OFFICER BOB WHARTON
             Hands on the dashboard. I will
             shoot you.

The officer draws his weapon, pointing the pistol at the
                       JENNY MOLLING
             I’m pregnant, I’m pregnant. I’m
             driving to the hospital.

Jenny points a finger to her stomach, which is about an inch
away from the steering wheel. She can barely fit in the car.
Officer Wharton stands there, not saying anything, weapon
still drawn at the woman.

                       OFFICER BOB WHARTON
             Step out of the car. I didn’t get
             the county’s top award letting fake
             pregnant people speed away. Right,

Officer Wharton motions his head to OTHER OFFICER BOB, his
partner. Other Bob has opened the police car’s passenger
side door, and his pants are at his ankles. He’s peeing on
the side of the road. He’s significantly shorter than
Officer Wharton. He speaks over this shoulder, and no one
can really see his head behind the open door.
                       OTHER BOB
             Right Bob, right. Top award.

Jenny exits the car, holding her stomach in the palm of her
left hand. Officer Wharton continues to point his weapon at
                       JENNY MOLLING
             I’m having a baby. My husband’s not
             answering his phone. I had to leave
CONTINUED:                                               3.

                       JENNY MOLLING (cont’d)
             him a message. I just moved here,
             and I know no one. I’m driving

Officer Wharton looks at her with suspicion. He checks the
car over with his eyes a couple of times. He attempts to
smell the interior from where he’s standing, about five feet
away from the vehicle. His nostrils are flaring.
                        OFFICER BOB WHARTON
             We’re going to have to do a
             sobriety test. I’m going to have to
             ask you to recite the alphabet
                       JENNY MOLLING
             Z...Y...X...R...I’m having a
             fucking baby. Get me to a hospital.
Officer Wharton tightens his grip on his gun. Jenny cringes,
a look of complete pain and frustration in her face.

                       OFFICER BOB WHARTON
             I’m going to have to ask you to
             walk in a straight line. Like so--
Officer Wharton demonstrates how to do the walk. He places
his right foot forward, and his left foot directly behind,
his toes touching his other heel. He alternates feet,
walking towards his police car.
                       OFFICER BOB WHARTON
             Keep an eye on her while I do this.
             Will you, Bob?

Other Bob sleeps in his passenger side seat, peanut shells
drooling out of his mouth and onto his uniform.
                       OFFICER BOB WHARTON
             Bob. Oh, fuck it. Do it now, miss.
             Walk a straight line.

                       JENNY MOLLING
             I’m fucking pregnant. What don’t
             you understand? I’m about to have a
             baby. My water’s going to break.

CONTINUED:                                                 4.

                       OFFICER BOB WHARTON
             Walk. Or I’m going to have to
             subdue you. That’s no way to talk
             to an officer of the law.

Officer Wharton reaches for his cuffs. He displays them on
his index finger, teasing Jenny. He points to the spot where
he wants her to start walking.
Jenny struggles to walk, swaying from side to side, about to
topple over. She barely moves ten feet.

                       OFFICER BOB WHARTON
             To the ground, bitch. To the
             ground. Get on the fucking ground.
Jenny remains still, unmoving, grabbing her stomach and
mumbling, moaning.
                       OFFICER BOB WHARTON
             Do not make me exercise force. I
             repeat: Do not make me exercise

Jenny goes to the ground, lying on her back. She says
                       OFFICER BOB WHARTON
             On your stomach. Get on your
Jenny rolls over on her side, trying to avoid letting her
stomach sit directly on the asphalt.

Officer Wharton puts her in cuffs, helping her up and
walking her back towards the police car.
                         JENNY MOLLING
             I’m not   drunk you idiot. I’m going
             to have   a god damn baby. Do you
             want to   be the godfather? I’ll make
             you the   fucking godfather, just
             take me   to the damn hospital.
A man driving a large SUV, appearing to be a black FORD
EXPLORER, speeds past them. Rock and dirt get blown in their
                       JENNY MOLLING
             That’s my husband. That’s my
             husband. Will you let me go?

CONTINUED:                                             5.

Jenny points at the car that just went by them, waving her
finger repeatedly. Officer Wharton runs back to his car,
leaving Jenny in the handcuffs. He puts on the sirens,
chasing after the FORD EXPLORER.

Jenny stands on the side of the road, cuffed, watching the
car chase, confused and dumbfounded.
A lone tear runs down her cheek.

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