THE TERROR WITHIN
It had been a fairly uneventful year for my wife and I, as far as years go. But through it all, an uneasiness pervaded our everyday existence. An uncertainty and, truth be told, a dread that crept into our dreams and grew like an unruly weed, choking off our hopes and dreams.
Marta felt it first… an unsettling feeling in her stomach along with a foreboding sense that something… someone was coming.
Over the months, the feeling grew… and so, in turn, did Marta. She gained weight that she couldn’t shed, her abdomen swelling, her shifting organs now pressing painfully down on her bladder. She awoke each morning ravaged with nausea, as if fighting off some invasive species, and fell into bed each night with aching bones.
To look back now it was obvious, but at the time it was unthinkable: we were no longer alone. Another creature, another being, was living amongst us. It was listening to what we said. Feeling what we felt. And in Marta’s case, feeding off her very being.
The thing was growing inside her. A writhing flesh-covered parasite thriving deep within her belly, shifting under her skin like scrabbling rats beneath a taut tarp made of human flesh. It kicked and thrashed, fighting violently… but fighting for what? Attention? Freedom? Control? The thought chilled us to our very marrow.
What scared me even more than the physical manifestations of its appearance, horrifying as they were, was the toll this thing’s presence took on her mind. My wife, once intelligent, practical, and focused was now confused, forgetful, and displaying fiery bursts of anger immediately followed by racking tears of sorrow.
Something had to be done. Doctors confirmed what we already knew, that there was indeed a living animal within her body, but they refused to do anything but wait… wait for it to crawl out on its own, a bloody, gasping creature screaminginto the night.
And as the dark fingers of autumn shadows stretched menacingly across our lives, the creature made its imminent arrival known. Terrible pains wracked Marta’s frail body, a harbinger of the true horror to come. Something ruptured inside her, vital fluids pouring out from between her legs. Like the jaws of life, an unstoppable power forced her bones apart, her joints and ligaments loosened as her pelvis expanded against her will. Twisting her body into unimaginable contortions, the slimy, sightless thing utilized Marta’s own muscles to squeeze itself from her tortured body, covered in my wife’s blood. A pulsing white worm of a tentacle snaked out from its belly, burrowed deep within Marta, still sucking food and oxygen from her frail body.
The rest was a blur, but we were thankful that the worst of our ordeal was over. Or so we thought.
The terror had just begun.
Suddenly we found ourselves with, for lack of a better word, a “presence” that followed us home. Imagine yourselves in our position. Taking an unknown entity, a complete stranger, into your home, one who had just savaged your wife’s body and has no intention of stopping now. A stranger who rises up in the middle of the night wailing like a banshee from hell. A stranger who demands constant attention and hot food on demand around the clock. A stranger who refuses to lay in the bedding provided, but forces his way into your marriage bed. A stranger who soils himself repeatedly without hesitation or shame. A stranger who knows not your language and hears not your entreaties for a moment’s peace.
A stranger who refuses to leave… for eighteen years.
God have mercy on us all.