It was raining when I woke up. I got out of bed and went to the window, smiling to myself as I watched the rain come down. Specter was still asleep and I didn’t want to wake him up quite yet. Today was a really big day for us, and I wanted him to get as much sleep as he could. Cause today we were going to talk to Doctor Jay about adoption.
The autumn and winter had been terrible and I couldn’t really recall much of it, other than the sadness. After getting the news I couldn’t bilogically have kids… it took me a long time to accept it, and I kinda still didn’t. And then the date rolled around that was supposed to be my due date, the day we were gonna have a kid… and I felt so empty. December and January were bad, and then February I started getting a teensy bit better and now it was March. A full year since I had first gotten pregnant. And now we were gonna have a kid.
No, I reminded myself. Not yet. It was gonna take a while. We were going to talk to Jay and besides, there weren’t any kids at the labs that needed adopting. We couldn’t go through the regular adoption channels but the labs weren’t regular adoption channels. And the kids there couldn’t really be in the regular adoption channels. The kids that would be there were abnormal kids. No–not abnormal. Supernatural. Once in a while there would be a little supernatural abandoned by its family, and people at the labs took the kids in. That was what Specter and I planned on doing.
Sometime in the next year, cause there was at least one a year if not more, we would become the daddies of a little vampire, or werewolf, or fairy, or witch, or something. I didn’t say I kinda hoped it wasn’t a vampire or werewolf since I wasn’t sure how to take care of them but if it was a vampire or werewolf, I’d be fine with it. At least Specter was furry so if we did get a werewolf he or she wouldn’t feel completely different.
I turned around and jumped onto the bed. “Morning!” I said, shaking Specter. “Wake up!” I continued shaking him as he groaned and wallowed. I clapped happily as he finally got up. “Morning,” I said again. “Go get ready. When is Doctor Green-Eyes expecting us?”
“Not for a while,” he yawned. “But I’ll go get ready. Morning, handsome.”
My smile got broader. “Morning.” He went to get cleaned up so I went downstairs and played video games, very impatient. I hadn’t felt this happy in a while. It felt good to feel happy. But even though I was happy there was a little feeling inside, in my middle, that reminded me of my loss. I ran my fingers over the fabric of my shirt then returned to the game. No, today was a day of looking forward to having kids. A kid. A cute little supernatural baby. Or little kid.
Finally Specter came down and, after breakfast (where he watched me carefully, making sure I ate enough since I had lost a lot of weight the past few months and wasn’t really gaining much back on), we headed to the labs. Doctor Green-Eyes was waiting and we had to go through a lot of questions. Mostly questions about supernaturals. She explained to us age, sex, and species were not guaranteed but we both knew that already and promised that any age, sex and species would be welcomed. Since she knew us, and Uncle Kay knew us, she said it was fine if we took one of the abandoned kids but of course she’d have to make sure the kid was actually abandoned. Then she gave us some papers she wrote about the different types of supernaturals for us to read in the meanwhile. And by that I meant for Specter to read and explain to me most of the stuff said.
That night at dinner I chattered away at a mile a minute. “What do you think we’ll get? I’m so excited for anything, but what if we get a vampire or werewolf? Will we be okay? Our sleep schedules will have to change if we get a vampire.”
“It will most likely be something like that,” Specter said. “The more difference between the supernatural and a normal human, the more likely the child will–unfortunately–be left. Have you seen supernaturals walking around Moonlight Falls?”
“No-o-o… not exactly, but aren’t there?”
“I think yes, and I also think the more ‘unnatural’ ones live in as much hiding as they can.”
“I wonder why…”
“Says the ex-ghost who stayed in graveyards and a haunted house.”
I hesitated and then breathed in deeply. “Says the ex-ghost-hunter who killed ghosts who weren’t in graveyards and was going to kill me in the haunted house.”
For a second I was afraid he’d get super angry about that but he just shrugged. “Yeah, but not any more.” He ran his fork along his plate, frowning. “You decided to become living.”
“Not because I hated being a ghost,” I said. “Because I thought it would help my memory problems–and it didn’t.”
“Your memory is better–“
“Because of you.”
“And it’s like that for me…” When Specter looked into my eyes I felt my heart soaring. “Everything’s been because of you.”
“You’re happy because of me?”
“I’m never happy,” he grumbled and I began pouting. “Eeeghh… fine, maybe a little bit. When I’m with you.”
The next day, after Specter left, I crept into the nursery and sat in the rocking chair. I still came in, sometimes. Specter said I shouldn’t but I couldn’t help it. I sat down and put my hands on my stomach. I was excited for adoption, to have a kid, but–it wasn’t the same. I still sometimes had nightmares of when Specter told me about our loss, and when he told me I couldn’t have my own kids. It was like my past couldn’t be in the past. My ghostliness kept… haunting me, so to speak. Taunting me.
I looked out the window, at the grey sky. I guess I still wasn’t completely human. I wondered if other men with inviable stuff could make healthy eggs. I wondered if women, whose eggs couldn’t be eggs, could fer…fertilize one? I wondered how many people were like me in that way. But I knew how many people were like me in the way of the reason. Only one. Me. Only one ghost-into-human. Uncle Kay said none of the others worked. They had tried a couple other ghosts but it hadn’t worked, they just stayed ghosts.
Why am I so different? I rubbed my stomach and felt very sad. Why?
When Specter came home, I put on a happy face. We talked a little more about supernatural kiddos and then watched some movies, cuddling on the couch. That night we were together which we hadn’t been very often. In fact, for the past year, pretty much not at all except starting in January when I started slowly feeling a bit better. Specter never complained when I told him I wasn’t in the mood and it just made me love him even more.
“Night,” he said, holding me close.
“G’night,” I murmured before drifting into sleep. I had a super weird dream that night. Like, incredibly super weird. It was almost like I was awake, but I wasn’t.
It started off with the feeling of waking up. There was a fog in the bedroom that was almost glowing. It felt both heavy and light somehow and smelled kinda funny. I tried to roll over to tell Specter but I couldn’t move. I was on my back, staring at the ceiling through the fog, unable to move. Then the fog started slowly going away and the room darkened a lot. I tried to move again but couldn’t.
Then the figure appeared. I couldn’t see who it was, cause it was so dark. But the figure leaned over me and said something in a language that was familiar but I couldn’t recognize it. I felt a hand against my lower belly. I tried to reach up to push their hands away but still couldn’t move. I was still as I felt a sharp pain (well what should have been pain but probably wasn’t since I couldn’t feel pain in my dreams but I guess it was that feeling of you know something hurts but it doesn’t really but you imagine it does so it almost does… at least, that was my guess since I could feel it). I tried to cry out but not even my mouth would move, so the sound stayed in my throat.
Two more figures appeared above me. They seemed kinda human but also not human. There was something wrong with their skin. I felt another sharp pain inside of me and then a really cold, but also sorta soothing, feeling all over. Then it felt like I was almost floating–and the three people-things made frantic sounds. I fell back onto the bed. Not hard, just sort of lightly back down. The creatures moved out of my main vision but I could see they were now standing over Specter. I wanted to warn him, since I felt so afraid, but I began to feel sleepy again. Just when I was about to fall completely asleep there was a great loud sound that nearly woke me up completely–and then silence. Silence, and darkness, and Specter and I were alone once again.
I don’t know if I was really awake or not but I felt all funny and tingly. Specter snuggled closer to me and I discovered I could move. I snuggled back and realized how much I wanted to be with him. It seemed like he wanted me cause soon we were making sleepy love. We were soon done and I fell into a happy, but strange, sleep in his arms.
I asked Specter and Uncle Kay both each about once a week if there was a kid at the labs yet. Uncle Kay would answer with a sorta slow, strained voice ‘no not yet’ and then Specter would sorta rub his temples and make the ‘no’ hmphy sound. I knew I needed to be patient but it was hard. I was just so excited!
“–and I don’t care how old the kid is or what kind really, I’m just so anxious! I wish we could have a kid already, and I know I should feel bad about the child being, you know, abandoned by its birth parents, but I guess it’s because I’m so much wanting the kid. is that selfish of me?”
Gretchen stirred in some sugar into her tea. “No, I don’t think it’s selfish. I think it’s wonderful you two will be adopting. As long as I get to spoil the child.”
I smiled. “I hope you do visit a lot. And Mr. Fluffy,” I added, petting him. He nuzzled me then moved to the other side of the couch, watching to see if I’d continue petting him. Why did cats do that? “I’m really glad you’re around, Gretchen.”
“So am I. After my husband died, I was very alone. I never had any kids of my own–until Mr. Fluffy, of course,” Gretchen added with a wink. “I’m very grateful that you and Specter want me to be around because it makes this old lady very happy.” She took a sip of her tea then gazed at me in a thoughtful manner. “Not many people would be so open about adopting a supernatural baby. I remember you asking about them before…”
I smiled as Mr. Fluffy finally came back and wrapped his paws around my hand and began gnawing lightly on my knuckles. “Well, I dunno. Nothing wrong with supernaturals.”
“I’m glad to hear you’re very open to them now. I guess things change.”
I felt her eyes focused very hard on me. “I guess so,” she said and the subject was dropped.
I pushed myself to my feet, swaying a bit.”I’m fine,” I called out of the bathroom as I flushed the commode. I went to the sink and got a washcloth wet to wash my face off. Specter came into the bathroom and took the cloth from me, carefully wiping my face for me. I stared up at him, feeling mostly fuzzy he was so nice. But also still kinda sick.
“This is the third time this week,” Specter pointed out, his thumb rubbing little circles on my cheek. “I think you really need to start focusing on your food again.”
I shrugged and reached for my toothbrush. “I guess I’m just excited,” I replied honestly. It had been over a month since we talked to Dr. Green-Eyes about the adoption but still no kid. I had been on cloud nine excitement for the past few weeks that it was really making me act weird. I couldn’t eat much which started making my stomach retilate. Plus I was really tired all the time.
“I’m just worried about you. I don’t want you to get weak waiting for this adoption to happen, and then be too tired to take care of him or her.” He reached over and began stroking my hair as I stared at my toothbrush. “What’s wrong? Chance, remember what I told you? You need to brush your teeth after you throw up even if you brushed your teeth before you did because–“
“No, I remember. I just–don’t like this toothpaste. Can I use yours?”
“We use the same.”
“Oh.” I stared down at the toothpaste, crinkling my nose. “Maybe it’s expired.”
“I just got it the other day.”
“Oh.” I just kept staring at it and Specter wrapped his arms around me, asking what the problem was. “It smells funky. Does it smell funky to you?”
“No. It smells minty fresh.”
I sniffed at it and then began gagging. My tummy felt awful and my throat felt weird and it was too much. I dropped the toothbrush and flung myself at the toilet, throwing up again. Specter helped wash my face, made me brush my teeth with the icky toothpaste, and fetched me some water. I curled up in bed, sipping the water and hoping nothing was seriously wrong with me.
Two days after the toothpaste incident, Specter and I had a teensy fight. He was trying to get me to eat dinner and I was refusing. He started off with asking me to eat, then begging me to eat, then yelling at me to eat. I yelled back that it smelled gross.
“YOU cooked it!” he snapped. I folded my arms and sat back, scowling. “Damn it, Chance, you need to eat. Please.”
“It. Smells. Gross.” I pushed my bowl away.
Specter rubbed his temples. “Okay, what do you want to eat?”
I thought about it for a few seconds then smiled. “Pizza! Let’s order pizza. Pepperoni and mushroom. Please? Please? Please?”
“Okay I’ll call for some pizza.” He got up and I put away the gross food while he ordered pizza. When it arrived I had several slices and they tasted so yummy. I was glad we switched out even though it meant that night Specter gave me a bit of a lecture of needing to maintain a proper diet because of the way my body reacted to certain foods and blah-blah-blah. I snuggled against him, nodding and promising to do better. I knew I needed to pay close attention to my diet. I knew I needed to gain a bit of weight. But really, that stew smelled disgusting. I wasn’t gonna eat it.
In mid-April I went to the labs so Uncle Kay could do a checkup. He wanted to do one every couple of months to make sure my body was stabilizing or something. He checked my blood pressure and eyes and stuff and then weighed me. We were both excited that I had gained nearly a pound and a half since my last checkup. But then he wasn’t happy when I told him that I had been getting really sick and my avertation towards some foods.
“You r-r-really need to be careful with your d-diet,” he said.
“I know. Specter keeps saying. I’m trying. But I dunno.” I began thinking about food. “I like pizza.”
“You c-can’t live on pizza.”
“I want pizza. Can we have pizza for lunch?”
Uncle Kay studied for me a second then frowned. “Wh-when’s the last time you had some?” he asked.
I thought about the last time I had pizza. Last night. “Last week,” I said and Uncle Kay agreed to order some pizza for lunch, although I was unable to convince Specter to order some for dinner that night and instead we had some salad with plenty of spinach but I refused to eat the soup.
Specter gently washed my face off after I threw up again for the who-knows-how-many-eth time. It seemed like I was throwing up every other day for the past few weeks. I wondered if it was because I was eating more (since my appetite was starting to really come back) but Specter said it was because I kept eating weird things.
“We should have the doctor look you over,” he said as he pushed the toothbrush in my hand. “I’m worried.”
“I’m fine. I should eat less.”
“You need to stop having so much pizza.” He leaned against the counter and watched me brush my teeth, his mouth down in a frown. “You’ve been tired, sick, and obviously not well. What if we get a kid soon?” He was using that argument again, the one he knew would work the best against me. “You can’t be like this.”
So the next day I went into the labs and Uncle Kay checked me over but wasn’t sure for the reasoning for my illness. He decided maybe it’d be better if his sister checked me over so we went towards the labs. He was opening the door and we could hear the shouting match from inside between Dr. Green-Eyes and Specter.
“–WON’T YOU DO IT?!” Specter was yelling. “I don’t see how you can just dismiss–“
“I TOLD YOU!” The doctor yelled back, sounding on edge. “We do not do charity work.”
“I will pay you–“
“I know how much you are paid, Mr. Greyson–“
“–it is certainly not enough to pay for such a procedure.”
“I have money in the bank–“
“Hundreds of thousands? Millions? It is very time consuming work, it will take a lot of work and research as well as resource and therefore extremely expensive!And then what? No money to raise the child!”
“Su-surely such a discovery is something many people would want… you could get donations for the research and–“
“No. It is something I have no interest in. If you want to, then by all means. Quit your job and go begging for research funding! Brother, what are… Oh.” His sister had seen us and was now scowling at me. “What is he doing here?”
Specter saw me and his jaw clenched, all his muscles tightening. “Chance–“
“Ch-Chance is sick and I’m n-not sure…” Uncle Kay looked between his sister and my husband. “What’s g-g-going on?”
“Nothing,” Specter said quickly.
Dr. Green-Eyes adjusted her glasses and said, “He wishes to invest his paltry paycheck into something similar to cloning research.”
“My paycheck isn’t paltry,” Specter snarled.
She shrugged. “In comparison to the millions you would need it is.”
“Cloning?” I asked. “Specter? Why?”
“Nothing,” he said again but the doctor decided to answer my question for him. She straightened her shoulders and said, “Because he believes we can use a combination of his DNA and yours to produce a mixed clone.”
Specter reddened, looking like he wanted to punch her like he once did. “Cloning is possible so I don’t see why this wouldn’t be,” he said slowly.
“Cloning is only in theory at the moment,” Doctor Green-Eyes snapped back. “When it becomes actualized, it will only be available for the incredibly rich. Not for some assistant and his unemployed husband!”
Uncle Kay darted to his sister and I darted to Specter at almost the same time. I grabbed Specter’s wrist since he was raising it to punch her. Uncle Kay was standing between us and his sister. “I’m af-fraid right now, Jay is right,” Uncle Kay said to Specter. “It wo-would cost more than we h-have. I’m sorry.”
Specter lowered his fist and adjusted his arm so my hand slid down into his. He squeezed it tightly and said, “You could get donations from plenty of sources.”
“I th-think right now we should f-focus on finding out what is m-making Chance sick,” Uncle Kay said and Specter was silent. “S-sister could you please ch-check him quickly? I did, but I am n-not sure of the cause. I th-think there is some hormone im-imbalance but I c-couldn’t figure out what or w-why.”
She looked at him then at me and sighed. “Very well. Sit down. This should not take long.”
But it did take a long time. A long time. Dr. Green-Eyes examined me multiple times and even took some blood. Specter, Uncle Kay and I left for lunch and by the time we go back she still wasn’t done. She examined me yet again and looked very upset–no, more like angry about something. She kept mumbling about the impossible and finally wanted do a scan on me with the ultrasound stuff. I didn’t want that. I felt uncomfortable just by the sight of it, remembering–remembering. I squirmed and whined but finally went on my back so she could examine me. I clutched Specter’s hand, trying not to cry. I remembered the last time under this machine. And seeing our baby on the screen.
Finally she let me get up and I gladly put my shirt back on. “Well?” Specter asked. “Is it–is it really bad?”
“I-I-I don’t know,” the doctor answered, sounding more human than I ever heard her. She sounded… surprised. Confused. Unsure. Like she didn’t understand something. She sounded like me, really. It was creepy. I inched closer to Specter. “Under other circumstances, yes. But considering–considering–I just–I don’t know.”
“Am I going to die?” I whimpered, clinging to Specter now.
“No. It isn’t anything like that. I don’t–it’s…” The doctor rubbed her temples and then whirled around. “Brother, come speak with me outside.” She strode outside the labs and Uncle Kay scurried after. The doors were shut and I couldn’t hear any sounds.
I felt overwhelmed with terror, holding tight to Specter. “It’s bad, isn’t it?”
“It’s not,” he said, stroking my hair. “Dr. Rosso is just doing this because she’s a bitch and likes to torture innocent people.”
I watched the door, wishing they would just come back in. Wishing they’d tell me what the problem was. Maybe my body was slowly resorting back to being a ghost? I felt super sick again by the time they came back in. Both of them looked confused now. Uncle Kay licked his lips in an anxious way as he tried to look at anything but me. Dr. Green-Eyes stared directly at me, eyes squinting a bit.
She asked us to sit down and once we did she said, “We both agree on what this looks like. All signs point to–point to a certain thing. However, neither of us understand how it happened. Perhaps you two can enlighten me on why all the tests indicate that Chance is pregnant?”
I jerked back, mouth opening. What? What?! Specter was on his feet, fists raised. “Damn it, don’t you even joke about th–“
“Sh-she’s t-t-t-t-telling the truth!” Uncle Kay squeaked. “The ultras-sound, the h-h-h-hormonal imb-balance, the sy-symptoms–all of it indic-cates pregnancy.”
Specter swung around to stare at me and I got up, shaking my head, unable to believe this. I felt even sicker. This was a horrible, awful, terrible joke of some kind. “You’re wrong then,” I said, trying to stay calm and trying not to cry. “You’re wrong! First of all how can I even be pregnant if we–if we didn’t do that procedure like we did last time? And second–well. I guess there is no second. Just the first thing. Which is a valet point.”
“Valid,” Specter said.
“Valid point,” I corrected myself.
“Why do you think I am saying the results are impossible?” Dr. Green-Eyes hissed. “Did you go to the hospital? Perhaps think lesser beings could do a better job than I?”
“You’re the only one we’ve been to,” Specter put in. “You know we can’t risk going to a hospital because of his past. So why don’t you do other tests. Because what you said is–is sick, to say that to us. To him.”
“I ran the tests multiple times, I did different tests of all kinds!” Dr. Green-Eyes exclaimed. “What the hell do you think I have been doing all morning and afternoon? I thoroughly tested everything. His blood work, his urine sample, the sonograms–all of it. I. Was. Thorough. And all of it, all of it, leads to the fact he is pregnant. You’ve been sick? You’ve had a heightened sense of smell that triggers sickness? You’ve been tired? You’ve gained weight? You’ve been needing to urinate more often?” She angrily slammed one of her fingers against the finger of her other hand for each point. “You. Are. Pregnant. Nine weeks in is my closest approximation.”
We all went silent for nearly a full minute. I put shaky hands on my stomach, looking down. Pregnant. Pregnant. “But… how?” I finally whispered.
Dr. Green-Eyes threw her hands in the air. “You tell me! Perhaps you went to the hospital nine weeks ago.”
“We didn’t do the procedure!” Specter yelled.
“Nine weeks ago…” I thought hard, trying to remember what had happened. “That was when we came to see you about adoption. Why would we do that if we were trying to–to–well, through a hospital?” I asked and the doctor shrugged.
“Did anyth-thing happen that w-week?” Uncle Kay asked.
“Like what, he fell and accidentally became pregnant through magic?” Dr. Green-Eyes snorted. Her brother just pursed his lips together and looked back at me.
I wrung my hands and tried harder to think. “N-no, nothing weird. We came here to talk about adoption. I was super excited about it. I remember–uh, that week was pretty much a regular week. I mean honestly, the only weird thing was a dream I had.”
“I had a really weird dream that week, too,” Specter mumbled. Then we both looked at each other since I hadn’t really told him about mine and he certainly didn’t tell me about any weird dream. “What was yours?” he asked.
“I was awake but not awake. I could feel almost. I couldn’t move though. There were these lights… but it was dark…”
“And sorta foggy?” Specter asked and I nodded, then we both said at the same time: “And shadowy figures.” Then we stared at each other.
“Ooookay, m-maybe you should tell us about this dream,” Uncle Kay said.
So I told them about the weird dream and it almost completely matched up with Specter’s dream only his didn’t include the weird, almost painful tingly feeling I had inside of me. The more we spoke, the whiter Dr. Green-Eyes went until she finally sank down into a chair, clutching at the armrests so tightly that I thought she was gonna rip them off. We finished and all three of us looked at her cause she was so pale and breathing in ragged, shallow, gulpy breaths.
“S-sister?” Uncle Kay asked.
She raised her head and said in a hushed, awed tone: “Aliens.”