Bewildering Stories

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This little "thing" was published originally in Between The Kisses. Now isn't that just appropriate?


by Eric S. Brown

The deal had gone bad. Too late to worry about that now. Allen darted down the station's corridors desperate to make it back to his ship. He had no idea what had tipped off the authorities to the exchange here on the outer-rim of known space, but he wasn't sticking around to find out.

He clutched the case containing the Demonia-egg to his chest as he ran. Sure, it may be illegal in over a dozen star systems but if he could sell it, he could retire. No more smuggling or meeting in dark alleys. He'd be living the good life.

A door hissed open up ahead of him and a "copper" stepped out into his path, gun raised. The first shot burnt a hole in the case, shattering its stasis field. Allen toppled, rolling as the second shot streaked past him.

He returned fire, his tri-beam slicing through the "copper's" skull. Allen lay on the floor, gasping for breath. The fall had knocked the wind out of him. The case lay a few feet away. He watched in horror through the hole in its lining as the Demonia-egg hatched, giving birth to a tiny form with skin like metal and rows of razor like teeth. He screamed as it leapt for him.

It struck his throat, burrowing into his flesh. He could feel it inside of him, as it moved around making its nest. He knew he would be dead in a matter of hours and become the father to a new race of Demonia reared on human blood.

Other guards entered the corridor, but Allen dropped his weapon and smiled. He'd go quietly because he was already dead and he saw no reason why those who had brought about his death shouldn't die with him at the hands of his "children".

Copyright © 2003 by Eric S. Brown