So here you go. Inspired by Limbo, the first ring of hell is my 150 word piece:
The ground is rough now, thick with wild grass. No crosses, no mounds. I kneel down and spread my hands upon the dew-soaked ground. It feels wet against my hot palms, as though the earth is weeping. Is this the place? Oh God, is it?
Panic. Fist clenched, I thrust my hand against my belly. I want to crunch it, crush it. My eyes close. Gone. She’s gone. I can’t find her, even here. She’s lost, floating. Unsanctified.
They say fairies come to this place, dance across the unmarked graves. I wish she was a fairy, my Bridgeen. She looked like that. Pointed chin, silvery pale. A wee angel. No, not an angel, she’ll never be that.
She was so light in my arms, barely there at all. Such a fragile babe. They took her from me almost at once, still bloodied from my womb. Took her to Limbo.
My story is inspired by the cillín - the unconsecrated infant burial grounds. Years ago I went to a heartbreaking exhibition about the cillín which highlighted the distress and folklore around the places where unbaptized babies were buried. It's hard to imagine what it must have been like for the mothers of those babies, the double grief of losing that child and then believing they would never see it again in the afterlife.
My mum is a catholic and this was a very real fear for her, the idea that child lost in miscarriage would never go to heaven. The Catholic Church as now changed its ruling on Limbo, but generations of catholics had to live with the distressing concept that their stillborn infant would rest forever in Limbo.
Seamus Heaney wrote an amazing poem on the subject which haunts me still. You can read it here.