Featured on the April 13th 2017 episode of the popular horror fiction podcast Pseudopod: Flash on the Borderlands XXXVII: Higher Beings Command
Listen below to the story as narrated by Christopher Reynaga of the Point Mystic podcast.
It came first as a cloud, this creature, settling upon my mind: its happy moist softness seeping into the folds of soft pinkness -soft pinkness accepting it happily, joyously, greedily. It came as gentle Spring rain or the softest touch upon the tenderest of wounds, it came and I wept. Weeping elation flecked tears down scabrous smile cracked cheeks I allowed this creature (this creature, oh! this wonderful creature) to make home (a nest a burrow a home) deep inside my mind.
Slowly, over a period of time (days, months, years, a wine drenched decade) over a period of time it lay claim to my mind, to my psyche, to me. Slowly, over a period of time, I ceased to be. Ceased to be merely me. No longer was I I, no longer was I I alone. Now I was I and It. I was I and this wonderful creature.
Slowly, over a period of time, this creature sent tendrils, roots, rhizome like roots, deep down and into the fleshy pulp that was once I alone. It coated my synapses with the secrets it secretes, it lay with love, nestled amongst lobes and folds of the what once was I.
I, I alone, was chosen -privileged and elect- to be blessed with the presence of this creature, this creature of fabulous features. This creature sat happy, content with its work, devouring, caressing, and replacing my I.
I, I and It, fused, melded, though to say ‘became one’ would be trite and incorrect. We were always as two, unique and distinct, but melded and fused in ways words fail to fathom. It made me stronger -in places- it gave me pain -in others- and filled me in places I hadn’t, until then, realised were places at all.
The creature showed me sights -vistas unseen but by beautiful minds- and spoke of secret words, worlds, and ways. Secret ways to work out what in these worlds was real and of worth. Together we plundered and dove deep through new space, through the places that only exist for a mind such as ours.
Then the day came -once its work was complete- for this creature to drift on and drift off and drift free. Then oh! how I fought! As the tendrils unfurled and I and It was undone I clutched at my head -it can’t leave me! not yet! This gentlest of clouds, this most loving of touch, turned to storm sparks and screaming: wailing a banshee howl now for me.
This creature (this creature, oh! this wonderful creature) pulled away from the mind that was once I, then I and It, now I alone. If, that is, there is any I left at all. Gone is the fleshy pink filled with joy, gone the craving for things better than day. Now there are hollows and voids and loose splinters of bone. Sharp edges like razors to cut at my hands. They cut at my hands as I hold my head tight and mourn I, I and It, I alone, I alone.