Been a bit since I posted last, married life is great, but busy.
This is a short story I put together from a dream I had a while back. I’ve entered it in a competition here at BYU-Idaho, now to wait and see if it makes the cut for the Pre-Professional Conference or not.
Third Death’s the Charm
Hello, hello. Yes I can hear you. Wait! You can hear me, really, I haven’t been able to communicate for months. Where am I? Why can’t I see? Why can’t I feel anything?
My body is gone! How? What happened? O, I see. I’m only a brain in a jar you say? Yes, yes, there was the parasite, it’s starting to come back to me now.
Did you…Did you kill me? My body that is?
Some of it got away, that is troubling, I knew the parasite was getting ready for something, my limbs had been swelling for weeks. I should have known it was preparing to divide, that’s how they breed you know, that’s how everything started…Well in part anyway.
Have they got the situation contained?
An entire city lost! But it’s contained now right? O thank God!
What? Not much time you say? Yes, that makes sense, can’t be easy animating a brain with machinery.
O, you were expecting to possibly communicate with a parasite. No, they leave the brains to eat last, I think it helps them to control the body when they leave it and the nervous system intact. Hell for me though, a prisoner in my own skin, left to watch as it used me to hunt others.
Who am I? I am Dr. Gabriel Watson a physicist on the project that started this disaster.
You want to know what happened? I’ll try to tell you as best I can.
As I said, I was a physicist working on the project, we were trying to create something akin to an Einstein-Rosen bridge between worlds. Think of it as a doorway from one point in space to another, created by folding the fabric of our dimension with a higher dimension, so that two otherwise distant points become temporarily connected. Space is too large to feasibly travel otherwise, and the people of earth need resources you see.
Well we did it, after years and years of study and research, we created a bridge, a window to a new world, one of the earth like planets in a distant galaxy.
You can imagine our excitement as the bridge stabilized and we got our first look at a new planet to explore. We were going to send a probe through with a caged monkey aboard, to be sure it was possible to make the trip alive. We never got that far though, but I can testify that living creatures can pass through, the parasites sure did.
One of the assistants, I don’t remember the name. Well it turned out that they had infiltrated our research team from some extremist group, I don’t know which one, but they saw what we were doing as evil.
The assistant had a bomb vest, hidden under their lab coat. To think, I always thought they were just overweight.
Well they blew themselves up, along with the lab, and the quarantine room where the portal had been contained. The explosion didn’t destroy the portal, but it did damage the equipment, and we lost containment.
I don’t recall much else there, I think I had been hit by some shrapnel. I just remember the portal expanding, and some writhing mass of a creature, as big as a dinosaur, charging through the bridge and into the room. The bridge collapsed after that, but it was too late. Sensing fresh pray the creature burst asunder into dozens of scurrying melon sized blobs of yellowish flesh. Then I died.
That wasn’t the end of my experience obviously. O, how I wish it had been.
I don’t know how long it was that I was dead for, but I don’t think it was more than a few hours at most, and given my ease in communicating now, maybe only a minute or so, short enough to avoid brain damage, unless the parasite repaired it. The parasites like their food fairly fresh, if not alive, so I suppose it is possible that I had simply fainted from blood loss.
Anyway, I first became aware of something chewing on my tongue. Turns out it was me, only not me.
A parasite, one of those melon blob creatures, had taken a liking to me as food, and fused itself with my spine and head. The tongue chewing was it working out some of the muscle movements, though it never did get a hang for the finer motor functions.
Over time I became aware of more of myself, I think as the parasite did, though I can’t be sure. It was horrifying. You can’t imagine what it is like to be aware of your body and its movements, but to know you aren’t the one controlling any of them, though God knows I tried.
Occasionally I would get a look at one of my limbs, they were mine at first, but in time the parasite grew over and into them, and after about a week I lost any connection to them, even feeling. I suppose that might have been when the parasite began to divide, my limbs serving as the base material for new parasites to grow until they were ready to go after fresh victims. I probably lost feel…Brtazzt…because the new parasites weren’t con…Zzrratz…ed to me like the original…Ztzbzzznnt… O God no. No, no, no, not again.
What? Just interference over the equipment you say, accidentally hit a knob…Thank God. You see when the parasite was first gaining control I often perceived a sound like that, I think it was the creatures thoughts pressing against my own mind, or maybe just a result of its infiltrating my neural pathways, but you can understand my fear at hearing that sound again.
Hmmm… O, anything I can tell you about how the parasites think, are they intelligent?
I’m not sure I can tell you much, we didn’t communicate really, aside from the noise I just mentioned. I think I was just a tool… and food for them.
I can tell you a little about them, besides what I have already. As I believe I mentioned, they lacked the finer motor controls, probably a result of hijacking my system as they did. This meant that they didn’t walk like you or I would have, the balance needed to stand on two legs seemed to be beyond them; they moved on all fours instead, and even then they could only move so fast.
You might wonder how it is that they catch anyone like that, but you see, what they lack in coordination they make up for in strength and endurance. They don’t seem to tire, they never sleep, and they can jump, I don’t know how, but I covered a good twenty feet from a standstill once. That poor woman, if I had a stomach still I would throw up. I wanted to warn her but couldn’t make a sound, and then I was on her, and I, it, ate her. I can still remember the taste of her blood, hot, and filled with lost innocence. How I wanted to be able to close my eyes and not see, but I had to. It was after that incident that my limbs began to swell. I guess the parasite needed more material to complete its division.
After that? There’s not much I can say. I traveled, always…Zrttzzz… traveling. They can see far better in the dark than we can. It came across a house once, but thankfully no one was home. There was a dog though, in the back yard. The parasite didn’t kill it though, no, it pounced on it, oblivious to the biting jaws, and then another of the parasites showed up, this one without a host body. It…Well it came out from somewhere behind me and latched onto the dogs back, the poor creature, it became a host like myself. I think that was the first time…Brrtzz…noticed that I wasn’t traveling alone, there were other parasites traveling with me, though spread out. Some of the parasites were like me, human hosts, others rode animal hosts, mostly deer they somehow caught, and a few were still without hosts. I couldn’t tell you how long they can go without, but some of them looked rather thin, so I think not more than a couple weeks.
Maybe they do have some kind of intelligence, holding that dog down for the other one and all suggests some sort of thought, or at least a predator like instinct, though wolves may do the same, like a mother wolf holding a rabbit while the pups learn to kill it. Regardless, I don’t believe they have more than an animalistic intelligence to them.
I imagine that word had gotten out about the danger we posed…Grrztzsst…maybe a call from the lab facility before it was completely overrun, or a nearby town being attacked, possibly even the city you mentioned, though I was never there.
Eventually we came to a town. From the looks of things, the National Guard had been assembled and the local army reserve brought to readiness, because we were fired on as soon as we broke into sight from the local foliage. You probably know all this though, you must have been there after all in order to transplant my brain into this contraption you described before damage could occur.
I somehow made it into the town proper without injury, and there was an apartment building ahead. I climbed in through a…Gettzzerttzz…indow and was chasing a small boy down the hall outside of the apartment when the soldier showed up. I hope he gets a medal, he saved that boys life. That soldier was the one who shot me. A shotgun blast to my torso, and a second one to my shoulder. I know he got one of my feet as it attempted to scurry off on its own. Then it all went black and I was…Brtttzztzzszss… Careful now, I don’t know what you did to revive me, but I don’t expect it takes well to jarring. What was that, you didn’t do…Ffdzzztz…You didn’t. No, no, no, no, no. Can you see it, you must have missed a piece when you harvested my brain. Plea…DFfzzzt…me. Kill me now! Don’t let it take me again. P…zZZrgrssst……………………………
Research log 55.678 Dr. Trent Scythe PHD Bio-organic studies
Subject: Dr. Gabriel Watson-1st generation host
Subject’s account of the dimensional incident aligns with that of the one other host we were able to capture and question thanks to my life support tank. Assault team responsible for recapture of lab facility reports that the anomaly has indeed been sealed and alien parasites in the area have been neutralized.
Conversation with Dr. Watson confirmed that even a minute piece of the parasite can begin to rebuild itself if given organic material, though this test should be repeated, as it was unintentional, and likely the result of a surgical slip during the brain removal process. The parasite began to reform from the region of the parietal lobe, future test subjects should be thoroughly examined to confirm if this lobe is a common point of attachment for the parasites.
Subject was terminated for safety reasons when parasite began to override Dr. Watson and stood risk of escaping containment. Attempts to communicate with the parasite proved fruitless.
Recommend quarantine of known parasite locations. Kill hosts on sight.