Maya has finally taken the knife to Paul. Will her incisions be surgical and freeing or murderous and final, an act of love or an act of vengeance?
Whose story will Paul trust – Maya’s or Lysanna’s?
Is Paul really just a random victim or has there always been a special fate or predetermined bit of prophecy awaiting him which is now about to be revealed?
There are only three more chapters left, three delicious spaces to be filled in our attempt to achieve literary immortality… Well, at least, in our attempt to achieve creating a story to be told around summer campfires to scare the hell out of the new kids. What we need is a mind-melting fate or test to now be revealed to Paul, one which he must decide to accept or take flight from, one with worldwide consequences for the human race as well as Paul’s own singular soul, one with a real possibility of leaving only eternal madness as its legacy. Oh Edgar, Oh Howard, please deliver unto us your unearthly graces and guide our words to legend!
Paul is either the next evolution of human wonder – or the final corruption of human alienation and indifference. Your decision as writer of his tale is final.
Good luck with your deliberations.
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Truth or ConsequencesMaya gasped in disgust and pulled out her knife.
Paul, still huddled before the toilet, felt his tentacles wrap themselves around his waist as if to protect him.
"Maya?" Paul asked. Maya didn't lower her knife.
"Jesus, Paul, what--"
"--I was hoping you'd know," Paul said. "I just woke up and...they were there."
Without taking her eyes off Paul, Maya moved over toward his bed and pulled off the thin blanket. She tossed it to him, and he covered himself with it.
"I don't know what this is," Maya said. "I've never seen anything like this before."
Paul stared into her eyes. Maya averted her gaze and lowered her knife slightly.
His dream. Something
had warned him about Maya.
But it had just been a dream. Hadn't it?
"The Proxitol isn't working on you anymore," Maya finally said.
"Tell me something I don't bloody well know!" Paul said, his tentacles unwrapping themselves from around his waist. They moved up, spreading ab
Sea and Starshine"Well now...aren't you just full of surprises?" Maya's flippant remark could not disguise her irritation or apprehension at Paul's sudden transformation.
Paul seemed frozen in time as he stared at Maya - not knowing if she was addressing him or the creature within. It was then that Paul realized that Maya might never have been been speaking to him. In his own self-righteousness he never considered that whatever these things were they may place no more significance upon humans than humans would a slug or an amoeba.
His senses dull and feeble - smothered by exhaustion and the remnants of the Proxitol - Paul could feel Tal'Shen pressing into his consciousness.
If We Are To Survive We Must Work Together.
Paul had not the faculty nor the motivation to resist.
"What can I do?"
The Mind And The Body Are One But Your Mind And Body Are No Longer Aligned. You Cannot Control What You Are Becoming.
Paul's mind lost all distinction between truth and deception. Tal'Shen's prese
Queen of the UnderwaterShe sneered the moment she saw him. “You’re really something, aren’t you. I was hoping to spare your life, Paul, but the time for being merciful is past. I assume it’s contacted you finally.” She pulled out a nasty looking knife.
Paul backed up slowly, stumbling over his unsure feet. The tentacles on his shoulder writhed as panic swept through his body.
She continued on, and took a step forward. “Your body is becoming like my sister’s. She can barely control her form, and it seems you can’t either. You’re going to become her mindless slave as soon as the rest of your body transforms. I can’t have her interfering with my plans for our realm any longer.”
The knife was suddenly against Paul’s throat, sharp and cold. A small trickle of his blood wound its way down his neck, no longer a pure red. It gleamed with a silver light, and he could feel Maya’s disgust. “I am going to be Queen of Fo-Uisce. Not her!!!
Gone FishingMaya barely acknowledged the wriggling mass of tentacles on Paul's back as she stepped into the dingy light of the loo and threw a crumpled overcoat at him.
"Put this on," she commanded.
He shuddered. He was cold, so utterly cold--like no warmth in the world could ever reach him again. He tried to sit up but only managed to shift position, like a slug on the slick bathroom floor.
"I...I'm c-changing," he whispered through chattering teeth.
"No shit, love," she replied as she stood over him and lifted him roughly by his left wrist on to a sitting position. He dangled in her grip, shivering and twitching, gasping for air like a fish on a hook.
"You smell like piss," she said with disdain and released his wrist. His arm fell to his lap like a cold, dead thing.
"You...you s-s-said the Proxitol would help t-to..." he trailed off, his words lost to a twitching spasm.
"Apparently Proxitol stops working when the spawn chooses to gestate," she began. "And it looks like we h
Free and SafeIn one of Maya's hands was a syringe of Proxitol, in the other was the knife from before.
"It time for another shot. We've got to get you under control." she said, her voice now sounding as unsure as Paul's own when this had first began.
Pauls eyes, also beginning to change, were locked onto Maya's. They flared with emotions that he'd kept locked away in fear, rage among them. "And what if the Proxitol fails again?" he asked, his voiced resounding in the room as both a groan and a roar. His head cocked to look at the knife. "Will you use that?" he cackled, sending shudders down her spine. "In case I get out of control, was it? Well let me tell you something..."
He paused, raising his left arm and looking it over. It had grown the same iridescent scales that now moved to cover his body and sported the beginning of claws where his nails had once been. "I am NOT out of control. Rather, for the first time in a while, I am IN control."
Her hand raised the knife, and she rushed at him, but s
BattleMaya gasped when she saw the tentacles coming out of Paul's back. She never believed the symbiote would gestate to its full potential so quickly. Especially not with the proxitol she was fighting it with.
But here it was protruding from its host. Waving and wiggling in the air and begging her to engage.
And Paul wasn't asleep. He looked at her with his baby blues but when he blinked blackness covered his eyes. The spawn wasn't just growing in him. It was connecting with him.
It was growing because of him and he was helping it along.
"Paul," she said. "You're sick. You need to lie down."
"I don't think that's what's going to happen, Moya," Tal'shen said through Paul's mouth. She was startled to hear her true name spoken. "We'll be going to see mother now. Would you pleased step out of the way?"
"I can't let you do that Spawn of Lysanna." Tentacles sprouted from Moya's back and hips as she shed her human shell. In moments she transformed from a thin woman into a cephalopod-like beast. Sh