I have to go to work now but I’ll be back in a few hours. You just sleep. I have a surprise for you when I get back. Good bye, little one.
“Maude, be sure to get all the trash this time,” Ethel Bryant admonished.
“I will, Mrs. Bryant.” I promised with my head bowed deferentially. “Sorry bout last time,” I said as I went back to work.
“I don’t know why you have her working here, Mother,” Carl whispered to his mother as soon as she rounded the corner.
“She’s cheap, Carl. And, with the way she looks, where else would she work?” Ethel replied.
“I feel sorry for her too, Mother, but that’s not our problem. We aren’t the one’s who disfigured her,” Carl pointed out. “Besides, some of the clients are starting to complain.”
“What are you talking about?” Ethel demanded.
“Just yesterday, Ms. Childers remarked that she didn’t like having to look at Maude every time she came by. Last week, Mr. Jacobs complained that Maude scared him with her slinking around outside the bathroom. There have been other instances also.”
“Why wasn’t I informed about this?” Ethel asked crossly.
“I’m informing you now,” Carl replied sarcastically. “You always seemed to have a soft spot for the freak, so I didn’t want to tell you until I had to.”
“I’ll take care of the matter,” Ethel sighed.
Do they think I can’t hear them? I may be ugly, but I still have ears! Guess I’ll be losing this job now too. I don’t know why people can’t mind their own business. I’m just doing my job here. I can’t help people have to see me ever now and then.
No, Carl didn’t disfigure me; dear ole Dad had that honor. But every time someone looks at me with disgust or worse yet pity, I can feel the iron pressing against my skin all over again.
I’m going to like coming back here afterwards. We’ll see how Carl feels then. When I’m beautiful he’ll be singing a different tune.
I’m home, little one. Look what I have for you. I told you I was bringing a surprise. This is Cathy. Isn’t she beautiful?
You lay here, Cathy. The crib is all nice and cushy. Take a little nap. I'll be back soon.
Come on, little one, it’s time.
I’m sorry, I know it hurts. Please don’t cry! I’m going as fast as I can. I didn’t have this much trouble with the others. This stupid needle doesn’t want to work for some reason. I can’t get the vein! Shhh, it’ll only be a few more minutes now.
Finally! I can’t believe it took so long to get going. I sure hope the vein doesn’t collapse and I have to start another line. Be a good girl and don’t move around too much, ok? I have to get the whole bottle full for the next treatment.
I knew you’d understand. There you go, just go back to sleep. The rest doesn’t hurt at all. You’ll be free from pain forever soon, baby. You’ll be with the angels where you belong.
Hey there, Cathy. Is that a smile for me? How sweet of you. I thought you’d be mad that I took your friend away. I had to do it though. It’s still not working, you see? I’m not beautiful yet. I can tell some differences already. I don’t have as many wrinkles beside my eyes. Not that people notice the wrinkles for the scars, but I can see them. The scars don’t seem to be getting any better though. I hoped you’d be the last one, but looks like I’m going to need some more.
Do you know where I can get more babies, Cathy? You got any friends out there who I don’t know about? I didn’t think so. Guess I’ll go to another shelter. The people at the shelters always let me help out. They can’t turn anyone away, now can they? It just wouldn’t look right. And the young girls at the shelter never seem to notice the scars. I guess they have more important things on their minds, like having babies. They never think twice about handing their baby to me after delivery. I don’t think they want you poor babies. I know you wouldn’t be taken care of properly by those girls. Crack heads and prostitutes all!
I’m saving you all from a terrible life, you know that, Cathy? At least this way you won’t have to put up with all the cruelty in the world. You’ll be beautiful and sweet for all eternity.
I’ll have to go farther out this time; to shelters in other towns. I can’t have anyone putting the missing babies together, not yet. Once I’m beautiful it won’t matter. Nobody will recognize me then.
Oh I can’t wait to be beautiful, Cathy! To have people look at me with desire instead of revulsion. Do you know I’ve never even had a boyfriend? That’s going to change soon though.
Yep, all the commercials on TV say that young skin is resilient and healthy. I can’t very well take your skin, can I? Blood flows through the skin, though, so I can’t go wrong. Did you know you had beautiful blood, Cathy?
Time to do the next treatment. I wonder if mixing the blood with oatmeal before I put it on my face is the problem…