I missed a week last month on the Friday Frights Monster Fan Fiction theme, so this is the final part of the story, continued from Incubation.
The pain in John’s stomach increased. He pulled against the restraints, but they held fast. His abdomen burned. He stopped struggling, afraid that his actions were increasing the growth of the spiders that were nesting inside. Or were they beginning to eat their way out? His mind flashed with images of his stomach exploding open and mutant spiders skittering out. He turned his head to look at Denise. The light was still lit in the next room and he could see her body encased in the spider’s webbing.
“I’m sorry,” he mouthed, but no words came out, just a strangled sob. He’d been in love with her. He’d never told her. Tears welled in his eyes, blurring the room and the image of his partner, splitting her into two. The double image looked wrong. There was Denise, hanging from the ceiling, her body writhing as the alien spiders crawled over her, and another Denise standing next to her.
He blinked his eyes, clearing them. There were still two women in the room, but now he knew the second image wasn’t his partner. It took him a moment to recognize Charlene, Dan Brown’s dead wife. He had seen her body with his own eyes. He knew she’d been dead, strangled by her psychotic ex-husband. She had a knife in her hand and was cutting the webbing loose from Denise.
He screamed again, this time finding the strength to push the words out of his mouth. “Leave her alone!”
Charlene appeared to hear him, turning her head to look at him as Denise fell into her arms. Her face bore scars that hadn’t been there when he’d last seen her. Part of her hair was shaved, revealing deep grooves in her head. He was sure no coroner had done that to her.
Charlene looked away then, steadying Denise on her feet. She appeared to be talking to her. Then Denise looked up and John gasped, realizing she was still alive. After a moment, Charlene let go of her and she stood on her own.
“How can this be?” John’s words sounded hollow to his ears. He didn’t expect an answer.
“All will be explained momentarily.”
The words, spoken in his head, were Charlene’s.
Denise’s eyes met his. “It’s okay, John.”
The two women stepped out of the room. He flinched as Denise’s fingers brushed against his skin and then removed the restraints.
“What is going on?” He asked.
Charlene held a glass in her hand. This time she spoke out loud. “Drink this.”
“No.” He shook his head.
“John, you have to,” Denise said. “You’ll die otherwise.”
He laughed, ignoring the growing pain in his stomach. “Die? What are you talking about? Death is apparently a myth. I saw you…” He looked at her face. Her skin was healing, the damage done by the spiders, disappearing. “I saw you being eaten by those things. You were dead. Charlene was dead.”
“I was,” Charlene agreed. “Dr. Mendler brought me back.”
“He told me he’d found a way to bring the dead back, but I didn’t believe him. That’s… insane.”
“And yet, here I am.”
John shook his head. “He also said the process destroyed the brain.”
“It did. He found a way around it.” Charlene held the glass out again. “We are almost out of time.”
“What is it?”
“Poison. Don’t worry, it won’t hurt you. It will kill the creatures that are about to devour your intestines if you don’t drink this quickly.”
John had been ignoring the pain blossoming throughout his body while he processed the apparent resurrection of the dead, but now he could no longer disregard the agony, nor the spiders attacking his abdomen. He reasoned that he would probably die anyway, perhaps drinking the poison would make it happen more quickly. He took the glass and drank.
It tasted horrible. Not as bad as the embryo cocktail Mendler had forced him to drink, but not much better. Unlike Mendler’s drink, this one did not try to come back up and the fire that was threatening to burn through his stomach, eased. Then another sensation spread through him. He felt it surging upward through his esophagus. He opened his mouth, expecting a stream of mutant spiders to spill out and then looked shocked when he did nothing more than burp.”
“It leaves you a bit gassy,” Denise said, rubbing her belly.
“I still don’t understand…” He gestured to the room where the giant, spider like creatures could still be seen.
“They won’t hurt you now,” Denise said. “The spiders introduced into your body injected you with secretions that have changed your DNA.”
“But they were feeding off of you.”
“No. They were treating me.”
“Dr. Mendler is a sadist,” Charlene said. “He’d inflicted a lot of pain on Denise before he shifted. When my ex-husband saw her, he thought she was dead, so he left to find you.”
A thought suddenly occurred to John. “Meghan!”
“Don’t worry,” Charlene said, “she’s safe. In fact, he’s on his way back here now.”
Denise and Charlene both turned towards the door, each of them smiling. John shivered, thinking how they both appeared to have a cruel gleam in their eyes. He looked towards the door, expectantly. Another shiver went through his body, this time in anticipation. A buzzing filled his mind. He realized he knew what was about to happen. The door burst open and Dan Brown came through, his cloak no longer active.
“You can’t hurt me,” he screamed, struggling against the creatures carrying him. “You changed me… I’m like you now.” Then he saw Charlene and hissed. “Call them off.”
The spiders dumped Dan on the table and the two women grabbed his wrists and strapped them down. Dan’s eyes shifted to Denise and then to John.
“Charlene, what did you do? Did Mendler authorize this?”
She grinned. “Mendler doesn’t control me. He plays at things he knows nothing about… he thinks he’s God, playing with nature. And you… well, you’re right, the creatures did change you, Dan, but not in the way you thought. When they first found you, you were inedible.” Spider legs sprouted out of her sides then and long mandibles grew from her mouth. “Now, you’re not.”
Denise changed too. She and Charlene fell on Dan, ignoring his screams for mercy. John knew he should be horrified by what was happening. Instead he felt appendages pushing out through his sides. He also felt hungry.