...at last! I’m reinstated inside my own crappy body! My blinking eyes roll in a concussed head, and my neck feels like it’s been painfully wrenched at some stage, but I immediately sit bolt upright.
I am just in time. The first Parasite has its pincers raised and fangs extended, preparing to bite the child. Without considering any other course of action I slam my fist down upon it. The abdomen pops and it curls in a death spasm, releasing a wispy cry that I find hugely satisfying.
The second Parasite reacts to my violence by gathering its spindly legs beneath it, ready to spring. Although pre-warned of this method of attack, I am not able to present an effective defence. Once again I resort to running away. Gathering up the slippery child I raise her safely above my head while struggling to a kneeling position.
The horrible thing isn’t waiting around for me to gain my feet. It leaps, but misjudges the distance and lands between my splayed knees. I look down as it looks up. Straight at my soft dangling parts!
This most dire of situations calls for the use of any weapon at hand. My war-cry provides the impetus to slam the kid down on it. I shriek a little when my hands beneath her are stabbed by the Crawly’s breaking legs.
The smear it has become does not twitch as I lift the baby off. A quick inspection of her back reveals no obvious punctures, but she’s covered with so much foam and goo I can’t really tell. It occurs to me that this is the second way I’ve used her as a weapon since she’s come into my possession. Maybe babies aren’t completely useless after all.
There’s no time for a closer examination. The Queen convulses again, sending more of her Younglings and several more infants skidding inside. Getting out of here has my vote but that entrance will not double as an exit.
Clutching the unconscious child to my chest, I dive for the skin flap behind me, blindly shoving the muscular slab of flesh aside and sliding into the darkness beyond. A short slippery-dip ride dumps us into the true stomach without fanfare. The stench is odeur-de-garbage-dump and stinging fumes burn my eyes. The faint luminosity from that dying grey goo coats everything allows a scene from a torture-porn horror movie to assail me. Before rotates a slowly churning pool of dissolving people parts.
The stomach contains more powerful acids than we’d laid in upstairs. I throw up. It’s unavoidable. More bloody, jointed limbs splash into the mush pit from a hole in the top of this saggy, flesh-walled room. I identify most pieces as human before they roll under the steaming pool of semi-digested goop.
Meat comes in, so I must find where the crap goes out. Taking shallow breaths I wade into the acidic pool, touching the hot, slimy gut wall for support as little as possible. On contact with the contents of the thick stew my legs and nether region begin to tingle, then burn. I plunge further into the grey-brown liquid up to my waist regardless.
The sheer quantity of body parts being delivered is becoming a non-stop rain of flesh. The Mother is being repowered for a new offensive. I fend off the larger pieces falling meat and slosh as fast as I can towards a row of bony plates at the back end of the stomach. It is some sort of crude device that separates liquid from the less digestible lumps and bones. These rejected bits tumble off to one side and disappear down a dark tunnel. Is that the bowel? Well, I’m already in the shit so I might as well go deeper.
This suffocating atmosphere does not encourage second thoughts so I grip the baby and I sit down on the ribbed floor. Scooting my aching butt forward we tip over the edge and fall. I heart clenching drop ends suddenly as we jam tight against ribbed walls that terrifyingly compresses us. The tunnel reacts to our obstructionism by alternating rippling contractions with relaxations. In this manner we are uncomfortably squeezed down the tube like toothpaste.
A garbage pile of bones and other less identifiable chunks batter my head and collect above me. I am suffocating, and forced to breathe foul liquid into my lungs. The fluid I cough on is pressed back down my throat by the flexing of the bowel walls. I am at my very limit and about to pass out when the Mother relaxes her sphincter hugely and allows us to spurt from her.
For a second we free fall before a soft landing. Sure, it’s a soft landing in a squishy pile of shit, but the fall was several metres and any padding is welcome. I rejoice that I am free of the Parasite beast and it rejoices with me by dolloping my head with a crap-load of bones. But, I’m out!