In the year 1903, in Toronto Canada, a pair of twin girls were born to an affluent family, the Mulock’s. The babies were named Eve and Lilith.
In almost every respect, these twins appeared to be like any other babies. However, after several strange feeding sessions with the mother, a few notable differences were found. One child, Eve, was a particularly voracious eater. Her mother would be left exhausted after every feeding, and had to feed the other baby, Lilith, first to ensure she’d be fed at all.
Strangely, as well as her insatiable appetite, Eve would never spit up. The process is quite common for babies, a small amount of vomit here and there (typically after feeding). Despite gorging at every opportunity, she never let a drop spill from her lips.
The behaviour of the twins had begun to grow more and more concerning. Lilith started to develop an emaciated appearance and would sway when sitting still, struggling to keep her balance. She also became very fussy when it came to feeding time. She wouldn’t eat regularly, which concerned the parents, who attributed it to her sister’s gluttony.
As time went on, they hired a live-in wet-nurse to help assist with Eve’s hunger. She had begun to grow in size, both in girth and height. Her mother could hardly keep up. Meanwhile, Lilith’s emaciation would not be rectified through normal means. The parent’s had decided it was reasonable to keep regular appointments with a doctor.
The doctor had found small peculiarities in both children. Eve was noticeably large for her age. Appearing to be the size of a generously overweight toddler, at the age of 2 months. The doctor assured the parent’s that there was little concern to be had there, as she probably just needed to be weaned off of her excessive eating habits.
Lilith, however, was excessively fragile. It was as if she was growing thinner with every passing day. The doctor informed them that this kind of thing wasn’t altogether totally uncommon in the womb, but there was no apparent reason for that kind of disproportionate nutrition after birth, especially with both children having the same access to food. She was also noted to have had a peculiar smell, unlike any a baby should possess. She always carried a faint aroma of ethyl alcohol.
At the doctor’s advice, the parents attempted to feed Eve less frequently, and in less abundance. The result was an unyielding cacophony of protest from the child. Once she was hungry, if she was cut off before she’d had more than four times the average baby’s share, she threw excessive tantrums. She would howl and wail for hours on end, only pausing briefly to catch her breath.
The parents kept to the doctor's advice as best they could, but in many circumstances it grew too agonizing to bear and they would give in, feeding the child to her contentment.
At 6 months, Eve began to walk. It wasn’t uncommon in their family for children to walk before their first birthday, but 6 months was record breaking for them. She wouldn’t spend much time on her feet, but her ability to move was astonishing. It was also peculiar, that she had already fully formed all of her baby teeth, which appeared to be abnormally large and dark.
Poor Lilith, on the other hand, would never take a step in her life. She was eternally bed bound, lacking even the basic strength to crawl. Her pathetic frame looked as though she would simply pass away at any second. When she would attempt to cry, little more than raspy screeches would leave her lips, associated with that same pungent scent of ethanol.
Late in the evening, during one of the parents’ more stoic attempts at staving off Eve’s appetite, something peculiar occurred. She stopped screaming. Both parents, delighted with the turn of events, were happily able to return to sleep. The next morning, when they entered the nursery where both babies slept, they found something terrifying.
To this day, details are debated, but a few facts in issue seem substantiated.
The air was thin, hard to breathe, and smelled of a combination of alcohol, and advanced decomposition.
Baby Lilith was still in her crib, silent as a church mouse. Eve was on the floor, hunched over the eviscerated corpse of the wet-nurse.
Some accounts claim that Eve had been eating the flesh of the wet-nurse, but the family vehemently denied those claims.
Other accounts claim that the wet-nurse “stunk of liquor” when she was found, giving way that she may have been drinking that night, and was hiding her habit from the family (the Mulock’s were staunch supporters of the Temperance Movement in Toronto).
According to the Mulock’s account, someone had snuck into the house and tortured and disfigured the wet-nurse before leaving. Strangely, nothing of value was reported to have been taken, and no sign of a break-in was evident.
Details of the event of the wet-nurse's demise eventually found their way into the eyes of the public. Printed in one of the city’s most reputable newspapers, the story of the two infants began to gain notoriety. Eve and Lilith had been given the names “Butter” (due to Eve's gluttony) and “Scotch” (due to Lilith's stench of alcohol) respectively.
The negative press affected the patriarch, Stuart Mulock, quite badly in his business dealings. This drastically harmed the family’s livelihood up until the night of the Great Toronto Fire.
On the evening of April 19th, 1904, the twins were left with a relative of the family, Joseph, who owned a wholesale store on the northwest corner of Bay and Wellington. At 8:04 PM, the first sightings of the Great Fire of Toronto were reported. A large chunk of the Bay street corridor was lost in the flames, including the wholesale store the twins were in with their uncle.
No one really knows the cause of the fire. Records show that there were no official victims claimed, as most of the buildings were empty shops or business buildings. Unidentified remains were found in the basement of Joseph’s wholesale building, which was later believed to have been the origin point of the fire, from an upstairs oven.
The remains appeared to be that of an adult male, presumed to have been Joseph, but no skull was found, so dental records could not be corroborated. All flesh was stripped from the bones. Claims supported by the family are that he was consumed by the fire, and the skull obliterated by falling rubble. But according to the volunteer firefighters, who helped clear the ruins, there was no indication the fire had spread to the basement in any capacity that could have cleaned the flesh off of a human corpse.
Neither Eve, nor Lilith were found. They were assumed to have died, and their remains lost in the rubble, unrecognized and unclaimed during the cleanup of the fire’s aftermath.
To this day, locals say in the early summer night, you may smell smoke if you walk down Bay street. Sometimes, people swear that they hear the howls of a hungry baby, accompanied by the acrid scent of alcohol, permeating the air.
About the Creator
"Tewahway? How do you even say that?" Honestly, so long as you try, you're doin' it right!
I mainly write horror fiction, but I'm here to spread my wings and soar like a literary baby bird.
https://www.talesbytravel.com/short-stories for more