Reverend Smith restlessly paced the corridor of his manor as he heard the cries of his wife, which were coming from the next room. He wanted to be there for her; to comfort her through the whole bloody process of giving birth but the doctor advised him that for his and his wife’s sake, it would be better if he had left. It was probably a prudent decision since he despised the sight and scent of blood and already the stench of it was thick in the air.
Maids in traditional uniforms waddled back and forth; disposing the blood stained blankets and began their search for fresh ones. As the screams grew louder, Reverend prayed for his wife’s pain to cease and the process to end. But, however, it was essential. He and Rebecca never were successful in having a living child and they had attempted several times to bear one but it would end in a fruitless attempt.
A child was required…an heir was necessary.
The deafening screams from the next room came to a halt. Reverend waited for some time, thinking that the cries would continue again but the pause was prolonging. Perhaps it was done. Perhaps Rebecca and I finally have a child, thought Reverend with an uncontrollable excitement. Although it was quite strange that he couldn’t hear the baby crying. Suddenly, his train of thoughts was disturbed by the terrified screams of the servants. Did something happen? Reverend raced into the room to check on his wife and newborn infant.
He swung the door open and had asked “What happened?” but the maids, who were cowering in the corner didn’t respond. He noticed that their gaze was not fixed directed on the baby cot or their mistress but on something that was lying on the wooden floor. He directed his green eyes to what they were looking at and suddenly a petrifying scream escaped his mouth. It was not a blood covered- crying child that lay peacefully on the floor…it was a monster, smothered in the blood of his wife.
The slender thing that lay serenely was not the size of an infant but was full man sized. In fact it looked taller than an average person. Its naked skin was ghostly white like chalk and the most daunting features of the creature’s was its face, devoid of eyes, a nose and lips. The feeble thing looked around to study its surroundings, watching the horrified faces of all present in the room but their anxiety didn’t bother it at all. Sticky in blood, it tried to stand up but couldn’t because its legs felt weak and arms couldn’t support him. Inquisitively, it again continued to examine the new faces until he looked up to see Reverend looming over him.
The thing intently observed him for moment and Reverend gave a gasp as the frail creature croaked a single word. “D…daddy?”
Reverend was not fascinated by its miracle of speech. He pinned the creature down on the ground and it began to struggle very violently, afraid of the sudden reaction. It tried to escape from his grasp but it was too weak to. Reverend was unaware of the commotion of the screaming maids and the doctor trying to restrain him…he wanted to kill it. As he lifted the knife, close enough to strike its chest, his wife interfered.
“No dear, no! Please don’t kill it. It’s your child.” She caught his hand, which was still clutching the knife.
He faced her now. “Are you out of your mind woman? That is no child of ours. It is a monster! A spawn of Satan! How can you say that this…”
“Dear I know this may seem very shocking for you, for all of us but please. This is the only living child we have and will ever have. Please have mercy on it…please.”
Reverend’s breathings pacified and his hand released the knife. He didn’t know what to say and was rather befuddled to what he should do. He looked at his son who was covered in his mother’s protective arms now and thought for moment. God, why are you making my life difficult? I didn’t ask for a monster as my child, Dammit! And so he reluctantly agreed to accept the child but informed that he would not show any kind of love to it. He made all his staff, including the doctor, swore not to tell a soul about this otherwise the consequences would be severe. While Sophy, the young maid, and the others were busy cleaning up the creature, Rebecca was discussing a name for him. She suggested the name ‘James’ but Reverend preferred not to call it anything at all.
The night of 25th February 1903 was the beginning of his nightmare.
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