Terror grips me as pain tears through my abdomen. This isn’t natural. 

Two months ago, I’d lost two days – no memory at all. Someone did something to me. I know it. Tears of anguish stream down my face.

There’s a hand on my shoulder. I turn my head and meet the gaze of a nurse.

“Can you stand? I have a wheelchair.” she says, “I’m Annie. What do I call you?”

“Sally… Lomax,” I gasp.

“Can you tell me what’s wrong?”

“They did something to me two months ago. Now I’m dying,” my voice breaks on a sob as I bend forward, gripping my abdomen, the pain once again peaking, worse than before.

The wheelchair abruptly changes direction. “When’s your baby due?” asks Annie.

“Baby… what baby? I’m not pregnant. I’m dying.” I wail.

“That’s what most first time mums think,” Annie’s voice holds a hint of laughter.

“There’s no way I can possibly be pregnant. I’ve never done anything – well, you know?”

“Whatever you say but, judging how close together your contractions are, you’re going to be a mum really soon. You must have known.”

Time’s a blur. I’m helped into bed, attached to machines and hear, for the first time, the heartbeat of a baby that can’t possibly exist. 

“You’re already fully dilated. When you feel the need, it’s time to push,” says the midwife.

Everything happens very quickly. I refuse to have it delivered onto me. I don’t know what it is – where it’s come from. The midwife finishes cleaning and wrapping it. “Time to see if she’ll feed.”

“I don’t want to see it!” I shout. 

“Miss Lomax, you’re just… tired.” I can hear the inferred ‘being ridiculous’ in the midwife’s tone. “Your daughter’s perfect.”

“You don’t understand… “ My heart races. “I can’t be mother to a child I haven’t knowingly conceived.”

The midwife snorts. “What? You were abducted by aliens?” She reaches for the bundle in the bassinet and shrieks, backing hurriedly away. 

The thing turns reptilian eyes towards me, forked tongue flicking out, tasting the air.

“Told you,” I rasp to the empty room.

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Voice-Team
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Voice-Team(@voice-team)
7 months ago

A well-constructed classic tale of horror. The author expertly draws us in from the start, gives us all the clues, and then, finally, delivers the inevitable shock. Well done! 

Melissa Taggart
Melissa Taggart(@melissa-taggart)
8 months ago

Fantastic story, Carrie. I felt bad for Sally as she was mocked and her pain dismissed — those nurses, they got a taste of karma when they looked into the bassinet though. That bit made me happy!

I watched a show recently on women who didn’t know they were pregnant until they went into labor, I can’t imagine!

Great work!

Melissa Taggart
Melissa Taggart(@melissa-taggart)
8 months ago
Reply to  Carrie OLeary

Oh my that certainly is scary! You have seen many things in your career, I imagine, but not that thank goodness! ?

Julie Harris
Julie Harris(@julie-harris)
8 months ago

What a great story! Nicely paced, pulls the reader in immediately, all the way to the shocking but not totally unexpected ending. Good work, Carrie.

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Paul Lewthwaite
Paul Lewthwaite(@paul-lewthwaite)
8 months ago

Carrie, the mind boggles as to who (what) the father was, just as well she couldn’t remember that part!  ?  Loved the dry humour at the end.

Fuji
Fuji(@fuji)
8 months ago

One of the best titles yet, Carrie, with its double meaning. A great horror story for Halloween!

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Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
8 months ago

Wow! Excellent story, Carrie. And Fuji is right about the nice title. And the ending is also very nice. I love it.

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
8 months ago
Reply to  Carrie OLeary

Dipayan Chakrabarti
Dipayan Chakrabarti(@dipayan-chakrabarti)
8 months ago

This is a real spine-chilling tale, inspiring pity and terror. Excellent Carrie!

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Dipayan Chakrabarti
Dipayan Chakrabarti(@dipayan-chakrabarti)
8 months ago
Reply to  Carrie OLeary

You’re welcome, Carrie.

Christer Norrlof
Christer Norrlof(@christer-norrlof)
8 months ago

As others have pointed out, the choice for the title of your story is brilliant, Carrie! The story is creepy and very “halloweenistic”. Reading it, my mind went to a couple of books I’ve read where the protagonist suffered from amnesia after having experienced traumatic things. This one fits right in there. The mind has its ways to protect us from remembering scary things.

Sandra James
Sandra James(@sandra-james)
8 months ago

Wonderful story, Carrie! When I had my second son I met a new mother in hospital who had no idea she was pregnant until the last couple of weeks. Morning sickness certainly let me know! The nurse’s attitude reminded me of one I had – No, you don’t want to push yet. Yes, I do! And here he is 🙂 – A perfect ending and so satisfying I forgot I should have been repulsed by the alien baby  ? 

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Greene M Wills
Greene M Wills(@greene-m-wills)
8 months ago

Sci-fi marries horror beautifully in your tale, Carrie. Fantastic!

Orlando Sanchez
Orlando Sanchez(@orlando-sanchez)
7 months ago

Whoa…that was creepy and excellent! Awesome!

Marianna Pieterse
Marianna Pieterse(@marianna-pieterse)
7 months ago

How scary it must have been for the protagonist! Can you imagine not remembering what happened and then next moment giving birth to an alien-baby? One could only wonder what will happen next! Will she take care of it after all or will the baby become violent and destructive? The line “The thing turns reptilian eyes towards me, forked tongue flicking out, tasting the air.” makes me think maybe it is the latter. This sounds like a good start to a longer story!

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