Plant Life (For 18 and older readers only)

The rain fell heavily on the city. The traffic slipped by the alley not seeing the woman inside. Dressed in jeans, a thin t-shirt and sandals, she allowed the rain to soak her through. Pedestrians did not see her, either. They were huddled under their umbrellas or scurried by with newspapers raised to try and stop the continuous downpour from staining their expensive work cloths.

Water streamed unnoticed down her face and from her now dark hair. She did not shiver from the cold, only stood staring blankly into the street. As the human and vehicle traffic slowed with the late hour, another woman trying desperately to fix her upturned umbrella stepped into the alley and saw the ragged creature.

“Oh my goodness! Are you alright?”

The drenched woman did not move; did not acknowledge the question in any way.

Sherry walked closer, allowing her umbrella to fall to her side. “Miss? Are you ok? Do you need help?”

The woman swayed, but still remained silent.

Terrified for the other woman, Sherry stepped very close and placed her hand on the woman’s cold, wet shoulder. “Miss?”

The woman looked into Sherry’s eyes, opened her mouth and breathed out, hard. Sherry inhaled sharply in surprise and backed away. She felt woozy for a moment then closed her eyes and breathed deep to try not to faint.

A moment later, she raised her head, aware only of the lovely scent that beckoned from the woman. Mesmerized, Sherry stepped forward and placed her hand on the woman’s shoulder again. She let the umbrella drop and placed her other hand on the woman’s hip. In a trance, Sherry leaned forward and kissed the woman.

The woman quickly wrapped her arms around Sherry, locking her into an embrace. She opened her mouth very wide and exhaled as Sherry tried to get away. It was no use. Barbs in the woman’s mouth locked onto the inside of Sherry’s lips and held her in place.

*****

It woke when the creature in front of it made contact, and released the hypnotic gas as soon as the creature was in range. Once the gas took effect, and the creature came even closer, it latched on and released its digestive fluid into the creature’s mouth. As the creature before it struggled, and as the fluid started working, her thoughts came forward.

Sherry was the creature’s name and she was a human female. On this planet, there were male and female humans and in order to procreate, there had to be genetic material from one of each. It sighed. Before this world, it had been on a planet that was inhabited by asexual creatures. They had conquered that world in a matter of days. This world would not be as easy.

As the fluids turned Sherry’s insides to liquid, the creature started to inhale. It sucked until the thing in front of it was just skin, then it unlatched its lips from Sherry, opened its mouth wider and ate the skin as well. The process took seconds, and no one on the street noticed. The heavy rain hid everything.

Newly fed, the creature understood the world it stood on. Correction – the world she stood on. It was in a female body; others on this planet would refer to it as a ‘she’ and ‘her’. They would also ask for her name.

The creature did not have its own name. Its species was called many different things on many planets that had long since died off. Green Death was popular, as was pestilence. One planet had a name for it that was so long it took an hour to speak fully.

Not having its own individual name, and not knowing the host’s name, she decided to call herself Sherry. Sherry nodded. Now that she had a host body, and was no longer hungry, she could concentrate on the most important aspect of her life: procreation.

The creature inside Sherry could not reproduce on its own. Its species had no way of doing so without help. It went from planet to planet, taking over the inhabitants, either using them as hosts for procreation, or using them as food.

The species went from planet to planet, traveling as it could, in meteors mostly, traveling in deep sleep until the gravity of a planet pulled them in. The meteor would burst open, and the green plant like animal would slither along until something ate it or tried to kill it.

If something ate it, the creature had a chance of taking over the predator before it was digested. If it took over the creature, all the innards were consumed, except for the reproductive organs. Those it latched onto and incorporated into its own physiology. Once it latched on successfully, the creature would look for food.

If the predator on a new planet was successful in killing it that did not really matter, as more were probably on their way. After consuming the inhabitants of a planet, all the creatures would release a gas that propelled them into space, where they would be frozen.

Once in space, many died, either because they were pulled back to the planet, or hit by space debris. If they were lucky enough to be caught in the pull of a meteor, more of them would die when the meteor hurled them into a star, a black hole, or brought them to an untimely death in one of the many other dangers of space. Life was not easy for its species.

Of the millions that usually left a taken planet, only a handful would end up on the same new planet. Of the handful that arrived on the new planet, in this case, Earth, only a few would survive to find new hosts. Once they had hosts, they were usually fairly successful in taking over the planet.

Firmly established in its host, Sherry started looking for a target for procreation. She needed a male human. She searched what little memory she had and learned what she could do. Sherry, the human, had thought the girl in the alley a prostitute. Those were women that offered the act of sex for money. Sex was how humans procreated.

Sherry nodded to herself and turned to walk down the alley. There were no humans walking along this end of the street, perhaps there would be more choices on the other end. It was raining, but that might not stop people from coming to her. Sherry smiled as she walked. This planet might not be as easy to take as the last, but it could prove entertaining.

*****

The girl on the corner was drenched, but he was desperate. It had been months since his last date and he couldn’t take it any more. He pulled over to the corner and watched as the girl came to this window. As it was still raining, he simply opened the door for her. She got in and smiled at him.

“How much?” He tried to keep the desperation out of his voice.

Sherry smiled as she moved wet hair out of her eyes. “Let’s worry about that after.”

He frowned, but nodded and drove to the nearby alley. He parked and she was on him. He barely had time to move the seat back before she was reaching into his pants. With her haste and his desperation, they were done too soon, but her smile didn’t leave.

Sherry felt as her inner self used the man’s DNA. Though procreation for humans was a long process, with her true self helping, a child would be born shortly. And if she could get him ready again, she could make more children. Sherry already figured out how it worked for humans, half his DNA, half hers, or rather one sperm, one egg.

Though women could only release one egg at a time, men had millions of sperm ready at any given time. Even if Sherry wasn’t supposed to be able to release more than one egg at once, she had. This man’s sperm was fertilizing her three eggs, but she needed more. She breathed out hard and released the hypnotic gas.

Nick coughed as she exhaled, then breathed in an odd scent. It fueled his desire for her. He grabbed her, kissed her hard. The second and third times were just as fast as the first. When she couldn’t get him motivated again, she sighed and moved off him. He groaned.

Sherry looked at him and realized she was rather hungry. She leaned close to him and kissed him, locking her barbs into his lips. He tried to push her away, but it was too late. She was already exhaling the digestive liquid. In moments, he was dead and she was full, in more ways than one. She left the car and headed toward the nearby subway station.

In the subway station, Sherry found her way to a platform full of humans. She leaned against the wall and looked about. There were still many people here, though it was getting late. People avoided her, as she was drenched and dirty, but it didn’t matter. As the next train arrived, she took a deep breath, then exhaled slowly.

Barely visible green specks sparkled in her breath. The people around her did not notice. The specks landed on the passersby. The specks were her larva. They would cling to the humans and make their way inside the host bodies. Some would die, more than half, but the survivors would grow and slowly take over their hosts, and create more off spring.

Larva released, Sherry headed to the woman’s bathroom. This host had no more eggs. She needed a new body. Her true self had grown since landing here. At nearly a foot long and an inch thick, it might be hard to find a new host, but she would try. Maybe a man this time. She could create a lot more offspring as a man then as a woman.

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