Horror Story

Her baby was gone. She woke up alone, in the dark, and reached for the comforting, sleeping shape of her baby but it was gone. 

She wanted to cry out but something had been jammed down her throat, cold and plastic. A tube, right, right…this was the hospital. They did that in hospitals, but she had to talk, to tell someone, the baby was more important than comfort. She reached for her face and the tube blocking her throat.  Pain then more tubes moved with her hand. Awful pinching, and pulling tubes she plucked at them.

The baby—she could hear it crying. 

Help me. The scream didn’t come to her mouth. She wasn’t strong enough to get the wretched thing from her throat which ached with plastic and tears.

She passed out. 

When she woke, she didn’t remember the baby immediately and when she did she wondered how she could have forgotten. Perhaps there’d been drugs. Had they moved her from a place she’d been comfortable, hoping she’d forget. Why was she here and in so much pain?

The baby. They’d taken it from her. God, please, who were these people? 

She called out, made a sound at last. Someone touched her arm. She shrank back because a stranger stroked her arm and pretended to know her, called her by name. Her skin felt as if it burned under that touch.

“My baby,” she managed to croak.

“You weren’t admitted because of a baby.”

Liar, she wanted to scream the word but was too afraid. The calm certainty in that stranger’s face confused her and, worse, made her own memories crumble and scramble but no. she wouldn’t be fooled. She’d come here because of the baby. 

“You’re lying."

“Try to rest,” the stranger said. “Please? Close your eyes for me?”

“Why would I do anything for you? You took my baby. Where is this place?” So much discomfort. Why wouldn’t they give her something for the pain? “It hurts.”

“Why am I here?”

“Why am I here?”

“Why am I here?”

“Where is my baby?”

They didn’t answer.  Or they did and the answers slipped away.

“Close your eyes.” The order was more impatient this time.  Fear made her obey.

The next time she came awake…what had happened to put her here in this place, surrounded by people she didn’t know.

“Where’s my son?”

“He had to go to work.”

That had to be wrong. If it had been a test, they failed--because now she remembered she came to the hospital for the baby. “You’re lying.”

But then the doctor came in, distracting everyone, even her, and he talked to her in a voice that was too loud and made her head hurt even more.

“Help me,” she whispered.

“We are, I promise,” he said in that horrible jolly voice they used. “You need to relax. Take a deep breath.”

“But…Wait.” She needed something, an urgency they hadn’t addressed. “I don’t know.”

She was in the hospital.  

They talked about healing times and the words drifted past in a mumble and when she asked the people standing at her bed to repeat, they grew impatient.  “I told you that already.”

“Why am I here? Where is my baby?”

“Here.” A dark-haired man said. She had never seen him before--she'd swear to that.

She peered at his arms looking for the bundle wrapped in a white cloth with faded blue bunnies, pilled with use. She knew that blanket, the precise size of that bundle as big as her meatloaf pan. The man’s arms were empty. “I don’t see him.”

“I’m your baby.”

She was too afraid to tell this hulking, grim-faced stranger he lied. Her heart slapped hard at the instant his face became familiar and she knew he wasn’t lying. So much worse. She opened her mouth and a strange cry filled the air. That was keening hers for a lost baby in a blue-and-white cloth.

She’d lost a baby, a child, she’d lost a life. The pain was too large for any single body to hold and it had to come out.

“Hush, hush,” another stranger touched her. “Ma’am. Please stop. You’ll be fine, fine, attagirl.”

Like she was a dog. Something cold touched her arm, on the inside. An IV, she knew that was it was. Something cold in the IV.

For the pain of having a baby, she said to herself. Though I wanted to have him naturally, maybe this was better? She was comforted for a minute and she slept.

Panic hit her when she woke alone, in the dark. Where was her baby?


  1. I wrote this to get rid of the heebie-jeebies I got after listening to someone describe sitting next to the hospital bed of a 90something year old lady. It didn't work. I had nightmares last night.

  2. Hugs! It's terrifying for the 90something year old lady and, I think, even more scary for those who love her <3

  3. Anonymous2:20 PM

    My eyes are leaking. You nailed this. krathi


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