This story is based on a nightmare I had when I was four. Enjoy…
I fall into a troubled sleep and wake at 2am, sitting straight up in bed in mid-scream. The bedside lamp is still on; my book lays open on the bedspread. It takes a moment to reacquaint myself with reality.
My cat, Mr. Grey, regards me with a doleful glare, expressing his irritation of having been so rudely awakened. The bedside lamp casts shadows across the pale pink walls. Mr. Grey settles down on the quilt and begins to purr.
I turn off the light, and gather the quilt around me. As I close my eyes, I hear my name. A whisper, really, coming from the kitchen. “Susan …”
Mr. Grey still lays curled against me, I feel the vibration of his purr. Again, I hear someone whisper my name. I can’t tell if it comes from the living room or kitchen. As I turn the beside lamp back on, Mr. Grey still lays beside me, his purr softer now.
I quietly slip out of bed. Halfway down the darkened hall, I hear my name again. The whisper is strange, a scratchy, hoarse noise. A voice I don’t recognize.
The living room is in shadows, lit only by a night light on the far wall. The whisper now is continuous, louder. I can tell it comes from the kitchen.
The oak flooring of the dining room is cold on my bare feet. A cool breeze comes through the archway that opens into the kitchen.
I flip the switch as I enter the kitchen, but the fixture above my head provides no light. Something dark is obscuring the bulb. Something that moves continuously. My eyes adjust to the darkness, and I sense that the walls of the kitchen are moving. The whisper is so loud now that it echoes throughout the room. The floor below me is also moving, and I feel a crawling sensation on my feet that travels up my legs.
I realize now what they are. Spiders. Hundreds of spiders crawling over the light above my head, dropping from the ceiling. They fill the walls, crawling out from behind the cupboard doors. They overflow the sink, and they cover the floor.
Big spiders, shiny and black. They are crawling over each other. The sound of their legs scratching against each other is causing the hoarse whispering sounds. My name is repeating over and over.
The spiders are climbing up my body. Dropping onto my hair from the ceiling. My bare feet slip on the gore of their bodies that lie squashed beneath me. Still they crawl. Over my eyes, caressing my mouth with their ever moving feet. They are blanketing my face and my eyes. I can’t breathe. I scream and the spiders fight to gain entrance to my mouth. I taste their filthy, bitter bodies on my tongue. All I hear is their infernal scratching of their legs as they scramble over the kitchen floor towards me. I realize there is no escape now.
I try to scream again, but only a whisper is audible. The only sound is that of hundreds of black legs scratching down my throat. “Susan …”