Harold was born to George and Louis Baker on December 25, 1981. The couple was so excited that when time came for them to rush to the hospital, they did so with smiles on their faces. Finally, after 9 long months they would get to meet their son.
The pregnancy had been hard on Louis, and the doctors had tried as hard as they could to make her comfortable throughout the pregnancy. Louis early on had started losing red blood cells. Her doctors ran every test on and off the books they could think of, but could never find out why. Without a cause they were at an impasse for finding a cure, so instead they settled on a band aid, weekly blood transfusions. While not a permanent solution the doctors insisted something had to be done otherwise both Louis and the baby were at risk. The infusions did their job by providing Louis with the much needed blood, and doctors continued to be baffled as every week the fresh blood that was pumped into her would be gone in a week’s time. What surprised the doctors even more is that despite the lack of blood both baby and mother were healthy, as long as the infusions continued.
George was excited for many reasons tonight. He had long suspected that Louis was losing blood due to the pregnancy, and he hoped that once his son was born Louis would be able to return to her normal self. He was also terrified that something might go wrong during the birth. He loved his wife very much and he didn’t want to lose her. What scared him even more was the idea of being left to care for a child alone. Of course he didn’t mention any of this to his wife. He just put on a smile, and told her that everything was going to be fine.
As they pulled into the hospital their doctor, and a team of nurses were waiting for them, and before George could say anything Louis was in a wheelchair and off to get ready for the birth. Doctor Jake Mills gave George an affectionate punch on the shoulder.
“So today is the big day huh George.”
“Yes, yes it is. Is she going to be alright? I would never tell her this, but I am worried. What if something goes wrong? What if there are complications? What if the baby doesn’t want to come out? What if….”
“George, George it’s going to be ok.” Doctor Mills said with a chuckle and a smile. “I have performed hundreds of these. Your wife is healthy even with her strange blood disorder, and the baby is fine. All the tests show he is strong as an ox, and even your wife says he punches and kicks like a hammer. Don’t worry all is in hand. We will have your son out in no time flat, and you will see that everything is going to be just fine.”
“I guess so.”
George wasn’t entirely convinced, but Doctor Mill’s words did make him feel a little better. As George washed up and put on the backwards gown, booties, and hat, he thought about what his son would be like. What would he grow up to be, a doctor, lawyer, maybe a world renowned scientist? George himself was a scientist, and worked with algae. Not the most exciting career, but it paid the bills and George enjoyed what he did. He was never cut out to be in the spotlight, but he hoped his son would be. He wanted great things for his son, for him to be different, unique, and special. He had no idea just how special his son was going to be.
The delivery, as deliveries go was not a particularly difficult one. Louis was in labor only a few short hours, and before they knew it their son was born. As the doctors worked at cleaning him off and wrapping him to keep him warm, the nurses prepared the cord to be cut. After all was ready they asked George if he would like to cut the cord. As soon as the cord was cut the baby started to cry, but no one took any notice, because that’s what newborns do, they cry.
Handing the small infant to his mother both George and Louis looked at their new son.
“What should we call him?” Louis asked
“I was always partial to your dad’s name.” George responded “He was a good man, and raised a good family. I think he would be proud to have his first grandson named after him, if he were still with us.”
“He always hated his name.” Louis laughed “I loved it, and I think you’re right lets name him after Dad.”
Louis looked down on the crying baby in her arms, and said “Hello Harold, welcome to the world.”
The next few hours after Harold was born were routine. Blood was drawn, swabs were taken, and tests began. The doctors wanted to make sure everything was absolutely normal with Harold. What they would find would shock them all.
24 hours later Doctor Mills stood in front of George and Louis trying to explain what they had found.
“He’s a WHAT!?” Louis screamed tears starting to form on the edge of her tired eyes.
“The scientific name is Homo Coprophagus Somnambulus or more commonly referred to as a Zombie.” Doctor Mills said looking just as tired as Louis. Only a few hours after Harold birth tests started coming up with stranger and stranger results. Doctor Mills at first couldn’t make sense of it all, and had spent the entire night up researching and studying what it all meant.
“You have to be mistaken! Our child can’t be a…Zombie!” George had trouble even saying the word.
“I am afraid it’s true. I have run every test in and off the books that I know of. Being a Zombie is an incredibly rare and largely mysterious genetic birth defect. While your child is human, despite what many movies, and television shows would have you believe, he is wired differently than you and I. As far as I can tell his stomach, heart, and brain function much different.”
“What does that mean?” Louis screamed finally giving in to the tears.
“Frankly, I don’t know. This is well beyond my medical knowledge, so I have called in a specialist. In fact the world’s leading expert in Zombies is on his way, and will be here in a day or two. His name is Doctor Igor Frankenstein.”
“There are specialists in this sort of thing? Does that mean they can fix Harold? Can this Frankenstein make Harold better, normal?” George Said.
“I don’t know, and I make you no promises. From what I was able to find last night, and this morning there have only been about 1000 or so documented cases of Zombie births. Most of those infants were killed, and so very little information could be collected.” Doctor Mills said.
“Killed? By who? Why?” Louis said.
“I don’t really know. Probably the infants were killed either by a parent or both, maybe the doctors. As for why, my best guess would be fear, shame, hate. In cases like this records are never kept well I would imagine.” Doctor Mills said.
Both Louis, and George looked horrified. While their son may be a Zombie, the very thought of killing him and brushing the whole thing under the run seemed inhuman.
“Doctor, is Harold’s….condition the reason he won’t eat. Every time I feed him he sucks me dry, and then within minutes throws in all up.” Louis said.
“From what I can gather children like Harold have specific dietary requirements. I don’t understand the whole thing myself, but I know Doctor Frankenstein can explain it better that I ever could. Like I said he should be here by tomorrow, and hopefully we can all get some answers.” Doctor Mills said
“What is Harold suppose to eat until then? It’s only been a day and already he is looking sick and pale.” Louis said.
“I don’t know. We are going to do everything we can. In preparation we have already moved Harold to the infant ICU, and are monitoring his condition by the minute. If anything happens between now and the time Doctor Frankenstein gets here we will do the best we can, I promise.” Doctor Mills said.
Louis broke into another round of sobbing, while George sat on the side of the bed holding her, and stroking her hair. None of them knew what to do.
Read Chapter Two