“I eat,” Mother suddenly said.
“The flesh –”
She interrupted me with a nod.
“It’s hungry,” she said, her voice low, the words almost a whisper. “Its stomach desperate for the meat, the muscle, the skin. If I don’t feed It, there’s pain.”
Her hand on her stomach, she continued.
“I am powerless, my son. I don’t want to. I don’t want this. It’s disgusting, it sickens me, it’s something I cannot stop, and it’s destroyed me. The taste, the feel of it in my mouth, the smell on my hands, my fingers –”
She stopped, this brief moment of lucidity gone as quickly as it began.
Closing her eyes, she cocked her head, distracted by something only she could hear. The morning had grown dark, the sun shadowed by a rare cloud.
I looked up to see a clear blue sky.
The shadows grew.
“A God is being born,” she finally said. “The pain, the anguish I endure, is this body dying so that this God, this Dark God, can be born. And I, as that God, will rule.”
The dark grew darker.
I moved closer to her.
“Mother …” I began, “the shadows, they’re moving.”
“Yes, It moves and It is only one shadow.”
It quickened, the dark, as it slid along the ground, vaporous fingers reaching out to my Mother as she spoke.
“It needed the flesh, you see. An eternity caressing all those bodies as they slept, lifetimes licking the skin, the flesh on its tongue only a taste, ephemeral, quickly gone.
“It needed to eat. Finally. Needed more. It needed to feel the life in Its mouth. It needed to tear the skin and rip the muscle and gnaw the bone. Experience being alive, experience living, all those deaths feeding It.
“And now It will live through me, with me, as me.”
The shadow grew, an immense cloud around us, the dust lifting from the ground to churn in the black, the warmth of day now the moist, steamy heat of something uncontrollable, unknowable, and wrong.
“Mother, It will eat you.”
She no longer heard me, the silent song of these shadows obsessing her.
I grabbed her hand.
“Please …” I began as the Darkness lifted me.