The girl panicked when she literally stumbled over my last victim. The body had been steadily decomposing at the bottom of that shallow gully for months, and it must have been pretty disgusting to trip over and nearly fall on top of a rotting corpse.
The poor girl. She can’t be older than sixteen. She had gone for a walk through the forest near the cabin her friends had rented, the sun went down, and she got lost.
She’s running blindly now, certain she can hear my breathing, my heavy footfalls, the rustling of tree branches I push aside as I stalk her. It’s a deception to get her moving. She could hardly suspect the truth.
I know she’s not an adult, but I’m very attracted to her. She’s shapely, great hips, firm breasts, but even dressed in those skimpy cutoffs and tight t-shirt, I can tell she’s still not really confident about her appearance. I think she dresses that way to prove to herself she’s sexy. She really is. I’ll enjoy myself inside of her.
She got lucky, or so she thinks. She’s crawled her way back up to the trail and can see the lights of the cabin. She believes if she can get there, she’ll be safe. The little fool.
She thinks she hears me getting closer. She puts all her effort into running. Her breathing is ragged. She can’t even call for help.
The trail opens into a clearing and the cabin is just ahead. She can hear her friends calling to her now. They must have been worried out of their minds because she was gone so long.
She stumbles into the arms of one of the guys–big, good looking football player type. Seems to be a bunch of older teens set up for a weekend of beer, fun, and games in a rustic setting. Too bad they’ll find more than they planned on. They’ll find me.
She’s telling them about the body, about being chased, they think a killer is out there, just like in those slasher movies. They’re almost right.
She goes inside the cabin with the two other girls. The pair of guys stay outside shining their flashlights around the nearby trees and bushes where the trail hits the clearing in a vain attempt to find me.
I discover my victim’s name is Denise. She’s the youngest person in the group. She’s not so afraid anymore now that she’s surrounded by her friends. One of the girls is her older sister, which is how Denise ended up being invited to party with a bunch of college kids.
Denise came across me when I was very hungry, which is her loss. Normally, when I find a host, I live in them for weeks, even months before they start getting sick. The problem is that Cynthia, my last victim, was hiking when the symptoms of my devouring her became severe. Instead of heading back to where her family was camping, she panicked, stumbled into that gully, and died there.
No one found her body so I was stuck inside that disgusting corpse, that rotting flesh, consuming what I could but finally running out of anything that would nourish me.
I’m incredibly old, ancient I think. I’ve taken victims, mostly women, for hundreds, maybe thousands of years. I’m not sure how old I am or how I came to be. I’m not even sure if I can die. Maybe I can if I go too long without food. I’m glad Denise came along when she did.
I’m starving so I can’t wait. I’ve got to start eating Denise right now so I don’t get weaker. I’ve multiplied so I’m in every bodily system. It’s going to get messy fast.
She’s going into a seizure, coughing up blood. Her eyes are rolling back in her head. She wants to scream but can’t get her breath. That’s okay. The other girls are screaming enough for a whole room full of kids.
The guys come running back in. The big guy that caught Denise earlier takes one look and vomits.
Denise is bleeding out of every orifice. Her lungs have collapsed. Her muscles are rapidly wasting away, making it look like she’s dissolving inside her blood soaked clothes.
One of the girls tries calling 911 on her cell, but she can’t get a signal. It’s too late anyway. Denise is dead.
This time though, I’ve got four other people to choose from. Given a choice, I prefer a woman to occupy. The sister. She’s sobbing sitting next to the body. I say a quick good-bye to Denise and leave by way of her gaping mouth. The millions of multiples of me inside Denise are already dying. Soon, no evidence of me will be left inside of her.
I go airborne, and get into her sister’s lungs. After a few minutes, I enter her bloodstream, start multiplying, and make myself at home. I’ve just eaten, so I can afford to take my time with…what’s her name? Laura. That’s it. I’ll just relax inside of Laura. I can probably use her for months without her realizing something’s wrong.
Her body is a lot like Denise’s. She’s shapely, firm, supple, but more confident about her physical presence. I’ll do what she does, feel what she feels, but with a twist. Just like my other victims, I’ll amplify her carnal desires and enjoy the results. When Laura finds pleasure with a man, food, drugs, anything, I’ll get to share in her sensations and emotions. I’ll also slowly take from her flesh, her blood, and her organs. I’m going to like it in here for as long as she lasts.
James Pyles is a published technical writer and editor who is starting to break into fiction writing, particularly science fiction and fantasy, with a side of horror. His books on technology have been published by Cengage Learning, McGraw-Hill Education, O’Reilly Media, and others. He has been previously published at Theme of Absence. Follow him on Twitter at @jamespyles and visit his blog https://poweredbyrobots.com/.
Image by Tanya Setyaeva