Invasion Of The Adulthood Snatchers
By: Dementia’s Knight
Chapter III: Pandemic
The floor of the pantry was cold on her face when she woke up. She opened her eyes slowly and looked up at the open door. Claire was nowhere to be seen as she scanned the rest of the room. Sitting up slowly she felt something sticky and warm under her backside. The feeling was somewhat startling at first, but as she gently rocked back and forth and side to side on her bottom the feeling became pleasurable. Her thumb found it’s way to her mouth as if by some magnetic force and she greedily sucked on it as she enjoyed the sensation her rocking was creating in her pants.
After some time of sitting in her own mess and sucking her thumb Mary got up on shaky legs and walked out of the pantry. The room beyond the kitchen seemed much larger to her now, and her thumb sucking resumed and became more feverish as she walked with a slight waddle through the empty cafeteria. Her free hand found it’s way to the seat of her pants as she pulled the sticky mass away from her skin when it began to feel uncomfortable. The silence of the room was broken by a sorrowful mewling sound emanating from behind her thumb.
The lights in the hallway outside the cafeteria had gone out much like the lights throughout the city, and the darkness made Mary even more frightened and apprehensive than she was inside the cafeteria. Her unsteady balance got the better of her shortly after she entered the hall and she stumbled forward, smacking her head on the linoleum floor. Tears flowed freely from her eyes and a loud shrill cry erupted from her mouth as she pulled herself up to a seated position. Her head hurt, she was scared and alone, and she wanted someone to come and take care of her.
A sweet melody got her attention and slowed her crying to a few whimpers and sniffles. Mary looked up when she saw a light coming from down the hall, it was soft and soothing, much like the melody being hummed to her. She got on her hands and knees and crawled toward the light, as she rounded the corner she saw a woman standing at the end of the hall, the light enveloping her, or possibly coming from her. Mary continued her approach, and when she got closer to the woman she saw that it was her mother, she looked up at the woman and smiled widely allowing drool to run down her chin and patter softly on the floor.
“Mommy.” she said to the woman.
Her mother smiled down at her and nodded as she reached her opened arms out to her daughter. Mary felt a strange tickle inside her stomach as she began to lift off the ground and float toward her mother. As she got closer the light got brighter until the world faded away and she disappeared from the hallway with her mother.
Stan Thomas woke up with a start as a car alarm went off a few blocks away. He looked around the dark warehouse where he had taken refuge earlier that evening. Rising from the floor he made his way slowly to the window where he peeked cautiously outside.
The street below was filled with dozens of the affected people that he’d already seen. Many of the people were crawling on their hands and knees down the street, others walked on unsteady legs as if they were still trying to master the art of walking.
Stan ducked back down and hurried to the back door of the warehouse. He stopped when he heard someone banging on the door. He spun around quickly and made his way to the other door at the far end of the warehouse. As he turned to look behind him his legs struck something solid in the darkness and sent him tumbling forward where his face smashed into the concrete floor of the warehouse. With his head pleading him to stay down and rest for a moment Stan rolled over and shone his flashlight behind him on the obstruction that had brought him down.
A young girl no older than twelve sat facing him. Her filthy hand was held to her mouth where her thumb was firmly nestled. Her formerly white floral print dress was now stained with many different colors, the most predominant of which was the dingy brown color from spending so much time on the ground. Tears were flowing from the young girl’s eyes, cutting a thin path through the grime on her cheeks.
Stan scooted back as slowly as he could so as not to startle the girl any further. Once he felt he was far enough back he got to his feet and walked backward toward the door so he could keep watching the girl. After he felt comfortable enough to turn around he did so and sprinted to the door and cautiously opened it. Several people passed by before he slipped out the door and made his way down the street away from where the others were headed.
His flashlight beam danced back and forth ahead of him as he ran. Stan kept his eyes peeled for any more of the affected that might be heading toward him from wherever they were coming from, he saw a man and a woman sitting in the middle of the road each one holding one sleeve of a jacket and both pulling on it to claim it as their own. Stan ducked into the alley on his right to avoid the squabbling pair and quickly slipped through a hole in the fence ahead. As he crept out of the alley a flashlight beam shone in his eyes blinding him temporarily as a voice called out to him.
“Freeze!” the man’s voice commanded.
“I’m not one of them!” Stan called back as he raised his arm up to his face to block the light from his vision.
The light lowered and Stan heard several voices talking somewhere ahead of him. He dropped his arm back down and blinked several times to try and disperse the purple and blue blobs that were crowding his vision.
“What’s your name fella?” the same man asked as he approached.
“Stan.” he replied simply.
“I’m Thomas Riley. Where you headed?” Thomas asked.
With his vision nearing normal Stan looked up at Thomas. He was a man most likely in his mid forties, his salt and pepper hair was cut short making him look like a military man his physique aided that theory as Stan noticed a well toned and muscular frame beneath a black short sleeved shirt. “Anywhere where those things aren’t.” Stan told him.
Thomas nodded. “Well, you’re welcome to tag along with us.” he said as he gestured to the rest of his group. “My wife Francine,” he said pointing to a red headed woman in her thirties. “my
daughter Melanie,” he said pointing out a black haired girl in her late teens. “and our son Michael.” he said as he pointed to a young blonde boy that looked no older than five or six.
“Nice to meet you all.” Stan said with a nod to each of them.
Thomas took a step forward and produced a handgun from a holster at his waist. “Ever fired a gun before Stan?” he asked with a terrifying smile.
Stan shook his head and made no move to take the gun. “Never much cared for them.” he confessed.
Thomas shoved the gun into Stan’s hand. “That don’t really matter right now does it Stan?” he asked, his face seeming to tell Stan if he didn’t take it he’d not live long enough to regret the decision.
The gun changed hands with Stan sighing and sticking it in the space between the waistband of his pants and his back. “So, how do we get out of here?” he asked.
“Got us a plane at the airfield just outside of town. Figure if we sleep for a few hours pretty soon here, we can make it there by midday tomorrow.” Thomas explained.
Stan looked at the nervous faces of Thomas’ family members and nodded slowly. “Alright, let’s get a move on then.” he said.
“Our control over her is not yet total. I would advise you to play this game no longer.” a slightly high pitched voice said from somewhere in the darkness.
“Do you believe that I am not in total control of this situation?” her mother asked the person.
“No Majesty, I merely caution you against continuing further interaction with the human.” the other voice clarified.
“I know what I’m doing Jorg, now please leave me alone with my prize.” her mother said.
Mary opened her eyes, she saw a brightly colored mobile above her head spinning slowly and playing a soft tune. She smiled at the object, for some reason it was very beautiful and calming to her. She kicked her legs happily and began to giggle as she continued to watch the mobile twirl above her.
Her mother appeared on her left when she began to giggle. The woman leaned on the top of the bars that encompassed her bed and looked down at the giggling girl. “Good morning my darling.” she cooed as she reached down and stroked her daughter’s hair gently.
Something inside Mary’s mind struggled against her infantile feelings. Somewhere in her brain she knew that she wasn’t a baby, she knew that she was a smart and successful woman. She wrestled with her conflicting emotions for a moment before she felt something leave her body and position itself against her behind.
“Hmm, such a sweet baby.” her mother told her as she reached down and rubbed her daughter’s stomach in a circular motion.
Again Mary felt her normal mind come into the forefront of her thoughts. “Why are you doing this?” she asked.
Her mother smiled. “It is just our way. We travel the galaxy taking control of various planets and organisms.” she explained.
“And why do you look like my mother?” Mary asked.
“We believe that it is much easier for you humans to go along with our plans if you are coaxed by a familiar face. This face is what was most prominent in your thoughts when we met, therefore it is the face that I chose.” the creature explained.
Mary nodded in understanding, her mind was beginning to slip away again as she looked up at the woman. She was planning on asking another question, but the sticky feeling on her bottom was becoming uncomfortable, and for some reason she felt that crying was the best way to combat the feeling. As the tears began to flow from her eyes she was lifted form the crib she was in and levitated over to a large table across the room.
“Worry not my child, you’ll soon become accustomed to your new life.” her mother said as she lay Mary down on the table and moved in to change the crying girl’s diaper.
Stan and the Riley family made their way down another alley as they made their way to the airfield. Melanie had taken to carrying her brother a little over an hour after they had met Stan, now she looked weary and near collapse. Stan noticed that Thomas seemed to completely ignore his family as they marched forward in the dark streets.
“Can we rest now?” Melanie finally asked before she slumped against the wall of the alley and slid to the ground with Michael still sleeping in her arms.
Thomas looked back at his daughter with near disgust painted on his face. “We need to get closer to the field before we can rest Mel, you know how important it is for us to get there.” he chided.
“It can’t hurt to rest for an hour or two.” Stan said.
Thomas shot him a dirty look and gripped his shotgun tighter for a moment. “Alright, we rest for an hour and then move on.” he said finally.
Stan took watch as the family sat back in the alley. He took a moment to look back at Melanie and Michael with pity. The children were not up to a grueling death march like their father, and Thomas seemed to be completely unsympathetic to that fact. As for Francine, she seemed to be completely dependant on her husband for the choices that needed to be made, and was willing to follow his commands blindly no matter what toll it took on her children.
“Something on your mind?” Thomas asked as he walked toward Stan.
Stan shook his head. “Just keeping watch.” he said simply.
A shuffle snapped both men’s attention to the end of the alley. The beams of their flashlights flew upward to dance on the form of a young girl in a soiled floral print dress. Stan recognized her instantly as the girl from the warehouse.
Thomas raised his shotgun in line with the girl’s head and moved his finger to hover over the trigger.
“No!” Stan shouted as he reached over and shoved the shotgun aside so that it was no longer pointing at the young girl. The blast that Thomas let off echoed throughout the alley as the errant shot tore into a large dumpster.
“Goddamn you!” Thomas shouted as he shoved the butt of the gun into Stan’s gut, causing him to groan and slump forward. The next blow from the butt of the gun caught him in the face sending him falling backward onto the pavement holding his bleeding nose. Thomas raised his gun again and hesitated for less than a second before he fired his shot at the adolescent girl.
The shot tore through the girl’s undeveloped chest and lifted her off the ground a bit and threw her back a foot or so. She gasped to breath, her ragged breaths came out as blood bubbles, she shook violently for a second before she ceased to move any longer.
“You sonofabitch!” Stan shouted as he shot up from the ground and lunged into Thomas, sending them to the ground on the opposite side of the alley.
“She was one of them!” Thomas shouted as he pushed Stan off of him and gave him a sharp kick to the stomach.
Stan gasped for air after the blow to his gut. “She was just a kid.” he choked out.
Thomas got up with a groan and kicked Stan in the side again, causing him to roll onto his back, writhing in pain. Thomas looked down at him with disdain and dropped his empty shotgun, he quickly pulled a pistol from his secondary holster at his hip and pointed it down at Stan. “You’re more trouble than we need.” he said.
Stan shut his eyes and waited for the shot, it came a second later, but he felt nothing. Opening his eyes slowly he saw Thomas standing over him holding his neck. In the dark of the alley Stan could see a dark liquid pouring over Thomas’ hand as he gurgled a choked. Looking over to his right he saw Francine standing with a gun in her hands, a look of pure terror on her face, her body shaking visibly.
Thomas looked over at his wife and sneered at her before raising his gun and firing three shots at her. The shots struck Francine in the chest and sent her sprawling backward, she managed to fire a final shot at her husband before she went down, and the bullet found his chest and sent him to the ground as well.
Melanie and Michael were screaming and kneeling with their mother as Stan sat up and took the gun from Thomas’ hand. The hole in Thomas’ neck gushed blood with his last few breaths, and then the horrible wet gaping stopped and he moved no more.
Rushing over to Francine, clutching his aching side, Stan found the woman to be as dead as her husband. He looked at the mournful faces of the two orphaned children whose only chance at survival was now a total stranger.
“We should go, those things might come here to investigate the shots.” Stan said after a moment of thought about what he could possibly say to the children now in his charge.
Melanie looked at her mother’s body for a moment, she leaned over and hugged it before she slowly got up and reached down to her brother. Michael sobbed loudly and thrashed wildly as she pulled him away from his mother. “Please take care of us.” Melanie told Stan as she hugged her distraught brother tightly in her arms.
Stan nodded and wrapped an arm around Melanie. He pulled her and Michael close and hugged them tightly. “I promise that I’ll get you to that plane.” he said.
After they broke their embrace Stan took Michael and carried him while he held Melanie by the hand. As they made their way to the end of the alley he tossed the gun aside, not being fond of them to begin with, he now deeply despised them.
To Be Continued…