's 2013 Horror Write-off:

" Mother "

Submitted by Sunjinjo

A hard thud awakens me. It’s the very first thing I know in this world.

I blindly grope around and wait for my eyes to open – my eyelids are still glued together with a thick layer of mucus, as are my four nubby fingers and every single silky hair on my body.

Cold. The surface is cold. I pull myself forward pathetically, using my muscles for the first time and straining them further than I should. I shouldn’t be here. I was warm just now. I should be warm still.

I wrench open my eyes, and take in a hazy image of blue and pink as I stare down. Blue surface. My own pink hands on that. I look up and see more, far more of my own pink, and it moves.

I blink and the image slowly becomes more clear.

There are more like me, small, pink, with nubby snouts and long tails, crawling over every wall of the blue and pink cavern we’re in. Their chitters fill the air. Most of them aren’t on the ground like me, though. Most of them crawl over the pink thing that garlands the cave from wall to wall, slung beneath the ceiling, heaving and pulsating and oozing. They coat it, cling to it, drink from it…

I should be there too.

As I stare up I realize more and more like me are being pushed from the gargantuan pink thing that oozes milk. Most stay up and cling to it, some fall to the ground like I did. They scramble around pathetically like I did. I do not help them up.

I look around. The ones drinking milk are already bigger than the ones being birthed out now. Some of the bigger ones move to the smaller ones, and what happens next makes me widen my eyes, even though I already know it’s only natural, and I should be doing it too.

The smaller ones melt into the larger ones, lending them their limbs, their fur, their eyes, their organs. The bigger ones move on, taking on size and weight and speed, growing increasingly formless and ungainly. Some of them drop down from the walls and move towards me, hunger in their multiple unfocused eyes.

I hurry away. I don’t want to be absorbed – like them, the hunger for survival consumes me too. Like all of us, I want to win, to move on and grow and age and one day be like Mother.