I remember the first time I saw him. The glint in his eyes malicious as he took my brother. I was nine at the time. Nine when he walked into his bedroom, grey flesh slowly peeling from his forearms and neck as he slowly crept towards my brother. He wanted him, wanted him badly. He took my brother by his neck and slowly opened his mouth to reveal a wide smile and tongues as thick as my forearm. My brother was too shocked to speak as his tongues slowly slithered around his eyes, slowly drawing them out. They hit the floor with a thud, the loose artery's still attached to the eye seemed to be crawling away from the creature as he slowly plopped each of them into his hungry jaw.
The eyes made a squelching sound as leftovers oozed out from inside the creature's mouth. I watched the blood ooze down from crimson-stained teeth as it slowly turned around to face me. It didn't have hands. Its feet looked similar to stilts. It stood about nine feet tall. It reached out a swollen black tongue to caress my cheek before smiling at me.
I screamed a bloodcurdling scream before closing my eyes and throwing my arms over my head. I opened them and the creature was gone.
I looked over at my brother to see a placid smile on his face, his tears rivers of red as I looked into black eye sockets. My parents came rushing in. I can't remember exactly what they said, but it had to be something along the lines of "what's wrong, Max?“ I told them what I saw and they simply dismissed it's a nightmare. I remember screaming at them to look at my brother's bloody and nonexistent eyes. They told me nothing was wrong with him. That his eyes were fine. It was all in my head.
But still to this day, every morning I look into empty eye sockets of a living, breathing boy. There constantly flowing blood and it leaves a mess around the house. It gets all over my clothes and in my hair along with my food.
I can't get the metallic taste of blood out of my mouth.
The second time I met it I was twelve. I was walking to the bus stop when a four-year-old girl stopped dead in her tracks as the creature rounded the corner. She looked at it, in its pupil-less eyes as it stalked around its newly found prey. I remember the feeling as I realized that she could see it too. My parents couldn't and fellow passerby couldn't but she could. That meant that my brother could too. His last moments with eyes spent staring into a soulless creature. Sickening.
This time though, the creature opened it's mouth and shoved its midnight black tongues down the girl's throat. She started to make a horrible gagging sound as the tongue fished around for its prize.
Moments later, the tongue extracted itself from the girl's throat, covered in blood so thick it was black. Clenched in its tongue was the girl's, still-beating heart. It throbbed in its tongue, dreams of escape lost before it was lost inside of the pitch-black darkness of its mouth.
The creature chomped the heart in half, the blood splattered on the pavement beneath the creature. The throbbing organ was lost in a mesh of teeth and tongues as the creature popped the rest of it into its mouth.
I stood there, mouth agape as I watched the girl slowly stand up. She shook her head, as if she had forgotten where she was going, and then walked in the opposite direction that she had been walking in previously.
The third time I saw one I was fourteen, doing a required reading for my private high school. I was in freshman year, and life was tough. More eyeless people, noseless people, and zombies of the same classification were slowly appearing more frequently.
I peered outside my window to see another young girl, nine or ten or so, strolling past a nearby light post when the came. It slithered out of a crevasse in-between mine and my neighbor's house and stood right in front of the little girl. At the time, the girl had an ice-cream cone in hand, which she dropped as the creature strolled into sight.
It sat there, taunting the little girl, before latching its tongues around her waist. I watched as she whimpered in pain as the tongue slowly cut into her skin, leaking blood out onto the sidewalk.
The tongue kept on cutting, deeper and deeper into the girl's skin, a placid smile on its face until her spine was exposed. The tongue lifted up her torso off her body while a waterfall of blood painted the sidewalk crimson.
The creature then proceeded to wrench the spine out of her body, its tongue memorizing the scent of every vertebra, before popping it into its mouth. I could hear from the window the deafening crushing that came from the creature's mouth.
I shuddered. The creature whipped around, almost as if sensing me, before smiling a crooked tooth smile and seeping into the woods behind my neighbor's house.
I watched as the girl's torso slowly dragged its legs across the pavement, spilling blood wherever it went. The look of serenity on the girl's face was unnerving. The girl eventually looked over at my neighbor, who was now waving at her before she asked where she was. My neighbor kindly offered to escort the girl home.
Today I’m outside, mowing the lawn when I see snake-like tongues slither around the back of the house. I freeze as the creature staggers into view. I drop everything and stare at it as it towers above me. It toys with me as its tongues playfully swat at me. I try and beat them away but it’s no use.
The creature's tongue grips my wrist. I pull away but I feel weak. I don’t remember where I am. Who am I again? I fight these thoughts with opposing knowledge. I am Max. I am 16. This is my home. This creature is bad. Bad creature. You don’t like the creature.
The creature's tongue travels up my forearm and starts to squeeze. I scream in agony as I feel my circulation start to diminish. The tongue slowly digs into my shoulder, deeper and deeper, until it finally saws through the bone.
I can’t feel the pain, but can only watch my arm as it gets led into the creatures awaiting jaws. He slips all the blood out of it, like it’s a type of soup, the blood dripping down his chin as he chomps into skin and bone.
I watch my own blood seep deep into my clothes. My feet buckle beneath me as I slowly die due to blood loss. The last thing I see is the creature's tongue slowly waving a very pitiful goodbye.
I wake up to a perfectly white room, blinding as I stare into what appears to be titanium. I blink and I’m back in the house. Confusion and wonder courses through my veins. I run into the bathroom to find a perfectly good arm in place of the old one.
I exit the bathroom and bound down the stairs and find myself outside to find a halfway mowed lawn, and to my surprise no blood. My brother walks outside and I’m startled by his beautiful blue eyes. He looks at me, and then back down to my arm and smiles, as his features slowly contort. into that of the creatures. I scream.
I bound back inside and stare at my reflection in the cool glass of the window. How is this possible? I blink again and that's when I see it. A crimson-stained toothy grin and peeling grey flesh. I turn to run but find that I can’t.
I control you now.
I scream as my feet lead me outside, I try to resist but find it’s impossible. The creature walks me down a few blocks before we reach a bus stop. There's a young boy there dressed in a blue blazer. He turns in my direction and his eyes widen as a pitch-black tongue willingly rolls out of my mouth.