A thought jumped into Rangle Ditmouth’s brain, “there is no music.” The thought twisted and wriggled distorting an already mutant reality until the young man was bombarded with jangling, ringing sounds that could only be described as music. Rangle felt himself move like a Ninja or ballet dancer, traveling through a displacement of time and space. He felt reality collapsing – and then the music stopped. Rangle froze. Everything around him closed down like a singularity at the center of a black hole. Nothing moved.
Soft, purring sounds wafted through Shyla’s bedchamber like smoke or perfume. She stepped out of the pearlescent water of her spa and into the arms of her lover, Philo. She quivered like a small bird as he wrapped his arms around her in a protective cocoon. Shyla was surrounded by love, living in a cascade of wealth and security. She wanted Philo. She yearned for his masculinity and the rapture of his beauty – longing to have him inside her most secret self. Philo was a soldier, a hero on the battlefield who sacrificed himself for the benefit of the nation. He wanted to vanquish and devour the enemy. His hunger for Shyla was intense – an obsession more than love.
Shyla relied on her imagination to make her life more bearable. Philo was some drunken “john” she picked up in a swank bar at the Hotel Deluxe. He kept babbling about wars and defeating the enemies of his country for the greater good. It was drunken talk, but he claimed he was completely sober (just like any other diehard alcoholic). His money was good and he took control of the situation, money for sex. He looked alright, but seemed to be wearing some sort of odd uniform or cloak. Shyla needed the cash. Unable to find office work in the last 3 years, she took to the street and sold her body. Shyla took Philo to her room in a boarded-up hotel. She apologized for the battered condition of the place, but he didn’t seem to mind. “Place is nice,” he told her in an odd, slightly raspy voice. Mouse droppings littered the floor. The bed sagged and cardboard covered the walls to help insulate the room from the cold.
She was unprepared for his aggression. He was on her like a raging animal, unable to control his lust. She wanted him to use a condom, but he didn’t seem to understand – he just attacked. She bit and fought, but Philo was bigger. He seemed to grow as his lust took hold. She heard the clothes on his back rip open as his body expanded. She felt him claw and tear at her flesh. He rose up one last time to gaze down at her. The mask was gone. She saw a pair of mandibles dripping with blood, the head of an insectoid – a monster with six limbs and metal claws. The creature was giving birth to thousands of small, deadly mites that crawled across Shyla and tore at her flesh, feasting on her body. The walls of the room turned red with gore. The alien invaders were devouring Earth.
The music stopped and everything froze.