A short story I wrote a couple years ago. Language and horror warning.
NOTE: PLEASE DO NOT REPRODUCE THIS STORY WITHOUT ACKNOWLEDGING ME AS AUTHOR. TO DO SO WOULD BE BOTH ILLEGAL AND IMMORAL. THANK YOU. Kristy Kamin
She wanders along the pavement, kicking small stones along the way. Going over this morning’s events, she can’t stop a tear from escaping. Rubbing it away harshly, disappointed in her body for betraying her this way, she tries to push her chin up, but her head feels so heavy. What does it matter anyway? It’s not like anyone is watching her.
But someone is – watching her. Rubbing at the saliva that dangerously dangles at the southernmost point of his chin, not caring about the purple tinge to the wetness transferred to his wrist. All he cares about is watching her. The girl with the amber coloured hair, vacantly kicking at stones on the sidewalk. He sees the tear that escapes her eye and wonders what has made her cry.
She comes to an alleyway and hesitates a moment before shrugging to herself. She’s always had an aversion to alleys – I mean, they are the places where bad things happen in movies, right? But how could her day get any worse? She has managed to survive this far. The alleyway it is then.
He sees her disappear into the dark space; he knows he shouldn’t, but by the time he decides not to follow her, his feet are already halfway there. He doesn’t see the empty can, but he feels it against the toe that pokes out of his worn right shoe, as it connects and then makes a hollow clang against the wall of the towering building.
She involuntarily freezes in place. Should she turn? The safety people always say to turn. If you face the person, they are less likely to attack. But if she turns, that’s precious seconds she could have used to run. Fuck it. She runs.
She is running now, but he doesn’t want to lose her. He needs to get closer, to touch her. Even if only once. He picks up his pace, ignoring the pain of his loose toes as they hit the pavement. The smell of the alleyway is overpowering, a mixture of urine and vomit. A cat hisses at him, and he almost stops but reminds himself the girl is much more useful to him.
She not only hears but feels the footsteps coming closer; she takes a sharp left turn between two skip bins which overflow with years’ worth of rubbish. She almost trips over a discarded food tray, and in dodging it, she lands in a pool of purple vomit. Her left foot slides and her body follows. She lands with a thump against the wall, and blacks out.
He stops when her eyes close. He stands over her, waiting.
In the blackness, she dreams of friendships which are no more. She hears the teasing of the other kids in her class, ‘Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary…’ as she looks at the blood slowly dripping down the inside of her leg and onto her left shoe.
In her sleep, he hears her cry out, ‘But I’m not one of them! I’m not!’ Her whole body shudders as the tears come from behind her closed lids to pour down her cheeks. He wants to touch her then, but he can’t. He is still scared, unsure.
Before she opens her eyes, she senses him, like the heat from a fire standing close to her. She opens her eyes and presses herself against the brick wall behind her. She can feel the bumps scraping into her skin where the back of her t-shirt doesn’t quite meet her pants.
‘I’m infected!’ She screams. He looks closer; clear pale skin, the smell of sweat and body odour, the smell of human. Yes, she is infected. But isn’t that what he wants? To be infected too. Wouldn’t he rather be a human than this poor excuse for an alien?
‘Why?’ He screams. If they weren’t here, then he wouldn’t have these conflicting emotions.
‘I’m sorry.’ She is sobbing now. ‘It wasn’t my fault. My parents brought me here. I would …’
She hesitates, looks him over cautiously.
‘I would rather be on Earth.’
He holds out his hand. She looks at it warily.
‘We can swap.’ He says.
Her eyes light up. If that’s true – then she could go back to school. She could prove them all wrong. She could prove that she isn’t infected – not human. That she is in fact, one of them.
‘Is that – is that even possible?’ He watches her lips quiver as she says it. Does he want it this bad? Bad enough to convince this girl to give it to him?
‘Sure, it is.’ He says. She is still in awe at how these aliens look so human. Aside from the purple bodily fluids, they are alike in every way. What are the chances…
As she holds out her hand, he notices it shaking. He steps forward, and she pulls it back.
‘Promise?’ She asks, the desperation in her voice almost makes him hesitate.
They touch. The current of infection passes through them both. The connection will last between them forever. The love she feels for him is so overwhelming that she pulls him to her so that their lips meet. He responds desperately, and as a bubble forms around them, they make love.
The bubble bursts and they both fall to the ground. She can already feel the new life forming within her. She squeezes his hand, and he pulls it away.
He feels so ashamed. He had never believed the rumours. The rumours of what really happens when you become infected. He thought he could just take it from her, and leave. But no. Now he is connected to her forever. He watches as she rubs her belly affectionately, as she stares at him with those cute little lines between her eyes as she frowns.
‘What’s wrong?’ She says to him.
‘Nothing.’ He replies. Then he runs. As he runs, he drools a little. Wiping at his chin, he smiles to see the saliva is clear. It worked! But the triumph is mixed with sadness, for although he is now human, he will live the rest of his life with the knowledge that he left her, and his child.
She runs into the school quadrangle, nursing her expanding belly and trying to ignore the niggling thought that she may never see him again. Everyone is looking at her. Good. That’s what she wants. She rips a knife from the closest boy who is trying to cut up some kind of fruit inside his yellow lunchbox, and she holds it high in the air.
‘Proof!’ She screams. She feels the child jump in fright from within her. She ignores it, instead, pulling her skirt up to her waist. Some start to snigger, some outright laugh, but none of that matters. She pushes the blade against her thigh and moves it across. Bright red blood pours from the open wound as she stands there triumphantly.
‘Infected!’ Someone screams. The boy whose knife she took, jumps up from the grass and takes a step backwards. She looks down.
As the knife plunges into her belly, she closes her eyes in defeat. The baby is no longer moving, and they both leave this world to the chant,
‘Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary.’