Changing Faces - Part One

Micaela

She was a breech birth; her mother ignorant of her true nature up until the last moment of blessed ignorance. It had been a difficult birth; Colette's entire body was trembling in pain, and the silk cloth she clutched in her hand was damp with sweat.

Eloise, the midwife, urged her on with the support of a woman who had helped many babies come into the world.

(The childs skin is blue) Eloise noted to herself (most likely from lack of air. I just hope she isn't dead.)

Colette swung her head back, pushing the wet ringlets of hair from her face. As another contraction wracked her body, a groan turned into a scream.

Eloise caught the infant, seeing with relief that its arms and legs were moving; perhaps it would live.

Then, Eloise got a better look.

The baby girl had dark blue skin; darker than any other oxygen deprived infant Eloise had ever delivered. A small patch of hair on the child's head was a bright, unnatural red. Her eys were not the hazy blue of most newborns, but a sickly yellow.

Eloise was so shocked and frightened that she dropped the infant into the sheets and scrambled backwards, gasping in fear.

Colette stared at the ashen pale woman for a moment, confusion and terror forcing her heart to pound.

(It's dead) she thought, pushing herself up, (It's dead. My poor baby-)

A minute gasp and a gurgling soound drew her attention to the wad of bloody sheets. The baby. It was trying to cry. It's alive! (But why did Eloise act like that-)she wondered as she pulled back a stained white bedcloth.

Her reaction was immediant. Even in the low light, she could make out the nearly black skin and eerie gold eyes. Crying out in disgust and dismay, Colette shoved the bundle from her, backpeddling madly.

Falling off the bed, she scrambled on all fours for the door. What was back there on the bed wasn't a deformed baby, but some kind of horribly misshaped monster! It looked like a demon-

Eloise gulped. She'd seen deformities before, of course. Who hadn't? But that-child-was more deformed than anything she'd ever seen. It looked positively inhuman.

The baby made a half-hearted attempt at a wail. It was breathing. It was alive. Good God-

"It's horrid", Colette whispered, staring at the infant from across the room, "She's deformed." Then, in a more hopeful voice-"Most of them die, don't they? Maybe if I don't touch it, or feed it-"

"No." Eloise said ferverently in a whorse whisper, "That's a sin, child.Its murder. You must care for her. She lives."

Colette whimpered. Part of her believed all to fully in the fires and flames of Hell; to abandon this child would damn her soul. But her first instinct was to tear out of this house, away from that monstrosity-

Eloise crept towards the door. "I must go fetch Father Adalard-perhaps he will know what to do with it..."

Eloise fairly bolted through the door, nearly shoving Colette out of the way.

Colette dropped to her hands and knees. Creeping across the floorboards slowly, she listened to them creak under her weight. Her hand reached out, pulling her towards the bundle of blankets, then caught on a nail, drawing blood.

Colette hissed in pain, bringing her finger up to kiss away the droplet. With her other hand, she pushed her fine, curly blonde hair behind her ears. She felt a trickle of sweat run down her back, causing the hairs on the back of her neck to stand up.

Stretching out an arm, she pulled the wad of sheets closer to her. A tiny hand flailed out, that freakish shade of blue, and grasped a handful of the white cloth.

Colette leaned over the bundle, unconsciously whimpering, and touched the infants face. Her bleeding finger left behind a streak of ruby blood on the babies cheek, causing her daughter to rub her face with the other hand in annoyance.

"Oh God." Colette curled up on the hardwood floor, she gave into fatigue and fell into a restless sleep, her child laying nearby.


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