Hour 19: First Words (By Kyle Willis)

Christy and Steve Sumner fell in love with their daughter Abigail the moment they pretended to identify her on the first sonogram.

Now seven months old, Abigail was on her way to talking.  Christy and Steve were in competition to be the first name Abigail said.

“Da-Da.”

“Ma-Ma.”

They each took whatever opportunity they could to coo at their daughter, in hopes of invoking an echo from her.

Tonight, Christy has an upper-hand.  Steve is out of town on business, and she is determined to get Abigail to say it.

“Ma-Ma.”

Abigail just laughs in response.  Maybe it’s from the way Christy was bouncing her on her knee.  But maybe Abigail just laughed because Christy was at her mercy.

Three hours of “Ma-Ma” yielded no results.  Defeated, Christy resigned to bed, first tucking Abigail into her crib.

It is around 3AM when the sound of glass breaking downstairs yanks Christy from sleep.  

Her reflexive thought is Steve has broken something while trying to quietly indulge in a post-midnight snack.  But soon she remembers Steve is out of town.

Christy shuffles out of the bedroom and into Abigail’s room.  Sound asleep in her fuzzy pink onesie.  

She hears footsteps in the hallway.  Coming closer to Abigail’s bedroom.

Christy reaches in to Abigail’s crib and gently lifts her out.  Abigail remains undisturbed as Christy moves with her to the closet.

The footsteps come closer.  

A man dressed in all black steps into the room and looks around.

Christy shuts her eyes tight.  Hoping desperately Abigail doesn’t wake up.

Abigail shifts.  Christy does her best to keep her quiet.  

Abigail’s eyes open.  And she looks right up into Christy’s horrified face.

“Ma-ma”.

The man in black’s head snaps toward the direction of the closet.

It’s the next morning.

Steve comes through the front door.  He wheels his luggage to the coat closet and calls out.

“Hon! I’m home!”

“Ma-Ma.”

Abigail’s voice floats out of the baby monitor.

“Aww!  You won!”

He curses to himself under his breath and bounds up the stairs to reunite with his girls.

Steve steps into Abigail’s room to find his daughter standing up in her crib.  

“Hi Little One!  Where’s your Ma-Ma?  Huh?”

Steve’s brow furrows when he sees specks of red on Abigail’s pink onesie.  He squints to better assess the spots.

Abigail giggles and points to the closet.

“Ma-Ma!”

Steve turns to look at the closet and finds Christy.  Her corpse.  Doubled over in a pool of her own blood.

“Ma-Ma!”

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