If I had to describe my fear of spiders, it’d be a cross between a dose of paranoia and wanting to grab a hammer and pound it into a fine powder. Arachnophobia is the number one phobia in the United States, and I declare myself the savior of humanity everytime I squish one beneath my feet. So when the opportunity arose itself again, I didn’t hesitate. I snuck up behind the little parasite and gave him a good pounding with my boot. “There, and once again the day is saved” I cheekily smiled, satisfied with my accomplishment.

Our town has had an alarming increase in the spider population for weeks now. These pesky little nightmare fuels have been appearing in large numbers; even the good old spraying techniques have lost their luster. No matter what method we tried, they just, wouldn’t die. It had the town up in arms; we felt we were trying to win a battle we just weren’t prepared for.

Many of the residents complained about the spiders invading their personal lives. Showers, bathroom visits, even in the opened cereal boxes sitting atop their refrigerators. Some have woken up in bed to find one or two crawling up the sides of their legs. My experience however is a bit more, colorful, than the others.

A few nights ago, as I lay in bed, contemplating whether or not I should look for an apartment in the neighboring town, I felt a light tingle on my face. So far, those devil incarnations hadn’t thought to invade my home, so I didn’t think much of it. After receiving a painful bite from my unwanted intruder, the fear in my body began to rise like an active volcano.

I jumped from my bed and ran to the bathroom. The bite was turning red and was already beginning to swell. I grabbed my anti-infamitory medication, applied it, and went back to sleep. If I knew that my nightmare would only get worse, I would’ve done a lot more.

The agony of waking was far worse than the actual bite. A large growth had formed in its place, and my face felt like someone doused me with acid and lemon juice. I decided to call off work; I tried to practice a speech, but my voice had been slurred so much, I decided to send an email instead.

The rest of the day felt as though I was like being tortured in one of those deep web red rooms. The growth was growing bigger and bigger by the hour, and the pain would not subside. By this time I should have gone to the hospital, but my fear of them outweighed my fear of spiders. In a brief moment of stupidity, I thought taking a quick nap would relieve the pain. I was wrong.

Intense discomfort awoke me from my sleep. I stumbled to the bathroom, my hand covered over the wound. I stood in front of the mirror, unprepared for the site staring back at me. The growth was starting to burst, trickles of blood dropped to the floor. Small bubbles of skin began to boil and blister. It felt like the deepest depths of hell were being recreated inside my face.

My skin began to break apart. Thousands of tiny spiders came crawling out of the wound. I tried without success to hold back vomit as I watched in horror as they scattered all over my body. I kneeled to the floor, trying desperately to claw them out of my face. Skin and flesh collected under my fingernails; I screamed out in anguish and terror then fell to the floor, defeated and helpless.

My efforts were meaningless, there was no way I could claw them out with just my hands. I just didn’t know what to do anymore. I closed my eyes, putting my mind in a more distant realm of reality. Trying not to think about the nightmare I am now living. I don’t know how but, eventually I fell asleep, maybe the pain was too much.

I slowly stood up from the ground, some spiders falling from my ascension, and quickly exited the bathroom. I couldn’t dare look at myself in the mirror. The site of seeing those spiders again was too much to bare. I drove myself to the hospital despite my fears of them and checked into the emergency room. The amount of ghastly looks and exclamations I received proved my presence to be less than pleasant.

The doctor couldn’t explain how any of this could’ve happened. A spiders’ bite cannot cause a production of eggs and a face wound cannot hatch them within a couple of hours. There was nothing they could do, so they sent me home with a stitched up wound and bottle of anti-infamitory medication. I threw the pills away outside of the hospital. If they didn’t help before, why would they now?

For the past few weeks, these freaks of nature have been living amongst me, feeding off of the food I left rotting in the fridge and my unmoving, helpless body. Most days I just lie in bed, unmotivated to find a solution to get rid of these spiders. I don’t fight them anymore, I am no more than a meal to them, and the pain of being eaten alive is far to much for any person to live through.

They can have me as their meal, but I can no longer go through this pain.