Charice went to check on Nate after having laid him down for a nap only twenty minutes ago. She had an almost obsessive need to check on him, which the online forums she frequented said was normal for a new mother. She found these social media groups to be just as helpful as they were harmful. There was a lot of information not based in science that made its way around. She found the support of other mothers to be the most helpful. To find reassurances in the words of other moms. Despite her enjoyment of the groups she was taking a break for the day after nearly getting herself worked up over someone being rude on her post mentioning Nigri, her cat, having taken a liking to the baby. They raged in warning her against the cat hurting the baby, against toxoplasmosis, and one nut told her the cat would steal her baby’s breath while he slept. While Nigri had been very interested in baby Nate since Charice had brought him home, quite the opposite of how she thought she would be, she didn’t feel there was anything more than curiosity of a new creature inhabiting the home.
Charice thought she heard a noise come from Nate’s room and debated checking on him again. She had only just been in the room five minutes ago and while she knew worrying was normal she didn’t want to make a true obsession out of it. As she worried she heard a small mewling sound. It wasn’t quite Nigri’s meow and it didn’t quite sound like the noise of a baby. She decided to go check on Nate anyway, one more time wouldn’t hurt anything. As she grew closer to the room she heard a sound like a deep inhale of breath and quickened her step. As she entered the room she saw the large smoke-gray cat sitting on top of Nate. The feline had her head bent down over his face, her mouth almost touching the mouth of the babe. Charice shouted at the cat and rushed over as Nigri clumsily jumped off of Nate and began wailing in the corner.
More concerned about Nate she looked him over and he seemed to be fine. Asleep but otherwise ok. Her checking must have roused him as he slowly started to wake up and open his eyes. Charice gasped in surprise. His eyes. His eyes! Looking back at her were vivid green irises pierced with vertical almond shaped pupils. Those were not the eyes of her son. The wailing from the corner grew louder and Charice turned to see Nigri sitting there, wailing, the cries sounded more and more human with each outburst. More and more like a baby. She stepped back away from the cat and bumped into the crib. She turned to look at her son once more. He opened his small mouth, his eyes dark pupil slits in emerald jewels, and he began to meow.
Image – Pixabay.com
4 thoughts on “Baby’s Breath by Quinn”
An exchange of souls…quite a dark and intriguing tale that makes me even more weary of cats. They seem to hold so much mystery inside them. Gazing into the eyes of one isn’t for the faint-hearted. Bewitching and sad, a mother’s worst nightmare. Short and wonderful. 🙂
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Fine and imaginative twist involving the old breath stealing legend. Amoral predators usually run things, so Big Things await the child.
This left me feeling unsettled. Very well done.
This was excellent!
When we first saw this, Diane took it the cat has went into the baby and Leila has taken it that the baby has stolen from the cat.
.I looked again and thought how clever this was as I don’t know who went where or who took who.
Logically you would think that since that cat was in the cradle it was them that was taking from the baby but I suppose the baby if it was ‘evil’ enough could entice the cat???
I like the not knowing.