The noise was faint, just barely audible.
But once I was aware of it, it was impossible to ignore. The noise was grating, incessant. What was it? I concentrated on the work in front of me and tried to hum to drown out the sound. That didn’t work. It continued endlessly, on and off. On. Off. Althought the sound grew no louder. Eventually I couldn’t stand it anymore.
“SHUT UP!” I shouted and burst into the house.
My room was dark. That was all right. But something was different; the crying was coming from in this room. I looked around and saw the bassinet in the corner. A baby lay inside, eyes scrunched up and leaking tears, mouth open wide.
I came closer to it, curious. I’d never seen a baby before. I remembered James hadn’t wanted a baby brother or sister. Was this one a boy or a girl?
The baby didn’t look hurt. It opened it’s mouth again and I braced myself for another cry. No wonder James hadn’t wanted a sibling, they were noisy! Except the cry never came. I looked down and the baby was looking straight at me, eyes wide.
And then it giggled and I found myself smiling at it. Before I realized, my mood had shifted. How could you be annoyed after hearing that giggle? It was filled with joy and happiness. No one had ever been happy to see me before. And the baby was definitely seeing me. I waved my hands in front of it to be sure and it tried to grab at my fingers. It giggled again.
I heard footsteps outside the room and quickly returned to the darkness, but I was curious now and kept an ear out to see what Hank had been up to while I been away.
Hank peered in the room, but Julia was quiet now. Perhaps it had been too soon for her to move out of their bedroom, but neither he nor Sofia had had a full night’s sleep since she was born. This way, only one of them had to wake up.
They hadn’t been married long when Sofia had hold him the news that they were expecting. Hank had been thrilled and not at all afraid to show it.
Although he might have hoped to have the house a little more put together before they had to deal with tiny feet and inquisitive hands prying into all the unfinished corners of the house. But sometimes the “best” time ends up being sooner than you expected.
Money was tight after the wedding so he wasn’t able to prepare the nursery fully before it was time for the birth. At 6:15 am and weighing 7lbs 2oz, little Julia Ivy Pigglewiggle was born.
She was named after Sofia’s grandmother and his aunt. It might be big shoes for such a tiny baby, but Hank was pretty sure she was up to filling them. He had been smitten at first sight. And even when she woke him up in the middle of the night again, he could never be truly annoyed at her.
But tonight they’d moved her basinette into the semi-finished nursery. Hank had heard her crying and rolled out of bed, careful to avoid waking Sofia. But by the time he got to the door, she had stopped crying and was giggling softly to herself.
Hank peered into the dark room. If she saw him, she’d start wailing for sure, eager to be picked up and cuddled. She was lying in her crib hands waving slowly in the air. Then Hank watched as she, with an audible sigh, closed her eyes and fell back asleep.
It was a minor miracle, but one Hank was happy to take. He closed the door quietly and tiptoed back to bed.
“Julia…?” Sofia muttered sleepily as he crawled in next to her.
“Alseep.” It wasn’t long before Hank was asleep again.
* Bedroom Curtains by Mabra at Arte Della Vita
* Color & Stripes Rug Collection by NafSims
* Distressed furniture, floors, walls, and windows from Daer0n, mainly from the haunted house set
* Challenge details: CitizenErased14’s Ambrosia Challenge
Current Score 997 (-3 points for the ghost being in the same room as a non-heir)
Confessions: I may have used pop music and strawberries to influence the gender of this child.