A body-horror-romance about a man who receives an unexpected change before his upcoming wedding.
*This was for a group called The Last Line Journal where they give you the last line and you have to write a story to it. This is what I came up with but it was denied. So here you are.
The Bite (or the Unpredictable New Evolution of Man)
Written by Christopher Michael Carter
It was the last time we would be together. I was dying and she knew this. I’ve loved her for as long as I’ve known her; perhaps longer as I’ve always yearned for that unconditional adoration and love. As a child I thought in ways I suppose you’re not supposed to and certainly not the way other boys did. Sure I loved to play with my action figures, watch cartoons, play games, rough house, horse play, and what have you but there was always something more. I was attracted to girls from early on but I was also attracted to the notion of love. I didn’t really see any real life romance in my life and was pretty certain it didn’t exist.
My parents’ marriage was an unhappy one. My aunts and uncles were in abusive relationships or frequently getting divorced. Friends of mine were constantly jumping from one mate to the other. Even if they stuck with one, they’d cheat on them. Yes, the idea of romance seemed ridiculous and as fictitious as the stories seen in movies and read about in books. I knew if I’d ever find “the one” I’d do everything in my power to make sure she felt as such. That’s when I met her, Sylvia. She was going to law school when I had met her during one of my long walks in the park. I, myself, never went to college regrettably. I wanted to be a writer; a freelance journalist, so I could travel and write about my findings in different cultures.
Sylvia and I hit it off immediately and it wasn’t long before I knew I had to propose. I guessed her ring size after gently examining her lovely hands and guessed correctly. She had taken time off so we could plan the wedding and in that time I suggested she go on a hike with me I had scheduled for a piece about untouched wilderness. That’s when the trouble started…
We were hours into our hike when we had decided to take a break. The woods were thick and we had plenty of water. It was warm out but not too hot by any means.
“We got any more granola bars?” I asked her.
“Yep.” She handed me one from the bag. I always liked taking these things with me. They were good for quick energy.
And that’s when it happened…
“Ouch! Damn!” I feel a sharp pinch on the back of my neck.
“What happened?” My concerned Bride-to-Be asked.
I answered while smacking the back of my neck and rubbing it, “I think something just bit me.”
“Let me see.” She got up and came over to look. “Yeah, that’s a bite alright but I can’t see what did it.” I shook out my shirt and we looked around not finding the culprit anywhere.
“I think we should cut this one short.” She suggested. Usually, as bull-headed as I am, I fought her on ideas as such but this time I agreed and we head back to the car. Through the trek back my vision was getting a bit sketchy. Upon reaching the car I had suggested she drive. I was sweating and my vision continued to blur.
By the time we got back home I had been feeling flu-like symptoms with chills while still sweating profusely. We called the doctor and they got me in quickly. They couldn’t figure out what the bite was from but suggested it may very well have been a spider. They tried to extract the venom but it was already coursing through my veins. The doctor gave me a couple of shots and prescribed me some pills to take at home. Sylvia drove me home, wrapped me up and let me sleep; which I did for sixteen hours straight.
When I awoke I felt as though I had the worst hangover I’d ever had. Sylvia was at the office for the day. My vision wasn’t as blurry as it was prior but now my view appeared fractured, almost like I was looking through cracked glasses. I took my pills and went into the bathroom to brush my teeth. Seeing myself in the mirror was a shock. I’ve always been a fairly healthy guy but my image in the bathroom mirror showed me looking like death warmed over. I began brushing my teeth and the first stroke in teeth began to fall out into the sink. Tink-tink-clink, they rattled around. It didn’t really hurt so much as scare the hell out of me. I checked the rest of my teeth and they followed suit, falling out into the sink as if there were no roots at all tethering them to my gums. I was terrified, crying to myself, “What the hell is this? What’s going on?” The tears streamed down my face in great fear. I rinsed my mouth out to find minimal blood to my surprise though the alcohol of the mouthwash surely burned.
I got in the shower, still crying in confusion. The water hit the bite on the back of my neck and it stung worse than that of a needle. I reached back, touching the wound, to find it bubbled up yet still open. I began to itch all over; a burning itching. Despite the feeling of my skin crawling I showered and wherever I washed was painful as if bruised. A large lump of sorts developed in my abdomen causing extreme discomfort. I clutched my stomach and dropped to the tub. I managed to stand and finish rinsing off before getting out. I sit down on the toilet lid for a moment while the pain in my stomach throbbed.
“Oh, God, please help me!” I cried out in a whimper. I know it’s not typically “manly” for a grown man to be crying like that but it was all too much; just so ridiculous. I went to the medicine cabinet and took anything I could find to hopefully make the pain subside. I wiped off the steam from the mirror to see my face has already changed yet again. Out of every pore and hair follicle was a small thick, coarse black hair. “What!? What is THAT!?” To say I was frightened and saddened is an understatement. Upon touching my face, inspecting this new…thing my finger nails broke off with ease as if they were never on in the first place. The nails drop down joining my teeth in the sink. I could feel the little black hairs growing all over my body and it felt like every individual hair on my body was being plucked slowly. The pain in my abdomen spiked and it felt as if something was crawling around inside. Whatever was bubbling around in my guts was scurrying painfully.
I turned around and dropped to my knees before stuffing my fingers down my throat attempting to throw up whatever is ailing me. I heaved and heaved to no avail. My stomach continued writhing in pain as the only thing that would come up with water and bile. And then something new; pressure. The force and pressure was immense as if something was trying to exit my body. The pressure was dropping from my abdomen to my bowels.
“RRRRAAAAAAAHHHH!” I screamed out so hard my vocal cords strained and my eyes bulged and welled up with my view still in pieces. The pressure became too great and so I had to try to force it out another way. I sat on the toilet and pushed for a bowel movement as I felt it was my only option at that point for immediate relief.
The pressure moves, crawls, drops, PLUMMETS down to my rectum. My sphincter SPLITS leaving me in the most agonizing pain imaginable. Whatever was inside me left me into the toilet with a loud splashing THUD. I fell off the toilet from exhaustion and hit the floor and apparently blacked out. I wasn’t out for long and when I woke up my anus was killing me. Behind me was a mess of stringy white threads coming out of me. I couldn’t understand it. The thick hairs on my body had grown more almost covering my skin in its entirety. I got my near-lifeless body to turn around to look in the toilet, not something of the norm for me. In the porcelain bowl laid a thick mass covered in white webbing. “No fucking way…” I believed I just laid eggs. Whatever was inside that pulsating mess was inside of me and surely spawned from that bite, but how? That’s impossible. Or so I thought. I took the egg sac out of the toilet and put it on the dining room table under the newspaper. My body was then completely covered in the coarse black hair. I put shorts on regardless of the pain.
It wouldn’t be long before Sylvia would get home and I waited in the recliner. I didn’t feel up to leaving the house and I knew I couldn’t call 9-1-1 as I knew there was nothing they could do for me at that point but put me out of my misery. I knew in my heart of hearts that this wasn’t a phase but a transformation; one that I couldn’t live with. Sylvia’s car pulled in and I had the lights off and the shades drawn.
She entered, “What’s going on, babe? Why is it so dark in here?”
“I don’t want you to see me like this.”
“Like what? You’re scaring me!”
She moved to turn on the lights. “No!” I shouted, but she didn’t listen and saw me for what I had become. She was speechless and began sobbing, “Honey, what is this!? What’s going on!?”
“The bite… It changed me. It made me into…this. I love you but there’s no changing this. I need you to promise me something.”
“What? Anything.” She said through salty tears.
“On the table is…something. I want you to take it to a doctor, a health department or anybody who will look at it.”
She walked over glancing at the sac on the table, “What…is that?”
“I don’t really know. It came out of me earlier. I need you to go now and take that with you and afterwards I want you to stay with your mother for a few days. When you get there I want you to call the police and send them over here. The house will be quarantined for awhile.”
“I-I don’t know if I can do this.” She cried.
“Sylvia, please!” I yelled and gripped my pain stricken body. “I don’t have much time. Promise me you’ll take that thing!”
She sighed big in this unbelievable situation and steadied her breathing. When she was to leave I was set to drink the spider and bug spray we kept beneath the kitchen sink. I had the tops off of them and was ready to start guzzling the moment she drove away.
“I love you.” I told her.
“I love you too…” She said shaking her head in disbelief before picking up the webbed sac from the table with a look of disgust.
“Remember, get that to somebody. It could be important; I don’t know.”
She said, “I will,” and left.