Bad parents: we've all had them, we've all hated them, we've all done our best to escape them, and we all look forward to putting them in a home someday. Some things are just universal. But if poor parenting was a competitive sport--if there were awards given out for Least Effective Father and Most Psychologically-Scarring Mother, etc.--then I can guarantee you that the overall Bad Parents of the Year Award would be presented to the mother and father of Rupert and Regina Blackley.
Mom and Pop Blackley were not mean-spirited or abusive. They didn't drink, smoke, or gamble. They never even argued. In all honesty, they meant well from the very moment that the twins were conceived in a snowbound cabin somewhere north of Canada.
The Blackleys mistake was to return to that cabin nine months later, with the romantic idea of a natural birth in the cabin of conception. It was clever and cute and altogether foolhardy.
A vicious blizzard stranded them in Manitoba for two days, but they waited it out. When the outpost advised them against taking a snow-mobile out to the cabin, they paid double the fee and ignored the warning. When it got stuck, they walked the last mile. With the cabin finally in sight, Mom Blackley's water had broken, ice before it hit the ground.
The cabin was frozen shut. Pop Blackley tried to kick the door in, but it was too strong, the ice too thick. The windows were barred. His wife was in labor. For the first time, it occurred to him that this hadn't been such a great idea, after all.
Tragically, and very unusually, the Blackley parents both died in childbirth. Their last words were, respectively, "Rupert..." and "Regina..." The tiny newborns, blue-skinned with cold, wailed helplessly into the dead of night, the dead of winter.
Before the icy talons of death could secure a grip on them, the snowmen came and took them as their own.