I don’t remember much about that day other than it being so long ago. I can still feel my body pressing against the cold metal of a table, the blinding white lights glaring down at me from above, the straps holding me in place. I couldn’t move, couldn’t breathe, and couldn’t fight the overwhelming fear that was crushing down upon me like a tonne of bricks.
Rosemary was strapped into an identical table beside me, her hair pulled off to one side exposing a small keyhole sized stainless steel rod jutting from the side of her skull. I whimpered. I couldn’t help her. I couldn’t help my sister. I wanted to cry out, to tear myself from these shackles and I couldn’t. I didn’t have the physical or mental strength to do so. And then I felt it; a pull from the navel upwards and outwards. You know that same suctioning feeling when you put your hand over the end of a vacuum cleaner? It felt like that, only a thousand times more powerful and then… Nothing.
I went limp, everything went black, I stopped breathing, and I died. Death was imminent and… perfect. All that fear, all that uncertainty, all that pain just slipped away into the nothingness. I don’t remember how long we were gone, how long we had been separated, before we found each other again. Many years had passed before we found ourselves in the pocket of a handsome young man who carried us around like we were good luck charms. The mason jars we were in clattered against one another with each step, rattling our souls against the jar walls, and shuddering us to the core.
Our new vessels were perfect. They were siblings, recently deceased, and our creator, the man who had been carrying us around for years, helped to give us a new lease on life. I was first. I felt that same navel suction, only this time is was a forceful push inwards. My chest cavity expanded when I took my first breath and the nerves in my brain refired. Next thing I knew, I was sitting up on an examination bench staring at my fingers and wiggling my toes. I was alive.
Rosemary was next.
She was cold and scared, but she wasn’t alone. I was there with her. I was there to grasp her hand and hold it tight when no one else was. Hearing her take her first breath was the most rewarding thing I’ve ever experienced. She was so beautiful, and the tattoos that sprung to life on her skin was the prettiest I’d ever seen. She was my sister, my family, my heart. I would protect her with my life, no matter how many limbs I lose in the process.