The Nightmare Factory


The night, before retiring, I was pleased to note the situation had not worsened.  However, on waking the next morning I was alarmed to feel a peculiar tingling in the same region.  Throwing off the blankets I was horrified to discover that overnight there had been frightening changes.  A small tree, complete with branches and tiny leaves had budded from my smallest toe.


Again nobody else seemed to have noticed anything unusual.  He suddenly remembered a scene out of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. 


An early black and white movie where no one had believed the hero when he had tried to explain that people were being cloned from giant plant pods.  He froze in midstride: unable to move: they were everywhere.  There were groups of them looking in shop windows:  many of them carried cameras.  Did he imagine it or did that particular group have slightly slanted eyes?  There were couples holding hands tentacles, he corrected.  He could detect no differences in sexes: to him they just looked like upright octopuses, only with four eyes.


God, his face was a patchwork quilt of colours.  No, it was more like the pattern of a jigsaw puzzle.  There was symmetry of line, a regular marking.  Rubbing was ineffectual, it was if he had lain for hours with his face resting against a damp jigsaw puzzle.  He gave a grimace of disgust and annoyance.  His face felt wooden and inexpressive.  This was crazy!  He had to see her for the final time with this abomination printed on his face.


Monica grimaced as the baby broke wind.  She winced at the look of indescribable pleasure that passed across the previously contorted features.  Those terrible purple eyes were mercifully closed and the tight retention of the foetal position relaxed as the tiny form flip/flopped into a more comfortable position.