It cries day and night.
The one they keep in charge of watching it does nothing to stifle it.
When they return to their home they fight, bicker and argue, but they ignore the awful screaming.
One leaves, the other remains alone as the child screams endlessly.
It drives me insane. Constant screaming. The thing does not sleep. I do not rest.
I am being driven into even more agitation than humans have ever in all my long life of these woods.
Tonight was the worst, the thing did not stop throughout the whole night. It appears neither of us will rest.
I do not know what is happening to me. I’ve had enough of the creatures incessant screaming so I left the forest and entered the home. I came into the room through an open window and prepared to strangle the life out of the feeble creatures never ending screaming and finally I would have peace. However, as I came into view of the thing it was quiet. I thought surely fear had gripped it. I smiled thinking I had given it a final feeling to know before I killed it, but then it smiled and giggled. It wriggled its feeble little arms outstretched towards me continuing to giggle. This sound… and those eyes looking into mine I felt something… before I knew it the creature was in my arms and happily cooing…
I felt joy at this awkwardly. My senses seems to return to me, but only as I gazed out and saw dawn beginning to break. HOW LONG HAD I BEEN CRADLING THIS CREATURE??! I for some reason was reluctant to hurry… I placed the creature back into its wooden crib and saw that its eyes were closed… It was sleeping… I stroked it gently with one claw. Realizing that time was short I hurried from the open window back into the forest where I too slept… peacefully strangely enough…
I awoke midway through the day and to silence. The thing was not screaming. I peered from the forest and saw that the watching one was not bothering with the one in its charge and strangely this brought anger to me. I saw it talking into its phone while pacing outside, the infant began crying again and I watched it. The watchers mood soured and they yelled at the infant, which did not quiet. They returned to their phone briefly and then went to the child. She checked its under wrapping discarding it and replacing it. However the creature did not quiet, she gave it a bottle filled with some fluid that the infant refused to take. She shook the infant yelling at it.
Rage coursed through me. I had made my way to the home and was watching quietly from a entryway. She placed the infant back into its crib and returned to her phone angrily. I slipped inside and made my way to the infant and upon entering it quickly saw me and its screaming stopped. It again, giggled arms outstretched, I checked that the watching one was preoccupied with its phone and then I picked up the infant again. A strange sense of joy came to me at the touch of the infant and I once again began cradling it, a smile making its way across my face. At first I felt it nuzzling me and then I felt its mouth lock onto a breast. I was slightly taken aback at its attempt to nurse from me, but I soon soothed and did not mind.
I cradled it and did so happily as it nursed. I chose to name it. Unthr. I always liked the way it sounded and I had heard Humans use this word or something similar when they made way through my woods. My little Unthr… I heard the watcher coming back and I quickly put Unthr back in his crib and quickly hid. I was inside of the closet as she came in.
“…Yeah the little brat is not screaming anymore. It was weird, this is the first time he has not screamed all day. This morning he was quiet and then during the middle of the day he was acting up… Yeah, he’s fine. You want to come over? She won’t be home till late tonight and I am getting paid the same s**t wage… Okay see ya when you get here. Buh-bye…” she stopped talking to the phone and went out of the room closing the door behind her. I returned to Unthr and allowed him to continue to nurse. I cradled him in my scaly bosom and could not help, but smile again as he brought joy to me somehow… in some strange way.
After a little while he was sound asleep, I placed him in his crib and nuzzled my nose to his as he lightly cooed and then rested. I went and quickly subdued and devoured a deer then I returned to my watching place on the outskirts of the woods. I returned as the sun had begun to set and then I spied not one, but two humans now together there. I watched them as they disregarded my Unthr. He was quiet until they began disrobing, teasing and then loudly moaning as they mated. The sounds disturbed his rest and so he began to cry out. He wanted silence. I wanted silence for him. I krept to the home under the shroud of darkness. I saw them through a window which I shattered and quickly made away. Watching them I saw that they had been startled. They went to the window and looked at it.
“F*****g kids. One must’ve been peeping in and wanted to f**k with us so they broke the window.”
“Goddamnit, how am I gonna explain this to Mrs. Territ?”
“Just how I described it some f@#king punks broke the window and ran off.” They stopped and seemed put off, but I could not go to Unthr and so he continued to cry. The two went to the car of the other and then one left. The other came inside and sat in front of the television and seemed to be entranced. Many nights went by this way. Her and her mate trying to mate in the home while Unthr’s mother continually left and returned without offering any care to its offspring. Surely if it were not for my own nourishment of Unthr, he would either grow feeble or perish. My affections for Unthr continued to grow up until the point where I now considered myself his surrogate mother and I made sure to see him everyday and growing more hatred for the lazy humans that would surely have left him to die. I began planning to steal him away.
It had been a year of my watching and stealthy care of my Unthr. He no longer cried out incessantly and was growing stronger from his nursing, I could see it in him. Finally I believed I had the habits of the mother and the watcher down. The mother came in the late of night and would yell into her phone as she spoke with whom I figured was the father, then rest and early in the morn she depart once more. The watcher would come as the sun broke over the land, sometimes later, and then only temporarily visit Unthr and do some tasks such as offer him the bottle.
My Unthr new that foul liquid was no good and always resisted and declined when possible. She would then enter the other room and watch the television and await the arrival of the mother and after a brief exchange with her leave via her own car. Then the mother began doing something strange, she would go into the resting place of Unthr and stare at him strangely while she held and squeezed a pillow she normally rested her head upon. I did not like the look she held, it was one with conceit, contempt and that of a predator eyeing prey, I did not know what she was thinking, but I knew it was not good for my Unthr.
One day this all changed, I had finished setting up the area for where Unthr would rest inside the old abandoned mine that I was living within when I returned to the home of the humans. The watcher was asleep within so I went inside and comforted my Unthr. From his nursings he was definitely beginning to inherit traits from his true mother as I could feel his little developing teeth. Humans take longer to get their teeth and their teeth are usually flat, but not my Unthr. He had little points beginning to breach the gum line and though they were sharp, my scales were quite hardy enough for them. And looking into his eyes I could see his Iris had begun to change they had begun changing to a light orange tint and in the dark I could see they too picked up the light in the dark and looked like two dim little candle lights.
I enjoyed my time with him and thought, “I could just take him now.” And I almost did, but then the mother returned home earlier than normal. The lights of her car caught my attention and so I placed him back and crawled through the window as I heard the humans in the adjacent room speaking.
“Your here early?”
“I just lost my job. You can go and I’ll pay you tomorrow.”
“Oh… Uh… Okay…” The watcher went to their bicycle and left.
Soon thereafter the mother seemed to fly into a blind rage and began throwing things around the house causing a commotion that woke Unthr and had him crying.
“SHUT UP YOU USELESS LITTLE S**T!” she went to his room and so did I. I watched as she had the pillow again, but this time she firmly placed it over Unthr’s head and pressed down muffling his cries.
“MOMMY’S HERE NOW. WAS THIS WHAT YOU WANTED? NO? WELL GUESS YOU SHOULDN’T HAVE CRIED SO MUCH, HUH?” I saw now she was trying to suffocate him and I immediately broke into the room, “YOU AREN’T THE ONE HE CALLS!!” And I hissed out angrily as she backed away and screamed. I grabbed her and closed my clawed hands around her throat gouging deeply and pulling her into the adjoining hallway. My body wrapped around hers and began constricting her. I did not hesitate I was not trying to calmy subdue food, I wanted her to feel pain and fear.
I immediately increased my pressure breaking her bones one by one and continuing to increase pressure I released her throat with my hand and allowed her to begin coughing up large sums of blood, with each pop another rib cracked and punctured her organs. She would scream could she, but we were well past that. I leaned in close, “He is my son now.” And with one final amount of force I snapped her spine. She coughed, tensed then twitched slightly, but then the life left her. I released her broken body as it ragdolled to the floor, blood flowing from every orifice and bones protruding from random areas where the flesh had ruptured from the immense amounts of pressure I had placed upon her. I took hold of Unthr and cradled him as his crying soon stopped and soon he rested his eyes and he slept peacefully I slithered all the way back to the mine singing him a lullaby my mother had sung me.
“Hush now little one, from the evil men we run. To a place where they cannot come, A place where you can always have fun. Rest now little one, for your troubles are surely done.”
Nathanael sat in front of the fire with all of the other teens mesmerized by his story.
“The babysitter came by the next morning and found the mothers broken body and the police were called. They did not know what could have done the damage inflicted upon her body, but they never did find her infant son. All they found was a bloody trail leading from the body to the nursery room and back out the front door. That and the crib was missing as well.”
“B******t.” Nathanael and the rest of the group looked to Mark who had butted in with his assessment.
“The police would have searched the forest and when they did they would have found the… mine shaft did you say it was and they would have killed the creature and gotten the kid back. Besides, you didn’t even tell us what the monster is.” Nathanael cracked a smile.
“They might have tried… but the point of the story is to make you question what really is the monster. The creature which affectionately took care of the infant or the mother who slowly was growing into a depressed and agitated mess even to the point of willing to murder her own child. And if you really want to know the “monster” as you seem to think it was, is a shapeshifter known by many names, but most commonly called: Naga, Medusa or Lamia.”
“Yeah, like I said, b******t and boring.” The rest of the group didn’t think so, they were all very interested in the story some went to alleviate themselves of the beer they had drank or were going to get another. Stacy quickly asked before Mark could b**t in again, “So, the monster nursed and raised the infant? I guess the story has its tense moments, but I actually liked it.” Maggie was just looking at Nathanael unmoving and pale, sweat seemed to drip down her brow as she lightly shivered. Mark who had sat next to her the whole story had noticed, “You all right babe? Don’t tell me that sappy story scared you.” She did not speak as she could not unfix her eyes from what she was seeing. Nathanael smiled, “Wanna know something about shape shifters? There are those that believe only those who believe in them can see past the tricks of the shapeshifter.” Maggie knew what he was saying as from beginning of the story she had watched the form of Nathanael blur by the fire, and as the story progressed he distorted more and more now those sepentine eyes glistened with the fires light and stared at her amused, a grin of razor sharp teeth menacingly lay before her. Stacy came up next to Nathanael and he placed one clawed hand over her shoulder. “Who told you that story?” Stacy could not feel the scales or claws pressing to her nor the long serpentine body she was hugging to. Nathanael looked up amused, “Well, my mother of course.”