You Can't Take My Baby (Part of the People Next Door Series)

Okay, I've skirted the issue long enough. It's high time we stopped wondering what the neighbours thought and see and feel it from Claudine's viewpoint. As a mother I find this awful hard to write because what she experienced had to be painful to put it mildly.

Okay, Jannie boy, let's do it again.” She clapped his pudgy little hands together and sang a playful, made up rhyme. The baby's pink cheeks were wreathed in smiles so of course the mother's heart was light with joy also. His sweet cooing was like music to her ears.
“I'm coming to take the baby.”
“You heard me right, ma'am. We've tried with all patience and perseverance to get you to see the errors of you ways, but you refuse.”
He reached out for Jans who already looked pale and scared.
While clinging to her small son Claudine fled to the farthest corner of the cell.
“You can't take my baby! Jans needs his mother! Jans is a nursing baby!”
In two steps the Enemy was upon her and was trying to wrestle the infant from his mother's arms. Claudine was stronger than he would have ever imagined. “Please, sir, I'll do anything, absolutely anything if you will let me care for Jans!”
“Even torture?”
“Yes, yes. Any kind of torture!” Her voice rose above the screams of the frightened lad. She wretched him back from the Inquisitor's partial grasp and dove into the far corner of the cot, covering her baby with her body.
“Even the rack?” his voice was cutting, mocking.
“Yes, yes, even that!”
He was struggling to get her to face him. “Even beheading? Even being burned by fire?”
“Yes, yes, of course.”
"Or recant?"
"Of course not!"
“You're mad woman.” And she fights like a wild cat. “All the more reason to put the baby into better hands.”
He had Jans. Jans flung himself towards his mother screaming incoherently. He was too young too talk. But then he said it. “Mama! No go!”
The guard actually stopped. And flinched. But only for a second. But it was long enough to snatch the baby back and cower. Oh if I could only climb up and break through that narrow barred window! I'd flee to the mountains! I would take wings like a dove—I'd --.
He was fighting her again. Never as long as she was living would she willingly hand over her child to such an evil man. She saw his dagger flash out a split second before the handle cracked against her head. The world turned black as she sank limply to the dirt floor.
When she came to her senses, the baby was gone.

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