There were so many Richard Matheson stories I wanted to choose. "The Distributor", for instance.
And choosing this, his first published story, is in no way an insult to his later work. But it's so rare when a writer knocks one out of the park his first time at bat, I had to celebrate it.
Not that "Born of Man and Woman" is going to leave you in a celebratory mood. It's told from the point of view of a monstrous baby kept chained in its parents' basement, and reads like a diary scribbled in the dust of a concrete floor. It becomes clear, as the story grinds on, that the "baby" is not only deformed, brain-damaged and sick, but it's also beginning to manifest superhuman powers. And, being starved for any kind of love, it's learning to hate.