The walk home becomes a nightmare
I was done with the party even if it was the last one of the summer. I walked over to Pam and Mike and asked them if they wanted to head out. They both agreed that the party had been all hype and no substance. Besides it was only a matter of time before the cops saw the bon fire burning brightly as the kids danced drunkenly around it.
As we were walking up the path, Mike started to tell horror stories about the swamp monster that lived in the filthy creek, which ran alongside the trail.
“Knock it off Mike.” I said.
“You’re just scared of the swamp thing, Susan.” He was right. His story was getting to me.
We moved slowly along the windy path to the parking lot above. It was pitch black and no one else was around. Suddenly I felt something wet hit my cheek. I jumped and screamed but the scream never left my mouth because another wet thing was jamming its way down my throat.
I tried to run away but I was rapidly entwined in a tentacle that immobilized me. I was thrown off my feet and dragged across the ground to a waiting cage. Something jabbed me in the neck and I felt myself going completely numb. Before the world retreated to darkness, I saw the shape of my friends Mike and Pam join me in the cage. Then nothing.
I awoke, who knows how much later. I was lying on the floor of a mucus covered cavern. At least that’s what it looked like at first. As my eyes adjusted I could see that it was a rather small compartment. The walls were made up of a living material that pulsated around me, exuding the mucus.
“Oh my God!” I yelled. “I’m in the stomach of some creature.”
Then out of the darkness crawled Mike. “No but you’re not that far off. When we got here there were five people. Now only you, Pam and I are left.
“Where did the other ones go?”
“These strange creatures that look like a cross between a praying mantis and an octopus came in and dragged them out screaming. They never stopped screaming until I just couldn’t hear them anymore.”
I couldn’t be having this nightmare. “How long have I been out?”
“I have only been awake about an hour and Pam is still out. What do you think this is?’
“I think we are inside some animal. The floors and walls are breathing and I can hear a thumping of a heart.”
“I think we’re in some space ship and have been abducted by aliens.”
“You always think people are being abducted by aliens.”
“Those things I saw were aliens and they have taken us. What do you call it? What do you think has happened?”
He had a point there. Whatever had grabbed us had not been human. I still remembered its slimy fist going into my mouth. But if we were abducted by aliens that would mean we were on a ship. Suddenly Pam started to move and moan. She sat up took one look around and started to scream. Mike had to finally restrain her but she kept fighting him as if he was the cause of her terror.
“Would you shut up! We don’t want to attract their attention!”
Pam stopped screaming long enough to give him a half crazed look and then started to scream even louder. Mike finally slugged her and she stopped and looked surprised that anyone would do such a thing.
“Pam, we have more important things to worry about right now, so shut up. Mike, you saw them open the door. Do you think you could open it?”
“No, but I’ll give it a try.”
Mike started to randomly fiddle with the door mechanism not knowing what he was doing. Amazingly, after about five minutes the door popped open.
“You did it! You’re a genius!” They obviously had a low regard for mammals.
Pam gulped a couple of times and then crawled for the exit that now stood open. Mike and I followed trying to walk on the spongy ground. Pam stood up and we headed down a hallway that looked much like the room we had just escaped from. The lighting seemed to come from the translucent walls around us. Still there were gobs of mucus coating the walls and every now and then a big blob of it would slide down onto the floor. The floor must recycle some of it or we would be waist deep in mucus.
We were coming to a corner when we heard the clicking, clacking noise that Mike said the creatures or bugs made. We were lucky that we could dash into a side aisle. But this seemed to be about as far as Pam could go. She slide down the wall among the mucus and just sat there.
“Pam, you have to get up. We can’t stay here, they’re going to find out that we escaped any minute and then come after us. We have to try to find a way out.” I said.
“There is no way out. We’re all going to die, just accept it.”
“I swear Pam I’ll leave you right here to your fate if you don’t get up right now and follow us!” Mike screamed in a muffled voice.
“Go ahead and leave me. We’re all dead anyway. Go ahead and leave.”
“We can’t leave her.” I said.
“The hell we can’t. Everyone is on their own now.” He started to walk away. I gave Pam one more look and noticed that more of the mucus was surrounding her. It seemed the wall was slowly absorbing her. At least she didn’t seem to be in too much pain.
Mike and I continued our search for any door that looked like it might go out. One thing we did see were hundreds of other small rooms like the one we had been in. Most were empty but some had people in them who looked out at us as if we were ghosts. No one asked for help. They just watched us walk by. Finally, the aisle was getting wider and we slowed our walk but were both hopeful that our journey’s end was near. We came out onto a balcony that looked onto a huge cavern. The cavern was a wall of hexagonal honeycombs. At first I thought it was to give it strength but as I looked I could see the smaller bugs crawling around the outside of the wall. They seemed to test each compartment, listening for some signal.
We were both so enthralled by the process that we didn’t notice the large bugs coming at us. Before we could run away, they lunged at us with eye shattering speed. Mike cried out and I screamed as once again one of those tentacles grabbed me around the waist. They carried us straight up the wall walking right over the hexagonal formations. One other smaller bug came up and seemed to speak to the larger soldier bugs and direct them. Then we went over to our right, both of us hanging from the grasp of the bug’s tentacle.
There was another small bug here eating away at the covering of the honeycomb opening. Once it was open the bug holding Mike thrust him in. I heard Mike scream in utter terror and then the smaller bug was walling him inside. Next came my turn not three honeycombs over. The bug again opened the way and I was thrust inside. I immediately saw what had so terrified Mike. I was not alone. In the back of the honeycomb was a soft pulsating pupa. I watched in horror as it wiggled and squirmed seeming to smell the presence of food.
Suddenly there was a crack all along the top of the pupa and out emerged a tiny, colorless bug exactly matching its brethren outside. It was weak from its struggle. I could hear Mike screaming in pain and agony. I took the bug’s weakness as my only chance to kill it. I kicked at it with my leg but to my dismay it moved with blinding speed and grabbed my leg in its mandibles. With the mandibles it forced my leg into its mouth where it proceeded to eat my foot off. The pain was excruciating but made worse by its slowness. It would take a leisurely bit, chew, and swallow then take another bite. Most of my foot was gone but there was no blood. The secretions of the bug must staunch my blood flow. Of course, it wouldn’t want to waste any food.
I tried to kick at a mandible with my other leg but all that got me was my other foot stuck in the mouth of the larva. The bug had eaten very slowly up to my upper thighs. It occurred to me what all the people were for. All the thousands of larva had to be fed and who knew if there were other caverns like this one. This was not an isolated kidnapping but an annihilation of our kind. Our species had been turned into meat for bugs. I could no longer hear Mike and I had lapsed into shock.
The bug had stopped at my thighs but with tender care it pulled me out of its mouth, legless. Then it reversed me so that I was now head first into the larva. The mandibles pulled me into its mouth and the last thing I remember was the sound of crunching coming from the top of my scalp.