When Tom told her he wanted kids, Kourtney knew her relationship had an expiration date if she didn't give him one. She would later tell herself that the child is what created that expiration date. And she would also make that same point to herself moments before the dastardly choice that would change her life forever.
Fluid sprayed from the jagged teeth of the bear as it towered over her and her cowering child, Robby. Like the terrified woman beneath it, the bear was also a mother. A mother determined to protect her cubs.
But that was not a sentiment that Kourtney shared with the beast.
The bear arched its back and rose to its hind legs, shielding her young from the intruders. Its majestic stature stretched deeply into the shadows of the forest's canopy.
Robby trembled with fear as his tiny hands dug into the arm of his annoyed mother.
Kourtney's hand quickly slapped against Robby's mouth, muffling his cries so as not to provoke their attacker's instincts further. But like most of Robby's disobedient decisions, his mother felt that this too would have consequences that she didn't ask to manage.
She considered Robby a consequence himself. The repercussions of a decision intended to anchor a failing relationship, one that has become nothing more than a financial and emotional burden on everyone involved.
She had no motherly instinct.
Even now, Robby's tear-glassed eyes were still nothing more than a reminder of the failure she had become. The couple was far from happy, and she believed they were forced further apart by the excessive disobedience of their son.
Like her crippling depression, she was convinced that Tom's newfound alcoholism was also a byproduct of Robby's existence. Though their life hadn't been joyful before their son, it was clear that it had worsened precisely seven years and five months ago. But she felt that she could change that now.
Without hesitation, Kourtney shoved her child toward the bear and darted into the woods, making her escape through the thick brush forest. Her heaving breath did little to mask the sounds of adolescent screaming and the serration of wet flesh as the monstrous animal tore into her small boy.And despite the pounding heart in her chest, she was overwhelmed with relief as a distant death rattle lifted a sixty-eight-pound weight from it.
She was ready to rebuild her new life with her husband; without Robby.
Sadly, Kortney was finally ready to be happy.
But it was quickly revealed to be a short-lived relief, as that weight would return just months later in court when the prosecutor would reveal a video from a hunting camera that was perched in the trees above her that awful night.
And her husband, Tom, would never, ever forgive her.*
© 2022 by Jaiden Frost, LLC
Written By: Jaiden Frost
Produced By: Jonathon Hermosillo
Editing by: Jon Hord
Story Consultant: Rubella Frost
Cover Design by: JFP Studios
Illustrations by: Jaiden Frost
Interior Design by: JFP Studios