Horror and Thriller Fiction posted May 22, 2014

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Short Story-Horror Contest Entry

The Eighth Day

by michaelcahill

It seemed harmless. Hell, cute described it in a strange way. It stood no taller than her toy poodle. Green is not a color-associated with animals. This did not qualify as a plant though. It had an overly long tail twice the length of its body. It had a bony protuberance in the middle of its forehead. It seemed to have more teeth than necessary. It met the parameters for being a unicorn. But, it looked nothing like the stylized pictures that we think of. A toothy, furry, unicorn-like creature… sounded like an apt description.
Diode McKenzie knew the moment he laid eyes on that strange creature that he had two options. The sensible option seemed impossible. Never say a damn word about this to anybody… EVER and get the hell out of its sight before it bit him. But, the funny thing about humans is that they have read every lame horror story ever written and STILL they feel some strange compulsion to seek the obviously stupid route. He moved in to investigate further. You could almost hear the matinee crowd screaming in the background, "NO! Don't go near that damn thing, you fool! It's going to mess you up." Diode had a sense of what makes a movie two hours long as opposed to the real world where things happen in five minutes and then life goes on.
So, keeping in mind his commitment to the sanctity of the B movie plot, he decided to capture this hideous thing and take it home to his wife. Now, had his wife been some uncaring, cold and untimely-end-deserving she-devil, then it would make a little sense. The jeopardy to self might be worth the joy of the remote chance of freedom from endless nagging and misery. But, Loretta McKenna-McKenzie couldn't be a lovelier more accommodating spouse to Diode.
The creature already named a Uniscorned by the ever-clever Diode, had extra-ordinary abilities that it kept hidden from Diode. It easily read his inferior mind, inferior to it and not with any inkling of a value judgment. It remained sure that Diode represented humanity quite adequately. That transcended argument. When it came to being human, Diode met all the requirements and fell well within the prescribed parameters.
Diode recalled previous times when Loretta cajoled him into ill-considered quests for cute but feral creatures that she wished to commune with. A possum came quickly to mind. "Look at its eyes. They look so sad. She wants me; I can feel it. You know I have a gift for animals… go get it!"
The joyous deep nibbling of flesh… the precious little nails digging in and seeking my heart… yes, I recall trying to catch the vicious wild possum with the bashful comely eyes. This creature put up no such struggle. Its nails were sharp and its teeth were too. But, it was easily captured and seemed grateful to be in Diodes arms. The little scratches had a feel of affection and certainly could have been worse. It certainly clung with great affection to its new benefactor. He anticipated a positive reaction from his wife.
"Oh my God… my God… what is it? It is sooooooo cute. Let me hold it." Loretta approved.
Diode would've responded, but he wouldn't be a factor in Loretta's world for a while. He knew that and went to the kitchen, poured a cup of coffee and listened to the sounds of his happy wife. The DNA of the Uniscorned already flowed through his system. The invasion had begun. The second victim, though that might turn out to be a subjective appraisal, squealed with delight, oblivious to the minor love scratches she had acquired. She was even less aware of the DNA that now made her and Diode, once again, perfect mates.
Loretta wouldn't give birth for another three months according to her doctor. But, what do doctors know? Like most couples expecting their first child, they were prepared. The bags were packed and the route with two alternatives was committed to memory. They were ready for the moment when Loretta would say, "It's time"!
Diode said, "It's time"?
"Yes, it's time". Loretta sounded calm. She had an innate understanding that anything, other than calm, would not be conducive to Diode's effectiveness.
"But, she isn't due for three months. This is a rehearsal right? A pop quiz kind of thing."
"Get the keys and start the car. IT'S TIME!" Loretta gathered up the bags and everything that they agreed they needed and headed to the car.
Diode started looking for the keys. "Where are the keys? Where do we keep the keys? Loretta?"
Loretta finished loading the car and came back to gather up her husband. "The keys are hanging on the nail by the front door. Now get in the driver's side and I will be right there with the keys. Everything is going to be fine. OOHHH! But hurry. The contractions are getting closer and closer."
Diode stumbled out to the car suddenly unfamiliar with the number of steps on the front porch. Loretta called 911 and told them they might not make it to the hospital. She plopped into the passenger's seat. "OOHHH! Drive now please."
"Pull over NOW! OOHHHH! NOW!" Loretta indicated that she wished Diode to pull off the road.
"Now? Right here"?
Loretta made a sound that indicated the affirmative. "Noooeeeeehhhhhhhwwwww!"
Several babies spilled onto the floorboard before Diode even reached the curb. They had a basic human form, but were tiny standing perhaps three to four inches tall. They varied in height and color and seemed to be growing. Loretta began laughing hysterically. Diode sat there horrified and speechless. He could see the resemblance to himself and Loretta. She seemed done delivering if that is what one would call it.
She tried gathering them up, but they were running all over the car and growing rapidly. Several had already escaped through the open backseat window and had disappeared down the embankment.
"Get them!" She seemed adamant.
"If I open the door they'll all get out. Well, they're getting too big; I have to let them out. What do you want me to do for Christ's sake?"
Loretta just kept laughing and trying to hold them. Finally one of them either accidently or on purpose opened the door and they all spilled out onto the curbside. Loretta jumped out and frolicked with them while Diode sat there watching somewhat dumbfounded. Within a few minutes, they had all disappeared down the embankment. He could hear his wife laughing and them making some kind of noise that sounded like baby birds begging for food.
His stomach itched and he began scratching. He realized that his belly button had unraveled and expanded. He observed with more curiosity than fear as more babies began pouring out of him now. A couple cars had stopped and traffic backed up. A crowd began to gather. Their temperament was decidedly more animated than Diodes.
Horrific screams rang out as the babies grew and sought comfort from the bystanders. Calm came over the bystanders after a few scratches and infusion of DNA had its effect. Within a short time calm replaced hysteria. The crowd grew and soon more babies burst forth. Within a couple hours, the city was overrun with the babies that grew to adult size within an hour. The new humans spread out and within two months, there were only a few original humans still in existence on earth. These were mostly extremely isolated and had little effect on the planet. It was determined that their existence provided no threat to the planet and their existence was allowed. Years passed and one by one, these isolated original humans passed away until none was left.
The planet recovered and the virus faded from the scene. In all it took thirty-one years to eliminate humanity from the ecosystem of earth. The earth completely recovered from its intrusion and the future looked bright and green for the blue planet.
It was the eighth day.


Horror Story Writing Contest contest entry


Not tooooo scary, but I was told that this is a "horror" story.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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