Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Day Before Tomorrow

On May 1, between 12 and 1 AM there were 9 babies born simultaneously at Mercy Health Center. The babies were healthy, loud, and gone within the hour.

Dr. Pricharr of Mercy Health Center walked up to the maternity ward observation window to check on the handiwork of the busiest midnight birthing he had ever experienced. There, staring back at him was the most hideous excuse for a newborn he had ever seen. The creature was tinted green with pointy ears and a ridiculous grin. What was worse the thing was waving at him. No infant could sustain a grin or focus 5 feet away, much less wave at someone. It was an affront to fertility. Dr. Pricharr managed to tear his gaze away from the monstrosity when a cry like a singing drunk goat split the calm of the ward. A yellow infant to the right had opened a gargantuan mouth full of teeth and set to bellowing. Pricharr stared in astonishment as he realized entire nursery was full of these wretches.

Moments later the cry had roused the ward. Frantic mothers cried out that these could not be their babies and the nurses were inclined to agree since every arm band had vanished, save one. Tiny Michael Redd, whose grandfather had placed a thin silver band next to the identification band, was laying peacefully and recognizably in his bed. Every other child was gone and in its place was one of the repugnant substitutes.

In the May firsts that followed a few similar cases occurred. Before long people reviewed the records and discovered that reports like this ran back through the centuries. In each report, a few nurses or families remembered seeing strange colors and hearing odd sounds. Not a single photograph or video clip registered anything but cameras only show what is there, not what is real.

Now, in hospitals around the world, the lucky babies born on May 1 between midnight and 1 AM receive a thin, silver bracelett called a Redd Band, after little Michael. No baby ever vanishes in such a terrible fashion anymore.

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