Friday, March 15, 2013


It’s uncomfortably warm. But then again, it has to be. You can’t birth any species that’s part human somewhere cold. I pull at my shirt collar to let some air on my skin as I step further into the cave. Bits of pyrite embedded in the walls glint under the beam of my flashlight making the entire space glow gold. I let the light settle on the rows of eggs hanging from the ceiling. The creatures inside of them move in reaction to the light and they begin to swing on their stalks. Back and forth. Back and forth. The movements inside of the eggs are quick and violent. I watch as the eggs stretch and strain to accommodate them. Their outer membranes are pink and red with blood vessels and human tissue, but there are strands of deep green vine-like structures woven throughout.

Alien DNA.

My stomach turns and I hold my nose with my free hand to keep from smelling the sickly sweet yet vinegary smell the eggs give off.  I’ve never been able to stand it. The cave echoes with the sounds of them moving, a rustling, watery sound. I open my mouth and start to sing, a song I learned in elementary school, the one that seems to calm the things the most.

“Ring around the rosie…”

My hands start to tremble.

“Pocket full of posies…”

 I take my hand from my nose and hold my breath as I feel around in my pocket for my knife.

“Ashes, ashes, we all fall down.”

 I edge closer to the eggs. Wait for the thin, silver disk attached to the base of my skull to vibrate painfully against my spine and incapacitate me, force me safely out of range. Did Jack manage to interrupt the discs’ frequency and keep it from transmitting my proximity to THEM? I take another step forward. Wait again. When nothing happens, I lift the knife to the egg, run it along the side. The thing inside it jerks a little as if it’s startled. I pull the knife up and back, prepare to plunge it into the egg. I’m not sure if it’ll penetrate the thick membrane, but I have to try. In another day they will hatch and a new species will enter the world. One that has no business existing.

 When the aliens first landed two years ago, I was sure that they would wipe us out completely. Instead they herded us into camps and studied us until they’d worked out how to combine our DNA with their own. Then they took several of us to these caves to help them keep watch over the eggs, to sing to them so that they never felt alone, implanting the discs on our spines to keep us from harming them. But now I’m not bound by that pain anymore. I can slice them open and stab what’s inside.

I lunge forward and stab the egg. It sticks almost immediately as if the egg has teeth and is biting down on it now. I try to wrench it out. It takes me four desperate tries before I manage it. There’s a loud sucking sound and then a rush of bloody fluid. The creature inside comes rushing out too, hitting the cave floor hard. I look down at its jelly covered body, curved in on itself, still in the shape of the egg. Suddenly it begins to uncurl and I can see it better—the wet, black hair and round face. It turns its head and its eyes flutter open. It stares up at me. I wasn’t prepared for this. It looks one hundred percent human…except for the bony ridge along the top of its skull. A girl. It’s a girl. She looks at me, her eyes wide and much too aware and then she opens her mouth, her lips coming apart slowly as the jelly surrounding them separates.

“Ring around the rosie…”

She’s singing in a voice that’s loud and clear and high and somehow almost an exact copy of my own. Her lips curl up into a smile around each word and I can feel myself crouching down without meaning to. My head fills with a buzzing, ringing sound and my spine begins to vibrate as the disc starts to send off its alarm, warning me to back off before it starts to transmit the pain. Jack failed.

“Pocket full of posies…”

My grip tightens on the knife.

“Ashes, ashes…”

Move. Now, you idiot! I bring the knife up to slash her quickly pinking cheek. Her smile widens and she opens her mouth. I see her teeth, jagged and sharp and in three rows. She has no tongue. I have time to wonder how she’s singing so clearly in spite of this before she lunges. My body falls back onto the cave floor as those teeth sink into my neck. I want to scream, to move, but the disc is working in earnest now, making the pain of her attack all the more intense. My arms and legs won’t work. I can’t fight her off.  Above me the eggs swing faster and the cave goes from gold to black.

From far away I hear her finish the song, her voice no longer clear, but wet and gurgling, full of my blood.

“We all fall down.”

Story by: Amy Christine Parker
Photo taken by: Amy Christine Parker


  1. Ohh, tres creepy and intriguing. Yet another piece I'd love to see in novel form. The colors are great and vivid, Amy. Really good.

  2. Oh, I love it. Great use of the song! And I love how you and I saw a pic of a cavern and both thought "Aliens!"