Janet placed her hand on her stomach and smiled at her husband. After years of battling infertility, they knew they would have a chance to hold their very own bundle of joy very soon. It was all she’d ever hoped for: her very own nuclear family.
Todd smiled back at her. “How’s the baby today?”
“It’s kicking up a storm.” The moment the words left her mouth, she regretted them. Todd’s expression darkened as his mouth became a thin line pursed so hard that fine lines began to grow outward from his lips.
“It?” he sputtered.
Janet cleared her throat. “He. I meant he.” She let out a strain of forced laughter and knew her husband wasn’t fooled. Meanwhile, the fetus in her uterus pounded against the wall of her stomach. The rhythm made her nauseous. She rubbed her stomach in a reassuring way, but that only seemed to make the baby more restless.
She ran to the tiny downstairs bathroom, barely the size of a closet, and leaned over the toilet. She felt her eyes water and her nose run as the bile and her breakfast left her stomach. She rested on her knees in front of the toilet and tried to ignore the stench and the aching pain in her side where the baby was now kicking away.
Suddenly, Todd was there, his anger now replaced with concern. “What’s wrong?”
Janet, though exhausted, forced herself onto her feet, flushed the toilet, and began to wash her hands. “The baby was just kicking so hard it made me feel sick.” She sniffed and rubbed her face on a towel to wipe up the snot and tears. She felt the warmth of her husband’s arms wrap around her waist. At his touch, the baby stopped kicking and Janet was forced to choke back her jealousy. All she’s ever wanted was to be a mother, but now that it was becoming a reality, she felt disconnected from the life growing inside her. She felt like a reluctant parasitic host, and she feared the baby could sense the distance already between them.
She looked over her shoulder and smiled at Todd reassuringly, though the seed of resentment was growing between them as well. Why did the baby respond better to Todd, the outsider, instead of finding comfort in its own mother’s womb?
At night, she would dream of pale creatures with oversized teeth lunging for her nipples. During the day, she would be plagued by constant pounding and abdominal pain. Once she’d tried to voice her fears to Todd, but he had been more concerned about the baby than he had her mental state.
She felt a sudden wave of moisture in her crotch that quickly ran down her leg. She gasped, filled with excitement and feat. The monster was getting out. “Babe, my water just broke.”
She looked at her husband who smiled. “It’s time.”
“Yeah, it finally is.” Janet began feeling dizzy. This didn’t seem normal. She looked down at the tile floor. A pool of red liquid was forming between her legs. The room started spinning as she collapsed onto the bloody floor, the monster’s first victim.
She looked up at her husband, who was still grinning. “Todd, call an ambulance. Help me.”
He reached down and brushed her bangs away from her eyes. “No. We no longer have need of you.” He bent to his knees to wait for his son to chew his way out of his host.
About the Author:
Aurora Bishop lives an obscure life in the Midwest as a writer and visual artist.