The man looked like he was having some kind of seizure. His body shook like the paint mixer in the hardware store. His eyes rolled in their sockets. It freaked me out that no one in the room rushed to help him.
They just watched. Like they expected it. Like it was no big deal. Completely normal. And, let me tell you, this was anything but normal. This was as far from normal as you can get.
I spied on the group through a cracked door. Eventually, the man stopped shaking and his body went limp and thudded to the floor. Ouch! It had to hurt.
Then something really disgusting happened. His tongue started to grow. It got longer and longer. I rubbed my eyes. No, it wasn’t his tongue. It was something else. Some sort of creature. Gross! It slithered out of his mouth and onto the floor. It reminded me of a giant slug. It was light brown with dark and green spots. Like camouflage.
The thing was about as long as a ruler and had two tentacles. I had never seen anything so ugly in my life.
Each time the bingo caller shouted a number, another person stood and ate a bingo chip. They got the shakes, their body went limp and fell to the floor and one of these giant turd-like things crawled out.
My stomach was queasy. I thought I was going to barf. Bodies were scattered all over the floor. The creatures writhed and slithered. Their tentacles quivered.
Oh, why did I have to come? Why did I have to follow my neighbor Mrs. McGee? I could be at the movies or at the mall with my best friend Cassie.
Instead, I’m hiding inside a fire hall watching the freakiest and scariest game of bingo I’ve ever seen and being totally grossed out.
But that’s me, Alex. Always trying to save the world, or at least those people I care about. And, lately, it seems like more and more of the people I care about are changing. They’re different. Not completely human. I know it sounds stupid but I swear it’s the truth.
First Mrs. McGee. Then my sister’s old piano teacher and my minister.
They look like humans.
They walk and talk like humans.
But they aren’t completely human – and now I know why.
When all of the slimy creatures were out of the bodies, the caller (a fat, bald guy with a neck as thick as a tree) flipped a switch on the wall. Smoke poured into the room from the sprinkler system. I watched as dough boy ate his bingo chip and the fattest and ugliest creature of all squeezed out onto the floor.
The creatures stopped squirming and stretched their ugly heads with their ugly tentacles toward the smoke as it floated downward. They seemed to like it.
About ten minutes later, the leader slithered back into the body he came from. I watched as the creature became as thin as a piece of sausage (Which, by the way, I will never eat again!) and he wiggled into the man’s mouth. Slime coated the lips of the man and dripped from his chin. The body, er person, stood up, wiped off the gook and turned off the smoke. Then, he called the bingo numbers again. One by one the creatures squeezed back into the bodies they came out of. Some went through mouths, others through ears and noses. The room was soon full of humans. At least they looked human. Ten or so bodies remained slumped over. They looked dead.
There was a knock at the door.
"Our comrades are on time," said the fat, bald guy, checking his watch.
He opened the door, and I couldn’t believe who was there.
It was Cassie's dad, Frank, and her uncle, Daryl. Were these things inside of them? Inside of Cassie? Was I too late?
The leader held open the door and Frank and Daryl carried an ice chest into the room. The crowd gathered around them.
"Who’s first?" Frank asked.
"That one," the leader said, pointing to a red-haired man face down on the table to the right. "I'm anxious to get him on our side."
Everyone watched as Frank removed one of the slug-like creatures from the ice chest. Daryl pried open the victim's mouth and the slimy creature squeezed in. Within seconds the man was awake.
"I-210 in place and ready to serve," the man said, staggering around like he was drunk.
Oh no! Not Police Chief Sanders. I had known the police chief all of my life. He lives beside my grandparents.
Everyone clapped and cheered. My throat tightened as I watched the creatures slither one by one into the people I thought were dead. One by one the victims became one of them. Besides the police chief, I recognized a girl who worked at the grocery store.I started to panic. I felt like I couldn’t breathe. What if one of those slug-like things crawled into my mouth? What if something tried to take over my body? I had to get out of this horrible place. I had to get out now. I turned to leave – and nearly swallowed my tongue!