I knew something was wrong when Greg came home and didn’t even so much as give me a kiss before he ran into our bathroom.
Obviously the first thing I did was run after him, knocking on the door after finding it was locked. “Is something wrong, dear? Are you sick? I thought you’d be out fishing for a few more hours,” I asked.
Greg’s response made something inside my skin crawl. “Everything’s all right, lovely!” I heard his voice respond in a tone far too chipper than the look of sheer panic I saw on his face when he sped past me. “What’s for dinner tonight?”
“Uh, what did you catch?” I tested the doorknob, finding it locked.
“Oh, I’m sorry, didn’t catch a damn thing!” Greg gave the most hollow laugh I’ve ever heard. “How about you make some of your delicious lasagna? I’ve got quite the appetite!”
“Is everything okay in there?” I gave the doorknob another pull, only for Greg to pull it open a few inches and poke his head through.
Everything about his expression was wrong. His smile was as wide as it could physically go, but his eyes were filled with terror. “Everything’s. Fine,” He said before slamming the door again.
I wasn’t born yesterday. Something was very wrong. But I chose to go get dinner started instead of pursuing the matter further. He looked all right, except for his eyes. I figured he might’ve gotten sick from pounding too many beers at the lake and just didn’t want to tell me. Even if he went about it in the most unsettling way.
The lasagna was in the oven when I went to go check on Greg again. He was still barricaded in the bathroom, I knocked before saying, “Greg? Do you need something?”
I heard a muffled sob before he responded.
“Everything’s fine! Are you making green beans too? I am famished!”
Now I knew this was something more than just some bellyache because of cheap beer. I grabbed a pin off my side table and began prodding at the lock. “Greg, you’re not fine. Whether you like it or not, I’m coming on in,” I snapped.
“No! Please! It smells like a sewer in here! Darling, you really don’t want to do that! Stay out! Go make dinner like a good wife!”
“Greg, you better hope you’re dying, because if you accuse me of being anything but a good wife…”
I felt the lock pop and I shoved open the door, taking one step inside before nearly slipping in a puddle of blood.
My husband was sitting on the toilet, clutching a dripping razor between his fingers. His lips were cut up and oozing red, his right cheek slashed open to the molars, giving him the most sinister of exaggerated smiles. I gasped, running to his side. “Greg! Jesus Christ, what happened to you?!”
Greg dropped the razor and with a distorted scream, he grabbed onto his lower jaw and yanked down to reveal what was inside of his mouth.
It looked like some sort of bug. Silvery in color with spiny, thin legs burrowing right under his teeth. It’d gotten a grip onto his tongue, swallowing it down right to the base. Just as I was finally getting a good look Greg’s mouth slammed shut, taking off the tip off the four fingers that were between his teeth. Tears sprouted at the corners of his eyes as he dropped his hand, cradling his maimed fingers against his chest.
“Oh my god, Greg, we gotta get you to a hospital,” I said, although I made no attempt to get to the phone. What the actual hell was that thing in my husband’s mouth?
“Dear,” Greg swallowed, his eyes leaking more tears, “Everything is fine. I think the lasagna is burning, how about you go tend to that?”
I shook my head. “Is that thing controlling what you say?”
Greg nodded before he made this pained gurgle, blood squirting out of his slashed cheek. Whatever that thing was doing inside his mouth, he was in the worst kind of pain.
“Jesus Christ…” I picked the razor off the ground. “Can you open your mouth? Or does it got control of that too?”
He shook his head to the negative, another spurt of blood came from his cheek and Greg nearly fell off the toilet.
It took all my strength to drag Greg into the bedroom. I finally managed to get him on the bed before I held up a finger. “I’ll be right back, don’t you move a muscle,” I said before I ran to the kitchen.
I did take the definitely burnt lasagna out of the oven before I grabbed the knife block and a wooden spoon. When I got back to the bedroom Greg was looking pale, his unmangled fingers clutching onto the quilt so tight I swore it was going to tear. “All right, we got this, dear. We’ve been through worse, right?” I lied as I set down the knives.
“Bitch, don’t you cut me!”
I flinched as Greg screamed at me, bloody spittle landing on my cheek. “And you know Greg would never call me a bitch. Do you even know my name?” I said as I started going through my knives. Butcher’s knife wouldn’t be precise enough, wasn’t going to take the risk of accidentally killing Greg while cutting this little shit out.
“You don’t need one. You just need to listen to what I tell you to do.”
What was worse was hearing this nasty filth coming from Greg’s mouth. “And what you need to do is get the hell out of my husband,” I snapped before I worked in prying open his mouth. It was harder than you’d think, and I nearly lost my fingers twice before I finally got the spoon in there at an angle to keep it open. The creature inside growled as I picked up a steak knife and began poking at it.
It writhed and I heard an inhumane hiss before Greg’s eyes popped wide open. He wasn’t screaming with his mouth but he was with his eyes. I bit my bottom lip until it bled as I began slicing through the legs it had embedded into his jaw. The legs were thin, no bigger around than a piece of straw, so they cut pretty easily. I got through all the ones on the right side before the spoon snapped.
I jerked my finger back in time to avoid getting my fingers chopped off. Greg chewed up the spoon in his mouth before spitting it into my face. “Go. Away,” He growled.
I sat back in my chair, shaking my head. “I’m not leaving until you leave Greg,” I said.
“Then we’re going to be here a long time.”
When I managed to pry open Greg’s mouth again, I discovered that the parasite had regrown its legs, once again inserted in Greg’s jaw. He mockingly snickered as I let his mouth close.
“All right, first round goes to you, but I’m gonna be right back,” I said, shaking my finger at him before running into the kitchen.
When I returned with a metal spoon, Greg’s body was so still I thought he was dead. I ran to his side, giving him a shake.
His bloodshot eyes popped open and I felt his hands grab onto my shoulders before I was slammed into the floor. Dazed, I stayed still as Greg pinned me down before roughly kissing me. I felt something slide into my mouth before he got up in a jerky motion. He sat down on the bed and grinned, the parasite poking out of his slashed cheek. The smooth thing inside my mouth wriggled about before I felt my tongue be bitten off.
I screamed as my mouth filled with blood, the creature attaching itself to the stub left behind from my tongue. I desperately clawed at my lips, trying to get past my teeth to grab onto the parasite. When I opened my mouth to scream, all that came out was a flood of blood. I passed out as I felt those small legs drill into my jaw.
It’s taken my tongue and mouth. I have no control of it. I feel it squirming around. Greg’s gone, he left a note saying he’ll be back soon and to have dinner ready for when he gets back.
I can feel my body grow numb as its control starts to grow. They’ve taken our tongues and they’re going to take the rest of us too.