New Life

Catriona stared down at the tiny bundle in her arms. Her body ached from the flood of pain she had endured over the last few hours. The baby had come, forcing his way into a world full of pain and grief. 

The new mother gazed at her son, knowing that her time with him would be brief. She tried to savor every moment as she watched his little hand flex around her index finger. Weeping silently, Catriona prayed for the child she would never see grow up.  She wept and she prayed.

The morning light streamed into the small room where mother and child rested. Catriona glanced over at the bloody tools that had almost taken her life the night before. Life was so precious—and so short. 

Entering the room quietly, the assistant carried a small tray of tea and cold meat. “You need to eat, miss,” he offered, “keep your strength up.” He held his arms out for the infant, gently cradling the child in his arms.

“Thank you, sir,” Catriona uttered quietly, taking the tray. 

“Have you thought of a name for him, miss?” The assistant enquired, rocking the baby gently.

“What’s your name, sir?” 

“Nathaniel,” he answered.

“Then his name will be Nathaniel,” Catriona replied, finishing her meal.

A loud knock at the door brought a rush of fear over Catriona. Her eyes darted to Nathaniel and the sleeping infant in his arms. Not waiting for an answer, the tall man with cruel lips flung the door open and entered the room. 

“Now that you’ve finished whelping, it’s back to the jail,” the man sneered, snatching the infant from Nathaniel’s arms. “And this tyke comes with me.”

No!” Catriona screamed with arms outstretched towards her child. The tall man turned and left, slamming the door. 

The End

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