I still don't know how I got pregnant.

Don't get me wrong, it's not because I'm some major slut, hooking up with so many guys I've lost count. I mean, I'm no virgin, because who is when they're practically 24, if they're not a nun or a complete social reject? I've had my share of sexual encounters, hook ups or otherwise, but I'm definitely not the kind of girl who would blow six guys in one night, or just manage to forget whether or not I'd had sex. I'm not stupid. The signs are typically there, even if you don't remember all the details afterward.

But by the time I realized I was definitely pregnant, I hadn't had sex in almost a year. At all. With anyone. So since pregnancy the typical way was an impossibility, I can hardly be blamed for being in denial for a long, long time.

Sex hasn't even been a consideration in my life, over the past year. My last relationship hadn't been exactly all flowers and chocolates, although admittedly Xavier did sometimes bring me one or the other after he'd cheated on me again or grabbed me hard enough to bruise "by accident." I don't even remember which of us was the one that ended it. I'd like to say it was me, but that may or may not be the truth, and I already said that I'm doing this to put out the truth, unbelievable as it may be. So no, not sure which of us broke it off, but suffice it to say it did not end well. I didn't even want to look at another man by the time it was all said and done, let alone hop into bed or on someone's smelly couch with one.

I think the only reason I stayed with Xavier for the seven miserable months that I did was because I felt like I had to give it a real try to be with someone, and I didn't actually think about or care much about who the someone was I was trying with. I was 23, and hadn't had much success in anything at that point. All around me my former classmates were marrying and having kids or going to grad school, getting their first apartments or houses or starting careers. I was supposed to be out in the real world along with all the rest of them, actually starting some kind of life as an adult, and it wasn't happening, not in one single way. It seemed to me that the least I could do was have a long term relationship.

I guess desperation is enough to make a person ignore things like being condescended to, cheated on, pushed around mentally and physically, as well as the fact that I really didn't feel much attraction to Xavier or even like him after the first few weeks. For a person who's never been able to commit to a job or higher education, I somehow managed to make a commitment to a man who didn't give a shit about me, when I didn't really give a shit about him either.

Actually, post break up I was considering whether or not I'm a lesbian, or at least have a pretty strong bisexual/bicurious streak. I always have thought that girls were more attractive than guys, aesthetically. I mean, their dicks are kind of funky looking, just hanging there, and yet they're so damn proud of them. Plus there was the weird relationship I used to have with my best friend in high school for consideration. I used to get so jealous if she spent more time with her boyfriend than me, and I never wanted to hear about her making out with him or even their dates. We made out a few times when we were drunk, and it wasn't always at parties with guys hooting us on either. Then there were a few girls I fooled around with in college too, mostly at parties, but one of them ended up being a sleepover. Sure, the next day we kind of mumbled and avoided eye contact and went our separate ways without talking about it, but still, it happened. Me being a lesbian seemed as good a reason as any for why I'd never really had any decent experience with dating men.

So that is why the possibility of pregnancy never even crossed my mind, once the first signs showed up. I wasn't in a relationship, I wasn't having sex with anyone, and I didn't even know if I was straight. But once three months go by without getting a period, then five, it gets harder to blame its disappearance on stress. Then when you take nausea, heart burn, and weight gain into consideration, suspicions start to dawn. Still, denial persisted until I started getting questions and comments, even while wearing baggy clothes. I can't be sure, but I think I was maybe six or seven months along when I finally took not one, not two, but six pregnancy tests. Results: every single fucking one of them proclaimed me to be the first person since the virgin Mary who was going to give birth to a kid who literally had no earthly father.

And then imagine trying to come up with a way to explain this to people so that they actually believe you. Hell, I don't think you, whoever you are, believes me, even if you've read this far. Sometimes I'm still not entirely sure I believe myself.

But it's true. Everything I'm putting down here is exactly how things happened, no matter how impossible they sound. Sometimes truths are so crazy they sound like lies, just like so many lies are just believable enough to sound like truth.

Whatever most people will think, I have to keep the hope that maybe there is some chance that someone will believe me, and maybe they can think of a way to help me. I have to get my story out, the true story of how things were and are, in case something happens to me where I never get the chance. No matter how much people laugh or sneer at what I write, or how twisted up my words get in someone else's mouth, I have to try to put it out there for the maybe one or two people who will listen. Even if it's too late for me, maybe, just maybe it won't be too late to be a warning to someone else. At the very least, maybe one person will remember me for who I really was and what really happened to me.

That's all I want, really. For someone to understand. For one person to know I'm not the monster here. For one person to realize that I might not be a good person, but I'm not any worse than anyone else.

I'm not evil, even if I have killed.

88

Damn, I just realized, reading back over this. I completely get it if you stopped reading like, ten paragraphs ago, because I haven't even bothered to say who I am. Whoever's reading this doesn't have any idea who's rambling on at them. Sorry, I can't say I was ever the best writer back when I did the education thing, and my thinking is not at its best anymore. It's hard to focus when there's so much noise around you, and so many people who would stab me with a sharpened spoon or something if they caught me off guard. And I'm not used to writing with crayons since the prison wardens think a pencil could be an instrument of death or something.

Anyway, my name is Beatrix, Beatrix Regan. Yeah, I know. What 23 year old of this century is called Beatrix, right? And what am I supposed to go by as a nickname, Bea, Trixie? And with my middle name being Shirley, my mom's maiden name, it's not like I had a lot to fall back on either. My brothers got off easier, being called Peter and Benjamin. My parents won't admit it, but I swear they got our names off the Beatrix Potter stories. There's no other explanation, and that level of obsession is strange and honestly kind of disturbing.

I'd say I was a pretty average kid, other than my stupid name, and my life was pretty boring and normal for the first 23 years. I wasn't a star student or athlete, I wasn't into clubs or teams, and I had friends, but it wasn't like my name would be written down as a prom queen candidate. I wasn't popular, but I wasn't a social outcast either. I did enough schoolwork to get into a tech school, but I didn't try hard enough to make great grades or actually get a degree. I was more the type to watch Youtube videos and play with my dog than to party, and I just didn't care enough to get into much trouble.

Basically, I wasn't anything unusual or special, and I knew it, but I didn't care enough to do much about it.

Even my family was pretty normal and boring. No one beat or molested me, and I got the things and a lot of things I wanted. My parents didn't divorce, no one I cared about died, and no one was even very interesting. My dad had some boring office job I still can't really describe or care to ask much about, and my mom was a dental assistant- boring, boring, boring. They took care of me and my brothers, what could be expected of them, although I wouldn't say they went overboard with the hugs and kisses or quality time. They probably spent more time on my brothers than they did with me, but it wasn't like I resented that or thought about it much. Peter and Benjamin are younger than me and twins, besides, and they did manage to step over my admittedly low-set bar as far as their achievements go. They're twenty now and still in college, even if Peter does keep changing his major and Ben got a warning letter for grades last semester, and both of them definitely date around. They have friends, ones they actually hang around, and they're not living in some shitty apartment with walls so thin they can hear their creepy neighbor peeing every morning. Granted, college dorms aren't exactly quality living, but it's also not an indication that they can't get better in life.

So, that's me. Beatrix Regan, underachiever, stereotypical product of the millennial generation. Can't say I like that label but it does fit. I've never been someone's pride and joy or the light of their life, but I'm also not what someone would call a bad person. My biggest sin that I can identify is being kind of lame. I might not have been surprised to get an unexpected pregnancy one day- hell, my parents probably half expected it out of me- but I wouldn't have thought the baby's father would be fucking supernatural in origin.

88

Obviously, a lot of people have experienced unwanted and unexpected pregnancies. A lot of people have been unsure of who fathered said pregnancies. But I think I can pretty safely say that all those people have been reasonably sure that their unwanted, unexpected pregnancies did in fact occur after some kind of sex with some kind of human male.

At least, all the people who weren't psychotic, brain dead, or in a coma.

Don't get me wrong, I considered those as serious possibilities. Maybe there was something wrong with my eyes, and I'd read every single pregnancy test wrong. Maybe I was eating more without knowing it, or retaining a hell of a lot of water, and that was why I'd gotten so fat. Maybe the painful fucking kicking in my stomach was nothing more than gas, and the reason I got up to pee fifty times a day was because my bladder broke or something. Maybe it was all some really long dream, and I was lying in a coma somewhere and would eventually wake up and realize the seven months of "pregnancy" were actually seven months in a hospital bed being fed some really crazy painkillers. Or maybe I had just completely lost my mind.

Once I had to admit that the pregnancy was real and not going to magically vanish, I tried to consider the logical ways it could be existing. Maybe I'd been roofied, and got so drunk or high or both that I didn't remember the sex. Maybe I was raped by someone and was so traumatized I just blocked it all out in my head. Or maybe I was getting Alzheimer's really, really early and losing a very important and vital memory of a pregnancy-causing event, even if it did seem kind of suspicious that I seemed to be remembering everything else.

I knew none of that worked. Even if I didn't remember sex, I should remember going to a party or someone's house or at least waking up in the aftermath and having to clean up or get myself home. There would be injuries or some kind of physical marks on my body if I'd been raped, and I couldn't just not see that. There would have to be something, anything, that would be some kind of sign.

But there wasn't. There was nothing, no reason for it at all, and that was what was fucking terrifying.

I think a part of me knew what was really going on even before the pregnancy tests, or before I finally worked up the nerve, seven or eight months along, to go to a gyno. Because the pregnancy was hardly the first unsettling thing that had been going on in my life lately.

I was one of those kids growing up who always read ghost books under my blankets with a flashlight, who insisted on watching the slasher movies even if I couldn't sleep afterward. I did all the lame kid stuff of trying to talk to ghosts with Ouija boards, half-assed séances, talking to Bloody Mary in the mirror, etc. Nothing much came of it, but I had seen and heard enough to know when freaky things start happening for no discernible reason, major shit is about to go down.

I guess I just wanted to shake things up, back then, make something crazy happen. But even then, I hadn't actually believed in any of it. I never would have guessed I could actually experience something supernatural, let alone something like this.

The first thing that changed for me, other than the puking and weight gain and disturbing weird fullness I felt inside me, was the lights. I've always been really good about turning off lights the second I leave the room, unplugging stuff from the sockets, whatever saves on bills and power. It's one of the few things I took from my mom's nagging to apply in my adult life, because when it comes to having to pay your own bills, you start getting more willing to listen. But even though I'm so careful with the lights, I started to notice that when I would wake up at night to pee, lights would be on in the kitchen or living room. Lights I knew I had shut off before going to sleep.

The first time it scared the hell out of me. I actually got a knife from the kitchen and practically tiptoed to the living room, where the light was on, because I figured if the light was on and I didn't do it, someone else must be in the apartment who did, someone who definitely had not been invited. But there was no one there, of course. No intruder, no forgotten guest. Not even of the animal variety.

The first time was easy enough to reason through. I figured I must have been so stressed or sleepy I just forgot, even though I seriously remembered turning off the light. But the next time it happened, then the next fifteen, it got to the point I couldn't come up with something logical anymore, and believe me, I tried. I checked for shorts in the system, faulty lightbulbs or switches. I reported it to my landlord and he ignored me, just like he always did about anything that sounded like it might cost him money. I even hired an electrician out of my own pocket, one I couldn't actually afford, and had him check things out for himself. He told me everything was normal, and I'm pretty sure he thought I was crazy.

At that point, I was scared to turn the lights off in the first place, just because I dreaded coming into the room to find them shining brightly all over again.

Then things started moving around in my house. I'm not a messy person. I like to put things in a certain spot and a certain way, so I know exactly where to find them again later. I'm not OCD about it, but if I put something down, I expect people not to screw around with it and put it somewhere else. I think that's a pretty reasonable expectation for someone with any manners.

But things started disappearing, then reappearing in places they had definitely not been put by me. My keys moved from my dresser on top of the coffee table, or my earrings moved from their little drawer on my bathroom counter to the shelf I keep my cups in. Books ended up on the floor when they should have been in the bookshelf and shoes that I hadn't worn in six months ended up beside the front door.

Again, I live by myself. If I hadn't moved things, how the hell had they moved themselves?

I might have been able to explain that with sleepwalking, even though I'd never done that before. Only it would happen in seconds, in broad daylight. If I knew damn well I had left my phone on the bathroom sink while I was in the shower, five minutes later, when I stepped out, it would now be sitting on my bed.

Three months into the pregnancy I still refused to acknowledge as a possible pregnancy, I already felt like I was starting to lose my mind.

I guess it was around month five or six, when my denial was still going strong, that I noticed another creepy change. You always hear that during pregnancy, women get heartburn, body aches and pains, food aversions, and more people than not seem to say they feel tired all the time. Not me. I lay awake most of the night, because every little sound seemed much, much louder than I was used to. I swear it got to the point where my own breathing pissed me off because it was so distracting. Being out in public felt unbearable, worse than at a rock concert, because everyone walking and talking and god forbid, dropping things, was so much chaos jumbled together in my ears that I wanted to scream. Colors seemed so bright they glared, and smells I would have walked past without even noticing before now seemed overpowering. Even in my own home, I felt invaded by everything around me, not the least my own body.

I guess that makes sense now, because little did I know, my body was being invaded.

Obviously, the sensory overload, combined with no sleep, constantly disappearing belongings, and light switches that could not be controlled did not come together to make me a pleasant person to be around. I lost three jobs and twice as many friends by the time I finally faced up to being pregnant, and I had more or less resigned myself into living forever like a hermit leper.

"This is not normal," I told my gyno, after making her swear up, down, and sideways that all the pregnancy tests I had taken plus the one she had could not possibly all be wrong. "None of this is normal. I did not have sex. Any sex. In any way. Being pregnant when you didn't have sex is not normal. Things moving in your house is not normal. Not being able to even go out of the house because everything you see and hear and smell is intolerable is not normal! "

Of course, she didn't believe me. I didn't believe my own self, most of the time.

"Well, your baby exists and is due within the next two months, whether or not you intended it to be here," she remarked, eyebrows raised. "And actually, Beatrix, it's very common for pregnant women to become forgetful. Increased sensitivity to touch, smell, taste, and even hearing are all often reported as well."

Sure, I'm sure she's right. The difference between normal and not normal is in the extremities, and I was definitely experiencing extremity.

And even she admitted that the ultrasound of the baby was not normal. Okay, so she didn't say those words exactly, but she did comment that the picture she got of the baby, though clear, was "unusually dark," despite having attempted to get a clearer picture several times and checking if the machine was faulty. I'll tell you why the picture was so dark, lady, it's because the thing you were photographing was so damn dark in its essence that it wasn't possible to make it light.

Still, I tried to believe her. She was the one with the medical degree, and I hadn't even finished college. But it's my body living out reality, not hers, in the end. And I'm pretty sure she would be just as horrified as I was when I started waking up in the middle of the night to find myself standing in front of the refrigerator, blood dripping down my chin and onto my bare feet from the raw meat I had been munching on. Not to mention the two occasions where I woke up to realize I was outside in the dark, mud streaked and practically naked, and I had a fistful of crickets close up to my mouth, as though I was ready to eat those too.

"Pica," the gyno told me, when I went back with this far more disturbing update. "Pretty extreme case, but not unheard of. Your body is having some vitamin deficiencies in iron and protein that it's trying to make up for."

She prescribed me some pills that were almost too big to swallow and told me to get more sleep and less stress. I ask you, if you didn't know what your body might do without your express permission or what disgusting thing might find itself in your mouth, would you be able to lessen your stress level?

Even then, I was still thinking that there was something wrong with me, not the baby. I thought I was losing my mind, that the stress of a crazy, inexplicable pregnancy must be pushing me over the edge. I was the one behaving strangely, after all. The only thing the baby had done is turn up unusually dark in the ultrasound.

And exist. There was the part about the baby existing that was pretty damn strange.

Still, I figured it was all on me, because that's pretty much how every woman is trained up to default to. If something is wrong, it's your fault and your responsibility to fix it. Even after all those movies I saw as a kid- The Omen, Rosemary's Baby- I still didn't connect all the right dots, until the dreams started. Nothing like seeing graphic visions of being raped by a demon, over and over again, to make you figure out where exactly it is that your mystery pregnancy actually came from.

I already knew the thing everyone kept referring to as a baby inside of me was no virgin conception. But after my own brain finally took the time to visually spell it out, I accepted reality.

I was impregnated by something dark, something ancient and evil. Something demonic, if not by the devil himself.

I know, even after hanging in there this far and reading all of this, you still don't believe me. But if you were the one waking up shaking every night, your privates raw and burning and your clothes soaked through with sweat, you would understand how I knew the truth. If you woke up with scratches on your arms and stomach and even across your shoulder blades, exactly in the places the demons had scraped their sharpened nails, you would believe.

It's always different when it's you.

Once I knew what was really going on- and once it hits you, that isn't something you can unknown, trust me- all I wanted was to get rid of it. There was no telling what having a demon spawn baby was doing to my insides. I could be scratched and bleeding all over my intestines, with everything turning black and eaten up with cancer just from being so close to it. The kid might decide to exit via my mouth or ass instead of my vagina, or it might just claw its way through my stomach and leave me bleeding to death. Not to mention what it might do once it was actually out in the world, living and breathing. Would it be born with a tail or cloven feet, glowing eyes or red hot skin? Would it be able to walk and talk like a full grown person? Scarier yet, what if it looked and acted like a completely normal, human baby, so no one even knew what it was until it was too late?

I didn't want to wait to find out. Anyone with two brain cells wouldn't, so I set out to kill it, fast as possible.

I tried the logical way first, simply calling up my gyno to ask for a referral for an abortion. I wasn't overly surprised when she refused. She had already seemed to be judging me pretty hard for not seeing her way, way earlier in the pregnancy.

"I'm sorry, Beatrix, but you're too far along now to be able to legally pursue an abortion," she told me. She didn't sound sorry to me at all. "Your child is viable now, should you go into labor right this minute. It's against the law in this state to have an abortion this late into the pregnancy. But we can talk about your options once the baby has been born. Have you considered the possibility of adoption?"

Adoption? Pass the problem onto some schmuck who thought they were getting their dream come true? No thank you. I was many things, but heartless wasn't one of them. This was my problem to take care of, not some barren or gay couple's.

I tried calling all the legit abortion clinics that I could find within a reasonable distance, since driving too far seemed to be beyond what my body could do in order to stay awake and reasonably pain free. They all said the same thing- abortions at this point in pregnancy was illegal, blah blah, they could talk about adoption. So then I tried to delve into law-breaking, looking up ways to hire someone to abort a baby illegally and under the table. I was sure there were people out there. If you can pay someone to shoot someone in the face, surely you can pay them to abort a pregnancy. But every time I set out to search, something would happen to make it impossible. My wi fi would mysteriously stop working, even if I had a full bar signal and all the lights were blinking correctly. The computer would freeze or shut down, or when I clicked on a link, it would take me to an error sign. If I were to believe my search results, no one in the world was willing to make sure this thing never drew its first breath.

I knew what was really happening. The demon baby wanted to be born. It was doing everything within its sick, supernatural powers to make sure I couldn't stop it.

I was pretty desperate at that point. I mean, who the hell wouldn't be? I tried to take it in my own hands, somewhat literally. I couldn't figure out via my cursed internet how to self abort but I tried. I punched myself in the stomach, even with a ten pound weight, and it hurt like shit and made me ache so much I could hardly walk, but nothing else happened. I didn't even spot blood. I tried drinking alcohol in mass amounts, drinking hot sauce, eating spicy foods, nothing except a bad case of diarrhea came from that. I tried douching, taking baths and showers as hot as I could stand it and splashing the water up inside. I even tried falling down some stairs "on accident" but all I did was get bruised and banged up, and instead of landing on my stomach like I was going for I twisted the wrong way and just pulled something in my back. That ended up with me on bedrest for the rest of the damn pregnancy, NOT what I was going for, because now the demon child was safer than ever. I would have stabbed myself in the stomach if I wasn't afraid I'd miss the kid and get a vital organ instead.

Obviously, I was going to have this evil whatever it was, even if it killed me in the process. And I was fucking terrified.

I don't remember the actual birth. I have a vague, shadowy sense of my water breaking and not knowing it for a while because I was in my umpteenth scalding shower at the time. I don't remember how I got to the hospital or what happened once I was there. Maybe they knocked me out or gave me drugs that scrambled it up in my head, or maybe it was just all so terrible that my brain decided to be kind and take it away forever. Or maybe the demon kid wanted to make sure I wouldn't remember anything abnormal about how it decided to appear. It doesn't matter anymore. What matters is it was born, and somehow I survived it long enough for them to hand it to me in my hospital bed, smiling and cooing congratulations, as they told me I had given birth to a healthy son.

That was what they called that thing, as though it wasn't any different from a perfectly ordinary child. It had done something to them, given off some kind of mental suggestion or brain warp so the nurses and doctors that saw it and got it out of me didn't see anything abnormal about it at all. They put that creature in my arms like they expected me to be happy, like they thought that I would give it a name and take it home. They thought I would take one look and fall in love.

I have to admit, it didn't look like I was afraid of. If you didn't know better, you would probably think it did look like any other baby boy. It had normal looking skin, all the right parts in the right places, no tails or horns or extra appendages to give it away. But they didn't know what to look for, or maybe it wouldn't have shown its true nature to them even if they did.

It was different for me. I looked down at that thing, masquerading as a human being, and I saw the dark, wicked emptiness of its eyes. My body went cold, and I felt sick inside just from touching it, from being anywhere near it. It had no soul, no compassion, no human emotions at all. It didn't give off negative emotions, like you might expect of evil. No hate or anger, nothing. And that was what made it so terrible. It was such an absence of anything, a void of any emotion at all, and that was worse than if it had hated me enough to kill me.

It would make me as empty and nothing inside as it was itself. If I let it. It would infect me into a numbness that would be more destructive than rage.

I don't remember much, after that first look down at the thing they called my son. Not until I found myself in the police station, still mostly naked in my hospital gown, for the first of many rounds of questioning.

They tell me I must have done something, that it was not possible for the baby to disappear into thin air without my being responsible for it. They say that the hospital cameras in the hallway show that the nurse and doctor exited my room without the baby, and no one else left with it at any point in time. They say that someone must have come into my room and taken the baby, or else I somehow got rid of him on my own. But my hospital room was on the fifth floor; for someone to come through my window, they would have had to have a long ladder or else flown. It's been argued to me that the unlikeliness of this must mean that if someone did something with the baby, that someone had to be me.

I hear a lot of people have a lot of ideas on this. They've guessed I could have smothered or strangled him or even beat him to death, that I could have drowned it in the toilet or sink. Any number of ways that a person could kill a baby, they've guessed I've done it. What everyone can't figure out is how I got rid of the body. Some people say I could have cut it up and flushed it down the toilet bit by bit, but no one can figure out how I would have cleaned up all the blood. Other people say I threw it out the window, but they've never found a body. There's speculation I had a partner who picked up the body and disposed of it, but no one can figure out who it is, and the baby's father, of course, is unknown.

There's not really enough evidence to convict me of murder, child abuse, or even child neglect, but they've charged me all the same. I don't really mind it, being incarcerated. At least there are cameras, and people always watching. It's harder for something to happen to me without someone seeing, but even then, if it wants me to die, it will find a way to make it happen.

After all, there were cameras in my hospital room. The demon made it blitz out, exactly in the time frame when he must have disappeared.

I know what must have happened, even without remembering. I've tried to explain, but of course, no one believes me. Still, the truth is obvious.

Satan came back for his son. I don't know if he came up through the window or just appeared in the room, but it doesn't matter. However he di d it, he came in, blocked the cameras and any eyes giving witness, and took back his spawn. Maybe to raise him up, maybe because he realized he had chosen the wrong girl to mother it, if baby demons need mothers. Whatever his reasons, it happened, and I'm positive that one day, the thing he made my son will come back.

All I can hope for is that I'm dead by that point. If I'm not, I"ll make sure it happens first, even if that does seem to prove them right when all of them say I'm crazy.

You probably agree with them, even after everything I've explained. That's okay. One day, when he comes back, you'll see. No one believes the truth, until it happens to them. By then, it's far too late.

End