Nancy thought she must be hallucinating the morning she saw two babies fist fighting in the park. She had had a long raucous weekend. Is this an after effect of eating macaroni and cheese made with weed butter, or drinking too many Irish car bombs? Had she finally pickled herself?
It was a typical Monday morning, and she was already running late for work. She grabbed her purse, careful not to wake the man in her bed. ‘Dave,’ she thought he said his name was. She stepped over her crumpled up clothes from the night before. The single girl’s night out uniform: tight jeans, a blouse, heels and a black blazer. She scribbled a note for ‘Dave,’ grabbed some Adderall and was out the door.
She strapped the helmet over her day old hair, still smelling of smoke despite her spray on shampoo, and started her electronic scooter. As she buzzed down the street, people swerved at her and flipped her off. She was used to it. The worst was when they flicked their cigarette butts at her. She had lost her license, thanks to a DUI (which wasn’t her fault by the way), so the scooter was her sole means of transportation. She had taken the bus once, but vowed never again after a homeless person vomited on her feet and an old man was masturbating behind a newspaper.
When she stopped at the light she looked down towards the park, that's when she saw them.
A crowd was beginning to gather around the babies as she buzzed by on her scooter. She was already late for work. Should she stop? The crowd looked like they were getting rowdy but she couldn’t resist a kerfuffle. She pulled over, kicked the kickstand into place and wandered into the crowd. There was the sound of meat hitting meat, it reminded her of the time she took acid on Thanksgiving and dropped the turkey in front of everyone. She thought she saw the wings flapping on the cooked bird. She never took hallucinogens on a holiday again, not a major holiday anyway.
The babies circled each other with their dukes raised, taking jabs and bobbing. A thin string of spit ran down their chins. They let out the occasional ‘coo’ and babble sounds as the people watched in awe, and the crowd began to grow. Then one baby threw a hook, hitting the other baby square in his toothless mouth. He let out a huge cry, “Mama,” and head-butted the other baby. The people started cheering.
Nancy pushed her way to the front of the crowd. “Stop them, somebody stop them,” she cried. As she reached for one of the babies, a man grabbed her arm and pulled her back.
“Let go of me! Someone help me,” she screamed but no one even flinched.
“Let them be. Let's see what happens,” the man yelled at her. “This is awesome.”
“Shut that lady up,” another person yelled at her.
“Are you crazy! They’re going to kill each other,” Nancy cried, pointing to the smaller of the two babies who had developed a bloody nose. She felt hands on her shoulders and then someone had her by the arms, dragging her to the back of the crowd.
“Leave me alone,” she cried, trying to get out of the stranger's grasp.
“Get her out of here,” she could hear them saying as she was being manhandled by men and women alike. The crowd pushed her towards the back where she couldn’t be seen or heard, as they continued to cheer the babies on. She disappeared into the sea of people and became silenced.
“This lighting is perfect,” a young person could be heard saying.
“I already got two hundred likes,” said another.
The young people took selfies in front of the fighting babies. Making duck lips and tossing their hair, trying to find the best angle as the babies bled in the background.
The people started placing bets on which baby would win.
“I got twenty on the baby in the red diaper,”
“I got thirty on the blue diaper.”
They cheered as the babies rolled on the grass, slapping and scratching each other. The crowd continued to get bigger and the people started pushing each other to get a closer look.
“I heard about these babies from the next town over. I heard they’ve been at it for days”
“Well I heard it’s a part of an experiment…”
“I heard they're part of a baby fight club...”
”I heard they weren’t babies at all…”
“I heard their mother left them here…”
“I heard their father left them here…”
“I heard they’re doing it for charity…”
No one seemed to have the right information but the crowd continued to grow, as did the confusion.
Whenever someone tried to intervene, the crowd pushed them back to the place where their voices couldn't be heard.
People were live streaming the fight and taking viral videos with their phones as the babies continued to throw jabs and upper cuts.
“Over five hundred likes!”
“I was here first.”
“You’ve had enough time up front, it’s my turn.”
“Someone help them.”
“Get her out of here.”
“This isn’t right.”
“One thousand likes.”
“Someone give them a weapon.”
Then someone handed the babies two sticks they’d found on the ground. The babies started clubbing each other as the people cheered. One of the baby’s eyes started swelling shut as the other baby continued to hit him in the head with the stick.
The crowd had become too big, and the people too many. Conflicts began to divide the spectators. Fights started breaking out, and soon shots rang out and people screamed, running in all directions, but there were too many of them, they couldn’t get anywhere. They began running over each other, pushing each other down and trampling women and children alike. Soon no one was watching the babies at all, as they were too busy fighting and taking videos of the new fights breaking out. Children began imitating the adults, hitting and cussing at each other.
The fervor worsened and people armed themselves. Soon a terror had come over the park. And the chaos brought out more people looking for just that kind of mayhem.
The people grabbed pieces of fencing and pipes and began beating each other. Fires were started and property destroyed, until there was nothing left.
When babies got bored and tired they looked around at the carnage. Fires burned and dead bodies littered the ground as far as they could see. They put their pacifiers back in their mouths and took a nap.