Damp (Part 2) - From "Of Priests and Mermaids"

Updated: Mar 7



As it forced its way into her neck behind her head, she felt a rush of thoughts that were not hers. She was still screaming, but she was beginning to understand in some bizarre way, what this thing was, why it had come from…

The pincers dug deeper and she felt woozy, her knees beginning to turn to mush. It just needed a place to stay. She felt fainter with every passing moment. It needed a lodge desperately and that’s why it had come up the pipes. Now, Lara fell to her knees, a part of her mind fighting to separate itself from the mind of this thing that seemed to be slowly taking over. Her hand still held onto the thing and she understood, with dismay, that the thing appeared to be making some progress with making its way into the skin at the back of her neck. She was also feeling increasingly sleepy and knew it was just a matter of time before she passed out, before the fight totally went out of her and before this alien thing took over. And became her. More thoughts rushed to her head freely as the thing’s mind fused with hers. I will see through your eyes, speak through your mouth...  It would live through her, while the real person got swallowed up by this thing, this dampness that seemed to be spreading through her brain.

Her eyes were barely open now as Lara sank slowly to the ground, her grip on the thing weakening. Her fingers were bloodied and it was partly embedded in her neck now. Somehow, she remembered a scene from an animation she had watched a long time ago. There was supposed to be a “trick” for beating illusions and mental fatigue. It made no sense, but she, the drowning bit of Lara, would try anything now. She had to stay awake, Lara told herself. She had to stay alive. She had to fight. She had to. She had to.

Slowly, mustering all the strength and will she had left, she raised up her free hand and then brought it down hard on the bowl of the toilet. A maddening bolt of pain shot through her being and she screamed again, her brain instantly losing some of the haziness that was fast clouding it over. She smashed her hand again, evoking another scream and gaining even more clarity and will. No, she thought to herself, she was NOT going to allow this thing to take over her. She was not going to be ruled by this thing that was making her fall into sleep while it slowly took over her, slowly took over her life. Slowly define her life, her relationships, her future, her everything. Never! She pulled hard at the thing now and she could hear it screech in protest, but she was determined and yanked harder. She felt her skin pull, felt the blood on the thing as she pulled it out from her skin. It writhed, screeching in her hands and with a shout, she pulled it right out of her neck and forcefully flung it into the toilet bowl. At that instant, the light came back right on, brightly illuminating the narrow bloodied bathroom.

The thing splashed about in the blood-stained pinkish pool of water, attempting to come out, and Lara finally saw it for the first time. Whatever it was, it was definitely alien. It looked like a cross between an octopus and an extremely hairy spider with humanoid eyes. It was colored greyish black and there was a bright sickly yellow spot on its back that pulsated brightly. The eyes blinked intelligently at her, and there was something that looked like anger, or was it defiance, in those eyes. The thing had about 12 tiny hairy limbs, limbs that were flailing desperately in the pool of water. She could also see that the limbs were shrinking in size very quickly, as well as the body of the thing. Clearly, contact with her body - and her blood - enabled very rapid growth of some sort. Now that it had been torn away from her, it appeared to be losing its size and strength very rapidly. Lara screamed at the thing and flushed hard.

The water charged down on the creature and it struggled valiantly, but the current was too strong. It went right under. And there was just the sound of the toilet flushing, then it resurfaced with a lunge at the side of the bowl, attempting to crawl out, the sick pulsating patch throbbing frantically now, its human-like eyes almost pleading. But there was no time to be merciful now. Lara pumped the handle again, as though that would bring a fresh flood of water. Of course, there was really no need. The creature was clearly weaker now and soon, its tired limbs lost their fight and the bizarre creature vanished under a whirlpool of water. It was finally over.

Exhaustion took over and Lara slowly sank to the ground and softly began to cry. Rivulets of blood ran down her neck. She looked at her bloody fingers and slowly, it began to dawn on her what had just happened. She had just escaped being taken over by a corrupting alien creature. It sounded incredulous and she was sure no one would believe her. Now, she was shaking with the realization of what has just happened and now she started to sob profusely.

BAM! A thudding sound came from the cistern and the broken lid shifted slightly. Lara jerked and...

She woke up with wide eyes, sweating in the darkness of her room. Then she realized that it was the sound of what appeared to be running water that had woken her up, and the nightmare she had been having quickly faded away. Lying in the gloom of her room, the first thought that came to Lara’s mind was that she had left the tap on after brushing last night. At the thought, a slight frown creased her face as she dismissed that possibility.  That was unlikely; she would have caught the sound afterward as she cleaned her face before going off to bed.

The sound was definitely coming from the bathroom of the studio apartment where she lived. Alone. A quick glance at the large clock on the wall facing her bed revealed it was 2am. There was another low splashing sound which tapered off and then a moment of silence which, for reasons she could not explain, made Lara very tense. Suddenly, there was a loud smacking sound of what appeared to be someone, or something, hitting water. In the still darkness of the room, the sound was deafening. And at that moment, a strange sense of deja vu swept over Lara and she abruptly sat up in her bed, slightly curious. And now, slightly afraid...

(From the novel, Of Priests and Mermaids. Click to get the full book here)

By J.C. Nova. Enjoyed this post? Like and SHARE!

#Fiction #JCNova #OfPriestsAndMermaids #Damp #Horror #Thriller #Fantasy

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