Infin(ite)ration: A short story—one chapter at a time. Chapter 3.

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Before you start this, if you haven't read the preface, it's here.

Chapter 3: Arrival

Weakly, an echo of Jasper’s voice flows into the room. “Grandpa Rafe, come here. I have something I need to ask you. Please, hurry. I feel like I’m barely—” A small crashing sound replaces the boy’s words.

A quick get up & several rushing steps brings the family to Jasper’s room.

Seeing no imminent issues beyond a dropped hardline communicator, Grandpa Rafe sidles up to Jasper’s bio-assessing bed. “Jasper, what do you nee...” Rafe’s body drops to the floor.

Jasper jumps from the bed, joining Rafe on the floor. In full-on small child in a horror movie mode, Jasper eerily stares at his stunned family from atop the dead patriarch. “Grandpa Rafe. I have a question for you. How come Sadie & I get to do our Infinirations everyday, but adults only get to do theirs every other day?”

A dozen or so assorted tentacles balloon outward from the boy’s skin. Increasing in size & menace, the undulating digits spear into the dead man’s flesh, exploring the meathusk’s innards. During this invertebrate sojourn into vertebrate, caustic chemical reactions ooze from tentacles out into fleshy passageways. “Why won’t you answer me—” Wet tearing & vicious pops preamble an explosion of wrenching hair, bones, blood, & organs.

Retracting all but one of his tentacles, Jasper detaches the last from himself, allowing the not-so-little squiggly fellow to wriggle into the depths of Grandpa Rafe’s unrecognizable corpse. “—Grandpa Rafe—now—awaken!”

With ten eyes agape with horror, utterly lacking any fight or flight response, the room’s remaining uninfected stand as statues of a pampered society—a society that hasn’t experienced an iota of violence for hundreds of their solar cycles.

Every scattered cell of Rafe’s body ripens with the same energy that poured into Reality 99 during his latest & last experiment. Unseen to all but a few spectral receptors, oozing mucus tendrils blossom from Rafe’s leftover molecular makeup. The invisible tendrils drag each cell back to ground zero of the Rafe-splosion.

Reaching complete convergence, slowly rising to Rafe-ish heights, the molecules form up undecidedly amorphous. Crackling, patchy stains of darkness jitter in & out of existence, suppressing & devouring all adjacent energies. A lightless orb forms around Rafe’s leftovers. Familiar tentacles jut outward from within the orb. In a flash of confusion, the bubble of midnight pops into the shape of Rafe.

For a flash of a questioning moment, Sadie wonders if her eyes catch the silhouette of some beastly bottom-dwelling ocean-creature covered in eternally shimmering midnight. Sadie instantly dismisses the vision, attributing it to a shock-induced trick of her mind.

Sonic iron-oxide rips through the newly constructed throat. “‘Ello, Starfish—I too come from wata’. Come swim, me dearie.”

Rashel cautiously steps forward. “Poppa? Why is your voice different?”

“Mom! Watch out!” Sadie vaults to her mother’s side—just in time to divert the Rafe-ish imposter’s striking tentacle.

Rashel’s eyes turn just in time to see her baby’s tiny head impaled by said tentacle.

Hello Steemians! This is a work in progress that I'm submitting to a relatively prestigious writing contest. Feel free to drop constructive criticisms. Over the next week or two, I'll be posting one new chapter per day. For the next chapter, follow this link.

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