When Children Feed
By: Devin J. Meaney
The nameless thing writhed with malignant intent as its many appendages caressed my shivering and distressed body. Its numerous eyes glistened in the low lighting of my bedroom as its many teeth gnashed in its many mouths, each one as gaping and cavernous as the abyss. The stench of necrosis permeated the air bringing forth a gagging sensation like no other…rancid like week old flesh left out in the sun.
My thoughts began to swirl. What the hell is this abomination? How did it get in here? What does it plan to do?...but my rapid mental pacing did not garner an answer, nor did I have the ability to speak. Each second felt like an hour as I counted the saliva drips oozing from its mouths, and all I could do was gasp as its tentacles licked at my torso like a kitten lapping up fresh milk.
Just as I thought it couldn’t get worse, the thing started to pulsate. The sound of its heartbeat quickened in pace, slowly but steadily rising as it eventually climaxed reminding me of a cross between tribal drums and machine gun fire, each beat ringing out like a blast of audible vomit spew. I could only muster up the internal strength to mumble three words. “Mother of God”.
Then, with blazing quickness, its tentacles wrapped me in a hug of death, tugging this way and that way as if multiple boa constrictors were competing for the same boar. I struggled to breathe as my body was being crushed to oblivion, and just as I was lapsing out of consciousness…the thing spoke.
Its voice was purely serpentine, and it was emitted not from its mouths, but seemingly from the atmosphere within my bedroom as a whole. The thing released its grasp on me slightly and I breathed in deep…half choking on large gulps of pungent air. The tentacles were no longer tugging at me and they were now holding me in place…leaving me to dangle in the air like a codfish on the end of a fisherman’s jig line. With some struggle I managed to question the monstrosity. “What do you mean?”…but it only repeated its first utterance.
I swayed in an almost catatonic stupor as the thing pulsed. Its heartbeat started to diminish in quickness, and by now its tentacles were not writhing…they were rigid and frozen in place for some ungodly reason that was at this point unknown to me. After a moment, the thing started to squirm again and what happened next I will remember forever, the pure horror etched grotesquely within my mind. The tribal sounding lub dub lub dub lub dub continued at a steady pace, and as I swayed, its many mouths started to veer into each other, slowly becoming a grisly and contorted mass of one. Its teeth retracted and re-grew all in one spot, giving the appearance of a fang-toothed void that could surely only be the maw of a spawn from the depths of hell. Then, in a bellowing rage, it spoke in a guttural tone louder and more maniacal than before.
From its mouth came what seemed to be a massive tongue, covered in what I could only guess were egg sacs. Each sac, about the size of a grapefruit, vibrated and hummed along to the beat of the creature’s heart... “dancing” almost rhythmically as if they were performers on some sort of freakish and outlandish stage. The thing’s eyes rolled back into its head, mottled and milky white like demonic orbs of the damned…then came the needle.
Growing from the back of its throat a “needle” like no other I have seen before penetrated the blackness within the monster’s jaws. Like a bone siphon, it stretched forward, its tip like an elongated syringe birthed from the infernal regions…sharp as a comic’s wit and more menacing than bull sharks in a blood frenzy. I let out a whimper and prayed for my saving grace…but no God nor angels came to my aid.
The needle grew closer and closer to my neck and I could only plead and moan as the tentacles held me in place, each moment bringing forth pure terror as the sweat beaded from my body and my hair stood on end…my own heart almost racing out of my chest. I closed my eyes and waited for a slow death, but just as the needle was about to penetrate my jugular…daylight.
I sat up in my bed, consumed with panic and alarm unrivaled at any other point in my life. I looked around for the creature, but there was nothing but clear blue sky outside my window…and my cat casually grooming himself as he relaxed on my bedspread, low purring coming from him at extended intervals. The sweat that covered my body was soaking through to my mattress and my heart was still thumping as if I had been running a marathon in my sleep…but calmness soon washed over me as I figured it had all been nothing more than a dream, a ghastly one which I hoped to never live through again.
Shaking my head, I put my feet to the floor so I could get up and start my day. My phone had multiple missed messages and it seemed as if I had been called in to work early…but due to the extreme terror I had just lived through that was the least of my worries. All I wanted was a hot black coffee and a cigarette as long as a pencil…but first, I had to wash up. The odor of sweat in my bedroom could be likened to a locker room or the aroma of an unwashed ne'er do well who hadn’t showered in weeks.
I soon went to the bathroom and brushed my teeth and gave myself a quick “hooker’s bath”, washing the important parts of my body as I still contemplated what the hell brought on my night terror. My dreams were usually peaceful and such nightmares were an uncommon thing for me…but again, I was just happy that it was over.
As I was leaving the bathroom, something caught my eye in the mirror. At first I thought I was seeing things, but on closer inspection I realized there was a small puncture hole in my neck. As I realized the severity of this horrid truth, a serpentine voice could be heard pulsing through the atmosphere.
And at that moment…I realized I may never sleep again.