Chapter 1: Green Blood
In the wet and pouring rain, a man and woman stepped out of a car, and stared at the right rear tire buried in the mud.
“Al, it sure looks like we’re gonna have to dig to get this thing out’a the mud,” said the woman.
“Hannah, I ain’t quite sure you should help in your condition,” looking at his wife’s big belly. “Honey,” Al murmured, “you can’t do it all by yourself. If we don’t hurry, the road is gonna flood.”
Hannah said, laying her hand on her bloated belly, “Listen Al, this baby comes from strong stock.”
“Okay,” Al grinned. “I’ll look for somethin’ to place under that wheel, while you go get the shovel out’a the trunk.” Al moved so quickly Hannah couldn’t see him anymore.
The keychain slipped from Hannah’s grip before she could place it inside the lock. She bent down to pick it up, when she thought she saw a man standing on the side of the road. “It must be Al,” she mutters to herself. Suddenly, a thought entered her mind. ‘No, it can’t be. This can’t be the same spot where the car had a flat tire last summer.’ She remembered a stranger coming from the woods. He was tall, with blonde hair, and the bluest eyes she’d ever seen. He helped her change the tire. Everything else was a blur, except for Al yelling at her for getting home so late. Al had been concerned because she had been away for most of the day. “It’s times like these, when we could use a cell phone,” exclaimed Al.
Hannah smiled to herself. She knew they couldn’t afford a cell phone. After all, she and Al worked for Uncle Bob, who ran a gator farm. Uncle Bob wrestled gators as a tourist attraction, while they cleaned out their pits and fed them. Sometimes, Al would have to hunt for snakes and other food to feed the gators.
The couple was paid less than minimum wage, but Uncle Bob did provide a cabin for them to live in rent free, and anything else they might need. Al and Hannah stayed, only because one day Al would inherit the gator farm, along with a thousand acres of swamp land from Uncle Bob.
Suddenly, there he stood. It was the stranger, she met months ago. She saw his blue eyes, glowing through the falling rain. Baffled, Hannah wondered why he’s not getting wet. She can tell he’s protected by some sort of shield, as the raindrops kept bouncing away from him.
Hannah heard footsteps coming up behind her. It’s Al dragging a log. She wanted to tell him about the stranger, but changed her mind when she saw he wasn’t there. Maybe, she’s seeing things. How can anybody stand in the rain and not get wet and then vanish into thin air?
“I believe this is all we need to get out’a here,” Al barked, as he placed the log under the wheel. Then he took the shovel from Hannah and began to dig around the wheel. Hannah glanced back to see if the stranger had reappeared. But, all she saw was falling rain.
Hannah grabbed the shovel and smartly muttered, “I’ll do it.”
“No, you want!” stormed Al.
“You know I always like to do my fair share of the work,” added Hannah.
“Not when it means you’re expectin’,” Al said proudly.
Just then, Hannah bent over in pain. “It’s comin’.”
A flash of light! Then…a crashing sound! A tree had fallen against a utility pole. Sparks were flying everywhere. Even in the rain, the sparks were sizzling.
“C’mere,” yelled Al, grabbing his wife’s arm. “You have’ta get back in the car. That pole is gonna fall and we’re gonna get fried if we don’t move…now!”
At that very moment, Hannah slipped into the mud sliding down into a ditch. “I can feel the baby comin’.”
Al tried to reach her, but it was too late. The pole had fallen, but so had several wires and one of them landing in the ditch with Hannah.
Al saw his wife struggle and then she remained still. He wanted to get into the ditch with her and hold her. But, he knew that would be suicide. Then he heard the sound of a baby crying. “How can that be?” he wondered.
Al glanced down in the ditch near his wife to see if he could spot the newborn. He noticed something glowing on the other side of the ditch. It was the baby! It was free from its umbilical cord. “It can’t be?” he said.
Al found a way to cross the ditch and get the newborn. He took off his shirt and wrapped his daughter in it. There was a smear of something green in the baby’s naval. Al wiped it off with a sleeve of the shirt and mumbled, ‘It’s thick like blood, but that can’t be…cause it’s green! Must be some kind of grass stain.’ For a while, the newborn lit up the road, makin’ it easy for Al to see his way back to the gator farm.
The moment Uncle Bob caught a glimpse of Al, he came running. “What happened to the car and where’s Hannah?” he gasped.
“She’s dead,” Al moaned.
Before Uncle Bob could say another word, the baby began to cry. Right then, Al held the baby closer and she stopped crying.
“Oh, my,” Uncle Bob said with a puzzled look. “Is that what I think it is?”
“Yep,” Al whispered. “Hannah managed to give birth ’fore she died.”
“Come on,” said Uncle Bob, putting his arm around Al.
Uncle Bob led Al inside his cabin. Once inside, Uncle Bob went and got two towels from the water closet. He gave one towel to Al and the other he used to dry himself off. Al put the baby on the nearby couch and began to dry her with the towel. Then he used the towel on himself. He started to quiver and shake. Uncle Bob thought he might go into shock and right away led him to a nearby chair leaving the baby by itself.
“No!” Al shouted, trying to get up out of the chair. “She’s all I got left of Hannah!”
“The baby’s fine,” said Uncle Bob. “But, you ain’t!”
All of a sudden, Al cupped his hands to his face and began to cry. “What am I gonna do without Hannah?” he wailed. “Oh, man,” he added. “I left ’er out there. I’ve got to go back and get ’er!”
“You’ll have to wait, ‘till it stops rainin’,” said Uncle Bob. “When it stops, I’ll drive ya out there to get Hannah’s body and your car.”
Uncle Bob walked away for a few minutes. Al just sat there with this head in his hands. Uncle Bob came back with a bottle of moonshine and two glasses. He filled up a glass before handing it to Al.
“Here,” he said. “Take a big gulp of this stuff. It’ll surely settle your nerves.”
Al drank the whole glass without stopping. He glanced around at the spinning room. Suddenly, they both heard a thump. It was the baby. She had rolled off the chair and was crawling.
Al looked over at his infant daughter and gasped, “Wow, this stuff is causin’ me to hallucinate. I think I see the baby crawlin’ on the floor.”
“That’s ’cause you do!” said Uncle Bob, sipping on the last of the moonshine in his glass. Wiping his mouth with the back of his hand, “It must run in the family.”
Al tried to stand, but he flopped back down. “What runs in the family?”
“The baby crawlin’, of course,” said Uncle Bob, in a low voice.
‘Gee,’ Al thought, trying to watch his daughter, but the floor boards began to rise up. He started slurring his words and muttered, “I never heard of anyone…in our fam-i-ly… crawling right after…birth. I must be drunk!”