The first birth Madie ever witnessed was a horrific tragedy. The event left her scarred. The streets of town resembled a war zone. Populated by rats the size of a house cat, the park where she played as a child had become a landfill of dead bodies. Like a wild animal, she scavenged for food; to help ease the pain in her stomach she sometimes stole food from the hands of others.

At night, Madie found a place to hide but never in the same place twice. Sleep didn’t come easy; she hated the dark. Horrible monsters lived in the dark.

Almost daily, the local tribes and gangs committed senseless brutality. Dragged into the street the soon-to-be-dead always kicked and screamed. Their cries for help and mercy ignored. Afraid for her own life, Madie hid, closed her eyes, covered her ears and prayed she wouldn’t be next.

On this particular day, Madie was exhausted, tired and hungry. The Red Hyenas were hunting and Madie was their prey. Already caught but released during a game of cat and mouse, she ran into an alley and hid in a crawl space. From somewhere in the damp darkness, she hears a young girl say “Help me, please!”

Madie’s first reaction was to flee but she couldn’t the Red Hyenas were in the alley. “Shhh…Be quiet!” she begged in a whisper. The girl answered the pleas for quiet with moans of agony.

“Sssshh, please they’ll hear you!” Madie peeked into the alleyway. The hyenas were fighting amongst themselves as they searched for her amongst the garbage. The lead boy wasn’t happy Madie escaped.

Fearing the hyenas would hear the moaning and cries for help, Madie crawled deeper into the darkness and demanded the girl be quiet. “Please! Shut up!” What she saw terrifying; blood was everywhere and the smell nauseating.
Please…oh please, help me!” The girl cried as she reached for the blood-covered infant lying in the mud.

Madie stared in horror and scooted back against the far wall. She prayed in a whisper, “please don’t let the baby cry, please don’t let the baby cry!” If the baby cried, the Red Hyenas would find her.

Several hours later, Madie ventured back out into the alley. The girl and her baby both died in the dark.
Afraid and drenched in body fluids, Casey knocked on Madie’s door around 2am. Attempting not to panic or look worried, she woke Gretchen, and Cecelia. The three of them changed Casey’s clothes and put her into a clean bed. After reassuring Casey, everything would be fine; Madie woke Evan and JT and sent the boys on an errand to find a mid-wife. The boys returned in less than half an hour with a girl named Lizzy.

By mid-morning, Casey was in hard labor. Her screams of agony resonated through the halls of the school. Madie put on a happy face and reassured everyone, Casey and her baby would be fine. She kept the fears swirling around in her head to herself. She had seen tragedy. She knew what could go wrong.

There were moments Madie feared Casey wouldn’t have the strength to push her baby into the world. With every contraction Lizzy, Gretchen and Cecelia would yell, “Push Casey… Push!”

At 3:07pm, the baby arrived. After a few slaps on her butt and a rough rub with a towel, the tiny infant let out a loud wonderful cry.

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