The creature is stygian, hairless, its muscles thin but strong. She whimpers as its spindly fingers graze her temple, as it clicks its pointed teeth.
It doesn’t take her long to look around, but it takes her a while to accept that they are all alone. There are no windows, no doors, no ceilings, no walls. Just her, the creature and the bed with soft sheets.
It stares at her, unblinking, for it has no eyelids. She lays on the bed, afraid to move, afraid to breathe, afraid to sleep. But when sleep finally comes and goes, she wakes to find the creature staring, silent, still.
When the creature falls asleep she pokes at its tail, touches its shoulders, wonders why it never strikes.
And while she sleeps it sniffs her spine, twiddles her hair, attempts to place her scent.
Back and forth they go, inspecting one another under the cover of unconscious.
Once she peeks into its mouth, parting its lips with slight fingers. When its lips part, she sees rows of teeth running down its throat, top and bottom, a sea.
She gasps. The creature comes to, snarls and strikes.
But the strike ends in a kiss, tender and calm. They kiss again. Again. Again.
She kisses its thigh, its chest, its back, snatching at its muscles, thin but strong.
It kisses her tummy, her ankles, her pate. She moans. It moans. They amaze each other.
It sprawls into frenzy. They copulate blindly, saturating the bed in juice.
It becomes more ferocious, spanning phases and forms we will not describe, birthed from the epicenter of the subconscious, natural, pragmatic, savage and carnal and free.
But her stomach begins to grow.
The creature snarls when it first sees the elegant protrusion. It shakes her awake, and she sees it too.
They begin to experiment as always, but now there is something between them.
The protrusion grows. Soon she is sensitive, sore, unable to please the creature. The energy between them festers. The creature grows careless with its teeth and talons.
Her sickness begins. She vomits when she wakes; the pain twists her intestines, making her refuse his advances, even when chunks of flesh are the cost.
The creature comes too close to harming her protrusion. While the creature sleeps, she slips off the bed and flees, running as fast as she can. She runs and runs until she loses sight of the bed, and she runs further still, her protrusion writhing against her hands. She runs until she collapses to her knees, weeping, and sleeps.
The creature’s snarl brings her to.
It towers over her, enraged.
She crawls backward. It slashes her face with its talons. It curls its tail around her neck and holds her high, wringing the life from her. She flails, stutters, gags.
She’s nearly gone when her protrusion crawls out, hissing as it latches onto its father’s skull, squeezing and squeezing until it breaks.
When the deed is done, the child turns to face her, translucent, stringy, enraged but calm. They embrace before it picks her up and carries her back toward the bed.
Zack Graham is a writer of fiction and film from Chicago, IL. He was a finalist in The Masters Review‘s October Scarefest competition, and is the co-editor of Fablesque, an online journal of new fables (http://www.fablesque.com). Follow him on twitter @zgraham19
Image by Kali the destroyer