She stared at the crib. A thin ray of moonlight was playing on it; right now it looked like the pale finger of some unseen monster reaching out to its own kind.
Yes, own kind.
She shuddered as a chill ran down her spine.
“Don’t be a jerk! It must be the effect of the drugs and lack of sleep. You must have been half asleep and half drugged!” she scolded herself.
The occupant of the crib, her new born son was absolutely silent, like he was supposed to be. He was only a week old; he was not supposed to recite poems right now, was he?
Well, that’s what he was doing, or at least she thought she heard him doing.
That’s what snapped her out of her sleep, the strange sound in room. She heard it as her senses struggled to come out of the haze created by tiredness and drugs.
It was not the voice of a baby, it was an ominous voice, it sounded cruel, cold and centuries old- hollow. It was babbling something in an unknown language. But that was talking, not senseless cooing of a small baby. She could feel the sentences forming and the punctuations used.
She sat up on her bed, trying to grasp what was going on.
The sound was coming from her son’s crib. The nurse was not in the room, she quickly went to the crib, as quickly as her groggy senses allowed her to go; she has been drugged heavily by the doctor because the pregnancy and the delivery was a hellish experience. \
“It will let you recuperate.” She has smiled warmly. “Poor girl! Sometimes it gets nasty during late pregnancy but I have never seen a case like yours.”
“Monalisa will take care of both of you in the meantime.” The young nurse has smiled at her softly.
She stood over the crib, holding its railing for support. The room was still swimming in front of her wide eyes,
The thing in the crib turned towards her like an adult being, it was not her son! Its face was white as chalk; two red eyes were glowing like embers in that drawn face; it snarled baring razor sharp fangs. She jumped backward in reflex and crumpled on the floor.
She lied there huddled in the cold floor too weak and scared to get up.
Then she felt a touch on her body.
“What happened? Why are you out of bed didi?” Monalisa held her arms to softly pull her back to her feet and then lead her to bed; her tone was full of compassion and worry.
She expertly laid her down on the bed and pulled the blanket to her neck. “I was in the toilet. You both were sleeping peacefully when I went in…” she said a bit apologetically.
Something is wrong with the baby.” She babbled.
Monalisa rushed to the crib, looked down and reached out to the baby.
“Don’t!” she whimpered.
“He is alright didi, sleeping as an angel.” Monalisa turned towards her.
“Are you sure?” she asked incredulously.
“Yes didi!” she smiled as she lifted the baby and carried him to her. “They sometimes look unconscious when they are sleeping, but actually they are just sleeping deeply.” She said in a reassuring tone.
She cringed as Monalisa placed the baby on her bed and switched on the light.
Of course it was absolutely normal! A week old infant bundled in a pink Johnson and Johnson’s baby blanket with Mickey Mouse printed all over it.
She stared at him for a long time then reached out with apprehension to feel his pink skin, it was warm and soft. He gurgled sweetly baring its puckered mouth to display his gums.
Monalisa laughed fondly. “He did not acknowledge me when I touched him. They can feel their mother’s touch even when they are fast asleep.”
She smiled wanly.
Days started to roll, the memory of that night was fading away, Monalisa never left her bedside after that night; that is, whenever she woke up she always found her on the small bed placed near the crib.
“I will be back on 10th of next month.” His warm voice spilled down the chord of the telephone.
Her husband was away from the country for last eight months, they both were heartbroken that he could not be there when Resham was born, but his promotion was announced right on the day doctor announced Resham’s upcoming entrance in their lives.
That will be the day when Resham will become a month old. She smiled softly as she watched him playing, wriggling his tiny limbs, exploring his own pink toes and making cute sounds.
She was sleeping deeply when she felt something was choking her. She gasped for breath and opened her eyes.
The room was dark, the night lamp was either out or electricity was out. The light of full moon was swimming in the room, making visibility quite possible.
That thing was sitting on her chest, something dark was oozing out of its mouth, then she felt a sharp pain in her neck, her hand automatically reached out to the spot and she felt something warm, wet. Her palm was smeared with her own blood. She pushed the thing from her chest rudely it slithered away in a lightning speed to a dark corner of the room.
She screamed and fainted.