And in the year of Our Lord of 1735, during the long, hot summer, a great fire raced across the midnight sky to disappear into the Pine Barrens, Mother Leeds disappeared into the bogs and marshes of those Barrens while looking for mushrooms, leaving her twelve children to the care of Mr. Leeds, only to reappear a week later, eyes wide and staring, rope burns about her neck, belly great with a thirteenth child, so great that the midwife was fetched by her oldest that very night as Mother Leeds writhed screaming on tangled bloodied sheets, cursing the thirteenth child as it tore itself from her belly before the eyes of her husband and twelve children even as the midwife fell back, prayers unheard by God as it tore out her throat.
Screeching, the thirteenth child crouched atop Mother Leeds' twitching, bloody body, her entrails so many stinking ribbons.
Knowing a demon when he saw one, Mr. Leeds pushed his children who cried for their mother, out of the cabin – and taking up the boiling soap kettle from the fire outside the door. flung the bubbling mixture of tallow and lye upon the thirteenth child, which shrieked, sizzling and flailing – he then took up his musket and beat at the abomination, smashing it back into the now empty belly of his wife, only to have the thirteenth child stagger hissing and steaming after him, fangs bared in an eyeless face,. He fled, slamming the cabin door behind him –but the thirteenth child hissed and flew out of the smoking rough chimney, landing upon the hard packed earth of Mother Leeds' barren dooryard before limping into the dark wilds of the Barrens, leaving Mr. Leeds to bury what was left of his wife and the midwife at sunrise, calling in the Congregationalist pastor to say a few words over the shallow graves as the day heated up and a fire raced across the sky towards the setting moon.
Five summers later, that same pastor encountered the thirteenth child, a full grown devil, twisted and burned, wings bent and useless, upon a back road, a hideous beast with the long face of a broken eyeless horse. twisted legs, and barbed, bent tail. It stumbled after him, but with prayers and blows from his cane, he drove the filthy abomination from him and from the Barrens for one hundred years – or so he told any who would listen as he sat drinking alone in the ruins of his church, it's back to the Barrens, it's door piled high with broken pews and tattered hymnals, and windows boarded up.