Baby Change

It wasn’t a busy day on the train station platform of a small connection town, so it didn’t take long for the attendant working there to spot the woman who had been there since 9 AM. She was middle class, with neat clothing and hair and, if the worker remembered correctly, a newborn baby clad in blue—so probably a boy—sleeping in a pram.

The 10:58 had just arrived, then rushed on. The woman had been there two hours, with several trains going past. It was strange, if not suspicious, behaviour. So the attendant, doing her job, approached the woman. As she got closer, she noticed the lone woman was gently pushing the pram back and forth, dangerously close to crossing the yellow line customers were supposed to stand behind.

Upon getting to her side, the attendant noticed the pram was empty. When the woman didn’t respond to the first few tentative “miss?” calls, the attendant hesitantly put a hand on her shoulder. The woman gave a little jump and finally looked over.

“Miss, I’m sorry, but you’ve been here an awfully long time and...where did your baby go?”

The woman looked confused, and looked down at the pram.

“He should be back in a moment... I put him in the baby change about half an hour ago when he wouldn't stop crying, I didn’t imagine it would take him so long to come back...”

The attendant, though concerned at the woman’s behaviour, put the helpless baby first in her mind. As she jogged to the women’s toilets, where the baby change table was situated, she radioed through about a missing child, about two months old, and asked if the guards could check the CCTV of the last hour.

She got into the toilets before she realised what the woman had said. "In," not, "on." She hadn’t put the baby on the flip-down table and left him there...

She turned to face the baby change table, on the same wall as the door she had come through. It was nearly fully flush against its supporting structure, but something was preventing it from closing fully.

A small hand stuck out, hopelessly pale, and the blue flannel sleeve supported her suspicions. She smelt something metallic and heard the echoing, "drip, drip, drip," on the floor. Her eyes drifted down to see blood, pooling under the table.

“C-call the police,” she almost whispered into the radio,

“Have you found him?" came the reply.

Written by Leila Marie Maxwell
Content is available under CC BY-SA