Topic: The Corruption Hidden Beneath the Surface...
The young woman cooed to the bundle on her shoulder as she rocked in a chair. A contented smile tugged at the corners of her mouth as she comforted the babe.
Prior to the latter stages of the pregnancy and the birth, she had been widely regarded as beautiful - even stunning. She had possessed hair the color of honeyed straw, with piercing eyes of blue, a face that could draw an observer in for hours, and a body that caused more than one chaste priest to question his vows. She had always been friendly and open, which only served to enhance that attractiveness.
These days, though, her skin had a pallor about it, her hair seemed brittle and dull.
Ah, yes, she was still sore, and she was so very tired. The birth itself had been unbelievably painful, but she had been mentally prepared for that. Her mother had made it clear that forcing a melon-sized object through an orifice designed more for the diameter of a cucumber would result in a great deal of pain and aftermath; her grandmother had lightened the moment to suggest that she should be grateful for a cucumber, and hope to not have to settle for a lifetime with an okra instead.
The time after the birth, though... the baby was extraordinarily demanding. He seemed determined to stay awake through every night, to only sleep in odd bouts. And his appetite had been voracious, seemingly never satisfied in a way that no one had even mentioned might be the case. Still, the mother did not mind. Every waking thought seemed to have to do with the babe, with providing for his every whim. He deserved no less, after all.
Her bundle murmured, and she moved him to the crook of her arm, released a breast to provide his sustenance. And yet... something was wrong. He was listless, weak, refused to latch.
She tickled his mouth, tweaked the bottoms of his feet, tried every trick she had seen her mother and sister use. Did everything the midwife had taught her. Trying to control the panic, she reached to the table, grabbed a knife, and winced in pain as she opened a shallow cut below her nipple. Even the offer of fresh blood seemed to do no good; the babe remained limp, would barely swallow. He would not even close his little fangs down if she placed her flesh into his mouth.
Sobbing, the mother begged the priest for any sort of assistance, but the older man merely shook his head. "I can do nothing," he explained. "No prayer, no spell seems to have any positive effect. Things that should make him stronger only seem to make it worse. I fear that he will not survive the night."
He turned to leave, seemingly immune to her wails as she knelt in the dirt, clutching the motionless gray form to her chest.
Weeks had passed since the death of the baby. A great deal of the young woman's beauty had returned; every day she seemed stronger, her color better. This evening found her in the nicest dress that she owned, with her hair perfectly coiffed, and wearing the first smile she had made since the death.
She threw the door open and strode inside, cocking her head just so. The priest glanced up from where he knelt in the filthy straw beside a corpse, arched an eyebrow at her entrance.
"I'm ready to try again," she stated flatly.
He snorted in reply. "I rather doubt that," he responded condescendingly. "We've been over this already. You cannot try again."
She shook her head, blonde locks floating in the flickering light. Her eyes flashed with anger. "No! You will NOT take this from me. I am willing. I am READY."
She gestured with her head at the pair of undead flanking the priest, causing them to giggle in response. "Let them take me now!" she exclaimed. The young woman hitched up her skirts, revealing a complete lack of smallclothes. "What can we can we hurt by trying?" she implored.
The tone of the ghouls' giggling shifted noticeably, and they took steps towards her, one with a tongue wiggling obscenely in perfectly clear intentions. "STOP," the priest intoned, and the undead halted in their tracks.
"I said no," he continued, wiping his hands upon his robe. "Has your moon blood returned?" he asked in a disinterested tone as he returned his focus to the corpse.
The young woman dropped her skirts in frustration and stamped her foot. "Not yet! But that does not mean anything! It often takes time to return after... after a baby! Everyone knows that!" she protested.
The priest shook his head as he stood, and his tone softened as he stepped towards the woman. "As I have explained, yours will NOT return. The process has left you barren. Both I and the church appreciate your willingness, but this is no longer a thing you can do."
Suddenly, it was as if the air escaped the young woman, and tears began to flow in earnest. "Is there nothing you can do for me, father? No healing you can offer?" she implored.
He shook his head. "I am sorry, my child. It is beyond my ability to restore."
Heartbroken, she gave in to the sobs and collapsed into the holy man's arms. "But I was to... to... to be the mother of a GOD!"
Absently, he stroked the young woman's beautiful hair. "Yes, child. I know, I know..." he murmured softly while the ghouls seemed to respectfully giggle barely any at all.
Posted on 2019-10-10 at 13:58:56.
Edited on 2019-10-10 at 14:43:34 by t_catt11