EATING MY LIFE 

Reagan Brumfield

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My name is Bailey West, I’m sixteen years old, my life has been a series of very unfortunate events, and I just found out why! Most of my life I have lived in Augusta, Georgia. I recently moved to Athens, a huge city about two hours away.  I am a foster kid. My mom died when I was being born, and I don’t have any family that I am aware of. 

For the past sixteen years, I have moved almost every year exactly. It always happens the day after my birthday. I always find myself in my caseworkers office looking for a new home. I am not sure why, but I always thought it was connected to my mother’s death. I don’t have any details of my mother’s death. I received a strange note on my birthday this year, it read, “Krome Laboratory experiment deaths.” The note was addressed to me and left on my front porch.

 I immediately googled Krome Laboratory on my phone and found several news articles came up about some scientist named Bill Weinman. Dr. Weinman recently went to jail for experimenting with unapproved drugs on people. There were at least ten people dead, and the deaths started on July 16, 2003…my birthday. I got lost in the internet that day. All of the articles point to the day I was born and a woman named Heather Valentine. Valentine was the first of Dr. Weinman’s patients. Dr. Weinman had developed a drug that would stop cannibalistic eating urges. Over the years, he had several case studies using people who all eventually were killed by the drug. 

That Wednesday, I had skipped school to continue my research. I don’t know much about my mother, how she died, or even her name. The state doesn’t really tell you all that information. I went downtown in search of answers. I went to the foster care office where Vivian, my caseworker worked. She’s been my case worker for about ten years. I remember meeting her the day after my sixth birthday. That was the first birthday I remember having the dream. Each year on my birthday, I have these weird dreams about the day I was born. I don’t remember much, just bits and pieces. It always starts with me as a baby in a dark room, afraid. I see myself fighting to get through the darkness. I always remember for a baby I was really strong it was like I was tearing through the darkness. The next thing I see is a women sleeping and a doctor holding me. Vivian and I talk about the dream a lot. We always end up together the day after my birthday, and I can never really remember why. I’ve been in sixteen homes, and in each home, my foster parent or parents mysteriously passed away in the night. For years I believed I was haunted and unlucky. Everyone I ever loved has left me. Vivian is really good at helping me get through it. 

I showed Vivian the articles; she seemed to already know about them. I begged her to tell me what she knew. I begged her for information on my mother. I wasn’t prepared for what she told me. Heather Valentine was my mother. My name when I was born was Brie valentine. Vivian began explaining what she knew about how I was born. She told me that she knew my mother vaguely. They grew up three blocks from each other, attended the same schools but were never really friends. She said that she didn’t know that my name was Valentine when I was born because by the time I became her case it had already been changed. She told me that often the state changed kids name if their parents were in some way high profile. Vivian told me that she’d been reading about the articles as well and piecing the story together. She had a friend that worked at the local news station and she was going to meet him for dinner later to get more information then she would call me. I went home and waited for the call. What does all this mean? I’m more confused now than I was before. I waited for Vivian’s call…..it didn’t come. 

I ran down to Vivian’s office the next morning. She came to the front desk with an odd look on her face. She knew something, I could tell. We walked into her office and she nervously began to tell me the information she found out from her newspaper friend. She started by saying that Dr. Weinman’s study focused on cannibalism. “I know that, but what did it have to do with me?”-, I said. 

She continued,-. “The drug that he had been prescribing patients was suppose to decrease the urge to”-” she paused “- “eat people,” she said. Not understanding I said okay and. She then explained that all of Dr Weinman’s tests subjects were dead.

-I knew that too. I rushed her to get to the point and she began to look really scared. I couldn’t understand it I kept asking her to just spit it out. She begins talking about the dream I always have. Upset about the change in subject I was getting angry. I asked if my dream was related to this situation and she replied to your dream is this situation. I didn’t understand. 

She said, “All of Dr. Weinman’s test patients were impregnated after taking the drug he prescribed…”

“Ok,”I said. 

She responded, “Their fetus killed all of the patients. I sat down. I didn’t believe what I was hearing. I replied, “Come on Vivian, this is my life hear, stop joking.”

 She replied,-”I wish I was joking, Brie.”Her friend had shown her medical records of my birth my mom. She died two minutes after I was born. She was the lady I saw every year in my dream. 

I blacked out. I woke up the next morning. I had the dream again last night. That’s weird it usually only happens on my birthday. I woke up in a hospital. I am not sure how I got here. A nurse came in,  I immediately asked for Vivian. The nurse replied, “I am sorry to have to tell you this honey, but Vivian Wardlaw was killed two days ago, it’s been all over the news.” I looked down to find that my arms were tied to the bed. It all came rushing to me at once… It was me! I was eating the people in my life.