well, by the time you read this, craig and i should be in the air and headed for niles, ohio, where we'll be attending the brand new SCREAMING TIKI CON!!
or we're already there...
like he's got time to do something like this...
craig and i talked about trying to do a little exclusive something for this show as we have for most of the others we've attended and, not that he hasn't been killing himself churning out pages of both spider-man loves mary jane #5 and the perhapanauts #5, on top of being a full-time stay-at-home dad and all, he was able to squeeze in this wonderful perhapanauts one-page (number 3 in a series).
so check it-
we won't be back 'til tuesday, so here's another entry in our perhapanauts scary story contest from our own brian mulcahy...!
i found it rather unsettling.
you'll see why.
“Daddy’s Little Girl”
Leslie Stevens held the pink onesie with a little white bunny embroidered over the heart up so that all the women gathered in her living room could see it.
“That is just the cutest thing I have ever seen,” squealed Leslie’s little sister, Sharon, as the rest of the ladies oooed and awed.
Leslie glanced over at her mother Bridget and they shared a knowing smile as
both remembered how much Sharon loved her pet bunny, Mrs. Fluffy.
Leslie rested the onesie on her very large and very round belly. She was due any time now, but it was a Stevens family tradition to have the baby shower as close to the due date as possible, and in the Stevens clan, family tradition was sacred.
Todd, the only man in the room, got up from his seat beside Leslie and picked up the empty wine bottle sitting on the coffee table.
“Would anyone like another glass?”
“YES!” exclaimed the gathered ladies of the Stevens clan as Todd scooped up the bottle and shot through the kitchen door closing it behind him.
“Don’t be too long honey,” Leslie called to her disappearing husband with a laugh, “We wouldn’t want you to miss any of the excitement.”
Todd, empty bottle still clutched in his hand, slumped back against the door and sighed to his father-in-law, “I don’t think that I’m going to survive this Craig. How did you do it?”
“I’m the step-father, remember. I came along after Sharon was born, thus avoiding all these female funfests.”
“Oh yeah, that’s right. You know, I really admire Bridget. Losing one husband is bad enough, but to lose two, and have to raise two young daughters on your own, that takes a strong woman.”
“The Stevens women are very special, Todd, no doubt about that, but they still need us.”
“You know, Todd, having a child is a life changing experience and really means saying good-bye to your old life. Are you sure you are ready to make that kind sacrifice?”
“You know what Craig, growing up in foster homes, I always dreamed of someday having a family of my own. Now that my dream is about to come true, I’m ready to do whatever it takes to make it work.”
Craig reaches out with his right hand and rests it on Todd’s left shoulder and is about to say something when a loud scream pierces the air.
“Aaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh, Aaaaaaahhhhhhhhh, AAAAAAHHHHHHHH!”
Todd turns away from Craig and bursts back through the kitchen door to see Leslie clutching her stomach.
“What is it, Sweetie, what’s wrong?”
“It’s the baby! I think she’s coming . . . RIGHT NOW!”
Todd, unsure what to do, looks quickly around the room, surprised, and a little impressed at how calm everyone looks.
“Should we call 911?”
“Todd, look at me,” Bridget says in a calm, steady voice. “There’s no time for an ambulance, your daughter needs you to bring her into this world.”
“Me? I’ve never done anything like this in my life.”
“Todd, Leslie and Sharon’s fathers did it, and so can you.”
Todd takes a deep breath, collects himself and kneels down before his wife.
“Ok, ok, someone get me some hot water and towels . . .”
“But NOT my good guest towels,” adds Leslie through a weak smile.
Bridget and Sharon position themselves on either side of Leslie who reaches up and grasps their hands tightly.
Todd, his focus entirely on his wife, barely registers the presence of Bridget and Sharon and does not even notice that all the other women in the room have now formed a circle around them.
“Ok, Sweetie, deep cleansing breathes, just like that taught us in class . . . wait, wait, I see the crown of her head . . . push, sweetie, push!”
Leslie tightens her grip on her mother and sister’s hands, but neither seems to notice. Their focus, like that of every woman in the room, is fixed on Todd.
“Aaaaaaaaaaaaa,” howls Leslie, as she squeezes her eyes shut and bears down to give one last push.
“You’re doing great, sweetie, your doing . . . I got her, I got her.”
Todd gently cradles his brand new daughter in his arms and looks down at her, tears of joy forming at the corners of his eyes.
“She is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen in my life.”
Todd, slowly stands and begins to lean down toward Leslie to give her the baby, but is unable to do so because Bridget and Sharon continue to hold onto Leslie’s hands.
Todd, a slightly puzzled look on his face, glances at Sharon and than Bridget.
“Todd,” Bridget says in a low and even voice, “your daughter she still needs you.”
“Oh, yeah, right, right. Say, where are those towels and could somebody get me a pair of sharp scissors so I can cut the umbilical . . .”
Todd stops in mid sentence, noticing that there is no umbilical cord. He begins to look around and notices that all the women are standing around him in a circle and, for the first time, it strikes him that they are all dressed in white.
“Ok, forget the scissors, but I still need the water and towels.”
As soon as the words leave his mouth, Todd notices Craig standing just beyond the circle of women, the white towels in his hand standing out in sharp contrast to the long black robe he is now wearing.
“Craig . . . what’s up with the choir robe?”
Craig’s only reply is to lower his gaze from Todd’s eyes to the baby still cradled in Todd’s arms.
Todd begins to look around the room and is greeted by the same neutral expression on each face, except for the face of his wife. There he sees a strange mixture of sadness and joy.
Todd is about to ask what is going on when a tiny gurgle from his daughter draws his attention back to her. She has the face of an angel and Todd thinks to himself that there is no place in the world that he would rather be right now than here with her.
Todd lifts the index finger of his right hand to his lips, gently kisses it and then lowers it toward his daughter’s lips.
Just as he is about to touch his finger to her lips his hand is frozen in mid air by what he sees. His daughter’s eyes, piercing, knowing eyes, have snapped open and her precious little pink lips have curled back to reveal two rows of tiny, razor sharp teeth.
Todd stands transfixed. He cannot move, he cannot breathe, his mind cannot comprehend what he is seeing.
The baby’s arms shoot out and grab Todd’s shirt. Her fingers nails, like tiny claws, tear through the fabric and into his flesh.
Almost before Todd can register the pain, the baby scrambles up his chest and begins to tear into the flesh of his throat with her teeth like a ravenous animal.
Todd hears himself scream, but it is as if the sound is coming from far away, from someone else, not him. He grabs at his daughter’s tiny body, but the strength already is draining from his hands and body, and he cannot pry her away from him.
The room begins to spin around Todd and he sees, through clouded eyes, a spray of arterial blood, his blood, splash dark red across all the women circling him. Todd thinks the women should be upset by this, by the blood staining their pristine white clothes, but they are not; they revel in it.
Todd crumbles to the floor. He is conscious of the weight of his daughter moving on his chest and face, but cannot really feel it. He experiences a tugging sensation, then darkness, then nothing.
The room is dead silent. The women, still standing in a circle, gaze down at the baby sitting on her father’s now lifeless chest.
Sharon is the first to move. She let’s Leslie’s hand slid from her grasp and steps toward her niece. Bending down, she lifts the baby off of Todd and rest the child on her hip.
“You are a good girl, yes you are, yes you are,” Sharon coos.
Sharon then turns toward her sister and is about to hand her the baby when she notices the child is clutching something in her tiny-balled fists.
“Well, now, what do we have here,” Sharon asks in a sing-song voice as she gently pries open the baby’s hands, takes the two objects that were hidden there and holds them up for all to see.
“Look everyone,” Sharon proclaims with a smile and laugh, “she has her father’s eyes.”
Copyright Brian T. Mulcahy 2008
have a great weekend!
smell ya later!