In the maternity hospital office on the fifth floor, a wide-hipped nurse, Hazel, with her hair in a honeybun-style, ran up to the counter shrieking, coiled a magazine and whacked a small spider. “That pest control guy did a lousy job. The bugs are still running around.” This old brick building with crumbling mortar had been scheduled for major renovations but then the hospital budget was cut.
Sitting in the waiting room of a couch and assorted chairs, two young men jumped at the sound and looked at each other in panic. Sweat sprouted like blisters on their forehead and their hands shook. Hazel lowered her tone to a whisper as she leaned over the counter. “Sorry, gentlemen. Nothing happened to your wives.”
A garbage-truck-sized tradesman with a spray cylinder in one hand and a tool box in the other stomped down the pea-green-painted hospital corridor toward the elevator. His grimy shirt sported the gaudy embroidered label ‘BUG FREE’.
Rake-skinny nurse, Melba, poked Hazel. “Run after the bug guy.”
Hazel snorted. “Our supervisor told me I can’t bother him with my arachnophobia. The bill was getting too high.”
At the elevator, a young security guard peered inside the bug man’s tool box before the guard pushed the elevator button.
Melba in vomit-green scrubs chirped, “If they have to close the department to do a thorough bug spraying, I hope they do it on a weekday. I’m behind with my gardening.”
Hazel threw the spider-squashing magazine in the trash. “Fat chance.” After she sanitized the counter with vinegar-water, she sauntered down the corridor.
In a private delivery room near the office, a pretty, young, doe-eyed woman lay on a bed with her feet in stirrups. Hazel poked her head up from under the sheet. “Mrs. Williams, the epidural still has some time to work. Just lay back and rest.”
A quarter-sized black spider on the floor observed that the young woman had fallen asleep. The black and beady spider’s eyes rolled. Her face had an angelic repose. One of its legs twitched.
The exterminator standing at the door, heard the ding of the elevator, and saw the door opening. He entered and the elevator door closed. A petit woman with flowers had exited and approached the counter. “I’m looking for Mrs. Williams. I’m her sister.”
Melba was heady with the fresh flower scent. “She’s down the hall at room 3A.”
The sister tiptoed into the room and saw her sister asleep. She quietly came near her bed to place the flowers on the bedside table. First, the smell hit her until she turned around.
Hearing a scream, Hazel ran back into the young woman’s room and gasped when she saw all the blood and fluid on the floor. Red, running, pooling, mixed with clots and womb detritus.
With her sister beside her, the young mother woke but couldn’t see anything because of the sheet and fell back to the sweat-drenched pillow.
A doctor entered, also drawn by the scream. She skirted the pools of blood covering the floor, lifted the sheet and saw the deflated belly. There was no baby. “Nurse, run down to the guard at the elevator to see who has left the floor in the last ten minutes. The baby is missing. Hurry, hurry!”
The doctor looked at the crimson blood splashed against the cool-green floor tiles. The metallic stench of blood filled the room. A reddish blood trail lead to the small broom closet in the room, its door slightly ajar. She gingerly stepped around the amniotic trail and slowly opened the door. She gasped.
A tiny baby, with a serene face, precious pink, lay sleeping naked just inside the door but waved its clenched fists. Spiders covered the baby and were wiping it clean. In an assembly line, the spiders took the fluid to numerous webs in the closet that contained their own babies’ nurseries and fed them.
The End.Recommend0 Simily SnapsPublished in