There were these awful creatures, up at the lake. There were ants that came off of the newborns that crawled on you until they found a way in. Even if you killed them, there was always what the ants evolved into. The caterpillars. But they could evolve, but before that, they needed a host…

Ok, let me start at the beginning.

I was hanging out with Mom and Aunt Sue, and what looked like J's Mom. I found out about those creatures first much later, by finding one. It'd been on my arm and I'd moved it off, onto some plant.

'Oh my God," J's mom said, gawking at it. I looked a question at her and she explained…

- Flash! -

It wasn't long before I saw another of them, a full-grown that I'd mistakenly touched. It let me, it didn't seem to care. It was huge, like a Doberman or, no, more like a Great Dane, in size, but with a much thicker body with shaggier fur that hung long and low, like it was built for arctic temperatures. There were huge tusk-like teeth that exploded from its mouth in a meaner way that warthogs or boars teeth would.

I yelped when I saw that there were what appeared to be grubs on it, taken completely aback. It growled and tackled me, pinning me to the ground expertly. My heartbeat went sky high. What the hell?

It opened its mouth and let out a growl that froze me with fear. 'I don't Want to," I nearly whimpered, not knowing what I was replying to, but that it was the right thing to say.

"You will," It snarled, smiling evilly. It let me up and then…

Flash!

J's Mom was at the lake with us, for whatever reason. "What's going on?" I asked, staring at the counter where the ants were trying to carry away a knife. "Surely they know that's not food?"

Flash!

"You have to, Carrie. They need you. Or at least, this one does." It was a month, maybe a week later, and the ugliest woman I'd ever seen in my life was holding one of those ugly caterpillars. Yet I knew I couldn't get out, that they'd catch me, and force me to, anyway, and then it'd hurt worse and worse… and I didn't like pain. I despised it. "You let them die, they'll all go for one, and you won't survive."

My heart picked up pace as I felt my fear swallow me. "Fine,' I gasped, so afraid tears crept from my eyes. She touched them gingerly and smiled. I despised her. But I despised my no win situation more.

"Compassion for them is so rare… If they knew, they'd thank you." Then she let me choose where to put it, but I said 'anywhere that won't kill me.' And she did, in my right lower leg. It ripped its way inside, and I snarled, refusing to scream. The woman was gone, and one of them wolf-like dog creatures emerged as she was leaving, staring at me with intent golden black eyes.

"You won't die," It growled, but not unkindly. It smelled my leg and nuzzled it lightly, before leaving me alone. Aside from the horrible experience, I ignored the pain, hugged my knees to me, and cried.

Flash!

There were actual stages to the 'pregnancy'. As it grew, my leg did, too, making it harder and harder to walk. The weight with it moved the leg too much, so to step was to stomp, and the leg, in its enlarged state would wobble, and the creature in it would grab bone or muscle, and that was so not comfy.

In secret, I adored and feared it all at once. Abhorring the pain and loving that this could happen. I caught myself thinking that the next time would be more pleasant in my stomach instead. That way natural birth could occur instead of the ripping, shredding tearing that would occur in my leg, shortly. Catching the thought mortified me.

Then the day came, and the pain was only building. I laid on a couch or the floor, something, with that ugly woman by my side again. We were very close, so I whispered in a moment of no pain, "Can't we use an anesthetic, instead?" She looked at me, and met me eyes. "We might," She said, and we did, without my remembering it.

She cut the back of my leg, and the creature was removed. I watched, I was fascinated. It was part me, and part alien creature. I'd helped it to this stage. It unfolded itself, stretching its untried limbs. Blood and such clung to it still, but it opened its eyes, and looked at me, trying to stand on the solid ground. I helped, holding it upright.