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Mormon Ghost Stories


Cover Image for Motherhood
Sister Polly Gamy
By: Sister Polly Gamy

“Motherhood is more than bearing children. ... It is the essence of who we are as women.”

Sheri Dew, 2001.

Jen woke up excitedly, nearly jumping out of bed and knocking the lamp off her nightstand. Her alarm clock glowing a red 5:45 am and her calendar open to September. Today's date was circled: September 14. Her birthday. She was finally 18.

Despite it still being pitch black outside, Jen was thrilled to be awake. She fumbled into the bathroom and got ready in record speed, wearing her new pink knit shirt and jeans. She wanted to look good on her birthday, but not like she was trying too hard. A swipe of Peachy-Keen lip gloss, some blush, and brown mascara: she looked in the mirror and brushed her hair one last time before running downstairs.

She always carpooled to early morning seminary with her friend Matt and he would be there in 10 minutes - just enough time to grab the cupcakes she bought the night before from the kitchen. Anytime is a good time to eat cupcakes when you’re 18.

Nobody knew it except Jen’s best friend Lindsay, but Jen had had a crush on Matt for almost three years now. Three years! They were both in all the AP classes at Liberty High School, so it was only natural for them to spend time together studying and walking from class to class. She always felt like the crush thing was mutual - sometimes it felt like Matt was staring straight into her soul - but since they were both Mormon they couldn’t date when they were younger. Even when Jen turned 16, her parents warned her about dating just one person. “You should be going out and meeting lots of people! You don’t want to get serious with just anyone!”

But Jen was 18 now. She could make her own decisions. And on this very day - September 14 - Jen was ready to tell Matt everything. She knew he’d be going on a mission for their church after high school, but she was hoping they would date for the rest of their senior year.

She had thought out their whole future. Once he was back from his mission, they could both finish college at BYU. She would graduate with her degree in Elementary Education, teach for 2–3 years while he finished his own degree, and then she could quit to start raising their kids. She was sure they would have at least four. She had always planned on being a mother and couldn’t wait to have kids. Her phone dinged, bringing her back to reality.

It was easy to tell when Matt was at their house in the mornings because his old Volkswagen was “one day away from death” as he would always say. Normally Jen would hear it and run out, but on occasion she would need a little bit of a nudge. It was early so he would text her instead of honking his horn. Plus, Matt always considered himself a true gentleman. He would never honk for a girl. Jen liked that about him.


Matt saw her running outside, carrying her backpack in one hand and something he couldn’t quite figure out in the other. He cued up his car stereo. She opened the passenger side door.

“Happy Birthday to you, happy birthday to you”, the stereo blasted, Matt joining on to personalize the line HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEAR JEN. He laughed and handed her a small present, wrapped in green and red paper.

“I didn’t have time to buy birthday wrapping paper, so Christmas will have to do”, he said. “Open it later!”


Jen wondered if it was the right time, but the drive to the church was only five minutes from her house so by the time she got the nerve to even open her mouth, they were pulling into the parking lot.

The day flew by: her seminary class loved the cupcakes, she got at least four compliments on her outfit, and during her off-hour she ran into the bathroom and opened up the gift from Matt.

As Jen ripped open the red and green paper, a small necklace slipped into her hand. A long chain with a small, gold heart hanging on the end. She squealed silently as she ran out of the bathroom, necklace safely sliding into her right pocket. This was going to be the best birthday ever.


Matt always waited for her outside the cafeteria at the end of the day, and today was no different. His palms were sweaty and all he could think about was if Jen had opened his present yet. Did he do too much? They hadn’t even gone on a date yet! She was probably creeped out.


Jen rushed to the cafeteria as soon the final bell rang. She was going to tell Matt how much she loved his present and how much she liked him. She was afraid of being awkward but she had practiced how it would go with Lindsay.

“Ok Jen - what you need to do is run up to him and just kiss him! You know he’s into you. I’ve never had a guy give me any jewelry. He likes you. Just do it.” Lindsay did have a lot more experience with boys. Sometimes Jen wondered if Lindsay ever had to talk to the Bishop about what she did on her dates.

“I can’t! He’s the boy - he should kiss ME!” Jen emphasized to her friend. Jen had dreamed about this day. She would thank him for the necklace, tell him she liked him, and wait for him to make the move.


The two of them met up at the cafeteria like normal and made their way to Matt's car. He opened the passenger door for her and as he walked around the back of the car to the drivers side, he double checked his breath. He was glad he had asked Roger for a mint in 7th period.

As soon as he sat in the front seat, he felt the tension in the air. Jen looked at him and started stuttering out, “T-t-thank you for the gift” at the same time Matt started saying “I really like you”. They laughed and he tilted his head in to kiss her. She couldn’t believe it. Her birthday wish was coming true.

The moment her lips touched his, she felt the butterflies in her stomach fluttering left to right, up to down. She pulled away to catch her breath and smiled at Matt. He smiled back - his eyes could light up a whole room! She grabbed his hand and he looked at her, his eyes unexpectedly darting down to her pink, knit shirt. His smile slowly faded and his face turned ghostly white.

She was worried - was she a bad kisser? She knew she should’ve kissed John back in 9th grade, if only to practice! She started wondering what she could’ve done wrong when a pain suddenly shot through her left abdomen. It was unlike any pain she had ever felt; she squeezed Matt's hand as the pain came and went.

“Maybe I had one too many cupcakes this morning”, Jen weakly joked, as if she was trying to convince herself.

She looked down at her stomach and could hardly believe what she saw. Her stomach, normally flat, was protruding out, stretching her shirt to its limit.

“Matt! Matt…what is happening to me?!” as her body flared up with cramps, sweat dripping from her brow.


Matt could hardly believe what he saw. In a moment's notice, Jens stomach had grown to be the size of a watermelon. He remembered how his mom looked when she was pregnant with his younger brother and Jen somehow looked even bigger.


Jen kept moaning, her stomach feeling as if someone was reaching their hands into her abdomen and crumpling up her organs like paper. She laid the passenger seat back, extending her body as long as she could, and watched her stomach. It looked as if something, or someone, was punching her from the inside. She screamed.

Jen pushed. Matt cried with confusion, “Jen! Are you ok??! What is wrong with your stomach! What is going on?”

She pushed her jeans off onto the floor, not even thinking about Matt seeing her this way. She felt the pressure in her stomach lighten as something passed out of her and onto the floor of Matts’ Volkswagen. Jen passed out, exhausted with what just happened.


Matt looked around at the familiar black interior of his Volkswagen, his eyes wandering from Jens’ face, noticing her chest slowly move up and down - assuring him she was still alive. He saw her pink shirt, sprinkled with blood. His mind raced with thoughts of his future as he stared at her.

Matt opened his car door and started running. He ran as fast as he could in whatever direction his feet took him, until he could no longer hear the sounds of a baby crying.

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