She screamed. She grunted. She bit into the gag. For hours, they watched as she rocked back and forth, jumped into and out of the bath they prepared. She sweated. They mopped her brow. They waited. Finally it was over. In a burst of bloody gore, it ended. They all breathed a sigh of relief. It was over. She glowed.

It was a girl. Krezner quickly calculated an Apgar of five. The child would survive. For what, he couldn’t tell. “I’ll name her Hope,” the mother said. Father was left blank on the birth certificate.

Krezner’s professional demeanor nearly cracked. You have got to be shitting me. “A beautiful name,” he said as he straightened his bowtie.

That night, the Z’s heard her moans and came lurching in force from the north and from the east. Hale and MacDonald from the fourteenth and Renna from the eleventh bit it that night. Or more appropriately, were bitten and were taken out of their misery, may they rest in peace.

They say Hope never dies.

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