Parasitical Nightmare

Susanna Andrews

We emerge from the cracks in the wall, oozing out of the corners, forming breathless beings. 
We laugh with sinister smiles, but we are not heard or seen, even by each other. 
We are surrounded by decimation and decay. 
We embody our surroundings. 
We are awakened by the childish scream of our new prey, a trophy in the making. 
We seep through the openings in the deteriorating walls onto the streets, where we absorb the stench with pleasure. 
We are at home in this hunting ground; prowling comes as naturally as breathing to the living. 
We blend in with the bleak darkness of the night, although we shield our vision from the ghastly light of the full moon. 
We sense the girl’s anticipation of our arrival, and that’s when we move. 
We slink down the concrete path, extinguishing street lamps as we go. 
We get hungrier as we feel her shivering and shaking rising. 
We round the corner and feast our consciousness on the girl in the nightgown. 
We are noticed, and a shrill shriek is emitted as she begins to sprint away, barefoot.  

A parasite depends on a host for survival. Without one, it shrivels up and dies. It attacks a victim and makes them their home, causing them immense pain without actually killing them. The parasite may lead the host to develop a fatal illness, but the parasite itself is not fatal. They thrive off the life of a host, which is, in turn, drained, and slowly their wellbeing is sucked dry. There are different types of parasites that all serve slightly different purposes. Sometimes symptoms don’t show up immediately, and effects can be transmitted between living beings. Parasites exist globally and in all kinds of environments, some being quite unexpected. Some inhabit their hosts externally, making them more obviously apparent to an outsider. There are methods of prevention, but sometimes being infected is inevitable. 

We feel black cloaks flying behind us, plastered garbage below us, target acquired ahead of us. 
We slither with animal-like instincts, growling with excitement and stalking in complete silence. 
We sense spots of sweat and small wet footprints covering the sidewalk; it has begun to rain. 
We are consumed with one goal: catch the girl. The girl is consumed with one goal: escape the chase. 
We play this invigorating game of tag every moment of every night; time doesn’t exist to us; the only thing that exists is our bloodlust. 
We live on the dark side of the moon, never facing the light. 
We are stuck in a never-ending cycle that we don’t want to break out of. 
We grow closer and closer to our prey, and finally, in a moment of pure ecstasy, we suffocate her, and she dissolves in our grasp. 
We squeeze our fists in victory for a second only to forget about the dust that lies beneath us as we feast our consciousness on a fresh being to haunt, wearing soaking wet pajamas, 
the anxiety only just beginning to fester. 

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