Joe walked out onto his back porch one summer night and peered into the starry sky.
“I want to know everything,” he said, gazing in wonder at the universe displayed before him. To his surprise, something was listening.
Suddenly, a myriad of vibrant lights descended from the darkness above. They danced and swirled in all directions, mesmerizing him with their symmetry. He was so entranced by this beautiful sight that he did not notice the gargantuan thing controlling the lights. It grabbed him, and forced its long, tentacle-like mandibles into his skull.
This intrusion did not cause him any pain. Instead, an overwhelming sense of bliss washed over him as alien knowledge filled his mind. He was blessed with information that humanity’s small and inferior brains cannot even begin to fathom.
He endlessly sleeps now, living out countless lives within the comfort of his own mind. His dreams are his only reality. Where the world failed, now only his imagination can stimulate him. His body wanders aimlessly, searching for material to fuel his dreams. He cannot see, he cannot hear—he simply is not there.
He remembers nothing of his former self. He no longer has control of his physical body. In fact, he is not even aware it exists. His body, which has been twisted and deformed beyond recognition, now only serves as a vessel to transport his enormous brain. He has been touched by the wisdom of the Great One, purified by its divine omniscience. Now, only by consuming human brains can he temporarily sustain his unquenchable appetite. He must feed upon the knowledge of other human beings. He needs to ingest new thoughts and ideas, lest his dreams turn to nightmares. Nightmares from which he can never awaken.
What is left of his body is wretched and foul. His skull is split open as his head did not have the sufficient capacity to contain his new brain. An enormous, squid-like sack protrudes from his head and hangs down his back, housing knowledge not of this world. Numerous lures swell from his stomach and emit tantalizing lights. They shine brilliantly in the night to guide his helpless prey into range like an anglerfish. He has grown incredibly thin, no more than skin and bones. Food no longer nourishes his body. He feeds only on information now—anything to keep his fantasies alive.
Joe dreams peacefully, entertained by the stories that slowly fade before his eyes. He is not aware that his contorted, multi-knuckled fingers are clenched firmly around the face of a stranger, muffling her screams. He does not know that the elongated, mosquito-like drinking tube that is now his mouth is sucking all the grey matter out of his newest victim’s skull.
The girl’s memories are now his. He watches them unfold like a movie. Every detail of her life, all her history… consumed. Every emotion, thought, action, and relationship she’s ever had, all belong to him now. For a moment in time, he convinces himself that he is actually the girl.
He enjoys experiencing happiness through her, until all her good memories are used up, and nothing but the painful ones remain. Soon, the calm will die down, and misery will settle in. His mind will recoil in endless agony, anguish, and terror, as his victim’s fears and regrets manifest within him. They will torture him relentlessly… until he feeds again.
William Cousins is a Professional Writing student at Algonquin College, living in Ottawa, Ontario. Writing is his passion. He believes in the power of the written word, and aspires to perfect his craft in order to create great works of art. From movies, to song lyrics, to video games, he is locked in a constant quest for the perfect story.