(C)Copyright 1999 by Ronald Rand
All Rights Reserved.




Birth? Plan? What plan? Had Octavian deliberately dragged me into this orgy of the damned? I leaped forward and went for his throat and took hold of his neck in between my fingers and squeezed. The ground was thumping beneath me and shook me as Anton's monstrous feet covered the ground between him and Octavian and I. I heard an inhumanly scream that almost burst my eardrums. Anton hit me on my side and sent me flying across the room at a tremendous speed.
I looked at Anton and the now choking Octavian. I was glad to have obliged.
Anton came to me and lifted me by the scruff of my neck. I could feel my feet dangling beneath me. I could smell his breath again and my stomach erupted. A wash of mucous came to my mouth and I swallowed. I would not give Anton or Octavian the honor of watching me vomit.
Octavian got to his feet again, somewhat stunned, but mostly pissed. I looked over at him with my eyes, as I could not manage to turn my neck. After seeing Yvonne, lying lifeless, with a tortured look on her face, I no longer cared what happened to me. Octavian walked towards me, but stood at a safe distance, as I was kicking my legs out towards him. He spat on me.
"Perhaps you'd like to meet someone, Carlton. Or should I say, become reacquainted with. Anna, could you come out here please?"
From behind a wall, or a door I hadn't seen before, (it was too dark to tell), came a woman in her sixties. She was a little larger than Yvonne, but had similar features. I didn't understand who was being presented to me or why, but then again, I could already see cobwebs as my life was beginning to drain from my body.
"Carlton, meet Anna. You bed with her last night." Octavian was laughing. I was kicking, and my eyes were streaming tears, mostly from strangulation.
"You see, Carlton, I needed another host. That's why you're here. Yvonne gave birth to my son, and I wanted to breed him, but I couldn't do it myself. Much like humans, since he is partly human, he needed to be pure. Inbreeding didn't work, trust me, I tried. So that's why I brought you."
Anna stepped out of the light and her face was wrinkled and peeled away in sheets. She was drooling, (not unlike Anton), and her eyes were blackened, by bruises, old age, or by lack of sleep. She began to convulse and Octavian laughed. As I watched, Anna's stomach began rippling like chicken noodle soup boiling on a stove. Something behind her shirt was fighting its way out. A rip appeared and a tiny head poked out just below her breasts. Then tiny little claws began to protrude from the rip in her shirt. I watched, astonished as what looked like a cross between a ferret and a centipede tore through her shirt and scrambled down her leg. She collapsed to the floor. Octavian smiled showing off his pearly whites again. "My son!"
Anton was looking back and forth between Octavian and myself. He looked like he didn't know if he were supposed to destroy me. Octavian set him straight.
"What are you waiting for? Kill him!"
Anton pulled his free arm back, and his claws were aimed at my eyes. The animal that crawled from Anna's stomach was speedily zipping across the floor in a zigzag fashion. I looked up helplessly at Anton and as I did so he stopped and stood motionless. The ferret-like centipede crawled up Anton's leg and stomach and I could see it's tiny legs burrowing deeper into Anton's flesh with every step like tiny suction cups with sharp razor-like fingers. The tiny creature tore its way into what looked like Anton's nostrils and Anton dropped me and fell to the floor. A deep, unearthly scream emanated from his jaws. A stream of blood was spewing from Anton's face drenching my leg as he kicked and fought and clutched at his throat.
In all the commotion I could hear Octavian screaming, "No, my son," and I dragged myself, choking, across the floor towards the table and clenched my fist around the candle.
I saw Anton behind me lying on the floor, lifeless. "No, Octavian," I thought. "That's my son." I limped down the hallway on the other end of the cellar and into the room with the hole in the ceiling. I stopped to catch my breath and pulled myself through.
I crawled along the ceiling rafters, brushing away webbing and spiders as I did so. Ancient dust tickled my nose and something crawled across my face, but I paid little attention. I had a new fear now. After fifty yards, feeling along the floorboards of the ceiling above me as I did so, I noticed a soft spot. I rolled over on my back and kicked at it with my legs and tore open a hole. Splinters of rotted wood fell on me. I climbed up and found myself in another room of the house on the main floor. I searched the room for an exit but there were none to be found. I pushed a chest over the hole in the floor.
I could hear Octavian running through the house outside my room, screaming my name. He seemed to be throwing a childish tantrum. I laughed. Poor Anton, I thought. I made a mental note to myself to send Octavian a sympathy card.
I found myself amidst piles of books. After I rested awhile, I opened the drawers of a desk and emptied the contents onto the floor. I searched for a weapon, anything that I could use against Octavian and his cancerous children. I couldn't find anything aside from a fountain pen, but I found Yvonne's diary amidst a pile of pictures of myself and a box full of all the love notes I'd ever written to her. I laid in the floor and read each and every one of them to myself. I missed Yvonne.
I opened her diary and flipped to the last page. Here is what it said.

"October 28

I think Brett has finally left. I broke away from his grasp the other day and ran to my secret studio here behind the library bookcase. I have been here for three days. I'm hungry. Brett searched the house non-stop until I believe he finally gave up on me. No doubt he thinks I escaped. I told him that I would. It would only be a matter of time before I found someone that could destroy him.

I am going to leave now and try to find Carlton. He is the only one I long to be with. I feel the cancer setting in, squeezing like tiny fingers clamped around my heart. I only hope he'll forgive me for all I've put him through. If he accepts me back, I will die happily in his loving arms. If by some chance Brett is still in the house, I know this will be my final entry.

- YMD"

I just looked at my new watch and it was just after midnight. If I don't escape, I figure my candle will be used up by morning. Three days more and I shall go mad from hunger and fear. A few days after that and I may pass out from thirst. I fear what killed Anton more than death itself. When I go insane, I think I will try and escape then. It will be easier that way if I fail.
Meanwhile, I've been reading my correspondences to Yvonne by what's left of the candle. I've been crying quite a bit and thinking of Yvonne in the cellar, torn wide open, and all alone. There were pencils and reams of paper in the drawers so I wrote her another letter. I thought about taking it into the basement and giving it to her in person when
(and if) I can ever find the courage.
I sat down and wrote what you are reading right now. The room appears safe, but I fear not for long. I found heat ducts in three walls of the room. I covered them with the heaviest pieces of furniture I could find, but I feel it's not enough. Sometimes I hear a scratching beyond the walls. Sometimes when I put my ear really close to the grate, I can hear a scurrying like a thousand tiny little fingers getting closer by the hour. I have been tracking its route with a pencil, hoping to get a better picture of the network of ducts, and planning my escape. Meanwhile, I wait patiently, checking my watch now and then, and counting down the seconds. I spend my time praying, wondering, and fearing the exact moment when my son will arrive.



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