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The cover for the story as seen on Wattpad.

The cover of the story as seen on Wattpad.

Breaking Water is a horror short story written by Matthew Little, published on his Wattpad profile.[1]

PlotEdit

The story concerns a group of men, who are a part of a "sadistic syndicate", who one night break into a house and kidnap Lisa, a very pregnant woman after maliciously beating her husband unconscious. They put her in the back of their trailer truck and along the ride stop to kidnap two more pregnant women named Lauren and Michelle. They take them to a old abandoned factory isolated in the middle of the woods, and they're brought inside by more heavily armed men.[2][3]

Once in the building, the leader of the group named Jeff orders the women to strip naked; he then asks them how far along they are in their pregnancies. He writes down how far along they are and then orders his men to take Lisa and Lauren away, leaving Michelle to be taken into another room where she is violently forced into labor by a doctor who doesn't seem to enjoy what he's doing, and she gives birth to a healthy baby boy before being executed by Jeff.[4]

Lisa and Lauren are escorted to a room on the opposite side of the building which is filled with more pregnant woman. There, two women, named Jean and Cindy, fill them in on why they're there: the men plan on killing them and taking their babies when the women are at the right term to do so correctly. This is what the group's main objective is. While in captivity, the women are forced to eat food off dirty trays, relieve themselves in buckets, and are forced to listen to cheerful music played over an intercom (one of the songs mentioned is one by Britney Spears called "Mannequin", an audio clip is provided for the part it falls under). They're told that if they're taken out of the room, they have an option of "pleasuring" whoever takes them in exchange for more time. After a week of being there, Lisa watches as Jean is taken as it's her time (she had been there for three months and was already 9 months pregnant, she had extended her time twice and couldn't anymore due to her condition). The women plead to let her wait one more day, but Jean accepts her fate and goes with them. That night, as Lauren comforts a distraught Lisa, who along with the other women viewed her as something of a motherly figure, Lisa realizes she has had endured enough trauma, repeatedly saying "This is hell." hinting she wants to escape.[5]

Three days later as the women are still mourning over Jean's death, Lisa begins to think more seriously about escaping. She knows the only chance she has in getting away is when the men come and have their way with her. She confides in Lauren, whom she sees as a friend, to go with her if she can do anything about it, and Lauren reluctantly agrees.

When her eighth month mark arrives Lisa is taken out and is offered to spend some time with one of the men; she agree and is taken to a closet across from the room. Before anything serious can happen, Lisa finds a large book sitting on a shelf and uses it to knock the man out, then runs back to the room and gets Lauren. They asks for the other girls to come but they're all terrified if they do they'll be killed.

The two sneak around the building, trying to find some way to get out. First they find the room where the food is kept, then near it they find the control room where they watch security footage of Jeff and the men gathered outside the room they escaped from, and watch Jeff brutally interrogate one of the women. They leave the room after hearing someone bang on the door to the food room and they find themselves where they keep the bodies of the previously birthed women. They leave, not before Lisa trips in a large pool of blood on the floor, and find where the men keep the babies, who are all knocked out after given allergy medicine to stay quiet. In there they see Mike, who instead of turning them in, leaves them his cellphone and keys. Lisa then calls 911.

Thinking they're alone, they make it to the entrance and try to open it using his keys, though the ones they try don't fit. An infuriated Jeff along with his men find them; he shoots and kills Lauren and then takes Lisa to the room and straps her into the chair. He orders Mike to "pop" her, but he refuses, saying he's done with what they're doing and and doesn't want any part of it anymore. Jeff then shoots him dead as he leaves.

Jeff decides to perform the operation and begins to slice at Lisa's stomach; midway through the procedure however the police arrive and storm the building. They engage in a gunfight where Jeff is shot and killed in an "act of defiance". The leading officer discovers Lisa and stays with her as his team clear the rest of the building. As the medics arrive and help Lisa, she passes out from the pain and shock, but is thankful the nightmare is over.[6]

EpilogueEdit

The women are brought to seek medical help as the story is publicized and receives nationwide attention. Upon arrival some of the women end up giving birth due to the emotional trauma they've endured; Lisa is given a caesarian as her stomach wound was too severe to just close up. She gives birth to a healthy baby girl named Samantha; as Lisa comes out of a drug-induced stupor she gets overwhelmed by the memories of being in the building, and especially the image of Lauren being killed beside her. While in recovery she avoids watching the news and doesn't learn that one of Jeff's men who was arrested in the raid confesses that their syndicate sold the babies stolen overseas for high prices, and that the men had planned on kidnapping more women. The surviving men are all charged and given multiple life sentences for their "crime against humanity".

Lisa is reunited with her husband who survived the attack the night she was abducted and is soon after sent home, but is ordered to attend therapy and psychiatry sessions to help her cope with what she's been through. While home she's given moral support by her and James' parents, and there she watches coverage of the funerals for the women who were murdered by Jeff, and then finds out the case had been commented on by the president who promises to help the victims financially in their time of need. The story ends saying Lisa won't ever fully recover from what happened but is now recognized for her courage in helping end Jeff's reign of terror, and that she's happy to be alive.[7]

OriginEdit

When he was in middle school, Little had begun to think up a story that centered around a pregnant woman who had to fend for herself in the face of horror. He had been interested in seeing how a pregnant woman would handle being in a situation that usually fit, petite women would endure in horror movies, and liked that it would add an extra layer of trauma to the story as she wouldn't just be trying to save herself but the baby inside her.

He had tried to write a similar story about a woman and her husband being captured while vacationing on an island who planned on selling her baby on the black market, but didn't get far writing it. In 2011 he had begun to write a novel called Florida, that was about a pregnant woman, her husband, and two friends who are attacked by a psychopath while enjoying a day by the lake, and he remembered the original idea he came up with in school. One day he tried writing it on his laptop, but ended up deleting it right after writing the forced birth scene as he "felt bad" writing it.

In 2014, shortly after joining the writing website Wattpad, Little had decided to start Breaking Water back up, as he had taken a break from writing his novel Teddy Bears as well as Florida, and had just finished his newest poetry collection Ribbons. He felt that he could resume attempting to write the story because he had grown as a writer, and could convey the images much better than before. The story was first published October 18th, 2014 and completed October 23. It took him only five days to write it, although he published it without much grammatical correction.

CoverEdit

The cover was designed by Tumblr user lassdanthree[8]. Little found the photo on Google of a pregnant woman hiding her face underneath a pillow and originally edited it himself using Pixlr. The original cover had blood splats surrounding the woman with the title appearing over her stomach. lessdanthree messaged him and said he didn't care for the cover and offered to make on using photoshop; he took the picture and added what looks like a bloody gunshot under the woman's hand, and a couple of bloody splats near her and updated the title's text. Little ended up using his version as it fit well with the story.

ReactionEdit

Early reactionEdit

When Breaking Water was first published (unfinished) Little originally was hesitant in posting the link to it on his personal Facebook for fear it might offend some of his friends. But within a day of posting it three of his friends, including his step-mother and cousin, whom all have given birth in their lives commented that they were eager to know what else was going to happen and even hurried him to finish writing it. One of his friends even commented that the story was amazing, and that it would make "an amazing movie".[9]

NovelizationEdit

Little has since started converting Breaking Water into a full novel, seeing its potential based on the reaction from those who read the short story. Originally, Little had started writing Florida in late 2013, but stopped after finishing the last chapter. After writing Breaking Water, Little followed that first chapter as it was written with the events that began Breaking Water, updating the writing and storytelling as well as changing the main character's name from Lisa to Florida. The second chapter was posted on his Tumblr in December 2015 with the original title Florida given before he changed it back to Breaking Water.[10]

Little has two versions of the incomplete novel saved on his computer. One version has Florida stabbed after Jeff catches her as she flees the factory, but is saved by the police; it then goes into the aftermath of Jeff's men being raided and the other women are rescued, and the fallout of the event being breaking news. The other version greatly differs as it get paranormal; Florida falls through the earth as she's being chased by Jeff, only to end up in a cave where she gives birth to her son. Then she is ambushed by a group of black tar monsters who are apparently controlled by Jeff and his wife, who is introduced as Dianne, a woman possessed by "the darkness", which is a black substance of unknown origin who feeds off the life of others.

The version Little has picked to be the official one has yet been made known.

ReferencesEdit

Original Penny's Poetry Pages article, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License 3.0.
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