by John Shirley
They are actually healthy babies; they are even strangely healthy. They’re strong, too, unnaturally strong. They also have a strikingly unusual facial feature: they’re born with adult teeth, which are rather too large for their little mouths. Their otherwise perfect little faces must have seemed grotesque to people at the time.
Other than for this dental peculiarity, they are quite plump and squirming and gurgling in the hospital bassinets, and seem just like normal little babies–until they begin to climb out of their cribs. They should not be able to do it, but they do, they flip over on their bellies and climb out, seeking their prey. They move with remarkable rapidity, climbing table legs, leaping when they need to, almost like monkeys.
Their first prey is other babies. Hospital personnel are somewhat dismayed, seeing babies eating babies–it was quite unprecedented. A nurse mistakenly sets up the alarm that the babies are living-dead creatures, perhaps infant ghouls or zombies–but *they are not*. They are living babies. They have never been dead.
Having eaten the other non-cannibalistic babies, they attack one another; the strongest kill the weakest, and consume parts of them, usually arms and legs. After feeding, they pause to excrete, nap, and begin again, even as police and emergency personnel are moving in and setting up perimeters. Threatened by dangerous adults, the surviving babies instinctively put aside their competition and work as a group, swarming over the police, chewing out their throats. A few cannibalistic babies are, of course, killed in the general melee, but most survive to massacre hospital personnel…
And so it goes at thousands of hospitals around the world. After a time, the babies go into hiding and dormancy in walls, cupboards, pipes, but emerge from time to time to feed on adults.
Eventually, when the adult population is sufficiently reduced, the babies turn once more against each another. But when the population reaches a certain level of reduction, the babies instinctively stop their predation on one another. A few adults remain and find that if they act as servants to the babies they are not killed. Research soon reveals that the cannibalistic babies are mutations, an unexpected variety of humanity designed to survive during the ecological collapse in a polluted, overheated, overpopulated world. Once they reach adulthood, they sterilize or consume all who are not of their mutation.
And so, children, those are the historic facts, roughly describing the Glorious Mutation of a thousand years ago, which led to the present society. This very day, as the population has worked its way up to the forbidden number, we have received our orders. And what fun it’s going to be! This very afternoon we’re all going to attack the elementary school in the next district, if they don’t attack us first. In either case, we must try to eat them before they eat us! Happy Blood day, children!