“Jez, it’s the cops. I have to stop.”
Dustin stopped, despite Jez’s screams of protest. Half from the contractions and half from wanting to get to the hospital faster.
“I need to get–need to get to–”
“I know, I know. I’ll explain it to the officer.”
Jez huffed and puffed. She flipped Dustin off with the British two-finger salute. The backwards peace sign she appropriated as a “fuck you” from her stepfather, who said her mother (also a non-Brit Canadian) used on him. Dustin got it from Jez often.
“Oh God,” she said, dropping her hands to grab at the seat. “God in Heaven. Please, my love…”
Dustin put the car in park and kept his hands on the wheels. Jez was doing her… God thing again. He hoped she wouldn’t say anything to the cop. The guy would think Dustin kidnapped her from a mental ward.
“Don’t mention your boyfriend,” said Dustin. “Please. Just for a minute, be quiet.”
Jez moaned. A little quieter at least. Then her breathing seemed to steady. And slow.
The cop was at the window. Dustin rolled it down.
“Son, do you have any idea how fast–”
“Officer, I’m sorry but my friend is in labour. I need to get to the hospital.”
The cop frowned and looked to the passenger seat.
“Is she asleep?” he asked.
Dustin said, “What?” and looked back to Jez. Her eyes were closed, and her chin was flat on her chest, her nose nearly touching her bulbous belly.
“Jez? Hey, Jez?”
Dustin tried to rouse her, shaking her shoulder a little. She didn’t move. He patted her cheek gently, if a little excitedly. Still, she didn’t make a sound.
“Son, open the passenger door, right now.”
Dustin didn’t notice the officer was already on the other side of the car. He unlocked the doors, and the cop yanked the side door open.
He put his fingers to her neck.
“Why are you doing that?” said Dustin, fear pitched in his voice. “Why would you–”
“Step out of the car now, son.”
The officer radioed for an ambulance, waving for his partner, who was still in the cop car.
The other cop, a woman, helped pull Jez from the car, laying her flat on the road with both officers’ coats as blankets beneath her. The woman began CPR.
It all happened quickly. The ambulance arrived. Carried Jez to the hospital. They couldn’t revive her, so they focused on saving the baby. Thankfully, they succeeded.
“Are you the father?” one of the doctors asked Dustin.
“No. No, I’m her friend. I’m–”
“Where is the father?”
Dustin bit his lip. How could he tell them? How could he explain?
“She didn’t tell me.”
“So you don’t know?”
“Get me someone who does.”
“Sir, please give me the contact information for her parents or her–”
“Nobody knows. She said…”
“She said it was God.”
“That God… impregnated her. I don’t know.”
“An immaculate conception?”
“That’s what I asked her. She said it was maculate. That God… that they… that she loved him, and he loved her back. Loved her back.”
The doctor’s eyes appeared incredulous above that white mask.
A moment later, another doctor entered the room. She had the baby, all swaddled up. It was a girl, she said.
A girl. She had her mother’s red hair. Her mother’s protruding ears. Her mother’s birthmark on her shoulder. And when that little baby saw Dustin, she recognized him. He could tell she did. A tiny hand reached out. But instead of grabbing at anything, she twisted her hand to face her. Then gave Dustin the two-finger salute.
It wasn’t Jez’s daughter. It was Jez. The human phoenix.
Today’s three random prompt categories were, “A woman who dies in labour and is reborn as her own child,” (that one I stole from a Reddit writing prompt), “Pulled over by the cops,” and “A sexual relationship with God.”
I’m a messed-up person. I know.