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Added: Jul 28, 2017
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"A Special Kind Of Love" A Story By RaggedyAnn - Season 1 - Episode 1
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He is a monster.

With one final painfully determined push, he finds his way into this world. A badly deformed infant that looks like he has been born of a giant toad, and not a human being. His swollen head and torso are one monolithic element – fused into a sturdy stump, and each of his four limbs is extraordinarily thin and elongated, culminating in a branch of exactly three phalanges. And his face! His mouth is a large gaping hole as his upper lip sharply disappears into his nostrils. His complexion is red and blue, in mottled consistency; and a few extra vertebrae extend his coccyx to a protruding tail.

He is a frog. But not exactly.

He is a frog-boy-monster.

But he breathes steadily, and he cries for his mother.

She stretches out her arms to him, his mother, and the midwife places him firmly into that first significant embrace. There is a rueful smile on the midwife's face as she does so. In forty years of doing what she does - delivering babies to young mothers, and sometimes to old mothers - she has never before seen anything as ugly and unsatisfying as this child. She has listened, for eight long hours, to the mother's agonizing screams as she turned her insides out, and split herself wide open – surrendering herself in service as a portal between two worlds, this one here and that mysterious beyond. She has wrenched this mangled creature from the deepest pits of Hell, and pulled him out from between the mother's legs. She knows her own complicity in bearing this curse, and she speaks her silent apologies with her eyes.

And there is fear in the mother's eyes, as she holds the frog-boy-monster in her arms. She is frightened of her own litter, because even though she has grown him in her body, he is an alien thing which she just cannot figure out. He cries like the wild thing that he is - red swollen face and a gaping hole full of noise - and she watches him in confusion. What is she to do with him? If a creature like this had crawled out from underneath the bushes (that is exactly where one might expect a creature like this to come from: underneath a thick brush of vegetation), she might have crushed it with something heavy. Or, she might have shooed it back into the darkness from where it came. Or, she might have run screaming in the opposite direction, fearful of its strangeness. But she holds him now in her arms. His hungry mouth that would never close itself up is an abyss, which swallows her soul.

But then, suddenly he is quiet. It seems as if he is listening to the sounds of the new world in which he finds himself. It seems as if he is trying to understand the harsh transformation of his environment. The chill of this world is new to him; it is strange without the warmth of his mother’s womb to engulf him. He whimpers and opens his eyes, and the mother looks into them - they are curious but sightless -and she sees the innocence hiding inside. She sees the vulnerable spirit trapped within the callous and frightening exterior, and she realizes: I do know who you are, and you are not a frog-boy-monster. She immediately bonds with her son.

"Hello," she smiles in her persistent sadness, "I am your mother."

She feels the mid wife's quiet judgment from across the room. But she also feels her pity. And the pity is much worse. Who is it for? The child whose mother had churned him up inside her womb like a partly-digested lump of meat, or the woman who had been hijacked by the devil to bear him his spawn? Pity is for the dead, and her son is alive. How dare she dismiss him with her pity? But even as the spines and claws come out, she questions her own essence - her goodness, and her wisdom, and her physical constitution. She wonders if she is filled with nothing but black, worthless soot. Dead things cannot make life. And ugliness cannot make beauty. "Have I done this?" She asks herself, "Have I ruined this baby and turned him into this?" The guilt she now feels is profound. Why could she not have given him an easier beginning? The world is a tough enough place even without being so markedly different. She kisses his forehead in a certain promise never to hurt him again.

The father arrives at night, eager to meet his child for the first time. He has brought gifts - food and beverages - as is customary when a woman puts to bed. But his smile vanishes as soon as he sets his eyes on the infant. Fire turns quickly into ashes.

"What is this?" His voice is shrill, and the mother shields the boy from the flying spittle from the father's mouth.

"This is our son."

"God forbid!" he edges closer for a second look, “A son?” he still doubts his eyes greatly.

The father carefully absorbs the details of the child's misshapen body. He looks, frantically, for elements of normalcy - looking here and there, this way and that way, from every angle, for the tells that make this creature a chip of the old block - because he is eager to show off his child. He has bragged about his son, from the moment he got the news. He has bragged about him to his friends over several celebratory bottles of beer at Madam Comfort's place, and they had envied him openly, to his entire satisfaction. If they saw this thing now, with all the markings of a toad, they would only laugh at him behind his back.

It is without hope, he decides. It would have been much easier if this child had not lived. It might be less painful too, because surely, this kind of contortion must hurt the boy inside. He must surely be suffering every twist and every unfortunate turn of his flesh. What good would it bring to anyone to prolong this suffering?

"What is this thing?" The mother's eyes plead with him, but he is deaf to all subtleties. "This is not my child! What have you done, you wicked woman?"

The mother is there to be blamed. Only she could explained how it happened that such a rotten thing had crawled out of her vagina. First he accuses her of being unfaithful, because he refuses to accept that a monstrosity such as this could have come from his loins. Then he accuses her of witchcraft. He is not an ignorant man. He knows very well that the journey of an infant, in its mother's womb, is long and lined with many perils. Over the course of nine months, there are a million ways to die in that obscure country. And even more ways to lose a limb or crook a strand of hair. He knows that a healthy and intact infant is a manifestation of very slim odds in comparison, and nothing short of a miracle. But he demands that miracle, nonetheless, and he is incapable of accepting the alternative. He gives up his common sense and clings to the fetish beliefs that are certain to exonerate him from this rude accusation: He could not have fathered this child and he would want nothing to do with him.

“This is your child, and he is a product of your sins” the father says to the mother, “He is a curse, and I will not be ridiculed on your account.”

The medicine man who communes with the gods and the ancestors has been consulted to convey the wisdoms of the departed. The dead agree with the living – the boy is a curse and would bring nothing but tears into the house of his parents. There are no incantations that would change his destiny. The medicine man’s verdict from the beyond is that the boy must be buried in a secret place. But there are no secret places to hide a child from his mother. She fights the ghosts that threaten her boy – their frog-boy-monster – and she finds herself in a very lonely place.

They say that, success has many fathers, but failure is an orphan. Men can choose their associations as they please. A mother, however, cannot deny her child - he comes into this world tethered to her insides - a bond that will never really be broken. Therefore, success and failure will always have mothers.

She brings home her bastard, disowned by his father, and fathered now by fate; disowned by his community, and communing with his mother. And she cares for him like only a mother would. When her milk comes in, she takes the beast to her breasts and he pulls violently at her center, depleting her energy rapidly as he seeks to quench his hunger. He is like a vampire - voracious, insatiable, and merciless. And then, after he is done, his mother burps him, inviting him to terrify her with that unfamiliar croaking that would never be the sound of any other infant. He smiles with his eyes - the only part of him that is truly human - because his mouth is built like a door way. And when he does, his mother smiles back. They have long conversations of smiles, and they grow intimate once more. Like they once were. Before she held him in her arms. When she had only held him in her heart.

There is talk in the village, about this woman who has given birth to a frog. The rumors fly, consistently, in and out of doors and windows, all hours of the day. What kind of woman would be cursed with such a child? What kind of woman would God see fit to punish this way?

She must be a faithless hag.

She must be a filthy

She must have lived a very bad life......somewhere in time.

She pays no attention to them. Her skin grows thick and impenetrable – resilient – because it has much to weather. These are ignorant rants designed to make her feel shame. Forcing her to admit to the blunder that had toppled out of her. But she could not turn against her own body. A mother will wear the misfortunes of her child as her own, and be judged for them. "Why does she not put that boy out of his misery?" She hears people say. "But what is his misery?” the mother muses, "That it hurts people's eyes to look at him? That they don't understand his curious formations? That they are frightened by his peculiarities? He is otherwise a healthy child. There is no reason why he cannot, as well, be a happy child. And he has as much a right to be, as everyone else does." And even though, she admits it to herself, this will be a daunting task; she knows that a mother is built for the challenge - to give her boy the strength and audacity to exist in spite of his deformities, and to thrive, in the adverse conditions, exactly because of them.

She sees his many beauties, daily, and she shows them to him. She sings them to him at night, when she cradles his head and rocks him to sleep. And in the mornings when he walks out the door, he remembers his mantra. In his moments of doubt, when he comes home weeping because someone has called him the devil's child, his mother would say "If you are the devil's child, then I would be the devil's bride." And he would see how well she took it and know that he could do the same. He is reminded of their connectedness and that they would always face the world as a unit – together.

He knows that his beauty will always be completely expressed in the eyes of his mother. He knows that, in there, his possibilities are endless and he can surmount every challenge that is put in his way. It is a universe in which he is heroic and he only had to look into the eyes and believe, and allow her faith to be his own.

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