Fiction Horror Thriller

Catia spent what she believed had been her twelfth meal under the same sun. The small, orange disk appeared to crawl like a disabled snail in one section of the sky. Very little about her life had worked correctly ever since the extreme shimmer that occurred early mornings ago while on her usual run. The blue sky maintained slight remnants of the shimmer high above. Catia felt confusion and fear as the colors danced in the stratosphere. She watched the clouds move. They appeared to be moving at an aggressive pace as if the jet stream suddenly became a race.

She had left Jacob at home sleeping in their bed that morning. The shimmer blinded her eyes for a solid ten seconds, causing her to squint at the intrusion and nearly run into a fence. Long minutes passed before regaining her sense of orientation. Catia returned to their home to find their bed empty and made as if he hadn’t ever been there. The rest of the house stood void of any evidence that he had existed. The side by side, romantic picture on her desk showed only her and the sunset in the background. Catia’s confusion felt overwhelming. His exit would have been impossible in the matter of an hour even with the best planning. A swelling need to migrate south began to take shape around her absent thoughts.

Inside her home that morning, she had turned on the television hoping for an answer to satisfy her questions. A wild eyed, bloodied king’s face, complete with bone laden crown took up the entire screen on her television. Her hand shook with terror as she forced herself to change stations. The distressing king face took center focus on each channel. He smiled at her and called her by name. She screamed with as much frustration as fear. She pressed the power button hoping that the picture would cease. The electronic rectangle went black. Catia moved to the plug. She wanted no chances that the television would come on by itself.

Her most pressing emotional need became longing to hold Jacob again. She wanted to feel safe in his arms, to smell him again next to her. While he wouldn’t determine her survival, Catia felt better with him close to her. Knowing that he had died would have allowed for a closure that his absence didn’t allow. The world around her made no logical or material sense. Catia wished Jacob could be here to help her make sense of anything. She closed her eyes. Thoughts of him passed across her mind as she sat in the living room chair. She smiled for a brief minute. The feeling allowed her to be calm, almost relaxed for a moment. In her mind’s eye, he turned to face her. His head became the king’s head, complete with bony crown. The disheveled face smiled at her. Catia screamed into the quiet room. She immediately opened her eyes to break the thought. The need to get out and get south grew in her mind.

Catia wondered how long the day would be as the sun barely moved against the shimmering. A flock of elongated geese flew in a reverse V pattern. The birds appeared as winged snakes with the tell-tale honking that she knew from the usual migrating birds. Three small moons could be seen far into the blue sky, moving in what appeared to be a set. Catia could see the telltale markings of craters and various landscapes. She watched with confused awe as they slowly passed far above. One shone green, the other two variants of purple. Each held roughly the same size. Catia estimated they each were about twice the size of the familiar moon. They tended to the discomfort that took residence throughout her heart.

The slim hands of her analog clock appeared to work as the only reliable time piece. The digital clocks read different times every occasion she looked at them. Time didn’t work in the conventional way anymore. Catia reluctantly stepped outside. She watched a bird fly overhead. To say the animal took flight didn’t really represent what she observed. Its feathered wings flapped at a quarter of their normal cycle to the point that she found herself able to walk underneath its path with little effort. Catia felt that if she retrieved a ladder from her home, she could grab the creature out of the sky. She began to recognize her evolving need to move south.

Everything felt off. The sky, the animals, her existence. She couldn’t remember the last time that she needed to use the bathroom. Usually she needed the toilet every hour for all the water and tea she consumed. She watched a dog bark down the street. The sound came out as a mix between chirping and a goat baying. The sun watched from a high vantage as if its path had stalled overhead.

Soon after taking stock of life after the intense shimmer experience, she took heed of her growing want to leave. Catia jam packed her car with everything the interior could carry. The car started with ease. She gave thanks for a small miracle. From the driver side mirror she could see translucent bubbles pouring out of the exhaust. The car’s LCD screen loaded through its prompts. The distorted king face took full residence on its screen, looking directly at her. The sinister profile began moving its head back and forth as if disappointed. Catia screamed and quickly powered off the vehicle. The LCD went dark. She jumped from the car, leaving the driver’s door ajar.

Catia had given up on using her cell phone. The screen first appeared normal as any other day. Whichever app that she pulled up filled her phone with the wide mouthed, insane looking king face. Its crown over a smiling face with rotted teeth. She felt lost and defeated. Her ability to move, communicate or simply get her bearings were all muted. Catia sat in a chair outside, hoping to untangle her thoughts and emotions for some sort of plan. Her eyes gazed around the lawn hoping for some semblance of a clue.

Sunlight reflecting from a single, bright, blue berry caught her attention. The unfamiliar, small fruit appeared to sparkle in the garden. She hadn’t remembered this plant by her home in all the years that she had lived there. An overwhelming need to eat the berry compelled Catia forward onto her feet. Her logical mind screamed against this plan of action. The temptation entranced her curiosity, enticing like a stiff drink to an alcoholic. She lied to herself, saying that she would only look at the bush’s edible for a moment. Catia picked the berry. The berry felt like a cross between cotton and silk. An aroma of peace and happiness filled her nose. She didn’t know how, but the color appeared to smile and encourage her, as if begging to be eaten. Catia decided that there would be no harm in simply putting the berry in her mouth. The berry rolled onto her tongue past her teeth. A last effort from her brain implored her to spat the blue stranger out. Catia swallowed the fruit with a smile. Waves of pleasure rolled through her, lighting up every nerve in her body as if she just experienced the most intense climax of her life. Her eyelids fluttered in ecstasy as her eyes rolled back. The intense feeling passed, leaving only an emotional, blissful residue. She smiled, forgetting about all of her troubles for the moment. She wrestled with the thought to head out south. 

After some time, Catia felt lost about what to do now. Her normal day felt already as abnormal as she could imagine. The loss of Jacob hounded her heart. Her life seemed to have erased his presence. His possessions and any meaningful reminders of him were simply gone. Catia began to recognize an uncomfortable stretching sensation across her stomach muscles. She feared the worst. Most anything around her she felt that she could adapt to dealt with. The idea that something happening inside of her became a personal attack. As the day moved along, the sun adjusted slowly overhead as if pulling a million tons. This fact continued to bother her more than most oddities. 

She looked down to see her abdomen pushing against her t-shirt. Intense fear overwhelmed her. Catia panicked to know what she looked like. The real concern that any mirror would display another king face blunted her goal. Catia fought through her fears to find a mirror for a perspective. She steeled herself against the possibility he would be looking back at her. The glass shimmered as the air around her had earlier. She saw herself in what looked like the early to middle stages of pregnancy. Her hips had widened, stretching her running pants. Her sports bra fought to contain her breast growth. Catia could see the weight gain in her face. Panic overtook her. She hadn’t had sex with Jacob for the last few months during their fighting. Pregnancy shouldn’t be possible. She dared not to think about what could be growing inside of her. Catia found herself in the kitchen, eating as her cravings dictated. She had little time to figure out how to have this baby on her own.

Hours passed into what should have been evening according to the analog clock. The sun moved less than inches in the sky. Catia felt overwhelmed with the stress of the moment. She decided against her better judgement to lay down for a while. The stress of the day became too much. She felt that regaining her perspective after a rest might be helpful. She locked the doors and kept a loaded pistol near her. Sleep overtook her as if she had been awake for twenty hours. Catia awoke to the sudden need to use the bathroom. She attempted to sit up. Her massively extended stomach became an difficult obstacle. Anyone would have guessed that she was at the end of a multiple birth pregnancy. She could feel something move within. Panic overtook any remaining logical thinking. Her abdomen began contracting. Catia concluded that whatever currently took residence inside of her wanted out.

She got off the bed and waddled towards the bathroom. Contractions caught her halfway down into the bedroom. Catia grimaced with contracted pain as she held the wall for support. She screamed as more waves went through her body. Her mind didn’t believe that she would be able to make progress to the bathtub as she planned. She peeled off her pants and panties in the middle of the room. Pain tore through her. Her eyes squinted tightly, hoping for relief. Her body convulsed. Thick, sapphire blue liquid began dripping from her onto her hardwood floor. She held onto the wall with both shaking hands for support. Her body felt as though the internal pressure might be ripping her in half. Her knees were open to their widest position as she squatted in hope of finding relief. Catia screamed through the pain. Tears poured freely from her eyes. More liquid oozed out from underneath her. The contractions racked her ability to think clearly. Her only goal became to end the pain by passing out whatever grew inside her.

Catia pushed hard to relieve her struggle. She felt something move. Her screams evolved into hoarseness. Fatigue began to overtake her body. She hoped one last push would make this end before collapsing onto the floor. Catia bore down with her last reserves. She could feel something large begin to pass out of her. Her body openly perspired from head to toe. A larger glob of blue slimy material splatted onto the floor. Catia felt some relief. She caught her breath. Her stomach remained extended, showing her that she still had something to push out. Catia felt as if she had lost control of the situation. She squatted as low as she could over the pile of blue goo. She pushed hard. Her eyes squinted tight as the pressure built. An elongated object slowly slipped from her. An egg like object landed in the goo. Catia felt immediate alleviation. Her breathing slowed. She stood halfway up and backed away. The smell of wet dog began to overtake the room. Catia looked at what her body dropped onto the floor with confused terror. The entirety of the blue goo eased itself over the egg, encasing the perimeter in a hardened, blue second shell. Catia watched with held breath, unsure of what to think. Multiples of stick-like legs with three pronged feet grew out of the outer shell onto her bedroom floor. The oddity rose up a full two feet and ran down out of the room. She heard its path down the hard wood stairs. Sounds of a window breaking startled her once more.

Catia looked at the clean floor. No residue of what happened remained. The blue residue on her inner thighs existed as the only evidence that anything had happened. She slid down the wall onto the floor and cried in confused exhaustion. She went to the bathroom with every intention to shower and dress in new clothes. The circumstances overwhelmed her. Exhaustion forced her to lay on the bed before getting to the master bathroom. Heavy eyes closed. Several hours had passed when she awoke. Catia took a desperately wanted shower until the water ran cold. She quickly dressed and went outside to check the progress of the sun. She began to think about alternate means to move herself and needed supplies south.

Her attention in the front of her home was drawn to large swinging movements in the sky just above the houses in the distance. Sounds of breaking and screaming kept her attention. A large, lumbering form moved across the distance. Catia brought out a pair of binoculars from the inept car. Her vision was interrupted by the shaking of her hands. She estimated the creature to be a 100 foot humanoid with four long arms and four legs. Catia screamed to herself and began saying no, no, no. Its head she immediately recognized to be that of the all too familiar king head, complete with bone crown. Through the lenses, she could see its rotting face.

The eminent creature used its lanky arms to reach those screaming below. Long fingers caught them with ease. Its prey soon became affixed to its body as if stuck by glue. She froze in shock. The large creature used its elongated, three fingered hands to easily pierce through walls and ceilings to grab more people. Its large smile held rows of crooked teeth. A long tongue licked its bright blue lips with anticipation. She could see its quarry uselessly flailing as their bodies remained stuck against its blue colored torso as it moved. Catia could hear their screams across the neighborhood. The towering monstrosity attached someone to the last available spot. The creature turned away from its course. The binoculars weighed heavy in her hands. She recognized one of the stuck women as someone from her cooking class last year. The crown headed creature lumbered away with people attached all over its frame. Catia immediately realized that she needed to put as much distance between her and the hunter before she became its victim. She ran full speed into her garage and pulled her casual riding bike off the wall. She loaded the front basket with pertinent supplies. She took a final look at her home. Catia feared for the people. She feared for her life in the new reality.

The continued urge to leave felt overwhelming. She decided to leave for anywhere south as her mind had been flagging her to do. She realized that this place, her home once with Jacob, had become full of too much potential danger. Catia hurried to her car. She packed a large camping backpack with all the food, water and clothing that she could carry. The car was abandoned with everything that wouldn’t fit on her back. She mounted her loaded bicycle. The backpack weighed more than she expected, intruding on her ability to balance.

 A waving bush near her porch grabbed her attention. Bright blue berries summoned to her as if they were calling out to every pleasure center in her brain. She fought the hypnotic desire to consume them all. Catia took off down the street away from her home, hoping to put as much distance between them as possible. The tires rolled effortlessly. Her pristine neighborhood stood empty of the usual commotion of this time of year. Lawns weren’t being mowed, dogs weren’t being walked, children weren’t playing. The sense of isolation rang deep within her as she peddled with the wind. Catia followed her instincts through the winding streets. She wasn’t able to see the bird creature that dropped a bundle of bright blue berries in a small valley at the top of her pack.

June 25, 2021 22:06

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