Are You Okay?

The knocking on the front door was heavy and relentless, like the pounding in Jim Argyle’s head. His mouth was dry with lips on the verge of cracking as he pushed himself off the floor. Jim rubbed his forehead trying to remember how he ended up on the kitchen floor in the first place.

“Come on, Jim, open up!” a voice yelled from the front door.

His tongue itched.

He noticed the small kitchen table and two chairs were overturned. Dishes were strewn, some broken, throughout the room and the fridge was wide open with its contents spilled out across the floor. The back door was slightly ajar.

What the fuck happened?

The front doorknob rattled as the pounding continued.

“Are you in there, Jim? Open the door!”

Jim stood up and staggered towards the front entrance smacking his lips, trying to moisten them. He fumbled with the latch until it unlocked and the door pulled open.

Tom Chesterfield was standing on the front porch, and his jaw dropped slightly when he saw Jim.

“Jesus,” Tom said. “What happened to you? Are you okay?”

The last thing Jim wanted to do was to try and give his brother-in-law an explanation.

“Yeah… just a little hung over.”

“A little hung over? I’ve been trying to get a hold of you for three days. Every time I called, you didn’t answer.”

Jim glanced over to where his phone sat, wondering why he wouldn’t have answered, then turned back to Tom. “I’m alright.”

“What happened?”

“I told you.” His tongue still itched.

“No, that’s bullshit. The last time we talked you claimed that something happened in your backyard.”

Jim frowned, trying to recollect the events of the last three days.

Tom placed a hand on his shoulder. “Don’t you remember?”

Jim shrugged but offered no further explanation, wishing his sister’s husband would leave him alone. Tom looked over Jim’s shoulder into the house, saw the overturned furniture then walked past him.

Reluctantly, Jim followed.

Squatting down, Tom picked up a milk carton and placed it back in the fridge. He glanced at the furniture, the broken dishes, then looked at Jim who lowered his head and let his shoulders sag.

“I don’t remember a thing about the last three days. The last thing I vaguely recall doing was talking to you on the phone.”

The itch on his tongue grew worse.

“So why’d you try to pass it off as being hung over?”

“It feels like a hangover. My head is aching like a son of a bitch and I’m parched. Toss in the memory loss and it sounds like one.” Jim bent down and flipped the table back onto its feet. “I do appreciate you looking in on me, though.”

Tom offered a slight smile but when he looked out the small kitchen window into the backyard, it disappeared from his face.

“What happened to your lawn?” Tom asked leaning forward for a better look.

Jim’s tongue began to twitch, making speaking difficult. “I do appreciate this, Tom, but as you can see I’m fine. You can leave now.”

“There’s a large patch of lawn torn up or something.”

Wishing Tom would go away, Jim began rocking on his feet as his tongue flapped uncontrollably inside his mouth.

“What happened out there?”

Tom slipped through the open backdoor.

As Jim stood alone in the kitchen, a ripple of calm washed through his body and his tongue stopped moving. He rubbed the back of his head, near the base of his skull then followed his brother-in-law outside, no longer feeling in control of his own body.

Tom was standing a few feet away from the house looking down at a large hole that had opened up in the ground.

“Do you think it could be an old mine shaft that they failed to fill in properly?”

Jim replied with words and a voice that were not his own. “No, Tom, that’s not what it is.” His recollection of the previous three days now clear in his mind. “The ground caved in with a slight shudder the other day while we were speaking on the phone.”

Tom pulled his eyes from the sinkhole and gave Jim a wary look. “I thought you didn’t remember?”

Jim continued almost mechanically, “There’s a colony of small, parasitic creatures living down there that have been around for a long time. For decades they remain below until it’s time to reproduce. That’s when they venture up to the surface to find hosts. One of them made its way up through the sinkhole, entering the house as I was getting ready to go out.” He could see vivid images of the worm-like shape wriggling quickly across the kitchen floor and up the front of his body, going for his mouth. “I struggled with it to no avail.”

“What the hell are you talking about?”

With a quick swipe of his hand, Jim gripped the back of Tom’s head and brought it to his, locking lips. Within seconds, Jim’s tongue secreted a toxin that relaxed Tom’s jaw, keeping his mouth open. Jim began to heave, his mouth pressed against Tom’s until he regurgitated a thin eyeless worm with small hooks on the end of its tail. Using his own tongue, he guided it until it was in Tom’s mouth where it quickly found its way into the back of the other man’s throat.

When the deed was done, Jim pulled his tongue out and released his grip. Tom slumped to the ground gagging.

“What… did… you…?” Tom gasped.

“It’s how they breed,” Jim said. “It’ll grow quickly and take control of your body. Within three days it will have reached adult size and will then lay its eggs. Once they hatch, the young will feed on you, gaining what nourishment they need. At maturation, they will exit your body and travel to their underground home while I serve as the carrier to find more hosts.”

Tom struggled to speak but quickly fell unconscious.

“It’s not so bad,” Jim said. “They allow us to carry on with our lives as long as we don’t put them at risk. If we do something they don’t want us to do, they simply take control and don’t allow it.”

As if to reinforce his words, a tear formed, but before it could trickle down his cheek, it was absorbed back into his eye.

~ Jon Olson

© Copyright 2016 Jon Olson. All Rights Reserved

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About jonolsonauthor

On top of working full time as a Security Checkpoint Coordinator at the Halifax Robert L. Stanfield International Airport and still learning the ropes of being a father, Jon is also a writer of horror and dark fiction. While he writes predominantly about the dark and horrible, he will step out into other areas if the interest is there. Jon is a proud member of Pen of the Damned and is also a member of the Horror Writer’s Association (Affiliate level).

26 responses to “Are You Okay?”

  1. adeleulnais says :

    Great story loved it.

    Like

  2. Joseph Pinto says :

    Great…now I’ll never know who’s really making the every day choices that I make. Was it my conscious that kept me from having that extra serving of pasta? Or something else…?😉 Great story this week, Jon! Definitely a fun read, and makes me wonder about the characters’ backgrounds that these creatures control.

    Like

    • jonolsonauthor says :

      Thanks a lot, Joe! That’s can be the scary thing. Are we truly making the decisions or is something else at work? Some people could actually benefit with some restraint in their actions. I’m glad you enjoyed it this week, brother!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Nina D'Arcangela says :

    Great story, Jon! Cyclical creatures from below who gestate in human hosts… at least they offer the three day black-out plan, seems rather kind of them. Where you one of those kids who couldn’t stay out of a sinkhole when you saw one??? I was, so this one’s an extra little goodie for me. Nice work, FM!😀

    Like

    • jonolsonauthor says :

      Thanks Nina! And yes, I was one of those kids who had to crawl into sinkholes. I also loved crawling around the holes left by the root systems of large trees that had toppled over. There truly is another world down there!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. blazemcrob says :

    Great story, Jon! I couldn’t think of a better way to get rid of annoying in-laws, except for the nasty kiss part of it.😀

    Blaze

    Like

  5. Magenta Nero says :

    Love the graphic vomit exchange! Cool story Jon, parasites are always fun… I like the way you built up the suspense.

    Like

  6. Thomas Brown says :

    Jon, I absolutely love this! Unsettling and mysterious – I had to know what had happened. Perhaps I can relate to drink-related lost time… Great stuff.

    Like

  7. zkullis says :

    I enjoyed the story Jon! Stories regarding “something else” controlling you have always gripped my fancy.

    *wicked grin with an itchy tongue*

    Like

    • jonolsonauthor says :

      Thanks Zack! A lot of people tend to think of subliminal messages when one mentions the idea ‘mind control’ but you never know what is lurking below our feet! Keep an eye on that itchy tongue, brother! Thanks again!

      Like

  8. Christopher A Liccardi says :

    Jon – this is fucking creepy! I loved it. This may explain all my “mysterious” behavior😉 Well done.

    Like

  9. tabbicat7 says :

    Oh wow Jon this was very creepy and having the thought of having something else controlling you makes this story even more effectively scary. I really enjoyed this great job🙂

    Like

  10. Hunter Shea says :

    Righteous, dude! You know how I love monster, big or small. The end with the tear being sucked back up was perfect.

    Like

    • jonolsonauthor says :

      Thanks Hunter! I always have a hankering for a monster romp no matter the size! As for the tear, it would only make sense for them to control all the aspects of their host to ensure nothing appears out of the ordinary. I’m glad you enjoyed it, brother!

      Like

  11. Angel with dirty wings says :

    Love , love , love this! Great read, gross and ewwww! Frenchman gives it the thumbs up and 5* and Nikie said very X-files. Will be thinkingj twice when kissing people maître party tomorrow! Viva la dammed! Awdw X

    Like

    • jonolsonauthor says :

      Lol yes, always keep it in mind when kissing people! I’ve always been a big X-Files fan so I’m sure that leaked into the story! I’m glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment! It means a lot!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Angel with dirty wings says :

        Well I’m still here, and sort of remember Friday and Saturday night, and kiss like 50 people, so I guess I’m safe!

        Like

  12. Tyr Kieran says :

    Ha, great creature feature story, Jon! Great concept, nothing’s creepier than being a mind controlled host… Except maybe extended tongue play with family members. Nasty tale, loved it!

    Like

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