The start, I think I know too well. It is the first of my mistakes
I imagine a table, slick with blood. The blood is my mother's. There is too much of it. There is so much of it, I think it runs, like ink. I think, to save the boards beneath, the women have set down china bowls; and so the silence between my mother's cries are filled-drip drop! drip drop!-with what might be the staggered beating of clocks. Beyond the beat come other, fainter cries: the shrieks of lunatics, the shouts and scolds of nurses. For this is a madhouse. My mother is mad. The table has straps upon it to keep her from plunging to the floor; another strap separates her legs, so that I might emerge from between them. When I am born, the straps remain: the women fear she will tear me in two! They put me upon her bosom and my mouth finds out her breast. I suck, and the house falls silent about me. There is only, still, that falling blood-drip drop! drop drop!-the beat telling off the first few minutes of my life, the last of hers. For soon, the clocks run slow. My mother's bosom rises and falls, rises again; then sinks for ever.
I feel it, and suck harder. Then the women pluck me from her. And when I weep, they hit me.
- Sarah Waters Fingersmith