I open the linen closet door and lift a rag to find a knot of hair clung to it like a house centipede. As I pinch it with my thumb and forefinger to pluck it off, it wriggles to life in a thirty-legged frenzy. Startled, I drop the abomination, and the knot of hair floats gently to the cold tiled bathroom floor. Baffled and frustrated, I storm out, leaving the hairy clump where it landed.

I enter the kitchen, rag in hand, to clean up the dark red juice I had earlier spilled. Approaching the puddle, it becomes apparent that the juice had congealed into a pungent-smelling jelly of unknown composition. The putrid stench is unidentifiable. I pull open the silverware drawer a little more forcefully than I had intended, sending knives and spoons sliding, clanging. The forks embraced each other, prongs interlaced like slender, bony fingers. I pick up a teaspoon and scoop it into the jiggly, crimson substance. Holding the sample up to the cool light of the window, I could see dozens of minuscule house centipedes eating their way through the jelly, leaving trails of empty space behind them. Wincing in disgust, I drop the spoon. It lands in the mess on the floor, splashing some of it onto my bare feet. I could feel hundreds of prickly digits scurrying across my skin where the chunks had landed. I let out a bellowing wail as the house centipedes eat into my flesh, crawling inside their dugouts and continuing excavation into my muscle, and finally my bone marrow. They chew through veins and arteries, leaving me bleeding out.

The pain is unlike anything else. The sensation is like the sound of a high-pitched drill, the kind a dentist uses.

I vomit on myself and blacked out.

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