Prompt Day #221: Have a character unleash something disgusting when opening up a food package.
“I told you, I’m doing low carb. No bread.” Amanda said pushing past her mother.
“But that can’t be good for you, Amanda.” Her mother said, holding up a bag of sliced white bread in the girl’s face swinging it back and forth like a hypnotist. “I mean look at you, I thought girls were supposed to gain weight when they go off to college. You’re clothes are hanging on you. You look sickly.” She plopped the bread down on the counter by the stove. “I’m making you a grilled ham and cheese, your favorite.” Amanda stepped back, there was no stopping her mother when she was in MOM MODE. As it was the woman had shown up unannounced on a Friday night with a ton of junk food groceries and a couple seasons of Downton Abbey. So the best way to get through this weekend was not to argue. She’d just have to starve herself next week.
She watched her mother unload the ingredients and open a bag of chips. She took a deep breath. Maybe one last ditch effort.
“Mom, you know, I made some of the food choices I did because I learned a lot of disturbing facts in my nutrition class. Have you heard of Monsanto?” She asked with futility. She knew damn well her mother paid no attention to that sort of stuff.
“Amanda, do not speak to me like I’m stupid. You ate all this food growing up and here you are in college, so it can’t be all that bad.” She twisted the tie off the bread bag. She reached in to pull a few pieces out and shrieked. She pulled her hand back and dropped the bag back onto the counter.
“What’s wrong?” Amanda asked coming around to check her mother’s hand assuming she’d cut it on something.
“I…I touched something…it’s moving. A mouse maybe?” Her mother stammered.
“Oh my God, Mom. How could a mouse live in this plastic bag?” Amanda said picking up the bread. She felt something shift in it. She put her hand on the top of the loaf and felt it writhing. She pulled back. “What the fuck?” She said.
“Amanda!” The profanity snapped her mother back to her senses. She grabbed the bag and dumped the bread out onto the counter. They stood silent watching the slices roll down the loaf like the wave.
“Something’s inside it.” Amanda whispered. She grabbed a pair of tongs out of a drawer. She used them to grab a few slices and pulled them away. They stuck in the center at first and then tore around it.
The thing revealed encompassed the entire white center of the bread. It looked like a monstrous slug. Only, not a slug. Its surface wasn’t shiny, it looked granular. And then suddenly is lost its shape and melted flat. They two women watched as it oozed out of the frame of the bread loaf and onto the counter before once more assimilating itself into a slug.
“Ugh. That is disgusting.” Amanda said “We have to find something to smash it” She started looking around the apartment.
“Where’s that bag? We need to call the company and complain. Get our money back.” Her mom said bending over to pick it up off the floor. Amanda ignored her. She was getting a shoe, and then she would smash the thing, whatever it was. After that, if her mother wanted to call the bread company and tell then there was a shape-shifting slug in the bag, so be it. Her mother began to scream.
Amanda turned around. Her mother was clawing at her face. The slug was on it, flattened out to cover her completely and it was pulsating. Amanda smacked at her mom’s face but the thing was suctioned tight. Her mother’s muffled voice called out trying to tell her something.
“Mom, calm down. I’m gonna call 911. Just…uh…try to breathe. Can you breathe?” She asked.
Her mom began to convulse. It looked like the slug was retracting to the center of her face.
“Mom!” Amanda began and grabbed her to help stop the convulsions. She watched in horror as she realized the slug was not really pulling back from her mother’s face but was actually working itself up her nose and based on the convulsions into her brain. Worse, the face it was leaving behind was purple and pockmarked. It looked like tenderized meat.
The convulsions stopped. Amanda didn’t have to take a pulse. She knew her mom was dead. She eased her onto the floor. She wanted to cry, to kiss her mom on the cheek but not now. Now she had to be sure that what just happened to her mom, did not happen to her.
She backed away, never taking her eyes off her mom. Her cell phone was lying on the futon where she’d been crashing when her mom interrupted with her junk food and nasty bread. She dialed the phone.
“911, what’s your emergency?” The voice on the other line asked.
“Uh, yeah, Um there was this thing, like a giant worm in the bread my mom got and uh…” She watched her mom’s dead body and felt the lump growing in her throat, threatening to choke her. “It got out and it got on my mom…”
“I’m sorry, ma’am, there was a worm in your bread?”
“A big one and it got on her face and ate it and it went up her nose…” Her mom’s mouth was open slightly. Had it been open when Amanda laid her there? She didn’t think so.
“And it killed her.” Amanda said as she watched her mother’s mouth open wider and birth the squirming mass of white.
“Oh Jesus Christ, please, send someone here now. It’s gonna get me too.” She said and threw the phone.
She got up on the futon, and then back down. She ran to the door and grabbed her mom’s winter boot. The slug was on the floor now. It lifted its front up off the floor as if it was smelling the air. It waivered back and forth like that and then began to wriggle across the floor directly towards Amanda.
Patty McDaniels took her headset off and turned to her partner.
“You won’t believe the call I just got. I don’t know what to do with it.” She played the recording. Her partner, Leslie Horne’s eyes grew wider and wider as the scared girl on the tape stammered through her story.
“Patty get the cops and an ambulance over there right now!”
Patty’s jaw dropped. “You know what she’s talking about?”
“Jesus, Patty, don’t you ever read anything I share on Facebook? Didn’t you see that article about the bread slugs?” Patty shook her head. “Well, you call the cops and paramedics and I’ll find it for you.”
“Ok” Leslie said scrolling through her phone, “here it is. Says this company was using this genetically modified strain of yeast to make its bread rise way faster, right, but the yeast was real hardy and survived the cooking process. And it’s this science lab yeast, it’s real smart, and it somehow took other ingredients into its DNA. Did you know they use algae to make bread dough thicker or something? So, anyways, this yeast it learns to work together, you know yeast is a bunch of tiny twig like things. So now that it has the algae brain DNA it can form into this huge massive colony and it shapes itself into this big slug like thing. Patty! I shared this article like four times. Why would you have the internet if you aren’t going to learn from it?”
“Let me see that.” Patty said grabbing her friend’s phone. “Ooh, that thing looks gross.”
“Keep scrolling, look what it did to this one lady’s hand” Leslie said. Patty scrolled.
“Oh God. Leslie, this can’t be real. That girl said it killed her mother.” Patty said staring at the picture of a hand and wrist that looked like it had been dipped in acid. Leslie nodded.
“That’s why I keep sharing it. That GMO shit is going to kill us all.” Leslie said.
The scanner came to life causing both woman to jump.
“This is Deputy Mathews, I’m first on the scene at Greenwood Apartments. We got two bodies here, both appear to have been assaulted in the face with some kind of caustic agent. You can let the paramedics know, they can shut off their sirens. No rush. Call the crime scene guys too.”
Patty looked at Leslie. “Shit, do you think?”
“We should warn him.” Leslie said
“You think he’d believe us?” Patty asked.
“Maybe just let the ambulances keep their sirens, huh?” Leslie decided. “Mathews might need them.”
“Ugh.” Patty said shaking her head. “I’m starting the Atkin’s Diet right now.”