A Most Special Delivery

📅 Published on December 24, 2021

“A Most Special Delivery”

Written by Nick Carlson
Edited by Craig Groshek
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by N/A

Copyright Statement: Unless explicitly stated, all stories published on CreepypastaStories.com are the property of (and under copyright to) their respective authors, and may not be narrated or performed, adapted to film, television or audio mediums, republished in a print or electronic book, reposted on any other website, blog, or online platform, or otherwise monetized without the express written consent of its author(s).

🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None Available

ESTIMATED READING TIME — 14 minutes

Rating: 10.00/10. From 3 votes.
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Although stress and chaos are the natural order at a hospital, few things serve to rattle doctors and nurses more than death. The cold, procedural actions undertaken before, during, and after a passing, contrast heavily with the unrestrained drama surrounding the patient and their families. No matter the circumstances, there never seems to be a clean, “perfect” death. There are always questions about what could have been done differently. Whether or not the patient had the “will” to live. What would become of the relatives, now that one of their beloved has stepped over to the dark plane of nonliving, never to look back.

Few people, however, consider the polar opposite, even though it very often serves to be just as affecting.

Ignoring the trauma and physical toll labor imparts on a mother, childbirth is often accompanied by its own raucous spectacles. Arguments over who gets to see the baby and who doesn’t. Fights between the two “fathers” over whose child it really is. Not to mention the entanglement of troubles befallen on a teenage or unwed mother, and those around her…if there’s anyone any at all.

Childbirth may be “beautiful,” but as any farmer would tell you, one cannot bear fruit without some bad spots.

The maternity ward, therefore, was the last place Rita Park wanted to be on Christmas Eve. But with all the other OB-GYNS out of town for the holidays, and the hospital understaffed as it was, she just had to suck it up, rub the sleep from her eyes, and drive the twenty miles down the dark empty streets at 10 p.m to get back to work.

Thankfully, upon her arrival, there were only two patients in the maternity ward. Gabriella had been Rita’s patient since the news of her pregnancy broke back in March. She was a sweet girl of twenty-five, nervous but determined to see her own way through. She was also a single mother. Her partner Damien (nicknamed “D-bag” during their many appointments) had dumped her and skipped town the morning after she emerged from the bathroom with a positive test. Her parents, supportive and loving as they were, could not be there to attend their daughter’s labor. She had no other immediate family either. Rita almost wished D-bag could be in the room, despite his noncommitment. No expectant mother ought to be alone and in labor on Christmas Eve.

Rita smiled at her as she assessed her condition. “Everything’s going smoothly,” she reassured her. “You’re in good hands, Gabrielle. Just relax and let the process play out. Remember, it’s all natural.”

The young woman gave a nod and a wan smile, taking a soothing breath. “I have to step out of the room for a moment,” Rita explained further. “Just shout if you need me.”

She hadn’t yet seen her second patient for the night, but when she walked down the hallway and into the ward’s other occupied room, she was slammed by a semi-truck of recognition.

“Ms. Rita!” the woman proclaimed. “Haven’t seen you in a hot while! Has your heart wandered away from church’s good graces?”

Maureen Delaney was, in the most polite of terms, the town kook: an unwed shut-in who only emerged to prostrate herself in the frontmost pews at church whenever the Spirit moved her. She was also notorious for her vow of abstinence, having never pursued a man in her life, or given the few potential suitors who approached her the tiniest bit of credence. So Rita found herself rightfully confused upon seeing the woman’s laden abdomen rising up from under the sheets.

“Ms. Delaney,” Rita said in a small voice as she entered the room, “I didn’t know you were pregnant.”

“And I didn’t know you worked here,” Maureen said with a smile. “Goes to show how much has changed since you stopped coming to Mass.”

Rita had to conceal her grimace as she leaned forward to assess Maureen. She could have sworn self-righteousness was a sin, but engaging in theological debates with someone like Maureen was a fate worse than death to her. It was true Rita hadn’t been going back to church in recent years, but that didn’t change what was really pressing on her mind. “So, did you end up marrying after all?” she asked. Maureen was pushing well into her forties – relatively late to marry, definitely late to start having children.

“No ma’am,” Maureen said, almost proudly.

“Well then…who’s the father?”

Maureen smiled. “Oh, sweetheart…nobody.”

Rita did a double-take. “Excuse me?”

“I’m as pure and unspoiled as the day I was born, Ms. Rita,” she said. “Never gave my virginity to any man. Never even teased my carnal desires. And just look at me now, ripe with child. A virgin birth, due on the 25th…you’re cloudy with the faith, but I’m sure even you know the significance of that.”

Rita’s lips parted, and closed again. If she wasn’t lying about not being with a man or receiving any artificial procedures…the only other logical explanation was phantom pregnancy, but Maureen had indeed begun dilating, which never happened in pseudocyesis…

“The Lord is coming swift upon us,” Maureen decreed in a breathy voice. “And when He takes His first steps through this wicked world, pray and hold fast…for it might be all you’ll have time to do.”

Rita turned and exited the room, a mite too briskly to hide her unease. She had to have been lying or crazy…a coincidence, a medical anomaly…

She returned to Gabriella to find her face contorted in pain, trembling hands over her stomach. “Contraction?” said Rita, barely batting an eye.

“I think so,” Gabriella gasped, huffing and puffing air. “Who…who’s the other lady down the hall?”

“Some nutcase I knew from church a few years back,” Rita replied lowly, examining her again. “She’s claiming she got pregnant through divine intervention.”

“‘Divine intervention,’” Gabriella parroted. “Wait…tomorrow’s Christmas, isn’t it…”

“Coincidence, I’m sure,” said Rita. “She’s the last person I’d expect to carry the second coming of Jesus in her womb,” she added, rolling her eyes. “You’re doing great. I’d say another hour or so before active labor.”

“Thank you,” Gabriella said, closing her eyes as if wishing to do nothing more than simply drift off.

Rita offered another smile before stepping out.

The more she approached Maureen’s room, the heavier some invisible shadow of dread seemed to blanket across her. She tried her best to adopt her professional facade as she entered the room.

“I hear you whispering with that scarlet girl across the way,” Maureen sneered as Rita resumed examination. “You doubt the coming of our Savior.”

“Not necessarily,” Rita replied, still stony-faced. “Just you.”

“Well if your ears refuse to believe, try your eyes,” said Maureen, holding out her hands.

Rita glanced up and nearly shouted. Glaringly prominent on the woman’s palms were twin walnut-sized sores, a patch of inflamed red capped with single blackheads. “And if you care to look, missy, you’ll find the exact same sores on my feet,” she boasted.

Rita hunched over her open palms, eyebrows scrunched. “What happened here?” she inquired. “Were they self-inflicted?”

Maureen shook her head. “They appeared about a month ago. And since you can’t seem to find the word for it, I’ll fill you in. Stigmata. The crucifixion wounds that Jesus Christ endured.”

Rita looked over at her. She still couldn’t believe it. Not a damn word. But there was one more discrepancy she had to address. “You’ve dilated six centimeters,” she observed. “Are you feeling any pain?”

Maureen cocked her head and stared. “Does this face look like it’s in pain, dear?”

Rita took a subconscious step back. Maureen seemed to wallow in Rita’s discomfort; suddenly the frail, heavily pregnant woman sprawled on a hospital bed elicited a bizarre, airy dread unlike anything she had known before.

“Mary never felt labor pains either,” Maureen assured as Rita exited the room. “Seems like my body is a most worthy vessel, wouldn’t you say?”

Rita felt like she was walking through smog as she made her way back to Gabriella; her head was foggy, her throat constricted, the edges of her eyes stung. It was incongruous, flying in the face of everything she knew and was trained for…

“Rita, I think my water broke,” said Gabriella as Rita entered the room.

Rita went for a check. “Definitely has,” she confirmed. “The active labor stage is soon to follow. The contractions will become more frequent and intense.”

“Okay,” Gabriella breathed, eyes scrunched shut. “God…I can’t, I can’t do this…”

“You can, and you will,” Rita promised. “Breathe in. Gather up all that tension and blow it out your mouth. Let it go.” Gabriella relaxed, seeming to sink into her mattress as she exhaled. “There we go,” said Rita. “I’m gonna stick around for a while, so I’ll be right here if you need me.”

“So, Jesus Lady is doing fine?” Gabriella asked.

Rita sighed. “I don’t know…she’s actively dilating yet she claims to not feel pain.”

“Just like the Virgin Mary,” said Gabriella.

Rita gave a wince. “Yes…just like her.”

They both went silent for a moment. Gabriella seized up again, racked with another contraction. “Oh fuck,” she hissed. “Oh shit…oh my God…ahh…”

“Temporary,” Rita said calmly. “Remember. It’s temporary. You’ll get past it…just think of your child.”

“Do…do you have children, Rita?” Gabriella asked.

She shook her head. “No. Can’t say why I never went that route. It just…didn’t happen.”

Gabriella nodded, but she didn’t seem reassured as she tensed and breathed past the pain.

Rita sighed again, her hand drifting through thin air. She wanted something to hold onto…another person’s hand, preferably, something to give her comfort, an anchor to reality. “Jesus Lady” frightened her, definitely, but the poor lonely girl racked with labor pains strewn before her wasn’t helping.

“Excuse me,” she said, stepping out into the hall. “Just shout if you need me.”

Out in the hallway, it was nothing but sterile fluorescent lighting and the stark, sanitated walls that stretched on in both directions. Only the muffled beeps of machinery and the buzz of electricity kept the space from becoming a vacuum. There were no footsteps, no other voices besides the occasional labor pang.

Rita checked her watch, seeing it was now 11:00. Barely an hour until Christmas, one of the holiest days of the year, and she was spending it alone and torn between two separate worlds of misery and trouble.

Even if she got through tonight without a hitch, this Christmas was going to be unusually bleak.

She didn’t know how long she had drifted off, but the sounds of screaming brought her back to Earth.

She bolted towards the source of the noise – against her expectations, into Maureen Delaney’s room.

Her mouth was agape, eyes wide, arms and legs spread like a Vitruvian woman, the sores on her palms in full view – but her lips were stretched into a smile, and her screaming had devolved into shrieking laughter.

“You faithless harlot!” Maureen spat. “See revelation unfold before you!”

Rita’s first instinct was to check down below – but a flash of red higher up stopped her. Blood was blooming underneath the white sheets, emanating from Maureen’s side.

“Shit!” Rita cursed, throwing the sheets back. The left side of Maureen’s gown bore a bloodsoaked slit that revealed the lesion in her engorged abdomen – disconcertingly similar to a stab wound. “What happened! What did you do?!” Rita shouted, scrambling for a medical kit.

“This was God’s hand!” Maureen cried with glee. “The wound Christ endured after he died on the cross!”

“Enough of this,” Rita blurted, pulling Maureen’s gown back. Blood spilled from her like a leaky hose as Rita wiped it away and readied a gauze patch. The blood suddenly took on a desaturated quality, and soon two streams of liquid were pouring from Maureen – one red, the other clear as crystal.

Rita’s first crazed thought was amniotic fluid – but the wound wasn’t deep enough to have punctured any organs. Pus? she guessed next, but there was no sign of infection either. It was odorless and cool to the touch, almost like…

“Water, gushing from my side,” Maureen sobbed, wearing a tear-stricken smile. “Just like our crucified Lord…oh praise God, I praise You, I am eternally at Your hand!”

Rita applied the gauze, stemming the flow, and drew her pager. “I need a doctor in here right now!” she bellowed out into the hallway. But the very air seemed to absorb her plea, rendering her voiceless beyond the lonesome ward.

“To Hell with your doctors,” Maureen sneered. “Get yourself a priest.”

“Shut the fuck up!” Rita snapped.

“Temper, temper,” Maureen mocked. “Might want to cleanse your tongue before you confess to our Lord.”

Fresh screams erupted from down the hall – belonging to a younger woman.

“Shit,” Rita cursed, setting another gauze patch before rushing into the hallway. “Anyone! Room 222! Right now!” she yelled down the soundless hall. She ran into Gabriella’s room. The girl was heaving with agonizing breaths, bunches of sheets clenched in her fists.

“It hurts! It hurts too much!” she cried, her eyes wet and shiny.

“Breathe, deep breaths,” said Rita. “You’re at eight centimeters, everything’s going as it should.”

“I can’t do this!” said Gabriella. “No! I can’t!”

“You can, and you will!” said Rita. “Relax, release the tension from your face. Deep breaths. It’ll be okay, I promise.”

“How the fuck would you know!” Gabriella fired back. “You’ve never been through this in your life!”

“Gabriella, relax and breathe, please,” said Rita, her composure beginning to crack.

Gabriella emitted a painful cry and spasmed. “Do you want an epidural?” Rita then offered.

“Anything,” Gabriella pleaded, sweat and tears gleaming on her red face.

Rita whipped out her pager and sent out a message: “EPIDURAL ROOM 221 STAT.” “The anesthesiologist will be here shortly,” Rita told her.

“Why can’t you do it!” Gabriella demanded.

“I’m not authorized to administer one,” Rita answered through gritted teeth.

“Please, hurry,” Gabriella moaned, her eyes closing.

Another strangled yell emitted from Maureen’s room.

God help me, I’m losing my mind, Rita thought as she scrambled to the other woman’s room.

Maureen was sitting up and grinning broadly once more, and Rita thought the woman’s hair was damp and sweat and plastered down her face – until it smeared and dripped, and she realized with horror it was blood, trailing down in ruby ribbons down the sides of her head.

“Racked with thorns,” Maureen proclaimed, “the thorns that crowned our Beloved’s head!”

“Maureen, lay back!” Rita shouted as she rushed for another roll of gauze. As she approached the woman she saw the wound on her side was flowing freely again, blood and water seeping past the soggy gauze. Rita applied a fresh patch, wiping away the congealing slick staining Maureen’s skin and sheets, then went to wrap gauze around her head.

At this Maureen reached out and grasped Rita’s wrists. “No more,” Maureen rasped. “I am festering with stigmata, can’t you see that, you silly girl? Let my wounds bleed! Let this sacred pain consume me! Maybe I won’t just deliver Him…maybe I’ll become Him…our infant Lord will repossess me after His birth and take my body and soul for His own…”

“Enough!” Rita snapped, throwing Maureen’s hands off her, hands that still bore the same ugly punctures. She held down Maureen’s body as she applied a strip of gauze across Maureen’s wounds and tied it off.

“God will remember how you attempted to gild His doings,” Maureen snarled.

Where the fuck are the doctors! Rita silently cried.

Gabriella’s upwelling screams tugged at her mind like a ravening dog.

“Shoot me,” Rita choked as she rushed out to attend to her other patient.

Gabriella resembled a bloated carcass, grimy and moist with perspiration and tears. Rita confirmed she had nearly fully dilated…the pain would be over soon, all the suffering would be worth it…

“Where’s the epidural?” Gabriella breathed, too exhausted to speak up.

“I don’t know,” said Rita. She reached forth and grasped Gabriella’s sweaty palm. “You’ve got this. It’s almost over. You’ll get past this.”

“I’m sorry,” Gabriella wheezed. “For everything…”

“Shh, it’s okay, sweetheart, it’s all okay,” said Rita, now squeezing with both hands.

“It’s horrible, it hurts, I’ll give up anything to make it stop,” she gasped.

“If only the goddamn epidural would get here,” Rita pleaded. But she was certain of it this time: she was alone in the ward, the floor, perhaps the entire hospital. Her desperate messages and cries for help had met only empty, uncaring air.

As time trickled on, her thoughts crowded by Gabriella’s agony and Maureen’s ghastly jubilation, Rita prayed. If the Second Coming of God were truly upon them, and He would come to dispense justice upon the world from this one lonely maternity ward in Middle America, she prayed that at least Gabriella would be saved…Gabriella, and her child, especially her child, whom she prayed would grow up happy and healthy with a mother who loved him…

“Oh, God…I think…I think it’s coming!” Gabriella finally said.

“Yes, the baby’s crowning,” Rita confirmed after dipping down to check. “Breathe. Breathe. Now…one, two, three, push.”

Gabriella obeyed, forcing herself past the pain. Rita exhaled with relief. She almost forgot about the imminent Rapture down the hall…

“No! No! NOOOOOOOO!!”

Maureen’s voice, this time throttled with sheer terror, scared Rita more than anything else had that night.

Rita sighed with resolve. “I’m sorry,” she said to Gabriella, before leaving her to run to Maureen.

The woman was covered with blood. Caking her stomach, her face and head, her wounds bleeding past the gauze. But Maureen was gazing at her palms, evidently horrified at her stigmata sores.

“What is this!” she shrieked, holding them out to Rita. “Fix them! Get them out!”

Rita nearly gagged. The wounds had opened up. Things…little, insect-like things…were crawling around in the concoction of pus and blood and frayed skin. Underneath the bunched-up sheets by her feet, more bugs were crawling about, having just emerged from the sores down there too…

“Plague! Evil!” Maureen screamed. And Rita then caught a glimpse of what was crowning between Maureen’s legs.

It was no baby.

“No,” Rita said in a small voice.

The insects took flight…black and blue blowflies, spouting from Maureen’s palms and feet like a fountain, buffeting through the air in a living tornado. The lights flickered, strobing like a rave, and Rita fled, leaving the flies, the carnage, Maureen’s screams, behind. And it was fear, fear that had made her run, abandoning the woman to the mercy of whatever had corrupted her.

The lights were still strobing as Rita returned to Gabriella. “Push!” Rita urged! “Push! Let’s end this!”

Gabriella screamed and pushed.

Once more, screamed and pushed.

And again, once more.

And the baby came forth into the world.

“A boy,” Rita said, a smile breaking on her face. “It’s a boy…” Donning a pair of gloves, she got to work clamping and severing the cord, and wrapping him up in a blanket. But as she took a closer look at him, something was wrong. He wasn’t making any sound. No crying, no coughing up…he wasn’t even moving.

Rita set her fingertip on the infant’s forearm, feeling for a pulse. Despite her frantic state of mind, she could detect something…the minute beating of a tiny heart. She nearly passed out from relief…but what was wrong with him?

“Where is he?” Gabriella croaked, too weak to lift her head. “Is everything alright?…”

Before Rita could reply, a new voice entered the void.

It was a curdling, gurgling, impertinent tone, dripping with salaciousness, that seemed to come both from Maureen’s room…and inside Rita’s mind.

I thank you for playing along, you prideful bitch.

And from Maureen’s room came one final deathly bellow, the bellow of a dying woman, a sound of tragedy and betrayal, that sputtered off into rattling chokes…then, silence.

“Who…who was that?” Gabriella moaned.

“Take him,” Rita said, handing off the bundle to her. She blinked against the flickering lights, trying to steady her head. Then, all pretense of instinctive self-preservation gone, she treaded out into the hallway.

The beast met her there. Superficially, it did indeed resemble Jesus…but its skin was gone, revealing only pulsating, bloodsoaked muscle the piercing red of raw beef. Its hair was a tangle of black, thorny brambles that crawled down its back, sticking into its flesh at odd angles. Its eyes were blank white, like marble, yet still staring down at Rita, seeing her and much, much more with full clarity.

And I thank you for assisting in my delivery,” it said. Its toothy mouth moved, and Rita heard its voices again…one from the beast, one in her head.

The word came to Rita’s lips, ridiculous as it sounded, but she somehow knew there was no better substitute.

“Antichrist…”

Perceptive, aren’t you,” it jeered. “Now…where is my brother? My other half?

“Your…body?” Rita whimpered.

The vessel I pumped into that fornicator,” it snapped. “So that I may grow and walk among the people as a man. Bring me to him.

Rita understood. The truth slid down her throat and sat putrescently in her gut. She shook her head. “No.”

Some loose organs lodged in the beast’s throat shuddered with what could have been a sigh. “Impertinence will get you nowhere.” It flicked his hand, and Rita’s skull became grasped in a psychic fist, squeezing her and forcing her to the ground. Immobilized, she could only watch as the Antichrist took loping, leaking steps past her and inside Gabriella’s room.

“No,” Rita choked, crawling towards it. “Not after all this…”

“Damien?” Gabriella’s voice said. “Damien, you came…you came back…”

Yes,” it crooned. “Now…let me see our son.

“Guess you’re not so much a D-bag after all,” she replied.

“No!” Rita called out, knowing fully well that whatever Gabriella was seeing and hearing wasn’t real, wasn’t the reality behind all that had happened tonight…

She rounded the doorway, still unable to stand.

She saw the beast standing over the bedridden woman, the comatose infant in its hands.

“No,” Rita blubbered again, lunging at the beast’s ankle. Her fingers dug into its flesh; it was like burning gelatin that squished and rotted in her grasp.

The beast kicked her away. It lifted the lifeless child into the air, as if holding it to the light. Then its lipless jaw opened…wide, like a snake…and it lowered the baby down its gullet.

Rita’s vision blackened, unable, unwilling to process what had just happened before her mortal eyes.

You’ve seen too much,” the Antichrist whispered. “You fulfilled your purpose. This world has no more place for you now. You can join Maureen Delaney.”

A red, veiny palm reached down over Rita’s face, and everything went dark.

* * * * * *

It had been the most traumatic experience of her life. The heartbreak of Damien leaving her the day after she announced she was pregnant had been horrible too, but the pain Gabriella had felt from that came from just a sore chest and tightened throat. All that had happened to her today…she wouldn’t have wished it upon her worst enemy.

In the end, however, it was worth it. Her infant son stirred in her arms, his little face pressed against her chest, tiny fingers grasping feebly at nothing. He coughed up some congested fluid, but Gabriella didn’t care. He was beautiful. She had seen newborn babies before this, and at first she was…repulsed, if she was being honest. To her, they resembled more alien monkeys than anything with an ounce of actual human genes.

Yet he seemed…full. More developed than those other newborns. His face was truly adorable. His skin was satin-smooth. He even had hair…thin, black hair that seemed perfectly combed down his scalp. And, as he opened his mouth to yawn, Gabriella swore she saw budding teeth in his gums. Strange…she thought teeth didn’t come in until much later…

The room was quiet. Hell, the entire hospital seemed quiet. She looked around, wondering where her nurse had gone. What was her name? Ruth?…

But it was the clock hanging on the wall that caught her attention next. The time was 2:34 am. December 25th. Just like she had been secretly, giddily hoping in her heart, her child had been born on Christmas.

“Merry Christmas, little one,” she whispered down to him.

The baby looked up at her, and Gabriella could only wonder what was really going on behind those infant eyes.

Rating: 10.00/10. From 3 votes.
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🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None Available


Written by Nick Carlson
Edited by Craig Groshek
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by N/A

🔔 More stories from author: Nick Carlson


Publisher's Notes: N/A

Author's Notes: N/A

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Copyright Statement: Unless explicitly stated, all stories published on CreepypastaStories.com are the property of (and under copyright to) their respective authors, and may not be narrated or performed, adapted to film, television or audio mediums, republished in a print or electronic book, reposted on any other website, blog, or online platform, or otherwise monetized without the express written consent of its author(s).

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