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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/1839802-Starting-Over
by Jezri
Rated: 13+ · Fiction · Contest Entry · #1839802
Nora and Johnny get a second chance to be parents.
Starting Over
by Lisa McCourt Hollar

The baby was crying. Chariti was doing her level best to ignore the beast, but his wails kept getting louder and louder.

"Stupid little bastard," she muttered, pulling the needle out of her arm and dropping it on the bed. She closed her eyes, waiting for the rush that always came.

Except that something was wrong. She could still hear the brat screaming. He was right there in the room with her, shrieking in her ear, his fingers clawing into her skin and pulling his body up onto her's.

"Get off of me!" Chariti tried shoving the thing off of her, but he wouldn't let go. Terrified, her eyes searched the room, looking for something she could dislodge the baby with. She saw it's eyes looking at her, cold and black, and she knew it was Satan's spawn. Grabbing hold of her sleeve, the demon baby pulled his way up to her breast and latched on, tearing the cloth away with his teeth so he could get to the flesh.

"I heard her screaming. It sounded like she was being murdered, so I woke up my Johnny. He used to box in the army ya know. He's kept in good shape since then too. He volunteers down at the gym, teaching the kids how to box. It gives them something to do, ya know, so's they don't turn to the streets."

Officer Dotson smiled thinnly at the woman. All she wanted was a statement of the nights events, not a rundown of her husband's life history. She glanced over at her partner, who was taking the husband's statement. Yeah, he did look like he was in pretty good shape for a sixty year old man. There weren't many twenty year olds that had the biceps this man did.

"We were always trying to help her," the woman continued. "We knew she didn't have much money. It's hard being a single mother ya know. So we would give her money for milk and such, but then she would spend it on drugs. So we called Children's Services. Dontcha know, they didnt do a damn thing? That poor thing would scream for hours and she would just let him go."

Officer Dotson did know. She saw it every day, children hungry and neglected by their parents. Children's Services was understaffed, under budgeted and they fell through the cracks. Eventually they would grow up and repeat the same cycle of abuse they had lived through. "Mrs. Finch, what happened after you woke your husband up?" She glanced at her watch. She had a date tonight and it was beginning to look like she would miss it.

"Well he busted in the door, ya know. She was screaming that the baby was trying to kill her. She was laying there on the floor, flailing about like someone was attacking her. Only there wasn't anyone there. I wanted to go and try to help her, but my Johnny held me back. I used to be a nurse ya know? I recognized a bad trip when I saw it. Johnny was afraid she'd hurt me if I got to close. Then she stopped moving. Just like that. I knew she was dead, God rest her soul."

Mrs. Finch crossed herself then. Officer Dotson looked over her notes. It looked like she had most of what she needed. Just one more question. "You said she had a baby, but there was no baby in the apartment. Do you know where he might be? Does she have family that might be watching him for her?"

Mrs. Finch shook her head, her eyes troubled.

From inside the house, Nora watched the police leave. They had stayed for hours after she and Johnny gave their statements, taking pictures and hauling items out of Charit's apartment. They had canvassed the neighborhood as well, hoping someone would know the whereabouts of the child. No one did though.

Johnny put his hands on her shoulder and watched them leave too. "He's awake and hungry. I thought you might want the honors."

"Poor little tyke," Nora said, lifting the baby from the crib. They had bought it a month ago, when it became clear that Children's Services wasn't going to intervene.

"I called Thomas. He isn't happy. He thinks we should drop the child at the hospital and be done with it."

"So that he can be put in the system and become another statistic? Over my dead body."

Johnny opened his mouth, prepared to remind his wife that technically she was dead, but she cut him off, baring her fangs and hissing. "I don't need you to remind me of the obvious, ya know."

"Do you really think a couple of old vampires are the right kind of parents to raise a human child?"

"Is that what Thomas said when you called him? Well I hope you reminded him that he's the one that turned us, ya know and if he had done so a little earlier in life, we might not be so old. Besides, ya know, we're healthier now that we're un-dead than we ever were alive. You tell Thomas we got this."

"I did and he's setting up a house for us somewhere in Ohio."

"Ohio? I would rather die again."

"We can't raise the child here. There would be too many questions. I still think we should have just taken him. Chariti probably wouldn't have even noticed him missing."

"Someone would have. Besides, that bitch didn't deserve to live. I only wish I could have made her suffer more. If only I coulda ripped her throat open."

"But then it would be a murder investigation and not a drug overdose. And I rather liked that bit where you made her think the baby was eating her."

"That was fun." Nora looked at the baby, tears filling her eyes. "Maybe when you're older and done growing, we'll turn you. Then you can eat all the bad people you want."

Word Count: 999
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