Kay (Part Two)
STOP: if you have not read part one of Kay’s Story, please do so now.
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Could it be that one of those dumb toms had fallen in and gotten buried in the boxes? Lovely, now I’m a rescuer of flea ridden pests. Kay yanked the lid on the dumpster off and grabbed one of the sturdier boxes to stand on. Grimy slush and ice slid off, missing her pants and shoes by a fraction of an inch. The night before had been cold, but the morning sun was slowly melting its way across the lot. Unfortunately, the warmer it got, the grosser the dumpster seemed. Gag! It smells even worse up close, she thought.
She peered inside and her brain promptly froze. Kay’s eyes took in the facts, but it just wouldn’t register. There, nestled among yesterday’s rotten bananas was something wrapped in newspaper and an old sweater, but very much alive. It was a baby. A human baby! And a newborn one, from the looks of it. The infant’s tiny face was all scrunched up and alarmingly pale, crusty with dried blood and birthing fluid. It let out another mewl, and Kay nearly fell off of her precarious perch.
Instinctively, she scooped the baby up and pulled it to her chest. Very carefully, she climbed down and ran into the stockroom.
Why are you late… wait, what is that? Is that a baby?
The annoyed look on Brian’s face flashed into shock and horror, as she pushed past him.
Yes, call 911! It was in the trash out back, she blurted out. Kay laid the baby on top of a crate and started to unwrap the sodden cloth and paper. Wait! Brian said, covering the phone with his hand. They said to leave all the evidence until the police get here.
The usually docile Kay snorted. Evidence? This baby is freezing cold! It’s April in New England, for goodness sake! Who knows how long this little one has been out there and you know that the cops and EMTs won’t get here for another 20 minutes at best. When Miss Cardney had a heart attack in Aisle 4, they didn’t get here til she was dead as a doornail and stiffer than wet clothes in February!
Her farm training kicked in and she didn’t even stop to think. Kay had helped with enough animal births and almost dead lambs. She would treat this creature the same way. She continued her peeling and once the baby was naked, she carried it into the dingy restroom and began filling the sink with a couple inches of lukewarm water. Ever so gently, she slipped the baby into the sink, supporting her head and keeping it clear of the water with one hand. She rubbed its body in a circular motion with her other hand, more focused on raising the child’s body temperature than actually cleaning it. Once the baby’s skin began to lose its grayish tint, she drained the basin and patted her dry with some paper towels. She reached up for the first aid kit on the wall and took out an antiseptic wipe. She swabbed off the umbilical cord, which looked as if it had been torn instead of cut. Then, Kay pulled off her coat and used it as a makeshift blanket. She shoved the door open with her back and sat down on the cement floor of the storeroom.
Tell them it’s a little girl, she said softly, cuddling the bundle against her body for warmth. The baby had stopped crying by now and seemed to be sleeping. Brian hung up the phone, at a loss in this odd situation. They said it was good you are keeping it, or her, warm and just to make sure you saved the papers for them to see. He hesitated for a second. Maybe I should close the store, just for today. Is there anything else I can do?
Kay looked up, surprised. Close the store? You never close during business hours, and on a weekday too!
He tugged his beard thoughtfully. Well, this is different sort of day. I mean, a baby in the trash!
Kay smiled, maybe her boss wasn’t quite as tough as he appeared. Brian, I don’t think there’s much more we can do right now. Now it was her turn to pause. Could I, I mean, do you think you could do without me for the day? I’d like to stay with her, until I know she’s going to be okay.
Of course! He brightened a bit and added, Somebody should watch out for the little tyke. You’re a dependable girl, Kay. I’m sure the police will want to get your official testimony anyway. I’ll see if I can get them to let you on the ambulance with her. You know its bound to be my cousin Billy driving. Well, I’d better get the front unlocked.
He disappeared around the corner and Kay let out a breath she hadn’t even realized she was holding. Now that she was still, her thoughts caught up and the adrenaline that had taken charge earlier started to wear off. She leaned back against a shelving unit and closed her eyes. The baby whimpered at the movement. A sense of maternal protectiveness that had been stirring in her reared up its full might.
No one is gonna hurt you again, Sweety, she crooned fiercely. I’m here for you now. Kay rocked her and hummed a lullaby that her Daddy used to sing, but one thought kept repeating over and over in her brain. Who could have done this thing? And why?
To be continued…
This story was scribbled quickly as a writing exercise and for my own amusement. I will continue the story soon. I hope you enjoy it!
Please forgive any errors, grammatical or otherwise, as this is a rough single draft story.