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This is the night of the Great One's birth. In the town of Cherryshrub, Mississippi, there was a married couple desperate for a child. They tried multiple tips that most couples who have been married for a long time catered to, but none of their attempts proved fruitful. The woman's womb remained barren. This lasted for the first five years of their marriage. Their bond gradually broke down as the two took to arguing over who was to blame.

"You know I have already told you that I had a narrow urethra," the husband argued fervently. He had received the bad news during one of his prostate exams three months ago. He kept it a secret from his wife for a long time, straddling her along in their attempts of coming together in union to have a child. When she discovered the truth, their relationship eroded ever so delicately because neither could trust the other anymore.

"I'm not mad about that," she said, "I'm upset because you deliberately withheld that important information from me for months!"

They ceased their interactions with each other not so long afterward. They took to sleeping in separate rooms or woke up early so they could leave the house without the other being any wiser. One day when the wife was buying groceries in town, she browsed the conception aisle without much thought. She already spent hundreds purchasing products claiming to be miraculous cures for barren women, but they were the very definition of snake oil. As she scanned the different medicines, she couldn't help but feel that she was being watched. She turned around seeing nothing. She continued walking until she heard a tiny voice call out to her.

"Are you lost? Are you desperate?"

The wife darted her eyes, finding a door manifesting before her. It was an ancient door made of millennia-old bark from an oak tree. It possessed an inexplicable aura that was calling out to the wife. In the center of the door was a rusted lion head knocker comprised of an assortment of otherworldly metals. She went to the door and tentatively knocked on it with the lion head. A creak drones out from the door leading to a strange tunnelway. The wife looked at the tunnel with the utmost curiosity. The voice called out to her again.

The woman walked timidly into the tunnelway. Underneath her feet, the flooring of the tunnel shifted, knocking the woman down. When her hands collided with the floor, it secreted a gooey, slimy substance. The walls pulsated and excreted more of the liquid slime. The woman quickly regained composure and ran down the tunnelway. At the end of the tunnel, she could see a tall and lanky man in a lab coat. Thick, large glasses took up most of the man's face. He had short black hair and yellow plastic gloves. He was busily pouring chemicals into tubes. He somehow sensed the woman in his study and turned his gaze towards her.

"Took you long enough. Come in, come in."

The wife walked into the strange man's laboratory. His laboratory was adorned with different colored test tubes, and a few test animals stored away in vats of formaldehyde. He motioned for her to sit down at his table, and she complied. She poured out her heart to this man she had just met. He listened attentively to her plights, more so than her husband put up with. After she finished her story, the man got up from his chair and trudged towards a cabinet. He opened the top cabinet and rummaged through it. She looked on with confusion until he returned carrying a flask full of a purple liquid. She eyed the substance inquisitively.

"I want you to drink this," he said. She was filled with so many thoughts, it troubled her on whether the "drink" was safe for human consumption. "What is this?"

"The answer to your troubles" he explained.

"But I've tried everything to get pregnant; how will this solve anything?"

"Just trust me," the peculiar man exclaimed. “I have chosen you to give birth to a wonderment.”

He told her that her child would be great, and that he would be someone who would lead the masses. He was presenting her an offer that she in her right mind couldn’t decline. She took a deep breath, and swiftly swallowed the alien substance. She wanted to gag due to the horrid taste. It was a flavor worse than cyanide and rosemary. The man gently tapped her shoulder consoling her until she recovered.

“The birth will function normally as is the case with many others that young women go through.”

The wife left the man’s laboratory and began her walk down the tunnel. Funnily, the tunnel felt wider than she originally remembered. The walls were now vibrating rapidly. The sound of a heartbeat was emitting through the walls. She returned to the grocery store back in the same position time remaining the same.

True to his word, the physical traits of pregnancy began manifesting in the woman. Her husband initially did not believe his wife, but gradually he thought otherwise when she received a positive diagnosis on her pregnancy test. The first month, her husband dedicated himself to giving special treatment to his wife. She had some of the common symptoms attributed to first-term pregnancies such as nausea and vomiting. While cleaning up after his wife, the husband couldn’t help but notice that her vomit was a purple hue. He shook this off as just being the result of her overeating and didn’t put too much thought into it.

The woman developed odd cravings. She had an aversion to fruits and vegetables and even grain. She was a known vegetarian, and yet she was turning a blind eye at those kinds of food. Green residue also leaked out of every orifice. She was bedridden for a majority of the first trimester.

The problems with the unnatural birth only continued throughout the remaining months. One day during her third trimester, the wife reared up in her bed, calling for her husband to come to her. “Yes, what is it dear?” he asked. He was becoming exhausted with having to care for his wife and unborn child because his spouse’s behavior also began to change ever since she traversed that mysterious tunnel.

“I’m hungry,” she growled. Her voice was becoming shrill; nearly predatorial in its pitch.

“I’ll, I’ll go get you a burger or something, dear,” he said. He cowered nervously before her, but he tried to keep a straight face. He was gone no less than half an hour, but when he returned, he found the door ajar. Curious, he opened the door fully and saw a trail of blood starting from the front door and continuing onward upstairs. He followed the trail of blood upstairs. He pushed the door to his shared room with his wife his eyes widening.

His wife’s eyes were glazed with the green residue. On the bed was a dead animal; a raccoon that was most likely pillaging through their garbage cans. Her lips were ripped back, exposing her jaws and gums. Her jaws were elongated to rip off more chunks of the creature’s meat. The husband dropped the bag containing the hamburger on the floor. Her eyes darted at him.

“Dear, what have you done?” he asked.

“You were taking too long,” she hissed. Her teeth ripped into more of the raccoon’s carcass. She messily crunched the bones in her teeth. Her womb had grown, forming stretchmarks along the sides of her torso. She was being overtaken by immeasurable pain. Her back was hunched over the carcass on the bed. By the time she was finished with the carcass, she heard a slight closing of the door. “Honey?”

Her husband had not only locked her inside her own room, but he was also moving furniture in front of the door. She banged loudly on the door and growled malevolently. He knew he had to leave before it was too late. He dashed down the stairs and entered his car. In his troubled thoughts, he recalled her mentioning meeting this man at the grocery store and how he helped her get pregnant. He went to one of the clerks and asked her what she knew. She frowned before shaking her head.

“I’m sorry, sir,” she said, “but I’m afraid we don’t have anyone with that description employed here.”

He slammed his fists on the counter. “But she told me that she came here to find some remedies for her barrenness. Are you implying that she made all that up to get a rise out of me?”

She sighed. “I’m sorry, sir, but again, no one of that description works here. Please leave; you’re holding up the line.”

With no answers, he walked out of the store. His brain returned to dissecting the situation as it presented itself. An ancient door; a living tunnel. What utter preposterousness. While driving, he saw a man waving at him. He was an odd fellow no doubt about it, but for whatever reason, the husband stopped to offer him a lift. The man had a wide grin…one that deeply unsettled the man, but he tried to be charitable regardless.

“Where to, my good man?” he asked. Mostly because he was wanting to break the tension. The man still had his smile from ear to ear.

“I’m visiting a friend of mine. She is expected to be giving birth at any moment,” he answered with a flair of charisma. That overconfidence of his was contagious.

“Oh, are you now,” the husband said, “my wife is actually going to give birth sometime this month from what the doctor told her.”

The hitchhiker apparently sensed that because the news didn’t come with much surprise from his side. The hitchhiker discussed how his friend’s child was going to be special and how much like with his case, the husband’s spouse was also told that her child would be great. His friend had met a man who gave her a remedy for her issues and was thusly pregnant not too long after her encounter. The husband’s eyebrow peaked from the sheer coincidence of the situation. They continued to converse until they arrived at his pitstop. Which the husband was all too familiar with.

“This is my house…”

What happened next was lucid. Almost as if it were a feverish dream. He only remembered suddenly being taken into the house by the hitchhiker and a few other men who were dressed in brown robes. During the sequence, they had tied the husband up, propping him against a chair. They had removed the furniture blocking the wife from escaping. They crafted a circle around her bed and lit candles. They gathered around her, singing a song in an olden, extinct language. Some played on drums and flutes to ease the wife.

The wife was splayed out on her bed. She was going through contractions as she felt her baby violently shaking. Her body had turned a deep green hue; she was blinded from the fluids continually dripping into her eyes.

The husband woke up at the sight of seeing his wife’s womb throb. He was met by the man he had picked up earlier. His grin was still present on his face. He was leading the group of men in robes.

“Yes, yes, I thank the gods that you are awake to witness this miracle!”

“Miracle, what in blazes are you talking about!?” the man yelled. He grunted repeatedly to free himself from the restraints. He didn’t know what was going on, but he knew this man was somehow responsible.

“Ah, I see that you have yet to understand,” he said. “I am Yurich, and we are Her Colony.”

“Her? Who’s her?” the man asked still annoyed by the ambiguity the deranged man was spewing out.

“She is one of the Elder beings that we revere,” Yurich explained, “she had birthed many children in every part of your galaxy and more. I am her humble servant.”

One of the other members of the cult spoke up, “she sought any potential host on your world to bear her brood. There were many, many candidates to choose from – and sadly, some died without having successful births – but your wife was selected as being the most viable to be the mother of her brood. She will then use your wife’s child to take over your world.”

They were both distracted by the moans of pain the wife was having. His smile was now circling around his head. Yurich bowed his head in deep prayer. He then looked up to the ceiling chanting prayers to the stars. “Friends, the time is at hand!”

The husband watched his wife spasm on the bed. Her excruciating sounds of pain transformed into wailing fits. Her womb shifted and expanded. The other cult members held tightly on her arms and legs under the assumption it would endanger the offspring’s chances at being born. Her screaming rang in her husband’s ears. He was utterly powerless to stop what was transpiring.

“Help me, help me!” she screamed in a mixture of pain and terror “it’s eating its way out of me!”

Her womb was sliced open. Two mantis-like appendages broke through the surface. The wife gasped before falling unconscious. A purple, gelatinous form oozed out of the open wound, spreading out onto the blood-soaked bed. Its long, spindly legs ripped through its mother’s torso. The legs were infinite in how many there were. The husband shook; his mind was being dissolved away from the incomprehensible nature of this offspring’s appearance. It cooed in a babylike manner before green eyes of innumerable shape sprouted all over its body.

“The Great One is here!” shouted Yurich triumphantly. “We come bestowing gifts.”

The demonic drums and flutes were the first gift. The room itself was alive to the banging of the drums and flutes as time itself became suspended. The second gift was the wife, a desperate, yet foolish woman who willingly did anything so she could give birth. Yurich and his men prepared the husband for the final gift to the new god.

“Please feed, my prince. When you eat, your power will grow. And the world will be yours for conquering in your adult life.”

The husband protested, but his pleas fell on deaf ears. He was tossed before the prince whose mouth was laced with razor-sharp teeth. The cult continued to sing praise to their newborn leader. He would need leadership, but in time, he will come to an understanding of his destiny. For now, it was time to feast.

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