Baby Jacob cried and cried. He had been screaming almost non-stop for days. The only reprieve his parents ever got was when he would fall into fitful bouts of restless sleep. Brian kept telling Shirley to calm down. She kept insisting that baby Jacob was possessed.
“He has a demon in him, Brian! No child screams like that for days!”
Brian shook his head while cradling their thirteen month old boy. “Honey, you remember that Stephen King book I read? Remember the section that said some nut-ball lady and her mother put the baby in the oven because they were convinced he was possessed?”
Shirley kissed the crucifix she wore around her neck and stammered. “Th-those women were mislead. Maybe their baby was possessed! They didn’t have to kill it!”
Baby Jacob had been teething up until a couple of weeks ago. They had taken him to the pediatrician, who found no infection, but Brian remained convinced that their boy was cutting new teeth. He now had all four on the top, and on the bottom front. He had screamed bloody murder for days, even with anesthetic and ice.
Shirley hadn’t overreacted then, but now, she was on a bible-thumping holy crusade insisting that the spirit of a demon had infested their baby’s soul. To add fuel to the fire, baby Jacob had built a little tower just the day before out of his Lego blocks; it quite clearly resembled an upside down cross. Brian had explained it away; it was a simple, easy shape for a baby to make, and his little block towers didn’t fall over as easily when the heavier part was at the bottom. Shirley didn’t see it that way, though. Everything was a sign or an omen with her.
She didn’t sleep for a week after seeing the Exorcist. It took a prescription to finally get her to sleep through the night. She had been a wreck, crying and praying, and so far, baby Jacob had only gotten worse. Now, she wouldn’t even touch him, Brian was now fully responsible for the baby.
He held Jacob close, rocking him back and forth, saying small, reassuring things to him. Shirley dropped to her knees, her cross in her hands and started praying louder. Baby Jacob screamed at the top of his lungs, his face turned bright red, and his tiny teeth shone stark white.
“Shirley! Stop it!” Brian roared. His wife’s loud, frightened praying had consistently made the baby wail even louder than before. “God is not going to stop the crying! Stop praying in front of him God Damn It!”
Baby Jacob’s crying abruptly stopped. Shirley stared at him in fear. Brian stared at her smugly.
His smugness faded immediately when he saw his son’s eyes. His irises were red. His whites were black. His mouth was open three times it’s normal size, in a vicious grin. It was Brian’s turn to scream. He tried to throw his son, but baby Jacob clung to his sweater with an inhuman grip. His gigantic mouth tilted open, and clamped down on his father’s throat. Brian’s scream faded into a gurgle of blood as his tiny blade-like teeth dug into his neck.
Baby Jacob turned and smiled at his mother.
And she remembered, baby Jacob could walk.