There’s a soft knock on the door and Dr. Clements comes in, looking at my chart as he walks.
“Susan, back’s not better, huh?”
“No and I noticed a mass about a week ago. It’s gotten considerably bigger. Oh, and the stretches you had me do aren’t helping at all.”
“OK, lie on your right side and let’s have a look.”
I do as he asks and I hear him wash his hands and pull a paper towel from the dispenser. I close my eyes and feel his chilled fingers as he locates the spot and very gently prods the mass.
“I feel what you’re talking about. This wasn’t here the last time you were in. You noticed it about a week ago?” I can feel him start to manipulate various spots and when he gets to what feels like the base of my spine, the pain is so strong and sharp that I can’t help but call out.
“Sorry about that. I just need a few more seconds.” He continues and the pain intensifies.
“Is it moving?! I think I can feel it moving!” I don’t know how much longer I can lie still. It’s getting very hard to control my breathing.
Suddenly it feels as though something has punched through my back. I hear him gasp and curse and the stool he was sitting on clatters over on its side. I feel light-headed from shock and pain.
My hand automatically goes back and I feel hot, sticky wetness. I move my fingers a little higher and can feel where my skin has been torn. I hear a gurgling yelp just before I feel something bite into my index finger. I yank my hand back and stare at where my finger used to be.
Before I can react, I feel it rip itself from my body. I can’t help the scream that rushes forth. I double over and fall from the exam table just in time to see the creature skitter across the floor and jump onto the doctor’s chest. Its spider-like legs, still heavy with blood and bits of my tissue, have small pincers on the ends and they’re holding tightly to Dr. Clements’ white coat. I scream again and I can hear the nurse pounding and shoving on the door but the doctor is pressed against it, trying to get the thing off of him.
I hear a loud crunch and a large portion of the thing’s body disappears into the doctor, who shudders and goes still. I sit up but can’t bring myself to move. I’m mesmerized by the sight of this thing feeding on my doctor.
It’s quiet except for the sounds of the pincers tearing at flesh and organs; the nurse must have gone to call for help. Slowly, the creature backs out of its meal and turns toward me. Its face is human-like with blue eyes and round chubby cheeks. It moves a little closer, opens its mouth, and says “mama.”