David and Kristina must decide if their love is worth saving when strange things happen on Christmas Eve, the night before their son's birthday.







Christmas Baby



By Tamela Miles















Copyright © 2011 Tamela Miles



“You don’t have to go, Kris,” David pleaded with his wife of seven years.  Seven of the most

incredibly joyous years of his life spent with this wonderful woman and now…this. The end.

“No,” Kristina said forcefully, shoving another sweater into a pink tote bag. “I do have to go.”

She nodded at the active toddler in David’s arms. “I’m not staying another night with him. There’s

something  wrong with him.”

“Yes. His mother is leaving us on Christmas Eve. Other than that, Josiah is beautiful, Kris.

Beautiful and healthy, just like we prayed for all of those years,” David said, a hitch of pain in his voice.

“Tomorrow is his birthday. Don’t do this!” His blond hair fell into his face.

“Then, you take care of the little bastard,” Kristina said forcefully, inching away from Josiah’s

grasping hands. She pushed an errant strand of dark, short hair behind her ear.  Hours before, her hair

had been at shoulder length,  a cascade of dark brown strands that many women had envied. “Look at

my hair, David. Look at what your son did to me. Hell, it was almost my face.”

David raised his eyes from her angry face to her butchered hair, which she had tried to fix with

a pair of scissors from the kitchen drawer. It was choppy and uneven but still lovely to him. He sighed,

shifting the wriggling baby form one hip to the other. “Don’t say things that you’ll regret, Kris,” he said

softly. “For the last time, Josiah is not trying to kill us or anybody else. The thought is just…ridiculous.”

His voice trailed away as he watched his wife gather more of her things and drop them carelessly into

the bag.

“And I’m telling you that this kid is hateful. You don’t see how he looks at me when your back is

turned.” Kris glared at Josiah in her husband’s arms. The baby cracked a smile and rested his dark curls

on David’s shoulder.

“Wa-wa,” Josiah said, pointing at the doorway. “Want wa-wa.”




“I’m going to get his sippy cup from the kitchen,” David said. “Just stay put. We’ll talk about this


“There is no later. I’ll be out of here in a few minutes and you can continue bonding with your

precious son. He’s always been more yours than mine.”

David turned to Kris at the doorway. “You gave birth to him. How can you feel nothing?” he said

in exasperation.

Kris moved her glaring eyes from the baby to David. “Oh, I do feel something. Terror…disgust. I

feel like he ripped out a part of me when he was coming out.”

David sighed heavily and reluctantly left their bedroom, heading down the long hallway towards

the kitchen with the baby.

“He’ll turn on you, too,” Kris called out to his retreating back. She sat down on the bed, tears

filling her eyes. What had they done to be cursed like this. They had waited two years after they had

married to try for a baby only to find conception impossible. Three years of infertility treatments and

still nothing. They had almost given up hope until Kris had become pregnant in the spring and given birth

to Josiah on Christmas day two years ago.

Kris looked around their big bedroom, furnished all in black. So many good memories in this

house. Then, he had come. She kicked a shoe in frustration and wiped her tears away with the backs of

her hands. Tonight was the final straw. She couldn’t do this anymore. When she first had a bad feeling

about the baby, she chalked it up as normal post-partum depression but she’d always known  in her

deepest heart that it was significantly more than that. Even though he was a beautiful baby with dark

curls and a happy smile, Josiah had been born…wrong. 




  “David, can you bring me a towel, hon? I’m almost done with my hair,” Kris called out. She

was leaning down over the kitchen sink washing her hair. There had been a water pressure problem

for the last few days in the bathrooms so it seemed like a good idea to use the kitchen sink. Her hair

hung loose and wet into the sink. She heard laughter behind her and quickly tried to wipe the

shampoo from her eyes just as Josiah wrapped his arms around her legs.  Suddenly, she heard a

grinding noise and felt a hard tugging on her hair. She panicked. Oh, God, no! The garbage disposal

was on. She couldn’t reach the switch because she was caught.

“David!” Kris shouted in terror. “Help me!”

David rushed into the kitchen and quickly hit the switch. He grabbed the scissors from the 

drawer and cut her loose, leaving inches of her dark hair in the sink. Josiah, who had been paying close

attention to the commotion, laughed loudly.

“Mama dead,” Josiah chirped happily.


David blocked the front door, desperately trying to keep Kris from leaving. She had her handbag

on one slender shoulder and her pink tote bag on the other. She tried to push him aside but didn’t have

the strength. She turned her head to see Josiah in his playpen, quietly observing the action. His eyes

were so cold, she thought, shivering a little. She glanced at the festive Christmas tree and was reminded

of their broken dreams. Even though she only planned to be gone for a few days to clear her head, this

felt like a permanent goodbye.

“No,” David said brokenly, shaking his head in denial. “You can’t leave us, Kristina.” Tears rained

down his cheeks  and he wiped them away, still maintaining his position in front of the door.

“Move,” Kris said strongly before she changed her mind. She loved this man with all of her heart

but she could not live in the hell that Josiah had brought to them. David slowly moved to the side,

allowing her to pass through the door. She stood on the porch, her back straight and her eyes clear in


the moonlight.

“I’ll be at my mother’s house,” she said quietly. “Don’t forget the cookies in the oven. Don’t call.”

David watched her walk to her gray SUV and couldn’t help feeling as if he would never see her

again. He waited until she backed out of the driveway before going inside and closing the front door. He

kissed his son’s forehead before looking at their tall Christmas tree, decorated with colorful blinking

lights. He remembered the cookies and headed to the kitchen.

He tried to open the oven door but it was stuck firmly. He gripped the handle and tried again.

Suddenly, fire shot out of the sides of the oven door and it exploded. David was knocked several feet

back, his face and chest  burned and the front of his hair singed. He lay on the floor, stunned for a

few moments and in great pain. He grunted and tried to move but couldn’t. The flames shot out of the 

oven and he immediately thought of the baby.

“Josiah,” he said weakly. He knew he needed to call emergency services but couldn’t summon

the strength to get up from the kitchen floor. He felt a blackout coming on and fought it. After a long

while, he was able to crawl to the cordless telephone on one of the kitchen counters. From his leaning

position in the kitchen, he was able to see Josiah in his playpen. He stood up, bouncing up and down.

Strangely, he wasn’t crying from fear of the explosion.

“Daddy dead,” Josiah chirped excitedly.

David’s spine felt chilled as he really looked at his son for the first time with new eyes. “Yes,” he

said softly, dialing emergency services. “You may be the death of me, son.”


The End 







Submitted: December 22, 2011

© Copyright 2023 Tamela Miles. All rights reserved.

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