Child

by Dexter F. I. Joseph

The dead baby is back in the mirror.

Wrapped in blood, it has an alluring smirk on its face.

Its arm, an incomplete limb, rests on the reflective mirror hung on the wall, staining it with its blood. And when it leans over, it feels like it’ll crawl out.

“Mommy…” its voice was a whisper, fashioned in a way intended to terrify you.

Your stomach burns you all the way down to your abdomen and your feet feel stretched. The doors squeak and you scream to consciousness, riddled with sweat and a chest throbbing like a bike that had seen better days.

A glance at the empty mirror on the wall and then around is sufficient to assuage you that it was all a terrible nightmare. But then your stomach grumbles. You pull your clothes up when the movement seems as though it’s growing and moving abnormally. Your eyes stretch wide and your jaw drops in terror. You behold a tiny shape of a baby’s hand moving inside you. It’s alive and seeking an exit.

Then behind you, that mirror by the side squeaks.

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