Arissa felt a humid, warm breath at the tip of her ear as a man held her from behind.
Thrashing reflexively, she tried to break free from his forceful embrace but to no avail.
Her eyes brimmed with fear as her body shuddered violently in desperation.
She was sold by her own father!
“Let me go!” she whimpered before her voice was eventually muffled.
“Don't be scared. I'll be sure to take responsibility,” the man blurted in a low, husky voice.
Sealing Arissa's mouth with his strong hand, the man proceeded to do whatever he wanted with his frail victim.
Nine months later, in a derelict house, the cries of a baby were heard.
“Ms. Adams, it's a boy!”
“Take him out of here!”
Danna Adams, dressed glamorously, stood outside the makeshift delivery room, pinching her nose as she scowled at the gory scene within.
A middle-aged woman who was attending inside suddenly screamed.
“What happened?” snapped Danna. Having been waiting for this child for so long, she couldn't afford any mishap.
“Ms. Adams, it's twins!” gasped the woman as she dashed out from the room, clutching a pair of newborns in her arms. “And both are boys!”
Danna threw the newborns a distasteful glance. Still covered in vernix and blood, the babies looked like two squashed potatoes. “Why are they so ugly?”
She wondered if the Graham family would reject them.
“All babies look like this when they're born. They'll look much nicer in a few days,” the woman said. She was the midwife Danna found on short notice.
“Hurry up and clean everything. I need to take them away,” Danna ordered, her hand waving dismissively.
“Yes.” The midwife doubled back into the room, put the babies aside, and started cleaning up the place.
After the grueling labor, Arissa York lay on the bed, gasping for air. Her body trembled in indignation at the callous exchange outside.
Who is this woman? Why is she taking my children...
That was when another sharp pang hit her stomach. Gritting her teeth as she started gasping, Arissa felt as if there was something else inside her that was trying to come out. As she drifted in and out of consciousness, her face was now as pale as a sheet.
“Are you done?” Danna prompted impatiently.
“In a minute!” The midwife hurriedly covered the babies in fresh quilts and was ready to leave the room when she noticed that Arissa looked amiss.
“M-Ms. Adams!” she cried out.
“What's wrong with you? Take the babies out. I'm leaving now!” Danna, who was on the verge of exploding, felt the urge to gag the midwife.
“Ms. Adams, t-there are four... There are four more babies!” Dumbstruck, the midwife gawked as more babies came out from their mother's womb.
Danna entered the room. The slimy-looking babies lying beside Arissa made her have a gagging sensation.
“Is she a pig? How could she conceive so many babies at once?” she sneered incredulously, snatching the first two babies from the midwife.
“I'll only take these two. Get rid of the remaining four. Just burn them or whatever.”
“But we'll be caught if we burn them...” choked out the midwife in horror. How inhumane would that be?
Danna's gaze, tinted with a sinister glare, darted around Arissa's unconscious body. “She must die. Feed her to the beasts. Make sure that she doesn't come out alive! Here's five million. When everything's settled, I'll give you another five.”
The midwife's face lit up as her eyes landed on the bank card in Danna's hand. She accepted it immediately, smiling ear to ear.
“Thank you, Ms. Adams. Don't worry. I'll see to it that not a single trace is left!”
“When it's all sorted out, go back to your hometown in the countryside and never breathe a word to anyone, or else... You know what I'm capable of!” Danna threatened.
Her voice reeked of evilness.
“Yes, yes. I understand!”
When Danna was gone, the midwife called her men over. Together, they shoved Arissa into a van along with the four babies. Soon, the vehicle rattled off toward a remote site where they would dump the unfortunate souls.
They took the precaution of gagging the babies with rags so that their cries would not attract attention. Deprived of their primary form of expression, the babies squirmed uneasily beside their mother with livid faces.
A few hours had passed when the driver turned to the midwife and instructed, “Now, dump them!”
The midwife felt her heart race as anxiety washed over her. “Won't people notice them?”
“Nonsense—there's not a living soul here. You better be quick before the beasts appear unless you want us both to meet our makers. Or do you wish to be hunted down by that woman?”
The mention of Danna sent chills down the midwife's spine. The sense of guilt of killing a woman and four newborns were nothing when compared to the possibility of offending Danna.
Well, they shouldn't have messed with Ms. Adams in the first place.
“Don't spite me when you become ghosts. Haunt Ms. Adams. She's the one who gave the order!” The midwife toughened up and shoved them out of the vehicle.
Soon, the barren wasteland resumed its silence as the van disappeared beyond the horizon.
Arissa and her four children, half-dead, were now left on their own.