A spider bit me.
Those little bastards that scurry about on eight legs - abominations, the whole lot of them. If I’d known they had colonized my basement I would’ve acted faster, but I was bitten too late so it doesn’t matter anymore.
It was late when it happened, and all I heard outside my open windows was the monotonous chirp of crickets - also little bastards, but at least they try to sing.
I left the room, and entered the hallway. An immediate temperature difference was obvious, so I almost turned back into the room just to be in its cooler and safer summer-night air. But I continued out anyway into the deeper part of the dark hallway upstairs until I met the wall with a blind hand.
I slid my fingers along its bumpy surface feeling for a lightswitch. I brushed something fuzzy and solid instead. My fingers and arm recoiled.
I moved backward in the hall, my full body now recoiling. Like a yo-yo string, a thick line of web had attached to my damn index finger. At the end of the line a curled up spider bobbed about on the bushy hallway carpet as I dragged it.
I could nearly feel the tension just from its weight. My finger was tugged each time it bounced. I froze right in front of the door I’d just exited. The spider stopped too. I wished against the odds that it was paralyzed - then it sprung to its eight feet, and began reeling itself up its web to my finger.
“Shitshitshit,” fell from my face like a three-burst rifle. Yet nothing I could say would hurt this horror, so I bolted backward into the bedroom and slammed the door mid web. I tripped on a shoe and fell on my ass. The spider’s spasmodic forward movement still burned its afterimage, as I sat safely on the cool carpet.
The crickets had fallen silent. I heard each pump of rushing blood as my heart strove to catch up with my fear. I felt a tickle on the back of my left hand - my right smacked down on it. False alarm.
Then came a pinch on the nape of my neck, and my hand shot to it; I clasped my fingers around the hard body of an arachnid. Without thought I brought my hand around so I could see it; its pale green body had faintly red streaks running along its exoskeleton.
Before I could observe more of the spider’s body, I realized that its mandibles were presently plunged quite deep into the muscle of my thumb. I whipped my hand toward the closet door across the room. But its body curled around my thumb, thorax hugging my skin, so that all eight legs clung firmly.
The reddish streaks seemed to pulsate. I blinked a few times. They grew darker, until the spider was patterned with crimson vessels that scattered and pumped on the surface of its body. This sight was enough to stop me briefly.
The terror reanimated me. I threw my hand toward the closet door once again. This time the spider was flung from my thumb and hit the wooden surface like a heavy marble. I shuttered.
It bounced a bit, and fell to the carpet, feet from the closet. It uncurled from its balled posture, and ran through the little opening under the closet door.
The crickets were still silent. The thumping of blood pumping through my head reached a peak, then began to subside. Soon, it came close to matching the crickets, until an absurd quietude fell upon me. I listened to the squirting venules in my eardrums as blood was forced through them and into the narrowing passages of my skull.
My thumb fell limp. It seemed sudden. I lost control of my whole hand. The onset of paralysis was like a cold liquid climbing up through the veins of my arm.
My legs gave out and I dropped to the floor, landing almost flat on my back. The cold paralysis was upon me in full, enveloping almost every voluntary muscle cell of my nervous system.
Like the fledgling muscles attempting to hold an infantile neck, my head bobbled between my struggling shoulders, eventually coming to a rest on the carpet.
I saw only from my periphery the gentle and involuntary motion of my chest, as if another breathed for me.
My head was positioned such that I stared into the gaping blackness under the bed. I could see the little hairs of the carpet as my perspective shifted into the miniature polymer jungle. A slight breeze came into my eyes from under the bed. The central air was coming on.
I could still feel - I felt the breeze continue to brush my face and tickle my eyelashes.
Then something else was beginning to tickle my ear. Then my leg. Then my arm. Then it was everywhere at once; it tickled, and I need to scratch; it was cold, and I could not rub my hands together.
The fuzzy legs of a pale green spider kissed my cheek eight times and walked along my lashes. My eyeball was centimeters from the underside of its carapace. Some hairs on the bottom of its thorax poked my eye. Tears filled the bowl of my eye socket.
A sting zapped through my arm. Then my leg.
Then the spider on my face made its way to my hairline and sunk its hollow needles deep into the flesh of my forehead. I felt it all too much. Now I wished for a greater paralysis. I burned - everywhere. More spiders joined the first on my face. I felt their piercings too.
No longer could I count the pale green bodies pattering my face; the burning continued, and my swelling face began to close over my eye sockets, obscuring my vision further, forcing liquid out. I already couldn’t see out of my left eye, for one of the spiders had sucked it dry; it hung from my head like limp balloon.
The feeding arachnids filled their bodies so full that I felt the pressure from my swollen face alleviate. My cheeks, a favorite spot for the spiders, deflated.
I kept my eyes closed, but through my eyelids the faint glow of red light pulsated gently, which became increasingly brighter. A sweet smell penetrated my senses suddenly but temporarily.
The light from the pulsating crimson carapaces faded to blackness and my consciousness ceased.
I came to in the WW Hospital. Never would I walk again, I was told. I had only one eye (my right), and everything else was paralyzed too. It would be 4 months before I could talk again.
The whole time I was planted in the hospital, confined to a bed and unable to communicate save some eyelid flutters, the doctor’s never found the cause. They couldn’t. They tried (they said).
My house - which I would never return to - they scoured for some cause, but it turned up nothing. Just a regular old house, they said.
Worse yet, not a soul in that hospital believed my story. They laughed at me - laughed. There was no evidence, they say. Not even an abnormal cobweb to consider.
I was sent to the WW Neuropsychiatric Institute; to this day I enjoy looking out of my reinforced window. And to this day I frequently glimpse a pale green spider crawling atop the white metal mesh covering my window.
As the eastward sun shines through the pane, the shadows from the spider’s legs dance throughout the room again.
I do doubt I’ll ever leave.