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The Horn

By JD Gillam


Published on Smashwords by JD Gillam

Copyright 2011 JD Gillam

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Brian Kemble had the horn. In fact, he’d had it since the day he was born.

On Saturday 6th June, Brian entered the world screaming, his proud father looking on with pride, his mother smiling weakly through the pain. A small lump was discovered on the left hand side of his skull, which the doctors thought was possibly from a knock during the birthing procedure, but even as his mother held him for the first time, the lump was as hard as ivory. The doctors shrugged and seemed convinced that it would disperse naturally with time, although even they admitted that it wasn’t something that they’d come across before. Brian seemed to be showing no ill effects from the lump and so he was allowed to go home with his parents.

Worried about the lump, they kept a watchful and nervous eye on the baby as he gurgled and cried, overreacting each and every time he had a fever or bought his latest meal back up. Nothing further came of it, and Brian turned out to be a relatively healthy baby. Nevertheless, his parents worried what others would think of the lump, so they kept his head covered with hats or scarves, regardless of the weather. They also made sure that Brian’s right profile was prominent in family and holiday photos, deleting any from the digital camera if they felt that their son was not looking his best. They were only happy for his head to be completely visible behind closed doors, away from the prying eyes of others. Constantly, they lived in fear that someone would see it and report them for beating their baby, to contact the authorities to testify that they were abusing their own son. They weren’t exactly what you would call ashamed, just unsure of how to show off their medical anomaly of an offspring.

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