The hospital room was brightly lit and cold. On the once white bed laid a dark-skinned black woman, naked, unconscious and partially covered with a bloody sheet.
“Clean up the child,” an unpleasant old fat doctor grumbled to the young nurse who held in her hands a tiny newborn. The doctor pulled off his bloody latex gloves and left the room as the nurse began to gently wash the infant.
“Let me see my child,” the woman on the bed moaned weakly. The nurse checked to see if anyone was looking then brought the small child over to the woman. The woman gazed at the bundle and managed to smile through her pain. She lifted her hand and touched the little face. “Is it a boy?” The nurse nodded and smiled. “Hi, little Kevin. I’m your mommy” The baby’s green eyes met the woman’s brown eyes and watched as she became unconscious again. Her hand dropped from the boy’s face. The nurse carefully put the baby in the portable incubator that was waiting for him. Then she ran out of the room yelling for the doctor.
The doctor came rushing out of a room a few doors down.
“Is the baby alright?” he questioned nervously.
“Kevin...I mean the baby is fine. The woman is hemorrhaging badly though. I think you should look at her sir” the nurse said timidly.
The doctor followed the nurse back into the room and went to where the infant laid. He began to roll the incubator out of the room.
“But the mother…” gasped the nurse.
“Let her die.”
“You heard me. Let...her...die!” He took the baby out of the room and rolled him down the hall.
The nurse took a cool damp washcloth over to the woman. She began to wipe the woman’s forehead. The woman looked up at her and said, “My name Annie Bridges.”
“Hi, Annie.” The nurse whispered.
“Can I see my boy once more?”
“Not right now Annie. You get some rest okay?” Annie smiled and drifted into unconsciousness again.
The nurse looked at the growing blood on the sheet. It had started to drip on the floor. She knew the woman wouldn’t last long.
“Dr. Winslow, is this child going to make it?” The doctor sat at his desk with two men seated across from him. The one who asked the question was a large man in his fifties. He was tall, well built and dressed in an expensive suit. He had an ugly big ring on each of his hands. He had an aura of authority that made the doctor quaked in his presence.
The other man was younger and less grim. He too wore an expensive suit but had only one ugly ring on his right hand. He was in his early thirties and also tall. It was obvious that he was the other man’s son.
“Yes, Mr. Gaydos. I believe this one will live.”
“Why do you think that when none of the others have?” the man barked unnecessarily.
“Na- none of the others…have lived… past the first day sir. This child… has survived more than 24 hours.” The doctored wrung his hands under the desk where the two men couldn’t see them.
“Why do you think he lived?”
“I’m not sure but it may have to do with the heroin in the mother’s system when she was injected with the serum. She may have also had other drugs in her when the child was conceived. Or perhaps it had something to do with the unknown father. We are just not sure. Most of the other pregnant prostitutes were high on marijuana or alcohol. The serum seemed to attack the fetus and kill both the mother and child.”
“What did you do with their bodies?” the younger man inquired. His voice was higher pitched than the other two men. Almost like a woman’s.
“We…uh, we cremated them.” The younger man winced. “We tried the serum on heroin addicts but those women all died too.”
“What happened to our survivor’s mother?”
“She bled to death.”
“It’s too bad she didn’t survive to give us another child,” muttered the older man. The younger man looked at his father in disgust. It made him sick to think about what he was involved in.
“Is there anything unusual about the child? Can you tell if the serum has worked?” Trent looked into the doctor’s eyes as he asked the question. He hoped that some good would come from the death of so many.
“The child is strangely aware of his whereabouts,” the doctor replied. “I stayed with him for an hour last night. I noted that his eyes followed me everywhere I went. He is very weak but his breathing is growing stronger by the hour. He is a survivor. We may know in a month or so if the serum has worked. It’s just… uh, too soon to tell.”
“Can we see him?”
“Absolutely sir.” The doctor was relieved to get out of the office. Something about the old man gave him the creeps. Trent, the man’s son, was much easier to be around. He seemed less overbearing.
They entered a large room with twenty or so incubators. Only one was occupied. Inside it, the baby was attached to various tubes. On one of his wrist was a tiny blue band. He had on a tiny diaper. His skin was very dark yet appeared transparent especially under the hood of the incubator. His head was covered with a white cap but a few strands of thick black hair had managed to sneak out. He was sleeping.
Trent picked up the chart. The name read “Kevin Winslow.”
“Where did you get his name?” he asked.
The doctor laughed sheepishly. “I…I gave him my last name since we don’t know his parent’s name. His mother apparently gave him the name Kevin before she died.”
Trent bent over and looked closely at the child. Kevin woke up and stared into Trent’s eyes. Trent was startled by the deep green color of the boy’s eyes surrounded by long lashes. One was like a sparkling emerald and the other more like a shiny melon. Both had a strange sparkling glow. He could hardly see the child’s pupils in either eye. “Hello Kevin,” he whispered. The boy responded by wiggling his right leg.
“He’s beautiful,” Trent sighed.
“Don’t get attached, son,” Mr. Gaydos warned. “He’ll be adopted and then sent to PIGC if he survives.” The boy turned his gaze on Mr. Gaydos. As the gruff old man returned the baby’s gaze he softened for just a moment. “I hope you do survive boy,” he softly said.
Kevin heard and remembered the words as he had memorized every word he had heard since he was born. He didn’t understand them but somehow knew the sounds coming out the people’s mouths would make sense one day. He listened as the people walked away from him.
“Did the serum make his eyes that color?” Trent asked the doctor.
“Green eyes are less common for African Americans,” the doctor responded. “Most have dark brown eyes. Kevin’s shades of green eyes are unusual for humans in general, especially the way they seem to glow. To have two different shades of green eyes makes me believe the serum did affect them. He obviously isn’t blind but his pupils are extremely tiny. I believe they will become more normal as he grows. The color of his eyes may change as well.”
The three men stood outside the door. Kevin could barely hear them.
“Do you think Mr. Gaydos sir, um, … if this child lives, uh, … that the institute will reopen the study?” the doctor inquired.
“That’s not likely at this time.” Mr. Gaydos stared down the shorter stocky pale man. He actually enjoyed how easy he was to intimidate. He stared at him for a few moments before continuing. “It has gotten too dangerous finding and abducting pregnant prostitutes and homeless women. Even though we got them from various cities, the risk of someone finding a link became too great. Because one abduction was caught on a surveillance camera and broadcasted on the news, we’ve had to discontinue the study. We have since confiscated the surveillance tape but it may have been too late.”
“It is fortunate that this child has survived then.” The doctor smiled weakly as he ripped his gaze away from Mr. Gaydos.
“See to it that he does. Your continuance with us may rely on it.” He turned sharply and walked away from the doctor with his son following closely behind him.
The fading sound of the footsteps put Kevin to sleep. He did not hear the doctor come back into the room or know that the man glared at him as he watched him sleep.