Sunday 31 May 2015

Dead End by Kath Middleton

Kath Middleton's 'Dead End' was the second place winning story in August 2014's Short Fiction Contest.

Dead End by Kath Middleton

It has been reported in some of the more dubious press outlets that 3.7 million Americans believe that they have been subjected to alien abduction. Ridiculous. Why would aliens choose one nationality above others? I know that they don't. They took me.

I lost a week from my life last year. I went to bed as usual and when I woke I assumed it was the following morning. I felt a bit sore but otherwise I had no reason to think anything was amiss. People asked where I'd been when I went into work 'next day' and I didn't know what they were talking about. Reality came back slowly, like the snatched morning memories of nightmare.

I went to bed one night and woke, sedated and partially anaesthetised, in a gleaming laboratory staffed with metal ‘workers’. I never knew where it was situated: on a ship: on another planet? An ovum was removed from my body and returned fertilised. I was left alone then, but for the metal beings which brought me food and drink and removed my waste products with mechanical efficiency. My belly swelled at a frightening rate and three days later the true nightmare began.

The hot, tight mound of my abdomen began to lurch and writhe. It appeared that the gestation period was mercifully short. I lay upon the couch, groaning as my body tried to wrench itself apart. I was mortally afraid. I did not see any of my abductors so, thank god, I didn’t know what the father of the hybrid child looked like. I struggled to expel it, screaming both in pain and in rage at the violation of my body.

With one final lurching contraction I expelled the monster in a slurry of stinking mucous and it lay, writhing and tormented, between my trembling thighs. It was unnaturally thin and long and had been curled, folded, within me. It stretched and opened a ghastly mouth ringed with needle-like teeth and I could immediately see that there was no throat, no oesophagus. This thing could not feed! I felt elated and hoped they would discard this as a failed hybridisation experiment.

They returned me to my bed at home but the horror is not yet over. Unwilling to admit defeat, the alien beings seem bent upon keeping this creature alive, perhaps to backcross it and introduce some element of its genetic make-up into their moribund species. I am not expected to feed it as I would a human child. Thank god! But they return it to me every night to clutch at my body, lie along the length of me in a travesty of a human hug, and leech the life-force from my body as it grasps me with its cold, sticky limbs.

This cannot go on. I am losing weight and will not live much longer. When I die, it will die too, this hybrid disaster; this evolutionary dead end. I am happy, on both counts.

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