Susie never expected them to appear one day, the fantastic creatures of her dreams. Sheer phantoms. Translucent in daylight, they touched men not in sleep but in wakefulness. Spores vast enough to grapple with the horizon, strange beasts unlike any she knew in the world. They were hazy; they were ghosts, and yet, on the occasion she was bold enough to reach out and touch one, their skin felt wet and clammy against her own.
The creatures she touched passed through her, sloshing about her insides like she was hollow. They disappeared within her, and did not emerge again. Nothing changed but her nights, where in the fullness of fantasy she bled lime green putrescence, and spoke in a tongue not her own. Wherein she thought alien thoughts. Flying fast and angry through her, the parasite's bitterness at being so caught by its maker infected her, the host, as well.
On nights where these dreams were strongest, she fled to the hem of her Mother, or her Father's gentle hands, and therein she sought solace. None forthcame, for she could not be understood. Such happenings existed so far beyond the ken of understanding of mere humankind.
"Honey, what's wrong?" Her father would ask.
"There, there, it was just a dream," Her mother hushed, and hummed a wordless tune from her own youth, the standard remedy of childhood nightmares. But these sufficed no longer. What she felt was not fear engendered by nightmares, and it did not fade in the light. She heard her parasite whisper even then, and they found, slowly, a way to communicate. It learned her name, and she its history.
Susie. She thought, for they shared space in the same head. Susie.
Susie. Its thoughts a dark reflection of her refrain. Susie.
We have come far. And we crave much. The black sea swallowed us almost a hundred times. But here is a world, and we will make it our own.
Day by day, she saw others infected, those who did not accommodate their parasites like she did, and were therefore consumed. Day by day, humanity was coopted by spirits who reached from across the black and claimed our souls for their own.
Day by day, she found out further who she might become.