Congratulations

 

-Congratulations, Mr Johnson! It’s a boy! …or… I think it’s a boy… oh, wait. That’s something else. Well,  it’s a baby!

Roger looked down on the creature in his arms. It wasn’t crying. It was making a strange gurgling sound, hissing fiercely. Its skin was green and rough. Its mouth full of sharp teeth. .

Babies don’t have teeth, do they? 

It was the kind of mouth you wouldn’t want to get your fingers too close to. He looked at his wife. She smiled, looking tired, yet immensely happy.

They took the baby home to their place, their love nest where they had made everything so cosy for the new family member.

It didn’t cry.

Roger didn’t say anything, and Mary seemed totally unaware of the horrible aspect of the little creature.

-Here, hold him! She said. The little monster hissed towards him, snapping its teeth.

-I… I think it… I mean he… should be with his mum, my love.

They ate supper, and Roger finally asked. -Don’t you think the little one looks a bit… Strange?

-Strange? Sure does! He looks just like you!

They sat in silence. The little monster lie in its bed, but it didn’t sleep. It had its eyes wide open, flicking wildly around the room. Every once in a while they stopped at Roger, staring at him until he looked away.

-Aaaaw, isn’t he cute?

Roger didn’t feel too good. The coming days he read a lot. He tried to understand what this creature was. He read religious texts. Old manuscripts he found at the library. Stories of demon possession, medical explanations, anything that could ease his worries. Medieval theories that didn’t make sense at all. Conception during menstruation was just silly.

Just like me… Roger thought, lying awake at night. Questions were tearing him apart, questions he didn’t dare ask. He lay in bed, looking at the ceiling in the darkness.

He could hear the hissing of the monster from the other room, an evil sound of hate and hunger. It didn’t cry. He couldn’t stop thinking about the night a little less than a year ago, just before they found out she was pregnant, like he had so many times during the pregnancy.

The night she hadn’t come home until the next morning. The night she had slept somewhere else.

 

Despair

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