Friday Fictioneers – Incubus

Photo Prompt © Roger Bultot

There’s a stranger in my womb, a cuckoo in my nest. I’m great with another woman’s child. I know I should feel grateful she donated her egg for me, but it seems like I’m incubating it for her.

Will I learn to love this thing spawning inside me? They say every mother does, but that’s not true. Some never bond with their child, even when it’s natural. I feel you in me, demon. The end days are here, and I have nowhere to run.


Friday fictioneers is a weekly challenge set by Rochelle Wisoff Fields to write a 100-word story in response to a photo prompt. You can find other stories here

88 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers – Incubus

  1. I’m glad Rochelle asked the question, and you answered it. I was wondering, too, what the connection was. This is a compelling piece, scary but not too far from a reality that modern science has created. Good write.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I like the story, Neil, but the comments confuse me!
    The narrator is only a surrogate, surely, if she did not plan to keep the baby but to hand it over at birth. Or have I misunderstood the whole thing?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Well! Having never had children, this brought up all the thoughts I’ve ever had about pregnancy. Like “What the heck? There’s an alien inside me!” and “No, that does not feel right.” I realize your story is taking on more than that but . . .

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is a very troubled voice, well conveyed. At a time when the woman should be overjoyed that the implant was successful, she has growing alarm about the unavoidable outcome. Shades of Rosemary’s Baby, but in your story the conception was apparently by consent which somehow makes it even darker.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Disturbibg. The end of days allusion is worrying, as if the decision to undergo in vitro fertilization –if im using the right terms–was a decision made before the general state of the world went south, and now is a sourcce of some regret.

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  6. Maternal instincts are natural. It is true, some women may have less maternal instincts. Everyone is different. Thank you for sharing a different take.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What a lot you’ve encompassed with this story by including so many allusions to supernatural matters. And yet it can also be read absolutely straight as a woman whose state of mind has been perturbed by the process of pregnancy from a donated egg. Clever writing, Neil!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. The intellect and the emotions going to war against each other, especially with the craziness of pregnancy hormones mixed in. Many a pregnant mother has asked beforehand similar questions to, “What if I stink at being a mom? What if I don’t bond with the baby?” And her case is complicated. You expressed her fears so well.

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  9. Ah man, I can only imagine how terrifying that would be- when my cousin was pregnant she likened the experience to carrying an alien parasite and hoping she’d love it when it slid out. As a society I guess we take it for granted that the father bonds with his baby once he sees it. And put a disproportionate amount of pressure on the mother to bond while it is still only an “alien parasite”.

    Great story man- gave me something cool to think about 🙂

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  10. You’ve done a great job expressing her resentment and disgust at having another woman’s “demon” inside her. On a personal note, I can’t help relating to the protagonist, as I’ve always considered pregnancy to be a parasite invasion (thus would never voluntarily go through that myself). Very creative take on the prompt.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. A powerful piece of writing, Neil. Although she’s carrying the child, she seems detached from him/her. Her words, “I know I should feel grateful she donated her egg for me, but it seems like I’m incubating it for her” convey this. And her fear, desperation and resignation come through in the last words about the end days and having nowhere to run. She’s in this now and has to stick with it, whether she wants to or not. I hope that she will end up bonding with the child, though.

    Liked by 1 person

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