"In my culture, there are certain beliefs
about things like this," Killy began lecturing. Ubu was cradling the baby,
wrapped in Ubu’s blanket, as the day dragged on after the strangest night the
ladies had ever encountered. Voel was sitting across the passage way, keeping a
kind of a distance from Ubu. Something within Voel wouldn’t let her get to
close to the baby. She almost felt as if she would dirty the child just by
being close to it. Killy’s head was still swirling with a ferocious hangover.
"There is a legend about 'the children of
the night'. Whenever a baby was found mysteriously, with no parents' it was
considered a bad omen. It is said that these infants were born by the night
herself and spelt doom for the village in which they appeared. It is said that
these babies were possessed by darkness and once they grew up they would devour
the village with their evil."
"What are you saying?" Ubu asked, her
voice already starting to shake with the horror implied by Killy.
"I am not saying anything. But this, this
is wrong. Things like this shouldn't happen."
"What do you mean 'things like this’? This
is only a baby. He's done nothing wrong to anyone!" Ubu was near hysteria
"The rebel commander who trained me was a
child of the night. No village stood where he passed. Voel, if nothing is done
about this child and he grows up this way…” Killy caught herself, trying hard
not to say anything hurtful. Her hands quivered as she lit a cigarette. Her
mouth started shaking as she took a drag, cars humming by in the street while
the three of them avoided making eye contact.
Killy, however, couldn’t hold it in. “Look at
us Voel”, she whispered, her voice trembling from the weight of what she wanted
to say. She wanted to say things that she didn’t want to hear. She wanted to
bring out what she had buried. “Look at us… LOOK AT US!” It seemed that is all
the strength to say, her voice now raspy from stifling a deep-throated sob. They were words that she losely draped over much that they wanted to cover: two prostitutes eeking out a living by feeding demons that society would like to believe do not exists. She
was looking straight at the dried pool of blood from the birth of the baby. Two
lines of tears glistened on either side of Killy’s mahogany hued face. She
wiped them away with the hand that was holding the cigarette then took another
“This…this is not life and I am tired…I am TIRED of death! The smell of
it sickens me. The smell of old blood scrapes my insides and I want to fucking
vomit. But I can’t even fucking puke because I have not fucking eaten in two
days…I just gag and the very air in my lungs wants to live me and I choke…I
choke on death. It strangles me when I sleep and the night just stares at
me…like it’s waiting to die…and I don’t even have the strength to do that. What
will death give me? Huh? What will death give me except the souls of those I
killed? I am too weak to die, how do you expect me to take care of a fucking life?”
Killy was broken. She got up, struggling to find her balance, she held on to
the wall, but the weight of things weighed her down and she hunched over as she
took a few slow steps. She hobbled along until Voel, Ubu and the baby were
behind her then, she straightened herself, wiped her tears, flicked the
cigarette and sauntered out of the passage with the grace and elegance that
betrayed all that she had just cried out of her.