Takes place a little under a year after The Host ends. Rated YA, or PG-13
I didn’t know what to make of the mixture of happiness, fear and sadness. I thought back to when Jared and I had first revealed our feelings to each other and I had the vision of a little baby, defenseless in this horrible world. Things
were different now though, I thought of Freedom, and of the community here, the
feeling of safety I got from this place, this was home. Doc was here so I knew
that medically there would be no problem, Lucina’s delivery had gone smoothly, Freedom
was healthy and strong. There was
still the fear of being caught, which was only intensified, but I was used to
having not only the fear for your life but the fear for someone else’s being
much stronger. I had Jamie. I was still sad that my child and I would never run
through a grassy park, or go out to the movies together, or go to the amusement
park. My child could never have a normal childhood. My child! I couldn’t get
over saying that, and so the fear, the sadness and the happiness merged once
more. Then there was the other fear, not the fear that something would happen
to my baby after they were born, but that they may never get a chance to live.
I remembered what Sharon looked like the day after it happened, she looked shell-shocked, but like she was in more pain than humanly possible. She walked numbly through the halls, murmuring one name. She
had told me just a week before that she was naming him Eustace if it was a boy.
She knew Doc would disapprove, but she felt it her duty to carry on his
family’s name tradition. Sharon had been happier than I’d ever seen her. All
the anger that she had worn since Wanda and I arrived here was erased, of
course she didn’t cozy up to Wanda and have a slumber party, but she wasn’t so
furious. Then Doc rushed by our room one night with Sharon in his arms, we
followed after him quickly, getting to the hospital wing a few seconds after he
did. When I saw Sharon writhing on the bed all I could think was that the baby
was coming! Then I looked at her protruding stomach, just barely bigger than a
soup bowl, let alone the enormous volleyball size of a full term pregnancy.
Then the blood came, so much of it, and afterwards, a little baby, not crying
or breathing, not even fully developed. That sight would haunt me forever.
We buried Eustace Jr. in the grave with Walter and Wes. I hoped and prayed that I would not have to put my baby there, that they would be healthy and strong. I
knew they would be beautiful, no child of Jared’s couldn’t be, and the
happiness hit again.
“Jared, can we speak somewhere quietly?” I asked Jared demurely,
“Uh, sure,” he replied, he flashed me his beautiful smile, his eyes wondering.
We made our way in to our room and sat down on the bed.
“Jared, I love you more than anything in the world, and I am so happy to be with you right now, I am beyond happy, and everyone else her too, Jamie, Wanda, Jeb, the
whole community…” I trailed off thinking of the new members of our little
group. A few people from one of the other colonies had joined ours. Nate didn’t
have a bad setup, they were hiding in a hollowed out cavern at a mountain peak
where snow dribbled down to give them a water supply and plenty of elk ran
through for them to hunt for food, along with some plants that grew on the
slope naturally. I don’t know why, but a few people opted to join us. Maybe it
was that underground felt safer than high up, or maybe they were just tired of
the cold and decided some desert heat would be nice. Whatever the reason, three
people from Nate’s “pod” had joined us. A woman named April and her sixteen
year old daughter Fiona, and a man named Eli who came here to be partnered with
Lucina, he was so good with Freedom and Isaiah, it was like he was their own
father… this thought brought me back to what I was saying to Jared.
“Mel?” Jared asked, probably going crazy, wondering what I was leading up to.
“Jared, I always felt that our little family was complete with you me and Jamie, but well, I-I’m pregnant, we are having a baby!” I blurted out the words, excited,
wondering what his reaction would be.
I certainly didn’t expect him to scoop me up off the ground into an enormous bear hug, but that is exactly what he did.
“Oh Mel, this is amazing! I just hope we can give him everything he needs…” he trailed off, I could see him going through the same emotions I had been going
through. I saw the happiness in his smile, the fear in his eyes, the sadness in
“He’s gonna be just fine, Freedom was, everything is going to go great, with out a hitch.” I reassured him, and myself.
“Of course” he agreed, the joy back, and then he wrapped me up in his arms and gave me the most passionate kiss I had ever received
“What’s up Mel?” I asked, it was still strange, not being able to hear her thoughts, being completely alone in my head. It had been almost a year since We had been
separated, but I had had her there since insertion, it was kind of a part of
being human for me. I still saw
her as my sister, we were still close, not being bound by one body hadn’t
changed that much. Jamie was still my brother, Jeb my friend and uncle. I
looked to my right at Jamie, he didn’t know why Melanie had wanted to talk to
us either, but Jared sat beside her, clearly in the know.
“Wanda, Jamie, I told Jared first of course, but I definitely wanted to tell you too next, all of the people I love should know this. Of course, pretty soon
everyone will know anyway, but I meant that you should know first.” She looked at Jared and they
shared a smile as she chuckled. Then she put her hand on her stomach, not being
human, it took me longer to understand the gesture, Jamie however, jumped right
up and shouted,
“You’re pregnant! I’m going to be an uncle!” he shouted quite loudly for a fifteen year old. I couldn’t believe it, Mel and Jared having a baby, a new life in the
“This is so great guys. I can’t believe it! Of course it’s going to be such a beautiful baby, how can it not with the two of you as parents?” I said
enthusiastically. On the inside though, I felt a sharp pain, I had no idea why.
“Is it alright if I tell Ian?” I asked and the pain came again when I said his name and saw his image in my head.
“Of course you can. I m so happy!” Mel burst out ecstatically.
When I got into our room, Ian was sitting on the bed, reading. Seeing him in person gave me the pain again.
“Hello” he said, sitting up on the bed and smiling. I sat down next to him and he kissed me. This kiss made the pain worse than ever and to my surprise, tears
started flowing down my face.
“Wanda!” Ian exclaimed, appalled, “what happened?”
“Melanie is pregnant” I explained, and the pain felt like a twisting knife, a loud sob broke through my mouth. “I don’t know what’s wrong with me! I should be happy
for them, I am happy for them, I have
been overjoyed since she told me, but I hurt. I can’t stop feeling pain!” I
started sobbing louder.
“Shhh, shhh.” Ian calmed me, rubbing my back like I was a child, this thought made the pain worse.
“Maybe, well maybe you wish that, well that we could have a child, that maybe you
could be pregnant.” He guessed, I started sobbing worse than ever, and the pain
radiated through my whole chest when he planted the thought of a little baby
with Ian’s kind face and my corn silk hair.
“I’m sorry sweetheart, I didn’t mean to upset you more.” He said kindly.
“I never really thought about a baby before now Ian, but I think you’re right, I want a child, I have had so many lives before I found my home, before I found
my partner, and before I started wanting this. As a soul, we don’t usually see
our host’s children as our own, but this is different, without Melanie being
there when she was, Jamie would not be my brother, but I truly feel human Ian,
and I truly want a human baby. I know that if we had one he would ne mine not whoever’s body this was before
Pet was inserted.” I explained in a calmer voice.
At the end we both winced, we never mentioned the person that had been silenced, the child my body had once belonged to. Pet wasn’t someone we talked of often, but
she wasn’t all that important, she was in a hibernation tank on her way to the
Mists planet. I knew that as a former flower she would see the beauty of the
ice cities, and be in love with the colors that shone through the ice. I did
feel sorry for whoever Pet eclipsed, even if she wasn’t here with me and
couldn’t come back. I wasn’t a parasite, but I still felt for those whom my
species had snuffed out, like a candle.
“Wanda, I love you so much, and I want to let you know that I want a baby too, just as much as you do, but you are still young. You’ll be nineteen in a month, and
closer to being a full-fledged adult, you are still a teenager in some ways, as
a soul you have lived as an adult when you were with Melanie, and of course you
have been an adult in so many other lives. I want us to have a child Wanderer,
and I hate to see the pain this want is causing you, but I need you to know
that I love you and, if we have a child or not, I will always be with you. You
are so beautiful and amazing, inside and out.” Ian told me with burning passion
in his eyes.
Ian kissed me then, and the pain in my need I had for a child turned into a different need. The pain in my chest turned to heated passion, and I pulled Ian
back down onto the bed, and hoped nobody came looking for us for a long, long
Wanda and I made our way down the southern tunnel to the hospital wing. I felt a bit uncomfortable with this, but I trusted Doc, and I knew that he would have to
look at me anyway when I gave birth.. I blushed at the thought and began
“Hey!” Wanda called from behind me, “I can’t keep up that well, you know I’m weak, plus my legs aren’t as long as yours.”
“Sorry, I just, uh, kind of want to get this over with…”
“It’s going to be fine.” She reassured me, flashing a smile.
When we finally reached the hospital wing Doc was all ready for me.
“Come on in ladies” he called from his desk. He motioned to a cot that had the crate he used as his desk chair in front of it.
“Well Melanie, it would appear that from the development and position of the baby, you are a little over two months in.” Doc told me.
“Two months, wow. Is it normal that I’m not showing yet?” I asked, worried.
“Of course it is Melanie, you and the baby are just fine.” As he said this I could see the sadness in his eyes as well, it was an echo of Sharon’s, after all it had
been his baby too.
“Thanks Doc” I said at last and grabbed Wanda’s hand to drag her out of the room.
When Mel and I got to the kitchen for lunch, most people were already eating. I looked for Jamie, but I couldn’t find him.
“Where is Jamie?” I asked Jared
“I think he said he was eating with the class, Sharon must be working them hard on something today.” Jared explained, shrugging.
“Oh, okay” I replied, dejected, I missed Jamie right away, I loved him, no matter how old I was, I would never lose my maternal instinct for Jamie. Of course I
was only almost three years older than him- everyone else thought I was almost
four years older than him, and I’d come to accept that identity- Mel was six
years older, but still not all that much farther ahead.
I looked around the kitchen and, to my surprise, saw that Sharon was in the kitchen, as was Isaiah and Freedom. This made no sense, if Jamie was in school,
why was everyone from school here. I
didn’t think Jared had lied to me, he probably just heard Jamie wrong. He was
probably just running late for some reason, or maybe he’d decided to eat in his
I finished eating quickly, and decided to see if Ian was in the South field. As I was leaving the kitchen I passed by April, for some strange reason, Fiona
wasn’t by her. The mother and daughter were usually always together. I
dismissed it, Fiona was allowed to be with others than her mother, it was good
to see that she branching out, they had both been so inhibited since coming
As I walked into the big field where the corn was, the bright light blinded me, I saw a tall figure sitting in the middle of the field. I hurried towards Ian,
only to see him lean forward and kiss another figure sitting beside him, it was
at that moment that my eyes finally adjusted and I saw that the person in the
field wasn’t Ian at all, but was actually Jamie. It was Jamie sitting and
eating his lunch among the cornstalks, it was Jamie who was now nervously
kissing Fiona! I wanted to laugh, Jamie, kissing a girl. Jamie, having a
girlfriend. I began to lose the laughing feeling, I began to feel intrusive. As
the kiss went on, Jamie’s nervousness began to go away, and the kiss started
becoming more passionate. I started to back out, trying to be quiet. Of course
I had come barging in there without making a sound, but the second I tried
being quiet, I ran into the stack of tools against the wall.
Jamie and Fiona look over to where I stood. I flushed and hung my head a bit.
“Wanda!” Jamie exclaimed, the embarrassment clear in his tone, I looked up and saw that his face was even redder than mine. Fiona looked down, away from me and away
from Jamie “I, uh didn’t see you
there…” Jamie began to explain
“It’s okay, I’m sorry for, um, barging in. I was just looking for Ian.”
“Oh, okay he was on his way to the bathing room last time I saw him” Jamie told me, being helpful.
“Thanks Jamie.” I said and then hurried out of the room.
It was times like these when I wished Mel and was still in my head. I ran to the kitchen, she wasn’t there, so I turned and went to her room.
“Oh, hello Wanda” Mel said, surprised when I showed up in her room, out of breath.
“I went to the Southern field to look for Ian, and I saw Jamie and Fiona kissing!” I blurted out.
“What?!” Mel exclaimed, “Wow, Jamie has his first girlfriend, how cute.”
“Yes, it was so funny to see him kissing a girl, he looked so nervous.” I chuckled, “Of course when I tried to leave I knocked over some tools and they caught me looking, Jamie was redder than a lobster.” I told
her and started laughing, then Mel joined in, and we where in hysterics when
Jared walked in, it only made it worse when Jamie walked in after him and
blushed again, making Jared ask what he was “so red about”.
The next day at breakfast, Jamie sat with Fiona, I thought it was adorable, he even put his arm around her shoulder. I passed by them on their way to Sharon’s
class, and they were holding hands.
On my birthday, I had a piece of cornbread with a Cheeto stuck in it. We celebrated in Mel and Jared’s room. All my friends were there. Everyone was happy and smiling.
Melanie’s belly protruded slightly, stretching her shirt. I still wished for a
child, but it was not the pain of the first time. I think it was because most
humans have the parent instinct from birth, they have to in order to reproduce,
I hadn’t had it yet, and my body was fully grown, so having it for the first
time was like all those other times I should have had it crashing down on me at
The next week, we knew it was time for another raid. I was glad Ian could come with me, but I felt bad for Mel that she had to stay behind, especially while Jared
came with us.
We set out, we planned on meeting a few others from Nate’s colony, including Burns. Before we met them though, we would hit the local places. Well, as local as we could get without arousing suspicion.
One night, a few weeks in, when we bought me new clothing, I went to the maternity section, and bought Mel some shirts. I felt like she should get to wear something more than Jared’s extra shirts.
When we met up with Burns and the others, it was like a little reunion. We saw the others periodically throughout the past year, but it was nice to see the other humans. They had their supplies, and we had
ours. We knew that two moving trucks may look funny, so we decided to take
separate roads and meet up at the next store, parking in different places.
Having Burns there too really helped. We could have two souls enter the store, and be a large group. We always had a different story, sometimes Burns and I were partners, traveling with our friends,
sometimes siblings on our way to visit the rest of our family with our other
siblings coming along, either way we always had some reason for us being
together, having a group with us, and for traveling, and picking up supplies.
When it was time to separate, we divvied up the supplies, and picked which group we thought would need which items most. Everyone hugged, and the other humans and
native soul drove off in their moving van.
We arrived home, and were greeted by almost everyone. I was surprised, but we had had a lot of people on the raid. Melanie found me and we hugged. It was a
little difficult, because her stomach had grown. We had been gone longer than a
month, so I shouldn’t have been surprised, seeing as she was around four months
along, but I was. Jamie’s arms found me next, and when he stepped back his hand
I presented Mel with the maternity wear and she thanked me enthusiastically. She put one of the shirts on immediately and I laughed at the one she chose. I had
decided when picking them out, that Mel might like a few shirts to compliment
her sense of humor. She wore the one that said “baby” with an arrow pointing
downward. Jared arrived in their room shortly after, to show her the clothes he
had got for the baby. Mel’s delivery would be a breeze with the no-pain, she
said that child birth had been one of the most physically painful experiences
a human could have. I shuddered,
and was glad that no one had to go to such lengths at the moment. Unfortunately
for souls, we hadn’t figured out a way to take the pain away from our “births.”
That night Ian and I were happy to be back in our own room and our own bed. After dinner and my class, we retired to
our room. We enjoyed the, uh, privacy of it and then fell quickly asleep.
Jared held me in his sleep, I put my hand on my bump. I waited, and soon enough I felt him move a little underneath my hand. Everything was going so well.
Everyone was back from the raid, so all of my family was here. Jamie had slept
in my room with me while Jared was gone, but I still missed him, every time I
looked down at my swelling torso, I pined for him.
While he was gone I thought about names. I wanted to give my mother some recognition, I’d always thought Linda was such a pretty name, and when I told Jared about it
earlier in the afternoon, he had agreed with me. I was having trouble with a
boy name, I thought about Jamie, but naming him after his uncle might get
confusing. I figured it might remind Sharon of upsetting things if he was named
after his father, and I didn’t want the baby to be one of my parents no matter
As I was thinking about it, I drifted off and started to dream. In the dream, we lived in a normal world, no souls, no parasites, just humans. Except Jared and
I were still together, and Wanda was my birth sister, but she was human, and
Mom and Dad were still human. Jared and I were married and lived in a house
together, I stayed at home, and Jared worked in town, I wasn’t sure where. I
sat at home and rocked a cradle in front of me, I just rocked it all day,
methodically. Finally, as it was getting dark in the house, I looked down into
the cradle, and saw a baby with a scarily familiar face. I woke with a start,
and I knew what to name the baby if he were a boy.
I served Jamie some eggs, and went with him to sit near Wanda, Ian, Jared and Fiona. We chatted animatedly about the raid. Wanda, Jared and Ian told us about
some of the fun things they did and some of the close calls they had had. I
shuddered internally while Jared spoke of the close encounter he and Ian had
with a garbage truck driver. I laughed nervously, but met Wanda’s eyes, the
look in her face let me know that she felt the same way.
When I got back to my room, I knew I had to face what I had been suppressing, a memory. This was a memory I never thought of if I could help it. I had become
very good at keeping away from this memory, but the dream had dredged it up.
Dad looks out into our front hallway. When he turns around I am frightened by the look on his face. It is anxious and terrified, Dad is never terrified, but as I
see his eyes look between Jamie and me, I know he does not fear for him self. I
peek around him, and wish that I hadn’t, in the front of the group of Aliens,
is Mom, well not Mom, but her body. I still can’t believe what Dad told us,
that there were thing from another planet, coming in and taking humans, putting
more of themselves into us. It sickens me to know that somebody, something else is controlling my Momma’s
“Luke,” Dad whispers to my best friend, “take Mel and Jamie away from here, and don’t look back, I will evade them and meet you at the cabin where we stayed a couple Summers ago.” As Dad
says this, I can hear them approaching. I hug him tight.
“I love you Daddy, I don’t want to leave!” I cry out quietly, sobbing softly.
“I know sweetheart, I don’t want to be apart from you either, but it’s the only way to keep safe for now. Take care of Jamie, he’s only six honey, I know you’re fourteen, but you have to be
grown up. Lucas will help you and take care of the two of you until I get
there. We will be together again,
trust me.” Dad reassures me, hugging me back.
Lucas picks up Jamie’s sleeping frame, and we sneak out the back door, I look at my father, and swear I will see him again.
I broke out of the memory, sobbing at the fact that the next time I saw my father, he wasn’t human. It was the last time I truly saw him, not
just his body.
As we sneak into the night, I clutch my only possessions to my chest. The photo album with the lines Uncle Jeb carved just a few months ago when everything
seemed normal, with all the pictures of my family and of my life before the
invasion. I have a few clothes, and the teddy bear that Jamie and I have both
used as young children, that Jamie still uses.
Lucas is nineteen, and fast. He stealthily brings us to a small, quiet car. He places Jamie in the back seat, and I slide into the front.
“It’s all gonna be okay Mel” He reassures me, rubbing my arm. I fall into his side, exhausted.
“How? How can it be okay Luke? Those body-snatchers already have my mom, and what if they get my dad? Me and Jamie will be orphaned! I’m only fourteen! He’s only six!” I sob, practically in hysterics.
“Look Mel, your Dad’s gonna make it. Even if he doesn’t, we can make it, you me and Jamie, we can be a family together.” I look at my best friend
with love in my heart, I will admit I had a crush on him when I was younger,
but this is a familial love, he is like an older brother, he can take care of
us, no matter what happens.
We reach the cabin by daybreak, and Jamie is still asleep. Luke puts him on the bed, and tells me he is going to catch some fish for a meal. I look at Luke,
and realize that this man saved our lives, we never would have made it out
without him. This thought gets me worried though, that maybe Dad won’t be able
to get out. No, Dad taught Luke most of what he knows, he’ll get out.
In the morning, Dad’s body came with the Seekers, I am surprised at how fast the insertion procedure took, but the body didn’t have to heal much. Luke gets
Jamie and me into the car, he doesn’t bother with a rendezvous point, he just
says goodbye, and tells us to be safe, he gives us all his supplies, and a survival
journal he kept. He kisses me on the cheek before slamming the door.
I am glad that Dad gave me illegal driving lessons since I was twelve. I put the car in drive, and we go off into the wilderness. I look back just in time to
see Luke jump off the cliff near the cabin. I see him plummet to the riverbed
below, I see his neck snap. I know he is dead then. I can tell he died quickly,
and it was how he wanted. Human.
I turn back around and focus on the drive ahead of me, I can tell that it will be a long one.
I felt the tears running down my cheeks. I had repressed these painful memories, but they now stood right in front of me, a slap in the face. I told people
about mom being taken and about Dad’s body coming for us, because it was a
general part of our story. Lucas was dead, he died because of the parasites,
but he wasn’t one we had lost to them, he had died free. So when people asked
about who I’d lost, I told them about Mom and Dad, but I never spoke of Lucas,
I never even thought of him. I don’t think Jamie even remembers him, he has
vague memories of Mom and Dad being taken, and of course he remembers our
parents. Lucas was in our lives for such a short time, and he was asleep for
when Luke saved our lives. As far as Dad and Mom being taken, his memories
combined with stories I’ve told him give him a complete story, with one missing
Lucas saved our lives, he died to save Jamie and me, to save himself. If he had had an alien put in his body, they might find us like Dad’s body did, he wouldn’t
take that chance, so he killed himself, he saved us so many times. My baby
would be Lucas, if he were a boy, he would be Lucas.
Life in the caves progressed rater normally. We added two new members to our community. This time we found a chef and a comforter. The souls who inhabited
their bodies were on their way to the See Weeds. We tried with a woman who ran
a shop, but she was as unsuccessful as Jodi or my body had been. Unfortunately,
the soul in that body had already been sent off at that point. We had to bury
the body, and we used the very last of the old morphine to stop it’s heartbeat
so we wouldn’t be burying it alive. The chef fell for Mandy, and the comforter
was still single.
I sometimes worried about the seriousness of Jamie and Fiona’s relationship. He swore all they did was kiss, and I believed him, but it seemed to be getting
too intense. Jamie was still so young, too young, I thought, to be choosing
partners. At the same time, Jamie was a teenage boy, he would be sixteen in the
spring, and I knew that could entail some very strong feelings. Melanie worried
about this too, we talked about it when we spent time together in her room or
mine. We tried to have talks like this often to make up for losing the
closeness of sharing a mind.
Melanie and I finally dismissed our worries, though not completely, they always lurked at the back of my mind, but I was always worrying over Jamie.
“Wanda, relax. I’m fine, I’m almost grown up, I’m older than Mel was when we went on the run, and I can take care of my self.” Jamie tried to reassure me.
“I know Jamie, but this feeling isn’t rational, you know that. I love you Jamie, and therefore, I worry about you.”
“Of course Wanda, but I have to tell you, now that you and Mel are separate and I have to take you both, it’s a little overwhelming.” He said, jokingly.
When we sowed the Eastern field, Mel tried helping. Ian, Jeb and I laughed at her efforts to just bend over, until Doc put her on “Forced maternity leave” from
chores. She still cooked, and laughed at how cliché it was that she was
pregnant and cooking and baking were her only chores.
One day, Jeb decided we were all complaining too much, and so that we needed a soccer game to make us cheerful again. We all groaned at Jeb’s explanation, but
I could feel the uplift in the atmosphere as everyone got ready for a game. I
had been practicing, My physique was better, and I learned how to use my size
to my advantage. Mel sat on the sidelines and pouted, she rested her hands on
her stomach and sighed, obviously wishing she could join in too.
“I nominate Jared as captain!” Jamie shouted out.
“Well I nominate Andy as captain.” Paige countered.
Lucky for me, Jared picked Ian and me to be on his team. We also had Maggie as goalie, so we were unstoppable. Jamie was happy to be on the favorable team. His cheers and moans were enthused, and it turned out
Fiona was actually quite good at soccer too.
We had burritos for dinner, we spent all the day before making the flour tortillas, and we used the beans from the South field with the lettuce in the North field and the rice we had stored. Jamie ate six
burritos all by himself, while Jared had four. I had one, and didn’t finish it
all, Ian helped himself to the rest of mine.
“How can you eat all that? Where does it all go?” I asked incredulous. I would never understand young men and their capacity for
food. Jared promptly burped, making Melanie giggle until she got the hiccups.
Which was hilariously funny to Jamie, who laughed as he drank water, making it
come out his nose. At this, the whole kitchen cracked up. I couldn’t help
myself, the look on Jeb’s face was too much, I burst into hysterics too.
We were all still laughing when it came time for my class. Tonight Jeb was asking about the Bear’s most famous ice city. I could not come up with the name in
English, but my best translation was Most Colors Through Ice, but that sounded
wrong, the name in their language was almost as beautiful as the city itself.
“Every bear that lives there builds upon it, you don’t need to have a certain amount of talent to live there, but only those who truly appreciate beauty choose to
go and stay there, so the bears with the most appreciation for beauty, are
usually the best sculptors. So the city remains the most beautiful.” I
explained, hoping my twisted words and sentences made sense to anyone.
“It works much the same as all the other things in ou- the souls society.” I changed my sentence half way through, I was used to talking like a soul during
my class, but I never felt quite right grouping my self in the souls,
especially in their society, I was human now, inside and out.
Sunny walked in just then, I was grateful, she was still shy, but when I was there to help her she could tell wonderful stories of the Mists planet, having been a
bear for four lifetimes.
“I visited the Most Colors city many times as a bear. I-I once lived there, my host had been a crafted sculptor, it was my last host on that planet. I loved
lining among the beauty, it was like waking up in a rainbow each morning,
magnificent.” Sunny told them, just loud enough for everyone to hear.
My class had gone later than usual today, there were a lot of questions. The comforter, whose name was Kim, was one of the main questioners, the soul who
had lived inside her had been born on earth, and had lived here three
life-terms. It was strange, the more humans we added who used to be souls.
I remembered when we found the two new humans as souls, and when they first woke up.
We decided it was time again, that it would be a good idea to test more humans, recover more lost people.
I went on the raid of course, and Ian came with me. We didn’t take Jared this time, he had already been away from Melanie long enough, no matter how short
this raid would be. We drove to Kansas, and stopped in Wichita. As we drove
around we saw a comforter exiting her office. I got out and went up to her.
“Hello,” I greeted her in a sweet voice, not difficult with how my voice sounded naturally. “would you mind helping my friend? You see he’s very upset, and we
came here on a vacation, his comforter is back at home, he is quite new to this
life.” I lied smoothly, I was getting much better, and this woman was a soul,
so she wasn’t looking for lies.
“Oh, yes. I’m so sorry he got upset on his trip, these emotions can be so difficult to adjust to.” She sympathized. “I am Louise.” She said smiling at me, she was
young, most comforters were more maternal. Although I’d only had one human
comforter before, so maybe that wasn’t true.
“I’m Moonlight passing through the ice, but most people call me Mona.” I told her, making myself a bear. “Here we are.” I said as we got to the car. It was a small green sedan, not very noticeable, but fast. Ian was
waiting, he lay in the back seat, as Louise bent down to see what was wrong,
Ian sprayed asleep at her face. Mandy had helped us out with which medicines we
could use, I knew the asleep would keep her out until we gave her awake, but
would keep her body functioning correctly. We drove away, to Kansas city, where
a man was walking home from work.
“Excuse me,” I yelled out the window, “Do you know where the nearest hotel is? We are exhausted, and would like to rest before the rest of our journey.” I explained. The man walked over to the car, and put his
head down near my window. We were parked in an alleyway, and no one noticed
when he slumped forward. We opened the back door and sat him in the seat next
to Linda. I buckled them in, and it looked like they were simply sleeping in
the back. We drove as fast as possible when no one else was around, and right
at the speed limit when someone was, or there was a possibility of someone
being there. We stopped at a healing facility in Phoenix and got more tanks. We
stopped at a store in Pheonix where no one else worked, there were no customers
either. The woman was bent over a box, she looked up when we came over to her,
but was quickly sprayed with awake. When we returned home we’d been gone only
around two days.
Doc and I attended to the comforter, while Mandy attended to the man. Mandy still remembered how to do an insertion and how to safely remove a soul from Summer
Song’s memories. She made the promise to never hurt the souls, and she kept to
her word. We then removed the woman from the store’s soul. Ian left to place
the cryotanks on the departing ships, and the rest of us sat and waited. Linda
woke up after two hours.
“Where am I?” she asked, bewildered. “what’s going on?”
“My name is Wanda” I told her, “You’ve been freed, Linda has been taken out of your body.” I explained to her, hoping she wouldn’t panic.
“Who is Linda?” She asked, and then understanding took over her features. “Oh, I see. I see her memories. So, I was really captured? I heard people talking… but
I never believed it was true, I guess it is though.”
“What do you remember?” I asked her, wondering how she could not have known of another entity in her own body.
“I remember what she remembered, but the last thing I myself remember is going to the hospital for a checkup.” She told me. “I feel as if that must have been
only seconds ago, but I see now that it was years.” She told me, incredulous.
“Do you know your name?” I asked her, wondering how different she was from the other non-resistant host we had.
“Of course, I’m Kimberly Higgins. I am a college student, who lives in Little Rock Arkansas.” She made a face, “I suppose none of that is true any longer, except,
I am Kimberly Higgins again. Where am I?”
“You are in a pod of human resistance.” I told her, “one of the last on earth, it is in a system of caves I the desert.”
“You are a soul though!” she exclaims, not frightened though.
“Yes,” Doc cuts in, “but she is a friend, she run away from the soul’s society to live here. I’m doc, I’m one of the humans that live here, there are many of us
living here.” He informed her. Kim more or less excepted everything we told her
with complete calmness.
Mandy spent her time speaking to the man, trying to get him to wake. He finally did arouse, we were afraid to give him awake, since it may mess up his recovery. He woke
the next day, and was much the same as Mandy was. Mandy was the one to comfort
him, she calmed him down, helped him out, until he remembered that he was
Robert, his host Flying Note was a chef in a restaurant. It wasn’t long after
that Lacey, who had conceded to doing her chores, though not without complaint,
moved out into a new cavern we found, that we widened into sleeping quarters. We
had to create cracks in the ceiling ourselves, but it was at the end of the
fourth sleeping tunnel. Kim moved in with her, and Rob moved in with Mandy. We
waited with the shopkeeper’s body, but she wouldn’t wake up. We even tried
awake, but it did nothing but quicken her vital signs.
Now the humans were as much a part of the community as any other, they were human after all.
I walked down the hallway to my room without really seeing my surroundings. I hummed a familiar tune as I thought about everything. Things were so perfect
right now, all happy and glowing, I felt like I’d had a whole bottle of nom
Jared and I were having as healthy little baby, my stomach was proof enough of that, Jamie had a girlfriend, and Wanda and Ian were always together. Another event
loomed on the horizon, We had a calendar
that Wanda had gotten on the last raid and today was December
thirteenth. Last year we’d celebrated Christmas by cutting down a cactus from
outside and putting it in the main room. We made garlands of cranberries that
we’d been growing, so we could string them around the large saguaro. We didn’t
really have presents, but we made a big meal, we went on a short raid to go
shopping nearby. Wanda used the excuse of having a huge Christmas party for why
she was buying so much. We had chicken and rolls, not the kind we made in the
caves, but the nice fluffy kind that come in pre-sliced dough. We had cider and
it was really festive. We all slept in the big room around the cactus, with a
few candles burning. When we woke up, there were three little squares, wrapped
in tissue paper. Jamie played along for Freedom and Isaiah’s sakes. Freedom got
a magnifying glass, Isaiah a wrist watch, and Jamie got a set of leather work
gloves. The boys were very grateful to Santa, and wrote letters telling him
they were glad he was still human.
It broke my heart, and looking back on it now broke my heart even more, knowing my child would have to live like that too, being glad Santa was human, that he was
able to bring them Jeb’s hand-me-downs. I knew I would make their Christmas the
best I possibly could.
I broached the subject with Wanda later that day.
“I want to go on a raid,” I told her as she was walking down the corridor to her room.
“Mel, first off, be reasonable, and second you should be asking Jared this, not me.”
“Well Wanda, first off I am being reasonable, and second, I am asking you because I want you to help me.” I told her, my
sarcasm leaking through. “I just want to go on a quick raid, a shopping trip
really, and I need your help.”
“How short are you thinking Mel? We can’t be gone long, if something were to happen we’d be away from doc and the healers would know you were human.” She told me,
worry seeping into her voice.
“We’ll be back by tonight. This raid won’t take more than a few hours.” I tell her she looks at me questioningly so I continue. “I want to get some stuff to have a real Christmas. I want to try now so
maybe we can have a real one next year when…” I trailed off, my hand going to
my belly, both our eyes looking there.
“Let’s go.” She said almost immediately. “I’ll say goodbye to Ian first.” She turned around and walked to her room.
I want into my room and changed into my cleanest clothes. When I came out Wanda was there with Ian. I eyed Ian and then looked to Wanda, she saw my look and
“He’s going to cover for us, I have the feeling that Jared wouldn’t approve of this raid.” I nodded, I knew Jared would be angry when he found out I went on a raid
but I planned on dealing with it when I got back.
Wanda and I ran towards the exit, slowing in the big plaza so it looked like we were only walking somewhere. We started running again as soon as we reached the cave
that lead to the exit and the storage hole. We got to the jeep quickly, which
was difficult because I couldn’t exactly run agilely with my enormous stomach.
Wanda drove, since I couldn’t really fit behind the wheel. We drove to Tucson and stopped at a large department store. We went inside and walked to where they
had a big Christmas display. Behind the display we came to boxes of fake pine
trees. I found the largest one they carried, a twelve foot tall one that was in
a box that wasn’t too hard for us to carry together. We put it in the cart and
went on to the ornaments. We grabbed a few packs of bulbs, and a set of
ornaments shaped like snowmen and reindeer. We grabbed tinsel and lights and
wrapping paper. We went to the toy section and got a toy truck set for Freedom
and a detective set for Isaiah. We then went to the book section and put all of
the books by Jamie’s favorite authors. We grabbed a bunch more books, some women’s clothes, men’s clothes, nice belts, jewelry, enough things that anyone
in the cave could choose what to give to any of their friends and family. I
chose a nice watch for Jared, and a leather Jacket. Wanda got Ian a tool kit
since he liked fixing and building things. I went off and got Wanda a cosmetics
kit, since her body loved things like perfume and makeup. She went off to get
me something. Wanda and I went to the register and checked out. An employee
helped us load everything into the car. We drove off, Wanda waved at the man
who helped us. It was almost ten by that point. We got to the jeep and loaded
everything from one car to the other. When we got to the entrance Ian was there
and unloaded everything quickly. Ian then went to put away the jeep. When he
got back he grabbed the tree and a few bags. Wanda grabbed as many bags as she
could, and so did I. As we made our way to the storage hole, I tripped, two
strong arms caught me and took some of my bags. I looked up into Jared’s angry
“Ian said you were taking a bath, and that Wanda was In their room, I knew something was up, so I followed him. What the hell where you thinking Mel!?” He said,
through his teeth, “What if something had happened to you? You think those
parasites wouldn’t have loved to put a bug in you and the baby? What if the
baby had had a problem? Wanda’s no doctor, you could have died out there and
left me here, I lost you once already Mel, never ever put me through that
again.” He said, angry until the last part when his weakness came through. His
lips crushed down on mine, I could feel tears on his face.
“I’m so sorry, but this is what I go through every time you raid Jared, I didn’t mean to make you feel that way, I never will again, but it was for us, for the
baby, he can have a real Christmas, this year and next.” I explained. He
nodded, and kissed me again.
We set up the tree in the main cavern and Jamie came out he was so excited. We hadn’t had a Christmas tree in almost five years. We put up the tinsel and
battery lights and ornaments. Everyone came out to help. I laid out the stuff,
and everyone “shopped” for their gifts. I put out the wrapping paper for
everyone and after choosing they grabbed paper and tape and went off to wrap
them. I wrapped my own gifts for everyone and set them under the tree.
On Christmas day we had a big meal and unwrapped presents, Freedom and Isaiah loved their gifts from Santa, and I was so happy with the way it turned out, how much it was like the happy holidays from back
in human times. I felt so overjoyed, tears filled my eyes, I fell asleep
leaning against Jared’s side, the glow of the holiday making everything
The holidays passed, but they left us feeling happy, and it was all because of Mel. On New Year’s Eve we counted down the seconds on a wind up clock, and used
noise makers. It started off a very good precedent for the year.
Ian and I were so blissfully happy, I didn’t know how I could be this happy and just keep getting happier. We were
surrounded by friends and family, I barely had any enemies at the caves, and
even those who still felt animosity to me, mostly Sharon and Maggie, were not
quite as cruel as they once were. Mel continuously got bigger, until she was
waddling down corridors. Jamie was always with Fiona, and always smiling his
big Jamie smile.
On February fourteenth, Ian asked me to follow him. I didn’t know what for, but I decided he’d probably just pick me up and carry me there if I didn’t follow by
my own will.
Ian and I walked to the big East field, where we had first started becoming friends, before we began to fall in love with each other. I sat down in the
middle of the field as usual, and he came and stood by me.
“Sit.” I said, patting the ground next to me, and looked at him quizzically. The barley stalks rose above me when I was sitting down, and he stood behind one,
his face away from me. Oh no, I
thought. I knew what was coming, some part of me knew, he doesn’t love me anymore, he doesn’t want me the same. I thought, tears came to my eyes.
“Ian,” I said, trying to keep my voice steady, “Just say it, whatever it is I can take it.” I told him, my voice breaking at the end, the tears began to flow. When he
saw this, he crouched down next to me, concern and love flooding his face.
“Wanda!” He exclaimed, “what’s the matter? I’m sure you can take it Wanda, because well, here’s what I wanted to say…” he trailed off, I braced for it, though his
expression and words confused me, my human mind saw that the end was coming.
“Wanderer, I love you more than anything. I am so happy to have had you for almost two years now. I can’t stand to think of any moment I would ever be apart from you.”
As he said this, he began to get up from his crouch, but only slightly, to
position himself so he was leaning down on one knee, with the other bent up,
supporting his straight up back.
“Wanderer, I want you forever, I want to be your partner in the truest sense possible. I want you to have a last name… mine.” He said to me, adoringly. He then pulled a
ring out of his pocket. The ring was beautiful, a circular diamond in the
middle, with rubies around the silver band.
“It was my grandmother’s, before she died she gave it to me. She told me Kyle was getting my mother’s ring, because she wanted me to have hers. She told me that
Kyle would be lucky to find any girl that wanted to marry him, and just any
girl didn’t deserve this ring, whomever was lucky enough to be chosen by me
did. I choose you Wanda, if you’ll have me.” He said, holding out his right
hand, half reaching for my left. I put my hand in his, my eyes wide.
He slid the ring into place on the finger next to my little one, and just simply held my hand for a bit, looking lovingly at me. I felt the need to say
“Yes, Ian, I want to be your partner forever, I want to be Wanderer O’Shea, I wish to love you the rest of my life” I said, smiling as new tears fell, these ones
joyful. He pulled me in, and kissed me. “I love you so much” I murmured to him.
“I know,” he whispered back, “I love you too, more than you will ever know.” He said into my hair. We kissed passionately.
“So,” I began after a while had passed. “Will we have a ceremony, or am I just Wanda O’Shea now?” I asked, confused. I know none of the others, Sharon and Doc, Eli
and Lucina, did, but I don’t think they’d really thought of it, they were
simply in love, and lucky to be human.
“Well, I actually hadn’t thought about it…” Ian said, grinning sheepishly. “What would you like to do?” he asked me. I thought for a bit.
“I honestly don’t know, may I think about it for a bit?” I asked him. “Not being your wife!” I said, before he could think anything about what I’d said. “I mean
a ceremony or not.” I reassured him. He smiled, “Of course, my dear.” He said
to me. “I need to get to cleaning those mirrors with Jared though, will you go
stay with Mel? Jared wants someone with her at all times just in case anything
happens.” He told me, a sparkle in his eye.
“Of course,” I said, getting up, “I’ll see you later then,” I said, reaching up and kissing him. “Later, then” he whispered, pulling away, and jogging towards the
“Mel?” I said, as I paused outside the screen to her room.
“Come in, come in!” she shouted, I could hear the smile in her voice. When I walked in, she was sitting on the chair in the corner, her hands resting on her bulge.
“Only another month.” She said, quietly, adoringly.
“I know,” I said, smiling a little.
“It’s insane that Jared won’t let me be left alone, I feel like we did when we first came here and had to be guarded.” She said to me, without turning around. I was
surprised at how much had changed since then, that we were able to speak of it
jokingly, and as a thing far in the past.
“I know, it seems unfair, but he just wants to make sure you’re okay, he loves you more than anything.” I say, with a bit of chagrin. My feelings for Jared were
fading, as I fell more deeply in love with Ian, but I couldn’t help having some
of the old feeling of jealousy. Thankfully Mel knew enough to ignore it, though
I was sure it didn’t escape her notice.
“Happy Valentine’s day.” She said to me.
“It’s Valentine’s day?” I asked, surprised, that made sense now, I didn’t remember all the human holidays on the spot, but Valentine’s day was the day of love, so
Ian proposed. How romantic, I smiled wider.
“Yes, Wanda, it is Valentine’s day, you are so out of it sometimes, geez.” She said, with a fake scoff in her voice. She turned around then. “Look what Jared got
me.” She said to me, holding out her left hand. On the same finger as mine, was
a ring with a gold band and a square-cut diamond surrounded by smaller
diamonds. “I’m Melanie Howe now.” She said, with wonder and excitement in her
voice. I didn’t know what to say, so I just held out my left hand.
“Oh my god!” she shouted, hurting my eardrums. “Ian proposed too? Well, congratulations Wanda O’Shea!” She said to me excitedly.
“Actually, we are deciding whether or not to have a small ceremony, I guess we probably won’t, you guys didn’t. Congratulations though Mrs. Howe.” I told her, flashing
“No, you should, we didn’t because I didn’t want to be a shotgun bride, but if you want a ceremony, I say let’s do it! Jeb can be our justice of the peace,
because it’s his house,” She said, smiling at our uncle’s favorite joke, “and I
call being maid of honor!” She exclaimed.
“Okay, okay” I said to her, laughing, in spite of myself. “You will be my maid of honor.”
“The whole community can be there, we can even invite Nate and the other groups!” She said, with a gleam in her eye.
“I think I’d rather have my wedding a bit smaller Mel, I suppose we can invite everyone in our community, but not the others, I don’t think they care
enough.” I said to her.
“Fine” she said, dejected. “But I can’t wait to raid for dresses and decorations.” Mel was so happy, she was turning peppy.
“I guess the wedding will have to be after this one is out and grown a bit.” I said, patting her stomach, “because there is no way Jared would let you raid
now, and I wouldn’t either.” I told her, trying to be stern.
“Fine.” She said, pouting a bit, “but as soon as I can bear to leave them here, we are out shopping, and as soon as I lose this weight.” She said, laughing, as she
put her hands on her enormous belly.
“Right, of course, as soon as that happens.” I said, smiling at her. She stuck her tongue out at me like a five year old, “Oh, of course you’re mature enough to
be a mom.” I taunted her, she picked up a small paper back book and threw it at
me. Mel’s aim was usually perfect, but her increased size made it hard to
maneuver, and she missed.
“Happy Valentine’s day” I said, laughing, and how happy a Valentine’s day it was.
I looked down at my left hand. Melanie Howe I thought, how wonderful that sounded. I could hear footsteps in the otherwise
quiet hallway. “Come on in Jamie” I shouted softly to him.
“Hey Mel” he said when he saw me. “Happy Valentine’s day sis.” Jamie said as he came over and attempted to hug me around my bulge. I chuckled softly. “How is
Fiona?” I asked him, wondering how his first Valentine’s day with a girl friend
“she’s good, she loves the neclace.” He told me. I had taken to making hemp bracelets and neclaces, I tought Jamie, he made Fiona a pretty neclace with a blue bead
in the middle.
“What did Jared give you?” Jamie asked in a way that made me think he knew something. I put up my hand.
“Cool! How’d he do it?” Jamie asked, yep he definitely knew before hand.
“Well, maybe you know already which ways did he discuss with you?” I asked suspiciously.
“Well… him Ian and me worked it out, Ian would propose to Wanda, Jared would propose to you, I helped ’em out…” he smiled sheepishly.
“Your lucky you’re good at being innocent, because you’d be toast for keeping such a big secret otherwise!” I said, laughing and ruffling Jamie’s hair.
“You wanted me to tell you he was proposing? Then the surprise would be ruined!” he said.
“Well, no, but you coulda told me about Ian and Wanda!” I said, my tone implying injustice.
“But then it might’ve been to easy to guess the rest of the plan.” Jamie argued back.
“Fine! You win this one kiddo!” I finally gave up, throwing my hands in the air, and resting them back on my bulge.
“You’re really gonna be a mom huh?” Jamie said, staring at my hands.
“Yeah, I guess I am.” I said, in almost wonder, looking at the place that held my baby. It was funny to think that way, me a mom, just like my mom had been for
me and Jamie.
“And you’re gonna be an uncle, not to mention you’ll be sixteen pretty soon!” I said with excitement.
“Yeah, I will be.” Jamie said, sounding melancholy. “Do you remember when you couldn’t wait to be sixteen so you could get your driver’s license?” He asked me.
“Yes, I never was sixteen in human times, I learned to drive early though, illegally.” I told him, smiling at
the memory of learning to drive when I was twelve.
“I could teach you ya know, when it’s dark, in the desert with the Jeep.” I said after a minute.
“Really?” Jamie said eagerly, “you would do that Mel?”
“Sure” I said, smiling, “We’re gonna need you to drive when you go on raids and stuff, why not, you’ll be a true asset to the community!” I told him, watching his
face light up. “Of course, it will have to be once Jared actually let’s me out
of this room.” I said, watching his face drop a bit, then light up again.
“That’s fine, I won’t be sixteen for a while anyway, we can wait until then.” He told me. “I’m gonna go get dinner, you want any?” He asked.
“Can I come with you? I need to stretch my legs.” I told him, mostly just dying to be around the crowd of people again.
“Yeah sure.” He said to me, giving one of his great Jamie smiles, I smiled back. He helped me to my feet, and we walked to the kitchen together, where we had soup
with the rest of our family. After Wanda’s class, Jared and I walked back to
our room, holding hands, we laid down on our bed and went to sleep, his hands
resting on my stomach as the baby squirmed inside me, sometimes I felt I couldn’t
make it even just one more month, but the baby would come when it was good and
ready, and I’d wait for that.
“Happy birthday!” we all shouted as Jamie blushed and blew out the candles we’d bought
for him on the last raid. It was in some carrot cake that we’d made, just for
Jamie’s birthday, of course we’d made enough for everyone to have for desert,
but we were having a special celebration In Mel and Jared’s room. I handed
Jamie my present, smiling at him, as he beamed back at me. Jamie took the
package, and tore off the paper. Inside was an antique journal, with engraving
and embroidery. I thought it was beautiful when I saw it and I immediately
thought of Jamie.
“For all those wonderful stories you tell me, now you can write them down.” I told
him, as he had begun making up stories to tell me after I had told him my own
“Thank you so much Wanda!” Jamie exclaimed, as he ran and gave me a hug.
“You’re welcome” I told him, hugging him back and laughing a bit.
“Mine next!” Mel said, forcing a parcel into Jamie’s hands.
“Ours” Jared corrected, laughing at her exuberance. “Happy birthday kiddo” He said, putting his hand on Jamie’s shoulder and giving it a squeeze.
Jamie tore open the paper, and pulled out a pocket knife with his name carved into
the side. I flinched away from the weapon instinctually, but I knew that it was
a good gift for Jamie. No matter how much I hated seeing the blade in his hand,
I couldn’t deny the awe and gratitude in his eyes.
“It used to be mine, it belonged to my father actually. Mel helped me to carve your
name into the side” Jared explained to Jamie, who was still looking at the
“It’s amazing, thank you guys so much!” Jamie finally said after staring
incredulously at the knife for a while. Fiona walked over to Jamie, and gave
him her present, which ended up being a leather wrist band. Jeb gave him his
present, and so on. We stayed there for a long while, until Mel started to fall
asleep. She was sitting on the chair, so Jared picked her up and put her on the
bed, and the party broke up. Jamie gave Fiona a quick kiss, and then they both
went off to their separate sleeping rooms. Everyone else dispersed, and Ian and
I made our way back to our room.
It had been a couple weeks since Ian had proposed to me, I had told him as soon as
Mel and I had decided that I wanted a ceremony. We had decided to hold off on
planning it until after Mel had the baby, since one big event was enough for
We continued on with our lives, we did one last raid, sans Jared. We wanted to
raid once more before the baby came, since we really needed supplies. We made
it okay by ourselves, we were only gone for a couple weeks, but we got enough
supplies for the baby and everyone else. We got some medicine for Doc for when
Mel gave birth, and other occasions.
When we came back, Mel’s was very close, we didn’t know the exact due date, just the
month. Mel was put on absolute bed-rest, and Jared would leave her side only to
get food for them both, and to relieve himself. He escorted Mel to the latrine
and when he left by himself usually I would be the one watching Mel, but if not
me it would be Jamie, or Ian, or Doc. One night, it was late, or maybe even
early, as it could have been after midnight, I was with Mel as Jared went to
bathe, he didn’t want to be gone too long, but he really needed it, so I
convinced him to go while Mel slept, and that I would watch over her. I began
dozing off, as I lay next to Mel on the mattress. When all of a sudden, heard her breath rush out of her in a
painful little gasp. I heard a whooshing sound, and looked up to see the bed
get covered with something wet and sticky.
“Oh no!” I shouted without really yelling. Mel sat right up, and clutched her stomach, panting.
“Get. Doc.” She said through her teeth
“I think we should get you to the hospital Mel” I tell her, already springing up and rushing to get Ian.
“Mel’s going into labor!” I shouted at him when I got to our room.
“What?!” he exclaimed as he got up.
“Can you carry her to the hospital? I’ll get doc, and then Jared and meet all of you
there.” I said to him in a rush, he nodded and was out the door. Ian went into
Mel’s room, and came out the door carrying her. I ran to Doc and Sharon’s room,
waking them both, worrying about Sharon’s wrath later.
“Doc! Mel’s having the baby! Ian is bringing her to the hospital, and I’m going to
get Jared” I explained quickly. Doc was up and out of bed quickly, he rushed
down the corridor and around the corner, out of my sight. I ran as fast as I
possibly could to the room with the rivers.
“JARED!” I screeched into the darkness. I heard splashing as Jared got out of the pool and into his clothes quickly.
“What is it?” he exclaimed, worried.
“Mel’s gone into labor, she’s in the hospital, and Doc’s with her, we need to go
quickly!” I said in a rush, Jared was already out the door. I tried keeping up,
but eventually, Jared simply picked me up and ran at top speed to the hospital
When we got there, Mel was on a cot, and doc had his stool at the end. He was
wearing scrubs we’d picked up on the raid, and some rubber gloves. Jared picked
up some scrubs and instead of putting them on like I thought he was, he handed
them to me. I took them and he quickly put another pair on. I looked at him,
and he nodded, he really wanted me to help deliver their baby. I slipped on my
scrubs as quickly as I could. Ian looked a little sick.
“You don’t have to stay for this if you don’t want to.” I whispered to him.
“No, I’m fine” he said, acting brave, I looked at him quizzically, and he finally
put his head down and turned and walked out. It was probably better for Mel
that way anyway.
Mel was in a hospital gown of sorts. It was really a very large shirt for scrubs.
Jared was on her left side, holding her hand as doc knelt in front of her.
Jared nodded at me, and Mel looked over at me and smiled, I walked over to her
right and took my place holding that hand. Mel was in pain, I could tell.
“No pain?” I asked Doc, wondering why she had not been given any.
“Of course!” he sais, reaching for the bottle. We gave some to Mel, and she was instantly better, serene, peaceful.
“Okay Mel, it’s time to push” Doc told her, and I saw her forehead crinkle, and she
exerted herself. She did it again,
and again, until finally, “One more!” Doc said.
Mel pushed one more time, no pain on her face, just exertion. Finally a baby came into the world, crying beautifully.
“A little boy” I heard Doc say, I was still looking at Mel, who seemed proud of
herself, and it was true, she did something amazing, she brought a whole new
life into this world.
“Lucas” Mel whispered. “Hey you” She said. Doc asked Jared if he wanted to cut the
cord, and he did. Then Doc laid little Lucas into Melanie’s arms. “Hi pretty
baby” Mel said, cooing.
I looked at Lucas, he was adorable, and so beautiful. A pretty little baby. Doc
had a nice, clean blanket ready. He wrapped Lucas up in it. Mel brought him to
her breast and let him feed. I kissed Mel on the forehead, and then Lucas.
“Congratulations Mom.” I say to Mel, and smile at Jared. I then turned to get
Ian and Jamie. I walked away, thinking, this
little boy has his whole life ahead of him, and we’re going to be a part of it,
each and every one of us… and it was true, it takes a village to raise a
child, and we had such a village. Lucas had a good life ahead of him, and I
could hardly wait for him to live it.