Baby Toula is an ugly baby even her own mother can’t kiss, although she claims to love her, only because she came from her womb. That’s a womb its owner, Mama Lydia, did not know had become a receptacle to a hodgepodge of chemicals, such as synthetic fragrances she’s inhaled and the artificially preserved lotions her skin’s absorbed from the time she was a little girl to the mature fruit bearer she has now become.
As with any unsuspecting person, Lydia paid no heed to what her body was accumulating over time. How did she know the sweet, cloying Vanilla Ice cologne contained something that was also the lethal ingredient in a bug spray? Or a window cleaner? She isn’t one to question things like that. To her 20-something life, it’s more about fun stuff–like tasting those delicious bon bons that come in unnaturally vivid colors. She simply thought that if others bought them, they must be fine. The companies that churn them out are household names, so they can be trusted. Their packaging says they are mostly natural and good for you.
Now, she rocks on her chair looking at her baby from across the room, because Toula repulses her. She has pustules on a face that should be smooth-cheeked. And what should be shiny, baby fine hair is more like a patch of raised bumps. Where her lidded bright eyes would have been are unblinking dots filled in with odd-shaped cells. How she welcomes a loud cry. Instead, there’s only occasional bursts of heaves that raise her hackles.
Lydia thinks Toula is an unfortunate seed, though not a bad seed like her older sister Lizzie, who grew up to butcher their parents. Lydia will have to make sure Toula doesn’t have access to any axes.