“Oh look at the little one, she’s so cute!”
The mother lay on the bed, pale and listless, she didn’t speak, she wouldn’t look at the woman dressed in a bright green dress.
“She’s so adorable, would you like to say hello to her? Perhaps goodbye before we leave?”
The woman shook her head, tears welling in her eyes.
“Well not to worry, lots of women don’t want to either. Don’t worry though, I’ll take good care of her.” The woman turned and left the room, gently bouncing the baby as she walked.
“Oh, we’re going to have a wonderful time, aren’t we honey? Yes we are! There’s so many nice things where we’re going, treats all the time and stories whenever you want! You’ll have the best life, you will, won’t you?” As she walked down the hospital corridor people moved out of her way, pretending not to notice her and the baby. “Your Mommy didn’t give you a name, so we’ll have to, what name would you like sweetie? Alice? Like Alice in wonderland? Or how about Susan or Lucy? They’re good names. Oh there’s so many to choose from. Hmm, I know, how about Sarah?” She chuckled to herself, “Yes, I think Sarah is the perfect name for you, I even know what we can call your next brother.” The woman walked out of the hospital and got into an idling green car. “Any troubles?”
“No, no trouble at all. There never is.”
The man behind the wheel nodded and pulled out as the woman continued to talk to the baby. She was one of the few that talked to them and it always unnerved him about her. It seemed a bit perverse. Most of the woman ignored the child, acted like it was just an expensive doll, designed to mimic life. Not Betty though, Betty saw them as they were, tiny, defenceless babies.
He pulled up outside a large white building, Betty got out of the car, calling out a thanks behind her as she closed the door. The driver didn’t respond. Betty walked through the large double doors, “We’ve a fresh one here.”
I’ll mark it in. You know where to go. What was the mothers name?”
“Ok, I have her marked down.”
Betty walked through the empty halls before coming to a black door. She took a deep breath and opened it, the air was warm and had a faint, unpleasant odour she could never quite pinpoint. She walked into a short tunnel, the door swinging closed behind her. In front of her were a set of stairs, she descended them slowly, still talking to the baby who had become fidgety. “Shh, shh, it’s ok. We’re almost there and then you’ll be so happy. You’re going to have a wonderful life here. Filled with fun and candy.”
She reached the bottom of the stairs, it had brought her to a large room with dark, shadowy corners. On one wall was a metal door, she pulled it open revealing a slot just big enough for the new born. Carefully she placed the baby inside, she gently caressed the babies cheek, then leaned over and gave her a soft kiss before closing the door again. Betty placed a hand on the metal door and took a slow, deep breath. “I’m sorry sweetie.” She turned from the door and started up the stairs.
Outside in the daylight she took a moment to just stand in the sun and breathe. It was a difficult, but necessary job. Sacrifice was an important aspect of life and without it they’d all be doomed. For every thousand babies born, one would be chosen and that sacrifice would keep them all safe.