She had just moved to the new town recently and although she was seeing one man kind of regularly, she didn't have many friends there yet. She had no family and so spent too much time alone.

It started when she would wake up in the dark, absolutely certain that something creepy and crawly and almost hairy had scuttled across some part of her body in bed.

She would jump up, throw the lights on, rip the sheets from the bed to see what awful creature was in there with her, but it was always just her boyfriend or nothing visible at all. This was followed by a frantic trip to the bathroom mirror to shake out her hair and examine her body closely. She never found anything on her. The man in her bed would try to comfort her back into sleep and sometimes this worked. Most times it didn't and she lay for long hours waiting to feel a hairy wisp crawl across her open eye.

At first, these episodes were fairly rare. Then they increased in frequency. Her semi-boyfriend broke it off with her saying it really was nothing personal; he was just tired. After all, jumping out of bed what was now four and five times a night for bug checks wears on a person.

She was secretly relieved he was gone. She had been harboring a suspicion that HE was waiting for her to finally fall asleep and then dragging something furry and sleep-scary across her as some sick joke. But he was gone now and she was certain, well, almost certain, that this first night alone she would now get some much needed rest.

Whatever it was that was going on was taking it's toll; she was losing weight. Her formerly beautiful chestnut hair was getting dry and fact, ALL of her seemed to be drying out. She did her best to ignore this. She was terrified she as succumbing to the same awful cancer that had taken her Dad from her.

So into bed she went before it was even dark. She was exhausted. She fell asleep almost immediately and until she was torn with a mostly silent shriek from bed around eleven, she slept peacefully.

The bedside lamp is knocked over in her swipe to turn it on. It lolls crazily on the floor throwing shadows all over. In panic, she thinks she is blind; her eyes seem to be glued shut. She claws at her eyes and feels both covered with icky, sticky, stringy mucuous. Up and standing away from the bed, she scrabbles the crap out of her eyes. The bed clothes come off. A frantic pat down of her body and hair. The could STILL feel the slide of unknown bugs across her body and under her skin.

Panting and frantic, she rips the shower curtain back and blasts the shower on. In she goes, dousing her whole self in hot, hot water. She feels a flush come to her now pale skin and begins to feel a little better.

Out of the shower. Combing her hair out in the mirror she sees something medium-small fall from her ear to the floor. She bends down warily to investigate: it is a small, hairy, evil-wet spider -- almost dead and drowned, but not quite. With an involuntary gasp she grabs a tissue and squishes it up and throws it in the toilet. Flushes, flushes, flushes again to get rid of it.

Shuddering, she gets a Q-tip and attacks her ears. Long gunky silk strands emerge seemingly endlessly. Disgusted and horrified (THAT was in her ear??) she digs and digs until it is all gone. As bad as this is, again she is relieved to have found the answer to what has been wrong with her. It is not cancer. It is not an evil man toying with her. It was just a BUG. An insect. Easily killed, after all.

She strips the bed and makes a semi-hysterical midnight trip to the dumpster. All of the bedding and the T-shirt she was sleeping in go into it's black maw. She changes the sheets and ignores how weak she has really become. She will be better now, she is sure of it. She climbs into her bed.

She never wakes up.

It is a few days before they find her body. It is bloated and ripe as bodies unattended will get. An unexplained death, an autopsy is scheduled. As the doctor makes the first cut of the 'Y' incision, there is a pink-red living explosion. Hundreds of thousands....millions! A cloud moving, crawling, swinging, flying. Looking for purchase on anything, anyone. Looking for a home to call their own...The doctor and her assistant retreat from the autopsy table, flailing off pieces of protective clothing as they go. The girl with the chestnut hair had been a host, and her guests had become healthy and strong feeding off of her internal organs and blood and essence.

When they were done with her, she had become one giant squishy pregnant spider sac. She had just given birth and it was glorious. The autopsy suite was crawling with new, hungry heart-spider life.

The doctor gets out of the safety shower and inhales deeply in relief. Two tiny, wiggling, happy spiders are sucked up unnoticed into her nasal cavity where they settle contentedly into her sinus. They begin to feed.

Written for the E2 Scary Story Quest

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