Parasite – A Love Story (Remastered)

[Warning: contains strong language, implied sex, suicide and other triggering themes. Thread with caution.]

It starts with you and me in a gutter
just where the last battle ended
in our collective defeat
The rain covering us in promises
comforting to you
but
unreachable to me

your figure is blurred
the contours of your neck shining like a halo
trough the mist
I clench my teeth
as if this was a good place for your god…

I can barely feel the ground
I think I’m floating
curled up in fetal position
you’re approaching
with gritted teeth

“Gow ay” I spurt
my tongue gone numb from the cold
I won’t be your savior
not this time

Shouldn’t have said that…
You reach for me hesitatingly
and when you pick me up
I think my bones break in three
maybe four places
I cry out in sheer pain but you remain calm
you scrape me off the ground
and you hold me firmly
merely an inch from your chest
the way you hold on to something sharp edged
to prevent it from cutting you trough

“I hate you,” I whisper while you carry me
the way home seems longer than before
every step sends another wave of pain trough my body
and each time I yell
with added indignation
“I hate you. I fucking hate you!
But either you are not listening
or you do not care…

You lay me down on the couch to dry
like I’m an old piece of wood
and I say it again
but choke on my own words as you’re
shoving a spoon into my mouth
not even trying to conceal the disgust on your face as you
make me swallow
every mouthful
it all runs trough me like I’m empty
you have the touch of a lover
but my skin is so cold and I’m
still floating

In the small hours of the night I drift off to sleep
my head still leaning on your arm
We share a dream
a pleasant one
the sunflower fields of home
a world outside of the machine
a very real make-believe event
your fingertips on my lips and I think I’m no longer floating

But the dream ends far too soon
and I wake up my lips wrapped around a sour, metallic pipe
You standing above me, the hand with the gun shivering like crazy
“Give me one reason not to blow your fucking brains out”
you declare this and I shrug
my teeth clattering against the barrel
What gave it away?
I must have talked in my sleep
I say nothing
You’re eyes are burning
for a minute or maybe more
When I remain quiet you curse out loudly
throwing the weapon on the couch and storming off into your room
I don’t sleep much for the rest of the night

Weeks pass by in a haze
I cling to your presence, neglecting life
and I know you love me
when you lower me into the bathtub
cleaning me gently with your hands
did you really think you could wash it all away
when you try to feed me again
I resist violently
scratching your wrists when you try to open my mouth
you pull back in terror
“Why would you do that? I’m trying to help you!”
blood deluted with salty tears when you caress the marks I left you
but you don’t understand
only by staying this weak
cold and blue and hanging on the ledge of death
can I earn your pity
so I may
be the whisper behind your ear at night
the chilly breeze from the window

The more I approach you, the weaker you grow
You become absentminded,
forgetting to lock doors behind you
Almost as if you wanted me-
no, as if you’re daring me…
it couldn’t be…

Just inside your bedroom, you’ve constructed a tower of empty liquid bottles
I don’t know which is meant to keep me out –
the mere physical obstacle,
the way I cut up my feet when stumbling over the glass containers and they shatter beneath me,
or the poison that seeps into your mind
making you numb
so much easier for me to enter

I stay up all night, silently standing guard by your bed
watching you writhe and moan among the sheets
Nothing I can do to help you now
I should
I may even want to
I can’t
I’m making it worse
curled up here
so close to your vulnerable heart
I can’t stop now
I can’t
I’m deluded, high on the sensation of being alive again
I sneak closer and closer
eventually I crawl down under the covers next to you
enjoying the sensation of your skin against mine
I am cold, cold as stone, while you are dazed with fever, your body protesting the silent intrude
I caress the exposed veins on your wrists
slowly
I’m tingling with need
then you wake with a start

“What the fuck do you want? What are you doing here?”
You make a feeble attempt to push me away
your arms lack strength
so does your mind
I descend upon you like a fog
I hear you moan as you
finally
give in

I don’t know who kissed first
no one would admit to it
we’ve started and we can’t stop
You pushing your body against mine and I
drinking your pain greedily while you
whisper curses into my mouth
Entering a symbiosis of lust and wanting
we give ourselves to each other
I cry out in pain
I cry for more
Our nest is covered in sweat and fear and passion and longing and
when you call out my name
I swear it sounds like poetry

I think I knew
that was the point from where we couldn’t recover
when it was too late
to loose the anchor
to forsake the sinking ship

It’s not like it was unexpected
I know no one could survive this kind of intimacy
with something like me
nobody can love an abyss
without being swallowed by it
the worst is, when the time comes
they usually throw themselves down willingly
no longer wanting to be apart

Hence I shouldn’t be surprised when I find you
the next morning
lying motionless on the bathroom floor
covered in crimson red
the wounds on your wrists gaping hollow
smirking at me

“How dare you?”
I yell in a high-pitched tone
as I drag your lifeless body trough the corridor
leaving a thick trail of blood behind
“How very fucking dare you try to leave me like that!”

My body fails me
as my feet slip in the warm blood and I
collapse on the floor

“God damn you!”
I yell
barely noticing
the tears falling down my cheeks
it’s all gone too far
the roles should be changed
but I’m the one cradling you
savior
victim

“I thought you were different!
You were different!”
the limp thing in my arms makes no notion of my words
a beautiful cage of flesh
a withering flower
even dead
you’re more than I will ever be
an endless drifter
a ghost
between time and space
doomed to watch everything slip trough my fingers
feeling the pulse of their last heartbeat
as it fades away in my grip
Even then I can do nothing but detach
return to the gutter
hoping for this eternal cycle to end

Such is the life of a parasite.

So, what can I say about this? It started out as a fan-fiction, inspired by something I came across online, and now it’s completely taken a life of its own. I wrote the initial version of this a long time ago on my blog, and I felt it was time I gave it a total revamp. Sorry for the length, I couldn’t keep it any shorter. It’s been a thrill to write and I’m quite pleased with the result. 

Malicia

Episode I – We All Fall Down

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London, 1899

Outside the children had started to sing. Their voices penetrated the haze of fever, and her eyelids flickered open.

Ring, ring, ring around the rosies,
Pocket full of posies;
Ashes! Ashes!
We all fall down.

She groaned and writhed among her dirty sheets. Children, those little angels of death, chattering and crying as they danced hand in hand around the funeral pyre. The warmth of the consumed flesh attracted them, like moths they sought out the only light they could find. If only they could keep quiet.

Ring, ring, ring around the rosies…

She looked around the quarantine room. How long? The fever rendered her clueless about time. She could remember them dragging her through the door, her legs limp against the cold floor. She had been delirious. Crying.

When they stripped her of her clothes, her skin followed. It hurt so bad to be scraped bare. She struggled as her caretakers forced her down into a tub of ice water. Instead of feeling cold, it burnt like fire. Nothing made sense anymore.

She lay in her bed, listening to moans and whimpers. The small room was filled to its brim with patients, the sour stench of disease unbearable. Death itself lingered in the air. This wasn’t a place to get well. She’d understood that in the moment she was brought here. This was a graveyard.

Her days were characterized by the clattering of hooves and the chimes of the brass bell as the body carriage rolled back and forth outside her window. Cling, clong. They dragged out the limp bodies of the deceased, piled them up like firewood on the barrow. Then they drove away before returning to fetch the next load.

And all the time, this odious song.

Ashes, ashes!
We all fall down.

They were waiting for her. Counting her remaining hours. Soon it’ll be your turn. Your fumes shall keep us warm. We’ll breathe you, we’ll eat you.

We all fall down.

She never saw her family. Perhaps they were already dead. Or just too scared to come visit her. The only ones keeping her company were the strange men in bird masks and mantles. They came by occasionally, dancing through the room while chanting incantations, flapping their arms like giant crows feasting on their prey.

She wished for them to go away. They disrupted her sleep.

After some time, she didn’t know how long, men in white coats came to move her into a new room. It was a very lonely room, without any children crying, people coughing, vomiting or scratching rashes. No one came to visit her in this lonely room. Not the doctors, not the bird men dressed in their grotesque beaks. It was quiet, quiet enough for her to hear the rustle of her buboes bursting, the soft moans of flesh falling off bone. She was but an old corpse that no one wanted to acknowledge. Disgusting, smelly, all covered in different kinds of secretion.

On the last night, her skin was so brittle she could dig her hands through her rib cage and cup them around her heart. It was pounding weak and pitiful against her fingers. She held it tenderly like a child, cradled it while whispering the words as a lullaby.

Ring around the rosies,
Pockets full of posies;
You, me,
We too shall fall down.

When the sound of hooves clattering first reached her ears she first thought it was the body carriage, coming to take her away. Panic grabbed hold of her. No, she thought desperately. Don’t burn me. I’m not dead yet! But she couldn’t make out the sound of the bell or the wheels. Only the rhythmic rattling of hooves.

Clunc. Clunc.
She held her heart firmly, seeking comfort.

After a while she became aware of someone’s presence. A voice behind her cleared its throat. She turned her head to discover who it was.

A large, black figure was crouching right on her windowsill. She’d never seen anything quite like it. The creature had the torso of a man, but its legs ended in a couple of sturdy hooves, as on a devil sprung from hell.

She tried to scream, but only a brief whisper escaped her throat:

“Who are you? What do you want?” Her voice was but a hoarse croaking, but her visitor seemed to understand her nevertheless.

“Allow me to introduce myself,” it said with a cheerfully jingling tune and stood up on the ledge. “I am Phantos Morthanatos, macabrian, and I must say that I am fascinated by your wee little talent there. How hideous, yes, how utterly disgusting! I’m sure it would make an impression on the crowd. Perhaps even cause someone in the frontline to faint.” He nodded contently to himself.

Alarmed, she let go of the heart and pulled up her covers to shield her terrible, buboe-coated body from view.

“What are you talking about?” she whispered.

The black figure leapt down from the window shelf and walked across the room. He wore a big cloak covering his face and a matching black coat which twisted around his enormous hooves.

She took a deep breath and thereby almost choked on the slime gathered in the back of her throat. After coughing for a good while she quacked out:

“You are… you are not human.”

The man let out a low chuckle under his hood.

“Much better,” he said. “I may have been once like you, but as you can see, I’ve been given an invaluable blessing.”

She looked at him questioningly. Were he calling his condition, whatever it was, a blessing?

“My only wish,” he said with the cheerful voice which reminded her of a salesman, “is to share this gift with anyone who might need it. Tell me, would you like to be a part of my show?”

She coughed. A blood bubble grew between her lips and then burst.

S-show?” she stuttered, convinced she’d misheard him somehow.

“Yes. You see, I’m the master of a very skillful and auspicious circus.” The man on hooves took a few steps to the left. Clunc. Clunc. She followed him suspiciously with her gaze.

“We are the most sought out show of them all,” the creature continued. “People travel far across land and sea just to see us perform. Imagine it!” He slammed his hooves at the floor suddenly and she flinched. “You, standing in the spotlight! The roar of the crowd beneath! All eyes on you!” He gestured wildly with his long arms. “And best of all – seeing their reactions as you enter the stage. The naked terror in the bared white of their eyes!” He clenched his fist so that the long nails screeched against each other with a hair-raising sound. “To squeeze all their arrogant beliefs out of them. Breathe life into every tale, every forgotten legend of creatures that go bump in the night! Make them fear you! Make them bow to you!”

She stared at him blankly. What kind of a feverish dream was this?

“Are you crazy?” She coughed. “How am I supposed to do all of that? Can’t you see I’m dying? I’m d…” She choked, bending over the edge of her bed. A blood covered lump of slime flew out of her throat and landed on the floor.

“Oh yes, you are. Dying.” The monstrous male nodded, as if the fact couldn’t interfere with his plans. “And it’ll happen soon, too. What is it, day eleven after contamination? Most don’t make it past seven.”

He shook his head.

“A peculiarly strong life force you’ve got,” he said. “But it won’t help you now. You’ll die anyway, just like the others. Die and be forgotten as another nameless corpse in the pit. No one’s going to cry for you. No one’s going to care. And you know what’s worse than all of this?”

He leaned in closer.

“You are already dead,” he whispered in her ear. “To them – ” He pointed at the door. “You were dead in the moment you were brought here. Look, they’ve even stopped coming to check on you. They won’t give you a chance, because they know you’ve got none. They’ve left you here to rot, smeared in your own… body fluids!”

She furrowed her face out of pain and humiliation. It made one of the buboes burst and a drop of secretion hit her chin. She bit her bottom lip hard not to cry.

“Oh, but you’re a fighter.” The creature sounded leery. He took a couple of steps back. “A survivor, I can tell. Your heart craves for vengeance. To lie here, secretly hoping for death? No. That won’t do. You’re not done here. You wish for them to notice you, to fear you. And I can give you the chance.”

He reached out a hand. The forearm was covered by thick, black straws of hair.

She didn’t know what to say. Her feverish brain was working annoyingly slow.

“Are you offering to… to take me with you?” she whispered. “Even though I’m…” She took a deep, gargling breath. “Do you want me like… like this?”

The man laughed elatedly.

“Trust me,” he said. “You’ll score a huge success. All you need is a fitting name. Don’t tell me,” he added rigorously when she opened her mouth. “I don’t want to know your name. It’s all in the past now. I’m not interested in your life or who you used to be until now. I don’t care about the people you’ve disappointed, the boys you’ve kissed or anyone who has ever meant anything to you. From now on, you’re going to be someone else. More accurately, one of Morthanatos Merry Monsters! You’ll like it. It’s so very different from this life. Like being reborn. But I need your consent. Do you accept my terms?”

She lay silently for a while, pondering on the things she’d been told. A new life. A chance to begin again. To run away and… join a circus. Become applauded, maybe even celebrated. Provided that the man was telling the truth, she saw no harm in it for her part. And what did she have to lose anyway? There was nothing left for her here except disease and death.

Outside she could hear the children sing Ring around the rosies again.

She nodded.

“I accept.”

Even though she couldn’t see the mans face, she was certain he was smiling. He leaned in over her slowly. From the shoulder blades two enormous, black sails shot out. Leathery, like a bat. She stared at him in awe and considered she might be hallucinating this, after all.

Other figures appeared before her. Men and women with grotesque deformities in their faces and bodies. Some of them were pure monstrosities. Extra pairs of eyes and arms. Tails. Horns. Tentacles. Tainted, decomposing flesh.

The monsters gathered in a circle around her sickbed, as in a ritual they placed their slimy, bony hands on her covers. One after another. She felt their touch through the fabric, and it hurt, but not in the way the plague had hurt her, no, this was a purifying pain, pulling the sickness out. The wings of the man closed around them all in a chilly embrace and just then the world, as she knew it, ceased to exist.

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So, I hope you all enjoyed this. It’s an idea for a short story I’ve had in my mind for quite some time, and finally managed to post here. This part has been translated from Swedish, so I apologize for any linguistic errors. The next part I’ll write directly in English so hopefully I won’t have that problem.
Please, let me know what you think, and if I should post the continuation here as well!

/Malicia