Sunday, 29 November 2009 - 8:23 pm

Danger of maybes

Mother and baby are reportedly doing all right. Masterson is keeping everyone away from them, saying that both need time to rest and recover their strength.

Kostoya has spent the day up there, though. I think they’ve been running tests on the little boy, checking on how normal he really is. Now that the stress and danger of the birth is over, I’m not the only one wondering what the poison has done to him. How will they test him? Expose him to sunlight and see if he’s allergic? Wave fresh meat at him and see if he’s hungry?

What if he’s like Ben? What if he seems normal but there’s a beast riding under his skin? How would a child be able to control that? Ben could have killed all of us, but he wasn’t that kind of guy. He didn’t want to be that breed of monster. But a child born that way – what are his chances? What are they really?

There were signs with Ben, though. There were indications that he wasn’t quite normal: the chill of his skin; the painful slowness of his pulse. He couldn’t stomach regular food. So we’d be able to tell with the baby. If that’s what he is. There are things to look for.

I should stop thinking about this. Ben’s gone and it hurts to think about him. Not just because of what happened at the end, but also because he struggled so hard against it. He fought against the demands of his own body, even while his nature had changed under him. He tried to be what he once was. It was brave and hopeless, and an exercise in denial.

Stop, Faith. Stop it. The baby isn’t what he was. Don’t rake all that up again; it does no good at all.

We don’t know how the baby is, other than alive. We’ll find out. The doctor and the professor will figure out what’s going on there. They’ll tell us when they know, so just hold on. Hold on and don’t let your mind run off on you.

This should be a happy time. The euphoria after the birth has faded – I think it escaped while I slept, stolen by dreams I don’t want to remember. There was so much screaming and most of it was mine. I dreamed in particolour: black and white and red. Everyone I cared about was there, even my long-gone sister Chastity, chewed on or chewing. So many hands and teeth, and I couldn’t hold anyone together. Not even myself.


Strangely, some of the hope has lasted. I heard Dale talking with a couple of the others about what we would need to start some kind of farm. Any way to grow food. They’re looking for ways to keep going, to push on towards something better.

I think part of it is because the foragers didn’t find anything today. Not a single bite. We’re almost down to living hand-to-mouth, which is a problem when your hands are empty.

We need to sit down and talk about all this. Work out what we’re going to do. Once we know what the situation with the baby is, we’ll have to do that. I hate this aimless not knowing. The possibilities bristle at us, and most of them are unwelcome. I need to know which of the brighter ones are real. I need to know how to reach for them.