Elizabeth's screams echoed through my ears, through the empty hallway of our house, and most likely right across the entire valley. My beautiful, sweet, beloved Elizabeth. And she was in pain.
"It'll be alright my love," I whispered as tenderly as I could, stroking her hair back from her sweat-smeared forehead. I couldn't think of anything else to better ease her suffering.
"Oh! Oh, Jonathan... I can't," she sighed, her head dropping back to the rim of the bath, her chest heaving from exersion.
"Elizabeth, Elizabeth," I said, getting quite panicky myself. I started to gently slap her cheeks until she regained a hold on consciousness. "Almost there, my beautiful rose petal. Almost there."
And she screamed one last time, before the only sound was the cry of the newborn as it came into the world.
* * *
I awoke to find Elizabeth's side of the bed empty and cold. The child was gone too. I roused myself to go look for them, and I found Elizabeth sitting on the porch, staring at the moon, with the month-old infant in her arms.
"Elizabeth?" I asked cautiously.
She turned her head to look at me with her sunken grey eyes. "I'm sorry, Jonathan. I couldn't settle her in the house. Did I disturb you?"
"Not at all. Is she alright?"
"I don't know. She's been so restless this past while." She gazed sadly into the baby's red tear-stained face.
"I'm sure she'll settle. Come back indoors, sweetheart, before you both catch your death."
She carried the baby inside, and I started to close the door behind the three of us, when I could have sworn I heard - or rather felt - something moving out there in the darkness. I shook the feeling off and locked up, and followed Elizabeth to the bedroom.