I had an odd dream last night.
It begins with me reading a new Stephen King book. Or maybe I am watching a movie version. It starts off with a giant alien craft, shaped a lot like a foot, crunching down on a large house in a secluded area.
I am complaining about how bad the book/movie is, and after a bit, find myself inside it.
The aliens are symbiant/parasite type creatures, that latch onto human hosts to function. There are two types, which are the two sexes of that race. There is the eye, and the hand. The eye latches onto the top of someone’s head, and controls them by influencing their thoughts. The hand latches onto someone’s lower back, and controls someone by influencing their desires.
They both start out small, and only mature once attached to a human host. They are invisible to humans most of the time, only if they are weakened or if a human knows exactly what to look for and concentrates hard can they be seen. They look cheap, like low-budget monster effects. When fully mature, the hand looks like a rubber monster glove, and the eye looks like one of those plastic eye toys, where the eye is inside a clear water-filled ball. The eye is mounted on a tin-can like base, and has a small mouth with teeth that look suspiciously like pennies and dimes.
I am with my family, we find out about the aliens, so we are on the run from them. We are some of the first to encounter them, but manage to get away without being infected. We end up in an abandoned school, where we discover a nursery-like room where hand-seeds are being incubated. We think the eye troops are just outside, so we call them up (somehow we got their cell number) and tell them that we will leave the hands unharmed if they let us go.
The eyes agree, and after a while arrive at the school. It is then that we realize that the eyes hadn’t been about to catch us, we had lost them. Moreover, the eyes had gotten separated from the hands, and we had led them right to them! The eyes have brought captive humans with them for the hands to infect. We remain hidden while we watch what’s going on. When a hand infects a person, it is just a small lump, gradually the fingers grow out of the lump until the hand is fully formed. We are only able to see this because they have let their guard down, so they are visible.
It takes a day for the hands to mature, then the hands and eyes have an orgy. Or rather, the alien equivalent. The way they mate is via piggyback, literally, the human host with the eye hops on the back of the human host with the hand, and they run around yelling for a while. There is nothing resembling human sex that happens.
We didn’t stick around to find out how they give birth, we took the opportunity to scramble away.
We separate, and agree to meet back at our house. Moses and I get back there, and meet our mother (who is not Judy), but our father (who is not Neil) doesn’t make it back to the house. We don’t know what happened.
We relax, since we are safe for now. Our house is Judy’s house in Freedom, but at the same time is an apartment, on the 6th floor of a tall apartment building.
Moses and I are packing, jamming all we can into dufflebags. I notice that our mother is acting strangely. She opens the fridge, and we see it is stuffed with all sorts of fish. She begins offering us different fish to eat.
“I don’t want fish,” I protest.
She pulls out a pale white fish. “This is a hunger fish,” she says, “it’s not really a fish at all.”
“If it’s not a fish,” I ask, “then why does it have the word ‘fish’ in its name?”
We all stop and laugh.
Then our mother pulls out a gun. “You are onto us, aren’t you?” she asks menacingly.
Moses looks back and forth between the two of us, confused.
“Yes,” I say, “you’re infected with an eye.”
Moses makes a sound as if to speak, our mother turns towards him. I kick the gun out of her hand, grab it, and point it at her. “Come on,” she says with a smile, “you wouldn’t shoot your own mother…”
I fire the gun, aiming at a spot just above her head, where the invisible eye should be. Hit with the bullet, it becomes visible and falls dead to the ground with a splat. Our mother faints.
When she falls to the floor, some small items fall out of her coat. They are unattached eyes. They look at me in fear. One by one, I put the gun to them and fire straight down, bursting the eye. They are all dead.
I hear screams. Moses says “someone must have heard all the gunshots, and called the police!”
I realize he is only partly right. What must have happened, I realize darkly, is that the bullets went through the floor into the apartment below, and killed a young boy who was playing.
I contemplate the value of letting the boy stay dead, if his sacrifice was worth it in a war against aliens.
I decide I would be too tortured by the act in the future, that ultimately it would overcome me, make me careless and take risks that would be my undoing.
So I rewind, go back to the point where my mother falls to the floor. Instead of shooting the eyes, I get a hammer and smash them. They shatter like plastic eyes, not like human ones.
As I rise, Moses says “someone probably heard that gunshot and called the cops!”
I nod, and we sneak down the fire escape. I realize my duffle bags weren’t enough to hold all my video games, I will have to come back at some point to get the rest.
Once we reach the ground, we get in a car and start driving away, to formulate a plan of attack. People have started to realize something is wrong, the streets are chaotic with panicked drivers.
Finally we clear the city and are on the largely empty roads.
Then I woke up.