Baby

This story is in my book Monster Party. I also made a book, with my friend Pete Hickok, of the story. The illustration is the first page of that book. I wrote this story probably in 2009.

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After the whole thing went down, the tidal wave, which we told you about and the earthquake, the fires and the meteorite hitting Germany, we sold all of our water for guns and flak jackets and walked North during the nights when it was cool enough to be outside.  Right before daybreak we would find basements or dig caves and then one of us would find a sleeping person and steal as much of their water as we could, without killing them if possible, and then we would hide.

We were having a lot of sex back then.  The condoms had all been used as germ shields for amputees but we assumed neither of us could get pregnant due to all the radiation from the bomb the English dropped when they couldn’t think of what else to do and the fact that your father was a man.  

Of course, we all know what assuming gets you.

We couldn’t have known then, in those early mornings when we would share the stolen water and then tongue kiss as quietly as possible until even in a basement it was 100 degrees, and we just couldn’t handle the skin feeling of each other anymore but we couldn’t handle the sad feeling either. Because by then we knew our families had been murdered for their Earthquake Preparedness Kits, and so we would take turns mercilessly pounding each other until we were so hot and so tired we didn’t feel sad anymore and then we would sleep feet to feet until nighttime.  We couldn’t have known then how much you wanted to be born.  

So we walked for weeks.  We shot some people, honey; we had to.  Those reflective blankets turned out to be so useful while we were crossing the fires in Eastern Oregon and your father and I were young back then before the earthquake so we had scorned those preparedness kits.  You can’t buy kits like that now.  I mean, you can’t buy anything.  And we would just go at it, as hard as possible, for as long as possible, all morning, every one of those days.  And then of course your dad started feeling sick and I just thought it was the airborne fast acting syphilis that had mutated and was killing everyone still alive but then his stomach started getting bigger and that was never a symptom and your father was always so skinny and I just didn’t know what it was.  

One night, we were up almost to Washington at this point, I was on my hands and knees and your dad had been slapping my ass and giving it to me pretty hard and I felt you kick.  He had just come I think and he gave me one last slap and sort of slumped over on top of me and there was this movement from his stomach on my back.  That was you baby!  Kicking your adorable little leg!

When we finally accepted that this was a new world and we would just have to learn to adjust, that procreation was probably our purpose, especially now that 90% of the rest of the people were gone, well, we just embraced it, and made sure that our machetes were sharp enough for surgery.

I’ve never told you this sweet pea but I delivered you with my own hands.  And your father’s machete.  I found some books at a high school outside of what used to be Walla Walla.  I never took Biology but after some studying, I decided you would be somewhere in your father’s stomach and then I figured the best angle to cut at and then I shot a man for a needle and thread.  

I’m sorry baby.  Things were different back then.

I remember pulling you out of your daddy’s abdomen!  All glowing.  Yours was the first face I had ever seen with three eyes!  Even though I thought you looked kind of like a monster, especially with that one central leg and no discernable genitalia, I loved you and knew I couldn’t shoot you for food.

Of course, you were only a couple weeks old when we made it to Canada and your dad finally succumbed to the airborne syphilis but by then you had reached maturity and were bounding around on that one perfect leg, sucking up cockroaches so quickly we never had to worry about breastfeeding.  Yes I miss your father but we always agreed it was better to be dead.  

I am so proud of you honey!  The way you figured out how to asexually reproduce, the way you tenderly show your babies how to pull the trigger on a gun so carefully with one of their seven fingers, always aiming for the knee caps, never the throat.  You are so gentle with them!  The world you repopulate will be a beautiful one, if devoid of any language I can understand.

Now you know baby that I am 32 this year.  The oldest human being left on Earth.  We’ve had a good run sugar but I know the symptoms of the airborne syphilis and I feel that these are my last moments with you.  Remember me, if you have memory, when you hum your monotone tunes to your babies at night and when you find an old cache of bottled water.  I love you baby.  Good luck with planet Earth.

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