Broken - Part 1Six hours.
Kelly stared at the clock as she trudged around the nursery for the 100th time. The little pink bundle in her hand squealed at the top of its lungs.
It’s been six hours.
Kelly placed her daughter into her bassinet and collapsed into the rocker. Lily was barely a month old, but already she was proving to be more than a handful. She had started out a happy, quiet baby, but as she got older she became more and more difficult to deal with. Hours of screaming, which only ended when she became too exhausted to cry, were becoming more and more common. Nothing Kelly or her husband did seemed to help. Lily’s pediatrician had said she was just colicky, and he assured Kelly that she would grow out of it-in about six or seven months. That fact was of little comfort at the moment.
Kelly gazed at the bassinet and listened to her little girl scream louder. She was at the end of her rope. Kelly hadn’t had a good night’s sleep in weeks, and her health was starting to suffer for it. She couldn’t eat, could barely think, and would often break down sobbing uncontrollably. The anti-depressants her doctor had prescribed did little to help. Kelly couldn’t help but feel like she was the worst mother in the world.
Kelly didn’t remember getting up, but suddenly she found herself standing next to Lily’s bassinet. Lily continued screaming. Kelly wondered if she’d ever stop. She could make her stop, though. It would be so easy. One or two quick shakes is all it would take. The screaming would stop, and Kelly would finally be able to rest. Just a little shake. So simple.
Kelly shook her head, banishing the horrible thought as she did so. How could she even think about doing something like that? Lily was her only child, the best thing she had going for her? What kind of monster was she? The realization of what she had almost done hit her like a sledgehammer. Kelly broke down sobbing.
“Hello, Kelly dear! Are you up there?”
The sound of her mother’s voice brought Kelly back to her senses. The door to the nursery opened, and Kelly’s mother walked in, a small paper bag under her arm. Kelly ran into her mother’s arms and sobbed into her shoulder.
“Kelly, honey, what’s wrong? Is everything okay?”
Kelly shook her head as Lily continued screaming. Kelly’s mother held her daughter tight, stroking her hair as she shushed into her ear.
“There, there, honey. Everything’s going to be all right. I know being a brand new mom is tough-I was one once too, you know. Things might seem bad now, but just remember tomorrow’s a new day, and everything passes.”
Kelly’s mother held her daughter’s face in her hands and gazed into her eyes.
“And remember, baby, you’re a damn good mother. Just remember that, and you’ll be just fine. Understand?”
Kelly nodded as her mother wiped away her tears. Kelly’s mother smiled and kissed her on the forehead.
“Now, let’s see if we can’t make our little Lilybean feel better, okay?”
Kelly’s mother walked over to the bassinet and scooped Lily into her arms. She began rocking and singing to Lily. Lily, however, was having none of it, and continued to scream.
“I’ve tried everything, mom,” Kelly sniffed. “I just don’t know what’s wrong with her.”
“Oh you were twice as bad,” Kelly’s mother smiled. “Hell I couldn’t get you to stop crying for almost two months. I brought something that might help, though.”
Kelly’s mother rummaged around in the sack, and pulled out a pink teddy bear. The bear’s fur was flat and dulled with age. Tiny musical notes competed with poorly repaired rents and tears for space on the bear’s body. Kelly eyed the ancient bear with distaste.
“What the hell is that?”
“It’s my old Magic Melody Bear. My mom gave it to me when I was little. I figured it might help calm Lily down. Besides, every kid needs a teddy bear.”
Kelly’s mother placed a still-screaming Lily back in the bassinet. She laid the bear down next to Lily. Lily's hand bumped against the bear's nose, and she immediately latched on. Her cries began to soften, and after a few seconds stopped altogether as Lily drifted off to sleep.
"Oh my God," Kelly gasped quietly. "I don't believe it!"
"I thought that might help," Kelly's mother smiled. "Now you go and get some rest, dear. I'll stay and watch her."
* * *Melody couldn't see anything, but she knew she was being carried somewhere. The sack the old woman had put her in was dark, cramped, and smelled vaguely of mothballs. Melody knew they were on their way to see the woman's granddaughter - she had said as much - but Melody didn't like not being able to see where she was going. Going into any situation cold always made things more difficult.
Melody heard a door open, and heard the old woman call out. She also heard something else; a high pitched, urgent screaming. That had to be the granddaughter. Melody also sensed something else, something dark, and hungry. No wonder the little one was so upset - there was a beast somewhere nearby.
Another door opened, and a massive wave of revulsion washed over Melody. Anger, fear, hatred, every negative emotion she had ever felt was brought to the fore and magnified. Melody’s stomach churned. Her breathing became rapid and shallow as her eyes began to water. The world started to spin, and Melody shut her eyes, and begged it to stop. Her head began to pound-a rhythmic thump thump thump. Melody knew what was causing it. Those fucking humans out there. The old woman, the younger one, and the baby. Especially the goddamn baby. Melody’s eyes snapped open, a red haze obscured her vision. She knew what she had to do.
She had to kill every one of them.
Melody’s sword had found its way into her paw. She didn’t remember drawing it, but right now she didn’t care. A quick slice opened the bag. Another slice took the old woman’s hand with it. Blood geysered out from the stump, a puddle rapidly forming where the old woman stood.
Everything was happening in slow motion. Melody hit the ground rolling. She came up with her shotgun cocked, locked, and ready to rock. Melody leveled the weapon at the old woman’s head. The old woman stood staring dumbly at the stump where her hand was. She was still staring as the blast from Melody’s shotgun took her face off. Blood and bits of bone and brain sprayed the ceiling.
Thump, thump, thump
Melody turned to the young woman. She stood next to the bassinet screaming in sheer terror. The second blast from Melody’s shotgun caught her square in the leg. The lower half of her leg flew across the room as the young woman tumbled to the floor. Melody charged, a feral cry escaping her throat. Melody jumped on top of the woman’s chest, and drew her blade across the woman’s neck. Blood fountained from the woman’s ruined throat. The only noise the woman could make was a horrible gagging sound as her hands struggled in vain to close her wound. Melody left the woman to bleed out, and turned towards the bassinet.
Thump, thump, thump, thump
Gore stained Melody’s once pink fur, growing sticky as it dried. She vaulted up onto the edge of the bassinet. The baby was screaming at the top of its lungs. Each shriek sliced through Melody like a knife. She noticed her head was pounding in time with the baby’s heartbeat.
THUMP THUMP THUMP THUMP
Melody hopped into the bassinet and stood over the baby. This was it. This was the source of her pain. That shrieking little lump of flesh. Such an ugly fucking thing, so weak and pitiful. She was going to put an end to this, right fucking now.
Melody stood over the mewling little thing. The world around her melted away until all she could see was the baby; all she could hear were its panicked cries. Melody raised her sword, closed her eyes, and-screaming-drove the tip towards the baby’s heart.
Stay tuned for Broken - Part 2.
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