The Birth of the Dead

Charles was quite young when his wife gave birth to their first child. It was a boy and Charles, barely out of childhood himself, was filled with dreams of the future. When Charles Jr turned three he came down with a mysterious illness. His skin felt perpetually damp to the touch and he was so cold his mother often hysterically mistook him for dead as he slept.

One morning as Charles picked the boy up his fingers slipped knuckle deep into him. It felt as if he had just dipped his hand into a basin of cold water but the boy, always quiet tempered seemed unharmed. Over the next week the boy slowly lost all substance. The local doctors ordered specialists from Berlin, but soon the child began to lose his color as well. First his skin became translucent then he disappeared altogether. Before the specialists could even arrive they could only tell when their small three-year-old was around by a slight chill in the air.

Their second child was born before they lost Charles Jr. It was a girl and she came down with the same illness almost immediately. By her first year she was gone as well. They had never seen their third child. It was born like any other and the nurse obviously held something with weight to it but nothing was to be seen. As she walked to pass the child to its mother it couldn't be sensed any longer.

With their forth child his wife showed only the earliest signs of pregnancy. The swelling of her belly was barely noticeable before it went back down. The child's birth was only a cold clean breeze between her legs.

She told him they had eight children and she set the dinner table for ten every night. The house was cold and drafty. Not knowing which of his children he chided or gently patted on the head, Charles secretly blamed his wife for her womb that birthed ghosts.