This is my Friday Flash for the Vamplit Blog this week. Salad anyone!
My face stares back at me in the mirror, telling me that what I had feared is reality. I walk away from the bathroom, go to the kitchen, and grab a beer. After twisting the top off the long neck, I sit in the lazy boy and attempt to figure things out.
Shit! The damn bottle barely fits in my mouth. By tomorrow . . .by tomorrow I might not even have a mouth. Mother fucker! This can't be happening! The day before yesterday everything was fine: I was the same as everyone else; healthier, stronger even. That was then; this is now.
That damn cave! I should have never gone in there, but how was I to know? It all seemed so matter of fact: we were there to explore a new section recently discovered by one of our colleages. The opening was small, and I was the only one with the balls to explore it.
The main cave had produced many great specimens of mushrooms in the past, some unknown to the scientific community. In my mind, this smaller out shoot might have even more surprises in store.
Unfortunately, I was right.
I had crawled through one section and the spores-the damned spores, seemingly everywhere- were flying around me, lodging on my skin, being breathed into my lungs, causing me to choke from the sheer multitude of their presence. I didn't even bother to collect any specimens; I had to get the fuck out!
Somehow, I don't know where I tapped in to the strength necessary to get my butt out of there. I crawled out and was helped to the surface by the rest of the team. They asked me what happened, but, I couldn't answer them; I didn't have the strength to talk. After a few hours in the hospital, worthless time that produced no answers, I called a cab and went home. The bozos there had no more answers than I did.
But now the answers are here. Yes, I simply need to string them together in the right order. Will I have time enough to stop what is happening to me? That's the question. If I don't, what will I become?
The beer is no help; it's not relaxing me to where I can get a grip on my emotions and settle into my thoughts. The second one has no effect either. And the third? Shit! Already my mouth is sealing up, worthless for anything, unable to accept the bottle in to its depths or even to breathe with.
Transformation . . .transformation comes fast! My nose no longer breathes; my eyes no longer see. The cold reality is that what I was is no more, and yet I am still able to see, breathe, and feel all that is around me. The new me feels superior to the old. My emotions are slipping away as I realize they merely get in the way; a mere crutch when none is needed.
Yes, these old things are nothing more than a facade. Who needs them? Not me any longer. Survival is the key to everything. Feelings mean nothing.
A stirring within me says I need to eat, to sustain myself, to get stronger. but exactly what do I eat? Damn! How do I eat?
Someone knocks on my door. Yeah right: as if I can answer now. But, they're persistent, and when I don't respond, They turn the knob and start to open the door. I must not have locked it!
There is no time for me to hide, and when he sees me for what I am, he panics and freezes in place, unable to move. John, my compadre, will not tell anyone else what I have become, as I totally surround him with my new self and absorb him into me, feeling him fight to escape, once it is too late. His energy and strength are now a part of me, and I grow in size from his entirety, seemingly nothing discarded.
I go to another apartment within the building, my appetite not having been sated with John alone. In my new state, I am able to slide through the crack in the edge of the door, come out the other side, and become whole once more.
Water is running in the shower, and I go towards it, knowing my prey is there, She steps out and hasn't even placed her feet on the bath mat before she, like John, is now part of me.
But something different happens this time: John separates from me, becoming his own entity. He is no longer a part of me. I feel the woman inside me yet, but I know the being looking at me is John. He needed strength to break away, to become his own person. Is that the right term for what we are? Are we still people, or are we merely fungal oddities resembling humans?
He leaves the room in search of food. It seems strange that the birthing process for our species is nothing more than eating and casting off a part of ourselves to become our child: a grown child, already knowing what he or she must do to survive and propagate the genetic pool.
I so preferred the old human way.
But the need for food is of utmost importance in my mind, and a sadistic desire for sharing this wonderful existence of mine with my co-workers is formulating in my brain. Yes, they need to experience the marvels of this existence. All of them.
It is dark now, and with a little care and hiding in the shadows, I make it to George's house. He is as shocked as John was, but is almost able to come out of his near catatonic trance. Almost. Soon, he is mine, and as I envelop his wife within our duality, he slides out from within me and we look for more prey, the easiest being his teenage sons. Before long, the entire family is of our species.
The family that eats together stays together. How true.
One by one, I turn every one of the sniveling weaklings who wouldn't explore the cave into what I have become, but I am like a leader to them. Maybe it's because I was the first to taste the fruits of transformation, the one who truly understands the magnificence of what we are.
It takes a long time for the authorities to discover that we exist, and even longer for them to fathom our plans. Fools. Either we do what we have to do to survive, or we give the humans the advantage. That's not going to happen.
What does it really matter? It's not like there's any pain involved. They simply become what we are. I would say they're coming out ahead.
Eight billion people on the planet. That's a lot of food. It will last for a long time.
I watch the foolish people scurrying around on the streets, trying to avoid us, not understanding.the complexity of what is. Their reign on earth is over. Ours is beginning.
We are supreme!