And now, Scary-Crayon presents...
Happy Mother's Day (a scary-crayon short story)
by: Wes

They say that all mothers care for their children.

They lie.

Some mothers view their motherhood as a mistake, an accident -- even when the births of their children had been planned.

Women are supposed to grow up, get married, have children -- this is what society tells us. This is the part relegated to women. In most cases, women don the garb of the dutiful wife, the loving mother, and play their part on the American stage without protest.

But sometimes they regret it.

As they grow old, mothers look back upon their lives and realize that their lives might have been richer, more exciting, more pleasant and enjoyable if they had never gone through the labor pains in the first place. They realize that they gave up their lives to raise their children.

And sometimes they come to resent their children, to despise their children, because they find that sacrificing their lives to this idyllic depiction of "family" touted by society was hardly worth it -- the price was too high. Now they want their lives back.

But it's too late.

Some mothers would have been happier if they had never been mothers at all.

Some mothers curse themselves for having decided to become mothers.

What, then, does the child of such a mother get his or her mother on Mother's Day?

In his secret basement laboratory, the son of such a mother asked himself the very same question. Upstairs, his mother was flipping through the family photo albums, crying and cursing everyone -- her children, her husband, herself, and the world that had damned her to that horrendous, stifling fate of mother and homemaker. She could have been an astronaut! But her life had been wasted changing diapers and setting curfews and scrubbing floors and washing dishes. And so she wept and shouted at the photos of her family, all its members smiling for the camera as if they were the perfect realization and end of American happiness and contentment. All lies.

But the son, despite being such a disgrace in the eyes of his mother and the greatest object of her resentment -- except, perhaps, for herself -- was determined to get the perfect Mother's Day gift for the woman who had given him life, though, in truth, he could not say that the gift of life had been at all pleasant. He considered the possibility of killing himself to mark the occasion -- that, at least, would afford his mother some measure of freedom from her lamentable motherhood, with the added benefit of freeing him from his own depressing existence -- but that would not completely rectify the crime. His mother's life was already largely gone. No, to give his mother what she really wanted, the son would have to go back in time and prevent his own birth.

Fortunately for all parties, in his secret basement laboratory, the son had actually created a time machine of sorts. Through meditations on the relativity of time on an individual level, the son had discovered that intense thinking can have the effect of slowing time within a certain radius. The effect is even greater during sleep.

This radius usually only encompasses the individual, but when a number of individuals engage in such deep thought, the area effected is even greater -- this, you see, explains that anachronistic aura that surrounds a number of universities and other such institutions. Even the places of historic battles, haunted with the complex thoughts of dying men and those that necessarily arise in the minds of tourists as they contemplate the grave events that took place at these unfortunate sites, evince this slowing of time on a grander scale.

But these methods pertain directly to the slowing and near-stopping of time -- not to its reversal -- for these methods of time manipulation are very much dependent upon the present and the past. Moreover, these rely upon events and actions. To reverse the flow of time, one must rely on numbers and calculations. There is no conscious thought involved. There is no complicated machinery necessary. One picks up a pencil and begins writing on a length of paper. Calculations. Computations. But of course you don't understand it; there's no conscious thought involved.

The son lifted his pencil and began scribbling. One plus two is three times six is eighteen minus seven is eleven divided by three-hundred and sixty-five trillion is zero point zero zero zero zero zero zero zero zero zero zero...

The son blinked and looked up and found himself on a city block in the town of his birth -- twenty-five years earlier. The sidewalk on which he stood was crowded, filled with people, but at once all of the people seemed to duck into their cars and taxis, disappear into alleys and buildings, even crawl absently into storm drains, such that within moments the street was deserted but for the temporally displaced son and a pregnant woman walking towards him in a hurry. And in spite of the fresh look of her face, in the absence of the dark circles under her eyes and the numerous grey strands atop her head, he recognized her at once as his mother. Naturally, she didn't recognize him at all; she barely made eye contact as she rushed along to meet the terrible fate that had inspired him to journey backwards in the first place.

Instead, she met her son, who placed his hands on her shoulders and halted her movement. She looked into his face, afraid, but she did not pull away. The son merely smiled at his mother. So young. So alive. So unlike the mother he had always known.

He stepped back and kicked her hard in the stomach.

She fell to the ground, gasping. Soon blood pooled on the ground beneath her. A shriek sounded in the distance, though no figure stepped onto the empty block to assist the kneeling pregnant woman as the life of her child flowed out onto the sidewalk.

But unlike in the future, she did not cry. She merely gasped in pain and then, turning her eyes to look at her assailant, whispered feebly, "My child...?"

The son looked down at her and solemnly said, "Happy Mother's Day."

He turned from her and, as the people returned to the bustling street and an ambulance wailed in the distance, faded away into the crowd and was gone.

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