Invasion – Part One – Short Story

Lukas hadn’t been feeling well since going to see family at Christmas. He was sure that one of them had given him something, and he was still suffering from it weeks later. When it wasn’t a sore throat he was coughing up more phlegm than he’d ever seen before. He had to carry around tissues everywhere just in case he had to cough up a gloopy mess. It would build up inside and he would blow his nose and long ropes of snot would dangle down that he would have to pull out with tissue covered fingers, and he could feel it being pulled through his insides like a never ending magic trick. Every time he thought he was done, it continued.

Still, he continued onwards. He worked from home most days, so was able to hide his illness from most of his co-workers. Shopping was delivered straight to his home, so there was no worry he wouldn’t have enough supplies or have to venture out and contaminate the next person. He barely saw his family, but that wasn’t the worst thing in the world. Even after a month of coughing and snot, it wasn’t showing any signs of letting up and his flatmate, Tony, was avoiding him as if he had the plague. They had only spoken to each other through closed doors for weeks, and Tony was cleaning every surface he suspected Lukas to have touched with every cleaning chemical the had in the cupboard almost daily. He was scared of getting ill and missing work. That would mean lower wages, which would mean missed rent payments.

Every morning Lukas woke up and logged into his laptop that was kept on a table in the corner of his bedroom. He would get ready for work, sitting on the little stall that had followed him from his parents house when he moved out five years prior. It wasn’t the most comfortable seat, but he wouldn’t admit that to anyone, not even himself. As his laptop kicked in and everything was getting warmed up he would hope that no one would randomly call him, not wanting them to see his pyjamas that he only changed out of when he showered twice a week, or hear his voice that sounded like he hadn’t had a drink in a week.

This isn’t what this story is about though. This isn’t the story of a sick man slowly overcoming his illness while the world moves on without him, leaving him behind as he struggles to get enough sleep as he continues to work and pretend that everything is okay. This story begins on the first Monday in March, where after two months of living at death’s door, Lukas was once again bent over the toilet coughing up more phlegm than he could imagine. As the retching stopped he stood up and could feel it all bunged up in his head, pushing against his ears and causing pressure all over. He could feel it constricting his airways, and with each breath he took there was a tightness in his throat. He took some toilet paper, as he’d done daily for the previous two months, and blew his nose. Long strands of snot stormed out of his nose and he started to feel sick. He could feel it moving inside, snaking through passageways. He pulled the soaked tissue away and could still feel it drooping down his face and chin. He was glad he couldn’t see himself in the mirror, his puffy eyes blurring out the vision. With fresh tissue he started to clear up the mess on his face. It was still steadily streaming out of his nose. At first, he thought it was a nosebleed, but it was more viscus than blood. It was painful. He pulled more and more tissues, but he could never get to the end of it. Pinching his nose did nothing except make him feel dizzy. He stopped using tissues, and in defeat just dropped his head over the sink. Maybe this was everything that had been building up over the last few months all coming out, he thought, and he would feel miraculously better as soon as it stopped.

As soon as it stopped pouring out, Lukas’s head immediately felt clearer than he’d ever remembered it feeling before. It was like getting rid of food that was stuck between teeth. It was complete and immediate relief. He pulled more tissues from the side and started to wipe away his eyes so he could see the mess he’d made in the sink. There had been many moments in Lukas’s life when he thought he’d felt true fear. Being chased by the school bully all the way home, only to be told off by his parents for brining trouble to the front door, was the first time that he’d truly felt like he was getting close to being scared to death. There were plenty of other times since then that he’d felt something similar. The first time he was confronted by a drunk person at a pub, the time he was mugged on the way home from the late shift when he still worked at a restaurant, and the first time he was in a car accident. At all of these moments his heart would race, and the world around him would slow to an almost stop. His legs would start shaking and his hands would shortly follow suit until he didn’t think he’d be able to stand any further. That day was no different. After clearing his eyes he saw in the sink a puddle of goo, that was looking up at him with dark little eyes and a smile that could melt a witch’s heart. It moved around in the sink, rolling over itself, like a baby discovering the world. It rolled around on top of itself, moving around the sink as Lukas stood watching, feeling like he was going to fall over at any moment.

Thanks for reading! Part two will be available tomorrow!

About ashleymanningwriter

Young Adult Fiction writer. Horror and fantasy blended together.
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