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Cradle in Blood || by Chukwuebuka Aninze

AKWAEKE KNEW THIS HAD HAPPENED sometime ago, a dream maybe or a memory. All she knew was that her heart was racing with a familiar dread.

     Tightening her grip on the knife, she inched closer. She shouldn’t be doing this but something drove her on. It could be now or never.

     It was only her baby, safe in its cradle, cooing and waving her tiny arms. A glint of moonlight streaming through the window glimmered in the infant’s eyes. 

     Her grip loosened but the knife didn't drop—not yet. Something was wrong. The child's eyes bore a silver cast, and her toothless smile was a twisted, mocking evil. She saw it last night, too. How did— "Aaargh!" Akwaeke groaned in terror, gripping the knife and plunging it down. The only way to save her baby was to carve out this evil. Blood dripped from her hands as she hewed, gored and slashed until the screaming had stopped and the innocence had returned to her child’s lifeless eyes.

     Akwaeke jolted awake, panting, sweat dripping from her body as though from a difficult labor. She rushed to the nursery… but stopped in the doorway, frozen. A knife, dark with blood, lay on the floor beside the cradle, its blade catching the last rays of the fading moon.


CHUKWUEBUKA HARRISON ANINZE is a Medical Laboratory Scientist who likes to think himself a writing freak. He is writing from Enugu, Nigeria. He has written a whole lot of well meaning short stories and flash fictions. His works 'By Yourself', 'Let Him Sleep Forever', and "Tamed by the Gods' have appeared on Fiery Scribe Review. He is the first winner of the Writer's Academy fiction contest. Romance and Thriller are the two genres he readily finds home with. He counts it an honor helping young writers carve a niche for themselves. If he's not writing or reading, he will definitely be playing video game.

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