H The Possession

Editor’s Foreword

Well, at least it wasn’t a Goa’uld.

There was something inside her.

It wasn’t her–that was for sure. It didn’t think or act like her. This was a struggling entity, distinct from all her molecules.

Sometimes it was physical. She could feel it worsening, its appendages trying to claw through. The sensation would cause her to moan and wince. Sometimes it would just tickle. She closed her eyes and visualized the head of horns that ate at her...the devil tail, the devil mouth.

“I know you’re making all this up,” he told her. Just trying to get attention. Need to stop watching those movies.

“This is real, I swear to you. I don’t feel like myself,” she said. “This thing is trapped in my body...”

“It’s in your head.”

As it progressed, she felt herself change too. Words would come out that weren’t hers, a voice screaming against her judgment. Wanting what she did not condone, on the verge of violence constantly.

Soon she felt she had no free will left. Anything she did depended on it, and she did less and less as a result, peeking out through the blinds at night. Then after a while she feared she’d die without it, as if the thing had been propelling her forward and with it gone she’d just collapse, no lifeforce left to hold up her own two legs.

The pain became a third entity, the only thing holding her and it apart. She didn’t believe she could feel this way and be alive. Shadows everywhere formed its face, beholding her from even the mirror. She’d try to cut and stab at it, through her, but the red that dripped into the sink was hers alone. She didn’t even know at that point which of them was doing it. An unnamable disgust penetrated from its hold. One night her body lurched and shook, vomiting like a waterfall onto the floor. She couldn’t live under its power any longer. It had grown too much, too strong; it was too late to consult a priest. She’d have to check the listings for someone who really knew what they were doing. She was willing to try anything.

She stepped up to the silver building. Pausing there before the door, she fed her voice to the machine and it responded with a beep.

Inside doors opened for her as she made her way down narrow halls. Finally she entered the room, and the exorcist was there. She sat before him.

“I can’t say it–” she murmured, looking away. The tears were streaming already.

“I want you to drive this demon from me,” she sniffled, holding her face in her hands.

“This is all the incantation you’ll need,” he said, producing a small tablet. She looked at it in disbelief. “There are risks. And there’s a chance it may not work. Do you understand?”

She nodded quickly, eagerly. He left the room and when he came back he had a cup of water for her. She gulped the tablet thirstily, swallowing more than once.

“Now wait till you get home,” he said. “And then you’ll take another one.”

“Do I have to wait till I get home?” She was shaking, clutching at herself, trying to hold on to her.

“Yes,” he said. He escorted her out. As she was leaving, a woman said she’d pray for her.

As soon as she got in the door, she dashed to the kitchen sink, fitting her head under the faucet and gulping...pressing the poison down into her, at it. She imagined the cure as a weapon, and soon she did feel like she had swallowed knives or bullets... Volatile.

For hours upon hours, pain. Pain that left one defeated, unable to move or think. It felt worse than what had preceded... She knew it was fighting in there, even now endeavoring to destroy everything that she was. And it was chipping away, not to give up till the battle was over. All her dreams, fears, loves, and hates evaporated before her. She said goodbye to herself. Then, at last, she slept.

Morning, she got up and went to the toilet, and the baby dropped out quickly in the form of blood and undeveloped tissue.


About the Author

Colette Phair is the author of Nightmare in Silicon, a short novel about a woman who gets turned into a robot. It won the Chiasmus Press First Book Competition in 2006. Colette lives in California and online in the following places:


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