She walked on the dirt road slowly, the dust clouds she created caked dirt all over her black sneakers and the bottom of her polyester black pants. Tammy Lynn hated the shoes and hated the pants even more. Her uniform from ”Clucky’s “ the fried chicken grease pit where she worked at . She wished she didn't live way out in the outskirts of town. In the middle of a half dead corn field with the nearest neighbor two miles away. She continued on at the slow pace, taking her time. Even as the 100 degree weather baked her brain, she would not hurry to reach the dirty little trailer sooner than she had to, Tammy Lynn refused to call it home. It was a prison, a cage, a place she dreaded returning to. Inside the trailer was the burden that would be chained to her for the rest of her life.
And it was probably awake right now too.
A little over a year ago, she remembered telling its father Jacob she was pregnant. He had a job at the slaughter house, had a decent truck, graduated last year and seemed to be good catch.Dumb enough to believe he might be the daddy and do the honorable thing, but the boy wasn't that dumb. Truth is, Tammy Lynn didn't know who its father was. She had been to way too many parties, getting drunk and high. Winding up half-passed out and taking on anyone who gave her the least bit of attention. She couldn't remember most of those times too well, much less every guy she was with. Always being used by men and actually liking it too. But she thought Jacob was different, maybe he even cared about her a little. Made her think she might actually like to be a wife and mom.
Turned out not only was she wrong about him caring about her, but he was cheap too. Wouldn't even help her pay for an abortion. Tammy Lynn knew she was in trouble. Big trouble. Pregnant with no daddy, and with no money. That meant no fun, no boys, and no life.
Her Grams caught her one afternoon trying to shove a hanger up herself and stopped her before she could do any real damage. After a 3 hour lecture and plenty of praying, Grams said she better go get a job and start learning how to do something besides spread her legs and get drunk. Took her to church and made her pray for forgiveness. Tammy Lynn prayed alright, prayed harder than she ever had in her whole 17 years, but not for forgiveness, she prayed the thing that slithered and shifted around inside her would just die.
She arrived at the trailer. The screen door banged in the hot wind. Tammy Lynn took a cigarette out, went and sat in the lawn chair underneath the makeshift awning they had put up. She opened the cooler next to the chair and looked inside. To her surprise, there was still half a six pack left! “Bingo!" Tammy Lynn smiled and whispered softly. She didn't want her Grams to know she had got into her beer, but mostly she whispered because she didn't want it to hear she was home. She opened the can as quietly as she could, which to her sounded like a firecracker going off. She took a long swig before her Grams could stop her... Scolding her about drinking and breastfeeding, but truth was, she wasn't going to breast feed it anymore. Tammy Lee hugged her chest. It had been biting her too much... It had teeth already! Only 4 months and it had a few teeth! Sharp ones too, her poor nipples had scabs all over them... Too bad if they couldn't afford formula, “Let it die" she thought.
She heard movement from inside the trailer, “Damn it's awake already?” Tammy sighed and got up. She took the last drink of beer and walked inside the dark trailer. It stunk inside. Not just the normal odor of the old dank little trailer, but another scent on top of it. .coming from the baby’s crib. It always had a weird smell. Ever since it was born. Right here in the trailer. Grams said she had helped plenty of midwives growing up and they couldn't afford a hospital anyways.
Not only did that thing smell, but something was wrong with it. Its legs were deformed, fused together, looking more like a dolphin tail than legs. Like some sort of hideous baby mermaid. She thought it was disgusting. She tried not to touch it or hold it. She thought it knew it too somehow, the way it watched her from its crib. With the one eye that was slightly milky, then it would drool and give her that stupid smile and Tammy Lynn would kind of feel guilty. "It wasn't the baby's fault that it was born that way" her Grams would tell her with an accusing look. Tammy Lynn guilty remembered when she had caught her trying to give herself a douche full of bleach in her 7 month of pregnancy. Slapped her hard enough to make her teeth rattle .
She heard a noise coming from the little bedroom. A rustling sound.
"Grams? ... You in the bedroom?" Tammy Lynn called out
Then the sound again. Like the rustling of sheets on the bed. She began walking towards the bedroom. Now she was annoyed. Grams was probably napping and the baby was making a mess in the room. Great now she would have to go clean up after it. And pick it up and put it in the crib she thought to herself . Tammy Lynn shivered at the thought.
She passed the cluttered little kitchen area and saw an empty baby bottle with a little formula left in it. Tammy Lynn knew she was in for it now. Grams must have figured out that she had quit breastfeeding and that it hadn't eaten in 2 days! She would know that's why it had been crying so much. But Tammy Lynn didn’t care, she hope that 'thing' starved.She stepped up to the bedroom door. The cheap door was so thin she could hear it inside slurping on the bottle. Tammy Lynn opened the door and saw her Grams sitting in her rocking chair. The window had a blanket over it, they'd hung it up over the blinds because ever since it was born it didn't like bright lights too much. .
Grams cradled it in her arms, feeding it a bottle, again she shuddered at the thought of holding it and hoped Grams wouldn't make her. The sounds it made drinking the bottle were almost enough to make her vomit. She was glad she had stopped breastfeeding.
"Grams, I'm sorry alright? But I can’t anymore. Just hurts too much .It has teeth and it’s been biting my nipples …Grams ? " Tammy Lynn asked nervously
Tammy Lynn pulled the chain for the overhead ceiling fan light.
She wished she hadn't.
It was sitting on Grams chest eating. But it wasn’t a bottle it was feeding on... It was eating Grams. There at her throat, biting pieces of flesh off and slurping it down. It turned to look it her, she saw a gleam of recognition, (or was it a mutual disgust she saw?) Tammy Lynn couldn't scream, couldn't move. She made a gasping sound and tried to back up and tripped over some baby toys by the bed. She fell against the dresser, dislocating her shoulder and landed on the floor with a painful thump. She rose up on one elbow and looked over at her poor Grams. The shocked look on her face ..
She heard a dragging noise and turned to see it had crawled (or had it slithered ?) down from Gram's bloodied lap . Now it was heading towards Tammy Lynn.
She guessed the thing was still hungry . It wanted its mother.
She saw it had grown more teeth.
Lots more teeth.......